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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 20 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. India gives emergency visas for 111 Afghan Hindus, Sikhs

2. Election Commission wants people to run from one seat

3. India and Bangladesh should work on river management

4. What west Seti Power Project can mean for India-Nepal ties

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Major outcomes achieved at WTO

2. A major revamp for Bank Board Bureau

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Mahodiya, the location of the Panchayat Series, real and reel life are not that far apart.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Rukmini Krishna Yatra

2. Juneteenth

3. Kausani (Uttrakhand)

4. Chess Olympiad Games

5. Bad Banks

6. Surety Bond

7. Black Swan Event

8. Operation Sankalp


India gives emergency visas for 111 Afghan Hindus, Sikhs

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India, protection of people.

 

Context:

  • The Union Home Ministry granted emergency visas to 111 Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan, hours after Saturday’s terror attack at a gurdwara in Kabul.
  • All had applied for visas in September 2021, but the applications were cleared only after the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), a terrorist group, attacked the gurdwara.

 

e-emergency X-Misc Visa
  • To facilitate and fast-track urgent applications for entry to India.
  • e-Emergency X-Misc Visa is granted to foreigners who are not covered in the available categories of visa but need to visit India urgently due to a family emergency.
  • Such a single-entry visa is issued by Indian Missions/Posts for an appropriate period of time.
  • The facility is available to all Afghans irrespective of their religion. The (initial) validity of this visa would be six months.

 

Insta Links

What is an electronic visa (e-visa)? Click here

Practice Questions:

Q. The e-visa system is an innovation introduced by the government in 2014. Discuss the process and current status of e-visas.

 

Q. Consider the following statements:

  1. The visas are granted by the Ministry of External Affairs(GOI).
  2. e- Emergency X-Misc Visa is available to Afghan Sikhs and Hindus only.

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: (d)

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

Election Commission wants people to run from one seat

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Appointment to various constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various constitutional bodies.

 

Context:

  • The Election Commission has made a fresh push for amending the law to bar people from contesting more than one seat.
  • It said that if it cannot be done, then a hefty fine should be imposed on those vacating one of the constituencies and forcing a bypoll.
  • The Legislative Department is the nodal agency in the government to deal with issues related to the EC.

 

Background:

  • As per Section 33(7) of the RPA (Representation of the People Act), 1951, one candidate can contest from a maximum of two constituencies.

 

Issues:

  • One-Act Negates another: Since no Candidate can represent two Constituencies, the idea of this system appears to be illogical and ironic.
  • By-election Strains Public Exchequer: After sacrificing one of the Constituencies, a by-election is automatically triggered immediately after the general election.
  • Voters Lose Interest: Repeated elections are not only unnecessary and costly, but they will also cause voters to lose interest in the electoral process.

 

Recommendations of the Election Commission:

  • The Election Commission recommended amending Section 33(7) to allow one candidate to contest from only one seat. It has done so in 2004, 2010, 2016 and 2018.
  • A system should be devised wherein if a candidate contested from two constituencies and won both, then he or she would bear the financial burden of conducting the subsequent by-election in one of the constituencies.
Election Laws (amendment) Act 2021

 

De-Duplication of Electoral Roll:

  1. It provides for amendment of section 23 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1950, enabling the linking of electoral roll data with the Aadhaar ecosystem.
  2. This aims to curb the menace of multiple enrolments of the same person in different places.
  3. This will help in stopping bogus voting and fraudulent votes.
  4. This linking is in consonance with the 105th report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice.

 

Multiple Qualifying Dates:

  1. The citizens get voting rights when they turn 18. However, many are left out of the electoral rolls even after turning 18. This is because, in the system, 1st January is the qualifying date.
  2. Four qualifying dates will be declared for updating the voting rolls to include those who have turned 18 — the first day of the months of January, April, July and October.

Bringing Gender Neutrality:

The language for registration of ‘wives of service voters’ will now be replaced by ‘spouse’. This will make the laws more “gender-neutral”.

Service voters are those serving in the armed forces, armed police forces of a state serving outside it and government employees posted outside India.

