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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 4 September 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. Significance and legacy of Parliament in India’s democracy
  2. Extreme weather events lead to increase in child marriages: Study
  3. Role of the Indian diaspora as an ambassador of India

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. LIGO-India: Next frontier for India after Chandrayaan and Aditya

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

  1. Personalised Adaptive Learning (PAL)

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Onam (Kerala)
  2. Artefacts to grace G-20 corridor
  3. Karnataka High Court Nullifies Hassan Lok Sabha Elections
  4. Offspring of Void/voidable Marriages Entitled to Ancestral Property
  5. Gramodyog Vikas Yojana
  6. Stem cell therapy
  7. Fish resistant to marine heatwaves 
  8. Export control of Dual-Use Items

 

Mapping

  1. 9 Dashed Line

 


 

Significance and legacy of Parliament in India’s democracy

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Indian Parliament, Democracy

 

Source: IE

 Context: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s article discusses the significance and legacy of Parliament in India’s democracy.

 

What is a Parliament?

Parliament is the supreme legislative body in a democratic country responsible for making and passing laws, representing citizens, and overseeing the government’s actions.

 

Significance of Parliament in India’s democracy:

AspectSignificance and LegacyExamples
Historical LegacyDeeply rooted in India’s historical and cultural heritage, reflecting participative governance for millennia.India is widely regarded as the mother of democracy”. Ancient texts and local self-governance traditions—Sabhas, Samitis, Republic
Founding Fathers’ VisionIndia’s founders had faith in people’s wisdom, leading to the adoption of an enlightened Constitution.Adoption of a democratic system post-independence
Accommodative DemocracyEffective management of conflicts, celebration of diversity, and promotion of unity for development and prosperity.Unity in diversity is a fundamental national ethos.
Watchdog of Public ExchequerOversight of public finances, budget approval, and accountability of the ExecutiveApproval of budgets and financial allocations.
Voice of the PeoplePlatform for citizens to raise concerns, and promote socio-economic change through legislation and debates.E.g., the issue of the Manipur crisis discussed in Parliament sessions.
Living InstitutionVibrant representation of the will of over a billion Indians, dedicated to citizens’ welfare and unity.Consistent legislative work for national progress.
Symphony of DemocracyCreation of an elegant symphony of democracy, upholding constitutional values and national interests.Successful parliamentary functioning despite disagreements.
Evaluation: Parliamentary CommitteesDetailed scrutiny of bills, budget proposals, and ministries, enhancing oversight and accountability.Committees’ role in policy evaluation and formulation.
Autonomy: Parliamentary PrivilegesProtection of members’ autonomy and dignity through immunity and privileges for free expression.Immunity from prosecution for parliamentary speech.
Accountability Parliament is entrusted with securing accountability of the Executive through various instruments such as the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, tradition and well-settled precedents.

 

To read: Is India a parliamentary democracy?: Click Here 

Challenges to India’s democracy by Parliament include:

  • Disruptions and Productivity: Frequent disruptions during parliamentary sessions hinder legislative work and reduce productivity.
  • Unruly Behaviour: Instances of unruly behaviour by some members have become more common, affecting decorum and debate.
  • Lack of Detailed Debates: Important legislation may be passed without thorough debate due to disruptions.
  • Public Perception: Citizens may lose trust in Parliament due to its inability to function effectively.

 

Conclusion:

As the nation undergoes transformative change during Amrit Kaal, the Parliament of India continues to serve as a beacon of peace and hope for all societies and nations that aspire to provide a parliamentary forum to give expression to the collective will of the people.

 

Insta Links:

India’s New Parliament: Need and Significance

 

Mains Links:

The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result, healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed. How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention? (UPSC 2013)

 

Prelims Links:  (UPSC 2021)

Which of the following factors constitutes the best safeguard of liberty in a liberal democracy?

