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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 27 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. JJ Act amendment may backfire

2. Iran-U.S. nuclear talks to resume soon says EU

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What does our Current Account Deficit show?

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Ethical issues with abortion

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

1. Himachal Pradesh govt. to start buying single-use plastic items

2. Especially abled children get an exclusive park

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Jyotirgamaya

2. Forensic probe to be made must for offences attracting 6 years or more

3. Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) scheme

4. Environmental DNA

5. BIS formulates performance standards for EV batteries

6. DST-IISc energy storage platform

7. Radio Access Network

8. Hermit

9. Air Quality

10. Sunspot

11. Udaipur’s ‘bird village’ set to be declared a wetland

12. Red list of birds in Kerela

13. Textile Park


Juvenile Justice Act amendment may backfire

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection of vulnerable sections.

 

Context:

Child rights panels of three states (Bengal, Rajasthan and Punjab) joined the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), appealing to the Union government to roll back an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act that makes certain offences against children non-cognisable.

In 2021, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act-2015 as amended through Presidential assent.

Previously, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) audit of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in 2020, had highlighted glaring issues with the running of childcare institutions.

 

As per the amendments:

  1. Supervision by District Magistrate: DMs and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district- including the Child Welfare Committees, the Juvenile Justice Boards, and the District Child Protection Units and the Special Juvenile Protection Units.
    1. The DM will also carry out background checks of CWC members, who are usually social welfare activists, including educational qualifications, as there is no such provision currently.
    2. The DMs are also to check possible criminal backgrounds to ensure that no cases of child abuse or child sexual abuse are found against any member before they are appointed.
    3. The CWCs are also to report regularly to the DMs on their activities in the districts.
    4. Instead of the court, the District Magistrate (including Additional District Magistrate) will now issue adoption orders.
  2. Serious offences will also include offences for which maximum punishment is imprisonment of more than seven years, and minimum punishment is not prescribed or is less than seven years.
  3. Non-Cognisable offence: According to the amendment, the crimes under the special law, with punishment between three and seven years, have been reclassified as non-cognisable.

 

Pan India Problems with the law:

  • Discourages reporting: With this amendment, if anyone goes to the police station to register a complaint, the police will refer them to a magistrate for permission.
  • Need of Complainant: In some cases, NGOs or child rights activists decide to report such instances directly to the police given that they are a cognisable offence (until the amended JJ Act is notified). But the police will look for someone to be made a complainant even when they can verify the complaint and register an FIR if it is a cognisable offence.
  • Directions of Magistrate: According to the Code Of Criminal Procedure, once the crimes are rendered non-cognisable, the police will be able to register an FIR only on the directions of a magistrate and a complainant will first have to approach the magistrate concerned to start the process.
  • Loss of wages: Most children at CCIs whose parents are daily wage labourers do not want to engage with the legal process because that would force them to take time off from work, resulting in loss of wages.
  • Reporting instances of abuse and cruelty by staffers or persons in charge at child care institutions (CCI) is not easy.
  • The victims themselves are unable to directly report, most such crimes are reported to the police by either parents or child rights bodies and child welfare committees(CWC).
Juvenile Justice Act 2015

What is the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015?

The Act was introduced and passed in Parliament in 2015 to replace the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children Act) 2000.

  • It allowed the trial of juveniles in conflict with law in the age group of 16-18 years as adults, in cases where the crimes were to be determined.
  • The nature of the crime, and whether the juvenile should be tried as a minor or a child, was to be determined by a Juvenile Justice Board.
  • It received impetus after the 2012 Delhi gangrape in which one of the accused was just short of 18 years, and was therefore tried as a juvenile.
  • The Act streamlined adoption procedures for orphans, abandoned and surrendered children and the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.

 

Insta Links:

To read about Juvenile Justice Act: click here

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Critically analyze the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 2021. (10M)

 

Q. With reference to Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 2021, consider the following statements:

  1. DMs and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district.
  2. Instead of the court, the District Magistrate will now issue adoption orders.

