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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 22 October 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. An online fight where children need to be saved

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Internationalization of rupee

2. Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. General consent for CBI

2. NCF 2022

3. Special Campaign 2.0

4. China plus one strategy

5. Scorched Earth Tactics

6. Pakistan is out of FATF ‘grey list’ on terror funding

7. Price stabilization Fund

8. Draft Coal Logistics Policy 2022

9. Climate Transparency Report

10. Viral spillover risk

11. Great Indian Bustards

12. Agni Prime

13. Mapping


 

An online fight where children need to be saved

GS Paper 2

Syllabus:  Governance, Social Justice

 

Source: The Hindu

 Directions: This Article has been taken from the Hindu Editorial. Go through it once.

 

Context:  Recently, under operation  “Megh Chakra” CBI conducted searches across States and UTs against the online circulation and sharing of Child Sexual Abusive Material (CSAM).

 

Laws on sharing of online Child Sexual Abusive Material (CSAM) in India:

  • In India, viewing adult pornography in private is not an offence (SC in 2015 case).
    • However, seeking, browsing, downloading or exchanging child pornography is an offence punishable under the IT Act.
  • As per the Information Technology (IT) Act, of 2002, it is punishable to show children any pornographic content.
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are exempted from liability for any third-party data if they do not initiate the transmission.

 

Global effort against CSAM:

  • USA: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), operates a programme called CyberTipline, for public and electronic service providers (ESPs) to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation.
  • K: Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), was established by the United Kingdom’s Internet industry to ensure a safe online environment for users with a particular focus on CSAM.
  • INHOPE: It is a global network of 50 hotlines (46 member countries), that provides the public with a way to anonymously report CSAM.
    • It provides secure IT infrastructure, ICCAM (I- “See” (c)-Child-Abuse-Material) hosted by Interpol, and facilitates the exchange of CSAM reports between hotlines and law enforcement agencies.

 

India’s efforts so far:

  • ‘Aarambh India’: a Mumbai-based NGO, partnered with the IWF, and launched India’s first online reporting portal in September 2016 to report images and videos of child abuse.
  • National cybercrime reporting portal: launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in September 2018 in compliance with Supreme Court directions for filing online complaints pertaining to child pornography and rape-gang rape.
    • The portal was later extended to all types of cybercrime.
  • National Crime Records Bureau (MHA) signed a memorandum of understanding with the NCMEC in April 2019 to receive CyberTipline reports to facilitate action against those who upload or share CSAM in India.
    • The NCRB has received more than two million CyberTipline reports which have been forwarded to the States for legal action.
  • Jairam Ramesh Committee recommendation (2020):
    • legislative front:
      • widening of the definition of ‘child pornography’
      • proactive monitoring, mandatory reporting and taking down or blocking CSAM by ISPs.
    • Technical front:
      • building partnerships with industry to develop tools using artificial intelligence for dark-web investigations
      • tracing the identity of users engaged in cryptocurrency transactions to purchase child pornography online and
      • liaisoning with financial service companies to prevent online payments for purchasing child pornography.

Challenges in India:

  • public reporting of circulation of online CSAM is very low
  • there is no system of automatic electronic monitoring
  • Dependency of enforcement agencies on foreign agencies for the requisite information

 

What needs to be done

  • India should join the INHOPE
  • Establish a hotline to utilise Interpol’s secure IT infrastructure
  • Collaborate with ISPs and financial companies by establishing an independent facility such as the IWF or NCMEC.
  • Earnest implementation of the recommendation of Jairam Ramesh committee.
  • On-streaming platforms like Netflix and social media platforms should have a separate adult section where under-aged children could be disallowed.

 

Conclusion:

India needs to explore all options and adopt an appropriate strategy to fight the production and the spread of online CSAM. Children need to be saved.