  1. A committed judiciary
  2. Centralization of powers
  3. Elected government
  4. Separation of powers

 

Ans: 4

Extreme weather events lead to increase in child marriages: Study

GS2/GS1 Paper 

 Syllabus: Government policies and intervention/ Indian Society/ Vulnerable groups

 

Source: DTE

Context: Extreme weather events are leading to an increase in child, early, and forced marriages (CEFM), according to a recent study published in the journal International Social Work.

  

We have previously published a related article on the Impact of Climate Change on Children and the First UN guidance on Children’s Rights and Environment

 

Major findings of the study:

FindingsDetails
Impact of Extreme Weather EventsExtreme weather intensifies gender inequality and poverty.
Adverse impacts on women and girls’ resilience during disasters.
Development InitiativesWithout accounting for gender and social inequalities, initiatives can worsen disparities.
Reasons for CEFM in Extreme WeatherChild marriage is used as a coping strategy to reduce economic vulnerabilities.
Examples: Daughters married early to reduce economic burden after disasters.
Role of Bride Price and DowryBride price linked to CEFM during droughts and rainfall shocks.
Dowry is linked to lower marriage rates during droughts due to affordability.
Protection from Sexual ViolenceCEFM is used to protect daughters from sexual violence during crises.
Main Driver of Child MarriageGender inequality is identified as the primary driver of child marriage.
Global PerspectiveApproximately 12 million girls married before adulthood each year globally.
Risks of child marriage are increasing, influenced by factors like COVID-19.
Climate Change ImpactThe Global Slavery Index 2023 reveals that climate change and environmental factors have worsened modern slavery in Africa, with over 3 million forced into marriage and about 4 million into forced labour.
RecommendationsHealth professionals and social workers must recognize links between CEFM and extreme weather.
Urgent need to prevent the increase in CEFM due to extreme weather events.
Education and financial control are key to empowering women and girls.
Higher parental education is associated with decreased CEFM rates.

 

Several international agreements address child marriage, emphasizing protection:

 

Conclusion:

The study emphasized the need for development initiatives to address gender and social inequalities to prevent the increase in CEFM due to extreme weather events.

 

Insta Links:

Still a nightmare for domestic violence survivors

 

Mains Links:

Analyze the growing impacts of climate change on Indian Society. (10M)

Role of the Indian diaspora as an ambassador of India

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Indian Diaspora

 

Source: TOI

 Context: The Indian diaspora, represented by individuals like Vivek Ramaswamy, is achieving remarkable success in various fields, from technology to politics.

 

About Vivek Ramaswamy:

He is a Harvard and Yale Law graduate, billionaire in finance and biotech, and has gained recognition even from former President Donald Trump.

 

Other examples of leaders of Indian origin are:

  • Rishi Sunak (PM of UK)
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Recently, Singapore President)
  • Christine Kangaloo President of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Leo Varadkar (Head of Government, Ireland)
  • Prithvirajsing Roopun (President of Mauritius)
  • Wavel Ramkalawan (President of Seychelles)

 

To know the examples of people of Indian origin in different fields: Click Here

What is the meaning of the term ‘Indian Diaspora’?

The Indian Diaspora is a generic term to describe the people who migrated from territories that are currently within the borders of the Republic of India. India has the second-largest Diaspora in the world. The overseas Indian community estimated at over 32 million is spread across every major region in the world.

 

Role of the Indian diaspora as an ambassador of India:

Area of ContributionExamples
Cultural Exchange and Soft PowerPromotion of Yoga, Ayurveda, Indian spiritualism, Bollywood, and Indian cuisine abroad.
Celebrating Indian festivals and sharing Indian traditions, music, and dance in host countries.
Economic Ties and InvestmentExcellence in business, entrepreneurship, technology, and academia.
Significant contributions to the technology sector and venture capital in Silicon Valley.
Political Engagement and AdvocacyActive participation in political processes and advocacy.
E.g., The Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in the United States.
Knowledge-EconomyBringing technical expertise to domestic startups and acting as angel investors.
Diaspora Indian faculty abroad improving education quality in Indian institutions.
Philanthropy and Social DevelopmentEngaging in philanthropic activities, and supporting social development initiatives.
Providing aid during crises, such as raising funds and supplying medical equipment during pandemics.
Boosting Bilateral TiesDiaspora members hold prominent positions in the high offices of their host nations.
Facilitating significant agreements like the Indo-US Nuclear deal.

