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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 24 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. Who was Rani Gaidinliu?

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Vehicle Scrappage policy.

2. Philippines and China- South China Sea Dispute.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Strategic Oil Reserves.

2. James Webb Space Telescope.

3. New Crypto Bill.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. What is El Salvador’s Bitcoin city?

2. Taiwan Strait.

3. ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme.


 

Who was Rani Gaidinliu?

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Freedom movement and important personalities.

 

Context:

The Rani Gaidinliu Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum’ is being built in Manipur’s Tamenglong district (Rani Gaidinliu’s birthplace).

  • The museum would help preserve and exhibit artefacts related to the tribal freedom fighters, involved in different stages of the fight against the British colonial rule like Anglo-Manipuri War, Kuki-Rebellion, Naga-Raj movements, among others.

 

Who was Rani Gaidinliu?

  • Rani Gaidinliu was a Naga spiritual leader.
  • Gaidinliu belonged to the Rongmei clan of the Zeliangrong tribe in the Tamenglong district of western Manipur.
  • Born on January 26, 1915.
  • At 13, she became associated with freedom fighter and religious leader, Haipou Jadonang, and became his lieutenant in his social, religious and political movement.
  • Jadonang, who was also a Rongmei, started the ‘Heraka movement’, based on ancestral Naga religion, and envisioned an independent Naga kingdom (or Naga-Raja).
  • Rani Gandiliu’s association with Jadonang prepared her to fight the British. After the execution of Jadonang, she took up the leadership of the movement — which slowly turned political from religious.
  • Rani started a serious revolt against the British and was eventually imprisoned for life. She was released after 14 years, in 1947.

 

Legacy:

Acknowledging her role in the struggle against the British, Jawaharlal Nehru called her the “Daughter of the Hills” and gave her the title “Rani” or queen.

  • Rani Gaidiliu was one of the few women political leaders who exhibited outstanding courage during the colonial period, despite limitations.
  • Unlike Jadonang, whose approach was inclined to be “millenarian”, Rani orchestrated for the need of an armed movement against colonial rule.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that in 1938, the Nikhil Manipur Maha Sabha, the first political party of Manipur during the British colonial rule adopted a resolution to free Rani Gaidinliu from prison?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Rani Gaidinliu.
  2. Haipou Jadonang.
  3. Heraka movement.
  4. Who gave her title the “Daughter of the Hills”?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the legacy of Rani Gaidinliu.

Sources: Indian Express.

Vehicle scrappage policy:

GS Paper  2:

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

 

Vehicle scrappage policy:

Context:

The Government is considering a proposal to give buyers additional concessions on buying new vehicles after scrapping of their old vehicles.

  • The final decision (on providing more incentives under the National Automobile Scrappage Policy) will be taken by the finance ministry and the GST Council.

 

About the Vehicle Scrappage Policy:

  1. Old vehicles will have to pass a fitness test before re-registration and as per the policy government commercial vehicles more than 15 years old and private vehicles which are over 20 years old will be scrapped.
  2. As a disincentive, increased re-registration fees would be applicable for vehicles 15 years or older from the initial date registration.
  3. The state governments may be advised to offer a road-tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles to provide incentive to owners of old vehicles to scrap old and unfit vehicles.

 

Significance:

  • The vehicle scrapping policy is aimed at creating an eco-system for phasing out unfit and polluting vehicles in an environmentally friendly and safe manner.
  • The initiative will promote a circular economy and make the process of economic development more sustainable and environment friendly.
  • The policy will also bring in investments of around Rs 10,000 crore and create 35,000 job opportunities.

 

Issues with the new policy:

  1. Limited incentive and poor cost economics for trucks.
  2. Lack of addressable volumes for other segments.
  3. The potential benefit from scrapping a 15-year-old, entry-level small car will be ₹70,000, whereas its resale value is around ₹95,000. That makes scrapping unattractive.

 

Need of the hour:

With this background, for the scrappage policy to be seamlessly implemented, we should have a comprehensive plan in terms of removing ELV (End of life vehicles) from the road. Freight transporters need stronger financial support. However, that said, it is important to note that unless old fleet vehicles are off the road, the benefits of implementation of BSVI vehicles will not be fully leveraged.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know about the international convention related to ship recycling? It is also known as the Hong Kong Convention? Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the policy.
  2. Applicability.
  3. Incentives.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the policy.

Sources: the Hindu.

Philippines and China- 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:

The Philippines will resume a military resupply mission for the country’s troops stationed on an atoll (Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal) in the South China Sea will resume this week, after it was aborted last week when it was blocked by Chinese coast guard.

  • Philippines was backed by the U.S. State Department, which released a statement calling the Chinese actions an “escalation that directly threatens regional peace and stability, escalates regional tensions, infringes upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.”

 

Significance of the atoll:

  • A small contingent of the Philippine Marine Corps has occupied the atoll, since its navy deliberately grounded World War II landing vessel BRP Sierra Madre to serve as an outpost in 1999.
  • The island is about 105 nautical miles off Palawan in the West Philippine Sea—Manila’s term for the eastern portion of the South China Sea that falls within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

 

What’s the 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).

malaysia_brunei

 

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.

Strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) programme:

GS Paper  2:

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.

 

Context:

India will release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its emergency stockpile in tandem with the U.S., China, Japan, and other major economies to cool oil prices.

  • This is the first time ever that India, which stores 5.33 million tonne or about 38 million barrels of crude oil in underground caverns at three locations on the east and west coast, is releasing stocks for such purposes.

