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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 16 June 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 1:

1. New map of Earth’s tectonic plates to help understand quakes, and volcanoes better

 

GS Paper 2:

1. 17 Opposition parties to field a candidate for Presidential poll

2. Doval attends meeting hosted by China

3. Demolition drives may challenge the rule of law

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Proposed reforms to WTO will hurt developing nations: India

2. 5G will drive ‘significant’ advancements

3. U.S. Fed raises rate by 75 bps to tame inflation

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Politics plus or minus ethics

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Kranti Gatha

2. Kodava

3. Supermoon

4. LaMDA


New map of Earth’s tectonic plates to help understand quakes, and volcanoes better

Gs paper-1

Syllabus: Salient features of the world’s physical geography.

Context:

Researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, have carried out a new study that includes an updated map of the earth’s tectonic plates.

Plate Tectonic:  A tectonic plate, according to the United States Geological Survey, “is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock”, made up of lithosphere or the earth’s top layer. Tectonic plate movements often lead to earthquakes and volcanoes.

 

Current Affairs

 

Need:

  • This will help in forming a better understanding of natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • The plate model can be used to improve models of risks from geohazards; the orogeny model helps understand the geodynamic systems and better model Earth’s evolution and the province model can be used to improve prospecting for minerals

Techniques Used: To create the map, the team combined three geological models: a plate model based on already known plate boundaries, a province model based on the geology of Earth’s surface, and an orogeny model with areas deformed by mountain-building processes.

Changes: The new plate model includes several new microplates including the Macquarie microplate which sits south of Tasmania and the Capricorn microplate which separates the Indian and Australian plates.

 

Current Affairs

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

17 Opposition parties to field a candidate for the Presidential poll

Gs paper-2

Syllabus: Presidential election, Constitutional bodies.

 

Context:

  • Consultations on putting up a joint candidate for the Presidential election, 17 Opposition parties attended a meeting hosted by West Bengal Chief Minister.

 

Constitutional provisions regarding President

  • Part V of the Constitution (The Union) under Chapter I (The Executive) lists out the qualification, election and impeachment of the President of India.
  • The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India.
  • The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is also the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Article 54: Election of President
  • Article 55: Manner of election of President.
  • Article 56:Term of office of President
  • Article 57: Eligibility for re-election.
  • Article 58: Qualifications for election as President

 

How is the President elected?

  • The Indian President is elected through an electoral college system, wherein the votes are cast by national and State-level lawmakers.
  • The elections are conducted and overseen by the Election Commission (EC) of India.
  • The electoral college is made up of:
    • All the elected members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs)
    • Elected Members of the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories (MLAs).

 

 

Procedure:

  • Before the voting, comes the nomination stage, where the candidate intends to stand in the election, files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 50 seconders.
  • These proposers and seconders can be anyone from the total members of the electoral college from the State and national level.
  • The rule for securing 50 proposers and seconders was implemented when the EC noticed, in 1974, that several candidates, many without even a bleak chance of winning, would file their nominations to contest the polls.
  • An elector cannot propose or second the nomination of more than one candidate.

 

Value of each vote and how is it calculated?

  • A vote cast by each MP or MLA is not calculated as one vote.
  • The fixed value of each vote by an MP of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is 708.
  • Meanwhile, the vote value of each MLA differs from State to State based on a calculation that factors in its population vis-a-vis the number of members in its legislative Assembly.
  • The value of each MLAs vote is determined by dividing the population of the State by the number of MLAs in its legislative Assembly, and the quotient achieved is further divided by 1000.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs, at 208.
  • The value of one MLAs vote in Maharashtra is 175, while that in Arunachal Pradesh is just 8.

 

 

Requirements to secure a victory in Presidential election:

  • A nominated candidate does not secure victory based on a simple majority but through a system of bagging a specific quota of votes.
  • While counting, the EC totals up all the valid votes cast by the electoral college through paper ballots and to win, the candidate must secure 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
  • Unlike general elections, where electors vote for a single party’s candidate, the voters of the electoral college write the names of candidates on the ballot paper in the order of preference.
  • The President’s election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.

 

Insta Links

Prelims link:

  1. Powers of President
  2. Election of President
  3. Article related to election of President
  4. Electoral college
  5. Calculation of the value of a vote in the presidential election
  6. How is President elected

Mains link:

  1. How is the president in India elected? Do you there is a need for reforming the process? Analyze. (15M)

 

Q1. With reference to Election of Presidential of India, consider the following statements:

  1. To win the Presidential election, the candidate must secure 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
  2. Uttar Pradesh has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs than Maharashtra.
  3. The candidate intending to stand in the election, files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 20 seconders.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 1 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

Doval attends meeting hosted by China

Gs paper-2

Syllabus: India and the neighbourhood, Bilateral, regional and global grouping.

