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[Mission 2022] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 09 June 2022

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

 

Table of Contents:

 

GS Paper 2:

1. Contempt of Court.

2. BIMSTEC.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. What is the RBI’s MPC?

2. Lithium.

3. Yamuna river pollution.

4. Common survey to count elephants and tigers.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. World Oceans Day 2022.


Contempt of Court:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

 

Context:

The Supreme Court has threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the chief secretary of Telangana if the state government failed to deposit a cost of ₹2.5 lakh within two weeks.

 

What’s the issue?

  • The cost was imposed by the apex court in an April 2020 judgment striking down a law passed by the unified Andhra Pradesh government reserving 100% teacher posts for local scheduled tribes in schools situated in their areas within the state.
  • The Telangana government had delayed paying its share of the cost as the top court in its judgment of April 22, 2020 apportioned the cost of ₹5 lakh to be paid equally by the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

 

What is Contempt?

While the basic idea of a contempt law is to punish those who do not respect the orders of the courts, in the Indian context, contempt is also used to punish speech that lowers the dignity of the court and interferes with the administration of justice.

 

Contempt of court can be of two kinds:

  1. Civil, that is the willful disobedience of a court order or judgment or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
  2. Criminal, that is written or spoken words or any act that scandalises the court or lowers its authority or prejudices or interferes with the due course of a judicial proceeding or interferes/obstructs the administration of justice.

 

Relevant provisions:

  • Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt.
  • Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of the High Court to punish contempts of its subordinate courts.
  • The Constitution also includes contempt of court as a reasonable restriction to the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19, along with elements like public order and defamation.

 

Why courts need contempt powers?

  • To ensure their orders are implemented.
  • To sustain the independent nature of the judiciary itself.
    • While the judiciary issues orders, they are implemented by the government or private parties. If the courts are unable to enforce their orders, then the rule of law itself will come to grinding halt.

 

Issues with Contempt Law:

Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution gives the right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens, while “contempt provisions” curb people’s freedom to speak against the court’s functioning.

The law is very subjective which might be used by the judiciary arbitrarily to suppress their criticism by the public.

 

Analysis of Bhushan’s case:

The suo motu contempt proceedings initiated by a bench of the Supreme Court against Mr. Bhushan constitutes an abuse of the court’s contempt jurisdiction, which—for good reason—is to be exercised sparingly and with circumspection.

It is because, according to some experts, there is nothing in Mr. Bhushan’s tweets that qualify as contempt of Court.

  • His tweets are an exercise of his fundamental right under Article 19 (1) (a) to freely express himself by way of comment and criticism on the conduct of the CJI as a private citizen.
  • Also, these tweets in question appear to be in the realm of perception and comment and don’t seem to have transgressed into contempt. The general principle on contempt is that one can criticise a judgment but you can’t attribute motives to the judge.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Powers of SC vs HCs wrt Contempt cases.
  2. Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  3. Changes brought about by Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006.

Mains Link:

Discuss how contempt cases are handled by Supreme Court in India.

 

Q. 1) Consider the following statements:

  1. Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt.
  2. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of the High Court to punish contempts of its subordinate courts.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: the Hindu

BIMSTEC:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Important International Institutions.

 

Context:

June 6 marked the completion of 25 years since the 1997 Bangkok Declaration launched a modest grouping (of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand), with the acronym, BIST-EC.

  • Three countries (Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar) joined it later to make it the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

 

Key achievements:

  1. It has prioritised the sectors of cooperation, reducing them from the unwieldy 14 to the more manageable seven, with each member-state serving as the lead country for the assigned sector.
  2. It has taken measures to strengthen the Secretariat, although some members are yet to extend adequate personnel support to it.
  3. The grouping has also registered progress in combating terrorism, forging security cooperation, and creating mechanisms and practices for the better management of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

 

Challenges ahead:

  • Continuing inability to produce a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) 18 years after the signing of the Framework Agreement.
  • Only limited progress has been achieved so far in terms of connectivity, despite the adoption of the Master Plan for Connectivity supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • The movement towards establishing the BIMSTEC Development Fund is minimal.

