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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 25th May 2022

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  • May 25, 2022
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Quad Summit

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – International Relations
  • Mains – GS 2(Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests)

In News: the fourth Quad summit was held in Japan

  • There were divergences among the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and US on the war in Europe(Ukraine crisis) but unanimity in their response to China’s belligerence as they strongly opposed “any coercive, provocative or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo” in the Indo-Pacific.
  • While Washington and Tokyo were vocal in their criticism of Moscow in their public statements — India and Australia did not do so in their opening statements at the summit.
  • Apart from the Ukraine crisis, the leaders also took note of the post-coup crackdown in Myanmar called for the release of “all political detainees, including foreigners” and called for “swift restoration of democracy”.
  • The summit condemned “unequivocally terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations” and condemned the 26/11 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot attacks.

 The event witnessed the launch of several initiatives

  • Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA)
  • The leaders of the Quad countries announced the formation of the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) which will build a “faster, wider, and more accurate maritime picture of near-real-time activities in partners’ waters.”
  • The IPMDA is said to be a satellite-based maritime security system aiming for a “fundamental requirement for peace, stability, and prosperity” in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The initiative will integrate three critical regions of the Pacific Islands – Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region – and allow tracking of “dark shipping” and other “tactical activities”.
  • “Dark ships” are vessels with their Automatic Identification System (AIS) – a transponder system – switched off so as not to be detectable.
  • The new maritime initiative will enable these countries to monitor illegal fishing even when the boats have turned off the transponders which are typically used to track vessels.
  • The maritime system will also improve the partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and protect their fisheries – a vital need for many Indo-Pacific economies.
  • Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP)
  • The members also launched the “Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP) with “mitigation” and “adaptation” as its two pillars.
  • The initiative will help green shipping and foster the idea of a “shared green corridor”
  • Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
  • As part of the plan to increase the humanitarian footprint in the region, the leaders announced the establishment of the Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The grouping also decided to enhance sharing of data as part of the “Quad Satellite Data Portal” that will enhance cooperation among the satellites of the member countries.
  • The Tokyo summit witnessed the launch of the Quad Fellowship which will intensify people-to-people contact and foster academic exchanges. Under the scheme, 100 students from the member countries will travel to the US each year to pursue graduate studies in STEM fields.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to a grouping of countries known as BRICS, consider the following statements: (2014)

  1. The First Summit of BRICS was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2009.
  2. South Africa was the last to join the BRICS grouping.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Source: The Hindu & Hindustan Times


Money Spider and Ant-mimicking Spider

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: Money spider, ant-mimicking spider discovered at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Money Spider

  • Money spiders, commonly found in European meadows, have been reported for the first time in the country from the Muthanga range of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The species is called so as it is “believed to bring luck” to the person who comes in contact with it.
  • The spider belongs to the family of dwarf spiders (Linyphiidae) under the genus Prosoponoides.
  • It has been given the name Prosoponoides biflectogynus.

  • Only six species of spiders belonging to this genus have been identified from across the world so far.
  • It is the first report of this genus from India and hence no extensive studies have been conducted on this species of spiders in the country
  • The male and the female money spiders are typically 3 mm and 4 mm long respectively.
  • Both sexes are dark brown and have irregular silver patches and black spots on elliptical abdomen.
  • There are numerous fine black spines on their olive green legs.
  • Eight dark eyes are arranged in two rows
  • Females build triangular webs in between dry tree twigs and feed on small insects, while males prefer to hide beneath dry leaves.
  • Two or more male spiders can be found in the web of a single female.

Ant-mimicking spiders

  • Research team also discovered ant-mimicking spiders, belonging to the group of jumping spiders, from the Mananthavady range.
  • They belong to the family of Salticidae.

  • The ant-mimicking spider has been named Toxeus alboclavus
  • They perfectly mimic ants by lifting their front pair of legs while walking as a mechanism to escape from potential predators.
  • Only three species of this genus have been reported from India, and this is the first species reported from the Western Ghats
  • The male and the female spiders of this species grow up to 4 mm and 6 mm long respectively.
  • A pair of white stripes on the dark brown abdomen of females makes them distinct from other spiders of this group.
  • The male of the species are characterized by a brown cephalic region and black thorax with white hairs.
  • The forward-projecting fangs have a characteristic shape of an antler.
  • Long spines are present on the base of each leg.

Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS)

  • Located in Kerala, WWS is an integral part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It was established in 1973.
  • Spread over 344.44 sq km, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is contiguous to the tiger reserves of Nagerhole and Bandipur of Karnataka and Mudumalai of Tamil Nadu.
  • Kabini river (a tributary of Cauvery river) flows through the sanctuary.
  • The forest types include South Indian Moist Deciduous forests, West coast semi-evergreen forests and plantations of teak, eucalyptus and Grewelia.
  • Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Panther,Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Common langur, Wild dog, common otter, Malabar giant squirrel etc are the major mammals.

Other wildlife parks within the Reserve (Nilgiri Biosphere) are: Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Which one of the following is a filter feeder? (2021)

  1. Catfish
  2. Octopus
  3. Oyster
  4. Pelican

Q.1) Which of the following Protected Areas are located in the Cauvery basin? (2020)

  1. Nagarhole National Park
  2. Papikonda National Part
  3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
  4. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Source: The Hindu


Section 153A and Section 295A of IPC

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Polity
  • Mains – GS 2 (Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and issues arising out of their Design and Implementation)

In News: Dr. Ratan Lal, a Dalit academician, was arrested for an ‘objectionable’ post on the Gyanvapi mosque row.

