Daily Prelims Notes 11 February 2023
- February 11, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
11 February 2023
Table Of Contents
- India’s pollution control boards were weakened over the last 14 years
- Marine litter menace
- 145 bird species spotted during the first bird festival in Sundarbans
- PM- ABHIM
- India moves to 5th place in global ranking of accreditation systems for quality
- Industrial output rise moderates to 4.3 % – IIP
- Article 105 of Constitution
- Sachar panel report
- Can’t ask collegium to rethink decision while applying judicial review: SC
- Investor Education and Protection Fund – SEBI
- The Central Hall
1. India’s pollution control boards were weakened over the last 14 years
Subject : Environment
Context: India’s pollution control boards were weakened over the last 14 years.
More on the News:
- Around 49 per cent of the sanctioned positions in state pollution control boards (SPCB) and pollution control committees (PCC) are vacant, Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change (MoEF&CC) informed the Rajya Sabha.
Central Pollution Control Board
- The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
- Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Functions of the Central Board at the National Level
- Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning prevention and control of water and air pollution and improvement of the quality of air. Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
- Co-ordinate the activities of the State Boardand resolve disputes among them;
- Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigation and research relating to problems of water and air pollution, and for their prevention, control or abatement;
- Plan and organise training of persons engaged in programme on the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
- Organise through mass media, a comprehensive mass awareness programmeon the prevention, control or abatement of water and air pollution;
- Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical datarelating to water and air pollution and the measures devised for their effective prevention, control or abatement;
- Prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents as well as for stack gas cleaning devices, stacks and ducts;
- Disseminate information in respect of matters relating to water and air pollution and their prevention and control;
- Lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Governments concerned, the standards for stream or well, and lay down standards for the quality of air; and Perform such other function as may be prescribed by the Government of India.
State Pollution Control Boards:
- They are constitutes in pursuance of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
- After the enactment of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the enforcing responsibility was entrusted to these Boards.
- Selection of members: The members of State Pollution Control Boards are nominated by respective State Governments.
Subject : Environment
Context: Marine litter menace, Short-term solutions not enough; need robust policy.
More on the News:
- Globally, the annual production of plastic reached 460 million tonnes in 2019 and 353 million tonnes of plastic waste were also generated in the same year.
- Approximately 50 per cent of plastic waste generated in the same year was dumped in landfills, according to the Organization for Economic Corporation and Development.
- A significant portion of single-use plastic gets piled up on coastlines and contributes to the growing burden of marine litter, endangering aquatic biodiversity. In India, anthropogenic activities add approximately eight million tonnes of plastic waste to the marine environment.
- Land-based sources such as dumpsites located near the coastlines or banks of a river, flood waters, industrial outfalls, discharge from storm water drains, untreated municipal sewerage, beach litter, tourism, fishing, ship breaking yards, defence-related facilities, automobiles, industrial wastes, natural events, etc are the main factors contributing to the menace of marine litter.
- Of this, around 75-80 per cent of municipal waste is collected and only 25-28 per cent of this collected waste is processed and treated. The discarded municipal solid waste takes the conventional route of natural waterways and becomes part of marine litter
- In addition to this, sea-based sources such as waste from ships, fishing vessels and other public transport and research facilities; offshore mining and extraction; legal and illegal waste dumping; ghost nets, natural events, etc.
Impact of Marine Litter
- Marine debris can transcend international borders and disperse to faraway locations from its place of origin. Since marine species consume microplastics, they can eventually sweep into our food chain.
- Additionally, leached chemicals may also bioaccumulate in these species and endanger human health.
- It can create problems for industries such as Shipping, fisheries and aquaculture and maritime tourism which affect livelihood of the coastal community.
Global efforts to tackle Marine litter menace
- The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter (or the London Convention).
- The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention (the London Protocol).
- The 1978 Protocol to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).
- The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) considers plastic marine debris and its ability to transport harmful substances as one of the main emerging issues affecting the environment.
- GloLitter Partnerships Project:
- It is launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and initial funding from the Government of Norway.
- Aim: To prevent and reduce marine plastic litter from shipping and fisheries.
Indian efforts to tackle Marine litter menace
- The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 clearly stipulate that urban local bodies (ULBs) should ban less than 50 micron thick plastic bags and not allow usage of recycled plastics for packing food, beverage or any other eatables.
