Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 19 APRIL 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. Government lays down norms for quota in promotions.

2. Pendency of cases in Supreme Court.

3. UDAN scheme.

4. What does designation as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ by the US mean?

5. BRICS Countries.

6. Gaza Strip.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Vidya Samiksha Kendra.

2. The ‘mystery’ liver disease.

3. Semicon India-2022 Conference.


Government lays down norms for quota in promotions:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important constitutional amendments.

 

Context:

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked all departments of the Central Government to collect the data on inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes before implementing the policy of reservation in promotion in government offices.

 

Specified conditions:

The DoPT order has also specified conditions (Based on the Supreme Court verdict) to be met while implementing the policy of reservation in promotions.

The conditions include:

  1. Collection of quantifiable data regarding inadequacy of representation of SCs and STs.
  2. Application of this data to each cadre separately.
  3. If a roster exists, the unit for operation of the roster would be the cadre or which the quantifiable data would have to be collected and applied in regard to the filling up of the vacancies in the roster.

 

Reservations in promotions:

 

  1. Indra Sawhney Judgement (1992):

In November 1992, in the Indra Sawhney Judgement, popularly known as Mandal Judgement, a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court decided that Article 16(4) of the Constitution did not provide for reservation in promotions.

 

  1. 77th Amendment Act:

To override the judgement and enable reservations in promotions, the Parliament, through the 77th Constitutional Amendment Act 1995, added a new clause in Article 16 i.e. Article 16(4A), making provision for reservation in promotions for SCs/STs.

 

  1. 85th Amendment Act:

The 85th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2001 was brought in for also giving consequential seniority to SCs and STs in matters of reservation in promotion.

 

  1. M. Nagraj v/s Union of India Judgement (2006):

The 77th and 85th Amendment in the Constitution were challenged by the General Category employees before a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court.

  • The Court clubbed all these petitions challenging these amendments and gave its verdict in the case of M. Nagraj v/s Union of India in 2006.
  • In its verdict, the Court validated Parliament’s decision to extend reservations for SCs/STs to include promotions (reservation in promotion).

 

Conditions for Providing Reservation in Promotions:c

In the M. Nagraj Judgement, the Court laid down three conditions that the State must meet prior to granting a SC/ST a reservation in promotion.

  • First, the State must show the backwardness of the class.
  • Second, it must show that the class is inadequately represented in the position/service for which reservations in promotion will be granted.
  • Finally, it must show that the reservations would not affect the overall efficiency of administration.

 

  1. Jarnail Singh Judgement (2018):

SC modified the Nagaraj judgement to the extent that State need not produce quantifiable data to prove the “backwardness” of SCs and STs before granting reservations.

 

  1. 2022 Judgement by the Supreme Court:

In January 2022, the Supreme Court held that collection of data to determine the inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in Government jobs is necessary to grant reservation in promotions.

  • The Court held that “cadre” and not class, group or the entire service as the unit for the purpose of collection of quantifiable data for giving promotion quotas.
  • However, the Court has left it to the States and Central Government to assess the inadequacy of representation of SCs/STs to promotional posts taking into account relevant factors.

 

What is the significance of these norms?

This move is likely to benefit Central Secretariat Service(CSS) officials who have not been promoted for the past six years. The CSS comprises middle to senior management rank officials in various Ministries.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Articles 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution do not confer individuals with a fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion?

  • They only empowers the State to make a reservation in matters of appointment and promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, only if in the opinion of the State they are not adequately represented in the services of the State.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Article 335.
  2. Article 16(4).
  3. Right to equality.
  4. M. Nagaraj case.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for reservation in promotions.

Sources: the Hindu.

Pendency of cases in Supreme Court:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important Constitutional Bodies.

 

Context:

The Supreme Court is set to witness many vacant posts in 2022 with many current judges retiring this year.

 

The concern:

The retirements come at a time when the court is in the process of steadying itself after particularly brutal waves of the pandemic. There is a huge pendency of cases.

  • India’s legal system has the largest backlog of pending cases in the world – as many as 30 million pending cases.
  • This number is continuously increasing and this itself shows the inadequacy of the legal system.
  • And also due to this backlog, most of the prisoners in India’s prisons are detainees awaiting trial.

 

Pendency in Supreme Court:

  1. The Supreme Court’s statistics show that 70,362 cases are pending with it as of April 1, 2022.
  2. Over 19% of them are not ready to be placed before a Bench for judicial hearing as they have not completed the required preliminaries.
  3. While 52,110 are admission matters, 18,522 are regular hearing cases.
  4. The number of Constitution Bench cases (both main and connected matters) totals 422.
  5. The Supreme Court has only recently resumed full physical hearings after two years of virtual systems.

