Last Week in Current Affairs for UPSC IAS (Week 1, Oct 2021) - Express Explained & The Hindu - DNS (3)

  • The shift: off radar, small arms, civilian targets Security
  • Why is coal shortage choking thermal power plants? Economy
  • Anti - defection law failing to prevent defections Polity
  • Langas and manganiyars heritage Art and culture
  • Question for the Day

Prelims Quiz

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    UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS: THE SHIFT: OFF RADAR, SMALL ARMS, CIVILIAN TARGETS.

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper III –  Security 

    Sub Theme:  Insurgency and militancy | UPSC
    Context - In what is being seen by security agencies as a shift in their strategy, militants have in 2021 targeted civilians and, more recently, members of the minority community in Jammu and Kashmir. Almost all civilian killings have been carried out by newly recruited terrorists or those about to join the ranks, using pistols, police said.

    Shifts in Militant strategy

    • Targeting civilians, especially minorities and political leaders to push communalism.
    • Rise of part time militants (hybrid militants)
    • Use of high-tech weapons like drones.
    • Frequent shift of organisations.
    • Rise of on ground workers (OGWs)

      How to neutralise threats emerging out of such scenario?





    • Crackdown on foreign funding; leveraging FATF.
    • Effective border surveillance ; CIBMS
    • Community policing to build the trust between police and people.
    • Community leadership to spread the message.
    • Increase in police personnel to ensure better law and order.



     

    UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS: WHY IS COAL SHORTAGE CHOKING THERMAL POWER PLANTS? |

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains –GS Paper III – Economic development

    Sub Theme:  Infrastructure | Energy | UPSC
    Context:

    • India’s thermal power plants are facing a severe coal shortage, with coal stocks having come down to an average of four days of fuel across an increasing number of thermal stations.
    • Union Power Minister R K Singh has said that while the supply crunch has not yet led to any power cuts in the country, the coal supply situation is likely to be “uncomfortable” for up to six months.

    First have a look at the contribution of coal in power sector:

    Installed GENERATION CAPACITY(FUELWISE) AS ON 31.08.2021

    CATAGORY

    INSTALLED GENERATION CAPACITY(MW)

    % of SHARE IN Total

    Fossil Fuel

    2,34,858

    60.9%

    Coal

    2,02,805

    52.6%

    Lignite

                           6,620

                                 1.7%

    Gas

    24,924

    6.5%

    Diesel

    510

    0.1%

    Total Fossil Fuel

    2,34,258

    60.4%

    So we can see that coal has significant contribution in the installed power generation capacity. So a deficit of coal is dangerous for India’s Energy Security.

    Reasons for sharp uptick in demand

    • Heavy September rains in coal-mining areas hit production and delivery, and plants failed to build up their stocks pre-monsoon.
    • Demand had outstripped supply, despite increased buying from Coal India.
    • Sharp fall in imports due to high prices.

    Impact of the shortage

    • If industries face electricity shortages, it could delay India’s economic reopening.
    • Some businesses might downscale production
    • India’s Population and underdeveloped energy infrastructure will mean the power crises could hit long and hard.

    Way Ahead

    • State-run Coal India and NTPC Ltd are working to raise output from mines
    • The Govt is trying to bring more mines on stream to boost supply
    • India will need to amp its imports, despite the financial cost.
      • Prices of coal from Indonesia rose from $60/tonne in March to $200/tonne in September.

     

    UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS: THE ANTI-DEFECTION LAW – FAILING IN DISCOURAGING DEFECTIONS. |

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains –– GS Paper II- Polity and constitution |   

    Sub Theme:  Functions and responsibilities of executive. | UPSC
    CONTEXT:
    The Calcutta High Court has given West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee a deadline, to pass an order in the defection case involving MLA Mukul Roy.

    Adverse Impact of Defection Politics on Indian Democracy





    • Undermining Electoral Democracy by shifting political allegiance mid-term and defectors Betray Electoral Mandate
    • Promotes Horse Trading through bribery and corruption  
    • Impacts stability of government
    • Greed overtakes Constitutional Morality .
    • Restricts individual political freedom and right to vote due to party whips
    • Speaker acts in a partisan manner in cases of anti-defection and delay the process.

    Important Recommendations of NCRWC, Dinesh Goswami Committee   

    • Amending Tenth Schedule -to ban all kinds of Defections – individual or group defections
    • Contesting Fresh Elections by Defectors as defecting by members would result in loss of membership of the House concerned.
    • Defectors should be debarred from holding Public Office or any other remunerative political post for remaining term.
    • Vote to topple government as Invalid- The vote cast by a defector to topple a government should be treated as invalid unless supported by confidence vote (eg: Germany)
    • Speaker not to decidematters on Defection - questions as to disqualification on ground of defection should vest in the Election Commission – also supported by Dinesh Goswami Committee and 170th Law Commission Report. 

    Supreme court observations and suggestions:

    Keisham Meghachandra Singh v. Union of India.



    As per Article 93, Lok Sabha shall choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker. The Speaker is a constitutional authority and his tenure is dependent on the will of the majority. So, likelihood of suspicion of bias could not be ruled out as mostly Speaker belongs to the ruling majority.

    Permanent Tribunal – Amending the Constitution - Substitute the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies with a PERMANENT TRIBUNAL headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court, to ensure that such disputes are decided both swiftly and impartially.

     

    UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS: FUTURE PROOFING LANGA MANGANIYAR HERITAGE

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains – GS Paper I – Culture

    Sub Theme: Dance and music| UPSC

    CONTEXT:

    A new initiative is being taken to preserve rich history and traditional knowledge, the ballads, folklore and songs of the Langa­ Manganiyar artists by documentation and digitisation. The project is aimed at saving the rapidly disappearing narrative traditions of these communities. The Jodhpur­ based Rupayan Sansthan, established by an eminent folklorist, the late Komal Kothari, and writer Vijaydan Detha, has extended support to the initiative taken by the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology at the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in the research project. 

    KEY FACTS:


    • The Langas and Manganiyars are hereditary communities of Muslim musicians and are called as "Musical cousins."
       
    • Both had royal patronage in the past.
       
    • Areas - Western Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Barmer districts and in certain areas of Pakistan’s Sindh.
       
    • Comprise a wide range of heroic ballads, romantic epic tales and the Sufi spiritual stories.
       
    • The performances are in multiple languages and dialects including Marwari, Sindhi, Saraiki, Dhatti and Thareli.

                 LANGAS 

          MANGANIYARS

    Patrons were Muslims

    Patrons were Hindus; Rajput kings

    Sindhi sarangi and Algoza

    Kamaicha

    Sufi music

    Invoke Hindu god Krishna

    THREATS TO THE ART:

    • COVID­19 pandemic that stopped their performances in India and abroad and poses a challenge to their very survival.
       
    • Threats of patronage.
       
    • Rise in Urbanisation.
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