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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 15 June 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. The history of Tulu and the demand for official language status.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. National Food Security Act (NFSA).

2. G7 accommodates Indian stand on need for Internet curbs.

3. NATO Summit.

4. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Year Book 2021.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is the New Shephard rocket system?

2. India and Pakistan’s battle over basmati.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Securities Depository Limited.

2. EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

3. Jivan Vayu.

4. Jardalu Mango.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

The history of Tulu and the demand for official language status:


Context:

Clamour grows for Tulu to be included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution and given official language status in Karnataka and Kerala.

About Tulu language:

  • Tulu is a Dravidian language spoken mainly in two coastal districts Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
  • As per the 2011 Census report, there are 18,46,427 Tulu-speaking people in India.
  • Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), in his book, A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages, called Tulu “one of the most highly developed languages of the Dravidian family”.
  • Tulu has a rich oral literature tradition with folk-song forms like paddana, and traditional folk theatre yakshagana.

Eighth schedule to the Constitution:

Part XVII of the Indian constitution deals with the official languages in Articles 343 to 351.

The Constitutional provisions related to the Eighth Schedule are:

  1. Article 344: Article 344(1) provides for the constitution of a Commission by the President on expiration of five years from the commencement of the Constitution.
  2. Article 351: It provides for the spread of the Hindi language to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.

Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri are the 22 languages presently in the eighth schedule to the Constitution.

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which states in India have the provision of optional use of Hindi in Court proceedings?
  2. What is the Eighth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  3. What is Article 348 related to?
  4. Governors’ powers to authorise the use of Hindu in High Court proceedings.
  5. Who can add or remove languages from the 8th schedule?
  6. Overview of the Official Languages Act of 1963.

Mains Link:

Discuss why the government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963 to include more vernacular languages in governance, and not just confine it to Hindi and English.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

National Food Security Act (NFSA):


Context:

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the States and the Union Territories have purchased nearly 3.7 lakh tonnes of foodgrains at concessional rates from the Food Corporation of India this year to supply to migrants without ration cards and others outside the protective cover of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

  • With this, the centre has debunked apprehensions raised in court that those without ration cards may be left to die amid a devastating pandemic.

Background:

The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to explain “how food will reach migrant labourers without ration cards”.

National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013:

The objective is to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

Key features:

Coverage and entitlement under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): The TDPS covers 50% of the urban population and 75% of the rural population, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. However, the poorest of the poor households will continue to receive 35 kg of food grains per household per month under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).

Subsidised prices under TPDS and their revision: For a period of three years from the date of commencement of the Act, Food grains under TPDS will be made available at subsidised prices of Rs. 3/2/1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains.

Identification of Households: The identification of eligible households is to be done by States/UTs under TDPS determined for each State.

Nutritional Support to women and children: Children in the age group of 6 months to 14 years and pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to meals as per prescribed nutritional norms under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-Day Meal (MDM) schemes. Malnourished children up to the age of 6 have been prescribed for higher nutritional norms.

Maternity Benefit: Pregnant women and lactating mothers will also be receiving maternity benefit of Rs. 6,000.

Women Empowerment: For the purpose of issuing of ration cards, eldest woman of the household of age 18 years or above is to be the head of the household.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Grievance redressal mechanism available at the District and State levels.

Cost of transportation & handling of food grains and Fair Price Shop (FPS) Dealers’ margin: the expenditure incurred by the state on transportation of food grains within the State, its handling and FPS dealers’ margin as per norms to be devised for this purpose and assistance to states will be provided by the Central Government to meet the above expenditure.

Transparency and Accountability: In order to ensure transparency and accountability, provisions have been made for disclosure of records relating to PDS, social audits and setting up of Vigilance Committees.

Food Security Allowance: In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, there is a provision for food security allowance to entitled beneficiaries.

Penalty: If the public servant or authority fails to comply with the relief recommended by the District Grievance Redressal Officer, penalty will be imposed by the State Food Commission according to the provision.

 

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About TPDS.
  2. Who gets food security allowance under the scheme?
  3. Provisions of penalty under the act.
  4. Maternity benefits related provisions.
  5. Overview of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme.
  6. Overview of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) scheme.
  7. The responsibility of 3. Identification of Households under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

G7 accommodates Indian stand on need for Internet curbs:


Context:

India has signed off on a joint statement by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression”.

  • The statement also refers to “politically motivated internet shutdowns” as one of the threats to freedom and democracy.

Democracies 11:

The joint statement was signed by the G-7 countries, and India, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, with host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling them “Democracies 11”.

What India said on the need for internet curbs?

Open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that “cyberspace remains an avenue for advancing democratic values and not of subverting it”. Hence, curbs on certain occasions are necessary.

Background:

India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its new IT rules with tech giants such as Twitter, which described a police search at its offices in India last month as a “potential threat to freedom of expression”.

  • Similar communication shutdowns were witnessed in Delhi and Assam during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act during 2019-2020 and the farmer’s protest last January.

What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?

The Information Technology Act, 2000, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and the Telegraph Act, 1885 are the three laws that deal with suspension of Internet services.

  • But before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 144 of the CrPC.
  • In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet.
  • These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 144 of the CrPC.
  2. About Indian Telegraph Act.
  3. Key Provisions of the IT Act 2000.
  4. Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) is related to?
  5. Article 370 of the Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss about the various impacts of internet suspension in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

NATO Summit:


Context:

NATO Summit was held recently in Brussels. It brought together the leaders of all 30 Allied nations.

Outcomes of the meet:

  1. The heads of the NATO countries said they “remain firmly committed to NATO’s founding Washington Treaty, including that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against us all, as enshrined in Article 5.”
  2. It included language about updating Article 5 to include major cyberattacks, which have become a significant and growing concern.

