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The Hindu Newspaper 09/05/2020

1)Consider the following statements

  1. Sea of Galilee is mainly situated between Jordan and Israel.
  2. Israel and Jordan shares the border with Red Sea.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  •  a) 1 only
  •  b) 2 only
  •  c) Both 1 and 2
  •  d) Neither 1 nor 2

2)Berring strait connects which of the following oceans/seas?

  1. Arctic Ocean
  2. Atlantic Ocean
  3. Pacific Ocean
  4. Mediterranean Sea

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  •  a) 1 and 2
  •  b) 1 and 3
  •  c) 2 and 4
  •  d) 3 and 4

3)

RialToman, sometimes seen in the news recently are currencies associated with which of the following countries?

  • a.  Iran
  • b.  U.A.E
  • c.  Libya
  • d.  Saudi Arabia

Map of the Day :-

News:- Green tribunal directs LG Polymers to deposit ₹50 cr. 

NGT cites archaic law in gas leak case 

It is the Principle of ‘strict liability’.

The National Green Tribunal’s order on Friday in  the Visakhapatnam gas tragedy found  LG Polymers primafacie liable under the 19th century English law principle of “strict liability”, whichwas made redundant in India by the Supreme Court in1986. 

Lawyers say the term“absolute liability” should have been used instead.

Why Strict Liability term was made redundant:- For, under the “strict liability  principle”,  a party is not liable and need not pay  compensation if a hazardous substance  escapes his premises by accident or by an “act of God’”among other circumstances.

Thus The Supreme Court, while deciding the  Oleum gas leak case of Delhi, found strict  liability woefully inadequate toprotect citizens’ rights in an industrialised economy like India  and replaced it withthe ‘absolute liability. principle’. 

The court found that strict liability, evolved in an 1868 English case called Rylands versus Fletcher, provided companies with several exemptions from assuming liability. Absolute liability, on the  other hand, provided them with no  defence or  exemptions.

 The principle of absolute liability is part of  Article 21 (right to life) …  The courts, to make the  legal position clear,should use the term ‘absolute liability’ in orders and judgments,” 

About NGT :-

  • It is a specialised body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • India is the third country to have NGT after Australia and New Zealandland.
  • NGT is mandated to make disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.
  • The NGT has five places of sittings, New Delhi is the Principal place of sitting and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai are the other four.

The NGT deals with civil cases under the seven laws related to the environment, these include:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974,
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977,
  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,
  • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,
  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and
  • The Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Styrene

  • Styrene is an organic compound with the formula C8H8.
  • It is a derivative of benzene (C6H6).
  • It is stored in factories as a liquid, but evaporates easily, and has to be kept at temperatures under 20°C.

Application of Styrene

  • Styrene is the main raw material for synthesis of polystyrene, or (C8H8)n.
  • Polystyrene, in turn, is a versatile plastic that is used to make parts of various appliances such as refrigerators or micro-ovens; automotive parts; and parts of electronics such as computers; and also to manufacture disposable cups and in food packaging.
  • Styrene is also used as an intermediate to produce copolymers — which are polymers derived from one or more species of monomers such as styrene.

Impacts of exposure

  • Exposure to styrene gas affects the central nervous system.
  • Breathlessness, respiratory problems, irritation in eyes, indigestion, nausea, transient loss of consciousness, unsteady gait, giddiness are caused by exposure to it.
  • It is the mucous membrane that is mainly affected by exposure to styrene gas.

2) Sedition : All you need to Know

What is sedition?

The Indian Penal Code defines sedition (Section 124A) as an offence committed when “any person by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India“.

Disaffection includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity. However, comments without exciting or attempting to excite hatred, contempt or disaffection, will not constitute an offence under this section.

Punishment for the offence of sedition

  • Sedition is a non-bailable offence. Punishment under the Section 124A ranges from imprisonment up to three years to a life term, to which fine may be added.
  • A person charged under this law is barred from a government job. They have to live without their passport and must produce themselves in the court at all times as and when required.

