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UPSC NEWS DIARY FOR TODAY (05 August, 2022) | DAY LONG CURRENT AFFAIRS DIGEST FOR UPSC

 

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.

 

Indian EdTech Consortium(IEC)

 

About IEC

  • IEC works against unfair trade practices of Ed-tech companies.
  • Indian EdTech Consortium is a self-regulatory body with a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism.
  • It runs under the aegis of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
  • IEC comprises of Indian start-ups and represents 95% of the Indian learner community.

What is needed?

  • What is needed within IECs self-regulatory mechanism are long-term, clear, and comprehensive guidelines that specifically target financial, advertorial, operational, and academic-related issues.
  • Effective self-regulation is key to safeguarding consumer rights and ensuring equitable access to quality education.
  • Effective self-regulation also prevents top-down regulatory strictures which might discourage innovation and stifle the sector.

 

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

 

  • The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area bringing together the 55 countries of the African Union (AU) and eight (8) Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
  • It is a new pan-African trade bloc offering access for the first time to the African continent’s combined $3 trillion market.
  • The overall mandate of the AfCFTA is to create a single continental market with a population of about 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of approximately US$ 3.4 trillion.
  • The AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, the African Union’s long-term development strategy for transforming the continent into a global powerhouse.
  • As part of its mandate, the AfCFTA is to eliminate trade barriers and boost intra-Africa trade. In particular, it is to advance trade in value-added production across all service sectors of the African Economy.
  • The AfCFTA will contribute to establishing regional value chains in Africa, enabling investment and job creation.

 

 S. Subramaniam Balaji vs Government of Tamil Nadu (2013)

 

S. Subramaniam Balaji vs Government of Tamil Nadu (2013): What was the case?

 

  • On July 5, 2013, passing orders in the S Subramaniam Balaji Vs Govt of Tamil Nadu and Others case, the Supreme Court said: “Although, the law is obvious that the promises in the election manifesto cannot be construed as ‘corrupt practice’ under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, the reality cannot be ruled out that distribution of freebies of any kind, undoubtedly, influences all people. It shakes the root of free and fair elections to a large degree.”
  • Pursuant to the order, the Election Commission itself framed guidelines for model code of conduct and said: “In the interest of transparency, level playing field and credibility of promises, it is expected that manifestos also reflect the rationale for the promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it. Trust of voters should be sought only on those promises which are possible to be fulfilled.”

S. Subramaniam Balaji vs Government of Tamil Nadu (2013): Did Freebies Stop?

  • The Election Commission has been a mute spectator to the freebies promised by political parties and kept quiet in order to aid and abet the vitiation of the free and fair election process in favour of the promisors.
  • Though it is a clear violation of the model code of conduct and also a direct contempt of the order of the Supreme Court.

 

‘Thambi’

 

Why in News?

The 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad is being held in Chennai from July 28 to August 10, 2022. The official logo and mascot, of the 44th Chess Olympiad, is a chess knight, called Thambi.

 

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About ”Thambi”

  • This horse-headed mascot is designed in traditional Tamil attire, saying vanakkam (with folded hands).
  • The name is a symbol of brotherhood, and it indicates that we all belong to one fraternity.
  • Also, DMK founder and former chief minister C N Annadurai had called everyone fondly as “Thambi” (little brother). The mascot’s name is in honour of such an endearing name.

 

Sop or Welfare Debate

 

Sop or Welfare Debate- 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 (05 August, 2022)_50.1

 

Sop or Welfare Debate in News

  • Recent Supreme Court’s decision to form a body of stakeholders to examine the issue of ‘freebies’ raises the question whether the legislature can be bypassed on such a far-reaching exercise.

Election to the Office of Vice-President of India

Concerns over Freebies in Elections

  • A general concern over ‘freebies’ pushing the economy to ruin or unviable pre-election promises adversely affecting informed decision-making by voters seems reasonable.
  • Concerns over what constitutes ‘freebies’ and what are legitimate welfare measures to protect the vulnerable sections
    • These are essentially political questions for which a court of law may have no answer.
  • Concerns over Supreme Court’s decision to interfere on the freebies which is a legislative matter.

Supreme Court’s Observation

The Chief Justice of India , N.V. Ramana, headed Bench hearing a petition against the distribution or promise of ‘freebies’ ahead of elections made following observations.

  • It said that the Court is not going to issue guidelines, but only ensure that suggestions are taken from stakeholders such as the NITI Aayog, Finance Commission, Law Commission, RBI and political parties.
  • All these institutions can submit a report to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and Government.
  • A suggestion that Parliament could discuss this issue was met with scepticism by the Bench, which felt that no party would want a debate on this, as all of them support such sops.
  • The Bench also disfavoured the ECI preparing a ‘model manifesto’ as it would be an empty formality.
  • The Court’s concern over populist measures seems to resonate with the Government too, as the Solicitor-General submitted that these distorted the voter’s informed decision-making; and that unregulated populism may lead to an economic disaster.

