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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 30 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. How India taught the world the art of collecting data

 

GS Paper 2:

1. UN Report on Internet Shutdown

2. Cooking with ‘dirty’ fuels affects women’s mental health

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Carbon neutral efforts by Agri-food companies

2. Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

1. Kyoto: Why is it important to preserve our cultural values and traditions.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Weaving Jamdani

2. GOAL

3. Dynamic world

4. UN ocean conference: ‘Blue Deal’

5. NASA’s CAPSTONE Mission

6. India’s first mRNA vaccine for Covid-19

7. RIMPAC


How India taught the world the art of collecting data

Gs Paper-1

Syllabus: Post Independence

 

Context:

June 29, is national ‘Statistics Day’, in ‘recognition of the contributions made by Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the ‘Plan Man’ of India.

Father of Indian statistics :

  • Mahalanobis certainly believed data to be instrumental in efficient planning for national and human development.
  • Mahalanobis established the Statistical Laboratory within the Baker Laboratory at Presidency College.
  • In 1933, Mahalanobis founded Sankhyā, the Indian Journal of Statistics.
  • Founded the Indian Statistical Institute.

His relations with Rabindranath Tagore:

  • Seventeen-year-old Mahalanobis first met Tagore at Santiniketan in 1910.
  • Mahalanobis wrote a series of essays titled ‘Rabindra Parichay’ (‘Introduction to Rabindra’) for the prestigious Bengali magazine, Probashi. He also wrote a book, Rabindranath Tagore’s Visit to Canada in 1929
  • He not only served as a joint secretary of Visva Bharati for 10 years from the beginning but he was also a member of the governing body, executive council, academic council, and the agricultural board.
  • Tagore’s dance drama, ‘Basanta’ (meaning ‘Spring’), had a premiere at the Calcutta University institute auditorium on Mahalanobis’ marriage day.

Values:

  • Mahalanobis-type innovation, dedication, and diligence are much needed today.

Contribution to the World:

  • The World Bank and the United Nations now use the methods pioneered by him.

 

Current Affairs

Source: The Hindu, BBC

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

UN Report on Internet Shutdown

Gs Paper-2

Syllabus: Government policies and interventions

 

Context:

Recently released United Nations-backed report (by OHCHR) has highlighted that shutting down the internet affects people’s safety & well-being, hampers information flow and harms the economy

What is an Internet shutdown?

  • Internet shutdowns are measures taken by a government or on behalf of a government, to intentionally disrupt access to and the use of information and communications systems online.

 

Status:

  • As per #KeepItOn coalition (which monitors internet shutdown episodes across the world), documented 931 shutdowns in 74 countries from 2016-2021
  • India’s record: India blocked or disrupted internet connections 106 times and at least 85 of India’s internet shutdown episodes were in Jammu & Kashmir

Reasons behind it:

  • To subvert protests and political crisis: Almost half of all shutdowns recorded by civil society groups from 2016-2021 were carried out in the context of protests and political crises related to social, political or economic grievances.

Impact of Internet shutdown (as per the report):

  • Economic cost: It disrupts financial transactions, entrepreneurship, commerce and industry
    • The World Bank recently calculated that Internet shutdowns in Myanmar alone had cost nearly $2.8 billion from February-December 2021, reversing economic progress made over the previous decade.
  • Disrupts political transparency: Such disruptions undermine or eliminate access to digital tools that are critical for campaigning, promoting public discussion, conducting voting and overseeing the electoral processes
    • g. Shutdowns following protests during electoral periods in Belarus and Niger
  • Disrupts civic life:g. societal debates, works of NGO, SHG.
  • Interferes with health and education: E.g. for digital education and tele-medicines
  • Endangers vulnerable sections: women and girls who are in need of support and protection
  • Loss of creativity: People are not able to utilize their online creativity and long-term disruption may also affect their mental health

 

Recommendations

  • Stop imposing Internet shutdowns: It may be the last recourse but should be used rarely for legitimate reasons
  • Legitimate shutdown: Need to control the spread of hate speech, disinformation or other forms of content deemed illegal or harmful
  • Clear policies: There should be an unambiguous, publicly available and legitimate policy for any shutdown
  • Internet companies should engage and collaborate with stakeholders including government and civil society to prevent such disruption

 

<strong>Provisions related to shutdown in India </strong>

Temporary suspension of Telecom Services (public emergency and public safety) Rules 2017 under Indian Telegraph Act, 1885: It governs suspension, shutdown or any disruption in telcom services on the ground of Public emergency but only upto 15 days at once

Supreme court observations:

  • Right to internet is a fundamental right (subject to reasonable restrictions)included in the freedom of expression under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Restrictions on fundamental rights could not be in exercise of arbitrary powers.These freedoms could only be restricted as a last resort if “relevant factors” have been considered and no other options are there.
  • Any order passed to restrict or suspend judicial scrutiny will be subject to judicial scrutiny.
  • Suspension of internet services indefinitely is also a violation of telecom rules. 