Origin of sedition law in modern India

  • The law was originally drafted in 1837 by Thomas Macaulay, the British historian-politician, but was inexplicably omitted when the IPC was enacted in 1860.
  • Section 124A was inserted in 1870 by an amendment introduced by Sir James Stephen when it felt the need for a specific section to deal with the offence. It was one of the many draconian laws enacted to stifle any voices of dissent at that time.

Arguments in support of Section 124A:

  • Section 124A of the IPC has its utility in combating anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements
  • It protects the elected government from attempts to overthrow the government with violence and illegal means. The continued existence of the government established by law is an essential condition of the stability of the State
  • If contempt of court invites penal action, contempt of government should also attract punishment
  • Many districts in different states face a Maoist insurgency and rebel groups virtually run a parallel administration. These groups openly advocate the overthrow of the state government by revolution
  • Against this backdrop, the abolition of Section 124A would be ill-advised merely because it has been wrongly invoked in some highly publicized cases

Arguments against Section 124A:

  • Section 124A is a relic of colonial legacy and unsuited in a democracy. It is a constraint on the legitimate exercise of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression.
  • Dissent and criticism of the government are essential ingredients of robust public debate in a vibrant democracy. They should not be constructed as sedition. Right to question, criticize and change rulers is very fundamental to the idea of democracy.
  • The British, who introduced sedition to oppress Indians, have themselves abolished the law in their country. There is no reason, why should not India abolish this section.
  • The terms used under Section 124A like ‘disaffection’ are vague and subject to different interpretation to the whims and fancies of the investigating officers.

3)GCC nations facing a tough fight in curbing  virus spread:- The count in the six GCC nations  UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain,Oman, Kuwait.

GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq, namely: 

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Charter of the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution.

Editorial of the Day :-

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has  projected India’s growthat 1.9%, China’s at 1.2%,  and theglobal growth at (-) 3.0%.

The actual growth outcome for India would  depend on:  the speed at which the economy is  opened up; the time it takes to contain the spread of virus, and, the government’s policy  support.

GVA is divided into eight broad sectors. Although  all sectors have been disrupted, some may be  affected less than the others. 

In Agriculture Good monsoon and good harvest.

Health and Defence services have been the fore runner. This was Group A where there was minimum disruption.

Maximum disruption (Group D) will be in Group D.   This includes, trade, hotels, restaurants,travel and tourism under the broad group of “Trade, Hotels, Transport, Storage and Communications”. This sector may be able to show 30% of 2019-20.

Group B comprises four sectors which may suffer  average disruption showing 50% of 2019-20 growth performance. These sectors are mining and quarrying, electricity, gas,  watersupply and other utility  services,construction, and financial, realestate  and professional services.

In the last group (Group C), we place  manufacturing which has suffered significant  growth erosion in 2019-20. It is feasible to stimulate this sector by supporting demand. 

How Policies are trying to minimise the disruption:-

  • Monetary policy initiatives undertaken so  far include a reduction in the repo rate to  4.4%, the reverse repo rate to 3.75%,  and cash reserve ratio to 3%.
  • ReserveBank of India has also opened  several special financing facilities. ex. SLF-MF
  • These measures need to be supplemented byan appropriate fiscal stimulus.
  • freezing of enhancements of dearness allowance and dearness relief. This  may  result in savings of ₹37,000 crore for the Centre  and about ₹82,000 crore for the States,  together amounting to 0.6% of GDP.

On fiscal deficit:- Fiscal stimulus can be of three types: a) relief expenditure for protecting the poor and  the marginalised; (b) demand supporting  expenditure for increasing personal disposable incomes or government’s purchases of goods and services, including expanded healthcare expenditure imposed by the novel  coronavirus, and c) bailouts for industry and financial  institutions.

Author Says to fulfill these the State and Central govt. Need to borrow which may increase their FD, the Central (6.0%) and State governments (4.0%) and Central and State public sector undertakings (3.5%) together present a total public sectorborrowing requirement (PSBR) of 13.5% of GDP. 

This gap may be bridged by enhancing net capital  inflows including borrowing from abroad and  by monetising some part of the Centre’s deficit. 

