Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Current Affairs of 30th September-2020

 

1) Me too movement:

Background:

  • The me too movement is an international movement against sexual harassment and assault
  • It spread virally in 2017 in the form of a hashtag used on social media
  • It served to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment particularly in the workplace
  • Preceded by the public revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein this moment acquired a gigantic magnitude
  • When Alyssa Milano not only introduced the phrase but also encouraged women to talk about it does bringing to line light how

rampant the issue is?

Indian Angle:

  • In India now this movement is gaining currency
  • The testimonies so far have mostly concerned the film world and the mainstream media covering both workplace and private spaces
  • Why now? Women thought that their words and feelings would be dismissed, their careers would suffer or their families would pull them back into safety of home

Positives of the movement

  • The movement exposes the scale of the real problem
  • Set the real standards for decency
  • Victims may now speak on what constitutes harassment
  • It creates deterrence in the society
  • What you thought was okay may not be okay since the beginning
  • Give the victims channel to talk let it out and Express their feelings
  • Victims need to be heard right? Just because the bad guys walk free doesn’t mean it is over
  • No means no

Cons of the movement

  • Like many other social campaigns it lacks clear action points and only serves as a token act
  • It creates false sense of achievements. Did we really change anything besides creating new hashtag?
  • It could be exploited by both people who cheats, lies and vengeful
  • Fake victims and fake sympathizers with their own agenda could pretty much hijack it and make the movement to be discredited by many when the truth is exposed
  • It can destroy a man’s life with one allegation, No proof needed. consent has many dimensions

Conclusion:

  • It is important to identify the exact transgression in various cases and ensure action is taken with due process
  • No one can be deemed guilty only because he had been named
  • There has been a systematic disregard for making workplaces and common spaces free of harassment

 

2) India China border issue:

Context: China claims they are going by the 1959 LAC, the LAC of 1959 was unilaterally defined by China and was first referenced in a letter from the then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai to Jawaharlal Nehru, Idea rejected by Nehru and subsequently never accepted by India

  • An officer in South Block official said China had this summer gone beyond this 1959
  • India side doesn’t recognize the 1959 claim line, even going by their own 1959 line which runs near patrolling point pp14, the Clash in Galwan valley, happened approximately 800 metres west of PP14, so the Chinese are violating their own claims
  • India’s position that it never accepted 1959 line was consistent and well-known including to the Chinese side

Ministry of External Affairs Said both sides had in previous bilateral border agreements including

  • The 1993 agreement on maintenance of peace and tranquility along the LAC
  • The 1996 agreement on confidence building measures in the military field
  • And 2005 agreement on political parameters and guiding principles

Committed to clarification and confirmation of the line of actual control to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC

  • The ministry of external affairs said the two sides had engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC up to 2003 but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it
  • The Chinese side says it did not recognize Ladakh union territory, illegally set up by the Indian site
  • The Chinese when asked about the infrastructure projects in the border area said that China consistently and strictly abide by the agreement signed with the Indian side

India China border issue

Mainly concentrated Western, Eastern sector and the present conflict is in the Western Sector

Eastern Sector

  • The Eastern sector which include Arunachal Pradesh, China says this is part of south Tibet
  • China did not accept or acknowledge the Mac Mohan line in the Eastern sector
  • It is not only land but Buddhism that is being followed in Arunachal Pradesh that is Vajrayana Buddhism

The root cause of the conflict

  • British legacy because the demarcation made by them, and the demarcation was not acknowledged by China
  • The dispute over exception can be traced back to the failure of British Empire to clearly demarcate the border between China and its Indian colony
  • During the time of British rule in India two borders between India and China were proposed Johnsons line 1865 and McDonald line 1893 later McDonald line was dropped
  • In Johnson’s line Aksai Chin was shown as a part of Jammu and Kashmir (now Ladakh) under Indian Territory
  • In McDonald line Aksai Chin is part of China
  • India consider Johnson’s line and China considered as McDonald line which becomes the reason for conflict
  • Aksai Chin which was always part of India was taken away by China in 1962 war and the conflict lies in British Legacy as Britishers did not mark in the border
  • China occupied Aksai Chin in 1962 war, Aksai Chin connects the highway between Tibet and Xinjiang

 

3) Second Sero-survey:

ICMR conducted second zero survey, main findings are:

  • Around 7% of being exposed till last fortnight of August
  • This is a rough jump of tenfold in numbers from the first period survey conducted by the Council across 70 districts in 21 states that sought to estimate the likely number of infected until early may
  • Service are conducted by drawing with samples and checking for a specific class of antibodies called IgG that appear within two weeks of an infection
  • Because it is yet unclear how long antibodies detectably persist in the body their presence only indicates past exposure to and not presence of the virus
  • During the first survey it emerged that there were 80-130 infections for every confirmed covid-19 positive case that number has now dropped 26-32 infections which was the result of ramped up testing and early case detection
  • Big numbers of the country suggest that the country still has an overwhelming majority of its to pollution yet to be exposed to the virus and therefore is far from any peak or herd immunity levels
  • Herd immunity these refer to approximate estimates what percentage of the population needs to be exposed to the virus so that its spread is curtailed
  • The survey also says the risk of being exposed to the virus is real and we have to continue with our measures
  • Risk in urban slums is twice that of non-slums and 4 times that in rural settings
  • The country wide prevalence of the virus was similar to that seen in United States which was around 9.3% Brazil and Spain had a privilege of 2.8 % and 4.6%
  • The opening of the country has no doubt seen the virus spread and it is quite likely that these numbers will increase
  • The average prevalence in major cities range from 50 % in Mumbai to 29% in New Delhi 22% in Chennai and 7.8 % in Indore

