Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

23rd January,2021 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 23rd January,2021

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • A) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity
  • Sela Tunnel Project and Snow Line(PIB)
  • B) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  • Why is 5G rollout a problem near U.S. airports? (TH, pg 11)
  • Coconut Stem Rot (TH, pg 10)
  • C) Art, Culture and History
  • Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (IE)
  • D) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments
  • All India Services (AIS) (IE)

 

A) Agriculture, Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

  1. Sela Tunnel Project and Snow Line(PIB)
  • Context:The final blast for the 980-metre long Sela Tunnel (Tunnel 1) was conducted by Director General Border Roads.The Sela Tunnel Project is located in the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh.

Analysis

  • The Sela pass is located between the Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh and considered crucial from strategic perspective.
  • Recently, government announced the plan to build a tunnel through the Sela Pass which will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang, a strategically- located town in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China.
  • On completion, Sela Tunnel will be the longest bi-lane road tunnel in the world at an altitude above 13,800 feet.
  • This unique tunnel is much below the snow line allowing all weather travel without the challenges of snow clearance.
  • It reduces travel time and provides all weather connectivity to Tawang.
  • Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, is world’s longest highway tunnel at 10,000 feet and Umlingla Pass, the highest motorable pass in the world at 19,300 feet in Eastern Ladakh.

Snow line

  • Snow line is the lower topographic limit of permanent snow cover.
  • The snow line is an irregular line located along the ground surface where the accumulation of snowfall equals ablation (melting and evaporation).
  • This line varies greatly in altitude and depends on several influences.
  • On windward slopes and those facing the afternoon sun, the snow line may be as much as a kilometre (more than half a mile) higher than on opposite slopes.

 

B) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

  1. Why is 5G rollout a problem near U.S. airports? (TH, pg 11)
  • Context:The issue has led to a comparison of how 5G services in Europe and parts of Asia have hardly led to any disruptions to aviation in these parts of the world unlike the near panic that has set in the U.S. How is this so?

Analysis 

  • There is a major risk that 5G telecommunications systems in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band will cause harmful interference to radar altimeters on all types of civil aircrafts.
  • Radar altimeters (RA), operating at 4.2-4.4 GHz, are the only sensors onboard a civil aircraft which provide a direct measurement of the clearance height of the aircraft over the terrain or other obstacles.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that there are differences in the way 5G technology has been deployed in other countries. These include lower power levels; frequencies that are ‘of a different proximity to frequencies that are used by aviation equipment’ and a different placement of antennas in the vicinity of airports.

 

  1. Coconut Stem Rot (TH, pg 10)
  • Context: Researchers from Kerala have identified two new species of fungi that are associated with coconut stem rot.

Basal stem rot

  • The butt rot or basal stem rot of coconut is known by several names in different parts of India: Ganoderma wilt (Andhra Pradesh), Anaberoga (Karnataka) and Thanjavur wilt (Tamil Nadu), to mention a few.
  • The infection begins at the roots, but symptoms include discolouration and rotting of stem and leaves.
  • In the later stages, flowering and nut set decreases and finally the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) dies.
  • A reddish brown oozing is seen. This oozing has been reported only in India. Once infected, recovery of the plants is not likely.

Late signs

  • Another sign of infection is presence of shelf-like “basidiomata,” which are the fruiting or reproductive structures of the fungus, on the tree trunks.
  • The basidiomata of Ganoderma bear reproductive propagules (called spores) which are dispersed through wind and sometimes with the help of insects. That is how the pathogen spreads from one host to the other.

 

C) Art, Culture and History

  1. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (IE)
  • Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.
  • January 23 this year marks his 125th birth anniversary.
  • The government has also announced that from this year onwards, Republic Day celebrations will start on January 23, as opposed to the usual practice of starting it on January 24, to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • It will end on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated.
  • The Modi government had earlier announced that Bose’s birth anniversary would be celebrated as Parakram Divas.
  • On 23rd January a special programme will be held to honour the winners of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Apada Prabandhan Award – to recognise the contributions in the area of disaster management.

