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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 29 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. Madhya Pradesh tribal outreach programme.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Disruptions in Parliament. 

2. Why has it been named Omicron?

3. Norovirus.

4. Iran nuclear talks set to resume after five months.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Bharat Gaurav scheme.

2. National Green Tribunal (NGT).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Gulf of Aden.

2. Poshan Gyan.


 

Madhya Pradesh tribal outreach programme:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Context:

Madhya Pradesh government has initiated a massive tribal outreach programme in the state.

  • Important tribes in the state include Bhils and Gonds.

 

As part of the tribals outreach programme, the state has undertaken the following measures:

  1. Implementation of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, which allows self-governance through traditional gram sabhas for people living in scheduled areas.
  2. Legalising mohua, a staple drink of the tribals, which will be sold as ‘heritage liquor’.
  3. The chief minister has also announced that petty cases registered against tribals will also be withdrawn, most of which are for production and sale of mahua-based liquor.
  4. Home delivery of foodgrains distributed under public distribution across all 89 tribal blocks has also been announced.
  5. University in Chhindwara to be named after Shankar Shah. Shankar Shah, son of Sumer Shah, was the last ruler of Garha Kingdom under Gond rule.
  6. Railway station, bus stop to be renamed after Tantya Bhil, a memorial in his name in Khandwa.
  7. A medical college in Mandla will be named after Raja Hirde Shah Lodhi, who had come from Kashi and settled in MP’s Bundelkhand region. His ancestors had established their kingdom in the present-day Damoh which was then under Gond rulers.
  8. Bhopal’s Habibganj station renamed after Gond queen- Rani Kamlapati.
  9. Raja Sangram Shah award for best work in tribal art and culture. He was the 48th Gond ruler of Garha kingdom.

 

Who was Rani Kamlapati?

  • Rani Kamlapati was the widow of Nizam Shah, whose Gond dynasty ruled the then Ginnorgarh, 55 km from Bhopal, in the 18th century.
  • Kampalati is known to have shown great bravery in facing aggressors during her reign after her husband was killed.
  • Kamlapati was the “last Hindu queen of Bhopal”, who did great work in the area of water management and set up parks and temples.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Madhya Pradesh has the largest tribal population of the country, with 46 recognised scheduled tribes, of which three are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG)?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

Briefly study about important tribal leaders and personalities mentioned above.

Mains Link:

Who are PVTGs? Why are they classified so? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

Disruptions in Parliament:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Separation of powers.

 

Context:

Floor leaders of the Rajya Sabha have expressed concern over the Chief Justice of India’s recent remarks on disruptions in Parliament.

  • The floor leaders said it is for the Presiding Officers to take appropriate action if the norms of functioning are being violated in the legislatures, and other constitutional agencies should not comment adversely.

 

What’s the issue?

Chief Justice N.V. Ramana recently complained about a lack of debate in Parliament. He said it is a “sorry state of affairs” and that absence of quality debate leaves many aspects of the laws unclear, increasing the burden on the court.

 

What next?

Such comments should be viewed in the context of the functioning of legislatures marked by persistent disruptions, unruly behaviour and violent actions which have deleterious effects.

  • The best way to counter them is to ensure proper functioning of the legislatures by ensuring their dignity and decorum since such comments are finding resonance with the public from what they see about the functioning of the legislatures.

 

What’s the main concern now?

Disruption is replacing discussion as the foundation of our legislative functioning.

  • A PRS (PRS Legislative Research) report says during the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14), frequent disruptions of Parliamentary proceedings have resulted in the Lok Sabha working for 61% and Rajya Sabha for 66% of its scheduled time.
  • Another PRS report said, the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19) lost 16% of its scheduled time to disruptions, better than the 15th Lok Sabha (37%), but worse than the 14th Lok Sabha (13%).
  • The Rajya Sabha lost 36% of its scheduled time. In the 15th and 14th Lok Sabhas, it had lost 32% and 14% of its scheduled time respectively.

 

Reasons for Disruption:

  1. Discussion on Matters of Controversy and Public Importance.
  2. Disruptions May Help Ruling Party Evade Responsibility.
  3. Lack of Dedicated Time for Unlisted Discussion.
  4. Scarce Resort to Disciplinary Powers.
  5. Party Politics.

 

What needs to be done?

