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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 17 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 2:

1. Suspension of 7 Bengal MLAs revoked

2. Public Consultation on Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy

 

  GS Paper 3:

1. India Ranks Third in Renewable Energy Installations in 2021

2. Haryana grants NOC to Mahyco for field trials of BT cotton variety

3. The reasons behind the crashing crypto market

4. What VPN server closures in India mean for users

 

GS Paper 4:

1. AI and Ethics: Can the new Google chatbot be sentient?

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Atapaka Bird Sanctuary

2. Mitticool Refrigerator

3. IMD’s World competitiveness Index

4. Northern Ireland Protocol

5. Cost Inflation Index

6. Stagflation risk

7. qHPV

8. Tokenization

9. Just Transition Division

10. Neural Network

11. ASEAN-India Meets

12. Kali Tiger Reserve


Suspension of 7 Bengal MLAs revoked

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament and state legislature: Structure, functioning, the conduct of business, powers and privileges.

 

Context:

  • West Bengal Legislative Assembly Speaker revoked the suspension of seven MLAs, including that of Leader of the Opposition.

 

Rules of house:

  • The Speaker may direct any member who refuses to obey his decision, or whose conduct is, in his opinion, grossly disorderly, to withdraw immediately from the Assembly”.
  • The member must absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting.
  • Should any member be ordered to withdraw for a second time in the same session, the Speaker may direct the member to absent himself “for any period not longer than the remainder of the Session”.

 

Provisions for Suspension of a Member of Parliament:

  • Rules 373, 374, and 374A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha provide for the withdrawal of a member whose conduct is “grossly disorderly”, and suspension of one who abuses the rules of the House or willfully obstructs its business.
  • The maximum suspension as per these Rules is “for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less”.
  • The maximum suspension for Rajya Sabha under Rules 255 and 256 also does not exceed the remainder of the session.
  • Similar Rules also are in place for state legislative assemblies and councils which prescribe a maximum suspension not exceeding the remainder of the session.

 

Article 212 (1):

It states that “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislature of a State shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure”.

 

Prelims link and Mains Link:

For how long can an MLA be suspended?

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. The maximum suspension of a member of Legislative assembly as per these Rules is for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less.
  2. The Constitution provides for the withdrawal of a member whose conduct is “grossly disorderly”, and suspension of one who abuses the rules of the House or willfully obstructs its business.

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

Answer: d

Q. The Speaker has to remain neutral and act independently of political morality and pressure. How can we guarantee the Speaker’s impartiality? (10M)

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

Public Consultation on Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Important aspects of governance and accountability, e-governance(applications)

 

Context:

  • The Minister of State, Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship highlighted the rapid digitalization and the subsequent rise in data volumes necessitating a framework for harnessing the potential of this data.
  • Government’s vision is to build a modern framework for Data Governance that will be a kinetic enabler of India’s Digital Economy.

 

Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy:

  • Indian Datasets programme: It calls for the creation of an India Datasets programme, which will consist of non-personal and anonymised datasets from Central government entities that have collected data from Indian citizens or those in India. Private companies will be “encouraged” to share such data.
  • The non-personal data housed within this programme would be accessible to start ups and Indian researchers(Non-personal data is any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information).
  • India Data Management Office (IDMO): The draft also calls for creation of an India Data Management Office (IDMO), which will be in charge of designing and managing the India Datasets platform.
    • The IDMO will prescribe rules and standards, including anonymization standards for all entities (government and private).
    • For purposes of safety and trust, any non-personal data sharing by any entity can be only via platforms designated and authorized by IDMO.
  • No Selling of Data: The most significant change in this new draft is the omission of the most contentious provision in the old draft — selling data collected at the Central level in the open market.

 

Suggestions included:

  • Consultative process informing the functioning of the IDMO
  • Provisions for harnessing the future potential of integrated datasets and clarifications around the nature of engagement with private players.
  • Furthermore, information and clarity on the operations of the India Data Management Office
  • Access to annotated datasets for AI innovation
  • Active collaboration with private sector and social impact firms to build data capacity

 

Practice Question

Q. With reference to Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy, consider the following statements:

  1. The non-personal data housed within this programme will not be accessible to start ups.
  2. selling data collected at the Central level in the open market is permissible.

Which of the following statements given above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: d

Q. Critically analyze the recently released major provisions of the Draft National Data Governance Framework Policy. (10M) 

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

India Ranks Third in Renewable Energy Installations in 2021

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Infrastructure – Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

 

Context:

India ranked third in renewable energy installations in 2021, after China and Russia, according to a Renewable 2022 Global status report published by REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century).

