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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 22 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 2:

1. Shifting of a jurisdiction of a High Court.

2. Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir.

3. Chief of Defence Staff.

4. The draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021.

5. NISHTHA: Teachers’ Training Programme.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is gain of function?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. June 21 is observed as International Yoga Day.

2. “Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai” Awareness Campaign.

3. Black Softshell Turtle.


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Shifting of jurisdiction of a High Court:


Context:

The Lakshadweep administration has mooted a proposal to shift its legal jurisdiction from the Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court.

Background:

The proposal was initiated by the administration after several litigations were moved before the Kerala High Court against the decisions taken by the islands’ new Administrator Praful Khoda Patel.

  • These decisions included revising standard operating procedures for COVID- appropriate behaviour, introduction of the “goonda Act” and demolishing huts of fishermen for widening of roads.

Read this to know more about Lakshadweep development related issues.

What is the procedure to shift jurisdiction of a High Court?

The jurisdiction of a High Court can be shifted only through an Act of Parliament.

  • Article 241 states that Parliament may by law constitute a high court for a Union Territory or declare any court in any such territory to be a high court for all or any of the purposes of this Constitution.
  • Section 4 of the same article mentions that “nothing in this Article derogates from the power of Parliament to extend or exclude the jurisdiction of a high court for a State to, or from, any Union Territory or part thereof”.

Challenges ahead:

Lakshadweep is under Kerala High Court jurisdiction now.

Also, Malayalam is the spoken as well as the written language both in Kerala and Lakshadweep.

Now, shifting of the jurisdiction of the high court will change the entire judicial system of the islands.

  1. It will break the bond of language.
  2. Also, the High Court in Kerala is just 400 kms away whereas that of Karnataka is over 1,000 kms with no direct connectivity as well.
  3. It would also mean extra-burden on the exchequer as all the cases, at present under trial, would have to be heard again afresh.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Think! Can the Principal seat of a high court be shifted? If so, how? Read Here
  2.  Do you know the difference between, Principal Seat, Permanent bench and circuit bench? Read Here
  3. How can the permanent bench or benches of the common High Court be established? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 241 and sub provisions under it.
  2. Jurisdiction of High Courts.
  3. Legal jurisdiction of UTs in India.
  4. What is the procedure to shift jurisdiction of a High Court?
  5. Appointment of High Court Judges.

Mains Link:

The Lakshadweep administration has mooted a proposal to shift its legal jurisdiction from the Kerala High Court to the Karnataka High Court. Discuss the issues associated with this move.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topic covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Delimitation in Jammu and Kashmir:


Context:

For Assembly elections to be held in Jammu and Kashmir, delimitation of seats will be necessary.

What is delimitation and why is it needed?

The Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir was constituted by the Centre on March 6 last year to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the union territory in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which bifurcated the state into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.

What is Delimitation?

Delimitation literally means the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state that has a legislative body.

Who carries out the exercise?

  • Delimitation is undertaken by a highly powerful commission. They are formally known as Delimitation Commission or Boundary Commission.
  • These bodies are so powerful that its orders have the force of law and they cannot be challenged before any court.

Composition of the Commission:

According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission will have three members: a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and the State Election Commissioner as ex-officio members.

Constitutional Provisions:

  1. Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  2. Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that till  August 2019, delimitation of Lok Sabha seats in J&K was governed by the Constitution of India, but the delimitation of the state’s Assembly seats was governed by the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and Jammu and Kashmir Representation of the People Act, 1957?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Previous delimitation commissions- powers and functions.
  2. Composition of the commission.
  3. Who can set up?
  4. Are changes allowed in final orders?
  5. Which are the constitution provisions related?

Mains Link:

How and why delimitation of constituencies is carried out? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

Chief of Defence Staff:


Context:

Chief of Defence Staff to chair important meeting to sort out issues on theatre command.

  • The meeting is called to iron out the differences on issue of the structure of the Theatre Commands.

