26 July, 2022 Daily Current Affairs – THE EXAMS MADE SIMPLE

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Prelims Specific Facts

NEWS-1 Droupadi Murmu is President of India
  • There is no direct election for the Indian President. An electoral college elects him. The electoral college responsible for President’s elections comprises elected members of:-
    • Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
    • Legislative Assemblies of the states (Legislative Councils have no role)
    • Legislative Assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
  • What is the principle of election used in the President’s election?
    • Proportional Representation with means of a single transferable vote
  • How does voting take place in the election of Indian President?
    • It is a secret ballot system of voting
  • How is the Supreme Court (SC) involved in the President’s election?
    • Any dispute related to his election is taken up by SC. SC’s decision is final.
  • Note: After the election of President is declared null and void, the acts done by the President in his office remain valid even after his removal.
  • What is the procedure for impeachment of a President?
    • The only condition for the initiation of impeachment of the Indian president is the ‘violation of the constitution.’
  • Note: Indian Constitution contains no definition of ‘violation of the constitution.’
  • Can the President’s office be vacant?
    • Yes, his office can be vacant in the following ways:
      • When the President of India completes his term of five years in the office
      • If the President resigns by putting forward his resignation to the Vice-President of India
      • If Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha initiates an impeachment charge and they stand valid, he is removed
      • If he dies in the office
      • If the Supreme Court declares his election invalid
  • Note: Vice-President discharges the duties as President; if the latter’s office falls vacant in the circumstances mentioned above, except by the expiry of the term. As per the President’s Act 1969; if the Vice-President office is vacant too, Chief Justice of India (CJI) (or in his absence); Supreme Court’s senior-most judge, discharge the functions of the President (till new President is elected.)
  • Financial Powers of President
    • To introduce the money bill, his prior recommendation is a must
    • He causes Union Budget to be laid before the Parliament
    • To make a demand for grants, his recommendation is a pre-requisite
    • Contingency Fund of India is under his control
    • He constitutes the Finance Commission every five years
NEWS-2 Godavari
  • The principal tributaries of the river are the Pravara, the Purna, the Manjra, the Penganga, the Wardha,the Wainganga the Pranhita (combined flow of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha), the Indravati, the Maner and the Sabri.
NEWS-3 Ravi Varma’s kin seek Bharat Ratna for him
  • Ahead of the 175th birth anniversary fete of the legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma, who revolutionised Indian aesthetics and redefined art practice during the colonialera, the erstwhile royal family of Kilimanoor has urged the Union government to posthumously confer the Bharat Ratan, the country’s highest civilian award, on him.
  • Born into the aristocracy at Kilimanoor in the erst while Travancore on April 29, 1848, Mr. Varma’s women centric paintings portray a vast variety of their expressions and costumes. Some of his popular works include ‘ Lady in the Moon light’, ‘Nair Lady Adorning Her Hair’, ‘Malabar lady with Violin’, ‘Lady with Swarbat’, and ‘Maharashtrain Lady with Fruits’.
  • Contributions:
    • Made around 7,000 paintings.
    • Apart from painting Hindu mythological figures, Varma also made portraits of many Indians as well as Europeans.
    • Varma worked on both portrait and landscape paintings, and is considered among the first Indian artists to use oil paints.
    • He continues to be regarded as the most important representative of the Europeanised school of painting in India.
    • Lithographic press: He mastered the reproduction of his work on the lithographic press– through which his paintings spread far and wide.
    • Lithographic press is a method of printing based on the principle that oil and water do not mix.
    • Paintings were earlier sent to Germany and Austria to be lithographed.
    • Varma set up his own printing press in Maharashtra — first in Ghatkopar and eventually in Lonavala in 1894.
    • Through his printing press, Varma’s paintings travelled into the prayer and living rooms of working-class homes.
    • Famous works:
      • Damayanti Talking to a Swan, Shakuntala Looking for Dushyanta, Nair Lady Adorning Her Hair, and Shantanu and Matsyagandha.
  • Awards and Honours:
    • In 1904, the British colonial government awarded Varma with the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal.
    • In 2013, a crater on the planet Mercury was named in his honour.
  • About Enforcement Directorate:
    • It is a Multi Disciplinary Organization mandated with the task of enforcing the provisions of two special fiscal laws – Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).
  • Historical background:
    • The origin of this Directorate goes back to 1st May, 1956, when an ‘Enforcement Unit’ was formed, in Department of Economic Affairs, for handling Exchange Control Laws violations under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 (FERA ’47).
  • In the year 1957, this Unit was renamed as ‘Enforcement Directorate’. The administrative control of the Directorate was transferred from Department of Economic Affairs to Department of Revenue in 1960.
  • For a short period of 04 years (1973 – 1977), the Directorate also remained under the administrative jurisdiction of Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms.
  • Powers:
    • The Directorate enforces two laws;
    • FEMA, a Civil Law having quasi judicial powers, for investigating suspected contraventions of the Exchange Control Laws and Regulations with the powers to impose penalties on those adjudged guilty.
    • PMLA, a Criminal Law, whereby the Officers are empowered to conduct enquiries to locate, provisionally attach/confiscate assets derived from acts of Schedules Offences besides arresting and prosecuting the Money Launderers.
  • Composition:
    • Besides directly recruiting personnel, the Directorate also draws officers from different Investigating Agencies, viz., Customs & Central Excise, Income Tax, Police, etc. on deputation.
  • Other functions:-
    • Processing cases of fugitive/s from India under Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.
    • Sponsor cases of preventive detention under Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974(COFEPOSA) in regard to contraventions of FEMA.
  • Special courts:
    • For the trial of an offence punishable under section 4 of PMLA, the Central Government (in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court), designates one or more Sessions Court as Special Court(s). The court is also called “PMLA Court”.
  • Any appeal against any order passed by PMLA court can directly be filed in the High Court for that jurisdiction.

