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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 20 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.

 

 

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

1. Goa Liberation Day.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Need for a Bill on Lynching.

2. Bill on voter ID-Aadhaar link.

3. Poshan Tracker.

4. What is parvovirus?

5. Karnataka’s draft anti-conversion Bill.

6. Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Lokur Commission.

 


 

Goa Liberation Day:

GS Paper 1:

Topics Covered: Post independence consolidation.

 

Context:

60th Goa Liberation Day was celebrated on 19th December, 2021 in commemoration of the Indian armed forces freeing Goa from Portuguese colonial rule.

 

Why is this event significant?

Although India attained independence from British rule back in 1947, it would still take Goa – which was a Portuguese colony at the time – 14 more years to be liberated from foreign control. Finally, on December 19, 1961, Indian armed personnel managed to wrest control of Goa from the Portuguese, ending around 450 years of colonial rule.

 

About Operation Vijay:

Portuguese were the first ones to colonize parts of India and were the last to leave.

The Portuguese invaded Goa in the year 1510.

  • Operation Vijay began on December 17, 1961, when the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered the invasion. With a force of almost 30,000, the Indian attack overpowered the ill-prepared Portuguese 3,000 member army.
  • With minimal blood shed, the attack was successful and was carried forward to retrieve the other Portuguese-controlled areas, Daman and Diu.
  • At this point on December 18, the Portuguese Governor General Vassalo da Silva gave up control of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Goa Opinion Poll?

  • The Goa Opinion Poll was a referendum held in the state of Goa, India, on 16 January 1967, to decide the future of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu within the Indian Union.
  • Although popularly called an opinion poll, it was in fact, a referendum, as the results of the poll were binding on the government of India.
  • The referendum offered the people of Goa a choice between continuing as a union territory or merging with the state of Maharashtra. It is the only referendum to have been held in independent India.
  • The people of Goa voted against the merger and Goa continued to be a union territory. Subsequently, in 1987, Goa became a full-fledged state within the Indian Union.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Operation Vijay.
  2. Goa Liberation Day.
  3. Goa referendum.
  4. India’s first referendum.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Goa Liberation Day.

Sources: Indian Express.


 

Need for a Bill on lynching:

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

On December 18, a man was lynched to death by the Sikh Sangat (Sikh devotees) in Shri Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara (Golden Temple) in Amritsar over an alleged attempt to disrespect the holiest book of Sikh religion, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

  • Reports suggest the group alleged he was trying to desecrate Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

 

What’s the issue?

Notably, this is not the first time someone has been killed over accusations of sacrilege of a holy book linked to Sikhism. Several such lynchings have taken place in the recent past.

  • However, no political leader or the Police said a single word about people taking the law into their own hands and lynching the person accused of disrespecting the holy book.

 

Recent incidents of mob lynching:

  • Last month in Assam, a 23-year-old student leader was allegedly killed by a mob.
  • In October a man was allegedly lynched, his limbs cut off and left to die at the Singhu Border, site of the farmers’ protest against the three farm laws.
  • In August, a bangle seller in Indore was reportedly beaten up by a mob for allegedly hiding his identity.
  • The man survived and was sent to judicial custody.
  • In May this year, a 25-year-old Gurugram man was allegedly lynched when he went out to buy medicines.

 

What is meant by Lynching?

Any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting (encouraging) such act/acts thereof, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other related grounds.

 

How are these cases handled?

There is “no separate” definition for such incidents under the existing IPC. Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC.

  • Section 302 provides that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. Offence of murder is a cognisable, non- bailable and non-compoundable offence.

 

SC guidelines:

  • There should be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.
  • The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villageswhere instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
  • The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.
  • Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
  • Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.
  • Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
  • The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC.
  • If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.

 

Need of the hour:

  • Every time there is a case of honor killing, hate crimes, witch hunting or mob lynching we raise demands for special legislation to deal with these crimes.
  • But, the fact is that these crimes are nothing but murders and the existing provisions under IPC and CrPC are sufficient to deal with such crimes.
  • Coupled with the guidelines laid down in Poonawala’s case, we are sufficiently equipped to deal with mob lynching. However, what we lack is due enforcement of the existing laws and accountability of the enforcement agencies.

