18 June 2021 – Daily Current Affairs

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Consider the following statements with respect to Deep Ocean Mission

It is a mission mode project to explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

Ministry of Science & Technology will be the nodal ministry for implementing this ambitious mission.

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

2)Which of the following states has launched the Green Passage Scheme?

a.   Maharashtra

b.   West Bengal

c.   Madhya Pradesh

d.   Odisha

3)Which of the following statements is incorrect with respect to Favourable conditions for Heat Waves?

a.   Absence of moisture in the upper atmosphere

b.   Practically cloudless sky for maximum insulation

c.   Large amplitude anti cyclonic flow over the area

d.   Closer Proximity to Coastal area

Favourable conditions for Heat Waves

According to IMD heat waves is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degree Celsius or more for plains, 37 degree Celsius or more for hilly regions.

Conditions favourable for heat waves are as follows:-

  • Transportation / Prevalence of hot dry air over a region
  • Absence of moisture in the upper atmosphere
  • Practically cloudless sky for maximum insulation
  • Large amplitude anti cyclonic flow over the area.

Green Passage Scheme:-

It will provide free education to all children who lost their parents to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be implemented to cover student’s education cost at all levels including school. The government will bear the costs as well if the orphaned kid is studying at any private institution. Under the scheme, the eligible children will also be entitled to a pension of Rs 2,000 per month.

1) Recently, the Union Cabinet approved a plan to corporatise the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

41 factories across the country will be dissolved into seven new Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU). The newly created entities will be 100% owned by the government.

All OFB employees in the production units will be transferred to the new corporate entities on a deemed deputation initially for a period of two years without altering their service conditions as central government employees.

Pension liabilities of the retirees and existing employees will continue to be borne by the government.

OFB:

It is an umbrella body for the ordnance factories and related institutions, and is currently a subordinate office of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The first Indian ordnance factory was set up in the year 1712 by the Dutch Company as a GunPowder Factory, West Bengal.

Reasons for Corporatization:

A performance evaluation by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report for 2019 on the OFB highlights a few of the lacunae, which ails this organisation.

Overheads (expenses not directly attributed to creating a product or service) constitute a staggering 33% of the overall allotted budget for the year.

The major contributors being supervision costs and indirect labour costs.

Delayed Production: The Ordnance factories achieved production targets for only 49% of the items.

More than half the inventory (52%) was store-in-hand, procured for manufacture but not used within the year by the factories.

The Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, also calls for the Corporatisation of OFB for: ‘improving autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance suppliers’.

2)The World Health Organization (WHO) in its recent report “Children and Digital Dumpsites” has underlined the risk that children working in informal processing are facing due to discarded electronic devices or e-waste.

There are as many as 18 million children (as young as five years) and about 12.9 million women work at these e-waste dumpsites every year.

The e-waste from high-income countries is dumped in the middle- or low-income countries for processing every year.

3) Govt amends Cable TV network rules :- Paving the way “for a strong institutional system for redressing grievances while placing accountability and responsibility on the broadcasters and their self-regulating bodies”, the government on Thursday amended the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 to give legal recognition to the self-regulatory bodies for television. The self-regulatory bodies for television content will be registered with the government.

 I&B Ministry had asked all digital news publishers, OTT players, and traditional news platforms with digital arms to furnish details about their companies’ compliance with the new guidelines within 15 days.

The Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2021 provides for a three-level grievance redressal mechanism — self-regulation by broadcasters, self-regulation by the self-regulating bodies of the broadcasters, and oversight by an Inter-Departmental Committee at the level of the Union government.

A viewer can file a complaint directly to the broadcaster, who will have to respond within 15 days. If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, the complaint can be escalated to the self-regulating bodies set up by TV channels, which should deal with the case in 60 days.

“If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the self-regulating body, he may, within 15 days of such decision, prefer an appeal to the Central Government for its consideration under the Oversight Mechanism,” the amendment said.

Such appeals will be dealt with by the Inter-Departmental Committee set up under the Oversight Mechanism. The committee will be headed by the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and have members from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and representatives of other Ministries and organisations, including experts, as the Centre may decide.

This third tier is not only kept aside to hear the appeals, it can take up complaints that come directly to the Centre.

Editorial of the Day

Editorial 01 : A judicial pushback to a draconian legal regime

Author says that The Delhi court ruling JNU students bail under UAPA law is a way forward in finding a balance between civil rights and the imperatives of antiterror laws.

Author says that The root of the problem lies in Section 43(D)(5) of this Act, which prevents the release of any accused person on bail if, on a perusal of the case diary, or the report made under Section 173 of the Code Of Criminal Procedure, the court is of the opinion that “there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against such person is prima facie true”.

The perversity of Section 43(D)(5), thus, is that it forces the court to make an effective determination of guilt or innocence based on one side’s unchallenged story, and on that basis to deprive individuals of their freedom for years on end. In a democratic polity, which is committed to the rule of law, this is a deeply troubling state of affairs.

Importance of Bail :- For this reason, bail becomes of utmost importance. If an individual is not able to secure bail from the courts, they will languish as under-trials in prison, for the duration of the case, no matter how many years it takes (in recent memory, there are cases of people being found innocent in terrorism cases after 14 and even 23 years in prison). Bail, thus, becomes the only safeguard and guarantee of the constitutional right to liberty.

What does the Judgement hold for future :- On this basis, the court’s judgment notes that as the UAPA is
meant to deal with terrorist offences, its application must be limited to acts that can reasonably fall within a plausible understanding of “terrorism”. “Terrorism” is a term of art, and not a word that can be thrown around loosely.
Thus, to attract the provisions of the UAPA — the judgment holds — the charge sheet must reveal factual, individualised, and particular allegations linking the accused to a terrorist act.

The Delhi High Court’s judgment indicates a pathway forward in the quest for finding a balance between citizens’ civil rights and the imperatives of anti-terrorism legislation such as the UAPA.

Editorial 02 :- A place for disruptive technology in India’s health sector

Author highlights that how technology can be used in the healthcare sector.

Author has highlighted how in China the Robots are used for administering the patients of contagious or communicable diseases.

Author says that the importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems, blockchain, cloud and quantum computing, data analytics, 5G. Blockchain technology can help in addressing the interoperability challenges that health information and technology systems face.

Use of Blockchain : The health blockchain would contain a complete indexed history of all medical data, including formal medical records and health data from mobile applications and wearable sensors. This can also be stored in a secure network and authenticated, besides helping in seamless medical attention.

Big data analytics can help improve patient based services tremendously such as early disease detection.

Even hospital healthcare facilities can be improved to a great extent. AI and the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT (which is defined as a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications, and health systems and services) are shaping healthcare applications.
Medical autonomous systems can also improve health delivery to a great extent and their applications are focused on supporting medical care delivery.

This system may also include autonomous critical care system, autonomous intubation, autonomous cricothyrotomy and other autonomous interventional procedures.

Author Also suggests taking help of local knowledge :- In addition to effective national policies and robust health systems, an effective national response must also draw upon local knowledge. Community nurses, doctors, and health workers in developing countries do act as frontline sentinels. An example is the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, where communities proactively helped curtail the spread much before government health teams arrived.

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