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UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 7th February 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 7th February 2022

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 7th February 2022

Topics     

  • Chauri Chaura Incident
  • Surety Bonds
  • Hijab & Freedom of Religion
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • ‘Z’ Category Security

 

1.Chauri Chaura Incident

#GS1-Freedom Struggle

Context

  • On the 4th of February last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Chauri Chaura Centenary Celebrations and issued a postal stamp to commemorate the occasion.

In depth information

Concerning the Chauri Chaura incident
  • The incident occurred on February 4, 1922, in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district.
  • During the Non-cooperation campaign, police opened fire on a huge group of Congress and Khilafat demonstrators, killing many of them.
  • Protesters assaulted and set fire to the Chauri Chaura police station in response, killing many of the station’s occupants.
  • Three civilians and 22 police officers were killed in the event.
  • On February 12, the same year, Mahatma Gandhi, who was fully opposed to violence, put an end to the non-cooperation movement.
  • As a result, the British authorities declared martial law in the area, arresting hundreds of individuals, including Mahatma Gandhi.
Non-cooperation Movement
  • The non-cooperation movement was a political campaign initiated by Mahatma Gandhi on September 4, 1920, to get Indians to withdraw their cooperation from the British administration in order to persuade the British to grant India self-governance and full independence (Purna Swaraj).
  • Following the Rowlatt Act of 18 March 1919, which suspended the rights of political prisoners in sedition trials and was seen as a “political awakening” by Indians and a “threat” by the British, and the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 13 April 1919, the Indian National Congress (INC) withdrew its support for British reforms.
  • Gandhi’s non-cooperation programme involved convincing all Indians to withdraw their labour from any activity that supported the British administration and the Indian economy, such as British enterprises and educational institutions.
  • Protesters would refuse to buy British goods, employ local handicrafts, and picket liquor stores using nonviolent measures known as Ahinsa.
  • Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement advocated for the restoration of the Khilafat (Khilafat movement) in Turkey and the abolition of untouchability, in addition to fostering “self-reliance” through spinning khadi, buying Indian-made items solely, and boycotting British goods.

 

2.Surety Bonds

#GS3-Banking Sector

Context

  • The government has permitted the use of surety insurance bonds as a substitute for bank guarantees in government procurement and gold imports, according to the Budget 2022-23.
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has also announced final guidelines to guarantee that the surety insurance industry in India develops in a controlled manner.
  • From April 1, 2022, the IRDAI (Surety Insurance Contracts) Guidelines will be in force.

In depth information

Surety Bonds

What is the meaning of a surety bond?
  • The principal, the obligee, and the surety all sign a surety bond, which is a legally enforceable contract.
  • The obligee, which is usually a government agency, compels the principal, who is usually a business owner or contractor, to secure a surety bond as a guarantee of future work performance.
  • Surety bonds are primarily used in infrastructure construction to lower indirect costs for suppliers and contractors, expanding their alternatives and serving as a replacement for bank guarantees.
  • The insurance firm provides a surety bond to the entity that is awarding the project on behalf of the contractor.
  • Surety bonds safeguard the beneficiary from acts or occurrences that jeopardise the principal’s underlying obligations. They ensure the fulfilment of a wide range of duties, including construction and service contracts, as well as licencing and commercial initiatives.
What problems do you see with the Budget Decision?
  • Surety bonds, a relatively new concept, are risky, and Indian insurance companies have yet to develop experience in risk assessment in this area.
  • In addition, pricing, the remedy available against defaulting contractors, and reinsurance alternatives are all unclear.
  • These are crucial, as they may stymie the development of surety-related skills and capacities, as well as insurers’ willingness to write this type of business.
How can it help the infrastructure project?
  • The initiative to establish guidelines for surety contracts will aid in meeting the infrastructure sector’s substantial liquidity and financial needs.
  • It will level the playing field for major, mid-sized, and small contractors.
  • The Surety insurance industry will contribute to the development of a construction project guarantee that is not reliant on bank guarantees.
  • This will allow construction companies to make better use of their working capital and lower the amount of collateral they must furnish.
  • Insurers and financial institutions will collaborate to share risk information.
  • As a result, this will aid in the release of liquidity in the infrastructure domain while minimising risk.
What are the IRDAI Surety Bond Guidelines?
  • Insurance companies can now issue the much-anticipated surety bonds, thanks to new guidelines.
  • According to the regulator, the premium charged for all surety insurance policies underwritten in a financial year, including all payments payable in following years for those policies, shall not exceed 10% of the total gross written premium for that year, up to Rs 500 crore.
  • According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), insurers can offer contract bonds, which assure the government, developers, subcontractors, and suppliers that the contractor will complete the project as planned.
  • Bid Bonds, Performance Bonds, Advance Payment Bonds, and Retention Money are examples of contract bonds.
  • Bid Bonds:
  • They protect an obligee financially if a bidder is awarded a contract based on the bid documents but fails to sign the contract or submit any requisite performance and payment bonds.
  • The obligee will be covered if the principal or contractor fails to perform the bonded contract, according to the performance bond. If the obligee deems the principal or contractor in default and terminates the contract, the Surety may be called upon to fulfil the Surety’s bond obligations.
  • Advance Payment Bond:
  • An Advance Payment Bond is a pledge by the Surety provider to pay the outstanding balance of the advance payment if the contractor fails to finish the contract according to specifications or adhere to the contract’s scope.
  • Retention Money:
  • This is a portion of the contract payment that is held back and paid out after the project is completed successfully.
  • The limit of guarantee should not exceed 30% of the contract value.
  • Surety Insurance contracts should be issued only to specific projects and not clubbed for multiple projects.

