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UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 24th February 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 16th February 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 16th February 2022


Topics for the day :

  1. Russia says some troops pulling back from areas near Ukraine
  2. HelioSwarm and MUSE
  3. Pacific Islands Forum
  4. Anti-lynching Bills passed by four States
  5. One ocean summit
  6. SC to hear legal tussle over services
  7. Phensedyl smuggling a challenge for BSF
  8. India to make digital maps of all villages


Russia says some troops pulling back from areas near Ukraine

Context :

  • Russia said on Tuesday some of its military units were returning to their bases after exercises near Ukraine, following days of warnings that Moscow might invade its neighbor at any
More on the news :
  • There was a buildup of an estimated 1,30,000 Russian troops to the north, east and south of Ukraine earlier
  • Russia maintains that the troop build up was a part of its war exercises
  • Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said that while large scale drills across the country continued, some units of the southern and western military districts adjacent to Ukraine had completed their exercises and started returning to base
What is the background :
  • Tensions between Ukraine and Russia, both former Soviet states, escalated in late 2013 over a landmark political and trade deal with the European
  • The pro-Russian then-President, Viktor Yanukovych, suspended the talks, weeks of protests in Kiev erupted into
  • Then, in March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an autonomous peninsula in southern Ukraine with strong Russian loyalties, on the pretext that it was defending its interests and those of Russian-speaking
  • Shortly afterwards, pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared their independence from Kiev, prompting months of heavy
  • Despite Kiev and Moscow signing a peace deal in Minsk in 2015, brokered by France and Germany, there have been repeated ceasefire
Current Crisis and reason for troop build up :
  • Moscow sees the growing support for Ukraine from NATO in terms of weaponry, training and personnel as a threat to its own
  • It has also accused Ukraine of boosting its own troop numbers in preparation for an attempt to retake the Donbas region.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for specific legal agreements that would rule out any further NATO expansion eastwards towards Russia’s borders(including Georgia and Ukraine), saying the West has not lived up to its previous verbal
  • Another demand is that NATO must not hold drills in eastern Europe, Ukraine and Georgia without prior approval from
Response from the west :
  • The S and NATO officials have bluntly stated that Russia’s proposals are unrealistic.
  • They insist that Ukraine and every other country has the right to determine its own foreign
  • They also dismissed the idea of Russia wielding veto power over who gets to become a member of NATO, and pointed out that NATO would not take decisions affecting eastern Europe without involving the countries
About North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
  • It is an intergovernmental military
  • Established by Washington
  • Headquarters is at Brussels, Belgium. Headquarters of Allied Command Operations is at Mons,
  • Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March


HelioSwarm and MUSE

Context :
  • NASA has selected two science missions
    • Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE)
    • HelioSwarm
  • to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment
About MUSE :
  • The MUSE mission will help scientists understand the forces driving the heating of the Sun’s corona and the eruptions in that outermost region that are at the foundation of space
  • The mission will offer deeper insight into the physics of the solar atmosphere by using a powerful instrument known as a multi-slit spectrometer to observe the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation and obtain the highest resolution images ever captured of the solar transition region and the corona.
HelioSwarm :
  • The HelioSwarm mission is a constellation or “swarm” of nine spacecraft that will capture the first multiscale in-space measurements of fluctuations in the magnetic field and motions of the solar wind known as solar wind
  • The Sun’s outermost atmospheric layer, the heliosphere, encompasses an enormous region of the solar
  • Solar winds spread through the heliosphere, and their interactions with planetary magnetospheres and disruptions such as coronal mass ejections affect their


Pacific Islands Forum :

  • Pacific Islands Forum, was established in 1971 to provide a setting for heads of government to discuss common issues and problems facing the independent and self-governing states of the South
  • It comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and
  • In 2000 Forum leaders adopted the Biketawa Declaration, which was a response to regional political instability and which put forward a set of principles and actions for members to take to promote open, democratic, and clean government, as well as equal rights for citizens regardless of gender, race, colour, creed, or political
  • The “Boe Declaration” of the “Pacific Islands Forum” reaffirmed that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the


