INDIAN EXPRESS EXPLAINED 07th,08th,9th,10th MARCH 2020

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1) Pyramid of Djoser reopened: Why the first pyramid ever built is special:– Egypt reopened the Pyramid of Djoser, the first pyramid ever built, after a 14-year restoration costing nearly $6.6 million.

The pyramid had sustained serious damage during an earthquake in 1992, and was on the verge of collapse when renovations started in 2006.

The structure is believed to be designed by Imhotep, described by some as the first architect of the world.

According to the Egyptian state news outlet Al-Ahram, the Djoser pyramid is the world’s oldest monumental stone building.

UNESCO world heritage site, the pyramid was constructed during the era of Pharaoh Djoser, the second king of Ancient Egypt’s Third Dynasty (2650 BC– 2575 BC).

Restoration work for the pyramid, which began in 2006, was stopped in 2011 after a popular uprising in Egypt led to the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. The work resumed at the end of 2013.

2)Bias against women: widespread among women too:- 86% & 90% of women and men, respectively, held some sort of bias against women (2018), according to UNDP’s Gender Social Norms Index; in India (2014-15), this bias showed un 97% of women and 99% of men.

ABOUT HALF the world’s population feel men make better political leaders.

OVER 40% feel that men make better business executives and that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce.

24% of parliamentary seats worldwide are held by women, and there are only 10 female heads of government out of a possible 193.

Less than 6% of CEOs in S&P 500 companies are women; while women work more hours than men, this work is more likely to be unpaid care work.

3) A renaming in Srinagar: Why Sheikh Abdullah was called ‘Sher-i-Kashmir’ :-

Central Theme :- The Jammu and Kashmir administration has renamed the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre as ‘Kashmir International Conference Centre’.

On Sunday (March 8), the Jammu and Kashmir administration renamed the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar as ‘Kashmir International Conference Centre’.

“Sher-i-Kashmir” is the title used for Sheikh Abdullah, the former prime minister and chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir.

The Sher-i-Kashmir, or the “Lion of Kashmir” Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, was a leader pivotal to the politics of Jammu & Kashmir for many decades.

Abdullah assumed the position of the prime minister of J&K in 1948. In 1953, he was imprisoned for several years, amid suspicion in the Government of India that he was working to break Kashmir away from the Union.

In 1975, the Indira–Sheikh Accord was signed, and Abdullah came back to power, serving as chief minister between 1975-77 and 1977-82.

Once the tallest leader of Kashmir, Abdullah saw his popularity rise and wane over the years, but his party continued to advocate Kashmir’s future with India.

4)Who was the woman to have organised the first-ever Women’s Day:-

International Women’s Day (IWD), observed every year on March 8, celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Being celebrated for over a century, the Day’s roots lie in the labour movement rather than the feminist movement. It was first organised in 1911 by the early 20th century Marxist from Germany, Clara Zetkin.

Who was Clara Zetkin?

Born in 1857 at Wiederau in Germany, Zetkin was trained as a teacher, and was associated with the nascent Social Democratic Party (SPD in German, which is today one of the two major political parties in the country). She was involved in both the labour movement and the women’s movement.

In 1907, Zetkin became a co-founder of the International Socialist Women’s Congress. At the second Conference in 1910, she proposed the celebration of February 28 as Women’s Day in every country.

The conference, which consisted of 100 women from 17 countries — including unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs and female legislators — unanimously approved the suggestion, thus resulting in International Women’s Day being observed for the first time in 1911.

Zetkin was a personal friend of Vladimir Lenin, and in 1915 organised the first international women’s conference against World War I. In 1916, she co-founded the radical Spartacus League.

4)Explained: What causes coral bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef?

Warming ocean temperatures, a sign of climate change, is associated with the deteriorating health of the Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which spreads across a length of over 2,300 km and is roughly the size of Italy, is home to about 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 1,625 type of fish, 133 varieties of shark and rays and 600 types of soft and hard coral.

What is coral bleaching?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), when corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light or nutrients, they expel the algae living in their tissue, causing them to turn white, hence bleached.

Coral bleaching does not mean the corals are dead, but make them vulnerable, hence increasing their mortality. Warm ocean temperatures are one condition that could lead to coral bleaching. For instance, in 2005, the US lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event.