 

3.Hijab & Freedom of Religion

#GS2-Fundamental Rights

Context

  • Six teenagers in Karnataka’s Udupi county were recently barred from attending college because they wore a headscarf (a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women).

In depth information

  • The issue raises legal difficulties about how to interpret religious freedom and whether the right to wear a headscarf is protected by the constitution.
How does the Constitution protect religious liberty?
  • “Freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise, and propagate religion,” according to Article 25(1) of the Constitution.
  • It is a right that guarantees a negative liberty, which means that the state must ensure that this freedom be exercised without interference or hindrance.
  • However, the state can limit the right for reasons of public order, decency, morality, health, and other state interests, just as it can for all other fundamental rights.
  • This has the following ramifications:
  • Freedom of conscience refers to an individual’s inner freedom to shape his relationship with God or Creatures in whatever way he sees fit.
  • Right to Proclaim: The open and free expression of one’s religious views and convictions.
  • Religious worship, rituals, ceremonies, and public displays of beliefs and ideas are all protected under the right to practise.
  • Right to Propagate: The act of transmitting and disseminating one’s religious views to others, or the presentation of one’s religion’s precepts.
What is the Essential Religious Practises Test?
  • The Supreme Court (SC) has developed a sort of practical test to decide what religious practises are constitutionally protected and what can be ignored over time.
  • The Supreme Court ruled in the Shirur Mutt case in 1954 that the term “religion” encompasses all “integral” rituals and practises of a faith. The “essential religious practises” criteria is used to assess what is essential.
  • The test, which involves a judicial decision of religious practises, has been criticised by legal experts for forcing the court to enter theological territory.
  • Scholars who criticise the test think that it is preferable for the court to restrict religious acts for the sake of public order rather than determining what is so fundamental to a religion that it must be protected.
  • The standard has been used by the court in a number of cases to keep certain practises out.
  • The Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that the Ananda Marga sect did not have a basic right to conduct Tandava dance in public streets because it was not an essential religious activity for the cult.
  • While these are often thought to be community-based issues, the court has extended the test to individual liberties in some cases.
  • For example, in 2016, the Supreme Court supported a Muslim airman’s expulsion from the Indian Air Force because he had a beard.
  • The Armed Forces Regulations of 1964 restrict Armed Forces personnel from growing hair, with the exception of “those whose religion prohibits the cutting of hair or shaving of the face.”
  • The court basically ruled that growing a beard isn’t a requirement for practising Islam.
How have courts ruled on the hijab issue so far?
  • While this has been brought before the courts on multiple occasions, two sets of Kerala High Court judgements, particularly on Muslim women’s right to wear according to Islamic precepts, provide inconsistent solutions.
  • At least two cases were filed in 2015 in the Kerala High Court contesting the All India Pre-Medical Entrance dress code, which stipulated wearing “light garments with half sleeves without big buttons, brooch/badge, flower, etc. with Salwar/Trouser” and “slippers and not shoes.”
  • The Kerala High Court agreed with the Central Board of School Education’s (CBSE) argument that the rule was only in place to ensure that candidates did not use unfair methods such as concealing objects within clothes, and ordered the CBSE to take additional steps to check students who “intend to wear a dress according to their religious custom, but contrary to the dress code.”
  • The Kerala High Court looked at the matter further in Amna Bint Basheer v Central Board of Secondary Education (2016).
  • The Court decided that wearing a headscarf is a vital religious practise, but it did not overturn the CBSE ruling.
  • The court allowed the “additional procedures” and precautions put in place in 2015 to be used once more.
  • However, in Fathima Tasneem v State of Kerala, another Bench found differently on the subject of a school uniform (2018).
  • The Kerala High Court’s single bench ruled that an institution’s collective rights would take precedence over the petitioner’s individual rights.