Editorial of the Day

A global order caught up in a swirl of chaos
  • Meanwhile, China’s growing influence in the Pacific region, including in the Indo-Pacific, and further strengthened by the entente with Russia, may hardly be a by-product of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, but it has induced fresh energy into a possible conflict bet ween two rival power blocs. Not all the efforts of the United States, including the AUKUS (Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.) and the Quad (the U.S., India, Australia and Japan), or the launch of another Indo-Pacific entity, viz., ‘Partners in the Blue Pacific’ (comprising the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Japan) can hope to effectively stem the winds of change sweeping across the Pacific and the Indo-Pacific.
  • While relations with China may continue to remain uncertain and unsatisfactory (for some time at least), India will need to determine whether Russia can be expected to play a role as a ‘trusted friend’ of India’s. Again, it would be too much to hope that in dealing with China, India can expect the same kind of support it may need from the Quad. China, however, seems intent on establishing its dominance and also sidelining India in Asia.
  • Apart from China, India also urgently needs to come to terms with a Taliban Afghanistan.
  • There are also aspects of the Sin hala Janata Aragalaya’ that need to be carefully studied, to ensure that its advent does not result in the emergence of an anti-India atmosphere in Sri Lanka.
  • The Abraham Ac cords in 2020, which brought about the entente between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, has been the harbinger of certain new trends in the tangled web of relationships among countries of West Asia. But even as the U.S.’s relations with Arab nations in West Asia appear to weaken, Russia and China are beginning to play key roles, with Iran as the fulcrum for establishing new relationships.
  • For its part, India has been making steady progress in enlarging its contacts and influence in West Asia. While the India-Israel relationship dates back to the 1990s, the India-UAE relationship has blossomed in the past couple of years. India-Iran relations, however, seem to have reached a stale mate of late. India has, however, been inveigled into joining a U.S. based group, the I2U2, comprising India, Israel the UAE and the U.S. The U.S. has indicated that this body could become a ‘feature’ of the West Asian region, just like the Quad was for the Indo-Pacific. De tails of the new arrangements are unclear, but it is evident that the target is Iran, as China is for the Quad, injecting yet another element of uncertainty into an already troubled region.

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