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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 28 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 1:

1. Harappan City Dholavira Gets World Heritage Tag.

2. Plea to acquire papers of Bhagat Singh’s trial from Pakistan.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on plea saying right to health has taken back seat.

2. PM-CARES funds to help all orphaned children during pandemic.

3. Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020.

4. The US counters China’s sea claims.

5. Israeli war crimes apparent in Gaza assault, says HRW.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Harappan City Dholavira Gets World Heritage Tag:


Context:

Dholavira in Gujarat has got the tag of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • It is now the 40th treasure in India to be given UNESCO World Heritage tag.
  • It is the first site of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) in India to get the tag.
  • Other than India, Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France have 40 or more World Heritage Sites.

 

About Dholavira:

  1. It is a Harappan-era city sprawled over 100 hectares on Khadir, one of the islands in the Rann of Kutch.
  2. It dates from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE.
  3. One of the five largest cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation, Dholavira is located about 250 km from Bhuj.
  4. It has two seasonal streams, Mansar and Manhar.

 

Distinct features:

  • After Mohen-jo-Daro, Ganweriwala and Harappa in Pakistan and Rakhigarhi in Haryana of India, Dholavira is the fifth largest metropolis of IVC.
  • The site has a fortified citadel, a middle town and a lower town with walls made of sandstone or limestone instead of mud bricks in many other Harappan sites.
  • It is known for its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures.
  • During the excavations, artefacts made of copper, stone, jewellery of terracotta, gold and ivory have been found.
  • Unlike graves at other IVC sites, no mortal remains of humans have been discovered at Dholavira.
  • Remains of a copper smelter indicate Harappans, who lived in Dholavira, knew metallurgy.
  • It was also a hub of manufacturing jewellery made of shells and semi-precious stones, like agate and used to export timber.

 

Decline:

  • Its decline also coincided with the collapse of Mesopotamia, indicating the integration of economies.
  • Harappans, who were maritime people, lost a huge market, affecting the local mining, manufacturing, marketing and export businesses once Mesopotamia fell.
  • From 2000 BC, Dholavira entered a phase of severe aridity due to climate change and rivers like Saraswati drying up. Because of a drought-like situation, people started migrating toward the Ganges valley or towards south Gujarat and further beyond in Maharashtra.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know the theme for World Heritage Day 2021? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Dholavira.
  2. About IVC.
  3. Key features.
  4. Town planning.
  5. Artefacts recovered during excavations.
  6. Their worship and style of living.
  7. International trade.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of world heritage sites and the need for their protection.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Plea to acquire papers of Bhagat Singh’s trial from Pakistan:


Context:

The Punjab government has been asked to take up the issue of acquiring files relating to the court cases of Bhagat Singh presently at the Punjab Archives in Anarkali tomb, Lahore in Pakistan.

 

Background:

Pakistan is preserving legacy of Bhagat Singh in a proper manner and is allowing even foreign scholars to consult these.

 

Bhagat Singh’s trial and execution:

  1. He executed on March 23, 1931 at the Lahore Central Jail along with Rajguru and Sukhdev.
  2.  The most significant part of Bhagat Singh’s life is that spent in jail since his arrest on April 8, 1929 from the Central Assembly in Delhi, where he and B.K. Dutt offered themselves to be arrested after throwing harmless bombs in the Assembly to make the deaf hear.’
  3. They were first trialed in the Delhi bomb case. Both were convicted and transported for life.
  4. He was also tried in the Lahore conspiracy case, related to the murder of Saunders.
  5. He was also involved in a hunger strike demanding the status of political prisoners.

 

About Bhagat Singh:

Born in September, 1907.

Gandhi’s influence: Initially, he supported Mahatma Gandhi and the Non-Cooperation Movement. However, when Gandhi withdrew the movement in the wake of the Chauri Chaura incident, Bhagat Singh turned to revolutionary nationalism.

Political ideology: His azaadi freedom was not limited to the expelling of the British; instead he desired azaadi from poverty, azaadi from untouchability, azaadi from communal strife, and azaadi from every form of discrimination and exploitation.

In 1923, Bhagat Singh joined the National College, Lahore which was founded and managed by Lala Lajpat Rai and Bhai Parmanand.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

About:

  1. HRA.
  2. HSRA.
  3. Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
  4. Kakori Conspiracy case.
  5. Lahore Conspiracy case.

Mains Link:

A revolutionary and a socialist, the contribution of Bhagat Singh to the Independence Movement of India is immense. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  1


 

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

Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on plea saying right to health has taken back seat:


Context:

A petition filed in the Supreme Court has said fundamental right to health had taken a back seat as patients were forced to choose between expensive private care and an “inadequate” public health sector, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond to the petition.

 

What are the demands by the petitioners?

They have asked for the proper implementation of the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act of 2010, the Clinical Establishment (Central Government) Rules of 2012 and the Patients’ Rights Charter.

