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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 25 May 2021

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. What is Sun’s halo?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Islanders seek withdrawal of land norms in Lakshadweep.

2. WHO panel to investigate rise in zoonotic diseases and build action plan.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. NGT upholds rights of pastoralists in Banni grasslands.

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Provide food, rations to stranded workers: SC.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Belarus.

2. MCA21 Version 3.0.

3. Shahi litchi.

4. Yuan Longping.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena.

What is Sun’s halo?


Context:

A mesmerising phenomenan — a rainbow around the Sun know as a Sun halo, was observed recently in Bengaluru.

What is it? How is it formed?

The halo that appeared around the Sun is a 22-degree ring that appears due to the dispersion of light as white light passes through ice crystals found in upper-level cirrus clouds, causing the halo to have colours.

  • The clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals, which refract, split and even reflect the light to give an impression of a circular rainbow ring.
  • The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear.

Similarly, what are lunar halos?

Seen around the Moon, lunar halos are mostly colourless as moonlight is not very bright.

InstaCurious: Do you know what is Sun Dog – a related phenomenon? Read Here.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Sun’s halo- meaning, features and causes.
  2. Lunar halos.
  3. Sun Dog

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

Islanders seek withdrawal of land norms in Lakshadweep:


Context:

Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel is facing opposition from the people of the union territory and politicians — both from within Lakshadweep and neighbouring Kerala — over policies introduced by him since his appointment in December 2020.

The contentious regulations include:

  1. The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR) — which gives the administrator powers to remove or relocate islanders from their property, for town planning or any developmental activity.
  2. The Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA), introduced in January 2021, under which a person can be detained without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year.
  3. The draft panchayat notification, where a member with more than two children is disqualified from being a member.

Issues with the recently created Lakshadweep Development Authority (LDA):

  • Lakshadweep Development Authority (LDA) has been created with extensive powers, including eviction of land owners.
  • This is widely read as having been pushed by the real estate lobby and against the interest of the islanders.
  • It is because the legislation vests extensive powers with the authority, allowing it to prepare comprehensive development plans for any area and relocate people.

Appointment, role and significance of the administrator:

Patel was made administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020. He was appointed the administrator in a departure from the earlier practice of appointing only IAS officers to the post.

  • The position of administration, appointed by the President of India, is important for any union territory, because the person becomes in charge of all functions in the area and acts on behalf of the President.

InstaCurious:

  • Did you know the President of India is also chief administrator of union territories as per Article 239?
  • Also in addition to Lakshadweep, administrators of Chandigarh and Daman & Diu are not called as Lieutenant Governors but just called as Administrators. Any specific reason?

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. UTs in India.
  2. Their administration.
  3. Powers and functions of Administrators.
  4. Representation of UTs in Rajya Sabha.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the administration of UTs in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

WHO panel to investigate rise in zoonotic diseases and build action plan:


Context:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has formed a high-level expert panel ‘One Health’ to study the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases like H5N1, avian influenza, MERS, Ebola, Zika and possibly the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Terms of reference:

  1. The panel will advise global agencies on how future outbreaks, especially due to zoonotic diseases, can be averted.
  2. It will also develop a surveillance framework and global action plan for the same.

Background:

Zoonotic diseases — pathogenic infections that transmit from animals to humans — have triggered pandemics in past as well. Three of every four infectious diseases are caused by zoonosis. Scientists across the world suspect COVID-19 is also a zoonosis.

What is the OneHealth concept?

  • One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, as defined by the One Health Initiative Task Force.
  • One Health model facilitates interdisciplinary approach in disease control so as to control emerging and existing zoonotic threats.

What are zoonotic diseases?

The word ‘Zoonosis’ (Pleural: Zoonoses) was introduced by Rudolf Virchow in 1880 to include collectively the diseases shared in nature by man and animals.

  • Later WHO in 1959 defined that Zoonoses are those diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man.
  • Zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents.

Concerns:

As well as being a public health problem, many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products.

one_health

InstaCurious: Do you know like plants can be the source of infection for humans – kind of opposite to zoonosis? Ever heard Candida auris? Read about it here (Can be a Prelims question!)

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. One Health component under the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Being.
  2. Zoonotic vs vector-borne diseases.
  3. Common OneHealth issues.

Mains Link:

One Health model is a globally accepted model for research on epidemiology, diagnosis and control of zoonotic diseases. Discuss.

Sources: Down to Earth.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

NGT upholds rights of pastoralists in Banni grasslands:


Context:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered all encroachments to be removed from Gujarat’s Banni grasslands within six months and directed a joint committee to prepare an action plan in a month.

  • The court also said the Maldharis will continue to hold the right to conserve the community forests in the area, granted to them as per the provisions in Section 3 of Forest Rights Act, 2006.

What’s the issue?

The Maldhari community had filed a case against the rampant encroachment in the ecologically-sensitive grassland in May, 2018.

Who are Maldharis?

