05 August 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Questions

Which of the following statement(s) is/ are correct with respect to Halam Tribes

They are scheduled tribes of Tripura, who belong to the Kuki-Chin tribes of Tibeto-Burmese ethnic group.

They live in typical Tong Ghar, specially made of bamboo and Chan grass.

 Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

2)Which of the following statement(s) is/ are correct with respect to Hypervitaminosis

It is a condition of abnormally high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to various symptoms as over excitement, or even toxicity.

It is caused only water soluble vitamins like vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and not by fat soluble vitamins.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

1) Consider the following statements:

India shares its border with eight countries and Bangladesh shares the longest border with India.

India has fenced its borders more along the Indo-Bangladesh border than the Indo-Pakistan border.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

a.  1 only

b.  2 only

c.  Both 1 and 2

d.  Neither 1 nor 2

Prelims Specific News :-

  1. Halam Tribes

Halams are also known as Mila Kuki, though they are not at all Kukis in terms of language, culture and living style.

As per 2011 Census, their total population is 57,210 and distributed throughout the State of Tripura.

Halams are divided into several sub-clans which are referred to as “Barki-Halam”.

Their language is also more or less similar to that of the Tibeto-Burman family.

2)What is a Solarpunk? :- Solarpunk is an art movement that showcase how the future might look if humanity gets success in solving major contemporary challenges by emphasising on sustainability problems like climate change and pollution. Key Points Solarpunk describes a multitude of media including fine arts, literature, architecture, music, fashion, tattoos, and video games in a manner similar to adjacent movements like steampunk & cyberpunk and more established art movements such as Baroque, Art Nouveau & Impressionism.

Iconography of solarpunk focuses on renewable energies including solar and wind power.

Solarpunk is highly concerned with technology but also embraces low-tech ways of living.

3)Prime Minister Narendra Modi will invite India’s Olympic contingent as special guests at the Red Fort on August 15 when he will be delivering his eighth Independence Day speech. Highlights Modi will also invite contingent to his residence for interaction. This year, India has been represented by a 228.

4) CJI recuses himself from Andhra-Telangana Case :-

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) N V Ramana (who hails from AP) recused himself from hearing Andhra Pradesh’s plea after it said “no” to the Supreme Court’s suggestion to go for mediation over a dispute with Telangana over the Krishna River dispute.

Q. Can you list down some basic principles of judicial conduct?

Independence, Impartiality, Integrity, Propriety, Competence and diligence and Equality are some of them as listed under the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct.

What is the Recusal of Judges?

  • Recusal is the removal of oneself as a judge or policymaker in a particular matter, especially because of a conflict of interest.
  • Recusal usually takes place when a judge has a conflict of interest or has a prior association with the parties in the case.
  • For example, if the case pertains to a company in which the judge holds stakes, the apprehension would seem reasonable.
  • Similarly, if the judge has, in the past, appeared for one of the parties involved in a case, the call for recusal may seem right.
  • A recusal inevitably leads to delay. The case goes back to the Chief Justice, who has to constitute a fresh Bench.

Rules on Recusals

  • There are no written rules on the recusal of judges from hearing cases listed before them in constitutional courts.
  • It is left to the discretion of a judge.
  • The reasons for recusal are not disclosed in an order of the court. Some judges orally convey to the lawyers involved in the case their reasons for recusal, many do not. Some explain the reasons in their order.
  • The decision rests on the conscience of the judge. At times, parties involved raise apprehensions about a possible conflict of interest.

Issues with recusal

  • Recusal is also regarded as the abdication of duty. Maintaining institutional civilities is distinct from the fiercely independent role of the judge as an adjudicator.
  • In his separate opinion in the NJAC judgment in 2015, Justice Kurian Joseph highlighted the need for judges to give reasons for recusal as a measure to build transparency.
  • It is the constitutional duty, as reflected in one’s oath, to be transparent and accountable, and hence, a judge is required to indicate reasons for his recusal from a particular case.

5) Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) :-

Virtually, 50% of funds allotted for ongoing MPLADS projects have lapsed.

What is the MPLAD scheme?

  • The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) is a program first launched during the Narasimha Rao Government in 1993.
  • It was aimed towards providing funds for developmental works recommended by individual MPs.

Funds available

  • The MPs then were entitled to recommend works to the tune of Rs 1 crore annually between 1994-95 and 1997-98, after which the annual entitlement was enhanced to Rs 2 crore.
  • The UPA government in 2011-12 raised the annual entitlement to Rs 5 crore per MP.

