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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 31 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. 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 1:

1. Monsoon onset over Kerala delayed.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Kerala’s ‘Bell of Faith’ for rural elders.

2. PM CARES For Children- Empowerment of COVID Affected Children.

3. The concept of anticipatory bail.

4. D-voter, or doubtful voter.

5. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Places in News- Cali.

2. Rishiganga.

3. Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

4. Vitamin D.

5. YUVA (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) Scheme.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclones etc.

Monsoon onset over Kerala delayed:


Context:

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the arrival of the southwest monsoon over Kerala has been delayed to June 3.

However, Skymet, a private weather forecast agency, said the monsoon had arrived. This was because two of the three criteria — as defined by the IMD — had been met.

The criteria are:

  1. Rain-bearing westerlies being at a minimum depth and speed.
  2. At least 60% of the available 14 stations in Kerala and coastal Karnataka reported rainfall of 2.5 mm or more for two consecutive days after May 10.
  3. A certain degree of clouding, indicated by a parameter called ‘outgoing longwave radiation’ (OLR), being below 200 W/square metre.

Currently, IMD’s own data indicated that except for the OLR, the other criteria were met. Thus, there is an element of subjectivity in arrival.

Factors influencing the onset on Southwest Monsoon:

The onset of Southwest Monsoon is an emotional event as it may cause anxiety if delayed or shoot excitement for stepping in early.

Various factors influencing it’s onset:

The onset needs a trigger in the form of a weather system in the proximity of the coastline. These are ocean born phenomena which accentuate the monsoon surge around the normal time of onset. These include:

  1. The low-pressure area or depression in the Bay of Bengal during the last days of May or the beginning of June.
  2. There are such systems in the Arabian Sea as well around the same time which results in onset over the mainland.
  3. Cyclonic Vortexis another factor which appears in the Southeast Arabian Sea, off Kerala and Lakshadweep region. They also shift along the west coast to push the monsoon current.
  4. The formation of ‘trough’ off the west coast due to temperature differential between land and sea. This situation could be for a mild start and weak progress.
  5. Lastly the cross-equatorial flow, wherein the trade winds from the Southern Hemisphere crossover to the Northern Hemisphere can bring a strong monsoon surge towards the Indian mainland.

Monsoon in India- related key facts:

  1. Generally, across the world, the monsoons are experienced in the tropical area roughly between 20° N and 20° S.
  2. Out of a total of 4 seasonal divisions of India, monsoon occupies 2 divisions, namely- the southwest monsoon season and the retreating monsoon season.

 

Insta Curious:

  • Do you know that the Indian summer monsoon rainfall is influenced by a system of oscillating sea surface temperatures known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)? Read here
  • If you are more curious and would like to know how India Ocean Dipole also affects floods & bushfires in Africa and Australia respectively, Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is El Nino?
  2. What is La Nina?
  3. What is ENSO?
  4. When do these events occur?
  5. Impact of ENSO on Asia, Africa and Australia.
  6. What is Indian Ocean Dipole?
  7. Differences between Southwest and Northeast monsoon.
  8. Factors influencing the onset of Southwest Monsoon.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of La Nina weather phenomenon on India.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Kerala’s ‘Bell of Faith’ for rural elders:


Context:

The ‘Bell of Faith’ scheme will now be implemented for senior citizens staying alone in villages.

  • Previously, this scheme was successfully implemented in a number of urban households in Kerala.

What is the ‘Bell of Faith’ scheme all about?

  • It is a safety project conceived under Kerala’s Community Policing Scheme.
  • It will help elderly citizens attract the attention of their neighbours using a loud, remote-controlled alarm in emergencies.
  • It has been under implementation in Kerala since 2018.

Significance of the Project:

It sets an example for community participation to ensure the well-being and safety of the elderly. It can be of great support for the aged during the COVID-19 pandemic as many live in fear for their health.

 

Insta Curious:

  • It is important to comprehensively understand issues related to Geriatric Care in India. This latest article has good facts & insights on this issue.
  • Take a look at such similar and innovative schemes initiated by Kerala police(helps in ethics case studies)

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the scheme.
  2. Implementing state.
  3. Target state.
  4. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for community participation in ensuring the well-being and safety of the elderly. Suggest measures.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

PM CARES For Children- Empowerment of COVID Affected Children:


Context:

The scheme has been launched for support & empowerment of Covid affected children.

Eligibility: All children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid 19 will be supported under the scheme.

Features of the scheme:

  1. Fixed Deposit in the name of the child: A corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age.
  2. School Education: For children under 10 years: Admission will be given in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.
  3. School Education: for children between 11-18 years: The child will be given admission in any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc.
  4. Support for Higher Education: The child will be assisted in obtaining an education loan for Professional courses / Higher Education in India as per the existing Education Loan norms.
  5. Health Insurance: All children will be enrolled as a beneficiary under Ayushman Bharat Scheme (PM-JAY) with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs.

(Note: We have covered only highlights and key features of the scheme here. For complete details, please visit: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1722719.)

