”UPSC News Diary 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 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 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.
Commonwealth of Nations
What is the Commonwealth?
- The Commonwealth of Nations is a group of 56 countries comprised mostly of former British colonies. Members of the Commonwealth are predominantly located in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific, with many of them emerging economies.
- The three European members of the group are Cyprus, Malta, and the U.K.
- The developed nations of the Commonwealth are Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
What are Republics & Realms?
- The Commonwealth consists of both republics and realms. T
- The British monarch is the Head of State for the realms, whereas the republics are ruled by elected governments, except in the the case of five countries — Brunei Darussalam, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malaysia, and Tonga — each a self-governed monarchy.
- The realms are comprised of Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
Ecological Niche Modelling
What is an Ecological niche?
- An ecological niche is the right set of environmental conditions under which an animal or plant species will thrive. A range of ecological niches can occur within an ecosystem.
- Biodiversity is the result of these niches being occupied by species that are uniquely suited to them.
- Desert plants, for example, are suited for dry, arid ecological niches because they have the ability to store water in their leaves.
What is Ecological niche modelling?
- Ecological niche modelling is a predictive tool for identifying new possibilities — new inhabitants for an existing habitat, or new geographical locations where a desirable plant may grow well.
- The modelling involves the use of computer algorithms to compare data about the environment and to make forecasts about what would be ideal for a given ecological niche.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Amendment) Model Amendment Rules, 2022
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Amendment) Model Amendment Rules 2022 modify several aspects of the JJ Act, including those governing adoption, foster care, sponsorship, as well as the eligibility criteria for CWCs.
- The Model Rules state that a person associated with an organisation receiving foreign contribution shall not be eligible to be a Chairperson or member of the Committee.
- It also states that anyone involved in the implementation of the JJ Act in any NGO or organisation that creates a conflict of interest will be ineligible to serve on a CWC.
- Anyone involved in rescue and rehabilitation in the district, as well as anyone representing someone running a CCI or a member of the Board or Trust of any NGO, is not eligible to serve on a CWC.
- Retired judicial officers have also been omitted from the category of persons who can be considered for appointment to a CWC.
Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)
Eastern Economic Forum (EEF)- Relevance for UPSC Exam
General Studies II- Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India
Eastern Economic Forum-EEF: In News
Russia hosted the seventh Eastern Economic Forum- EEF Vladivostok. The four-day forum is a platform for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses into Russia’s Far East (RFE).
What is the Eastern Economic Forum(EEF)?
- The EEF was established in 2015 aiming to encourage foreign investments in the RFE to display:
- Economic potential
- Suitable business conditions and
- Investment opportunities in the region
- The agreements focus on infrastructure, transportation projects, mineral excavations, construction, industry and agriculture.
- With EEF, Russia is trying to attract the Asian economies in investing and developing the Far East.
- This year, the Forum aimed at connecting the Far East with the Asia-Pacific
Eastern Economic Forum: Aim
- The primary objective of the EEF is to increase the Foreign Direct Investments in the RFE.
- The region encompasses one-third of Russia’s territory and is rich with natural resources such as fish, oil, natural gas, wood, diamonds and other minerals.
- The sparse population living in the region is another factor for encouraging people to move and work in the Far East.
- The region’s riches and resources contribute to five percent of Russia’s GDP.
Eastern Economic Forum: Success
- Agreements signed at the EEF increased from 217 in 2017 to 380 agreements in 2021, worth 3.6 trillion roubles.
- As of 2022, almost 2,729 investment projects are being planned in the region.
Eastern Economic Forum: Major Participants
- China is the biggest investor in the region as it sees potential in promoting the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and the Polar Sea Route in the RFE.
- China’s investments in the region account for 90% of the total investments.
- South Korea has invested in shipbuilding projects, manufacturing of electrical equipment, gas-liquefying plants, agricultural production and fisheries.
- Japan is another key trading partner. In 2017, its investments through 21 projects amounted to $16 billion.
Eastern Economic Forum: Russia’s response to China’s investment
- Russia has been welcoming Chinese investments since 2015; more now than ever due to the economic pressures caused by the war in Ukraine.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway has further helped Russia and China in advancing trade ties.
- The countries share a 4000-km-long border, which enables them to tap into each other’s resources with some infrastructural assistance.
- China is also looking to develop its Heilongjiang Province which connects with the RFE.
- Both nations have invested in a fund to develop connectivity between the cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe.
Eastern Economic Forum: India and Russia
- India seeks to expand its influence in the RFE.
- In 2019, India also offered a $1 billion line of credit to develop infrastructure in the region.
- During the forum, PM Modi expressed the country’s readiness in expanding trade, connectivity and investments in Russia.
- India is keen to deepen its cooperation in energy, pharmaceuticals, maritime connectivity, healthcare, tourism, the diamond industry and the Arctic.
Eastern Economic Forum: Strategic significance for Russia
- Gateway to Asia: The RFE is geographically placed at a strategic location; acting as a gateway into Asia.
- Negating the Ukrainian war impact: The Ukraine war is a worrying issue as it affects the economic growth of the country.
