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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 27 August 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. Puttaswamy’ and the fading promise of a right

2. India votes against Russia in UNSC

 

GS Paper 3:

1. India needs a $10 tn investment for reaching the net-zero emission target by 2070

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay)

1. Innovative solution against Urban Heat Island/Heat Waves

2. Gender Parity Accelerator

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Constitution Bench

2. Center identifies 75 tribal districts for focused TB interventions

3. China pledges support to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session

4. Arth Ganga

5. National Cancer Grid (NCG)

6. Moderna suing Pfizer over Covid vaccine technology

7. Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project


 

Puttaswamy’ and the fading promise of a right

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Indian Constitution- historical underpinning, evolution, features, amendments, FRs etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Important for both prelims and mains, questions from right to privacy have been asked in UPSC before.

Context:

  • Marking five years since a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India delivered a crucial judgment in the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (retd.) vs Union of India.

 

Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (retd.) vs Union of India case(2017):

  • It formally recognised the right to privacy as being a fundamental right stemming from the right to life and personal liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • While the right to privacy is intrinsic to an individual’s ability to exercise bodily autonomy, it is still not an “absolute right”.

 

Issues still persist

  • Data security breaches which result in the loss and theft of personal, sensitive data have not reduced in terms of measurable frequency or their impact.
  • Procurement of personal information: Any person or business within and outside India can procure personal information.
  • Usage of data by companies: Data is used most often by some legitimate advertising agencies, unscrupulous telemarketing firms, and cybercriminals.
  • Use of Pegasus spyware on Indian nationals: Alleged use of the Pegasus spyware in India.
  • Access to VPN services: The recent interventions by the Government which aim to restrict Indian nationals from subscribing to and accessing VPN services.
  • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2021: despite how flawed it may have been, was withdrawn earlier this month after an unnecessarily long period of stagnation.

 

Conclusion:

  • Puttaswamy’s judgment has missed the mark quite spectacularly for the objective that was sought.
  • It represents a foregone opportunity to protect the rights of Indian citizens while ensuring all of the checks and balances necessary to prevent Government overreach and abuse of power.

 

Insta Links:

Right to privacy

 

Mains Link:

Q. Examine the scope of Fundamental Rights in light of the latest judgment of the Supreme Court on the Right to Privacy. (UPSC 2017)

 

Prelims Links:

  • Right to Privacy
  • Article 21
  • Puttaswamy’s judgment
  • Fundamental rights

Right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the Right to Life and Personal Liberty. Which of the following in the Constitution of India correctly and appropriately implies the above statement? (UPSC 2018)

a. Article 14 and the provisions under the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution

b. Article 17 and the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV

c. Article 21 and the freedoms guaranteed in Part III

d. Article 24 and the provisions under the 44th Amendment to the Constitution

Ans: (c)

Justification:

  • The right to Privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and the freedoms guaranteed in Part III of the Indian Constitution.
  • Right to Privacy has been declared a Fundamental Right by the Supreme Court in the case of Justice S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union of India.

India votes against Russia in UNSC

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: International relations- Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India and affecting India’s interests etc

 

Direction: This is for 1st the time that India has voted against Russian on a major platform and therefore important to analyse changing India stance.

Source: Indian Express, Economic times

 

Context:

  • India for the first time voted against Russia during a “procedural vote” at the UNSC on Ukraine, as the 15-member powerful UN body invited the Ukrainian

Key Highlights:

  • Procedural vote: In response to Russia’s request, a procedural vote was held in which out of 15 members of UNSC, 13 voted in favour of allowing Zelensky to address the council while Russia voted against it and China decided to abstain.
  • Abstain from signing the document: India did not sign a document at the UN premises against Russia that was sponsored by the West and had the backing of about 60 countries.
  • Joint anti-Russian statement: It was supported by only 58 United Nations member states or less than a third of the organization’s 193 members.
    • India was not a party to this joint statement.
  • Filtration operation: The US voiced concern about Russia’s “ filtration operation”, which involves the systematic and forced deportation of Ukrainian civilians to remote areas of the Russian Federation.

 

India’s Stand on Russia-Ukraine Crisis:

  • Neutral stand: India has maintained a neutral stand against Russia amid the ongoing military operations in Ukraine.
  • Diplomacy and dialogue: India has repeatedly reiterated its stand against the Russian and Ukrainian sides to return to the path of diplomacy and dialogue.

 

Insta Links:

UNSC

 

Mains Links:

Q. Discuss the impediments India is facing in its pursuit of a permanent seat in UN Security Council. (UPSC 2015)

 

Prelims link:

UNSC

Principal organs of UN

Geographical mapping of Ukraine

With reference to non-permanent members of UNSC, consider the following statements:

  1. Asia has the highest representation among all continents.
  2. The representation of Latin America and Europe is the same.
  3. The total number of non permanent members is 10.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

a. 1 and 2 only

b. 1 and 3 only

c. 3 only

d. 1 , 2 and 3

Ans: (a)

Justification:

Refer to image above

India needs a $10 tn investment for reaching the net-zero emission target by 2070

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environment Conservation

 

Source: Indian Express

Direction: Data can be noted, read the findings once.