Background:

The war fighting structure of the Armed Forces (Army, Air Force and Navy) is being reorganised into theatre commands with an aim to have the assets of all three forces under one commander responsible for all operations under his theatre.

  • At present, the three armed forces have together 17 commands with Army and Air Force having seven commands each and Navy has three commands.

Read this to know more about theatre commands.

About CDS:

  • He will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
  • He will be a Four-star General.
  • CDS acts as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which will also have three service chiefs as members.
  • His core function will be to foster greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military and keep inter-service frictions to a minimum.

Conditions:

  • Not eligible to hold any Government office after demitting the office of CDS.
  • No private employment without prior approval for a period of five years after demitting the office of CDS.

Roles and functions:

  1. CDS will provide “single-point military advice”to the government, inject synergy in planning, procurements and logistics in the armed forces.
  2. It will ensure integration of land-air-sea operations through the eventual setting up of theatre commands.
  3. The CDS will also function as the military advisor to the PM-led Nuclear Command Authority,as also have direct command of tri-Service organizations to handle the new warfare domains of space and cyberspace.
  4. He will function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and also as the Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
  5. The CDS will be member of Defence Acquisition Council and Defence Planning Committee.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what Theatre of War & Theatre of Operations are? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CDS.
  2. Roles and functions.
  3. Powers.
  4. What are theatre commands?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of theatre commandas.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

The draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2021:


Context:

The draft was recently released by the Centre. It seeks to amend the Cinematograph Act of 1952.

Key Provisions:

  1. Revision of certification: This provision will give the Centre “revisionary powers” and enable it to “re-examine” films already cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
  2. Age-based certification: It seeks to introduce age-based categorisation and classification. It proposes to divide the existing categories (U, U/A and A) into further age-based groups: U/A 7+, U/A 13+ and U/A 16+.
  3. Provision against piracy: At present, there are no enabling provisions to check film piracy. Violation shall be punishable with imprisonment and fine.
  4. Eternal certificate: It proposes to certify films for perpetuity. Currently a certificate issued by the CBFC is valid only for 10 years.

Concerns associated:

  1. Power of the Centre to order for recertification may lead to an additional layer of direct government censorship going beyond that envisaged by the existing process run by the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC).
  2. This provision also goes against the Supreme Court’s view that the government has no right to demand censorship once the Board has certified a film has left the Centre powerless.
  3. Various groups or individuals often object to a film just before the release, but after the certification process. with the implementation of the proposed new rules, films could be held up longer for re-certification based on random objections, even if it is already certified by the cbfc.

What does the government say on this?

The government cites the “reasonable restrictions” placed by the constitution in Article 19 of the constitution to justify exercising its powers to act as a super-censor for films about which it receives complaints – even if the CBFC, which is the official body empowered to implement the Act, finds those film do not trigger those restrictions.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that  the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) has been recently dissolved? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About FCAT.
  2. About CBFC.
  3. The Cinematograph Act of 1952.
  4. New amendments.

Mains Link:

Discuss the Concerns associated with the recent amendments.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

NISHTHA: Teachers’ Training Programme:


Context:

Ministry of Tribal Affairs and NCERT come together on a joint mission for NISHTHA Capacity Building Programme for Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) Teachers and Principals.

What is NISHTHA?

National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) is a national mission to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level. This is done through integrated teacher training.

  • It is the largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world.
  • It has been launched under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha in 2109-20.

Objective:

To motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students and also teachers will get awareness and develop their skills on various aspects.

Implementation:

Training will be conducted directly by 33120 Key Resource Persons (KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs, who will in turn be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA).

