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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 14 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 2: 

  1. Fine of Rs 10 crore, life term: What is Uttarakhand’s new anti-cheating law
  2. How are Governors appointed, and why is their role often controversial?
  3. How a chatGPT-based chatbot can help rural India

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Clean champions

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. 200th birth anniversary of Dayanand Saraswati
  2. Doctrine of Necessity
  3. New broadband definition
  4. G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG)
  5. Palm oil 
  6. What are microLED displays, and why is Apple shifting to it?
  7. Forever Chemicals
  8. Data embassies
  9. Black Buck

 

Fine of Rs 10 crore, life term: What is Uttarakhand’s new anti-cheating law

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government Policies

 

Source: Indian Express

 Context: The Uttarakhand Competitive Examination (Measures For Control and Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Ordinance, 2023, which has provisions of fines up to Rs 10 crore and life imprisonment for the guilty has been given nod by the governor

  • There have been continuous agitations against multiple paper leaks in Uttarakhand since 2016

  

Provisions of the anti-cheating law

  • Applicable to: public examinations for recruitment to posts under the state government, autonomous bodies run by the government, and authorities, corporations, and institutions operated with grants of the state government.
  • If any examinee is caught cheating or causing another examinee to cheat in a competitive examination (online and offline) or to have indulged in unfair means, he shall be:
    • punishable with imprisonment for three years and with a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh.
    • If the fine is not paid, the examinee shall be jailed for another 9 months.
  • If any person, printing press, service provider contracted or ordered for examination, management for conducting an examination, or any person and organization authorized to keep and transport the examination material, any employee of the examination authority, limited liability partnership, coaching centre, or any other institution has indulged in conspiracy or other unfair means, they shall be punished with a jail term of not less than 10 years, which may extend to life imprisonment.
  • An applicant found cheating will be:
    • debarred for two to five years from the date of the chargesheet
    • And in case of conviction, from all competitive exams for 10 years.
    • All the properties earned using unfair means will be seized.
    • The offences are cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.

  

UP’s anti-cheating law of 1992

  • In the late 1980s and early 90s, public examinations in Uttar Pradesh frequently witnessed allegations of cheating, involving officials, teachers, students, and even local gangsters.
  • The Kalyan Singh government promulgated a stringent anti-cheating Act which aimed to end the practice of mass copying in school and university examinations and contained a provision that any student found copying would be handcuffed and sent to jail.

 

Issues with academic cheating/copying

  • Compromises merit
  • Unfair advantage
  • Discourages hard work
  • Lack of personal growth
  • This may lead to dropouts

  

Benefits provided by the Law

  • This adds to the Credibility of the educational system
  • Discourages cheating
  • Ensures quality of academics is maintained
  • Encourages ethical behaviour

How are Governors appointed, and why is their role often controversial?

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Constitution of India – significant provision; Structure, organisation and functioning of the Executive

 

Source: LM 

Context: Twelve states and the UT of Ladakh will have new Governors including both first-time appointments as well as transfers of Governors from one state to the other.

 

Appointment of the Governor – Constitutional provisions:

  • Article 153: There shall be a Governor for each State and the same person can be the Governor for two/more States (2nd part added through an amendment in 1956).
  • Article 155: Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
  • Article 156: The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President, but his normal term of office will be five years.
    • Since the President acts on the aid and advice of the PM and the Union Council of Ministers, the Governor is appointed and removed by the central government.
  • Articles 157 and 158:
    • Qualification: The Governor must be a citizen of India and should have completed the age of 35
    • Condition of office: The Governor should not be a member of Parliament or a state legislature, and must not hold any other office of profit.

 

Relationship between the Governor and the state government:

  • The position of the Governor is envisaged as an apolitical head who must act on the advice of the Council of Ministers of the state (Article 163).
  • However, the Governor enjoys certain discretionary powers under the Constitution, such as
    • Giving or withholding assent to a Bill passed by the state legislature;
    • Determining the time needed for a party to prove its majority in the state Assembly;
    • In cases of a hung verdict in an election, which party must be called first to prove its majority

 

Analysing the functioning of the Governor’s office over the years:

  • Over the decades, Governors have been seen (especially by those in opposition) as acting –
    • At the behest of the central government
    • As “agents of the Centre

 

Why does such friction take place?

  • Governors have become political appointees
  • The Governor is answerable to no one except the Centre
  • There is no provision for impeaching the Governor

 

Recommendations:

  • The Sarkaria Commission (1983): The appointee shall be an eminent person.
  • The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000): A time limit, preferably six months to give assent or to reserve a Bill for consideration of the President.
  • The Punchhi Commission (2007): Amend Article 156 to provide a procedure to remove the Governor from office.

