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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 24 December 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. Ravjiv Gauba of Governance

2. 81 crore people to get free food grains for one year

3. UP and TN struggle with encroachment in Centrally protected monuments, sites

 

GS Paper 3

1. Regenerative Agriculture

 

Content for Mains Enrichment:

1. Manav Mandir

2. Mother of Democracy

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. National Farmers’ Day 2022

2. Mars May have been less oxygen- rich than assumed

3. Green Wall/ Bengal Barrier

4. Bijli Utsav

5. Facial Recognition Technology

6. Moa Makers of Kolkata

 


 

NFSA: 81 cr. people to get free food grains for one year

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

 

Source: IE

 Direction: The article tries to compare the government’s two food security schemes – National Food Security Act, 2013 and the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).

 Context:

  • The Union government announced free food grains to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, 2013, for a year commencing in January 2023, combining economic prudence and the need of a safety net.
  • It has, however, discontinued the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), merging it with NFSA.
Comparing NFSA AND PMGKAY
NFSAPMGKAY
  • Objectives: To provide for food and nutritional security.
  • Key features:
    • Food grains at subsidised price – rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and coarse grain at Re 1/kg.
    • 2 categories of beneficiary – Antyoday Anna Yojana (35kg/family/month) and the Priority Households (5kg/person/month).
    • Covers 67% of the total population (75% of the rural and 50% of the urban population).
    • Meals to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
    • Maternity benefits of not less than Rs. 6,000 to such women.
    • Children up to 14 years of age will be entitled to nutritious meals.
    • In case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals, the beneficiaries will receive food security allowance.
    • Grievance redressal mechanism at the District and State levels.
  • Launched in April, 2020 as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and poor amid Covid-19.
  • More than 81.35 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per person / month along with 1 kg free whole chana to each family per month.
  • This is over and above the regular monthly entitlements under NFSA.
  • Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – AAY and PHH categories will be eligible for the scheme.

Significance of the move:

  • The discontinuation of PMGKAY comes at a time when the food grains stock has depleted over the months.
  • The decision softens the blow the poor may suffer with the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana being discontinued by the end of the month.

 

Insta Links: NFSA

 

Mains Links:

Q. The National Food Security Act (NFSA) with the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) add-on during the pandemic is a star achievement of our 75 years of independence. Elaborate. (250 words)

/ Dec 24 CA, GS 2, NFSA, PMGKY, Today's Article

Good Governance Practices

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability

 

Source: PIB

 Direction: The article highlights the meaning of good governance, its key attributes, importance and efforts made to promote it.

Context: Speaking as a part of Good Governance Week (19th to 25th December), Cabinet secretary (Rajiv Gauba) said that good governance is all about improving outcomes and ensuring deliverables while trusting citizens.

About good governance:

  • It relates to the political and institutional processes and outcomes that are necessary to achieve the goals of development.
  • The true test of ‘good’ governance is the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
  • The key question is: are the institutions of governance effectively guaranteeing the right to health, adequate housing, sufficient food, quality education, fair justice and personal security?

 

Key attributes of good governance:

Importance for India: It is the key to –

  • Achieve the vision of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance and Whole of Government approach.
  • Make a New India by 2047 (100 years of India’s independence).

 

 

Recent efforts made by Indian government in this direction:

  • Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022: It promotes ease of living and doing business by decriminalising minor offences in 42 Acts administered by 19 ministries.
  • Delayering, delegation of power and digitalisation in governance: Initiatives –
    • E-Office 7.0: Enables users to create and manage electronic documents that can be viewed, searched and shared.
    • Swachhta Special Campaign 2.0: For swachhta in government offices and disposal of pending matters from 2nd to 31st October, 2022.
    • Prashasan Gaon Ki Ore 2022: It is a nation-wide campaign for redressal of public grievances and improving service delivery which is being held in all Districts, States, and UTs of India.

 

Related news: Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, 2022

Source: IE

Context: The Bill is put forward by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, to amend 183 provisions across 42 Acts administered by 19 ministries.

Purpose: It proposes to decriminalise a large number of minor offences by replacing them with monetary penalties.

It proposes amendments to the Acts, including The Aadhar Act, 2016; Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940; Cinematograph Act, 1952; Copyright Act, 1957; Patents Act, 1970; Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; and Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; etc.

