12 November 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Prelims Specific Questions :-

1) The Non-Cooperation Movement led to

  1. Growth of Hindu-Muslim unity.
  2. Removal of fear of the British ‘might’ from the minds of the people.
  3. British Government’s willingness to grant political concessions to Indians.

Select the correct answer code:

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

2) Mahatma Gandhi announced the withdrawal of the Non-Cooperation Movement due to

  1. Motilal Nehru and Chittaranjan Das forming the Swaraj Party amidst the movement
  2. Mahatma Gandhi’s arrest by the British
  3. Chauri-Chaura Incident

Select the correct answer code:

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

3) Which of the following act first recognized the voting rights of women in India?

  1. Government of India Act 1909
  2. Government of India Act 1919
  3. Government of India Act 1935
  4. None of the above

Prelims specific News Items –

1. Nepal Army to set up its own defence university

The Nepali Army is on course to establish its own national defence university, said Nepal Army chief General Prabhu Ram Sharma.

Gen. Sharma, who has been given the honorary rank of General of the Indian Army, unveiled his portrait on the “Wall of Honour”, and was presented with a Scroll of Honour at the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi,

2) S. Africa’s last apartheid President De Klerk dies

F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white President, who freed antiapartheid icon Nelson Mandela from jail, died on Thursday aged 85, his foundation announced.

De Klerk and South Africa’s first black President Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for leading the “miracle” transition from white rule over the country.

Environment

1) India seeks $1 tn in ‘climate finance’ to meet its targets

India has demanded a trillion dollars over the next decade from developed countries to adapt to, and mitigate, the challenges arising from global warming, and has kept this as a condition for delivering on climate commitments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a senior official who is part of ongoing climate agreement negotiations in Glasgow.

India’s fivefold plan (See figure) aims at reducing the carbon intensity of its economy and eventually achieving net zero by 2070. Net zero is when a country’s carbon emissions are offset by taking out equivalent carbon from the atmosphere, so that emissions in balance are zero. However, achieving net zero by a specific date means specifying a year, also called a peaking year, following which emissions will begin to fall. “Our NDCs (Nationally Determined Contribution) are conditional, that is, subjected to the availability of this amount [$1 trillion] in climate finance.

Defence

1) Gulf states hold naval exercise with Israel: U.S.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are holding their first joint naval exercise with Israel, a year after normalising ties with the Jewish state, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday.

The five-day manoeuvres in the Red Sea, which is linked to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, are intended to “enhance interoperability between participating forces”

Editorial of the day

Editorial 1MPLADS, its suspension, and why it must go

The Union Cabinet brought back the MPLADS scheme that was suspended in April 2020, with MPs getting ₹2 crore annually instead of the previously approved ₹5 crore.

Under the scheme, each Member of Parliament “has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of ₹5 crore per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency”.

MPLADs scheme should be completely abolished for the following reasons: –

  1. First, the scheme violates one of the cardinal principles, which permeates the entire Constitution: separation of powers. Simply put, this scheme gives an executive function to legislators. The argument that MPs only recommend projects, but the final choice and implementation rests with the district authorities is strange; there are hardly any authorities in the district who have the courage to defy the wishes of an MP.
  2. Second, implementation of the scheme has always left much to be desired. The details below, which are some of the observations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in a report make it clear: expenditure incurred by the executing agencies being less than amount booked. Utilisation of funds between 49 to 90% of the booked amount; Though the scheme envisages that works under the scheme should be limited to asset creation, 549 of the 707 works were for improvement of existing assets; Use of lesser quantities of material than specified by contractors resulting in excess payments and substandard works; “no accountability for the expenditure in terms of the quality and quantities executed against specifications”; Delays in issuing work orders ranging from 5 to 387 days in 57% of the works against the requirement of issuing the work order within 45 days ; Extensions of time granted to contractors without following the correct procedure; Register of assets created, as required under the scheme, not maintained, therefore location and existence of assets could not be verified; “The implementation of the scheme was marked by various shortcomings and lapses… These were indicative of the failure of internal control mechanisms in the department in terms of nonmaintenance of records”.

