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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 30 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. 

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

 

Table of Contents

GS Paper 2:

1. PLI scheme for textiles works.

2. Ordnance Factory Board.

3. Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

4. Mekedatu issue.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Landsat 9.

2. Antimalarial drug resistance.


PLI scheme for textiles works:

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 Government has launched the  Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the textiles sector worth Rs 10,683 crore.

  • This is part of a larger PLI scheme for 13 sectors, with a total budgetary outlay of 1.97 lakh crore.

 

Focus areas?

The PLI scheme for textiles aims to promote the production of high value Man-Made Fibre (MMF) fabrics, garments and technical textiles.

 

Eligibility:

  1. Any person or company willing to invest a minimum of Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works (excluding land and administrative building cost) to produce products of MMF fabrics, garments and products of technical textiles will be eligible to participate in the first part of the scheme.
  2. Investors willing to spend a minimum of Rs 100 crore under the same conditions shall be eligible to apply in the second part of the scheme.

 

Incentives:

  1. Under PLI, the Centre will subsidise eligible manufacturers by paying incentives on incremental production.
  2. Companies investing over Rs 300 crore in plant, machinery, equipment and civil works to produce the identified products will get an incentive of 15 percent of their turnover, which needs to be Rs 600 crore in the third year.
  3. The companies investing between Rs 100 crore and Rs 300 crore will also be eligible to receive duty refunds and incentives (lower than 15 percent of their turnover).
  4. The government expects to achieve “fresh investment of over Rs 19,000 crore and a cumulative turnover of more than Rs 3 lakh crore”.

 

Significance:

The PLI scheme will provide an immense boost to domestic manufacturing, and prepare the industry for making a big impact in global markets in sync with the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat. It will also help attract more investment into this sector.

 

Need for:

Two-thirds of international trade in textiles is of man-made and technical textiles. This scheme has been approved so India can also contribute to the ecosystem of fabrics and garments made of MMF.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had, in 2020, approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at a total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore. Know details about the scheme here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are technical textiles?
  2. Features.
  3. Types.
  4. Benefits.
  5. Production linked incentive scheme- when was it announced?
  6. Incentives under the scheme is available to?
  7. What kind of investments will be considered?
  8. Duration of the scheme.
  9. Who will implement it?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of technical textiles.

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

Ordnance Factory Board:

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 220-year-old Ordnance Factory Board will be dissolved on October 1, and its units will be corporatised under seven PSUs.

 

Need for:

  • Corporatisation will bring these entities under the purview of The Companies Act, would lead to improvements in efficiency, make products cost-competitive, and enhance their quality.
  • It has been argued that OFB’s monopoly has led to innovation drying up, apart from low productivity, high costs of production, and lack of flexibility at the higher managerial levels.
  • Functioning directly under the Ministry of Defence, the OFB and its factories could not retain profits, and thus had no incentive to work towards increasing them.

 

Recommendations by various committees in this regard:

The restructuring of the Kolkata-headquartered OFB into corporate entities was recommended in one or the other form by at least three expert committees on defence reforms set up in the last two decades — the TKS Nair Committee (2000), Vijay Kelkar Committee (2005), and Vice Admiral Raman Puri Committee (2015).

  • The Shekatkar Committee did not suggest corporatisation, but recommended regular audits of all ordnance units considering past performance.

 

How did the government tackle the workers’ strike against this decision?

Through the Essential Defence Services Ordinance and the Bill. They aimed primarily to stop workers of ordnance factories from going on strike.

 

Highlights of the Bill:

  1. It is meant to “provide for the maintenance of essential defence services so as to secure the security of nation and the life and property of public at large and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
  2. The Bill empowers the government to declare services mentioned in it as essential defence services.
  3. It also prohibits strike and lockouts in “any industrial establishment or unit engaged in essential defence services”.

 

Latest changes:

The Ordnance Factory Board was directly under the Department of Defence Production and worked as an arm of the government. But, in June the government announced its corporatisation.

  • As per this plan, 41 factories, ammunition and other equipment to the armed forces will become part of seven government owned corporate entities.
  • The government has claimed that the move is aimed at improving the efficiency and accountability of these factories.
  • However, following this, many federations announced the launch of indefinite strikes.
  • This was countered by the Essential Defence Services Ordinance which was promulgated on June 30.

