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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 27 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 1:

1. Colonialism and Decolonization

2. Cyclones getting fiercer

 

GS Paper 3:

1. The FM’s call for industrial investment

2. GM Mustard

 

GS Paper 4:

1. The great significance of being APJ Abdul Kalam

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

1. Improving access to entertainment content

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Pasmanda Muslims

2. ASEAN special meeting on Myanmar

3. Bombay Dyeing, Wadias barred from the securities market for 2 yrs

4. Irregular transactions

5. Jal Jeevan Mission

6. Sandalwood cultivation

7. Bats evicted from Manipur cave for tourism

8. Humpback Highway

9. Satellite phones

10. NavIC

11. Mapping


 

Colonialism and Decolonization

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: History of the world, Colonization, Decolonization

 

Source: The Hindu

Direction: This article throws light on Colonialism, Decolonization and its remains on the previous colonies. It may be useful for Essays and modern history-related questions in CSE.

Context: In an Editorial, the writer discussed the ghost of colonial legacy.

 

To colonize is to settle in, and take control of, land outside your own borders. E.g. the British colonized India for over 200 years. Colonization was motivated by economics. European powers sought to expand their markets and acquire raw materials overseas.

What is Decolonization?

Decolonization is a process by which colonies become independent of the colonizing country. Decolonization occurred in response to independence movements in colonized territories when European powers determined that the benefits of maintaining colonies were not worth the costs.

 

Difference between Colonialism and Imperialism:

  • Colonialism: The term colony comes from the Latin word colonus, meaning farmer. The practice of colonialism usually involved the transfer of population to a new territory, where the arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to their country of origin.
  • Imperialism: On the other hand, ‘Imperialism’ comes from the Latin term imperium, meaning to command.  Thus, the term imperialism implies that one country exercises power over another, whether through settlement, sovereignty, or indirect mechanisms of control.

 

  • Colonisation was experienced differently across regions, classes and castes. That is a prime reason why de-colonisation remains so elusive.

Colonial Legacy in India:

English:

  • Removal of English is a big draw among political parties which promise to exorcise India’s mind, body and soul from the ghost of colonialism.
  • Majoritarian nationalism has picked up English as a de-colonisation plank.
  • Jotibarao Phule’s appreciation of English education was grounded in its potential to wipe out discrimination against the lower castes.

 

Public Policy:

  • Colonial public policy assumed that average citizens are docile and ignorant, and that it is the state’s job to enlighten — and not just serve — them.
  • It has become a lot louder in the digital age, without making much of an impact on the everyday reality of the citizenry.

 

Conclusion:

Colonised societies suffered similar consequences, such as the drainage of wealth and the emergence of a state apparatus that the common people found difficult to identify with. Their fear of the state and the state’s distrust of the citizen ought to be the prime agenda for anyone pursuing de-colonisation.

Insta links:

Mains Link:

Q. Write a short note on the decolonization process in Africa. (10M)

Cyclones getting fiercer

GS Paper 1

Source: DTE

 

Syllabus: Geography

Directions: This Article has been taken from Down to Earth and majorly talks about the impact of climate change on cyclone frequency. Go through it once, you can use it for value addition.

 

Context: Recently cyclonic storm Sitrang made an early landfall in Bangladesh causing a surprise among meteorologists.

Cyclone Sitrang:

Cyclone Sitrang rapidly doubling its pace and making an early landfall in Bangladesh has been termed as ‘unusual’ by meteorologists.

  • Westerly winds might have played a role in the quickening of the cyclone system, which ultimately led to less destruction in West Bengal, India.

 

Changing characters of cyclones in India and how they are damaging more now

  • Affected regions: An NDMI study found Cyclones affect 11 of India’s 36 states and Union territories.
    • There are 96 districts along the coasts officially declared cyclone-prone.
  • More prone states: the Bay of Bengal is the theatre to more cyclones than the Arabian Sea.
    • Odisha endured the most cyclones (20) more recently (2006-20) followed by West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Death: According to NDMI Study, Cyclones accounted for 48% of India’s overall human life loss due to climate-related disasters, followed by heat waves (26 per cent), 18 per cent due to floods and 8 per cent due to cold waves.
    • Odisha had the highest toll.
  • Effect of climate change: Due to the increase in sea surface temperature and ocean heat content, the intensity of cyclones is increasing along Indian coasts.
    • Frequency is rising in the Arabian Sea and reducing in the Bay of Bengal, overall.
    • More severe cyclones: During 2000-2018, the frequency of severe cyclones has been increasing at the rate of 1 event per decade.

