Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 December 2017


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 11 December 2017


GS Paper 1:

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


bodhi parva


India is hosting the 2017 edition of “Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” in New Delhi as part of celebrations of 20th Anniversary of BIMSTEC. The festival is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) along with Teamwork Arts.

Why This Festival?
To emphasise and raise awareness of this rich and common heritage and mark the 20th anniversary of this unique organisation group, a BIMSTEC Buddhism Festival ‘’Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Festival of Buddhist Heritage” has been presented by the BIMSTEC division of the Ministry of External Affairs and produced by Teamwork Arts.
A mélange of international performances, films, art, chanting, meditation and philosophical dialogues by known practitioners and scholars will bring out the essence of Buddhism. The universal message of peace and tolerance practiced by Buddhism can address the growing sense of inadequacy in the face of changes and conflicts that people and the world face.

About Bodhi Parva:
‘’Bodhi Parva: BIMSTEC Buddhist Heritage Festival” aims to look at the different aspects of Buddhism, in today’s context. BIMSTEC has a deep connect with Buddhism, which originated in South Asia and then travelled and rooted itself in South East Asia. Buddhism constitutes a bridge between South and South-East Asia.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. The BIMSTEC comprises of seven countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economical cooperation among South Asian and South East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The headquarters of BIMSTEC is in Dhaka.

Sources: pib.



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

27th Vyas Samman


Eminent Hindi writer Mamta Kalia will be honoured with literary award Vyas Samman for year 2017 for her novel “Dukkham Sukkham”. The author has earlier received “Yashpal Katha Samman” from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan, “Sahitya Bhushan Samman” and “Ram Manohar Lohia Samman”.

About Vyas Samman awards- facts:
• The Vyas Samman is given to a Hindi literary work published in the past 10 years.
• Eminent literary critic and poet Ram Vilas Sharma is the first recipient of this award in 1991.
• The writer will receive an amount of Rs 3.5 lakh as the prize money.
• It is awarded annually by the K.K. Birla Foundation.

Sources: the hindu.



Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.

Triple talaq draft bill




Uttar Pradesh has become the first state to endorse the centre’s draft bill that makes instant triple talaq a cognisable and non-bailable offence.

The Supreme Court had on August 22 struck down triple talaq, calling the practice unconstitutional and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution, which provides for equality before the law. Following this, the Centre came out with the draft Bill on triple talaq. It has been endorsed by the Cabinet. Since marriage and divorce are subjects that fall under the concurrent list of the Constitution, the law ministry has also written to state governments seeking their views “urgently” on the proposed legislation.

What is triple talaq?
Talaq-e-biddat is a custom under Muslim personal law that allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” thrice.

Key features of the Draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’:
• As per the draft, tripe talaq or talaq-e-biddat will be a “cognisable and non-bailable” offence punishable with three years imprisonment and the wife will be entitled to maintenance and the custody of children if they are minor.
• The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue.
• Under the draft law, triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.
• The provision of subsistence allowance and custody has been made to ensure that in case the husband asks the wife to leave the house she should have legal protection.

Sources: the hindu.



Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

Solar wind flows

solar storms


A group of researchers from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, have, for the first time, figured out the conditions under which certain types of solar storms can flow towards the earth and affect its atmosphere.

What are solar storms?
Solar storms are violent events on the sun which can temporarily distort the earth’s magnetosphere – the region around the earth which is influenced by its magnetic field.

Effects of solar storms:
These temporary disturbances, called geomagnetic storms, can generate shock waves in the interplanetary medium that can accelerate charged particles to very high energies and which, in turn, can harm the satellites placed by humans in space.

Such solar storms have two causes: Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and Corotating Interaction Regions (CIR).
CMEs are huge explosions of charged particles extending beyond the sun’s corona or outer layer and can be visibly observed. CMEs can be detected by a coronagraph when they are ejected from the Sun.
CIRs: Charged particles are being spewed continually out of the sun’s corona, forming the solar wind. Some parts of these winds move faster than others. Since they contain charged particles in a plasma state, these different regions physically interact with each other to form wavelike disturbances called CIRs that emanate from the sun and spiral outwards. CIRs are generated in the interplanetary medium and there are no visual signatures for CIRs. They are called “corotating” interaction regions as they rotate along with the sun, attached to it at one end.

Sources: the hindu.



GS Paper 2:

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI)


Context: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has notified the regulations for handling of grievances and complaints against Insolvency-related service providers.

• The regulations enable a stakeholder, namely, debtor, creditor, claimant, service provider, resolution applicant or any other person having an interest in an insolvency resolution, liquidation or bankruptcy transaction to file a grievance or a complaint against service provider.
• The service provider could be an insolvency professional agency, Insolvency professional, Insolvency professional entity or information utility.
• The regulations provide for an objective and transparent procedure for disposal of grievances and complaints by the IBBI. The regulations do not spare a mischievous service provider. At the same time, they don’t also harass an innocent service provider.

About IBBI:
What is it?
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India was set up on 1st October 2016 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code). It is a unique regulator: regulates a profession as well as transactions.

• It has regulatory oversight over the Insolvency Professionals, Insolvency Professional Agencies and Information Utilities.
• It writes and enforces rules for transactions, namely, corporate insolvency resolution, corporate liquidation, individual insolvency resolution and individual bankruptcy under the Code.
• It is a key pillar of the ecosystem responsible for implementation of the Code that consolidates and amends the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals.
• This is done in a time bound manner for maximization of the value of assets of such persons, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders.

