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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 11 February 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 ina 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. How the Treaty of Alinagar set the stage for the English East India Company’s political rise
  2. Discovery of lithium deposits in J&K to cut dependence on imports

 

GS Paper2:

  1. The Parliamentary committee report on the earth sciences ministry

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Hindenburg report on Adani group | SC calls for protecting Indian investors from sudden market volatility
  2. How the e-waste you produce is providing poor children with a dangerous living

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Knowledge Republic

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Who are the Dawoodi Bohras?
  2. Mission Antyodaya Survey (MAS) 2022-23
  3. India rated among top five accreditation systems in the world: Report
  4. Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)
  5. UPI payment for foreign travellers to India 
  6. Formula E
  7. ISRO successfully launches SSLV-D2
  8. TARKASH
  9. Mapping

 

How the Treaty of Alinagar set the stage for the English East India Company’s political rise

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Modern Indian History from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

  

Source: IE

 Context: The Treaty of Alinagar strengthened the position of the British in Bengal and laid foundations for the Battle of Plassey a few months later.

  • The treaty was the prelude to the British seizure of Bengal.

 

The Treaty of Alinagar:

  • It was signed on 9 February 1757 between the British East India Company (Robert Clive) and the Nawab of Bengal (Siraj ud-Daulah).
  • Alinagar was the short-lived name given to Calcutta by the Nawab after it was captured by him.
  • Although the Nawab had taken control of the English fort in Calcutta, he signed the pact in response to the English military might and the threat posed by Afghans (under Ahmad Shah Abdali).

 

Terms of the treaty: The Nawab would recognize all the provisions of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar’s farman of 1717 – exempt from paying duties on goods passed through Bengal, can fortify Calcutta, mint coins in Calcutta, etc.

 

Significance of the treaty:  The signing of the treaty was one of the events leading up to the famous Battle of Plassey, which set the stage for British colonial expansion in India.

 

Timeline of the initial phase of British Imperialism in India:
  • 1600 – The English East India Company was formed by a royal charter – A monopoly of all trade from England in the East.
  • 1613 – A royal Farman from Mughal emperor Jehangir allowed the Company to open its factories and warehouses.
    • The Company worked subservient to local rulers and established a thriving business.
    • The three primary trading towns where the British trade thrived were Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta (which account for 60% of all English imports from Asia).
  • After 1707 (the death of Aurangzeb) – The Mughal emperor remained the symbolic head, however, his actual power was fast diminishing.
  • 1717 – The Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar’s farman gave favourable terms to the Company to trade in Bengal, this was met with local opposition.
  • 1717 -1727 – Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, the new autonomous ruler of Bengal, refused to extend the 1917 farmaan.
  • 1755 – Worried about French competition, the English began renovating the fortifications in Calcutta without Nawab’s permission.
  • 1756 – Nawab Siraj ud Daula’s forces captured Fort William, Calcutta, and renamed it Alinagar.
  • February 9, 1757: Treaty of Alinagar – the eventual rise of the East India Company as a political force to be reckoned with.
  • June 23, 1757 – Battle of Plassey. The Company began territorial control that would serve its economic interests.

 

Insta Links:

Rise of East India Company

  

Mains Links:

Why did the armies of the British East India Company – mostly comprising of Indian Soldiers – win consistently against the more numerous and better-equipped armies of the then-Indian rulers? Give reasons. (UPSC 2022)

  

Prelims Links:

Economically, one of the results of British rule in India in the 19th century was the

    1. Increase in the export of Indian handicrafts
    2. Growth in the number of Indian-owned factories
    3. Commercialization of Indian agriculture
    4. The rapid increase in the urban population

 

Ans: 3

Discovery of lithium deposits in J&K to cut dependence on imports

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Geography

 

Source: TH, PIB

Context: Geological Survey of India (GSI) has for the first time established Lithium inferred resources of about 6 million tonnes in the Salal-Haimana area of the Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT)