 

 

Insta Links

Prelims link.

Mains Links:

Q. Tropical cyclones are largely confined to the South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why? (UPSC CSE MAINS 2014)

Q. What is a tropical cyclone and how are they classified in the Atlantic-Northeastern Pacific Ocean region? Explain the mechanism ofthe formation of a tropical cyclone.

 

Q. Consider the following statements: (UPSC CSE 2020)

1.       Jet streams occur in the Northern Hemisphere only.

2.       Only some cyclones develop an eye.

3.       The temperature inside the eye of a cyclone is nearly 10 C lesser than that of the surroundings.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

 

Answer: C

The FM’s call for industrial investment

GS Paper 3 

Syllabus: Indian Economy and issues

 

Context: Recently, the finance minister has asked industries to invest more in the manufacturing sector. The minister’s statement comes at a time when private investments have remained elusive in recent years or are limited to a few sectors.

 

What is the current scenario?

  • Gross fixed capital formation is primarily driven by the public sector.
  • The share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP, too, has remained stagnant at about 16-17% for decades now (as against the target of 25%).
  • Demand in consumption is low ( below the pre-pandemic level) but is expected to pick up.
    • As per an online survey, there is high purchase intention for cars and two-wheelers, a diverging trend for property, and moderation for some consumer durables including computers/laptops, refrigerators, and ACs.
  • Household savings intention remains high with 56% of respondents indicating they plan to increase their savings by year-end.

 

Thus there is greater optimism for economic rebounding and thus FM has called on industries to invest more to reap the benefits of a growing economy.

 

What is Consumer Confidence Index?

The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is a survey that indicates how optimistic or pessimistic consumers are regarding their expected financial situation. If the consumers are optimistic, spending will be more, whereas if they are not so confident, then their poor consumption pattern may lead to recession.

  • CCI is key to economic growth as consumption increases when they feel confident about the present economic situation and their own financial conditions.

GM Mustard

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: GS3: Science & Technology: Awareness in the fields of Biotechnology

 

Source: The Hindu; Indian Express; Down to Earth

Direction: This is in continuation of the previously given FFP on GM Mustard.

Context:  The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recommended the “environmental release” of the transgenic hybrid mustard DMH-11 for seed production and conduct of field demonstration studies with respect to its effects, if any, on honey bees and other pollinating insects.

 

Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH-11):

Dhara Mustard Hybrid- 11( DMH- 11), was developed by Deepak Pental of Delhi University, through transgenic technology, in 2002. DMH – 11 was created through transgenic technology, primarily involving the Bar, Barnase and Barstar gene systems.

  • DMH-11 by crossing a popular Indian mustard variety ‘Varuna’ (the barnase line) with an East European ‘Early Heera-2’ mutant (barstar).
  • DMH-11 is claimed to have shown an average 28% yield increase over Varuna in contained field trials carried out by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

 

Cleared by GEAC, what next?

  • The GEAC had cleared the proposal in 2017, but the Environment Ministry vetoed (refused) it and suggested that the GEAC hold more studies on the GM crop.
  • Now on October 18, GEAC allowed the environmental release of two varieties of genetically engineered mustard.
  • So that it can be used for developing new parental lines and hybrids under the supervision of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).
  • Field demonstration studies on the effect of GE mustard on honey bees and other pollinators were also permitted.
  • Now the Union government will take the final call on whether to allow it for commercial cultivation.
  • Commercial use of DMH-11 will be subject to the Seed Act and related rules and regulations.

Fig. Arguments for & against GM Crops

 

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. About GM Mustard – DMH – 11
  2. About GEAC
  3. About Transgenic Technology

Mains question:

Q. It is argued that genetically modified crops can solve the myriad challenges associated with Indian agriculture. Discuss in light of GEAC’s approval of the environmental release of GM Mustard. (250 words)

/ Oct 27 CA, Today's Article

The great significance of being APJ Abdul Kalam

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Ethical Value from lives of great personalities

 

Source: Hindustan Times

 

Various instances from the life of APJ Abdul Kalam – showing the qualities of a good leader.

