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Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 20 November 2019


Insights Daily Current Affairs + PIB: 20 November 2019


Table of contents:

 

GS Paper 1:

  1. Rani Lakshmibai.

 

GS Paper 2:

  1. Plague.
  2. Mizoram revokes Forest Rights Act.
  3. West Bank and issues associated.
  4. Uighur detention camps.

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana.
  2. What is deposit insurance?
  3. NATGRID

 


 

GS Paper 1:

 

Topics Covered:

Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Rani Lakshmibai

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Rani Lakshmibai- legacy and related facts, What is Doctrine of Lapse?

 

Context: 19th November 2019 marks the 191st birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai.

 

About Rani Lakshmibai:

  • Born on November 19, 1828, as Manikarnika Tambe in
  • Rani was married to the King of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Newalkar in 1842.

 

The war between the British and Rani Lakshmibai:

  • She had a son Damodar Rao, who died within four months of his birth. Following the death of the infant, her husband adopted a cousin’s child Anand Rao, who was renamed Damodar Rao a day prior to the death of the Maharaja.
  • Lord Dalhousie refused to acknowledge the child and applied the Doctrine of Lapse, and annexed the state. However, the Rani refused to accept the Lord Dalhousie’s decision.
  • This led to a fight between the two. The Rani of Jhansi gave a tough fight to the British during the two weeks siege of the city.
  • The queen died while fighting a squadron of the 8th Hussars under Captain Heneage, on June 18, 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh of Gwalior.

 

What was the Doctrine of Lapse?

The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy followed widely by Lord Dalhousie when he was India’s Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.

  • According to this, any princely state under the direct or indirect (as a vassal) control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company
  • As per this, any adopted son of the Indian ruler could not be proclaimed as heir to the kingdom. This challenged the Indian ruler’s long-held authority to appoint an heir of their choice.

 

Sources: pib.

 


 

GS Paper 2:

 

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to health.

Plague

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Plague- causes, symptoms and prevention.

 

Context: Two people in Beijing were recently diagnosed with the pneumonic plague, which is known to be the most deadly version of the disease.

 

What is the plague?

The plague is a disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which is found in animals, particularly rodents.

It can be transmitted to humans through infected animals and fleas. 

In the Middle Ages (5th-15th century), plague was also known as the ‘Black Death’ as it was responsible for the deaths of millions of people in Europe. 

 

There are three types of plague:  

  1. Bubonic plague: This infects a person’s lymphatic system (which is a part of their immune system), causing inflammation in the lymph nodes. If left untreated, the bubonic plague can also convert into either pneumonic of septicemic plague. Its symptoms include fever, chills, weakness and headaches.  
  2. Pneumonic plague:According to WHO, pneumonic plague is the ‘most virulent form of plague’ and can be fatal within 24 to 72 hours. It occurs when the bacteria infects the lungs. It is the only type of plague that can be transmitted from human to human. Symptoms are chest pain, fever and cough. It is highly contagious and transmissible merely by coughing.  
  3. Septicemic plague: This is when the bacteria enters the blood stream and multiplies there.

 

If left untreated, pneumonic and bubonic plague can lead to septicemic plague. A person infected by septicemic plague may also notice their skin turning black.

 

How to treat and control plague?

The plague is a life-threatening disease but if caught early, can be treated with antibiotics. However, without prompt treatment, the disease can lead to serious illnesses and even death.

At times, antibiotics alone are not enough —additionally intravenous fluids and extra oxygen are required to treat a person.  

Since it is highly contagious, those who are infected with pneumonic plague are kept in isolation.

And people in close contact with the person infected are given a dose of antibiotics as a preventive measure.

Other preventive measures to curb a plague outbreak are to keep the rodent population in control with pest control measures, ensuring that surrounding areas are clear of stacks of wood that rodents feed on among others. 

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

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

 

Mizoram revokes Forest Rights Act

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of FRA.

For Mains: Why Mizoram revoked? Concerns associated.

 

Context: The Mizoram government has passed a resolution revoking the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA).

 

Special powers Under Article 371 (G):

Under Article 371 (G) of the Constitution, Mizoram has a special provision which makes it mandatory for all legislations of Parliament pertaining to land ownership and transfer to be first passed by the state’s assembly through a resolution before it can be implemented in the state.

The state government used this provision of the Constitution to pass a resolution to revoke FRA from the state.

 

What is the concern now?

The revocation is being seen as a misuse of Article 371 (G) by the state government.

According to the 2017 State of Forest Report by the Forest Survey of India, around 20% of the total 5,641 square kilometres of the forest land in Mizoram is “Unclassed Forest” which is under Autonomous District Councils.

The area of unclassed forest is lowest in Mizoram, among all North Eastern states. This also means that the potential for FRA implementation is also the highest in the state.