Organizational structure of IBBI:
The IBBI has a ten-member board including a Chairman. Following is the structure of the IBBI:
• One Chairperson.
• Three members from Central Government officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary or equivalent.
• One nominated member from the RBI.
• Five members nominated by the Central Government; of these, three shall be whole-time members.

Sources: pib.



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

Why are there disparities between States on diseases?


disease and states

Context: The India State-Level Disease Burden report, a first-of-its-kind assessment of causes for diseases in each State from 1990 to 2016, was released recently. The report is the result of two years of intense scientific work and collaborative effort. The Global Burden of Disease methodology was used for this analysis, which is the most widely used disease burden estimation approach globally.

Worrying trends:
• Scientists evaluated the diseases causing the most premature deaths and ill-health in each State. They found out that life expectancy at birth in the country has improved significantly. However, the report indicated many health inequalities among States.
• The report notes that while there was a fall in the under-five mortality in every State there was also a four-fold difference in the rate of improvement among them. The per person burden from many of the leading infectious and non-communicable diseases varied 5-10 times between States.
• This can be attributed to differences in the development status, environment, lifestyle patterns, preventive health measures and curative health services between the States. In the most developed States this transition took place about 30 years ago, but in the poorest States this transition has taken place only over the past few years.

Who suffers most?
Infectious and childhood diseases continue to be significant problems in the poor Empowered Action Group States of north India (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and Assam), which still contributes 37-43% of the total disease burden. These diseases are responsible for the inordinately high burden of premature deaths and morbidity suffered by children under five years of age in these States.
The results show that non-communicable disease and injuries have together overtaken infectious and childhood diseases in terms of disease burden in every State, but the magnitude of this transition varies markedly between the poor States and the more developed States.

Usefulness of this report:
The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative will update estimates annually for each State based on new data that become available. It will also provide more detailed findings: for example, next year it plans to report the rural-urban differences in disease burden for each State. Detailed topic-specific reports and publications will be produced for major diseases and risk factors for deeper insights to plan their control.
The policy applications of these findings include planning of State health budgets, prioritisation of interventions relevant to each State, informing the government’s Health Assurance Mission in each State, monitoring of health-related Sustainable Development Goals targets, and assessing the impact of large-scale interventions based on time trends of disease burden. In addition, the data gaps identified in this estimation process will inform which areas of the health information system of India need to be strengthened.

Way ahead:
The report should be used as an important tool for health planners in India to improve health of the people more effectively.

Sources: the hindu.



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

One nation, one education board




A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court has dismissed a petition which sought for “one nation, one education board” to end disparity in knowledge dissemination during the formative years of a child.

Need for a single education board:
The fundamental right to free and compulsory education under Article 21A includes a common education system where the “rich and the poor are educated under one roof.” However, the current education system under multiple boards did not provide equal opportunity to all.

The 2011 judgment:
Supreme Court’s dismissal of this petition is in contrast to a 2011 judgment by the Panchal Bench in the Tamil Nadu and Others versus K. Shyam Sunder and Others. In 2011, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in an appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu government, had held that a common syllabus, especially for children aged between six and 14, would achieve the “code of common culture.”
The 2011 judgment had held that the “right of a child should not be restricted only to free and compulsory education, but should be extended to have quality education without any discrimination on the ground of their economic, social and cultural background.” The court had also observed that Separate education facilities are inherently unequal and violate the doctrine of equality.

Tamil Nadu’s case:
In August 2011, Tamil Nadu became the first Indian state to have a common syllabus, textbooks and examinations. Prior to that, schools in the state were following four boards—the state board, Matriculation board, Oriental board, and the Anglo-Indian board. While the proposal was mooted a few years ago, the government managed to merge the four boards after a long legal battle. ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ as the common curriculum board is called is framed on the lines of National Curriculum Framework. This, however, does not include national boards like the CBSE and ICSE. While this was the first initiative of its kind, its success is yet to be measured in qualitative terms.

Way ahead:
The constitution of the new board requires a lot of thought and planning. The first concern is that the very credibility of our internal assessment is so low that how does one judge students? Moreover the heterogeneity of our schools – while some schools have the best of facilities and teachers, a large number of them don’t even have blackboards – is a huge impediment in standardisation of education. It is a good move, but there has to be some kind of assessment of the progress made by both the student and the school.

Sources: the hindu.



Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

ICAN receives Nobel Peace Prize

ican nobel 2017


The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) has received the Nobel Peace Prize. The leader of an Australian-founded group that received the Nobel Peace Prize has warned humanity is only “one impulsive tantrum” away from a nuclear catastrophe. ICAN had campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

About Ican:
Ican, a coalition of hundreds of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is 10 years old and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Ican set about an alternative approach – to raise popular awareness of the issue and to pressure governments to open up a new treaty for signature earlier this year that would seek an outright ban on nuclear weapons.
In July, after pressure from Ican, 122 nations backed a UN treaty designed to ban and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. But none of the nine known nuclear powers in the world – including the UK and the US – endorsed it.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:


India’s first energy-efficient railway station:
Kacheguda has earned the distinction of being the first energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station in the country. Kacheguda railway station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, 370 ceiling fans with Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors energy-efficient fans and 12 air conditioners with energy efficient inverter type ACs.
Kacheguda Railway station is a historic building and had completed 100 years. Situated in the heart of Hyderabad, it was built in 1916 by the Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway during the reign of Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam.