Daily Prelims Notes 28 February 2021
- February 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
28 February 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- National Health mission
- Line of Control (LOC)
- NFSA (National Food Security Act)
- All India Judicial Service (AIJS)
- Jagannath heritage Corridor Project (Puri)
- Significant Social Media Intermediaries
- NEW IT RULES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
- TRIPS AGREEMENT
- SERO SURVEY
- GOLDILOCKS ZONE OF HABITABILITY
- CHANNAPATTANA TOY MAKERS
- SNOW LEOPARD
- ROLE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL IN CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS
Subject: Welfare schemes and policy
Context: The Centre talked to state officials of National Health Mission and appraise them of private centers involved in vaccination in 2nd phase can charge Rs 250 per person per dose.
- 10000 private hospitals under Ayushman Bharat and 687 private hospitals under Central Government Health Scheme (CGMS) will also act as Covid Vaccination Centre (CVC).
- National Health Mission (NHM) – a flagship programme of the Ministry of health and family welfare with its two Sub-Missions, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), supports States /UTs to strengthen their health care systems so as to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care services.
- The schemes launched under NHM are available free of cost to all income groups visiting in Public Health Facilities at sub district and district level.
- Support under NHM to States/UTs includes provision of a host of free services such as maternal health, child health, adolescent health, family planning, universal immunization programme, and for major diseases such as Tuberculosis, HIV/ AIDS, vector borne diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Kala Azar, Leprosy etc.
- Within the broad national parameters and priorities, states would have the flexibility to plan and implement state specific action plans.
- Various programmes under NHM is run under following heads:
- Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent health
- National Nutritional Programmes
- Controlling communicable Diseases
- Addressing non-communicable diseases
- Other initiatives include Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) (under which free drugs, free diagnostics, free blood and diet, free transport from home to institution, between facilities in case of a referral and drop back home is provided), Rashtriya Bal SwasthyaKaryakram (RBSK) (which provides newborn and child health screening and early interventions services free of cost for birth defects, diseases, deficiencies and developmental delays to improve the quality of survival), implementation of Free Drugs and Free Diagnostics Service Initiatives and PM National Dialysis Programme.
- Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) & Telemedicine are also being implemented with NHM support to improve healthcare access particularly in rural areas.
Six financing components of NHM
- NRHM-RCH Flexipool
- NUHM Flexipool,
- Flexible pool for Communicable disease,
- Flexible pool for Non-communicable disease including Injury and Trauma,
- Infrastructure Maintenance and
- Family Welfare Central Sector component
Subject: International Relations
Context: India-Pakistan announced ceasefire agreement along LOC two days back and Pakistan PM has put onus on India to push the talks.
- The LoC emerged from the 1948 as “ceasefire line” negotiated by the UN after the Kashmir War.
- It was designated as the LoC in 1972, following the Shimla Agreement between the two countries. It is delineated on a map signed by DGMOs of both armies and has the international sanctity of a legal agreement.
- The part that is under Indian control is known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842.
LOC different from LAC:
- The LAC, in contrast, is only a concept between India and China’s border areas – it is not agreed upon by the two countries, neither delineated on a map nor demarcated on the ground.
- The LAC is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
- It is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which spans Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector in Ladakh.
- The alignment of the LAC in the eastern sector is along the 1914 McMahon Line, and there are minor disputes about the positions on the ground
- The line in the middle sector is the least controversial but for the precise alignment to be followed in the Barahoti plains.
- The major disagreements are in the western sector where the LAC emerged from two letters written by Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai to PM Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959, after he had first mentioned such a ‘line’ in 1956.
Subject: Welfare and schemes
Context: NITI AAYOG, the government think tank, has recommended reducing the rural and urban coverage under the National Food Security Act, 2013, to 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, which it estimates, can result in annual savings of up to Rs 47,229 crore.
- The National Rural-Urban Coverage Ratio has been fixed under Section 3(2) of the NFSA, 2013 as 75 % of rural population and up to 50% of the urban populations.
- Past decade growth and development as well as the scope provided by the Act for reduction and the amount of savings Government can have on part of food subsidy which can further be utilised in other important areas of concern such as health and education the Niti paper recommended it.
- It recommends to reduce the National Rural-Urban Coverage Ratio under NFSA to 60-40 from 75-50 while updating the population level to the present level (based on population estimates) as it is currently based on census 2011.
- Earlier the Shanta Kumar committee report had recommended reducing the coverage ratio from 67 per cent of population to 40 percent.
About NFSA, 2013
- To provide for food and nutritional security in the human life cycle approach through access to adequate quantities of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.
- Based on the rural and urban coverage ratio, the erstwhile Planning Commission had determined the state-wise coverage ratio using the National Sample Survey Household Consumption Expenditure coverage under food security law Survey data for 2011-12. The coverage ratio has not been revised since the law came into effect on July 5, 2013.
- National Food Security Act, 2013 covers up to 75% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population under under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households who receives subsidized food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS).
- The existing AAY household will continue to receive 35 Kgs of foodgrains per household per month.
- 5 Kgs of food grains per person per month at Rs. 3/2/1 per Kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains.
- Meal and maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 to pregnant women and lactating mothers during pregnancy and six months after the child birth,
- Meals to children up to 14 years of age.
- Food security allowance to beneficiaries in case of non-supply of entitled food grains or meals.
- Setting up of grievance redressal mechanisms at the district and state level.
Context: The Law Minister said that the govt was in talk with the Judiciary for AIJS to attract the “best minds” via competitive examinations and reservation to SC, ST, OBC so that the inclusive character of the judiciary
- The idea was first mooted by the Law Commission in the 1950s to have an All-India Judicial Services.
