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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 4th June 2021

  • IASbaba
  • June 4, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


New Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) appointed

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Statutory bodies; Indian Polity 

In news

Why does the news matter? 

  • National Human Rights Commission is one of the Statutory Bodies of India.
  • Other Statutory Bodies:
    • National Commission for Women
    • National Commission for Minorities
    • National Green Tribunal
    • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
    • Armed Forces Tribunal

Important value additions 

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

  • NHRC was established in 1993. 
  • It is in conformity with the Paris Principles, adopted at the first international workshop on national institutions for the protection of human rights held in Paris in 1991.
  • Status: It is a statutory organization established under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993 
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Functions:
    • To investigate the violation of human rights/ the failures of the states/other to prevent a human rights violation 
    • The commissions may also take on research about human rights, create awareness campaigns through various mediums, and encourage the work of NGOs.
  • Composition
    • Chairperson, four full-time Members and four deemed Members
    • A Chairperson, should be retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • Appointment: The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:
    • The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
    • The Home Minister
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
    • The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha 
    • The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
    • The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  • They hold office for a term of three years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
  • The President can remove them from the office under specific circumstances.

Launch of Seed Minikits Programme 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy

In news

  • The Seed Minikit Programme was launched recently. 
  • Launched by: Ministry of Agriculture
  • Seed Minikits consisting of higher yielding varieties of seeds of Pulses and oilseeds were distributed to farmers.
  • It is wholly funded by the Government of India through the National Food Security Mission.

Benefits of the Programme 

  • It is a major tool for introducing new varieties of seeds in the farmers’ fields. 
  • It will ensure better harvest and better income. 
  • It is instrumental for increasing the seed replacement rate
  • The distribution is free of cost

Who is providing the kits? 

  • The Central Agencies National Seeds Corporation (NCS), NAFED and Gujarat State Seeds Corporation

More Caves found at Trirashmi Hill

Part of: GS Prelims and  GS -I – Culture

In news

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found three more caves in Trirashmi hill in Nashik, Maharashtra. 
  • The Trirashmi Buddhist caves, also known as Pandav Leni, are also located at the same place. 

More about the caves:

  • The newly found caves are believed to be older than the Trirashmi caves.
  • These are assumed to be the dwellings of Buddhist monks.
  • All the caves have verandahs and the characteristic square stone platform for monks. 
  • There are special arrangements for monks to meditate, similar to the Kanheri and Wai caves.

Important value additions

Trirashmi caves

  • The Trirashmi or Pandav Leni caves are a group of 25 caves
  • They were carved out of Trirashmi Hill between the 2nd century BC and 6th century AD.
  • It is an ASI protected site and a tourist destination.
  • The Buddhist sculptures and caves in Nashik are early examples of Indian rock-cut architecture representing the Hinayana tradition of Buddhism.
MAHAYANA BUDDHISM HIMAYANA BUDDHISM
It considers Gautama Buddha to be a divine being who will help his followers to attain nirvana It considers Gautama Buddha as an ordinary human being who attained Nirvana
Its followers can be found in China, (South) Korea, Japan and Tibet Its followers are found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos
Scriptures were written in Sanskrit Scriptures were written in Pali
It began to flourish around 500 BC. It started to flourish around 250 BC.

Related articles 

Buddhist Philosophy on Dharmachakra Day


Nearly 10,000 children in immediate need of care and protection: Bal Swaraj Portal

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – Policies and interventions 

In news

  • According to Bal Swaraj Portal, nearly 10,000 children in India are in immediate need of care and protection
  • They include children aged between zero and 17 orphaned or abandoned during the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020.

Important value additions 

Bal Swaraj Portal

  • Created by: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) 
  • Significance: NCPCR has developed it as part of its role of a monitoring authority under section 109 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and to address the growing problem of Children being affected by COVID-19. 
  • Objective
    • Online tracking and 
    • Real-time monitoring of Children who have lost both parents/either of the parents during COVID-19 and are in need of care and protection
  • Working: It will track children affected by COVID-19 right from the production of children before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) to the restoration of the children to their parent/guardian/relative and its subsequent follow-up.
    • The data will be filled in the portal by the District officers and State officers for each child.

