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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

15th October 2021

S. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.     About NASA’s Perseverance RoverPrelims & Mains
2.     World Bank Ease of Doing Business ReportPrelims & Mains
3.     About the Unlawful Activities Prevention ActPrelims & Mains
4.     India to ban Single Use Plastics from next yearPrelims & Mains
5.     The jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been expandedPrelims Specific
6.     About the Tiananmen Square MassacrePrelims Specific

 

About NASA’s Perseverance Rover:

GS III

Topic :Space related topics:

  • Why in the News:
  • Preliminary scientific analysis of images taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover has now confirmed that Mars’ Jezero crater – today a dry, wind-blown region – was once a lake, fed by a small river about 3.7 billion years ago.
  • Photographs also provide evidence of the pit endured floods.
  • The floodwaters were strong enough to move large boulders from tens of miles north of the river to the lake, where there are large rocks today.
  • About Perseverance Rover:
  • Launched in 2020 under the United Launch Alliance Atlas V.
  • On February 18, 2021, the rover landed into a Jezerocrater.
  • Why is this work important:
  • It contained a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: the first to produce cellular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from carbon-dioxide-rich air (ISRU refers to the use of Situ Resource: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or the needs of the spacecraft).
  • Carriesa smart&the first helicopter to fly on Mars.
  • It is the first step planned to retrieve rock samples from Mars for analysis in complex Earth’s laboratories: for the purpose of searching for biosignatures: or signatures of current or past life.
  • These are some of the main objectives of the equipment:
  • Look for signs of ancient bacterial health.
  • Collect samples of Martian rock and dust to return to Earth later.
  • Take out the experimental helicopter.
  • Learn about the weather and geology of Mars.
  • Demonstrate the technology of future Mars missions.
  • What is the cause of interest near Mars:
  • Mars is located at the back of the yard of Earth. (about 200 million miles).
  • It is a planet that people would like to visit or stay longer.
  • Mars had flowing water and wind in the distant past: and perhaps even life-sustaining conditions.
  • It also has an impact on business mobility.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About the Mission
  • About the Hope Mission of the UAE and the Tianwen-1 Chinese spacecraft.
  • Pathfinder function.
  • Sourceàhttps://mars.nasa.gov/news/9053/with-first-martian-samples-packed-perseverance-initiates-remarkable-sample-return-mission/
  1. World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report:

GS II

Topic :International Relations:

  • Why in News:
  • The World Bank, in mid-September, has announced its intention to stop releasing its Doing Business report.
  • Why so:
  • The announcement came after an independent inquiry into the “data misconduct” reported in the 2018 and 2020 reports.
  • What is the problem:
  • In August 2020, the World Bank suspended the publication of Doing Business reports following a series of illegal reports on changes in the data.
  • The issues in theEase of Doing Business reports have mainly affected four countries: China; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; and Azerbaijan.
  • The data misconduct investigation cited “improper pressure” by top bank officials, including then Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, to raise China’s level in 2017.
  • This raised ethical issues involving former bank employees and board officials.
  • Why is the report important:
  • The World Bank’s annual report is important for a number of nations, especially developing ones, because it has had a significant impact on investors’ decisions about economic growth depending on how easy it is to open and operate a business.
  • But while the report was popular with investors, it was widely criticized by many governments for its way ofmisappropriating grounded facts.
  • About the Doing Business Project:
  • Provides limited measures of business rules and operations in all 190 economies and selected cities at the global and regional level.
  • It started in 2002, looking at small and medium-sized domestic companies and measuring the principles that apply to them in their life cycle.
  • It lays out the countries on the basis of the Distance to Frontier (DTF) points that highlight the economic gap in terms of the world’s best routeto open a business
  • What does this report offer:
  • Each year, EoDB standards calculate whether, and to what extent, the country has progressed to large and small parameters, such as how long it takes to start a business, or how much it costs to get a building permit, or how many processes one has to go through to enforce a contract etc.

 

  • How can the quality be improved:
  • The radical shift has been removed from case studies studies and is harvesting more data collection from samples representing “real” business owners and their experience in doing business experience.
  • Include government services that provide essential public goods in the private sector: transport and communications infrastructure, skilled personnel, law and order, etc.
  • Remove the indicators “Protecting Small Shareholders” and “Dealing with Payment.”
  • Make the “Agreement with Government” very appropriate.
  • Restore and improve the index of “Employing Workers”, but do not imitate countries based on this information.
  • Improve transparency and management of Doing Business.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About the Report.
  • Summary of 2018 and 2020 reports.
  • Sourceàhttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/imf-md-kristalina-georgieva-rigging-world-bank-ease-of-doing-business-rankings-7568888/
  1. About the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act:

GS II

Topic :Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security:

