16thFebruary,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date :16thFebruary,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • What is Lassa Fever?
  • Public Order: A Constitutional Provision for Curbing Freedoms (IE)
  • 102nd and 105th Constitution Amendment Acts (TH, pg 1)
  • Guru Ravidas: Teachings and Literary Works (PIB)
  • Group of 20 (G20) (PIB)
  • East Asia Summit and Marine Pollution (PIB)
  • Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) (PIB)
  • SVAMITVA Scheme (TH, pg 12)
  • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (TH, pg 1)
  • Munich Security Conference (TH, pg 10)
  • Munich Security Conference (TH, pg 10)

 

  1. What is Lassa Fever?

  • Context:One of the three persons diagnosed with Lassa fever in the UK has died recently.
Analysis
  • The Lassa fever is caused by avirus and was first discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
  • The fever is spread by rats and is primarily found in countries in West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria where it is endemic.
  • A person can become infected if they come in contact with household items of food that is contaminated with the urine or feces of an infected rat.
  • It can also be spread, though rarely, if a person comes in contact with a sick person’s infected bodily fluids or through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose or the mouth.
  • The most common complication associated with the fever is deafness.
  • The death rate associated with this disease is low, at around one per cent.
  • But the death rate is higher for certain individuals, such as pregnant women in their third trimester.
  • About 80 per cent of the cases are asymptomatic and therefore remain undiagnosed.
  • Some patients may need to be hospitalised and develop severe multi-system disease. Fifteen per cent of the hospitalised patients may die.
  • Death can occur from two weeks of the onset of symptoms, usually as a result of multi-organ failure.
  1. Public Order: A Constitutional Provision for Curbing Freedoms (IE)

  • Context:The Karnataka High Court is hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of the state government’s ban on students wearing a hijab in educational institutions.
  • In one of the hearing, the judges heard an argument on whether the state can justify the ban on the ground that it violates ‘public order’.
What is Public Order?
  • Public order is one of the three grounds (public order, morality and health) on which the state can restrict freedom of religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution.
  • Public order is normally equated with public peace and safety.
  • According to List 2 (State List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the power to legislate on aspects of public order rests with the states.
How has public order been interpreted by courts?
  • Courts have broadly interpreted it to mean something that affects the community at large and not a few individuals.
  • In Ram Manohar Lohia vs State of Bihar (1965), the Supreme Court held that in the case of ‘public order’, the community or the public at large have to be affected by a particular action.
Other grounds to restrict Public Order
  • Other grounds where Public Order can be used to restrict freedoms/Rights are:
  • Freedom of speech and expression (Article 19a)
  • Right of Assembly (Article 19b)
  • Freedom of Association (Article 19c)
  • Freedom to Manage Religious Affairs (Article 26)
  • Right of Minorities to Establish and AdministerEducational Institutions (Article 30)
  • Public orderis enumerated in the State List and the state legislature has “in normal circumstances” exclusivepowers to make laws with respect to any of the mattersenumerated in the State List.
  • The legislativeassembly of Delhi can make laws on any subject of the State List(except public order, police and land) and the Concurrent List.
  • Likewise, the legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir canmake laws on any subject of the State List (except public order and police) and the Concurrent List.
  • Both the Parliament as well as thestate legislatures can concurrently make a law of preventive detention (Article 22) for reasons connected with the maintenance of public order(this is a provision of the Concurrent List).
  1. 102nd and 105th Constitution Amendment Acts (TH, pg 1)