Context: According to the ‘Getting India to Net Zero’ report, to achieve a net-zero emissions target by 2070, India needs a $10-tn investment from now

Other Findings:

  • Create a million jobs: Achieving net zero by 2070 would boost annual GDP by up to 4.7% by 2036 and create as many as 15 million new jobs by 2047.
  • Set to achieve 2015 target: India’s NDC targets set in 2015 are likely to be met early within the next few years through current policies
  • India could peak in emissions as soon as 2030.
  • Ending new coal by 2023 and transitioning from unabated coal power by 2040 would be particularly impactful for reaching net zero emissions closer to mid-century,” it says.
  • Acknowledged historical responsibility: Historical responsibility for emissions does lie with the West – and the transfer of finance and technology to developing countries is crucial in this challenge.

 

About the Report:

  • Report released by former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd (Convenor of High-level Policy Commission on Getting Asia to Net Zero)
  • The Getting India to Net Zero report contains new research and modelling and finds that policies to initiate the clean energy transition

 

India’s Panchamrit pledge at COP26:

  1. Reach 500 GW of Non-fossil energy capacity by 2030.
  2. 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
  3. Reduction of total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now to 2030.
  4. Reduction of the carbon intensity of the economy by 45 per cent by 2030, over 2005 levels.
  5. Achieving the target of net zero emissions by 2070.

 

The mantra of LIFE- Lifestyle: Lifestyle for Environment has to be taken forward as a campaign to make it a mass movement of Environment Conscious Lifestyles.

  

Insta Links

COP 26 Pledge

 

Mains Link:

Link it with sustainability, efforts towards it, and impact on earth and India if pledges are not met.

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

 

Prelims Link:

Know about various institutions involved in climate mitigation/assessment efforts.

Consider the following statements : (UPSC 2022)

    1. “The Climate Group” is an international non-profit organization that drives climate action by building large networks and running them.
    2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
    3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
    4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
    5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1, 2, 4 and 5
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2,3 and 5 only
(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Answer: B

Climate group is an international non-profit founded in 2003, with offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Amsterdam and Beijing.   EP100 is a global initiative led by The Climate Group and the Alliance to Save Energy. ( and not by IEA, so 2 is wrong)

EP100 initiative brings together a growing group of energy-smart companies committed to improving their energy productivity and doing more with less greenhouse gas emissions. India’s own Mahindra group is one of the leaders in cutting carbon emissions.

Climate Group (and not IEA) is the Secretariat to the Under2 Coalition.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)


Innovative solution against Urban Heat Island/Heat Waves

Direction: Remember the name and the city/state, to be used as a way forward/example in the answer.

Urban areas are constantly feeling periods of extreme heat, leading to the development of urban heat islands ( areas in the cities that are even hotter than their surrounding areas)

 

‘Cooling Singapore‘ (2017 project) to build a computer model, or digital urban climate twin, of Singapore. This has helped policymakers take corrective micro-level alterations for heat resilience.

      • E.g.  use of district-level cooling rather than inefficient individual air conditioning condensers

 

Wind Garden in Madrid (Spain): It is a spiral structure made of mosses and ferns, which catches the cool breeze above tree tops and draws them down to cool gardens and streets, acting like a giant air conditioner. It could lower the surrounding temperature by 4 degrees C.

 

‘Cool roofs’ feature bright coatings to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat.

 

‘Sponge cities’ (China):  It has transformed hard surfaces, such as roads and pavements, into permeable surfaces that can absorb, seep, purify and store water and thus also lower surrounding temperatures.

 

Gender Parity Accelerator

Direction: Just remember the name ‘Gender parity accelerator’ by WEF. Can be used in examples.

As per the Global gender gap report 2022, at the current rate of change, it would take 151 years to close the global economic gender gap.

      • The gender economic/pay gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working

 Working: Gender Parity Accelerator of World Economic Forum enables countries to exchange insights and experiences as well as give 3-year timelines for CEOs and government ministers to close the economic gender gap in their respective countries.

 Result: E.g. The Accelerator has helped enhance the quality of work for 7% of salaried employees in Chile’s private sector (more than 1.3 lakh women)

 


Facts For Prelims


One Constitution Bench in the Supreme Court throughout the year: CJI-designate U.U. Lalit

Source: The Hindu

Context:

    • Justice U U Lalit(49th Chief Justice of India) assured there will be at least one Constitution Bench functioning throughout the year in the Supreme Court.

Key Highlights:

      • Urgent matters: A clear-cut mechanism would be in place to allow lawyers to mention urgent matters, which includes bail petitions, et, before the respective Benches for early listing.
      • The Supreme Court’s pendency has crossed over 71,000 from a little over 55,000 in 2017. This is despite the fact that the sanctioned judicial strength of the court was increased to 34 judges in August 2019.