  • Why in the News:
  • Former Supreme Court judge Rohinton F Nariman, who overturned Section 66A of the Information Technology Act in 2015 as having a “negative impact” on the right to freedom of expression, called the Unlawful Employment (Protection) Act Act “a difficult law” that needed to be investigated by a higher court.
  • He appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes treason and aggressive sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
  • About the UAPA Act:
  • Passed in 1967, the law aims to effectively ban illegal criminal organizations in India.
  • The law gives the government full power, which if the institution considers the work to be illegal, in the manner of the Official Gazette, declares it.
  • The person faces the death penalty and is sentenced to life in prison.
  • Key points:
  • Under UAPA, Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
  • It will also apply to offenders in the same way, even if crimes are committed in a foreign country, except in India.
  • Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file chargesheet within 180 days of arrest and the extension may be extended after submitting an affidavit in the court.
  • 2019 amendment:
  • The Act empowers the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant permission for the seizure or attachment of property when the case is being investigated by the said agency.
  • The law empowers NIA officials, at the level of Inspector or above, to investigate terrorism cases other than those perpetrated by the DSP or ACP or above a senior government official.
  • It includes the provision of a person as a terrorist
  • Delhi High Court defines UAPA lines:
  • In June 2021, issuing a judgment defining the limitations of the 15th Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA), the Delhi High Court set out certain rules regarding the application of Sections 15, 17 & 18 of the Act.
  • Sections 15, 17 and 18 of UAPA:
  • Section 15 creates a ‘terrorist act’ case.
  • Article 17 sets out the penalty for raising money for a terrorist act.
  • Section 18 creates a charge of ‘conspiracy to commit conspiracy etc.
  • Taking an act of terrorism is any act of preparation for committing an act of terrorism ‘.
  • Important precautions given by the court:

“Terrorist Law” should not be used lightly to take them lightly.

 

  1. India to ban Single Use Plastics from next year:

 

GS III

Topic :Conservation and Pollution related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • India will ban single-use plastics next year as part of its efforts to reduce pollution.
  • Experts say the move is a first step in reducing the impact on the environment.

 

  • Background:
  • The government announced the closure in August this year, following its 2019 decision to address plastic pollution in the country.
  • Prohibition of multiple single-use plastics will take effect on July 1, 2022.
  • Way Forward:
  • Enforcement is the key to activation.
  • The government also needs to address key structural issues such as policies to regulate the use of alternative plastics, to improve recycling and better management of waste disposal.
  • In addition to improving reuse, investment in research and development of alternatives should also be a priority.
  • What are single use plastics:
  • Plastic bags are used once for recycling such as food bags, food packaging, bottles and straw that are used only once before disposal, or sometimes recycled.
  • Why plastics is used so extensively:
  • As plastic is cheaper, lighter and easier to manufacture, it has led to significant growth over the past hundred years, and this trend is expected to continue for decades to come, according to the United Nations.
  • But countries are now struggling to control the amount of plastic waste they produce.
  • About 60% of the plastic waste in India is collected – that means the remaining 40% or 10,376 tons remain uncollected.
  • Background:
  • By 2019, the Union government in an effort to liberate India from the use of plastics once in 2022, had put in place a multi-Ministerial plan to ban the use of single-use plastics across the country.
  • The government committee has identified plastic materials (SUP) that will be banned based on the index of their use and environmental impact. It proposed a three-phase ban:
  • About this ban:
  • The first category of SUP items to be removed are plastic sticks used for balloons, flags, candy, ice cream and ears, and the thermocol used in decorations.
  • The second category, proposed to be banned from July 1, 2022, includes items such as plates, cups, glasses and cutting areas such as forks, spoons, knives, strips, trays; wrapping and packing films used in nice boxes; invitation cards; packets of cigarettes; stirrers and plastic banners less than 100 microns in size.
  • The third stage is the rejection of non-woven bags less than 240 meters in diameter. This is set to begin in September next year.
  • Upcoming challenges:
  • It would not be an easy task given the fact that about 26,000 tons of plastic waste is produced throughout India every day, more than 10,000 tons of uncollected.
  • A large amount of plastic is stored in rivers, oceans and landfills.
  • What needs to be done:
  • Government must conduct a comprehensive economic and environmental analysis of plastic usage.
  • The plan must take into account the social and economic impacts for the prevention to be effective.
  • We need better recycling policies because resources are poor and need to be more comprehensive.
  • Source àhttps://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/centre-announces-plastic-waste-recycling-targets/article36973023.ece
  1. The jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been expanded:

 

Prelims Specific Topic:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has expanded the Border Security Force (BSF) capacity to 50 km within the Punjab, West Bengal and Assam across international borders.
  • At the same time, the Department has reduced the operating area of ​​the BSF in Gujarat from 80 km from the border, to 50 km.
  • The government said it was using force under the Border Security Force Act of 1968.
  • BSF capabilities – including arrests, searches and kidnappings – are limited to 15 km in these provinces.
  • Background:
  • In its 2014 proclamation, the MHA described the BSF mandate as “encompassing the entire States of Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya as well as a vast area less than 80 kilometres from the state of Gujarat, 50 km in Rajasthan Province and 15 km in the States of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, along the Indian border ”.
  • BSF Powers: The BSF has jurisdiction over Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Passport (India Entry) Act, 1920, Passport Act, 1967, NDPS Act, Arms Act, Customs Act and other laws.

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mha-bsf-jurisdiction-bengal-punjab-assam-gujarat-7570560/

  1. About the Tiananmen Square Massacre:

Prelims Specific Topic:

  • The University of Hong Kong has ordered the removal of a statue of the Tiananmen Square (Pillar of Shame statue) commemorating protesters killed in China’s 1989 genocide.
  • A Pillar of the Shame Statue was made to commemorate the June 4, 1989 incident at the Tiananmen Square Massacre, named after the June 4 incident by Chinese authorities.
  • The photo shows 50 corpses – with sad faces – grouped together to commemorate unarmed student protesters killed by Chinese soldiers who opened fire on them.
  • What is the massacre of Tiananmen Square:
  • On June 4, 1989, Chinese soldiers attacked pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
  • No official death toll has been released, but human rights organizations have estimated hundreds, if not thousands, of casualties.
  • The massacre made headlines around the world but was particularly noticeable in Hong Kong, which had been eight years from Britain to China.

 

https://www.vox.com/2021/10/13/22722674/tiananmen-square-pillar-of-shame-university-hong-kong

 

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