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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 29 September 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. Rediscovering the Bay of Bengal

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) at HAL

2. In nature’s warning signs, a nudge to riparian states

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Essay/Ethics)

1. Data Points – Automation has impacted lower-level jobs in banks

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Supreme Court criticizes Center’s failure to settle mercy plea

2. Center extends PMGKY

3. AVGAS 100 LL

4. Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS)

5. IMEI number

6. New Chief of Defense Staff(CDS)

7. PFI, eight front organizations banned

8. Mapping


 

Rediscovering the Bay of Bengal

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and affecting India’s interests, Issues related to maritime development, etc

 

Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, you can use this as an example of the importance of maritime development for India

Source: The Hindu

 

Context:

  • The Bay of Bengal (the Bay) is experiencing an increase in geo-economic, geopolitical, and geo-cultural activity.

Current Affairs

 

Fourth BIMSTEC summit(2018):

  • The 4th BIMSTEC summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • The major focus of this year’s BIMSTEC was enhancing regional connectivity and trade.
  • The Kathmandu Declaration was adopted unanimously at BIMSTEC-2018.

India at 4th BIMSTEC Summit:

  • India announced the opening of the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS) at Nalanda University.

 

Importance of CBS:

  • It will offer collaborations in areas such as:
    • Geo-economics and geopolitics
    • Ecology, trade, and connectivity
    • Maritime security and Maritime law
    • Cultural heritage
    • Blue economy
  • Maritime engagement: This will strengthen India’s overall framework for maritime engagement.

 

Importance of Bay of Bengal:

  • Commerce hub: It is a major commerce hub for the Indian Ocean.
  • Connects east to west: It creates a conduit between the East and the West in terms of trade and culture.
  • Key sea lanes of communication: They are lifelines for global economic security.
    • Sea lanes are crucial to the energy security that powers the economies of many countries in the region.
  • Regional cooperation: It provides an opportunity for greater regional cooperation in the environmentally friendly exploration of marine and energy resources.
  • Biodiversity: The Bay has a biodiverse marine environment.
  • Home to many rare and endangered marine species and mangroves: which are essential to the survival of the ecology and the fishing sector.

 

Current Issues:

  • Bay’s ecosystem: It is going through an unprecedented crisis brought on by widespread environmental exploitation and geopolitical unrest.
  • Climate change and other problems: Problems such as population growth, altered land use, excessive resource exploitation, salinisation, sea level rise, and climate change are exerting significant strain on the Bay’s environment.
  • Operational discharge: From small and medium feeder ships, shipping collisions, unintentional oil spills, industrial waste, pollution
  • Non-biodegradable plastic litter: The accumulation of non-biodegradable plastic litter are all contributing to the deterioration of the Bay.
  • Threat to mangroves: The mangrove trees that protect the shore from the fury of nature are under more threat than ever.

 

Way forward:

  • Sustainable development of the region: For a better knowledge of challenges, and strategies and for the sustainable development of the region, more focused and interdisciplinary study is required on these issues.
    • Example foundation of CBS
  • Nautical neighbours develop a partnership and cooperate: It is essential for the maritime domain’s interrelated and interdependent nature, transnational character, and cross-jurisdictional engagement.
  • Expanding cooperation in maritime safety and security: By enhancing cooperation on maritime connectivity and the ease of maritime transit, and boosting investment possibilities in the maritime connectivity sector need immediate attention.
  • Littoral governments: They need to support and promote skill-building, research, and training.
  • Mobilize incentives and investments: To manage oceanic affairs more effectively, and support people as they switch to alternative lifestyles.

 

Insta Links:

BIMSTEC

Bridging the bay in quest of a stronger BIMSTEC

 

Mains Links:

Q.Project ‘Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationships with its neighbours. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss. (UPSC 2015)

 

Prelims Links:

BIMSTEC

Bay of Bengal mapping

Mangroves

Kathmandu Declaration

Which of the following is/are members of BIMSTEC?

