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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 20 August 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. Activists flay exemption to disability quota rule

2. China for adoption of cultural symbols, language in Tibet

 

GS Paper 3:

1. US not interested in trade pact

2. Loan scheme to be notified soon

3. Rajnath opens defence startup challenge 5.0

4. Record sugar exports help reduce cane dues

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Web app of the Indus script book inaugurated

 


Activists flay exemption to disability quota rule

General Studies – 2

Topics covered: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Context:

  •       The Social Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that Section 34 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 , which provides for 4% reservation in jobs for PwD in government establishments, would not apply to all categories of posts of IPS, the Indian Railway Protection Force Service and the police forces of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  •       At the same time, the Ministry issued another notification making a distinction between combat and non-combat roles in the security forces.
  •       The Ministry exempted all combat posts in the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Sashastra Seema Bal and the Assam Rifles from the non-discrimination and reservation provisions of the RPD Act.

Concerns:

  •       The provisions of the Act did not intend to give blanket exemptions from hiring PwD, but to make sure that combat roles are not assigned to them.
  •       There are many roles that PwD could fill within police forces and exempting all categories of roles is wrong, as per rights groups.

 

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016

  •       It replaced the 1995 Act.
  •       It brought Indian law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.
  •       Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  •       The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
  •       Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time.
  •       Acid Attack Victims have been included.
  •       In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.
  •       The appropriate governments have been given the responsibility to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
  •       Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  •       Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
  •       It provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.

China for adoption of cultural symbols, language in Tibet

General Studies – 2 

Topics covered: India and its Neighborhood- Relations, Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

  

Context: At a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, a top Chinese official said  that “all-round efforts” are needed to ensure Tibetans speak standard spoken and written Chinese and share the “cultural symbols and images of the Chinese nation.”

China-Tibet issue:

  •       Tibet is a region on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, spanning about 2.4 million km2 – nearly a quarter of China’s territory.
  •       It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres.
  •       The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848m above sea level.
  •       The People’s Republic of China asserts that Tibet has been a part of China since the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty
  •       In 1951 Tibetan leaders were forced to sign a treaty dictated by China.
  •       The treaty, known as the “Seventeen Point Agreement”, professes to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and to respect the Buddhist religion but also allows the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters at Lhasa (Tibet’s capital).
  •       The Chinese government regards the Seventeen Point Agreement as a legal contract that was mutually welcomed by both governments and by the Tibetan people.
  •       However, the Tibetan people – including the 14th Dalai Lama – consider it invalid and as having been signed under duress.
  •       Tibet has been occupied and ruled over by China and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 1951 in “a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities” according to the 14th Dalai Lama.
  •       This has often been described by the Tibetan people as a cultural genocide (Goldstein, 1998).
  •       Eight years of occupation and repression led to the Tibetan Uprising of 1959, in which Tibetans rebelled in an attempt to overthrow the Chinese government; instead, the uprising led to the fleeing of HH the Fourteenth Dalai Lama into India, where he has lived in exile ever since.
  •       A few hundred Tibetans initially followed the 14th Dalai Lama into exile, and since then hundreds of thousands have followed

US not interested in trade pact

General Studies – 3

Topics covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

Context: Recent comment by Minister of Commerce and Industry about the prospects of US-India bilateral free trade agreement being very bleak now

Other key highlights of the speech

  •       This is the first time the position of the new administration has been made official by both the government
  •       Despite this, both the countries have resolved to step up effort to resolve trade issues between them
  •       Some of the trade issues between the two countries include: non-tariff barriers, entering mutual recognition agreements, aligning of quality international standards
  •       The minister also hoped a bilateral FTA would be signed with Bangladesh soon
  •       He also expressed confidence that India would soon be signing ‘Early harvest deal’ with Australia soon
  •       Similar treaty is expected to signed between UK, UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in due course of time

Key terminologies to be understood and remembered:

  1.     Free trade agreement
  • A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
  • Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.
  • The benefits of free trade were outlined for the first time in On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, published by economist David Ricardo in 1817.
  • According to the Asian Development Bank Institute, as of now, India has 42 trade agreements (including preferential agreements) either in effect or signed or under negotiation or proposed.