 

SC Guidelines

The court recognised that the 2017 Rules are the only procedure to be followed to suspend Internet services in the occurrence of a “public emergency” or for it to be “in the interest of public safety”.

  1. The verdict reiterated that the competent authority to issue an order under the Suspension Rules, in ordinary circumstances, would be the Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  2. The Rules also say that in case the confirmation does not come from a competent authority, the orders shall cease to exist within a period of 24 hours.
  3. Clear reasons for such orders need to be given in writing, and need to be forwarded to a Review Committee by the next working day.
  4. The confirmation must not be a mere formality, but must indicate independent application of mind by the competent authority to the order passed by the authorised officer, who must also take into account changed circumstances if any, etc.

 

Insta Links

REGULATING THE BAN

 

Practice Questions

Q. Are Internet shutdowns healthy for India? Critically analyse and also comment on the recent trends associated and the laws governing it. (250 words)

 

Sources: Down to Earth, OHCHR

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

Cooking with ‘dirty’ fuels affects women’s mental health

Gs Paper-2

Syllabus: Social Justice

 

Context:

The study revealed that women cooking primarily with charcoal and wood had approximately 50% higher odds of likely depression than those cooking with gas.

About 2.6 billion people — nearly half of the global population, most of them in Africa, Asia, and central and south America — rely on biomass fuels, like wood and charcoal, or kerosene to cook meals, heat, and light their homes.

 

In high-income countries, the inability to afford clean household energy has worsened people’s mental health. A recent study in the United Kingdom found that individuals who couldn’t afford to heat their homes had poorer mental health than those who could. This manifested in lower levels of life satisfaction.

Women whose homes did not have electricity for lighting also had 40% higher odds of being depressed than those with electric lighting.

Reasons:

  • These include a loss of productivity, fewer job opportunities, and less food security than those with access to clean energy.
  • Time is also lost because women often have to travel long distances to gather firewood.
  • Cooking with biomass fuels takes much longer than it would with clean energy sources.

Solution:

  • Providing clean and affordable cooking fuels.
  • Create awareness regarding the harmful effects of biomass burning, so that people will move on to alternate clean fuels.

This has led to reduced their stress levels, improved their diets, and provided them with more time to take on new employment.

 

Current Affairs

 

Source: DownToEarth

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

Carbon neutral efforts by Agri-food companies

Gs Paper-3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation

 

Context:

A recent report by FAO and EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), highlights the need for decarbonizing agrifood systems.

Status:

Global agrifood system:

  • Account for 21-37% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions
  • Are affected by warming through changing rainfall patterns and supply chain disruptions.

 

Carbon neutrality may help but still is an imperfect tool to transform food systems because:

  • Roadblock 1: Governance of standards and processes: g. A common terminology surrounding carbon neutrality is still lacking.
  • Roadblock 2: Knowledge, data and tools gaps at several levels
  • Roadblock 3: Costs: The costs of becoming carbon neutral can be relatively high for smaller farmers and companies
  • Roadblock 4: Engaging smaller players: While some companies are engaging SMEs and smallholder farmers in carbon neutrality efforts, these cases are singular and so far, wide-scale engagement has been minimal.

 

Action Area for greener agrifood system:

  • Strategically target carbon neutrality ( through decarbonization policies and Nationally Determined Contributions)
  • Improve and standardize tools: g.  simplify and harmonise database and standards for carbon accounting)
  • Directly support companies and farmers to decarbonize
  • Awareness and education on carbon neutrality
  • Promote sound governance mechanisms to guide low-carbon investment and private sector compliance

Current Affairs 

 

What are Net-zero emissions?

Net zero-emission (or carbon neutrality) means removing an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere as we release it, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance.

 

What is meant by the CO₂ budget?

A CO₂ budget determines how much CO₂ a country or person is allowed to emit in order to achieve the global climate protection goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.

 

Inst Links

India will achieve net-zero emissions by 2070

 

Practice Questions

Q. Discuss the concept of Carbon Neutrality? Explain its significance.  Also, evaluate the feasibility of such a principle for a developing country like India. (10M)

Q. Discuss the ways in which India can achieve its ambitious targets of net zero emissions by 2070. (10M)

 

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

(a) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

(b) The UNEP Secretariat

(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat

(d) The World Meterological Organisation

 

Answer: C

Launched in 2015 by UNFCCC, it urges individuals, companies, and governments to measure their climate footprint, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

 

Q. What is blue carbon? (UPSC CSE 2021)

(a) Carbon captured by oceans and coastal ecosystems.

(b) Carbon sequestered in forest biomass and agricultural soils.

(c) Carbon contained in petroleum and natural gas.

(d) Carbon present in atmosphere

Answer: A 

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)

Gs Paper-3

Syllabus: Agriculture

 

Context:

Cabinet approves digitisation of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

PACS: It is a village-level institution that works directly with rural residents. It encourages agriculturists to save, accepts deposits from them, makes loans to deserving borrowers, and collects repayments.

PACS are the lowest unit in a three-tier structure: The other two tiers — State Cooperative Banks (StCB) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB) — have already been automated by the NABARD and brought on the Common Banking Software (CBS).