 

What does the report say:

  • On India:
    • India installed 15.4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects in 2021
    • India ranked fourth in total solar installations (60.4 GW) for the year – overtaking Germany (59.2 GW) for the first time.
What is REN21?

REN21 is the only global renewable energy community of actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry that keep track of global development in renewable sector.

Goal: enable decision-makers to make the shift to renewable energy happen – now.

Created: It was created in 2004 as an outcome of the Bonn2004 International Conference on Renewable Energy.

  • On world: Overall countries added around 3,146 GW of total installed renewable power capacity in 2021 – a rise of 11% from the previous year.
  • On Target of renewables: Despite the rise in installed capacity, the share of renewables in global energy use stagnated in 2021. The renewable energy capacities achieved so far come nowhere close to the targets required to keep the world on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • On impact of pandemic: Despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, renewables saw a year of record growth in both investment and installation.
  • On impact of Ukrain crisis: The invasion of Ukraine added to the energy crisis. Governments, however, responded by increasing fossil fuel production and subsidies. This has caused a record surge in carbon dioxide emissions (up by 6%, adding more than two billion tonnes).

 

India’s Efforts:

  • India has announced a target of 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030through sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) energy, wind and hydropower.
    • Currently, projects worth almost $197 billion are underway in India.
  • India extended its national solar production programme, which provides incentives to domestic and international companies for setting up battery manufacturing plants.
  • In 2021, after India increased its cap on solar PV installations under its net metering scheme, the country’s rooftop PV market hit a record high.
  • Other Government Programmes: Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, Green Open Access Rules (which facilitates the generation, purchase and consumption of green energy including that produced by waste-to-energy plants), Green Term Ahead and Day-Ahead Market etc.

 

Prelims and Mains Links:

Basics of climate change: Click here

India’s Renewable energy plan: Click here

India’s solar capacity: Milestones and challenges

India’s Stand at COP-26: Click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by (UPSC 2018)

(a) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meterological Organisation

Answer: C

 

Q. With reference to ‘Global Climate Change Alliance’, which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC CSE 2017)

  1. It is an initiative of the European Union.
  2. It provides technical and financial support to targeted developing countries to integrate climate change into their development policies and budgets.
  3. It is coordinated by World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A

 

Q. With reference to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA), which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC CSE 2015)

  1. It is a Public Limited Government Company.
  2. It is a Non-Banking Financial Company.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

 

Q. “Despite increase in renewable energy capacity, India still heavily depends on fossil fuels for its energy security”. What measures need to be taken to increase the pace of renewable adoption in India? Discuss. (15M)

Sources: The Wire, REN21

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

Haryana grants NOC to Mahyco for field trials of BT cotton variety

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Tech

 

Context:

Haryana government has issued a no-objection certificate (NOC) to seed major Mahyco to conduct field trials on BG-2 RRF, a herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant variety of BT cotton. BG-2 RRF can provide protection against devastating pest attacks such as American Bollworm.

Other steps:

India has allowed commercial use of BG-1 and BG-2 GM cotton in the country while the approval for the BG-2 RRF has been pending at various stages.

Central government had for the first time exempted certain types of genome-edited crops from the stringent regulations applicable on genetically modified or GM crops, paving the way for further R&D on them.

Other countries: Many have either developed or approved for commercial cultivation of vegetables, fruits, oilseeds and cereals developed through genome editing such as Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA tomato, high oleic canola and soybean, non-browning mushroom etc.

China too approved guidelines for genome editing that will spur research into crops that have high yields and are resistant to pests and climate change.

 

Prelims and Mains link:

To know more about BT Cotton: Click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. What are the reasons for the people’s resistance to the introduction of Bt brinjal in India?

  1. Bt brinjal has been created by inserting a gene from a soil fungus into its genome.
  2. The seeds of Bt brinjal are terminator seeds and therefore, the farmers have to buy the seeds before every season from the seed companies.
  3. There is an apprehension that the consumption of Bt-brinjal may have adverse impact on health.
  4. There is some concern that the introduction of Bt-brinjal may have adverse effect on the biodiversity.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: C

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

The reasons behind the crashing crypto market

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Effects of liberalisation on the economy (post-1991 changes), changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

 

Context:

Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have been crashing since they hit an all-time high late last year

Why are cryptocurrencies crashing?

Tight monetary policy by governments across the world: As central banks withdraw liquidity from the market, there’s less money chasing assets, which in turn causes the prices of assets to drop. Bubble: Crash could also mark the popping of the bubble that has driven the prices of cryptocurrencies to very high levels.

How do governments view cryptocurrencies?

