10 August 2022 Daily Current Affairs – THE EXAMS MADE SIMPLE

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Prelims Objective Specific Facts

  • What is CBI?
    • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India.
    • It provides assistance to the Central Vigilance Commission and Lokpal.
    • It functions under the superintendence of the Deptt. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances, Government of India – which falls under the prime minister’s office.
    • However for investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission.
  • The CBI is not a statutory body but derives its power to investigate from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962–1964).
  • Airlines will have to mandatorily provide details of all international passengers to the Customs Department for preventing offences and prosecuting offenders under the Customs Act, 1962 and any other domestic or international law.
  • Every airline will have to transfer the “passenger name record information” from their reservation system to the database of the Customs Department for every international flight de parting from India or arriving into the country.
  • The Passenger Name Record Information Regulations, 2022 notified by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) under the Ministry of Finance.
  • Name record (PNR), date of travel, credit card details and seat as signed will have to be shared at least.
  • The rules note that the National Customs Targeting Centre for Passengers or the database set up by the CBIC will collect the information for “risk analysis of passengers” for the purpose of “prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of offences under the Act [Customs Act, 1962].”
  • Such data will be retained for a maximum period of five years after which it will be disposed of by depersonalisation or anonymisation but can be “re-personalised and unmasked when used in connection with an identifiable case, threat or risk for the specified purposes”.
NEWS-3 Godavari
  • Central Water Commission is a premier institution in India in the water resources domain. This authority primarily works as an extended arm to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Department of Water Resources, Government of India.
  • Also, recently in 2020, CWC (Central Water Commission) completed the 75th year and conducted different seminars, conferences, and other activities to mark the same.
  • Central Water Commission – Overview
    • The Central Water Commission (CWC) was formerly known as CWINC (Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission).
    • This got instituted in 1945 by the Indian Government recommendation of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council.
    • The credit for the institution of CWINC (Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission) remains attributed to Dr BhimRao Ambedkar, under whose able recommendation the then Labour Department of the Government of India formed the CWC.
    • Dr B.R. Ambedkar raised the concept of the CWC, and he reasoned the requirement of having a technical organisation at the central level. He further laid down its purposes, administrative structure, and program.
    • The conclusive proposal for the institution of the CWC was prepared with the assistance of Rai Bahadur A.N. Khosla, the Irrigation Consulting Engineer.
  • India and Bangladesh are likely to link at least one major river agreement later this month.
  • Water sharing between the two countries is considered a sensitive subject given the fact that it often takes political meaning.
  • Kushiyara that flows from Assam into Bangladesh is part of one such agreement that may get “done” during the JRC.
  • The Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam, India. It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River, when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.
  • Tista River, a tributary of the Jamuna River (Brahmaputra River), flowing through India and Bangladesh. It rises in the Himalayas near Chunthang in Sikkim (India), flows to the south, cutting a deep gorge through the Siwalik Hills east of Darjiling (in West Bengal, India), and turns southeast to run through the Sivok Khola pass onto the plains of West Bengal.
  • Originally, the river continued southward to empty directly into the upper Padma River (Ganges [Ganga] River). About 1787, however, the river changed its course to flow eastward, crossing the Rangpur region of Bangladesh to join the Jamuna River near Chilmari after a total course of about 200 miles (320 km).
NEWS-5 4.5 lakh postal staff to strike work today
  • There is no fundamental right to strike under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Strikes cannot be justified on any equitable ground. Strike as a weapon is mostly misused which results in chaos.
  • Indian judiciary has recognized the right to strike both as a legal and statutory right. Strike in an integral part of wage bargaining in the industrial economy. Some limited right to strike was given by the Trade Union Act, 1926. And it was finally made a statutory right under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.
  • The Attorney General of India is the primary lawyer of the Central government and is their legal representative in the Supreme Court of India. Article 76 from the Part V of the Indian constitution concisely describes the post of an Attorney General and its powers, functions, and duties, among other things.
  • Attorney General of India Tenure
  • Not Fixed, Holds office during the pleasure of the President
  • The President can appoint only a person who qualifies as a Supreme Court judge. Along with this, a few other pointers are required to qualify for the post.
  • The candidate should be a citizen of India.
  • The candidate should have 5 years of experience as a judge in the High Court of any state
  • The candidate should have 10 years of experience as an advocate in the High Court of any state.
  • The candidate can also be a famous jurist.
  • Who is a non-member given the power to participate in the Lok Sabha debates?
    1. Vice President
    2. Attorney General of India
    3. Chief Justice of India
    4. None of the above
  • Who among the following holds the office for tenure as per the pleasure of the President?
    1. Comptroller Auditor General of India
    2. Election Commissioner
    3. Attorney General of India
    4. Lok Sabha Speaker
  • UN investigators on Tuesday reported mounting evidence of crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and sexual violence, committed in Myanmar since last year’s military coup. The United Nations’ Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar (IIMM) said wo men and children were particularly being targeted.
  • “There are ample indications that since the military takeover in February 2021, crimes have been commit ted in Myanmar on a scale and in a manner that constitutes a widespread and systematic attack against a civilian population,” the investigators said in a statement.
  • The Iranian satellite called Khayyam into orbit. It’s named after Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist. Iran has said the satellite fitted with high-resolution camera will be used for environmental monitoring.
  • Tehran said no other country will have access to information it gathers and it would be used for civilian purposes only.
  • Russia may use it for surveil lance of Ukraine.
    • If it operates successfully, the satellite would give Iran the ability to monitor Israel and other countries in the Middle East. Yuri Borisov, head of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, hailed the launch as an “important landmark” in cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.