 

How has the “Right to Health” taken backseat during Covid times?

  1. The regulation of standards in clinical establishments adopted as a national policy goal by the Government of India nearly two decades ago is yet to be effectively implemented across the country. This is a denial of the right to a dignified life.
  2. Minimum healthcare is also assured under Articles 21, 41 and 47 of the Constitution and the international covenants. These rights were not available to the citizens because of inadequate public healthcare Infrastructure.
  3. The “situation today is that more than 70% patient care is provided by the private sector and less than 30% patients use the public sector”.

 

What needs to be done?

There are reports of skyrocketing private hospital charges for COVID-19 treatment.

Therefore, a grievance redressal mechanism should be made available to patients at district, State and national levels.

  • This mechanism would look into grievances of the patients at different levels.
  • This would include denial of patients’ rights by the hospitals/ clinics and failure to provide minimum care and facilities as provided under the Clinical Establishments Act and Rules.

 

Basis of Right to Health:

  1. Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees a fundamental right to life & personal liberty. The right to health is inherent to a life with dignity.
  2. Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP): Articles 38, 39, 42, 43, & 47 put the obligation on the state in order to ensure the effective realization of the right to health.
  3. The Supreme Court in Paschim Bangal Khet Mazdoor Samity case (1996) held that in a welfare state, the primary duty of the government is to secure the welfare of the people and moreover it is the obligation of the government to provide adequate medical facilities for its people.
  4. India is also a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) by the United Nations that grants the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being to humans including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.

 

Insta Curious: 

What does the WHO constitution define Health as? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Right to Health under the Indian Constitution.
  2. Related constitutional provisions.
  3. About the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
  4. Related Supreme Court Judgments.

Mains Link:

Discuss the relevance of the Right to Health today.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

PM-CARES funds to help all orphaned children during pandemic:


Click here

Context:

The Supreme Court has made an oral observation that the welfare schemes for orphans, such as the one announced under the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund(PM CARES Fund), should cover all children who became orphans during COVID-19, and not just those who got orphaned due to COVID.

 

What’s the issue?

The Supreme Court’s suo motu case is dealing with children who became orphans after the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

  • In its observations, it has said that it was not asking to extend the scheme under the PM CARES to all orphans but was highlighting the need to protect all orphans who became so during the pandemic.

 

Need for:

The Court has pointed out that India is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Child and therefore the State has an obligation to take care of orphans.

 

Background:

On May 28, the Court had directed the Union and States to identify children who have become orphans post March, 2020, whether it be due to the pandemic or otherwise, and upload their information in the ‘Bal Swaraj’ portal of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. 

  • The bench has also passed directions to control illegal adoption of such orphans.

 

Why is the welfare of orphans the need of hour?

Over 75,000 children have been orphaned, abandoned or have lost a parent during the COVID pandemic, and many of them may become victims of human trafficking rackets or descend into crime.

As per report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):

  1. 6,855 children have been orphaned between April 1, 2020 and July 23, 2021.
  2. 68,218 children lost one of their parents during the pandemic months till July 23 this year. Another 247 children were abandoned across the country.

 

What needs to be done to help these children?

  1. The State governments may work out a mechanism for continuing the education of orphaned children in the existing schools.
  2. Eligible children who have either not enrolled or dropped out of schools should be enrolled in schools.
  3. Authorities should reach out to the guardians of these orphans and gauge whether they really can afford to have these children and if they require financial help.
  4. Increase the government sponsorship limits for these children under the various existing schemes.
  5. Proper implementation of the existing schemes.

 

About the Convention on the Rights of Child:

  • It is an international agreement that is legally binding on the members.
  • The CRC was adopted by the United Nations in 1989. It entered into force in 1990 after receiving the minimum of 20 ratifications.
  • It recognises a child as every human being under 18 years old.
  • It sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.

 

What are the 4 core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

  1. Non-discrimination.
  2. Right to life, survival and development.
  3. Best interests of the child.
  4. Respect for the child’s views.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about the SAMARTH Initiative? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  2. About NCPCR.
  3. Bal Swaraj.
  4. Procedure for adoption in India.

Mains Link:

Highlight the issues associated with the orphans during the times of Covid. Discuss the need for their protection and state’s intervention.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020:


Click here

Context:

The Bill was recently passed by the Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to widen the scope of entities that can engage in factoring business.

 

What is factoring?

Factoring is a transaction where an entity (like MSMEs) ‘sells’ its receivables ( dues from a customer) to a third party ( a ‘factor’ like a bank or NBFC) for immediate funds (partial or full).

  • Currently, seven non-bank finance companies called NBFC factors do the majority of the factoring through the principal business condition.

 

Key Provisions:

  1. The Bill has done away with threshold for NBFCs to get into the factoring business.
  2. It widens the scope of financiers and to permit other non banking finance companies also to undertake factoring business and participate on the Trade Receivables Discounting System platform for discounting the invoices of micro, small and medium enterprises.
  3. It reduces the time period for registration of invoice and satisfaction of charge upon it, in order to avoid possibility of dual financing.
  4. It empowers the Reserve Bank of India to make regulations with respect to factoring business.