Subramaniam Balaji vs Government of Tamil Nadu (2013) Judgement

  • SC addressed these questions and took the position that these concerned law and policy.
  • It upheld the distribution of television sets or consumer goods on the ground that schemes targeted at women, farmers and the poorer sections.
    • It said that these were in furtherance of Directive Principles.
  • The Court also said that as long as public funds were spent based on appropriations cleared by the legislature, they could neither be declared illegal, nor the promise of such items be termed a ‘corrupt practice’.
  • It had, however, directed the ECI to frame guidelines to regulate the content of manifestos.

Election Commission of India (ECI) on Freebies

Following the directions of SC in S. Subramaniam Balaji vs Government of Tamil Nadu (2013) Judgement, ECI took following measures-

  • The ECI included in its Model Code of Conduct a stipulation that parties should avoid promises “that vitiate the purity of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters”.
  • It added that only promises which were possible to be fulfilled should be made and that manifestos should contain the rationale for a promised welfare measure and indicate the means of funding it.

Conclusion

  • Distinguishing welfare measures from populist sops and pre-election inducements, or adding to the obligations of fiscal responsibility and fiscal prudence ought to come from the legislature and not from Judiciary.

Election Commission of India (ECI)

 

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC)

 

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC)- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Science and Technology- Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) in News

  • Union government informed that the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC), Shillong will execute 110 projects in Eight North Eastern States by 2024.
  • NESAC has coordinated preparation of Plan of Actions (PoA) by the Nodal Departments of the eight States.
  • These projects are in the domains of Agriculture, Water Resources, Forestry & Ecology, Planning & Development, UAV Remote Sensing and Disaster Management Support, with joint funding from MoDONER, DoS and State Governments.

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC)

  • About: NESAC was established in 2000 to provide space technology inputs and services for the development of the North Eastern Region.
  • Establishment: North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) was established by Department of Space jointly with North Eastern Council (NEC).
    • NESAC is a society registered under the Meghalaya Societies Registration Act, 1983.
  • Mandate: NESAC has mandate to develop high technology infrastructure support to play the catalytic role in holistic development of NER of India by providing space science and technology support.

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) Objectives

  • To provide an operational remote sensing and geographic information system aided natural resource information base to support activities on development / management of natural resources and infrastructure planning in the region.
  • To provide operational satellite communication applications services in the region in education, health care, disaster management support, and developmental communication.
  • To take up research in space and atmospheric science area and establish an instrumentation hub and networking with various academic institutions of NER.
  • To enable single window delivery of all possible space based support for disaster management.
  • To set up a regional level infrastructure for capacity building in the field of geospatial technology.

North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC)- Key Achievements

NESAC has developed and achieved following major milestones for the North Eastern Region including-

  • Implementation of North Eastern Spatial Data Repository (NeSDR)
  • Identification of potential areas for development of sericulture & horticulture,
  • Remote Sensing based forest working plans & river atlas,
  • Geospatial system for monitoring MoDONER sponsored projects & survey of Record of Forest Rights (RoFR),
  • Flood Early Warning System (FLEWS) for Assam, and
  • Training & capacity building, including for professionals from BIMSTEC region
  • Satellite imaging-based inputs to support settling of border disputes between North Eastern States undertaken as per suggestion of MHA.

Gaganyaan Space Mission

IN SPACe Inaugration: IN-SPACe Headquarters Inaugurated in Ahmedabad

 

ASEAN and INDIA

 

ASEAN and INDIA- Relevance for UPSC Exam

General Studies II- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

In News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and discussed about Lanka and ASEAN.

What is ASEAN?

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
  • 8thAugust is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
  • Founding countries of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Member Nations

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Brunei
  • Vietnam
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Cambodia

Historical Background

  • 1967 – Established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Brunei became a member in 1985 and the Cold War in 1991, Vietnam (1995), Laos and Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999) joined ASEAN.
  • 1995 – Members signed a deal to create a nuclear-free zone in Southeast Asia.
  • 1997 – Adoption of ASEAN Vision 2020.
  • 2003 – Bali Concord IIfor the establishment of an ASEAN Community.
  • 2007 – Cebu Declaration,to accelerate the establishment of ASEAN Community by 2015.
  • 2008 – ASEAN Charter comes into force and becomes a legally binding agreement.
  • 2015 – Launch of ASEAN Community.
    • ASEAN Community consist of:
      • ASEAN Political-Security Community
      • ASEAN Economic Community
      • ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community

Objective

  • To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • To promote regional peace and stability through the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  • To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields.
  • To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of resources and raising the living standards of peoples.
  • To promote Southeast Asian studies.
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations.

