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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 01 December 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. Veer Savarkar.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. What is J&K’s Roshni Act?

2. Central Bank Digital Currency.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. “Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)” scheme.

2. Hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG).

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC).

2. Power scheme for women scientists.

3. Mount Girnar.


 

Veer Savarkar:

GS Paper 1:

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

 

Context:

Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Uday Mahurkar recently said the era of V D Savarkar, known as the architect of Hindutva ideology, has already set in in India and that his personality is above Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour.

 

What’s the issue?

A quote attributed to Savarkar has been going around in academic circles which shows that Savarkar supported Jinnah’s two nation theory.

  • However experts are of the opinion that while Jinnah wanted partition, Savarkar wanted Territorial Integrity of India.
  • Jinnah wanted minority representation while Savarkar wanted Majority rule.
  • Jinnah wanted residuary powers to reside in the provinces but Savarkar wanted them to reside in Centre.
  • Jinnah wanted reservation in recruitment to civil/public service while Savarkar wanted merit to be the sole criterion.

 

Who is Veer Savarkar?

Born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik.

 

Nationalism and social reforms:

  • Formed a youth organization- Mitra Mela, this organization was put into place to bring in national and revolutionary ideas.
  • He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi.
  • He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
  • He also Worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar also compared his work to Lord Buddha.
  • Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
  • When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahaasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
  • In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
  • He joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party.
  • He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
  • He believed and advocated the use of arms to free India from the British and created a network of Indians in England, equipped with weapons.

 

Important works:

  1. Book- The History of the war of Indian Independence.
  2. An armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform.
  3. Two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who founded Mitra mela, Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India society, what are the objectives?
  2. Books written by Savarkar?
  3. Savarkar’s book which was published by Madam Bikaji Cama?
  4. Morley- Minto reforms- key changes.
  5. Savarkar’s views on use of arms to free India.
  6. Hindu Mahasabha- key achievements.

Mains Link:

Discuss Veer Savarkar’s contributions to social reforms in the country.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is J&K’s Roshni Act?

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

A year after the High Court struck down the Roshni Act, the Jammu and Kashmir government has now begun an exercise to retrieve the land granted under this Act to beneficiaries.

 

Background:

There are allegations related to irregularities in the implementation of the Jammu and Kashmir States Land (vesting of ownership to the occupants) Act, also known as Roshini Act, which has now been declared null and void.

  • On November 1, 2020, the Union Territory administration cancelled all land transfers that took place under the JK State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001.

 

About the Roshini Act:

Enacted in 2001, the law sought to regularise unauthorised land.

The Act envisaged the transfer of ownership rights of state land to its occupants, subject to the payment of a cost, as determined by the government.

  • The government said the revenue generated would be spent on commissioning hydroelectric power projects, hence the name “Roshni”.
  • Further, through amendments, the government also gave ownership rights of agricultural land to farmers occupying it for free, charging them only Rs 100 per kanal as documentation fee.

 

Why it was scrapped?

  • In 2009, the State Vigilance Organisation registered an FIR against several government officials for alleged criminal conspiracy to illegally possess and vest ownership of state land to occupants who did not satisfy criteria under the Roshni Act.
  • In 2014, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) estimated that against the targeted Rs 25,000 crore, only Rs 76 crore had been realised from the transfer of encroached land between 2007 and 2013, thus defeating the purpose of the legislation.
  • The report blamed irregularities including arbitrary reduction in prices fixed by a standing committee, and said this was done to benefit politicians and affluent people.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Roshni Act?
  2. Features of the Act.
  3. Amendments.

Mains Link:

What is J&K’s Roshni Act? Why was it scrapped recently? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Central bank digital currency (CBDC):

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

The Reserve Bank of India has been working on a phased implementation strategy for a CBDC and the pilot may be launched by the end of this year.

 

The financial advisory services firm has listed four major use cases of CBDC in the Indian context. This includes:

  1. ‘Fit-for-purpose’ money used for social benefits and other targeted payments in a country. For such cases, the central bank can pay intended beneficiaries pre-programmed CBDC, which could be accepted only for a specific purpose.
  2. CBDCs could be used for faster cross-border remittance payments. International collaboration among the major economies of the world, including India, could help create the necessary infrastructure and arrangements for CBDC transfer and conversion.
  3. Payment instruments could be made available for payment transactions to be made via CBDC. Furthermore, universal access attributes of a CBDC could also include an offline payment functionality.
  4. Instant lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India can be possible with the help of CBDC.

 

Need for CBDC:

  1. An official digital currency would reduce the cost of currency management while enabling real-time payments without any inter-bank settlement.
  2. India’s fairly high currency-to-GDP ratio holds out another benefit of CBDC — to the extent large cash usage can be replaced by CBDC, the cost of printing, transporting and storing paper currency can be substantially reduced.
  3. The need for inter-bank settlement would disappear as it would be a central bank liability handed over from one person to another.

 

What is the CBDC or National Digital currency?

