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31st January Current Affairs

Budget Session of Parliament

(GS-II: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these)

In News:

The Budget Session of Parliament has begun and is scheduled to conclude on April 8.

Details:

First, President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses in the Central Hall.

What next?

The Economic Survey 2021-22 will be laid by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in Lok Sabha on January 31.

The Budget will be presented by her on February 1 at 11 am.

There will be no Zero Hour and Question Hour in both Houses of Parliament during the first two days of the Budget Session.

During the First Part of the Session after the presentation of the Budget (February 2-11), 40 hours of normal time will be available for various Businesses such as Question, Private Members’ Business, Discussion on Motion of Thanks, General Discussion on Union Budget, etc.

Sessions of parliament- Constitutional Provisions:

Article 85 requires that there should not be a gap of more than six months between two sessions of Parliament.

The Constitution does not specify when or for how many days Parliament should meet.

Budgeting process in India:

The procedure for presentation of the Budget in and its passing by Lok Sabha is as laid down in articles 112—117 of the Constitution of India, Rules 204—221 and 331-E of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha and Direction 19-B of Directions by the Speaker.

The Budget goes through six stages:

  • Presentation of Budget.
  • General discussion.
  • Scrutiny by Departmental Committees.
  • Voting on Demands for Grants.
  • Passing of Appropriation Bill.
  • Passing of Finance Bill.

Presentation:

The Budget is presented to Lok Sabha on such day as the President may direct.

Immediately after the presentation of the Budget, the following three statements under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003 are also laid on the Table of Lok Sabha:

(i) The Medium-Term Fiscal Policy Statement;

(ii) The Fiscal Policy Strategy Statement; and

(iii) The Macro Economic Framework Statement.

‘Gehri dosti’ says Israel PM about ties with India

(GS-II: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora)

In News:

Israel and India are celebrating 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.

Details:

Though India had recognised Israel on September 17, 1950, full-fledged diplomatic relations between the countries were established on January 29, 1992.

Observations made by Israeli PM on India Israel relations:

Both countries have a “gehri dosti” (deep friendship).

The opportunities of collaboration between the two countries are “endless”.

India’s stand Israel- Palestine conflict:

India, at the UN Security Council open debate on the Middle East, has reiterated its firm and unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Palestine issue and supported a negotiated two-state solution.

Resolution 2334 was adopted by this Council to reaffirm the international community’s firm commitment to preventing the erosion of the two-state solution.

Israel- Palestine conflict– Historical Background:

The conflict has been ongoing for more than 100 years between Jews and Arabs over a piece of land between Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

It was between 1882 to 1948, when the Jews from around the world gathered in Palestine. This movement came to be known as

Then in 1917, Ottoman Empirefell after World War 1 and the UK got control over Palestine.

The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.

The Balfour Declarationwas issued after Britain gained control with the aim of establishing a home for the Jews in Palestine. However during that period the Arabs were in majority in Palestine.

Jews favored the idea while the Palestinians rejected it. Almost 6 million Jews lost their lives in the Holocaustwhich also ignited further demand of a separate Jewish state.

Jews claimed Palestine to be their natural home while the Arabs too did not leave the land and claimed it.

The international community supported the Jews.

In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.

That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.

The creation of Israel and the ‘Catastrophe’:

It was in the year 1948 that Britain lifted its control over the area and Jews declared the creation of Israel. Although Palestinians objected, Jews did not back out which led to an armed conflict.

The neighboring Arabs also invaded and were thrashed by the Israeli troops. This made thousands of Palestinians flee their homes. This was called Al-Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”.

Israel had gained maximum control over the territory after this came to an end.

Jordanthen went on a war with Israel and seized control over a part of the land which was called the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.

Jerusalem was divided between Israel in the West and Jordan in the East.However, no formal peace agreement was signed, each side continued to blame each other for the tension and the region saw more wars.

Israeli forces captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank, various areas of Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula in the year 1967.

Present scenario:

Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.

Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Tensions escalated in recent month over Israel’s actions concerning Al-Asqa mosque in East Jerusalem.

Bomb Cyclone

(GS-I: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc)

In News:

The US East Coast is bracing itself for a “bomb cyclone” (Nor’easter) that is on course to to barrel in from the mid-Atlantic.

Details:

“Bombogenesis is the technical term. ‘Bomb cyclone’ is a shortened version of it, better for social media.”

It is a mid-latitude cyclone that intensifies rapidly.

It has low pressure at its center, weather fronts and an array of associated weather, from blizzards to severe thunderstorms to heavy precipitation.

When is it formed? Generally, a bomb cyclone happens when atmospheric pressure in the middle of the storm drops at least 24 millibars over 24 hours, quickly increasing in intensity. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

How is it different from hurricanes?

It essentially amounts to a rapidly developing storm system, distinct from a tropical hurricane because it occurs over midlatitudes where fronts of warm and cold air meet and collide, rather than relying on the balmy ocean waters of late summer as a catalyst.

Bomb cyclones have cold air and fronts: Cold air rapidly weakens hurricanes, while it is an essential ingredient for bomb cyclones.

Bomb cyclones form during winter: Hurricanes form from late spring to early fall, while bomb cyclones form from late fall to early spring.

Bomb cyclones form at higher latitudes: Hurricanes form in tropical waters, while bomb cyclones form over the northwestern Atlantic, northwestern Pacific and sometimes the Mediterranean Sea.