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

 

Table of Contents:

 

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Govt has no right to enact law for 3 capitals: HC.

2. Defence Acquisition Procedure.

3. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Solar conjunction event.

2. UNEP plastic pollution resolution.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Watts on the Moon Challenge.

2. Konark temple town to be a 100 percent solar town.

3. What is co-location?

4. Samarth Ramdas.

5. Jammu to get Village defence groups.


Govt has no right to enact law for 3 capitals: HC:

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 Andhra Pradesh high court has ordered Amaravati’s development as the state capital and ruled the government has no right to enact fresh legislation for three capitals.

 

What has the Court said?

The state legislature lacks competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital and heads of departments of the three wings of the government, including the high court, to any area other than the capital city notified under Section 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014 (APCRDA), and the land pooled under the Andhra Pradesh Capital City Land Pooling Scheme Rules, 2015.

  • Parliament alone is competent to deal with the setting up of legislature, executive and judicial organs of the state, and this was implicit in the language employed in Article 4 of the Constitution.
    • Article 4 declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (under Article 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries, or names of existing states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368.

 

What’s the issue?

In November 2021, the government repealed the legislation saying it will bring in a fresh fool-proof law to ensure no legal hurdles. But the court continued to hear the petitions.

The repeal was intended to impart more clarity to the policy of decentralisation and an exhaustive explanation to all sections of people.

 

Three- capitals issue:

On July 31, 2021 the state government notified the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Act, 2020, and the AP Capital Region Development Authority (Repeal) Act, 2020.

This law paved the way for three capitals for the state.

  1. Amaravati– legislative capital.
  2. Visakhapatnam– executive capital.
  3. Kurnool– judicial capital.

 

Need for three capitals:

  1. Three capitals ensure equal development of different regions of the state.

 

Why implementing this idea will be difficult?

  1. Coordination and logistics fear: Coordinating between seats of legislature and executive in separate cities will be easier said than done, and with the government offering no specifics of a plan, officers and common people alike fear a logistics nightmare.
  2. Time and costs of travel: Executive capital Visakhapatnam is 700 km from judicial capital Kurnool, and 400 km from legislative capital Amaravati. The Amaravati-Kurnool distance is 370 km. The time and costs of travel will be significant.

 

 

Current Affairs

 

 

Insta Curious:

Which other Indian states have multiple capitals?

  1. Maharashtra has two capitals– Mumbai and Nagpur (which holds the winter session of the state assembly).
  2. Himachal Pradesh has capitals at Shimla and Dharamshala (winter).
  3. The former state of Jammu & Kashmir had Srinagar and Jammu (winter) as capitals.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a Public Interest Litigation petition?
  2. Which Indian states have multiple capitals?
  3. AP’s proposed capitals.
  4. Various writs under the Indian constitution.

Mains Link:

Discuss the idea of multiple state capitals. Explain in what way it may impact the governance of a state in the country? Substantiate with suitable example.

Sources: the Hindu.

Defence Acquisition Procedure:

GS Paper 2:

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

 

Context:

In a renewed push for self-reliance in the defence sector, the government has given in-principle approval to a raft of indigenous defence projects that will involve design and development by the industry.

The defence ministry has cleared nine such projects: four under the ‘Make-I’ and five under the ‘Make-2’ categories of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

  • The approved projects include development of light tanks, communication equipment with Indian security protocols, airborne electro-optical pod with ground-based system and airborne stand-off jammers.

 

DAP 2020:

  • The new policy superseded the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2016 from October 1.
  • The DAP contains policies and procedures for procurement and acquisition from the capital budget of the MoD in order to modernise the Armed Forces including the Coast Guard.

 

Highlights of the new policy:

  1. Reservations for Indigenous firms:

The policy reserves several procurement categories for indigenous firms.

DAP 2020 defines an “Indian vendor” as a company that is owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens, with foreign direct investment (FDI) not more than 49 per cent.