Analysis

  • Subhas Chandra Bose (born January 23, 1897, Cuttack, Odisha- died August 18, 1945, Taipei, Taiwan)
  • In 1919, Bose headed to London to give the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination and he was selected.
  • Bose, however, resigned from Civil Services as he believed he could not side with the British.
  • In 1921, he met Gandhi after reaching India and participated in the non-cooperation movement.
  • He was highly influenced by Vivekananda’s teachings and considered him as his spiritual Guru. His political mentor was Chittaranjan Das.
  • Bose and Chittaranjan Das were arrested in 1921 for successfully organising a boycott against the Prince of Wales’s visit to India, and were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.
  • Upon his release in 1921, Bose took over the editorship of the newspaper ‘Forward’, founded by Chittaranjan Das’s Swaraj Party.
  • In 1923, Bose was elected the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress.
  • He was also sent to prison in Mandalay in 1925 due to his connections with revolutionary movements.
  • In 1928 the Motilal Nehru Committee appointed by the Congress declared in favour of Domination Status, but Subhas Chandra Bose along with Jawaharlal Nehru opposed it, and both asserted that they would be satisfied with nothing short of complete independence for India.
  • Subhas also announced the formation of the Independence League.
  • In 1930, he was elected Mayor of Calcutta, the same year he was elected President of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).
  • In the thirties, he was closely associated with left politics in Congress along with Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress Socialists, Communists and M.N. Roy.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose was jailed during Civil Disobedience movement in 1930.
  • He was released in 1931 after Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed.
  • He protested against the Gandhi-Irwin pact and opposed the suspension of Civil Disobedience movement.
  • During the mid-1930s Bose travelled in Europe. He researched and wrote the first part of his book, The Indian Struggle, which covered the country’s independence movement in the years 1920–1934.
  • After his return, Bose took over as the elected President of Indian National Congress in 1938 (Haripur) and stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance) and the use of force against the British which then combated against Mahatma Gandhi and his views. He also formed a national planning committee, which formulated a policy of broad industrialization.
  • However, this did not harmonize with Gandhian economic thought, which clung to the notion of cottage industries and benefiting from the use of the country’s own resources.
  • Bose was re-elected in 1939 (Tripuri) but soon resigned from the presidency and formed the All India Forward Bloc, a faction within the Congress which aimed at consolidating the political left.
  • Subhas Chandra Bose was re-elected, defeating Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya who had been backed by Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress Working Committee.

Activity in exile

  • In Nazi Germany Bose came under the tutelage of a newly created Special Bureau for India. He opened the Free India Centre in Berlin.
  • He and other Indians who had gathered in Berlin made regular broadcasts from the German-sponsored Azad Hind Radio beginning in January 1942, speaking in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, and Pashto.
  • On July 4, 1943 he assumed leadership of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia and proceeded, with Japanese aid and influence, to form a trained army of about 40,000 troops.
  • On October 21, 1943, Bose proclaimed the establishment of a provisional independent Indian government, and his so-called Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj), alongside Japanese troops, advanced to Rangoon (Yangon) and thence overland into India, reaching Indian soil on March 18, 1944, and moving into Kohima and the plains of Imphal. In July 1943 he renames the Indian National Army as Azad Hind Fauj or the Free India Army.
  • In a stubborn battle, the mixed Indian and Japanese forces, lacking Japanese air support, were defeated and forced to retreat.
  • The Indian National Army maintaining its identity as a liberation army, maintained its base in Burma.
  • With the defeat of Japan, however, Bose’s fortunes ended.
  • A few days after Japan’s announced surrender in August 1945, Bose, fleeing Southeast Asia, reportedly died in a Japanese hospital in Taiwan as a result of burn injuries from a plane crash.

Azad Hind Fauj

  • Bose arrived in Singapore in 1943 at the invitation of revolutionary freedom fighter Rash Bihari Bose.
  • He was appointed President of the Indian Independence League at a formal ceremony in Singapore and took over from Rash Bihari Bose as leader of the Indian Independence League in East Asia.
  • His famous slogans are ‘tum mujhe khoon do, main tumhe aazadi dunga’, ‘Jai Hind’, and ‘Delhi Chalo’.
  • He is known for his militant approach that he used to gain independence and for his socialist policies.
  • He was hailed as Netaji by the Army as well as by the Indian civilian population in East Asia.
  • Azad Hind Fauj proceeded towards India to liberate it from British rule and first liberated Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The I.N.A. Head quarters was shifted to Rangoon in January 1944.

Do you know?

