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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 04 FEBRUARY 2022

 

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

 

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 2:

1. How Burma became Myanmar?

2. Haryana private sector quota law stayed.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Chandrayaan 3.

2. Drone Rules, 2021.

3. National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).

4. India’s Stand at COP-26.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. River Cities Alliance.

2. Punaura Dham.


Myanmar- Past and Present:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: India and neighbourhood relations.

 

Why in News?

There have been mass protests, armed resistance and mass killings in Myanmar since the military seized control a year ago.

  • Elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been jailed after what her supporters say are show trials.
  • The Myanmar military grabbed power in a coup last year– the third time in the nation’s history since its independence from British rule in 1948.

Who is in charge now?

Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken power. He has long wielded significant political influence, successfully maintaining the power of the Tatmadaw – Myanmar’s military – even as the country moved towards democracy.

What has the international reaction been to the coup?

  • The United Nations has warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, with “an intensification of violence and a rapid rise in poverty”.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused the security forces of a “reign of terror”.
  • The US, UK and European Union have imposed sanctions on military officials.
  • China blocked a UN Security Council statement condemning the coup, but has backed calls for a return to democratic norms.

India’s demands:

  1. Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest.
  2. Release of detainees and prisoners.
  3. Resolution of issues through dialogue.
  4. Complete cessation of all violence.

India is supporting ASEAN initiative on Myanmar and the ‘Five-Point Consensus’: It includes:

  1. Immediate cessation of violence.
  2. Dialogue among all stakeholders in Myanmar for a peaceful solution.
  3. The appointment of a special Asean envoy to facilitate mediation.
  4. Aid to Myanmar.
  5. A visit to the country by the envoy.

 

A brief History of Myanmar:

When British imperialists annexed what is today’s Myanmar during the 19th century, they called it Burma after the dominant Burman (Bamar) ethnic group, and administered it as a province of colonial India.

  • This arrangement continued until 1937, when Burma was separated from British India and made a separate colony.
  • Even after the country became independent in 1948, it retained the same name, becoming the ‘Union of Burma’.
  • In 1962, the military took over from a civilian government for the first time, and amended the official name in 1974 to the ‘Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma’.
  • Then in 1988, Myanmar’s armed forces again took power in the country, after suppressing a popular uprising that led to the deaths of thousands, and reversed the official name to ‘Union of Burma’.
  • But a year later, the junta adopted a law that replaced Burma with Myanmar, making the country the ‘Union of Myanmar’.

Why the name change was controversial?

While changing the country’s name, the military said that it was looking for a way to leave behind a name inherited from the colonial past, and adopt a new one which could unify all of its 135 officially recognised ethnic groups, and not just the Burman people.

  • Critics decried the move, arguing that Myanmar and Burma mean the same thing in the Burmese language, only that the ‘Myanmar’ is a more formal way of saying ‘Burma’– a word used colloquially.
  • The other name changes too, such as Rangoon to Yangon, only reflected greater conformity with the Burmese language, and nothing else.
  • Also, the name changes took place only in English. Even in English, the adjective form remained (and continues to remain) Burmese, and not Myanmarese.
  • Pro-democracy sympathisers said that the name changes were illegitimate, as they were not decided by the will of the people.
  • As a result, many governments around the world opposed to the junta decided to ignore the name changes, and continued to call the country Burma and its capital Rangoon.

Myanmar’s military Constitution:

It was the military that drafted the 2008 Constitution, and put it to a questionable referendum in April that year.

  • The Constitution was the military’s “roadmap to democracy”, which it had been forced to adopt under increasing pressure from the west.
  • It was also due to its own realisation that opening up Myanmar to the outside world was now no longer an option but a dire economic necessity.
  • But the military made sure to safeguard in the Constitution its own role and supremacy in national affairs.
  • Under its provisions, the military reserves for itself 25 per cent of seats in both Houses of Parliament, to which it appoints serving military officials.
  • Also, a political party which is a proxy for the military contests elections.

 

Insta Curious:

  1. Do you know how decisions are made at the UN? Read here
  2. Do you remember the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Myanmar.
  2. Its constitution.
  3. Comparison with Indian Constitution.
  4. About UNGA.
  5. Various UN Organisations.

