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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 27 October 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. Framework for traffic management of drones.

2. Ay.4.2: All You Need To Know About Delta Covid Strain’s Subvariant.

3. What is Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission?

4. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

5. South China Sea Dispute.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. National Population Register.

2. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Cyber Security Coordinator.


 

Framework for traffic management of drones:

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 Civil Aviation Ministry has notified a traffic management framework for drones.

 

Overview of the framework:

  1. Public and private third-party service providers will manage their movement in the airspace under 1,000 feet.
  2. The framework allows third-party service providers to give services such as registration, flight planning, dynamic deconfliction and access to supplementary data like weather, terrain and position of manned aircraft.
  3. Also, a set of supplementary service providers will also be permitted under the framework to provide services such as insurance and data analytics to support the UAS (unmanned aircraft system) Traffic Management (UTM) ecosystem.
  4. All drones (except Nano drones operating in the green zone) shall be required to mandatorily share their real-time location through the network to the Centre either directly or through third-party service providers.
  5. Service providers will be permitted to charge drone operators a service fee and a small portion of it might have to be shared with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages the ATM.

 

What necessitated a separate framework for drones?

Current air traffic management (ATM) systems have not been designed to handle the traffic from unmanned aircraft.

  • Also, Integration of unmanned aircraft in the Indian airspace using conventional means may require unmanned aircraft to be equipped with bulky and expensive hardware, which is neither feasible nor advisable.
  • Moreover, traditional traffic management services provided by ATCs (air traffic controllers) for manned aircraft cannot be scaled for managing drone traffic which is expected to become at least 100 times higher since the traditional ATM is manual and requires human intervention.

 

Drone management in India:

  • The Union government had on September 15 approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years.
  • The ministry had on August 25 notified the Drone Rules, 2021 that eased the regulation of drone operations in India by reducing the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to five and decreasing the types of fees charged from the operator from 72 to four.

 

Need for stricter rules and regulations:

  • Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
  • Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.
  • According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.
  • With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.
  • Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that there are a few countries in the world which do not have armed forces of their own? Which are those countries? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of new rules.
  2. New rules vs old rules.
  3. Exemptions.
  4. Licenses required.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the new rules.

Sources: the Hindu.

Ay.4.2: All You Need To Know About Delta Covid Strain’s Subvariant:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

AY.4.2 is a descendant of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India in October 2020.

  • The AY.4.2 (dubbed “Delta Plus” and now named VUI-21OCT-01 by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)) sub-lineage contains 2 mutations in its spike protein — A222V and Y145H.

 

Spread:

Presently, the United Kingdom accounts for 96 per cent cases of AY.4.2, followed by Denmark and Germany at 1 per cent each. It has also been reported in the US, Israel, and Russia.

In India, cases have been detected in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

 

How dangerous is AY.4.2?

The UKHSA stated that though evidence on AY.4.2 is still emerging, as of now, it doesn’t appear to cause more severe diseases. In terms of COVID-19 jabs, the sub-lineage does not render the vaccines currently deployed any less effective against it.

 

How do variants of a virus emerge and why?

  1. Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate it from the other variants that are in circulation.
  2. Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive.
  3. Errors in the viral RNA are called mutations, and viruses with these mutations are called variants. Variants could differ by a single or many mutations.

current affairs

What is a mutation?

  • A mutation means a change in the genetic sequence of the virus.
  • In the case of SARS-CoV-2, which is an Ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, a mutation means a change in the sequence in which its molecules are arranged.
  • A mutation in an RNA virus often happens when the virus makes a mistake while it is making copies of itself.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know Variants of Interest and Variants of High Consequence? Click here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Covid 19?
  2. What is mutation?
  3. What is mRNA?
  4. What is the RT- PCR test?
  5. What is genome sequencing?
  6. What is a variant of concern?

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with mutations of Covid- 19 virus.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission?

GS Paper 2: 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

 

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission, one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure, in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi.

 

About the scheme:

  • The scheme aims at strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country.
  • Its objective is to fill gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas.
  • Through this, critical care services will be available in all the districts of the country with more than five lakh population through exclusive critical care hospital blocks, while the remaining districts will be covered through referral services.
  • People will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country, and integrated public health labs will be set up in all the districts.
  • Integrated public health labs will also be set up in all districts, giving people access to “a full range of diagnostic services” through a network of laboratories across the country.
  • An IT-enabled disease surveillance system will be established through a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels.
  • All the public health labs will be connected through the Integrated Health Information Portal, which will be expanded to all states and UTs.

 

Institutions to be set-up under the scheme:

Under the scheme, a national institution for one health, four new national institutes for virology, a regional research platform for WHO South East Asia Region, nine biosafety level-III laboratories, and five new regional national centres for disease control will be set up.

 

Benefits and significance of the scheme:

It will provide support for 17,788 rural health and wellness centres in 10 high-focus states. Further, 11,024 urban health and wellness centres will be established in all the States.

 

A brief overview of healthcare Infrastructure in India:

India has long been in need of a ubiquitous healthcare system. Here are the findings of a latest survey:

  • 70 percent of the locations have public healthcare services. However, availability was less in rural areas (65 per cent) compared to urban areas (87 per cent).
  • In 45 per cent of the surveyed locations, people could access healthcare services by walking, whereas in 43 per cent of the locations they needed to use transport.
  • The survey also found that proximity to healthcare services is higher in urban localities: 64 percent of the enumerators in urban areas observed that people can access healthcare services by walking, while only 37 per cent in rural areas can do so.

 

Insta Curious:

The Prime Minister had recently launched another scheme, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), a flagship digital initiative involving the creation of not just a unique health ID for every citizen, but also a digital healthcare professionals and facilities registry. Reference: read this.