Many countries have taken several steps to discourage the widespread use of cryptocurrencies. While countries such as China and Russia have opted to impose outright bans on cryptocurrencies, others such as India have tried to tax and regulate them heavily. In India, while the government has not imposed an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, the Reserve Bank of India has been quite vocal about the need to ban them completely.

Do these virtual currencies have intrinsic value?

Similar to Fiat currency, Bitcoin (or most of the cryptocurrencies) is also not backed by any gold or silver hence does not have any intrinsic value. The value of any currency comes from the backing of the state and the trust that people have over the government.

 

Prelims and Mains Link

Basics of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency and related Issues

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Consider the following pairs: (UPSC CSE 2018)

Terms sometimes                         Context/Topic
seen in news

  1. Belle II experiment       —         Artificial Intelligence
  2. Blockchain technology —       Digital/Cryptocurrency
  3. CRISPR – Cas9             —        Particle Physics

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

 

Q. With reference to “Blockchain Technology”, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2020)

  1. It is a public ledger that everyone can inspect, but that no single user controls.
  2. The structure and design of the blockchain are such that all the data in it are about cryptocurrency only.
  3. Applications that depend on the basic features of blockchain can be developed without anybody’s permission.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: d

 

Q. What is a cryptocurrency? Discuss the need for the formulation of a clear, constructive, and adaptive regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies in India.

Source: The Hindu

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

What VPN server closures in India mean for users

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Context:

The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s (CERT-In’s) directive to virtual private network (VPN) providers to store user data on Indian servers has prompted many of them to shut their local servers.

What do CERT-In directives say:

VPN providers have specifically been directed to store validated customer names, their physical addresses, email IDs, phone numbers, and the reason a customer is using the VPN.

They also have to log the user’s “ownership pattern” and the dates when they use the VPN, along with a record of the time-stamp for when a user registered, and every IP address that the VPN assigns to the user.

Why are VPN companies leaving India?

VPN providers who provide “no-logging” services cannot do so if they comply with such rules, which is why they’re withdrawing servers to leave the Indian government’s jurisdiction. E.g. NordVPN, Surfshark and ExpressVPN

 

Current Affairs

 

Impact of the move:

VPN providers install their servers in a country to achieve two purposes—to be close to their users and to increase the number of locations they can provide. Removing servers from India, in theory, affects the overall speed that a VPN can provide, though this will hardly make a difference for those using VPNs simply to browse the web by spoofing their location.

Government Intention:

The government wants to access VPN data for domestic regions as well as may ask companies to comply even if they have no physical presence in India, as their “computer systems” are operating within Indian cyberspace. But they add that the Information Technology Act of 2000 is meant to regulate Indian cyberspace and should not have extra-territorial reach.

 

Practice Questions

Q. What is “Virtual Private Network”? (UPSC CSE 2011)

(a) It is a private computer network of an organization where the remote users can transmit encrypted information through the server of the organization

(b) It is a computer network across a public internet that provides users access to their organization’s network while maintaining the security of the information transmitted

(c) It is a computer network in which users can access a shared pool of computing resources through a service provider

(d) None of the statements (a), (b) and (c) given above is a correct description of Virtual Private Network

Answer: C

Q. What is a virtual private network (VPN)? Discuss its applications and security issues associated with it. (10M)

Source:  Live Mint

/ 17 June CA, Today Article

AI (Artificial intelligence) and Ethics: Can the new Google chatbot be sentient?

GS Paper 4

 

Context:

Google engineers claim that Language Models for Dialog Applications or LaMDA is sentient AI. He claims that the neural network with deep learning capacity has the consciousness of a child of seven or eight years old. He argues that consent from the software must be obtained before experiments are run on it.

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.

E.g: Facebook’s facial recognition software which identifies faces in the photos we post, the voice recognition software that translates commands we give to Alexa, etc are some of the examples of AI already around us.

 

Current Affairs

 

How intelligent are AI’s?

To test the intelligence of machines Alan Turning devised a practical solution. Place a computer in a closed room and a human in another. If an interrogator interacting with the machine and the human cannot discriminate between them, then Turing said that the computer should be construed as ‘intelligent’.

Counter View:

A baby learns a language from close interaction with caregivers and not by acquiring a massive amount of language data. Moreover, whether intelligence is the same as sentience is questionable.

Is the technology dangerous?

Unethical AI perpetuating historical bias and echoing hate speech may cause the real dangers to society.

E.g: If AI is to select candidates for any supervisory role then Women and marginalized communities hardly get in as AI would analyze centuries-old data, which would exclude these sections as they were discriminated against during that time.

 

 

/ 17 June CA, Today Article
 

Facts For Prelims

 

 

 


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