Mains Link:

Discuss India’s policy towards its neighbours.

Sources: Indian Express.

Haryana private sector quota law stayed:

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 Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed a law that reserves 75 per cent of jobs for Haryanvis in private establishments across the state.

 

Background:

Haryana government has ordered that the law (the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill) providing for 75% reservation for locals in private sector jobs came into force from January 15, 2022.

 

Why was the law challenged?

  • The petitioners contended that Haryana wanted to create reservation in private sector by introducing a policy of “sons of the soil”, which was an infringement of the constitutional rights of employers.
  • It was also argued that private sector jobs were purely based on skills and analytical bent of mind, and employees had a fundamental right to work in any part of India.
  • Forcing the employers to employ local candidates in private sector vide this bill impugned Act is the violation of the federal structure framed by the Constitution of India, whereby the government cannot act contrary to public interest and cannot benefit one class.

 

Highlights of the law:

  • The law provides for 75% reservation in private sector jobs to those having a resident certificate (domicile).
  • The law will be applicable for a period of 10 years.
  • Jobs with a gross monthly salary of not more than ₹30,000 will be up for hiring from among local candidates.

 

Rationale behind the law:

To create a harmonious environment for industry as well as the youth along with creating the right balance between the progress of industries and the economy.

 

Concerns over the bill:

  • It could lead to multinational firms moving out of the state.
  • Reservation affects productivity and industry competitiveness.

 

What are the legal issues in such laws?

  1. The question of domicile reservation in jobs: While domicile quotas in education are fairly common, courts have been reluctant in expanding this to public employment. It raises questions relating to the fundamental right to equality of citizens.
  2. The issue of forcing the private sector to comply with reservations in employment. For mandating reservation in public employment, the state draws its power from Article 16(4) of the Constitution. But, the Constitution has no manifest provision for private employment from which the state draws the power to make laws mandating reservation.
  3. It may not be able to withstand judicial scrutiny on the touchstone of Article 19(1)(g).

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key provisions of the Bill.
  2. Article 16 of the Indian Constitution is related to?
  3. Reservations vs Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss issues associated with Jharkhand’s move to reserve 75% private jobs.

Sources :the Hindu.

Chandrayaan-3:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

The Government has informed the Lok Sabha  that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch Chandrayaan-3 in August 2022.

 

What we know about Chandrayaan 3 so far?

Chandrayaan-3 is the successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission and it will likely attempt another soft-landing on the lunar surface.

  • It will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 but will only include a lander and rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2. It will not have an orbiter.
  • As per ISRO, the total cost of Chandrayaan-3 mission will be over Rs 600 crores. In comparison, the total cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission was Rs 960 crores.

 

What is Chandrayaan-2?

  • The Mission brought together an Orbiter, Lander and Rover with the goal of exploring the south pole of the Moon.
  • It aimed at studying not just one area of the Moon but all the areas combining the exosphere, the surface as well as the sub-surface of the moon in a single mission.

Why are we interested in studying the moon?

  • The Moon is the closest cosmic body at which space discovery can be attempted and documented.
  • It is also a promising test bed to demonstrate technologies required for deep-space missions.
  • The Moon provides the best linkage to Earth’s early history.
  • It offers an undisturbed historical record of the inner Solar system environment.

 

Why was the Lunar South Pole targeted for exploration?

The Lunar South pole is especially interesting because the lunar surface area that remains in shadow is much larger than that at the North Pole.

  • There could be a possibility of presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it.
  • In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System.

What happened to Chandrayaan-2?

  • The Chandrayaan-2 mission, which was lost after it hard- landed on the dark side of the Moon in 2019, remains active in the form of its orbiter hovering over the Moon.
  • The lander and rover malfunctioned in the final moments and crash-landed, getting destroyed in the process.
  • The primary objective of Chandrayaan 2 was to demonstrate the ability to soft-land on the lunar surface and operate a robotic rover on the surface.

However, the Orbiter and other instruments of Chandrayaan-2 mission have, in two years, gathered a wealth of new information that has added to our knowledge about the Moon and its environment.

What is the information gathered?

Presence of water molecules on moon: The mission has given the most precise information about the presence of H2O molecules on the Moon till date.