 

Attempts by various states in this regard:

  • Manipur government came up first with its Bill against lynching in 2018, incorporating some logical and relevant clauses.
  • Rajasthan government passed a bill against lynching in August 2019.
  • West Bengal too came up with a more stringent Bill against lynching.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know there is something like the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. States which have passed laws against mob lynching.
  2. What is Poonawala’s case?
  3. What are the provisions available against mob lynching under IPC?

Mains Link:

Mob Lynching has become a recurring phenomenon in India which is surging hate violence targeting religious and caste minorities. Explain the causative factors and suggest ways to address it.

Sources: Indian Express.

Bill on voter ID-Aadhaar link:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: RPA Related issues.

 

Context:

The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act to bring in key reforms including voluntary linkage of voter ID with Aadhaar.

 

Need for linking of Aadhaar and Voter ID:

This has been a demand of the Election Commission ever since 2015. The EC had launched the National Electoral Law Purification and Authentication Programme to link the Aadhaar number with the voter ID number. It said the linking will weed out multiple enrolments in the name of one person.

  • At that time, the programme was stalled as the Supreme Court ordered that the use of Aadhaar will remain optional to avail of welfare schemes.
  • Following this, the EC modified its proposal and said the linking will be optional.

 

Other provisions in the Bill:

It will provide registration of new voters on four qualifying dates in place of the existing January 1 of every year.

  • At present, anyone turning 18 on or before January 1 will be eligible to be registered as a voter. Anyone born after January 1 will have to get enlisted only after a year.
  • According to the bill, along with January 1, there will be three other qualifying dates – April 1, July 1 and October 1 – in every calendar year.

The amendments also allow the elections to become gender neutral for service voters.

  • The amendment will help replace the word ‘wife’ with the word ‘spouse’ making the statutes “gender neutral”.
  • At present, an Armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman officer’s husband is not. With ‘wife’ being replaced by the term ‘spouse’, this will change.

 

What Are The Issues Raised Over Voter ID-Aadhaar Seeding?

  • The proposal fails to specify the extent of data sharing between the ECI and UIDAI databases, the methods through which consent will be obtained, and whether consent to link the databases can be revoked.
  • In the absence of a robust personal data protection law — a Bill in that regard is yet to clear Parliament — any move to allow sharing of data can prove to be problematic. There would be an intrusion to the privacy of the individual.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP)? When was it launched? Reference: read this.

 

Do you know about the Supreme Court’s 2015 protection of privacy judgment in the Justice KS Puttaswamy (Retd) & Another Vs Union of India case that had challenged “the validity of Aadhaar scheme and Aadhaar Act, 2016″? Read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Right to Privacy.
  2. Puttaswamy judgment.
  3. NERPAP.
  4. Electoral Reforms Bill.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues and concerns associated with the linking of Aadhar to Voter IDs.

Sources: the Hindu

Poshan Tracker:

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

 

Context:

The Government of India has told in the Lok Sabha that the Data recorded in the Poshan (Nutrition) Tracker have not been made public in the interest of privacy of women and children.

  • The objective is to honour the privacy of women and children who are serviced by the Government of India in collaboration with State Governments across the anganwadi systems in the country.

 

About the Poshan Tracker:

  • The Poshan Tracker, known as the ICDS-CAS (Integrated Child Development Services-Common Application Software) in its earlier avatar, was set up with the aim of tracking and improving various services delivered at anganwadis and to ensure nutritional management of beneficiaries.
  • This real-time monitoring system is one of the key pillars of Poshan Abhiyan or Nutrition Mission approved by the Union Cabinet in November 2017 with a financial outlay of ₹9,000 crore for three years.
  • The Government has spent ₹1,053 crore to develop the tracker.

 

Significance:

The tracker is one of the important pillars of the Poshan Abhiyan and helps the Government monitor services delivered at 12.3 lakh anganwadi centres and record nutritional indicators of 9.8 lakh beneficiaries, including children in the age of six months to six years as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.

  • Anganwadis provide six services, which include supplementary nutrition in the form of hot-cooked meals and take home ration, immunisation and pre-school education.

 

What’s the issue?

  • The parliamentary committee in its report raised several questions on the effective use of the Poshan Tracker.
  • It sought that key performance indicators be constantly monitored and uploaded on its website and a State-wise progress report be maintained “so that identification of those deprived of the benefits can be made on a real-time basis for timely remedial measures.”
  • The committee also recommended that the Ministry put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure there were no gaps in distribution of food packets to anganwadi beneficiaries.