Constitution bench:

      • It is the name given to the benches of the Supreme Court of India which consist of at least five judges of the court who sit to decide any case:
          • Involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation” of the Constitution of India
          • For the purpose of hearing any reference” made by the President of India under Article 143.
      • This provision has been mandated by Article 145 (3) of the Constitution of India.
      • The Chief Justice of India has the power to constitute a Constitution Bench and refer cases to it.

  

Center identifies 75 tribal districts for focused TB interventions

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Tuberculosis-causative agents and their drugs can be asked in prelims

Context:

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the Central TB Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have zeroed in on 75 tribal districts, where focused interventions will be run over the next few months to make them TB-free.

Key Highlights:

  • Improve the delivery of TB services: By enhancing testing and diagnosis infrastructure and leveraging Programme Implementation Plans and other sources of funding to address implementation gaps and provide customized solutions.

Aashwasan Campaign:

  • The campaign to detect TB cases across 174 tribal districts under which door-to-door screening was done in over 68,000 villages.
    • Official data showed that 3,82,811 people were identified for presumptive TB after a verbal screening of over 03 crore people in these villages.
  • The Aashwasan Campaign was undertaken by the Tribal Affairs and Health Ministries and supported by USAID (United States Agency for International Development) as a technical partner and Piramal Swasthya as the implementing partner.

End TB strategy: India is committed to eliminating tuberculosis from the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global target by the World Health Organization (WHO) i.e. 2030.

 

Components of DOTS:

 

 

China pledges support to Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Read about UNHRC and NHRC

Context:

  • In the upcoming UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, where a resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be tabled, China has said it would “continue to support” Sri Lanka in international fora on the Human Rights issue.
  • Previously, China had voted against it, backing Sri Lanka, while India abstained.

 Core group: In the March 2022 session, the ‘Core Group’ on Sri Lanka, comprising the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi and Montenegro, noted in a statement that: surveillance and intimidation of civil society persist, and detentions, threats and intimidation of journalists and human rights defenders continue.

UNHRC:

  • It was reconstituted from its predecessor organization, the UN Commission on Human Rights to help overcome the “credibility deficit” of the previous organization.
  • Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Composition:

  • The UNHRC has 47 members serving at any time with elections held to fill up seats every year, based on allocations to regions across the world to ensure geographical representation.
  • Each elected member serves for a term of three years.
  • Countries are disallowed from occupying a seat for more than two consecutive terms.
  • The UNHRC passes non-binding resolutions on human rights issues through a periodic review of all 193 UN member states called the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

 

Arth Ganga

Source: Indian Express

Context: It is the government’s new model ( 1st proposed in 2019) for river sustainable development by focusing on surrounding areas and involving them in sustainable economic activities.

Aim: Contribute 3% of the GDP from Ganga Basin

Under: Jal Vikas Marg Project II for national waterway 1

 

National Cancer Grid (NCG)

Source: PIB

Direction: Can note down a few examples of new technologies.

Context: The National Cancer Grid (NCG) has established the Koita Centre for Digital Oncology (KCDO) to promote the use of digital technologies and tools to improve cancer care across India.

New technologies being adopted:

  • Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring will help make care more accessible, especially in semi-urban and rural areas.
  • AI-assisted clinical decision support tools will help improve doctors’ ability to provide better care
  • Mobile patient engagement apps will help patients with medication management and better compliance with care guidelines.
  • The use of healthcare data analytics across hospitals will enable tracking and benchmarking of clinical outcomes and the effectiveness of different treatment and care pathways.

About National Cancer Grid (NCG)

The National Cancer Grid (NCG) is an initiative of the Department of Atomic Energy and Tata Memorial Centre, to create a network of cancer centres, research institutes, patient groups and charitable institutions across India for uniformity in standards, training and facilities.

About Koita Foundation

Koita Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that has two focus areas – NGO Transformation and Digital Health.

 

Moderna suing Pfizer over Covid vaccine technology

Source: BBC

Context: US Pharma company Moderna said it is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for copying its mRNA technology (and thus patent infringement) in the development of the first Covid-19 vaccines.

What is an mRNA vaccine?

The vaccine uses a molecule of genetic code called messenger RNA to generate an immune response. That trains the body to fight off the real virus when it comes into contact with it.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention

 

 

Vishnugad Pipalkoti Hydro Electric Project

Source: The Hindu

Direction: GO through it once

Context: World Bank panel mulls investigation into complaints against Vishnugadh hydropower project

Complaints: Residents of a village (Haat village, Chamoli district, Uttarakhand )have alleged that the muck threatens a historic temple and construction has affected their livelihood and access to water.

About the Project:

  • 444-MW VPHEP is being built by the Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation (THDC) (on river Alaknanada (a tributary of river Ganga))
  • The project is primarily funded by the World Bank and was sanctioned in 2011.
  • It is proposed to be completed in June 2023.

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