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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 27 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 2:

1. Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram (PMJVK).

2. Why can’t India Bank on the International North-South Transport Corridor?

 

GS Paper 3:

1. NASA solves mystery of Jupiter’s X-Ray Auroras.

2. What is Nauka, the module Russia is sending to the ISS?

3. Clean Ganga funds.

4. Assam-Mizoram border dispute.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Tripura agarwood policy.

2. National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics.

3. 84 kos parikrama marg.

4. KASEZ becomes ‘first green industrial city’ in India.


GS Paper  :  1


 

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

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram (PMJVK):


Click here

Context:

The Ministry of Minority Affairs is implementing the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakaram (PMJVK), in the identified Minority Concentration Areas (MCAs) of the country.

 

About the PMJVK:

The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram for effective implementation since 2018.

  • It seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities.

 

Special focus by earmarking funds:

  1. 80% of the resources under the PMJVK would be earmarked for projects related to education, health and skill development.
  2. 33 to 40% of resources under the PMJVK would be specifically allocated for women centric projects.

 

Beneficiaries of PMJVK: 

  • As far as PMJVK is concerned, the communities notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 would be taken as Minority Communities. 
  • At present 6 (six) communities namely Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis) and Jains have been notified as Minority Communities.

 

Insta Curious: 

  1. Do you know that the term “Minority” is not defined in the Indian Constitution? However, the Constitution recognises religious and linguistic minorities. What are the key Provisions in this regard? Reference
  2. Who are Minorities under International Law? Read Briefly

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Beneficiaries.
  3. Eligibility.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.

 

Topic Covered : India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Why India Can’t Bank on the International North-South Transport Corridor?


Context:

India might be compelled to recalibrate its strategy if plans for a Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway make its International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) redundant with respect to its Central Asian outreach efforts.

 

What’s the issue?

PAKAFUZ proposal is a proposed 573km railway project that will link Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent through Afghanistan capital Kabul and Pakistan’s northern city of Peshawar.

  • This is expected to affect India as it was planning to expand its influence in Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar port.
  • The biggest worry for India now is that Afghanistan will now be much less reliant on the INSTC for access to the Indian Ocean due to its decision to participate in PAKAFUZ (which will essentially function as the northern branch of CPEC that can be described as N-CPEC).
  • This will result in India being less able to “balance” Chinese influence in Central Asia, thereby compelling a further recalibration of its relevant strategy.

 

What lies ahead for India?

  1. Instead of concentrating on Central Asia, India would arguably do better devoting much more time, attention, and efforts to expanding its reach across the Afro-Eurasian Rimland of the Indo-Pacific where it has much more opportunities than in the Eurasian Heartland.
  2. Israel shared its transregional connectivity plans- the “Trans-Arabian Corridor” (TAC) with India back in December 2019. India should reconsider this.
  3. The seemingly forgotten joint Indo-Japanese Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) from a few years back could be revived.
  4. India is already proceeding apace with respect to Russia via the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC) that Prime Minister Modi and President Putin announced during the former’s trip to the Far Eastern Russian city as the latter’s guest of honor for the 2019 Eastern Economic Forum.

 

About INSTC:

It is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight.

Regions involved: India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

 

Significance of the corridor:

  1. Conceived well before China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), INSTC will not only help cut down on costs and time taken for transfer of goods from India to Russia and Europe via Iran but also provide an alternative connectivity initiative to countries in the Eurasian region.
  2. This will also synchronize with  the Ashgabat agreement, a Multimodal transport agreement signed by India, Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about the Asian Highway Network (AH), also known as the Great Asian Highway? How is it different from the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development (ALTID) project? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About INSTC.
  2. Countries covered.
  3. Important cities.
  4. Key ports.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of INSTC.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

NASA solves mystery of Jupiter’s X-Ray Auroras:


Context:

Jupiter has Auroras near both its poles  which emit X-rays. However, scientists were puzzled about the reason behind these X-Ray emissions.