 

Engaging with the Indian diaspora:

InitiativeDescription
Pravasi Bhartiya DiwasFlagship program recognizing the contribution of the overseas Indian community to India’s development.
Immigration and Customs ClearanceEasier immigration and customs procedures with courteous service to welcome Diaspora members to India.
Tracing the RootsMinistry of External Affairs’ scheme to help PIOs trace their Indian roots.
Know India ProgrammeA three-week orientation program for diaspora youth to promote awareness of life in India and the country’s progress.
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman AwardAward to acknowledge the Indian diaspora’s contributions in promoting India, supporting its causes, and aiding local communities.
Sewa InternationalFacilitates diaspora engagement in humanitarian causes, including disaster relief efforts in India and abroad.

Conclusion

The brain drain concern of the past has evolved into an understanding that Indians’ success abroad can benefit India, and the growing diversity among those leaving India is a reason for celebration. This trend reflects the diaspora’s ability to build bridges and coalitions internationally.

  

Insta Link:

 

Mains Link: UPSC 2017

Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in Southeast Asian countries’ economies and societies. Appraise the role of the Indian Diaspora in Southeast Asia in this context.

LIGO-India: Next frontier for India after Chandrayaan and Aditya

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology

 

Source: IE

 Context: LIGO-India, part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is set to become a prominent astronomical observatory in the world, aiming to detect and study gravitational waves, offering a new way to observe the universe.

 

What are Gravitational Waves?

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time that travel at the speed of light. They are created by the motion of massive objects, such as black holes or neutron stars, which generate gravitational waves when they orbit or collide with each other.

 

The science behind Gravitational waves:

According to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity (1916), any object with mass warps the space-time around it. When two massive objects orbit each other or collide, they produce ripples or waves in space-time that propagate outward at the speed of light.

 

Why use LIGO?

Gravitational waves are extremely weak and difficult to detect. They were first directly detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015, a century after they were predicted by Einstein’s theory.

 

What is LIGO-India?

Working of LIGO?

Significance of LIGO for India:

SignificanceExamples
Advancing Scientific ResearchProvides India’s scientific community access to cutting-edge research
Enhances India’s standing in global astrophysical research.
Technological AdvancementsPromotes the development of advanced technology and instrumentation.
Fosters collaborations with international experts.
Human Resource DevelopmentOffers training and research opportunities for Indian scientists and engineers.
Attracts talent in the field of astrophysics.
Educational OutreachInspires students and the public with the excitement of gravitational wave astronomy
Encourages STEM education and awareness.
International CollaborationStrengthens India’s role in international scientific collaborations. Deepens ties with countries like the United States.
Economic and Industrial BenefitsPromotes industrial partnerships for the development of precision instruments. Boosts India’s high-tech manufacturing capabilities.
Cultural ImpactEnhances India’s global image as a hub for scientific and technological innovation. Encourages interest in science and research.

 

Challenges for LIGO India:

  • Funding: Securing adequate financial resources for construction, maintenance, and research.
  • Site Preparation: Dealing with environmental and logistical issues at the chosen site.
  • Technology Transfer: Acquiring and adapting cutting-edge technology for Indian needs.
  • International Collaboration: Coordinating with global partners for seamless operations.
  • Technical Challenges: Overcoming technical obstacles in precise measurements and data analysis.

 

Insta Links:

LIGO-India

  

Prelims Links:

Recently, scientists observed the merger of giant ‘blackholes’ billions of light-years away from the Earth. What is the significance of this observation? (UPSC 2019)

(a) ‘Higgs boson particles’ were detected.
(b) ‘Gravitational waves’ were detected.
(c) Possibility of intergalactic space travel through ‘wormhole’ was confirmed.
(d) It enabled the scientists to understand ‘singularity’

 

Ans: (b)

Personalised Adaptive Learning (PAL)

Content for Mains Enrichment

 

Source: TH

The National eGovernance Division (NeGD) plans to integrate Personalised Adaptive Learning (PAL) into the Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA) platform (Ministry of Education), aiming to offer individualized learning experiences for students.