  1. Sri Lanka
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Bhutan
  4. Maldives

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1, 2 and 3 only

b. 1 and 4 only

c. 2, 3 and 4 only

d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)

Justification:

Refer to image above

Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) at HAL

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Source: Indian Express

Context: President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Integrated Cryogenic Engine Manufacturing Facility (ICMF) in Bengaluru.

  • The ICMF is dedicated to Rocket Manufacturing and its assembly for ISRO. The facility will boost self-reliance in the manufacturing of high-thrust rocket engines.
  • On January 5, 2014, India successfully flew GSLV-D5 with a cryogenic engine (made by ISRO through private industries) and became the sixth country in developing cryogenic engines.

Evolution of Cryogenic technology:

 

About Cryogenic Technology:

  • Cryogenics is the study of the production and behavior of materials at extremely low temperatures (below -150 degree centigrade) to lift and place heavier objects in space.
  • A cryogenic engine provides more force with each kilogram of cryogenic propellant it uses compared to other propellants, such as solid and liquid propellant rocket engines, and is more efficient.
  • Cryogenic engine makes use of Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) as propellants which liquefy at -183 deg C and -253 deg C respectively.

About Cryogenic Fuels:

Fuels that are required to be stored at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state are Cryogenic Fuels.

These fuels are used in machinery that operates in space (e.g. rocket ships and satellites) because ordinary fuel cannot be used because of the very low temperatures often encountered in space, and due to the absence of an environment that supports combustion (on Earth, oxygen is abundant in the atmosphere, whereas human-explorable space is a vacuum where oxygen is virtually non-existent). Cryogenic fuels most often constitute liquefied gases such as liquid hydrogen.

Importance of Cryogenic Technology for India:

  • Advancement of the Space Programme
  • Lighter weightand cost-effective.
  • Clean technology– Cryogenic technology uses Hydrogen and oxygen as fuel and releases water as a by-product.
  • Edge over other countriesin modern technology.

 

Insta Links:

About Cryogenic technology

Prelims Link:

  • Justice Jain Committee
  • Cryogenic Technology

 

Mains Link:

Q. What is cryogenic technology? Why is it important for India and how has India acquired this technology? Examine. 10M

In nature’s warning signs, a nudge to riparian states

GS paper 3

Syllabus: Disaster and disaster management, conservation of environment, etc

 

Directions: Important for mains, can be used as an example in impact of climate change, etc

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • There has been an increase in the magnitude, the frequency and the intensity of floods in many parts of the world.

Recent examples of floods:

  • Pakistan
  • Assam, Bihar

 

Major impediments due to floods:

  • Impeding Poverty alleviation
  • Meeting Millennium Development Goals(MDGs)

 

Obstacles in understanding the magnitude of flooding:

  • Lack of transparency: In the sharing of hydrological information
  • Information relating to activities: By one riparian state that is transboundary in its effect (affecting other riparian states).

 

Customary international law:

  • Use of territory: No state has to use its territory in a manner that causes harm to another state while using a shared natural resource.
  • Binding obligation: There is a binding obligation on all states not to release water to cause floods in other co-sharer of the river water.
  • Other procedural norms:
    • Notification of planned measures
    • The exchange of data and information
    • Public participation
  • Article 27 of the UNWC Convention: Watercourse States shall, individually and, where appropriate, jointly, take all appropriate measures to prevent or mitigate conditions that may be harmful to other watercourse States.

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the Pulp Mills on the River Uruguay (Argentina vs Uruguay) case (2010):

  • It upheld that conducting a transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA) of a planned measure or projects on the shared watercourse is part of customary international law.
  • The acting state must notify the affected party of the results of TEIA.

 

The Brahmaputra and India’s concerns:

Riparian state:

  • China(upper side)
  • India
  • Bangladesh

Concerns:

  • Recurrent feature: During the monsoon, flooding has been the recurrent feature in the last several decades in Assam.
  • Dam controller: China’s excessive water release, as a “dam controller”, in violation of customary international law has the potential to exacerbate flooding in Assam in the future.
  • No comprehensive sub-basin: There is no comprehensive sub-basin or all basin-level mechanism to deal with the water management of Brahmaputra.
  • Neither India nor China are party to:
    • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) 1997
    • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes 1992 (Water Convention).