  • Experience 1: On being appointed President of India (2002-2007), he turned Rashtrapati Bhavan from a magnificent, somewhat distant symbol of state power into an accessible place that ordinary people could visit all year round.
    • Values: This incident shows the true value of a leader who is always reachable, humble, and understands the public.
  • Experience 2: Once a letter came to the President from a public-minded person asking him to help three old ladies living in a dilapidated house in a village in Athavanadu in Kerala. Kalam called the district collector, who relocated the sisters to a safer place and provided all the necessary help.
    • Values: This experience shows that a leader needs to have compassion, be prompt, and act as the need arises.
  • Experience 3: Unlike any other President before him, he would sit down to interact with Members of Parliament (MPs) over breakfast with accompanying presentations on developmental goals for their respective constituencies.
    • Values: This experience shows that a leader always respects his teammates/ Juniors and value their opinion before taking any major decisions.

 

Besides his relentless work to see India as a developed nation and his vision for India 2020, it is the sheer sense of possibility that he brought to millions of Indians. He made us confident that if we have the will, we could make it happen.

 

Insta Links:

Values for Civil Servants from the life of APJ Abdul Kalam

Mains Link:

Q. Highlight some of the Ethical values from the life of APJ Abdul Kalam, which can be of use in the personal and professional life of a public servant. 10M

 

Content for Mains Enrichment


Improving access to entertainment content

Source: The Hindu

Directions: You can use it as a measure to improve access for disabled people

 Tools that help make entertainment content disabled-friendly:

  • Audio description: Visual aspects of the content being spoken out for the benefit of those who cannot see.
  • Subtitling: Auditory components of the content being displayed in textual form for the benefit of those who cannot hear.

 

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act: Government to take measures to ensure that “persons with disabilities” have access to electronic media by providing audio description, sign language interpretation, subtitling and close captioning.

 

Work by Saksham(NGO):

  • Audio-description: It pioneered audio description for films in India. It started the audio description of the film Black.
  • XL Cinema: It has developed an app called XL Cinema which syncs audio-described tracks with movies.

 

What more needs to be done?

Sensitization that making disabled-friendly content is the right thing to do morally, legally and commercially. Citizens with disabilities must demand accountability from the government, filmmakers, streaming platforms and others in the entertainment ecosystem. And I&B Ministry must promptly notify the Accessibility Standards for Television Programmes for Hearing Impaired.

 


Facts For Prelims


Pasmanda Muslims

Source: The Hindu

 Context: The Prime Minister appealed to make an outreach to deprived minority groups such as Pasmanda Muslims, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

 

The Indian Muslim community can be divided along three lines: Ashrafs (elite class)(15%-20%), Ajlaf (backward class), and Arzal (most backward class)

 

Pasmanda Muslims:

  • Meaning ‘those left out’ or marginalized ( mostly involved as barbers, weavers, potters etc). It is a collective expression for Ajlaf and Arzal(80%-85%)
  • ‘Pasmanda’ is not a caste but a class: Representative of backward and subjugated castes within the Muslim community.

 

Constitutional Provisions for Minority:

Article 29:

●        It provides that any section of the citizens residing in any part of India having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same.

●        It grants protection to both religious minorities as well as linguistic minorities.

●        However, the SC held that the scope of this article is not necessarily restricted to minorities only, as the use of the word ‘ any section of citizens’ in the Article includes minorities as well as the majority.

 

Article 30:

●        All minorities shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

●        The protection under Article 30 is confined only to minorities (religious or linguistic) and does not extend to any section of citizens (as under Article 29).

 

Article 350-B:

·         The 7th Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1956 inserted this article which provides for a Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities appointed by the President of India.

·         It would be the duty of the Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution.

 

ASEAN special meeting on Myanmar

Directions: Important for Prelims and mains, mapping of ASEAN countries is important for Prelims

Source: Indian Express

 

Context: Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries are meeting to discuss an intensifying crisis in Myanmar.

ASEAN

Why is the meeting happening?

