15th September 2021 Daily current Affairs

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Questions :-

1) Consider the following statements regarding Adjournment Motion.

  1. It is introduced to draw the attention of the House to a definite matter of urgent public

importance.

  • It can be moved in Rajya Sabha as well as Lok Sabha.

             Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

2) Consider the following statements regarding the Contempt of Court:

  1. Scandalizing the Court is a criminal offence in India.
  2. Supreme Court and High Courts derive their contempt powers from the Constitution.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

3) Consider the following statements:

  1. Wasting is defined as low weight-for-age.
  2. A child who is underweight may be stunted, wasted or both.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Important news :-

  1. Fuel prices quicken WPI inflation to 11.39% in August

What is WPI?

  • The wholesale price index is an index that measures and tracks the changes in the price of goods in the stages before the retail level.
  • WPI is used as a measure of inflation in some economies.
  • WPI includes three components viz,
  • Manufactured products – 64.2%
  • Primary articles – 22.6%
  • Fuel and power – 13.1%
  • Instead of the earlier 2004-05, base year for the WPI will be 2011-12.
  • The number of items covered in the new series of the WPI has increased from 676 to 697.

What are the issues with WPI?

  • Following the Urjit Patel Committee recommendations, the RBI Act has been amended and flexible inflation targeting (FIT) has been put in place with CPI inflation as the nominal anchor.
  • Under the FIT, as the RBI has been mandated to achieve price stability measured in terms of CPI inflation, the use of WPI inflation has been completely done away with.
  • All projections relating to inflation are currently done in terms of CPI.
  • As of now, WPI is predominantly used for converting GDP/GVA at current prices to the same at constant prices.
  • In fact, the GDP deflator (often argued as the true indicator of inflation), which is defined as a ratio of GDP at current prices to GDP at constant prices multiplied by 100, closely tracks WPI inflation
  • India, U.K. to begin trade talks from November 1 :-

Formal negotiations for a proposed India-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will begin on November 1, with an interim “early harvest” agreement to be completed by March 2022.

What is FTA ?

A free trade agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them. Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.

  • Coronavirus variants Mu, C.1.2 not detected in India: INSACOG :-

All about INSACOG –

The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), jointly initiated by the Union Health Ministry of Health, and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) with Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), is a consortium of 28 National Laboratories to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2. INSACOG is a multi-laboratory, multi-agency, Pan-India network to monitor genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 by a sentinel sequencing effort. 

  • National Anthem gets an indigenous touch :-

50th anniversary of Meghalaya’s Statehood in 2022, the State Assembly has given an indigenous touch to the National Anthem.

  • NHRC notice on farmers’ protest :-

About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) :

It is a statutory body established on 12th October, 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993. The Act also provides for the creation of the State Human Rights Commission as well.

HeadquartersNew Delhi
First executiveRanganath Mishra
Current executiveH. L. Dattu

Composition:

  • The chairperson is a retired chief justice of India or a judge of the Supreme Court.
  • They are appointed by the President on the recommendations of a six-member committee consisting of:
  • Prime Minister (head)
  • Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  • Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
  • Leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament
  • Union Home Minister.

Term and removal:

They hold office for a term of three years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. The President can remove them from the office under specific circumstances.

  • China aims for ‘civilised’ cyberspace :-

China will step up efforts to promote a “civilised” Internet by strengthening oversight over the likes of news sites and online platforms and encouraging them to promote core socialist values, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China’s regulators are trying to strengthen control over society with stringent supervision of a range of sectors from technology to education and entertainment. Cyberspace should be used to promote education about the ruling Communist Party and its achievements, according to guidelines published by the State Council, the news agency reported.

  • Indian-origin Sahota out of Booker race :-

Indian origin British novelist Sunjeev Sahota, who had made to the long list with his China Room, missed out in the final running.

  • Sri Lankan Tamil author Anuk Arudpragasam made the cut with A Passage North;
  • South African author Damon Galgut for The Promise;
  • Americans Patricia Lockdwood for No One is Talking About this;
  • Richard Powers for Bewilderment, and
  • Maggie Shipstead for Great Circle; and
  • British-Somali author Nadifa Mohamed The Fortune Men.