 

 

What is BIMSTEC?

In an effort to integrate the region, the grouping was formed in 1997, originally with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and later included Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan.

  • BIMSTEC, which now includes five countries from South Asia and two from ASEAN, is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes all the major countries of South Asia, except Maldives, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

Why does the region matter?

  • Over one-fifth (22%) of the world’s population live in the seven countries around it, and they have a combined GDP close to $2.7 trillion.
  • The Bay also has vast untapped natural resources. One-fourth of the world’s traded goods cross the Bay every year.

 

Why is BIMSTEC important for India?

As the region’s largest economy, India has a lot at stake.

  • BIMSTEC connects not only South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal.
  • For India, it is a natural platform to fulfil our key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’.
  • For New Delhi, one key reason for engagement is in the vast potential that is unlocked with stronger connectivity. Almost 300 million people, or roughly one-quarter of India’s population, live in the four coastal states adjacent to the Bay of Bengal (Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal).
  • From the strategic perspective, the Bay of Bengal, a funnel to the Malacca straits, has emerged a key theatre for an increasingly assertive China in maintaining its access route to the Indian Ocean.
  • As China mounts assertive activities in the Bay of Bengal region, with increased submarine movement and ship visits in the Indian Ocean, it is in India’s interest to consolidate its internal engagement among the BIMSTEC countries.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Bimstec.
  2. Members.
  3. Objectives.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Bimstec for India.

 

Current Affairs

Q. 2) BIMSTEC includes:

  1. Maldives.
  2. Afghanistan.
  3. Pakistan.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 and 3 only.
  3. 1 and 3 only.
  4. All of the above.

Sources: the Hindu.

What is the RBI’s MPC?

GS Paper 3:

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

 

Context:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its bimonthly policy review meeting increased the key repo rate by 50 basis points, but made no changes in the cash reserve ratio.

 

Withdrawal Of Accommodative Policy:

The MPC also decided to remain focused on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation remains within target, going forward, while supporting growth.

  • This clearly indicates that the RBI is in no mood to continue with an accommodative stance, and it is most likely to increase the rate in its next policy meeting in August 2022.

 

What is an accommodative policy stance?

An accommodative stance means the central bank is prepared to expand the money supply to boost economic growth. The central bank, during an accommodative policy period, is willing to cut the interest rates.

 

What is Repo Rate?

Repo stands for ‘Repurchasing Option’. It refers to the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the RBI in case of shortage of funds.

  • It is one of the main tools of RBI to keep inflation under control.

 

Current Affairs

 

About MPC:

The RBI has a government-constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which is tasked with framing monetary policy using tools like the repo rate, reverse repo rate, bank rate, cash reserve ratio (CRR).

  • It has been instituted by the Central Government of India under Section 45ZB of the RBI Act that was amended in 1934.

 

Functions:

The MPC is entrusted with the responsibility of deciding the different policy rates including MSF, Repo Rate, Reverse Repo Rate, and Liquidity Adjustment Facility.

 

Composition of MPC:

  • The committee will have six members. Of the six members, the government will nominate three. No government official will be nominated to the MPC.
  • The other three members would be from the RBI with the governor being the ex-officio chairperson. Deputy governor of RBI in charge of the monetary policy will be a member, as also an executive director of the central bank.

 

Selection and term of members:

Selection: The government nominees to the MPC will be selected by a Search-cum-Selection Committee under Cabinet Secretary with RBI Governor and Economic Affairs Secretary and three experts in the field of economics or banking or finance or monetary policy as its members.

Term: Members of the MPC will be appointed for a period of four years and shall not be eligible for reappointment.

 

How decisions are made?

Decisions will be taken by majority vote with each member having a vote.

RBI governor’s role: The RBI Governor will chair the committee. The governor, however, will not enjoy a veto power to overrule the other panel members, but will have a casting vote in case of a tie.