 

Who will it affect?

It has a direct bearing on around 70,000 employees of the 41 ordnance factories around the country, who are unhappy with the corporatisation of OFB, fearing that it will impact their service and retirement conditions.

 

Need for:

The ordnance factories form an integrated base for indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment, with the primary objective of self reliance in equipping the armed forces with state of the art battlefield equipment.

  • Therefore, there is a need to provide for the maintenance of essential defence services so as to secure the security of nation and the life and property of public at large and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Defence Acquisition Council headed by the defence minister? What Re its functions? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is OFB?
  2. Highlights of the Bill.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with the corporatisation of OFB.

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

Section 66A of the Information Technology Act:

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 Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to consider as representation a petition seeking to remove provisions from the statute such as Section 66A of the Information and Technology Act, which have already been declared unconstitutional.

 

What’s the issue?

There are several criminal law sections that were struck down by the Supreme Court but continue to be used by police officers. In some cases, trial courts went ahead with framing charges under the defunct IT Act provision, even after taking cognisance of the Supreme Court’s 2015 judgment.

 

What is Section 66A?

  • Section 66A defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet.
  • A conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.
  • It empowered police to make arrests over what policemen, in terms of their subjective discretion, could construe as “offensive” or “menacing” or for the purposes of causing annoyance, inconvenience, etc.

 

Shreya Singhal case:

The Supreme Court had in its judgment in the Shreya Singhal case struck down Section 66A.

 

Why did SC strike down section 66A?

The SC had noted that Section 66A arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech, under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, and upsets the balance between such right and the reasonable restrictions that may be imposed on such right and the definition of offences under the provision was open-ended and undefined.

 

Recent observations made by the Court:

On July 5, the Supreme Court had expressed shock and dismay over police continuing to register cases under section 66A despite it being quashed six years ago.

  • As of March 2021, a total of 745 cases are still pending and active before the district courts in 11 states, wherein the accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of the IT Act.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about ‘ Doctrine of Revival’? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

  1. About Section 66A of the IT Act.
  2. About Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
  3. Shreya Singhal case is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss why Section 66A of the IT Act was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Sources: the Hindu.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

Mekedatu issue:

GS Paper 2

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

 

Context:

Facing strong objection from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry, the Cauvery Water Management Authority’s (CWMA) had urged Karnataka to promptly deliver the balance quantum of water owed to Tamil Nadu, whilst dropping debate on the Mekedatu project.

  • The release should be as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s decision of 2007, which was modified by the Supreme Court in 2018.

 

What was the issue?

Tamil Nadu noted that Karnataka had only provided 85.8 TMC water instead of 119.5 TMC water until September 26. Tamil Nadu contended that Karnataka should indeed be ordered to deliver the surplus as well as the quota for the month of October promptly so that paddy planting in the Delta region may be protected.

 

About CWMA:

  • It has been created as per the Cauvery Management Scheme earlier framed by Centre and approved by Supreme Court.

 

Composition and Powers of CMA:

  • The authority will comprise a chairman, a secretary and eight members.
  • Out of the eight members, two will be full time, while two will be part time members from centre’s side.
  • Rest four will be part time members from states.

 

Functions:

  1. The main mandate of the CMA will be to secure implementation and compliance of the Supreme Court’s order in relation to “storage, apportionment, regulation and control of Cauvery waters”.
  2. CMA will also advise the states to take suitable measures to improve water use efficiency.
  3. It will do so by promoting use of micro-irrigation, change in cropping patterns, improved farm practices and development of command areas.
  4. The CMA will also prepare an annual report covering its activities during the preceding year.

 

About the Mekedatu Project:

  • Mekedatu is a multipurpose (drinking and power) project.
  • It involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district in Karnataka.
  • The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighboring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power.
  • The estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.

Cauvery_Basin

 

Why is Tamil Nadu against this project?

  1. It says, the CWDT and the SC have found that the existing storage facilities available in the Cauvery basin were adequate for storing and distributing water so Karnataka’s proposal is ex-facie (on the face of it) untenable and should be rejected outright.
  2. It has also held that the reservoir is not just for drinking water alone, but to increase the extent of irrigation, which is in clear violation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Award.