  • 51 Mineral Blocks including Lithium and Gold were handed over to State Governments

 

Significance of the find:

  • Reduce the need for imports
  • Improve employment opportunities
  • Boost to the manufacture of rechargeable batteries
  • Boost to the Economy
  • Push for India’s Clean Energy targets: Lithium is a key component in batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems

Map: Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT)

 

Other Potential Sites in India:

  • Mica belts in Rajasthan, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Pegmatite(igneous rocks) belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
  • Brines of Sambhar and Pachpadrain Rajasthan, and Rann of Kachchh in Gujarat.

Status of India with respect to these critical mineral resources

  • India imports almost all of its need for rare earth metals and of lithium, Cobalt (mostly from China)
  • India’s demand for these critical resources has risen 6 fold in the last five years as it tries to be the electronic and solar manufacturing hub
  • Recently, India’s first-ever Lithium deposit site was found in the igneous rocks located in the Marlagalla-Allapatna region of Southern Karnataka’s Mandya district.
  • The thermonuclear application makes Lithium a “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, of 1962 which permits AMD to the exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country

 

To know about India’s initiative for securing Lithium: Click here

 

About Lithium:

Lithium is a soft, silvery metal. It has the lowest density of all metals. It reacts vigorously with water.

  • Greenbushes mine in Western Australiais the largest hard-rock lithium mine in the world and Australia is the global leader in Lithium production.
  • Lithium is primarily extracted from brine pools (‘Salar’ in Chile) and rock minerals such as spodumene (in Australia)
  • Countries with Largest Reserves: Chile> Australia> Argentina

Current Affairs

 

Applications of Lithium:

  • Batteries: Lithium is widely used in batteries due to its high electrochemical potential and low weight.
  • Glass and Ceramics: Lithium is added to glass and ceramics to improve their thermal stability, transparency, and strength.
  • Aerospace: Lithium is used in the production of lightweight alloys for the aerospace industry.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Lithium is used in the treatment of bipolar disorder due to its ability to stabilize mood swings.
  • Lubricants: Lithium is used as a lubricant in high-temperature and high-vacuum environments.

 

Lithium Production in Stars: Lithium (Li) production is common among low-mass Sun-like stars during their Helium (He) core burning phase.

  

About GSI

It is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines ( HQ: Kolkata; set up in 1851 to find coal deposits for Railways). It is a scientific agency in India to carry out geoscientific activities.

 

Mains Links:

Lithium-ion batteries are the edifice of the wireless technology revolution. In this context discuss the significance and challenges facing these rechargeable Lithium Batteries. (250 words)

 

Prelims Links:

Which one of the following pairs of metals constitutes the lightest metal and the heaviest metal, respectively? (UPSC 2008)

 

(a) Lithium and mercury
(b) Lithium and osmium
(c) Aluminium and osmium
(d) Aluminium and mercury

 

Ans: B

 

Osmium is a hard metallic element which has the greatest density of all known elements. Lithium has an atomic number of 3 and is the lightest known metal.

The Parliamentary committee report on the earth sciences ministry

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Structure, Organization, and Functioning of the Ministries and Departments of the Government

 

Source: DTE

 

Context: According to a Parliamentary committee report, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) made progress but has been ‘sluggish’ on a few counts.

 

Progress report of MoES:

InitiativesNoteProgress
Establishing District Agro-meteorological Field Units (DAMU)●        Improve the quality of weather services for farmers

●        IMD targets to set up 660 DAMUs by 2025

In 2021-22, 3 DAMUs were established (at Kupwara in J&K, Almora, and Pithoragarh in the UK), however, the target was 20.
Installing and commissioning Doppler Weather Radars (DWR)●        Can predict extreme weather events

●        The entire country will be covered by DWR Network by 2025

So far, only six DWRs have been installed in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Leh, and Aya Nagar in Delhi
Installing Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), Climate Reference stations, and X-band radarsStudy cloud development and light precipitationCurrently, 727 AWSs exist and the ministry is procuring more to realise its target
Polar studies●        Need to replace or upgrade the Maitri Station in Antarctica, which was set up in 1988.

