Daily Prelims Notes 12 April 2021
- April 12, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
12 April 2021
Table Of Contents
- SUO MOTU COGNIZANCE OF PIL
- DOOMSDAY GLACIER
- LOST GOLDEN CITY
- NEW UMBRELLA ENTITIES
- INDIA H2 ALLIANCE
- SHAPHARI SCHEME
- PANGONG TSO
- PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION BILL
- PROJECT INVESTMENT SURVEY
- MANAKUDY BIRD RESERVE
- TIKA UTSAV
Context: ‘Health emergency’: Gujarat HC initiates PIL over covid situation
Suo Moto Cognizance
- A Suo Moto cognizance is a Latin term which means an action taken by a government agency, court or other central authority on their own apprehension.
- A court takes a Suo Moto Cognizance of a legal matter when it receives information about the violation of rights or breach of duty through media or a third party’s notification.
- In India, Article 32 of the Indian Constitution and Article 226 of the Indian Constitution lay down the provisions for filing Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India in Supreme Court and High Courts respectively.
- This has given rise to the court’s’ power to initiate legal action on their cognizance of a matter.
- Suo Moto’s actions by Indian courts are a reflection of activism by the judiciary and captivated the general public with the speedy delivery of justice by the courts.
Public interest Litigation
- Public interest Litigation (PIL) means litigation filed in a court of law, for the protection of “Public Interest”, such as Pollution, Terrorism, Road safety, Constructional hazards etc.
- Any matter where the interest of public at large is affected can be redressed by filing a Public Interest Litigation in a court of law.
- Public interest litigation is not defined in any statute or in any act. It has been interpreted by judges to consider the intent of public at large.
- Public interest litigation is the power given to the public by courts through judicial activism. However, the person filing the petition must prove to the satisfaction of the court that the petition is being filed for a public interest and not just as a frivolous litigation by a busy body.
- The court can itself take cognizance of the matter and proceed suo motu or cases can commence on the petition of any public spirited individual.
Some of the matters which are entertained under PIL are:
- Bonded Labour matters
- Neglected Children
- Non-payment of minimum wages to workers and exploitation of casual workers
- Atrocities on women
- Environmental pollution and disturbance of ecological balance
- Food adulteration
- Maintenance of heritage and culture.
Who Can File a PIL and Against Whom?
- Any citizen can file a public case by filing a petition:
Under Art 32 of the Indian Constitution, in the Supreme Court.
Under Art 226 of the Indian Constitution, in the High Court.
Under sec. 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in the Court of Magistrate.
- However, the court must be satisfied that the Writ petition fulfils some basic needs for PIL as the letter is addressed by the aggrieved person, public spirited individual and a social action group for the enforcement of legal or Constitutional rights to any person who are not able to approach the court for redress.
- A Public Interest Litigation can be filed against a State/ Central Govt., Municipal Authorities, and not any private party.
Context: ASHA workers, campaigns on WhatsApp help Rajasthan fix vaccine story.
Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)
- ASHA is a trained female community health activist. Selected from the community itself and accountable to it, the ASHA will be trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system.
- The role of an ASHA is that of a community level care provider.
- ASHA will be trained to work as an interface between the community and the public health system
- This includes a mix of tasks: facilitating access to health care services, building awareness about health care entitlements especially amongst the poor and marginalized, promoting healthy behaviours and mobilizing for collective action for better health outcomes and meeting curative care needs as appropriate to the organization of service delivery in that area and compatible with her training and skills.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: India Bans Export of Anti-Viral Drug Remdesivir amid Surge in Covid Cases
- Remdesivir is designed to obstruct the stage of replication, when the virus creates copies of itself, followed endlessly by the copies creating copies of themselves.
- Once the virus enters the human cell, it releases its genetic material, which is then copied using the body’s existing mechanism.
- At every stage of infection, various human proteins, virus proteins, and their interactions come into play.
- At the replication stage, the key viral protein at play is an enzyme called RdRp (an enzyme is a kind of protein that speeds up chemical reactions within a cell).
- It is RdRp that makes the copies, by processing components of the RNA of the virus.
