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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 November 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. Kartarpur Corridor.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Special courts for MPs, MLAs.

2. Ordinances to extend the tenures of the directors of CBI and ED.

3. Iran invites the UN nuclear body chief to Tehran for talks.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

2. What Is a Green Bond?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Hazaras of Afghanistan.

2. Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.


 

Kartarpur Corridor:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

Context:

The government is considering reopening the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara corridor to Pakistan this week to allow Sikh pilgrims to cross over, more than 20 months after it was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • The plan is to open on November 19, the birth anniversary of the Sikh founder Guru Nanak, known as Gurpurab or “Prakash Parv”.

 

The Kartarpur corridor agreement:

Please note that the Kartarpur corridor agreement allows pilgrims to travel visa free through the corridor.

  • Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor.
  • Pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport;
  • Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country.
  • The Corridor is open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day.

 

What is the “Kartarpur Corridor” project?

The corridor – often dubbed as the “Road to Peace” – will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.

 

The shrine and its significance:

  • The gurdwara in Kartarpur stands on the bank of the Ravi, about 120 km northeast of Lahore.
  • It was here that Guru Nanak assembled a Sikh community and lived for 18 years until his death in 1539.
  • The shrine is visible from the Indian side, as Pakistani authorities generally trim the elephant grass that would otherwise obstruct the view.
  • Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers for darshan from the Indian side, and binoculars are installed at Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Punjab Police has recently proposed that the birth anniversary (Gurpurab) of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev be declared as ‘World Pedestrian Day’? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the corridor.
  2. The agreement.
  3. About Guru Nanak.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Kartarpur Corridor.

Sources: the Hindu.

Special courts to try MPs:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

Special courts to try MPs

Context:

The Supreme Court has decided to examine questions regarding the legal jurisdiction of the special courts set up to exclusively prosecute Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies for various offences.

 

Why do we need special courts?

  1. There are more than 4000 cases pending against legislators across the country. Of this, the number of cases against sitting Members of Parliament and members of State legislatures was 2,556.
  2. The cases against the legislators include that of corruption, money laundering, damage to public property, defamation and cheating.
  3. A large number of cases were for violation of Section 188 IPC for wilful disobedience and obstruction of orders promulgated by public servants.
  4. A large number of cases were pending at the appearance stage and even non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued by courts have not been executed.
  5. Besides, in Bihar, 89% Assembly constituencies have three or more candidates who have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits for the ongoing elections.

 

Madras High Court observations:

A three-judge committee of the Madras High Court, in November 2020, questioned the constitutional validity of setting up special courts to exclusively try MPs and MLAs for various crimes.

 

Why should separate courts not be set up according to the High Court?

  • Courts should be “offence-centric” and not “offender-centric.”
  • Special courts can only be constituted by a statute and not by executive or judicial fiats.

 

Why do these observations seem significant?

Timing of the report: The HC committee report comes in the face of a 2017 Supreme Court order authorising the Centre to set up 12 special courts to exclusively try criminal politicians across the country.

It also comes at a time when a three-judge Bench of the apex court is looking at ways to expedite these trials pending for years, in some cases, for decades.

 

What are the issues associated with the special courts?

Special courts deprive the accused of their right to a rung of appeal. If the case of an MLA or MP whose offence can be tried by a magistrate is directly placed before a special court, the accused would lose his right to defend his case before a magistrate and also is stripped of his right to make his first appeal before a sessions court.

 

What is the way out?

  1. Political parties should themselves refuse tickets to the tainted.
  2. The RP Act should be amended to debar persons against whom cases of a heinous nature are pending from contesting elections.
  3. Fast-track courts should decide the cases of tainted legislators quickly.
  4. Bring greater transparency in campaign financing.
  5. The Election Commission of India (ECI) should have the power to audit the financial accounts of political parties.

 

Insta Curious:

What is Section 188 of the CrPC? Why is it imposed? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 8 of the RP Act.
  2. SC guidelines.
  3. ECI- composition and functions.
  4. Powers of Election Commission on matters related to election of candidates.

