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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 July 2017


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 05 July 2017


Paper 3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.  


Van Mahotsav


Van Mahotsav, a week-long festival, is being celebrated in different parts of India. It is usually celebrated between 1 July to 7 July. Programmes like screening of short films and documentaries, seminars and exhibition, painting and poster competitions are organised to mark the occasion.



About Van Mahotsav:

Van Mahotsav began in 1950, with a tree plantation drive, in which national leaders participated. The festival of tree plantation was started by Dr. K.M. Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create enthusiasm among masses for forest conservation and planting trees.

  • Van Mahotsav is usually observed in the first week of July every year and is celebrated on different days in different parts of India.
  • The objective behind celebrating Van Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.


Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Linking Aadhaar and PAN is not mandatory for all


It has now become mandatory for everyone to link their PAN with Aadhaar with effect from July 1, 2017, as per the income tax laws. However, the government has exempted certain class of individuals from linking these two documents subject to certain conditions.



CBDT has notified that Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act is not applicable to the following individuals:

  • Those categorised as Non-resident Indians as per the Income Tax Laws.
  • Not a citizen of India.
  • Is of age 80 years or more at any time during the tax year.
  • Residents of the states of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.

However, it should be noted here that the above mentioned categories of Individuals are exempted from the purview of section 139AA i.e. exempted from compulsory linking of PAN and Aadhaar, only if they do not possess Aadhaar or Aadhaar Enrolment ID.


What is section 139AA is about?

The newly introduced section 139AA of the Income Tax Act states that every person who has been allotted PAN as on July 1, 2017 and who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar Number shall intimate the same to the tax authorities. The PAN of those who fail to do so will become invalid on a date to be notified later by the department.



The Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 states that every resident shall be entitled to obtain Aadhaar number by submitting his demographic and biometric information by undergoing the process of enrolment. The Act has also defined the eligibility conditions for Aadhaar.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.


Beijing’s Bhutan gambit: Here’s how to contain China


The recent skirmishes with China near the Bhutan border bring home one thing loud and clear: the danger is clear and present. The question is: how do we defuse this, and what options does India have on the table?


China’s hidden message:

The recent spate of deliberate incursions seems to have had multiple triggers and multiple desirables. All Chinese actions invariably are multi-causal.

  • In conjunction with ongoing provocations by China in the South China Sea, the first message is clearly aimed at the United States to show that China can activate multiple fronts to make Washington’s life miserable and bog it down in many theatres of action. More importantly, this also demonstrates that the US’s regional allies are security lightweights, and that the benefits they bring are outweighed by the security baggage they lug along.
  • The second is aimed at India — the message that any closer proximity with the US comes with consequences, and should those consequences escalate militarily, there is very little that the US can realistically do to help India.
  • The third message is also to India — and it has to do with India’s furious rejection of the ‘One Belt One Road’ (Obor) initiative — something President Xi has associated his personal prestige with and the rejection of which he seems to have taken quite personally as well.
  • The final message is to Bhutan. To Bhutanese policymakers, it is to demonstrate the limits of Indian help.


So, what can India do?

The response has to be divided in two: the tactical talking down of China, and the strategic containment of China.

  • The tactical involves appeasing China to some degree and assuaging Xi by pursuing the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Forum for Regional Cooperation vigorously. This enables Xi to portray this initiative as a subset of Obor for the purposes of the 19th Congress of Communist Party of China later this year, and in so doing ‘save face’. India, too, saves face by not joining Obor, while ignoring the domestic messaging in China of BCIM being ‘Obor-minus’.
  • The strategic containment borrows from a US Cold War template. The closest point between the US and the Soviet Union was in the Bering Straits, where the two were separated by a mere 90 km. Yet, the US kept the Soviet Union bogged down in Europe, seldom — if at all — paying attention to the straits. In the Indian iteration, India needs to turn the South China Sea into the Fulda Gap and the Himalayas into the Bering Straits. India’s fear has always been ‘What if China does the same in the Indian Ocean’? This is where our policymakers have a clear decision to make and cannot afford to dither.


Sources: et.


Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


‘Rukmini’ keeps eye on dancing ‘dragon’ at sea


With China increasing its naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region amid the ongoing Sikkim stand-off, the Indian Navy is keeping an eye on the ‘dragon’ with the help of its ‘eye in the sky’, Gsat-7 also called Rukmini, the Navy’s own dedicated military satellite that was launched in September 2013.


What you need to know about Rukmini?

  • It has helped the Navy monitor the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as it has a nearly 2,000 nautical mile ‘footprint’.
  • The multi-band communication-cum surveillance satellite, which is operating from the geo-stationary orbit (at 36,000km altitude), provides real-time inputs to naval warships, submarines and maritime aircraft and networking capabilities to its naval assets on the high seas.
  • With the help of the shore-based operational centres, ‘Rukmini’ (also called INSAT-4F) has not only helped the Navy keep an eye on both Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal but also helped the force increase its communication and surveillance capabilities from Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait, which together is equivalent to almost 70% of the IOR.
  • Rukmini, which provides wide range of service spectrum from low bit rate voice to high bit rate data communication, has given the Navy an integrated platform and helped it overcome the limitation of ‘line of sight’ (the straight path of signal when unobstructed by the horizon). With the help of this ‘eye in the sky’, the Army, too, gets vital inputs about over-the-land movements.


Sources: et.


Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Centre may partially lift AFSPA


The Centre is considering partial removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Home Ministry has asked the States for their views on AFSPA withdrawal and said that it was open to reviewing the stringent law in other States like Manipur.


What is AFSPA?

AFSPA, enacted in 1958, gives powers to the army and state and central police forces to shoot to kill, search houses and destroy any property that is “likely” to be used by insurgents in areas declared as “disturbed” by the home ministry.

  • The Act provides army personnel with safeguards against malicious, vindictive and frivolous prosecution.
  • Security forces can “arrest without warrant” a person, who has committed or even “about to commit a cognizable offence” even on “reasonable suspicion”.


What are ‘disturbed’ areas?

The state or central government considers those areas as ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.”


How is a region declared ‘disturbed’?

Section (3) of the Afspa empowers the governor of the state or Union territory to issue an official notification in The Gazette of India, following which the Centre has the authority to send in armed forces for civilian aid. Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.


AFSPA in force:

Currently, it is effective in the whole of Nagaland, Assam, Manipur (excluding the seven Assembly constituencies of Imphal). In Arunachal Pradesh, it is in force in 16 police stations and in Tirap, Longding and Changlang districts bordering Assam. Tripura withdrew AFSPA in 2015. It is not in force in Meghalaya (except 20 kilometre area along Assam border) and Mizoram.


Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Drug-resistant TB higher among children than expected: report


While detection of tuberculosis (TB) in children remains a challenge, it has now emerged that Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB is higher among children than expected. This has been described as a “worrying trend” by the Union Health Ministry.

  • As many as 5,500 of over 76,000 children tested in nine cities have been diagnosed with TB. 9% of these paediatric TB cases have been diagnosed to have MDR TB.



What is MDR TB?

Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR TB) is a specific form of TB that does not respond to “ordinary” TB treatment. As a result it is difficult to treat and needs specialised treatment.


What Causes MDR TB?

MDR TB is caused by the development of TB bacteria, which have become resistant to ordinary TB drugs.

This occurs due to various reasons, including:

  • As a result of inadequate or irregular management of “ordinary” TB – either by using inappropriate drug combinations or by using single drugs for “ordinary” TB.
  • Being exposed to MDR TB by someone already infected, you can develop the same type of MDR TB.
  • Persons not completing their routine TB treatment and having to restart on various occasions can also develop MDR TB. They are known as ‘defaulters’.

Sources: the hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Delhi Dialogue 9:

  • The 9th edition of the Delhi Dialogue was recently held in New Delhi. The Delhi Dialogue is an annual event to discuss politico-security, economic and socio-cultural engagement between ASEAN and India. It has been held annually since 2009.
  • The theme for Delhi Dialogue 9 is “ASEAN-India Relations: Charting the Course for the Next 25 Years”.
  • Delhi Dialogue is a conference in which policymakers converge to discuss a range of issues relating to India-Asean relations.
  • The Delhi Dialogue is being organised by the MEA in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), and other bodies of the Asean countries.