Significance: A web of outdated rules and regulations causes trust deficit. Hence, it will try to –

  • Achieve the principle of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.’
  • Redefine the regulatory landscape of the country under the Ease of Living and Ease of Doing Business reforms.

Insta Links:

Good Governance

 

Mains Links:

Q. Hunger and Poverty are the biggest challenges for good governance in India still today. Evaluate how far successive governments have progressed in dealing with these humongous problems. Suggest measures for improvement. (UPSC 2017)

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act, 2010

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Source: TH 

Direction: The article highlights legal protection available to Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains in India.

 Context: According to the Ministry of Culture, Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of Centrally Protected Monuments which have been encroached upon, closely followed by Tamil Nadu.

Background:

  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958 is one of the landmark laws for the –
    • Preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance (over 100 years old).
    • Regulation of archaeological excavations and
    • Protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) functions under the provisions of this act.
  • India has a total of 3,695 Centrally Protected Monuments or Sites in the country, under the protection of the ASI.
  • The monuments are regularly inspected by the ASI officials to assess their present condition and the necessary conservation and preservation works are taken up as per the requirement.

 

2010 Amendment:

  • The AMASR Act 1958, was amended in 2010 to strengthen its penal provisions, to prevent encroachments and illegal construction close to the monuments – which was happening on a large scale.
  • The main features of the amendments:
    • Creation of a –
      • Prohibited area 100 metre around every national monument where no construction, public or private is permitted,
      • Regulated area 200 metres beyond the prohibited area, where any construction requires permission of a newly constituted National Monuments Authority.
    • Given the unique nature of each monument, the Act also proposed heritage by-laws for each monument to be prepared by an expert body.
  • Further amendments have been proposed which seek to do away with the ban on construction within 100 metres of an ASI-protected monument and regulate construction within 100-200 metres.

Concerns: Public works by the central and state governments around the monuments are causing disturbance to cultural or environmental heritage.

Way ahead: Development along with the lowest adverse impact on the cultural heritage and environment should be the aim of the governments.

Conclusion: Because India has a large untapped tourism potential, development should not come at the expense of our cultural or environmental heritage.

 

Insta Links:

AMASR Act

 

Mains Links:

Q. Examine why historians and archaeologists have expressed concern over amendments proposed to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (1958).

 

Regenerative agriculture: A step towards water conservation

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Agriculture and Conservation

 

Source: DTE

 Direction: The article tries to establish the relationship between regenerative agriculture, soil health and conservation.

 Context: Farmers, activists and agricultural research organisations across the world are developing methods of regenerative agriculture, going a step ahead of sustainable agriculture, not only to maintain the resources like soil and water but also to improve them.

Background:

  • The Green Revolution in the 1960s saved India from starvation and transformed it into not only a self-sufficient but also a major food exporter country.
  • But the revolution also made India the world’s biggest extractor of groundwater.
  • According to the UN’s World Water Development Report, 2022, the country extracts 251 cubic km or more than a quarter of the world’s groundwater each year and 90% of this is used for agriculture.
  • Agriculture must operate in unison with nature, not against it, if it is to continue feeding the country’s undernourished population and driving the economy.
  • In India, the Union and state governments (UK, HP, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Gujarat) are promoting regenerative agriculture with an aim to reduce application of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and to lower input costs.

 

The regenerative agriculture:

About:

  • It is a system of farming principles and practices that seeks to rehabilitate and enhance the entire ecosystem of the farm by placing a heavy premium on soil health with attention also paid to water management, fertiliser use, etc.
  • It is a method of farming, under which emphasis is placed on looking holistically at the agro-ecosystem, improving the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them.

 

Key techniques include:

 

Benefits: Links between regenerative agriculture, soil health and water saving

  • Maintaining soil health: Chemical-less farming and cultivation practices such as crop rotation and diversification help improve soil structure and its organic carbon content.
  • Water conservation: Healthy soil helps in improving water-use efficiency by better water storage, transmission, filtering and reduces agricultural run-off.

 

Efforts in India to promote regenerative agriculture:

  • The National Project on Organic Farming.
  • Systematic rice intensification, a method in which seeds are spaced at wider distances and organic manure is applied to improve yields.
  • Zero-budget natural farming, now known as Subhash Palekar Natural Farming, emphasises on preparing and using inputs made from crop residue, cow dung and urine, fruits, among other things.