Implementation

  • To implement their plans in an area, MPs have to recommend them to the District Authority of the respective Nodal District.
  • The District Authorities then identify Implementing Agencies that execute the projects.
  • The respective District Authority is supposed to oversee the implementation and has to submit monthly reports, audit reports, and work completion reports to the Nodal District Authority.
  • The MPLADS funds can be merged with other schemes such as MGNREGA and Khelo India.

Guidelines for MPLADS implementation

  • The document ‘Guidelines on MPLADS’ was published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in June 2016 in this regard.
  • It stated the objective of the scheme to enable MPs to recommend works of developmental nature with emphasis on the creation of durable community assets based on the locally felt needs in their Constituencies.
  • Right from the inception of the Scheme, durable assets of national priorities viz. drinking water, primary education, public health, sanitation, and roads, etc. should be created.
  • It recommended MPs to works costing at least 15 percent of their entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 percent for areas inhabited by ST population.
  • It lays down a number of development works including construction of railway halt stations, providing financial assistance to recognized bodies, cooperative societies, installing CCTV cameras etc.

6) Air Quality Commission Bill, 2021 :-

The Lok Sabha has passed the Bill to formalize the Commission for Air Quality Management For National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas.

Highlights of the AQC Bill

  • The AQC would be a ‘permanent’ body to address pollution in the National Capital Region Delhi and address sources of pollution in Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The all-powerful body assumed several powers to coordinate action among States, levy fines — ranging up to ₹1 crore or five years of prison — to address air pollution.

Key features

  • Over-riding powers: While the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and its state branches have the powers to implement provisions of the Environment Protection Act for air, water and land pollution.
  • In case of dispute or a clash of jurisdictions, the AQC’s writ would prevail specific to matters concerning air pollution.
  • Chair: The body has a full-time chairperson and a range of members consisting of both representatives from several Ministries as well as independent experts and will have the final say on evolving policy and issuing directions.
  • Curb on stubble burning: the Commission may impose and collect environment compensation causing pollution by stubble burning.
  • No penalties to farmers: The Centre, facing flak earlier this year from farmers protesting the farm laws, had committed to removing a clause in the Air Commission Bill that would penalize farmers for burning stubble, an important contributor to noxious air quality.

7) Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (INS Vikrant) :-

The much-awaited sea trials of India’s maiden indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1), built by the public sector Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) have begun.

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1

  • IAC is the first aircraft carrier designed and built in India.
  • It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND), and is being built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Shipping.
  • The IAC-1, the biggest warship made indigenously, has an overall length of 263 m and a breadth of 63 m.
  • It is capable of carrying 30 assorted aircraft including combat jets and helicopters.
  • Propelled by four gas turbines, it can attain a top speed of 30 knots (about 55 kmph).
  • The vessel will have a complement of 1,500 personnel.

Significance of IAC 1

  • An aircraft carrier is one of the most potent marine assets for a nation, which enhances a Navy’s capability to travel far from its home shores to carry out air domination operations.
  • Many experts consider having an aircraft carrier as essential to be considered a ‘blue water’ navy — one that has the capacity to project a nation’s strength and power across the high seas.
  • An aircraft carrier generally leads as the capital ship of a carrier strike/battle group.
  • As the carrier is a valuable and sometimes vulnerable target, it is usually escorted in the group by destroyers, missile cruisers, frigates, submarines, and supply ships.

Why does it matter that this is a Made-in-India warship?

  • Only five or six nations currently have the capability of manufacturing an aircraft carrier — India joins this elite club now.
  • According to the Navy, over 76 per cent of the material and equipment on board IAC-1 is indigenous.
  • India’s earlier aircraft carriers were either built by the British or the Russians.
  • The INS Vikramaditya, currently the Navy’s only aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 2013, started out as the Soviet-Russian Admiral Gorshkov.
  • The country’s two earlier carriers, INS Vikrant and INS Viraat, were originally the British-built HMS Hercules and HMS Hermes before being commissioned into the Navy in 1961 and 1987 respectively.

Why will this warship be named INS Vikrant?

  • INS Vikrant, a Majestic-class 19,500-tonne warship, was the name of India’s much-loved first aircraft carrier, a source of immense national pride over several decades of service before it was decommissioned in 1997.
  • India acquired the Vikrant from the United Kingdom in 1961, and the carrier played a stellar role in the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the birth of Bangladesh.

Now that India has the capability, will it build more carriers?

