INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 16 July 2021 – PuuchoIAS


 

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 in 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. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

1. PRASHAD Scheme.

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Anti-defection law.

2. Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary.

3. Drop cases filed under Section 66A: Centre.

4. India’s Afghan investment.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Special Livestock Sector Package.

2. Aviation ministry releases draft of ‘Drone Rules 2021’.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. International Cooperation and Convention Centre – Rudraksh in Varanasi.

2. World Youth Skills Day.


GS Paper  :  1


 

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

PRASHAD Scheme:


Context:

PRASHAD projects were recently inaugurated in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

  • The inaugurated projects include a Tourist Facilitation Centre and operation of Cruise Boat from Assi Ghat to RajGhat.

 

What is PRASHAD scheme?

  1. It is also called as the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD).
  2. It is a Central Sector Scheme fully financed by the Government of India.
  3. Launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15.
  4. Objective: Integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  5. It includes infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about UNWTO and India’s participation? Click here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Implementation.
  3. Cities covered.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Anti-defection law:


Context:

Lok Sabha Secretariat has issued notices to three MPs, after their parties petitioned Speaker Om Birla, seeking their disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law.

  • They have been asked to give their comments within 15 days of receipt of letters.

 

Anti-defection law:

  • In 1985 the Tenth Schedule, popularly known as the anti-defection law, was added to the Constitution by the 52nd Amendment Act.
  • The purpose of the Amendment was to bring stability to governments by deterring MPs and MLAs from changing their political parties on whose ticket they were elected.
  • The penalty for shifting political loyalties is the loss of parliamentary membership and a bar on becoming a minister.

 

When can a member be disqualified?

If a member of a house belonging to a political party:

  1. Voluntarily gives up the membership of his political party, or
  2. Votes, or does not vote in the legislature, contrary to the directions of his political party. However, if the member has taken prior permission, or is condoned by the party within 15 days from such voting or abstention, the member shall not be disqualified.
  3. If an independent candidate joins a political party after the election.
  4. If a nominated member joins a party six months after he becomes a member of the legislature.

 

However, Legislators may change their party without the risk of disqualification in certain circumstances. Exceptions:

  1. The law allows a party to merge with or into another party provided that at least two-thirds of its legislators are in favour of the merger.
  2. On being elected as the presiding officer of the House, if a member, voluntarily gives up the membership of his party or rejoins it after he ceases to hold that office, he won’t be disqualified.

 

Decision of the Presiding Officer is subject to judicial review:

The law initially stated that the decision of the Presiding Officer is not subject to judicial review. This condition was struck down by the Supreme Court later, thereby allowing appeals against the Presiding Officer’s decision in the High Court and Supreme Court.

  • However, it held that there may not be any judicial intervention until the Presiding Officer gives his order.

 

Is there a time limit within which the Presiding Officer should decide?

  • There is no time limit as per the law within which the Presiding Officers should decide on a plea for disqualification.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Names of various committees and commissions with regard to Anti Defection law.
  2. Committees vs Commissions.
  3. Decision of presiding officer vs Judicial review.
  4. Merger vs Split of political parties.
  5. Is anti- defection law applicable to the presiding officer?
  6. Relevant Supreme Court cases and verdicts.

Mains Link:

Examine the provisions of Anti- defection law. Has this law largely failed to meet its objective? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary:


Context:

The Union Government has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary for further five years to 2026.

 

About the CSS for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary:

  • It has been in operation since 1993-94.
  • The Central Government through this scheme augments the resources of the State Governments for construction of court buildings and residential quarters for Judicial Officers (JO) in all the States / UTs.

 

Significance/benefits of the scheme:

  • This will help in improving the overall functioning and performance of the Judiciary.
  • Continued assistance to the Gram Nyayalayas will also give impetus to providing speedy, substantial and affordable justice to the common man at his door step.

 

What are Gram Nyayalayas?

Gram Nyayalayas or village courts are established under the Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 for speedy and easy access to the justice system in the rural areas of India.

