Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 27 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 2:

1. Suspension of MPs from Parliament

2. Freebies culture

3. Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on E-commerce

4. UN lays down guidelines to protect children displaced by climate change

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on E-commerce

2. Use of technology to make efficient auto cars

 

Content for Mains enrichment (Ethics/Essay)

1. Against Moral Policing

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. ‘Johar’ greeting

2. India Designates 5 New Ramsar Sites

3. White Onion gets GI tags

4. Delimitation in four North-East States

5. Model Tenancy Act

6. Manure Management

7. Borrowings by State PSUs

 

Note: There are many articles, which we have to leave out, but will be covered in tomorrow’s CA

 


Suspension of MPs from Parliament

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Parliament

 

Source: Indian Express

Context: As 19 Opposition members are suspended from Rajya Sabha for a week. This is important for Prelims (the process of suspension) and for mains (just remember the instances of suspension in the parliament this year- to be used as an example)

Reason for suspension:  The MPs were suspended for “unruly behaviour”.

What are the Rules under which the Presiding Officer acts? (no need to remember the rules, just look at the process once)

Power to the presiding officer: In order to ensure that proceedings are conducted in the proper manner, the Speaker/ Chairman is empowered to force a Member to withdraw from the House.

Process:

  • Speaker ( under Rule Number 373 of Lok Sabha) may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House, and any Member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall remain absent during the remainder of the day’s sitting.
  • If Member disobeys:
    • Speaker may name the member and, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member (naming such Member) be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
    • A member suspended under this rule shall forthwith withdraw from the precincts of the House.
  • Under Rule 374A: In case of gross violation or severe charges, on being named by the Speaker, the member stands automatically suspended from the service of the House for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less.

For Rajya Sabha, it is the same process:

  1. The Chairman may “name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and wilfully obstructing” business.
  2. In such a situation, the House may adopt a motion suspending the Member from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.
  3. The House may, however, by another motion, terminate the suspension.

Is suspending an MP a common practice in Parliament?

It is strong action, but it is not uncommon. Suspensions have become more common in recent years, and have taken place every year since 2019.

Other cases of suspension:

  • November (2021): 12 opposition members were suspended in Rajya Sabha on the very first day of the Winter Session for “their unprecedented acts of misconduct, contemptuous, unruly and violent behaviour and intentional attacks on security personnel”.
  • September (2020): Eight Rajya Sabha MPs had been suspended on September 2020 for unruly behaviour in the House the previous day.

Rules of parliamentary etiquette:

MPs are required to adhere to certain rules of parliamentary etiquette.

  • For example, the Lok Sabha rulebook specifies that MPs are not to interrupt the speech of others, maintain silence and not obstruct proceedings by hissing or making running commentaries during debates.

Newer forms of protest led to these rules being updated in 1989.

  • Now, members should not shout slogans, display placards, tear up documents in protest, and play a cassette or a tape recorder in the House.

Terms of suspension:

  1. The maximum period of suspension is for the remainder of the session.
  2. Suspended members cannot enter the chamber or attend the meetings of the committees.
  3. He will not be eligible to give notice for discussion or submission.
  4. He loses the right to get a reply to his questions.

Differences in powers of Speaker and Chairman of Rajya Sabha:

  • Like the Speaker in Lok Sabha, the Chairman of Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to “direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House.
  • Unlike the Speaker, however, the Rajya Sabha Chairman does not have the power to suspend a Member.

Conclusion:

Every instance of suspension of an MP triggers strong statements on both sides. It is generally agreed that a balance has to be struck and that the solution to unruly behaviour has to be long-term and consistent with democratic values.

Insta Links

Speaker of Lok Sabha

 

Practice Questions:

Q.A Parliamentary System of Government is one in which

(a) all political parties in the Parliament are represented in the Government

(b) off the Government is responsible to the Parliament and can be removed by it

(c) the Government is elected by the people and can be removed by them

(d) the Government is chosen by the Parliament but cannot be removed by it before the completion of a fixed term

Answer: B

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the support of the legislature, typically a parliament, to which it is accountable.

