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Daily Current Affairs -1st August 2018
Non-Cooperation Movement was launched
The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched by the Indian National Congress led by Mahatma Gandhi on 1stAugust 1920. It was a turning point in the history of the struggle for independence in India.
- The Home Rule Movement that was started by Annie Besant and Bal Gangadhar Tilak set the stage for the Non-cooperation movement.
- At that time, the extremist and the moderate factions of the Indian National Congress (INC) had united. Also, there was a brief period of solidarity between the INC and the Muslim League as a result of the Lucknow Pact.
- Further, there was resentment against the British rule after the First World War. The people thought that in lieu of extensive support in the form of resources and manpower, they would be awarded with autonomy after the war. But this was not to be and the people and politicians felt further disappointed with an unsatisfactory Government of India Act of 1919.
- Also, the passing of repressive acts such as the Rowlatt Act fuelled much anger and antipathy against the government. To make matters worse, the brutal massacre of unarmed people at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar confirmed to the people the absolute oppressive nature of colonial rule. The people lost their faith in ‘British justice’ and resolved to take a firmer and more aggressive stance against foreign rule.
- The people also had to endure economic privations because of the war leading to bitterness against the government.
- The Khilafat Movement had been launched by the Indian Muslims to pressurise the British government not to abolish the caliphate in Turkey. Turkey had been allied with Germany in the war and was defeated. There was a proposal to dissolve the Ottoman caliphate in Turkey. The Khilafat leaders accepted the non-cooperation launched by Gandhi and lent support to it.
- The most essential feature of the movement was that it was a peaceful and non-violent one keeping with the principles of Gandhi.
- The people were asked to give up their British-awarded titles and positions. They were also asked to resign their nominated seats in the local bodies.
- The people resigned from government jobs and refused to send their children to government schools and colleges.
- The people were asked to boycott legislative council elections and stop serving in the army.
- The people boycotted British goods and started using only Indian-made goods and clothes. Foreign clothes were burned in bonfires.
- It was also proposed that if the above steps did not bear fruits, they would stop paying their taxes as well.
- The Congress also demanded self-rule or Swarajya. The non-cooperation movement was an important step because it was for the first time that the Congress party used unconstitutional means in their struggle.
- Mahatma Gandhi assured the people that self-rule would be achieved in one year if the movement became truly successful.
- On 22nd February 1922, an incident occurred in Chauri Chaura, Uttar Pradesh which led to the movement being suspended by the INC. During a liquor shop picketing by the people, a police officer attacked a few volunteers. In response, the people went to the police station and set fire to it along with 22 policemen who were inside.
- Gandhi was disappointed that the non-violent nature of the movement was lost and suspended the whole movement (on 12th February 1922). He thought that the people were not ready for a non-violent movement. He went on a penance-fast for five days on account of his perceived culpability in the incident. He was also arrested for sedition and sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment. He was released in 1924 owing to ill-health.
- His decision to suspend the movement that was going great guns led to a lot of protest and dissent within the INC. Many felt that a single isolated incident should not be the cause of the whole movement’s suspension. Leaders like C R Das and Motilal Nehru broke away from the INC and formed the Swarajya Party.
- Swaraj was not achieved in a year. Despite the movement’s failure to achieve swaraj, it was a remarkable one in that the people were united like never before. It was truly a mass movement involving a huge number of people, even in remote villages and towns.
- There was unity among Hindus and Muslims during this movement. The movement infused political consciousness among the people and they became aware of their rights. They were not afraid of the government and willingly thronged jails.
- Khadi was promoted as part of the movement, and Indian merchants saw a boom in their profits since foreign goods were boycotted.
- The movement established the INC as the most popular party and Gandhi as a leader of the masses.
- The movement shocked the British administration and uplifted the spirits of millions of Indians.
Law Commission to finalize report on ‘Family Law Reform’
- To examine the possibility of a common civil code, the Law Commission’s ‘Questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code’ in October 2016, will soon submit report on ‘Family Law Reform’ that will suggest ways to codify and reform personal laws of all religions.
- The Law Commission is expected to finalize its report before the end of its term under Justice B S Chauhan on August 30, 2019.
- The process was initiated following a directive from the Law Ministry in June 2016 asking the Law Commission to examine the matter of Uniform Civil Code.
