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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 10 January 2023

 

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. SC dismisses PIL challenging committees set up by Gujarat and Uttarakhand for Uniform Civil Code

2. Indians abroad: History, spread, remittances

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Europe turns to LNG instead of Russia gas: What is it, how it impacts the climate

 

Facts for Prelims

1. Article 176 of the Indian Constitution

2. Young Professionals Scheme

3. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

 


 

SC dismisses PIL challenging committees set up by Gujarat and Uttarakhand for Uniform Civil Code

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure

 

Source: ToI

 Direction: As some states attempt to enact the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), this article attempts to discuss the topic of UCC in India.

 

Context: The SC refused to entertain a PIL challenging the decisions of the Uttarakhand and Gujarat governments to constitute committees for implementing Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in their respective states.

 

Background:

  • The promulgation of the UCC emerges as a positive obligation and not duty of the State under Article 44 of the Constitution in the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP).
  • Goa’s Portuguese Civil Code of 1867 is an example of a common family law prevalent in a State.
  • Both the Uttarakhand and Gujarat governments have constituted committees to look into the issue of implementation of UCC.
    • This to govern matters of divorce, adoption, inheritance, guardianship, succession of all citizens equally regardless of their religion, gender and sexual orientation.
  • Several other petitions are also pending before the top court seeking uniform ground and procedures of divorce, adoption and guardianship for all communities across the country.
  • The Centre has maintained the issue of UCC falls within the domain of legislature.

 

What did the SC say?

  • The constitution of such committees by the states cannot be challenged for being ultra vires to the Constitution of India, as Article 162 empowers the State to constitute such committees.
    • Article 162 of the Constitution states that the executive power of a state shall extend to the matters with respect to which the legislature of the State has power to make laws.
  • Also, Entry 5 (Concurrent List) of the 7th schedule of the Constitution gives such power to the states to form a committee.
    • It deals with marriage and divorce; infants and minors; adoption; etc.
About the Uniform Civil Code (UCC):
  • It provides for one law that applies to all religious communities in personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc.
  • In India, Article 44 in the Part IV (DPSP) of the Indian Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

 

UCC v. Personal laws:

  • Personal laws (mentioned in the Concurrent List) are laws that apply to a specific group of people based on their religion, caste, faith, belief, and are made after careful consideration of customs and religious texts.
  • The adoption of a UCC is likely to nullify all such codified laws and usher in a law that applies to all citizens.

 

Importance of UCC: It will simplify complex laws, address discrimination against vulnerable groups (such as women), harmonise diverse cultural groups across the country and foster nationalistic fervor through unity.

 

Argument against UCC:

  • Anti-minority and anti-tribal: In Meghalaya, for example, property succession and marriage laws are governed by traditional and customary procedures.
  • Communal Politics: The demand for a UCC is considered to be framed in the context of communal politics.
  • Violates Article 25: It seeks to preserve the freedom to practice and propagate any religion.
  • Plurality in already codified civil and criminal laws: As a result, the concept of “one nation, one law” cannot be applied to diverse personal laws of different communities.
  • Law Commission of India: A UCC is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage in the country.

 

Conclusion:

  • Article 44 was included in the Constitution as a provision that would be fulfilled when the country was ready to accept it and the UCC could be socially accepted.
  • Therefore, a piecemeal approach should be adopted, because a just code is far more important than a uniform code.

 

Insta Links:

The UCC

 

Mains Links:

Q. Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. (UPSC 2015)

Indians abroad: History, spread, remittances

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora

 

Source: IE

 

Direction: In the context of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention, the article highlights the history, spread and importance of the Indian diaspora.

 

Context:

  • The PM of India recently opened the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention in Indore, MP, stating that Indian diaspora serve as “brand ambassadors” for the country on foreign soil.
  • The word diaspora comes from the Greek word diaspeiro, which means dispersion.
Why is the PBD convention held?
  • The convention began in 2003 under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and has grown in size and scope since 2015, when the Ministry of External Affairs made the event a biennial affair.
  • The day marks the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa on January 9, 1915.
  • It aims to project the truth about India to the rest of the world in a credible and effective manner, countering propaganda and publicise India’s development story.