Freebies culture

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government policies

 

Source: Indian Express

Context: SC has a direct union government to consult the finance commission on whether it is possible to regulate the distribution of freebies by political parties using public money.

  • Freebies’ are important for this year’s exam, do have a pre-prepared note on this topic, if you are giving Mains this time.

Stand of  ECI on freebies: It said it has no power to regulate the same or take action against parties making such poll promises.

  • ECI cannot regulate policy decisions: “offering/distribution of any freebies either before or after the election is a policy decision of the party concerned.
The ‘revdi’ culture

Freebies like free power and a monthly stipend to women are among promises made by parties and this is common in elections in state after state. Earlier this month, the PM said it’s time to stop this practice and called it the ‘revdi’ culture hurting the country, its development and well-being.

Impact of such freebies on state budgets:

Expenditure side:

  • Huge drain on state resources: farm loan waiver in Maharashtra resulted in an outgo of Rs 45,000-51,000 crore during the financial year 2020-21.
  • Lack of specific outcome targets: No responsibility for the money spent. Telangana has committed 35% of revenue receipts, almost 63% of the state’s own tax revenue, to finance populist schemes which are cantered on freebies.

Revenue side:

  • Negative impact on state-owned enterprises: leading loss-making PSU’s.
    • March report from ICRA, subsidy payments by governments were estimated to comprise 16% of Discom revenues at an all -India level in 2021-22.
  • Low tax collections: due to Free electricity, free water, free rides etc., there is no realization of tax on these.

Political:

  • Competitive manifestos, sometimes seem impractical and illogical and unimplementable. It leads to the degeneration of the political agenda. This can even lead to the wastage of resources on frivolous promises without any real results to show.

Issues with Freebies culture:

  • Huge debt burden: The debt-to-GDP ratio of Punjab reached 53.3% in 2021-22 due to the high-subsidy burden.
  • Creates a never-ending cycle of freebies: as populist schemes are countered with more populist measures.
  • Social inequalities: With the Rajasthan government’s decision to revert to the old pension scheme for its employees, just 6% of the population captures benefits as high as 56% of the pension and salary expenditure.
  • More expenditure towards servicing just interest costs: Andhra Pradesh spent roughly 13% of its budget of 22,000 crores on interest payments.

Measures to mitigate the negative impacts:

  • Role of Finance Commission: Finance Commission (an independent body) when it makes allocations to various states, can take into account the debt of the state and in the context of that find out whether the state’s economy will be sustainable over the years in the context of the freebies.
  • Strengthening Election Commission: bringing freebies under MCC and regulating manifestos by ECI.
  • Demand-based freebies: with priority to DPSPs based or merit goods such as PDS system, education, health etc. for greater prosperity.
  • Improving transparency: to ensure it reaches real beneficiaries. E.g., a farm loan waiver reaches only actual farmers.
  • Revising FRBM act: placing a limit on expenditure on loan waivers, free electricity and water.
  • Outcome-based budgeting: makes the departments accountable for their work, as done on Jharkhand recently fixes responsibility on debts.
  • Educating the public: On effects of such freebies and need for fiscal discipline. E.g. demanding the source of funds for such freebies through citizen groups.

Finance commission Chief N.K Singh recently pointed out that political competition over such sops is a “quick passport to fiscal disaster”. Hence, there is a need to avoid those before they become the norm.

Insta Links

Are freebies affecting the economic growth of India?

Practice Questions:

Q. Do you think populism, personality cult and freebie culture in politics which is often witnessed during elections in states such as Tamil Nadu is good for economic growth and development? Critically comment. (250 Words) 

UN lays down guidelines to protect children displaced by climate change

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Social Justice/ Welfare policies

 

Context:

United Nations-backed agencies have issued guidelines to provide the first-ever global policy framework to protect children displaced due to climate change.

(Just go through the points and note down 2-3 points under ‘UN guidelines for children’- to be incorporated into your main answer writing)

  • The Guiding Principles for Children on the Move in the Context of Climate Changecontain a set of nine principles that address the unique vulnerabilities of children who have been uprooted. The guidelines cover both internal as well cross-border migrations.
  • The landmark guidelines were launched by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Georgetown University and the United Nations University.