 

What is RBI Monetary Policy?
The term ‘Monetary Policy’ is the Reserve Bank of India’s policy pertaining to the deployment of monetary resources under its control for the purpose of achieving GDP growth and lowering the inflation rate.

The Reserve Bank of India Act 1934 empowers the RBI to make monetary policy.

 

What the Monetary Policy intends to achieve?
As per the suggestions made by Chakravarty Committee, aspects such as price stability, economic growth, equity, social justice, and encouraging the growth of new financial enterprises are some crucial roles connected to the monetary policy of India.

  • While the Government of India tries to accelerate the GDP growth rate of India, the RBI keeps trying to bring down the rate of inflation within a sustainable limit.
  • In order to achieve its main objectives, the Monetary Policy Committee determines the ideal policy interest rate that will help achieve the inflation target in front of the country.

 

Monetary Policy Instruments and how they are managed?

Monetary policy instruments are of two types namely qualitative instruments and quantitative instruments.

The list of quantitative instruments include Open Market Operations, Bank Rate, Repo Rate, Reverse Repo Rate, Cash Reserve Ratio, Statutory Liquidity Ratio, Marginal standing facility and Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF).

Qualitative Instruments refer to direct action, change in the margin money and moral suasion.

 

Q. 3) Consider the following statements:

  1. Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was constituted by the RBI on the recommendation of Supreme Court of India.
  2. The RBI Governor will chair the committee.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express.

Lithium:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Developments in science and technology.

 

Context:

With the EV industry growing rapidly, the demand for lithium, an essential resource for EV battery makers, has surged along.

 

Significance:

It is estimated that if the entirety of ore from the African mines are extracted, it will be sufficient to meet the demand for at least 27.78 million vehicles with 60 kWh batteries.

 

About Lithium:

It is a soft, silvery-white metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.

It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. It is an alkali metal and a rare metal.

 

Key Characteristics and Properties:

  • It has the highest specific heat capacity of any solid element.
  • Lithium’s single balance electron allows it to be a good conductor of electricity.
  • It is flammable and can even explode when exposed to air and water.

 

Uses:

  1. Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.
  2. The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.

 

Prescribed substance:

The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits AMD for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.

  • Under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, “Prescribed Substance” means any substance including any mineral which the Central Government may, by notification, prescribe, being a substance which in its opinion is or may be used for the production or use of atomic energy or research into matters connected therewith and includes uranium, plutonium, thorium, beryllium, deuterium or any of their respective derivatives or compounds or any other materials containing any of the aforesaid substances.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Lithium.
  2. Properties.
  3. Uses.
  4. Lithium reserves in India.
  5. Lithium reserves across the world.

Mains Link:

Discuss the advantages of lithium ion batteries.

 

Q. 4) Consider the following statements:

  1. Lithium is a hard, silvery-white metal.
  2. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express.

Common survey to count elephants and big cats:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

The government of India, for the first time this year, will present a unified count of the tiger, leopard and elephant populations of the country.

 

Benefits of the new method:

Given that 90% of the area occupied by elephants and tigers is common, and once estimation methods are standardised, having a common survey can significantly save costs.

  • Also, the ‘head count’ method, or one currently deployed to count elephants was “obsolete” and frequently led to animals being double counted.

 

How are they counted currently?

Currently, the tiger survey is usually held once in four years and elephants are counted once in five years.

  1. Since 2006, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, which is affiliated to the Environment Ministry, has a standardised protocol in place that States then use to estimate tiger numbers. Based on sightings in camera traps and indirect estimation methods, tiger numbers are computed.
  2. Elephant numbers largely rely on States directly counting the number of elephants. In recent years, techniques such as analysing dung samples have also been deployed to estimate birth rates and population trends in elephants.

 

Numbers:

  • According to the most recent 2018-19 survey, there were 2,967 tigers in India.
  • According to the last count in 2017, there were 29,964 elephants in India.

