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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 19 May 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. Jallikattu, Kambala can go on in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka: SC
  2. An integrated system of medicine

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Financial Inclusion in Rural India
  2. Combating forest fires in Uttarakhand

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. 25 years of Kudumbashree
  2. Heli-tourism
  3. John Sullivan
  4. Freeing “dotted lands”

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Surety bonds
  2. US debt ceiling deal
  3. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
  4. Minimum Import Price for Apples
  5. Global temperature likely to breach 5°C threshold by 2027
  6. Gharials

 

Jallikattu, Kambala can go on in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka: SC

GS Paper 1/2

 Syllabus: Indian culture/Salient features of the Indian Constitution

 

Source: IE

  

Context: A five-judge Bench of the SC upheld the amendments made by TN, Maharashtra and Karnataka to The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960, allowing bull-taming sports like Jallikattu, Kambala, and bullock-cart races.

 

What is Jallikattu/eruthazhuvuthal?

  • It is a bull-taming sport traditionally played in TN as part of the Pongal harvest festival and as a celebration of nature, of which cattle worship is a part.
  • However, it has long been contested over cruelty to animals and the bloody and dangerous nature of the sport.
Background of the case:
Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja 2014A two-judge Bench of the SC banned such sports including Jallikattu.

·        The apex court held “bovine sports” contrary to the PCA Act – fixes duties of persons in charge of animals and defines animal cruelty.

·        The PCA Act overrides the so-called tradition and culture and the Parliament must elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights (under Articles 14, 21).

MoEFCC notification, 2016It prohibited the “exhibition or training of bulls as performing animals”.

However, an exception specified that bulls might still be trained as performing animals at Jallikattu, according to the customs and culture of different communities.

TN amended the PCA Act in 2017·        This was done to allow Jallikattu in the state, to preserve the cultural heritage of TN, to ensure the survival and well-being of the native breeds of bulls, and to minimize cruelty to animals in the concerned sports

●       A batch of petitions were filed challenging the above exemption and the amendments, following which the SC referred the matter to the Constitution Bench, as the issue involved interpretation of the Constitution.

●       The Bench was tasked with deciding whether Jallikattu could be preserved as the cultural right of TN under Article 29(1) of the Constitution.

The recent verdict of the SC:
●       It overruled its 2014 ruling in ‘Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja’ and held that Jallikattu has a strong cultural component.

●       The amendments (to the PCA) were “valid legislations”, as these are not a piece of colourable legislation and that it relates to List III of the 7th Schedule to the Constitution [prevention of cruelty to animals].

●       The court also said that the 2017 amendment does not violate

○       Articles 51-A (g) and 51-A (h), which impose duties on Indian citizens to protect the environment and develop a scientific temper, humanism, spirit of inquiry, and reform, respectively.

○       Articles 14 (Right to Equality) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.

●       However, the Jallikattu issue is “debatable” and must ultimately be decided by the Parliament, as the issue requires social and cultural analysis in greater detail.

 

Insta Links:

Jallikattu

Combating forest fires in Uttarakhand

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Disaster management

 

Source: DTE

 Context: The chir pine belt of Uttarakhand, India, faces significant forest fire challenges.

 

What is Chir Pine Belt?

It refers to an area characterized by the dominance of chir pine trees (Pinus roxburghii). It is found primarily in the state of Uttarakhand. The high presence of chir pine trees in this belt also contributes to the susceptibility to forest fires in the area.

 

About the chir pine:

It is a species of pine tree that is native to the Himalayan region. It is a fast-growing evergreen tree and forms dense forests in the sub-tropical and temperate regions of Uttarakhand.