  • Context: The Supreme Court began examining whether petitions challenging a Madras High Court decision declaring ultra vires a State quota law which provided 10.5% special reservation to Vanniakula Kshatriyas within the Most Backward Community quota, ought to be referred to a larger Bench.
  • Several senior lawyers submitted that this case involved constitutional issues, and would require a dive into the 102nd and 105th Constitutional Amendments.
Analysis
102nd Constitution Amendment Act, 2018
  • 102nd Constitution Amendment Act inserted new Articles 338 B and 342 A.
  • The amendment also brings about changes in Article 366.
  • Article 338B provides authority to NCBC to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
  • It granted the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) under Article-338) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (under Article 338-A).
  • Article 342 A basically deals with the power of the President of India to notify a particular caste as a Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) and the power of the Parliament to change the list.
  • It states that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories.  He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state.
  • However, a law of Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended (i.e. any name of the community added or deleted from the list)
105th Constitution Amendment Act, 2021
  • The 105th Amendment Act restores the power of the State Governments and Union Territories to identify and specify Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBCs).
  • This amendment provides that the President may notify the list of socially and educationally backward classes only for purposes of the central government.
  • This central list will be prepared and maintained by the central government.
  • It enables states and union territories to prepare their own list of socially and educationally backward classes. This list must be made by law, and may differ from the central list.
  • Consultation with the NCBC: Article 338B of the Constitution mandates the central and state governments to consult the NCBC on all major policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • 105th amendment act exempts states and union territories from this requirement for matters related to preparation of their list of socially and educationally backward classes.
  1. Guru Ravidas: Teachings and Literary Works (PIB)

  • Context:The Prime Minister of India has remembered Sant Ravidas on the eve of his Jayanti. He has also said that he feels proud that every step taken by his government has imbibed the spirit of Pujya Shri Guru Ravidas ji.
  • Note: You have already prepared this topic in detail from the17 Jan 2022 file.
  1. Group of 20 (G20) (PIB)

  • Context:The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of a G20 Secretariat and its reporting structures, which will be responsible for implementation of overall policy decisions and arrangements needed for steering India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency. The Secretariat will be functional till February 2024.
  • India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023, culminating with the G20 Summit in India in 2023.
Analysis
  • Group of 20 (G20) is an international body created in 1999 that provides a forum for strategic economic communication between industrialized and developing countries.
  • The G20 originated as a response to the economic crises of the late 1990s.
  • It expanded on the work of the Group of Seven (G7) by including countries that previously had been left out of the global discussion.
  • G7:Canada, U.S., U.K., Italy, France, Germany and Japan – the seven largest advanced economies.
  • Earlier it was G-8 when Russia was suspended from it because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a part of Ukraine.
  • Its membership comprises 19 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and the European Union (EU).
  • The countries are represented by finance ministers and central bank governors, while the EU is represented by the European Central Bank and a rotating council presidency.
  • The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund also participate.
  • Meetings are held annually, and each summit meeting is hosted and chaired by a different member.
  • In addition, emergency summit meetings may be called.
  • The issues that have been addressed by the group include terrorism, economic circumstances, corruption, tax transparency, economic inequality, renewable energy, and sustainable development.
  1. East Asia Summit and Marine Pollution (PIB)

  • Context: The Government of India, in partnership with other East Asia Summit (EAS) countries viz., Australia and Singapore, conducted an international workshop on combating marine pollution focusing on marine plastic debris in the Indo-Pacific Region in February 2022.
  • Scientists have suggested considering the application of technological tools such as remote sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to map the distribution of marine plastics and developing models to understand the dynamics of plastics in the Indian ocean.
Analysis
East Asia Summit
  • Established in 2005, the East Asia Summit is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.
  • It has evolved as a forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues.
  • The membership of EAS consists of ten ASEAN Member States (i.e., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA.
  • India has been a part of East Asia Summits since its inception in 2005 in Kuala Lumpur.
  • There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are
  • Environment and Energy,
  • Education,
  • Finance,
  • Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases,
  • Natural Disaster Management, and
  • ASEAN Connectivity.
  • Following the 12th EAS in November 2017 in Manila, Philippines and following the adoption of the Manila Plan of Action, Maritime Cooperation has been identified as an important area of cooperation under the EAS.
  1. Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) (PIB)