 

Various steps taken by the Government to reduce Pendency:

  1. Adoption of “National Litigation Policy 2010” to transform government into an Efficient and Responsible litigant.
  2. All states formulated state litigation policies after National Litigation Policy 2010.
  3. Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) was created in 2015 with the objective of tracking cases to which the government is a party.
  4. The Supreme Court had advised the centre that criminals sentenced to imprisonment for 6 months or a year should be allocated social service duties rather than be sent to further choke the already overflowing prisons.

 

Need of the hour:

  • Revise national litigation policy.
  • Promotion of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to encourage mediation.
  • Coordinated action between government and judiciary.
  • Judicial capacity should be strengthened in the lower courts to reduce the burden on higher courts.
  • Increase expenditure on the judiciary.
  • Improve courts case management and court automation system.
  • Create subject-specific benches.
  • Robust internal dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Judges should write Shorter and more Pointed judgments.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that When there is a lack of quorum, the CJI can appoint a judge of high court to the SC bench?

  • Such a step can be taken only with the prior permission of the President and consultation with the CJ of the concerned high court.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is collegium?
  2. How are Judges of the Supreme Court and high courts appointed?
  3. Appointment of retired judges.
  4. Related constitutional provisions.
  5. Powers and functions.

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues associated with the collegium system for the appointment of judges.

Sources: the Hindu.

UDAN scheme:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Government policies.

 

Context:

The UDAN scheme, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s flagship initiative to provide air connectivity in non-metro tier II and III cities, has been selected for the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2020.

 

About UDAN scheme (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) Scheme:

Launched in 2016, the scheme is aimed at enhancing connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country and making air travel affordable.

  • It is a key component of Centre’s National Civil Aviation Policy led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and launched in June 2017.
  • It is also known as the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) as it seeks to improve air connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities through revival of unused and underused airports.
  • Under the scheme, nearly half of the seats in Udan flights are offered at subsidised fares, and the participating carriers are provided a certain amount of viability gap funding (VGF) an amount shared between the Centre and the concerned states.
  • The scheme will be jointly funded by the central government and state governments.
  • The scheme will run for 10 years and can be extended thereafter.

 

Key features of the scheme:

  1. Airlines are awarded routes under the programme through a bidding process and are required to offer airfares at the rate of ₹2,500 per hour of flight.
  2. At least 50% of the total seats on an aircraft have to be offered at cheaper rates.
  3. In order to enable airlines to offer affordable fares they are given a subsidy from the Government for a period of three years.
  4. The Government had also earmarked ₹4,500 crore for revival of 50 airports in the first three years.

 

Current Affairs

 

UDAN 4.0:

  • The 4th round of UDAN was launched in December 2019 with a special focus on North-Eastern Regions, Hilly States, and Islands.
  • The airports that had already been developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) are given higher priority for the award of VGF (Viability Gap Funding) under the Scheme.
  • Under UDAN 4, the operation of helicopters and seaplanes is also been incorporated.

 

What have been the challenges?

  • Poor financial health of many smaller, regional carriers have been a bane for the scheme.
  • Many players don’t have more than one or two planes and they are often poorly maintained. New planes are too expensive for these smaller players.

 

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the ATF is not within the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)? More about items not covered under GST: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. When was UDAN scheme launched?
  2. Implementation and funding of the scheme.
  3. Overview of the National Civil Aviation Policy.
  4. Under the scheme, who provides Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to subsidise the airfare?
  5. Role of state governments under the scheme.

Mains Link:

Discuss the performance of UDAN scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.

What does designation as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ by the US mean?

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effects of policies of developed nations.

 

Context:

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked President Joe Biden to designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

  • This is perhaps the harshest suite of sanctions available with the United States against Russia.

 

Countries on the list:

As of now, there are four countries on the list of state sponsors of terrorism – Syria, Iran, North Korea and Cuba.

 

Designation as state sponsor of terrorism:

The US Secretary of State has the power to designate countries that “have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism” as “State Sponsors of Terrorism”.

 

The US can place four categories of sanctions on countries that are on this list:

  1. Restrictions on US foreign assistance.
  2. A ban on defence exports and sales.
  3. Certain controls over exports of dual use items.
  4. Miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

Sanctions can be placed on countries and persons that engage in certain trade with designated countries.

 

Impact of designation:

  1. Freezing of the country’s assets in the United States, including real estate.
  2. Requiring the US to veto efforts of that country to secure World Bank or International Monetary Fund loans.
  3. Prohibiting a wide variety of dual-use exports.
  4. Requiring the US to take economic action against countries that continue to do business with the targeted country.

 

How can a country be delisted?

A country can be delisted if it is deemed by the US to have reformed its behaviour and returned to complying with the requirements of international law and conduct, or if it has undergone a change of leadership.

  • Sudan, Iraq and South Yemen have been removed from the list.

Sources: Indian Express.

BRICS Countries:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions.

 

Context:

India has agreed to attend a virtual summit of leaders of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa grouping, likely to be held at the end of June.

