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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 23 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

 

Table of Contents

GS Paper 1:

1. Moplah martyrs and the rebellion.

2. Draft Inheritance Bill.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS).

2. Israel- Palestine Conflict.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands.

2. NTPC commissions India’s largest floating solar project.

3. Arrest is not always a must, says Supreme Court.

4. Quota benefit cant be availed simultaneously in 2 states.


Moplah martyrs and the rebellion

GS Paper 1

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

 

Context:

Malabar Rebellion leaders Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji, Ali Musaliar and 387 other ‘Moplah martyrs’ will be removed from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle as per the recommendations made by a three-member panel.

 

 

What’s the issue?

In the ‘Dictionary of Martyrs’, published by the Union Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Indian Council of Historical Research, Variankunnath Kunhamad Haji and Ali Musliyar, the chief architects of the Moplah Massacre, were deemed to be martyrs. The book was published in 2019.

  • However, a report by the ICHR-constituted committee has sought the removal of names of 387 ‘Moplah rioters’ (Including leaders Ali Musliyar and Variamkunnath Ahmad Haji) from the list of martyrs.

current affairs

 

Why?

  • The report describes Haji as the “notorious Moplah Riot leader” and a “hardcore criminal,” who “killed innumerable innocent Hindu men, women, and children during the 1921 Moplah Riot, and deposited their bodies in a well, locally known as Thoovoor Kinar”.
  • It also noted that almost all the Moplah outrages were communal. They were against Hindu society and done out of sheer intolerance. None of the slogans raised by the rioters were in favour of nationalism and anti-British.
  • Also, many ‘Moplah martyrs’ facing trial died from disease or natural causes, and could not be treated as martyrs.

Thus, their names should be deleted.

 

Who was Haji?

  • Born in the 1870s, he was a brave freedom fighter who stood up to the British in Kerala’s Malabar region in the early 20th century and even established a short-lived regime of his own.
  • He used art as an instrument to rally the locals against the British.
  • He promised support to the Indian National Congress and Khilafat movement against the atrocities of the British and the landlords.
  • For nearly six months, Haji ran a parallel Khilafat regime headquartered in Nilambur, with even its own separate passport, currency and system of taxation.

current affairs

 

How his rule came to an end?

The rule did not last long. In January 1922, under the guise of a treaty, the British betrayed Haji through his close friend Unyan Musaliyar, arresting him from his hideout and producing him before a British judge. He was sentenced to death along with his compatriots.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about Alluri Sitaramaraju, who led the Rampa Rebellion against the British in the Visakha Agency area during 1922-24? 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: the Hindu.

Arunachal Pradesh Draft Inheritance Bill

GS Paper 1

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

 

Context:

Experts have asked the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) to scrap certain provisions from the proposed Arunachal Pradesh marriage and inheritance bill, keeping in view the public sentiment and the state’s interest.

 

Overview of the draft Bill:

  1. Essential conditions of marriage, registration of marriage: The bill is made applicable to any person who belongs to any indigenous scheduled tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It provides that a marriage between parties may be solemnized according to local customary rites and rituals of the either party.
  2. Restitution of conjugal rights, void and voidable marriage: The bill also provides for restitution of conjugal rights stating when either of the party has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply by petition to the district court for restitution of conjugal rights.
  3. Grounds for dissolution of marriage (divorce): Marriage solemnized after the commencement of the act can be dissolved on various grounds.
  4. Permanent alimony and maintenance: A wife who is unable to maintain herself can file application to the court for maintenance. The court may order that the husband shall pay to her an appropriate lump sum of permanent alimony.
  5. Bill’s status on polygamy: Every person who, being at the time married, procures a marriage of himself or herself to be solemnized under this act shall be deemed to have committed an offence under Section 494 or Section 495 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), as the case may be, and the marriage so solemnized shall be void.

 

Significance of the Bill:

  • The main thrust of the bill is on legal status of marriage, procedure of marriage registration, property right of wife, widow’s rights, treating polygamy as an offence.
  • Two significant contribution of the bill is with respect to criminalization of polygamy and property right of the legally wedded wife and widow.

 

Controversial provisions:

  • An Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST) woman married to non-APST man shall enjoy any immovable property inherited from the head of the family in her lifetime.
  • In the event of her death, her husband and her heirs would have full rights of it for disposal and alienation to any indigenous tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.

Because of these Provisions, the draft Bill is termed as “anti-tribal”, “anti-Arunachal”, violative of customary laws and an invitation to outsiders to take over tribal land through marriage.