  • Context:Renewable Energy Purchase Obligation (RPO) is part of International Commitment made by countries globally to carry out Energy Transition from fossil fuels to non-fossil fuel sources.
Analysis
What are RPOs?
  • Under the Electricity Act 2003 and the National Tariff Policy 2006, Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), is a mechanism by which the obligated entities are obliged to purchase certain percentage of electricity from Renewable Energy sources, as a percentage of the total consumption of electricity.
  • RPO is being implemented throughout the country to create demand for renewable energy.
  • The concept was introduced in 2003, as part of the Electricity Act 2003.
  • RPO is of two categories – (a) Solar & (b) Non-solar(wind, biomass, cogeneration and small hydro).
  • The Ministry of Power in July, 2018 notified the Long Term growth trajectory of Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) for Solar as well as Non-solar, uniformly for all States/ Union Territories, reaching 21% of RPO by 2022 with 10.5% for solar based electricity.
Who are the Obligated Entities?
  • Obligated entities are defined by the SERCs and are in most, if not all, cases:
  • Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOMS)
  • Open Access (OA) Consumers
  • Consumers of power with a connected load of more than 1 MW who purchase conventional (non-renewable sources such as thermal, gas, diesel, exchange) power on the open market rather than from the local DISCOM.
  • Captive Power Plant (CPP) Consumers
  • Consumers who have invested in their own conventional power plants (non-renewable sources such as thermal, gas, diesel) to satisfy their electricity demand.
  • Applicable regulations also provide for purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) in lieu of purchasing renewable power by obligated entities from the National Load Dispatch Centre.
Renewable Energy Certification (REC)
  • RECs are aimed at addressing the mismatch of renewable energy resources in the States and their RPO requirements. Obliged entities can fulfil their RPOs by purchasing RECs.
  • RECs are traded on the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and the Power Exchange of India Ltd (PXIL).
  • In line with RPOs there are two categories of RECs – Solar & Non-Solar.
  • Solar RECs include both PV and CSP technologies.
  • Non-solar RECs include renewable energy technologies such as biomass, wind, biofuel, cogeneration & small hydro.
  • Solar RECs are traded once a month – last Wednesday of every month.
  • In order to provide a minimum of certainty on REC prices, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) usually fixes a floor and forbearance price for which the REC can be traded(floor price is the minimum price at which an REC can be traded on a power exchange; forbearance price is the ceiling price).
  • Penalty for non-fulfillment of RPO will be the forbearance price.
Enforcement of RPO Targets
  • Enforcement of RPO targets, despite availability of RECs, is poor.
  • Considering this, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)recently launched the RPO Compliance Cell.
  • As per the notification, the Cell is to coordinate with states, central electricity regulatory commission (CERC) and state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) on matters relating to RPO compliance, including for monthly reports on compliance, and to take up non-compliance related issues with appropriate authorities.
  • However, it appears that the Cell has no powers of enforcement and its advice or directions would be non-binding.
  • Failure to meet RPO targets could result in direction from relevant SERCs to deposit RPO regulatory charges and forbearance price as determined by the relevant SERC into a separate fund.
In News: August 2019
  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energyhas approved a proposal to declare ocean energy (such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion etc.) as Renewable Energy and made it eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO).
  • The Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat on the west coast have the locations in the country where tidal energy potential exists.
  • Ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, uses ocean temperature differences from the surface to depths lower than 1,000 meters, to extract energy. A temperature difference of only 20°C can yield usable energy.
  1. SVAMITVA Scheme (TH, pg 12)