  • India hosted last year’s BRICS summit, which was also held virtually, and attended by the five leaders.
  • This is the first summit hosted by China since the tensions broke out at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) due to the PLA’s transgressions in April 2020.

 

What is BRICS?

BRICS is the group composed of the five major emerging countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

  • It together represents about 42% of the population, 23% of GDP, 30% of the territory and 18% of the global trade.
  • The acronym BRIC was coined by economist ‘Jim O’Neill’ of Goldman Sachs in 2001 to indicate the emerging powers that would be, alongside the United States, the five largest economies of the world in the 21st century.
  • In 2006, BRIC countries started their dialogue, which since 2009 takes place at annual meetings of heads of state and government.
  • In 2011, with South Africa joining the group, the BRICS reached its final composition, incorporating a country from the African continent.

 

Insta Curious:

Have you heard about PARIS21 grouping? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About BRICS.
  2. Summits.
  3. Presidency.
  4. Organisations and groups associated with BRICS.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and relevance of BRICS for India.

Sources: Indian Express.

Gaza Strip:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Context:

Israel has carried out strikes in the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave into Israel.

  • The armed wing of Hamas have announced that it fired on Israeli planes.

 

Who are Hamas?

  • Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks.
  • It seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state. It also governs Gaza independently of the Palestinian Authority.

 

Need for an agreement:

Gaza has been under a tightened Israeli blockade since 2007 in which most basic goods still enter the region under highly restricted measures.

 

Where is the Gaza Strip?

The Gaza Strip is an entirely artificial creation that emerged in 1948 when roughly three-fourths of Palestine’s Arab population was displaced, in some cases expelled, during the course of Israel’s creation. And most of the refugees, they were sort of scattered across the region in neighboring countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

  • Some went to the West Bank, which came under Jordanian rule after 1948. And a very large number went to the Gaza Strip, which is this tiny little coastal strip between Egypt and what is now Israel. Today, the population of Gaza, about 70% of Gaza’s population are refugees.

 

Who controls it?

Hamas forcibly took control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Shortly thereafter, the Israelis imposed a complete closure on Gaza’s borders. They declared Gaza to be an enemy entity. Of course, Gaza is not a state.

  • Hamas, of course, is viewed by Israel and by much of the international community as a terrorist organization, including the United States, for their history of attacks on civilians and so forth.

 

 

Present scenario:

  • Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.
  • Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
  • The US is one of only a handful of countries to recognise Israel’s claim to the whole of the city.

 

What’s happening now?

  • Tensions are often high between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
  • Gaza is ruled by a Palestinian militant group called Hamas, which has fought Israel many times. Israel and Egypt tightly control Gaza’s borders to stop weapons getting to Hamas.
  • Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank say they’re suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions. Israel say it is only acting to protect itself from Palestinian violence.
  • Things have escalated since the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in mid-April 2021, with nightly clashes between police and Palestinians.
  • The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Where is the west bank?
  2. Gaza strip.
  3. Golan heights.
  4. Who are Hamas?
  5. What is Al-Nakba?
  6. About the conflict.

Mains Link:

Suggest solutions to end the long standing Israel- Palestine conflict.

Sources: the Hindu.

 Facts for Prelims:

Vidya Samiksha Kendra:

The Command and Control Centre, or Vidya Samiksha Kendra are set up by the Gujarat Education Department in Gandhinagar.

  • It tracks enrolment, attendance, learning outcomes, drop-outs, school accreditation and monitors schools, teachers and block and cluster resource centre co-ordinators.
  • This state of the art data driven centre is based on the National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) Framework.
  • The centre is aimed at leveraging data and technology to improve learning outcomes.

 

The ‘mystery’ liver disease:

Cases of this mysterious liver disease have been reported in Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands, besides the US and UK.

  • Health authorities are now racing to discover what is behind the mysterious acute illness.

 

Causes:

No concrete evidence has been found yet.

  • According to scientists in Scotland, the leading hypothesis is that the liver damage is being caused by an adenovirus. A large group of viruses that circulate widely and are often linked to respiratory and eye infections.
  • Alternatively, there is thought it may be as a result of a Covid-19 infection or even a new, undetected variant.
  • Researchers have ruled out the most common cause of serious liver inflammation, hepatitis, as children have consistently tested negative.
  • There is also no strong evidence it is caused by a bacterial infection. Some believe a mutation of coronavirus could be behind the illness.

 

Symptoms:

  • Dark urine
  • Pale faeces
  • Jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Itchy skinv
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Stomach pain
  • High temperature

 

Semicon India-2022 Conference:

First ever Semicon India-2022 Conference will be held in Bengaluru.

  • The Conference will be organised by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology from 29th of April to 1st of May around theme of – Design and Manufacture in India, for the World: Making India a Semiconductor Nation.
  • Semicon India – 2022 aims to make India a significant player in Global Semiconductor value chain.

Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE for Motivation and Fast Updates

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