- Surviving sanctions: Although, the EEF is an annual gathering, the forum comes at an opportune time for Russia who is dealing with the impact of the sanctions.
- Supply chain resilience: The IPEF will also play a key role in building resilient supply chains.
- India understands the benefits of being involved in the development in the RFE but it also perceives the IPEF as a vital platform to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
- India’s participation in the forum will help in disengaging from supply chains that are dependent on China and will also make it a part of the global supply chain network.
Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022
Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 in News
- Recently, the sixth edition of the Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022, JIMEX 22 was hosted by the Indian Navy.
- JIMEX 2022 concluded with the two sides bidding farewell to each other with a customary steam past.
Japan India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX)
- Background: the JIMEX series of naval exercises began in January 2012 with a special focus on maritime security cooperation between Japan and India.
- The first ever Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) was conducted in the Bay of Bengal (India) from 19th December to 22nd December 2013.
- About: Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) is a bilateral naval exercise between India and Japan to strengthen the naval cooperation and build trust and confidence between navies of India and Japan.
- Mandate: JIMEX aims to develop a common understanding of operational procedures and enhance interoperability between the Navies of India and Japan.
- This is to be achieved through the conduct of drills across the complete spectrum of maritime operations in surface, sub-surface, and air domains.
- Significance: Over the period of time, Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) has consolidated the mutual understanding and interoperability between the two navies.
- Participation: Both countries led by following official participated in the week-long JIMEX Exercise 2022.
- Indian Naval ships led by Rear Adm Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and
- Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Izumo and Takanami led by Rear Adm Hirata Toshiyuki, Commander Escort Flotilla Four.
- Key Activities:
- JIMEX 22 witnessed some of the most complex exercises undertaken jointly by the two navies.
- Both sides engaged in advanced level anti-submarine warfare, weapon firings and Air Defence exercises.
- Shipborne helicopters, fighter aircraft and submarines also participated in the exercise.
- IN and JMSDF ships replenished each other at sea under the agreement on Reciprocal Provision for Supply and Services (RPSS).
Constitutional Safeguards for STs
Constitutional Safeguards for STs: Introduction
- Constitutional provisions are living instruments to safeguard the interests of people in general and special provisions for tribal people in particular.
- Special Constitutional provisions are not arbitrary discrimination but are protective discrimination that is indispensable for tribal development in India.
- The special provisions are aimed to prevent discrimination against the tribal people to protect their rights.
- It improves the standard of living of tribal people socially and economically to see them in the mainstream of the society.
- The National Commission for STs and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs are the leading organizations to provide and implement various schemes and policies to safeguard the life of the tribal people with a view to protecting them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Constitutional Safeguards for STs: Who are STs?
Part XVI(Special Provisions relating to certain classes): Art 342
1. The President may with respect to any State or Union Territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the tribes, or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union Territory, as the case may be.
2. Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in a notification issued under clause (2) any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
Part XIX(Miscellaneous): Article 366 (25)
“Scheduled Tribes” means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities are deemed under article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution.
Key Constitutional Safeguards for STs
I. Educational & Cultural Safeguards
Art. 15(4):- Special provisions for the advancement of other backward classes(which includes STs);
Art. 29:- Protection of Interests of Minorities (which includes STs);
Art. 46:– The State shall promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Art. 350:- Right to conserve distinct Language, Script or Culture;
Art. 350:- Instruction in Mother Tongue.
Art. 23:- Prohibition of traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar form of forced labour;
Art. 24:- Forbidding Child Labour.
III. Economic Safeguards
Art.244:- Clause(1) Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration & control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any State other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura which are covered under Sixth Schedule, under Clause (2) of this Article.
Art. 275:- Grants in-Aid to specified States (STs&SAs) covered under Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
IV. Political Safeguards
Art.164(1):- Provides for Tribal Affairs Ministers in Bihar, MP and Orissa;
Art. 330:- Reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha;
Art. 337- Reservation of seats for STs in State Legislatures;
Art. 334:- 10 years period for reservation (Amended several times to extend the period.);
Art. 243:- Reservation of seats in Panchayats.
Art. 371:- Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim
V. Service Safeguards
(Under Art.16(4),16(4A),164(B) Art.335, and Art. 320(40)
Constitutional Safeguards for STs: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
Under Art. 338A:
(1) There shall be a Commission for the ScheduledTribes to be known as the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members and the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members so appointed shall be such as the President may by rule determine.
(3) The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
(4) The Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure.
Assisted Suicide- Relevance for UPSC Exam
General Studies IV- Ethics.
A renowned French filmmaker died earlier this week by assisted suicide at the age of 91.
Assisted Suicide: Definition
- Assisted suicide and euthanasia are practices under which a person intentionally ends their life with active assistance from others.
- These have long been contentious topics of debate as they involve a complex set of moral, ethical and in some cases, religious questions.
- Several European nations, some states in Australia and Colombia in South America allow assisted suicide and euthanasia under certain circumstances.
Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: The Difference
- Euthanasia is the act of intentionally ending a life to relieve suffering – for example a lethal injection administered by a doctor.