 

Insta Curious:

Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with restitution of conjugal rights. What are these rights? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Bill.
  2. Key Provisions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with the Bill.

Sources: the Hindu.

Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS)

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

 

Context:

The Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) has brought high-speed internet to some of the remotest tribal hamlets deep inside the Nilambur jungle in Kerala.

  • Few tribal hamlets have got high-speed internet, thanks to long-distance Wi-Fi technology.

 

About JSS:

  • It is an initiative for skill development in rural areas.
  • The Scheme of Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) was formerly known as Shramik Vidyapeeth.
  • It has been implemented through a network of NGOs in the country since March 1967.

 

Objectives:

  1. To improve the occupational skills and technical knowledge of the non/neo literates and persons having rudimentary level of education upto 8th standard and other school dropouts beyond 8th standard.
  2. To create a pool of master trainers working across the department/agencies of skill development through training/orientation programmes.
  3. To widen the range of knowledge and understanding of social, economic and political systems and create awareness about the environment.
  4. To Promote national values and to align with national programmes.
  5. To promote self-employment and facilitate financial support including loans for the target groups through linkage with credit and consortium membership.

 

What is long-distance Wi-Fi? How does it work in Kerala?

  • It works on 5GHz frequency.
  • With the help of five towers, 100-mbps internet is made available.
  • Servers have been setup in such a way to help a minimum of 250 users use the Net concurrently.
  • Using long-distance Wi-Fi technology, high-speed internet could be provided even up to 100 km without any transmission loss.

 

Insta Curious:

The first Shramik Vidyapeeth was established in Mumbai. Reference: read this for more information.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Long Distance Wifi.
  2. What is LiFi?
  3. How wifi works?
  4. About JSS.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of JSS.

Sources: the Hindu.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA)

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

 

Context:

A ban under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act may be imposed on both factions of the secessionist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference which has been spearheading the separatist movement in Jammu & Kashmir for over two decades.

  • The proposal was mooted in accordance with the Union government’s policy of zero tolerance against terrorism.

 

Who can impose restrictions?

The factions of the Hurriyat are likely to be banned under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), under which “if the Central government is of opinion that any association is, or has become, an unlawful association, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare such association to be unlawful.”

 

About the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

Passed in 1967, the law aims at effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.

The Act assigns absolute power to the central government, by way of which if the Centre deems an activity as unlawful then it may, by way of an Official Gazette, declare it so.

  • It has death penalty and life imprisonment as highest punishments.

 

Key points:

Under UAPA, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.

  • It will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in maximum 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court.

 

As per amendments of 2019:

  • The Act empowers the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the said agency.
  • The Act empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases of terrorism in addition to those conducted by the DSP or ACP or above rank officer in the state.
  • It also included the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist.

 

Delhi High Court defines the contours of UAPA:

In June 2021, delivering a judgment defining the contours of the otherwise “vague” Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA), the Delhi High Court laid down some important principles upon the imposition of Section 15, 17 & 18 of the Act.

 

Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:

  1. S. 15 engrafts the offence of ‘terrorist act’.
  2. S. 17 lays-down the punishment for raising funds for committing a terrorist act.
  3. S. 18 engrafts the offence of ‘punishment for conspiracy etc. to commit a terrorist act or any act preparatory to commit a terrorist act’.

 

Key observations made by the court:

  1. “Terrorist Act” Should not be used lightly so as to trivialise them.
  2. Terrorist activity is that which travels beyond the capacity of law enforcement agencies to deal with under ordinary penal law (Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Hitendra Vishnu Thakur).

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime? Reference: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/organized-crime/intro/UNTOC.html.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of unlawful activity.
  2. Powers of Centre under the act.
  3. Is judicial review applicable in such cases?
  4. Changes brought about by amendments in 2004 and 2019.
  5. Can foreign nationals be charged under the act?

Mains Link:

Do you agree that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act could prove catastrophic for fundamental rights? Is sacrificing liberty for national security justified? Discuss and provide for your opinion.

Sources: the Hindu.

Oslo I Accord and Israel- Palestine Conflict

GS Paper 2

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

 

Context:

August 20, 2021 marks 28 years since the Oslo I Accord was finalized and signed after multiple rounds of intense secret negotiations, in a bid to advance a lasting peace process for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

What was Oslo I Accord?

Oslo Accords are a series of agreements between Israel and the Palestinians signed in the 1990s.