Mains Link:

Discuss the concerns associated with criminalisation of politics and what the Supreme Court has done to address these concerns?

Sources: the Hindu.

Ordinances to extend the tenures of the directors of CBI and ED:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

Context:

President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated two ordinances that would allow the Centre to extend the tenures of the directors of the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate from two years to up to five years.

  • Currently, the tenure of chiefs of ED and CBI is two years.

 

Laws amended:

  1. The change in tenure of the CBI Director was done by amending the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  2. On the other hand, the changes to the tenure of the ED Director was brought in by amending the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.

 

Amendments to the Fundamental Rules, 1922:

The Personnel Ministry has issued an order to amend the Fundamental Rules, 1922 adding the two posts to the list whose services can be extended by up to two years beyond the two-year fixed tenure in “public interest”.

  • The previous list comprised Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Director, Intelligence Bureau and Secretary, Research and Analysis Wing.

 

About the CBI Director and his appointment:

  • The Director of the CBI is appointed as per section 4A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act of 1946.
  • The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (2013) says that the Central Government shall appoint the Director of CBI on the recommendation of a three-member committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by him.
  • Further, the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Act, 2014 made a change in the composition of the committee related to the appointment of the Director of C.B.I. It states that where there is no recognized leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, then the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha would be a member of that committee.

 

About Enforcement Directorate:

  1. The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in the Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47).
  2. In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’.
  3. Presently, it is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  4. The Organization is mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).

 

Composition:

Besides directly recruiting personnel, the Directorate also draws officers from different Investigating Agencies, viz., Customs & Central Excise, Income Tax, Police, etc. on deputation.

 

Insta curious:

  1. Details of the Supreme Court verdict in Prakash Singh case and further orders: read here
  2. Has the CBI lost its autonomy? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. The establishment of the CBI was recommended by?
  2. The CBI comes under the administrative control of?
  3. Is it a statutory body?
  4. Committee to select the director of CBI.
  5. Vineet Narain’s judgment is related to?
  6. Prakash Singh Case verdict- overview.

Mains Link:

Why do you think an officer to be appointed as the CBI Director should have a minimum of six months tenure? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Iran invites the UN nuclear body chief to Tehran for talks:

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

Iran has invited the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for talks after the UN official expressed concern over a lack of contact with Iranian authorities.

  • Previously, the IAEA complained that it had been denied “indispensable” access to a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop where it needed to service equipment.

 

Need for these measures:

Iran has produced more than 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of 20% enriched uranium,  far more than what the U.N. nuclear watchdog had reported.

 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA:

The 2015 deal promises Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, and is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.

  • The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.
  • Under the deal with world powers, the other signatories were to provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium needed for its research reactor.
  • Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran was prohibited from enriching uranium above 3.67% with the exception of its research reactor activities.

iran_nuclear

 

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.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about India’s nuclear triad? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:.

Prelims Link:

  1. What is JCPOA? Signatories.
  2. Iran and its neighbours.
  3. What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.
  4. Members of IAEA.
  5. Programs of IAEA.
  6. Board of Governors- composition, voting and functions.
  7. What is Uranium Enrichment?

Mains Link:

Write a note on JCPOA.

Sources: the Hindu.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Economics of animal rearing.

 

Context:

A review meeting on the performance of the Rashtriya Gokul Mission was held recently.

 

What is the Rashtriya Gokul Mission?

‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ was launched in 2014 to conserve and develop indigenous bovine breeds, under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).

Key objectives of the mission

  • Development and conservation of indigenous breeds.
  • Undertake breed improvement programme for indigenous cattle breeds so as to improve the genetic makeup and increase the stock.
  • Enhance milk production and productivity.
  • Upgrade nondescript cattle using elite indigenous breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Deoni, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi.
  • Distribute disease free high genetic merit bulls for natural service.

