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Insights Daily Current Events, 26 September 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 26 September 2015


Paper 1 Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena.

Tidal waves likely to hit Kerala coast, says INCOIS

The Kerala State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) has issued guidelines to District Collectors of coastal districts for preparedness in view of the tidal flooding alert for the Kerala coast till September 30.

  • According to the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad, tidal flooding is likely to occur from September 25 to 30, in connection with the Perigean Spring Tide (also called Supermoon or King Tide) of September 28 when the moon is closest to the earth during its orbit.
  • The low lying areas along the Kerala coast are particularly vulnerable.

Spring Tides:

  • Spring tides are especially strong high tides that occur during the full moon and new moon when the sun and moon are aligned with the earth, resulting in a collective gravitational pull on the earth’s water.

spring tide

What is perigean spring tide?

  • A perigean spring tide, also known as King tide, occurs during a Supermoon when the moon is closest to the earth (less than 3,60,000 km) during its orbit. Supermoons during the year 2015 are January 20 (new moon), February 18 (new moon), March 20 (new moon), August 29 (full moon), September 28 (full moon) and October 27 (full moon).

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

PM accused of flouting flag code

A controversy has erupted over Prime Minister Narendra Modi signing an Indian flag to be gifted to US President Barack Obama.

  • PM Modi is scheduled to meet President Obama on September 27th. This is his second visit to the US since he took power last year.

What the law says?

  • According to the Prevention of Insults to National Honour (Amendment) Act, 2005, “Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”
  • According to “Indian Flag Code”, signing on an Indian Flag violates Section I, Part II of the Flag Code of India, 2002. The section states: lettering of any kind shall not be put upon the Flag. The same section also sums us what the expression ‘Indian National Flag’ means “any picture, painting, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation of the Indian National Flag, or of any part or parts thereof, made of any substance or represented on any substance.”

The Indian flag code is a set of laws that govern the usage of the Flag of India. The Bureau of Indian Standards is the authority which governs and enforces the manufacture and correct usage of the flag according to the certain standards issued in three sets of documents. The standards were created in 1968 and thereafter updated in 2008.

What the legal experts say?

  • Experts have said that signing on the national flag was a punishable offence but the law would not apply on foreign soil.
  • Any writing on the national flag is definitely a violation of the flag code. Mere violation of the flag code is not an offence. The Indian state cannot exercise jurisdiction over an event that has occurred on foreign soil. If the perpetrator comes back to India and in case there is a criminal complaint, a court can choose to take cognisance of the act. The perpetrator can always take the plea that the law does not apply in foreign land.

Sources: The Hindu, flagcode.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

UN officially adopts ambitious new set of global goals

The 193-Member United Nations General Assembly has formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of bold new Global Goals, which are being hailed as a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.

  • These new set of global goals aim to combat poverty, inequality and climate change over the next 15 years in the most comprehensive international effort ever to tackle the world’s ills.
  • The global goals are designed to provide a roadmap for countries to finance and shape government policies over the next 15 years with targets to be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators to be agreed by March 2016.

What are the SDGs?

  • The SDGs are a set of 17 goals and 169 targets aimed at resolving global social, economic and environmental problems.
  • These new SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were adopted in 2000 and expire this year.
  • Aiming to encompass almost every aspect of human life, the main themes of the SDGs are ending poverty, tackling inequality and combating climate change.

According to the UN’s own estimates, achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets meant to transform the world will require over 250 billion dollars annually for the next 15 years.

What did the MDGs accomplish?

The United Nations says the MDGs – a set of eight goals with 21 targets – led to achievements including:

  • more than halving the number of people living in extreme poverty, to 836 million in 2015 from 1.9 billion in 1990
  • gender parity in primary schools in the majority of countries
  • reducing the rate of children dying before their fifth birthday to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births from 90
  • a fall of 45% in the maternal mortality ratio worldwide
  • some 37 million lives saved by tuberculosis prevention and treatment, over 6.2 million malaria deaths averted, and new HIV infection rates down by around 40%
  • access to improved sanitation for 2.1 billion people

Why do we need SDGs?

  • Some 795 million people around the world still go hungry and around 800 million people live in extreme poverty, with fragile and conflict-torn states experiencing the highest poverty rates
  • between 2008 and 2012, 144 million people were displaced from their homes by natural disasters, a number predicted to rise as the planet warms, bringing more extreme weather and rising seas
  • water scarcity affects 40% of the global population and is projected to increase
  • some 946 million people still practice open defecation
  • gender inequality persists in spite of more representation for women in parliaments and more girls going to school
  • 57 million children still denied right to primary education

However, please note that these SDGs are non binding.

What is sustainable development?

The United Nations defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Sources: The Hindu, UN, ie.


Chennai Declaration: It is a declaration demanding recognition of all languages on Schedule 8 of the Constitution as “official languages”. While 22 languages are in the Schedule, Hindi and English are considered the official languages. This was the outcome of the recently held summit in Chennai to mark the 50th anniversary of the anti-Hindi agitation.