  • In March 1940, Bose convened an Anti-Compromise Conference at Ramgarh in Bihar under the joint auspices of the Forward Bloc and Kisan Sabha, and by June of that year, was demanding the establishment of a Provisional National Government in India.
  • Inspired by his leadership, his followers in Berlin honoured him with the name Bose Netaji.
  • Bose was of the view that social reforms and the movement for national freedom in India were inextricably related.
  • Bose believed that there must be equal opportunities for all, and there should be a fair, just and equitable distribution of wealth. For this purpose, it may be necessary for the state to take over the control of the means of production and distribution of wealth.
  • Besides economic equality Bose also felt that the third essential feature of real socialism is complete social equality. Social equality means that there shall be no caste or depressed classes. Every man will have the same rights, the same status in society.
  • Bose was not only a believer of eradication of caste hierarchy, but also a supporter of women’s equality in social status or in law. Woman will be an equal partner of man was Bose’s firm faith.
  • In a broadcast over Azad Hind Radio Subhash Bose chalked out his methodology of national struggle. He said that the campaign that was going on in India was non-violent guerrilla warfare.
  • He appealed to all people of India to participate in the struggle.
  • He suggested that payment of the taxes be stopped which directly or indirectly brought revenue to the government.
  • The students should organise secret guerrilla bands for carrying on sabotage in different parts of the country. They should also invent new ways of annoying the British authorities, for example, burning stamps etc. in post offices, destroying British monuments etc.
  • The women, especially girl students should do underground work of all kinds, especially as secret messengers or prodvide shelter for the men who fight.
  • The government officials who are prepared to help the campaign should not resign their posts but those in government offices and in war industries should give all available information to fighters outside. The Indians should give up all business with foreign banks, firms, insurance companies etc.
  • For the general public he suggested the following activities:
  • a) Boycott of British goods, industry, burning of British stalls and government stores;
  • b) Total boycott of Britishers in India, and of those Indians who are pro-British;
  • c) Hold demonstrations in spite of official prohibition;
  • d) Publishing of secret bulletins and setting up of a secret radio station;
  • e) Setting fire to government offices and factories which are working for war purposes.
  • f) Destroying police stations, railway stations and jails in isolated places.

 

D) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments

  1. All India Services (AIS) (IE)
  • Context: The Centre has proposed to amend the rules for central deputation of IAS officers.
  • The DoPT said that it is taking this decision in the wake of a shortage of All India Services (AIS) officers in Union Ministries.

Analysis

Brief about the issue

  • Through the amendments, the Union government plans to acquire powers to depute IAS/IPS and IFoS officers to the Central Government and Ministries without necessary permission from the State government.

What is Central Deputation Reserve?

  • The State government has to prescribe a number of officers available for deputation as prescribed under Central Deputation Reserve. This is done as Union government does not have its own officers.
  • Every State cadre of the service provides for a Central deputation quota which in turn requires additional recruitment to be made to the service to provide for trained and experienced members to serve on posts in the Central Government.

All India Services (AIS)

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the chief protagonist of all-India services in the Constituent Assembly. Hence, he came to be regarded as the ‘Father of all-India Services’.
  • Presently only the IAS, the IPS and the IFoS have been constituted as All India Services.
  • All India Services (AIS): Cadre Controlling Authority
  • Indian Administrative Service (IAS): Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
  • Indian Police Service (IPS): Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
  • Indian Forest Service (IFoS): Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • All India Services is a federal feature of the Indian Constitution as they are recruited by the Union Government (by UPSC) and their services are allotted under various State Cadres.
  • The Constitution provides for the creation of All India Services (AIS) common to the Union and the States.
  • The All India Services Act, 1951 provides that the Central Government may make rules for regulating the recruitment and the conditions of service of persons appointed to the All India Services.
  • Recruitment to these services is made under the corresponding AIS Recruitment Rules and may be done through:
  • Direct Recruitment (through Competitive Examinations)
  • By promotion from the State Service
  • The officers of the All India Services (AIS) are further distributed into state cadres.
  • The States cadres or Joint Cadres will be divided into the following five Zones: i. Zone-1 (AGMUT, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana), ii. Zone-2 (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha), iii. Zone-3 (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and. Chhattisgarh), iv. Zone-4 (West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland) and v. Zone-5 (Telangana. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala).
  • There are three joint cadres namely Assam-Meghalaya; Manipur-Tripura; and Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT).
  • In 1947, the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was replaced by IAS, and the Indian Police (IP) was replaced by IPS and were recognised by the Constitution as all-India services.
  • In 1966, the Indian Forest Service was established as the third all-India service under the All India Services Act, 1951 for the safeguard, preservation, and restoration of forest sources.
  • The Forestry was transferred to the provincial list by the Government of India Act 1935 until then it was managed by the federal government and afterwards which the recruitment to the Imperial Forestry Service was discontinued.
  • The All-India Services Act of 1951 authorises the Central government to make rules in consultation with the state governments for the regulation of recruitment and service conditions of the members of all-India services.
  • The Central government obtains the services of these officers on deputation under the well-known tenure system.
  • AIS serve the Central government on deputation and after completing their fixed tenure they go back to their respective states.
  • It must be noted here that irrespective of their division among different states, each of these all-India services form a single service with common rights and status and uniform scales of pay throughout the country.
  • Their salaries and pensions are met by the states.
  • The all-India services are controlled jointly by the Central and state governments.
  • The ultimate control lies with the Central government while the immediate control is vested in the state governments.
  • Any disciplinary action (imposition of penalties) against these officers can only be taken by the Central government.

