Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 23 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. Krishna Water Dispute.

2. UGC’s ‘Academic Bank of Credits’ scheme.

3. Permanent Indus Commission.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is dark energy?

2. NASA’s Lucy Mission.

3. CRZ Norms.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Doda brand product.

2. Minsk Agreements.


Krishna River water dispute:

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 moved the Supreme Court seeking setting up of a bench to hear a plea relating to the dispute over the allocation of water of Krishna river, flowing in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.

  • Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had asked if the parties can settle the dispute through

 

What’s the issue?

A bench comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, hailing from Maharashtra, and Justice A S Bopanna, who belongs to Karnataka, had on January 10 recused from the case, arising out of the water tribunal’s decision, saying “We do not want to be the target of invectives”.

  • The judges, who recused themselves, were upset with the tone and tenor of mails and letters against them for being part of the bench to decide the water dispute.

 

Dispute in the court:

  • Karnataka had sought the vacation of a November 16, 2011, order of the Supreme Court that stopped the Centre from publishing in the Official Gazette (under Section 6(1) of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956) the final order of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (KWDT) pronounced in December 2010, allocating the river water to Karnataka, erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • The publication of the tribunal order is a necessary pre-condition for its implementation.

 

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) award:

The dispute began with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

In 1969, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, and presented its report in 1973.

The report, which was published in 1976, divided the 2060 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water at 75 per cent dependability into three parts:

  1. 560 TMC for Maharashtra.
  2. 700 TMC for Karnataka.
  3. 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

 

Revised order:

As new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004.

It delivered its report in 2010, which made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 per cent dependability and for surplus flows as follows:

  • 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

The KWDT had further modified its final order and report on November 29, 2013, to allot surplus water to Karnataka, Maharashtra, and the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh while preserving the allocation of 2,130 TMC already made among them.

 

Why hasn’t the order been published yet?

After the creation of Telangana as a separate state in 2014, Andhra Pradesh is asking to include Telangana as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes? Click here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Tributaries of Krishna.
  2. Tributaries of Godavari.
  3. East vs West flowing rivers of India.
  4. Interstate river water disputes- key provisions.
  5. Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards- formation, functions and orders.

Sources: the Hindu.

Academic Bank of Credit:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Education.

 

Context:

The Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) is expected to be implemented from this academic year.

  • However, this scheme has many pros and cons and there are issues which still need to be addressed before it gets implemented.

 

Concerns and challenges associated:

  • ABC will affect organised, systematic learning: Students may find it difficult to change colleges from different universities.
  • The university or the college a student studies in also makes a difference in terms of the name and quality of education provided.
  • Impact on remote institutions: Only the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) graded institutions can join the Academic Bank of Credit. It may push the already remote institutions to become more marginalized.
  • There can be conflict of interests between different states governed by different political parties in restructuring their policies to enable ABC.
  • Providing additional seats to students under ABC in premier institutes which already have high demand would incur additional costs for institutions.

 

What is the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC)?

Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), proposed under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, was unveiled in July 2021.

Set-up by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

  • Under the ABC, students will be given multiple entry and exit options.
  • This enables students to leave a degree or course and get a corresponding certification and rejoin studies after a certain time and be able to start from where they had left.
  • It will also provide students with the flexibility to move between institutes while pursuing one degree or leave a course.

 

How does it work?

ABC will keep records of the academic credits of a student. It will not accept any credit course document directly from the students for any course they might be pursuing, but only from higher education institutes, who will have to make deposits in students’ accounts.

 

Benefits:

ABC will help in credit verification, credit accumulation, credit transfer and redemption of students, and promotion of the students.

 

In simple terms:

Under the ABC, a student can earn a degree from any HEI, with multiple entry and exit options. Instead of spending three years in one college, a student can seamlessly switch over from one college to another one. In order to earn a degree, a student will now require to hold a certain number of credits under his or her account.

  • For example, if a BCom student studies in one college, he or she can change college after one year. He or she can join the same course after a break.
  • Until then, the credits the student earned in that one year will be maintained in their ABC account and it can be used when the student rejoins the same course in any other college.

 

Current Affairs

 

Know more about the National Education Policy here:

Current Affairs

 

Insta Curious:

ABC has been drafted on the lines of the National Academic Depository. What is the National Academic Depository? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About NEP.
  2. What is ABC?
  3. Features.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of ABC.

Sources: the Hindu.

Permanent Indus Commission:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: India and neighbourhood relations.

 

Context:

A 10-member Indian delegation will visit Pakistan for the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission from March 1-3.

  • Under the Indus Water Treaty, it is mandatory to hold a meeting at least once every year ending March 31.