 

Challenges: There are no structured studies available on the water-saving potential of regenerative agriculture.

 

Way ahead:

  • As civil society organisations and farmers do not have the capacity to conduct long-term studies, scientific bodies are best equipped to do such trials and calculations.
  • Such research will go a long way in promoting regenerative agriculture.

 

Insta Links:

ZBNF

 

Mains Links:

Q. How and to what extent would micro-irrigation help in solving India’s water crisis? (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Links: (UPSC 2018)

With reference to organic farming in India, consider the following statements:

  1. The National Programme for Organic Production’ (NPOP) is operated under the guidelines and directions of the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  2. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority’ (APEDA) functions as the Secretariat for the implementation of NPOP.
  3. Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic State.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

    1. 1 and 2 only
    2. 2 and 3 only
    3. 3 only
    4. 1, 2 and 3

 

Ans: 2

 

Content for Mains Enrichment


Manav Mandir 

Directions: This case can be used as an example for values like ‘Compassion’, ‘Ethics of Care’ in GS 4.

Context: Manav Mandir is located in Solan, Himachal Pradesh. The centre is being run by Indian Association of Muscular Dystrophy.

  • Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disease makes it difficult for the patients to do even small tasks of daily life.
  • The treatment and care of such patients require great sense of service, which is what Manav Mandir provides.
  • The centre has 50 beds for patients, provides ODP service along with Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Yoga etc.
  • The centre also tries to bring a positive change in the lives of the patients.
  • The best partmanagement of the organisation is mainly done by people suffering from this disease.

                      

Mother of Democracy

 Direction:  The content can be creatively used in essays.

Context: ICHR has published a book titled – India: The Mother of Democracy.

About the book:

  • It aims to unveil the rice democratic ethos of India since ancient times, by tracing the history of democratic institutions.
  • The book has 6 parts:
  1. Archaeology, literature, numismatics and epigraphy
  2. Gana, Mahajanapada, Rajya: a legacy of ‘Loktantra’
  3. Bhakti and sampraday: visualising democratic traditions
  4. The blossoming of democratic ‘Ism’s: Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism
  5. The idea of ‘Loka’: Janjati and Khap
  6. Tracing the ethos of democracy: humanity and colonialism

 


Facts for Prelims:


National Farmers Day

 Source: PIB, Economic Times

Context: Union Home and Cooperation Minister Shri Amit Shah wished farmers across the country on the occasion of Farmer’s Day, on 23rd Dec.

Why is it celebrated?

  • To commemorate and recognise the farmers as the country’s backbone.
  • The date was selected as it coincides with the birth anniversary of India’s 5th Prime Minister Chaudry Charan Singh.
  • It is being celebrated since 2001.

 About Chaudry Charan Singh:

  • Popularly called as Kisan Leader
  • His writings not only portrayed the difficulties faced by the farmers, but also contained solutions to improve their lives.
  • Inspired by Lal Bahadur Shastri, Charan Singh saw how the exploitation of farmers at the hands of zamindars impacted India’s rural economy.
  • As Revenue Minister of UP, he designed land reform laws which made the peasants of the nation look upto him.
  • His popular works include – “Abolition of Zamindari”

                                                         “Joint Farming X-rayed”

                                                     “India’s Poverty and its Solution”

                                                     “Peasant Proprietorship

             

Mars May have been less oxygen- rich than assumed

 Source: Down to Earth

Context: A study by Nature Geoscience has speculated that ancient Mars was probably wetter and warmer, but wasn’t as oxygen rich as expected.

What does the new study say? 

  • Extremophiles – Organisms that can live in extreme environment may have been previously existed on Mars.
  • In 2016 – Manganese Oxide minerals were detected, which made scientists believe that the Red Planet had more oxygen earlier than at present. Manganese, water and high oxygen lead to manganese oxide formation.
  • However, the recent study claims that, Chlorine and Bromine on mars converted manganese into manganese oxide, faster than oxygen.
  • Thus, the idea that mars was once oxygen rich and supported life forms becomes questionable.
  • Also, ancient mars is estimated to have 99.9% of CO2 (earlier CO2 was assumed to be 96%), which makes water acidic.
  • Mars was likely suitable for salt-loving organisms. 

