31 July 2022 Daily Current Affairs – THE EXAMS MADE SIMPLE

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Prelims Objective Practices Questions

(I.) Welby Commission setup in British India was concerned with an enquiry into
a) Royal Indian Navy (RIN) mutiny
b) Atrocities of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre
c) Drain of wealth issue
d) Educational reforms in Indian Universities

(II.) Which of the following was/were part of Nehru Report?
1. Universal adult suffrage
2. Dominion status on the lines of self-governing dominions
3. Continuation of separate electorate
Select the correct answer code:-
a) 1, 2
b) 1, 3
c) 2, 3
d) 1, 2, 3

(III.) Arrange the following events in the chronological order of their occurrence.
1. Wavell Plan
2. Cripps Mission
3. Quit India Movement
4. Cabinet Mission
Select the correct answer code:-
a) 2-3-4-1
b) 3-2-4-1
c) 3-2-1-4
d) 2-3-1-4

*// Dadabhai Naoroji in his famous book Poverty and UnBritish Rule in India wrote his Drain Theory.
*// He showed how India’s wealth was going away to England in the form of:- (a) salaries,(b)savings, (c) pensions, (d) payments to British troops in India and (e) profits of the British companies.
*// The British Government was forced to appoint the Welby Commission, with Dadabhai as the first Indian as its member, to enquire into the Matter.

Prelims Specific Facts

  • To address all of this, the Environment Ministry brought the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016, which introduced a system of Ex tended Producer Responsibility (EPR) compelling makers of electronic goods to ensure a proportion of the goods they sold every year was recycled. They are expected to maintain records annually demonstrating this. Most companies however did not maintain an in-house unit in charge of recycling and this gave rise to a net work of government – registered companies, called producer responsibility organizations (PRO) which acted as an intermediary bet ween manufacturers of electronic goods and formal re cycling units and were technologically equipped to recycle end-of-life electronic goods safely and efficiently.
  • The PROS typically bid for contracts from companies and arrange for specified quantities of goods to be re cycled and provide companies certified proof of recycling that they then maintain as part of their records. Several PROS work on consumer awareness and enable a sup ply chain for recycled goods. As of March, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has registered 74 PROS and 468 authorised dismantlers, which have a collective recycling capacity of about 1.3 million tonnes.
  • The Ministry estimated 7.7 lakh tonnes of e-waste to have been generated in 2018 19 and around one million tonnes in 2019-20 of which only a fifth (about 22% in both years) has been con firmed to be “dismantled and recycled”.
  • This May, the Ministry is sued a draft notification that does away with the PROS and dismantlers and vests all responsibility of recycling with authorised recyclers, only a handful of which exist in India.
  • Recyclers will source a quantity of waste, recycle them and generate electronic certificates.
NEWS-2 States fail to give Ministry details of elephant reserves
Project Elephant :-
  • Project Elephant was launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support to wildlife management efforts by states for their free-ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants.
  • MIKE:-
    • The overall aim of MIKE is to provide information needed for elephant range States and the Parties to CITES to make appropriate management and enforcement decisions, and to build institutional capacity within the range States for the long-term management of their elephant populations. MIKE aims to help range States improve their ability to monitor elephant populations, detect changes in levels of illegal killing, and use this information to provide more effective law enforcement and strengthen any regulatory measures required to support such enforcement.
  • There are also 10 sites for the MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) programme, mandated by the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
  • The MIKE sites are Chirang-Ripu and Dihing-Patkai in Assam, Deomali in Arunachal Pradesh, Garo Hills in Meghalaya, Eastern Dooars in West Bengal, Mayurbhanj in Odisha, Shivalik in Uttarakhand, Mysore in Karnataka, Wayanad in Kerala and Nilgiri in Tamil Nadu.
  • The government is seeking a referendum, which is necessary to make changes to the Constitution, on recognising indigenous minorities in the Constitution and requiring governments to consult Aboriginal people on decisions that impact their lives.
  • Australia’s Constitution makes no reference to indigenous people, whose leaders have toiled for generations to win recognition for injustices suffered since European colonisation in the1700s.
NEWS-4 Focus on oil
  • Areas of one of the largest old-growth rainforests on Earth and the Virunga National Park could be auctioned off for oil drilling. The Democratic Republic of Congo says the about-face is necessary to support its financial stability.
NEWS-5 Endangered species
  • The monarch butterfly is now listed as endangered. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has added it to its ‘red list’ for the first time; estimates suggest that its population in North America has declined by up to 72% in the past ten years.
  • Two invasive species, the American bullfrog and the brown tree snake, cost the world an estimated $16 bil lion between 1986 and 2020, by causing problems ranging from crop damage to power outages, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
  • The brown-and-green frog, known as lithobates catesbeianus and weighs over two pounds (0.9 kg), had the greatest impact in Europe, according to research published in Scientific Reports.
  • The brown tree snake, known as boi gairregularis, has multiplied uncontrollably on Pacific islands including Guam and the Mariana Islands, where the species was introduced by the U.S. troops in World War II, said Ismael Soto, the study’s lead researcher.
  • Weightlifter Saikhom Mira bai Chanu won India’s first gold in the 2022 Common wealth Games, putting up a 201kg total in the 49kg weight class. This was India’s third weightlifting medal of the day. Earlier, Sanket Mahadev Sargar won the silver in the men’s 55kg division and Gururaja Poojary clinched the bronze in the men’s 61kg weight category.
  • Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai stamped her class in the event. A Phaadde, Mira (tear through the competition, Mira) roar from a fan in the stand adjacent to the food outlet in Hall 1 of the National Exhibition Centre welcomed her to the weight lifting platform.
  • Amid the terraced A apple orchards in Bijbehara of south Kashmir, the purple patches of lavender have a buzz these days. The lavender crop is changing not only the landscape of the Kashmir Valley but also the economic gains of farmers. Several traditional low-income crops such as maize are fast making way for lavender fields in all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Introduced in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology under the Aroma Mission of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, lavender has found home even in the barren and rocky slopes of Pahalgam and Sonamarg in south and central Kashmir.
  • “Lavender is a high-demand product. Oil extracted from the flowers costs ₹15,000 to 20,000 a kg in the market,” Maqbool Lone, a farmer, said.
  • The oil is known for its aroma and medicinal value. For headaches and muscle cramps to depression, it has emerged as a soothing application.
  • In Doda district of the Chenab Valley, Bhaderwah already stands out for its lavender fields.