Constitutional Provisions

  • Articles 308 to 314 in part XIV of the Constitution contain provisions with regard to all-India services, Central services and state services.
  • Recruitment and Service Conditions: Article 309 empowers the Parliament and the state legislatures to regulate the recruitment and the conditions of service of the persons appointed to public services and posts under the Centre and the states, respectively. Until such laws are made, the president or the governor can make rules to regulate these matters.
  • Recruitment includes any method provided for inducting a person in public service like appointment, selection, deputation, promotion and appointment by transfer.
  • The conditions of service of a public servant includes pay, allowances, periodical increments, leave, promotion, tenure or termination of service, transfer, deputation, various types of rights, disciplinary action, holidays, hours of work and retirement benefits like pension, provident fund, gratuity and so on.
  • Under this provision, the Parliament or the state legislature can impose ‘reasonable’ restrictions on the Fundamental Rights of public servants in the interests of integrity, honesty, efficiency, discipline, impartiality, secrecy, neutrality, anonymity, devotion to duty and so on.
  • Such restrictions are mentioned in the conduct rules like Central Services (Conduct) Rules, Railway Services (Conduct) Rules and so on.
  • Tenure of Office: According to Article 310, members of the defence services, the civil services of the Centre and the all-India services or persons holding military posts or civil posts under the Centre, hold office during the pleasure of the president.
  • Similarly, members of the civil services of a state or persons holding civil posts under a state, hold office during the pleasure of the governor of the state.
  • Safeguards to Civil Servants: Article 311 places two restrictions on the above ‘doctrine of pleasure’. In other words, it provides two safeguards to civil servants against any arbitrary dismissal from their posts:
  • (a) A civil servant cannot be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.
  • (b) A civil servant cannot be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
  • The above two safeguards are available only to the members of the civil services of the Centre, the all-India services, the civil services of a state or to persons holding civil posts under the Centre or a state and not to the members of defence services or persons holding military posts.
  • All-India Services: Article 312 makes the following provisions in respect of all-India services:
  • (a) The Parliament can create new all India services (including an all-India judicial service), if the Rajya Sabha passes a resolution declaring that it is necessary or expedient in the national interest to do so.
  • Such a resolution in the Rajya Sabha should be supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting. This power of recommendation is given to the Rajya Sabha to protect the interests of states in the Indian federal system.
  • (b) Parliament can regulate the recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to all-India services.
  • Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the All-India Services Act, 1951 for the purpose.
  • (c) The services known at the commencement of the Constitution (that is, January 26, 1950) as the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service are deemed to be services created by Parliament under this provision.
  • (d) The all-India judicial service should not include any post inferior to that of a district judge. A law providing for the creation of this service is not to be deemed as an amendment of the Constitution for the purposes of Article 368.
  • Though the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 made the provision for the creation of all India judicial service, no such law has been made so far.
  • Other Provisions: Article 312 A (inserted by the 28th Amendment Act of 1972) confers powers on the Parliament to vary or revoke the conditions of service of persons who were appointed to a civil service of the Crown in India before 1950.
  • Article 313 deals with transitional provisions and says that until otherwise provided, all the laws in force before 1950 and applicable to any public service would continue.
  • Article 314 which made provision for protection of existing officers of certain services was repealed by the 28th Amendment Act of 1972.

Do you know?

  • In 1963, a provision was made for the creation of three more all-India services. They were Indian Forest Service, Indian Medical and Health Service and Indian Service of Engineers. However, out of these three, only the Indian Forest Service came into existence in 1966.
  • This was done on the recommendations of the Third Pay Commission (1970–1973) while the earlier change was done on the recommendation of the First Pay Commission (1946–1947).
  • The difference between dismissal and removal is that the former disqualifies for future employment under the government while the latter does not disqualify for future employment under the government.

‘Reduction in rank’ means reduction from a higher to a lower rank or post. It is a penalty imposed on a civil servant.