INDIA and ASEAN

After independence India did not have good relations with ASEAN because of ideological difference with ASEAN which was under the US camp during the Cold War. After the end of Cold War, India – ASEAN relations have evolved from just economic ties to strategic heights owing to common threats and aspirations.

  • 1996- India became a member of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for security dialogue in Asia in which members can discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.
  • 2002- India and ASEAN begin to hold annual summit level meetings.
  • 2009- India- ASEAN Free trade Agreement in Goods was concluded.
  • 2012- India – ASEAN Strategic Partnership was concluded
  • 2014- India – ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment was signed with an aim to facilitate movement of manpower and investments between India and ASEAN.
  • 2018- India ASEAN celebrated 25 years of their relationship by holding a commemorative Summit. Leaders of all ten ASEAN countries were invited as Chief Guests for the Republic Day parade on January 26,2018.

Economic Cooperation

  • ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner.
  • The ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has been completed.
  • ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC) was set up in 2003 to bring key private sector players from India and the ASEAN countries on a single platform.
  • Financial assistance has been provided to ASEAN countries from the following Funds:
    • ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund
    • ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund
    • ASEAN-India Green Fund
  • Delhi Declaration identifies cooperation in the Maritime Domain.
  • Delhi Dialogue: Annual dialogue for discussing politico-security and economic issues between ASEAN and India.
  • ASEAN-India Centre (AIC): To undertake policy research, advocacy and networking activities with organizations and think-tanks in India and ASEAN.
  • Political Security Cooperation: India places ASEAN at the centre of its Indo-Pacific vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region.

Significance

  • ASEAN have more influence on Asia-Pacific trade, political, and security issues than its members could achieve individually.
  • Demographic dividend is huge in ASEAN countries with 3rd largest population in the world, of which more than half is below thirty years of age.

 

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

 

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 3: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in News

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved India’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) towards global response to climate change.
  • The updated NDC will be communicated to be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Paris Agreement for Climate Change

India’s Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

  • Background: At Glasgow Summit (COP 26 of UNFCCC), Indian Prime Minister had announced intensifying India’s climate action through five targets termed as “Panchamrit”.
    • This update to India’s existing NDC translates the ‘Panchamrit’ announced at COP 26 into enhanced climate targets.
  • Updated NDC (Panchamrit): In order to curb the climate change, India aims to-
    • Reach non-fossil energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030,
    • Meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
    • Reduce total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonne
    • Reduce carbon intensity of the economy to less than 45% by 2030 and
    • Achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070.
  • Implementation: India’s updated NDC will be implemented over the period 2021-2030 through programs and schemes of relevant Ministries /departments and with due support from States and Union Territories.
  • Significance: The updated NDC seeks to enhance India’s contributions towards achievement of the strengthening of global response to the threat of climate change, as agreed under the Paris Agreement.
    • Such action will also help India usher in low emissions growth pathways.
    • It would protect the interests of the country and safeguard its future development needs based on the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC.
    • The updated NDC also represents the framework for India’s transition to cleaner energy for the period 2021-2030.

India’s Efforts towards Updated NDC

  • LIFE Style Movement: ‘LIFE’– ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ is a mass movement announced by India at Glasgow Summit of UNFCCC as a key to combating climate change”.
    • The vision of LIFE is to live a lifestyle that is in tune with our planet and does not harm it.
    • India’s updated NDC also captures this citizen centric approach to combat climate change.
  • PLI Schemes: Government provides tax concessions and incentives such as Production Linked Incentive scheme for promotion of manufacturing and adoption of renewable energy.
    • It will provide an opportunity for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and enhancing exports.
  • National Green Hydrogen Policy: ministry of new and renewable energy came up with the National Green Hydrogen Policy and a comprehensive green hydrogen mission is in the works.
  • Government has launched the national portal for rooftop solar to enable online tracking of installation of rooftop solar plants.
    • Further, it would come up with bids for 4GW of offshore wind energy, along with providing incentives to attract investors in the segment.
  • The Net Zero target by 2030 by Indian Railways alone will lead to a reduction of emissions by 60 million tonnes annually.
  • Similarly, India’s massive LED bulb campaign is reducing emissions by 40 million tonnes annually.

India’s NDC 2015 in Paris Agreement

  • India has pledged to reduce emissions intensity per unit GDP by 33-35% of 2005 levels.
  • India aims to reach 40% of installed capacity from non-fossil fuels.
  • India targets 175 GW of renewable energy generation by 2022.
  • India plans to enlarge forest cover to absorb 5 billion tonnes worth of carbon dioxide.
  • India will reduce dependence on fossil fuels through levies and reduction in subsidies.
  • India exhorted on the principles of equity and differentiated responsibilities
  • India expects developed countries to mobilize 100 billion US dollars annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.

COP26 Glasgow Summit of UNFCC- India’s Commitments

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