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: (c)

Justification:

  • The District Magistrates have been further empowered under the Act to ensure its smooth implementation, as well as garner synergized efforts in favour of children in distress conditions.
  • It means that DMs and ADMs will monitor the functioning of various agencies under the JJ Act in every district- including the Child Welfare Committees, the Juvenile Justice Boards, the District Child Protection Units and the Special Juvenile Protection Units.
  • Instead of the court, the District Magistrate (including Additional District Magistrate) will now issue adoption orders.

Source: The Hindu

/ 27 June CA, Today Article

Iran-U.S. nuclear talks to resume soon says EU

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings, Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interest.

 

Context:

  • Iran’s indirect talks with the U.S. on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) will resume soon, the Iranian Foreign Minister.
  • The pact appeared close to being revived in March When the EU, which is coordinating negotiations, invited Foreign Ministers representing the accord’s parties to Vienna to finalize an agreement after indirect talks between Iran and the US President’s administration.

 

Current Affairs

 

Significance of JCPOA for India:

 

Current Affairs

 

Insta Links:

To read about JCPOA: click here

 

Q. With reference to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA), consider the following statements:

  1. Under the deal, Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
  2. The JCPOA was the result of prolonged negotiation between Iran and the P5 countries.

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: (b)

Justification:

  • The JCPOA was the result of prolonged negotiations between 2013 and 2015 between Iran and P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States + Germany).
  • Under the deal, Iran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
  • Iran also agreed to implement a protocol that would allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access its nuclear sites to ensure Iran would not be able to develop nuclear weapons in secret.

Source: The Hindu

/ 27 June CA, Today Article

What does our Current Account Deficit show?

GS Paper 3

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

 

Context:

CAD in India decreased to 1.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.6% of GDP in Q3 FY 2021-22.

 

What is CAD?

  • The current account deficit is a measurement of a country’s trade where the value of the goods and services it imports exceeds the value of the products it exports. The current account represents a country’s foreign transactions and, like the capital account, is a component of a country’s balance of payments (BOP)

What does CAD include?

  • CAD includes a nation’s net trade-in products and services, its net earnings on cross-border investments including interest and dividends, and its net transfer payments such as remittances and foreign aid. A current account deficit (CAD) means the value of goods and services imported exceeds the value of exports.

 

Reasons for lowering India’s CAD?

  • Robust performance by computer and business services, net service receipts rose.
  • Remittances by Indians abroad also rose.
  • Moderation of India’s trade deficit in the quarter mentioned.
  • Merchandise export overcame higher import bills: Geopolitical tensions and supply chain disruptions led to crude oil and commodity prices soaring. A rise in prices of coal, natural gas, fertilizers, and edible oils has added to the pressure on the trade deficit.
    • However, with global demand picking up, merchandise exports have also been rising.

 

Current Affairs

 

 

 

How will a large CAD affect the economy?

  • Rising CAD: A large CAD will result in demand for foreign currency rising, thus leading to depreciation of the home currency. Nations balance CAD by attracting capital inflows and running a surplus in capital accounts through increased foreign direct investments.
    • A weaker Indian currency will drive inflation up, which is already a grave concern due to high commodity prices.
  • Rising CAD is not always bad: If an increase in the import bill is because of imports for technological upgradation it would help in long-term development.
    • If increasing imports is accompanied by an expansion in industrial production, it is a sign of economic development.

 

Future predictions:

  • This decrease in CAD is temporary: India’s current account deficit is likely to widen to around 3-3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022-23, due to FED interest rates hike and outflow of FII and FDI from the Indian market.