 

What is PAL?

Personalised Adaptive Learning (PAL) is an educational approach that uses technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), to customize the learning experience for individual students based on their unique needs, abilities, and progress.

Examples:

  • Tailored Content Delivery: If a student is excelling in math but struggling in science, PAL can provide more challenging math problems while offering additional resources and explanations for science topics.
  • Personalized Study Plans: For example, it may suggest additional readings, practice exercises, or video tutorials based on a student’s weaknesses or areas that need improvement.
  • Flexibility in Learning: A fast learner can progress quickly through topics, while a student who needs more time can review and practice until they are confident.
  • Support for Special Needs: It can provide audio descriptions for visually impaired students or offer additional support and resources for students with learning disabilities.

Usage: The example can be used in questions on the theme of Education/ use of technology in education

Onam (Kerala)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: HT

 

Story behind Onam celebration:

King Mahabali, a wise ruler of Kerala, was renowned for his prosperous and egalitarian rule. Lord Vishnu, concerned about Mahabali’s growing popularity, tested his humility in the form of a dwarf Brahmin, Vamana. Despite his immense generosity, Vamana grew to cover the earth and heavens, leading to Mahabali’s selfless offer of his head. Impressed by Mahabali’s devotion, Lord Vishnu granted him an annual visit to his kingdom, celebrated as Onam.

Artefacts to grace G-20 corridor

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 

 Context: The G-20 summit will feature a special Culture Corridor exhibition that showcases objects of cultural significance from various countries.

  • Some of the physical items on display include a copy of the Magna Carta from the UK, a bronze statue of Belvedere Apollo from Italy, and an 18th-century Fahua-lidded jar from China. India’s contribution is Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, an ancient text.
  • Notable digital contributions include France’s Mona Lisa, Germany’s Gutenberg’s Bible, and Mexico’s statue of the deity ‘Coatlicue’. This exhibition aims to celebrate the shared heritage of the G-20 nations and invitees, representing a “museum in the making.”

The Culture Corridor-G-20 Digital Museum will be unveiled at the G-20 Leaders’ Summit venue, ‘Bharat Mandapam,’.

Karnataka High Court Nullifies Hassan Lok Sabha Elections

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: TH

 Context: The Karnataka High Court has declared the election of a Member of Lok Sabha from the Hassan constituency in the 2019 general elections as null and void.

  • The court made this ruling based on findings of corrupt practices during the election process.

 

The court found that the member had engaged in numerous election corrupt practices, including providing false information about the value of his assets, concealing his actual bank balance, failing to disclose a loan, and not submitting income-tax returns for relevant periods.

 

Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951 enables the High Court to declare an election void on certain grounds (Conviction of certain offences, Corrupt practices, Failing to declare election expenses, Interests in government contracts or works). The aggrieved person can appeal to the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court.

Offspring of Void/voidable Marriages Entitled to Ancestral Property

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The Supreme Court has ruled that children born from void or voidable marriages have the right to claim a share of their parents’ ancestral property.

  • However, this right is limited to their parents’ share within the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) governed by Mitakshara Law and does not extend to the entire HUF’s property.
  • It emphasized that these children would be considered legitimate and related by legitimate kinship under the Hindu Succession Act (HSA), 1956.
  • Section 16(3) of the HMA, 1955 explicitly states that the conferment of legitimacy does not grant any rights to the property of anyone other than the parents.

 

About Mitakshara Law:

The Mitakshara school of Hindu law is a well-known school of thought that specifies procedures for succession and inheritance. The Mitakshara school of thought states that a son, grandson, and great-grandson have a right to family property through birth.

The Mitakshara School of Law is followed in every state in India, except for West Bengal and Assam. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 governs Hindu family law. 

Before the 2005 amendment of the Hindu Succession Act, a female could not be a coparcener and was not entitled to partition.