 

What’s the reason behind this phenomenon?

Auroras are caused by ions crashing into Jupiter’s atmosphere. These ions are ‘surfing’ the electromagnetic waves in Jupiter’s magnetic field to enter the planet’s atmosphere.

 

About Juno:

Juno was launched in 2011 on a mission to study Jupiter’s composition and evolution. It’s the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo.

  • Juno’s primary goal is to reveal the story of Jupiter’s formation and evolution.

 

XMM-Newton mission:

Also known as the High Throughput X-ray Spectroscopy Mission and the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission, it is an X-ray space observatory launched by the European Space Agency in December 1999.

  • It is part of ESA’s Horizon 2000 programme.
  • The spacecraft is tasked with investigating interstellar X-ray sources, performing narrow- and broad-range spectroscopy, and performing the first simultaneous imaging of objects in both X-ray and optical (visible and ultraviolet) wavelengths.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what Halos, Sundogs and Sun Pillars are? Read Here

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

What is Nauka, the module Russia is sending to the ISS?


Context:

Nauka was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 21 using a Proton rocket. It is scheduled to be integrated with the ISS on July 29.

 

What is Nauka?

  • Nauka, meaning “science” in Russian, is the biggest space laboratory Russia has launched to date.
  • It will replace Pirs, a Russian module on the International Space Station (ISS) used as a docking port for spacecraft and as a door for cosmonauts to go out on spacewalks.
  • Now, Nauka will serve as the country’s main research facility on the space station.
  • Nauka is 42 feet long and weighs 20 tonnes.
  • It is also bringing to the ISS another oxygen generator, a spare bed, another toilet, and a robotic cargo crane built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • On the ISS, Nauka will be attached to the critical Zvezda module, which provides all of the space station’s life support systems and serves as the structural and functional centre of the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) — the Russian part of ISS.

 

What is the International Space Station?

  • A space station is essentially a large spacecraft that remains in low-earth orbit for extended periods of time.
  • The ISS has been in space since 1998.
  • It is a result of cooperation between the five participating space agencies that run it: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
  • The ISS circles the Earth in roughly 93 minutes, completing 15.5 orbits per day.
  • The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which scientific experiments are conducted in astrobiology, astronomy, meteorology, physics, and other fields.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US. Read here,

 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the ISS.
  2. Countries involved.
  3. Objectives.
  4. Previous space stations.
  5. Other space stations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the International Space Station.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Clean Ganga funds:


Context:

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), conceived as a ₹20,000-crore programme in 2014 to clean up the river, has so far been allocated ₹15,074 crore.

  • Of this only ₹10,972 crore, or about two-thirds, has been released by the Finance Ministry to the NMCG.
  • Further, Uttar Pradesh, at ₹3,535 crore, has received the most funds, followed by Bihar (₹2,631 crore), Bengal (₹1,030 cr) and Uttarakhand (₹1001 cr).

 

Background:

The funding is critical because as of June 30, ₹1,040.63 crore was available with NMCG under the  Namami Gange Programme.

  • Several sets of interventions need to be taken up for cleaning and rejuvenation of the river such as treating domestic sewage, industrial effluent and solid waste, river front management, maintaining ecological flow, rural sanitation, afforestation, biodiversity conservation, and public participation.

 

About the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):

It was registered as a society on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

It acted as the implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority(NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986.

  • Please note, NGRBA was dissolved with effect from the 7th October 2016, consequent to the constitution of the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about MITRAS – FRIENDS OF THE GANGES ? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Composition of NGC.
  2. About NGRBA.
  3. What is NMCG?
  4. Components of Namami Gange Programme.
  5. World Bank group.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of NMCG.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Assam-Mizoram border dispute:


Context:

Earlier in June this year, two abandoned houses along the Mizoram-Assam border were burned down by unidentified persons, fuelling tension along the volatile inter-state border.

