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UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY 01 August, 2022 | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC

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UPSC News Diary For Today” is every day published in the evening between 6-7 PM and contains all current affairs articles from the day on a single platform. ”UPSC News Diary For Today” covers various topics from UPSC Syllabus and is very helpful and time managing for UPSC Aspirants. The framing of this daily current affairs compilation article is easy to read and understandable also.

In the ”UPSC News Diary For Today” article, we focus on both UPSC Preliminary and Mains exam-oriented current affairs & prepare a gist of daily important news articles from leading National Newspapers, PIB, and other various official sources.

 

Precision Cancer Therapies

 

Precision Cancer Therapies: What is Precision Medicine?

  • Precision medicine is a way health care providers can offer and plan specific care for their patients, based on the particular genes, proteins, and other substances in a person’s body. This approach is also sometimes called personalized medicine or personalized care.
  • With regard to cancer, precision medicine most often means looking at how changes in certain genes or proteins in a person’s cancer cells might affect their care, such as their treatment options. But it can have other uses as well.

Precision Cancer Therapies: Gene changes and precision medicine

  • Precision medicine is largely based on knowing the effects of changes in certain genes (and proteins) inside cells.
  • Genes are pieces of DNA inside each cell. They tell the cell how to make the proteins it needs to function. Each gene contains the code (instructions) to make a certain protein, and each protein has a specific job in the cell.
  • All cancers are caused by gene changes of some kind. Cancer cells are abnormal versions of normal cells, meaning something changed in the genes of a normal cell to make it turn into a cancer cell.

 

The UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

 

  • Adopted in Vienna in 1988 (Vienna Convention) was the first treaty that called upon nations to adopt domestic laws to combat drug trafficking.
  • As part of these laws, countries were asked to prohibit the conversion or transfer of property gained through dealing in narcotics to conceal its illicit origin.
  • This Convention provides comprehensive measures against drug trafficking, including provisions against money laundering and the diversion of precursor chemicals.
  • It provides for international cooperation through, for example, extradition of drug traffickers, controlled deliveries and transfer of proceedings.

 

FATF

 

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in the G-7 Summit in Paris in 1989 in response to mounting concern over money-laundering.
  • The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society.
  • As a policy-making body, the FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
  • With more than 200 countries and jurisdictions committed to implementing them.  The FATF has developed the FATF Recommendations, or FATF Standards, which ensure a co-ordinated global response to prevent organised crime, corruption and terrorism.
  • The FATF reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and continuously strengthens its standards to address new risks, such as the regulation of virtual assets, which have spread as cryptocurrencies gain popularity.

 

Palermo Convention

 

  • The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime.
  • The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000 (Palermo Convention) advocated legislative and other measures to combat organised crime, and specifically called for ‘criminalising the laundering of proceeds of crime’.
  • The Convention is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of organized crime:
    • The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;
    • The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and
    • The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

 

The conflict between China-Taiwan

 

The conflict between China-Taiwan: Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies II-Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

The conflict between China-Taiwan: In News

China warns of consequences if US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan.

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The conflict between China-Taiwan: Historical Background

  • Taiwan is an island territory across the Taiwan Strait, located off the coast of mainland China.
  • Separated in 1949, amid civil war China considers Taiwan a part of its territory.
  • United Nations membership was continued by the ROC maintaining its permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC).
  • PRC allied itself with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and ROC with the US in the cold war that further strained the China-Taiwan relations.
  • The US and China reconciliation in the 1970s was followed by the visit of the then US President to the PRC in 1972.
  • ROC was displaced by the PRC as the official representative at the UN and the “One-China Principle” came into picture.
  • It further clarifies its stand to use military to control Taiwan if it becomes necessary.
  • In 1980s, China put forward a formula, known as “one country, two systems”, under which Taiwan would be given significant autonomy if it accepted Chinese reunification to improve the relations between the two sides.
  • Though Taiwan rejected the formula but relaxed rules related to visits and investment in China.
  • Amid Beijing’s rejection to recognize Taiwan’s Republic of China (ROC) government as legitimate which prevented government-to-government contact, unofficial talks between the officials took place but that was limited as well.
  • As China implemented the National Security Law in Hong Kong, the world leaders took this as a Chinese attempt to become more assertive in the region.

US-China-Taiwan- Changing scenarios

  • The Shanghai Communique (1972), the Normalization Communique (1979) and the 1982 Communique speaks about the US-China mutual understanding on the Taiwan.
  • The US accepted the ‘one China policy’ considering Taiwan, a part of China in 1979 though US started maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan.
  • In the 1982, China expressed its concerns over the continuous supply of arms by the US to Taiwan as per the provisions of Taiwan Relations Act (TRA),1979.

