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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 21 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. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 


Maharaja Ranjit Singh

GS Paper 1

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

 

Context:

A nine-foot-tall bronze equestrian statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, was vandalised in Lahore Fort earlier this week.

  • India has expressed concern at the development, saying incidents of violence against Pakistan’s minorities are increasing at an “alarming rate”.

 

Ranjit Singh and Lahore:

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) seized Lahore in 1799 after he was invited to rule the city by its Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh elite.
  • He brought peace and security to Lahore and revived its economic and cultural glory.
  • He proclaimed himself maharaja of the Punjab in 1801, and proceeded to rule with religious tolerance for communities other than Sikhs.
  • He carried out repairs to the Lahore fort — which was built by Emperor Akbar.

 

About Maharaja Ranjit Singh:

  • Ranjit Singh was born on November 13, 1780 in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan. At that time, Punjab was ruled by powerful chieftains who had divided the territory into
  • Ranjit Singh overthrew the warring Misls and established a unified Sikh empire after he conquered Lahore in 1799.
  • He was given the title Lion of Punjab (Sher-e-Punjab) because he stemmed the tide of Afghan invaders in Lahore, which remained his capital until his death.
  • His general Hari Singh Nalwa built the Fort of Jamrud at the mouth of the Khyber Pass, the route the foreign rulers took to invade India.
  • At the time of his death, he was the only sovereign leader left in India, all others having come under the control of the East India Company in some way or the other.

 

Administration:

  • He also employed a large number of European officers, especially French, to train his troops.
  • He appointed French General Jean Franquis Allard to modernise his army.

 

His empire included the former Mughal provinces of Lahore and Multan besides part of Kabul and the entire Peshawar. The boundaries of his state went up to Ladakh — Zorawar Singh, a general from Jammu, had conquered Ladakh in Ranjit Singh’s name — in the northeast, Khyber pass in the northwest, and up to Panjnad in the south where the five rivers of Punjab fell into the Indus.

 

Architectural Contributions:

  • He turned Harimandir Sahib at Amritsar into the Golden Temple by covering it with gold.
  • He is also credited with funding Hazoor Sahib gurudwara at the final resting place of Guru Gobind Singh in Nanded, Maharashtra.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that during the Battle of Chillianwala the British suffered the maximum casualties of officers in their entire history in India? What were the outcomes of this war? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Ranjith Singh.
  2. His administration.
  3. About the Golden Temple.
  4. About Lahore Fort.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Ranjit Singh and his contributions.

Sources: Indian Express.

Malabar rebellion of 1921

GS Paper 1

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

 

Context:

August 20, marks the centenary of the Malabar rebellion, which is also known as the Moplah (Muslim) riots.

  • It has often been perceived as one of the first nationalist uprisings in southern India.
  • However, the riots, which had led to the deaths of hundreds of Hindus in the Malabar region, still remains a debated topic among historians.

 

What was the Mapilla rebellion?

The Mapilla rebellion or Moplah Rebellion (Moplah Riots) of 1921 was the culmination of a series of riots by Moplahs (Muslims of Malabar) in the 19th and early 20th centuries against the British and the Hindu landlords in Malabar (Northern Kerala).

  • The year 2021 will mark the 100th year anniversary of the uprising.

 

Causes and outcomes of the revolt:

  1. The resistance which started against the British colonial rule and the feudal system later ended in communal violence between Hindus and Muslims.
  2. Gandhiji along with Shaukat Ali, the leader of the Khilafat movement in India, visited Calicut in August 1920 to spread the combined message of non-cooperation and Khilafat among the residents of Malabar.
  3. In response to Gandhiji’s call, a Khilafat committee was formed in Malabar and the Mappilas, under their religious head Mahadum Tangal of Ponnani who pledged support to the non-cooperation movement.
  4. Most of tenants’ grievances were related to the security of tenure, high rents, renewal fees and other unfair exactions of the landlords.
  5. The British government responded with much aggression, bringing in Gurkha regiments to suppress it and imposing martial law.

