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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 09 July 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. India gets elected to the UNESCO committee

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Meghalaya tribal council to revisit Instrument of Accession

2. Revised social security scheme for sportspersons

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Forest landscape restoration

 

GS Paper 4:

1. Anonymity or Fame

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Dragon Fruit Cultivation

2. Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP)

3. National Industrial Corridor Development Programme (NICDP)

4. GigaMesh

5. Global Liveability Index 2022

6. Oncolytic viruses


India gets elected to the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

 GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

Context:

  • India has been elected as a member of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the 2022-2026 cycle.

Background:

  • India has previously served as a member of the ICH Committee twice – from 2006 to 2010 & from 2014 to 2018.
  • India is also a member of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO(2021-2025).
  • India ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in September 2005.

               

About:

  • The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention consists of 24 members and is elected in the General Assembly of the Convention according to the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation.
  • States Members to the Committee are elected for a term of four years.
  • With 14 inscriptions on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, India also ranks high in the listing of intangible cultural heritage.
  • After the inscription of Durga Puja in 2021, India submitted the nomination for Garba of Gujarat to be discussed in 2023.

 

Current Affairs

 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):

●      It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).

●      It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.

●      It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), a coalition of UN agencies and organizations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

●      UNESCO’s Headquarters are located in Paris and the Organization has more than 50 field offices around the world.

●      It has 193 Members and 11 Associate Members (As of April 2020) and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board.

●      Three UNESCO member states are not UN members: Cook Islands, Niue, and Palestine.

●      While three UN member states (Israel, Liechtenstein, United States) are not UNESCO members.

 

Insta Links:

UNESCO World heritage sites

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Which of the following is/are on UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list?

  1. Yoga
  2. Ramman
  3. Holi
  4. Kalbelia

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  • 1, 2 and 4 only
  • 1, 2 and 3 only
  • 2 and 3 only
  • 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)

Justification:

Kindly refer to the above image

Source: PIB

Meghalaya tribal council to revisit Instrument of Accession

 GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Separation of powers between various organs; dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions, tribal Councils, 5th schedule, 6th schedule etc

 

Context:

  • A tribal council in Meghalaya has called for a meeting of traditional heads to revisit the Instrument of Accession that made the Khasi domain a part of the Indian Union more than seven decades ago.
  • The chief executive member of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) agreed that the Instrument of Accession and Annexed Agreement signed with the Dominion of India between December 15, 1947, and March 19, 1948, should be studied.
  • The KHADC said the provisions can be added to the Sixth Schedule, which “can be amended by Parliament”.

 

Current Affairs

 

Background:

  • Meghalaya is divided into three regions dominated by as many matrilineal communities – the Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. The Khasi hills straddle 25 Himas or States that formed the Federation of Khasi States.
  • The conditional treaty with these States was signed by Governor-General of India, Chakravarty Rajagopalachari, on August 17, 1948.
  • Nagaland was granted special status under Article 371A, which was an idea of the Federation of Khasi States.

 

INSTRUMENT OF ACCESSION OF THE KHASI STATE:

  • It was signed between the Khasi rulers and the Dominion of India.
  • Agreement (which shall be regarded as part of Instrument of Accession), Khasi accepted that the Dominion Legislature may make laws for the said Khasi States in respect of any matter.

 

Sixth Schedule:

●      The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states.

●      This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

●      The Sixth Schedule provides for autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

●      These councils are empowered to make laws in respect of areas under their jurisdiction, which cover the land, forest, cultivation, inheritance, indigenous customs and traditions of tribals, etc. and also to collect land revenues and certain other taxes.

 

Insta Links:

Fifth Schedule

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Which of the following states is/are covered under Sixth Schedule?

  1. Assam
  2. Nagaland
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Tripura

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1, 2 and 4 only

b. 1, 3 and 4 only

c. 2 and 3 only

d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (b)

Justification:

Sixth Schedule: It deals with the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states, under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution. It gives autonomy in the administration of these areas through Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

Source: The Hindu

Union Minister for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launches revised schemes of Cash Awards, National Welfare and Pension to sportspersons

 GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of society, mechanism, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these schemes etc

 

Context:

Union Minister for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, launched revised schemes of Cash Awards, National Welfare and Pension to sportspersons, Web Portal for Schemes of Department of Sports and National Sports Development Fund website.