  1. Oslo I (1993) is formally known as the Declaration of Principles (DOP).
  2. The accord was the result of secret negotiations facilitated by then-US president Bill Clinton, and later followed up in 1995 by the Oslo II Accord.
  3. Oslo Accords were heralded by many as the closest to ever truly solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  4. However, the Accords in reality had served as an interim agreement between Israel and the PLO that provided a framework by which both sides could operate together in the West Bank and Gaza, in lieu of Palestinian statehood.
  5. It saw the transformation of the PLO into the Palestinian Authority, which was now seen as the legitimate governing body of the Palestinians.
  6. The agreement also mandated that Israel recognize the PLO’s new role as the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as mandating the Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.
  7. It created the most substantive changes to the West Bank and Gaza since Israel won control of the territory during the 1967 Six Day War.

 

About Oslo II:

Oslo II, officially called the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza, expanded on Oslo I. It included provisions for the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from six West Bank cities and about 450 towns. Additionally, the pact set a timetable for elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.

 

Insta Curious:

In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Locate these locations on map and also know more about the war. Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Jerusalem.
  2. Six day war.
  3. Israel Palestine conflict.
  4. Gaza strip.
  5. Where is Al-Aqsa Mosque?
  6. About Oslo Accords.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Israel-Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

A ‘mermaid’ species of algae discovered on Andaman and Nicobar islands:

  • After nearly four decades, a new species of algae has been discovered on the islands.
  • Researchers have named the species Acetabularia jalakanyakae.
  • The plant consists of a single gigantic cell with a nucleus, which is its main characteristic.
  • The species is the first of the genus Acetabularia to be discovered in India.
  • Another feature of Acetabularia is their regenerative potential.

current affairs

 

Madur mats:

Two women from West Bengal have been given the National Handicraft Award in recognition of their outstanding skills in making Madur floor mats that are unique to West Bengal.

  • An intrinsic part of the Bengali lifestyle, Madur mats are made of natural fibres.
  • Also known as Madurkathi, these mats are awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry in April 2018.
  • Madurkathi is a rhizome-based plant (Cyperus tegetum or Cyperus pangorei) found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur.
  • In 1744, Nawab Alibardi Khan issued a charter to land-owning jagirdars in this regard, and as a result, it was obligatory to supply Masland mats for use in the Collectorate.

 

NTPC commissions India’s largest floating solar project:

India’s largest floating solar photo voltaic (PV) project of 25 mega watt (MW) has been commissioned on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

  • This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.
  • Once operational it is expected to minimize 46,000 tons of CO2 annually. It is also believed to conserve 1,364 million liters of water per annum.

What Are The Advantages Of Floating Power Plants?

  • According to the World Bank, floating solar plants represent “new opportunities for scaling up solar generating capacity, especially in countries with high population density and competing uses for available land”, conditions that are not uncommon in India.
  • Such plants have advantages over land-based systems and also promise “improved energy yield thanks to the cooling effects of water and the decreased presence of dust”.
  • Other benefits: the water saving comes from reduced evaporation as solar panels cover the surface of a reservoir and absorb the rays of the sun while at the same time limiting “the evaporative effects of wind”.

 

Arrest is not always a must, says Supreme Court:

Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) mentioned that arrest provision in law does not mean that government can use power indiscriminately to crush the personal liberty. This ends up crushing the personal liberty provided under Article 21 of the constitution.

  • The Court also observed that certain provisions of CrPC like section 170 (presenting accused at the time of filing the charge sheet) should not be construed as a right to arrest.

When custodial investigation becomes necessary?

  1. When the crime is a heinous crime.
  2. When there is the possibility of influencing the witnesses or the accused.

Need of the hour:

  1. A distinction should be made between the power to arrest and the justification to exercise it.
  2. If an arrest is made a routine, it can cause incalculable harm to reputation and self-esteem.
  3. If the accused is cooperating, then there should be no compulsion for the investigating officer to arrest.

 

Quota benefit cant be availed simultaneously in 2 states:

The court ruled that a person cannot claim the benefit of reservation simultaneously in both the successor states upon their reorganisation. As it will defeat the mandate of Articles 341(1) and 342(1) of the Constitution.

What has the Court said?

  • The person can claim benefit in either of the successor states.
  • While participating in open selection in another state, the members of the reserved category shall be treated as migrants and can participate in the general category without claiming any benefit of reservation and vice versa.

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