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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 19 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. 

 

Table of Contents: 

GS Paper 1: 

1. Tipu Sultan. 

 

GS Paper 2: 

1. Conjugal rights before Supreme Court. 

2. Draft anti-trafficking Bill. 

3. Mekedatu dam project. 

 

GS Paper 3: 

1. China’s Zhurong Mars rover. 

2. What is Israeli spyware Pegasus? 

 

Facts for Prelims: 

1. Kadambini Ganguly. 

2. New findings on Mercury’s core. 


GS Paper  :  1


 

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

Tipu Sultan: 


Context: 

Mysore King Tipu Sultan is at the centre of controversy in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation over attempts to name a garden after him in Govandi, a suburb in Eastern Mumbai. 

 

What’s the controversy? 

  • A local corporator had suggested that a newly developed garden be named after Tipu Sultan as he was a “freedom fighter” and had fought against the British East India Company. 
  • The demand was accepted by the BMC administration in June and sent to the Market and Garden Committee for approval on July 15. 
  • The move, however, drew criticism from the opposition who claimed that Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu leader and naming a garden after him would hurt religious sentiments of the community. 

 

Who was Tipu Sultan? 

  • He was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore. 
  • In the wider national narrative, Tipu has so far been seen as a man of imagination and courage, a brilliant military strategist who, in a short reign of 17 years, mounted the most serious challenge the Company faced in India. 

 

Contributions of Tipu Sultan: 

  1. Fought the first Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69) at the age of 17 and subsequently, against the Marathas and in the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84). 
  2. He fought Company forces four times during 1767-99 and was killed defending his capital Srirangapatnam in the Fourth Anglo Mysore War. 
  3. Tipu reorganised his army along European lines, using new technology, including what is considered the first war rocket. 
  4. Devised a land revenue system based on detailed surveys and classification, in which the tax was imposed directly on the peasant, and collected through salaried agents in cash, widening the state’s resource base. 
  5. Modernised agriculture, gave tax breaks for developing wasteland, built irrigation infrastructure and repaired old dams, and promoted agricultural manufacturing and sericulture. Built a navy to support trade. 
  6. Commissioned a “state commercial corporation” to set up factories. 

 

Why are there so many controversies surrounding him? 

There are concerns raised against Tipu Sultan on nearly every historical figure, perspectives differ.

  1. Haider and Tipu had strong territorial ambitions, and invaded and annexed territories outside Mysore. In doing so, they burnt down entire towns and villages, razed hundreds of temples and churches, and forcibly converted Hindus.
  2. The historical record has Tipu boasting about having forced “infidels” to convert to Islam, and of having destroyed their places of worship.
  3. The disagreement then, is between those who see the “Tiger of Mysore” as a bulwark against colonialism and a great son of Karnataka, and those who point to his destruction of temples and forced conversions of Hindus and Christians to accuse him of tyranny and fanaticism. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that the earliest mention of Mysore or Mahishur historically refers to the time of King Ashoka in 245 B.C? Know about the Kingdoms who have ruled Mysore state: Read here

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. About Tipu Sultan. 
  2. Wars he fought. 
  3. Outcomes of those wars. 

Mains Link: 

Why is Tipu’s name marred with controversies? Discuss. 

Sources: Indian Express. 


GS Paper  :  2


 

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

Conjugal rights before Supreme Court: 


Context: 

The Supreme Court is expected to begin hearing a fresh challenge to the provision allowing restitution of conjugal rights under Hindu personal laws. 

 

What are conjugal rights? 

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with restitution of conjugal rights. 

  • Conjugal rights are rights created by marriage, i.e. right of the husband or the wife to the society of the other spouse. 
  • The law recognises these rights— both in personal laws dealing with marriage, divorce etc, and in criminal law requiring payment of maintenance and alimony to a spouse. 

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act recognises one aspect of conjugal rights — the right to consortium and protects it by allowing a spouse to move court to enforce the right. 

 

How can these rights be enforced? 

  • When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court. 
  • And the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly. 
  • Also, if a spouse refuses cohabitation, the other spouse can move the family court seeking a decree for cohabitation. If the order of the court is not complied with, the court can attach property. However, the decision can be appealed before a High Court and the Supreme Court.

 

Why has the law been challenged? 

