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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 27 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. Ramappa temple: Telangana’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. UP anti-conversion law.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is a K-shaped economic recovery and what are its implications?

2. Corporates to set up banks- Issues related.

3. Space debris.

4. What is PASIPHAE, and why is it important?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. South Asian University.

2. Sir Chhotu Ram.

3. National Crisis Management Committee.


 

Ramappa temple: Telangana’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Art and architecture.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Context:

Telangana’s Ramappa Temple is receiving massive focus after it received UNESCO tag recently.

 

About the Temple:

  • Situated in Telangana’s Warangal, the temple stands on a six-feet high star-shaped platform with walls, pillars and ceilings adorned with intricate carvings that attest to the unique skill of the Kakatiyan sculptors.
  • The temple is named after its architect, Ramappa.
  • Constructed in 1213 AD during the reign of the Kakatiya Empire by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.
  • The temple’s presiding deity is Ramalingeswara Swamy.

 

About kakatiya dynasty-Key facts:

The 12th and the 13th centuries saw the emergence of the Kakatiyas.

They were at first the feudatories of the Western Chalukyas of Kalyana, ruling over a small territory near Warangal.

  • The dynasty saw powerful leaders like Ganapathi Deva and Rudramadevi.
  • Prataparudra I, also known as Kakatiya Rudradeva, was the son of the Kakatiya leader Prola II. It was under his rule that the Kakatiyas declared sovereignty. He ruled the kingdom till 1195 A.D.
  • It was under the rule of Prataparudra I that usage of Telugu language in inscriptions began.
  • Before the establishment of Orugallu/Warangal as the capital, Hanamakonda was the first capital of the Kakatiyas.
  • The great Italian traveller Marco Polo visited the Kakatiya Kingdom sometime during Rudramadevi’s tenure as the ruler of the Kakatiya Dynasty and made note of her administrative style; admiring her extensively.

 

Art and architecture:

  • The iconic Kakatiya Thoranam was built by Rudramadevi’s father in the 12th Century. This ornate arch is said to have many similarities with the gateways at the Sanchi Stupa and is also the emblem of Telangana.
  • The scenic Pakhal lake in Warangal was built by Ganapathi Deva.
  • The 1000 pillar temple in Warangal was built during the Kakatiya Rule and is another example to the exquisite Kakatiya Architecture.
  • The Koh-i-Noor Diamond, which is now among the jewels set in the British Crown, was mined and first owned by the Kakatiya Dynasty.

 

Society:

Under the Kakatiya rule, the caste system was not rigid and in fact, it was not given much significance socially. Anyone could take up any profession and people were not bound to an occupation by birth.

The Kakatiya rule finally came to an end in 1323 A.D. when Warangal was conquered by the Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, the then Sultan of Delhi.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know the sites that have been delisted from the World Heritage List so far? Read Here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the World Heritage Site.
  2. Selection criteria.
  3. About WHC.
  4. About UNESCO.
  5. About ICOMOS.
  6. About Ramappa temple.

Mains Link: 

Discuss the need for recognition of World Heritage sites.

Sources: down to earth.

UP anti-conversion law

GS Paper 2:

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

 

UP anti-conversion law

Context:

The Uttar Pradesh Police have registered a total of 108 cases under a controversial ordinance that criminalises religious conversion by “force, undue influence, coercion, or allurement”.

 

Why is this law controversial?

This law was passed by the UP government to tackle “unlawful religious conversions” and to address “love jihad”, which is described as an alleged conspiracy by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam by wooing and marrying them.

 

Overview of the law:

  1. It makes religious conversion for marriage a non-bailable offence.
  2. The onus will be on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.
  3. The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversion is two months.
  4. In case of conversion done by a woman for the sole purpose of marriage, the marriage would be declared null and void.

 

Penalties:

  1. Violation of the provisions of the law would invite a jail term of not less than one year extendable to five years with a fine of ₹15,000.
  2. If a minor woman or a woman from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes communities was converted through the said unlawful means, the jail term would be a minimum of three years and could be extended to 10 years with a fine of ₹25,000.
  3. The ordinance also lays down strict action, including cancellation of registration of social organisations conducting mass conversions.

 

Why this has become a controversial law?

The ordinance comes days after the Allahabad high court said in a verdict (Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case) that the right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty.