 

Context:

National Security Adviser(NSA) recently attended a virtual BRICS meeting hosted by the Chinese NSA, aimed at strengthening “political and security cooperation” within BRICS.  

 

Recommendations by India during the meeting:

  • Cooperation on terrorism without reservations.
  • Preventing the use of Information & Communication Technology(ICT) by terrorists.
  • Need for urgent reform of the multilateral system
  • Importance of resilient supply chains.

 

BRICS: Areas of Cooperation:

  • Economic Cooperation
  • People-to-People exchange
  • Political and Security Cooperation
  • Cooperation Mechanism

 

New Development Bank(NDB):

  • NDB is headquartered in Shanghai.
  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) by the Fortaleza Declaration.
  • The NDB functions on a consultative mechanism among the BRICS members with all the member countries possessing equal rights.

 

Issues between India and China: Galwan Valley

 

Current Affairs

  • The valley refers to the land that sits between steep mountains that buffet the Galwan River.
  • The river has its source in Aksai Chin, on China’s side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and it flows from the east to Ladakh, where it meets the Shyok river on India’s side of the LAC.
  • The valley is strategically located between Ladakh in the west and Aksai Chin in the east, which is currently controlled by China as part of its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

 

Insta Links

Prelims link:

  1. What is BRICS?
  2. NDB
  3. Fortaleza declaration
  4. Contingent reserve arrangement
  5. Map of LAC(Galway valley, hot spring)

Mains link:

To know more about BRICS: Click Here

  1. Do you think BRICS has been able to uphold the security and development interests of its members and contributes to world peace and stability? Critically examine.

 

Q2. With reference to the Galwan Valley, consider the following statements:

  1. The valley is strategically located between Ladakh in the east and Aksai Chin in the west.
  2. Galwan valley lies north of the hot spring.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

Demolition drives may challenge the rule of law

Gs paper-2

Syllabus: Rule of law

 

Context:

  • The recent demolition drives in the aftermath of the row over the remarks on Prophet Muhammed may challenge certain basic tenets of law, including the right of a person to be heard first.
  • The state can deprive a person of his or her property only after following due procedure and under the authority of a valid law as mandated under Article 300A of the Constitution.

 

Rule of Law:

  • Rule of law is a legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials.
  • It primarily refers to the influence and authority of law within society, particularly as a constraint upon behavior, including behavior of government officials.
  • The doctrine of rule of law has its origin in England and is given by A.V. Dicey which has 3 fundamental principles:
  1. Absence of arbitrary power, that is, no man is punished except for a breach of law.
  2. Equality before the law: equal subjection of all citizens (rich or poor, high or low, official or non-official) to the ordinary law of the land administered by the ordinary law courts.
  3. The primacy of the rights of individuals, that is, the constitution is the result of the rights of the individual as defined and enforced by courts of law, rather than the constitution being the source of the individual rights.

 

Current Affairs

 

Article 300A:

  • It states that no person shall be deprived of his property save by the authority of law.
  • It protects an individual from interference by the State and dispossesses a person of the property unless it is in accordance with the procedure established by law.
  • Right to Property is no longer a fundamental right, rather it is a Constitutional Right and now exists in Article 300A.
  • Article 300A was inserted shortly after the Emergency Through the Constitution 44th Amendment Act of1978.
  • In T Plantation Pvt. Ltd. Vs. State of Karnataka, 2011 the SC held that public purpose was a precondition for deprivation of a person of his property under Article 300A of the Constitution and the right to claim compensation was also inbuilt in that Article.
  • The right to property under Article 300A is a human right(former Supreme Court judge)

 

Insta Links

Prelims link:

  1. Rule of Law
  2. Article 14
  3. Article 300A
  4. Prophet Mohammad in Islam

Mains Link

  1. What do you understand by ‘Rule of Law’? Discuss some of the challenges in upholding Rule of law in a democratic country like India. (15M)

 

Q3. Consider the following statements:

  1. Right to property was first time included within the constitution by the 44th constitutional amendment Act, 1978.
  2. Right to property is a constitutional right under Article 300A.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (a)

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

Proposed reforms to WTO will hurt developing nations: India

Gs paper-3

Syllabus: Effects of liberalisation on the economy

 

Context:

India has expressed concern that some suggestions on reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO) could eventually damage the developing nations more.

