Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 20 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. The SC on sealed cover jurisprudence

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. How is the stock market regulated in India?
  2. Why Environmental Surveillance for Avian Influenza is vital?
  3. With an eye on China, Union Cabinet clears seven ITBP battalions

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Efforts against Child Marriage
  2. Global Anti-Caste Efforts
  3. Bio-Engineering to fight Climate Change

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2023
  2. GST appellate tribunal (GSTAT)
  3. Corporate Debt Market
  4. New breeds of indigenous livestock species
  5. Trading of carbon credits
  6. Vinyl chloride
  7. India’s first hybrid rocket
  8. Male contraceptive pill
  9. Rhododendrons
  10. Underwater noise emissions (UNE)

 

The SC on sealed cover jurisprudence

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Structure, Organization, and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

 

Source: TH 

Context: The CJI refused the ‘suggestions’ of the government in a sealed cover on the formation of a proposed committee to enquire into the Hindenburg report on the Adani Group.

 

What is sealed cover jurisprudence?

  • It is a practice (origins can be traced to service or administrative cases) used by the SC and sometimes lower courts, of asking/accept information from government agencies in sealed envelopes that can only be accessed by judges.
  • While a specific law does not define the doctrine of sealed cover, the SC derives its power to use it from the SC Rules 2013 and the Indian Evidence Act 1872.
  • Recent times have seen the government produce myriad documents (such as the Rafale jets’ purchase deal, and the Ayodhya title dispute) as sealed covers, resulting in the doctrine rising to the status of ‘due procedure’.

 

Sealed Cover Jurisprudence
ProsCons
●        To avoid harm to the reputation of public servants.

●        To protect the identity of rape victims.

●        Disclosure can endanger national security and public order.

 

●        The other parties are unable to defend themselves.

●        Against the principles of natural justice and the fundamental right to know.

●        Threaten the very credibility of the judicial institution (‘open court’ principle).

 

Way ahead (The SC’s rulings):

  • The government should claim a ‘specific privilege’ and explain the “extenuating circumstances” to keep documents secret from the other party.
  • The burden would lie on the government to prove that sharing copies of the records would prove detrimental to national security and public order.
  • The sealed covers could be used only in a “small exception” of cases.

 

Ethical Issues concerned:

  • The use of Sealed Covers raises ethical concerns about transparency and fairness in judicial proceedings.
  • Right to Know vs. National Security
  • Erosion of Public Confidence in the Judicial System
  • The principles of natural justice and the fundamental right to know cannot be taken away by the state

 

Conclusion: The debate on sealed covers should focus on how to strike a balance between the public’s right to know and the necessity to preserve national security.

 

Insta Links:

Sealed Cover Jurisprudence

How is the stock market regulated in India?

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Indian economy and related issues

 

Source: TH 

Context: The SC recently asked the SEBI and the government to produce the existing regulatory framework in place to protect investors from share market volatility. 

Background:

  • This followed the Hindenburg Research report, which accused the Adani Group of stock market manipulation and accounting fraud.
  • A share/a stock market is a component of a free-market economy, where various kinds of stock shares/bonds/securities are traded.
  • It allows companies to raise money and investors to participate in the financial achievements of the companies, makes profits through capital gains, and earn income through dividends. 

The securities market in India is regulated by four key laws:

  • The Companies Act, 2013: It regulates the incorporation of a company, responsibilities of a company, directors, and dissolution of a company.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992: It empowers SEBI to register intermediaries like stock brokers, merchant bankers, and portfolio managers, regulate their functioning, impose penalties including suspending/cancelling the registration
  • The Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (SCRA): It empowers SEBI to recognise (and derecognise) stock exchanges, prescribe rules and bye-laws for their functioning, and regulate trading, clearing and settlement on stock exchanges.
  • The Depositories Act, 1996: It introduced and legitimised the concept of dematerialised securities being held in an electronic form. SEBI set up the infrastructure for doing this by registering depositories and depository participants.

Can SEBI step in to curb market volatility?

  • While SEBI does not interfere to prevent market volatility, exchanges have circuit filters (upper and lower) to prevent excessive volatility.
  • But SEBI can issue directions to stock exchanges to stop trading, totally or selectively.
  • It can also prohibit entities or persons from buying, selling or dealing in securities, or from raising funds from the market.

What are the guidelines for fundraising?

  • The Companies Act has delegated the authority to enforce some of its provisions to SEBI, including the regulation of raising capital, corporate governance, resolution of investor grievances, etc.
  • As a result, SEBI issued guidelines such as the Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirement Regulations, the Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements Regulations (2015), etc.

 

What are the safeguards against fraud?

  • Fraud undermines regulation and prevents a market from being fair and transparent.
  • SEBI notified the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Regulations (1995) and the Prohibition of Insider Trading Regulations (1992).
  • These regulations define different types of fraud, and provide for penalties and violation of these regulations is a presumed violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
  • SEBI has been given the powers of a civil court and using these powers, SEBI has acted against Satyam, Sahara India, Ketan Parekh and Vijay Mallya.
  • Appeals – SEBI order → Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) → SC

 

 

Related news: SEBI has mandated stock brokers, and depository participants to maintain a website to help investors

Source: IE

 Context: The capital markets regulator SEBI has recently asked stock brokers and depository participants to maintain a website.

A stockbroker (registered with SEBI) is a member of a recognised stock exchange, who is permitted to do trades on the screen-based trading system of different stock exchanges.

 A depository is an organisation which holds securities (like shares, debentures, bonds, etc.) of investors in electronic form at the request of the investors through a registered depository participant.

 A depository participant is an agent of the depository – National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) Ltd (CDSL) – through which it interfaces with the investor and provides depository services.

 The rationale behind the website: It will contain basic details such as their registered address, and the registration number, and give customers relevant information right from the process of opening an account to filing a complaint.

 

Insta Links:

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

Why Environmental Surveillance for Avian Influenza is vital?

GS Paper 2

 

Syllabus: Issues related to Health

 

Source: TH

  

Context: Avian influenza (H5N1) or bird flu has caused unprecedented loss of tens of thousands of birds at Bass Rock, an island off the coast of North Berwick, Scotland.

 

 

 

Avian Influenza in India: The latest major avian flu outbreak in 2020-2021 swept through many States causing mass mortality of wild birds.

 

Challenges for India:

  • India is a major wintering ground for many waterfowl that rely on the central Asian Flyway.
  • Fastest growing egg producer in the world.
  • Unlike in Europe, poultry birds here are not vaccinated against the flu.
  • Farms with a diversity of animals or in the vicinity of wetlands increase the potential for the viruses to generate more virulent strains – H5N1/H7N9 – which could infect humans.
  • There is no active surveillance in the poultry sector.
  • There is no efficient mechanism for how wetland and waterfowl habitats at the interface of poultry need to be monitored.

Environmental surveillance – Meaning and need:

 Meaning: It can improve knowledge of the presence and diversity of avian influenza viruses in domestic flocks that are allowed to roam/in confinement where waste products like faeces, etc. are released into the environment.

 Need:

  • Birds infected with the virus shed large quantities of virus in their faeces, saliva, and nasal secretions for about a week.
  • Zoonotic potential:
    • Transmission from dead birds to scavenging animals such as sea lions, and foxes, has posed serious risks.
    • Recently, the intra-mammal transmission of H5N1 (in mink farms) was recorded.
  • Lakes and wetlands can act as environmental reservoirs for several months.

 

Way ahead: An active and passive year-round surveillance network under One Health which connects monitoring of humans and animals in a shared environment.

 

Conclusion: Currently, virus surveillance relies on sampling dead birds. Therefore, environmental surveillance would be a great non-invasive tool that can be done without disturbing the birds and can be used to obtain both host and viral genetic material.

 

Insta Links:

Bird flu

 

Mains Links:

Can overuse and the availability of antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription, contribute to the emergence of drug-resistant diseases in India? What are the available mechanisms for monitoring and control? Critically discuss the various issues involved. (UPSC 2014)

 

Prelims Links: (UPSC 2015)

H1N1 virus is sometimes mentioned in the news with reference to which one of the following diseases?