 

Memorandum of understanding (MoU) (2013) between India and China:

  • Hydrological information: Sharing hydrological information during the flood season (June to September).
  • Urbanization and deforestation: The MoU does not allow India access to urbanization and deforestation activities on the Chinese side of the river basin.

 

India, Nepal and flood prevention:

  • Floods are a recurrent problem in the Koshi and Gandak river basins.
  • The intensity and magnitude of flooding are rising because:
    • Heavy seasonal precipitation
    • Glacial retreat due to global warming
    • Human-induced stressors: such as land use and land cover changes in the river basin area of Nepal (Terai) and Bihar.
  • Agreements: The India-Nepal Koshi agreement 1954 (revised in 1966) is aimed at reducing devastating flooding in the river basin.

 

Key challenge in developing cross-border flood warning systems:

  • India considers data on transboundary rivers as classified information.

 

Way forward:

  • River basins as single entities: It is important that the two neighbours view the river basins as single entities, which will help in facilitating an integrated approach for improved basin and flood risk management
  • Floods in Pakistan and the visible effects of climate change: It is important that all riparian states must comply with all the procedural duties pursuant to the no harm rule.
  • Water Convention: Countries must also think of becoming a party to either the UNWC or the UNECE Water Convention.

 

Insta Links:

Urban Flooding

The difficult path to India-Pakistan peace

 

Mains Links:

Q. The frequency of urban floods due to high-intensity rainfall is increasing over the years. Discussing the reasons for urban floods, highlight the mechanisms for preparedness to reduce the risk during such events. (UPSC 2016)

 

Prelims Links:

Floods

Water Convention

River basins

India-Nepal Koshi agreement 1954

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

Brahmaputra and its tributaries

With reference to Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT), which of the following statements is/are correct? (UPSC 2020)

  1. OMT is measured up to a depth of 26°C isotherm which is 129 meters in the southwestern Indian Ocean during January-March.
  2. OMT collected during January-March can be used in assessing whether the amount of rainfall in monsoon will be less or more than a certain long-term mean.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2 only

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (b)

Justification:

  • Ocean Mean Temperature (OMT) is measured up to a depth of 26 degrees isotherm.
  • It is measured with the help of satellites that orbit the earth.
  • In the Indian Ocean, OMT is analyzed by measuring the ocean thermal energy during the period from January to March.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment


Data Points – Automation has impacted lower-level jobs in banks

Source: The Hindu

Direction: This fact can be used as an example of the cons of automation in your GS/Essay answers.

Data show that increased ATM usage, surging online and mobile transactions and a reduction in the number of new bank branches have reduced footfalls in banks and led to the rapid decline in the strength of clerical staff. The strike and the recent news reports together show that the problem of declining manpower has reached an inflection point. In fact, the cutback on hirings is more pronounced among clerks and sub-staff, while the number of officers has remained constant. 

This trend was observed in both PSBs and private sector banks (PVBs). However, it is worth noting that the number of officers in PVBs is three times higher than in the PSBs.

 

 


Fact for Prelims:


Supreme Court criticizes Center’s failure to settle mercy plea

 Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, questions related to the process of mercy petition can be asked directly in prelims

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • The Supreme Court criticised the delay by the government to decide a mercy petition filed by Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is on death row for nearly 27 years for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

 Mercy Petition:

Mercy Petition is the last resort of a person when all the remedies available to him/her under the prevailing laws and the Constitution are exhausted. A mercy petition may be filed before the President of India under Article 72 or the Governor of the state under Article 161.

  • For seeking mercy petition, the death sentence by a sessions (trial) court must be confirmed by the High Court.
  • The death sentence convict has an option to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • If the Supreme Court either refuses to hear the appeal or upholds the death sentence, then the convict or his relative can submit a mercy petition to the President of India (Articles 72) or the Governor of the State (161).

