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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 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. Ram Prasad Bismil.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court closes criminal case against Italian Marines.

2. Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Conference.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is PASIPHAE, and why is it important?

2. High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD).

3. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Raja Parba festival of Odisha.

2. Project O2 for India.

3. National Geographic recognises ‘Southern Ocean’ as globe’s fifth ocean.

4. World Giving Index 2021.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Ram Prasad Bismil:


Context:

Ram Prasad Bismil was born on June 11, 1897, in a nondescript village in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district.

  • He was among the most notable Indian revolutionaries who fought British colonialism and made it possible for the nation to breathe the air of freedom after centuries of struggle against the imperial forces.

Important organizations/works he was associated with:

  1. He was associated with the Arya Samaj from an early age.
  2. Bismil along with Genda Lal Dixit, a school teacher from Auraiya, organised youth from Etahwah, Mainpuri, Agra and Shahjahanpur districts to strengthen their organisations, ‘Matrivedi’ and ‘Shivaji Samiti’.
  3. He published a pamphlet titled ‘Deshwasiyon ke Naam’ and distributed it along with his poem ‘Mainpuri ki Pratigya’ on January 28, 1918. To collect funds for the parties, they looted government coffers.
  4. After conflicting views and growing resentment with the Congress party, he formed the Hindustan Republic Association which soon had leaders like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.

Events he was associated with:

  • He participated in the Mainpuri conspiracy of 1918.
  • On August 9, 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with companions Ashfaqulla Khan and others executed the plan of looting the train at Kakori near Lucknow.

Ideology:

His ideals of freedom struggle stood in stark contrast to that of Mahatma Gandhi and he would reportedly say “independence would not be achieved by means of non-violence”.

Raj Ghat:

He was hanged in the Gorakhpur jail on December 19, 1927 and cremated on the banks of Rapti river. The site later came to be known as Raj Ghat.

 

Insta Curious: 

Who all were involved in the Kakori conspiracy and what was its objective? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. His ideology.
  2. Organisations associated with.
  3. Contributions to the freedom struggle.
  4. Important literary works.

Mains Link:

Ram Prasad Bismil’s ideals of freedom struggle stood in stark contrast to that of Mahatma Gandhi. Comment.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Supreme Court closes criminal case against Italian Marines:


Context:

The Supreme Court has closed a criminal case initiated against two Italian marines who killed two fishermen off the Kerala coast, setting the stage for the Italian government to try them in their own country as per an international tribunal award.

  • It has also accepted the additional compensation of Rupees 10 crores offered by the Republic of Italy to the victims of the 2012 sea-firing incident which took place near Kerala coast.

Article 142:

The Government of India urged the Court to invoke the extraordinary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to quash the criminal cases against Marines, as the international tribunal under the United Nations Convention on Law of Seas had ruled that India lacks the jurisdiction to criminally prosecute them.

What had the tribunal held?

  • In a close 3:2 vote, the tribunal ruled that the Italian marines enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Italian state officials under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea.
  • Taking note of the “commitment expressed by Italy” to resume its criminal investigation into the incident, the tribunal said India must cease to exercise its jurisdiction.

 

Insta Curious: 

What is Freedom of Navigation Operations?  Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. PCA- composition, functions and members.
  2. What is UNCLOS?
  3. Articles 87, 90 and 100 of UNCLOS are related to?
  4. About International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
  5. What is NIA?
  6. About the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Mains Link:

Discuss the functions and significance of PCA.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Conference:


Context:

The 42nd session of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Conference was held recently.

  • For the first time ever, the FAO Conference is held in virtual mode.

About the Conference:

  1. The Conference takes place every two years and is FAO’s supreme governing body.
  2. It determines the policies of the Organization, approves the budget, and makes recommendations to Members on food and agriculture issues.

FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031:

In this year’s Conference, FAO Members will adopt the Strategic Framework 2022-2031.

The Framework aims to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agri-food systems for Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life, leaving no one behind.