A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), or national digital currency, is simply the digital form of a country’s fiat currency. Instead of printing paper currency or minting coins, the central bank issues electronic tokens. This token value is backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

 

SC Garg Committee recommendations (2019):

  1. Ban anybody who mines, hold, transact or deal with cryptocurrencies in any form.
  2. It recommends a jail term of one to 10 years for exchange or trading in digital currency.
  3. It proposed a monetary penalty of up to three times the loss caused to the exchequer or gains made by the cryptocurrency user whichever is higher.
  4. However, the panel said that the government should keep an open mind on the potential issuance of cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India.

 

Challenges in rolling out National Digital Currency:

  1. Potential cybersecurity threat.
  2. Lack of digital literacy of the population.
  3. Introduction of digital currency also creates various associated challenges in regulation, tracking investment and purchase, taxing individuals, etc.
  4. Threat to Privacy: The digital currency must collect certain basic information of an individual so that the person can prove that he’s the holder of that digital currency.

 

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know what the IOTA Tangle is? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a blockchain?
  2. What are Cryptocurrencies?
  3. Which countries have issued Cryptocurrencies?
  4. What is a Bitcoin?

Mains Link:

Discuss the pros and cons of CBDC.

Sources: livemint.

“Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)” scheme:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Environment related issues.

 

Context:

Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a scheme called Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) to be continued for next five years.

 

What will the citizens achieve from the successful roll-on of this scheme?

  1. With improved forecasts, it will be easy for predicting the timings, intensity, frequency of disasters like cyclones, heat waves, thunderstorms, excessive rainfall etc., that is progressively growing uncertain with increasing climate change.
  2. Increasing programmes will drive the employment benefits and provide the much-needed opportunities to learn in a sphere that remains neglected for long.
  3. It will provide an impetus to utilizing the sizable number of scientific and technical talents available therein, along with most vital administrative support for sustaining the same.

 

ACROSS Scheme:

  • ACROSS scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms etc.
  • Each of these aspects is incorporated as nine sub-schemes under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS” and is implemented in an integrated.

 

ACROSS is an umbrella scheme with eight sub-schemes encompassing the programmes for greater understanding of atmospheric science. These eight master schemes are as follows:

  1. Commissioning of Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radars (DWRs).
  2. Upgradation of Forecast System, Weather & Climate Services.
  3. Atmospheric Observations Network.
  4. Numerical Modelling of Weather and Climate.
  5. Monsoon Mission III.
  6. Monsoon Convection.
  7. Clouds and Climate Change (MC4).
  8. High Performance Computing System (HPCS).

 

Benefits of the Scheme:

  • The scheme will provide improved weather, climate and   ocean   forecast  and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services.
  • It will also provide a sizable number of scientific and technical staff along with requisite administrative support, thereby generating employment.
  • To ensure last-mile connectivity of the weather based services to the end -user, a large number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of ICAR, Universities and local municipalities are roped in thus generating employment opportunities to many people.

 

Implementation:

Implemented by MoES in collaboration with the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).

Sources: PIB.

Hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG):

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- energy.

 

Context: .

There is an increased push for adopting “Hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG).” This comes in the backdrop of India’s National Hydrogen Energy Mission in the works, which may mandate fertilizer, steel and petrochemicals industries to shift to green hydrogen use.

 

Background:

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has also developed specifications (IS 17314:2019) of Hydrogen enriched Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) for automotive purposes, as a fuel.

 

What is HCNG?

The blending of hydrogen with CNG provides a blended gas termed as HCNG.

  • It can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane (C3H8) / LPG and its combustion produces fewer undesirable gases.

 

Advantages of HCNG:

  • HCNG reduces emissions of CO up to 70%.
  • Enables up to 5 % savings in fuel.
  • First step towards future Hydrogen economy.
  • Engines can be calibrated to release lower amounts of NO.
  • Engines need minimum modification to run on HCNG.
  • Ideal fuel for high load applications and heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Better performance due to higher Octane rating of H2.

 

Disadvantages of using HCNG:

  • Determining the most optimized H2/ NG (Natural Gas) ratio.
  • It requires new infrastructures for preparing HCNG.
  • Many steps need to be taken for commercializing it at a large scale.
  • Current cost of H2 is more than the cost of Natural Gas. So, HCNG’s cost is more than CNG.

Sources: pib.

Facts for Prelims:

Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC):

  • It is the nodal agency for maritime data fusion.
  • It was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
  • Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012.
  • Became operational in 2014 and is located in Gurugram.
  • It is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I), which was established to link the operational centres and lower echelons of the Navy and the Coast Guard spread across the country’s coastline, including the island territories.

Power scheme for women scientists:

POWER- Promoting Opportunities for Women in Exploratory Research.

  • It is a scheme to mitigate gender disparity in science and engineering research funding in various S&T programs in Indian academic institutions and R&D laboratories.
  • Launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

It will have two components namely: (1) SERB-POWER Fellowship; (2) SERB- POWER Research Grants.

Mount Girnar:

  • Lord Dattatreya performed penance at the top of the hill.
  • Also a kshetra where 22nd Tirthankar Lord Neminath attained Nirvana.
  • Located near Junagadh in Junagadh district, Gujarat.

 

Please Note:

Remaining few articles from “The Hindu” shall be covered tomorrow. Regret the inconvenience.


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