 

Key Amendments:

  • Applicants can apply directly: Now any individual sports person can directly apply for all three schemes as per his/her eligibility.
  • Reducing time limit: Applicants now need to apply online for a cash award scheme within six months from the last date of closing of the particular event.
  • Ease in the verification process: The verification process in all three schemes has been eased to a great extent to reduce the processing time.
  • Pension benefits to Deaflympics: Deaflympics means deaf sports for deaf athletes who compete at an elite international level.
  • Website for NSDF: Development of a dedicated interactive website yas.gov.in for ‘National Sports Development Fund’ (NSDF).
    • This Fund is based on CSR contributions from Central & State Governments, PSUs, private companies, individuals etc. for the promotion and development of sports in the country.

 

Meritorious Sportsperson Pension Scheme:

●      This scheme is formed to attract and retain the best sporting talent in our country to achieve excellence in sports

●      It provides incentive as well as financial security to meritorious sportspersons in recognition of their outstanding performance in international competitions.

●      The assured monthly income will be compensation for the opportunities spurned by them in pursuit of their high ambition and achievement in sports.

●      Sportspersons who have won Gold, Silver or Bronze medals in the following international competition will get a monthly pension under this scheme:

○       Olympic Games

○       World Cup in Olympics

○       Asian Games disciplines

○       Asian Games

○       Commonwealth Games

○       Paralympic Games

 

SCHEME OF CASH AWARDS TO MEDAL WINNERS IN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS EVENTS AND THEIR COACHES:

●      The cash awards were introduced in 1986 and Amended in 2020.

●      To incentivize the achievements of outstanding sportspersons, encourage and motivate them for higher achievements and to act as inspiring role models for attracting the younger generation to take up sports.

●      The Awards will be given in the following disciplines:

○       Sports disciplines in Olympic Games/ Asian Games/ Commonwealth

○       Games Chess

○       Billiards & Snooker

 

 

Insta Links:

 Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS)

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Critically analyze Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s National Welfare for Sportspersons scheme and also discuss the key amendments in the schemes. (15M)

Q. Consider the following statements in respect of the Laureus World Sports Award which was instituted in the year 2000 (UPSC 2021)

  1. American golfer Tiger Woods was the first winner of this award.
  2. The award has been received mostly by ‘Formula One’ players so far.
  3. Roger Federer received this award the maximum number of times compared to others.

Which of the above statements are correct?

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 2 and 3 only

c. 1 and 3 only

d. 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c)

Justification:

The Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year is an annual award honouring the achievements of individual men from the world of sports. It was first awarded in 2000 as one of the seven constituent awards presented during the Laureus World Sports Awards.

  • Laureus World Sportsman of the year 2000 was given to Tiger Woods.
  • The award was received mostly by tennis players
  • Most awards: Roger Federer (5)

Source: PIB

Forest landscape restoration

 GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environmental Conservation

 

Context:

Ministry Of Environment, Forest And Climate Change To Organize Hariyali Mahotsav. The article is important from Mains perspective.

  • Hariyali Mahotsav: The Mahotsav is being organized to create awareness about the importance of trees and green cover to protect our environment against air pollution and global warming.
  • Van Mahotsav: (“celebrate the forest”):. The history of Van Mahotsav Day goes back to July 1947, when it was first organised by the Punjabi botanist, M.S. Randhawa. It is a pan-India tree planting festival celebrated in July every year.

Status of forest restoration:

  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), deforestation and forest degradation contribute around 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 30% of forestland is degraded in India. The total area occupied by primary forests in India has decreased by 3.6%.
  • Nearly two billion hectares of degraded land in the world (and 140 million hectares in India) have scope for potential restoration as forest land.

 

What should be done:

  • ‘Forest landscape restoration’: Forest landscape restoration is the process of regaining ecological functionality and improving human welfare across deforested or degraded forest landscapes.
    • It seeks to involve- communities, champions, government, vulnerable forest-dependent people and landowners in the process of designing and executing mutually advantageous interventions for the up-gradation of landscapes.
    • According to academics from the World Resources Institute, forest ecosystems enrich soil fertility and water availability, enhancing agricultural productivity, and in turn the rural economy.
  • Ensure the diversity of the species while planting trees: Natural forests with diverse native tree species are more efficient in sequestering carbon than monoculture tree plantations.
    • Case study: In Punjab, the community is proactively planting native species such as Jhand, Desi Kikar and Pharwan, which are resilient and acclimatised. And most of these saplings have a high survival rate of 90%, a vital requirement for sustainable reforestation activities.
  • Promote Sustainable forest crops (agroforestry): It reduces food insecurity and empowers women, allowing them to gain access to more nutritional diets and new income streams.
    • Agroforestry lessens rural-to-urban migration and contributes to an increase in resources and household income.
    • Planting trees is deeply linked to the ‘wholistic’ well-being of all individuals, the community, and the planet.