  • The “Four Betters” represent an organizing principle for how FAO intends to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), and SDG 10 (reduced inequalities).

About FAO:

It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

Headquarters: Rome, Italy.

Founded: 16 October 1945.

Goal of FAO: Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Important reports and Programmes (Have a brief overview):

  1. Global Report on Food Crises.
  2. Every two years, FAO publishes the State of the World’s Forests.
  3. FAO and the World Health Organization created the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 1961 to develop food standards, guidelines and texts.
  4. In 1996, FAO organized the World Food Summit. The Summit concluded with the signing of the Rome Declaration, which established the goal of halving the number of people who suffer from hunger by the year 2015.
  5. In 1997, FAO launched TeleFood, a campaign of concerts, sporting events and other activities to harness the power of media, celebrities and concerned citizens to help fight hunger.
  6. The FAO Goodwill Ambassadors Programme was initiated in 1999. The main purpose of the programme is to attract public and media attention to the unacceptable situation that some 1 billion people continue to suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in a time of unprecedented plenty.
  7. In 2004 the Right to Food Guidelines were adopted, offering guidance to states on how to implement their obligations on the right to food.
  8. FAO created the International Plant Protection Convention or IPPC in 1952.
  9. FAO is depositary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, also called Plant Treaty, Seed Treaty or ITPGRFA, entered into force on 29 June 2004.
  10. The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Partnership Initiative was conceptualized in 2002 during World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Did you know that India released a commemorative coin of Rs. 75 denomination to mark the 75th Anniversary of the FAO (16th October 2020)? Read Here
  2. Do you recall the KISAN RAIL SERVICE of India? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About FAO, establishment and objectives.
  2. Important reports and Programmes.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the World Food Programme.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is PASIPHAE, and why is it important?


Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project.

  • Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars.

Background:

Polarization is a property of light that represents the direction that the light wave oscillates.

How will the survey be carried out?

  1. The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously.
  2. It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied.
  3. The distances to these stars will be obtained from measurements of the GAIA satellite.
  4. By combining these data, astronomers will perform a maiden magnetic field tomography mapping of the interstellar medium of very large areas of the sky using a novel polarimeter instrument known as WALOP (Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter).

Significance of the project:

The theory is that a small fraction of CMB radiation emitted during the universe’s rapid inflationary phase should have its fingerprints on a specific kind of polarisation, known technically as B-mode signals. These B-modes are theorised to have arisen as a result of powerful gravitational waves seen during inflation.

However, these signals have been difficult to isolate because of the enormous amounts of polarised radiation in our own Milky Way, caused by large dust clouds that fill the galaxy.

  • In essence, PASIPHAE endeavours to ascertain the effect of these obstacles, so we can, ultimately, learn how things played out in the early universe.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is polarization?
  2. About PASIPHAE.
  3. About GAIA Satellite.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD):


Context:

High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) was convened recently with the support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to assess the progress made in fighting land degradation,  and map the way forward on global efforts to revive and restore healthy land.

  • PM Modi is the President of the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Need for a healthy land:

Land is the foundation of our societies and is a cornerstone to global food security and environmental health, zero hunger, poverty eradication and affordable energy. It underpins the success of the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Challenges:

  • Globally, one fifth of earth’s land area – more than 2 billion hectares – is degraded, including more than half of all agricultural land.
  • Unless we change how we manage soil, over 90% could become degraded by 2050.
  • Land degradation negatively impacts one fifth of the planet’s land area and the livelihoods of 3.2 billion people, 40% of the global population.
  • It accelerates climate change and biodiversity loss, and contributes to droughts, wildfires, involuntary migration and the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases.

About UNCCD:

  • Established in 1994.
  • It is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  • It is the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio Conference’s Agenda 21.
  • Focus areas: The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that to help publicise the Convention, 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About UNCCD.
  2. Objectives.
  3. Functions.