Expected outcomes:

  1. Improvement in learning outcomes of the students.
  2. Creation of an enabling and enriching inclusive classroom environment.
  3. Teachers are trained as first level counselors to be alert and responsive to the social, emotional and psychological need of students.
  4. Teachers are trained to use Art as pedagogy leading to increased creativity and innovation among students.
  5. Teachers are trained to develop and strengthen personal-social qualities of students for their holistic development
  6. Creation of healthy and safe school environment.
  7. Integration of ICT in teaching-learning and assessment.
  8. Develop stress-free School Based Assessment focused on development of learning competencies.
  9. Teachers adopt Activity Based Learning and move away from rote learning to competency based learning.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about the Incheon Declaration? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Samagra Shiksha Program.
  2. About NISHTHA.
  3. About EMRSs.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

What is gain of function?


Context:

The term ‘gain of function research’ has recently cropped up in the debate about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is Gain-of-function Research?

  • ‘Gain of function’ is a field of research focused on growing generations of microorganisms, under conditions that cause mutations in a virus.
  • These experiments are termed ‘gain of function’ because they involve manipulating pathogens in a way that they gain an advantage in or through a function, such as increased transmissibility.
  • Such experiments allow scientists to better predict emerging infectious diseases, and to develop vaccines and therapeutics.

How is it carried out?

  1. It involves deliberately altering an organism in the lab, altering a gene, or introducing a mutation in a pathogen to study its transmissibility, virulence and immunogenicity.
  2. This is done by genetically engineering the virus and by allowing them to grow in different growth mediums, a technique called serial passage.

Issues related to the research:

  1. Gain-of-function research involves manipulations that make certain pathogenic microbes more deadly or more transmissible.
  2. There is also ‘loss-of-function’ research, which involves inactivating mutations, resulting in a significant loss of original function, or no function to the pathogen.
  3. Gain-of-function research reportedly carries inherent biosafety and biosecurity risks and is thus referred to as ‘dual-use research of concern’ (DURC).

Serial passaging involves allowing the pathogen to grow under different circumstances and then observing the changes.

Relevance to Covid-19 pandemic:

  • The discussion around gain of function research came back to focus recently, after a report argued that the possibility of the virus accidentally leaking out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology could not be entirely dismissed.
  • While scientists had earlier ruled out the possibility of the virus being ‘genetically engineered’, a recent report said serial passaging may have led to the evolution of the virus during an ongoing gain of function research project in the Chinese city.

How is it regulated in India?

All activities related to genetically engineered organisms or cells and hazardous microorganisms and products are regulated as per the “Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules, 1989”.

  • In 2020, the Department of Biotechnology issued guidelines for the establishment of containment facilities, called ‘Biosafety labs’.
  • The notification provides operational guidance on the containment of biohazards and levels of biosafety that all institutions involved in research, development and handling of these microorganisms must comply with.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Do you know the difference between forward genetics and reverse genetics? Read Briefly 
  2. Do you know what Gene Knockout is? Read Here(Briefly)

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


June 21 is observed as International Yoga Day:

  • The UN proclaimed June 21 as International Day of Yoga by passing a resolution on December 11, 2014 during the 69th session of the General Assembly.
  • UN theme for yoga-2021: “Yoga for well-being”.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also asked its member states to practice Yoga and has included it in its Global Action Plan for physical activity 2018-30.

“Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai” Awareness Campaign:

Launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

  • It is a nationwide awareness campaign to create awareness on Corona vaccination in rural and remote areas of the country and also to “Crush and Curb” the rumours and apprehensions regarding the on-going vaccination drive.

Black Softshell Turtle:

  1. It is a freshwater species.
  2. International Union for Conservation of Nature had in 2021 listed the turtle as ‘critically endangered’.
  3. It does not enjoy legal protection under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
  4. Until sightings along the Brahmaputra River’s drainage in Assam, the black softshell turtle was thought to be ‘extinct in the wild’ and confined only to ponds of temples in northeastern India and Bangladesh.

Why in News?

Hayagriva Madhava Temple Committee in Assam has signed a memorandum of understanding with two green NGOs, the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden and the Kamrup district administration for long-term conservation of the rare freshwater black softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans).


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