  • Now, early a month after this incident, the border dispute between the two neighbouring states has cropped up again, with both accusing each other of encroaching on their respective territories.

 

Immediate cause for the dispute:

According to the Mizoram side, people from Assam have violated the status quo – as agreed upon between the two State governments a few years ago – in “no man’s land” to trigger the present crisis.

 

About the dispute:

  • Mizoram was carved out of Assam as a Union Territory in 1972 and by 1987, it became a full-fledged state.
  • The two states have sparred over this 164.6 km long inter-state border over the past, sometimes leading to violent clashes.

The dispute stems from two notifications passed under British era:

  1. First, notification of 1875, that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar.
  2. Second, notification of 1933, that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.

 

What are the present claims?

  • Mizoram claims that the land is theirs is based on an 1875 notification, which came from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  • Assam for its part, claims that the land is theirs. It goes by a 1933 notification by the state government that demarcated the Lushai Hills, which Mizoram was formerly known as, from the province of Manipur.

During colonial times, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills, a district of Assam.

 

What leads to these clashes?

The border between the two neighbouring states is an imaginary line that changes with the natural obstacles of rivers, hills, valleys and forests. People of Assam and Mizoram have attributed the border conflicts to the differences over this not-so-clear boundary. Hence, often people living in the border areas cross over to the other side as they are not fully aware of the border demarcation.

 

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what Protected and Restricted areas? In which of the States Protected Areas are located? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the dispute.
  2. Geographical locations and boundaries of North Eastern States.
  3. The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  4. Lushai Hills and the plains of Cachar.

Sources: Indian Express.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Tripura agarwood policy:

Draft Tripura Agarwood Policy 2021 released.

  • It seeks to promote the state’s agarwood business in a bid to develop a Rs 2000 crore economy in the state within 2025.
  • The project, which is worth Rs 100 crore, has been undertaken as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiatives of the Centre.

About Agarwood:

  • The agarwood tree (Aquilaria malaccensis) oil is also known as liquid gold.
  • A litre of agar oil costs Rs 5 lakh in the global market.
  • IUCN has listed it under the critically endangered category.
  • The agarwood tree is native to Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and parts of Southeast Asia.
  • It is an evergreen tree that can grow to 40 metres.

 

National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics:

  • The Union Government has decided to set up a National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics for creating a world-class talent pool in India to cater to the Indian as well as global industry.
  • It will be set up in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

 

84 kos parikrama marg:

  • The central government has decided to declare the “84 kos parikrama marg” around Ayodhya a national highway.
  • All three parikramas in Ayodhya — the 5 kos (around 15 km), 14 kos (42 km), and 84 kos (about 275 km) parikramas — are linked to Lord Ram.
  • The Baal Kand of the Valmiki Ramayana mentions that Ayodhya was earlier known as Koshaldesh, initially spread over 48 kos, and was later expanded to 84 kos.
  • The 84 kos parikrama is a circumambulation of Koshaldesh, touching all important places associated with the kingdom of Ram.
  • As per Hindu belief, the 84 kos parikrama frees a person from the obligation of completing 84 lakh yoni (lives). Hindus believe the parikrama of Ayodhya started from Treta Yug, the yug of Lord Ram, which was over 1 lakh years ago.

 

KASEZ becomes ‘first green industrial city’ in India:

  • Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ), the oldest export zone in the country, has become the “first green industrial city” in India to receive a platinum rating under IGBC Green Cities Rating for existing cities in the industrial cities category.
  • The SEZ has increased its green cover and managed to grow 68 species of trees and attract 28 varieties of birds on a piece of land that was once a salt pan with almost no vegetation.
  • Most of these trees have been planted post 2019, using the Miyawaki forestation method.

IGBC Green Cities rating system is a voluntary and consensus based programme. It is the first of its kind rating in India to address environmental sustainability in existing cities.

  • The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) was formed in the year 2001.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
  2. Bhagat Singh.

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