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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 27th February 2021

  • IASbaba
  • February 27, 2021
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


India Toy Fair 2021

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – I – Culture & GS – III – Economy

In news

  • The Indian Prime Minister will inaugurate The India Toy Fair 2021 on 27th February.

Key takeaways 

  • Aim: To boost toy manufacturing in India.
  • It shall bring together all stakeholders including buyers, sellers, students, teachers, designers etc. 
  • Sustainable linkages shall be created which will encourage dialogue for the overall development of the industry.

Do you know? 

  • Toycathon’ was recently established for innovative toys/games concepts.
  • Toycathon-2021 is conceived to challenge India’s innovative minds to conceptualize novel Toy and Games based on Bharatiya civilization, history, culture, mythology and ethos.

Integrated Bamboo Treatment Plant inaugurated

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Policies and Interventions & GS – III – Economy

In news

  • Integrated Bamboo Treatment Plant was inaugurated in the North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) in Byrnihat near Guwahati, Assam.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER)

Key takeaways 

  • The plant is based on vacuum-pressure-impregnation technique. 
  • Funded by: National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and North Eastern Council (NEC).
  • This is an initiative of the central government to make India self-reliant in bamboo industry and create employment in this sector.

Important value additions

  • The Union Territory of J & K will set up three Bamboo Clusters through collaboration from NECBDC. 
  • Under these clusters, Agarbatti, baskets and charcoal shall be produced respectively.
  • Home grown bamboo is exempt from the purview of the 100 year old Indian Forest Act. 
  • During the COVID-pandemic, the import duty on Agarbatti coming from other countries has been hiked to nearly 35%. 
  • This will discourage import of bamboo made Aggarbatties and encourage domestic production.

Related articles:

Bamboo shoots can be among cheapest immunity boosters

Bamboo Clusters launched


SWACHH ICONIC PLACES

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – I – Culture & GS – III – Environment

In news

  • 12 iconic sites under Phase IV of Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) were recently announced.
  • Ministry: The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and the concerned State/UT governments.

Important value additions

  • Aim: To transform the iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places as ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’ in India.
  • Objective: To achieve a distinctly higher level of Sanitation/Cleanliness at these places
  • The places are:
    1. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
    2. Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
    3. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
    4. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
    5. Ramdevra, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
    6. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Telangana
    7. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha
    8. Rock Garden, Chandigarh
    9. Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
    10. Banke Bihari Temple, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
    11. Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
    12. Kalighat Temple, West Bengal

Global Bio-India 2021

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Sci & Tech; Biotechnology

In news

  • The 2nd edition of Global Bio-India will be organised from 1-3 March 2021 on digital platform.
  • Objective: To showcase the strength and opportunities of the India’s biotechnology sector at national level and to the global community
  • Co-organised by: Department of Biotechnology along with its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with Invest India.

Key takeaways

  • Theme: “Transforming lives” 
  • Tag line: “Biosciences to Bioeconomy”
  • Representatives from 50+ countries shall participate. 
  • Switzerland will be the partner country and Karnataka as India’s state partner.
  • The first edition of Global Bio-India 2019 was organized at New Delhi.

LPG to be transported Through Inland Waterways

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Infrastructure

In news 

  • Now, LPG can be transported through Inland Waterways. 
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed MoU with MOL (Asia Oceania) Pvt. Ltd for transportation of LPG through National Waterways-1 and 2
  • Ministry: Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways

Key takeaways

  • MOL Group will invest for construction and operation under Make-in-India initiative.
  • This project will help reduce the carbon footprints, lowering the overall logistics cost.
  • It shall also contribute to UJJWALA scheme.
  • Significance Of Project: Currently, 60% of the LPG is transported through road. Strikes by transporters, road blockages also cause delay in transportation sometimes. Also, there are some areas which are difficult to approach through rail or road especially in the North-East region

Caracal included in list of critically endangered species

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Biodiversity

In news 

  • The caracal, a medium-sized wildcat was recently included in the list of critically endangered species.
  • Agencies: The National Board for Wildlife and Union Ministry of Environment
  • It is found in parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Important value additions

  • Some experts believe that the animal is on the verge of extinction in India. 
  • The recovery programme for critically endangered species in India now includes 22 wildlife species.
  • Besides India, the caracal is found across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia. 
  • While it flourishes in parts of Africa, its numbers in Asia are declining.
  • The wildcat has long legs, a short face, long canine teeth, and distinctive ears — long and pointy, with tufts of black hair at their tips.

Miscellaneous

Mahamrityunjaya Temple

  • Mahamrityunjaya temple is located in Naugaon, Assam.

  • It has the world’s tallest 126 feet high Shivling.
  • The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra also known as the Rudra Mantra or Tryambakam Mantra.
  • It is a verse of the Rigveda.
  • The sūkta is addressed to Tryambaka, “The Three-eyed One”, an epithet of Rudra who is identified with Shiva in Shaivism. 
  • The verse also recurs in the Yajurveda.