 

Insta Links:

To read RPA 1951: Click here

 

Practice Questions:  

Q. Critically analyze the provisions of the Election Law(Amendment) Act, 2021. (10M)

 

Q. With reference to Election Laws(Amendment) Act, 2021, consider the following statements:

  1. The language for “wives of service voters” will be replaced by the spouse.
  2. There will be four qualifying dates for updating voter rolls which include the first day of months of January, March, June and October.

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: (a)

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

India and Bangladesh should work on river management

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: India and neighbourhood- relations

 

Context:

  • At the seventh round of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission, External Affairs Minister extended India’s assistance in the management of the annual flood in Bangladesh.
  • Collaborations agreed on: Artificial Intelligence, startups, fintech and cybersecurity.
  • Joint Statement: Two countries remain focused on the “importance of safe, speedy, and sustainable return of forcibly displaced persons from Rakhine State Myanmar, currently being sheltered by Bangladesh”.

 

Current Affairs

 

Reasons for recent floods in Bangladesh:

  • Climate Change
  • Skewed Rainfall Pattern:80% of the precipitation takes place in the monsoon months from June to September
  • Trans-National Rivers from India example: Bharmaputra, Teesta etc.
  • Unplanned Development

 

Insta Links

To read about Land Boundary Agreement: Click here

To read about the Teesta river dispute: Click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Examine the various impediments in Indo-Bangladesh relations. Are the steps taken sufficient? Critically analyze. (15M)

 

Q. With reference to Teesta river, consider the following statements:

  1. Teesta river is a tributary of the Ganga river.
  2. It originates in the Himalayas in Sikkim And flows to the south through Assam before entering Bangladesh.

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: (c)

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

What west Seti Power Project can mean for India-Nepal ties

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: India and neighbourhood- relations

 

Context:

  • India will be taking over an ambitious hydropower project in Nepal West Seti nearly four years after China withdrew from it, ending a six-year engagement between 2012 and 2018.
  • India’s National Hydro Power Corporation has already begun preliminary engagement of the site in far-western Nepal following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lumbini

 

West Seti project:        

  • The proposed 750-megawatt West Seti Hydropower Project is to be built on the Seti river in far-western Nepal.
  • West Seti and Seti river, a joint project, has the capacity to generate 1200 MW of electricity.

India-Nepal power relations:

  • Mahakali treaty was signed in1995 to produce 6480 MW.
  • Upper Karnali project
  • 900 MW Arun Three projects in eastern Nepal’s SankhuwaSabha.

 

Current Affairs

 

Insta Links

To read about India-Nepal relations: Click here

 

Practice Questions:

Consider the following statements:

  1. The West Seti dam is located at the confluence of the Seti and Karnali river.
  2. Seti dam lies to the east of Kathmandu.

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: (c)

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

Major outcomes achieved at WTO

GS Paper 3

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

 

Context:

This is in continuation of the article published in Current Affairs on 18th June 2022

Important Deals struck:

  • Fisheries: Countries agreed to check on illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and overfishing; no subsidies for fishing in areas outside of RFMOs (regional fisheries management organizations) and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); and strict control on overfished areas.
    • India’s demand for curb on non-specific fuel subsidies for fisheries was not accepted.
    • The pact says that members will need to come out with comprehensive disciplines within the next four years, or see the current agreement terminated.

 

  • Food security: member countries would not impose export prohibitions or restrictions on foodstuffs purchased for humanitarian purposes of the WFP. (except for ensuring domestic food security)

 

What is overfishing?

Overfishing refers to exploiting fishes at a pace faster than they could replenish themselves — currently standing at 34% as per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

 

    • However, negotiators could not reach agreements on issues such as permissible public stockholding threshold for domestic food security, domestic support to agriculture, cotton, and market access.
  • E-commerce mortorium: WTO extended moratorium ( moratorium means a temporary prohibition) on imposing customs duties on electronic transmission.
    • This moratorium has been in place since 1998 and developing countries have been losing revenue because of it. India had opposed any further extension.
  • WTO reforms: Dispute settlement Body (DSB) will be revived. Also, focus area for WTO will be -Gender, Enviroment and MSME
What is Electronic Transmission (ET)?