 

Wagon Tragedy:

A noteworthy event of the British suppression was the wagon tragedy when approximately 60 Mappila prisoners on their way to prison, were suffocated to death in a closed railway goods wagon.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know who was Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji? How his rule came to an end? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who was Haji?
  2. What was the 1921 Malabar rebellion all about?
  3. Who led the revolt?
  4. How he established his own independent state and ruled it?
  5. What is Khilafat Movement?
  6. Outcomes of Khilafat movement.
  7. Relationship between non-cooperation movement and Khilafat movement.

Mains Link:

Who was Variyamkunnath Kunjahammed Haji? How he stood up to the British in Malabar region in 1921? Discuss why this rebellion has been controversial?

Sources: Indian Express.

PM-KUSUM Scheme:

GS Paper 2

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

 

Context:

The Union Minister for Power and MNRE recently reviewed the implementation of PM-KUSUM Scheme.

  • He emphasised on the importance of PM-KUSUM scheme for farmers which provides them a day-time reliable source of power for irrigation activities and also increasing their income.

 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan / (PM KUSUM) Scheme:

The Scheme is an initiative of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

  • It is a scheme for farmers for installation of solar pumps and grid connected solar and other renewable power plants in the country.
  • Approved in February 2019, the objective of the scheme is to provide financial and water security.
  • The scheme aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.

kusum

 

Key features:

  • As per provisions of the PM-KUSUM Scheme, the grid connected agriculture pumps can be solarised with central and state subsidy of 30% each and farmer’s contribution of 40%.
  • It will also include feeder level solarisation.

 

Scheme implementation:

State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) of MNRE will coordinate with States/UTs, Discoms and farmers for implementation of the scheme.

 

Scheme benefits:

  • The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural landowners for a period of 25 years by utilisation of their dry/uncultivable land.
  • In case cultivated fields are chosen for setting up solar power projects, the farmers could continue to grow crops as the solar panels are to be set up above a minimum height.
  • The solar pumps will save the expenditure incurred on diesel for running diesel pumps and provide the farmers a reliable source of irrigation through solar pumps apart from preventing harmful pollution from running diesel pumps.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

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

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.

Karnataka State Mental Health Authority:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

 

Context:

Formation of Karnataka State Mental Health Authority in process.

 

What is MENTAL HEALTH?

According to WHO, Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

 

Determinants of mental health:

current affairs

 

Need of Mental health authority now:

Mental health issues following the COVID-19 pandemic stem from ‘normal’ people being exposed to ‘extraordinary situations’.

  • The presentations are myriad, and include emotional difficulties like anxiety, depression, biological effects like sleep, appetite disturbances, substance misuse and post-traumatic distress.
  • More complex array of challenges to vulnerables like women,children and elderly facing domestic violence,social isolation, increased screen time and poverty have negatively affected their mental health.

 

Notable facts on mental health in India:

According to WHO(2020):

  1. India accounts for 36.6 percent of suicides globally.
  2. About 7.5 per cent Indians suffer from some mental disorder and by the end 2020 it will shoot upto roughly 20 percent.
  3. According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders.
  4. The contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India in terms of DALYs(Disability adjusted life year) increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7% in 2017.
  5. But, per 100,000 population there are psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07), while the desirable number is anything above 3 psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 population.

 

Constitution and Legal mandates for Mental Health:

  • Article 21 The right to a dignified life extends to right to seek Mental Health care(recognised under Mental Health care act 2017).
  • Article 47– Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
  • Recent SC judgement reiterated that every person with Mental illness shall have a right to live with dignity.

 

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:

  • Formation of AUTHORITY- the Central Mental Health Authority and the State Mental Health Authority.
  • Formation of BOARD- Mental Health Review Board constituted by the State Authority.
  • Decriminalization of Suicide- A person who attempts suicide shall be presumed to be suffering from mental illness at that time and will not be punished under the Indian Penal Code.
  • Prohibiting electro-convulsive therapy- Electro-convulsive therapy is allowed only with the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. The therapy is prohibited for minors.
  • Advance Directive- The Act empowers a person with mental illness to make an advance directive that states how he/she wants to be treated for the illness.
  • Insurance: The act mandates that every insurer shall make provision for medical insurance for treatment of mental illness on the same basis as is available for treatment of physical illness.

