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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 10 July 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. Delimitation in J&K.

2. Journalist moves SC against sedition law.

3. Zika Virus.

4. WHO pre-qualification, or Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

5. Why is Cairn going after Indian assets?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. WhatsApp privacy policy on hold till law is framed.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Bhumi Panduga.

2. Himalayan yaks.

3. India Industrial Land Bank (IILB).


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Delimitation in J&K:


Context:

The Jammu and Kashmir Delimitation Commission has said that it will base its final report on the 2011 Census and will also take into account the topography, difficult terrain, means of communication and convenience available for the ongoing delimitation exercise.

 

Delimitation exercise in J&K- a timeline:

  1. The first delimitation exercise, carving out 25 assembly constituencies in the then state, was carried out by a Delimitation Committee in 1951.
  2. The first full-fledged Delimitation Commission was formed in 1981 and it submitted its recommendations in 1995 on the basis of 1981 Census. Since then, there has been no delimitation.
  3. In 2020, the Delimitation Commission was constituted to carry out the exercise on the basis of 2011 Census, with a mandate to add seven more seats to the Union Territory’ and grant reservations to SC and ST communities.
  4. Now, the total number of seats in Jammu and Kashmir will be raised to 90 from the previous 83. This is apart from 24 seats which have been reserved for areas of PoK and have to be kept vacant in the Assembly.

 

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: 

Do you know what Gerrymandering is? Read Here

 

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: the Hindu.

 

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

Journalist moves SC against sedition law:


Context:

Senior journalist Sashi Kumar has moved the Supreme Court saying the sedition law is being applied by the government against journalists, activists, filmmakers and civil society in a “politicised fashion”.

 

What’s the concern?

The sedition law has been indiscriminately used against critics, journalists, social media users, activists and citizens for airing their grievances about the governments COVID-19 management, or even for seeking help to gain medical access, equipment, drugs and oxygen cylinders, especially during the second wave of the pandemic.

 

What is sedition?

Section 124A of the IPC states, “Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the government established by law in shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”

 

Need for a proper definition?

The sedition law has been in controversy for far too long. Often the governments are criticized for using the law — Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) — against vocal critics of their policies.

  • Therefore, this Section is seen as a restriction of individuals’ freedom of expression and falls short of the provisions of reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech under Article 19 of the Constitution.

The law has been in debate ever since it was brought into force by the colonial British rulers in 1860s. Several top freedom movement leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were booked under the sedition law.

  1. Mahatma Gandhi described it as the “prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen.”
  2. Nehru had described it as “highly objectionable and obnoxious” which “should have no place in any body of laws that we might pass”. Nehru said, “The sooner we get rid of it the better.”

 

Relevant Supreme Court judgements:

  1. The Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962):

While dealing with offences under Section 124A of the IPC, a five-judge Supreme Court constitutional bench had, in the Kedar Nath Singh vs State of Bihar case (1962), laid down some guiding principles.

  • The court ruled that comments-however strongly worded-expressing disapprobation of the actions of the government without causing public disorder by acts of violence would not be penal.

 

  1. The Balwant Singh vs State of Punjab (1995) case:

In this case, the Supreme Court had clarified that merely shouting slogans, in this case Khalistan Zindabad, does not amount to sedition. Evidently, the sedition law is being both misunderstood and misused to muzzle dissent.

 

Insta Curious: 

Think! For a seditious conspiracy charge to be effected, Should a crime be actually attempted?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where is sedition defined?
  2. Section 124A of the IPC is related to?
  3. Section 153 of the IPC is related to?
  4. Relevant Supreme Court judgments.
  5. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the imposition of Sedition law in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

Zika Virus:


Context:

Alarmed by cases of Zika virus in neighbouring Kerala, Karnataka has issued guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.

 

How does the Zika virus spread?

  • The Zika virus is predominantly transmitted by infected mosquitoes from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti. The Aedes mosquitoes also spread dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. They usually bite during the daytime, mostly during the early morning or later afternoon.
  • Apart from the mosquitoes, an infected person can also spread the virus. This virus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to the fetus, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.

The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys. It was later identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.

 

What are the symptoms of the Zika virus?

While the symptoms of the Zika virus are mild, in case it gets worse, immediate medical attention is advised. Generally, the symptoms include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or headache. It lasts for about two to seven days. Most infected people do not develop any symptoms.

 

What is the treatment?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Zika virus has no treatment or vaccine. WHO advises the consumption of a lot of fluids along with pain and fever medicines for a speedy recovery.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) has formed a high-level expert panel ‘One Health’ to study the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases? What is “One Health”? Read this, 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Zika.
  2. Spread.
  3. Symptoms.
  4. Prevention.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

WHO pre-qualification, or Emergency Use Listing (EUL):


Context:

A WHO pre-qualification, or Emergency Use Listing (EUL), is necessary for a vaccine company to supply vaccines to global facilities such as COVAX or international procurement.

  • So far, eight vaccines have got an EUL from the WHO.
  • WHO will also take a decision on including Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin in its list shortly.

 

About WHO’s Emergency Use List (EUL):

The WHO Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) is a risk-based procedure for assessing and listing unlicensed vaccines, therapeutics and in vitro diagnostics with the ultimate aim of expediting the availability of these products to people affected by a public health emergency.

 

To be eligible, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The disease for which the product is intended is serious or immediately life threatening, has the potential of causing an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic and it is reasonable to consider the product for an EUL assessment, e.g., there are no licensed products for the indication or for a critical subpopulation (e.g., children).
  2. Existing products have not been successful in eradicating the disease or preventing outbreaks (in the case of vaccines and medicines).
  3. The product is manufactured in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the case of medicines and vaccines and under a functional Quality Management System (QMS) in the case of IVDs.
  4. The applicant undertakes to complete the development of the product (validation and verification of the product in the case of IVDs) and apply for WHO prequalification once the product is licensed.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know the differences between Vaccination and Immunisation? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. European Union- Composition and objectives.
  2. About WHO EUL.
  3. Benefits.
  4. Eligibility.