- The Rules also require that local bodies should provide separate collection, storage and processing of plastic waste in their areas.
- The government has set an ambitious target of eliminating single-use plastics by 2022.
- India is a signatory to MARPOL (International Convention on Prevention of Marine Pollution).
- Clean Seas Campaign https://optimizeias.com/india-and-clean-sea-campaign/
3. 145 bird species spotted during the first bird festival in Sundarbans
Subject : Environment
Section: Species In news
Context: The first-ever festival was organised by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) division of West Bengal Forest Department, where six teams visited different areas inside the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve.
More on the News:
- The species recorded during the Bird Festival included 78 forest birds and 42 species of waders, raptors etc.
- Among the threatened species of the Sundarbans, Eurasian Curlew was spotted. Birders were able to spot seven of the nine species of kingfishers found in the Sundarbans.
- Despite being home to so many species of birds the habitats face different threats including plantation activity along the chars (river islands) which disturbs the birds, and illegal activities along chars and uninhabited islands. The threats also include climate change and the use of destructive fishing nets in the Sundarbans.
- There is also a need for increasing protection along non-forest areas for birds as well as creating small protected areas in the non-forest regions at critical locations for bird-breeding and migration.
Sundarban National Park
- The Sundarban National Park is located in the south-east of Calcutta in the District of West Bengal and forms part of the Gangetic Delta.
- The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world, lies across India and Bangladesh on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
- It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987.
- The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes.
- The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.
- It is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species such as the estuarine crocodile, Royal Bengal Tiger, Water monitor lizard, Gangetic dolphin, and olive ridley turtles.
- Sundarban Wetland, India was recognised as the ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the Ramsar Convention in January 2019.
- The Sunderbans Delta is the only mangrove forest in the world inhabited by tigers.
Subject : Schemes
- World Bank has approved $1 billion loans for Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Infrastructure Mission (PM ABHIM).
- The loan agreements have been signed to augment PMABHIM which was launched on October 25, 2021, with an outlay of about ₹64,180 crore (till FY 2025-26) to strengthen healthcare infrastructure across the country.
PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission
- The scheme aims at strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country.
- Its objective is to fill gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas.
- Through this, critical care services will be available in all the districts of the country with more than five lakh population through exclusive critical care hospital blocks, while the remaining districts will be covered through referral services.
- It will provide support to 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 ‘high focus’ states and establish 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres across the country.
- People will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country.
- Integrated public health labs will also be set up in all districts, giving people access to “a full range of diagnostic services” through a network of laboratories across the country.
- All the public health labs will be connected through the Integrated Health Information Portal, which will be expanded to all states and UTs.
- An IT-enabled disease surveillance system will be established through a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels.
Institutions to be set-up under the scheme:
- Under the scheme, a national institution for one health, four new national institutes for virology, a regional research platform for WHO (World Health Organization) South East Asia Region, nine biosafety level-III laboratories, and five new regional national centres for disease control will be set up.
- Biosafety Level 3: The pathogens that can cause serious health hazards are worked under biosafety level 3.
5. India moves to 5th place in global ranking of accreditation systems for quality
Subject : Schemes
- India has been placed at the fifth position out of 184 countries in terms of its accreditation system, according to the recently released Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) 2021.
Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII)
- GQII is an initiative on metrology, standardization, accreditation and related services, supported by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.
- The GQII ranks 184 economies on the basis of their quality infrastructure (QI).
- QI is the technical backbone for international trade, with metrology, standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment services providing reliability and trust between trading partners.
- The GQII measures the relative development of countries’ QI.
- The GQII rankings are published and presented post-facto for each year based on the data collected till the end of that year.
- India’s overall QI system ranking continues to be tenth.
- According to the index, India was ranked 21st in terms of metrology and ninth in standardization.
- Quality Council of India (QCI) is the national body for accreditation, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the main body for formulation of standards and the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research – National Physical Laboratory (CSIRNPL) for the metrology system.
- Accreditation helps establish the competence and credibility of conformity assessment bodies which perform testing, certification and inspection.
- The national accreditation system as per international standards in India is established by the QCI.
- The system is operated through the constituent boards of QCI, primarily the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, which provides accreditation to the certification, inspection, and validation/ verification bodies, and the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, which provides accreditation to the testing, calibration and medical laboratories.