 

Insta Links:

Basics: Types of Deficits

India’s emerging twin deficit problem

 

Practice Questions

Q. What do you understand Current Account Deficit? Do you think a rising CAD is inherently bad and must be checked by the country’s central bank? Discuss (10M)

 

Q. With reference to Balance of Payments, which of the following constitutes/ constitute the Current Account? (UPSC CSE 2014)

  1. Balance of trade
  2. Foreign assets
  3. Balance of invisibles
  4. Special Drawing Rights

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1, 2 and 4

Answer: C

The current account includes trade in goods and services (Invisibles) and transfer payments etc. The capital account includes Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Portfolio Investment, External Commercial Borrowings, and SDR.

 

Q. Consider the following actions that the Government can take: (UPSC CSE 2011)

  1. Devaluing the domestic currency.
  2. Reduction in the export subsidy.
  3. Adopting suitable policies which attract greater FDI and more funds from FIls.

Which, of the above action/actions can help in reducing the current account deficit?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 3 only

(d) 1 and 3

Answer: D

Devaluing the currency will help increase India’s export competitiveness.  A reduction in export subsidy will further decrease exports and increase CAD. Attracting FII and FDI will increase and improve CAD

Source: Live Mint

/ 27 June CA, Today Article

Ethical issues with abortion

GS Paper 4

 Syllabus: Application of Ethics

 

Context:

Recently, U.S top court overturned a 1973 Roe v. Wade judgment on the right to abortion.

 

Current Affairs

 

Ethical issues with women:

  • Health: Both physical and mental health gets impacted because of unwanted pregnancy.
  • Rights and freedom: No woman who voluntarily chose to get pregnant is likely to seek abortion unless there are some serious compelling circumstances.
  • Bodily autonomy: Apart from losing reproductive choices, restrictions on abortion might lead to illegal and unsafe abortions. This goes against Right to Privacy (Puttaswamy vs Union of India Judgement).

Ethical issues with the Family:

  • Husband’s/In-laws choices: As both parents conceive a child, abortion might have choices of both the parents involved.
  • Conservative vs liberal values followed in a family have differing opinions regarding abortions.

 

Ethical issues with respect to fetus:

  • Right to life: Abortion amounts to the murder of a living being.
  • Motherly care: it is a unique unspoken bond shared between two lives, which cannot be questioned or regulated by laws.

 

Ethical issues with respect to society in general

  • Valuing life: State has the responsibility of valuing each life.
  • Inclusion of all: Abortion should not become a mechanism of social control for avoiding the appearance of differences or disabilities.
  • Provide better life for existing children: Many times parents want abortion to be able to give a good life to existing children instead of dividing their meager resources into more children.

 

India’s Stance on Abortions:

  • The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 ensures that expectant mothers exercise self-determination in welcoming new life to their homes. abortions may be performed up to 24 gestational weeks on grounds of risk to the mother’s life, mental anguish, rape, incest, contraception failure or the diagnosis of foetal abnormalities. It is a liberal achievement over countries where abortions are disallowed since conception, even in the most traumatising of circumstances of sexual abuse or incest.

 

Insta Link

US supreme court overturns abortion rights

Source: Indian Express

/ 27 June CA, Today Article

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

Himachal Pradesh govt. to start buying single-use plastic items

 

Himachal Pradesh will start a buy-back scheme in schools and colleges to purchase single-use plastic items from students in a bid to instil a sense of environmental preservation by ‘catching them young’.

Scheme:

  • Monetary benefit: The students would be encouraged to bring single-use plastic items from their home and deposit it with the school, for which they will be paid ₹ 75 a kg by the government — the aim to inculcate a habit among the youngsters towards environment conservation.
  • Formation of Eco-clubs: Across the State, 3,000 Eco-clubs in schools and in 100 colleges under the National Green Corps programme have been formed— these Eco-clubs are an association of student-teachers that work to inculcate environmental awareness and protection.
    • Once a habit towards environmental protection is inculcated during childhood it could stay lifelong.
  • Involvement: Besides the students, the scheme also aims to involve teachers, school management committees and parents by creating awareness surrounding the ill effects of plastic waste at the district level through the Eco-club schools, covering both rural and urban schools.
  • Use for constructing roads: The single-use plastic items collected from the schools will be used in bitumen to construct roads. The roads built with plastic bitumen are durable and long-lasting, and it would help to dispose of the waste plastic

 

Specially abled children get an exclusive park

 

Context:

Karnataka State’s first disabled-friendly park in Jawaharlal Bal Bhavan (JBB), Cubbon Park was recently inaugurated.