  • Myanmar’s Junta: Unwilling to implement the five-point consensus” that it agreed to with ASEAN.

 

What is the consensus?

  • Immediate end of hostilities
  • All parties engaging in constructive dialogue
  • Allowing an ASEAN envoy to mediate and meet all stakeholders
  • For ASEAN to provide humanitarian assistance.

 

How has the Junta responded?

  • ASEAN Plan: It has accused its opponents of trying to sabotage the ASEAN plan
  • Military offensive: It has justified military offensives as necessary to secure the country and enable political talks.

What approaches might ASEAN take?

  • Malaysia’s foreign minister: Consensus must be seriously reviewed for its relevance.

 Junta: A junta regime is composed of military officers who seize ruling power in a country.

 

Bombay Dyeing, Wadias barred from the securities market for 2 yrs

Source: The Hindu, Economic Times

Context:  Recently SEBI has barred textile producer Bombay Dyeing and its promoters from accessing the security market for two years for misrepresentation of the financial statements of the company.

 

Securities are financial instruments issued to raise funds. The primary function of the securities markets is to enable to flow of capital from those that have it to those that need it. E.g. stocks, Bonds, Shares etc.

 

Securities and Exchange Board of India:

  • It was established on April 12, 1992, in accordance with the provisions of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
  • Its basic function is to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote and regulate the securities market.
  • Structure: consists of a Chairman and several other whole time and part-time members.
  • There exists Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) constituted to protect the interest of entities that feel aggrieved by SEBI’s decision.
    • It has the same powers as vested in a civil court.
    • Further, if any person feels aggrieved by SAT’s decision or order can appeal to the Supreme Court.

 

Irregular transactions

Source: Business Standard

Context:  So far 786 applications have been filed to recover over Rs 2.2 trillion allegedly lost through irregular transactions by firms undergoing the corporate insolvency resolution process.

Irregular transaction refers to a transaction which has been initiated or concluded by the Agent outside the permitted or agreed on procedure and policy.

Irregular transactions identified by IBC Code, 2016:

  • Avoidance transactions: This is the first set of transactions. It comprises preferential transactions, undervalued transactions and extortionate transactions.
    • The Code mandates the liquidation process to disregard these transactions.
  • Fraudulent transactions: This is the second set. It comprises fraudulent trading or wrongful trading.
    • The Code requires the liquidation process to recover the loss made through these transactions.

IBC Code 2016

  • It was enacted in 2016, replacing a host of laws, with the aim to streamline and speed up the resolution process of failed businesses.
  • The code stipulates that the resolution process of a stressed company will have to be completed in a maximum of 270 days.
  • The Code creates various institutions to facilitate the resolution of insolvency such as Insolvency Professionals, Information Utilities, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board etc.

 

Jal Jeevan Mission 

Source: PIB, Hindustan times

Context: The Gujarat government has achieved 100% tap water connections in rural areas under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the state water resources and water supply minister said.

 

Other States/UTs which have achieved 100 per cent:

  • Haryana
  • Goa
  • Telangana
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  • Daman and Diu
  • Puducherry
  • Andaman, and Nicobar Island

 

Jal Jeevan Mission:

  • Launched in 2019
  • Supply 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household through Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTC) by 2024.
  • Implementation: It comes under Jal Shakti Ministry.
  • Aims: It ensures functionality of existing water supply systems and water connections, water quality monitoring and testing as well as sustainable agriculture.

Salient features:

 

Sandalwood cultivation

Source: The Hindu

Context:  Sandalwood spike diseases which hitherto were confined mainly to forest areas, started spreading to commercial areas.

Sandalwood spike diseases:

  • Cause: The disease is caused by phytoplasma — bacterial parasites of plant tissues — which are transmitted by insect vectors.
  • Origin: the disease was first reported in Kodagu in 1899.
  • Symptoms: The sandalwood trees dry up once affected by SSD. Leaves turn thin and yellow and no new leaves will sprout. Within four years, the tree dies.
  • Treatment: As of now, no cure exists for the disease. Hence, the infected tree has to be cut to reduce the spread of the disease.
  • Concerns: Every year about 1% to 5% of sandalwood trees are lost due to the disease.
    • It could potentially wipe out the entire natural Sandalwood population if measures are not taken to prevent its spread.
  • Measures needed: A study conducted by the Institute of Wood Science and Technology(IWST), Bangalore and Pune-based National Centre for Cell Sciences has recommended
    • accreditation of commercial production of sandalwood seedlings through testing to ensure that the plants are free from SSD.
    • It has also called for a paradigm shift in policies handling sandalwood seedlings.