 

Significance:

In a first since the signing of the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries, three female officers will also be part of the Indian delegation, which will be advising the Indian Commissioner on various issues during the meeting.

 

Focus areas:

Pakistan’s objections on Indian hydroelectric projects namely Pakal Dul (1,000 MW), Lower Kalnai (48 MW) and Kiru (624 MW) in Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir and few small hydroelectric projects in Ladakh are likely to be on the agenda for discussion.

 

About the Indus Water Treaty:

  • It is a Water-Distribution Treaty, signed in Karachi on 1960, between India (Pm Jawaharlal Nehru) and Pakistan (President Ayub Khan), brokered by the World Bank.

 

Current Affairs

 

How is the Indus water share between India and Pakistan?

Under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the eastern rivers — the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi — amounting to around 33 MAF (million acre-feet) annually is allocated to India for unrestricted use.

  • The waters of western rivers — Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — amounting to around 135 MAF annually are largely for Pakistan.

 

The right to generate hydroelectricity:

Under the Treaty, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation.

  • It also gives the right to Pakistan to raise concerns on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers.

 

Permanent Indus Commission:

  • The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960.
  • The Commission according to the treaty must meet regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.

 

The functions of the Commission are:

  • to study and report to the two Governments on any problem relating to the development on the waters of the rivers.
  • to solve disputes arising over water sharing.
  • to arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works.
  • to undertake, once in every five years, a general tour of inspection of the Rivers for ascertaining the facts.
  • to take necessary steps for the implementation of the provisions of the treaty.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Indus and its tributaries.
  2. When was Indus Water treaty signed?
  3. Who brokered the treaty?
  4. Highlights of the treaty?
  5. Functions of Permanent Indus Commission.
  6. Hydroelectric projects in News in this regard.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Indus Water Treaty.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is dark energy and dark matter?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

Astronomical observations suggest that a significant part of the universe is made up of dark matter which interacts with the rest of the universe only through the gravitational pull.

  • Many large lab experiments have tried to detect elementary particles that could be candidates for dark matter. However, such dark matter particles have not been detected until now.

 

Assessing dark matter:

The researchers use the non-observation of the lensing signatures to assess what fraction of the dark matter could be made of black holes. Gravitational lensing is useful to cosmologists because it is directly sensitive to the amount and distribution of dark matter.

What is gravitational lensing? How does it work?

  • Gravitational lensing is an effect of Einstein’s theory of general relativity – simply put, mass bends light.
  • The gravitational field of a massive object will extend far into space, and cause light rays passing close to that object (and thus through its gravitational field) to be bent and refocused somewhere else.
  • The more massive the object, the stronger its gravitational field and hence the greater the bending of light rays – just like using denser materials to make optical lenses results in a greater amount of refraction.

 

Current Affairs

 

What is Dark Energy?

More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the universe’s expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery. It makes up about 68% of the universe.

Dark Energy is a hypothetical form of energy that exerts a negative, repulsive pressure, behaving like the opposite of gravity.

  • It is causing the rate of expansion of our universe to accelerate over time, rather than to slow down. That’s contrary to what one might expect from a universe that began in a Big Bang.

 

Current Affairs

How is dark energy different from dark matter?

Everything we see – the planets, moons, massive galaxies – makes up less than 5% of the universe. About 27% is dark matter and 68% is dark energy.

While dark matter attracts and holds galaxies together, dark energy repels and causes the expansion of our universe.

  • The existence of dark matter was suggested as early as the 1920s, while dark energy wasn’t discovered until 1998.

 

Current Affairs

 

Did you know about the XENON1T experiment?

  • It is the world’s most sensitive dark matter experiment and was operated deep underground at the INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy.
  • It uses the dual-phase (liquid/gas) xenon technique and is located underground at the Laboratory Nazionali del Gran Sasso of INFN, Italy.

 

The theory of general relativity:

The leading theory, however, considers dark energy a property of space. Albert Einstein was the first to understand that space was not simply empty. He also understood that more space could continue to come into existence. In his theory of general relativity, Einstein included a cosmological constant to account for the stationary universe scientists thought existed.

  • After Hubble announced the expanding universe, Einstein called his constant his “biggest blunder.”
  • But Einstein’s blunder may be the best fit for dark energy. Predicting that empty space can have its own energy, the constant indicates that as more space emerges, more energy would be added to the universe, increasing its expansion.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about LUX-Zeplin and PandaX-xT experiments? Reference: read this.

Sources: Indian Express.

NASA’s Lucy mission:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered:  Awareness in space.

 

Context:

Eurybates is one of a handful of asteroids that Lucy will visit over the next 12 years.