ETs consist of online deliveries such as music, e-books, films, software and video games. They differ from other cross-border e-commerce since they are ordered online but not delivered physically.

 

  • IP on Covid vaccines: Countries have been allowed to produce vaccines patented elsewhere, without any consent and limit on their export.
    • Previously, TRIPS Patent rules (during the 1986-94 Uruguay round) shifted the focus from ‘process patent’ to ‘product patent’ after including intellectual property rights in the rules of trade.
What is WTO’s ministerial conference?
  • The MC is at the very top decision making body of WTO.
  • It meets once every two years and can take decisions on all matters under any multilateral trade agreement.
  • Unlike other organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, WTO does not delegate power to a board of directors or an organisational chief. All decisions at the WTO are made collectively and through consensus among member countries at varied councils and committees.
  • This year’s conference (13th MC) took place in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Sources: The Hindu, Live Mint

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

A major revamp for Bank Board Bureau

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilisation of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Context:

The finance ministry is working to expand and relaunch the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) by bringing in more representatives from the insurance sector.

 

Revamp plan:

  • Add new member
  • Empower: Finance ministry wants to legally empower the body to recommend candidates for public sector insurers and accelerate top-level hiring at all state-run financial institutions.
  • Restructure: BBB’s name and mandate will be changed. The proposed entity will recommend candidates for appointments to senior management-level posts in state-run banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

 

Why the need for revamping:-

  • Delhi HC order: Delhi high court last year observed that the bureau was not a competent body to recommend appointments at PSU general insurers, and held that circulars enabling BBB to select general managers and directors of PSU insurers were not legally valid.
  • Slow recruitment process: Despite the BBB’s good work, recruitment to a higher level has been slow. Also, BBB’s extended two-year term ended, and new recruitments can restart only when a new body is in place.

 

About BBB:

It was set up in February 2016 as an autonomous body– based on the recommendations of the RBI-appointed Nayak Committee.

  • It was part of the Indradhanush Plan.
  • It will make recommendations for the appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and state-owned financial institutions.
  • The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Composition:

Banks Board Bureau comprises the Chairman, three ex-officio members i.e Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary of the Department of Financial Services and Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and five expert members, two of which are from the private sector.

 

Practice Questions:

Q. With reference of the ‘Banks Board Bureau (BBB)’, which of the following statements are correct? (UPSC 2022)

  1. The Governor of RBI is the Chairman of BBB.
  2. BBB recommends for the selection of heads for Public Sector Banks.
  3. BBB helps the Public Sector Banks in Developing strategies and capital raising plans.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Answer: b

 

BBB is a self-governing autonomous and advisory body of the Central Government to improve the management of public sector banks.
Statement 1 is incorrect: The Chairman is selected by the central government and the RBI governor does not head it.

Statements 2 and 3 are correct: Banks Board Bureau recommends the selection of head for Public Sector Banks. It also develops strategies for raising capital and improving the performance of PSBs.

 

Q. Consider the following statements about Banks Board Bureau :

  1. The BBB is a not-for-profit organisation registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013.
  2. The BBB was the part of Indradhanush Plan of government.
  3. It will make recommendations for appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks and state-owned financial institutions.

Which of the given above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 2 and 3 only

c. 1 and 3 only

d. 2 and 3

Ans: (b) 

Source: Live Mint

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

Mahodiya, location of Panchayat series, real and reel life are not that far apart

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Public Service Values

 

Context:

Polling for Madhya Pradesh panchayat elections with SC-directed OBC reservation is less than a week away.

Famous series Panchayat had highlighted the issues prevalent in most Indian Villages.

The location where the series was shot i.e. Madhya Pradesh’s Mahodiya faces almost all the issues that have been shown in the series highlighting Ethical issues and a lack of values in Public Administration.