 

Insta Links

Prelims link

  • CBI
  • Interpol
  • Sherya Singhal case
  • IT Act 2000 & POCSO Act 2019

Mains Links:

Q. Define Child pornography and discuss its impact on children and society at large. (10M)

Internationalization of rupee

GS Paper 3

: liberalization of the Indian economy.

 

Context: RBI dy governor T Rabi Sankar has marked upon the importance of the internationalization of the rupee, its advantages and associated risks.

 

Internationalization of rupee

It is the process that involves increased use of the rupee in cross-border transactions.

 

Currently, while the dollar accounts for 88% of international trade, Rupee accounts for less than 1.7% of global trade.

  • India currently has full convertibility of the rupee in current accounts such as for exports and imports. However, India’s capital account convertibility is not full. There are ceilings on government and corporate debt, external commercial borrowings and equity.

 

Need for Internationalization:

Excessive dependence on dollars combined with global inflation and economic crises has led to the depreciation of the rupee to an all-time low. If the rupee is internationalized, India would not have to depend on US Dollars for its trade.

 

  • RBI has allowed domestic traders to settle their import-export bills in rupee.

 

Advantages of Internationalization:

  • Appreciate currency value: It will improve the demand for the rupee in international trade.
  • Mitigate exchange rate volatility: Rupee-denominated payments can help reduce price volatility associated with dollars.
  • Making significant savings in Indian foreign reserves.
  • Circumvent sanctions: Improving acceptance and trade in rupees can help India to diversify its trade basket by circumventing restrictions and sanctions imposed by the west.
  • Improve its standing as a global economic power

 

Associated risks

  • Impact on monetary policy: The internationalization of the rupee will limit the country’s ability to create a monetary policy specific to its local economic demand.
    • The Indian economy will become more susceptible to international economic fluctuations.
    • Managed currency has been utilized to protect the economy from damages during the economic crises of 1980 and 2008. It may not be the case anymore.
  • The outflow of Hot money: Complete internationalization of currency will expand the risk of hot currency (highly prone to sudden outflows) to capital assets.
    • g., east Asian crisis in 1997.

 

Steps needed for internationalization of the rupee

  • India needs to open its currency to complete capital account convertibility.
  • Frame policies cautiously and test them in the Regulatory sandbox environmen
  • Bilateral and multilateral trade agreements can be used to test the viability of internationalized rupee e.g. using the Vostro account for Rupee trade with Russia and Iran.
  • Improvements in financial fundamentals and steps to improve sovereign credit ratings.

 

Conclusion

Internationalization of the rupee though with associated risks is inevitable if India is to emerge as a global economic power in a multipolar world.

 

Prelims link

  • Internationalization of rupee- definition/impact
  • Current and capital account convertibility.

 

Mains link

Q. What do you understand by Capital Account Convertibility (CAA)? There is a debate going on about whether India should go for full CAA or for partial CAA. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of both full and partial CAA. Based on this examination, suggest whether India should go for full CAA or not. (15M)

Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA)

GS3 and GS1

Syllabus: Disaster Management

 

Source: DTE

 Context:15th Finance commission for the first time made a provision for recovery and reconstruction in the national disaster management budget, which is at the core of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

 

What is PDNA? 

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is an internationally accepted methodology for determining the physical damages, economic losses, and costs of meeting recovery needs after a natural disaster through a government-led process.

For E.g. a number of farmers’ income affected per damaged acre of land and livelihoods lost is calculated.

  • PDNA was first adopted during the Kerala floods of 2018 and again during the cyclone in Odisha in 2019.
  • Until now it was only limited to massive disasters that needed international funding from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and United Nations.
  • But now the Disaster Management Authorities are working towards applying PDNA for all disasters.
  • It is now being done simultaneously in 8 states Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha and Meghalaya.

 

Methodology:

Significance of PDNA:

  • Helps get recovery and rehabilitation right after a disaster.
  • It adds a recovery and resilience component to disaster management.
  • Aims to encourage building back better.
  • A holistic recovery programme that promotes equity and inclusion.