- The aim is not to identify an identical procedure for all but to correct the gender discriminatory nature of family laws across religions. This would be done with reference to the precedents already available in the law.
- The report, however, will exclude 26 per cent of the country’s area ie Northeastern regions, Jammu and Kashmir and tribal areas. These are areas that are allowed to have their own local or tribal laws under the 5th and 6th Schedule of the Constitution as well as sub-sections of Article 371.
Matters to be referred:
- With the Supreme Court already declaring instant triple talaq unconstitutional, the Law Commission is also expected to look at how to bring men under the purview of Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, under which currently women have to approach the court of law if they want a divorce.
- In terms of property rights, the Muslim personal law which allows daughters only half the share of sons will be examined as will be the Hindu personal law which, while it allows for an equal share, has a very low claim rate for women, and the Parsi law wherein a girl marrying outside the community is disinherited.
SC questions rationale of genital mutilation practice
- SC stated that genital mutilation is violation to medical ethics.
- Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM is common.
J&K amends Public Safety Act, detainees can now be jailed outside state
- The Jammu and Kashmir government has removed a legal provision that barred it from sending prisoners detained under the Public Safety Act to jails outside the state
- With the amendment, the state government can now send prisoners booked under the Act to other states as well.
- The decision to amend the Act was taken on July 11 by State Advisory Council (SAC) chaired by Governor N N Vohra.
STA-1 status from U.S. welcome, says India
- India has welcomed the decision of the U.S. government to grant it the status of a trading partner equivalent to its closest allies in the NATO.
- This decision is likely to boost India’s defense trade with the U.S.
- The decision comes just days before India and the U.S. are scheduled to hold the “2 plus 2” dialogue consisting of the Foreign and Defence Ministers of both sides.
- As a result of this move, India will require less number of licences for acquiring U.S. defense exports.
- In 2016, the U.S. had recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner” but the STA-1 status will open an entire array of high-tech weaponries that are available to the countries whose security interests are closely linked with American security priorities.
- Apart from India, other Asian countries in the STA-1 list are Japan and South Korea.
US warns against IMF bailout of Pakistan
- The Trump administration on Tuesday cautioned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against a possible bailout of Pakistan.
- There are reports that Pakistan is drawing up a plan to seek a massive $12 billion bailout package from the IMF.
- The IMF has said that so far it has not received any such request from Pakistan.
- Pakistan needs about $3 billion in the next few months to avoid defaulting of loans from IMF, China and the World Bank.
- USA is against using dollars to clear the loans taken by Pakistan from China.
India-US Military Communications Pact
- India and the US aim to make a firm announcement about the signing of Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) during the ‘2+2’ meeting on September 6 in New Delhi.
- The negotiations have proceeded at a fast pace once the Indian side expressed its willingness earlier this year to sign the pact which is meant to provide a legal framework for transfer of communication security equipment from the US to India that would facilitate “interoperability” between their armed forces.
- As per sources, the biggest roadblock in the negotiations is India’s demand for a clause which explicitly states that Indian sovereign law takes precedence over COMCASA.
- Such a clause was part of the India-US nuclear deal negotiated by the UPA government and there is no reason why Americans can’t make the same concession now.
- India is insistent on these assurances being inserted in the text, arguing that COMCASA is an India-specific pact, based on Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement, a generic pact which the US signs with other countries.
Australia says US, Japan partnership doesn’t challenge China
- An Australian minister said a new infrastructure partnership with the United States and Japan did not challenge growing Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The US Overseas Private Investment Corp., the Japan Bank for Investment Cooperation and the Australian government announced on Monday a trilateral partnership to invest in infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The move comes amid growing concerns about an increase in Chinese influence through the country’s One Belt One Road infrastructure program.
- Australia and New Zealand said last month they were set to seal a new security agreement with their Pacific island neighbors as China increases its influence in the region.The agreement was expected to be signed at the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum in September
US detects new activity at North Korea factory that built intercontinental ballistic missiles
- US spy satellites have detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
- North Korea appeared to be building one or two new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles at the large research facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang, citing unidentified officials familiar with intelligence reporting.