6. Industrial output rise moderates to 4.3 % – IIP
Subject : Economy
Section :National Income
- India’s industrial production growth slipped to 4.3 per cent in December from 7.3 per cent in November 2022, mainly due to subdued performance of the manufacturing sector, according to official data.
- However, there was improvement on an annual basis as the factory output growth measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) stood at 1 per cent in December 2021.
Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index that shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a fixed period of time.
- It is compiled and published monthly by National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under:
- Broad sectors: Mining, Manufacturing, and Electricity.
- Use-based sectors: Basic Goods, Capital Goods, and Intermediate Goods.
- Base Year for IIP is 2011-2012.
About Eight Core Sectors:
- These comprise 27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
- The eight core sector industries in decreasing order of their weightage: Refinery Products> Electricity> Steel> Coal> Crude Oil> Natural Gas> Cement> Fertilizers.
Significance of IIP:
- IIP is the only measure on the physical volume of production.
- It is used by government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India, etc, for policy-making purposes.
- IIP remains extremely relevant for the calculation of the quarterly and advance GDP estimates.
7. Article 105 of Constitution
Subject : Polity
- Protesting against the expunction of parts of his speech on the motion of thanks on the President’s Address, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge has argued that MPs have freedom of speech, and that he did not make any personal allegations in the House.
Origin of Parliamentary Privileges
- The Government of India Act, 1935 first brought this provision to India, with references to the powers and privileges enjoyed by the House of Commons in Britain.
- An initial draft of the Constitution too contained the reference to the House of Commons, but it was subsequently dropped.
- Parliamentary privileges are special rights, immunities and exemptions enjoyed by the two Houses of Parliament, their committees and their members.
- These privileges are defined in Article 105 of the Indian Constitution.
- Article 105 of the Constitution expressly mentions two privileges, that is, freedom of speech in Parliament and right of publication of its proceedings.
- Apart from the privileges as specified in the Constitution, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for freedom from arrest and detention of members under civil process .
- The privileges are claimed only when the person is a member of the house. As soon as s/he ends to be a member, the privileges are said to be called off.
- This immunity extends to certain non-members as well, such as the Attorney General of India or a Minister who may not be a member but speaks in the House.
- Parliament has not made any special law to exhaustively codify all the privileges. They are rather based on five sources:
- Constitutional provisions
- Various laws made by Parliament
- Rules of both the Houses
- Parliamentary conventions
- Judicial interpretations.
Freedom of Speech in Parliament:
- The freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to a citizen under Article 19(2) is different from the freedom of speech and expression provided to a member of the parliament.
- It has been guaranteed under Article 105(1) of the Indian constitution. But the freedom is subject to rules and orders which regulate the proceedings of the parliament.
- Freedom of speech should be in accordance with the constitutional provisions and subject to rules and procedures of the parliament, as stated under Article 118 of the Constitution.
- Under Article 121 of the Constitution, the members of the parliament are restricted from discussing the conduct of the judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court.
Freedom from Arrest:
- The members enjoy freedom from arrest in any civil case 40 days before and after the adjournment of the house and also when the house is in session.
- No member can be arrested from the limits of the parliament without the permission of the house to which s/he belongs so that there is no hindrance in performing their duties.
- If the detention of any members of the parliament is made, the chairman or the speaker should be informed by the concerned authority, of the reason for the arrest.
- But a member can be arrested outside the limits of the house on criminal charges against him under the Preventive Detention act, the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), the National Security Act (NSA), or any such act.
SC Observation :
- A five-judge Bench of the apex court ruled that the ordinary law would not apply to the acceptance of a bribe by an MP in case of parliamentary proceedings.
- “Broadly interpreted, as we think it should be, Article 105(2) protects a Member of Parliament against proceedings in court that relate to, or concern, or have a connection or nexus with anything said, or a vote given, by him in Parliament,” the court said, giving a wider ambit to the protection accorded under Article 105(2).
- In July 2021, the Supreme Court rejected Kerala government’s plea to withdraw criminal cases against its MLAs who were charged in the assembly.
- The Supreme court stated that Parliamentary Privileges are Not Gateways of Immunity and the legislators who indulge in vandalism and general mayhem cannot claim parliamentary privilege and immunity from criminal prosecution.