Impact on Taiwan

  • The Democratic People’s Party wants to expand its economic relations away from China.
  • Taiwan is centrally located in the First Island Chain between Japan and the South China Sea and has a high geopolitical significance.
  • Scattered military outposts of the US in this region makes a significant breakthrough for China if it takes Taiwan’s control which makes the chances of a peaceful reunification are very grim.

Taiwan and the World

  • The Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan has diplomatic relationship with 15 countries and has influential ties with countries such as Australia, Canada, EU Nations, Japan, New Zealand etc.
  • Taiwan has full membership in 38 intergovernmental organizations and their subsidiary bodies, which includes World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asian Development Bankand Central American Bank for Economic
  • According to One China Policy, to seek diplomatic relationship with mainland China they must break official relationship with Taiwan and the diplomatic relationship of Taiwan has seriously challenged this policy.

Countering China

  • A new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the UK and the US (AUKUS)
  • Malabar Exercise(US, Japan, India and Australia) is also a major step towards countering the massive strategic imbalance generated by an economically and militarily powerful China.
  • Warship Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to ensure freedom of the seas, and build partnerships that foster maritime security.

India’s Stand on Taiwan

  • India recognizes One China Policy and accepts Taiwan and Tibet as a part of China.
  • Diplomatically India expects China to believe One India policy
  • India and Taiwan do not have formal diplomatic relations but since 1995, both sides have maintained representative offices in each other’s capitals that function as de facto embassies.

What can be done?

  • World powers must ensure that Chinese effort to take Taiwan by force must be tackled efficiently.
  • India should continue growing economic relations and building on popular support for Taiwan in the wake of India’s troubles with China.

 

Indian Knowledge Systems Mela

 

Indian Knowledge Systems Mela- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Indian Knowledge Systems Mela in News

  • Recently, Minister of State for Education Shri Subhas Sarkar addressed the valedictory session of Indian Knowledge Systems Mela in New Delhi.

Indian Knowledge Systems Mela

  • About: Indian Knowledge Systems Mela is being organized to commemorate the successful completion of two eventful years of National Educational Policy- 2020 (NEP 2020).
  • Organizing Agency: Indian Knowledge Systems Mela is being organized by the IKS (Indian Knowledge Systems) Division and AICTE in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture.
  • Mandate: Indian Knowledge Systems Mela aims to engage deeply with experts on NEP 2020 and learn about the different initiatives, policies, and best practices.
  • Key Initiatives Launched: IKS Division announced major initiatives such as-
    • IKS-MIC programe for technology demonstration,
    • Launch of Kalashala initiative in 750+ schools to promote and support local arts and
    • Introduction of 75 Bharteeyea games in schools.

Indian Knowledge Systems Mela- Key Objectives

  • To present the achievements of NEP2020 after two years of its acceptance highlighting the role of IKS.
  • To make NEP2020 into a movement called BhaSVAn – Bharata Svadhyaya Andolanam for national introspection and self-discovery through the indigenization of education.
  • To make NEP2020 the basis for forging a common Bharatiya identity.
    • This will promote excellence, integral growth and the celebration of unity in diversity through the presentation of the skills, arts, sciences and technologies of different regions upholding common values.
  • To serve as a platform that will bring together different Ministries to co-evolve the Bharatiya identity across converging initiatives on the basis of IKS in NEP2020.

Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division

  • About: Indian Knowledge System (IKS) is an innovative cell under Ministry of Education (MoE) at AICTE, New Delhi.
    • IKS division was established in 2020.
  • Key Functions: Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division seeks to-
    • Promote interdisciplinary research on all aspects of IKS,
    • Preserve and disseminate IKS for further research and societal applications,
    • Actively engage for spreading the rich heritage of our country and traditional knowledge in the field of Arts and literature, Agriculture, Basic Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Architecture, Management, Economics, etc.
  • Parent Ministry: Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) Division functions under administrative control of Ministry of Education (MoE).
  • Key Functions:
    • Facilitate and coordinate IKS based/related inter and transdisciplinary work done by various institutions in India and abroad including universities, institutions of national importance, R&D laboratories and different ministries and inspire private sector organizations to engage with it.
    • Establish, guide and monitor subject-wise interdisciplinary research groups comprising of researchers from institutes, centers and individuals.
    • Create and promote popularization schemes.
    • Facilitate funding of various projects and develop mechanisms to undertake research.
    • Make Policy recommendations wherever required for the promotion of IKS.

IndiaStack Knowledge Exchange 2022

IndiaStack Knowledge Exchange 2022

 

The Gond Tribals

 

The Gond Tribals: Introduction

  • According to the 2011 Census, the tribals account for 109 million and represent 8.6% of the country’s total population.
  • Of the total tribal population of the country, the Gonds are the largest in number.
  • Gonds are seen in states across India such as Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • There are several sub-tribes under the Gonds which share common ethnic origins.
  • Various theories have been put forth to decode the origin of the Gonds as a race and one theory says that the name ‘Gond’ was given to them by other communities.