  • Context: India plans to prepare digital maps of all its 6,00,000 villages and pan-India 3D maps will be prepared for 100 cities, Union Minister said recently at an event to mark a year of the updated geospatial policy guidelines.
Analysis
  • Survey of Villages Abadi and Mapping with Improvised Technology In Village Areas (SVAMITVA) is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which was launched on National Panchayati Raj Day, 24thApril 2020.
  • The scheme aims to provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issue Property Cards.
  • The Scheme is being implemented across the country in a phased manner over a period of four years (2020-2024) and would eventually cover around 6.62 lakh villages of the country.
Other features of the scheme:
  • drone-based surveyof rural areas by the Survey of India;
  • establishment of Continuous Operating System (CORS) stations’ networkto assist in future drone flying activities;
  • digital property card format.
The scheme seeks to achieve the following objectives:
  • To bring financial stability to the citizens in rural India by enabling them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  • Creation of accurate land records for rural planning.
  • Determination of property tax, which would accrue to the GPs directly in States where it is devolved or else, add to the State exchequer.
  • Creation of survey infrastructure and GIS maps that can be leveraged by any department for their use.
  • To support in preparation of better-quality Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by making use of GIS maps.
  • To reduce property related disputes and legal cases
  • Survey of India (SoI) is the national mapping agency (NMA) of the country under the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Continuously Operating Reference System (CORS)
  • CORS enables users (e.g. moving platforms) to position themselves with high-precision (cm-level).
  • CORS is a GPS augmentation system that facilities, archives and distributes GPS data corrections for precise positioning in an automated manner, usually over an Internet connection.
  • Distance-dependent errors are greatly reduced because more than one station is at work to ensure correct positioning.
  • GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) technology has transformed how surveying is done.
  • However, its use in survey applications is limited because of inherent errors associated with the GPS signals.
  • Continuously Operating Reference System (CORS) is an infrastructure that can solve the problem of accuracy and real-time data acquisition.
  • Looking at the importance and usefulness of the technology, the Survey of India has started an initiative of establishing nationwide CORS network.
  • CORS Network has wide applications in the development of India.
  • It will help in the construction of large infrastructure projects and in generation and updation of revenue maps, which is one of the major problems being faced by the country today.
  • The system will also augment with the NAVIC network along with other GNSS networks like GPS, Galileo and GLONASS. In future, when the NAVIC system improves, dependence on foreign satellite systems will be reduced, making India a self-reliant nation.
  • It is in great demand among industries like surveying, navigation, construction, mining, precision agriculture and scientific research that require greater positional accuracy, as well as continuity of data.
  • India has launched various ambitious missions to prepare the nation for disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0 and robotics.
  1. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) (TH, pg 1)

  • Context:India hit out at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying it was “hijacked by vested interests”.
  • The OIC recently called upon the UN and the Human Rights Council to take “necessary measures” following reports of Muslim students being prevented from wearing hijab in Karnataka.
Analysis
  • The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has 57 members, 56 of which are also member states of the United Nations, the exception being Palestine.
  • Some members, especially in West Africa and South America, are – though with large Muslim populations – not necessarily Muslim majority countries.
  • Out of 57 members 53 countries are Muslim-majority countries, A few countries with significant Muslim populations, such as Russia and Thailand, sit as Observer States
  • The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.
  • The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.
  • Note: India despite having a sizable Muslim population is not a member of OIC.
Goals
  • According to its charter, the OIC aims to:
  • preserve Islamic social and economic values;
  • promote solidarity amongst member states;
  • increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas;
  • uphold international peace and security; and
  • advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.
  • In March 2008, the OIC conducted a formal revision of its charter.
  • The revised charter set out to promote human rights, fundamental freedoms, and good governance in all member states.
  • The revisions also removed any mention of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.
  • In 1990, the OIC adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam to serve as a guidance for the member states in the matters of human rights in as much as they are compatible with the Sharia, or Quranic Law.
  • Within the revised charter, the OIC has chosen to support the Charter of the United Nations and international law, without mentioning the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  1. Munich Security Conference (TH, pg 10)

  • Context: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar travels to attend the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC).
Analysis
  • It is an annual conference on international security policythat has taken place in Munich, Bavaria (Germany) since 1963 and has become a venue for diplomatic initiatives to address the world’s most pressing security concerns through dialogue.
  • It also publishes the Munich Security Report, an annual digest of relevant figures, maps, and research on crucial security challenges.
  • The MSC’s objective is to build trust and to contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts by sustaining a continuous, curated and informal dialogue within the international security community.
  • It provides an opportunity for official and non-official diplomatic initiatives and ideas to address the world’s most pressing security concerns.
  1. Darkathon-2022 (TH, pg 12)

  • The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is organising “Darkathon-2022” to find solutions to counter drug trafficking on the darknet.
  • The agency recently busted three groups of drug peddlers operating on the network that is accessed through encryption software which enables anonymity of users.
  • Note: You have already prepared ‘Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’ and ‘Darknet’in detail from the 13 Feb 2022 file.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
DIADEMY IAS