Right to Prohibit the Publication of Proceedings:
- Article 105(2) of the Constitution, no person shall be held liable for publishing any reports, discussions etc. of the house under the authority of the either house of parliament .
- For paramount and national importance, it is essential that the proceedings should be communicated to the public to aware them of what is going on in the parliament.
Collective privileges of the house:
- Various privileges such as internal autonomy, power to punish for contempt in case of breach of privileges and also external interferences by strangers, freedom of speech in the debates, and the passing of resolutions expressing the collective opinion of the members for the public interest, rule-making powers, etc. can be enjoyed collectively by the House itself.
- The Rajya Sabha on Friday took up a private member’s resolution urging the government to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and other reports that have discussed educational and social backwardness of the Muslim community.
- The Sachar Committee was a seven-member High Level Committee in India established in March 2005.
- The committee was headed by former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar.
- Aim of the committee: To examine the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India. The availability of data on religion was useful in highlighting the relative deprivation of minorities.
- The report highlighted a range of disabilities faced by the Muslim community.
- It placed Indian Muslims below Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in backwardness.
- It highlighted the huge mismatch between the percentage of Muslims in the population and in decision-making positions such as the IAS and IPS,
- It highlighted poor representation of the community in the police.
Main recommendations of the committee
- The Committee made a number of recommendations to address the status of the Muslim community in India, including:
- Set up an ‘Equal Opportunity Commission’ to look into grievances of deprived groups like minorities.
- Create a nomination procedure to increase the participation of minorities in public bodies.
- Establish a delimitation procedure that does not reserve constituencies with a high minority population for SCs.
- Increase employment share of Muslims, particularly where there is a great deal of public dealing. Work out mechanisms to link madrasas with the higher secondary school boards.
- Recognize degrees from madrasas for eligibility in defence, civil and banking examinations.
Private Members Bill /Resolution
- Any Member of Parliament (MP) who is not a minister is referred to as a private member.
- Its drafting is the responsibility of the member concerned.
- Its introduction in the House requires one month’s notice. Whereas government bill requires 7 days’ notice.
- The government bills/public bills can be introduced and discussed on any day, private member’s bills can be introduced and discussed only on Fridays.
- In case of multiple Bills, a ballot system is used to decide the sequence of bills for introduction.
- The Parliamentary Committee on Private Member’s Bills and Resolutions goes through all such bills/resolutions and classifies them based on their urgency and importance.
- Its rejection by the House has no implication on the parliamentary confidence in the government or its resignation.
- 14 private member’s bills — five of which were introduced in Rajya Sabha — have become law so far.
9. Can’t ask collegium to rethink decision while applying judicial review: SC
- Supreme Court said on Friday while holding that it cannot quash the recommendation or call upon its collegium to reconsider its decision on appointment of judges while exercising power of judicial review.
- The apex court, which had on February 7 refused to entertain two petitions seeking to restrain Lekshmana Chandra Victoria Gowri from taking oath as an additional judge of the Madras High Court, on Friday gave the reasons for dismissing the pleas.
- The court said the question whether Ms. Gowri was “fit” to be a judge was outside the ambit of judicial review.
- The question whether a person is fit to be appointed as a judge essentially involves the aspect of suitability and stands excluded from the purview of judicial review, it noted.
Question of Eligibility and Suitability
- The Bench distinguished between ‘suitability’ and ‘eligibility’ of a candidate zeroed in for High Court judgeship.
- Eligibility was based on “objective factors” given in Article 217 (2) of the Constitution like citizenship and 10 years ‘experience as a judicial officer or a lawyer in a High Court.
- Suitability of a candidate was the domain of the Collegium as it involved a procedure “designed to test the fitness of a person, including her character, integrity, competence and knowledge”.
- This aspect of suitability and stands excluded from the purview of judicial review.
- It is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.
- In other words, judicial reviews are a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the conclusion reached.
Concepts of Law:
- Procedure Established by Law: It means that a law enacted by the legislature or the concerned body is valid only if the correct procedure has been followed to the letter.
- Due Process of Law: It is a doctrine that not only checks if there is a law to deprive the life and personal liberty of a person but also ensures that the law is made fair and just.
- India follows Procedure Established by Law.