Editorial of the Day

Withdrawal of the data Bill was a bad move
  • The short circular issued by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology simply states that considering the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) – it had proposed 81 amendments and made 12 recommendations – “a comprehensive legal framework is being worked on”. “In these circumstances”, the Government proposed to withdraw the Bill and present a new Bill “that fits into the comprehensive legal framework”.
  • Multiple iterations, to no avail Interestingly, there is no elaboration on what such a “comprehensive legal framework” entails. The Government could enact a fresh privacy legislation or a comprehensive data protection law (covering both personal and non-personal data). Alternatively, it could subsume data protection under its ongoing attempts at revising the existing Information Technology Act, 2000. It could also enact a digital markets law, along the lines of the European Union’s Digital Services Act, so at odds with the proposed amendments of the JPC, which did not recommend withdrawing the PDP Bill in favour of a comprehensive legal framework.
  • The lack of clarity is compound ed by the fact that the circular does not establish any timelines on when the new Bill will be introduced in Parliament, or when it will be passed. This is particularly important, given the drafting history of the PDP Bill. When the Supreme Court of India affirmed the right to privacy in its historic K.S. Puttaswamy judgment in 2017, the nine-judge Bench of the Court referred to the Government’s Office Memorandum constituting the B.N. Srikrishna Committee to suggest a draft Data Protection Bill. The committee released its draft Personal Data Protection Bill in 2018, which was the first public articulation of a data protection law in India.
  • The PDP Bill, 2019, as well as the JPC’s recommendations in the suggested Data Protection Bill, 2021, suffered from serious lacunae, leading Justice Srikrishna to criticise the Bill for its potential to turn India into an “Orwellian state”. First, the Bill’s expansive exemptions allowed the state to exempt the entire application of the law simply as if it was “expedient” to do so in the interest of national security or public order.