The Guiding Principles have been developed to safeguard the rights and well-being of children moving in the context of climate change, and are as follows:

Principle 1: Rights-based approach
Principle 2: Best interests of the child
Principle 3: Accountability
Principle 4: Awareness and participation in decision-making
Principle 5: Family unity
Principle 6: Protection, safety and security
Principle 7: Access to education, health care and social services
Principle 8: Non-discrimination
Principle 9: Nationality

These Guiding Principles are intended to be used by local and national governments, international organizations and civil society groups working with children on the move in the context of climate change. They are based on existing international law as well as operational guidelines or frameworks which have been developed by a variety of stakeholders. The Principles are derived from the Convention on the Rights of the Child and do not create new international legal obligations.

Insta Links

UN slams child marriage

 

Practice Questions

Q. Write a note on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the impact of poverty on child rights. (10M)

Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on E-commerce

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Liberalisation after 1991

 

Source: Rajya Sabha

Context: Recent report of the committee “Promotion and Regulation of E-commerce in India”

(Note down 2-3 suggestions from the report and understand the difference between various models of e-commerce)

Issues highlighted by the report:

  • Few platforms control a large part of the e-commerce market (which may lead to monopoly)
  • Lack of platform neutrality, i.e., providing preferential treatment to selected sellers
  • Deep discounting,e., discounts of preferred sellers are selectively funded by the platform
  • Non-transparent search rankings
  • Misuse of data

Recommendations:

  • Formulate a policy which clearly defines marketplace and inventory-based models of e-commerce.
  • It recommended that marketplace-commerce entities should:
    • not sell goods that it owns or controls
    • not have any direct or indirect relationship with sellers who sell on the platform
    • be prohibited from licensing their brand to third-party sellers on the platform
  • Gatekeeper entities: Certain e-commerce platforms need greater scrutiny (as is applicable in other countries): It recommends India should select “gatekeeper” platforms of a specific scale that require more stringent supervision.
  • Mandatory registration of e-commerce companies with DPIIT
  • Create Digital Market Division to overcome regulatory gaps
  • Implement the Personal Data protection bill (2019)
  • DPIIT should address issues such as maintaining a level playing field between small businesses and e-commerce giants and provide technical support to small and local businesses.
  • Obligations put on e-commerce entities through Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020(such as the appointment of the chief compliance officer, and setting up a grievance redressal mechanism) should be applicable to those entities above a certain threshold.
    • It puts a compliance burden on new e-commerce entities.

Insta Links

Sansad TV: Parliamentary report on E-commerce

 

Practice Questions

Q.With reference to foreign-owned e-commerce firms, operating in India, which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC 2022)

  1. They can sell their own goods in addition to offering their platforms as market-places.
  2. The degree to which they can own big sellers on their platforms is limited.

Which of the above statements are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

As per the FDI policy changes, foreign firms are prevented from holding inventory or selling their own goods, which both Amazon and Walmart do in other markets. They can offer their platforms only as “marketplaces” for other buyers and sellers.

2nd statement is true, the degree to which they can own big sellers on their platforms is limited (to maintain a level playing field)

Use of technology to make efficient auto vehicles

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Source: Indian Express

Context: Nudged by tough BS6 emission norms, automakers are offering mild and strong hybrid options in their vehicles and using technology to make vehicles efficient

(Just remember a few names to be written in the mains answer and some basic terminology of engine for prelims, no need to get into details unless you are an auto-enthusiast)

Diesel’s Engine

      • Working: In a compression-ignited system, the diesel fuel is injected into the combustion chamber of the engine and ignited by the high temperatures achieved when the gas is compressed by the engine piston.
          • Because they use compressed air with no spark plug for the ignition process, diesel engines use 15%-20% per cent less fuel compared to a petrol engine vehicle.
      • Higher cost: Diesel engines entailed higher upfront costs, and their servicing and maintenance costs tended to be more.
      • It produces much more toxic gases and so shifts towards petrol variants.