- Intentionally helping another person to kill themselves is known as assisted suicide.
- This can include providing someone with strong sedatives with which to end their life or buying them a ticket to Switzerland (where assisted suicide is legal) to end their life
- The practice of passive euthanasia involves simply stopping lifesaving treatment or medical intervention with the consent of the patient or a family member or a close friend representing the patient.Active euthanasia, which is legal in only a few countries, entails the use of substances to end the life of the patient.
Assisted suicide and India
- In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India legalised passive euthanasia in 2018, stating that it was a matter of ‘living will’.
- According to the judgment, an adult in his conscious mind is permitted to refuse medical treatment or voluntarily decide not to take medical treatment to embrace death in a natural way, under certain conditions.
- In the 538-page judgment, the court laid down a set of guidelines for ‘living will’ and defined passive euthanasia and euthanasia as well.
- It also laid down guidelines for ‘living will’ made by terminally ill patients who beforehand know about their chances of slipping into a permanent vegetative state.
- The court specifically stated that the rights of a patient, in such cases, would not fall out of the purview of Article 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Indian Constitution.
The case of Aruna Shanbaug
- While ruling on a petition on behalf of Aruna Shanbaug Case, the court had allowed passive euthanasia for the nurse who had spent decades in a vegetative state.
- Shanbaug had become central to debates on the legality of right to die and euthanasia in India.
- Shanbaug died of pneumonia in March 2015 at the age of 66, 42 years of which she had spent in a room at KEM Hospital in Mumbai, after a brutal rape left her in a permanent vegetative state.
Recent cases in India
- In 2018, an old couple from Mumbai wrote to then President Kovind, seeking permission for active euthanasia or assisted suicide though neither of them suffered from a life-threatening ailment.
- The couple stated in their plea that they had lived a happy life and didn’t want to depend on hospitals for old age ailments.
Justification for Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide
- It provides a way to relieve extreme pain.
- Euthanasia can save life of many other people by donation of vital organs.
- Euthanasia can be misused.
- Many psychiatrists are of the opinion that a terminally ill person or someone who is old and suffering from an incurable disease is often not in the right frame of mind to take a call.
- Family members deciding on behalf of the patient can also lead to abuse of the law legalizing euthanasia as it can be due to some personal interest.
Entangled Atomic Clocks
Entangled Atomic Clocks- Relevance for UPSC Exam
General Studies III- Awareness in The Fields Of It, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology, Pharma Sector & Health Science.
For the first time, scientists at the University of Oxford have been able to demonstrate a network of two entangled optical atomic clocks.
- The high-precision atomic clocks and quantum entanglement have been achieved altogether.
- This means the inherent uncertainty in measuring their frequencies simultaneously is highly reduced.
What are Atomic Clocks?
- An atomic clock is a clock that uses the resonance frequencies of atoms as its resonator.
- Cesium is incredibly accurate at timekeeping and is used in atomic clocks.
- Entanglement is a quantum phenomenon in which two or more particles become linked together so that they can no longer be described independently, even at vast distances.
- This is the key to reaching the fundamental limit of precision that’s determined by quantum theory.
- Previous experiments have demonstrated that entanglement between two atomic clocks in the same system can be used to improve the quality of measurements.
- This is the first-time researchers have been able to achieve this between clocks in two separate remotely entangled systems.
Use clocks to navigate in space
- To determine a spacecraft’s distance from Earth, navigators send a signal to the spacecraft, which then returns it to Earth.
- The time the signal requires to make that two-way journey reveals the spacecraft’s distance from Earth, because the signal travels at a known speed (the speed of light).
- While it may sound complicated, most of us use this concept every day. The grocery store might be a 30-minute walk from your house.
- If you know you can walk about a mile in 20 minutes, then you can calculate the distance to the store.
- By sending multiple signals and taking many measurements over time, navigators can calculate a spacecraft’s trajectory: where it is and where it’s headed.
Need atomic clocks
- To know the spacecraft’s position within a meter, navigators’ need clocks with precision time resolution — clocks that can measure billionths of a second.
- Navigators also need clocks that are extremely stable.
- Stability refers to how consistently a clock measures a unit of time; its measurement of the length of a second, for example, needs to be the same (to better than a billionth of a second) over days and weeks.
What is an oscillator in a clock?
- Most modern clocks, from wristwatches to those used on satellites, keep time using a quartz crystal oscillator.
- These devices take advantage of the fact that quartz crystals vibrate at a precise frequency when voltage is applied to them.
- The vibrations of the crystal act like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, ticking off how much time has passed.
Role of atoms in the clocks
- By space navigation standards, quartz crystal clocks aren’t very stable.
- After only an hour, even the best-performing quartz oscillators can be off by a nanosecond (one billionth of a second).
- After six weeks, they may be off by a full millisecond (one thousandth of a second), or a distance error of 185 miles (300 kilometers).
- That would have a huge impact on measuring the position of a fast-moving spacecraft.
- Atomic clocks combine a quartz crystal oscillator with an ensemble of atoms to achieve greater stability.