With a major portion of the geographical area of states like Mizoram under forest cover, and communities having ownership on those lands, revoking FRA can be seen as a means to keep the forest land with the forest departments for later diversion.

 

About Forest Rights Act (FRA):

  • The act was passed in December 2006.
  • It deals with the rights of forest-dwelling communities over land and other resources.
  • The Act grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities, partially correcting the injustice caused by the forest laws.

 

Rights under the Act:

  1. Title rights –Ownership to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares; ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family, meaning that no new lands are granted.
  2. Use rights –to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
  3. Relief and development rights –to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement; and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.
  4. Forest management rights –to protect forests and wildlife.

 

Eligibility:

Eligibility to get rights under the Act is confined to those who “primarily reside in forests” and who depend on forests and forest land for a livelihood.

Further, either the claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.

 

Process of recognition of rights:

  1. The Act provides that the gram sabha, or village assembly, will initially pass a resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised.
  2. This resolution is then screened and approved at the level of the sub-division (or taluka) and subsequently at the district level.
  3. The screening committees consist of three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments) and three elected members of the local body at that level. These committees also hear appeals.

 

Sources: the Hindu.


Topics Covered:

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

 

West Bank and issues associated

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Geographical locations of Gaza, Golan Heights, Sinai and Dead Sea.

For Mains: Issues associated, what do international laws say about this? What is the way out?

 

Context: The United States has told that it no longer thinks Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate international law. The new US view is different from that of most countries’ on this issue.

Previously, in 1978 and 1981, the US had taken opposite stands.

 

Where is West Bank?

It is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia, bordered by Jordan to the east and by the Green Line separating it and Israel on the south, west and north. The West Bank also contains a significant section of the western Dead Sea shore.

What is the dispute settlements here? Who lives there?

The West Bank was captured by Jordan after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Israel snatched it back during the Six Day War of 1967, and has occupied it ever since.

It has built some 130 formal settlements in the West Bank, and a similar number of smaller, informal settlements have mushroomed over the last 20-25 years.

Over 4 lakh Israeli settlers — many of them religious Zionists who claim a Biblical birthright over this land — now live here, along with some 26 lakh Palestinians.

 

Are these settlements illegal?

The United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council, and the International Court of Justice have said that the West Bank settlements are violative of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

Under the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court in 1998, such transfers constitute war crimes, as does the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.

 

What about the Jerusalem?

Under the Oslo Accords of the 1990s, both Israel and the Palestinians agreed that the status of settlements would be decided by negotiations. But the negotiations process has been all but dead for several years now.

Israel walked into East Jerusalem in 1967, and subsequently annexed it. For Israel, Jerusalem is non-negotiable. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Most of the world’s nations look at it as occupied territory.

 

Fact for prelims:

In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

 


Sources: Indian Express.

 


Topics Covered:

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

 

Uighur detention camps

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Who are Ulighurs and why are they unhappy with the Chinese government.

For Mains: Ethnic conflicts in China and its relevance for the world.

 

Context: For some months now, international concern has been growing about what China is doing to its Uighur population. Reports have emerged of China ‘homogenising’ the Uighurs.

 

What’s the issue now?

Around a million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims have been bundled into internment camps, where they are allegedly being schooled into giving up their identity, and assimilate better in the communist country dominated by the Han Chinese.

China resolutely denies all such allegations, claiming the camps to be ‘educational centres’ where the Uighurs are being cured of “extremist thoughts” and radicalisation, and learning vocational skills.

Who are Uighurs?

Uighurs are a Muslim minority community concentrated in the country’s northwestern Xinjiang province.

They claim closer ethnic ties to Turkey and other central Asian countries than to China, by brute — and brutal — force.

 

Why is China targeting the Uighurs?

Xinjiang is technically an autonomous region within China — its largest region, rich in minerals, and sharing borders with eight countries, including India, Pakistan, Russia and Afghanistan.

  • Over the past few decades, as economic prosperity has come to Xinjiang, it has brought with it in large numbers the majority Han Chinese, who have cornered the better jobs, and left the Uighurs feeling their livelihoods and identity were under threat.
  • This led to sporadic violence, in 2009 culminating in a riot that killed 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, in the region’s capital Urumqi. And many other violent incidents have taken place since then.
  • Beijing also says Uighur groups want to establish an independent state and, because of the Uighurs’ cultural ties to their neighbours, leaders fear that elements in places like Pakistan may back a separatist movement in Xinjiang.
  • Therefore, the Chinese policy seems to have been one of treating the entire community as suspect, and launching a systematic project to chip away at every marker of a distinct Uighur identity.

 

Facts for Prelims:

Xinjiang shares borders with Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

 

Sources: Indian Express.

 


GS Paper 3:

 

Topics Covered:

Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

 

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: The scheme- features, significance, need and potential?

 

Context: As per the latest data, over 18 Lakh Farmers are registered under PM KISAN MAAN DHAN YOJANA.