 

4.International Space Station (ISS)

#GS3-Space

Context

  • The International Space Station (ISS) will stop operating in 2031, after which it will fall out of orbit and into the waters of the South Pacific Ocean, according to NASA.

In depth information

  • It will make its way to the “South Pacific Oceanic Uninhabited Area (SPOUA)” in the Point Nemo area.
  • Point Nemo has evolved into a type of space graveyard, where defunct spacecraft are frequently laid to rest.
  • It is named after a figure in Jules Verne’s novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” which is located roughly 2,700 kilometres from any shore.
  • The International Space Station’s operations will be moved to a low-Earth orbit destination, according to NASA. The microgravity space station is now in its third and most productive decade.
International Space Station (ISS)
  • In Low Earth Orbit, it is a space station or a livable artificial satellite (approximately 250 miles above Earth).
  • Former US President Ronald Reagan proposed in 1984 that a permanently inhabited spacecraft be built in collaboration with a few other countries.
  • Onboard a Russian rocket, the first section of the International Space Station was launched into space in 1998.
  • In 2011, NASA and its international partners completed the space station.
  • The Multinational Space Station (ISS) is one of humanity’s most ambitious international collaborations.
  • Countries involved: The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project involving five space agencies: NASA (USA), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada) (Canada).
  • Intergovernmental treaties and agreements govern the ownership and use of the space station.
  • The station is split into two sections: the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by a number of countries.
Landmarks:
  • Several historic firsts have been documented onboard the International Space Station over the last two decades.
  • In 2018, NASA’s Cold Atom Lab became the first facility in space to create the fifth state of matter, known as a Bose-Einstein condensate.
  • For the first time, a NASA astronaut was able to sequence DNA in space in 2016.
  • Advanced water filtration and purification systems, as well as successful crop production initiatives onboard the space station, have provided valuable lessons for people all around the world who lack access to these essential resources.
Space Stations’ Importance
  • They’re great for gathering relevant scientific data, particularly for biological investigations.
  • They assist in the completion of several scientific investigations on various parts of space.
  • The consequences of long-term space flight on the human body are studied using space stations.

 

5.‘Z’ Category Security

#GS3-Various Security Forces

Context

  • The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) has assigned a ‘Z’ security grade to a prominent parliamentarian from Hyderabad.

In depth information

India’s Security Provisions
  • The police and local governments in India provide security to high-risk individuals.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs determines an individual’s level of security based on information obtained from intelligence organisations such as the IB and R&AW.
  • Because of their status, people like the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, and other officials like the National Security Advisor are usually protected.
  • In addition, people who are deemed to be in danger are given security protection.
What is Security in the ‘Z’ Category?
  • The following categories are covered in India: X, Y, Y-plus, Z, Z-plus, and SPG (Special Protection Group).
  • The protectee is assigned one gunman in the X Category. One shooter is assigned to mobile security and one (plus four on rotation) is assigned to static security for those in the Y category.
  • Y Plus: Two gunmen (plus four on rotation) for mobile security and one (plus four on rotation) for home security are provided.
  • It has six gunmen for mobile security and two (plus 8) for home security in the Z Category. They are provided with ten security people for mobile security and two (plus eight) for home security.
  • The National Security Guard commandos offer the Z Plus category of security, whereas the Delhi police, ITBP, or CRPF provide the other categories.
What about Coverage from the Special Protection Group (SPG)?
  • Only the Prime Minister and his immediate family are covered by the SPG.
  • The Rajiv Gandhi government decided to develop a special cadre of security professionals for the Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi was slain by her own security guards in 1984.
  • Following the suggestions of a committee appointed by the Home Ministry, a special unit was established under the Cabinet Secretariat in March 1985.
  • In April 1985, this outfit, originally known as the Special Protection Unit, was renamed Special Protection Group.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 7th February 2022

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