Editorial of the day

Behind the great Indian Internet shutdown

On January 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of India held that access to information via the Internet is a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution. This was in the case of Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India, where the top court also ruled that any restriction on Internet access by the Government must be temporary, limited in scope, lawful, necessary and proportionate.

The Court reiterated that the Government’s orders restricting Internet access are subject to review by Courts.

But still India’s Internet restrictions also accounted for more than 70% of the total loss to the global economy in 2020, and India remains infamous as the Internet shutdown capital of the world.

  • The Supreme Court of India ruled that an indefinite suspension of internet services would be illegal under Indian law and that orders for internet shutdown must satisfy the tests of necessity and proportionality.
  • What is the test of Proportionality? :=
  • In K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India (2017) case, the court held that any restriction placed on the right must conform to a doctrine of proportionality. This requires few tests,
    • State action must have a legislative mandate
    • The action must show that the objective of its law is founded on a legitimate governmental aim
    • It must be proportionate, i.e., such state action — both in its nature and extent, must be necessary for a democratic society. Further, such action must have no alternative and less intrusive measures available to achieve the same objective
  • The Court reiterated that freedom of expression online enjoyed Constitutional protection, but could be restricted in the name of national security. The Court held that though the Government was empowered to impose a complete internet shutdown, any order(s) imposing such restrictions had to be made public and was subject to judicial review.

Recent restrictions

  • The Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has restricted access to mobile data in the Valley of Kashmir. Restrictions have been ordered by the government of Haryana in five different districts following farmers’ protests.

What are the issues with these Shutdowns?

The suspension orders for these instances have still not been uploaded on the government’s websites.

Loss of Trust –

This non-publication of orders also undermines public confidence in the Government. The Internet is a necessity in this day and age, and restrictions without publicly disclosed reasons create a trust deficit.

There is also a deficit because the Union Government has also not done enough to give statutory recognition to the directions in Anuradha Bhasin. In 2020, it amended the Telecom Suspension Rules, 2017 to limit Internet suspension orders to a maximum of 15 days.

However, the amendment did not include an obligation on the Government to publish orders nor did it include the Supreme Court’s direction to undertake periodic review of these orders.

Impacts –

  • The Internet is a source of information, entertainment, health care, education, livelihood and a platform for the members of Indian society to interact with each other and the world at large.
  • Thus What is needed? : More faithful compliance with the Supreme Court guidelines on the part of the executive government is needed to rid ourselves of the tag of the “internet shutdown capital” of the world and fulfill Digital India’s potential.

Partners in the Indo-Pacific-

Recently, the foreign and defence ministers of India and Australia held the first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi.

What are the fields of Cooperation for India and Australia –

Both countries have an enduring interest in a free, open, inclusive and rule-based Indo-Pacific region. It includes stability and freedom of navigation for all nations in the region. Given their common security challenges and in order to enhance regional security architecture, both countries have intensified bilateral security cooperation.

Trade Relations-

  • Two-way trade between them was valued at $24.4 billion in 2020.
    • Trade is rapidly growing and encompasses agri-business, infrastructure, healthcare, energy and mining, education, artificial intelligence, big data and Fintech.
    • An early harvest agreement by December will pave the way for an early conclusion of a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between both countries.

What else is needed :-

1. People to People Contact

2. More Engagement in groupings like Quad.

3. Quick resolution of the Comprehensive Economic partnership.

‘2+2’ Dialogue

  • 2+2 Ministerial is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries.
  • It is a format of dialogue where the defence/foreign ministers or secretaries meet with their counterparts from another country.
  • India holds such talks with Australia, Japan and the USA.

Defence Relations: 

  • Bilateral naval exercise (AUSINDEX),
  • AUSTRA HIND (Bilateral Exercise with Army), 
  • Ex-PITCH BLACK (Australia’s multilateral air combat training exercise) and
  • Malabar Exercise (comprising Quad countries).

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