  • The verdict also said earlier court rulings that ‘religious conversion for marriage was unacceptable’ was not good in law.

 

What critics say?

The law has come under sharp criticism from several legal scholars who had contended that the concept of ‘love jihad’ did not have any constitutional or legal basis.

  • They have pointed to Article 21 of the constitution which guarantees individuals the right to marry a person of one’s choice.
  • Also, under Article 25, freedom of conscience, the practice and conversion of religion of one’s choice including not following any religion, are also guaranteed.

 

What are the Concerns associated? What are the challenges ahead?

The true danger with this new so-called ‘love jihad’ law lies in its ambiguity.

  • The law employs the use of open-textured phrases such as “undue influence”, “allurement” and “coercion”.
  • Indeed, even the question of whether a religious conversion is truly conducted solely for the purpose of a marriage is inherently vague.
  • It is in the subjective assessment and appreciation of these tenuous phrases that the real peril lies – this is a matter left entirely to the discretion of the judge.

 

Views of the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of India, in both the Lily Thomas and Sarla Mudgal cases, has confirmed that religious conversions carried out without a bona fide belief and for the sole purpose of deriving some legal benefit do not hold water.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 21.
  2. Article 25.
  3. What has the Allahabad High Court said in Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case.

Mains Link:

The right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty. Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

What is a K-shaped economic recovery and what are its implications?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

K-shaped economic recovery

Context:

The prospects of a K-shaped recovery from COVID are increasing both in India and across the world.

 

What is a K-shaped recovery?

A K-shaped recovery happens when different sections of an economy recover at starkly different rates.

  1. Households at the top of the pyramid are likely to have seen their in- comes largely protected, and savings rates forced up during the lockdown, increasing ‘fuel in the tank’ to drive future consumption.
  2. Meanwhile, households at the bottom are likely to have witnessed permanent hits to jobs and incomes.

 

What are the macro implications of a K-shaped recovery?

  1. Upper-income households have benefitted from higher savings for two quarters.
  2. Households at the bottom have experienced a permanent loss of income in the forms of jobs and wage cuts; this will be a recurring drag on demand, if the labour market does not heal faster.
  3. To the extent that COVID has triggered an effective income transfer from the poor to the rich, this will be demand-impeding because the poor have a higher marginal propensity to consume (i.e. they tend to spend (instead of saving) a much higher proportion of their income.
  4. If COVID-19 reduces competition or increases the inequality of incomes and opportunities, it could impinge on trend growth in developing economies by hurting productivity and tightening political economy constraints.

 

Way ahead:

Policy will, therefore, need to look beyond the next few quarters and anticipate the state of the macro economy post the sugar rush.

economic_recovery

 

Insta Curious:

Have a brief overview of various curves here.

Sources: the Hindu.

Corporates to set up banks- Issues related

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

 

Corporates to set up banks- Issues related

Context:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept in abeyance a recommendation by an internal panel to give banking licences to large business groups, while allowing promoters to own up to 26% in private banks.

 

What has happened?

The IWG was constituted to “review extant ownership guidelines and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks” and submitted its report last week.

  • One key recommendation of the group was related to allowing large corporate/industrial houses to be promoters of private banks.

big_bank

 

What’s the issue now?

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and former RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya have criticised the suggestion by the IWG, describing it a “bombshell”.

  • They observed, it would be ‘penny wise pound foolish’ to replace the poor governance under the present structure of these (public sector/government-owned) banks with a highly conflicted structure of ownership by industrial houses.

 

Why is the recommendation to allow large corporates to float their own banks being criticised?

Historically, RBI has been of the view that the ideal ownership status of banks should promote a balance between efficiency, equity and financial stability.

  • A greater play of private banks is not without its risks. The global financial crisis of 2008 was a case in point.
  • A predominantly government-owned banking system tends to be more financially stable because of the trust in government as an institution.
  • More specifically, here in this case, the main concern in allowing large corporates to open their own banks is a basic conflict of interest, or more technically, “connected lending”.

 

What is connected lending?

A situation where the promoter of a bank is also a borrower and, as such, it is possible for a promoter to channel the depositors’ money into their own ventures.