 

  1. New Buy (Global–Manufacture in India) category:

This stipulates indigenisation of at least 50 per cent of the overall contract value of a foreign purchase bought with the intention of subsequently building it in India with technology transfer.

 

  1. Greater indigenous content:

It promotes greater indigenous content in arms and equipment of the military procures, including equipment manufactured in India under licence. In most acquisition categories, DAP-2020 stipulates 10 per cent higher indigenisation than DPP 2016.

 

  1. Import embargo list:

The “import embargo list” of 101 items that the government promulgated last month has been specifically incorporated into DAP 2020. (An embargo is a government order that restricts commerce with a specified country or the exchange of specific goods.)

 

  1. Offset liability:

The government has decided not to have an offset clause in procurement of defence equipment if the deal is done through inter-government agreement (IGA), government-to-government or an ab initio single vendor.

  • The offset clause requires a foreign vendor to invest a part of the contract value in India.

 

Insta Curious:

The Union Cabinet, in 2021, approved enhanced delegation of financial powers for capital procurement to senior officers below the rank of Vice-Chief of armed forces.

 

Under the Other Capital Procurement Procedure of Defence Acquisition Procedure-2020:

  1. Financial powers up to ₹100 crore have been delegated to Army Commanders and equivalent of other services and regional Commanders, Coast Guard.
  2. Powers up to ₹200 crore have been delegated to Deputy Chief of Army Staff (CD &S), Master General Sustenance, Chief of Material, Air Officer Maintenance, Deputy Chief, Integrated Defence Staff and additional director general of Coast Guard.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is offset liability?
  2. What is Base Control Price?
  3. Is DAP 2020 applicable for Coast Guard?
  4. Dhirendra Singh committee was constituted for?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the policy.

Sources: the Hindu.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has put all activities relating to Russia and Belarus on hold and under review in the wake of the current conflict in Ukraine.

  • The AIIB referred to the situation as “war in Ukraine”, the closest to “invasion” that any Chinese government-affiliated institution has until now described the situation in the east European country.

 

Current Affairs

 

Impact of such sanctions:

After years of life in a growing, globally connected economy, Russians find themselves in a country increasingly unplugged from the world.

  • Following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a sweeping wave of sanctions by the European Union and the U.S. has combined with an exodus of foreign companies and investors, leaving Russia more isolated and economically restricted.
  • For several days, long lines formed near ATMs around Russia as people rushed to withdraw cash — both foreign currency and rubles — amid fears of a breakdown in electronic banking.
  • The value of the ruble has plummeted to a record low, less than 1 cent, as many people watched their savings erode.
  • The Kremlin has banned all Russians from transferring foreign currency abroad and ordered exporters to exchange 80% of their foreign currency proceeds for rubles.
  • On social media, Russian shoppers are noting early price increases for some products, particularly electronics and appliances.
  • Many people in Russia who work for foreign companies have been anxious about being able to receive pay, as the first batch of key Russian banks has been booted from the interbank SWIFT system to target oil and gas profits.
  • International artists and cultural organizations have also imposed their own restrictions.
  • Impact on oil prices: Russia is not only the world’s third biggest oil (after the US and Saudi Arabia) and the second biggest natural gas (after the US) producer, besides the No. 3 coal exporter (behind Australia and Indonesia). Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world

 

Current Affairs

 

What is AIIB?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

The Parties (57 founding members) to agreement comprise the Membership of the Bank.

  • It is headquartered in Beijing.
  • The bank started operation after the agreement entered into force on 25 December 2015, after ratifications were received from 10 member states holding a total number of 50% of the initial subscriptions of the Authorized Capital Stock.

 

Aim:

By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.

 

Membership:

  • There are more than 100 members now.

 

Voting Rights:

  • China is the largest shareholder with 26.61 % voting shares in the bank followed by India (7.6%), Russia (6.01%) and Germany (4.2 %).
  • The regional members hold 75% of the total voting power in the Bank.

 

Various organs of AIIB:

Board of Governors: The Board of Governors consists of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. Governors and Alternate Governors serve at the pleasure of the appointing member.