 

Award by the tribunal and the Supreme Court:

The tribunal was set up in 1990 and made its final award in 2007, granting 419 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu, 270 tmcft to Karnataka, 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry. The tribunal ordered that in rain-scarcity years, the allocation for all would stand reduced.

However, both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka expressed unhappiness over the allocation and there were protests and violence in both states over water-sharing. That saw the Supreme Court take up the matter and, in a 2018 judgment, it apportioned 14.75 tmcft from Tamil Nadu’s earlier share to Karnataka.

  • The new allocation thus stood at 404.25 tmcft for Tamil Nadu while Karnataka’s share went up to 284.75 tmcft. The share for Kerala and Puducherry remained unchanged.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Cauvery Management Scheme? What are the components of the scheme? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Tributaries of Cauvery.
  2. Basin states.
  3. Important falls and dams across the river.
  4. Where is Mekedatu?
  5. What is the project related to?
  6. Beneficiaries of the project.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Mekedatu project.

Sources: the Hindu.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

Landsat 9:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

Landsat 9 was recently launched by NASA.

 

About Landsat 9:

  • It is an Earth monitoring satellite.
  • It is a joint mission of NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS).
  • Together with Landsat 8, it will collect images of Earth’s surface. It takes 8 days to capture the whole Earth.
  • It is the most technologically advanced satellite of its generation. It can see more colour shades with greater depths than the previous satellites, helping scientists capture more details about our ever-changing planet.
  • The instruments aboard Landsat 9 are the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2). They will measure different wavelengths of light reflected off the Earth’s surface.

 

About the Landsat series:

The first Landsat satellite was launched in 1972 and since then, Landsat satellites have collected images of our planet and helped understand how land usage has changed over the decades.

 

Significance and applications of Landsat missions:

In 2008, it was decided that all Landsat images will be free and publicly available and the policy has helped scores of researchers, farmers, policy analysts, glaciologists, and seismologists. Landsat images have been used to study the health of forests, coral reefs, monitor water quality and melting glaciers.

 

How will the satellite help monitor climate change?

  1. If a forest is affected by drought, it will be seen in Landsat images and can help the researchers decode the areas at risk.
  2. Similarly during a wildfire, the Landsat images will capture the plumes of smoke and help study the extent of a burning.
  3. The satellite images can also help recovery experts plan sites for replanting.
  4. Landsat images can also help identify water bodies affected by potentially harmful algal blooms.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the PRISMA Earth observation satellite? Which country has launched it? What are its objectives? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is radar imaging?
  2. What are earth- observation satellites?
  3. Differences between GSLV and PSLV.
  4. Applications of Landsat 9.
  5. Differences between low earth orbit and geostationary orbits.

Mains Link:

Why is the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)  one of the world’s most reliable space launch vehicles? How is it helping India commercially and technologically?

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

Antimalarial drug resistance:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Biotechnology.

 

Context:

In recent years there is increasing evidence for the failure of artemisinin-based combination therapy for falciparum malaria either alone or with partner drugs.

  • A recent study has described the presence of two mutations responsible for artemisinin resistance in Northern Uganda.
  • The current report of artemisinin resistance in East Africa is a matter of great concern as this is the only drug that has saved several lives across the globe.

 

Why is there an increase in Antimalarial drug resistance?

In most malaria-endemic countries including India, Artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs are the first-line choice for malaria treatment especially against Plasmodium falciparum parasite which is responsible for almost all malaria-related deaths in the world. Overuse has led to mutations in P. falciparum cases treated with artemisinin.

 

What needs to be done?

The time has come to carry out Molecular Malaria Surveillance to find out the drug-resistant variants so that corrective measures can be undertaken in time to avert any consequences.

Some experts even advocate using triple artemisinin-based combination therapies where the partner drug is less effective.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Antibiotic resistance?
  2. What are antibodies?
  3. Milk production and consumption in India.
  4. What are critically important antibiotics (CIAs)?

Mains link:

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest health challenges of 21st century. Examine why.

Sources: Indian Express.

/ 30 Sep CA, Today Article

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