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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 28 September 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 1:

1. Swachh Survekshan 2021.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. First woman Speaker of Gujarat Assembly.

2. Right To Get Aid From Govt Not Fundamental Right.

3. Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

4. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

5. International Criminal Court.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is government borrowing?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Taiwan Strait.

2. Akash Prime.


Swachh Survekshan 2021:

GS Paper 1

Topics Covered: Population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.

 

Context:

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the seventh consecutive edition of Swachh Survekshan (SS), the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey conducted by Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U).

 

What’s new in the seventh edition?

  1. Designed with ‘People First’ as its driving philosophy, Swachh Survekshan 2022 is curated towards capturing the initiatives of cities for the overall welfare and well-being of frontline sanitation workers.
  2. The survey, flavoured with the Azaadi@75 spirit, will also give priority to the voices of senior citizens and young adults alike and reinforce their participation towards upholding the cleanliness of urban India.
  3. SS 2022 has incorporated specific indicators that drive cities to improve working conditions and livelihood opportunities for sanitation workers in urban India’s sanitation journey.
  4. The survey is set to protect India’s ancient legacy and culture by nudging citizens to take ownership and initiative to clean urban India’s monuments and heritage spots.
  5. This year’s Survekshan is committed to creating a level playing field for smaller cities by introducing two population categories under 15K and between 15-25K.
  6. To further expand the Survekshan footprint, district rankings have been introduced for the first time.
  7. The scope of the survey has been expanded to now cover 100% wards for sampling, as compared to 40% in previous years.

 

What is Swachh Survekshan?

  • Launched by PM Modi in 2016.
  • It is meant to monitor the performance of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which was launched on October 2, 2014, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • It was also aimed at inculcating a spirit of healthy competition among cities towards becoming India’s cleanest cities.

 

Who conducts the survey?

The Quality Council of India (QCI) is in charge of evaluating the performance of the participating cities. This is an autonomous accreditation body which was set up by the Government of India in 1997 for quality assurance in all fields, including governance.

swachh_survekshan

 

Insta Curious:

The Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has announced the results of garbage-free star ratings for the cities. Know more about it here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Swachh Survekshan? When was the first survey conducted?
  2. Top performers in the latest survey.
  3. About Swachh Basharat Abhiyaan.
  4. About the Quality Council of India.

Sources: the Hindu.

First woman Speaker of Gujarat Assembly:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

 

Context:

Veteran legislator Nimaben Acharya was unanimously elected the first woman Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly recently.

 

How are speakers and deputy speakers elected?

Article 93 for Lok Sabha and Article 178 for state Assemblies state that these Houses “shall, as soon as may be”, choose two of its members to be Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

  • In Lok Sabha and state legislatures, the President/Governor sets a date for the election of the Speaker, and it is the Speaker who decides the date for the election of the Deputy Speaker.
  • The legislators of the respective Houses vote to elect one among themselves to these offices.

 

Their roles and functions:

  1. The Speaker is “the principal spokesman of the House, he represents its collective voice and is its sole representative to the outside world”.
  2. The Speaker presides over the House proceedings and joint sittings of the two Houses of Parliament.
  3. It is the Speaker’s decision that determines whether a Bill is a Money Bill and therefore outside of the purview of the other House.
  4. Usually, the Speaker comes from the ruling party. In the case of the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, the position has varied over the years.
  5. The constitution has tried to ensure the independence of Speaker by charging his salary on the consolidated Fund of India and the same is not subject to vote of Parliament.
  6. While debating or during general discussion on a bill, the members of the parliament have to address only to the Speaker.

 

States which have specified time-frame for holding the election:

The Constitution neither sets a time limit nor specifies the process for these elections. It leaves it to the legislatures to decide how to hold these elections.

For example, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh specify a time-frame.

In Haryana:

  1. The election of the Speaker has to take place as soon as possible after the election. And then the Deputy Speaker is to be elected within seven more days.
  2. The rules also specify that if a vacancy in these offices happens subsequently, then the election for these should occur within seven days of the legislature’s next session.

 

In Uttar Pradesh:

  1. There is a 15-day limit for an election to the Speaker’s post if it falls vacant during the term of the Assembly.
  2. In the case of the Deputy Speaker, the date for the first election is to be decided by the Speaker, and 30 days is given for filling subsequent vacancies.

Know more about Speaker’s roles and functions here,

 

Insta Curious:

Who is a Pro tem speaker? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Election of Speaker.
  2. Functions.
  3. Powers.
  4. Removal.
  5. Grounds for removal.
  6. Committees he is associated with.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of the Speaker.

Sources: the Hindu.

Right To Get Aid From Govt Not Fundamental Right:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

 

Context:

The Supreme Court has held that the government aid to an institution is a matter of policy and it is not a fundamental right.

 

What’s the case?

The judgment came on an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh’ government challenging the 2018 Allahabad High Court verdict holding that a regulation framed under The Intermediate Education Act, 1921 is unconstitutional. The apex court set aside the HC verdict.

 

Important observations made by the Court:

  1. Grant of aid brings with it conditions which the institution receiving it is bound to comply with. If an institution does not want to accept the conditions, it can decline the grant but cannot say that the grant must be on its own terms.
  2. A decision to grant aid is by way of policy. While doing so, the government is not only concerned with the interest of the institutions but the ability to undertake such an exercise.
  3. As regards aided institutions, there cannot be any difference between a minority and non-minority one. Article 30 of the Constitution of India is subject to its own restrictions being reasonable.

 

Constitutional Provisions regarding Minority Educational Institutions:

Article 30(1) recognizes linguistic and religious minorities but not those based on race, ethnicity.

  • It recognizes the right of religious and linguistic minorities to establish and administer educational institutions, in effect recognizing the role educational institutions play in preserving distinct culture.
  • A majority community can also establish and administer educational institutions but they will not enjoy special rights under Article 30(1)(a).

 

Special rights enjoyed by religious minority institutions are:

  1. Under Art 30(1)(a), MEI enjoy right to education as a Fundamental Right. In case the property is taken over by state, due compensation to be provided to establish institutions elsewhere
  2. Under Article 15(5), MEIs are not considered for reservation
  3. Under Right to Education Act, MEI not required to provide admission to children in the age group of 6-14 years upto 25% of enrolment reserved for economically backward section of society
  4. In St Stephens vs Delhi University case, 1992, SC ruled that MEIs can have 50% seats reserved for minorities
  5. In TMA Pai & others vs State of Karnataka & others 2002 case, SC ruled that MEIs can have separate admission process which is fair, transparent and merit based. They can also separate fee structure but should not charge capitation fee.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various rights available for MEIs.
  2. Rights of Minority vs other institutions.
  3. Can states interfere in their internal matters?
  4. What is NEET?

Mains Link:

Write a note on constitutional rights conferred upon minority educational institutions in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was recently launched by PM. The mission will provide a digital health ID to the people who will hold their health records.

 

Note:

The pilot project of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was announced on August 15 last year. Currently, the programme is being implemented in the pilot phase in six union territories (Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep).

 

Features of the Mission:

  1. It is a digital health ecosystem under which every Indian citizen will now have unique health IDs, digitised health records with identifiers for doctors and health facilities.
  2. The scheme will come under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
  3. It comprises six key building blocks — HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine.
  4. The National Health Authority has been given the mandate to design, build, roll-out and implement the mission in the country.
  5. The core building blocks of the mission is that the health ID, DigiDoctor and Health Facility Registry shall be owned, operated and maintained by the Government of India.
  6. Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market. The core activities and verifications, however, remain with the government.
  7. Under the Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will store all medical details of the person including prescriptions, treatment, diagnostic reports and discharge summaries.
  8. Health ID is a randomly generated 14 digit number used for the purposes of uniquely identifying persons, authenticating them, and threading their health records (only with their informed consent) across multiple systems and stakeholders.
  9. The citizens will be able to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to this data during visits to the hospital for consultation.

 

What was the need for this mission?

The mission aims to liberate citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, among several others and will empower people to make an informed decision to avail the best possible healthcare.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

The nationwide rollout of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission coincides with the National Health Authority celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). Know more about PM-JAY here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the National Digital Health Mission.
  2. Components of the mission.
  3. Proposed National Health ID.
  4. Who can issue these IDs?
  5. Highlights of the National Health Policy 2017.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the National Digital Health Mission.

Sources: the Hindu.

Nuclear site images won’t be shared with IAEA: Iran:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

The EU and the U.S. have urged Iran to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access a nuclear site, while Tehran argued the facility was exempt from a recent agreement with the UN watchdog.

 

Background:

IAEA and Tehran struck the three-month monitoring agreement in February to cushion the blow of Iran reducing its cooperation with the agency. The agreement was extended several times.

 

Implications/concerns:

  • The announcement could further complicate talks between Iran and six major powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.

Three years ago, former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact and reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran; Iran reacted by violating restrictions.

 

About IAEA:

  • Set up as the world’s “Atoms for Peace” organization in 1957 within the United Nations family.
  • Reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
  • Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

 

Functions:

  • Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
  • Seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.

 

Programs:

  1. Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
  2. Human Health Program.
  3. Water Availability Enhancement Project.
  4. International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles, 2000.

 

2015 Nuclear Deal:

  1. In 2015, Iran with the P5+1 group of world powers – the USA, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany agreed on a long-term deal on its nuclear programme.
  2. The deal was named as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and in common parlance as Iran Nuclear Deal.
  3. Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activity in return for the lifting of sanctions and access to global trade.
  4. The agreement allowed Iran to accumulate small amounts of uranium for research but it banned the enrichment of uranium, which is used to make reactor fuel and nuclear weapons.
  5. Iran was also required to redesign a heavy-water reactor being built, whose spent fuel could contain plutonium suitable for a bomb and to allow international inspections.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you remember the 123 Agreement and Hyde Act? Read Here (Briefly)

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.
  2. Members of IAEA.
  3. Programs of IAEA.
  4. Board of Governors- composition, voting and functions.
  5. What is Uranium Enrichment?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for bringing back the Iran nuclear deal.