 

Factors contributing to forest fire challenges in the Chir Pine Belt of Uttarakhand:

FactorsDescription
High forest densityUttarakhand accounts for 1.6 per cent of India’s total geographical area. But in terms of forest cover, the state accounts for 45 per cent, in contrast to national forest cover of just 21.67 per cent. 
High presence of pine treesChir pine dominates the forest composition in the region. Pine trees are rich in organic polymers, making them vulnerable to forest fires.
Dry biomass Pine needles and other plant-based litter create fuel for fires. Dry biomass increases the risk of fire outbreaks.
Vulnerability of narrow-leaved speciesThe forest ecosystem in the region is dominated by narrow-leaved species like Pinus, Picea, and Abies. These species are susceptible to fires when exposed to low temperatures and humidity.
Human-made firesTimber smugglers often set intentional fires to divert attention and facilitate illegal activities. Developmental activities and unchecked land-use patterns contribute to human-induced fire hazards.
Climate conditionsUttarakhand experiences low rainfall and high temperatures. The ample availability of dry biomass during the summer season increases fire risks. Also, Strong winds contribute to the rapid spread of fires across the forests.

 

Measures to Combat Forest Fires in the Chir Pine Belt of Uttarakhand:

MeasuresDescription
Plantation of suitable broad-leaved speciesIntroduce species like oak and rhododendron with lower fire susceptibility. Diversify the forest composition and reduce the overall fire risk.
Construction of watch towers for early detectionInstall watch towers to detect forest fires at an early stage. Facilitate prompt response and intervention to control fire incidents.
Deployment of fire watchersAssign personnel as fire watchers in vulnerable areas. Regular surveillance to detect and report fires promptly.
Creation and maintenance of fire linesClear vegetation creates fire lines and fire breaks as barriers.
Use of remote sensing technology and satellite dataUtilize technology to detect active forest fires from space.  Enable early identification and timely response to fire incidents.
Exclusive recruitment of forest fire-fighting staffEmploy trained personnel equipped with modern firefighting technologies. Ensure specialized teams are available for fire suppression.
Joint Forest Management (JFM), Van panchayats, and communicationPromote community involvement and cooperation in forest management. Utilize electronic, social media, radio, and television for awareness. Raise awareness and encourage responsible forest practices.

 

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has suggested measures for fire control in Himalayan regions such as Early detection and reporting; Fireline creation; Community involvement; Training and capacity building; Use of technology and Firefighting teams.

 

A few measures taken are:

National Policy on Forest Fire (finalized by the government); National Plan for forest fire management; National Forest Fire Danger Rating System; Firefighting tools and machinery (e.g. Fire Beaters, Pulaskis Tools, Forest Fire Showel, etc.); Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme (FFPMS, 2017)

 

Conclusion:

Addressing and mitigating forest fires in the Himalayan region requires a comprehensive approach that includes early detection, community involvement, capacity building, technology utilization, and effective collaboration between various stakeholders. By implementing these measures, the risk and impact of forest fires can be significantly reduced, protecting the invaluable biodiversity and ecological balance of the region.

 

For The reason behind the global wildfires and Measures to control them: Click Here

 

Insta Links

Forest Fires

 

Practice Questions

Enumerate the causes for the rising instances of forest fires in India. What measures are needed to mitigate the adverse impacts of forest fires? (250 Words)

/ 19 May 2023, Today's Article

25 years of Kudumbashree

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Source: DTE

 

About Kudumbashree:

Description
KudumbashreeKudumbashree is a women’s self-help group network and poverty eradication program in the state of Kerala
InceptionLaunched in 1998, it aims to empower women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with opportunities for entrepreneurship, skill development, and social support.
WorkingKudumbashree operates at the grassroots level, organizing women into neighbourhood groups (NHGs), which then form larger community-level and ward-level organizations.
Achievements of Kudumbashree
Economic EmpowermentKudumbashree has helped marginalized women become successful entrepreneurs and income generators.
Food securityE.g., It has established “Janakeeya Hotels” across the state, offering affordable meals. Currently, it operates 125 restaurants providing meals for just Rs 20.
Disaster Relief and RehabilitationDonated Rs 7 crore to the Chief Minister’s distress relief fund during the devastating floods in Kerala. Provided counselling to over 8,000 families affected by the floods.
COVID-19 ResponseManufactured and supplied masks and sanitisers during the pandemic.
Women’s EmpowermentMobilized women for community activities and grassroots planning. Enabled women’s participation in local bodies after enforcing the 33% women’s reservation policy
Consultancy Work and Poverty ReductionKudumbashree’s success in poverty reduction was highlighted by studies and surveys, including the Multidimensional Poverty Index by NITI Aayog. The extended consultancy works on women’s empowerment in 13 other states, sharing knowledge and expertise.
Challenges
Challenges include addressing gender-based atrocities and becoming a strong counter-culture force in Kerala.

