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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 02 September 2019

Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 02 September 2019

Table of contents:

GS Paper 1:

  1. Delhi under Firoz Shah Tuglaq: Reign of the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty.
  2. Munich Agreement.


GS Paper 2:

  1. PRESIDENT appoints new governors.
  2. Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).


GS Paper 3:

  1. ‘Build for Digital India’ programme.
  2. ‘Samudrayaan’ project.


Facts for Prelims:

  1. Country’s longest electrified rail tunnel between Cherlopalli and Rapuru.
  2. Kerala Champions Boat League.
  3. What is an Interpol Red Notice, what does it do?


GS Paper 1:

Topics covered:

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


Delhi under Firoz Shah Tuglaq: Reign of the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty


What to study?

For Prelims: Contributions and reign of Firoz Shah.

For Mains: Concerns associated with frequent renaming of places.


Context: Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium is set to be renamed Arun Jaitley Stadium after the former Finance Minister.

The stadium took its name from a 14th century fortress Firoz Shah Tughlaq.


About Firoz Shah Tughlaq:

  • Born in 1309 and ascended the throne of Delhi after the demise of his cousin Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq.
  • He was the third ruler of Tughlaq dynasty that ruled over Delhi from 1320 to 1412 AD. Tughlaq was in power from 1351 to 1388 AD.
  • He was the one who started the imposition of Jaziya.
  • He provided the principle of inheritance to the armed forces where the officers were permitted to rest and send their children in army in their place. However, they were not paid in real money but by land.
  • The British called him the ‘father of the irrigation department’ because of the many gardens and canals that he built.



  1. established the Diwan-i-Khairat — office for charity.
  2. established the Diwan-i-Bundagan — department of slave
  3. established Sarais (rest house) for the benefits of merchants and other travellers
  4. adopted the Iqtadari framework.
  5. Established four new towns, Firozabad, Fatehabad, Jaunpur and Hissar.
  6. established hospitals known as Darul-Shifa, Bimaristan or Shifa Khana.


He constructed canals from:

  1. Yamuna to the city of Hissar.
  2. Sutlej to the Ghaggar.
  3. Ghaggar to Firozabad.
  4. Mandvi and Sirmour Hills to Hansi in Haryana.


Taxes imposed under Firoz Shah Tughlaq:

  1. Kharaj: land tax which was equal to one-tenth of the produce of the land.
  2. Zakat: two and a half per cent tax on property realized from the Muslims.
  3. Kham: one-fifth of the booty captured (four-fifth was left for the soldiers).
  4. Jaziya: levied on the non-Muslim subjects, particularly the Hindus. Women and children were, however, exempted from the taxes.

Also levied other taxes like the irrigation tax, garden tax, octroi tax and the sales tax.


Sources: the Hindu.


Topics covered:

  1. History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawing of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.- their forms and effect on the society.


Munich Agreement


What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the agreement.

For Mains: A critical analysis.


Context: On September 1, 1939 — German troops marched into Poland, triggering the beginning of World War II.

Great Britain and France, which had assured help to Poland, declared war on Germany and its allies two days later, on September 3. The beginning of the War exposed to the world the folly of the Munich Agreement.


What is Munich Agreement?

  1. The Agreement was signed among Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain on September 29-30, 1938. Czechoslovakia, the country whose region was about to be annexed, was not officially party to the Agreement. It was forced to agree to the deal under pressure from Great Britain and France, which had a military alliance with the country.
  2. The Agreement allowed for the cessation to Germany of Sudetenland. The German occupation was to be done in four stages from October 1-10, 1938.
  3. The cessation in some places was subject to a plebiscite.
  4. The Czechoslovak government was supposed to release from their military and police forces within four weeks of the signing of the Agreement, any Sudeten Germans who wished to be released, and all Sudeten German prisoners.



  • Six months after the Munich Agreement was signed, Hitler went back on his commitments and invaded the whole of Czechoslovakia. War was on its way.
  • The agreement has been seen as a disastrous act of appeasement of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, and historical evidence that expansionist totalitarianism cannot be dealt with through placation.


Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper 2:

Topics covered:

  1. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.




What to study?

For Prelims: Constitutional provisions related to the office of governor.

For Mains: Significance and issues associated with the office of governor- is he merely a rubber stamp, comparison of powers with the President and frequent removals.


Context: By exercising his authority under Article 156 of the constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed new Governors for five states.


Governors of States in India:

The nominal head of a state, unlike the Chief Minister who is the real head of a state in India.

According to 7th Constitutional Amendment Act 1956, the same person can be the Governor of two or more states.

Appointment: The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president.

Removal: The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president on the advice of the prime minister of the country, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor. Thus, the term is subject to pleasure of the president.

There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.


Some discretionary powers are as follows:

  1. Can dissolve the legislative assembly if the chief minister advices him to do following a vote of no confidence. Following which, it is up to the Governor what he/ she would like to do.
  2. Can recommend the president about the failure of the constitutional machinery in the state.
  3. Can reserve a bill passed by the state legislature for president’s assent.
  4. Can appoint anybody as chief minister If there is no political party with a clear-cut majority in the assembly.
  5. Determines the amount payable by the Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to an autonomous Tribal District Council as royalty accruing from licenses for mineral exploration.
  6. Can seek information from the chief minister with regard to the administrative and legislative matters of the state.
  7. Can refuse to sign to an ordinary bill passed by the state legislature.