 

Benefits:

  • Computerisation will bring transparency and link all credit societies to a common accounting system
  • Each PACS will get around ₹4 lakh to upgrade its capacity and even old accounting records will be digitised and linked to cloud-based software.
  • Service delivery: Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS), Crop Insurance Scheme (PMFBY), and inputs like fertilizers and seeds
  • A government statement said that PACS account for 41% (3.01 crore farmers) of the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans given by all entities in the country

 

In the pipeline:

  • Amendments to the model bylaws that would govern the PACS will be placed in the public domain soon (‘Cooperative is a state subject)
  • Amendments to the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Amendment Act, 2002 will also be effected soon
  • Plans to set up a National Cooperative University
  • Pan India legislation to govern the credit societies.

 

 

Current Affairs

 

Inst Links

Practice Questions

Q. Analyse the role of Cooperative societies as an economic driver toward national development. (10M)

 

Q. With reference to ‘Urban Cooperative Banks’ in India, consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2021)

1. They are supervised and regulated by local boards set up by the State Governments.

2. They can issue equity shares and preference shares.

3. They were brought under the purview of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 through an Amendment in 1966.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d)1, 2 and 3

Answer: B

 

Q. Consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2020)

  1. In terms of short-term credit delivery to the agriculture sector, District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) deliver more credit in comparison of Scheduled Commercial Banks are Regional Rural Banks
  2. One of the most important functions of DCCBs is to provide funds to the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.

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: B

 

 Q. In India, which of the following have the highest share in the disbursement of credit to agriculture and allied activities? (UPSC CSE 2011)

(a) Commercial Banks

(b) Cooperative Banks

(c) Regional Rural Banks

(d) Microfinance Institutions

Answer: A

Commercial banks: around  60%

Cooperative banks: 30%

 

Source: The Hindu

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

Kyoto: Why is it important to preserve our cultural values and traditions?

 

Just weeks before the US dropped the most powerful weapon mankind has ever known, Nagasaki was not even on a list of target cities for the atomic bomb. In its place was Japan’s ancient capital, Kyoto.

 

Kyoto was known as home to more than 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, including 17 World Heritage Sites.

Secretary of War Henry Stimson had visited Kyoto earlier and greatly admired its beauty, art architecture and cultural traditions. He persuaded President Truman to remove the city from the list of target cities. Instead, Nagasaki was chosen to be bombed.

 

This incident highlights how the culture and traditions of a place are important to project its global identity.

 

Current Affairs
 

/ 30 June CA, Today's Article

Facts For Prelims

Weaving Jamdani

It is a cotton brocade characterised by floral patterns, jamdani is a light and translucent fabric.

In 2013, UNESCO added jamdani weaving to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The fabric also received the Geographical Indications (GI) tag in Bangladesh in 2016.

Jamdani weaving is believed to have emerged from the Dhaka muslin industry, with both plain and decorative motifs emerging during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq (1324–51), with the arrival of Persian craftsmen to India.

GOAL

Context

Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the 2nd Phase of the Going Oline as Leaders Programme (GOAL) programme. It is in partnership with Facebook India

Aim:

  • Identify, mobilise, and connect 2,500renowned leaders from the industry, who can personally mentor 5,000 youth (women) from tribal communities across the country.
  • Digitally upskill 10 lakh youth from tribal communities
  • Create a platform for Self-Help Group and those associated with TRIFED to take their products global.

Dynamic world

It is a new service from Google to track how the planet changes in response to various natural and human activities like floods, fires, deforestation, etc.

UN ocean conference: ‘Blue Deal’

Context:

A “Blue Deal” is being promoted at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference to enable the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth.

It includes global trade, investment, and innovation to create a sustainable and resilient ocean economy, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Benefits:

  • Coastal and island developing nations can benefit from the sustainable development of the ocean economy, including fisheries and aquaculture, coastal tourism, maritime transport, offshore renewable energy, ecosystem services, and marine genetic resources.
  • It can create jobs and generate revenue for these nations,

NASA’s CAPSTONE Mission

Context:

NASA launched CAPSTONE, a microwave oven-sized CubeSat weighing just 55 pounds (25 kg). CAPSTONE – Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, is designed to test a unique, elliptical lunar orbit known as a near-rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) which is significantly elongated, and is located at a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon. This offers stability for long-term missions like Gateway.

  • CAPS (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System) is CAPSTONE’s autonomous navigation software
  • If tested successfully, the software will allow future spacecraft to determine their location without having to rely exclusively on Earth-based tracking.

India’s first mRNA vaccine for Covid-19

Context:

The country’s first home-grown mRNA Covid-19 vaccine — GEMCOVAC-19 — developed at Pune’s Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has got a ‘restricted emergency use’ nod for the 18-and-above age group.

RIMPAC

Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is the largest naval exercise including four Quad countries (including India) and others in the pacific rim. It is held biennially from June-July and is administered by US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command. It aims to train countries to ensure the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.


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