●        The committee hopes the proposed new Station – Maitri-II, will be completed on time.

Delay in acquiring a polar research vessel (PRV), which was approved in 2010.

 

 

 

Major schemes of MoES:

 

Way ahead:

  • To revisit its performance in terms of the realization of physical targets set under various
  • As acquiring the funds has been challenging, getting in-principle approval from the Department of Expenditure for different initiatives.

Hindenburg report on Adani group | SC calls for protecting Indian investors from sudden market volatility

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Indian economy and related issues

 

Source: TH

 Context: The SC asked the SEBI and the government about the existing regulatory framework in place to protect Indian middle-class investors.

 

Background:

  • This comes after the Adani Group was accused of stock manipulation and accounting fraud by the American firm Hindenburg Research.
  • Earlier, a number of small investors lost lakhs of crores due to rapid market volatility following a collapse in the value of the shares of the Adani Group.

 

 

Investor protection measures by the SEBI:

  • Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF)
  • Investor Protection Fund (IPF)
  • Investor Awareness Programme
  • Simplification of Share Transfer and Allotment Procedure, etc

How the e-waste you produce is providing poor children with a dangerous living

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Environmental Pollution

 

Source: Indian Express

  

Context: Rising number of children in the extraction of the e-waste sector is a crude and hazardous process that goes unregulated.

  • According to the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, the world dumped 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste in 2019. India produced 3.2 million metric tons of e-waste, much of which is dumped for dismantling and recycling in Seelampur with no regulations.

  

About e-waste:

  • The term electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) refers to “electrical or electronic equipment, which is waste, including all components, subassemblies, and consumables, which are part of the equipment at the time the equipment becomes waste ”.
  • E-waste includes large, discarded appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines, as well as small personal items, including computers, televisions, mobile phones, and many other devices that are operated by electrical currents or batteries.

 

What health risks are the children exposed to?

  • Toxic substances: Toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and flame retardants, can be harmful if not properly disposed of. Serious skin diseases and chronic lung infections due to continuous exposure to these chemical-laden toxins.
  • Disabilities: Even relatively low lead exposure in children can result in a reduction in total intelligence quotient (IQ) and several behavioural abnormalities, including a decrease in attention span and an increase in frustration and disruptive behaviour.
  • Exposure to hazardous waste: Like Nickel, Mercury can cause long-term incurable diseases.
  • Environmental contamination: Contaminated soil and water potentially affect the health of local populations, including children.
  • Loss of access to educational opportunities: In some developing countries, e-waste dumping has caused environmental degradation and health problems, leading to school closures and limiting children’s access to education.

  

India’s initiatives to tackle e-waste:

  • Extended Producer Responsibility; Design for Environment; (3Rs) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle technology platform for linking the market facilitating the circular economy aim to encourage consumers to correctly dispose of the e-waste.
  • E-waste (Management) rules 2022
  • India has tried to tackle this unregulated industry and introduced a series of laws in 2011 and 2016 mandating the authorization and registration of all e-waste recycling facilities, along with directives for workers to use protective equipment while dismantling the waste.
  • India’s first e-waste clinic to be set up in Bhopal

  

Way Forward:

Recycling electronic devices through certified e-waste recycling programs or donating them to organizations that can reuse them can help reduce the issue of e-waste.

 

Mains link:

Q. Electronic waste, or e-waste, is becoming major a domestic and global issue. Discuss the steps that must be taken to ensure the safe disposal of e-waste in the country. (15M)

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Knowledge Republic

Source: LM

What is a knowledge republic?

A “Knowledge Republic” refers to a society or community that places a high value on knowledge and education, and prioritizes the acquisition, dissemination, and application of knowledge as a key aspect of its functioning and growth.