Programmes

International:

  • The span 2021-2030 is the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, emphasising efforts to restore degraded terrestrial ecosystems including forests.
  • Bonn Challenge (2011): It was launched with a global goal to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
    • India joined the Bonn Challenge in 2015, pledging to restore 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2030. An additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through forest and tree cover is to be created by 2030.

India:

  • Programmes include: Compensatory Afforestation, the National Afforestation Programme, the National Mission for a Green India (Green India Mission), the Nagar Van scheme and the Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme, etc.
  • Green Skill Development Programme for youth who aspire to attain employment in the environment and forest sectors.
  • State governments: Telangana has initiated a large-scale tree planting programme called ‘Telanganaku Haritha Haram’ using drones.

Issues: Forest restoration in India faces hurdles in terms of the identification of areas for restoration, a lack of importance accorded to research and scientific strategies in tree planting, stakeholders’ conflicts of interest, and financing.

 

Insta Links

The baton of forest restoration in the net-zero race

 

Practice Questions:

Q. Forest restoration is one of the key elements of climate mitigation strategies. In this context, examine the measures taken in restoring the degraded forest landscape in India. (250 words)

Q. With reference to the ‘New York Declaration on Forests’. Which of the following statements are correct? (UPSC 2021)

  1. It was first endorsed at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014.
  2. It endorses a global timeline to end the loss of forests.
  3. It is a legally binding international declaration.
  4. It is endorsed by governments, big companies and indigenous communities.
  5. India was one of the signatories at its inception.

Select the Correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1,2 and 4

(b) 1,3 and 5

(c) 3 and 4

(d) 2 and 5

Answer: A

Spurred by the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests is a political declaration that brings together governments, companies and civil society actors including indigenous peoples organizations with the common aim of halving the loss of natural forests by 2020.

 

Q. Which of the following best describes/describe the aim of ‘Green India Mission’ of the Government of India?

  1. Incorporating environmental benefits and costs into the Union and State Budgets thereby implementing the ‘green accounting’
  2. Launching the second green revolution to enhance agricultural output so as to ensure food security for one and all in the future
  3. Restoring and enhancing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. It aims at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s forest cover and responding to Climate Change.

Source: The Hindu

Anonymity or Fame

 GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Foundational Values of Civil Servants

 

Civil Services: The post is paramount, not the person; work prevailed over publicity; they are supposed to remain faceless.

 

Recently civil servants have been in the news for all sorts of reasons not related to their work.

 

E. g 1) One couple, was caught walking their dog in a stadium that was cleared of athletes so that they could do so. Their consequent transfers also became a subject of public debate.
E. g 2) IAS couple toppers, who got married and divorced – were continuously in the news and on social media.

 

This is creating a breed of social media bureaucrats.

Practice Questions

Q. State the three basic values, universal in nature, in the context of civil services and bring out their importance. (UPSC CSE 2018)

 

Current Affairs

Source: Economic Times

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay):

On bridging the gender pay gap in sports

 

New Zealand has announced equal pay for both male and female cricketers is a major landmark in the fight to close the gender pay gap in sports.

The agreements are expected to be game-changers, encouraging more girls to take up the sports.

Historically, because of social conditioning men were encouraged to take part in sports. Women, on the other hand, have been forced to internalize that sporting participation and fandom are not for them. The need of the hour is to eliminate such barriers and improve access.

The prime example in India is the success of Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, who benefited from a reasonably well-structured system, found success and rose to become highly paid stars in their own right.

Reducing the pay gap is also about being fair and respectful, and recognizing the effort and excellence women bring to the sport. 

Current Affairs

/ 09 July CA, Today's Article

Facts For Prelims

 

Dragon Fruit Cultivation

Context:

Following the footsteps of the Gujarat and Haryana Governments, the Centre has decided to promote the cultivation of dragon fruit, known as a “super fruit” for its health benefits.