The Sero-Survey which aims to capture National prevalence sampled many more from rural India to reflect the population spread

 

4) Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY):

The world’s largest Universal Health Coverage program- the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), is now being expanded to the ‘missing middle’ population of the country.

  • This would ensure that a much larger section of the uncovered population- comprising informal sector workers, self-employed, professionals, employees in msmes and others– are provided health coverage.
  • Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY is the largest health assurance scheme in the world
  • Which aims at providing a health cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to the bottom 40% of the Indian population.
  • The households included are based on the deprivation and occupational criteria of Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011) for rural and urban areas respectively.
  • PM-JAY was earlier known as the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) before being rechristened.
  • It subsumed the then existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) which had been launched in 2008.
  • The coverage mentioned under PM-JAY, therefore, also includes families that were covered in RSBY but are not present in the SECC 2011 database.
  • PM-JAY is fully funded by the Government and cost of implementation is shared between the Central and State Governments.

 

5) DISC 4:

Context: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4)

  • The challenge features the initiatives which are aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (idex) ecosystem.
  • IDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines were also launched during the event.

Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4)

Under the DISC 4, eleven challenges from Armed forces, OFB&dpsus were made open to startups, innovators, msmes in order to provide their innovative ideas on technologies.

These technologies could have their application in the defence sector. The eleven challenges include

  • Autonomous Underwater Swarm Drones.
  • AI based Satellite Image Analysis.
  • Predictive, Preventive & Prescriptive Machine Monitoring.
  • Reduction of RCS of Naval Warships.
  • Super Resolution for Improving Spatial Resolution.
  • Computer Generated Targets for Virtual Training.
  • Target Detection in Chaff Environment.
  • Remote Real Time In-Flight Health Monitoring of Aircrew.
  • MF-TDMA based Wideband SATCOM Modem.
  • Prediction and forecasting of atmospheric visibility.
  • Foliage Penetration Radar.

Idex4fauji initiative

  • It has been launched to support the innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The initiative will bolster innovation ideas from soldiers and field formations.
  • The idex initiative stands as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Startup ecosystem of the country.
  • The initiative would be a decisive step for India in achieving its self-reliance under the atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.

 

6) Human Rights cannot be an excuse for defying the law of the land:

The stand taken and the statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth.

The facts of the matter are as follows:

  • Amnesty International had received permission under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) only once and that too twenty years ago Since then Amnesty International, despite its repeated applications, has been denied FCRA approval by successive governments since as per law it is not eligible to get such an approval.
  • However, in order to circumvent the FCRA regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without MHA’s approval under FCRA. This mala fide rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions.
  • Owing to these illegal practices of Amnesty, the previous government had also rejected the repeated applications of Amnesty to receive funds from overseas.
  • This had led Amnesty to suspend its India operations once during that period as well.
  • This bipartisan and purely legal approach towards Amnesty, under different governments, makes it clear that the entire fault lies in the dubious processes adopted by Amnesty to secure funds for its operations.
  • All the glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws.
  • Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years.
  • Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India, as is being done by many other organizations. However, India, by settled law, does not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations.
  • This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well.
  • India has a rich and pluralistic democratic culture with a free press, independent judiciary and tradition of vibrant domestic debate.
  • The people of India have placed unprecedented trust in the current government.
  • Amnesty’s failure to comply with local regulations does not entitle them to make comments on the democratic and plural character of India

 

7) Indian Economy worst performing:

Context: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee said India was among the worst performing economies in the world
Reasons for bad performance:

  • Country’s economic growth was slowing down even before the Pre covid-19 pandemic hit- due to demonetization and GST
  • India’s economic stimulus was Limited it was a bank bail out
  • The stimulus measures did not increase consumption spending of lower income people as the government was not willing to put money in the hands of the low income population
  • And that the government economic stimulus was inadequate to tackle the problem

 

8) Forest fires in California:

More than 400,000 acres have been burned in Northern and Central California

What makes wildfires in California so catastrophic?

Reasons:

1. Climate

  • California like much of the west gets most of its moisture in winter
  • Its vegetation then spends much of the summer slowly drying out because of a lack of rainfall and warmer temperatures
  • That vegetation then serve as a kindling for fires

2. Global warming and climate change

  • Is another reason and the temperature in the forest is higher about two to three degrees Fahrenheit

3. Human interference or anthropogenic factors,

  • Urban wildlife and interference, humans moving into areas near forest

4. The Santa Ana winds

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