 

It is a vision of a society in which

  • Knowledge is freely available and accessible to all
  • Individuals are empowered to pursue their own intellectual and educational goals
  • India’s civilizational heritage: Indian civilization always revered knowledge. E.g., India’s richness of languages, the vastness of scriptures, and the ancient universities.

 

Benefits of India Pursuing ‘Knowledge Republic’: 

  • The pursuit of knowledge and education can lead to greater innovation, economic growth, and social progress.
  • India’s young demographic profile presents a huge potential for becoming a ‘Knowledge Republic’
  • Knowledge Republic is important
    • In maintaining trust
    • Promoting equitable access to knowledge
    • Ensuring that the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge is done in a responsible and sustainable manner

 

What should be done to make India a “knowledge republic”?

  • Make the domestic environment competitive for research and innovation
  • Inculcate knowledge in governance: Indian society’s reverence for knowledge should be acknowledged and leveraged in policymaking and nation-building.

Quote: “In a Knowledge Republic, education is the currency, and knowledge is the wealth that fuels progress.”

Usage: The concept can be used in essays/ethics answers or as the conclusion for questions related to education.

Related Philosopher: Greek philosopher Socrates believed that the pursuit of knowledge was the highest calling of the individual, and that ignorance was the root of all evil.

 


Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Who are the Dawoodi Bohras?

Source: Indian Express

 Context: A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court referred the challenge to the constitutional validity of the practice of ex-communication in the Dawoodi Bohra community to the nine-judge Bench.

  

Who are the Dawoodi Bohras?

  • The Dawoodi Bohras are Shia Muslims whose leader is known as the Al-Dai-Al-Mutlaq. According to members of the community, there are around 1 million Dawoodi Bohras spread around the world.
  • For over 400 years, the leader of the community has been based in India, including the current and the 53rd leader.
  • The leader of the community is recognized by the members as having the right to excommunicate its members. In practical terms, ex-communication means not being allowed to access a mosque belonging to the community or a burial dedicated to the community.

  

Related News:

  • An academy for religious and other education for the Dawoodi Bohra community, Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah was recently inaugurated in Mumbai.
  • Also known as Jamea, this is an academic institute exclusively catering to the education of young boys and girls from the Dawoodi Bohra community.
  • While the academy’s focus will primarily be on spiritual and religious studies, the academy will also provide its students with mainstream education in association with an internationally recognized school board curriculum.

 

Mission Antyodaya Survey (MAS) 2022-23

Source: PIB

Context: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Ministry will inaugurate the Mission Antyodaya Survey (MAS) 2022-23 including the launching of its portal and mobile application.

 

About Mission Antyodaya Survey: 

The Department of Rural Development has been conducting Mission Antyodaya Survey across all Gram Panchayats in the country since 2017-18 with the purpose of transforming the lives and livelihoods of people on measurable outcomes through the convergence of various schemes.

  • The village-wise survey is expected to be conducted over a period of one month involving Community Resource Persons (CRPs)

 

The benefit of the Survey:

 

India rated among top five accreditation systems in the world: Report

 Source: Deccan Herald

 Context: India’s national accreditation system under the Quality Council of India (QCI) has been ranked 5th in the world in the recent Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) 2021.

  

  • The GQII ranks 184 economies on the basis of their quality infrastructure (QI)
  • GQII is an initiative on metrology, standardization, accreditation, and related services, supported by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany
  • India’s overall QI system ranking continues to be in the Top 10 at the 10th position, with the standardization system (under BIS) at 9th and the metrology system (under NPL-CSIR) at the 21st position in the world

 

Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)

 Source: IE 

Context: Global index provider MSCI has changed its weightage for four Adani Group stocks.

 

What is MSCI?

MSCI is an investment research firm that provides stock indexes, portfolio risk and performance analytics, and governance tools to institutional investors and hedge funds.