Why does the news matter? 

  • These children are at high risk of being pushed into trafficking and flesh trade. 
  • The Commission had already received several complaints of government authorities illegally transferring details of children to private entities and NGOs.
  • These are vulnerable sections of society devastated by COVID-19

Monsoon rains in June-September to be 101% of The Long Period Average (LPA)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Geography 

In news

  • According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), monsoon rains in June-September would be 101% of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 88 cm. 
  • This still constitutes ‘normal’ rainfall, which is from 96-104% of the LPA.

About Long Period Average (LPA) 

  • It is the average of rainfall received over a 50-year period between 1951 and 2001, which is around 89 cm of rainfall.
  • This is kept as a benchmark while forecasting the quantitative rainfall for the monsoon season every year. 

Categories of the rainfall

  • IMD maintains five rainfall distribution categories on an all-India scale:
    • Excess: If the rainfall is more than 110 % of this LPA.
    • Above Normal: If the rainfall is between 104 and 110 % of this LPA.
    • Normal: If the rainfall is between 96 and 104 % of this LPA.
    • Below Normal: If the rainfall is between 90 and 96 % of this LPA.
    • Deficient: If the rainfall is less than 90 % of this LPA.

Miscellaneous

H10N3 Avian Influenza

  • China has reported the world’s first case of a human infected with H10N3 avian influenza in Jiangsu province.

  • Influenza A virus subtype H10N3 is a subtype of viruses that causes influenza (flu). 
  • It is mostly present in wild avian species
  • H10N3 is usually a less severe strain 
  • It is unlikely to cause a significant outbreak

(Mains Focus)


GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources 

Model Tenancy Act

Context: After releasing the draft in 2019, the Union Cabinet has approved the Model Tenancy Act (MTA) to streamline the process of renting property in India and aid the rent economy in the estate sector.

States can adopt the Act as it is with fresh legislation or they can amend their existing rent acts to factor in the new MTA.

Why this Act?

  • Restrictive Laws: As per Census 2011, more than 1 crore houses were lying vacant in urban areas. The existing rent control laws are restricting the growth of rental housing and discourage owners from renting out their vacant houses due to fear of repossession. 
  • Large scale informalisation in sector: One of the potential measures to unlock the vacant house is to bringing transparency and accountability in the existing system of renting of premises and to balance the interests of both the property owner and tenant in a judicious manner.
  • Lack of Uniformity: Since it is a state subject, states have enacted their laws and it differs from one state to another.
  • Housing Poverty: 2013 report by a Task Force for Rental Housing held that affordable rental housing “addresses the issues of the underprivileged and inclusive growth, in an even more direct manner than affordable ownership housing”. Model Tenancy Act helps bring investment in the sector as the sector provides better safeguards.

Where it applies

  • After enforcement of this Act, no person can let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing. 
  • The new Act will be applicable prospectively and will not affect existing tenancies.
  • The Act seeks to cover urban and as well as rural areas.

What’s new in Model Tenancy Act?

  • Dedicated Institutions: States will set up a grievance redressal mechanism comprising of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal to provide fast-track resolution of disputes. 
  • Time Bound Resolution: Disposal of a complaint/appeal by the Rent Court and the Rent Tribunal will be mandatory within 60 days.
  • No monetary ceiling on rents: At present, in many old properties let out under archaic rent-control Acts, such ceilings have left landlords stuck with outdated rent amounts. This will be done away with in new model act.
  • A digital platform will be set up in the local vernacular language or the language of the State/Union Territory for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents. Rent Authority will keep a tab on these agreements.
  • Proper Documentation: Verbal agreements will be out of the picture, as the MTA mandates written agreement for all new tenancies (prospective) which is to be submitted to Rent Authority. 
  • Clarity on Subletting: Subletting of premises can only be done with the prior consent of the landlord, and no structural change can be done by the tenant without the written consent of the landlord.
  • Guidelines on Security Deposit: The security deposit to be paid by the tenant should not exceed two months’ rent for residential property (six months’ rent in case of non-residential property)
  • Provision for eviction: The Rent Court can allow repossession by the landlord if the tenant misuses the premises, after being served a notice by the landowner. Misuse of the premises, as defined, includes public nuisance, damage, or its use for “immoral or illegal purposes”.

Merits of MTA

  • Formalise the shadow market of rental housing
  • Protects interests of both tenant and owner
  • Faster resolution of disputes
  • Unlock vacant properties
  • Increase rental yields
  • Ease/remove exploitative practices
  • Reduce procedural barriers in registration
  • Increase transparency and discipline.
  • Attracts private investment into the sector.

Connecting the dots:


SCIENCE & TECH

Topic:

  • GS-3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life. 

Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST): China’s Artificial Sun

About

  • Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor is an advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China
  •  The purpose of the artificial sun is to replicate the process of nuclear fusion, which is the same reaction that powers the sun.
  • Apart from the EAST, China is currently operating the HL-2A reactor as well as J-TEXT.
  • The EAST project is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility, which will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor when it becomes operational in 2035. The project includes the contributions of several countries, including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States.

How does the ‘artificial sun’ EAST work?

  • The EAST Tokamak device is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process carried out by the sun and stars. 
  • Nuclear fusion is a process through which high levels of energy are produced without generating large quantities of nuclear waste. 
  • Previously, energy was produced through nuclear fission — a process in which the nucleus of a heavy atom was split into two or more nuclei of lighter atoms.
  • While fission is an easier process to carry out, it generates far more nuclear waste. Unlike fission, fusion also does not emit greenhouse gases and is considered a safer process with lower risk of accidents.
  • Once mastered, nuclear fusion could potentially provide unlimited clean energy and very low costs.
  • For nuclear fusion to occur, tremendous heat and pressure are applied on hydrogen atoms so that they fuse together. 
  • The nuclei of deuterium and tritium — both found in hydrogen — are made to fuse together to create a helium nucleus, a neutron along with a whole lot of energy.
  • Fuel is heated to temperatures of over 150 million degrees C so that it forms a hot plasma “soup” of subatomic particles. 
  • With the help of a strong magnetic field, the plasma is kept away from the walls of the reactor to ensure it does not cool down and lose its potential to generate large amounts of energy. The plasma is confined for long durations for fusion to take place.

What is the latest record by EAST and why does it matter?

  • The EAST reactor set a new record when it achieved a plasma temperature of 216 million degrees Fahrenheit and also managed to run for 20 seconds at 288 million degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • To put this in perspective, the sun’s core only reaches about 15 million degrees Celsius, which means the reactor was able to touch temperatures that are 10 times hotter than that.
  • The next goal for the scientists behind the experimental reactor is to maintain the high temperature for a long period of time. 
  • Previously, the EAST had reached a record temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius in 2018.
  • This future technology is critical for China’s green development push and the new record is a small step in this direction of creating artificial sun
  • But China is not the only country that has achieved high plasma temperatures. In 2020, South Korea’s KSTAR reactor set a new record by maintaining a plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.

Conclusion

There is still a long way to go for China’s experimental ‘artificial sun’.  It will take decades for a working reactor to emerge from its experimental stages.

Connecting the dots:


(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 Consider the following statements regarding  National Human Rights Commission:

  1. The memebers are appointed by the President of India.
  2. It is a Quasi-Judicial Body of India

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding  rainfall distribution categories on an all-India scale as maintained by IMD:

  1. It is categorised as Excess rainfall if it rains more than 100 % of LPA.
  2. It is categorised as above Normal rainfall if it rains between 96 and 104% of LPA.

Which of the above is or are correct? 

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

ANSWERS FOR 3rd June 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

D
D
3 D

Must Read

On rural healthcare:

The Hindu

On sedition:

Indian Express

About achievements of India’s foreign Policy:

Indian Express

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