Amenities provided:

  • Designed in the shape of a turtle, the park consists of different zones for a wide range of physical, mental, therapeutic, and touch and feel activities.
  • The park has a specially designed sand table for children on wheelchairs and a special swing.
  • Tactile pathways make it easier for visually-challenged children to navigate their way around the park.
  • To mitigate injuries from falls, all playing surfaces are made of a synthetic, non-toxic, and skid-proof rubber called EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer).

Need for such disable friendly recreation places:

Special children and their parents already struggle with numerous obstacles, biases, and misconceptions in their effort to lead full and capable lives. Instead of adding to their problems, parks or other such places must become a part of the solution by enabling children with disabilities to gain from free and unstructured play and learning just like other children.

 

Current Affairs

/ 27 June CA, Today Article

Facts For Prelims

Jyotirgamaya 

Context:

As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, on the occasion of World Music Day (21st June), Sangeet Natak Akademi is presenting Jyotirgamaya- a festival to showcase the talent of rare musical instruments from across the country, including street performers, train entertainers, performers attached to temples, etc.,

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of it’s people, culture and achievements.

 Forensic probe to be made must for offences attracting 6 years or more

Context:

The government is planning to make forensic investigation compulsory in all cases where the offence attracts a punishment of six years or more.

 

Forensic Investigation: It is the act of utilizing science to establish facts or evidence which is to be used for crime-based trials or proceedings.

What is needed

The home ministry has called for the establishment of an independent Directorate of Prosecution and an independent Directorate of Forensic Science in each State/UT through proposed comprehensive amendments to the Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act.

Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) scheme

Context:

President Biden and G7 Leaders Formally Launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

  • It is a plan to mobilise $600bn in funding for the developing world in a move seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road plan.
  • The initiative will be geared towards tackling climate change, improving global health, achieving gender equity and building digital infrastructure.
  • Background: The infrastructure plan was first unveiled at the 2021 G7 summit in Britain. Called the Build Back Better World at the time, the US-driven plan faltered from a lack of progress, and the project was renamed to PGII before being resuscitated at the 2022 summit.

Environmental DNA:

Context:

DNA of more than 1200 species of invertebrates was found on a sample of tea and dried herbs.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is organismal DNA that can be found in the environment. Environmental DNA originates from cellular material shed by organisms (via skin, excrement, etc.) into aquatic or terrestrial environments that can be sampled and monitored using new molecular methods.

BIS formulates performance standards for EV batteries

Context:

Bureau of Indian standards published Test Specifications for Lithium-ion (Li-ion) Traction Battery Packs and Systems (Performance Testing) for Electric Vehicle.

  • The standard IS 17855:2022 for these battery packs and systems is harmonised with ISO 12405-4: 2018
  • The standard incorporates the test procedure for basic characteristics of performance, reliability and electrical functionality for the battery packs and system for either high power or high energy application.
  • Li-ion batteries are most preferred because of their high power-to-weight ratio, high energy efficiency, low self-discharge etc.
  • DRDO probe: While investigating electric two-wheeler fire incidents, it found serious defects in the batteries, mainly due to low-grade material used by companies to cut costs.

BIS

BIS is the National Standard Body of India (under the BIS act 1986) for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods. It became a national standard body of India under BIS Act 2016. It involves Certification, Hallmarking (e.g., Gold jewellery), Eco Mark (e.g. environmentally friendly products), Compulsory registration (for electronic items) and Laboratory services

DST-IISc energy storage platform

Scientists at IISc have found nanoscopic refractory metal layers like Tungsten could improve the performance of these batteries which are crucial for purposes like electrical mobility.  This will enable fast charge-discharge rates in solid-state lithium metal batteries.