  • Since 2015, the Navy has been seeking approval to build a third aircraft carrier for the country, which, if approved, will become India’s second Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-2).
  • This proposed carrier, to be named INS Vishal, is intended to be a giant 65,000-tonne vessel, much bigger than IAC-1 and the INS Vikramaditya.
  • The Navy has been trying to convince the government of the “operational necessity” of having a third carrier.

8) ‘Need viable alternatives to stubble burning’ :-

Three solutions have been mentioned in this article.

1) in-situ treatment of stubble,
2)ex-situ treatment, and
3)changing cropping pattern.

For in-situ management, the government is currently giving equipment to farmers to mix the stubble back into the soil, so that they do not have to burn it, but everyone is not getting these machines.

Similarly, in ex-situ management, some companies have started collecting stubble for their use, but we need more action on this front,”

“Penalty without access to solutions does not work.”

9)All about Principles of Natural Justice :- Natural justice is a principle that intends to ensure law with fairness & to secure justice. So, the principles of Natural Justice are made to ensure that the decision-making processes are transparent & impartial, and are also based on evidence and hence should be fair.

These principles are not defined in any statute but are still accepted & are enforced. In simple terms, the principles of natural justice mean the principles relating to the procedures required to be followed by the authorities entrusted with the task of deciding disputes between the parties.

The principle of natural justice defines two principles:

Audi Alteram Partem which means ‘no one can be left unheard’: It basically means that the court should hear the other party and no one should be condemned unheard. This maxim is based on the basis of the rule of fair hearing.

Nemo judex in causa sua which means ‘no one can be a judge in his case’: This maxim gives rise to the duty to act fairly, to listen to the arguments and to reach a decision in a manner that is untainted by bias.

Natural Justice is the concept of common law which basically means fairness, reasonableness, equality and equity in the decision-making process. The purpose of the principles of natural justice is the prevention of the miscarriage of justice. Natural Justice is important because it ensures procedural fairness and also fair decision making.

10)The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India. It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing. It strengthens security-related defence of the Indian Internet domain.

Editorials of the Day

A language ladder for an education roadblock

Context: The recent decision of 14 engineering colleges across eight States to offer courses in regional languages in select branches from the new academic year marks a historic moment in the academic landscape of the country.

  • This move opens the door to a whole world of opportunities — to students of B.Tech courses, in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali, Assamese, Punjabi and Odia.

On a parallel note, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), has decided to permit B. Tech programmes in 11 native languages in tune with the New Education Policy (NEP).

Benefits of Providing Higher Education in regional languages

  • Benefits Downtrodden sections of Society: Higher education in mother tongue as the medium of instruction will instil confidence in students from poor, rural, and tribal backgrounds to pursue Higher Education.
  • Demand of the students: In a survey by the AICTE, nearly 44% students voted in favour of studying engineering in their mother tongue, underscoring a critical need in technical education.
  • Improves Learning Outcomes & builds Cognitive faculties: Multiple studies have proved that students who learn in their mother tongue perform better than those taught in an alien language. 
  • Builds Self-Esteem & Self-identity: UNESCO and other organisations have been laying emphasis on the fact that learning in the mother tongue is germane to building self-esteem and self-identity, as also the overall development of the student.
  • Democratises Education Sector: India was infamous for creating small islands of higher education (IITs, NITs) that imparted education only in English. This ended up building academic roadblocks, impeding the progress of the vast majority of our students. Offering technical & professional courses in native languages helps improve access to Higher education.
  • International Best Practice: Among the G20, most countries have state-of-the-art universities, with teaching being imparted in the dominant language of their people.
  • Promotion & Preservation of Culture: If we neglect a language, not only do we lose a priceless body of knowledge but also risk depriving future generations of their cultural roots and precious social and linguistic heritage.

Way Ahead

  • Expand the initiative: We must begin with imparting primary education (at least until Class 5) in the student’s mother tongue, gradually scaling it up. For professional courses, while the initiative of the 14 engineering colleges is commendable, we need more such efforts all across the country. 
  • Textbooks in Native Languages: In technical courses there is lack of high-quality textbooks in native languages. This creates bottleneck for more students to take higher education and therefore needs to be addressed urgently.
  • Leveraging Technology in Digital age: Content in the digital learning ecosystem is greatly skewed towards English which excludes the vast majority of our children, and this has to be corrected.
  • Non-exclusivist approach: Educational institutes should not adopt ‘Mother tongue versus English’, but a ‘Mother tongue plus English’ approach. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, proficiency in different languages opens new vistas to a wider world.

Conclusion

India is a land of immeasurable talent. We must unlock the full potential of our youth, without letting their seeming inability to speak a foreign language impede their progress. 

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