 

About Poshan Abhiyaan:

  • The programme seeks to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022.

 

It aims to reduce:

  • Stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children.
  • Anaemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

 

Background:

More than a third of the children under five face stunting and wasting and 40% aged between one and four are anaemic. Over 50% of pregnant and other women were found to be anaemic, said the National Family Health Survey 4 released in 2016.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Goals and targets under Poshan Abhiyaan.

Mains Link:

Discuss the objectives and significance of the scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is parvovirus?

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

 

Context:

Nearly 2,000 pet and stray dogs in Amravati city were affected by canine parvovirus virus last month with veterinarians cautioning pet owners against a severe outbreak.

 

What is Parvovirus?

  • It is a highly contagious viral disease affecting puppies and dogs.
  • It affects the intestinal tract of canines with puppies being more susceptible.
  • Bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, drastic weight loss, dehydration and lethargy are some of the symptoms.
  • The virus has reported a 90 per cent mortality rate.

This virus was discovered in 1967 and has rapidly become a serious threat to canine health. This is primarily due to the fact that the virus is hard to kill, can live for a long time in the environment, and is shed in large quantities by infected dogs.

 

How does the virus spread in dogs?

Through direct contact with an infected dog or by indirect contact with a contaminated object, including the hands and clothing of people who handle infected dogs.

 

What’s causing increase in the number of cases?

  • The recent rise in cases of Parvovirus in pets is due to the Covid-19 pandemic that compelled many pet owners to avoid timely vaccination of their dogs.
  • Also, due to the non-implementation of the animal birth control programme, dog vaccination and rabies in the last three years has led to rising parvovirus cases in street dogs in the city.

 

Treatment:

Parvovirus has no cure and inoculating a puppy or a dog gives them a fighting chance against the infection.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Parvovirus B19 infects only humans? Know more about it here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Parvovirus.
  2. Spread.
  3. Treatment.
  4. Symptoms.

Mains Link:

What is Parvovirus? What are the concerns associated? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

Karnataka’s draft anti-conversion Bill:

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

The Karnataka government has prepared an anti-conversion Bill — which seems to be modeled after a similar law introduced by the state of Uttar Pradesh.

  • The draft of the Bill indicates that much like in Uttar Pradesh, this proposed law aims at penalising people who convert or try to convert others by ‘fraudulent means’ or by marriage.

 

Highlights of the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021:

  1. Any person found guilty of unlawfully converting another person will face a minimum jail term of three to five years and a fine of Rs 25,000.
  2. If the person ‘unlawfully converted’ is either a minor or a woman or belongs to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, the punishment is more — a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of ten years imprisonment, and Rs 50,000 fine.
  3. In cases of ‘mass conversion’, the accused person can face three to ten years in prison and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
  4. An appropriate court will order the accused person to pay compensation to the “victim of conversion and this amount can go up to Rs 5 lakh, and must be paid by the accused over and above the fine under the law.
  5. In case someone wants to convert to another religion voluntarily, there is a lengthy process in place and this applies to inter-faith marriages too.

 

Challenges ahead:

some of the provisions that the Karnataka government is aiming to introduce under its anti-conversion laws were stayed in another BJP-ruled state – Gujarat. In 2020, the Gujarat government had also brought in an amended anti-conversion law.

However,  the Gujarat High Court had stayed some of the provisions in August 2021 — provisions like the one that places the burden of proof on those entering into an inter-faith marriage.

  • The Gujarat High Court noted that the provisions go against an individual’s right to choice and liberty, granted under the Constitution of India. So, since similar provisions are included in the Karnataka Bill too, it means the law goes against rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

 

Background:

States such as UP and MP have already brought strong laws against forced conversions. Haryana and Karnataka had also announced intentions to enact such laws.

  • But, the proponents say the recent events in the country proved that it is a pan-Indian racket and hence requires a Central law.”

 

Rationale behind the enactment of anti-conversion laws:

  1. Threats of forceful conversion.
  2. Problem of Inducement or allurement.
  3. Religious conversion is not a Fundamental Right.

 

What do critics say?

Such laws have 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.

 

Supreme Court on Marriage and Conversion:

  1. The Apex Court of India in its several judgments has held that the state and the courts have no jurisdiction over an adult’s absolute right to choose a life partner.
  2. 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.
  3. Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case of Allahabad High Court 2020: 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 (Article 21).