Borodua pilgrimage 

  • It is the birthplace of Mahapurush Shrimant Shankardev. 
  • He started the new Vaishnav tradition from Assam and made the Vaishnavite tradition vibrant.

(Mains Focus)


SOCIETY/ POLITY

Topic:

  • GS-1: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India; Social Empowerment,
  • GS-2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Same Sex Marriage

Context: The Delhi High Court was hearing three separate petitions by same-sex couples seeking to declare that the Special Marriage Act (SMA) and Foreign Marriage Act (FMA) ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Opposition by Centre/ Stance by Government with regard to petition in HC

  • Not compatible with Indian Family Concept: Living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same-sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children.
  • Not Codified: Marriage between two individuals of the same gender is “neither recognised nor accepted in any uncodified personal law or any codified statutory law”.
  • Issue with Personal Laws: Any interference with the existing marriage laws would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country. It may lead to further anomalies with laws governing marriages of persons belonging to the Christian or Muslim faith.
  • Registration of marriage of same-sex persons also results in violation of existing personal as well as codified law provisions — such as ‘degrees of prohibited relationship’; ‘conditions of marriage’; ‘ceremonial and ritual requirements’ under the personal laws governing the individuals.
  • No Fundamental Right to same-sex marriage: Supreme Court judgment in the Navtej Singh Johar case “does not extend the right to privacy to include a fundamental right in the nature of a right to marry by two individuals of same gender”. 
  • Legislative Challenges: Any other interpretation except treating ‘husband’ as a biological man and ‘wife’ as a biological woman will make all statutory provisions unworkable. In a same sex marriage, it is neither possible nor feasible to term one as ‘husband’ and the other as ‘wife’ in the context of legislative scheme of various statute
  • Domain of Legislature: The considerations of “societal morality” are relevant in considering the validity of a law and it is for the Legislature to enforce such societal morality and public acceptance based upon Indian ethos.

Connecting the dots:

  • Navtej Singh Johar case
  • K S Puttaswamy Judgement
  • NALSAR Case

GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Indian Constitution—Historical Underpinnings, Evolution, Features, Amendments, Significant Provisions and Basic Structure.

Anti-defection law

About

  • The anti-defection law was included in the Constitution as the Tenth Schedule in 1985 to combat the “evil of political defections”. 
  • The main purpose was to preserve the stability of governments and insulate them from defections of legislators from the treasury benches. 
  • Any Member of Parliament (MP) or that of a State legislature (MLA) would be disqualified from their office if they voted on any motion contrary to the directions issued by their party.
  • The provision was not limited to confidence motions or money bills (which are quasi-confidence motions). 
  • It applies to all votes in the House, on every Bill and every other issue. It even applies to the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils, which have no say in the stability of the government. 

Issues

  • Therefore, an MP (or MLA) has absolutely no freedom to vote their judgement on any issue. They have to blindly follow the direction of the party. 
  • This provision goes against the concept of representative democracy.
  • The anti-defection law makes the MP neither a delegate of the constituency nor a national legislator but converts them to be just an agent of the party.
  • The legislator is accountable to voters, and the government is accountable to legislators. (This should be the norm of representative democracy).
  • The chain of accountability has been broken by making legislators accountable primarily to the party.
  • So, the party forming the government — is unable to hold the government to account.
  • Legislators cannot justify their positions on various issues to the people who elected them to the post.
  • The law hollows out our legislatures > If an MP has no freedom to take decisions on policy and legislative proposals, what would be the incentive to put in the effort to understand the different policy choices and their outcomes.
  • The anti-defection bill weakens the accountability mechanism.
  • It does not even provide stability. The political system has found ways to topple governments.

Conclusion

  • The anti-defection law has been detrimental to the functioning of our legislatures as deliberative bodies which hold the executive to account on behalf of citizens. 
  • It has turned them into fora to endorse the decision of the government on Bills and budgets. 
  • And it has not even done the job of preserving the stability of governments.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note: 

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers. 
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Mahamrityunjaya temple, recently in news, is situated in which of the following state?

  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Assam
  4. Karnataka

Q.2 Which is the new status accorded to the Caracal species by National Board for Wildlife?

  1. Critically endangered
  2. Extinct
  3. Vulnerable
  4. Endangered

Q.3 Consider the following statements regarding UJJWALA Scheme:

  1. Under the scheme, families below the poverty line are to be provided with LPG connections with a support of Rs. 1,600 per connection in the next three years.
  2. The LPG connections will be issued in the name of the women of the households.

Which of the above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.4 Which of the following were recently added in the Phase IV of Swachh Iconic Places (SIP)?

  1. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
  2. Ramdevra, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  3. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Telangana
  4. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha
  5. Ajmer sharif, Ajmer, Rajasthan

Select the correct code:

  1. 1,2, 3 and 5 only
  2. 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
  3. 1, 2,3, and 4 only
  4. 1 and 2 only

ANSWERS FOR 26th February 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 A
3 D

Must Read

On need to scrap sedition law:

The Hindu

Delhi & Islamabad

The Indian Express

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