 

About Sandalwood:

Indian Sandalwood is a dry deciduous forest species native to China, India, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines. Because it is strong and durable, S. album is mostly harvested for its timber. On IUCN Red List Status, it is Vulnerable. In India, it is also called “Chandan” and “Srigandha”. Sandalwood has a special place in Indian tradition where it is used from cradle to cremation.

In India, it is mostly grown in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

 

Bats evicted from Manipur cave for tourism

Source: The Hindu

 

As per a zoological study that recorded new fauna in Manipur, A colony of bats was evicted from a Manipur cave system with a Palaeolithic past to make it tourist-friendly.

Horseshoe bat

Horseshoe bats, (genus Rhinolophus), are any of more than 100 species of large-eared insect-eating bats.

  • The researchers recorded Blyth’s horseshoe bat in the Khangkhui cave during two extensive field surveys covering nine districts of Manipur in 2019 and 2021.
  • This bat was one of 12 new species added to Manipur’s mammalian fauna.

 

IUCN Status: Over a third of bat species are considered threatened or data deficient.

Importance of Bats: Bats play an essential role in pest control, and pollinating plants. In the tropics and subtropics, bats act as very efficient seed dispersers and are responsible for much of the regeneration of forests following deforestation.

Khangkhui cave: The Khangkhui, locally called Khangkhui Mangsor, is a natural limestone cave about 15 km from Ukhrul, the headquarters of Ukhrul district of Manipur. The cave was home to Stone Age communities.

 

Humpback Highway

Each year, an estimated 40,000 humpback whales leave the freezing waters of Antarctica on the world’s longest mammal migration.

They make their way up Australia’s east and west coasts to the tropics before returning, calves in tow, a couple of months later. However, they get caught up in the fishing gear nets and get injured or die.

Humpback whales (currently least concern at IUCN) were hunted to near extinction last century. Since bans on whaling, however, the local population has bounced back into the tens of thousands, experts say.

Named after the distinctive hump in front of their small dorsal fin, humpback whales often feed in large groups and are famous for their singing ability.

 

Satellite phones

Source: Indian Express

Context: Recently, A senior executive of Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco with an unauthorised satellite phone was arrested in Uttarakhand under sections of the Indian Telegraph Act and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act.

What’s wrong with carrying a satellite phone?

  • It’s not legal to carry a satellite phone in India unless you have permission.
  • Restrictions on the possession and use of these phones were tightened after the Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November 2008 used these devices to keep in touch with their Lashkar-e-Taiba handlers.

 

What do these rules say?

  • Section 6 of The Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 makes it illegal to possess “any wireless telegraphy apparatus, other than a wireless transmitter.

What is a satellite phone?

A satellite phone is a telephone that can connect to orbiting satellites.

  • Similar to terrestrial mobile phones, they can connect to voice and short messaging services as well as low bandwidth Internet access.
  • Satellite phones can connect from anywhere as they are directly connected to satellites around the world and do not depend on terrestrial mobile networks.
  • Satellite phones usually cover most of the planet with fairly robust connectivity.

 

NavIC

Source: The Hindu

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on a series of improvements to the ‘NavIC’ so that more people are motivated to install and use it.

What is NavIC?

NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is a constellation of seven satellites that can be used to track location.

It is akin to the American GPS, the European Galileo and the Russian GLONASS Navigation systems.

  • The first of these satellites (IRNSS-1A) was launched in 2013 and the latest in 2018.
  • Though available for use in mainland India as well as a range of 1,500 km around it, it isn’t in wide regular use in India primarily because mobile phones haven’t been made compatible to process its signals.
  • The Indian government has been pressing manufacturers to add compatibility and has set a deadline of January 2023 but media reports suggest this is unlikely before 2025.
  • Currently, NavIC satellites orbit the earth in a geostationary or geosynchronous (GEO) orbit or about 36,000 km from earth.

 

 

Mapping


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