 

Various waves of Indian migration:

  • The 1st wave (in the 19th and early 20th centuries) took place under the ‘Girmitiya’
    • The indentured labourers were shipped to countries in the east Pacific and the Caribbean islands to work on plantations in British colonies struggling as a result of labour crisis after the abolition of slavery in 1833-34.
  • Nearly 20 lakh Indians went to Singapore and Malaysia to work in farms in the 2nd wave, while professionals went to western countries and workers went to Gulf and west Asian countries in the aftermath of the oil boom during the 3rd and 4th waves.

 

3 categories of Indian diaspora:

  • Non-Resident Indians (NRI) are Indians who are residents of foreign countries.
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) refers to a foreign citizen (except a national of Pakistan, Afghanistan Bangladesh, China, Iran, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal).

Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) is a separate category carved out in 2006.

According to the MEA
PIOs refers to those An OCI card was given to a foreign national
●        Who at any time held an Indian passport, or

●        Who or either of their parents/grandparents/great grandparents was born and permanently resided in India as defined in Government of India Act, 1935, or

●        Who is a spouse of a citizen of India or a PIO

●        Who was eligible to be a citizen of India on January 26, 1950

●        Was a citizen of India on or at any time after January 26, 1950, or

●        Belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947

●        Minor children of such individuals, except those who were a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, were also eligible for OCI cards.

The PIO category was abolished in 2015 and merged with the OCI category

The size and geographical spread of the Indian diaspora:

  • According to the Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs, there were 4.7 (four point seven) crore Indians (including students also) as of December 31, 2021.
  • According to the World Migration Report prepared by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration, India has the world’s largest emigrant population, followed by Mexico, Russia and China.

 

The Importance of the Indian Diaspora:

  • Remittances are a vital source of household income for low and middle-income countries like India.
  • The top five remittance recipient countries are India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, and Egypt, and according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief 2022, India is on track to receive more than $100 billion in yearly remittances.
  • The active and vocal political positions of a segment of the Indian diaspora, particularly in the US and the UK, are a relatively new phenomenon.

 

Concerns: The Parliamentary Committee stated that conventions such as the PBD appear to exclude a large segment of the diaspora that is not wealthy (low/semi-skilled and blue-collar workers).

 

Conclusion: The participation and involvement in the PBD convention should be more broad-based, including vulnerable segments of the diaspora community.

 

Inta Links:

Bharat Ek Soch- India @ 75 – Indian Diaspora

 

Mains Links:

Q. ‘Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples. (UPSC 2020)

Europe turns to LNG instead of Russia gas: What is it, how it impacts the climate

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Energy, Environment and Conservation

 

Source: IE

 

Direction: The article attempts to explain LNG and why switching to LNG is not an environmentally sustainable idea and way forward.

 

Context:

  • The EU is replacing piped Russian gas imports with rapidly increasing imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), much of which is fracking in the US.
  • By the end of the decade, additional costs for Germany’s gas imports could reach up to €200bn ($212bn), doubling gas bills for consumers.

 

Background:

  • While the EU becomes the biggest LNG importer in the world, climate activists are calling it a major setback in the effort to limit global warming as LNG emits 10 times more than the piped gas.
  • Also, the activists reject the claims that most LNG infrastructure is suitable for green hydrogen in the future.

 

What is LNG?

  • LNG is natural gas reduced to a liquid state (liquefaction) through intense cooling to around -161 degrees Celsius (-259 Fahrenheit).
  • This liquid gas is 600 times smaller than the original volume and is half the weight of water, thus, can be transported around the world by ship.
  • After arriving at its destination, the cargo is regasified in a floating terminal and redistributed through pipelines.

 

Limitations:

  • This compressed fossil fuel is wholly made up of methane – a potent greenhouse gas (GHG).
  • Despite LNG’s export potential, the high cost of liquefaction and producing LNG has limited its market.
  • The cooling, liquefying and transport processes, as well as the post-transport regasification procedures, require a lot of energy.
  • Also, between 10-25% of the energy of the gas is being lost during the liquefaction process.