 

Rights of persons with mental illness:

  1. Every person shall have the right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government.
  2. Protection from inhuman and degraded treatment.
  3. Right to Confidentiality in respect of his mental health.

 

NEED OF THE HOUR:

  1. Increase the proportion of expenditure on mental health care in the overall Health Budget.
  2. Increase the number of trained mental health workers.
  3. Increase massive awareness and sensitivity to tackle the stigma associated with mental illness through Campaigns like ‘Swach Mansikta Abhiyan’.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017, which came into force in July 2018, has significantly reduced the scope for the use of Section 309 IPC. What is Section 309? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can be booked under Section 309 of IPC?
  2. Key provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017.
  3. Law Commission- constitution and composition.
  4. Section 115of MHCA.

Mains Link:

In recent years, suicide cases have received alarming attention, for they account for the majority of India’s health burden. Critically analyse the high suicide death rate in the country and how India is responding to this challenge?

Sources: Indian Express.

China’s three-child policy

GS Paper 2

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

 

China’s three-child policy

Context:

China’s legislature has formally amended the country’s family planning rules to allow couples to have three children, also announcing a number of policy measures aimed at boosting declining birth rates.

 

What necessitated this?

The changes come in the wake of China’s once-in-ten year population census that recorded rapidly declining birth rates over the past decade.

  • The National Bureau of Statistics said that 12 million babies were born last year, the lowest number since 1961.

 

Firstly, why was one-child policy implemented?

China embarked upon its one-child policy in 1980, when the Communist Party was concerned that the country’s growing population, which at the time was approaching one billion, would impede economic progress.

  • It was enforced through several means, including incentivising families financially to have one child, making contraceptives widely available, and imposing sanctions against those who violated the policy.

 

Criticisms associated with this policy:

Chinese authorities have long hailed the policy as a success, claiming that it helped the country avert severe food and water shortages by preventing up to 40 crore people from being born.

However, the one-child limit was also a source of discontent, as:

  1. The state used brutal tactics such as forced abortions and sterilisations.
  2. It violated human rights, and was unfair to poorer Chinese since the richer ones could afford to pay economic sanctions if they violated the policy.
  3. It gave way for enforcing reproductive limits as a tool for social control.
  4. It affected the sex ratio- skewed towards males.
  5. It led to abortion of female fetuses rose and so did the number of girls who were placed in orphanages or abandoned.
  6. It made China’s population age faster than other countries, impacting the country’s growth potential.

 

Why was it discontinued?

Fears of a rapidly ageing population undermining economic growth forced the ruling Communist Party to allow two children per married couple.

 

What necessitated further reforms?

While the relaxation did result in some improvement in the proportion of young people in the country, the policy change was deemed insufficient in averting an impending demographic crisis.

 

Challenges ahead:

Experts say relaxing limits on reproductive rights alone cannot go a long way in averting an unwanted demographic shift.

The main factors behind fewer children being born are:

  1. Rising costs of living, education and supporting ageing parents.
  2. Country’s pervasive culture of long working hours.
  3. Many couples believing that one child is enough, and some expressing no interest in having children.

Know about China’s latest census report, 

 

Insta Curious:

Have a brief overview of UP’s Two Child Policy. Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is one child policy?
  2. Family planning in India.
  3. Schemes and policies by Government in this regard.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with One Child Policy.

Sources: the Hindu.

Kigali Amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

 

1989 Montreal Protocol

Context:

India has decided to ratify Kigali Amendment, a key amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

 

What is Kigali Amendment?

  • Negotiated in the Rwandan capital in October 2016.
  • The amendment has already come into force from the start of 2019.
  • It enables the gradual phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a family of chemicals used extensively in the air-conditioning, refrigeration and furnishing foam industry.