  1. AIDS
  2. Bird flu
  3. Dengue
  4. Swine flu

 

Ans: 4

With an eye on China, Union Cabinet clears seven ITBP battalions

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Internal Security – Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

 

Source: The Hindu

 Context: With the Line of Actual Control remaining tense, India is raising seven new battalions of the famed patrol force ITBP, for ‘effective monitoring’ of the border region.

  

New Battalions:

  • The battalions are expected to be raised by 2025-26, increasing the strength of the ITBP from the current 88,000 to 97,000, making it the fourth largest CAPF.
  • The last time ITBP battalions were raised was in 2011.

 

About ITBP:

  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is a border patrol organization of India deployed along its borders with Tibet Autonomous Region.
  • It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces, established in 1962 in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962.
  • The ITBP guards 3,488 km long India-China borders ranging from the Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Apart from this, the Force also has important roles in many internal security duties and operations against Left Wing Extremism in the state of Chhattisgarh.
  • ITBP is a specialized Armed Police Force of the Nation, which trains its personnel in various disciplines including mountaineering and skiing apart from intensive tactical training.
  • ITBP also conducts relief and rescue operations as ‘First Responders’ for natural calamities in the Himalayan region.

 

For Issues facing ITBP, Contributions of ITBP and other details: Click Here

 

Central Armed Police Forces

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs maintains seven CAPFs:
  • The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), assists in internal security and counterinsurgency.
  • The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), protects vital installations (like airports) and public sector undertakings.
  • The National Security Guards (NSG), is a special counterterrorism force.
  • Four border guarding forces, which are the Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Assam Rifles (AR).

Mains Link: UPSC 2016

Border management is a complex task due to difficult terrain and hostile relations with some countries. Elucidate the challenges and strategies for effective border management.

/ 20 Feb 2023, CAPF, Defense, GS3, ITBP, Today's Article

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)


Efforts against Child Marriage

 Source: TH

 Odisha in India has been successful in reducing child marriage rates through a long-term strategy that involves:

  • Tracking the absence of girls in schools and villages
  • Counselling by representatives of district administration
  • Linking all schemes targeting girls on a platform called ‘Advika – Every Girl is Unique.’
  • Monetary incentives to vulnerable tribal groups
  • Child-friendly policing and sensitization week
  • Community efforts for behavioural changes: Representatives of the panchayat, parents, and children conduct monthly meetings in the community to discuss dropping out from school and child marriages

Usage: This can be used in Ethics (Case Studies) or as an example in the Governance/Social Justice/ Society Questions

 

Global Anti-Caste Efforts

Source: IE, DTE

Example 1: The City Council in Seattle (USA) will vote on a law, to ban caste discrimination in employment and housing, retail, public accommodation, and transportation.

Example 2: Institutions of higher education across the USA have added caste to their non-discrimination policies.

Example 3: A report in Spain has recommended Spanish Government the equal treatment and opportunities for the Roma to build a better society and eradicate Anti-Gypsy sentiments. The position of the Roma in Europe is similar to that of the Dalits in India.

Bottom of Form

Lessons from the above examples:

  • Discrimination and marginalization based on caste or ethnicity are still prevalent in various parts of the world, including the US and Europe.
  • Grassroots movements and advocacy efforts can raise awareness and drive positive change to combat discrimination and social injustice.
  • Non-discrimination policies at the institutional level can help to create a more inclusive society.

Usage: Such examples can be used in Essay/Ethics/ Society/ Social Justice to show that caste-based discrimination is prevalent throughout the world and there is a need for concerted global efforts to eradicate such biases.

 

Bio-Engineering to fight Climate Change

Source: NYT

Living Carbon, a San Francisco-based biotech firm, has planted genetically modified (GM) poplar trees that grow wood at a much faster rate and absorb more CO2 than normal trees.

  • The company used a technique known as the gene gun method to insert foreign genes into the trees’ chromosomes.
  • Threats: Critics have warned they could be a “growing threat” to forests biodiversity, and the government has allowed the trees to evade regulation.
  • To date, the only country where large numbers of GM trees have been planted in China

Usage: This example can be used to show innovative techniques to sequester carbon, but it can also be used to show ethical, environmental, and regulatory issues with the bio-engineering of plants.