  1. Main ground is that it is violative of the fundamental right to privacy. 
  2. It amounted to a “coercive act” on the part of the state, which violates one’s sexual and decisional autonomy, and right to privacy and dignity. 
  3. The provision disproportionately affects women. Women are often called back to marital homes under the provision, and given that marital rape is not a crime, leaves them susceptible to such coerced cohabitation. 
  4. Also in question is whether the state can have such a compelling interest in protecting the institution of marriage that it allows a legislation to enforce cohabitation of spouses. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Think! What does The Special Marriage Act, 1954 say about Conjugal rights?

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. What are conjugal rights? 
  2. About Hindu Personal laws. 
  3. Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act. 

Mains Link: 

Discuss the issues associated with conjugal rights. 

Sources: Indian Express. 

 

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

Draft anti-trafficking Bill: .


Context: 

The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, is likely to be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament. 

 

Highlights of the Bill: 

  1. The bill proposes stringent punishments for offenders, including hefty fines and seizing of their properties. 
  2. The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking
  3. The draft also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim. 
  4. Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs etc. 

 

Applicability- The law will extend to: 

  1. All citizens inside as well as outside India. 
  2. Persons on any ship or aircraft registered in India wherever it may be or carrying Indian citizens wherever they may be. 
  3. A foreign national or a stateless person who has his or her residence in India at the time of commission of offence under this Act. 
  4. Every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications. 
  5. Defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority. 

 

What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India? 

  1. Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1). 
  2. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. 
  3. Criminal Law (amendment) Act 2013 has come into force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPC which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what UN.GIFT is? ReadHere

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. Section 370 and 370A of the IPC are related to? 
  2. Article 23(1) of the constitution. 
  3. Blue Heart campaign of the UN is related to? 
  4. Who are first responders? 
  5. About World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. 

Mains Link: 

What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India? Discuss. 

Sources: the Hindu. 

 

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

Mekedatu dam project: 


Context: 

The Centre has given its assurance that Karnataka will not be allowed to carry out any construction on the Mekedatu dam project on the Cauvery river until its Detailed Project Report (DPR) is approved by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA). 

 

Background: 

Also, there are differences between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the proposed project. 

 

Where is it located? 

Mekedatu, meaning goat’s leap, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the rivers Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi. 

 

Issues surrounding Mekedatu project: 

The project aims to store and supply water for drinking purposes for the Bengaluru city. Around 400 megawatts (MW) of power is also proposed to be generated through the project. 

  • However, Tamil Nadu objected saying that the project would affect the flow of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu also argues that the project is against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in which the SC held that no state can claim exclusive ownership or assert rights to deprive other states of the waters of inter-state rivers. 

 

Cauvery River: 

Origin: River rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in south-western Karnataka state. 

The river basin covers three states and a Union Territory: Tamil Nadu, 43,868 square kilometres, Karnataka, 34,273 square kilometres l, Kerala, 2,866 square kilometres and Puducherry. 

Key tributaries: Hemavati, Lakshmantirtha, Kabini, Amaravati, Noyil, and Bhavani rivers. 

Falls along the way: Upon entering Tamil Nadu, the Kaveri continues through a series of twisted wild gorges until it reaches Hogenakal Falls. 

Dams: There the Mettur Dam was constructed for irrigation and hydel power in Tamil Nadu. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know the Projects on Dakshina Pinakini and the issues?

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. Tributaries of Cauvery. 
  2. Basin states. 
  3. Important falls and dams across the river. 
  4. Where is Mekedatu? 
  5. What is the project related to? 
  6. Beneficiaries of the project. 

Mains Link: 

Write a note on the Mekedatu project. 

Sources: the Hindu. 


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space. 

China’s Zhurong Mars rover: 


Context: 

China’s Zhurong rover has driven for 509 meters on the surface of Mars so far. 

  • The Zhurong rover has been working on the red planet for 63 Martian days. A Martian day is roughly 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth. 

 

Background: 

  • China’s Tianwen-1 mission, consisting of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, was launched on July 23, 2020. 
  • The lander carrying the rover landed in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, a vast plain on the northern hemisphere of Mars, on May 15 this year. 

 

There are five core science objectives of the rover: 

  1. Create a geological map of Mars. 
  2. Explore the characteristics of the Martian soil and potentially locate water-ice deposits. 
  3. Analyze the surface material composition. 
  4. Investigate the Martian atmosphere and climate at the surface. 
  5. Understand the electromagnetic and gravitational fields of the planet. 