Issues Involved in this case:

  1. Prevalence of patriarchy in Indian Villages shows a lack of gender equality in – the culture of Pradhan-Pati — a system where the men of the family, primarily husbands, run the show on behalf of the elected representative. It is the men who interact with the media too.
  2. Lack of effective governance and misappropriation of public funds– Water Tank shown in the show- Villagers say that it was built close to a decade ago and they are yet to receive water from it.
  3. Dilemma of Reservation vs Merit– Due to the Other Backward Class (OBC) reservation rule, the village will now elect an OBC woman as sarpanch thus others will be left out.
  4. Discrimination and misuse of the utilization of public funds – There are a few kachcha houses and they are in the process of getting converted into concretized houses under the Prime Minister’s housing scheme. Dalit residents, claim the wait is usually longer for Dalit beneficiaries compared to those from other castes.

What can be done?

  1. Spread Awareness: Among the masses regarding the issue of Pradhan Pati and empowering women to take charge of issues.
  2. Probity in governance: To check that misappropriation of funds doesn’t occur and be accountable and transparent when dealing with public funds.
  3. Objectivity: In the allocation of concretized houses to the neediest first.

 

Current Affairs, CUrrent Events

Source: The Hindu

/ 20 June CA, Today's Article

Facts For Prelims

Rukmini-Krishna Yatra

Context:

National Monumental Authority (NMA) To Work On Strengthening Rukmini Krishna Yatra Between Arunachal Pradesh And Gujarat.

It aims to promote the concept of national unity and generate awareness on the initiative – ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ envisioned by PM Modi.

Beautiful saga of Rukmini’s marriage to Lord Krishna is still sung by the Idu Mishmi tribal community.

In Porbandar, Krishna’s marriage with Arunachal’s Rukmini is also celebrated.

Juneteenth

Context:

Juneteenth completes a year as the first new federal holiday created in almost four decades.

Juneteenth– the portmanteau of June and nineteenth– is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US representing freedom for African Americans, observed on June 19 every year. It is also known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day.

Kausani, Uttrakhand

Context:

Increasing heat and changing rain cycles had affected this region.

Mahatma Gandhi arrived here in June 1929 from Andhra Pradesh. He called this place the ‘Switzerland of India

He authored his famous book Anasakti Yoga based on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita here.

Apart from the Anasakti Ashram where Gandhiji stayed, there is Sumitranandan Pant Gallery, a museum dedicated to the great Hindi poet who was born here. Pant’s poetry is known for its romanticism inspired by nature’s beauty.

 Chess Olympiad Games

Context:

For the first time, this year, India is also going to host the Chess Olympiad games. The event was originally scheduled in Russia

History of Chess: India is considered the birthplace of chess.  Its origin can be traced back nearly 1500 years to its earliest known predecessor, called chaturanga, in India. From India, it spread to Persia. The game evolved roughly into its current form by about 1500 CE.

Bad Banks

A bad bank is an Asset reconstruction company (ARC) that alienates risky assets held by banks and financial institutions.

  • Purpose: It is created to help banks clean their balance sheets by transferring their bad loans so that the banks can focus on their core business of taking deposits and lending money.
  • Indian government has set up two new such entities:
  • NARCL:  It will acquire stressed assets from various commercial banks in different phases.
  • IDRCL: India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL), will then try to sell the stressed assets in the market.
    Public Sector Banks (PSBs) will hold 51% and 49% of them respectively.

 Surety Bond

Context:

Government has asked IRDAI to come up with such a bond, which can replace expensive Bank Guarantees.

  • In finance, a surety bond or guaranty involves a promise by one party to assume responsibility for the debt obligation of a borrower if that borrower defaults.
  • It is generally provided by the insurance company to allow the harmed party to make a claim on the bond to recover losses.

Black Swan Event

 Context:

As per the latest RBI study, capital outflows to the tune of $100 billion (around Rs 7,80,000 crore) are likely to take place from India in a major global risk scenario or a black swan event.

Operation Sankalp

The operation is the Indian Navy’s effort to maintain a frontline ship in the region to ensure the safe and secure movement of trade.

  • It was started in 2019 after attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman, to ensure safe passage of Indian Flag Vesselstransiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
  • This year it entered its 3rd year of operation.

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