3rd October, 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Important news :-

1) 7 out of 106 names suggested as HC judges cleared so far: CJI

Procedure of A High Court Judge Becoming Chief Justice of High Court :-

  • The Chief Justice of India would send his recommendation for the appointment of a puisne Judge of the High Court as Chief Justice of that High Court or of another High Court, in consultation with the two senior- most Judges of the Supreme Court. He would also ascertain the views of the senior-most colleague in the Supreme Court who is conversant with the affairs of the High Court in which the recommendee has been functioning and whose opinion is likely to be significant in adjudging the suitability of the candidate. It is of no consequence whether the Judge of the Supreme Court, so consulted, had that High Court as Parent High Court or was transferred there from any other High Court.
  • The views of the Judges of the Supreme Court thus consulted would then be sent by the Chief Justice of India along with his proposal, to the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.
  • After receipt of the recommendation of the Chief Justice of India, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs would obtain the views of the concerned State Government. After receipt of the views of the State Government, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, will submit proposals to the Prime Minister, who will then advise the President as to the selection.
  • As soon as the appointment is approved by the President, the Department of Justice will announce the appointment and issue necessary notification in the Gazette of India.
CJI -> Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs -> Concerned State Views -> Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs – proposals to PM -> President Approval – > Department of Justice will announce the appointment

2) Govt. notifies new rules to clear retro tax mess –

New sectionThe IncomeTax (31st Amendment) Rules, 2021, introduce a new portion pertaining to indirect transfer prior to May 28, 2012 of assets situated in India’, and lay out the conditions and formats for undertakings to be submitted by all ‘interested parties’ to the tax department in order to settle their tax disputes.

What is Permanent Court of Arbitration

  • Established – 1899.
  • Purpose of PCA– An international intergovernmental institute has been established in order to resolve disputes between states.
  • Structure- The PCA has a three-part organisational structure that includes the Administrative Council, which oversees its policies and finances, Members of the Court, a panel of independent prospective arbitrators, and the International Bureau, which is led by the Secretary-General.

Matters that are Included in the PCA –

It is not a court, and there are no permanent judges. The PCA is a permanent bureaucracy that supports interim tribunals in resolving disputes originating from international agreements between governments (and similar entities), multilateral organisations, or even private individuals.

India and PCA

  • According to the Hague Convention of 1899, India is a party to the PCA.
  • Case 1 – An Italian sailor has been charged with the murder of two Indian fishermen:
  • Case 2- Rules against “Antrix”: In 2005, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, entered into a deal with Devas to lease satellite spectrum that the Bangalore-based firm could utilise to deliver high-quality telephone and Internet services.

3) Vikrant to sail out for Phase 2 trials –

The maiden sea trials of the indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant have progressed very well and the second phase of trials are expected to begin by October end, with the third phase planned in December, a defence official said.

“Vikrant is expected to be delivered to the Navy in April and likely to be commissioned in August 2022,” the official said which would also coincide with 75 years of Independence.

4) Future proofing Langa Manganiyar heritage –

Considered the repository of the Thar region’s rich history and traditional knowledge, the ballads, folklore and songs of the Langa-Manganiyar artistes are being preserved through an initiative for documentation and digitisation. The project is aimed at saving the rapidly disappearing narrative traditions of these communities.

The Langas and Manganiyars are hereditary communities of Muslim musicians residing mostly in western Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer and Barmer districts and in Pakistan’s Tharparkar and Sanghar districts in Sindh. The iconic and internationally acclaimed folk artistes have, however, been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that stopped their performances in India and abroad and poses a challenge to the very survival of the popular art form.

Science – Important News

1)     A tiny plant that can ‘digest’ low density plastic sheets     

Researchers from University of Madras and Presidency College, Chennai, have isolated an alga species that shows promise as an agent of biodegradation of plastic sheets.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s annual report for the year 2011-12, the plastic waste generated in a year amounted to 5.6 million metric tonnes. Only 60% of the plastic used in India was collected and recycled. The metros alone contributed some 21.2% of the total waste, led by Delhi, followed by Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The usual means of disposal of plastic waste involves incineration, land-filling and recycling.

