Daily Current Affairs Date : 24thMarch,2022
(30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)
Covers 4 Most relevant Sources
- The Hindu
- Indian Express
- Percentage Share of Different Items in India’s Exports (TH, pg 1)
- GI Tag to Nagaswaram (TH Digital)
- The Artemis Programme, NASA’s New Moon Mission (TH, pg 10)
- What are Foreigners’ Tribunals (TH, pg 9)
- In brief about IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act (TH, pg 12)
- AquaMAP – India’s Solution for Water Concerns (IE)
- Mullaperiyar Dam (TH, pg 4)
- Mekedatu Multi-Purpose Project (TH, pg 10)
- League of Arab States (LAS)(TH, pg 14)
- Tactical Urbanism Trials (TH, pg 2)
Percentage Share of Different Items in India’s Exports (TH, pg 1)
- Context:India’s annual goods exports crossed the $400-billion mark for the first time ever.
- Engineering goods and petroleum products increased their share in exports. Along with gems and jewellery, the three categories made up for half of India’s merchandise exports.
- While categories like electronic goods and agricultural commodities saw a rise in exports, their share in outbound shipment has not risen (that is, their export value has risen but the volume of outbound shipments has not increased).
- Engineering goods remained India’s largest export item, contributing 26.9% of all merchandise exports in the first 11 months of FY22.
GI Tag to Nagaswaram (TH Digital)
- Context: Nagaswaram made in Narasinghapettai in Thanjavur district has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
- Nagaswaram is a wind instrument made of wood and metal.
- It is used in religious ceremonies and is an essential part of the Carnatic music.
- This instrument is made in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
What is a Geographical Indication?
- The World Intellectual Property Organisation defines a Geographical Indication(GI tag) as “a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin”.
- A Geographical Indication (GI) is primarily an agricultural, manufacturedor a natural product (handicrafts and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
- The manufactured goods should be produced or processed or prepared in that territory.
- Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.
- Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.
- A GI registration gives the registered proprietor and authorised users the legal right to the exclusive use of the GI, and no unauthorised person can use the tag.
- Under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, geographical indications are covered as an element of IPRs.
- They are also covered under the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, which was part of the Agreements concluding the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.
- India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection)Act, 1999.
- “Goods” means any agricultural, natural or manufactured goods or any goods of handicraft or of industry and includes food stuff.
GI in India
- In India the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry is administering the Patent, Design, Trademark and GI.
What is the benefit of registration of geographical indications?
- It confers legal protection to Geographical Indications in India.
- Prevents unauthorised use of a Registered Geographical Indication by others
- It provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications which in turn boost exports.
- It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.
Is a registration of a geographical indication compulsory and how does it help the applicant?
- Registration is not compulsory.
- Registration affords better legal protection to facilitate an action for infringement.
- The registered proprietor and authorised users can initiate infringement actions.
- The authorised users can exercise the exclusive right to use the geographical indication.
How long the registration of Geographical Indication is valid?
- The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years
Can a registered geographical indication be assigned, transmitted, etc?
- A geographical indication is a public property belonging to the producers of the concerned goods.
- It shall not be the subject matter of assignment, transmission, licensing, pledge, mortgage or such other agreement
- However, when an authorised user dies, his right devolves on his successor in title.
How a geographical indication is different from a trade mark?
- A trade mark is a sign which is used in the course of trade and it distinguishes goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
- Whereas a geographical indication is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.
The Artemis Programme, NASA’s New Moon Mission (TH, pg 10)
- Context: In March 2022, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rolled out its Artemis I moon mission to the launchpad for testing at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, United States.
What is the Artemis program?
- NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon by 2024.
- The program is divided into three parts, the first called Artemis I which involves an uncrewed flight to test the NASA’s new rocket called Space Launch System (SLS) — the most powerful rocket in the world — and Orion spacecraft (the spacecraft for lunar missions).
- Artemis II will be the first crewed flight test and is targeted for 2023.
- Artemis III will land astronauts on the Moon’s South Pole in 2024.
- The SLS rocket has been designed for space missions beyond the low-earth orbit and can carry crew or cargo to the moon and beyond.
- Under the Artemis program, humanity will explore regions of the Moon never visited before.
- NASA plans on using the lunar orbit to gain the necessary experience to extend human exploration of space farther into the solar system.
- NASA will establish an Artemis Base Camp on the surface and a gateway in the lunar orbit to aid exploration by robots and astronauts. The gateway is a critical component of NASA’s sustainable lunar operations and will serve as a multi-purpose outpost orbiting the moon.
- Once the astronauts dock Orion at the Gateway (the lunar outpost around the Moon) — which is a small spaceship in orbit around the moon — they will be able to live and work around the Moon, and from the spaceship, will take expeditions to the surface of the Moon.
- The astronauts going for the Artemis program will wear newly designed spacesuits, called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU.
- These spacesuits feature advanced mobility and communications and interchangeable parts that can be configured for spacewalks in microgravity or on a planetary surface.
- Other space agencies like the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are also involved in the Artemis programme.