  • The Act came into force from 2nd October 2009.

 

Jurisdiction:

  • A Gram Nyayalaya has jurisdiction over an area specified by a notification by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court.
  • The Court can function as a mobile court at any place within the jurisdiction of such Gram Nyayalaya, after giving wide publicity to that regard.
  • They have both civil and criminal jurisdiction over the offences.
  • Gram Nyayalayas has been given power to accept certain evidences which would otherwise not be acceptable under Indian Evidence Act.

 

Composition:

The Gram Nyayalayas are presided over by a Nyayadhikari, who will have the same power, enjoy same salary and benefits of a Judicial Magistrate of First Class. Such Nyayadhikari are to be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the respective High Court.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know the differences between Conciliation and Mediation? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Gram Nyayalayas.
  2. Jurisdiction.
  3. Composition.
  4. Powers.
  5. About the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary.

 Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Gram Nyayalayas Act.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Drop cases filed under Section 66A: Centre:


Context:

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the States and Union Territories to immediately withdraw the cases registered under the repealed-Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.

  • This comes after the Supreme Court recently expressed shock that it was being invoked even six years after the apex court had struck it down.

 

What’s the issue?

Even after 7 years of the law being struck down, as of March 2021, a total of 745 cases are still pending and active before the district courts in 11 states, wherein the accused persons are being prosecuted for offences under Section 66A of the IT Act.

 

Background:

Section 66A had been dubbed as “draconian” for it allowed the arrest of several innocent persons, igniting a public outcry for its scrapping. This had led to the Supreme Court striking it down as unconstitutional in March, 2015 in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India.

 

Why SC struck down section 66A?

The SC had noted that Section 66A arbitrarily, excessively and disproportionately invades the right of free speech, under article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, and upsets the balance between such right and the reasonable restrictions that may be imposed on such right and the definition of offences under the provision was open-ended and undefined.

  • The court also said that the provision used expressions “completely open-ended and undefined” and every expression used was “nebulous” in meaning.
  • What may be offensive to one may not be offensive to another.
  • What may cause annoyance or inconvenience to one may not cause annoyance or inconvenience to another.
  • Even the expression ‘persistently’ is completely imprecise.

 

What is Section 66A all about?

Section 66A defines the punishment for sending “offensive” messages through a computer or any other communication device like a mobile phone or a tablet. A conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail and a fine.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know what is Section 153A and 505 of IPC? (Related sections -could be used in substantiations) Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the Section 66A of the IT Act.
  2. Implementation.
  3. Exceptions.
  4. Why was it struck down by the Supreme Court?

Mains Link:

Critically discuss why the Supreme Court of India held the Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act unconstitutional? Examine the constitutional and commercial implications of this judgement.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

India’s Afghan investment:


Context:

India is concerned because of the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

After the exit of US and NATO forces, Taliban is capturing many parts of the nation.

India is worried because:

  1. It may have no role to play in that country, and in the worst case scenario, not even a diplomatic presence.
  2. That would be a reversal of nearly 20 years of rebuilding a relationship that goes back centuries.
  3. The Taliban’s possible triumph also threatens $3 billion worth of Indian investment in various projects — dams, roads, trade infrastructure.

 

India’s assistance to Afghanistan:

No part of Afghanistan today is untouched by the 400-plus projects that India has undertaken in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces.