Figure: Various stages of trade integration

  1.  Early harvest deal: An early harvest deal is a precursor to a free trade agreement (FTA), in which trading partners reduce tariff barriers on limited goods to promote trade.
  2. Tariff and non-tariff barriers
  • Tariff barriers are the tax or duty imposed on the goods which are traded to/from abroad. On the contrary, non-tariff barriers are the obstacles to international trade, other than tariffs.
  • These are administrative measures implemented by the country’s government to discourage goods brought in from foreign countries and promote domestically produced items.
  •  Tariff barriers is imposed through Taxes and Duties
  • Non-tariff barriers are imposed through Regulations, Conditions, Requirements, Formalities, etc.

Loan scheme to be notified soon

General Studies – 3

Topics covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

Context: Delay in actualizing a loan guarantee scheme announced by the government in the aftermath of second wave of the pandemic in India

Key points related to this

  •       Background:
  1.     A Rs 60,000 crore loan guarantee scheme was announced by the government hit hardest by second wave of the Covid-19
  2.     This credit support was part of the Rupees 1.1 Lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors
  3.     Rupees 50,000 crore in this was earmarked for healthcare projects in non-metro cities and was approved by the Union Cabinet
  4.     For other sectors which were badly hit due to the pandemic (Ex: Tourism), a Rupees 60,000 crore loan guarantee scheme was promised with the interest on such loans capped at 8.25% as opposed to prevalent rates of 10-11%
  •       Delay in actualizing the loan guarantee scheme is hurting the chances of survivability of the tourism sector which has been one of the worst affected sectors due to the pandemic
  •       Business have also highlighted how lenders have not been processing their applications for loan restricting under the existing Emergency Credit Line guarantee scheme

About ‘Emergency Credit Line guarantee scheme’

  •       It was launched by government of India as a special scheme in view of the pandemic
  •       The ECLGS aims to provide 100 percent guaranteed coverage to the banks, NBFCs and other lenders in order to enable them to extend emergency credit to businesses hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and struggling to meet their working capital requirements.
  •       In November 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of ECLGS 2.0 by extending the Rs 3 lakh crore scheme to support 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee and the healthcare sector.
  •       These sectors included power, construction, iron and steel manufacturing, roads, real estate, textiles, chemicals, consumer durables, non-ferrous metals, pharma manufacturing, logistics, gems and jewellery, cement, auto components, hotels-restaurants-tourism, mining, plastic product manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, auto dealerships, aviation, sugar, ports and port services, shipping, building materials, and corporate retail outlets.

Rajnath opens defence startup challenge 5.0

General Studies – 3

Topics covered: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

 

Context: Defence minister launched the 5th edition of the defence India start-up challenge (DSIC) under Innovations for defence excellence- defence innovation organization (iDEX-DIO)

Key points related to this

  •       Objective: To achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in the defence and aerospace sectors
  •       Some of the problem statements unveiled as part of the challenge pertains to- situational awareness, augmented reality, artificial intelligence etc

About iDEX

  •       It is an initiative by the government to contribute towards modernization of the Defence Industry.
  •       It was launched in 2018
  •       It aims to promote innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries; with particular focus on MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia
  •       It will be funded by Defence Innovation Organization (DIO), and will function as the executive arm of DIO.
  •       DIO is a ‘not for profit’ company registered under the Companies Act 2013. Its two cou-founders are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs). 

Record sugar exports help reduce cane dues

General Studies – 3

Topic covered: Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security;

 

Context: Sugar mills have surpassed their 60 lakh tonne export target this year, making it easier for them to pay sugarcane farmers and reducing the arrears for this year to less than rupees 9,000 crore

Key points related to this

  •       Government has been encouraging diversion of excess sugar towards ethanol production and for exporting purposes
  •       In the last 4 years, exports of sugar has increased by more than 10 times
  •       The growth in the export is primarily due to demand for Indian sugar in the global market and also the assistance of centre to the tune of Rupees 6,000 per tonne to facilitate exports
  •       Despite this impressive growth, arrears are a major issue for sugarcane farmers in the country

Facts for Prelims:

Web app of the Indus script book inaugurated

 Topics covered: Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Context:  The Indus Research Centre, which is part of the Roja Muthiah Research Library, has launched a web app-indusscript.in in Chennai.

  • The web app was developed through a financial grant from the Department of Archaeology.
  • The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables, written by Iravatham Mahadevan, is the sourcebook for studying and analysing the Indus scripts
  •       It is the most sought after book  by researchers from all over the world.
  • The book was published in 1977 by the Archaeological Survey of India

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