 Researchers are on the lookout for biodegradation methods that are safe and environment friendly. It is in this context that the present study gains importance.

Common alga, epiphyte

  • In the present study, this role is played by the microalga Uronema africanum BorgeThis is a species of microalgae that is commonly found in Africa, Asia and Europe. In Rangoon, Burma, it was noted to be an epiphyte, attaching itself to other algae and plants.
  • The samples were collected at the Kallukuttai lake area near Taramani railway station, in Chennai

2) IAO Hanle: A promising astronomical observatory –

The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh is becoming one of the globally promising observatory sites, according to a recent study.

This is due to its advantages of more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric condition and uninterrupted monsoon, the Department of Science and Technology said.

Eight observatories

They analysed datasets for the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanle and Merak (Ladakh), and Devasthal (Nainital) in India, Ali Observatory in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China, South African Large Telescope in South Africa, University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory and Paranal in Chile, and the National Astronomical Observatory in Mexico.

They found Paranal, located in a high-altitude desert in Chile, to be the best site in terms of clear skies with around 87% of clear nights in a year. IAO Hanle, and Ali observatories, which are located around 80 km from each other, are similar to each other in terms of clear night skies.

They found that Devasthal has a slightly larger number of clear nights compared to the other sites in the subcontinent but are affected by monsoons for about three months in a year. However, night observations at IAO Hanle from 2m-Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) are possible throughout the year without any interruption due to monsoon.

Editorials – Important Articles

1)Why is the government against caste census?

Why won’t the government make raw data public?

The flaws in the data stem primarily from the fact that no registry of castes was prepared before conducting the 2011 caste census. This resulted in mistakes by enumerators, who spelt the same caste in dozens of different ways. With no consistent way to aggregate or segregate same or similar castes with variant spellings, the number of caste categories ballooned. In Maharashtra, for instance, the existing SC, ST and OBC categories, as per government records, are only 494. But the 2011 caste census yielded 4,28,677 castes. While the State’s population was 10.3 crore, about 1.17 crore (more than 11%) were found to be of ‘no caste’. Also, 99% of the castes enumerated had a population of less than 100 persons. At the national level, whereas the total number of castes as per the last caste census of 1931 was 4,147, the SECC-2011 showed the presence of 46 lakh different castes. Since the total number cannot be “exponentially high to this extent”, the government has said this entire data set is flawed and the census unreliable, rendering it unusable for the purposes of reservations and policy. For these reasons, it has refused to make public even the raw caste data of the SECC-2011.

Why will castes not be counted along with the regular 2021 census?

The government has cited numerous administrative, operational and logistical reasons to argue that collecting caste data during the 2021 census — postponed to next year due to COVID-19 — is unfeasible and attempting it could endanger the census exercise itself

2) What are the concerns of digital health mission?

The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), launched on September 27, aims to give every citizen a unique digital health ID, which involves their health records being digitally protected and making health a “holistic and inclusive model”. Under the mission, users can access and link personal records with their unique ID to create a longitudinal health history. “The model will stress preventive healthcare and, in case of disease, easy, affordable and accessible treatment,” said the Health Ministry. 

How will it work?

In order to be a part of the ABDM, citizens will have to create a unique health ID – a randomly generated 14-digit identification number. The ID will give the user unique identification, authentication and will be a repository of all health records of a person. The ID can also be made by self-registration on the portal, downloading the ABMD Health Records app on one’s mobile or at a participating health facility. 

What are the Major Issues and Challenges :-

  1. Privacy Issues and Data Security issues are bound to be there since a lot of Data is involved.
  2. India has been unable to standardise the coverage and  quality of the existing digital cards like One Nation One  Ration  card, PMJAY card, Aadhaar card, etc., for accessibility of services and entitlements.
  3. The data on migration and inter State transfer are  still  faced with multiple errors and shortcomings in addition  to concerns of data security.
  4. With the minuscule spending of 1.3%  of the  GDP on the  healthcare sector, India will be unable to ensure the  quality  and uniform access to healthcare that it hoped to  bring about.
  5. Lack of access to technology, poverty, and lack  of  understanding of the language in a vast and diverse country.

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