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Prelim Bits 10-02-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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February 10, 2023

Expunction

Portions of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s speech delivered in Lok Sabha have been expunged from the records of Parliament by the orders of the Speaker.

  • Expunction is the removal of certain words, sentences, or portions of a speech from the records of Parliament by the orders of the Speaker.
  • Expunction is fairly routine procedure in the Parliament, and is carried out in accordance with laid down rules.
  • Provision - Under Article 105(2) of the Constitution no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said in Parliament or any committee thereof.
  • However, the MPs cannot use ‘defamatory or indecent or undignified or unparliamentary’ words inside the House.
  • The speech of MPs is subject to
    1. The discipline of the Rules of Parliament,
    2. “good sense” of its Members, and
    3. The control of proceedings by the Speaker.
  • Rule 380 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha provides for ‘Expunction’.

Rule 380 (Expunction) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha

“If the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may, while exercising discretion order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.”

  • Deciding Authority - The Presiding Officer of the House (Speaker in Lok Sabha under Rule 380) has the discretion to expunge the word or usage.
  • The presiding officer decides on which parts of the proceedings are to be expunged.
  • Unparliamentary Expressions - The words or expressions that would likely be considered rude or offensive in most cultures and found ‘unparliamentary’ by Presiding officers over the years.
  • Unparliamentary Expressions’ is a bulky volume of book published by the Lok Sabha secretariat containing unparliamentary expressions.
  • It also contains content that would appear to be fairly harmless and innocuous.
  • Basis - The context in which a word or sentence is used is key to making the decision on whether to expunge.
  • Expunged portions of the proceedings cease to exist in the records of Parliament.
  • They can no longer be reported by media houses, even though they may have been heard during the live telecast of the proceedings.
  • New age challenge - Proliferation of social media hinders the watertight implementation of expunction orders.

References

 

  1. IE - What does 'Expunction' mean and when does this happen?

QR code-based CVM

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will start a pilot project to launch QR code based Coin Vending Machines.

  • The Reserve Bank of India will launch a pilot project on QR Code based Coin Vending Machine (QCVM) in 12 cities.
  • The QR-code based Coin Vending Machines (CVM) will enhance ease of access to coins.
  • Customers can withdraw coins in required quantity and denominations in QCVMs.
  • The QCVM will dispense coins against debit to the customer’s account.
  • These vending machines will dispense coins using UPI instead of physical tendering of banknotes.
  • Based on the learnings from the pilot, guidelines will be issued to banks to promote distribution of coins using these machines.

References

  1. Business line - RBI to launch pilot QR-code based CVM
  2. Live Mint - QR code-based coin vending machine: How it will work?

Northern Ireland Protocol

The United Kingdom Supreme Court ruled that the Northern Ireland Protocol is lawful.

  • Northern Ireland (part of the UK) shared a land border with the Republic of Ireland (an EU member).
  • EU and UK have different product standards, checks are necessary for goods to move from Northern Ireland to Ireland.
  • The Northern Ireland Protocol is a post-BREXIT agreement that created a trade border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
  • The protocol was an integral part of the 2019 BREXIT agreement signed between the UK and the EU.
  • Under the protocol,
    1. Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market, and
    2. Trade-and-customs inspections of goods coming from Great Britain take place at Northern Ireland ports along the Irish Sea.

NIprotocol

  • UK plan - The UK government has proposed the creation of a ‘green lane’ and a ‘red lane’ for checking.
    1. The ‘green lane’ would have fewer checks and customs controls only for goods going to Northern Ireland.
    2. The ‘red lane’ would have a more stringent checks and for goods going on to the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the EU.

ukplan

  • In January 2023, both EU and UK signing a deal on sharing data regarding trade between them.
  • The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, was a political deal designed to bring an end to the 30 years ‘Troubles’ in the Northern Ireland.

References

  1. IE - UK SC upholds legality of the Northern Ireland Protocol
  2. BBC - What is Northern Ireland Protocol

QUAD Cyber Challenge

QUAD launched a public campaign 'Quad Cyber Challenge' to improve cyber security across their nations.

  • Quad Cyber Challenge is a public campaign launched by the QUAD nations.
  • The initiative shows the continuous efforts of Quad nations to bolster cyber security awareness and action.
  • The effort also fosters a more secure and resilient cyber ecosystem to benefit economies and users.
  • Aim - To encourage internet users across the Indo-Pacific and beyond to adopt safe and responsible cyber habits.
  • The Quad Cyber Challenge provides resources, including basic cybersecurity information and training for all users.
  • Need - Internet-users worldwide are targets of cybercrime and other malicious cyber threats.
  • Several cyber-attacks can be guarded against by simple preventative measures.
  • Preventive Measures - Small steps by internet users and providers significantly improve cyber security.
  • The steps include -
    1. Routinely installing security updates
    2. Enhanced identity checks through multi-factor authentication
    3. Using stronger and regularly changing passphrases
    4. Knowing how to identify common online scams, like phishing
  • Coordinator India - The office of the National Cyber Coordinator with the National Security Council Secretariat.

QUAD

  • Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or QUAD is an informal strategic forum.
  • It comprises of India, United States, Japan and Australia.
  • One of the primary objectives is to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The QUAD met for the first time in 2007 on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

References

  1. The Hindu - Quad nations launch 'Quad Cyber Challenge'
  2. Economic Times - Quad partners launch Cyber Challenge
  3. Hindustan Times - 'Quad cyber challenge' to improve cyber security

SSLV-D2

ISRO launched its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, in its first launch of 2023.

  • The second developmental flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) is a demonstration of designed Payload capability of SSLV in LEO.
  • The SSLV D2 rocket injected 3 satellites into an intended 450-km circular orbit.
    • ISRO’s earth observation satellite EOS-07 and
    • 2 co-passenger satellites developed by start-ups — Janus-1 and AzaadiSat2

EOS-07

(156.3 kg)

  • Designed, developed and realised by ISRO.
  • New experiments include mm-Wave Humidity Sounder and Spectrum Monitoring Payload.

Janus-1

(10.2 kg)

  • Built by Antaris, USA.
  • A technology demonstrator, smart satellite mission.

AzaadiSAT-2

(8.2 kg)

  • A combined effort of about 750 girl students across India guided by Space Kidz India, Chennai.
  • It aims to demonstrate amateur radio communication capabilities, measure radiation, among others.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV)

  • SSLV is ISRO’s 6th and smallest launch vehicle.
  • SSLV is capable of launching mini, micro or nano satellites in the 10-500 kg segment into the 500 km planar orbit.
  • Orbit - It caters to the launch of satellites to Low Earth Orbits (LEO) on a ‘launch-on-demand’ basis.
  • Fuel - It has 3 solid propulsion stages and a liquid-fuel-based Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) to place satellites in orbit.
  • Advantages of SSLV - SSLV can cater to the ISRO’s small-satellite-launch market.
    1. Low-cost access to Space.
    2. Low turn-around time.
    3. Flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites.
    4. Demands minimal launch infrastructure.
    5. The rocket can be assembled by a small team in only a few days.

ISRO’s workhorse PSLV takes 6 months and around 600 people for assembling.

SSLV-D1 - SSLV’s first development flight that took place in August 2022, failed to place the satellites in precise orbit.

References

  1. IE - Explained: ISRO’s SSLV-D2 launch
  2. The Hindu - ISRO launches SSLV's second developmental flight
  3. IE - ISRO’s SSLV’s second developmental flight with 3 satellites
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