 

Need of the hour:

  1. There is a need for uniformity: Article 18 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights mentions everyone has the right to freedom of religion including changing their faith. Since it is a state subject, the Centre can frame a model law like Model law on contract farming etc.
  2. States while enacting anti-conversion laws should not put any vague or ambiguous provisions for the person who wanted to convert of his own will.
  3. The anti-conversion laws also need to include a provision to mention the valid steps for conversion by minority community institutions.
  4. People also need to be educated about the provisions and ways of Forceful conversions, Inducement or allurement, etc.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (SMA) was enacted to facilitate the marriage of couples professing different faiths? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 21.
  2. Article 25.
  3. About SMA.
  4. States which have passed anti-conversion laws.

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: the Hindu

Organization of Islamic Cooperation:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International Institutions.

 

Context:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had recently called for a meeting in Islamabad to find ways to help Afghanistan avert an imminent economic collapse they say would have a “horrendous” global impact.

  • The summit brought together dozens of Foreign Ministers as well as the representatives on Afghanistan of major powers, including China, the U.S. and Russia.

 

Outcomes:

  • The meet ended with a promise to set up a fund to provide humanitarian aid through the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), which would provide a cover for countries to donate without dealing directly with the country’s Taliban rulers.

 

What’s the issue?

There has been a growing call for the U.S. and other countries to release upward of $10 billion in frozen Afghan assets. However, previously the U.S. has said at least some of that money is tied up in litigation involving the survivors and the families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda while being harboured in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

  • Several nations called for a quick opening of the country’s banking system and collectively, with the UN and international banking institutions, to provide assistance to Afghanistan.

 

About OIC:

  • It is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states.
  • It is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
  • The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony “.
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • Permanent Secretariat is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

 

Significance of OIC for India:

OIC’s growing economic and energy interdependence with India has become important in recent times.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. OIC- objectives.
  2. Functions.
  3. Members.
  4. Subsidiary organisations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on OIC.

Sources: the Hindu

Lokur Commission:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

 

Context:

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed all proceedings before Justice Madan Lokur Commission, set up by the West Bengal government to inquire into the alleged interception of mobile phones using military grade spyware Pegasus, disapproving breach of undertaking by the state for halting the commission’s work when the SC was seized of the pan-India issue.

 

Background:

The West Bengal government had, in July 2021, set up a Commission of Inquiry (Lokur Commission), under the 1952 Act, to look into the alleged surveillance of phones using the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli cyber-intelligence company NSO Group.

  • The Commission will look into the alleged breach of privacy of several individuals.

 

Who can set up such commissions?

While both central and state governments can set up such Commissions of Inquiry, states are restricted by subject matters that they are empowered to legislate upon.

  • If the central government set up the commission first, then states cannot set up a parallel commission on the same subject matter without the approval of the Centre.
  • But if a state has appointed a Commission, then the Centre can appoint another on the same subject if it is of the opinion that the scope of the inquiry should be extended to two or more states.

 

What are its powers?

Under The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, a Commission set up by the government shall have the powers of a civil court, while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

  • This means that the Commission has powers to summon and enforce the attendance of any person from any part of India and examine her on oath, and receive evidence.
  • It can order requisition of any public record or copy from any court or office.

 

What kind of subjects can a Commission probe?

Commissions set up by the central government can make an inquiry into any matter relatable to any of the entries in List I (Union List) or List II (State List) or List III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, while Commissions set up by state governments can look into entries in List II or List III.

 

Pegasus inquiry commission matter is related to:

  • The West Bengal government has cited public order and police entries. While these subjects are in the State List, an argument could also be made that the subject matter of the inquiry essentially falls under the Central List.
  • Also, Entry 31 of the Union List deals with posts and telegraphs, telephones, wireless, broadcasting and other like forms of communication.

 

What value does such a Commission’s report have?

  • The findings of such commissions are normally tabled in the Assembly or Parliament, depending on who constituted it.
  • However, the government is not bound to make the report public. The findings are not binding on the executive wither, but can be relied upon by courts as evidence.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know What Social Engineering is in the context of Information Security?Know some terms of Types of social engineering attacks. Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About 7th schedule.
  2. About Lokur Commission.
  3. Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.
  4. Powers of Centre and the states under the act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

1. Changes to Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

2. Open Acreage Licensing Policy.


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