  • Recently, astronomers at Las Vegas were observing a star which appeared to briefly blink out because the asteroid Eurybates had passed in front of it.
  • As Eurybates eclipsed the star, a phenomenon scientists call an “occultation,” a 40-mile- (64-kilometer-) wide shadow the size of the asteroid passed over the region.
  • This information will be used by Lucy researchers to supplement data gathered by the Lucy spacecraft’s close flyby of Eurybates in 2027.

 

Why Occultations?

An occultation is any event where one celestial object passes in front of another, blocking the latter object from an observer’s view. The best-known example is a solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, blocking the Sun from our view.

 

Current Affairs

 

About ‘Lucy’ Mission:

This is NASA’s first mission to explore the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

It is a solar-powered mission.

It is estimated to be over 12 years long, during which the spacecraft will visit eight asteroids covering a distance of about 6.3 billion km to deepen the understanding of the “young solar system”.

 

Aim of the mission:

The mission is designed to understand the composition of the diverse asteroids that are a part of the Trojan asteroid swarms, to determine the mass and densities of the materials and to look for and study the satellites and rings that may orbit the Trojan asteroids.

 

Current Affairs

 

What are Trojan Asteroids? Why are they called so?

These asteroids are believed to be the remnants of the early solar system, and studying them will help scientists understand its origins and evolution, and why it looks the way it does.

  • The Trojan asteroids are believed to be formed from the same material that led to the formation of planets nearly 4 billion years ago when the solar system was formed.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the mission is named after ‘Lucy’, a 3.2 million-year-old ancestor who belonged to a species of hominins (which include humans and their ancestors)?

 

Did you know that the Asteroids are divided into three categories? Which are those? Reference: read this.

Sources: Indian Express.

Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

 

Context:

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed its inspection of Union Minister Narayan Rane’s bungalow in Juhu following the complaint of illegal construction and flouting of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.

 

What’s the issue?

The Union Minister’s bungalow has been illicitly constructed within 50 metres of the sea in violation of the CRZ rules.

 

What are CRZ norms?

Under the section 3 of Environment Protection Act, 1986 of India, Coastal Regulation Zone notification was issued in February 1991 for the first time.

  • In 2018-19, fresh Rules were issued, which aimed to remove certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.

 

Objectives:

  • They restrict certain kinds of activities — like large constructions, setting up of new industries, storage or disposal of hazardous material, mining, reclamation and bunding — within a certain distance from the coastline.

 

What are the restrictions?

  • The restrictions depend on criteria such as the population of the area, the ecological sensitivity, the distance from the shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.
  • The latest Rules have a no-development zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast, and for all backwater islands in the mainland.

 

For the so-called CRZ-III (Rural) areas, two separate categories have been stipulated.

  1. In the densely populated rural areas (CRZ-IIIA) with a population density of 2,161 per sq km as per the 2011 Census, the no-development zone is 50 m from the high-tide level, as against the 200 m stipulated earlier.
  2. CRZ-IIIB category (rural areas with population density below 2,161 per sq km) areas continue to have a no-development zone extending up to 200 m from the high-tide line.

 

Implementation:

While the CRZ Rules are made by the Union environment ministry, implementation is to be ensured by state governments through their Coastal Zone Management Authorities.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are CRZ Norms?
  2. Definition of CRZ.
  3. Classification of Zones.
  4. Categories under CRZ-III (Rural) areas.

Mains Link:

What do the draft  CRZ rules imply from the perspective of environmental justice and distributive justice.Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:

 

Doda brand product:

  • Lavender has been designated as a Doda brand product.
  • Doda is a town and a notified area committee in Doda district in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Doda is the birthplace of India’s Purple Revolution (Aroma Mission) and lavender can be promoted under ‘One District, One Product’ initiative of the Government of India to attract Agri- StartUps, entrepreneurs and farmers.

 

Minsk Agreements:

US authorities have warned Russia not to invade Ukraine and urged both countries to return to a set of agreements, which were signed in Minsk in 2014 and 2015, designed to end a separatist war by Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine.

 

Minsk I: Ukraine and the Russian-backed separatists agreed a 12-point ceasefire deal in the capital of Belarus in September 2014.

  • Its provisions included prisoner exchanges, deliveries of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of heavy weapons.
  • The agreement quickly broke down, with violations by both sides.

Minsk II: In 2015, an open conflict was averted after the ‘Minsk II’ peace agreement was signed, under the mediation of France and Germany.

  • It was designed to end the fighting in the rebel regions and hand over the border to Ukraine’s national troops.

 

Current Affairs


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Motivational and New analysis videos