 Pardon: It totally absolves/acquits the person for the offense and lets him go free like a normal citizen.

Kehar Singh v Union of India(1988):

  • SC reiterated its stand and held that the grant of pardon by the President is an act of grace and, therefore, cannot be claimed as a matter of right.

 

Center extends PMGKY

Directions: Remember the important points of the scheme

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • The government extended by three months its programme to provide free rations to the poor through The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKY).

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana(PMGKY):

 

  • PMGKY is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) to help the poor fight the battle against Covid-19.
  • Its nodal Ministry is the Ministry of Finance.

 

AVGAS 100 LL

Source: PIB

Context: The Centre on Monday launched indigenously-developed AVGAS 100 LL, a special aviation fuel meant for piston engine aircraft and unmanned ariel vehicles.

The fuel has been developed by Indian Oil Corporation.

About AVGAS 100LL:

  • Avgas or aviation gasoline is an aviation fuel that powers spark-ignited combustion engines in aircraft. It is different from conventional gasoline (petrol) used in motor vehicles as it contains tetraethyl lead, which is a highly toxic substance used to prevent engine knocking (premature detonation).
  • It is a higher-octane Aviation fuel meeting the product specifications with superior performance quality standards, as compared to imported grades.
  • The indigenous availability of AV GAS 100 LL will help reduce dependence on imports and address the associated logistical challenges. Country will be able to save precious foreign exchange with the in-house availability of this product. New step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat.

 

Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS)

Source: DTE

Context: The Uttar Pradesh (UP) cabinet approved the notification of the state’s fourth tiger reserve in the Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS) in Chitrakoot district, the state government stated in a statement.

RWS has no tigers of its own. But pugmarks of the animals are frequently seen there as tigers from nearby Panna frequent it. The two protected areas are just 150 km from each other.

There are 50 Tiger Reserves in India spread across an area of 72,749 sq km, which is 2.21 percent of India’s geographical area. There were 2,967 tigers in India according to the NTCA’s estimation in 2018. Uttar Pradesh had 173 tigers, with 107 in Dudhwa National Park and 65 in Pilibhit.

 

 

IMEI number

Source: Indian Express

Context: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made it mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers to register the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) – the 15-digit numbers that uniquely identify each mobile device – of all handsets made in India with the government.

What is the IMEI number, and its function?

  • The IMEI is a unique number that is used to identify a device on a mobile network. It has 15 digits and is like a phone’s unique identity. The number is used to verify the identity of a device when a user uses the Internet or places a call through it.
  • Phones with a dual-SIM option have two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM. The IMEI number can help network providers track down a device in case it gets stolen or is lost. Once such loss or theft is reported, the carriers can deny the device access to the cellular network even with a new SIM card.

 

 

New Chief of Defense Staff(CDS)

Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • The Government appointed former Eastern Army Commander Lt. General Anil Chauhan as the next Chief of Defense Staff (CDS).
  • The next Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) shall also function as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Military Affairs.

 

Chief of Defense Staff (CDS):

  • CDS acts as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which will also have three service chiefs as members.
  • Function:
    • Foster greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military
    • Keep inter-service frictions to a minimum.
  • He also heads the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defense.
  • Military advisor: The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the Defense Minister on matters involving all three services.
  • Directives: The CDS is also vested with the authority to provide directives to the three chiefs.
  • First among equals: He enjoys the rank of Secretary within the DoD (Department of Defense)
  • Revenue: His powers will be confined to only the revenue budget.
  • Nuclear Command Authority (NCA): He will also perform an advisory role in the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).

 

PFI, eight front organizations banned

 Source: The Hindu

Context:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organizations including its student wing- the Campus Front of India (CFI) as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

 

Key Highlights:

  • Empowering states: The MHA issued an order empowering States to notify places associated with PFI and its front organizations where unlawful activity is taking place.
  • Immovable properties: District Magistrate will make a list of immovable properties of the organization
  • Permission of DM: No person who at the date of the notification was not a resident in the notified place shall enter into the notified area without the permission of the District Magistrate.

 

 

Mapping:


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