 


Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2023

Source: Economic Times

 Context: Shiv Jayanti also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti was observed recently. The day is celebrated with great zeal and fervour, especially in Maharashtra.

 

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of the great Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The main aim of the day is to honour the great warrior’s role in restoring the Maratha Empire and to celebrate his vast legacy
  • The celebration of Shiv Jayanti was set by Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, also known as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, in 1870.

  

About Shivaji Maharaj:

  • Shivaji Maharaj was born in 1630 in Pune’s Shivneri Fort.

For detailed information about Marathas and Shivaji (including Achievements of Chhatrapati Shivaji, contributions, fall of Marathas): Click on this link: RISE OF MARATHAS UNDER SHIVAJI

 

GST appellate tribunal (GSTAT)

 Source: TH, IE

Context: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council recently accepted the Group of Ministers (GoM) recommendations on the constitution of the GST appellate tribunal

 

 

Corporate Debt Market

Source: ET

Context: India is setting up a fund worth $4 billion to provide liquidity to its corporate debt market during bouts of stress, to help stem panic selling

  • Fund: 90% will be provided by the government and the rest by the asset manager
  • Administration: SBI Mutual Fund

What is the Debt market? 

A debt market is a place where individuals, corporations, and governments can borrow money by selling debt securities like bonds to investors.

  • When a bond is issued, the borrower (the issuer) promises to pay a fixed interest rate and return the original amount borrowed (the principal) at a future date.
  • In the Corporate debt market, companies borrow money by issuing debt securities, such as bonds, to investors.

 

Importance of Corporate debt Market: Supplements the banking system for long-term capital investment and asset creation.

Challenges:

  • The size of the Indian corporate bond market ( about around $470 billion) is smaller than other major Asian emerging countries.
  • Crowding out by issuance of G-Secs (government securities)
  • Retail participation remains low and dominated by domestic institutions like insurance companies.

 

New breeds of indigenous livestock species

Source: ICAR

About ICAR:

ICAR (est. 1929, HQ: New Delhi) is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world. ICAR is an autonomous organisation and registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It comes under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

At present, scientists can determine the arrangement or relative positions of genes or DNA sequences on a chromosome. How does this knowledge benefit us? (UPSC 2011)

  1. It is possible to know the pedigree of livestock
  2. It is possible to understand the causes of all human diseases.
  3. It is possible to develop disease-resistant animal breeds.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Answer: C

 

Trading of carbon credits

 Source: BS

 Context: The union government has finalised a list of activities to be considered for the trading of carbon credits under Article 6.2 mechanism of the Paris Agreement.

  • It will help facilitate the transfer of emerging technologies and mobilise international finance in India.
  • Previously (in May 2022), India had also notified the nationally designated Authority for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (NDAIAPA) (under MoEFCC)

  

The ‘Common Carbon Metric’, supported by UNEP, has been developed for (UPSC 2021)

(a) assessing the carbon footprint of building operations around the world.

(b) enabling commercial farming entities around the world to enter carbon emission trading.

(c) enabling governments to assess the overall carbon footprint caused by their countries.

(d) assessing the overall carbon footprint caused by the use of fossil fuels by the world in a unit of time.

 

Answer:  A

 

Vinyl chloride

Source: The Hindu

Context: Vinyl chloride – the chemical in several of the train cars that derailed and burned in Ohio – can wreak havoc on the human liver.

  

About Vinyl Chloride:

  • Vinyl chloride is a colourless gas that burns easily. It does not occur naturally and must be produced industrially for its commercial uses.
  • Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a hard plastic resin used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials.
  • Its health risks were discovered in the 1970swhen four workers involved in the polymerization process for producing polyvinyl chloride there each developed angiosarcoma of the liver, an extremely rare type of tumour.

 

India’s first hybrid rocket

Source: The Hindu

 Context: India’s first hybrid-sounding rocket by private players was launched from Tamil Nadu’s Pattipulam.

 

About the mission:

  • Martin Foundation, in association with Dr APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Space Zone India, launched the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Satellite Launch Vehicle Mission- 2023.
  • The selected students designed and constructed a student satellite launch vehicle (rocket) and 150 PICO satellite research experiment cubes that contained different payloads.
  • The reusable rocket was made by the selected top 100 students, while the rest made the satellites. The rocket can be used for research in weather, atmospheric conditions, and radiation.