 

Efforts aimed at conservation of Elephants and their corridors at all- India level:

  • ‘Gaj Yatra’, a nationwide campaign to protect elephants, was launched on the occasion of World Elephant Day in 2017. The campaign is planned to cover 12 elephant range states.
  • The campaign aims to create awareness about elephant corridors to encourage free movement in their habitat.

 

Forest Ministry guide to managing human-elephant conflict (Best Practices):

  1. Retaining elephants in their natural habitats by creating water sources and management of forest fires.
  2. Elephant Proof trenches in Tamil Nadu.
  3. Hanging fences and rubble walls in Karnataka.
  4. Use of chili smoke in north Bengal and playing the sound of bees or carnivores in Assam.
  5. Use of technology: Individual identification, monitoring of elephants in south Bengal and sending SMS alerts to warn of elephant presence.

 

Efforts by Private Organizations in this regard:

  • Asian Elephant Alliance, an umbrella initiative by five NGOs, had, last year, come together to secure 96 out of the 101 existing corridors used by elephants across 12 States in India.
  • NGOs Elephant Family, International Fund for Animal Welfare, IUCN Netherlands and World Land Trust have teamed up with Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) in the alliance.

 

About Asian Elephants:

  1. Asian elephants are listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
  2. More than 60% of the world’s elephant population is in India.
  3. Elephant is the Natural Heritage Animal of India.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants?

 

Have you heard of Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG)? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. IUCN conservation status of Asian Elephant.
  2. Elephant corridors in India.
  3. Calving period of elephants.

Mains Link:

Discuss the measures suggested by the Environment Ministry to manage man- elephant conflicts.

Sources: the Hindu.

Yamuna river pollution:

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Conservation related issues.

 

Context:

River activists have demanded prompt measures to save the Yamuna river.

 

Demands by activists:

  1. Construct the Rubber check dam downstream of the Taj Mahal.
  2. Revisit the 1994 Yamuna water distribution agreement to ensure a larger share of Yamuna water for Agra and Mathura.
  3. Frame a comprehensive national rivers policy.
  4. Constitute a central rivers authority for management of all big rivers in the country.

 

Why is Yamuna so polluted?

  1. The sewage treatment plants of Delhi are major contributors of the Pollutants being discharged in the river.
  2. Pollutants discharge from different types of industry is also a major issue.
  3. Agriculture activities along the banks of the river in Delhi contributes to river pollution.
  4. Agricultural waste and pesticide discharge from the Haryana field also contributes to the pollution.
  5. The low volume of water flow in the river causes the pollutants to accumulate and raise the pollution level.

 

About Yamuna River:

  • The river Yamuna is a major tributary of river Ganges.
  • Originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
  • It meets the Ganges at the Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
  • Tributaries: Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the right to clean the environment, and further, pollution-free water, has been protected under the broad rubric of the right to life?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Yamuna and its tributaries.
  2. Riparian states.
  3. Pollutants and their sources.

Mains Link:

Discuss about the efforts by the Government to prevent river pollution in India.

 

Q. 5) Consider the following statements:

  1. River Yamuna originates near Bandarpoonch peaks.
  2. It meets the Ganges at the Sangam in Prayagraj.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 only.
  3. Both.
  4. None.

Sources: Indian Express

Facts for Prelims:

 

World Oceans Day 2022:

  • World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8 every year.
  • Theme for 2022: “Revitalization: collective action for the ocean”.
  • The concept of World Oceans Day was first proposed by the UN in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Importance of Oceans:

  • Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface and hold 97% of the planet’s water.
  • They help feed the world and provide most of the oxygen.
  • A variety of life-saving medicinal compounds, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs have been discovered in the oceans.
  • The ocean is vital to the world’s economy, with more than 90% of trade using sea routes and as a source of jobs for millions of people.

 

Threats to Oceans:

  • Pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and rising ocean acidity due to the extensive use of fossil fuels.
  • Plastic waste is also one of the biggest threats faced by the oceans today.

 

 

Answers to Questions asked Yesterday:

Q.1) C.

Q.2) C.

Q.3) D.

Q.4) D.

Q.5) D.

Q.6) A.


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