Coral bleaching does not mean the corals are dead, but make them vulnerable, hence increasing their mortality. Warm ocean temperatures are one condition that could lead to coral bleaching. For instance, in 2005, the US lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event.

The 2016 bleaching caused by intense heat exposure affected the northern third region of the Reef, while the 2017 bleaching affected the central region.

5)When lawyers refuse to defend accused: what is the law, what SC has said:- Karnataka High Court observed that it is unethical and illegal for lawyers to pass resolutions against representing accused in court. This was after local bar associations had objected to four students arrested for sedition being defended in court.

What does the Constitution say about the right of an accused to be defended?

Article 22(1) gives the fundamental right to every person not to be denied the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his or her choice.

Article 14 provides for equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

Article 39A, part of the Directive Principles of state policy, states that equal opportunity to secure justice must not be denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and provides for free legal aid.

The Supreme Court ruled: “In our opinion, such resolutions are wholly illegal, against all traditions of the bar and against professional ethics. Every person, however wicked, depraved, vile, degenerate, perverted, loathsome, execrable, vicious or repulsive he may be regarded by society has a right to be defended in a court of law and correspondingly, it is the duty of the lawyer to defend him.”

5)What next for virtual currency? :- Supreme Court set aside a ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on banks and financial institutions from dealing with virtual currency holders and exchanges.

The court held that the ban did not pass the “proportionality” test. The test of proportionality of any action by the government, the court held, must pass the test of Article 19(1)(g), which states that all citizens of the country will have the right to practise any profession, or carry on any occupation or trade and business.

What are virtual currencies? Are they different from cryptocurrencies?

There is no globally accepted definition of what exactly is virtual currency. Some agencies have called it a method of exchange of value; others have labelled it a goods item, product or commodity.

In its judgment on Wednesday, the Supreme Court observed, “Every court which attempted to fix the identity of virtual currencies, merely acted as the 4 blind men in the Anekantavada philosophy of Jainism, who attempt to describe an elephant, but end up describing only one physical feature of the elephant.”

Satoshi Nakamoto, widely regarded as the founder of the modern virtual currency bitcoin and the underlying technology called blockchain, defined bitcoins as “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party”.

Virtual currency is the larger umbrella term for all forms of non-fiat currency being traded online. Virtual currencies are mostly created, distributed and accepted in local virtual networks. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have an extra layer of security, in the form of encryption algorithms.

Are cryptocurrencies dangerous?

The jury is out on that. Organisations across the globe have called for caution while dealing with virtual currencies, while also warning that a blanket ban of any sort could push the entire system underground, which in turn would mean no regulation.

Financial Action Task Force came out with a report that highlighted both legitimate uses and potential risks associated with virtual currencies. In a different report, it again said use of such virtual currencies was growing among terror financing groups.

Why did the RBI ban virtual currencies?

Owing to the lack of any underlying fiat, episodes of excessive volatility in their value, and their anonymous nature which goes against global money-laundering rules, the RBI initially flagged its concerns on trade and use of the currency.

In its arguments in the Supreme Court, the RBI said it did not want these virtual currencies spreading like contagion, and had therefore, in the larger public interest, asked banks not to deal with people or exchanges dealing in these non-fiat currencies. The RBI argued that owing to a “significant spurt in the valuation of many virtual currencies and rapid growth in initial coin offerings”, virtual currencies were not safe for use.

What did Petitioners say :- Arguing that the ban was solely on “moral grounds”, the petitioners said the RBI should have adopted a wait-and-watch approach, as taken by other regulators such as the Directorate of Enforcement or the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

What was the Court’s Ruling :-Supreme Court held that the RBI directive came up short on the five-prong test to check proportionality — direct and immediate impact upon fundamental rights; the larger public interest sought to be ensured; necessity to restrict citizens’ freedom; inherent pernicious nature of the act prohibited or its capacity or tendency to be harmful to the general public; the possibility of achieving the same object by imposing a less drastic restraint.

RBI could not be faulted for not adopting a “light-touch” approach as adopted by other countries, the court said, adding that there could be no comparison with other countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, or Singapore as they were developed economies. “Therefore, we will not test the correctness of the measure taken by RBI on the basis of the approach adopted by other countries,”





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