 

Usage: Such innovative schemes for grass root development, can be used to cite your arguments in Governance, women-related questions, and essays.

Heli-tourism

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Source: TH

Kerala Tourism is planning to introduce heli-tourism to attract premium tourists. They have drafted guidelines for heli-taxi services connecting Kochi with popular tourist destinations like Thekkady, Munnar, and Kumarakom. The department aims to set up the necessary infrastructure through public-private partnership (PPP) to facilitate this initiative.

 

Usage: Such an example can be used in questions related to tourism/the importance of PPP etc.

John Sullivan

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

Source: TH

John Sullivan, a British administrator, played a crucial role in introducing tea cultivation in the Nilgiris hills. In 1834, the Tea Committee was formed in India with a focus on Assam and its surrounding regions.  He also played a significant role in the development of the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu, India. Sullivan’s efforts led to the establishment of Udhagamandalam (Ooty) as a popular hill station and his contributions are widely recognized in the region.

 

Usage: The example can be used to cite some of the positive contributions of the British Legacy in India.

US debt ceiling deal

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: IE

 Context: The US government is facing a crucial issue regarding the debt ceiling.  

About Debt Ceiling:

TopicDebt Ceiling
DefinitionThe maximum amount of money that the US government is legally allowed to borrow to fund its operations and meet its financial obligations. It sets a cap or limit on the total amount of government debt.
OriginEstablished by the US Congress in 1917 during World War I to promote fiscal responsibility in the federal government.
IssueDisagreement between President Joe Biden (executive) and the Republican-controlled US Congress (Legislature) on raising the debt ceiling. The decision to increase the borrowing cap lies with the US Congress, which needs to vote on it.
ImpactPossible government default if the debt ceiling is not raised, leading to economic consequences such as a weaker dollar, stock market problems, and job losses.
The downgrade of the US credit rating made future borrowing more expensive for the government.
Hinders discussions on long-term fiscal challenges and has become a political tool instead of a responsible fiscal mechanism.
Impact on IndiaIncreased volatility in financial markets affects currency exchange rates, capital flows, and investor confidence.
Impact on India’s exports, foreign direct investment, and overall economic stability.
Previous instanceIn 2011, the US faced a near default on public debt due to a delay in raising the debt ceiling. This led to the first downgrade in the US credit rating, a sharp drop in the stock market, and higher borrowing costs.
Suggestions for reformsAutomatic increase of the debt limit whenever legislation is passed or abolishing the debt limit altogether
India’s Debt Ceiling MechanismIndia does not have a formal debt ceiling mechanism like the one in the United States.

The Indian government manages borrowing and debt obligations through fiscal discipline, budgetary controls, and oversight by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act governs India’s borrowing activities, setting targets for fiscal deficits and debt-to-GDP ratios.

Minimum Import Price for Apples

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TOI

 Context: The Central Government of India has introduced the Minimum Import Price (MIP) for apples in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to protect the domestic industry from unfair competition and predatory pricing.

 

What is MIP?

MIP is a temporary measure implemented by a government to protect domestic industries from unfair competition and predatory pricing of imported goods. The MIP sets a minimum price below which the import of a particular commodity is not allowed.

 

Who frames the rules:

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is the arm of the commerce ministry responsible for framing rules related to exports and imports, including the implementation of MIPs.

 

Significance: By setting a minimum import price, the government aims to prevent apple imports from flooding the market at excessively low prices, and provide a level playing field to farmers in J&K.

 

About Apple cultivation:

 Apple cultivation in India primarily takes place in regions such as Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, the hills of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal. It is also grown to a lesser extent in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Punjab, and Sikkim. China produces the world’s largest number of apples. India is ranked 5th.

 

Climatic condition for Apples:

 The ideal climatic conditions for apple cultivation include an average summer temperature of 21-24 degrees Celsius during the active growth period. Apple trees can be grown at altitudes ranging from 1500 to 2700 meters above sea level. Well-distributed rainfall of 1000-1250 mm throughout the growing season is most favourable for the optimal growth and fruitfulness of apple trees. Additionally, apples thrive best in well-drained, loamy soils.