Mains Link:

Differentiate between land degradation and desertification? Discuss impact of desertification on ecology.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:


Context:

Delivering a judgment defining the contours of the otherwise “vague” Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA) a division bench of the Delhi High Court has laid down some important principles upon the imposition of Section 15, 17 & 18 of the Act.

What’s the case?

The  issue came up while granting bail to Delhi-riots accused who faced charges for being part of a “larger conspiracy” during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 protests which erupted into violence resulting in deaths across North-East Delhi.

Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:

  1. S. 15 engrafts the offence of ‘terrorist act’.
  2. S. 17 lays-down the punishment for raising funds for committing a terrorist act.
  3. S. 18 engrafts the offence of ‘punishment for conspiracy etc. to commit a terrorist act or any act preparatory to commit a terrorist act’.

Key observations made by the court:

  1. “Terrorist Act” Should not be used lightly so as to trivialise them.
  2. Terrorist activity is that which travels beyond the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with under ordinary penal law. The court relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hitendra Vishnu Thakur.
  3. Every terrorist may be a criminal but every criminal cannot be labelled terrorist (Hitendra Vishnu Thakur judgment).
  4. Terrorist acts should not be equated with the usual law and order problem in the state.
  5.  “Terrorist Act” Can’t Be Casually Applied To Cases Falling Within Conventional Offences Under IPC.

Implications of this judgment:

  1. With this, the court has raised the bar for the State to book an individual for terrorism under the UAPA.
  2. It also points out alleged misuse of the UAPA against individuals in cases that do not necessarily fall in the category of “terrorism” cases.
  3. This caution is significant given the sharp surge in the state’s use of this provision in a sweeping range of alleged offences — against tribals in Chhattisgarh, those using social media through proxy servers in Jammu and Kashmir; and journalists in Manipur among others.

Background:

A total of 1126 cases were registered under UAPA in 2019, a sharp rise from 897 in 2015.

For more about UAPA, refer 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of unlawful activity.
  2. Powers of Centre under the act.
  3. Is judicial review applicable in such cases?
  4. Changes brought about by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
  5. Can foreign nationals be charged under the act?

Mains Link:

Do you agree that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act could prove catastrophic for fundamental rights? Is sacrificing liberty for national security justified? Discuss and provide for your opinion.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Raja Parba festival of Odisha:

  • This is a three-day-long festival dedicated to Mother Earth (Bhuma Devi) and womanhood at large.
  • The first day of the festival is called Pahili Raja, the second is Mithuna Sankranti and the third Bhu daha or Basi Raja.
  • The fourth and final day is called Vasumati snana (bathing of Mother Earth).
  • This festival is also associated with the end of the summer season and the arrival of the monsoon.

Project O2 for India:

‘Project O2 for India’ of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, is to enable stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet this rise in demand for medical oxygen in the wake of the second wave of the covid pandemic.

National Geographic recognises ‘Southern Ocean’ as globe’s fifth ocean:

The National Geographic magazine has recognised the ‘Southern Ocean’ as the world’s fifth ocean.

  1. The Southern Ocean is the only ocean ‘to touch three other oceans and to completely embrace a continent rather than being embraced by them’.
  2. Its northern limit is a latitude of 60 degrees south.
  3. It is also defined by its Antarctic Circumpolar Current that was formed 34 million years ago. The current flows from west to east around Antarctica.

The International Hydrographic Organization too had recognised the term in 1937 before repealing it in 1953.

World Giving Index 2021:

The World Giving Index (WGI) is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation. The report is the world’s largest survey of charitable endeavors from around the world. The first edition was released in September 2010.

The report looks at three aspects of giving behavior:

  1. Helped a stranger
  2. Donated money to a charity
  3. Volunteered time to an organization

Latest findings:

  1. The most generous country in the world is Indonesia.
  2. Australia and New Zealand the only high income countries to remain in this year’s Top 10.
  3. India is 14th most charitable country.

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