Presence of Minor elements: Chromium, manganese and Sodium have been detected for the first time through remote sensing. The finding can lay the path for understanding magmatic evolution on the Moon and deeper insights into the nebular conditions as well as planetary differentiation.

Information about solar flares: A large number of microflares outside the active region have been observed for the first time, and according to ISRO, this “has great implications on the understanding of the mechanism behind heating of the solar corona”, which has been an open problem for many decades.

Exploration of the permanently shadowed regions as well as craters and boulders underneath the regolith, the loose deposit comprising the top surface extending up to 3-4m in depth. This is expected to help scientists to zero in on future landing and drilling sites, including for human missions.

 

Current Affairs

 

Insta Curious:

NASA has also chosen a landing site for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER). Know about it here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Chandrayaan-2.
  2. Objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. Chandrayaan-1.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Chandrayaan-2 mission.

Sources: PIB.

Drone Rules, 2021:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Science and Technology

 

Context:

As on 31 December 2021, nine remote pilot training organisations have been set up by entities under Government or private ownership.

  • As per Drone Rules, 2021, any person who intends to obtain the authorisation to establish a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) shall submit an application to the Director General of Civil Aviation in Form D5 on the Digital Sky Platform, along with the specified fees.

Drone management in India:

  • The Union government had on September 15 approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for drones and drone components with an allocation of Rs 120 crore spread over three financial years.
  • The ministry had on August 25 notified the Drone Rules, 2021 that eased the regulation of drone operations in India by reducing the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to five and decreasing the types of fees charged from the operator from 72 to four.

 

New drone rules:

  1. Digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.
  2. No flight permission required upto 400 feet in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  3. No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations.
  4. No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
  5. Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.
  6. No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance.
  7. No requirement of certificate of airworthiness, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.
  8. Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg.  This will cover drone taxis also.
  9. Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.
  10. Manufacturer may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
  11. Maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.
  12. Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
  13. Drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

 

Need for stricter rules and regulations:

  • Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
  • Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.
  • According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.
  • With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.
  • Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology.

 

Drone Categories in India:

Registration is required for all but the Nano category.

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams
  • Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg
  • Small: From 2kg to 25kg
  • Medium: From 25kg to 150kg
  • Large: Greater than 150kg

 

Significance of Drones:

  • Use of drones in commercial, safety, law and order, disaster management and surveillance operations reduce manpower requirement and costs.
  • Drones offer low-cost, safe and quick aerial surveys for data collection and are useful for industries such as power, mining, realty and oil and gas exploration.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that there are a few countries in the world which do not have armed forces of their own? Which are those countries? Reference

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of new rules.
  2. New rules vs old rules.
  3. Exemptions.
  4. Licenses required.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the new rules.

Sources: PIB.

National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC):

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

It was recently informed in the Lok Sabha that under NAFCC, till date, 30 projects are sanctioned in 27 States and UTs.

 

What is NAFCC?

Established in August, 2015.

  • It aims to meet the cost of adaptation to climate change for the State and Union Territories of India that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

 

Implementation:

  • Considering the existing arrangement with NABARD as National Implementing Entity (NIE) for Adaptation Fund (AF) under Kyoto Protocol and its presence across the country, NABARD has been designated as National Implementing Entity (NIE) for implementation of adaptation projects under NAFCC.
  • NABARD would perform roles in facilitating identification of project ideas/concepts from State Action Plan for Climate Change (SAPCC), project formulation, appraisal, sanction, disbursement of fund, monitoring & evaluation and capacity building of stakeholders including State Governments.

 

Current Affairs

 

NAFCC Outcome Framework:

Fund level outcome parameters will consist of the following:

  • Reduced key risks and adverse impacts of climate change in water and agriculture sectors.
  • Maximised multi-sectoral, cross-sectoral benefits/co-benefits to meet the challenges of water and food security.
  • Human development, poverty alleviation, livelihood security and enhanced awareness of community.
  • Strengthened institutional & individual capacity to reduce risks associated with climate-induced socioeconomic and environmental losses.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Adaptation Fund?

Established in 2001 under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

  • It finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change.
  • Initiatives are based on country needs, views and priorities.

 

Financing:

The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and also from proceeds of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects.