Maldharis are a tribal herdsmen community in Gujarat, India.

Maldhari community breeds Banni Buffaloes, a species endemic to the region. The buffaloes are adaptive to Kutch’s hot weather conditions.

About Banni Grasslands:

  • Banni grassland is spread over 2,618 kilometres and accounts for almost 45 per cent of the pastures in Gujarat.
  • It comprises 48 hamlets / villages organised into 19 panchayats, with a population of about 40,000.
  • Two ecosystems, wetlands and grasslands, are juxtaposed in Banni.
  • The area is rich in flora and fauna, with 192 species of plants, 262 species of birds, several species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

InstaCurious: Like Maldhari community, can you think of other communities in India which are protecting wildlife & biodiversity (like Bishnois).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Banni Grasslands.
  2. Who are Maldharis?
  3. About NGT.

Mains Link:

What are reserve forests? Discuss their significance.

Sources: Down to Earth.


GS Paper  :  4


 

Topics Covered: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government.

Provide food, rations to stranded workers: SC:


Context:

The Supreme Court has ordered States across the country to distribute dry rations to stranded migrant workers without ration cards and run community kitchens for them.

  • The court left it to the discretion of individual States to utilise either the Centre’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat Scheme, which was implemented for giving dry rations to migrant workers in May and June of 2020, or any other alternative scheme.
  • The Bench directed that “wide publicity” should be given about the various welfare schemes for migrant workers, including locations of community kitchens, so that needy persons would benefit.

Background:

The orders came in a suo moto proceeding initiated by the top court in the light of problems faced by migrants across the country.

Need for:

The government had recently submitted that it had opened control rooms to help the migrant workers. But it was the responsibility of the States to provide cooked food for stranded migrant workers.

  • The real issue now is that such measures cover only people covered under the Food Security Act, that is, people with ration cards. Unorganised labourers, wandering from one place of work to another in mega cities, could not be expected to have ration cards.

InstaCurious:

  • What’s the definition of Unorganised Labourers/Workers in India – it’s defined under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 – check what it is Here

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Belarus:

It is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest.

Why in News?

Recently, Belarus administration forced a commercial airline(RyanAir) flying from Greece to Lithuania to land in its territory (Minsk) allegedly on the pretext of a bomb scare, so it could arrest a dissident journalist(Roman Protasevich) on board.

InstaCurious:

  • Do you know International commercial air travel is guided by the Chicago Convention.
  • Also what’s the difference between ‘Hijacking‘  and Belarus Incident? Here

 

MCA21 Version 3.0:

Minister of Corporate Affairs has launched the first phase of Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ (MCA) MCA21 Version 3.0 (V3.0).

What is MCA 21?

MCA21 is an e-Governance initiative of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) that enables easy and secure access of the MCA services to the corporate entities, professionals and citizens of India. It is the first Mission Mode e-Governance project of GoI.

MCA21 3.0:

  • MCA21 V3 is a technology-driven forward-looking project, envisioned to strengthen enforcement, promote Ease of Doing Business, enhance the user experience, and facilitate seamless integration and data exchange among Regulators.
  • The project will have Micro-services architecture with high scalability and capabilities for advanced analytics.
  • It will have additional modules for e-Adjudication, e-Consultation and Compliance Management.

InstaCurious: What is the definition of ‘Mission Mode Project’ – A mission mode project (MMP) is an individual project within the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) that focuses on one aspect of electronic governance, such as banking, land records or commercial taxes etc. For more read here

Shahi litchi:

Season’s first consignment of Shahi Litchi from Bihar was recently exported to United Kingdom by air route.

  • Shahi litchi was the fourth agricultural products to get GI certification from Bihar in 2018, after Jardalu mango, Katarni rice and Magahi paan.
  • India is the second largest producer of litchi (Litchi chin) in the world, after China.

InstaCurious:

  • Remember there was a tragic news – What’s the relationship between Litchi fruits, hunger & encephalopathy? Read Here
  • Did you know that under Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, GIs are covered as an element of IPRs?

Yuan Longping:

Yuan Longping, a Chinese agricultural scientist whose breakthroughs in hybrid rice brought food security to China and transformed agriculture worldwide, died aged 91.

Yuan is celebrated in China as the “father of hybrid rice” for his contributions to agriculture.

  • In 1970s, he developed “the first hybrid rice combination called Nan-you No. 2 which, due to heterosis a phenomenon in which the progeny of two distinctly different parents grow faster, yield more, and resist stress better than either parent.
  • Farmers around the world have benefitted from his techniques as hybrid rice spread throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas.
  • In 2004, he was honoured with the World Food Prize “for his breakthrough achievement in developing the genetic materials and technologies essential for breeding high-yielding hybrid rice varieties”.
  • The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation honoured him with a prize in 2001.

InstaCurious: Read more about Hybrid Rice and its contribution towards Food Security Here

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1.Appointment of CBI Director.


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