 

Conclusion: There are no guidelines for how the Governor and the state must interact when there is a disagreement. Respect for each other’s boundaries, which has traditionally been a practice, should serve as guidance in this.

Related news: Appointment of former SC Judges as Governor of the state

Source: IE 

Context: Justice S Abdul Nazeer has been appointed Governor of Andhra Pradesh after retiring as an SC judge a month ago.

Background:

●       Before Justice Nazeer, two other retired SC judges (former CJI P Sathasivam and former Justice M Fathima Beevi) have been appointed Governors of states in recent years.

Positives: Can bring his/her legal expertise/acumen to run the office without friction.

Concerns: Judicial reputation-accountability-independence, separation of powers,probity-impartiality.

Ethical Concerns: We have already covered it in yesterday’s CA

Suggestion: A longer cooling-off period (3 years) can help to avoid criticism that there had been a trade-off with the Government – the biggest litigant.

 

Insta Links:

The office of the Governor

 

Mains Links:

The concept of cooperative federalism has been increasingly emphasised in recent years. Highlight the drawbacks in the existing structure and the extent to which cooperative federalism would answer the shortcomings. (UPSC 2015)

  

Prelims Links: (UPSC 2019)

Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?

 

  1. First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)
  2. Rajamannar Committee (1969)
  3. Sarkaria Commission (1983)
  4. National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (2000)

 

Ans: 3

How a chatGPT-based chatbot can help rural India

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: E-Governance

 

Source: IE

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by the AI startup OpenAI. The technology functions by leveraging extensive data to learn how to respond to user prompt in a human-like manner, providing information similar to a search engine. 

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a software that simulates human-like conversations with users via chat. 

A chatGPT-based chatbot can help rural India in several ways: 

  • Providing access to information: E.g. healthcare, education, agriculture, and government schemes.
    • In a recent demo, the Chatbot seamlessly responded to a query on PM Awas Yojana– made through a voice note.
  • Improving access to services: E.g. banking, insurance, and healthcare. This can help bridge the gap between urban and rural areas and improve the quality of life for rural residents.
  • Providing language support: It supports multiple languages. More languages are being integrated through Bhashini Daan Mission.
  • Enhancing financial inclusion: By promoting financial literacy and encouraging savings among rural residents.

Steps to overcome limitations:

  • Government is yet to build a National Digital public platform for Indian languages
  • Reducing the digital divide in rural India
  • Enabling access to affordable technology
  • Reducing behavioural resistance to new technologies

Conclusion:

A chatGPT-based chatbot can help to improve the quality of life for rural residents by providing access to information and services that are otherwise difficult to obtain.

BHASHINI Mission

Under Bhashini Mission, a team at MeitY is currently building a WhatsApp-based chatbot that relies on information generated by ChatGPT to return appropriate responses to queries.

BHASHINI Mission is a local language translation mission that aims to enable easy access to the internet and digital services in Indian languages, including voice-based access, and help the creation of content in Indian languages.

It will also provide AI-based resources to Indian MSMEs, startups and innovators in the public domain

 

What is Bhasha Daan?

It is an ambitious project which aims to crowdsource voice datasets in multiple Indian languages as part of Project BHASHINI.

On the project’s website, people can contribute in three key ways:

  • By recording their voice samples in multiple Indian languages
  • By typing out a sentence being played
  • By translating text from one language into another.

 

Insta Links

ChatGPT and AI challege

 

Mains Links:

What is ChatGPT? How has it changed the contours of conversational artificial intelligence (AI)? Evaluate the threats and opportunities posed by it.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Clean champions: This Himachal couple trains teachers and students to promote sustainable living practices

 Source: DTE

Shruti and Abhishek Taneja founded EarthJust Ecosystems, a non-profit in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, to promote sustainable living practices through workshops, seminars and other campaigns.

Aim: They aim to create communities that do not contribute to landfills and treat waste generated using simple techniques.

Work:

  • They promote environment-friendly practices in schools.
  • Training: EarthJust trained more than 110 teachers and over 350 students in sustainable practices across Solan district in 2020
  • They also hold “mushroom walks” (to help students learn about the environment) and have opened a sustainability centre in Ser Jagas village, Sirmaur district.