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization:

  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
  • Established by Washington treaty.
  • Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
  • Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.

Composition:

  • Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
  • NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NATO- genesis and headquarters.
  2. What is NATO Allied Command Operations?
  3. Who can become members of NATO?
  4. Overview of the Washington Treaty.
  5. Countries surrounding the North Atlantic Ocean.
  6. Latest NATO member.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of NATO.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Year Book 2021:


Context:

Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its Year Book 2021.

Key findings:

  1. India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021, compared with 150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020.
  2. China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads, up from 320 at the start of 2020.
  3. The nine nuclear armed states — the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.
  4. Russia and the U.S. together possessed over 90% of global nuclear weapons.

What’s the Concern now?

The overall number of warheads in global military stockpiles now appears to be increasing, a worrisome sign that the declining trend that has characterised global nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War has stalled.

  1. The larger concern is that India and Pakistan are seeking new technologies and capabilities that dangerously undermine each other’s defence under the nuclear threshold.
  2. India-Pakistan “risk stumbling into using their nuclear weapons through miscalculation or misinterpretation in a future crisis.
  3. China’s evolving profile as a nuclear-weapons state was compounding India’s security challenges.

India’s stand on nuclear weapons:

India remains committed to the policy of No First Use (NFU) against nuclear weapon states and non-use against non-nuclear-weapon states.

The Conference on Disarmament (CD) remains the “world’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum” and India supports holding of negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention at the CD.

  • India also remains committed to negotiations regarding a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the CD.

 

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is SIPRI?
  2. How many nuclear armed states are there in the world?
  3. 2020 nuclear warhead inventories.
  4. Comparison with previous report findings?
  5. What is the New START treaty?
  6. Which countries have reduced nuclear warheads over the last year?
  7. What is nuclear triad?

Mains Link:

Comment on the latest findings of 2020 SIPRI Yearbook.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is the New Shephard rocket system?


Context:

Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos’s space company called Blue Origin recently concluded the online auction for the first seat on New Shephard, a rocket system meant to take tourists to space.

Background:

Over 7,600 people registered from 159 countries to bid for this seat, which ultimately went for a winning bid of $28 million.

What is New Shephard, the rocket system?

  • It is a rocket system meant to take tourists to space successfully.
  • The system is built by Blue Origin.
  • New Shephard has been named after astronaut Alan Shephard, the first American to go to space.
  • It offers flights to space over 100 km above the Earth and accommodation for payloads.
  • The system is a fully reusable, vertical takeoff and vertical landing space vehicle.

Scientific objectives of the mission:

It is a rocket system that has been designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Karman line – the internationally recognised boundary of space.

  • The idea is to provide easier and more cost-effective access to space meant for purposes such as academic research, corporate technology development and entrepreneurial ventures among others.

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About New Shepherd Rocket system.
  2. Objectives.
  3. Significance.
  4. What is Karman Line?

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: IP related issues.

India and Pakistan’s battle over basmati:


Context:

India, the world’s largest exporter of basmati rice, has applied for protected geographical indication (PGI) status from the European Union’s Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. This would give it sole ownership of the basmati title in the EU.

What’s the issue now?

Pakistan, which is the only other basmati rice exporter in the world, has opposed this move as it would adversely impact its own exports, especially as the EU is a major market for its basmati.

What has happened?

Pakistan enacted the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act in March 2020, which gives it the right to oppose Indian application for registration of Basmati rice exclusive rights.

While India has said that it is an Indian-origin product in its application, published in the EU’s official journal on September 11.

  • As per the EU’s official journal, any country can oppose the application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2) (a) of Regulations (EU) of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs within three month from the date of publication.

Background:

In May 2010, GI status was given to basmati grown in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

About GI tag:

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

What are the benefits?

Once the GI protection is granted, no other producer can misuse the name to market similar products. It also provides comfort to customers about the authenticity of that product.

Who is a registered proprietor of a geographical indication?

  • Any association of persons, producers,organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
  • Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.

How long is the registration of Geographical Indication valid?

  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

Who accords and regulates Geographical Indications?

At the International level: Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. GI is also governed by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

 

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a GI tag?
  2. Who grants?
  3. GI products in India and their geographical locations.
  4. Other IPRs.
  5. What is the EU? Various institutions under it.

Mains Link:

What is a Geographical Indication (GI) tag? Discuss its significance.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


National Securities Depository Limited:

  • The enactment of Depositories Act in August 1996 paved the way for establishment of NSDL in August 1996.
  • It handles most of the securities held and settled in dematerialized form in the Indian capital market.
  • NSDL works to support the investors and brokers in the capital market of the country.
  • It aims at ensuring the safety and soundness of Indian marketplaces by developing settlement solutions that increase efficiency, minimize risk and reduce costs.

EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP):

A recent resolution was recently adopted by the European Parliament, urging the EU Commission to consider temporary withdrawal of the GSP+ status given to Sri Lanka.

  • The GSP allows vulnerable developing countries to pay fewer or no duties on exports to the EU, giving them vital access to the EU market and contributing to their growth.

Background:

Sri Lankare gained the GSP +, or the EU’s ‘Generalised Scheme of Preferences’ in 2017, on Colombo’s commitment to implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour conditions, protection of the environment and good governance.

Jivan Vayu:

  • It is nation’s first power-free CPAP device ‘Jivan Vayu’.
  • Developed by IIT Ropar.

What is CPAP?

  • Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep.
  • A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn’t collapse when you breathe in.

Jardalu Mango:

Jardalu or Zardalu mango is a unique variety of mango grown in Bhagalpur and adjoining districts of Bihar.

  • It received the GI tag in 2018.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Ram Prasad Bismil.
  2. UNCCD.

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