Problem with constitutional design:

The governor is merely appointed by the president on the advice of the Central government.

Unlike the president, a governor does not have a fixed term. He/she holds office at the pleasure of the ruling party in the centre.

Both the manner of the appointment and the uncertainty of tenure conspire to make the incumbent an object of the Central government in politically charged circumstances.


Sources: pib.

Topics covered:

  1. Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)


What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of AEOI and CRS.

For Mains: need for and the significance of AEOI.


Context: Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) Regime between Switzerland and India kicked off from September 1, 2019. Under this mechanism, India will start receiving information on all financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland, for the year 2018.


What does this mean for India, and how will the exchange of information be governed?

This is not a new measure. In 2016, India and Switzerland had signed an information-sharing deal on bank accounts, which was to come in effect from September 2019.

The step is likely to shed more light on the wealth Indians have stashed away in Swiss bank accounts, for so long governed by strict local rules of secrecy.

In 2018, data from Zurich-based Swiss National Bank (SNB) had shown that after declining for three years, money parked by Indians in Swiss Banks rose 50 per cent to CHF (Swiss Franc) 1.02 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017 over the previous year.


What is AEOI?

Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is systematic and periodic transmission of “bulk” taxpayer information by the source country to the residence country, which is possible under most of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) and Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC).

It aims to reduce global tax evasion

It is to be carried out under Common Reporting Standard (CRS) of OECD.

AEOI is the exchange of information between countries without having to request it.


Need for AEOI:

Tax payers operate cross border whereas tax administration is limited to national borders. This has helped tax evasion by shifting money to other countries by citizens. Both tax evasion and tax avoidance have escalated; facilitated by quick transfer of income from one country to another.

Vast amounts of money are kept offshore and go untaxed to the extent that taxpayers fail to comply with tax obligations in their home jurisdictions.

Tackling this cross national transfer of money to avoid and evade taxes indicate that national efforts are not enough to fight black money. Hence there is the need for tax cooperation and tax information exchanges between countries.


Significance and benefits of AEOI:

  1. Enables the discovery of formerly undetected tax evasion.  
  2. Enable governments to recover tax revenue lost to non-compliant taxpayers, and will further strengthen international efforts to increase transparency, cooperation, and accountability among financial institutions and tax administrations.
  3. Generate secondary benefits by increasing voluntary disclosures of concealed assets and by encouraging taxpayers to report all relevant information.


Sources: the Hindu.

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered:

  1. 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.


‘Build for Digital India’ programme


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Key features and significance of the programme.


Context: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Google have signed a statement of intent to roll-out ‘Build for Digital India’ programme.


Key features of the programme:

  1. The programme will give engineering students a platform to develop market-ready, technology-based solutions that address key social problems.
  2. Applicants will take part in online and offline learning opportunities on key technologies such as machine learning, cloud and android.
  3. These will be offered through Google’s Developer Student Club network and other Google Developer networks.
  4. Google will also offer mentorship sessions in product design, strategy and technology to the most promising products and prototypes.



This initiative will motivate college students across India to innovate and produce some good technology solutions for major social challenges of India.

The programme will provide great exposure to students in dealing with real world problems and develop deeper understanding of how newer technologies can be used to solve them.

Advanced new technologies such as machine learning and AI can help address at scale some of the toughest social challenges that India faces today.


Sources: pib.

Topics covered:

  1. 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.


‘Samudrayaan’ project


What to study?

For Prelims: Polymetallic nodules, features of Deep Sea Mission, ISA.

For Mains: Significance and relevance of such missions, usefulness for India’s energy security.


Context: India to undertake deep ocean mining with ‘Samudrayaan’ project.


About Samudrayaan:

It is a pilot project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences for deep ocean mining for rare minerals.

It proposes to send men into the deep sea in a submersible vehicle for ocean studies.

The project is expected to become a reality by 2021-22.

The project has been undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)



If the ‘Samudrayaan’ project is successful, India will join the league of developed nations in the exploration of minerals from oceans.

India could be the first developing country to undertake such a project. 

What are PMN?

Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea.

Composition: Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.

Potential: It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet the energy requirement of India for the next 100 years. It has been estimated that 380 million metric tonnes of polymetallic nodules are available at the bottom of the seas in the Central Indian Ocean.


Sources: the Hindu.

Facts for Prelims:


Country’s longest electrified rail tunnel:

Context: India’s longest electrified rail tunnel was recently inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh.

The 6.7 km long tunnel was constructed at a cost of Rs 437 crore and connects Cherlopalli and Rapuru.

Champions Boat League (CBL):

  • The Champions Boat League (CBL) has been conceived to transform the state’s legendary and historically-significant ‘vallamkali’ (snake boat races) into a world-class sporting event.
  • The snake boat, or ‘chundam vallam’ is essentially a long canoe that can seat up to 100 rowers and can have a length between 100 and 138 feet in length. 
  • Snake boat races owe their origins as far back as the 13th century when princely kingdoms, located in present-day Alappuzha along the backwaters, would have raging battles in the water. These battles used to be fought on the snake boats especially constructed for the purpose.


What is an Interpol Red Notice, what does it do?

  • Interpol describes an RN as “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action”.
  • RNs contain information that helps identify wanted persons, such as their names, dates of birth, nationality, and physical attributes such as the colour of their hair and eyes, as well as pictures and biometric data such as fingerprints, if they are available. RNs also mention the crime(s) they are wanted for.
  • An RN is published by Interpol at the request of a member country.