 

Organisation and Funding:

  • The PDNA will be a State government led activity and funds required should be sourced from the state with contributions from national ministries
  • The State Revenue/Disaster Management Department will be responsible for the overall organization and conduct of PDNA.

  

States reaction: State Disaster Management Authorities opine that PDNA makes more sense for states that are flood and cyclone prone whereas droughts should be taken care of by agriculture and irrigation departments.

 

Conclusion:

In the wake of the recent increase in the frequency of natural disasters due to various reasons like Global warming, PDNA is a good step forward. But the provision of adequate finances and adequate training of authorities to carry out PDNA should be taken care of for effective implementation.

 

Insta Links

Disaster management

 

Mains Links

Q. How important is vulnerability and risk assessment for pre-disaster management? As an administrator, what are key areas that you would focus Ina disaster management? (2013)

 

Facts for Prelims:


General consent for CBI

Source: Indian Express

Context:  Recently Maharastra government has restored general consent for CBI.

What is the general consent for CBI?

  • General consent is normally given by states to help the CBI in the seamless investigation of cases of corruption against central government employees in their states.
    • This is essentially consent by default, which means CBI may begin investigations taking consent as having been already given.
    • The consent of the state government to CBI can be either case-specific or “general”.
  • In the absence of general consent, CBI would have to apply to the state government for its consent in every individual case, and before taking even small actions.

Why CBI needs general consent?

  • The CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act which makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting an investigation in that state (Section 6 of The DSPE Act).

What does its withdrawal mean?

  • It simply means that CBI officers will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless the state government has allowed them.
  • Traditionally, almost all states have given CBI general consent.
    • Currently, states which have withdrawn consent include Meghalaya, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, and Mizoram.

 

Can withdrawal mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case?

  • The CBI would still have the power to investigate old cases registered when general consent existed.
  • Also, cases registered anywhere else in the country, but involving people stationed in states which have withdrawn consent, would allow CBI’s jurisdiction to extend to these states.

 

 

National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2022 ( for foundational learning)

Source: India Today

Context: Foundational learning stage is focused on early childhood care and education (ECCE) for children between 3 to 8 years of age.

  • This is the first time the NCF has been prepared for the foundational stage
  • ECCE under the Anganwadi system, till now, primarily focused on the nutrition and the health of a child and not on foundational learning.

 

Major emphasis

  • Activity books instead of textbooks for children 3-6 years.
  • Playful learning in avoiding stereotypes, gender representation, and ethical and moral lessons.
  • Use of toys, outside the class exposure to cultural and social activities
  • Use of mother tongue
  • Use of Panchakosha (Panchakoshas are the layers of the body that seemingly cover the Atman (Self or Consciousness)- mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad)
  • The concept’s five parts are:
  • Physical development (sharirik vikas)
  • Development of life energy (pranik vikas)
  • Emotional and mental development (manasik vikas)
  • Intellectual development (bauddhik Vikas)
  • Spiritual development (chaitsik Vikas)

 

The NCF-2022 (part of New Education Policy 2020)  has four sections –

  • National Curriculum Framework for School Education
  • National Curriculum Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education
  • National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education
  • National Curriculum Framework for Adult Education

Related News:

Balvatikas (pre-primary classes) at Kendriya Vidyalayas were launched. Also, National Credit Framework was launched for skilling, re-skilling, up-skilling, accreditation and evaluation encompassing people in educational and skilling institutions and the workforce. It will store credits in a digital credit bank.

 

Special Campaign 2.0

Source: Financial Express

In order to reduce work pendency and increase cleanliness, the government of India has announced a month-long Special Campaign 2.0 to cover different departments such as Post-Offices, Overseas Mission/Posts, Railway Stations etc.

Under it, the Ministry of Railways has decided to switch over to completely paperless working from 1st November by digitalizing all business processes and file work through the e-office system.

 

China plus one strategy

Source: Times of India

Context: There is fear that the energy crisis in Europe may force companies to opt for Europe Plus one strategy wherein they start avoiding Europe for investment (similar to China plus one strategy)

 

What is the China-plus-one strategy?

China-plus-one is a strategy in which companies avoid investing only in China and diversify their businesses to alternative destinations.

 

Why opt out of China?

China was an attractive investment location due to the low cost of labour and production and an increasing domestic consumer market.

However, supply chain disruptions (chip shortage, container shortage), China’s data privacy law and China’s zero-Covid policy has forced companies to downsize their presence in China.

 

Scorched Earth Tactics

Source: Indian Express

Context: Russia has been alleged to be using “energy and hunger” as weapons as part of its “scorched earth tactics” on Ukraine and Europe.

 

About Scorched Earth tactics:

It is a strategy that seeks to deplete the enemy’s resources to sustain warfare and break their morale by inflicting heavy hardships on combatants and non-combatants alike. Harming civilians as part of this strategy has been banned under the 1977 Geneva Convention.

E.g., In World War II, the Russian army destroyed telegraph networks and electrical and industrial resources when invaded by Germany. In India, Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji was known for their scorched earth tactics.

 

About Geneva Convention 1977:

It is a set of rules (set in 1949) that prescribe guidelines for combatant behaviour during a war. India is a party to the Geneva Convention.

 

Pakistan is out of FATF ‘grey list’ on terror funding

Source: The Hindu

 Context:  Pakistan is off the ‘grey list’ of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) after four years.


Practical benefits Pakistan can get as a result of the FATF de-listing:

  • receive a reputational boost and get a clean bill of health from the international community on terrorist financing.
  • Increase in overseas investment in the country.

 

What is FATF :

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7
  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.
  • The FATF Secretariat is housed at the OECD headquarters in Paris

Roles and functions:

  • Initially, it was established to examine and develop measures to combat money laundering.
  • In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to incorporate efforts to combat terrorist financing, in addition to money laundering.
  • In April 2012, it added efforts to counter the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Composition: it currently comprises 37 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organisations. It also has observers and associate members.

What are a blacklist and a grey list?

  • Black List: Countries known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs) are put on the blacklist. These countries support terror funding and money laundering activities.
    • Currently, it includes countries like Iran, Myanmar and North Korea.
  • Grey List: Countries that are considered a safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put on the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.
    • After, Pakistan’s delisting, 23 countries remain under watch including countries like the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates

 

Price stabilization Fund (PSF)

PSF was set up in 201415 with the aim of moderating extreme price volatility of commodities such as Pulses, Onion and Potatoes by maintaining a strategic buffer.

Such goods will be procured directly from farmers or farmers’ organisations at the farm gate/mandi, and made available to consumers at a more affordable price.

PSF scheme provides interest-free loans to State Governments/Union Territories (UTs) and Central Agencies for the procurement and distribution of such commodities.

It is under the Department of Consumer Affairs (Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution).

 

Draft Coal Logistics Policy 2022

Context: The Coal Ministry has intensified its plan to make evacuation and transportation of coal more efficient by taking up 68 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects, under the government’s national coal logistics plan.

About Draft Coal Logistics Policy 2022

  • To efficiently transport coal from origin to destination, the Ministry of coal has released the Draft Coal Logistics Policy 2022
  • It will identify, evaluate & eliminate gaps in existing coal evacuation infrastructure & environment-friendly transportation of coal from the mine to the end-use plant.

India has the fourth largest coal reserves in the world, 2nd largest coal producer and 2nd largest coal consumer.

To replace imported coal with domestically mined coal, the Ministry of Coal has set a target to produce 1.3 billion tonnes (BT) in FY 2025 and 1.5 BT by FY 2030

 

Climate Transparency Report 2022

Source: Climate-Transparency

 Context: As per the recently released CTR, extreme heat in India led to losses of nearly US $ 160 bn (around 5% of its GDP) in the key economic sectors.

 Key findings:

  • G20 countries (responsible for over 3/4th of global emissions) are not doing enough to mitigate global warming.
  • Six G20 countries (including India) have not signed the Global Methane pledge
  • The rainfall pattern in India has changed in the past 30 years, impacting many economic activities such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
  • Earth’s global surface temperature has increased by around 1° C compared with the average in 1850–1900. 

 

About the Report:

It is the World’s most comprehensive annual review of G20 countries’ climate action and their transition to a net zero emissions economy.  It is prepared by experts from 16 partner organizations from the majority of the G20 countries.

 India’s Climate Pledge

  • Net-zero by 2070
  • Reduce the Emission intensity of GDP by 45% (from the 2005 level) by 2030
  • 50% of its energy from non-fossil fuel by 2030
  • Mission LiFE

 

Viral spillover risk

Source: Indian Express

Context:  According to new research, climate change could increase the risk of “viral spillover” in some regions that could cause new pandemics over the next few years.

What is viral spillover?

  • Viruses are some of the most abundant entities on earth, but they need to infect a host’s cell in order to replicate.
  • The host spectrum of viruses is quite diverse, as they can sustainedly infect a few species to several phyla.
  • When confronted with a new host, a virus may even infect it and transmit sustainably in this new host, a process called ‘viral spillover’.

 

Research methodology: Researchers collected sediment and soil samples from Lake Hazen in Canada – the largest High Arctic lake by volume in the world, and the region’s largest freshwater ecosystem.

  • Then they undertook DNA and RNA sequencing and found that viral spillovers increase with changes in the environment at a particular location, driven by global warming.

 

Outcome:  Climate change could shift the species range of certain viral vectors and reservoirs northwards, and the High Arctic zone (regions of Canada within the Arctic Circle such as the Northern islands) could become fertile ground for emerging pandemics.

 

Great Indian Bustards

Source: The Hindu

Context:  The recent sighting of Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) deep in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert has given rise to speculation that it might have flown from India’s Desert’s National park to Pakistan.

Great Indian Bustards :

  • In India, the bustard is restricted to isolated pockets in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
    • It is the state bird of Rajasthan.
  • Protection
    • CITES Appendix I.
    • Schedule 1 (Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2002 )
    • Project Great Indian Bustard — state of Rajasthan — identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as providing secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.
  • Protected areas
    • Desert National Park Sanctuary — Rajasthan
    • Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh
    • Karera Wildlife Sanctuary– Madhya Pradesh

 

Agni Prime

Source: The Hindu

Context:  India has successfully test-fired indigenously-developed new generation medium-range ballistic missile Agni Prime from the Odisha coast.

 

Agni Prime: Key features

  • It is a two-stage canisterised solid-propellant missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system.
  • Operational range : between 1,000 km and 2,000 km.
  • Launched by: DRDO
  • It weighs 50 per cent less than the Agni 3 missile and has new guidance and propulsion systems.
    • In addition, since it is canisterised, it can be launched from rail or road, be stored for longer periods and can be transported as per operational requirements.
  • It is the sixth missile in the Agni (missile) series of the ballistic missile.
  • It’s the first ‘declared’ MIRV missile in India’s missile arsenal.

 

What are Agni missiles?

  • They are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability.
  • They are long-range, nuclear weapons capable of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.
  • the first missile of the series, Agni-I was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and tested in 1989.
    • After its success, the Agni series of missiles got separated from IGMDP seeing its strategic significance.

 

Indian Surface-to-Surface missile system: Agni missile, Prithvi missile, Shaurya missile, Surya missile

 

What are ballistic missiles?

A ballistic missile is a type of missile which uses projectile motion to deliver warheads to a target. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods—most of the flight is unpowered. In contrast, cruise missiles are jet-propelled at subsonic speeds throughout their flights.

 

Mapping

 


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