What are Foreigners’ Tribunals (TH, pg 9)
- Context: More than 53,000 persons were acquitted by the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) in Assam from 2015 and over 1.23 lakh cases are still pending trial, the Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Rajya Sabha.
- Foreigners’ Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies established as per the Foreigners’ Tribunal Order, 1964 and the Foreigners’ Act, 1946. They are applicable to the whole country.
- It is for those who have been left out in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list or have been marked as ‘D’ meaning ‘doubtful’. The ones falling under this category have the right to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal.
- DVoters are a category of people struck off Assam’s electoral rolls by the Election Commission on suspicion of being foreigners.
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam.
- Under the provisions of Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and Foreigners Tribunal Order, 1964, only Foreigner Tribunals have the right to declare a person as a foreigner.
- Thus, non-inclusion of a person’s name in the NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared a foreigner.
Appeal and Burden of Proof
- However, if declared a foreigner or placed under the doubtful category ‘the burden of proof lies with the accused’.
- A person falling under such category will have the right to appeal (within 120 days) at the Foreigners Tribunal.
Powers of Tribunal
- In the Foreigners’ Tribunal Order, 1964 the powers of the Tribunal have been laid down:
- The Tribunal shall have the powers of a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
- The Tribunal can summon and ask for the attendance of any person and examine him/her on oath.
- The Tribunal can ask anyone to produce the required documents,
- The Tribunal can commission examining any witness, as and when required.
In brief about IPC, CrPC and Indian Evidence Act (TH, pg 12)
- Context: Aiming to make comprehensive changes in criminal laws, the government of India has initiated the process of amendment to laws such as Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act in consultation with all stakeholders.
What is IPC?
- Indian Penal Code (IPC),1860 is the principal criminal code of India that defines crimes and provides punishments for almost all kinds of criminal and actionable wrongs.
- It extends to the whole of India and covers all the substantive aspects of criminal law from nuisance at public places to murder, rape, dacoity, etc. and is applicable to all the citizens of India.
- It came into force in 1860 on recommendations of the first law commission of India.
- The code was introduced by and under the chairmanship of Lord Thomas Macaulay.
What is CrPC?
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is the main legislation that provides for the procedure for the substantive criminal law in India.
- It extends to the whole of India.
- It provides for a detailed procedure for punishments under penal laws.
- The administration of India was taken over after the rebellion of 1857 by the British crown and subsequently, the Criminal Procedure Code was enacted in the year 1861.
- The enactment of 1861 made the European natives immune from the jurisdiction of the criminal courts except for the high Court.
- The code was amended in the years 1872, 1882 and 1898 to ensure uniform application over British and Indian subjects.
- Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code is frequently used to prohibit assemblies of four or more individuals, or to order mobile phone companies to block voice, SMS, or Internet communications in one or more geographical areas.
What is Evidence Act?
- The Evidence Act,1872 extends to the whole of Indiaand applies to all judicial proceedings in or before any Court.
- It provides for rules and regulations to be followed for determining the evidence.
What is the difference between Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code?
Indian Penal Code
- Indian Penal Code is a substantive law.
- A substantive law is a law which defines rights and responsibilities in civil law, and crimes and punishments in criminal law.
- Therefore, Indian Penal Code is the law that states all the punishable offences, along with their punishments or penalty(fine) or both.
Criminal Procedure Code
- Criminal procedure Code is a procedural law.
- A procedural law is a law which lays down the set of procedures for enforcing substantive law.
- Therefore, Criminal Procedure Code is the law that describes the overall procedure which is to be followed while dealing with a criminal case.
- It aims at setting up the necessary machinery for investigating cases, arresting criminals, presenting criminals before the courts, collecting evidence, imposing penalties or punishments on the accused, the entire procedure regarding bail, and so on.
- The code classifies offences into two categories i.e. cognizable and non-cognizable.
- Cognizable offences are those offences for which a police officer may arrest without a warrant.
- Non-cognizable offences are, generally, relatively less serious offences than cognizable offences.
Mullaperiyar Dam (TH, pg 4)
- Context:Context: In the Supreme Court, Kerala pitched for building a new dam downstream on its side instead of the existing 126-year-old Mullaperiyar dam.
- The court was in its first day of hearing a series of petitions questioning the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam.
- Mullaperiyar is over-a-century-old dam located river Periyaralong the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
- The major rivers through the reserve are the Mullayar, Periyar, Pamba and Azhutha Rivers.
- The dam, located in Idukki district of Kerala, was built with the intention of diverting the West-flowing Periyar river eastwards to the arid rain shadow region of Madurai (Tamil Nadu).
- Kerala and Tamil Nadu are in a constant tussle regarding the strength of the dam and hence the level of water that should be maintained in the dam.
- Like many dams in India, the Mullaperiyar is located in one state (Kerala), but operated by another (Tamil Nadu).
- Mullaperiyar dam is located in Kerala and is owned by Tamil Nadu.
The Periyar River
- It flows into the Arabian Sea.
- It is one of the few perennial rivers in the region.
- Tamiraparani river also has a perennial flow.It flows into the Gulf of Mannar and lies entirely in Tamil Nadu.
