07 December 2021 The Hindu Newspaper Analysis

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Questions

1) Project RE-HAB sometimes seen in news is associated with?

Auto-detection of armed drones
Creation of Bee fences
Web 3.0 interface reassembling
Scanning of deforested areas

2) Chocolate-bordered Flitter discovered recently belongs to which of the following species?

Bird
Butterfly
Spider
Lizard

3) With reference to Paikas, consider the following statements:

  1. They rendered martial services in return for hereditary nish-kar jagirs and titles.
  2. During the Paika Rebellion, several Kondhs rose up in revolt against the British.
    Which of the statements given above is/are incorrect?

1 only
2 only
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2

Prelims Specific News Items

1) The Chief Justice of India has proposed the creation of a National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI) to address neglected judicial infrastructure in the country.

What is the state of judicial infrastructure in India?

Firstly, the total sanctioned strength of judicial officers in the country is 24,280 but the number of court halls available is just 20,143 including 620 rented halls.

Secondly, around 26% of the court complexes do not have separate ladies’ toilets and 16% do not have gents’ toilets.

Thirdly, only 32% of the courtrooms have separate record rooms and only 51% of the court complexes have a library.

Fourthly, only 5% of the court complexes have basic medical facilities and only 51% of the court complexes have a library.

Fifthly, only 27% of the courtrooms have a computer placed on the judge’s dais with a video conferencing facility.

The Chief Justice of India has proposed the creation of the National Judicial Infrastructure Authority of India (NJIAI).

Purpose: It will take control of the budgeting and infrastructure development of subordinate courts in the country.

The NJIAI could work as a central agency, with each state having its own State Judicial Infrastructure Authority.

The Chief Justice of India could be the patron-in-chief of the NJIAI and one of the Supreme Court judges nominated by the Chief Justice could be the executive chairman.

But, unlike NALSA which is serviced by the Ministry of Law and Justice, the proposed NJIAI would be placed under the Supreme Court of India.

2) What is the News?

The 11th Edition of Exercise EKUVERIN between India & Maldives will be conducted at Kadhdhoo Island, Maldives.

What is Exercise EKUVERIN?

Exercise Ekuverin (meaning ‘Friends’ in the Maldivian language) is a joint military exercise conducted between India and Maldives since 2009.

3) Project RE-HAB

Project RE-HAB is a sub-mission of KVIC’s National Honey Mission.
Under the project, “Bee-fences” are created by setting up bee boxes in the passageways of elephants to block their entrance to human territories.
The boxes are connected with a string so that when elephants attempt to pass through, a tug or pull causes the bees to swarm the elephant herds and dissuade them from progressing further.
It is a cost-effective way of reducing human-wild conflicts without causing any harm to the animals.

How does it work?

It is scientifically recorded that elephants are annoyed by the honey bees.
Elephants also fear that the bee swarms can bite the sensitive inner side of the trunk and eyes.
The collective buzz of the bees is annoying to elephants that force them to return.

4) Invasive Snail Species – Physella Acuta in Kerala

A tiny snail with a striking, pellucid golden-yellow shell found in the Edappally canal in Kochi has been flagged as an invasive species that could play havoc with native ecosystems.

It is a acute bladder snail Physella acuta, globally branded as highly invasive.

Why is it bad ?  

It plays host to worms that can cause food-borne diseases and skin itches in humans. Moreover, its rapid growth rate, air-breathing capability, and tolerance to pollution makes the Physella acuta a potential competitor to native fauna.

5) About the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)

  • It was enacted by the Parliament and approved by the President in 1958.
  • It confers certain special powers on members of the Armed Forces (military forces, air forces operating on the ground as land forces and any other armed forces of the Union (CRPF, BSF, ITBP etc)for carrying out proactive operations against the insurgents in a highly hostile environment. 
    • They have the authority to prohibit a gathering of five or more persons in an area.
  • The AFSPA is also in force in the entire Nagaland, certain districts of Arunachal Pradesh, and most parts of Manipur barring the Imphal municipal areas.

Provisions:

  • Under Section 3, the Central Government or the Governor of the State or administrator of the Union Territory can declare the whole or part of the State or Union Territory as a disturbed area. 
    • An area can be disturbed due to differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities. 
  • Section 4 gives the Army powers to search premises and make arrests without warrants, to use force even to the extent of causing death, destroy arms/ammunition dumps, fortifications/shelters/hideouts and to stop, search and seize any vehicle.
  • Section 6 stipulates that arrested persons and the seized property are to be made over to the police with the least possible delay.
  • Section 7 offers protection of persons acting in good faith in their official capacity
    • The prosecution is permitted only after the sanction of the Central Government.

Significance

  • Armed Forces are deployed in counter-insurgency / terrorist operations when all other forces available to the State have failed to bring the situation under control.
  • Armed forces operating in such an environment require certain special powers and protection in the form of an enabling law.
  • Therefore, AFSPA is absolutely essential to combat insurgency in the country and protect the borders.