 

Fig: working of Petrol Engine (Left) and Diesel Engine (right)

 

Petrol tech innovations

      • TWO FUEL INJECTORS PER CYLINDER:In Maruti Suzuki’s new DualJet technology, two injectors are placed close to the engine inlet valves, which enables finer atomisation of fuel, resulting in more complete combustion and higher efficiency.
      • GASOLINE DIRECT INJECTION:GDI is a sophisticated engine that injects fuel precisely and at very high pressure directly into the combustion chamber of the engine. This leads to higher fuel efficiency, higher power output, and significantly lower emissions.
      • TURBOCHARGED PETROL ENGINES: Turbocharger — a turbine that is powered by the engine’s exhaust fuel to subsequently power that additional compressed air into the combustion chamber, resulting in extra combustion of the air-fuel mix. The result: these smaller turbocharged engines produce more energy than a bigger engine while guzzling less petrol.
      • STRONG HYBRID TECH:A hybrid system sometimes includes a petrol engine that’s paired with an electric motor and a Lithium-ion or Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack that allows the automobile to be pushed in a purely electrical mode for short distances. The battery pack is recharged by the engine, or by way of regenerative braking.

Insta Links

Fuel in 6th Gear

Practice Questions

Q. Consider the following statements:

    1. Maize can be used for the production of starch.
    2. Oil extracted from maize can be a feedstock for biodiesel.
    3. Alcoholic beverages can be produced by using maize.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only.

(b) 1 and 2 only

© 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D

 

Q. Lead, ingested or inhaled, is a health hazard. After the addition of lead to petrol has been banned, what still are the sources of lead poisoning?

    1. Smelting units
    2. Pens pencils
    3. Paints
    4. Hair oils and cosmetics

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: B

Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, but the human activity — mining, burning fossil fuels and manufacturing — has caused it to become more widespread. Lead was also once a key ingredient in paint and gasoline and is still used in batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, and roofing materials.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)


Against Moral Policing

 

The incident happened in an  Engineering College, Thiruvananthapuram Kerala bus stop where benches were made into single chairs so that boys and girls couldn’t sit together. The residents of that area didn’t want that bus stop would become an area where boys and girls would mingle and gather.

As a reaction to this, students of that college released a photo on social media where they can be seen sitting on each other’s lap, which has gone viral.

This example can be used in society, modern vs traditional values.

 


Facts for Prelims


‘Johar’ greeting

Context:

The 15th President of IndiaDroupadi Murmu, assumed office Monday with a ‘Johar’ greeting to the country.

‘Johar’, which essentially means ‘salutation and welcome’, is used within the tribal communities of Jharkhand, and in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha. According to several tribal leaders from Jharkhand, the word ‘Johar’ also means ‘paying respect’. Tribal communities are nature worshippers and follow the Sarna religion code, although it is not an official religion.

 

Researchers develop antimicrobial coating from agricultural waste

A research team from the DBT-CIAB (Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing), Mohali, has developed a nanocomposite using lignin and nanoparticles of cadmium sulfide called L@CdS QDs (quantum dots). The team has also coated the nanocomposite on personal protective equipment (PPE) and demonstrated its efficacy in destroying bacteria.

 

India Designates 5 New Ramsar Sites

India has designated five (5) new wetlands of International importance, which include three wetlands (Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest & Pichavaram Mangrove) in Tamil Nadu, one (Pala wetland) in Mizoram and one wetland (Sakhya Sagar) in Madhya Pradesh, making a total of 54 Ramsar sites in the country.

  • Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest (TN): It is a freshwater marsh in Chennai. It is the only surviving wetland ecosystem in Chennai and the last remaining natural wetlands of South India.
  • Karikili Bird Sanctuary (TN): Located in the Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu
  • Pichavaram Mangrove (TN): It is located near Chidambaram in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu. It could be counted among the largest mangrove forests in the country (more than 1100 hectares).
  • Pala wetland (Mizoram): It is the largest natural wetland in Mizoram. The wetland is surrounded by green woodlands.
  • Sakhya Sagar (MP): This lake is an integral part of Madhav National Park in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh.