Board of Directors: Non-resident Board of Directors is responsible for the direction of the Bank’s general operations, exercising all powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors.

International Advisory Panel: The Bank has established an International Advisory Panel (IAP) to support the President and Senior Management on the Bank’s strategies and policies as well as on general operational issues.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel is currently the vice-president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. AIIB vs ADB vs WB.
  2. Members of AIIB.
  3. Top shareholders.
  4. Voting powers.
  5. AIIB supported projects in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Sources: the Hindu.

Solar conjunction event:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

A team of scientists from different units of ISRO used ‘S-band’ radio signals from Mangalyaan, the Indian Mars orbiter, to study the solar corona and locate the area of the sun where the temperature rises abruptly.

  • The details are yet to be published.

Current Affairs

 

Significance of the study:

  • The scientists utilised the solar conjunction event, when the Earth and Mars are on the opposite sides of the Sun.
  • During conjunction events, which happens once in two years for Mars, the radio signals from Mangalyaan pass through the solar corona — about 10 solar radii or about 69,57,000 km from the centre of the Sun.
  • This provides scientists a unique opportunity to study solar dynamics. Each solar radii is about 6,95,700 km.

 

What is Solar Conjunction?

It is the period when Earth and Mars, in their eternal march around the Sun, are obscured from each other by the fiery orb of the Sun itself.

  • The two planets are temporarily invisible to each other like dancers on either side of a huge bonfire.
  • Solar conjunction occurs every two years.

 

How will it impact space missions?

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory respond in a variety of ways.

  • Before solar conjunction, the mission team sends up any necessary commands.
  • They turn off some instruments. They collect data from others and store it.
  • In some cases, they continue sending data to Earth, knowing that some data will be lost.
  • No one attempts to send new instructions to Mars during solar conjunction.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know about the Great Conjunction?

Astronomers use the term great conjunction to describe meetings of the two biggest worlds in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.

  • It happens about every 20 years.
  • The conjunction is the result of the orbital paths of Jupiter and Saturn coming into line, as viewed from Earth.
  • Jupiter orbits the sun about every 12 years, and Saturn about every 29 years.
  • Recently, the conjunction occurred on 21st December, 2020– the date of the December solstice. It was the closest alignment of Saturn and Jupiter since 1623, in terms of distance. The next time the planets will be this close is 2080.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Solar conjunction.
  2. Great conjunction.
  3. Solstice.
  4. Sun’s surface.

Mains Link:

What is the Great Conjunction? Why is it significant? Discuss.

Sources: Indian Express.

UNEA plastic pollution resolution:

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

A resolution at the recent fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) held in Nairobi sought to end plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024. It was hosted by the UN Environment Programme.

  • The resolution will pertain to marine ecosystems as well, and will include both binding and voluntary approaches from member states.

 

Need for a binding resolution to limit plastic pollution:

Plastic production has risen exponentially in the last decades and now amounts to some 400 million tons per year– a figure set to double by 2040.

The impacts of plastic production and pollution on the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and pollution are a catastrophe in the making:

  1. Exposure to plastics can harm human health, potentially affecting fertility, hormonal, metabolic and neurological activity, and open burning of plastics contributes to air pollution.
  2. By 2050 greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use and disposal would account for 15 percent of allowed emissions, under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7°F).
  3. More than 800 marine and coastal species are affected by this pollution through ingestion, entanglement, and other dangers.
  4. Some 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flow annually into the oceans. This may triple by 2040.

A shift to a circular economy can reduce the volume of plastics entering oceans by over 80 per cent by 2040; reduce virgin plastic production by 55 per cent; save governments US$70 billion by 2040; reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent; and create 700,000 additional jobs – mainly in the global south.

 

Outcomes of the meet on ending plastic pollution:

  • The world’s ministers for the environment agreed to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with the mandate to forge an international legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution.
  • INC will begin its work in 2022, with the ambition of completing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
  • This development is considered the most important environmental deal since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

 

About the UN Environment Programme (UNEP):

  • UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment.
  • It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

To know more about UNEP, read this.