- The evidence obtained this month is the latest to suggest ongoing activity in North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities despite talks with the United States and a June summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
- Trump declared soon afterward that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat.
- Kim committed in a broad summit statement to work toward denuclearization.
Centre is pulling out FRDI Bill
- Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal has written to the Joint Parliamentary Committee studying the controversial Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, stating his intention to withdraw it.
- The Joint Parliamentary Committee has also reportedly given its approval for the withdrawal of the Bill, following which the government will inform Parliament.
- The FRDI Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha during the monsoon session last year and was then sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for legislative scrutiny. The bail-in clause would have allowed banks to access depositors’ money to re-finance ailing banks, if the situation required it. The government, however, has repeatedly tried to assure depositors that their money in public sector banks was safe and that it would not allow such banks to fail.
Core industries growth quickens to 6.7% in June
- Core industrial growth accelerated in June to 6.7% on the back of a surge in the petroleum products and steel sectors, according to official data
- The combined index of eight core industries stands at 129.8 in June 2018…, 6.7% higher as compared to the index of June 2017.
The growth in core industries is due to
- Government investment in infrastructure projects increasing especially steel.
- Petroleum products are mainly exported and the drive to increase exports would be pushing this up.
Startup India Yatra begins in Chhattisgarh
- The Startup India Yatra was launched on July 30th in Raipur.
- Startup India Yatra van is equipped with facilities for individuals and startups to pitch their ideas.
- The boot camps will include presentations on Startup India and Chhattisgarh Startup Policy followed by extensive ideation workshops.
- An idea pitching session will be held to select the foremost ideas and Startups. Aspiring entrepreneurs will have to register at www.startupindiahub.org.in to participate in the Yatra.
- Startup India Yatra has already been held in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and now it begins in Chhattisgarh.
- To promote job creation in tier 2 and tier 3 towns and cities, Startup India organizes the Startup India Yatra in one state every month.
- The Yatra conducts boot camps where students are taught lessons in business planning followed by a pitch fest where ideas are invited.
- Shortlisted business ideas get incubated in State run incubators.
- A total of 19,000 students across 40 districts have benefitted from the Yatra through the boot camps, with over 90 received grants or incubation offers from the State governments.
GS-III(Science & technology)
NBRC researchers decipher how Zika virus causes microcephaly
National Brain Research Centre-led team of researchers has successfully identified the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which Zika virus causes microcephaly.
- Babies born with microcephaly have significantly smaller head size compared with normal babies.
- The researchers found the envelop protein (E protein) of the virus, which is responsible for the entry of the virus into brain stem cells, was responsible for arresting the proliferation of human foetal neural stem cells and also killing the cells that were becoming neuron-like. The combined effect reduces the pool of foetal brain cells leading to smaller size of the brain.
- It was found that neutralising the E protein of the virus can help prevent or reduce the harmful effects of the virus in a developing foetus.
- The E protein in Zika virus is mutated and very different from the envelop protein of other flaviviruses such as dengue, West Nilevirus, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.
- The E protein is unable to kill the stem cells as they are lot more resilient, it would be able to kill the neurons. Neurons are more susceptible to neurotoxin and don’t divide. So there are fewer brain cells leading to smaller size of the brain.
What is Zika Virus?
Zika virus is the virus that causes the infection known as zika fever or zika virus disease. The virus is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family and the genus Flavivirus.
- It was named ‘zika’ because the virus was isolated for the first time in the Zika Forest which is in Uganda.
- The zika virus is related to the yellow fever, dengue, West Nile and the Japanese encephalitis viruses.
- The zika virus, because it is a Flavivirus, is icosahedral and enveloped.
- It has a single-stranded and non-segmented, positive-sense RNA genome.
- It belongs to the Spondweni serogroup.
- Microcephaly is a medical condition which results in the brain not developing properly and the patient having a smaller than usual head. This could either be present congenitally or could develop in the initial years of life.
- People with this condition often have intellectual disability, poor speech, poor motor functions, seizures, abnormal features of the face, and dwarfism. This can be caused by several conditions which lead to abnormal brain growth, or could also be caused by syndromes related to chromosomal abnormalities.
- In one of the microcephalin genes, (a gene that is expressed during fetal brain development) homozygous mutation can take place which results in primary microcephaly.