 

Significance:

  1. Allowing non-NBFC factors and other entities to undertake factoring is expected to increase the supply of funds available to small businesses.
  2. This may result in bringing down the cost of funds and enable greater access to the credit-starved small businesses, ensuring timely payments against their receivables.
  3. Steps like integration with GSTN, mandatory listing of the government dues and direct filing of charges will improve the operational efficiency and acceptability of the platforms among the financiers.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know the difference between factoring and forfaiting? Reference

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

US counters China’s sea claims:


Context:

In the backdrop of China’s growing assertiveness in the hotly contested waters, the US has said that Beijing’s expansive claims in the South China Sea have “no basis in international law”.

 

What’s the issue?

Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with several Southeast Asian states in the South China Sea.

  • China claims almost all of the resource-rich sea, through which trillions of dollars in shipping trade passes annually, with competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • Beijing has also been accused of deploying a range of military hardware, including anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missiles there, and ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision that declared its historical claim over most of the waters to be without basis.

 

Recent incidents:

  • Hundreds of Chinese boats were spotted inside the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Chinese military aircraft appeared off Malaysia’s coast.

 

US – China relations:

The U.S.-China relationship has deteriorated over a range of issues from cybersecurity and tech supremacy to human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. The US sees China as the pre-eminent challenge.

 

Where is the South China Sea?

  • The South China Sea is an arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • It is south of China, east & south of Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north of the island of Borneo.
  • It is connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea.
  • Bordering states & territories: the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

 

Strategic Importance:

  • This sea holds tremendous strategic importance for its location as it is the connecting link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (Strait of Malacca).
  • According to the United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) one-third of the global shipping passes through it, carrying trillions of trade which makes it a significant geopolitical water body.

 

Contesting Claims Over Islands:

  • The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • The Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Philippines.
  • The Scarborough Shoal is claimed by the Philippines, China and Taiwan.

Since 2010, China has been converting uninhabited islets into artificial islets to bring it under UNCLOS (For example, Haven Reef, Johnson South Reef and Fiery Cross Reef).

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the yellow sea is one of four seas named after common colour terms? Which are the other seas? Reference: 

Do you know the meaning of the phrase ‘The Seven Seas’? Read Here

Have you given a thought about how seas are names and their associated problems? Read Briefly

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Countries involved in the dispute.
  2. What is nine dash line?
  3. Disputed islands and their locations?
  4. Important straits, passes and seas in the region.
  5. What is UNCLOS?
  6. Locate Taiwan strait and Luzon Strait.

Mains Link:

Write a note on South China Sea dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

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

Israeli war crimes apparent in Gaza assault, says HRW:


Context:

Human Rights Watch investigation has revealed that Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups carried out attacks during the May 2021 fighting in the Gaza Strip and Israel that violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes.

  • Such attacks, it said, violate “the prohibition against deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”

 

Background:

In May 2021, three Israeli strikes killed 62 Palestinian civilians where there were no evident military targets in the vicinity. Palestinian armed groups also committed unlawful attacks, launching more than 4,360 unguided rockets and mortars toward Israeli population centers, violating the prohibition against deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians.

 

What do international laws say on war Crimes?

  1. Under international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, warring parties may target only military objectives.
  2. They must take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians, including by providing effective advance warnings of attacks.
  3. Deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects are prohibited.
  4. The laws of war also prohibit indiscriminate attacks, which include attacks that do not distinguish between civilians and military targets or do not target a military objective.
  5. Attacks in which the expected harm to civilians and civilian property is disproportionate to the anticipated military gain are also prohibited.
  6. Individuals who commit serious violations of the laws of war with criminal intent – that is, deliberately or recklessly– are responsible for war crimes.

 

What happened? How has the recent war unfolded?

The war erupted on May 10 after Hamas fired a barrage of rockets toward Jerusalem in support of Palestinian protests against Israel’s heavy-handed policing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, built on a contested site sacred to Jews and Muslims, and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers in a nearby neighborhood.

  • During the fighting, Hamas fired over 4,000 rockets and mortars toward Israel, while Israel has said it struck over 1,000 targets it says were linked to Gaza militants.

 

About Human Rights Watch:

Founded in 1978, it is an international non-governmental organization, headquartered in New York City, that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

  • The group pressures governments, policy makers, companies, and individual human rights abusers to denounce abuse and respect human rights, and the group often works on behalf of refugees, children, migrants, and political prisoners.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what Universal Jurisdiction is? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where is the west bank?
  2. Gaza strip.
  3. Golan heights.
  4. Who are Hamas?
  5. What is Al-Nakba?
  6. About the conflict.

Mains Link:

Suggest solutions to end the long standing Israel- Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.


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