 

What is the United Nations Environment Assembly?

  • It is the governing body of the UN Environment Programme.b
  • It is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.
  • The Assembly is made up of the 193 UN Member States and convenes every two years to advance global environmental governance.
  • It was created in June 2012, during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also referred to as RIO+20.

Sources: UNEP.

Facts for Prelims:

 

Watts on the Moon Challenge:

NASA’s Watts on the Moon Challenge seeks solutions for energy distribution, management, and/or storage that address NASA technology gaps and can be further developed for space flight and future operation on the lunar surface.

  • Significance: Not only could novel solutions make a difference in lunar and space exploration, but technologies discovered during NASA’s Watts on the Moon competition could help facilitate new power options on Earth.
  • The Challenge is managed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and is part of Centennial Challenges, based at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Konark temple town to be a 100 percent solar town:

Odisha plans to make the coastal temple town a 100 per cent solar town and also place it among India’s first few zero emission cities or towns.

About the Temple:

  1. Built in the 13th century, the Konark temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
  2. It was built by King Narasimhadeva I, the great ruler of Ganga dynasty.
  3. The temple was included in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for its architectural greatness and also for the sophistication and abundance of sculptural work.
  4. The temple is a perfect blend of Kalinga architecture, heritage, exotic beach and salient natural beauty.
  5. It is protected under the National Framework of India by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act (1958) and its Rules (1959).
  6. The Konark is the third link of Odisha’s Golden Triangle. The first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
  7. This temple was also known as ‘BLACK PAGODA’ due to its dark color and used as a navigational landmark by ancient sailors to Odisha. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”.
  8. It remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

 

Current Affairs

 

What is co-location?

  • Co-location allows brokers to operate closer to their servers upon payment of additional fees.
  • Co-location facility provides infrastructure such as power supply, bandwidth, and cooling for setting up servers and storage of data.
  • It helps brokers secure an advantage over others due to proximity to exchange servers as data transmission takes less time.
  • Orders reach exchange servers faster than those who have not availed of the facility.

Context:

The issue of co-location has come into the limelight once again in the wake of the latest order by the market’s regulator sanctioning former National Stock Exchange (NSE) MD and CEO over decisions taken by her under the alleged influence of a mysterious ‘yogi’.

 

Current Affairs

 

Samarth Ramdas:

Several politicians from Maharashtra expressed their disapproval of remarks by state Governor B S Koshyari, that Samarth Ramdas was the guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

  • Samarth Ramdas was also known as Sant (saint) Ramdas or Ramdas Swami.
  • He was an Indian Marathi Hindu saint, poet, philosopher, writer and spiritual master.
  • He was a devotee of Hindu deities Rama and Hanuman. He was previously famous as Narayan.
  • He was born at Jamb, which is a village in present-day Jalna district of Maharashtra.
  • His literary works include Karunashtakas, Dasbodh, Yuddhakand, Sunderkand, Poorvarambh, Antarbhav, Chaturthman, Aatmaaram, Panchman, Panchsamasi, Manpanchak, Janaswabhawgosavi, etc.
  • Ramdas served an inspiration for several Indian thinkers, historians and social reformers from 19th and 20th-century, including Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Rajwade, Keshav Hedgewar, and Ramchandra Ranade.

 

Current Affairs

 

Jammu to get Village defence groups:

Residents from the villages of Jammu and Kashmir will be enrolled for local defence before the delimitation process of Union Territory starts. The government has approved the village defence groups’ (VDG) formation.

  • VDGs will be created so that they can respond to threats in areas where the local police presence is thin.
  • Each VDG will consist of 8 to 10 members of the same rank and pay, which the government will credit to their accounts every month.
  • The present system of assigning 1 or 2 special police officers with VDGs will be discontinued.
  • The VDGs will also operate in parts of Kashmir valley.

 

Current Affairs

 


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