 

Goals under Kigali Amendment:

  • Before the middle of this century, current HFC use has to be curtailed by at least 85 per cent. Countries have different timelines to do this.
  • India has to achieve this target by 2047 while the developed countries have to do it by 2036. China and some other countries have a target of 2045.
  • While the reductions for the rich countries have to begin immediately, India, and some other countries, have to begin cutting their HFC use only from 2031.

 

Significance and the expected outcomes:

  • If implemented successfully, the Kigali Amendment is expected to prevent about 0.5°C rise in global warming by the end of this century.
  • No other single intervention to cut greenhouse gas emissions comes even close to this in terms of returns offered and the ease of implementation.
  • It is thus considered crucial to achieving the Paris Agreement target of restricting temperature rise to within 2°C from pre-industrial times.

 

What are hydrofluorocarbons?

HFCs are known to be much worse than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.

In fact, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the average global warming potential of 22 of the most used HFCs is about 2,500 times that of carbon dioxide.

 

About Montreal Protocol:

  • The 1989 Montreal Protocol is meant to protect the ozone layer of the upper atmosphere.
  • The Protocol mandated the complete phase-out of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS), which it has successfully managed to do in the last three decades.

 

What are the concerns now?

  • CFCs were gradually replaced, first by HCFCs, or hydrochlorofluorocarbons, in some cases, and eventually by HFCs which have minimal impact on the ozone layer.
  • The transition from HCFCs to HFCs is still happening, particularly in the developing world.
  • HFCs, though benign to the ozone layer, were powerful greenhouse gases.
  • If left unabated, their contribution to annual greenhouse gas emissions is expected to reach up to 19% by 2050.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the 20-year ‘India Cooling Action Plan’, or ICAP, released in 2019, describes cooling as a “developmental need”? Know more about ICAP here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Kigali Amendment.
  2. Targets.
  3. HFCs vs HCFCs.
  4. About Montreal Protocol.
  5. About ODS.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol.

Sources: Indian Express.

‘Historic’ Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough acheived

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Nuclear Fusio

Context:

Physicists in California, using lasers the size of three football fields, have generated a huge amount of energy from fusion.

  • This offers hope for the development of a new clean energy source.

 

How was the experiment carried out and what were the results?

  • Experts focused their giant array of almost 200 laser beams onto a tiny spot to create a mega blast of energy – eight times more than they had ever done in the past.
  • Although the energy only lasted for a very short time – just 100 trillionths of a second – the scientists were able to create more energy than they are using.

In this experiment, scientists used two isotopes of hydrogen, giving rise to helium.

 

What is fusion? How is it different from fission?

  • Nuclear fusion is considered by some scientists to be a potential energy of the future, particularly because it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases.
  • It differs from fission, a technique currently used in nuclear power plants, where the bonds of heavy atomic nuclei are broken to release energy.
  • In the fusion process, two light atomic nuclei are “married” to create a heavy one. This is the process that is at work in stars, including our Sun.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about Chinese ‘Artificial Sun’ Experimental Fusion Reactor? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Nuclear fusion vs Fission.
  2. Byproducts of fusion and fission.
  3. About sun’s core.
  4. What is International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)?

Mains Link:

Describe the significance of artificial sun being developed by China.

Sources: Indian Express.

Facts for Prelims:

Hazaras of Afghanistan:

  • Hazara is an ethnic group from Afghanistan.
  • They are believed to be descendants of the founder of the Mongol empire, Genghis Khan, and his army that overran the entire region during the 13th century.
  • Their distinct Asiatic features and use of a Persian dialect called Hazaragi also sets them apart from the rest of the country.

Why in News?

Their distinct Asiatic features and use of a Persian dialect called Hazaragi also sets them apart from the rest of the country.

 

Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana:

  • Odisha government has launched the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) smart card scheme.
  • It promises cashless healthcare coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh for nearly 96 lakh families in the state. The expense limit for women beneficiaries under BSKY is Rs 10 lakh.
  • The smart card holders will get cashless health coverage in more than 200 empaneled hospitals in the state.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. Arrest is not always a must, says Supreme Court.
  2. Quota benefit can’t be availed simultaneously in 2 States: SC.

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