Criticism

  • It provides absolute powers to the security personnel without being accounted for.
    •  This leads to various atrocities and human rights violations by security agencies.
  • Critics say the undemocratic act has failed to contain terrorism and restore normalcy in disturbed areas, as the number of armed groups has gone up after the act was established.
    •  Many even hold it responsible for the spiralling violence in areas it is in force.
  • The Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee was set up in 2005 to review Afspa and make recommendations.
    •  It recommended that Afspa should be repealed and the Unlawful Activities Protection Act strengthened to fight militancy. 
  • It has been a controversial one, with human rights groups opposing it as being aggressive. 
  • Terming the AFSPA as a “draconian law”, renowned human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila of Manipur had fought for 16 long years till mid-2016, demanding its repeal.

Way Forward

  • AFSPA is required to counter insurgencies and lack of development in the Northeast region is also a major reason for the insurgency therefore the Government should take urgent steps to create new opportunities for growth and development.
  • AFSPA should be made more comprehensive, with elaborate rules with respect to the method of investigations of alleged human rights violations to reduce the possibility of misusing it.
  • The Army should carry out fresh investigations into all alleged cases of human rights violations.

6) What is CAMPA?

Supreme Court of India ordered for establishment of Compensatory Afforestation Fund and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in 2001.

In 2006, adhoc CAMPA was established for the management of Compensatory afforestation fund.

CAMPA Act:

To compensate the loss of forest area and to maintain the sustainability, the Government of India came up with a well-defined Act, known as CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority).
The law establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
These Funds will receive payments for: (i) compensatory afforestation, (ii) net present value of forest (NPV), and (iii) other project specific payments.
The National Fund will receive 10% of these funds, and the State Funds will receive the remaining 90%.
According to the Act’s provision, a company diverting forest land must provide alternative land to take up compensatory afforestation.
For afforestation, the company should pay to plant new trees in the alternative land provided to the state
.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund

The CAF Act was passed by the centre in 2016 and the related rules were notified in 2018.
The CAF Act was enacted to manage the funds collected for compensatory afforestation which till then was managed by ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

7)Olaf Scholz:- Germany’s Parliament will officially elect Olaf Scholz on Wednesday as the country’s next Chancellor, bringing the curtain down on Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign and ushering in a new political era with the centre-left in charge.

Editorial of the Day

The way to tackle malnutrition

The Author first highlights the Malnutrition and Anaemia data from NFHS-5. There has been tardy progress in reducing undernutrition, wasting and stunting. It is a national shame that even now, 35.5% of under-five children are stunted and 19.3% are wasted. Childhood Anaemia has worsened from NFHS-4.

Anaemia among adolescent girls and women aged 15-49 has also worsened. Though institutional delivery has gone up, early initiation of breastfeeding is static. 

Ways to Tackle :-

  1. Promote Breastfeeding for the first 6 months
  2. ASHA workers and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife to monitor the Breastfeeding.
  3. Make sure that wages reach to the workers under MGNREGA program.
  4. Proper implementation of the PDS system, PMGKY, POSHAN Abhiyan
  5. Anganwadi centre get the good quality Dry ration for the Mid day meal
  6. The mid day meal food should be properly cooked
  7. Food should be diversified to include variety of Vitamins and minerals
  8. Egg should be included in the diet.

Facial recognition at airports from 2022

Airports at Varanasi, Pune, Kolkata and Vijaywada will be the first to roll-out the facial recognition technology-based biometric boarding system, and the service will go live from March 2022.

DIGI YATRA SCHEME :- The Airports Authority of India has engaged NEC Corporation Private Limited for implementing the technology as part of the DigiYatra policy, which seeks to promote paperless air travel and a seamless journey from entering an airport till boarding a plane.

The policy was unveiled in October 2018, and as per the original plan, the roll-out of the facial recognition technology was scheduled for April 2019.

How will it be implemented :- For availing the Digi Yatra services, passengers would send the travel details (Pax details, PNR and Facial Biometrics) through an app to the Biometric Boarding System of the respective departing airport.

Moreover, if for a particular journey, the passenger does not want to avail the Digi Yatra services then the passenger has an option to not send the data and use the existing manual process at airports.

Data shared by the Passenger is to be used for the purpose defined and would not be shared with any other external stakeholders.

It is important to note that data shared by passengers is to be retained during the transit of the passenger at the airport and will not be retained for more than 24 hours after Take-off/departure of the flight.

Issues :-

  1. Data Privacy Issues
  2. Data Safety and Security Issues
  3. Facial Recognition is used for Smartphone locks and other important devices, Can this data be misused in some ways
  4. No idea where the data will be stored and who will have access to it is an invitation to many issues.
Credit THE HINDU

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