Explainer of the Day

How the maiden flight of ISRO’s SSLV went awry
  • ISRO got ready for the first developmental flight of the SSLV-DI/EOS-2 mission. The launch took place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) DI/EOS-2 mission, was carrying two satellites – the Earth Observation Satellite-2 (EOS-2) which weighed about 135 kg and AzadiSAT which weighed about eight kg. The mission aimed to place the EOS-2 in a circular low-Earth orbit at a height of about 350 km above the Equator and inclined at an angle of 37 degrees. The initial part of the story was successful with the launch vehicle operating smoothly. However, the mission failed to place the satellites in their required orbits, and the satellites, as they were already detached from the launch vehicle, were lost.
  • What was the purpose of the SSLV-D1/EOS-2 mission?
    • The purpose of this mission was to place the two satellites in circular low-Earth orbits at a height of about 350 km above the Equator. The larger one, the EOS-2 which was designed and developed by ISRO, offered advanced optical remote sensing operations. It would have operated in the infrared region and could have served many purposes, from imaging for climate studies to simply keeping an eye on Earth.
    • AzadiSAT, on the other hand, was a collective of 75 tiny payloads weighing around 50 grams each, which were integrated by students.
  • The SSLV was composed of three stages powered by solid fuels and these three performed their functions as planned. However, when it came to be set in orbit, there was a glitch which resulted in the satellites being lost forever.
  • With a degree of openness that is unprecedented in ISRO, it was announced that there was a malfunctioning of a sensor which resulted in placing the satellites in an elliptical orbit, rather than a circular orbit. The ellipse or oval shape of the elliptical orbit is elongated in one direction and compressed in another (the so-called major and minor axes, which are like two radii of the ellipse). The shortest height above the Earth of this oval orbit was only about 76 km.
  • Why were the satellites lost?
    • If the closest distance to the Earth is only 76 km, as it happened this time, there is an atmospheric drag experienced by the object at that height. Thereafter, unless adequate thrust is applied to overcome the drag, it will lose height and fall towards the Earth because of gravity and may eventually burn up due to friction.
  • This will immediately trigger a course correction which will restore the trajectory of the rocket. There are many sensors as well as a built-in redundancy. That is, even if one or two sensors fail, there will be others that take over and effect the course correction. In the present case, the announcement was that “failure of a logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation.” This could possibly imply that either redundancy was not built in, which is highly unlikely, or perhaps that it was built in but did not kick off due to a technical glitch.
  • The PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) are quite powerful and can carry huge loads. To place an Earth Orbiting Satellite in a low Earth orbit, one does not need such power horses. The SSLV can easily carry small-to-medium loads from 10 kg to 500 kg. It is less expensive. The three stages being powered by solid fuel is another advantage. Solid fuel is easier to handle, whereas handling the liquid propellants used in the PSLV and GSLV is more complex.
  • Mostly objects such as satellites and spacecrafts are put in elliptical orbits only temporarily. They are then either pushed up to circular orbits at a greater height or the acceleration is increased until the trajectory changes from an ellipse to a hyperbola and the spacecraft escapes the gravity of the Earth in order to move further into space – for example, to the Moon or Mars or further away.
  • Satellites that orbit the Earth are mostly placed in circular orbits. One reason is that if the satellite is used for imaging the Earth, it is easier if it has a fixed distance from the Earth. If the distance keeps changing as in an elliptical orbit, keeping the cameras focussed can become complicated.
Can women be true representatives of the people?
  • The decreased gap in voter turnout between men and women is a positive sign toward gender inclusivity in the political sphere. The 2019 general election was a historic moment for women’s politics, as it saw 78 women elected to the lower house of Parliament for the first time since independence where only 22 women were present in the 543-member Lok Sabha. But the author explains that this number is still not representative of the actual proportion of women in the country.
  • Women’s performance during the Question Hour session becomes relevant as it is a space where legislators act free from party regulation. Substantive representation or acting in the interest of those represented defines the quality of a leader. It becomes imperative to analyse whether descriptive representation transforms into substantive representation.
  • Do women members only represent women, or do they represent the general public that voted them into positions of power? Do they ask questions only about “softer issues” such as women and child development, health, and sanitation, shying away from discussions on national security, finance, agriculture, and railways?
  • As part of the evaluation, the number of questions raised by representatives, the Ministries under which they fell, and the content of questions including terms: like ‘women’, ‘girls’, ‘rape’, ‘crimes against women’ and ‘maternal’, were collected and categorised.
  • The study reveals how descriptive representation transforms into substantive representation. It goes against the popular notion that women members only touch upon softer issues or that they are silent spectators in Parliament.
  • Though men asked more questions and participated in more debates than women, there has been a substantial increase in the number of questions women asked. Moreover, contrary to general belief, women representatives asked more questions on health and family welfare, human resource development, home affairs, finance, agriculture and railways than women’s issues. Male legislators asked more questions on issues concerning women than their female counterparts. These are very welcoming signs as the representatives were seen not to be held back by gender stereotypes.
  • While women are expected to bring a feminine quality into the public political domain, they are breaking stereotypes by simply behaving like their male counterparts.
  • What lies underneath is the problem of structural inequality, wherein women are marginalised at different levels. Through examples of Latin American Parliaments, the author explains how proportional representation will lead to a better representation of women’s interests.
  • The increased political participation is a positive sign toward gender inclusivity and equality in the political sphere. But it has a long way to go, considering the socio-economic and cultural conditions that still socialise women into being averse to politics, hindering them from pursuing politics as a career.

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