 


Facts for Prelims (FFP)


200th birth anniversary of Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883)

Erratum: In yesterday’s CA FFP (200th birth anniversary of Dayanand Saraswati) Infographic for Dayanand Saraswati, it was wrongly written as “Dayanand Saraswati established the first school for girls in India, the Hindu Girls School (in 1875, Bombay)”. The correct fact is,Jyotirao Phule and Savitribai Phule established the first girl’s school in Pune in 1848”

 

Other notable facts about Dayanand Saraswati (Source: IE)

  • He founded the Arya Samaj in 1875 ( It was based on the two basic tenets i.e., Infallible authority of Vedas and Monotheism): It rejected the ritualistic excesses and social dogmas of orthodox Hinduism.
    • One of the founding principles of Arya Samaj is the idea that all activities must be done for the benefit of humankind as a whole (Universalism)
  • On the Caste system: While Dayanand did not fully oppose the institution of caste itself, he advocated for significant reform within it.
    • Citing the Vedas, he claimed that caste is not supposed to be hereditary but rather on the basis of an individual’s talents and disposition.
  • He was against the practice of untouchability
  • American Spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis called Maharishi Dayanand the “Son of God”
  • He started Shuddhi Movement (for those who sought their way back to Hinduism)
  • DAV schools and colleges were started by his disciples

 

Doctrine of Necessity

 Source: BS 

Context: Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) invoked the “doctrine of necessity” to clear six deals involving mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and investment proposals.

About Doctrine of Necessity: The doctrine of necessity enables the legal authorities to take certain actions that must be taken at a particular moment, beyond the legal mandate.

The issue in the present case:

In this case, Competition Act stipulates there should be at least three members quorum to approve deals. However, after CCI’s chairperson retired in October 2022, there are only two members.

  • Applying the doctrine, the CCI formed a two-member quorum, to clear delayed applications for M&A and other investment proposals.
  • The law ministry approved the corporate affairs ministry ( CCI’s administrative ministry) to do so.

About CCI:

The CCI is a statutory body (under  Competition Act, 2002) which acts as the competition regulator in India. The Commission was established in 2003 (although became fully functional in 2009)

  • Members: one Chairperson and six Members (appointed by the Central Government)
  • CCI is a quasi-judicial body
  • Eligibility of members:One who has been, or is qualified to be a judge of a High Court, or, has special knowledge and experience of not less than fifteen years in international trade, economics, business, etc.

 

New broadband definition

 Source: Th 

Context:  Recently, the definition of broadband was upgraded to mandate a minimum speed of 2Mbps

Few Basic terms:

  • Broadband: It refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access.
  • White Spots: Places without cellular connectivity at all are called “white spots”.
  • Grey Spots: Places which show simply being “connected” but have very slow and intermittent connectivity

What is the new definition of Broadband? 

Broadband is a data connection that is able to support interactive services, including internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide broadband service.

  • The minimum download speed was previously 512 kbps (kilobits per second).

 

G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG)

 Source: BS

Context: The first G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) meeting concluded in Bengaluru 

What is ECSWG?

It is part of a working group within G20, that aims to make policies for a sustainable climate environment and biodiversity.

Priority areas:

  • Arresting Land Degradation
  • Accelerating Ecosystem Restoration and Enriching Biodiversity
  • Promoting a Sustainable and Climate Resilient Blue Economy
  • Encouraging Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy

 

Palm  oil

Source: Reuters

Context: Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of Palm Oil will suspend some export permits to cool domestic cooking oil prices

Impact on India:

  • Less impact: India is one of the top consuming markets for palm oil, but the government has built higher stocks of palm oil
  • Higher global prices may incentivize Indian farmers to bring more land under Oil Palm plantations

 

What is Palm Oil?

Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (edible part of the fruit ) of oil palm trees (indigenous to Africa and South America). It is rich in vitamins A and E with no trans fatty acids.

 

Prelims Link: 

With reference to ‘palm oil’ consider the following statements:

    1. The palm oil tree is native to Southeast Asia.
    2. Palm oil is a raw material for some industries producing lipstick and perfumes.
    3. Palm oil can be used to produce biodiesel.

Which of the statements given above is correct?

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

Answer: B

 

What are microLED displays, and why is Apple shifting to it?

 Source: The Hindu 

Context: MicroLEDs are considered the next big transition in display technology as many big tech companies are shifting towards it.

 About MicroLEDs:

  • micro-LEDs are self-illuminating diodes that have brighter and better colour reproduction than Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display technology.