  • He is alleged to have promoted disharmony or enmity between religious groups (Section 153A in the Indian Penal Code) and intentionally and maliciously hurt religious sentiments (Section 295A in the IPC).

What do these sections say?

  • Section 153 A deals with promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony.
  • Under this section, the person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Section 295 A deals with deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs
  • The person can be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Increased use of the two provisions

  • The latest annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau records more than four jumps (458%) of cases registered under Section 153A since 2014; it almost doubled in the last two years.
  • And the conviction rate is merely 20.4% of cases.

Why such sections are needed?

  • India being a diverse entity needs such laws to stop religious incendiary feelings at the bud
  • Helps check radicalism growth of communal divisions and domination of one community
  • Helps propagation of secular values by making religious extremism/insensitivity a punishable offense
  • Punishes those involved in such activities and acts as a deterrent for others.

Drawbacks

  • Element of Subjectivity: Leads to misuse of the law as it has a large amount of subjectivity.
  • Unlike bodily harm that can be verified, sentimental hurt cannot be tested against strict measures.
  • The element of subjectivity overrides it as a sentiment’s vulnerability could widely vary
  • Encroaches on Freedom of Speech and Expression: India’s Constitution celebrates diversity with the guarantee of free speech.
  • It is anomalous for a pluralistic, democratic, and secular nation that runs on counter-discourses to criminalize speech for hurting religious sentiments
  • Frivolous cases: People have used this section to file frivolous cases for venting out a personal vendetta.
  • Overburdened Judiciary: Already overburned judiciary is put under further strain due to resources it needs to direct towards frivolous cases hindering efficacy of judicial system

Some safeguards available

  • There are statutory safeguards (to invoke the section) that required deliberate intention and malice; and judicial rulings that needed looking at — words used, intent, and effect to ascertain criminality. Only a deliberate and aggravated form of religious insult would attract the rigor of the provision.
  • The judiciary laid down two ways to measure the effect — one by establishing a link between speech and public disorder, and by measuring the effects from the standards of a reasonable man, and not from one who fears all hostile viewpoints.
  • However, no attempt was made to translate the safeguards into practice

Way forward

  • To usher in required amendments to clear the ambiguity and subjectivity contained in sections
  • Stringent implementation of the safeguards available
  • Reduce the propensities of sections getting misused.

Source: The Hindu


Uighurs

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Geography – Current Affairs (Places in news, ethnic community)
  • Mains – GS 2 (India and its Neighborhood- Relations)

In News: A leak of thousands of photos and official documents from China’s Xinjiang has shed new light on the violent methods used to enforce mass internment in the region

  • The files were published as UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet begins a long-awaited and controversial trip to Xinjiang.
  • Documents support the claim that Chinese authorities have detained more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in a network of detention centres and prisons in the region, which Beijing has defended as training centers
  • After initially denying their existence, Beijing has claimed the facilities are vocational training schools, attended voluntarily and aimed at stamping out religious extremism.
  • China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the leaked documents as “cobbled-together material” by “anti-China forces smearing Xinjiang”

Uighur Muslims:

  • The Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim minority Turkic ethnic group, whose origins can be traced to Central and East Asia.
  • The Uighurs speaks their own language, similar to Turkish, and sees themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
  • The Uighurs are considered to be one of the 55 officially recognized ethnic minority communities in China.
  • However, China recognises the community only as a regional minority and rejects that they are an indigenous group.
  • Currently, the largest population of the Uighur ethnic community lives in Xinjiang region of China.

  • A significant population of Uighurs also lives in the neighbouring Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
  • 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.

Persecution of Uighurs:

  • 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.
  • Uighur Muslims for decades, under the false accusation by the Chinese government of terrorism and separatism, have suffered from abuses including persecution, forced detention, intense scrutiny, surveillance and even slavery.
  • However, China claims its camps to be ‘educational centres’ where the Uighurs are being cured of “extremist thoughts” and radicalisation, and learning vocational skills.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs).

Q.1) Consider the following pairs: (2018)

Regions sometimes mentioned in news – Country

  1. Catalonia —       Spain
  2. Crimea —       Hungary
  3. Mindanao —       Philippines
  4. Oromia —       Nigeria

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

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

Source: The Hindu


Baba’s Explainer – China – Taiwan Tussle

QUAD

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate. 
  • GS-2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Why in News: Since the introduction of the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP), Kerala has viewed the policy document with serious disagreements.

  • However, two years down the line, the State has begun to warm up to some of the provisions, but with considerable hesitance. The government has hinted that the reforms might be introduced only during the 2023-24 academic year.
  • The last NEP was that of 1986 and modified in 1992.
  • NEP 2020 is based on the report filed by the committee headed by eminent space scientist Kasturirangan.

Read Complete Details on China  – Taiwan Tussle – CLICK HERE


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Which among the following initiative was launched in recently held fourth Quad Summit, 2022, Japan?

  1. Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package
  2. Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
  3. Quad Fellowship
  4. Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA)
  5. Quad New Bank to support Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Choose the correct code:

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

Q.2) Which among the National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries are within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve?

  1. Mukurthi National Park
  2. Silent Valley National Park
  3. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
  4. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
  5. Bandipur National Park

Choose the incorrect statements

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about Section 153 A of IPC, recently in news

  1. It deals with deals with deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs
  2. If a person is proved guilty under the section, s/he shall be punished with lifetime imprisonment

Choose the incorrect statements:

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

ANSWERS FOR ’25th MAY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 24th MAY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d    Q.2) – c   Q.3) – d

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