 

Background:

  • The U.S. had last week made an unusual request to some of the largest oil-consuming nations, including China, India and Japan, to consider releasing crude stocks in a coordinated effort to pare global energy prices.
  • This after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies rebuffed repeated requests to speed up production increases.

 

About the SPR Programme:

Strategic petroleum reserves are huge stockpiles of crude oil to deal with any crude oil-related crisis like the risk of supply disruption from natural disasters, war or other calamities.

  • The petroleum reserves are strategic in nature and the crude oil stored in these reserves will be used during an oil shortage event, as and when declared so by the Government of India.
  • The construction of the Strategic Crude Oil Storage facilities is being managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL), a Special Purpose Vehicle, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

 

Phase 1 and phase 2:

Under Phase I of strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) programme, Government of India, through its Special Purpose Vehicle, Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL), has established petroleum storage facilities with total capacity of 5.33 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) at 3 locations, namely (i) Vishakhapatnam (ii) Mangaluru and (iii) Padur.

Under Phase II of the petroleum reserve program, the Government has approved two additional commercial-cum-strategic facilities at Chandikhol (Odisha) and Padur (TN) on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

 

Need for strategic oil reserves:

  1. In 1990, as the Gulf war engulfed West Asia, India was in the throes of a major energy crisis. By all accounts India’s oil reserves at the time were adequate for only three days. While India managed to avert the crisis then, the threat of energy disruption continues to present a real danger even today.
  2. To address energy insecurity, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government mooted the concept of strategic petroleum reserves in 1998. Today, with Indian Consumption increasing, the case for creating such reserves grows stronger.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About SPR Programme.
  2. Locations.
  3. Implementation.

Mains Link:

To address energy insecurity, the government of India had mooted the concept of strategic petroleum reserves in 1998. At present the demand for the same is growing stronger with each passing day. Discuss why such reserve is needed.

Sources: the Hindu.

James Webb Space Telescope:

GS Paper  3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which astronomers hope will herald a new era of discovery, has been delayed until December 22 after an accident at its launch facility in French Guiana.

  • The space telescope was originally supposed to launch on December 18.

current affairs

 

About JSWT:

JWST is a joint venture between the US (Nasa), European (Esa) and Canadian space agencies (CSA).

  • It is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity.
  • Webb was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST) and it was renamed in 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.
  • It will be a large infrared telescope with an approximately 6.5 meter primary mirror.

current affairs

 

Objectives and functions of the telescope:

  1. It will look deeper into the cosmos – and thus further back in time – than is possible with Hubble.
  2. It will do this with a much bigger mirror (6.5m in diameter versus 2.4m) and instruments that are tuned to the infrared.
  3. Scientists hope this set-up can detect the light from the very first population of stars in the Universe to switch on more than 13.5 billion years ago.

 

Orbit:

  • The Hubble Space Telescope orbits around the Earth at an altitude of ~570 km above it.
  • Webb will not actually orbit the Earth, instead it will sit at the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point,5 million km away.
  • At the L2 point Webb’s solar shield will block the light from the Sun, Earth, and Moon which will help Webb stay cool, which is very important for an infrared telescope.

 

Insta Curious:

Know more about the Hubble Space Telescope here.

Sources: Indian Express.

New Crypto Bill:

GS Paper  3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

New Crypto Bill

Context:

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will introduce in the winter session of Parliament.

 

Key Provisions:

  • It seeks to regulate cryptocurrency and ostensibly ban all private cryptocurrencies.
  • It seeks to create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

So far, the precise contours of the Bill are not in the public domain and no public consultations have been held.

 

Present status:

 

What are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Examples: Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.

current affairs

 

Why the govt wants to ban cryptocurrencies?

  1. Sovereign guarantee: Cryptocurrencies pose risks to consumers.  They do not have any sovereign guarantee and hence are not legal tender.
  2. Market volatility: Their speculative nature also makes them highly volatile.  For instance, the value of Bitcoin fell from USD 20,000 in December 2017 to USD 3,800 in November 2018.
  3. Risk in security: A user loses access to their cryptocurrency if they lose their private key (unlike traditional digital banking accounts, this password cannot be reset).
  4. Malware threats: In some cases, these private keys are stored by technical service providers (cryptocurrency exchanges or wallets), which are prone to malware or hacking.
  5. Money laundering.

 

Insta Curious:

National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Blockchain Technology in Bengaluru. Do you know how it works? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Various cryptocurrencies.
  2. Cryptocurrencies launched by various countries.
  3. What is Blockchain technology?

Mains Link:

What are Cryptocurrencies? Why there is a need for regulation? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

What is El Salvador’s Bitcoin city?

  • El Salvador, the only country to recognise Bitcoin as a legal tender, is planning to build an entire city based on the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
  • El Salvador’s “Bitcoin City” would be funded with the issuance of a $1 billion Bitcoin Bond.
  • The city will be located along the Gulf of Fonseca near Conchagua volcano.
  • El Salvador is already running a pilot Bitcoin mining venture at another geothermal power plant beside the Tecapa volcano.

current affairs

 

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

 

‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme:

  • To tap the huge potential of tourism, the Railways has announced the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme, under which theme-based tourist circuit trains, on the lines of the Ramayana Express, can be run either by private or State-owned operators.
  • Service providers, who can be an individual, company, society, trust, joint venture or consortium, will be free to decide themes and circuits such as Guru Kripa trains for covering important places of Sikh culture or the Ramayana Express for places connected with Lord Ram.

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