 

What’s the climate impact?

  • LNG emits about twice as much GHG as ordinary natural gas, emits 14 times as much carbon as solar power when producing the equivalent amount of energy, and 50 times as much carbon as wind power.
  • Risk of methane leakages across the supply chain, makes LNG much more emissions-intensive.
  • Processing LNG is so energy and carbon-intensive that it can create almost 10 times more carbon emissions than piped gas.

 

Concerns: Shifting toward LNG would not only be in conflict with the national climate targets but would constitute a breach of national legislation and international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

 

Way ahead:

  • Cheaper sustainable energy sources could instead make up the current gas deficit.
  • Comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades. Germany, for example, can save more gas than new LNG terminals offer, by investing solely in building efficiency.
  • Any LNG terminals that are built need to be easily retrofitted for green hydrogen to fast-track the clean energy transition.

 

Insta Links:

India’s road to clean energy goes via natural gas

 

Prelims Links: (UPSC 2014)

With reference to two nonconventional energy sources called ‘coalbed methane’ and ‘shale gas’, consider the following statements:

  1. Coalbed methane is the pure methane gas extracted from coal seams, while shale gas is a mixture of propane and butane only that can be extracted from fine-grained sedimentary rocks.
  2. In India abundant coalbed methane sources exist, but so far, no shale gas sources have been found.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

      1. 1 only
      2. 2 only
      3. Both 1 and 2
      4. Neither 1 nor 2

 

Ans: 4

 

Facts for Prelims


Article 176 of the Indian Constitution

Source:  ToI

Context: The governor-government tussle in Tamil Nadu erupted in the assembly after the CM objected to the Governor skipping portions of his customary speech to the state legislature and tabled a resolution against him, prompting the latter to leave the House.

 

Article 176 (Special address by the Governor):

  • The Governor shall address the Legislative Assembly or both Houses (in the case of a State having a Legislative Council), assembled together at the
    • Commencement of the first session after each general election to the Legislative Assembly and
    • Commencement of the first session of each year
  • Provision shall be made by the rules regulating the procedure of the House or either House for the allotment of time for discussion of the matters referred to in such address.

Article 87: Special address by the President

 

Young Professionals Scheme

 Source: TH

 Context: The governments of India and the U.K. marked Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on January 9, 2023 by kicking off the Young Professionals Scheme.

 

About the Young Professionals Scheme:

  • The scheme was conceived as part of an India-U.K. Migration and Mobility MoU signed in 2021 and was announced at the G20 summit in Bali.
  • The scheme will permit up to 3,000 of their degree-holding citizens aged between 18 and 30 to live and work in each other’s countries for a period of two years.

 

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Source: TH

Context: IIT Jodhpur, Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust (DART) and AIIMS Jodhpur are working on developing an affordable treatment for a rare and incurable genetic disorder called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

 

About DMD:

  • It is the most common and fatal type of muscular dystrophy marked by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness due to alterations of a protein called “dystrophin” that helps keep muscle cells intact.
  • Patients (usually children) have reduced bone density and an increased risk of developing fractures.
  • India has over 5 lakh patients in the country suffering from DMD and the condition is predominantly seen in boys, but in rare cases, it can also affect girls.
  • The current therapeutic options available to treat DMD are minimal and highly expensive treatment and are mostly imported from abroad.

 

What does the latest research include?

  • DMD is patient specific. Gene Mutations occurring in a patient may vary from the other, thus reducing the scope of universal treatment or therapeutics.
  • Antisense Oligonucleotide (AON)-based therapeutics’ idea is to mask specific exons in a gene sequence.
  • The research team is working to replace this with molecular tags, so that customised/personalised medicine can be developed.
  • Researchers have made progress in the development of generic Utrophin Modulators.
    • Utrophin and Dystrophin can co-localise in human muscle.
    • Utrophin overexpression could act as a surrogate, compensating for the lack of dystrophin.

 

 

Insta Links:

Policy on Rare Diseases


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