What are the concerns raised by India at WTO:

  • On issues of Fisheries and E-commerce: Revmoval of subsidies will hurt fishermen. So, India demanded to make extensive exceptions on a 20-year negotiation to cur harmful government fishery subsidies.
    • India is seeking broad exemptions for its fishing industry, including a 25-year phase-in period and a 200-nautical-mile exclusion for its artisanal anglers.
  • On E-commerce: India fears that new rules could provide the pretext for unfair mandatory market access to foreign companies. This will hurt the rapidly growing domestic e-commerce sector, which is still developing in India.
  • On Food: WTO should renegotiate subsidy rules for government-backed food purchasing programs aimed at feeding poor citizens in developing and poor countries.
    • India wants assurances that its public stock-holding program, which buys exclusively from the nation’s farmers and has exported in the past, cannot be challenged at the WTO as illegal.
  • On vaccines: India wants to waive IP rights for vaccines and extend the WTO ban on digital duties
  • Special and differential treatment (S&D) must continue, as such treatment has been a treaty-embedded and non-negotiable right for all developing members
  • Principles are sacrosanct: Ensure that multilateral rule-making processes are neither bypassed nor diluted. The principles of non-discrimination, predictability, transparency and most importantly, the tradition of decision-making by consensus need to remain sacrosanct.

 

 

Prelims Link

To know more about WTO: Click here

Mains link

Issues faced by WTO and suggested reforms: Click here

 

  1. The World Trade Organization has today become a victim of its own success. Critically discuss. (15M)

 Q4. Consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2017)

  1. India has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of WTO.
  2. TFA is a part of WTO’s Bali Ministerial Package of 2013.
  3. TFA came into force in January 2016.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (a)

 

 Q5. In the context of which of the following do you sometimes find the terms ‘amber box, blue box and green box’ in the news? (UPSC CSE 2016)

(a) WTO affairs

(b) SAARC affairs

(c) UNFCCC affairs

(d) India-EU negotiations on FTA

Answer: (a)

Source: Economic Times

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

5G will drive ‘significant’ advancements

Gs paper-3

Syllabus: Science and Tech; Mobilization of Resources

 

Context: Cabinet has cleared the way for the auction of the 5G spectrum

Benefits from the auction:

  • Newer avenues: The auction and steps outlined for bidding would open up newer avenues for deeper penetration, access and rich user experience.
  • Option of surrender: Operators would have the flexibility to surrender the spectrum after 10 years without any liabilities.
  • Wider choices: Wide availability of spectrum across all bands will help potential bidders to opt for spectrum bands and quantum as per their strategy.
  • Benefits from captive 5G networks: Captive networks would drive digital transformation, augment industry efficiencies and lead to greater economic benefits.

 

Current Affairs

 

 

  • Millimetre-waveband: Auction of the millimetre-waveband, would not only help unlock the ‘true’ potential of 5G but would also help strategically manage costs for the operators.

 

What are spectrum auctions?

A spectrum auction is a process whereby a government uses an auction system to sell the rights to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce spectrum resources.

Spectrum auctions in India

Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwaves, which must be sent at designated frequencies to avoid any kind of interference.

  • The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves.
  • With the expansion in the number of cellphones, wireline telephones and internet users, the need to provide more space for the signals arises from time to time.
  • To sell these assets to companies willing to set up the required infrastructure to transport these waves from one end to another, the central government through the DoT auctions these airwaves from time to time.
  • These airwaves are called a spectrum, which is subdivided into bands which have varying frequencies.
  • All these airwaves are sold for a certain period of time, after which their validity lapses, which is generally set at 20 years.

 

Prelims link

To know more about 5G Technology. Click here

Mains link

Where does the 5G rollout stand? Click here

Discuss the advantages that 5G technology holds as compared to previous mobile technology. (10M)

Source: The Hindu

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

U.S. Fed raises rate by 75 bps to tame inflation

Gs paper-3

Syllabus: Basic Economics

 

Context:

The US Federal Reserve announced the most aggressive interest rate increase in almost 30 years, raising the benchmark borrowing rate by 0.75 percentage points.

 

Basics: Increasing interest rate will make US bonds more attractive and investors/citizens will invest in them rather than spend. Also, borrowings will become costly, this will rein in inflation. Also, FII from emerging markets may take out their money and invest in US bonds. This will strengthen the US currency against others.

 

Impact on India: It could have a three-pronged impact on India.

  1. When the Fed raises its policy rates, the difference between the interest rates of the two countries narrows, thus, making countries such as India less attractive for the currency carry trade.
  2. Higher returns in the US debt markets may also lead to the flight of foreign investors from India
  3. It could weaken the Indian currency vis a vis US Dollars.

