Current Affairs 23 & 24 Sep 2023
Daily Current Capsules
23-24 September 2023
- The fourth ‘Nadi Utsav’ is being organized by the National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) of IGNCA and the Janapada Sampada Division, scheduled from September 22nd to September 24th, 2023.
- This year’s ‘Nadi Utsav’ will be hosted in Delhi situated on the banks of River Yamuna.
- The three-day event will include a variety of events, including scholarly discussions with environmentalists and scholars on various subjects, screening of films, presentations by eminent artists, puppet shows, and discussions on various books.
- The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), an institution dedicated to art and culture, under the Ministry of Culture has been organizing the ‘Nadi Utsav’ on a grand scale for the last few years.
- This noble initiative was conceived by Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi to create awareness and sensitize people about their ecology and environment.
- The ‘Nadi Utsav’ commenced in 2018, with its inaugural event held in Nashik (Maharashtra) city situated on the banks of River Godavri.
- The second ‘Nadi Utsav’ took place in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) city situated on the banks of river Krishna, and the third in Munger (Bihar) city situated on the banks of river Ganga.
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
- Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi
- It is a premier government-funded arts organization in India.
- It is an autonomous institute under the Union Ministry of Culture
- IGNCA is envisioned as an institution dedicated to the study and exploration of various art forms.
- It emphasizes on the interconnectedness of different art forms within the broader context of human culture, society, and nature.
- NMCM was launched by the Ministry of Culture in 2017 to develop a comprehensive database of art forms, artists, and other resources across the country
Innovative Mobile Application and Web Portal for General Crop Estimation Survey (GCES) launched
- Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) launched the mobile application and the web portal for GCES (General Crop Estimation Survey)
- This revolutionary portal and mobile application have been designed to transform agricultural practices across the nation.
Salient features of the portal and the mobile application of GCES.
- It has been developed by Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare for leveraging technology to enhance the reach, scope, and outcome of government actions in the course of development.
- The automation of the GCES process will ensure on-time reporting of crop statistics and accuracy of the data.
Key Challenges Addressed by GCES Web Portal and Mobile Application:
- Delay in Reporting- Till date data collection, compilation, and yield estimation is completely manual process which cause delay in reporting by states. In the new process, the field data will be collected using GPS GPS-enabled mobile application and will be stored in the server which ensures on-time reporting of crop statistics.
- Transparency- GPS-enabled devices provide precise latitude and longitude coordinates for data collection points. This information ensures that data is linked to specific geographic locations, leaving no room for ambiguity or manipulation of data regarding where it was collected.
Key Features of the GCES Web Portal and Mobile Application:
- Comprehensive Information- The portal and the app provide a comprehensive repository of yield estimation including village-wise GCES plan and plot details where the crop-cutting experiments are conducted, post-harvesting crop weight and drainage weight of the crop.
- Geo-referencing- Geo-referencing is one of the key features of the mobile application, which enables the primary worker to draw the boundary of the experimental plot and upload photos of the plot as well as of the crops through it. This feature will ensure transparency and accuracy of the data as well.
Nari Shakti Vandan Bill (Highlights)
- 128th Constitutional Amendment Bill
- 33% reservation for women (for 15 years) in LOK SABHA, STATE ASSEMBLIES and LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF NCT OF DELHI
- 1/3RD of the total number of seats to be filled by DIRECT ELECTION
- It is expected to become a reality by 2029
- Seats reserved for women will be rotated after each subsequent delimitation exercise
- There will be 1/3rd quota for women also within the seats reserved for SC/STs
- As per Article 368, the Constitutional Amendment bill requires ratification of not less than one-half of the state
Why do we have to wait till 2029?
- It will come into effect after the delimitation exercise
- Delimitation – Delimitation is the process of redrawing Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies based on the latest population data. The job of delimitation is assigned to a high-power body. Such a body is known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.
- As per Constitutional Amendment (2002), the next delimitation exercise can’t take place before 2026
- A Census report is also required for delimitation and the 2021 Census is yet to be conducted as it was postponed due to Covid 19
- Therefore, the earliest implementation is possible after the 2029 Lok Sabha election and Subsequent State assembly elections
G4 countries call for expansion of UN Security Council
- The G4 countries – India, Brazil, Japan and Germany, have reiterated that expansion of UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories is essential to make the body more representative, legitimate, effective, and efficient.
- The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Germany, Japan, and Secretary West, External Affairs Ministry, Sanjay Verma met on the margins of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
- In a joint press statement, the G4 nations said that the UN Security Council’s inability to effectively and timely address contemporary global challenges reinforces the urgent need for its comprehensive reform.
- The Ministers agreed on the need to enhance the role and participation of developing countries in the Security Council, both in the permanent and non-permanent categories of members.
Delegation from India attends meeting of Neutral Expert proceedings at Permanent Court in Vienna
- A delegation from India, led by Secretary, the Department of Water Resources, attended a meeting of the Neutral Expert proceedings in the Kishenganga and Ratle matter at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Vienna on 20th and 21st of this month.
- Senior Advocate Harish Salve was present in the capacity of India’s Lead Counsel in this matter.
- The meeting was convened by the Neutral Expert appointed on India’s request under the aegis of the Indus Waters Treaty and was attended by representatives of India and Pakistan.
- India’s participation in this meeting is in line with India’s consistent, principled stand that as per the graded mechanism provided for in the Indus Waters Treaty, the Neutral Expert proceedings are the only valid proceedings at this juncture.