The Gond Tribals: How Old Are They?

  • Many link the Adivasi Gond tribe to the Indus Valley civilisation, which flourished between 2500 B.C. and 1750 BC.
  • The members of this community do not call themselves by that name, instead, they called and still call themselves “Koi” or “Koithur”.

The Gond Tribals: Sub Castes

  • The Raj Gonds, Khatola, Madia, Dhur, Mokashi, Gayta, Koyas.
  • Individuals born in a particular Sub Caste are known as: The Pradhans, Ojhas, Nagarchis, Dholis.

The Gond Tribals: Social Structure of the Gonds

  • The social structure of the Gonds is one of the oldest and most unique systems created by their chief preceptor Pahandi Pari Kupar Lingo.
  • They have about 750 paadings (clans) and 2250 paadi (totems) and initially 4 saga divisions.
  • The Gond family is the smallest social unit. The Gond family is patrilineal and patrilocal. Only unmarried daughters are regarded as members of the family. They become a part of their husbands’ family post-marriage.
  • Gonds use the term “pari” to express their group. A Gond clan is a unilateral group consisting of family members with the same clan name. The members of the clan are believed to be descended from a common ancestor.
  • There are various sub-castes which include the Pardhans, Ojhas, Nagarchis, Dholis, Raj Gonds, Khatola Gonds, Madia Gonds, Dhur Gonds, Dadve Gonds, Mokashi Gonds, Ciaita Gonds, Koyas, etc.
  • Marriage is forbidden among blood relatives, however, marriage among the children of maternal uncles and paternal aunts is common.
  • Most of the domestic work is centred around women. The husband consults the wife in all the major conflicts within the family. However, women are excluded from certain rituals.

The Gond Tribals: The religious life of Gonds

  • Like most of the tribes, Gonds believe firmly in myths and omens.
  • Gonds also believe in life after death, ancestor worship, sacrifice, and sacred plants and animals.
  • The priests among the Gonds are called Pujar, Bhagat, and Baiga.
  • The important festivals of Gonds include Akkari, Jiwati, Pola, Diwali Nawo tindana, Dussera, Phag or Shimga.

The Gond Tribals: Important cultural aspects of Gonds

  • Flowers of the mohuwa are extensively used by Gonds in their diet. The liquor prepared using distilled flowers of Mohuwa is an important part of their religious and social culture.
  • Gonds tattoo their bodies and are seen as true jewellery that remains with them even after their death.
  • The songs of Gonds have different ragas for different seasons and occasions. The main dance forms are Karma, Ri-na, Ri-lo, Re-la, SelaDanda (stick), Mandari, Hulki, and Suwa, etc.
  • Songs and dances are accompanied by various musical instruments like drums, flute, cymbals and others.
  • Gonds are said to be experts in arts and crafts. They are also experts in wall paintings and floral designs with geometric designs and stylistic figures of plants and animals. The geometric and symbolic designs are carved on walls and doors, on combs and tobacco cases.

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Gotul

  • Gotul is a traditional institution of the Gonds that was used to inculcate a sense of discipline and cooperation among its members.
  • It was the centre of learning and inculcated integrity and uniqueness among all the members of the Gotul.
  • It helped members learn about idioms, wisdom sayings, ecology and forestry, medicines and herbals, hunting and fishing.

Gondi Language

  • Gondi is a proto-Dravidian language and gives enough scope for studying the pictographs though its root morphemes.
  • Gonds, when communicating with outsiders, use a colloquial type of Hindi, known as Chhattisgarhi.

 

Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme

 

Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY 01 August, 2022 | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC_60.1

Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme in News

  • During ‘Ujjwal Bharat Ujjwal Bhavishya – Power @2047’ Program, Indian Prime Minister launched the Power Sector’s Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.
  • He also dedicated and laid the foundation stone of various green energy projects of NTPC.

Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme

  • About: The flagship Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme is aimed at improving the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of the DISCOMs and Power Department.
  • Implementing Ministry: Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme is being implemented under administrative control of Ministry of Power.
  • Funding: Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme will be implemented with an outlay of over Rs. 3 lakh crore over a period of five years from FY 2021-22.
    • The outlay includes an estimated Government Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs 97,631 Crore.
  • Components: The Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme has the following components-
    • Part A – Financial support for Prepaid Smart Metering & System Metering and up-gradation of the Distribution Infrastructure.
    • Part B – Training & Capacity Building and other Enabling & Supporting Activities.

Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme- Key Objectives

  • The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to DISCOMs for-
    • Modernization and strengthening of distribution infrastructure,
    • Focussing on the improvement of the reliability and quality of supply to end consumers.
  • It also aims to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all state-sector DISCOMs and Power Departments by reducing-
    • The AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% and
    • The ACS-ARR (Average Cost of Supply-Average Revenue Realized) gap to zero by 2024-25.

 

Key Features of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme

Key features of the revamped Distribution Sector Scheme are mentioned below-

  • Prepaid Smart Metering to be prioritized for
    • 500 AMRUT cities, with AT&C Losses > 15%
    • All Union Territories
    • MSMEs, Industrial and Commercial consumers
    • All Government offices at the Block level and above
    • Other areas with high losses
  • Prepaid Smart metering for remaining consumers and areas is proposed to be taken up by the respective DISCOMs in a phased manner.
  • Prepaid Smart metering and system metering are proposed to be implemented through PPP on TOTEX (CAPEX+OPEX) mode.
  • Part A of the scheme also provides financial assistance to DISCOMs for-
    • Infrastructure creation and
    • Undertaking reforms to achieve the desired results towards improvement in operational efficiency and financial sustainability.
  • Provision of feeder segregation for unsegregated feeders. Thereafter these feeders are to be solarized under KUSUM – leading to cheap/ free daytime power for irrigation.
  • The pre-qualifying criteria need to be mandatorily met with the DISCOMs before they can be evaluated based on the Result Evaluation Matrix.
    • Thereafter, performance based on Result Evaluation Matrix shall form the basis for the release of funds under the scheme.
  • For Prepaid Smart metering, a grant of Rs 900 or 15% of the cost per consumer meter (whichever is lower), shall be available for “Other than Special Category” States.
    • For “Special Category” States, the grant of Rs 1350 or 22.5% of the cost per consumer (whichever is lower) shall be available.
  • To incentivize the States/UTs to fast-track installation of prepaid Smart Meters by December 2023, an additional incentive of 7.5% of the cost per consumer meter or Rs. 450 (whichever is lower) shall be available.
    • For “Special Category” States the additional incentive shall be 11.25% or Rs. 675 per consumer meter (whichever is lower).
  • For works other than smart metering, maximum financial assistance given to DISCOMs of “Other than Special Category” States will be 60% of the approved cost.
    • For the DISCOMs in special category states, the maximum financial assistance will be 90% of the approved cost.

India’s Largest Floating Solar Power Project Commissioned

 

International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

 

International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) in News

  • Recently, RailFreight.Com reported that two 40-ft containers of wood laminate sheets crossed the Caspian Sea from Russia’s Astrakhan port, and eventually reach Nhava Shiva port in Mumbai, marking the beginning of INSTC.
  • The ships crossed the Caspian Sea from Russia’s Astrakhan port, entered Iran’s Anzali port, continued their southward journey towards the Arabian Sea, entered the waters at Bandar Abbas and eventually reach Nhava Shiva port in Mumbai.

Importance of Chabahar Port

International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)

  • Background: The legal framework for the INSTC is provided by a trilateral agreement signed by India, Iran and Russia at the Euro-Asian Conference on Transport in 2000.
  • About: International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200-km multi-modal transport corridor that combines road, rail and maritime routes connecting Russia and India via central Asia and Iran.
    • The INSTC is expected to consolidate the emerging Eurasian Free Trade Area.
  • INSTC Members: India, Iran and Russia are the founding members of the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
    • Later, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Oman, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Syria have signed instruments of accession to become members of the INSTC.
  • Significance of INSTC
    • Once fully operational, the INSTC is expected to reduce freight costs by 30% and journey time by 40% in comparison with the conventional deep sea route via the Suez Canal.
    • Indeed, the need for an alternative route was deeply felt last year, when the Ever Given container ship was stuck in the Suez, halting maritime traffic between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
    • India being founding member of both QUAD and INSTC, shows a shift in Indian foreign policy from non-alignment to multi-alignment.

Importance of INSTC for India

  • India’s investment in the INSTC is exemplified by its involvement in Iran’s Chabahar port and the construction of a 500-km Chabahar-Zahedan railway line.
    • Once completed, this infrastructure will allow India access to Afghanistan and central Asia, a prospect strengthened by the Taliban government’s support for the project.
  • India can now bypass Pakistan to access Afghanistan, central Asia and beyond.
  • INSTC can shape a north-south transport corridor that can complement the east-west axis of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The INSTC offers a platform for India to closely collaborate with Russia, Iran and Central Asian republics.

Conclusion

  • As a transcontinental multi-modal corridor that aims to bring Eurasia closer together, the INSTC is a laudable initiative in its own right. That it helps India consolidate its multi-alignment strategy sweetens the deal.

International North South Transit Corridor

International North South Transit Corridor

 

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