  • It is a leading provider of critical decision support tools, including stock indexes, and services for the global investment community. It has over 160,000 indexes in its portfolio.
  • It is owned by the multinational investment management and financial services company Morgan Stanley.

Impact on India: Lower foreign investment: MSCI indexes are widely tracked by foreign portfolio investors, hedge funds and other sovereign wealth funds which allocate funds to various markets

 

UPI payment for foreign travellers to India

Source: Financial Express

Context: UPI Payment for Foreign travellers’ rule 2023: The RBI has decided to permit all inbound foreign travellers to use UPI payments for their merchant payments while they are in India.

  • Initially, it will be limited to travellers from G20 countries arriving at select international airports
  • They will be able to use UPI while carrying out P2M (person-to-merchant) transactions.

 

Benefits:

  • It will scale up the use of digital payments in India
  • It will improve their payment experience of foreigners (good for tourism)
  • Ease the payment process for foreign tourists

 

About UPI:

UPI is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI, RBI regulated entity). It is built over IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) infrastructure and allows instant transfer of money between any two parties’ bank accounts.

Related News

Digital Payments Utsav

Source: PIB

MeITY has launched the ‘Digital Payments Utsav’, a comprehensive campaign aimed at promoting digital payments across India

  • Showcase India’s journey of digital transformation, with a series of events and initiatives

Also, Mission Bhashini – National Language Translation Mission and Digital Payments have come together to make UPI 123 Pay available in the local language. This will enable a common person to make payments in her local language interface through voice

 

Formula E

Source: IE

 Context: Hyderabad will host the first-ever E-Prix race that will take place on India’s first street circuit (located near the shores of Hussain Sagar Lake).

 

What is Formula E?

Formula E is an electric equivalent of the widely followed Formula 1 which was staged in India from 2011 to 2013.

  • However, other than the ‘Formula’ prefix, there is no similarity between the two FIA world championship status events.
  • Hyderabad has become the 30th location to host a Formula E race
  • It is the first global sport to be certified with a net zero carbon footprint

 

Unique feature:

  • Gen3 technology has been introduced this season. Gen3 is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and most efficient car in its history.
  • More than 40 per cent of the energy in the Gen3 will come from regenerative braking (energy recovery mechanism that slows down a moving vehicle)

 

ISRO successfully launches SSLV-D2

Source: BusinessLine

 Context:  The second developmental flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), SSLV-D2 was successfully launched from the first launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

  • It injected EOS-07, Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2 satellites into a 450 km circular orbit.

  

About SSLV:

  • SSLV caters to the launch of up to 500 kg satellites to low earth orbits on a ‘launch-on-demand’ basis. It provides low-cost access to space, offers low turn-around time and flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites, and demands minimal launch infrastructure.
  • It is configured with three solid propulsion stages and a velocity terminal module.
  • The EOS-07 is a 156.3 kg satellite designed, developed, and realized by ISRO. New experiments include mm-Wave Humidity Sounder and Spectrum Monitoring Payload.
  • Janus-1, a 10.2 kg satellite, belongs to ANTARIS, US. Janus-1 is a technology demonstrator, smart satellite mission, based on the Antaris software platform.

 

TARKASH

Source: Indian Express

 Context: It is an ongoing Indo-US joint exercise (TARKASH) by the National Security Guard (NSG) and US Special Operations Forces (SOF) has for the first time included “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) terror response” in its drill

  

The exercise comes against the backdrop of Russian allegations against Ukraine last year that Kyiv had orchestrated a chemical attack in Kharkiv to blame Russia and get military aid from the West

  

About CBRN weapons:

  • CBRN weapons, which are also classified as weapons of mass destruction, have been used by States and terror elements in the past.
  • The most recent use of CBRN in the form of a sarin gas attack was witnessed in Syria in 2017 when more than 100 people died.

 

Mapping:

Read the Daily CA in PDF Format here:

 


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