 

The Ramsar sites have been increased from 49 to 54 Ramsar sites.

Ramsar convention:

  • It is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
  • It is named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on 2 February 1971.
  • Known officially as ‘the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat’ (or, more recently, just ‘the Convention on Wetlands’), it came into force in 1975.

 Montreux Record:

  • Montreux Record under the Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
  • It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.

 

White Onion gets GI tags

Location: Alibagh (Maharastra) is known for growing white onion using the traditional method and utilizing geo-climatic conditions for a unique taste, flavour and shape.

About

A GI is primarily an agricultural, natural or manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.

  • Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.

How long is the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?

  • The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
  • It can be renewed from time to time for a further period of 10 years each.

In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect in September 2003. The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.

 

Delimitation in four North-East States

Context: Supreme Court issues notice on the plea seeking delimitation in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur.

Background: As per section 8A of RPA 1950, President can order delimitation exercises in these four states. However, no such exercise has taken place in these four states in the last 51 years due to various concerns.

  • Previous order for delimitation (in 2020) was limited to J&K only.

What is Delimitation:- Delimitation literally means the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state that has a legislative body.

  • Delimitation commission orders have the force of law and they cannot be challenged before any court.

Composition of the Commission: According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission will have three members: a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and the State Election Commissioner as ex-officio members.

Constitutional Provisions:

  • Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per the Delimitation Act after every Census.

 

 

Model Tenancy Act

Context: Over a year since the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry passed the Model Tenancy Act (MTA) (June 2021), only four States had revised their tenancy laws to be in line with the MTA.

  • These states are:- Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Assam have revised Tenancy Acts on the lines of MTA.
  • Aim of MTA: To balance the rights of tenants and landlords and to “create an accountable and transparent ecosystem for renting of premises in a disciplined and efficient manner”.
  • Status: There are over 1.1 Cr houses lying vacant (census 2011), still there is a scarcity of tenant housing in major cities and rents remain high.

current affairs

 

Manure Management

Context: National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) (a statutory body under NDDB Act 1987) has launched a company (MRIDA ltd.) to work on manure management.

  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
  • Definition: Manure management refers to the capture, storage, treatment, and utilization of animal manures in an environmentally sustainable manner.
  • Benefits of manure management: lower the cost of fertilizers (by producing bio-slurry), increases income from milch animals, lowers Greenhouse emissions (by generating biogas which can be a substitute for LPG)

Government scheme for manure management:

  • Gobar Dhan scheme (energy from cattle waste
  • SuDhan (a trademark to provide a common identity to dung-based organic fertilizers)
  • Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA): production of organic manure from bio-waste.

 

Borrowings by State PSUs

Context: Now off-budget borrowings by states in form of borrowings by state-owned companies, special purpose vehicles etc. will be considered under the state’s FRBM limit.

These borrowings will need the consent of the Union Government under Article 293(3).

FRBM Act: It was made in 2003 to set fiscal discipline on the central and state government. As per the 12th Finance Commission (FC), all the states have to enact their FRBM Act and its compliance will be monitored by state legislatures.

  • Net Borrowing Ceiling (NBC) if decided by the Union government at beginning of each financial year e.g. this year (2022-23) it is 3.5% GSDP (based on 15th FC) + 0.05% ( if the state carries out power sector reforms)
  • K Singh Panel review of the FRBM Act has placed A debt-to-GDP ratio of 40%for the central government, 20% for the state governments together and a fiscal deficit of 2.5% of GDP (gross domestic product), both by the financial year 2022-23.

However, several state governments have opposed this move, as it will curtail their borrowing powers.

Article 293 deals with borrowing by the states government: (just go through it once, no need to note it down)

293 (1): the executive power of a State extends to borrowing within the territory of India upon the security of the Consolidated Fund of the State

293(2): Central government may make loans to any State or give a guarantee, so long as any limits fixed under Article 292 are not exceeded

293(3): A State may not without the consent of the Government of India raise any loan if there is still an outstanding part of a loan

 


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram ID HERE