  • To curb disorder in Parliament there is a need for strict enforcement of code of conduct for MPs and MLAs.
  • The Chairperson should suspend MPs not following such codes and obstructing the Houses’ business.
  • The government of the day needs to be more democratic and allow the opposition to put their ideas in free manner.
  • A “Productivity Meter” could be created which would take into consideration the number of hours that were wasted on disruptions and adjournments and monitor the productivity of the day-to-day working of both Houses of Parliament.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Sessions of Parliament.
  2. Who summons the sessions?
  3. Roles and powers of Speaker of Lok Sabha during a session.
  4. Joint Sitting.
  5. Articles 74 and 75 of the Constitution.

Mains Link:

Highlight the issues associated with frequent disruptions of Parliament. Suggest measures to ensure smooth functioning of the Parliament.

Sources: the Hindu.

Omicron- a new variant:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

The new variant B 1.1. 529, which was designated as a ‘Variant of Concern’ by World Health Organisation has been assigned the name Omicron.

  • Reported by public health officials of South Africa, the new variant has triggered a lot of concern worldwide over a probable resurgence of Covid infections.

 

How different it is from the original virus?

The B1.1.529 has more than 2 times the number of bad spike mutations than the Delta variant. The new variant has an extremely high 32 worrisome mutations in the spike protein, which is a real concern than the Delta variant.

 

The WHO currently lists 5 variants of concern:

  1. Omicron (B.1.1.529), identified in southern Africa in November 2021.
  2. Delta (B.1.617.2), which emerged in India in late 2020 and spread around the world.
  3. Gamma (P.1), which emerged in Brazil in late 2020.
  4. Beta (B.1.351), which emerged in South Africa in early 2020.
  5. Alpha (B.1.1.7), which merged in Britain in late 2020.

 

VARIANTS OF INTEREST– There are currently two:

  1. Mu (B.1.621), which emerged in Colombia in early 2021.
  2. Lambda (C.37), which emerged in Peru in late 2020.

 

Variant of Interest (VOI) and Variant of Concern (VOC):

A SARS-CoV-2 VOI is a SARS-CoV-2 variant:

  1. with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; AND
  2. that has been identified as causing significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.

 

A SARS-CoV-2 VOC is a SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:

  1. increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
  2. increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
  3. decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.

 

How do variants of a virus emerge and why?

  • Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate it from the other variants that are in circulation.
  • Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive.
  • 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

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Variants of Coronavirus.
  2. What is Variant of interest (VOI)?
  3. What is Variant of Concern (VOC)?
  4. What is Mutation?

Mains Link:

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

Sources: Indian Express.

Norovirus:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Health.

 

Context:

In the wake of the detection of 13 norovirus cases in Kerala, Karnataka has sounded an alert in the bordering districts of Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada.

 

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus is a bug similar to the diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus.

  • It is a group of viruses that causes gastrointestinal illness.
  • It is the most common pathogen implicated in outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease (inflammation of the stomach and intestines), according to the World Health Organization.

 

Symptoms:

Initial symptoms of Norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus. Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and bodyaches. In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.

current affairs

 

Spread:

  • Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
  • Norovirus is highly contagious, and can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. The primary route is oral-faecal. One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains.
  • Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can heat up to 60°C. Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus. The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.

 

What is the treatment for Norovirus?

The disease is self-limiting — the infection, even though it takes a lot out of the patient, normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Norovirus.
  2. The disease.
  3. Spread.
  4. Symptoms.
  5. Causes.
  6. Treatment.

Mains Link:

Write a note on Norovirus.

Sources: Indian Express.

Iran nuclear talks set to resume after five months:

GS Paper2:

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

 

Context:

The international talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, will take place soon.

  • The talks will be held between the remaining partners to the deal — Iran, China, Russia, Germany, France and the U.K.

 

About the Iran Nuclear Deal:

  • Also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The JCPOA was the result of prolonged negotiations from 2013 and 2015 between Iran and P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union, or the EU).
  • Under the deal, Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons.

 

What’s the concern now?

  • Trump pulled the U.S. out of the accord in 2018. Besides, he opted for a “maximum pressure” campaign by imposing sanctions and other tough actions.
  • Iran responded by intensifying its enrichment of uranium and building of centrifuges, while maintaining its insistence that its nuclear development was for civilian and not military purposes.