 

Q6 .With reference to the Indian economy, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2022)

  1. If the inflation is too high, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to buy government securities.
  2. If the rupee is rapidly depreciating, RBI is likely to sell dollars in the market.
  3. If interest rates in the USA or European Union were to fall, that is likely to induce RBI to buy dollars.

Which of the statements given below is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b)

Justification:

Statement 1 is incorrect: To control inflation, the RBI sells the securities in the money market which sucks out excess liquidity from the market. As the amount of liquid cash decreases, demand goes down. This part of monetary policy is called the open market operation.

Statement 2 is correct: If the rupee is depreciating, RBI pumps the dollar into the market, this results in an increase in foreign currency supply and a decrease in Rupee supply, thus appreciating its value.

Statement 3 is correct: If interest rates in US and EU fall, investors would like to park more money in emerging market such as India for better returns, thus Indian market would be flooded with foreign currency. To stabilize it, RBI would likely buy excess dollars.

 

Q7.Which among the following steps is most likely to be taken at the time of an economic recession? (UPSC CSE 2021)

  1. Cut in tax rates accompanied by increase in interest rate.
  2. Increase in expenditure on public projects.
  3. Increase in tax rates accompanied by reduction of interest rate.
  4. Reduction of expenditure on public projects.

Answer: b

 

 Q8. If the interest rate is decreased in an economy, it will (UPSC CSE 2014)

(a) decrease the consumption expenditure in the economy

(b) increase the tax collection of the Government

(c) increase the investment expenditure in the economy

(d) increase the total savings in the economy

Answer: C

In the interest rate is decreased, it becomes easier to borrow money at a low-interest rate and therefore individuals/companies will increase their investment expenditure.

Source: Indian express

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

Politics plus or minus ethics

Gs paper-4

Syllabus: Political Ethics

 

Context:

Recent incidents around the world like the Russia-Ukraine war, the Nupur Sharma case, etc have highlighted the issue of lack of ethics in politics.

Definition: Political ethics refers to making moral judgments to guide action and methods of decision-making for the public good.

Various perspectives regarding Political Ethics:

  1. Politics and Ethics are completely separate.

Politics is considered a state of continuous struggle for power and thus the politicians cannot be bound by some abstract ethical principles that would constrain this pursuit.

E.g: the South Indian movie “ Jana Gana Mana” has clearly highlighted this issue of how politicians gain power by separating from ethics and playing with public sentiments.

 

  1. Ethics is integral to politics

Aristotle believed that ethics and politics are strongly related. Ethics examines the good of the individual, while politics examines the good of the state, which he considered to be the best type of community.

E.g: the Indian constitution is a prime example of how ethics is integral to politics.

 

  1. Politics without ethics is disastrous.

The repercussions of various recent incidents have an impact on the country and the public at large. Experts point out that politicians are also public servants—their actions should be for the public good and their opinion should not be insensitive toward any community.

E.g: Russia-Ukraine War, Nupur Sharma Case.

As rightly said by Mahatma Gandhi, politics without principles and ethics would be disastrous.

 

Current Affairs

/ 16 June CA, Today Article

Facts For Prelims

 

Kranti Gatha:

The Gallery of Indian Revolutionaries has been created in the bunker that was discovered below Raj Bhavan in 2016. It is a tribute to the known and unknown revolutionaries of the Indian freedom movement.

 

Current Affairs

 

The bunker at Raj Bhavan was discovered in 2016 by the then Governor of Maharashtra N Vidyasagar Rao. Built before the First World War, it was used by the British to store arms and ammunition. The bunker has 13 rooms of various sizes and the different cells in it were known as ‘Shell Store’, ‘Gun Shell’, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Central Artillery Room, Workshop, etc.

 

Kodava:

Kodavas are a unique race of people who live in Kodagu (Coorg, as the British called it), in Karnataka. Very little is known about the origin of this community of warriors who have lived on the slopes of the Western Ghats.

They are unique and excel in Sports as well as Armed Forces. For many years, Kodavas have been cultivating fields, maintaining cattle and carrying arms for a war.

Supermoon

A supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest (perigee to earth) to earth at the same time the Moon is full. When a full moon appears at perigee it is brighter and larger than a regular full moon- and that’s where we get a ‘supermoon’.

 

LaMDA

Google’s LaMDA (or Language Model for Dialogue Applications)  (a language model created by google AI) has achieved the an ability to engage in a free-flowing conversation. Google believes that LaMDA has become a sentient program meaning it has started reasoning like a human being.


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