 Q. Which one of the following conditions is most relevant for the presence of life on Mars? [1997]

 

(a) Atmospheric composition

(b) Thermal conditions

(c) Occurrence of ice caps and frozen water

(d) Occurrence of ozone

 

Ans: c 

Mars is the only planet with similar day time temperatures and an atmosphere similar to earth. The most relevant condition for presence of life on Mars is occurrence of ice caps and frozen water

Insta Links:

Mars Orbiter Mission, NASA’s PerseveranceInSIght, ExoMars

 

Green Wall/ Bengal Barrier

 Source: Down to Earth

Directions: Facts are important for prelims; can also be used as an example in GS 3

Context: Experts question plan to erect ‘Green Wall’ on West Bengal’s western border to stop pollutants.

What is the plan?

  • West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has decided to set up 800 km Bio-Shield along its western fringe to stop pollutants from entering the State.
  • Bio-Shield – A wall of Mega Plantations
  • WBPCB says pollution from other states is responsible for close to half of West Bengal’s pollution load.

 Why are experts against it?

  • The execution may run into several crores, take years to complete and may not serve its purpose.
  • Researches show that transboundary air pollutants, especially the most toxic PM 2.5, normally moves at least 500 metres above the surface during winter, thus going beyond the range of the shield.
  • West Bengal receives less transboundary pollution at a proportional scale, compared to many states, research shows.
  • No evidence that such an initiative will work.

 The Great Green wall of Sahel Region 

  • It is an initiative to increase the amount of arable land in the Sahel, the region bordering Africa’s Sahara Desert.
  • Eleven nations are investing in projects as varied as agroforestry to sustainable development – Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal.
  • Organisations involved – GEF, WB, UNFCCD
  • UNEP has declared it to be one of the pioneering initiatives that are restoring the natural world.

Insta Links:

Green wall of India, Measures to control air pollution

 

Bijli Utsav by REC

Source: PIB

Context: ‘Bijli Utsav’ was organised by REC Ltd in Gujarat as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

About Bijli Utsav:

  • Speaker sessions by utility officials highlighting the consumer rights of electricity, benefits of electricity and the challenges faced during electrification in remote areas and how the quality of life improves with access to power.
  • Engaged villagers and children in quiz competitions
  • Nukkad Nataks were performed
  • Distribution of LED bulbs as gifts to winners.

 REC Ltd: 

  • It is an NBFC focusing on Power Sector Financing and Development across India.
  • It is a Maharatna company under Ministry of Power.
  • Established in 1969, it provides financial assistance to state electricity boards, state governments, central/state power utilities, independent power producers, rural electric cooperatives and private sector utilities.
  • It is a Nodal Agency for Government of India’s flagship schemes viz.  Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (SAUBHAGAYA), Deen Dayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and National Electricity Fund (NEF).
  • REC’s funding illuminates every fourth bulb in India.

      

 

Insta Links:

Schemes under ministry of Power

 

Facial Recognition Technology

 Source: PIB

Context: Information regarding data security of Facial recognition technology was given by Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. The technology was also in news with respect to Digi Yatri installed in 3 airports.

What is Facial Recognition Technology?

  • Facial recognition is a way of recognizing a human face through technology.
  • It uses biometricsto map facial features from a photograph or video.
  • It compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match.

How it works?

  1. A picture of the face is captured from a photo or video.
  2. Facial recognition software reads the geometry of the face (Ex- the distance between eyes and the distance from forehead to chin)
  3. Facial signature — a mathematical formula — is compared to a database of known faces.
  4. A determination is made. The faceprint may match that of an image in a facial recognition system database.

 

Digi Yatri: 

  • The Airports Authority of India launched the Digi-Yatri service that will provide contactless entry to passengers at airports by using facial recognition technology.
  • The facility is available on Delhi’s IGI Airport, Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.

Moa Makers of Joynagar

 Source: The Hindu

Context:  GI tag for Joynagar Moa has been extended for 10 years.

About Joynagar Moa:

  • Said to date back to 1904, the moais made of aromatic khoi — popped rice — that is mixed with jaggery, sugar, cashew nuts and raisins.
  • It has a short shelf life, lasting not more than five days without refrigeration.
  • The high perishability has prevented it from being shipped abroad all these decades, and its export began, on a very small scale, only in 2020.

 

Insta links: Recent GI Tags


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