Sources: the Hindu.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):

GS Paper 2: 

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

 

Context:

AIIB has said that it would look to fund both social as well as climate-resilient infrastructure in India in the coming years.

  • Meanwhile, it has also asked India to strike a balance between ramping up physical infrastructure and the social infrastructure such as healthcare systems.

 

What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

The Parties (57 founding members) to agreement comprise the Membership of the Bank.

  • It is headquartered in Beijing.
  • The bank started operation after the agreement entered into force on 25 December 2015, after ratifications were received from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.

 

Aim:

By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.

 

Membership:

  • There are more than 100 members now.

 

Voting Rights:

  • China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%) and Germany (4.2 %).
  • The regional members hold 75% of the total voting power in the Bank.

 

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. AIIB vs ADB vs WB.
  2. Members of AIIB.
  3. Top shareholders.
  4. Voting powers.
  5. AIIB supported projects in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Sources: the Hindu.

South China Sea Dispute:

GS Paper 2: 

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

 

Context:

China has called for an expedition in negotiations with ASEAN countries on a code of conduct framework for the South China Sea.

 

Background:

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). China wishes to work with ASEAN countries to mark the occasion with commemorative activities.

 

About the Declaration:

  • In November 2002, China and the ten ASEAN states signed the non-binding Declaration of the Conduct (DoC) of Parties in the South China Sea.
  • That document saw all eleven parties pledge their commitment to eventually conclude a binding code of conduct.
  • That document noted that “the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the region.”

 

Overall issue:

Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with several Southeast Asian states in the South China Sea.

  • China claims almost all of the resource-rich sea, through which trillions of dollars in shipping trade passes annually, with competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • Beijing has also been accused of deploying a range of military hardware, including anti-ship missiles and surface-to-air missiles there, and ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision that declared its historical claim over most of the waters to be without basis.

 

Where is the South China Sea?

  • The South China Sea is an arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • It is south of China, east & south of Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north of the island of Borneo.
  • It is connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea.
  • Bordering states & territories: the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

 

Strategic Importance:

  • This sea holds tremendous strategic importance for its location as it is the connecting link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (Strait of Malacca).
  • According to the United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD) one-third of the global shipping passes through it, carrying trillions of trade which makes it a significant geopolitical water body.

 

Contesting Claims Over Islands:

  • The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • The Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Philippines.
  • The Scarborough Shoal is claimed by the Philippines, China and Taiwan.

Since 2010, China has been converting uninhabited islets into artificial islets to bring it under UNCLOS (For example, Haven Reef, Johnson South Reef and Fiery Cross Reef).

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know the meaning of the phrase ‘The Seven Seas’? Read Here

Have you given a thought about how seas are names and their associated problems? Read Briefly

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
  2. Countries involved in the dispute.
  3. What is the nine dash line?
  4. Disputed islands and their locations?
  5. Important straits, passes and seas in the region.
  6. What is UNCLOS?
  7. Locate Taiwan strait and Luzon Strait.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the South China Sea dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.

National Population Register:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

 

Context:

The latest form of the National Population Register (NPR) appears to have retained contentious questions such as “mother tongue, place of birth of father and mother and last place of residence”, according to a document compiled by a committee under the Registrar General of India.

 

What’s the issue?

Though NPR was first compiled in 2010 and updated in 2015, the new questions were part of a trial exercise involving 30 lakh respondents in September 2019.

The exercise has been opposed by some States and citizen groups as NPR is the first step toward compilation of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) according to Citizenship Rules, 2003.

 

How is NPR different from Census?

The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country and it is “mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.”

While similar data is collected through Census, according to Section 15 of the Census Act, 1948, all individual level information collected in Census is confidential and “only aggregated data are released at various administrative levels.”

 

Criticisms surrounding NPR:

Many Opposition-ruled States have opposed the updation of the NPR due to its link with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the yet to be implemented Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

  • According to Citizenship Rules framed in the year 2003, NPR is the first step towards compilation of National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or NRC.

 

What is NPR?

The NPR is a register of usual residents linked with location particulars down to the village level and is updated periodically “to incorporate the changes due to birth, death and migration”.

  • The next phase was to be simultaneously updated with the 2021 House Listing and Housing Census but has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Who is a usual resident?

A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

  1. Did you know that the process of updating NPR will be carried out under the aegis of the Registrar General and ex-Officio Census Commissioner, India? Know all about NPR here, 
  2. Are you aware of the security features of ‘Aadhaar PVC Card’? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Constitutional provisions related to Citizenship.
  2. Components of NPR data.
  3. Who is an usual resident?
  4. Who prepares NPR?
  5. How can a person acquire Indian citizenship?
  6. Can an Indian citizen hold dual citizenship?
  7. What are long term visas?
  8. Latest amendments to the Citizenship Act.

Mains Link:

Why are states opposed to the collection of data under NPR. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act:

GS Paper 3

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

 

Context:

Students in Srinagar who led the celebrations of Pakistan’s victory over India in recent T20 World Cup cricket match will be charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

  • The students will also be marked as overground workers (OGWs) of anti-India organisations in police records and denied all government-funded benefits in future.

 

How does the government defend its move?

There is nothing wrong in cheering for a good batsman irrespective of his nationality. But singing Pakistan’s anthem on the premises of an Indian institution is an anti-national act.

 

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).

 

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.

Facts for Prelims:

National Cyber Security Coordinator:

  • In 2014, the Prime Minister’s Office created the position of the National Cyber Security Coordinator.
  • The NCSC office coordinates with different agencies at the national level for cyber security matters.

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