 

About Hybrid Sounding rocket:

  • A hybrid-sounding rocket is a type of rocket that uses a hybrid rocket engine to power its flight.
  • A hybrid rocket engine uses a solid fuel grain and a liquid or gaseous oxidizer to generate thrust.
  • Hybrid-sounding rockets are often used by universities, government agencies, and private companies for scientific research and testing of new technologies because of their low cost.

 

Male contraceptive pill

 Source: Indian Express

 Context: Researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine, US, have created an experimental contraceptive drug candidate that “temporarily stops sperm in their tracks and prevents pregnancies in preclinical models.”

  

More about the experimental study:

  • It was conducted on mice wherein a single dose of a cellular signalling protein called soluble adenylyl cyclase – sAC inhibitor, called TDI-11861, was found to immobilize its sperm for up to two and half hours, and effects persist in the female reproductive tract after mating.
  • After three hours, some sperm begin regaining motility; by 24 hours, nearly all sperm have recovered normal movement.

 

Rhododendrons

 Source: TH

 Context: As per the recent Botanical Survey of India (BSI) publication; Darjeeling and Sikkim Himalayas are home to more than one-third of all types of rhododendrons found in India

 

About Rhododendrons: 

  • Name: Rhododendron meaning rose tree in Greek
  • Ecological Significance: It is considered an indicator species for climate change
  • Nature: Evergreen to Deciduous in nature (can be in form of dwarf shrubs to large trees)
  • Threats: Rampant construction
  • Habitat: Cold, moist deep valleys of the eastern Himalayas
  • State tree of Uttarakhand and the state flower of Nagaland
    • It’s blooming in the Garhwal Himalayas and is celebrated as ‘Phool Sankranti’, a festival of flowers.
  • It is nativeto many regions of the world, including Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia

 

Underwater noise emissions (UNE)

 Source: TH

Context: As per a recent study, the rising anthropogenic (man-made) underwater noise emissions (UNE) from ships in Indian waters, pose a threat to the life of marine mammals.

Importance of Sound for Marine Animals: All Marine Mammals (like Bottlenose Dolphin, Manatees, Pilot Whale, Seal, and Sperm) use sound for mating, communal interaction, feeding, cluster cohesion and foraging

Threats: The sound that radiates from ships on a long-term basis affects their behavioural activities, and also results in internal injuries, loss of hearing ability, masking, and stress

  • Change the migration route of marine species to shallow regions, leading to stranding

 

UNE in Indian waters:

  • It is measured to be between 102-115 decibels
  • East Coast sound level is slightly higher than the West

 

Major Contributors to UNE:

  • Natural: Earthquakes, Weather, and Sound released by marine animals
  • Anthropogenic:
    • Continuous shipping movement is identified to be a significant contributor to the increase in the global ocean noise level.
    • The noise generated by ships is caused by their engines, propellers, and other machinery, and it can travel long distances through the water
    • Oil and gas exploration
    • Military sonar
    • Construction
    • Recreational boating

 

Image Credit: The Hindu 

Consider the following statements: ( UPSC 2019)

  1. Some species of turtles are herbivores.
  2. Some species of fish are herbivores.
  3. Some species of marine mammals are herbivores.
  4. Some species of snakes are viviparous.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

 

Answer: D

 

Optional

 PSIR:

TOI: Indian Diaspora: A Bigger Idea Of India – Why Indians already command economic heft of $5 trillion and how we can leverage this

TH: India-Iran: TH: “The protest test in India-Iran ties

Agriculture

IE: The MP model in Agriculture (by Ashok Gulati)

Pub Ad/Economy

BS: Corporate Governance: Billionaire Raj: The rise of India’s multi-business conglomerates

 

Pub Ad

TOI: Election Reforms: EC Needs A Smart Focus – Cooling-off periods are impractical in a social media age

Read the Daily CA in PDF Format here:

 


Follow us on our Official TELEGRAM Channel HERE

Subscribe to Our Official YouTube Channel HERE

Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE

Official Facebook Page HERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram Account HERE

Follow us on LinkedIn: HERE