10 November 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Prelims Specific Question

1) Consider the following statements.

  1. Partition of Bengal in 1905 brought to an end the moderates’ role in the Indian freedom movement.
  2. The Surat session of Indian National Congress separated the Extremists from the Moderates.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

2) Which one of the following defines extremist ideology during the early phase of Indian Freedom Movement?

  1. Organising coups against the British Empire through military revolt.
  2. Stimulating the production of indigenous goods by giving them preference over imported commodities.
  3. Providing national education according to the extremist ideology
  4. Obtaining self-government by aggressive means in place of petitions and constitutional ways.

3) The Home Rule Movement of 1916 emphasized on

  1. Revival of Swadeshi
  2. Participation of Indians in self-governing institutions for India
  3. Separate electorates for all communities of India

Select the correct answer code:

  • 1 only
  • 1, 2
  • 1, 3
  • 1, 2, 3

Important News Items of the Day

1) What is UCCN?

  • UCCN created in 2004, is a network of cities that are thriving, active centers of cultural activities in their respective countries.
  • These cities can be from all continents with different income levels or with different levels of populations.
  • UCCN believes that these cities are working towards a common mission by placing creativity at the core of their urban development plans to make the region resilient, safe, inclusive and sustainable.
  • Ministry of Culture is the nodal Ministry of the Government of India for all matters in UNESCO relating to culture.

Objective of UCCN

Placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 7 categories for recognition under UCCN are as follows:

  1. Crafts and Folk Arts
  2. Design
  3. Film
  4. Gastronomy (food)
  5. Music
  6. Media Arts
  7. Literature

Previously, Indian cities were recognized as members of UCCN namely-

  • Jaipur-Crafts and Folk Arts (2015)
  • Varanasi-Creative city of Music (2015)
  • Chennai-Creative city of Music (2017)
  • Mumbai-Film (2019)
  • Hyderabad- Gastronomy (2019)

 2) Why is MHA tasked to monitor foreign funds for NGOs, asks SC

The Supreme Court asked the government why the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been tasked to keep an eye on the inflow and subsequent outflow of foreign funds to NGOs under the foreign contributions regulations law.

“Why has the whole operation been brought under the Ministry of Home Affairs and not under the finance department? Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, heading a three-judge Bench, asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010

  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The Acts ensures that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
  • It is mandatory to have FCRA clearance from the Home Ministry for any organisation to receive foreign funds.
  • Foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India is regulated under FCRA act and is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Key provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010:

  • Under the Act, organisations require to register themselves every five years.
  • As per the amended FCRA rules, all NGOs registered or granted prior permission under FCRA are now required to upload details of foreign contributions received and utilized by them every three months on their website or the FCRA website.
  • NGOs now need to file their annual returns online, with the hard copy version dispensed with.

3) Padma Vibhushan goes to S.P. Balasubrahmanyam

Legendary singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam was posthumously honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country, at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Balasubrahmanyam’s son S.P. Charan received the award on his father’s behalf from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Archaeologist B.B. Lal, who led an excavation at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in the mid1970s, and Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (posthumous) were also conferred the Padma Vibhushan.

Veteran sculptor from Odisha Sudarshan Sahoo, renowned doctor and educationist from Karnataka Belle Monappa Hegde and U.S.based scientist Narinder Singh Kapany (posthumous) were also given the Padma Vibhushan award at two Civil Investiture ceremonies.

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe awarded with the Padma Vibhushan.

Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award has not been given to anyone since 2019.

Economy / Reports / Index

1) The Ministry of Commerce has released the LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) 2021.

What is LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States)?

  • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) had launched LEAD Index in 2018 with the main objective of ranking States and UTs on the efficiency of their logistics ecosystem.
  • The first version of the index (LEADS 2018) focused on export-import trade and assessed the efficiency of the logistics ecosystem in each State and UT.
  • The second edition of the study (LEADS 2019) covered both international and domestic trade.
  • The third version (LEADS 2021) has gone one-step ahead in analysing the domestic and EXIM logistics ecosystem of the state.

What are the rankings of the index?