Pradhan Mantri MatsyaSampada Yojana (PMMSY)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB

 

Context: The Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) in India is being supported by seven major field studies conducted by the National Productivity Council (NPC).

 

About the studies:

  • Aim: These studies aim to enhance the fisheries sector and its contribution to the country’s GDP.
  • Fields covered: The studies cover various areas such as fish marketing systems, innovative fishing practices, storage container improvements, fish marketing infrastructure, technology evaluation, monitoring mechanisms, and minimizing post-harvest losses.

 

About PMMSY:

DimensionInformation
AboutPMMSY (Under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) was launched in 2020 for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector and to bring about the ‘Blue Revolution’.
ImplementationIt is being implemented in all States and Union Territories for a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25. It provides insurance coverage, and financial assistance to fishermen.
Aim and ObjectivesRural development and boosting the rural economy; “Reform, Perform and Transform” motto; Core and trunk infrastructure development and Modernization of Indian fisheries
Type of schemeUmbrella scheme with Central Sector Scheme and Centrally Sponsored Scheme components—meaning that the Central government bears project cost and States/UTs share the cost of sub-components/activities
TargetsEnhanced fish production of 22 million metric tons; Increased contribution of Gross Value Added (GVA) of the fisheries sector to agriculture GVA to 9%; Double export earnings to about Rs. 1 lakh crore; Reduction of post-harvest losses to about 10% and doubling of incomes of fishers and fish farmer
Achievements of the schemeThe fisheries sector has achieved impressive growth of over 14% and an all-time high in fish production and exports. The scheme has provided insurance coverage to over 31 lakh farmers
Other initiativesFisheries & Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF); Kisan Credit Cards for Fishermen
Fishery sector in IndiaIndia is the 3rd largest fish producing and 2nd largest aquaculture nation in the world
About National Productivity Council (NPC)NPC (est. 1958; HQ: Delhi) is an autonomous organization under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It conducts productivity research, consulting and training services to the government, public and private sector organizations.

Global temperature likely to breach 1.5°C threshold by 2027

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: WMO

 

Context: According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), global temperatures are now more likely than not to exceed the 1.5°C (2.7°F) warming threshold within the next five years.

 

About the Finding: WMO’s Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update highlights a 66% chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2027 (than the average global temperature from 1850-1900), a significant increase from last year’s estimate of approximately 50-50 odds.

  • Threshold of 5°C: This threshold is critical to avoid the disastrous consequences of global warming, as warned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Hottest year: The WMO’s predictions also indicate a 98% chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2016.

 

Reason for increased likelihood: El Niño, combined with human-induced climate change will contribute to higher global temperatures.

 

Significance: This represents the first time in history that surpassing 1.5°C is considered more probable than not, thus indicating an alarming trend.

 

Impact on India: The increased temperature will likely lead to lower monsoon rainfall. Hotter oceans also contribute to stronger cyclones (e.g., Cyclone Mocha). India, with its reliance on rain-fed agriculture and a long coastline, will face significant challenges due to global climate changes.

 

Measures needed: Improving forecasting capabilities for cyclones and weather anomalies is crucial, but building resilience through investments in disaster-related infrastructure is equally important. India must prioritize infrastructure development to defend against the increasing threat of climate-related disasters.

 

About WMO:

The World Meteorological Organization (founded: 1950; HQ: Geneva; Parent organization: UN Economic and Social Council) is a specialized agency of the UN responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.

Gharials

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: DTE

Context: World Wildlife Fund has confirmed the presence of gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) in Pakistan (Punjab).

 

About the News:

Gharials is a critically endangered crocodilian unique to the Indian subcontinent, that was once extirpated from the region. Experts have suggested that the gharial may have come into Pakistan from India’s Punjab, where several gharials were released into the Beas River between 2017 and 2021, primarily from the Chambal basin in Madhya Pradesh.

 

About WWF

The World-Wide Fund for Nature (est. 1961; HQ: Gland, Switzerland) is a Swiss-based international non-governmental organization that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment.

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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