What does the government tell:

  • The Centre plans to come up with an annual action plan to motivate more State governments.
  • Mizoram tops among the States that cultivate this fruit
  • The success of Vietnam: The export of fruit has made a huge contribution to Vietnam’s GDP.

 

About:

  • Climatic condition: It can grow in semi-arid and arid regions and can tolerate a bit of salt. All the States in India except cold areas are suitable for dragon fruit plants.
    • Its flowering coincides with the monsoon season in India.
    • Its flowers are hermaphrodites (male and female organs in the same flower) in nature and open at night.
  • Native to America: The dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) is indigenous to the Americas. It is a member of the cacti family.
  • Different names: It is also known as ‘Pitaya’, ‘Pitahaya’, strawberry pear, noblewoman and queen of the night throughout the world. In India, it is also known as ‘Kamalam’.
  • Super Fruit: The plant sustains yield for more than 20 years, is high in nutraceutical properties (having medicinal effects) and good for value-added processing industries. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

 

Current Affairs

 

Open Acreage Licensing Programme (OALP)

Context:

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launches Open Acreage Licensing Programme Bid Round-VIII

Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) along with the National Data Repository (NDR) was launched in June 2017 as the key driver to accelerate the Exploration and Production (E&P) activities in India.

  • Under OALP, companies are given the freedom to carve out areas they want to explore oil and gas.  The areas sought are then put on auction.
  • Success: The successful roll-out of the HELP regime, followed by OALP Bid Rounds, has led to an increase in exploration acreages in India.

Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

HELP which replaced the erstwhile New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 2016. Under it:-

  • Exploration blocks shall be awarded on a continuous basis through e-bidding in a transparent manner.
  • It followed the Revenue sharing modelinstead of Profit-sharing for hydrocarbon exploration.
    Unified license for all types of hydrocarbons.
  • Freedom to carve out acreages of choice under OALP bid rounds.
  • Full marketing and pricing freedom of gas.

 

National Data Repository: NDR is a government-sponsored data bank for future exploration and development. E.g. Seismic Data, Well & Log Data, Spatial Data, other data like Drilling, Reservoir, Production, Geological, Gravity & Magnetic etc.

 

 

National Industrial Corridor Development Programme (NICDP)

Context:

Meeting of Apex monitoring authority of NICDP

NICDP aims to develop new industrial cities (as “smart Cities”) and industrial corridors (currently it is developing 11 such corridors) under the vision of PM Gati Shakti

  • NICDC (National Industrial Corridor Development Corporation) is a special purpose vehicle under Department for promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) (Ministry of Commerce and Industry)

 

PM Gati Shakti– National Master Plan for Multi-Modal connectivity to various Economic Zones. PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (PMGS-NMP) was launched on 13th October 2021 for providing multimodal connectivity infrastructure to various economic zones.

It has united infrastructural initiatives planned and initiated by 16 central ministries and departments, including railways, roads and highways, petroleum and gas, power, telecom, shipping and aviation, etc

Other plans under PM GatiShakti: Freight corridor, PM Mitra parks, Logistics Park, etc.

 

Current Affairs

 

Giga Mesh

Context: A women-led startup develops deep-tech for reliable low-cost internet services to rural areas

GigaMesh is an innovative  wireless network solution that can give optical fibre-like speed internet services to suburban and rural areas at a cheaper cost

It has been developed by Astrome, a women-led startup

  • The deep tech startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bangalore, and supported by the DST-ABI Woman Startup Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DST)

 

Global Liveability Index 2022

Findings:

  • Best liveable city in the world: Vienna
  • Best liveable city in India: Delhi
  • Least: Bengaluru
  • Released by: Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
  • Theme: Recovery and Hardship

The ranking is based on five broad categories: stability (25%),  culture and environment (25%), healthcare (20%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%)

 

 

 

Oncolytic viruses

Context: Recently, the human trial of a cancer-killing virus started

  • Oncolytic viruses are a form of immunotherapy that uses viruses to infect and destroy cancer cells in Oncolytic Virotherapy. They can kill cancer cells but leaves nearby healthy cells intact.
  • Working: The modified virus works by entering cells and duplicating itself. After the infected cell bursts, releasing thousands of new virus particles that act as antigens, it stimulates the immune system to attack nearby cancer cells.

 

Current Affairs

 


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