  • Topped by: Gujarat has topped the index. Haryana has secured the second position followed by Punjab at third.
  • North Eastern States and Himalayan Region: Jammu and Kashmir is the top ranker followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya
  • Union Territories: Delhi stands at the top rank among other UTs.
  • Remarkable improvement: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have witnessed a remarkable improvement in their ranks compared to 2019 LEADS ranking and have emerged as the top improvers.

What is the significance of this index?

The inputs given by the LEADS 2021 can lead the way to bring down logistics cost by 5% over the next 5 years.

Currently, the cost of logistics in India is at a high 12-13% of GDP.

2) The inaugural Global Drug Policy Index 2021 has been released.

About Global Drug Policy Index:

  • Released by: Harm Reduction Consortium
  • Purpose: It is a unique tool that documents, measures and compares national-level drug policies, providing each country with a score and ranking that shows how much their drug policies and their implementation align with the UN principles of human rights, health and development.

What are the rankings of the index?

  • India: India’s rank is 18 out of 30 countries. It has an overall score of 46/100.
  • Topped by: Norway has topped the Index with a score of 74/100. It was followed by New Zealand, Portugal, the UK and Australia.
  • Lowest Ranking Countries: ​​Brazil, Uganda, Indonesia, Kenya, and Mexico.


Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) –

The third edition of GMC 2021 has been hosted by the Indian Navy.

GMC is Indian Navy’s Outreach Initiative providing a multinational platform to harness the collective wisdom of practitioners of maritime security and the academia towards garnering outcome oriented maritime thought.

The theme for this year’s edition of GMC is “Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for IOR Navies”,

12 Indian Ocean littorals including Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Each GMC is followed by a Goa Maritime Symposium (GMS).

Earlier Conclaves were:

  • GMC 2017
  • GMC 2019
  • Now GMC 2021

2) Hari Kumar to take over as Navy chief

Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, presently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOCinC) Western Naval Command, has been appointed as the next Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS). He will take over on November 30 when incumbent Admiral Karambir Singh retires from service.

Editorials of the Day

Editorial 1 – India needs to sign up for life-course immunization

The fact is that vaccines — ever since the first vaccine against smallpox became available in 1798 — had always been for a far wider age group, including for adults. However, soon after smallpox eradication and the launch of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) across the world in the 1970s — and in India in 1978 — there were concerted efforts to increase vaccine use and coverage in children.

Need for adult vaccination

The first and only national vaccine policy of India, released in 2011, had no mention of adult vaccination. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) in India, on a few occasions, discussed adult immunisation but stayed away from any recommendation for the general population except for the vaccination of health workers as high-risk groups, for hepatitis B vaccine, etc.

There is very limited data on the burden of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) in adult age groups — in most settings including India.

Impact of adult illness –

Larger adult population renders a greater social impact in terms of absenteeism from work (due to illnesses) and the associated costs of health care seeking and hospitalisation.

There is emerging scientific evidence on waning immunity and the need of booster doses in the adult age group for the vaccines administered in childhood.

What should be done?  –

  1. First, the mandate of NTAGI needs to be expanded to adult vaccination. NTAGI may start with a review of available scientific evidence and providing recommendations on adult vaccination in India.
  2. Second, the VPD surveillance system and the capacity to record, report and analyse data on the disease burden and immunization coverage need to be strengthened. The focus has to be on analyzing immunisation coverage and VPD surveillance data by age and other related stratifiers.
  3. Third, the capacity of research and academic institutions to conduct operational research including the cost benefit analysis and to guide evidence-informed decisions needs to be boosted.
  4. Fourth, the process for developing and drafting a road map, possibly India’s national adult vaccination policy and strategy should be initiated. Any such policy should factor-in the learnings and lessons from the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive as well.
  5. Fifth, on a more operational level, the shortage of lifesaving rabies vaccine in India in 2019 is a reminder of the risk and vulnerability in vaccine supply. To ensure vaccine security and be future ready for adult vaccination, the existing public sector vaccine manufacturing units in India should be revived and more need to be set up.

Editorial 2 – A tentative truce with the Pakistan Taliban

The story so far: The Pakistani Government announced on Monday that it had entered into a nationwide ceasefire with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the outlawed terrorist group also known as the Pakistan Taliban. This was agreed upon after weeks-long talks held in Afghanistan between the Government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the TTP.

Who are the TTP?