Implementation

  1. It is being implemented through the “State Implementing Agency’ Livestock Development Boards, i.e., SIA’s (LDB’s).
  2. State Gauseva Ayogs are mandated to sponsor proposals to the SIA’s (LDB’s) and monitor implementation of the sponsored proposal.
  3. The “Participating Agencies” like CFSPTI, CCBFs, ICAR, Universities, Colleges, NGO’s, Cooperative Societies and Gaushalas with best germplasm.

What are Gokul Grams?

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission envisages the establishment of integrated cattle development centers, ‘Gokul Grams’ to develop indigenous breeds including up to 40% nondescript breeds.

Gokul Grams will be established in:

  • The native breeding tracts and
  • Near metropolitan cities for housing the urban cattle.

Objectives:

  • Promote indigenous cattle rearing and conservation in a scientific manner.
  • Propagate high genetic merit bulls of indigenous breeds.
  • Optimize modern Farm Management practices and promote Common Resource Management.
  • Utilize animal waste in an economical way i.e. Cow Dung, Cow Urine.

Key features of Gokul Grams

  • They will be self-sustaining and will generate economic resources from sale of A2 milk organic manure, vermi-composting, urine distillates, and production of electricity fraom bio gas for in house consumption and sale of animal products.
  • They will also function as state of the art in situ training centre for Farmers, Breeders and MAITRI’s.
  • Gokul Grams act as Centres for development of Indigenous Breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding stock to the farmers in the breeding tract.
  • The Gokul Gram will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40 and will have the capacity to maintain about 1000 animals.
  • Nutritional requirements of the animals will be provided in the Gokul Gram through in house fodder production.

 

Insta Curious:

Many States have schemes to protect stray Cattle. Have a brief overview of them here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are Gokul Grams?
  2. Can they be established in Metropolitan cities?
  3. Milch and unproductive animals ratio to be maintained by Gokul Grams.
  4. About the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development (NPBBD).
  5. When was the Rashtriya Gokul Mission launched?

Mains Link:

Write a note on Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

Sources: PIB.

Green Bonds:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

Corporate green-bond issuance has reached new highs as U.S. companies including chip maker Micron Technology Inc., retailer Walmart Inc. and data-center company Equinix Inc. add the bonds as part of larger traditional bond offerings.

 

Need for:

  • The increasing issuance of green bonds, which finance environmentally friendly projects, comes as companies face pressure from investors, regulators and employees to show the steps they are taking to improve the environment. One way they do that is by issuing debt tied to sustainability targets.

  

What Is a Green Bond?

A green bond is a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically earmarked to raise money for climate and environmental projects.

These bonds are typically asset-linked and backed by the issuing entity’s balance sheet, so they usually carry the same credit rating as their issuers’ other debt obligations.​

  • Green bonds may come with tax incentives to enhance their attractiveness to investors.
  • The World Bank is a major issuer of green bonds. It has issued 164 such bonds since 2008, worth a combined $14.4 billion. In 2020, the total issuance of green bonds was worth almost $270 billion, according to the Climate Bond Initiative.

 

How Does a Green Bond Work?

Green bonds work just like any other corporate or government bond.

  • Borrowers issue these securities in order to secure financing for projects that will have a positive environmental impact, such as ecosystem restoration or reducing pollution.
  • Investors who purchase these bonds can expect to make as the bond matures.
  • In addition, there are often tax benefits for investing in green bonds.

 

Green Bonds Vs Blue Bonds:

Blue bonds are sustainability bonds to finance projects that protect the ocean and related ecosystems.

  • This can include projects to support sustainable fisheries, protection of coral reefs and other fragile ecosystems, or reducing pollution and acidification.
  • All blue bonds are green bonds, but not all green bonds are blue bonds.

 

Green Bonds Vs Climate Bonds:

“Green bonds” and “climate bonds” are sometimes used interchangeably, but some authorities use the latter term specifically for projects focusing on reducing carbon emissions or alleviating the effects of climate change.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Green Bonds.
  2. How do they operate?
  3. Features.
  4. How are they different from Blue Bonds.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Green Bonds.

Sources: PIB.

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.

 

Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana:

  • Launced by Odisha government.
  • 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. Delhi Air Pollution.


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