Again, In January 2020, following the drone strike on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Gen. Qasem Soleiman, Iran announced that it would no longer observe the JCPOA’s restraints.

  • The collapse of the JCPOA drags Iran towards nuclear brinkmanship, like North Korea, which has created major geopolitical instability in the region and beyond.

 

Significance of the deal for India:

  • Removing sanctions may revive India’s interest in the Chabahar port, Bandar Abbas port, and other plans for regional connectivity.
  • This would further help India to neutralize the Chinese presence in Gwadar port, Pakistan.
  • Restoration of ties between the US and Iran will help India to procure cheap Iranian oil and aid in energy security.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)? Is India a member to this treaty? 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. What is Uranium Enrichment?

Mains Link:

Write a note on JCPOA.

Sources: the Hindu.

Bharat Gaurav scheme:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Energy.

 

Context:

To tap the huge potential of tourism, the Railways has announced the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ Scheme.

 

About the Bharat Gaurav Scheme:

  • Under this Scheme, theme-based tourist circuit trains, on the lines of the Ramayana Express, can be run either by private or State-owned operators.

 

Key features of the scheme:

  • Service providers, who can be an individual, company, society, trust, joint venture or consortium will be free to decide themes/circuits.
  • They will offer an all-inclusive package to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc.
  • They have full flexibility to decide the package cost.
  • The service providers will also be able to design/furnish the interior of the coaches based on the theme and put branding or advertising inside and outside of the train.

 

Benefits of such Scheme:

These trains will help realise India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world. They will also help in tapping the vast tourism potential of India.

 

Recent Decision of Ministry of Railways in this regard:

  1. On July 1, 2020, the Ministry of Railways announced that 151 trains in 109 pairs of routes will be operated by private sectors. It comprises just 5% of the 2,800 Express and Mail services operated by Indian Railways.
  2. Private trains will start operating tentatively in 2023 and in 12 clusters.
  3. Private companies will be given the freedom to procure locomotives and trains from their source of choice.
  4. Railways has invited Request for Qualifications proposals, for scrutiny of vendor capabilities, from those who can bring modern trains for operations on existing rail infrastructure.

current affairs

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about India’s first private train? Is it still in operation today? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When were Railway and General budgets merged?
  2. India’s first private train.
  3. Bibrek Debroy Committee is related to?
  4. Key features the scheme.
  5. Eligibility.
  6. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of the scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.

National Green Tribunal (NGT):

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Eastern Zone, has imposed a fine of ₹2 crore on the Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) for changing the natural course of Kurbadahali Nalla (water channel) in Odisha’s Angul district.

 

What’s the issue?

A complaint filed with NGT said that the JSPL had unauthorisedly usurped the Nandira River in Angul in connivance with the State authorities and filled it up with earth thereby completely obliterating the river.

current affairs

 

About NGT:

  • Established on 18th October, 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • Established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • New Delhi is the Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the other four places of sitting of the Tribunal.
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
  • NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

With the establishment of the NGT, India became the third country in the world to set up a specialised environmental tribunal, only after Australia and New Zealand, and the first developing country to do so.

 

Composition:

Sanctioned strength: The act allows for up to 40 members (20 expert members and 20 judicial members).

Chairman: Is the administrative head of the tribunal, also serves as a judicial member and is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Selection:

  1. Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews.
  2. The Judicial members are chosen from applicants who are serving or retired judges of High Courts.
  3. Expert members are chosen from applicants who are either serving or retired bureaucrats not below the rank of an Additional Secretary to the Government of India (not below the rank of Principal Secretary if serving under a state government) with a minimum administrative experience of five years in dealing with environmental matters. Or, the expert members must have a doctorate in a related field.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NGT.
  2. Composition.
  3. Functions.
  4. Key judgements.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of NGT.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

Gulf Of Aden:

  • Gulf of Aden, also known as the Gulf of Berbera, is a deepwater gulf between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the west, and the Guardafui Channel, Socotra (Yemen), and Somalia to the south.
  • In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, and it connects with the Arabian Sea to the east. To the west, it narrows into the Gulf of Tadjoura in Djibouti.

current affairs

 

Poshan Gyan:

  • It is a national digital repository on health and nutrition.
  • Launched by NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University.
  • The Poshan Gyan repository is conceptualized as a resource, enabling search of communication materials on 14 thematic areas of health and nutrition across diverse languages, media types, target audiences and sources.

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