- The Periyar river is the longest but the second largest river of Kerala. Its catchment area is 5,243 sq. km (Source: NCERT, class 11).
- The longest river of Kerala, Bharathapuzha (west flowing) rises near Annamalai hills. It is also known as Ponnani. It drains an area of 5,397 sq. km.
- Periyar River originates from Sivagiri hills of Western Ghats and flows through Periyar National Park into Periyar Lake, a 55 km² artificial reservoir created in 1895 by the construction of a dam across the river.
- Water is diverted from the lake into the Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu via a tunnel through the Western Ghats.
- The water from Periyar Lake then flows into the Vembanad Lake and then finally to the Arabian Sea.
- It lies entirelyin the territory of State of
Dams in India
- Almost 40 per cent of India’s large dams are in Maharashtra (more than 2000), notwithstanding the fact that hardly any dam has fulfilled even half of its projected irrigation potential.
- Not surprisingly, Maharashtra has one of the worst irrigation records in the country, with a mere 19 per cent of the net irrigated area — just ahead of Jharkhand, Manipur and Sikkim.
- But this is not the only case. Madhya Pradesh has 899 big dams, followed by Gujarat (620), Chhattisgarh (248), Karnataka (230) and Rajasthan (209).
- However, among these States, except Madhya Pradesh, which has a net irrigated area of 62 per cent, no other State has achieved even 50 per cent netirrigation.
- In contrast, the States that have achieved more than 50 per cent net irrigation have fewer dams.
- Punjab, which has a 100 per cent net irrigated area, has 14 dams.
- Uttar Pradesh has achieved 87 per cent net irrigation with 115 dams.
- With one large dam, Haryana has achieved 84 per cent irrigation.
- West Bengal and Bihar have achieved 59 per cent and 57 per cent net irrigation, respectively, despite having just 29 and 24 respectively.
Mekedatu Multi-Purpose Project (TH, pg 10)
- Context:Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are at loggerheads over the Mekedatu drinking water project across river Cauvery.
- Tamil Nadu’s Assembly has passed a resolution against the project, while Karnataka’s legislative assembly is set to counter it with a resolution seeking the project’s early implementation and clearance.
- Mekedatu is a drinking water cum power generation project proposed by Karnataka across the river Cauvery.
- ‘Mekedatu’ is located at the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers in Karnataka.
- The project is disputed between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the sharing of Cauvery waters.
- Karnataka intends to build a ‘Balancing Reservoir’ or ‘Mini KRS’ (Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir near Mysuru) across river Cauvery near Mekedaatu for supplying potable water to Bengaluru and parts of Mysuru region in the near future.
- Since it is for potable purpose, the government need not take approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for this project.
- However, Tamil Nadu is objecting that the project would affect the flow of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
- The project has also come under controversy as environmentalists fear irreversible damage to the ecosystem at the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary due to large-scale submergence.
AquaMAP – India’s Solution for Water Concerns (IE)
- Context: To address the water vows of India, IIT Madras along with technical collaboration from IIT Dharwad, has built a new inter-disciplinary water management and policy centre known as ‘AquaMAP’.
- AquaMAP seeks to create solutions for the complex and challenging issues surrounding water management in our country both in urban and rural areas.
Sources of Freshwater on Earth
- Of all the water that exists on our planet, roughly 97% is saltwater and less than 3% is freshwater. Precipitation is the largest direct source of the freshwater we use in our daily lives.
League of Arab States (LAS)(TH, pg 14)
- Context: Foreign Secretary of India called for greater policy alignment between the United Nations (UN) and the League of Arab States (LAS) through frequent consultations. He also reiterated India’s support for a two-state (Palestine and Israel) solution.
- Arab League, formally called the League of Arab States (LAS), is a regional organization of Arab states in the Middle East and parts of Africa, formed in Cairo in1945,to promote the independence, sovereignty, affairs, and interests of its member countries and observers.
- The Arab League has 22 full members and 4 observers.
- The founding member states were Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan (now Jordan), Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
- Other members are Libya; Sudan; Tunisia; Morocco; Kuwait; Algeria; Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates; Mauritania; Somalia; the Palestine Liberation Organization; Djibouti; and Comoros.
- Four LAS observer nations are Eretria, Brazil, Venezuela, and India.
- Each member has one vote on the League Council, decisions being binding only on those states that have voted for them.
- The aims of the league in 1945 were to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic, and social programs of its members and to mediate disputes among them or between them and third parties.
- The signing in 1950 of an agreement on joint defense and economic cooperation also committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.
Tactical Urbanism Trials (TH, pg 2)
- Tactical urbanism trials, aimed at reducing road fatalities at vulnerable locations through low-cost interventions, were launched at two more locations in Delhi.
- The trials will see road space being redistributed to ensure modal equity, road geometry being modified, traffic being channelized, vehicular speeds being reduced, and pedestrian and cyclist safety infrastructure being added.
- Tactical urbanism trials are temporary, quick and relatively low-cost interventions which test urban design, transportation planning and infrastructural changes for improving road safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable, like pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised transport users.