 

About the scheme:

Aim: To improve the life of small and marginal farmers of the country.

 

Salient features of the scheme:

  • The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years.
  • monthly pension of Rs. 3000/–will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs.3000/- upon making separate contributions to the Fund.
  • Initial contribution:The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry, in the Pension Fund till they reach the retirement date i.e. the age of 60 years.
  • The Central Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Managerand responsible for Pension pay out.
  • If there is no spouse, then total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee.
  • If the farmer dies after the retirement date, the spouse will receive 50% of the pension as Family Pension.
  • After the death of both the farmer and the spouse, the accumulated corpus shall be credited back to the Pension Fund.
  • The beneficiaries may opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions.
  • In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest.

 

Need for and Significance of the scheme:

It is expected that at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector will avail the benefit of the scheme within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world.

 

Sources: pib.


 

Topics Covered:

  1. Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

What is deposit insurance?

 

What to study?

For Prelims: What is Deposit Insurance? How is it regulated?

For Mains: Reforms needed.

 

Context: With the failure of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank reigniting the debate on the low level of insurance for deposits held by customers in banks in India, the central government now plans to raise the cover. A legislation in this regard is likely in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

 

What is deposit insurance? How is it regulated in India?

Deposit insurance is providing insurance protection to the depositor’s money by receiving a premium.

The government has set up Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) under RBI to protect depositors if a bank fails.

Every insured bank pays premium amounting to 0.001% of its deposits to DICGC every year.

 

What happens to depositors’ money when a bank fails?

When a bank is liquidated, depositors are entitled to receive an insurance amount of ₹1 lakh per individual from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC).

The ₹1 lakh insurance limit includes both principal and interest dues across your savings bank accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits and recurring deposits held with the bank. 

 

What is the procedure for depositors to claim the money from a failed bank? 

The DICGC does not deal directly with depositors.

  1. The RBI (or the Registrar), on directing that a bank be liquidated, appoints an official liquidator to oversee the winding up process. 
  2. Under the DICGC Act, the liquidator is supposed to hand over a list of all the insured depositors (with their dues) to the DICGC within three months of taking charge.
  3. The DICGC is supposed to pay these dues within two months of receiving this list. 

In FY19, it took an average 1,425 days for the DICGC to receive and settle the first claims on a de-registered bank.

 

Who are insured by the DICGC?

The corporation covers all commercial and co-operative banks, except in Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Besides, Only primary cooperative societies are not insured by the DICGC.

The DICGC does not include the following types of deposits:

  1. Deposits of foreign governments.
  2. Deposits of central/state governments.
  3. Inter-bank deposits.
  4. Deposits of the state land development banks with the state co-operative bank.
  5. Any amount due on account of any deposit received outside India.
  6. Any amount specifically exempted by the DICGC with previous approval of RBI.

 

Reforms necessary?

  1. Enhance the insurance cover and the insured amount.
  2. Allow private players to provide insurance cover.
  3. Reduce the time delay in settling claims.

 

Sources: Indian Express.


Topics covered:

  1. Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges.

 

NATGRID

 

What to study?

For Prelims: NATGRID- features.

For Mains: Significance, need for and criticisms.

 

Context: The ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project will be operational by December 31, 2020.

 

What is NATGRID?

  • It is an ambitious counter terrorism programme.
  • It will utilise technologies like Big Data and analytics to study and analyse the huge amounts of data from various intelligence and enforcement agencies to help track suspected terrorists and prevent terrorist attacks.
  • It will connect, in different phases, data providing organisations and users besides developing a legal structure through which information can be accessed by the law enforcement agencies.
  • NATGRID is a post Mumbai 26/11 attack measure.

 

Who can access the data?

The database would be accessible to authorised persons from 11 agencies on a case-to-case basis, and only for professional investigations into suspected cases of terrorism.

Criticisms:

  1. NATGRID is facing opposition on charges of possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information.
  2. Its efficacy in preventing terror has also been questioned given that no state agency or police force has access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action.
  3. According to few experts, digital databases such as NATGRID can be misused. Over the last two decades, the very digital tools that terrorists use have also become great weapons to fight the ideologies of violence.
  4. Intelligence agencies have also opposed amid fears that it would impinge on their territory and possibly result in leaks on the leads they were working on to other agencies.

 

Why do we need NATGRID?

  1. The danger from not having a sophisticated tool like the NATGRID is that it forces the police to rely on harsh and coercive means to extract information in a crude and degrading fashion.
  2. After every terrorist incident, it goes about rounding up suspects—many of who are innocent. If, instead, a pattern search and recognition system were in place, these violations of human rights would be much fewer.
  3. Natgrid would also help the Intelligence Bureau keep a tab on persons with suspicious backgrounds.
  4. The police would have access to all his data and any movement by this person would also be tracked with the help of this data base.

 

Sources: the hindu.