The Pakistan Taliban emerged as an umbrella group of militant outfits in the country’s northwestern region bordering Afghanistan. As Pakistan, under pressure from the United States, carried out military operations in the tribal region from 2001-2014 to hunt for al-Qaeda and other militants who had crossed the border from Afghanistan after the 2001 NATO invasion, the local tribal groups launched an armed resistance. In 2007, this transformed into a larger platform of militants under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud. An ethnic Pashtun, Mehsud was associated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), the Deobandi Islamic party of Maulana Fazlur Rahman.

The TTP’s goals in Pakistan are similar to that of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The TTP wants to overthrow the Pakistani state and implement its hardline interpretation of the Sharia across the country. They had nurtured close ties with al-Qaeda, and had carried out some of the deadliest terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, including the 2014 Peshawar school massacre in which 147 people were killed, most of them students.

What’s the role of the Afghan Taliban?

While there are organisational differences between the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistan Taliban, the two have ideological, tribal and seminary connections. Both have Pashtun roots and have links with the Deobandi seminary networks.

Editorial 3 – Localising the labour force through reservations

The story so far:  The Haryana Government notified a law reserving 75% jobs for locals, which will come into effect from January 15, 2022. The law requires firms to reserve 75% of all jobs offering a salary of less than ₹30,000 a month for eligible candidates of State domicile. Following the Haryana move, the Jharkhand Assembly passed a Bill providing 75% reservation for locals in the private sector for salaries up to ₹40,000 a month. In 2019, the Andhra Pradesh Government had passed a similar law — the A.P. Employment of Local Candidates in Industries/Factories Act.

What did the Andhra law stipulate?

The Andhra Pradesh law, passed by the Assembly in July 2019, and notified promptly next month, reserved 75% of jobs for locals in industries and factories, including any joint venture and project taken up under the public-private- partnership (PPP) mode. Where suitable local candidates were not available, the industry or factory would be given three years to train local candidates with “active collaboration of the Government”.

How has the industry coped so far?

For now, the priority for the State, according to industry experts, is on getting new industries to absorb the local candidates in phases, as implementing the law for existing workforce would entail terminating employees who may be from other States. The Government is not forcing employers to implement the Act for various reasons, which mainly include the prevailing gloomy industrial scenario, largely attributable to the pandemic’s aftermath.

The State, the advocate stated, has no power to prescribe the domicile or place of birth or place of residence as a requirement for public employment.

What do private industries feel?

  1. The importance of productivity levels of workers should not be overlooked. For instance, the workforce from Odisha and Bihar is highly productive compared to workers belonging to the Telugu-speaking States.
  2. The industries are grappling with is the uncertainty whether local candidates will continue in their jobs and the possibility of them resisting the entry of jobseekers from other States if the situation necessitates outsourcing.

The broader trend of raising the sons of the soil issue for electoral gains in States will hurt the investment climate across the country.

A firm implementation of the law could drive away existing investors as well as dry up fresh green-field and brown-field investments.

4) Regarding Migrant Labors in Gujrat

Gujarat is one of the top States in India that receive migrant workers, largely temporary and seasonal, on a large scale.

What are the problems with migrant labors?

  • Segmenting the labour market and creating a separate labour market for migrant workers — who are easy to exploit — has been a common strategy of employers across India.
  • The pathetic conditions migrant workers face have been widely documented. They earn low wages, work very long hours without any overtime benefits, and are almost without any leave or social protection.
  • Lakhs of unskilled and migrant workers live on worksites in makeshift huts (usually made of tin sheets) or on roads, slums and in illegal settlements.
  • They are neither able to save much to improve their conditions back in their home States nor save enough to live comfortably in Gujarat.
  • They go back home only once or twice to celebrate festivals. Semiskilled workers with some education and skills (such as those in diamond cutting and polishing units, power looms and factories) get slightly higher wages and earn some leave. However, these workers are also exploited in multiple ways and are mostly unprotected.

Rules which are on paper only

Under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act and other labour laws, migrant workers in Gujarat are legally entitled to all their basic labour rights. These include minimum wages, regular wage payment, regular working hours, overtime payment, and decent working and living conditions. Under the same Act, the Governments of the States from where migrant workforce originate are expected to issue licences to contractors who take workers away, register such workers and also monitor their working and living conditions in other States. But most State Governments remain indifferent to these laws.

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