- University of Alberta researchers called it the “engine” of the virus in a paper last week, in which they described the action of Remdesivir against this “engine”.
- In scientific literature, such an enzyme is called a polymerase (the p is RdRp stands for polymerase) or a replica.
- In any case, this is the enzyme that is targeted by Remdesivir.
Context: Ice shelves including Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ at risk of collapse.
- Thwaites or Doomsday Glacier is 120 km wide glacier at its broadest, fast-moving and melting fast over the years.
- Because of its size (1.9 lakh sq.km.), it contains enough water to raise the world sea level by more than half a metre.
- The amount of ice flowing out of this glacier has nearly doubled over the past three decades.
- Its melting contributes 4% to global sea level rise each year, which has been a cause of alarm for scientists.
- It is estimated that it would collapse into the sea in 200-900 years.
- Thwaites is important for Antarctica as it slows the ice behind it from freely flowing into the ocean.
Context: Egypt announced the discovery of what is being touted as the most important find since the unearthing of King Tutankhamun’s tomb almost 100 years ago.
- A three-millennia-old “lost golden city” from the era of 18th-dynasty king Amenhotep III, who ruled ancient Egypt from 1391 to 1353 B.C., was found in the southern province of Luxor, near some of the country’s best-known monuments.
- The newly discovered city is located on the west bank of the Nile river, close to the Colossi of Memnon, Medinet Habu and the Ramesseum, or mortuary temple of King Ramses II, all of which are popular tourist destinations.
- With mud-brick houses, artefacts, and tools discovered from the reign of the Pharaohs, some are even calling the find an “ancient Egyptian Pompeii”.
Context: Wary of the additional costs, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is reportedly looking to outsource direct and supervisory control over the New Umbrella Entities (NUE).
New Umbrella Entities (NUEs):
- NUEs will be a non-profit entity that will set-up, manage and operate new payment systems, especially in the retail space such as ATMs, white-label PoS; Aadhaar-based payments and remittance services.
- NUEs will develop new payment methods, standards and technologies.
- These will operate clearing and settlement systems, identify and manage relevant risks such as settlement, credit, liquidity and operation and preserve the integrity of the system.
- These will monitor retail payment system developments and related issues in the country and internationally to avoid shocks, frauds and contagions that may adversely affect the system and the economy in general.
Subject: Current Events
Context: Reliance, other energy majors form hydrogen coalition.
- The Global energy and industrial majors have joined together to form a new coalition called the India H2 Alliance. The initiative to form the alliance was begun by the Reliance industries and Chart Industries.
- The IH2 alliance will mainly focus on industrial clusters such as refineries, steel, cement, fertiliser, ports and logistics and heavy-duty transport use cases. It will also create standards for storage and transport of hydrogen in pressurised and liquefied form.
The following are the main objectives of IH2A:
- To build hydrogen economy and supply chain in India
- To help develop blue and green hydrogen production and storage
- To build hydrogen-use industrial clusters
- To increase hydrogen-powered fuel cells-based transport
The India H2 Alliance will closely work with the Government of India on the following five areas:
- To develop National Hydrogen Policy and roadmap 2021-30.
- To create National H2 Task Force and Mission in a PPP model
- To identify National Large H2 Demonstration Stage Projects
- To create a National India H2 Fund
- To create a good hydrogen linked capacity.
Context: To bolster confidence in India’s frozen shrimp produce, the country’s biggest seafood export item, the Centre has kicked off a new scheme to certify hatcheries and farms that adopt good aquaculture practices.
- The scheme has been developed by the Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA).
- The certification scheme for aquaculture products is called ‘Shaphari’ – a Sanksrit word that means superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption.
- The Shaphari scheme is based on the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization’s technical guidelines on aquaculture certification and will have two components — certifying hatcheries for the quality of their seeds and, separately, approving shrimp farms that adopt the requisite good practices.
- The entire certification process will be online to minimise human errors and ensure higher credibility and transparency.
Context: The south bank of Pangong Tso — one of the two locations from where Indian and Chinese troops disengaged in February has become a “no-man’s land” for the local cattle grazers of Chushul in Eastern Ladakh, the area’s councillor said.