Need for these measures:

  • As India battles a raging second wave, cases of children losing their parents to Covid-19 are also mounting.
  • Also the apprehension of child trafficking in the garb of adoption has increased.
  • Child Marriages have also increased in the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

 

Insta Curious:

  • CARES stands for Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations
  • How different is the PM- CARES fund from the PM National Relief Fund(PMNRF)? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a public account?
  2. Who administers the PM CARES fund?
  3. Which organisations are exempted from the ambit of RTI act?
  4. What is the Consolidated fund of India?
  5. What is a charitable trust?
  6. PM CARES For Children- Empowerment of COVID Affected Children- eligibility and benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss why the PM CARES fund should be brought within the ambit of RTI act?

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

The concept of anticipatory bail:


Context:

The Supreme Court has resolved a dichotomy in approach of high courts and ruled that Courts in “extraordinary circumstances” have the discretion to grant protection from arrest to accused even while denying them anticipatory bail, but the power cannot be exercised in an untrammelled manner, and the order will have to be a reasoned one.

Background:

The court was hearing appeals against two High Court orders which, while rejecting the prayer of the accused for anticipatory bail, had asked them to surrender before the trial court and file a regular bail application within 90 days, and protected them from any coercive action during this period.

What has the Supreme Court ruled?

  1. HCs and SC are given powers to grant anticipatory bail to the accused because of the premium that the Constitution places on the right to liberty guaranteed under Article 21.
  2. The grant or rejection of an application under CrPC has a direct bearing on the right to life and liberty of an individual. Therefore, the provision needs to be read liberally, and considering its beneficial nature. The courts must not read in restrictions that the legislature has not explicitly provided for.
  3. In doing so, the court may also exercise its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to pass such an order.

Need for such protection:

An accused, besides being an accused, may also be the primary caregiver or sole breadwinner of the family. His arrest may leave his loved ones in a state of starvation and neglect.

  • In the 1980 Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia vs State of Punjab case, a five-judge Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice Y V Chandrachud ruled that 438 (1) is to be interpreted in the light of Article 21 of the Constitution (protection of life and personal liberty).

The concept of anticipatory bail:

  • The provision of anticipatory bail under Section 438 was introduced when CrPC was amended in 1973.
  • As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest is made.
  • Time limit: The Supreme Court (SC) in Sushila Aggarwal v. State of NCT of Delhi (2020) case delivered a significant verdict, ruling that no time limit can be set while granting anticipatory Bail and it can continue even until the end of the trial.
  • It is issued only by the Sessions Court and High Court.

Significance:

  • The reason for enactment of Section 438 in the Code was parliamentary acceptance of the crucial underpinning of personal liberty in a free and democratic country.
  • Parliament wished to foster respect for personal liberty and accord primacy to a fundamental tenet of criminal jurisprudence, that everyone is presumed to be innocent till he or she is found guilty.

 

Insta Curious:

  • Do you know about the Substantive Rights that Flow From Article 21? Read here:
  • Please know a few important facts related to the issue of Undertrials in India. It’s important. Read Here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various rights under Article 21.
  2. What is a bail?
  3. What is an anticipatory bail?
  4. Differences between bailable and non-bailable offences.
  5. Conditions for Granting Anticipatory Bail.
  6. Time limit on anticipatory bail.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of anticipatory bail.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

D-voter, or doubtful voter:


Context:

Manindra Das- the last “foreigner” has walked out of one of the six detention centres in Assam, leaving about 170 more to be released from the other five.

  • Mahindra Das was tagged a ‘D-voter’ in 2015 and later declared a “foreigner” in a one-sided decision by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in 2019.

Who is a D-voter, or doubtful voter?

Those persons whose citizenship was doubtful or was under dispute were categorized as ‘D- Voters’ during the preparation of National Register of Citizens in Assam.

  • They have not been defined in the Citizenship Act, 1955 or the Citizenship Rules of 2003.

Who is a declared foreigner?

A declared foreigner, or DF, is a person marked by Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) for allegedly failing to prove their citizenship after the State police’s Border wing marks him or her as an illegal immigrant.

What is a Foreigners tribunal?

The Foreigner tribunals are set up under the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964.

The tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies, to determine if a person staying illegally is a “foreigner” or not.

Composition: Advocates not below the age of 35 years of age with at least 7 years of practice (or) Retired Judicial Officers from the Assam Judicial Service (or) Retired IAS of ACS Officers (not below the rank of Secretary/Addl. Secretary) having experience in quasi-judicial works.

Who can set up these tribunals?

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, and has empowered district magistrates in all States and Union Territories to set up tribunals (quasi-judicial bodies) to decide whether a person staying illegally in India is a foreigner or not.

  • Earlier, the powers to constitute tribunals were vested only with the Centre.

Who can approach these tribunals?

The amended order (Foreigners (Tribunal) Order, 2019) also empowers individuals to approach the Tribunals.