- It is the power exerted by the courts of a country to examine the actions of the legislatures, executive and administrative arms of government and to ensure that such actions conform to the provisions of the nation’s Constitution.
- Judicial review has two important functions, like, of legitimizing government action and the protection of constitution against any undue encroachment by the government.
- Judicial review is considered a basic structure of the constitution (Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narain Case 1975).
- Judicial review is also called the interpretational and observer roles of the Indian judiciary.
- Suo Moto cases and the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), with the discontinuation of the principle of Locus Standi, have allowed the judiciary to intervene in many public issues, even when there is no complaint from the aggrieved party.
Types of Judicial Review:
- Reviews of Legislative Actions: This review implies the power to ensure that laws passed by the legislature are in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution.
- Review of Administrative Actions: This is a tool for enforcing constitutional discipline over administrative agencies while exercising their powers.
- Review of Judicial Decisions: This review is used to correct or make any change in previous decisions by the judiciary itself.
10. Investor Education and Protection Fund – SEBI
Subject : Economy
Section: Capital Market
- Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) has been established under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
- The amounts such as contribution made by SEBI, grants and donations given to the Fund by the Central Government, State Government or any other entity approved for the purpose, etc are required to be transferred to the IEPF.
- The Fund shall be utilised for the purpose of protection of investors and promotion of investor education and awareness in accordance with SEBI regulations.
- The Fund is also utilised for distribution of money in cases where SEBI deems fit to make restitution to eligible and identifiable investors who have suffered losses resulting from violation of securities laws, be utilised only for the purposes of such restitution.
Advisory Committee of the fund
- SEBI shall constitute an advisory committee for recommending investor education and protection activities that may be undertaken directly by SEBI or through any other agency, for utilisation of the Fund.
- The Committee shall consider investor education and protection activities keeping in view the purposes and submit its recommendations thereon to SEBI.
Subject : History
Section: Art and Culture
- It is a place of historical importance.
- The transfer of power on the midnight of 14-15 August, 1947 from British to Indian hands took place in this Hall.
- The Indian Constitution was also framed in the Central Hall.
- The Central Hall is circular in shape and its dome which is 98 ft. (29.87 meters) in diameter is one of the most magnificent domes in the world.
- The Central Hall was originally used as the Library of the erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of States. In 1946, it was converted and refurnished into the Constituent Assembly Hall.
- The Constituent Assembly met there from 9 December, 1946 to 24 January, 1950.
- At present, the Central Hall is used for holding Joint Sittings of the two Houses.
- At the commencement of the first Session after each General Election to Lok Sabha and at the commencement of the first Session of each year, the President addresses Members of both the Houses of Parliament assembled together in the Central Hall.
- When the Houses are in Session, the Central Hall is used by Members for informal discussions among themselves.
- The Central Hall is also used for special occasions when the Members of Parliament are addressed by distinguished Heads of State of other countries.
- The Hall is also equipped with Simultaneous Interpretation System. The Hall has been upgraded with digital sound system. Overlooking the dais in the Centre of the Central Hall is the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi painted by Sir Oswald Birley and donated to the nation by Shri A.P. Pattani, a Member of the Constituent Assembly of India. Gilded panels on the walls and arches on either side of the dais carry portraits of the following distinguished national leaders: —
- Dadabhai Naoroji
- Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
- Lala Lajpat Rai
- Motilal Nehru
- Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
- Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Smt. Sarojini Naidu
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad
- Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
- Subhas Chandra Bose
- C. Rajagopalachari
- Smt. Indira Gandhi
- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
- Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia
- Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee
- Rajiv Gandhi
- Lal Bahadur Shastri
- Chaudhary Charan Singh • Morarji Desai
- Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
- Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee
- There are also 12 gilded emblems on the wall of the Hall representing the 12 Provinces of undivided India. Surrounding the Central Hall are six Lobbies which are suitably covered and furnished. One Lounge is reserved for the exclusive use of lady Members, one for First Aid Post and one for Panel of Chairpersons of Lok Sabha. The Central Hall has six Galleries on its first floor. At the time of Joint Sittings of the two Houses, the two Galleries which are towards the right of the dais are occupied by press correspondents, the one facing the dais is set apart for distinguished visitors and in the other three, the guests of the Members of the two Houses are accommodated.