- Pangong Tso is an endorheic lake (landlocked) that is partly in India’s Ladakh region and partly in Tibet.
- Nearly two-thirds of the lake is controlled by China, with just about 45 km under Indian control. The LAC, running north-south, cuts the western part of the lake, aligned east-west.
- Situated at an elevation of about 4,270 m, it is a nearly 135-km long, narrow lake — 6 km at its widest point — and shaped liked a boomerang
- The lake’s water, while crystal clear, is brackish, making it undrinkable. The lake freezes during the winter, allowing some vehicular movement on it as well.
Context: Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, now under scrutiny by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, could play a big role in providing robust protections to users and their personal data.
- The Bill has three key aspects prepared by a committee headed by retired Justice B N Srikrishna.
- The bill constitutes 3 personal information types: Critical , Sensitive , General.
- Sensitive data constitutes or is related to passwords, financial data, health data, official identifier, sexual orientation, religious or caste data, biometric data and genetic data. It may be processed outside India with the explicit consent of the user.
- Critical data will be characterised by the government every once in a while, and must be stored and handled only in India.
- General data: Any data that is non-critical and non-sensitive is categorised as general data with no limitation on where it is stored or managed.
Other Key provisions:
- Data principal: As per the bill, it is the individual whose data is being stored and processed.
- Exemptions: The government is qualified to order any data fiduciary to acquire personal and non-personal/anonymised data for the sake of research and for national security and criminal investigations.
- Social media companies, which are deemed significant data fiduciaries based on factors such as volume and sensitivity of data as well as their turnover, should develop their own user verification mechanism.
- An independent regulator Data Protection Agency (DPA) will oversee assessments and audits and definition making.
- Each company will have a Data Protection Officer (DPO) who will liaison with the DPA for auditing, grievance redressal, recording maintenance and more.
- The bill also grants individuals the right to data portability, and the ability to access and transfer one’s own data.
- The right to be forgotten: this right allows an individual to remove consent for data collection and disclosure.
How is data handled?
- Data is collected and handled by entities called data fiduciaries.
- While the fiduciary controls how and why data is processed, the processing itself may be by a third party, the data processor.
- The physical attributes of data — where data is stored, where it is sent, where it is turned into something useful — are called data flows.
Subject: Current Events
Context: Investment projects bounce back in Q4: report
- The 82nd Survey of Projects Investment in India conducted by Projects Today indicated a healthy quarter-on-quarter growth of 33.4 percent in fresh investment in the last quarter of the fiscal 2020-21 (Q4/FY21).
- Fresh investments rebounded strongly in the last quarter of 2020-21, with both private sector and government-backed capital spending taking off sharply for the first time in the pandemic-hit year, even as the project execution ratio, which denotes actual ground-level action, hit a five-year high.
- The Q4 surge drove up the overall fresh investments in 2020-21 to ₹10.72 lakh crore, just 1.2% below the 2019-20 levels, although investments had plummeted sharply that year from ₹16.87 lakh crore in 2018-19.
Context: Two tagged migratory birds spotted in salt pans in Manakudy bird reserve.
- Two tagged migratory birds — a redshank and a whiskered tern — were spotted in the salt pans of Swamithoppu in the Manakudy bird reserve in Kanniyakumari district.
- The whiskered tern is possibly from European countries.
- The redshank spotted in Kanniyakumari district is possibly from the subarctic region and it could be one of the birds tagged by the BNHS.
- BNHS is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research.
- It was founded on 15 September 1883 and headquartered at Hornbill House, Mumbai.
- It supports many research efforts through grants and publishes the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.
- Department of Science and Technology has designated it as a ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Subject: Current Events
Context: India celebrates ‘Tika Utsav’ to combat Covid-19
- Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021 and April 14, 2021.
- The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in India
- Currently, three states are receiving maximum number of COVID-19 doses. They are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
- COVAXIN and COVISHIELD are the two major COVID-19 vaccines that are currently administered in India.
- So far, India has shipped 64 million doses of vaccines to 84 countries in Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The major recipient countries of the Indian COVID-19 vaccines are Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.
- The GoI has planned to cover 250 million people included in “high priority” category by July 2021 under its vaccination programme.