Editorial 2:- Shaping India’s response in a global hinge  moment

How to Handle China in the New World:-

One possibility isto engage China bilaterally to see whether the two countries can evolve a new  modus vivendi, to replace the  one that was  formalised in the 1988 Rajiv  Gandhi visit. 

The more India rises, the more it must  expect Chinese opposition, and it will have  to also work with other powers to ensure  that its interests are protected in the  neighbourhood.

a high level strategic dialogue  between  thetwo sides about their core interests, red  lines, differences andareas of convergence.

India must work with other powers to  ensure that its region stays multipolar and  that China behaves responsibly.

Editorial 3:- Eradicate it

Sudan’s decision to outlaw the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM)is a landmark victory forwomen’s rights in a country that is still in a  transition from dictatorship to democracy.

The development follows the transitional  government’s decision to scrap the repressive  social codes and humiliating penalties that  targeted women during the nearly 30 year dictatorship of Omar al Bashir, which  fell last year amid protests.

The UN estimates that some 87% of  Sudanese  women havehad their external genitalia removed on non-medical grounds during  childhood,  leaving them with life long emotional  and  physical injuries.

News:- Mass hatching of Olive Ridley turtles begins at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery

Vulnerable — IUCN Red list

  1. Habitat — warm and tropical waters of primarily in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and  Atlantic ocean.
  2. Gets name from its olive colored carapace, which is heart-shaped and rounded
  3. Arribadas — synchronized nesting in mass numbers,
  4. Operation Olivia — Olive Ridely Turtle protection program undertaken byIndian Coast Guard
  5. mating and breeding season — winter 
  6. mostly carnivorous, feeding on such creatures as jellyfish, snails, crabs, and shrimp. They will occasionally eat algae and seaweed

Threats

  • Poaching for their meat, shell and leather, and their eggs
  • Pet trading
  • Accidental killing of adult turtles through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches
  • Development and exploitation of nesting beaches for ports, and tourist centres
  • Predators like feral dogs and pigs, ghost crabs, snakes etc
  • Light pollution
  • Ingestion of marine debris that causes perforation of the digestive system and exposure to chemicals and hence death.
  1. Nesting sites in India
  • Hope Island of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (Andra Pradesh)
  • Gahirmatha  beach (Odisha)
  • Astaranga coast(Odisha)
  • Beach of Rushikulya River
  • Devi River mouth

News:- GoI borrows $500 million from AIIB :-

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

It is headquartered in Beijing.

  • It commenced operations in January 2016.
  • By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors today, it aims to connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.

AIIB Lending

  • The recipients of AIIB financing may include member countries (or agencies and entities or enterprises in member territories), as well as international or regional agencies concerned with the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • The AIIB has signed a co-financing framework agreement with the World Bank and three nonbinding Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with:
    • the Asian Development Bank (ADB),
    • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),
    • and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
  • The bulk of AIIB’s operations are in South Asia.
  • The Bank can lend outside Asia provided that it supports connectivity with Asia or it is for a global public good and that the loan significantly benefits Asia.
    • The ceiling for non-regional loans is 25%.

News:- Europe, U.S. mark 75 years since end of Second World War

World War II, also called Second World War, conflict that involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–45. The principal belligerents were the Axis powersGermany, Italy, and Japan—and the AlliesFrance, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China

News:- U.S. pulls out Patriot missile batteries  from Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is pulling out fourof its powerful Patriot missile systems from Saudi Arabia, after determining that the threat from Iran that sparked an  arms build up inthe region last year  hadwaned,  a Defense Department official said onThursday.

Two of the anti-missile batteries deployed  following the  September attacks on Saudi oil installations “are now leaving,”  the official said on condition ofanonymity.

Tehran and Houthi backed rebels in Yemen were blamed for the combination rocket and drone attack which left two of stateoil giant Aramco’s processing facilities — one in Khurais and another in Abqaiq —heavily damaged, roughly halving Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

News :- Vande Bharat Mission’ to cover more European nations

The ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to evacuate Indian  citizens is expected to cover Russia, Ukraine,  Germany, Spain and east Europe in the third week of May.

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