 

Significance Tianwen-1 mission:  

  1. Firstly, with the successful landing, China became the third nation to achieve a successful soft landing on Mars after the Soviet Union and the United States.
  2. Secondly, with the successful deployment of the rover on Mars, China becomes the only second country after the US to send a rover to the surface of Mars.
  3. Thirdly, China has also become the 1st country to carry out an orbiting, landing, and roving operation during its first mission to Mars.

 

Other Mars Missions: 

  1. NASA’s Perseverance Rover. 
  2. UAE’s Hope Mars Mission (UAE’s first-ever interplanetary mission). 
  3. India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) or Mangalyaan. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that the USSR in 1971 became the first country to carry out a Mars landing? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. Objectives of the mission. 
  2. Others Mars missions. 
  3. India’s Mars mission. 

Mains Link: 

Discuss the significance of the mission. 

Sources: the Hindu. 

 

What is Israeli spyware Pegasus? 


Context: 

The continued use of spyware Pegasus, which an Israeli company sells to governments worldwide, has been confirmed with fresh reports. Like the phones it targets, Pegasus has been apparently updated and now comes with new surveillance capabilities. 

 

What is Pegasus? 

It is a spyware tool developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group. 

Spyware spy on people through their phones. 

  • Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and if the target user clicks on the link, the malware or the code that allows the surveillance is installed on the user’s phone. 
  • Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has complete access to the target user’s phone. 

 

What can Pegasus do? 

  • Pegasus can “send back the target’s private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps”. 
  • The target’s phone camera and microphone can be turned on to capture all activity in the phone’s vicinity, expanding the scope of the surveillance. 

 

What is a zero-click attack? 

A zero-click attack helps spyware like Pegasus gain control over a device without human interaction or human error. 

  • So all awareness about how to avoid a phishing attack or which links not to click are pointless if the target is the system itself. 
  • Most of these attacks exploit software which receive data even before it can determine whether what is coming in is trustworthy or not, like an email client. 

 

What’s the Difference Between Malware, Trojan, Virus, and Worm? 

Malware is defined as a software designed to perform an unwanted illegal act via the computer network. It could be also defined as software with malicious intent. 

Malware can be classified based on how they get executed, how they spread, and/or what they do. Some of them are discussed below. 

  1. Virus: A program that can infect other programs by modifying them to include a possible evolved copy of itself. 
  2. Worms: Disseminated through computer networks, unlike viruses, computer worms are malicious programs that copy themselves from system to system, rather than infiltrating legitimate files. 
  3. Trojans: Trojan or trojan horse is a program that generally impairs the security of a system. Trojans are used to create back-doors (a program that allows outside access into a secure network) on computers belonging to a secure network so that a hacker can have access to the secure network. 
  4. Hoax: An e-mail that warns the user of a certain system that is harming the computer. The message thereafter instructs the user to run a procedure (most often in the form of a download) to correct the harming system. When this program is run, it invades the system and deletes an important file. 
  5. Spyware: Invades a computer and, as its name implies, monitors a user’s activities without consent. Spywares are usually forwarded through unsuspecting e-mails with bonafide e-mail i.ds. Spyware continues to infect millions of computers globally. 

 

Insta Curious: 

Have you heard of Google Project Zero? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks: 

Prelims Link: 

  1. About Spyware. 
  2. About Pegasus. 
  3. Differences between Spyware, malware and Trojans. 

Mains Link: 

What is a zero-click attack? Discuss. 

Sources: Indian Express. 

 


Facts for Prelims:


Kadambini Ganguly: 

  • Google on July 18 celebrated Kadambini Ganguly- the country’s first woman doctor with a special doodle on her 160th birth anniversary. 
  • Born in a Brahmo family on July 18, 1861, Ganguly, along with Chandramukhi Basu, became the first female graduates in India, from Bethune College in Kolkata. 
  • A champion of women’s rights, Ganguly was among the six members of the first all-women delegation of the 1889 Indian National Congress. 

 

New findings on Mercury’s core: 

  • New study by researchers from the University of Maryland on the structure of Mercury has revealed that Mercury has a big-sized core relative to its mantle.

Sun’s magnetism is the reason for this. 

  • During the early formation of the solar system, when the young Sun was surrounded by a swirling cloud of dust and gas, grains of iron were drawn toward the centre by the Sun’s magnetic field. 
  • When the planets began to form from clumps of that dust and gas, planets closer to the sun incorporated more iron into their cores than those further away. 

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