  1. The 2011 India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement recommitted Indian assistance to help rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure and institutions; education and technical assistance for capacity-building in many areas.
  2. SALMA DAM: The 42MW Salma Dam in Herat province. The hydropower and irrigation project, completed against many odds and inaugurated in 2016, is known as the Afghan-India Friendship Dam.
  3. ZARANJ-DELARAM HIGHWAY: The other high-profile project was the 218-km Zaranj-Delaram highway built by the Border Roads Organisation. Zaranj is located close to Afghanistan’s border with Iran. The $150-million highway goes along the Khash Rud river to Delaram to the northeast of Zaranj.
  4. PARLIAMENT: The Afghan Parliament in Kabul was built by India at $90 million. It was opened in 2015; Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the building.
  5. STOR PALACE: In 2016, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the restored Stor Palace in Kabul, originally built in the late 19th century, and which was the setting for the 1919 Rawalpindi Agreement by which Afghanistan became an independent country.
  6. India pledged $1 million for another Aga Khan heritage project, the restoration of the Bala Hissar Fort south of Kabul, whose origins go back to the 6th century. Bala Hissar went on to become a significant Mughal fort, parts of it were rebuilt by Jahangir, and it was used as a residence by Shah Jahan.
  7. Despite the denial of an overland route by Pakistan, India-Afghanistan trade has grown with the establishment in 2017 of an air freight corridor. In 2019-20, bilateral trade crossed $1.3 billion.

 

Why is Afghanistan important for India?

  • Afghanistan is vital to India’s strategic interests in the region.
  • It is also perhaps the only SAARC nation whose people have much affection for India.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel? Read Briefly

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of Indian projects in Afghanistan.
  2. Location of these projects.

Mains Link:

Discuss why a stable political situation in Afghanistan is significant for India.

Sources: Indian Express.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Economics of animal rearing.

Special Livestock Sector Package:


Context:

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved implementation of a special livestock sector package (Rs. 9,800 crore).

  • The aim is to boost growth in the livestock sector and thereby make animal husbandry more remunerative to farmers engaged in Animal Husbandry Sector.
  • It includes the share of investments by State Governments, State Cooperatives, Financial institutions, External funding agencies and other stakeholders.

 

Details:

The package has been designed by revising and realigning various components of the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying’ Schemes for the next five years, starting 2021-22.

All the schemes of the Department will be merged into three broad categories as:

  1. Development Programmes: It includes Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD), National Livestock Mission (NLM) and Livestock Census and Integrated Sample Survey (LC & ISS) as sub-schemes.
  2. Disease Control Programme: It is renamed as Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH & DC) which includes the present Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH & DC) scheme and National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP).
  3. Infrastructure Development Fund: The Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development fund (AHIDF) and the Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) are merged and the present scheme for support to Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in Dairy activities is also included in this third category.

 

Significance of the Sector:

  • A large number of farmers depend upon animal husbandry for their livelihood. It supports the livelihood of almost 55% of the rural population.
  • Also, India is the highest livestock owner of the world.
  • As per the 20th Livestock Census, the total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.

 

Insta Curious: .

Do you know about Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog? What are its functions? Reference: Insights on India.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the schemes mentioned above.
  2. Dairy sector in India.
  3. Overview of livestock census.
  4. Latest merger of schemes.

Mains Link:

Discuss the potential of India’s dairy sector.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

Aviation ministry releases draft of ‘Drone Rules 2021’:


Context:

Built on a premise of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring, “The Drone Rules, 2021” will replace the UAS Rules 2021 (released on 12 March 2021).

 

Key changes:

  1. Digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.
  2. No flight permission required upto 400 feet in green zones and upto 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  3. No pilot licence required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drone and for R&D organisations.
  4. No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
  5. Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.
  6. No security clearance required before any registration or licence issuance.
  7. No requirement of certificate of airworthiness, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.
  8. Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg.  This will cover drone taxis also.
  9. Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.
  10. Manufacturer may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
  11. Maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.
  12. Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
  13. Drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.

 

Need for stricter rules and regulations:

  • Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
  • Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.
  • According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.
  • With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.
  • Drones are becoming security threats particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to the technology.

 

Insta Curious: 

Did you know that there are a few countries in the world which do not have armed forces of their own? Which are those countries? Reference: 

 

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


International Cooperation and Convention Centre – Rudraksh in Varanasi:

  • It was inaugurated recently.
  • It has been constructed with Japanese assistance.
  • The objective of the project is to provide opportunities for social and cultural interactions between people.

 

World Youth Skills Day:

  • In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
  • The day was marked to achieve the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030, which is a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4 that urges to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
  • 2021 Theme – “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”.

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