Mains Link:

Write a note on WHO’s EUL.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Why is Cairn going after Indian assets?


Context:

Britain’s Cairn Energy Plc has secured an order from a French court authorising the freezing of 20 Indian government properties in Paris valued at over 20 million euros.

  • This is the first court order secured against India to enforce a $1.2-billion arbitration award that Cairn Energy had won against the Indian government in the retrospective tax dispute.

 

Why is Cairn going after Indian assets?

In December 2020, a three-member international arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands ruled unanimously that the Indian government was “in breach of the guarantee of fair and equitable treatment”, and against the India-UK Bilateral Investment Treaty, and that the breach caused a loss to the British energy company and ordered compensation of $1.2 billion.

  • The Indian government is yet to accept the arbitration award. Cairn Energy is going after Indian assets overseas to recover the compensation.

 

What are India’s options going forward?

While it is the first one to succeed for Cairn, the French court order boosts its chances in other jurisdictions.

  • The assets will be tangled in legal dispute and India will join a list of countries that includes Pakistan, Afghanistan whose assets were seized abroad.
  • Unless it can be proved that the arbitration awards against India are mala fide in the appeals, the award can be enforced in foreign jurisdictions. However, a settlement between the two parties cannot be ruled out.

 

What’s the case?

  • Cairn had challenged the Indian government seeking taxes over an internal business reorganisation using the 2012 retrospective tax law, under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty.
  • In 2014, the Indian tax department had demanded Rs 10,247 crore in taxes.
  • In 2015, Cairn Energy Plc commenced international arbitration proceedings against the Indian government.

 

Permanent Court of Arbitration:

  1. It was established in 1899 and is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands.
  2. It is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to serve the international community in the field of dispute resolution and to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between States.
  3. All decisions, called “awards” are binding on all the parties in the dispute and have to be carried out without delay.

 

Insta Curious:

How arbitration, mediation and conciliation are different from each other? Reference:

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Arbitration?
  2. Recent Amendments.
  3. About the International Court of Arbitration.
  4. About the Arbitration Council of India.
  5. Appointment of arbitrators under the 1996 Act.
  6. Permanent Court of Arbitration- composition, functions and members.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Cybersecurity related issues.

WhatsApp privacy policy on hold till law is framed:


Context:

WhatsApp recently told Delhi High Court it will not compel users to opt for new privacy policy till data protection bill comes into force.

 

What’s the issue?

The court is hearing the appeals of Facebook and its firm WhatsApp against the single-judge order refusing to stop the competition regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI)‘s order directing a probe into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

 

Background:

  • WhatsApp has drawn massive criticism from users globally, including India, over concerns that data was being shared with its parent company, Facebook.
  • WhatsApp, on its part, has maintained that messages on the platform are end-to-end encrypted and that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see the private messages on WhatsApp”s platform.

 

Personal Data Protection Bill:

  1. The Bill, under consideration, seeks to regulate the use of an individual’s data by the government and private companies.
  2. While entities will have to maintain security safeguards to protect personal data, they will also have to fulfill a set of data protection obligations and transparency and accountability measures.
  3. The Bill seeks to give users a set of rights over their personal data and means to exercise those rights.
  4. The Bill seeks to create an independent and powerful regulator known as the Data Protection Authority (DPA). The DPA will monitor and regulate data processing activities to ensure their compliance with the regime.

 

Why was a Bill brought for personal data protection?

  1. In August 2017, the Supreme Court  held that privacy is a fundamental right, flowing from the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  2. The Court also observed that privacy of personal data and facts is an essential aspect of the right to privacy.
  3. In July 2017, a Committee of Experts, chaired by Justice B. N. Srikrishna, was set up to examine various issues related to data protection in India.
  4. The Committee submitted its report, along with a Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in July 2018.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Right to Privacy?
  2. Key features of the Bill.
  3. About WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Bhumi Panduga:

  • These are celebrations marking the beginning of farm operations every year.
  • Celebrated by Koya tribes in Andhra Pradesh.
  • For men, hunting is mandatory as part of the festival. The catch is distributed among all the families in the hamlet equally during a feast every evening.
  • Usually celebrated in the month of June.

Himalayan yaks:

The National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) at Dirang in West Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh, has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring their livestock.

  • The insurance policy would shield the yak owners against the risks posed by weather calamities, diseases, in-transit mishaps, surgical operations and strikes or riots.
  • According to the policy, the owners would have to get their yaks ear-tagged and provide a proper description in order to get their animals insured.

About Himalayan Yaks:

  1. Yak is accustomed to very cold temperatures and can up to minus 40 degrees.
  2. Two other prominent nomadic communities engaged in yak rearing are Changpas and Dokpas in Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
  3. Currently considered to be Vulnerable by the IUCN.
  4. The number of yaks across the country declined by almost 24.7% between 2012 and 2019.
  5. Yak population in India is found in Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.

 

India Industrial Land Bank (IILB):

  • It is a GIS-based portal with all industrial infrastructure-related information such as connectivity, infra, natural resources and terrain, plot-level information on vacant plots, line of activity, and contact details.
  • It acts as a one-stop repository of all industrial infrastructure-related information.
  • It serves as a decision support system for investors scouting for land remotely.
  • It has around 4,000 industrial parks mapped across an area of 5.5 lakh hectare of land and is expected to achieve pan-India integration by December 2021.
  • It is under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Judges should not act like emperors, says SC.

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