 

Governance:

The Fund is supervised and managed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB).

  • The AFB is composed of 16 members and 16 alternates and meets at least twice a year.
  • The World Bank serves as trustee of the Adaptation Fund on an interim basis.

Sources: PIB.

India’s Stand at COP-26:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

The Government recently highlighted it’s stand at the COP 26 in the ongoing parliamentary session.

  • It said, the announcement to intensify India’s climate action has the potential to bring investment and new technologies to support country’s transition to a clean and climate resilient economy.

 

Background:

The Government of India has articulated and put across the concerns of developing countries at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held recently in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

 

Five Nectar Elements (Panchamrit):

India has presented the following five nectar elements (Panchamrit) of India’s climate action:

  1. Reach 500 GW Non-fossil energy capacity by 2030.
  2. 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
  3. Reduction of total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030.
  4. Reduction of the carbon intensity of the economy by 45 per cent by 2030, over 2005 levels.
  5. Achieving the target of net zero emissions by 2070.

 

Mantra of LIFE- Lifestyle:

The mantra of LIFE- Lifestyle for Environment to combat climate change was also shared in COP 26.

  • It was stated that Lifestyle for Environment has to be taken forward as a campaign to make it a mass movement of Environment Conscious Lifestyles.
  • The message conveyed by India was that the world needs mindful and deliberate utilization, instead of mindless and destructive consumption.

 

Net Zero:

India has also pledged to become a ‘net zero’ carbon emitter by 2070, and announced enhanced targets for renewable energy deployment and reduction in carbon emissions.

 

India’s approach:

  • As a part of its overall approach, India emphasized the foundational principles of equity, and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilitie
  • It also highlighted that all countries should have equitable access to the global carbon budget, a finite global resource, for keeping temperature increase within the limits set by the Paris Agreement.
  • And, all countries must stay within their fair share of this global carbon budget, while using it responsibly.
  • Responsibility of the developed nations: India also called on the developed countries for climate justice, and for undertaking rapid reductions in emissions during the current decade so as to reach net zero much earlier than their announced dates, as they have used more than their fair share of the depleting global carbon budget.

Measures required to address the existing challenges:

  • Platforms must adopt a ‘renewable first’ approach.
  • Creating synergies amongst the various institutions and other countries. Ex: One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG), launched by India at CoP26, this would provide a lot of learning to connect energy grids across borders for renewable energy adoption under OSOWOG.
  • Decarbonize emission-intensive sectors. Ex: Heavy industries like Iron and Steel.
  • An ‘ecosystem-based’ approach in implementing policies. Ex: FAME India scheme.
  • We need more ‘carbon sinks’ – areas that store carbon, like forests, oceans and wetlands.
  • Inclusion of local people in safeguarding environment.
  • Ramping up sufficient resources towards climate adaptation. Ex: The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative launched by India and the United Kingdom in September to generate more resources for climate and green energy projects is a positive step in this direction.

 

Insta Curious:

Know more about One Solar, One World, One Grid here.

At COP26, T.N. teenager told leaders that youth are angry. Why did she say so? Read here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims link:

  1. CoP 26 outcomes.
  2. Major policies and programs related to fighting climate change in India.
  3. Paris climate change targets.

Main link:

Discuss the measures required to realize the climate change targets that India had declared to achieve by 2070.

Sources: PIB.

Facts for Prelims:

 

River Cities Alliance:

The River Cities Alliance (RCA) has been launched with the objective to provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers, sharing best practices and supporting innovation.

  • The alliance has been launched initially with 30 cities including Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Srinagar, Varanasi, Kanpur, Prayagraj etc.
  • The Alliance is open to all river cities of India. Any river city can join the Alliance at any time.

 

Current Affairs

Current Affairs

 

Punaura Dham:

As per the request received from the State Government of Bihar, Ministry of Tourism has included Punaura Dham in the Ramayana circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme. L

  • The destination of Punaura Dham has been recently included under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Punaura Dham, considered to be birthplace of Goddess Sita, is spread over around 10 acres of land in Punaura village, about 5km west of Sitamarhi town.
  • The shrine compound has a Ram Janki temple, a pond called Sita Kund and a hall.

Current Affairs

Current Affairs


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