Anti-lynching Bills passed by four States

Context :
  • Bills passed against lynching in the past four years by four states (WB,Rajasthan,Manipur,Jharkhand) have not been implemented, with the Union government taking the view that lynching is not defined as a crime under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
More about the news :
  • The Union Home Ministry informed Parliament in 2019 that there was “no separate” definition for lynching under the IPC, adding that such incidents could be dealt with under Sections 300 and 302 of the IPC which pertain to murder
  • The bills passed by these states have been reserved by the union
  • In 2017, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collected data on mob lynching, hate crimes and cow vigilantism, but the figures were not
What is mob lyncing ?
  • Any acts of violence whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other related grounds.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court asked Parliament to make lynching a separate offence. The Home Minister had informed Parliament that the government had decided to overhaul the IPC framed in 1860 and the CrPC and moblynching would also be examined by the
SC guidelines:
  • There shall be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob
  • The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
  • The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villages where instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent
  • Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob
  • Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
  • The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC within one month from the date of this
  • If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate

One ocean summit

Context :
  • One Ocean Summit was recently organised by France in Brest
More on the news :
  • France organised it in cooperation with the United Nations and the World
  • India also participated in the
  • The goal of the One Ocean Summit is to raise the collective level of ambition of the international community on marine issues and take tangible action towards preserving and supporting healthy and sustainable ocean
  • United Nations has designated the decade between 2021 and 2030 as the ‘Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’, in a bid to restore declining marine life and raise


SC to hear legal tussle over services

Context :
  • Chief Justice of India on Tuesday scheduled for March 3 a prolonged legal tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government, on which of them actually flexes administrative control over bureaucracy and ‘services’ in the
Background :
  • Due to the co-existence of Article 239 and 239AA, there is a jurisdictional conflict between the government of NCT and the Union Government and its representative, the Lieutenant
  • According to the Union government, New Delhi being a Union Territory Article 239 empowers the Lieutenant Governor to act independently of his Council of Ministers.
  • However, the state government of Delhi held that the Article 239AA of the Constitution bestows special status to Delhi of having its own legislatively elected
  • This creates a tussle around the administrative powers of the LG and state government of NCT of
More on the news :
  • The reference to a larger Bench dates back to February 14, 2019, when a Division Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan gave a split opinion on the question of control over ‘services’.
  • While Justice Bhushan had held that the Delhi government had no power over ‘services’, Justice Sikri, who was the lead judge on the Bench, took the middle
  • Justice Bhushan, in his separate opinion, said Entry 41 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, dealing with ‘State Public Services,’ was outside the purview of the Delhi Legislative
  • Justice Sikri, on the other hand, had concluded that files on the transfers and postings of officers in the rank of Secretary, Head of Department and Joint Secretary could be directly submitted to the Lieutenant Governor (LG).
  • However as far as DANICS cadre was concerned, the files could be processed through the Council of Ministers led by the Chief Minister to the LG, Justice Sikri


Phensedyl smuggling a challenge for BSF

Context :
  • Despite the drop in cattle smuggling and other narcotics, Phensedyl, a codeine based cough syrup, remains a challenge for the border guarding forces along the India-Bangladesh border
Reasons :
  • A bottle costs about Rs.200 in India and fetches a lot more in Bangladesh as cough syrups with codeine phosphate are an easy way for people to get
  • Also the unfenced border along the 4156 km border allows for the illegal trade to prosper
  • It is difficult to contain the smuggling because Phensedyl is smuggled in low quantities from India to Bangladesh
More news :
  • Along with Phensedyl, another narcotic that is smuggled in huge quantities is Yaba tablets
  • These tablets usually originate in Myanmar and come to India from
  • Yaba is a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine, sold as cheap red or pink pills, and works as stimulant to the central nervous system

India to make digital maps of all villages

Context :

  • India plans to prepare digital maps of all its 6,00,000 villages and pan-India 3D maps will be prepared for 100 cities
More on the news:
  • An ongoing scheme, piloted by the Panchayati Raj Ministry, called SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) is used for mapping land parcels using drone technology
  • Recently guidelines were updated
    • to make it easier for surveys to be undertaken using drones they help private companies prepare a variety of maps without needing approvals from a host of Ministries
    • to make it easier to use drones and develop applications via location mapping
    • to encompass the trinity of geospatial Systems, Drone Policy and unlocked Space Sector which will be the hallmark of India’s future economic
Features of the Swamitva Scheme :
  • Accurate survey: SVAMITVA Scheme uses the combination of Survey Grade Drones and CORS network (Continuously Operated Reference Stations) to accurately survey large areas in a very short span of
  • High resolution: The 1:500 scale maps generated through the drone survey are of very high accuracy e., 3-5 cms, which the conventional methodology does not provide.
  • Geo-tagging: Editable and geo-tagged maps are produced at a fraction of the cost without the need for line-of-sight on the field
  • Permanent records: These maps facilitate the creation of the most durable record of property holdings in areas with no legacy revenue


UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 16th February 2022

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