  

The technology behind it:

  • A microLED is as small as cutting a centimetre of hair into 200 smaller pieces.
  • Each of these micro LEDs is a semiconductor that receives electric signals. Once these micro LEDs are gathered, they form a module. Several modules are then combined to form screens.

  

Micro-LED vs LED vs OLED

 Micro LEDsLEDOLED
FeaturesThey are similar to OLEDs – but with an inorganic LED structure.

 

LCD displays that use LED as backlighting unitsThey use tiny sub-pixels made from organic emissive materials
AdvantagesPromise to be much more efficient and bright, more durable (higher lifetime), and with a higher colour gamut.

 

Relatively easy to scale up. 

 

Cheaper 
DrawbacksHigher CostBad image quality.

 

Difficulty in achieving flexibility and high-quality transparency.

Low Brightness, Short Lifespan

 

 

Prelims Links:

With reference to street lighting, how do sodium lamps differ from LED lamps? (UPSC 2021)

  1. Sodium lamps produce light at 360 degrees but it is not so in the case of LED lamps.
  2. As street lights, sodium lamps have longer life span than LED lamps.
  3. The spectrum of visible light from sodium lamps is almost monochromatic while LED lamps offer significant colour advantages in street lighting.

Select the correct answer using the code given below

(a) 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Answer: C

 

Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) are used to create a digital display in many devices. What are the advantages of OLED displays over Liquid Crystal displays? (UPSC 2017)

  1. OLED displays can be fabricated on flexible plastic substrates.
  2. Roll-up displays embedded in clothing can be made using OLEDs.
  3. Transparent displays are possible using OLEDs.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None of the above statements is correct

 

Answer C

 

Forever Chemicals

 Source: The Guardian 

Context: An Oxford study has found that the Norwegian Arctic ice is contaminated with alarming levels of toxic PFAS (Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, also called “forever chemicals”).

Impact of PFAS:

  • These chemicals are persistent and can bioaccumulate in living organisms, potentially causing health and environmental risks.
  • Risk of further contamination: The chemicals can move from glaciers into downstream ecosystems like Arctic fjords and tundra.
  • It affects the entire food web, including plankton, fish, seal and apex animals like polar bears, and thus impact local communities

What is PFAS?

PFAS are a class of about 12,000 chemicals often used to make thousands of consumer products resist water, stains and heat.

  • They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and they are linked to cancer, liver disease, kidney stress, fetal complications and other serious health problems.

Uses: They are used in cosmetics (hair conditioner, foundation cream, sunscreen etc.), electronics (smartphones), textiles (waterproof clothing), utensils (non-stick pan) etc.

 

Data embassies

Source: BS 

Context:  Recently, the government announced the setting up of Data embassies in its budget 2023-24.

  • The government may allow only non-personal datasets to be stored in data embassies.

What are Data Embassies?

They are a set of servers that store one country’s data and are under that country’s jurisdiction while being located in another country.

  • It is a physical data centre of trusted nations which enjoy diplomatic immunity from local laws.

Image Credit: Business-Standards

 

Black Buck

 Source: DTE 

Context: The blackbuck population has increased threefold in Odisha’s Ganjam district, with no cases of poaching for several years.

  • Their number increased from around 2000 (2011) to over 7000 (2022)

 Measures behind the success of Conservation:

  • Improvement of habitats: Salt licks and water holes have been created, and a watch tower and a rescue-cum-treatment centre have been established
  • Protection by the local people and forest staff: Like the Bishnoi tribe (western Rajasthan) and the Vala Rajputs (Saurashtra), the people of Ganjam district in Odisha protect the blackbuck, as its sightings are considered an indicator of good luck.
    • It’s a common belief that the more the animals eat, the higher the agricultural yield
  • Speed breakers and road humps have been installed in vulnerable areas to prevent accidents

 

About Blackbuck:

  • Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is native to India and Nepal.
  • Region: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha
  • Features:
    • Grassland species
    • The fastest animal in the world, next to Cheetah.
    • Diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
  • State Animalof Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Cultural Importance:It is a symbol of purity and good luck in Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule 1
  • IUCN: ‘near threatened’
  • Cites: Appendix III

 

Optional:

 History/ Anthropology:

BBC: Ancient stone tools found in Kenya made by early humans

 

Law/ PSIR/ Pub Ad:

TOI: Moving With Times – SC’s flexible approach to interpreting the Constitution has enhanced its relevance to governance

  

Law:

TH: Constitutional oath is not a mere formality

 Economy:

IE: India’s fiscal dilemma (Written by Arvind Subramanian, Josh Felman)

 

Read the Daily CA in PDF Format here:

 


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