Gramodyog Vikas Yojana

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), recently, distributed toolkits and machinery to artisans in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, as part of the Gramodyog Vikas Yojana.

Electric Wheels were given to 100 potters, Footwear Toolkits to 75 Leather Artisans, and Paper Massey Machines to 60 artisans.

 

About the Gramodyog Vikas Yojana:

Stem cell therapy

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 

Context: The Delhi High Court has allowed two children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to undergo stem cell therapy for their condition.

  • This is overturning a previous recommendation by the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) against the use of stem cell treatment for autism spectrum disorder.
  • The EMRB recommended against the use of stem cell therapy for ASD due to concerns about “predatory marketing” and false hope, as well as the lack of a well-established protocol for its use.

 

About Stem Cells:

Stem cells are cells from which all other cells in the body, with specialized functions, are generated. There are two main categories: pluripotent stem cells, which can differentiate into any cell type in the adult body, and adult stem cells, which are tissue-specific and can only generate cells for a particular organ.

Stem cells have been used in medicine, particularly in regenerative medicine, for over 90 years. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, for instance, is used to treat conditions like leukaemia and lymphoma, where healthy stem cells are introduced to replace damaged cells.

 

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder affecting communication, behaviour, and learning. While there is no cure for ASD, various therapies are used to manage symptoms and improve the individual’s quality of life.

Fish resistant to marine heatwaves

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: DTE

 Context:  A recent study conducted by researchers from Canada, Europe, and the United States reveals that fish are surprisingly resilient to marine heatwaves.

  

Key Findings:

  • The study found no substantial evidence that marine heatwaves have a significant impact on regional fish communities.
  • The study also investigated whether marine heatwaves caused changes in fish community composition, such as shifts from cold-water species to warm-water species (known as “tropicalisation“). However, no consistent pattern of such changes was observed due to marine heat waves.

 

Marine heatwaves, characterized by prolonged periods of warm ocean temperatures, can have devastating effects on marine ecosystems, including coral bleaching, seabird deaths, harmful algal blooms, and more.

9 Dashed Line

Mapping

 

Source: BT

Several Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan, have joined India in rejecting China’s new national map and 9 Dashed Line in the South China Sea.

 

India specifically protested China’s claims over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin

 

What is a Nine-dash line?

The nine-dash line is a historical demarcation line on a map used by China to assert territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China asserts a claim to 90% of the South China Sea, primarily based on the historical U-shaped nine-dash line drawn on a map in the 1940s and encompassing several islands, notably the Paracels and Spratlys.

However, the Permanent Court of Arbitration under UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) has determined that China’s claim in this region lacks a legal foundation

Export control of Dual-Use Items

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  

Source: ET

 Context: The Director General of Foreign Trade emphasized the government’s commitment to enhanced export control of dual-use items to prevent them from falling into the hands of non-state actors and terrorists.

 

What are Dual-use items?

They are products, technologies, materials, or equipment that can have both civilian and military or non-military applications. These items are designed or intended primarily for civilian purposes but can also be used for military or other prohibited purposes.

  • Examples: precursor chemicals like sarin gas; Components like centrifuges

 

Currently, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) prepares a specialized SCOMET (speciality chemicals, organisms, materials, equipment, and technologies) list of dual-use items and these items are regulated as per India’s Foreign Trade Policy.

 

The new foreign trade policy emphasizes expediting the SCOMET licensing process to ensure that sensitive and dual-use goods are traded in compliance with international regimes, including the Missile Technology Control Regime.

 

What is MECR (Missile and Dual-Use Export Control Regimes)?

They are voluntary agreements among major supplier countries aimed at preventing the proliferation of certain military and dual-use technologies, particularly those related to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

These agreements are independent of the United Nations and apply only to their member countries, with no obligation for others to join.

 

India is a member of three out of the four MECRs, excluding the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

 

The four MECRs include:

  • Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for nuclear technology control
  • Australia Group (AG) for chemical and biological technology control
  • Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) for rockets and aerial vehicles related to WMD delivery,
  • Wassenaar Arrangement for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.

 

Read the CA in PDF format here: 

 


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