“A year after they took office, 298 of 542 members of the 16th Lok Sabha have not spent a rupee from the ₹5 crore that is set aside annually for them to develop their constituencies”; 508 MPs (93.55%) did not, or could not, utilise the entire MPLADS amount from May 4, 2014 till December 10, 2018, in 4 years and 7 months. Only 35 MPs of the Lok Sabha utilized the entire amount of MPLADS during this period; Since the MPLADS began in 1993, ₹5,000 crore was lying unspent with various district authorities by May 15, 2015.

  • The combined judgment for all these petitions was delivered on May 6, 2010, with the scheme being held to be constitutional.

Cases of misuse-

Reports of underutilisation and misutilisation of MPLADS funds continue to surface at regular intervals, but there seems to have been no serious attempt to do anything about it till now.

Editorial 2- The migrant crisis at the Belarus-EU border

The story so far: There has been a sudden surge of migrants, including women and children, at the Belarus-Poland border, causing tensions to rise between the two countries. The migrants, estimated to be 2,0004,000 in number, and mostly from West Asia, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, have made several attempts to cross over into Poland with the aim of seeking asylum in a European Union (EU) country.

How did the migrants end up at the Polish border?

According to Belarus’s two European neighbours, Poland and Lithuania – both of which have been at the receiving end of the migrants surge — the whole crisis was orchestrated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. His victory in the 2020 presidential polls, widely perceived as fraudulent, triggered nationwide protests by prodemocracy activists.  Lukashenko unleashed a brutal crackdown to which the EU responded by imposing punitive sanctions on officials and entities linked to the Belarusian regime.

Poland views the migrant surge at its borders as Belarus’s retaliation against the sanctions. It has claimed that Belarus is waging a “hybrid war”, deploying unconventional methods to apply pressure on an adversary. Lithuania, too, has accused Belarus of “weaponising migrants” by luring thousands of them to Minsk from West Asia and then pushing them into the forests along the border with the aim of unleashing chaos in the EU.

3) Editorial 3 – The lowdown on India’s Glasgow announcement

Where New Delhi slipped

Two big disappointments with India’s stance at Glasgow deserve mention.

  • First, India refused to join over 110 countries in a declaration to end deforestation by 2030. India’s pledges also do not mention the NDC target for forests and tree cover, in which India is known to be slipping, with deleterious impacts on both the environment and livelihoods of tribals and other forest dwellers. These may confirm the worst fears of many regarding efforts todilute environmental regulations in favour of corporate interests.
  • Second, India also did not join the Global Methane Pledge by over 100 nations to reduce emissions of the short-lived but potent greenhouse gas by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, when methane is among the fastest growing emissions in India. n the other hand, Glasgow saw India launch another international climate initiative called Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), aimed at providing technical, knowledge and financial assistance to small island nations with the help of developed countries. One wishes such an initiative was undertaken in India too, where coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and urban flooding due to extreme rainfall exacerbated by haphazard urbanisation are acquiring threatening dimensions.

five elements: reducing Emissions Intensity (EI), or emissions per unit of GDP, by 45% in 2030 relative to 2005 levels; cutting absolute emissions by one billion  tonnes, presumably from projected business-asusual (BAU) 2030 levels; 500 GW (1 Giga watt = 1,000 Megawatts) of nonfossil fuel installed power generation capacity by 2030; 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030; and netzero emissions by 2070.

fve elements: reducing Emissions Intensity (EI), or emissions per unit of GDP, by 45% in 2030 relative to 2005 levels; cutting absolute emissions by one billion tonnes, presumably from projected business-asusual (BAU) 2030 levels; 500 GW (1 Giga watt = 1,000 Megawatts) of nonfossil fuel installed power generation capacity by 2030; 50% electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030; and netzero emissions by 2070.

Accelerated deployment of electric or fuel-cell vehicles must go alongside a rapid reduction in personal vehicle use and a major push for mass transportation. Carbon lockins and energy use need to be minimised through mandatory “green” construction codes  for the huge housing and other buildings stock, highways and infrastructure yet to be built. A leap in employment-intensive recycling of waste goods and materials, including in solid and liquid waste management linked to methane recovery, would deliver substantial cobenefiacross sectors.

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