Conventional Li-ion batteries employ a graphite anode, a liquid electrolyte, and a transition metal cathode. However, the liquid electrolytes are flammable and degrade at high temperatures leading to poor battery life and in extreme cases lead to battery fires. Replacing the liquid electrolyte with a ceramic solid electrolyte could enable safer Li-ion batteries that also last longer on a single charge. Fig: Conventional Li-Ion Battery working.

Radio Access Network

Context:

C-DOT (centre for the development of telematics) will develop end-to-end 5G RAN products in collaboration with Galore Networks.

It is an autonomous telecom R&D centre and a registered society under Societies registration Act 1860.

 

A radio access network (RAN) is a major component of a wireless telecommunications system that connects individual devices (such as cell phones, and computers)  to other parts of a network through a radio link.

Hermit

Hermit is new spyware with the capability to affect both Android and iOS devices.

Spyware is malicious software that enters a user’s computer, gathers data from the device and user, and sends it to third parties without their consent.

Air Quality

National Air quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI): It will help decision-makers in the government and private sectors to address air pollution issues in different climatic zones of India.

Developed by: National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru with support from the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser.

Commission for Air quality management (CAQM): It is a statutory body established for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas in 2020

Sunspot

A huge sunspot that is directly facing earth has grown to be twice the size of Earth and its width has doubled in just 24 hours.

Sunspots are areas that appear dark on the surface of the Sun. They appear dark because they are cooler than other parts of the Sun’s surface. Solar flares are a sudden explosion of energy caused by tangling, crossing or reorganizing of magnetic field lines near sunspots.

Udaipur’s ‘bird village’ is set to be declared a wetland

Recognised as the “bird village” following community-driven conservation efforts, Menar in the Udaipur district is set to be notified as Rajasthan’s new wetland. This will pave the way for getting the Ramsar site status for this rural heartland of the Mewar region.

At present, Rajasthan has two wetlands recognised as Ramsar sites – Keoladeo Ghana in Bharatpur district and Sambhar Salt Lake in Jaipur district.

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Red list of birds in Kerela

Kerala will soon have its own red list of birds. The Kerala Bird Monitoring Collective led by Kerala Agricultural University and the Bird Count India will conduct the regional red list assessment. Once it gets ready, Kerala will be the first State to have a region-specific red list of birds.

  • Issues with the IUCN List: There are limitations to the global assessment as it is a process prepared in a global context. A species seen common at the global level may be a threatened species at the regional level.
  • According to the global IUCN red list, Kerala has 64 threatened species of birds. In that, the Red-headed vulture and White-rumped vulture are critically endangered. Steppe Eagle, Banasura Chilappan and Nilgiri Chilappan are endangered and 11 species are vulnerable.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.

The IUCN guidelines for preparing the red list have five main criteria.

  • The population size reduction measured over 10 years or three generations
  • Geographic range on the basis of the extent of occurrence or area of occupancy
  • Small population size and decline
  • Very small or restricted population
  • Probability of extinction in the wild

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Textile Park

The Central government wants to create 75 textile hubs across the country on the lines of Tiruppur to generate jobs and support higher textile exports.

  • Tiruppur case: Tiruppur’s garment exports in 2021-2022 were ₹30,000 crores. The garment industry in Tiruppur provided direct employment to six lakh people and indirect employment to four lakh people. Also, nearly 70% of these workers were women and people from the marginalised sections.
  • Status of India: Almost four crore people were employed across the textile value chain in the country. According to the study, after agriculture, the textiles and garments sector is the second biggest employment generator in India. India is the world’s fifth-largestexporter of apparel, home, and technical products.
  • PM MITRA: Government will set up seven Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel (PM MITRA) Parks. MITRA park aims to integrate the entire textile value chain from spinning, weaving, processing/dyeing, and printing to garment manufacturing at one location.

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