  • Connected lending has been happening for a long time and the RBI has been always behind the curve in spotting it.
  • The recent episodes in ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, DHFL etc. were all examples of connected lending.
  • The so-called ever-greening of loans (where one loan after another is extended to enable the borrower to pay back the previous one) is often the starting point of such lending.

Sources: the Hindu.

Space debris:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

Researchers say that the Earth might soon get Saturn-like rings made entirely out of space junk, but they could be cleaned up using magnets.

 

What’s the issue?

With more countries venturing into space with every passing decade, the problem is simply ballooning out of control and recent events, like the anti-satellite weapons test by Russia, are only exacerbating the problem.

  • The debris is now adding to the space junk problem and posing a major risk to the International Space Station (ISS) and the satellites in geostationary orbit.
  • The debris also poses a potential threat to the lives of the US, Russian, and Chinese astronauts and cosmonauts currently in space.

 

What is Space Debris?

Space debris poses a global threat to the continued use of space-based technologies that support critical functions like communication, transport, weather and climate monitoring, remote sensing.

  • Predicting collision probability from these space objects is crucial from the national security perspective as well as for the protection of public and private space assets of Indian origin.

 

Amount of space debris in space:

The real amount of space debris is said to be between 500,000 and one million pieces as current sensor technology cannot detect smaller objects. They all travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kmph) fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

 

Significance of the Project:

Outcome of this project will directly support the Indian space sector, valued at $7 billion (Rs 51,334 crore) by providing an operationally flexible, scalable, transparent and indigenous collision probability solution.

 

Netra:

To safeguard its space assets from space debris, Isro had set up a dedicated Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Control Centre named “Netra in Bengaluru last December.

  • Netra’s key objective is to monitor, track and protect the national space assets and function as a hub of all SSA activities.
  • Only the US, Russia and Europe have similar facilities in place to track space objects and share collision warnings.

Sources: down to earth.

What is PASIPHAE, and why is it important?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is an international collaborative sky surveying project.

  • Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars.

 

Background:

Polarization is a property of light that represents the direction that the light wave oscillates.

current affairs

 

How will the survey be carried out?

  1. The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously.
  2. It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied.
  3. The distances to these stars will be obtained from measurements of the GAIA satellite.
  4. By combining these data, astronomers will perform a maiden magnetic field tomography mapping of the interstellar medium of very large areas of the sky using a novel polarimeter instrument known as WALOP (Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter).

 

Significance of the project:

The theory is that a small fraction of CMB radiation emitted during the universe’s rapid inflationary phase should have its fingerprints on a specific kind of polarisation, known technically as B-mode signals. These B-modes are theorised to have arisen as a result of powerful gravitational waves seen during inflation.

However, these signals have been difficult to isolate because of the enormous amounts of polarised radiation in our own Milky Way, caused by large dust clouds that fill the galaxy.

  • In essence, PASIPHAE endeavours to ascertain the effect of these obstacles, so we can, ultimately, learn how things played out in the early universe.

 

Insta Curious:

Know different properties of light Click here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is polarization?
  2. About PASIPHAE.
  3. About GAIA Satellite.

Sources: Indian Express.

Facts for Prelims:

South Asian University:

  • Established in 2010, it is an international university, located in India.
  • It is sponsored by the eight Member States of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
  • Degrees and Certificates awarded by the SAU are at par with the respective Degrees and Certificates awarded by the National Universities/ Institutions.

 

Sir Chhotu Ram:

  • Born in 1881, he was a prominent politician in British India’s Punjab Province.
  • He championed the interest of oppressed communities of the Indian subcontinent. For this feat, he was knighted in 1937.
  • He was a co-founder of the National Unionist Party.

The enactment of two agrarian laws was primarily due to his contribution- the Punjab Relief Indebtedness Act of 1934 and the Punjab Debtor’s Protection Act of 1936, which emancipated the peasants from the clutches of the moneylenders and restored the right of land to the tiller.

 

National Crisis Management Committee:

For effective implementation of relief measures in the wake of natural calamities, the Government of India has set up a National Crisis Management Committee.

  • The Cabinet Secretary is it’s
  • Other members: Secretaries of all the concerned Ministries /Departments as well as organizations are the members of the Committee.
  • The NCMC gives direction to the Crisis Management Group as deemed necessary.

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