- It is for this reason that India has taken the Treaty-consistent decision to not participate in the parallel proceedings being conducted by an illegally constituted Court of Arbitration on the same set of issues pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro-Electric Projects.
- The Neutral Expert proceedings are on-going and expected to continue for some time.
Know! about Indus Water Treaty (IWT)
- It is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, arranged and negotiated by the World Bank, to use the water available in the Indus River and its tributaries.
- It was signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960 by then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then-Pakistani president Ayub Khan.
- The Treaty gives control over the waters of the three “eastern rivers” — the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to India, while control over the waters of the three “western rivers” — the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum located in India to Pakistan.
- India got about 30% of the total water carried by the Indus system located in India while Pakistan got the remaining 70%.
- The treaty allows India to use the western river waters for limited irrigation use and unlimited non-consumptive use such as power generation, navigation, floating of property, fish culture, etc.
- It lays down detailed regulations for India in building projects over the western rivers.
- The Indus system of rivers comprises three western rivers — the Indus, the Jhelum and Chenab — and three eastern rivers — the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi.
Know! also about
Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)
- The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a non-UN intergovernmental organization located in The Hague, Netherlands.
- PCA was established by the First International Peace Conference held at The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1899.
- Unlike a judicial court in the traditional sense, the PCA provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise out of international agreements between member states, international organizations or private parties.
- The cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade.
- The PCA is constituted through two separate multilateral conventions with a combined membership of 122 states.
- It is not a United Nations agency, but a United Nations observer.
- India is a party to the PCA under the Hague Convention of 1899.
Kishenganga Hydro-Electric Project
- The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
- Its dam diverts water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.
- Construction on the project began in 2007 and was expected to be completed in 2016.
- It was halted in 2011 due to a dispute with Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty, which went to a court of arbitration.
- In December 2013, the Court ruled that India could divert water for power generation while ensuring a minimum flow of 9 cumecs (m3/s) downstream to Pakistan.
- All three units of 110 MW each were commissioned and synchronized with the electricity grid by 30 March 2018.
- The Kishanganga (Neelum) River is a major tributary of the west-flowing Jhelum River.
Ratle Hydroelectric Plant
- Ratle Hydoelectric Project (850 MW), is a Run of River Scheme located on River Chenab at village Drabshalla, district Kishtwar, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It includes a 133 m tall gravity dam and two power stations adjacent to one another.
- The installed capacity of both power stations will be 850 MW.
- In June 2013, the then Indian Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the dam.
- Pakistan has frequently alleged that it violates the Indus Water Treaty, of 1960.
India -Canada (recent irritants)
- Canadian PM made wild allegations against India
- The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar( Khalistan Movement leader) – involvement of Indian agencies
- India rejected the claims and accused Canada of sheltering Khalistani terrorists
- Nijjar – He was the head of the Khalistan Tiger Force(KTF). Both Nijjar and KTF – proscribed under UAPA
- Actions taken – Expelling of diplomats, Trade talks stopped
- India-Canada relations not on the expected lines in last 3-4 decades
- Indian diaspora is significant in Canada
- Canadian investment in India is substantial
- Canadian population – around 8 Cr
- Sikh Constitute- 8 lakhs (around 2% of the Canadian population but yields a lot of significance in Canadian politics because of their electoral process.
- The incumbent Canadian PM is surviving with the support of Sikh led New democratic party
- Sikh community in Canada- a powerful lobbying group
- Whatever political party is empowered, they are not in a position to antagonize Sikhs
- Though they are 8 Lakhs in number, their significance is quite high in Canadian Politics
- India and Canada are part of the Commonwealth
- Canada is part of the NATO alliance, Five Eyes Alliance (intelligence sharing arrangement among the anglosphere countries
- Anglosphere counties– Nations that have native English speakers (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)
- In almost all the anglosphere countries Sikh Khalistani activities are active for the past 20-30 years
Know! about the Modern Sikh Independence Movement (Genesis)
- Dated back to 1940s
- In 1940’s- demand for Khalistan raised
- In 1980′ – It became an armed insurgency
- In 1984 – Indira Gandhi ordered Operation Blue Star to capture armed separatists. Subsequently, Indira Gandhi was killed and as a consequence, Anti-Sikh riots took place across India
- The government could control Sikh extremist elements only by the early 1990s but Khalistani activists continue to be active in anglosphere countries.
Reasons for Khalistani activism in anglosphere countries especially Canada’s soft corner towards Khalistani elements
- These countries allow free speech up to a greater extent.
- Western countries consider Fundamental rights as sacrosanct
- Free rights up to a greater extent (e.g. burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden and caricature of gods allowed by France)
- Governments of these countries avoid taking any action against them as they are viewed as minorities ( fear of being accused of racism)
- These minorities thought they are less in number, they vote in blocs- hence important for each and every political party.
- Canadian Political System – Here candidates are required letters of support for themselves and for their political parties to get nominated. Sikhs have a tight knit community structure due to which they are able to bring more letters and effectively secure nominations for themselves or other candidates or even in those areas where they are not in the majority.
Consequences of Khalistani insurgency in India ( how this is affecting India’s internal security)
- Insurgency in Punjab increased after the referendum 2020 campaign( launched 5 yrs ago) eg- the arrest of Amritpal Singh (self-styled Khalistan leader)
- Sikhs themselves rejected the separatist Khalistani ideology (London-based report)
- Increase in coordination between Khalistani and Pakistan-based Kashmir military groups (Hudson report)
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