Explainer of the Day

What has the SC said on PMLA’s validity?
  • The Supreme Court has upheld several provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) that deal with a wide range of issues, from what constitutes the main offence to the powers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the procedure for conducting searches and seizures and effecting arrests. The manner in which the Act is being implemented has come in for much criticism in recent years, as several investigations have been opened against political functionaries opposed to the BJP. The court has given its thumbs up to what are considered ‘draconian’ provisions, rejecting strong challenges to their validity.
  • Since the mid-1980s, there has been global concern over the proceeds of criminal activities such as drug-trafficking being ‘laundered’ or and used in financing terrorism. The UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances adopted in Vienna in 1988 (Vienna Convention) was the first treaty that called upon nations to adopt domestic laws to combat drug trafficking.
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in the G-7 Summit in Paris in 1989 in response to mounting concern over money-laundering.
  • The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000 (Palermo Convention) also advocated legislative and other measures to combat organised crime, and specifically called for ‘criminalising the laundering of proceeds of crime’.
  • The PMLA was enacted in 2002 but came into force in 2005. Its provisions gave effect to India’s obligations to abide by international conventions. The Union government used this background to argue that PMLA provisions as well as subsequent amendments were valid and necessary to fulfill the country’s obligations to combat the menace of money-laundering.
  • The offence under this law is mainly the laundering of money made through a crime. It has a three-part schedule of offences (or ‘predicate offences’) listing the various crimes such as terrorism, drug-trafficking, corruption and cheating that give rise to tainted money.
  • A major issue raised by the petitioners arose from an explanation added in 2019 to clarify the scope of the definition of money-laundering under Section 3. They said the original wording meant that only the projection of tainted money as untainted, and its integration into the economy would constitute the offence. The ED, they argued, was registering money-laundering case solely on the basis of the original crimes without any proof that their proceeds were laundered. As a result, even transactions that date back years before the PMLA came into force were being probed for laundering.
  • The court rejected the challenge, holding that the explanation does not expand the scope of the original definition, and it is only clarificatory. It aims to capture every process and activity dealing with the proceeds of crime. The generation of money through crime and its integration with the formal economy are independent offences. It will be wrong to say that only upon the latter activity that the offence of money-laundering is complete.
  • The ED works on the basis of an internal manual. It registers an ‘Enforcement Case Information Report’ (ECIR), the equivalent of an FIR in ordinary cases. The manual is not a public document, and the ED does not share the ECIR with the accused. Therefore, why and how a money-laundering probe is initiated is unknown. When a summons is issued to a person, he is unaware of the reason, but must, nevertheless, attend and answer all questions and submit the documents asked for. The petitioners argued that this left any investigation, issue of summons and decision to order a search, seizure or arrest completely at the whim of ED officials. Unlike in other criminal cases, there is no judicial oversight of the process, and the accused are forced to seek bail after arrest without knowing the exact nature of the charges against them.
  • The court rejected all these contentions. Its conclusions were that: the ECIR cannot be equated with an FIR; that there are sufficient safeguards in the entire process of survey, search, seizure and arrest, in as much as the law requires the officer responsible to record reasons in writing at every stage. A copy of the ECIR need not be given to the accused, but at the time of arrest, the grounds of arrest should be conveyed. In any case, the Special Court can examine the documents to decide whether the detention of the accused needs to be continued.
  • The court suggested that the ED may consider the desirability of informing the public through its website the scope of the authority under the Act, adopted by its functionaries and the options or remedies available to the accused.
  • When a person is summoned by a police officer, it is known whether it is for giving a statement as a witness or an accused. However, the ED has the power of a civil court to enforce the attendance of a person summoned under Section 50.
  • The petitioners had challenged the validity of the ‘twin conditions’ laid down in Section 45 of PMLA for grant of bail: that the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accused is not guilty of an offence; and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. In 2018, the Supreme Court had struck down this section, as it was originally worded, on the ground that the conditions only applied to those offences listed in Part A of the Schedule attracting a prison term of three years and more, but not for the offence of money-laundering itself. However, Parliament re-enacted the section with a change: that the conditions would apply to all cases under PMLA, without any reference to the scheduled offence. The court upheld Parliament’s power to enact a provision to cure a defect highlighted by the Supreme Court. It also ruled that given the gravity of the offence of money-laundering such stringent provisions related to bail are valid.

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