  • Earlier, only the State administration could move the Tribunal against a suspect.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act vs Foreigners Tribunal (Order) 1964.
  2. Burden of proof under this order.
  3. Powers to approach the tribunal and kind of cases to be decided by the tribunal.
  4. Composition of the tribunal.
  5. Tribunals vs Courts.
  6. Geographical location of Assam and other NE states.
  7. Refugee vs illegal Migrants.
  8. Fundamental Rights available for Foreigners and other constitutional provisions wrt to Foreigners.
  9. Human Rights vs Fundamental Rights.

Mains Link:

Discuss briefly the laws that are in place to tackle illegal non-citizens in the country. Why was the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964 amended? Explain.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS):


Context:

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is attempting to mediate to solve the crisis in Mali.

What’s happening in Mali?

Since 1960, when Mali gained independence from France, there have been five coups — and only one peaceful transition from one democratically elected president to another.

Recent coup: Nine months ago, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was overthrown in the wake of mass anti-government protests. Last week, the announcement of a new cabinet was made that excluded two key military leaders. Following this, the army has detained the President and the Prime Minister.

About ECOWAS:

  • It is a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa.
  • Established in 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos.
  • The goal of ECOWAS is to achieve “collective self-sufficiency” for its member states by creating a single large trade bloc by building a full economic and trading union.
  • It also serves as a peacekeeping force in the region.
  • Considered one of the pillar regional blocs of the continent-wide African Economic Community (AEC).

ECOWAS includes two sub-regional blocs:

  1. The West African Economic and Monetary Union is an organisation of eight, mainly French-speaking states.
  2. The West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), established in 2000, comprises six mainly English-speaking countries.

 

Insta Curious:

  • Did you know that the ‘Treaty of Pelindaba’ is also known as the African Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty? Read here.
  • Here is a list of African organisations. Note down only an important few from this list.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Bloc.
  2. It’s goals and objectives.
  3. Members.
  4. Sub-regional blocs under it.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Places in News- Cali:

  • Cali is the second-largest city in Colombia by area and the third most populous.
  • It is the only major Colombian city with access to the Pacific Coast.
  • Cali is located in the Cauca Valley to the west of the Cauca River.

Why in the News?

The Colombian Army has tightened its control over Cali following the latest anti-government protests.

Reasons for the protest:

  • Protests erupted in Cali and other cities in April over a proposed reform that would have lowered the threshold at which salaries are taxed.
  • The government argued that the move was key to mitigating economic difficulties but many Colombians feared they could slip into poverty as a result.
  • The tax plan was withdrawn but anti-government sentiment saw the protests grow to cover police violence, poverty and Colombia’s health crisis.

 

Rishiganga:

  • It is a river in the Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India.
  • Sources: It springs from the Uttari Nanda Devi Glacier on the Nanda Devi mountain. It is also fed from the Dakshini Nanda Devi Glacier.
  • Continuing through the Nanda Devi National Park, it flows into the Dhauliganga River near the village Rini.

Disaster in 2021:

In February 2021, a flooding disaster occurred all along the river and its gorge following a landslide, avalanche or glacial lake outburst flood.

Why is it in News now?

Following reports that cracks had developed in glaciers at the origin of Rishiganga in Chamoli, a team of scientists carried out an aerial survey and found nothing wrong.

 

Insta Curious:

Know more about Ganga and important places through which it passes: Read here

 

Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve:

  • It is a national park in Assam.
  • Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, the park is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district.
  • It hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • It is a World Heritage Site.
  • It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— Rhino, Elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
  • Kaziranga is crisscrossed by four main rivers — Brahmaputra, Diphlu, Mora Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.

Why in the News?

The Assam government has approved a proposal to increase the firepower of the guards of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve and provide commando training to them. These measures are aimed at preventing poaching.

 

Vitamin D:

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it dissolves in fats and oils and can be stored in your body for a long time.
  • It is produced when sunlight (or artificial light, particularly in the ultraviolet region of 190-400 nm wavelength) falls on the skin and triggers a chemical reaction to a cholesterol-based molecule, and converts it into calcidiol in the liver and into calcitriol in the kidney.
  • Its role: It is known to help in having the right amount of calcium in the bones, catalyse the process of protecting cell membranes from damage, preventing the inflammation of tissues and helping stop tissues from forming fibres and weakening bones from becoming brittle, leading to osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Why in News?

A study done by the doctors of Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) has revealed that high Vitamin D levels reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, and administration of the vitamin in the infected patients considerably reduce mortality.

 

YUVA (Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors) Scheme:

Ministry Of Education has launched YUVA To Mentor Young Authors.

  • The scheme seeks to mentor authors under the age of 30 and train them to promote reading, writing and book culture in the country, and project India and Indian writings globally.
  • A consolidated scholarship of Rs50,000 per month for a period of six months per author will be paid under the YUVA Scheme.
  • YUVA is a part of India@75 Project (Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav).
  • The National Book Trust, India under the Ministry of Education is the Implementing Agency.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Plea calls for NSA against hoarding.

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