Sources: the Hindu.

International Criminal Court:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

The international criminal court’s new prosecutor has asked the court to relaunch an inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and supporters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan since 2003.

  • ICC has notified the Taliban via Afghanistan’s embassy in the Netherlands that it intends to resume an investigation.

 

Background:

A previous ICC inquiry was deferred in April 2020 following a request by the then Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani to be given time to gather evidence in cooperation with ICC lawyers.

 

About ICC:

  • The International Criminal Court (ICC), located in The Hague, is the court of last resort for prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
  • It is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.
  • Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002.

 

Funding:

Although the Court’s expenses are funded primarily by States Parties, it also receives voluntary contributions from governments, international organisations, individuals, corporations and other entities.

 

Composition and voting power:

The Court’s management oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties, consists of one representative from each state party.

  • Each state party has one vote and “every effort” has to be made to reach decisions by consensus. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions are made by vote.
  • The Assembly is presided over by a president and two vice-presidents, who are elected by the members to three-year terms.

 

Criticisms:

  1. It does not have the capacity to arrest suspects and depends on member states for their cooperation.
  2. Critics of the Court argue that there are insufficient checks and balances on the authority of the ICC prosecutor and judges and insufficient protection against politicized prosecutions or other abuses.
  3. The ICC has been accused of bias and as being a tool of Western imperialism, only punishing leaders from small, weak states while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful states.
  4. ICC cannot mount successful cases without state cooperation is problematic for several reasons. It means that the ICC acts inconsistently in its selection of cases, is prevented from taking on hard cases and loses legitimacy.

Icj_vs_ICC

 

Insta Curious:

Sudan has decided to hand long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir to the International Criminal Court along with other officials wanted over the Darfur conflict. What is the Darfur conflict? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between ICJ and ICC.
  2. Geographical locations of these organisations and overview of surrounding countries.
  3. Doha accord between US and Taliban.
  4. What is Rome statute?
  5. Location of Afghanistan.
  6. US taliban peace deal- overview.

Mains Link:

Write a note on ICC.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is government borrowing?

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Government Budgeting.

 

government borrowing

Context:

The government will borrow Rs 5.03 lakh crore in the second half of the current fiscal to fund the revenue gap for reviving the pandemic-hit economy.

  • During the first half, the government has raised Rs 7.02 lakh crore by issuing bonds.

 

Background:

  • The government raises money from the market to fund its fiscal deficit through dated securities and treasury bills.
  • The Budget has pegged fiscal deficit at 6.8 per cent for the current fiscal, down from 9.5 per cent of the GDP projected for FY21.

 

What is government borrowing?

Borrowing is a loan taken by the government and falls under capital receipts in the Budget document.

Usually, the Government borrows through the issue of government securities called G-secs and Treasury Bills.

 

How does increased government borrowing affect government finances?

Bulk of the government’s fiscal deficit comes from its interest obligation on past debt.

  • If the government resorts to larger borrowings, more than what it has projected, then its interest costs also go up risking higher fiscal deficit. That hurts government’s finances.
  • Larger borrowing programme means that the public debt will go up and especially at a time when the GDP growth is subdued, it will lead to a higher debt-to-GDP ratio

 

What are off-budget borrowings?

Off-budget borrowings are loans that are taken not by the Centre directly, but by another public institution which borrows on the directions of the central government.

  • Such borrowings are used to fulfil the government’s expenditure needs.
  • But since the liability of the loan is not formally on the Centre, the loan is not included in the national fiscal deficit.

This helps keep the country’s fiscal deficit within acceptable limits.

 

Insta Curious:

Public debt is the total amount borrowed by the government of a country. Do you know what are the sources of public debt? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are G-Secs?
  2. What are T-Bills?
  3. What is ways and means advance?
  4. What is FRBM Act?

Mains Link:

How does increased government borrowing affect govt finances? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

/ 28 Sep CA, Today Article

Facts for Prelims:

Taiwan Strait:

  • The Taiwan Strait is a 110-mile-wide channel that separates mainland China from the island of Taiwan.
  • It is also known as the Formosa Strait or the Tai-hai (the Tai Sea).
  • The Taiwan Strait makes up part of the South China Sea, and its northern portion is linked to the East China Sea.
  • The strait borders the south eastern part of China and runs along the eastern part of China’s Fujian Province.

taiwan

 

Akash Prime:

It is a newer version of Akash missile tested recently by DRDO.

  • In comparison with the existing Akash System, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active RF (radio frequency) seeker for improved accuracy.
  • Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under low temperature environments, at higher altitudes.

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