- The Constitution of India was amended by 42nd amendment to provide for an All-India Judicial Services under Article 312.
- The Chief Justices conferences in 1961, 1963, and 1965 favoured creation of All-India Judicial Services and even the Law Commissions (1st, 8th and 11th, 116th) had suggested the creation of the service.
- Articles 233 and 234 of the Constitution vested all powers of recruitment and appointment (judicial services of the state) with the State Public Service Commission and High Courts.
- Article 312 of the Constitution allows the Rajya Sabha to pass a resolution, by two-thirds majority, in order to kick-start the process of creating an all-India judicial service for the posts of district judge.
- Once the resolution is passed, Parliament can amend Articles 233 and 234 through a simple law (passed by a simple majority), which will strip States of their appointment powers.
- This is unlike a constitutional amendment under Article 368 that would have required ratification by State legislatures.
- Thus, if Parliament decides to go ahead with the creation of the AIJS, State legislatures can do nothing to stop the process.
- The recruitment is to be made through an all India judicial services examination conducted by the UPSC in order to maintain “high standards” in the lower judiciary.
Subject: Art and culture
Context: The ODISHA assembly unanimously passed a resolution regarding the Jagannath Heritage Corridor project
- The project’s draft architectural plan and design, with an estimated cost of Rs 3,200 crore has been recently approved by the temple management committee.
- Earlier Justice B P Das commission recommended the Srimandir Security Corridor for the safety of the devotees and creation of a spiritual atmosphere.
- The project is divided into nine zones and to be completed in three phases.
About Jagannath temple
- It was built in 12th century by King Anatavarman Chodaganga Deva of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
- It is also called “YamanikaTirtha” as it is believed that the the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath.
- Also called White Pagoda and is famous for annual RathaYatra or Chariot festival, in which the three principal deities (Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra) are pulled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars
- It is a part of Char Dham pilgrimages as part of Badrinath, Dwaraka, Puri, Rameswaram circuit.
Context: Under Intermediary guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code 2021 has defined talked of “Significant Social Media Intermediaries” who needs to have additional due diligence.
- Social media companies with more than 50 lakh registered users will be considered ‘significant social media intermediaries’ under the guidelines.
About the guidelines for Significant Social Media Intermediaries
- Additional due diligence by these, such as appointment of a chief compliance officer, a grievance and a resident grievance officer and a nodal person for round-the-clock co-ordination with law enforcement agencies
- The name and details of the grievance officer will have to be published on the website or the app as may be needed, the chief compliance officer, the resident grievance officer and the nodal person for co-ordination with law enforcement agencies will have to operate out of offices situated in India.
- These have to publish a monthly compliance report in which it will have to furnish details of the number of complaints it received during the month, number of links or content that it took down during the period, the action taken on the complaints received and whether it had proactively taken down any content that was illegal or unlawful
- The instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp has additional task of mandatorily identifying the “first originator of the information” if such an order is passed by a court of competent jurisdiction or by a government order passed under section 69 of the Information Technology (IT) Act (limited only for the purposes of “prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order).
- First originator tracking could also be done to prevent, detect, investigate or prosecute any messages in relation to “rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material.
Subject: Current Events
Context: Government, under the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, has brought in detailed guidelines for digital content on both digital media and Over The Top (OTT) platforms.
- While all the rules have been framed and notified under the existing Information Technology (IT) Act, the administrative powers for regulation of OTT and digital news sharing platforms shall be under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B).
Overview of the rules:
Three-tier grievance redressal mechanism:
- First level- OTT provider: Here, the grievance redressal system will be at the level of each OTT provider. Each complaint will have to be addressed within 15 days.
- Second level- a self-regulatory body: If the complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, then the complainant can scale it up to a self-regulatory body collectively established by the OTTs.
- Composition: This body will be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court, a High Court, or an independent eminent person from the field of media, broadcasting, entertainment, child rights, human rights or other relevant fields.
- Powers: This self-regulatory body also has “censuring” powers in case of any incriminating content.
- At the third tier, the government has equipped itself with overriding powers in the form of “oversight mechanism”. An inter-ministerial committee will perform this function and it will largely have the same powers as the collective self-regulatory body of the OTTs.
- The new guidelines place more onus on nearly all such companies which provide a platform to host, share, view or modify content, while also including for the first time, entities which are in the business of either creating or distributing news online under the ambit of an online intermediary.
Safe harbour provisions:
- The government has made social media intermediaries more liable for the content being shared on their platform by following due diligence, failing which the “safe harbour provisions” will not be applicable to them.
- These safe harbour provisions have been defined under Section 79 of the IT Act, and protect social media intermediaries by giving them immunity from legal prosecution for any content posted on their platforms.
A grievances redressal and compliance mechanism:
- Social media intermediaries will also be required to have a grievances redressal and compliance mechanism, appointing a grievance officer whose name and contact details will have to be shared, a resident grievance officer who shall have an office in India and will be an Indian passport-holding citizen, and a chief compliance officer.
- The chief compliance officer, who will have to be present in India, shall be responsible for ensuring the platform’s compliance with the IT Act and the rules notified Thursday.
- A nodal contact person who can be available round-the-clock for “coordination with law enforcement agencies” will also have to be appointed by social media intermediaries.
Identification of the first originator of the information:
- Social media intermediaries, upon being asked either by the court or by a government authority, will be required to disclose the first originator of the mischievous tweet or message, as the case may be.
- The platform will, however, be liable to disclose the originator of the message “only for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order”.
- Social media companies have been asked to give users a chance for explanation and a fair opportunity to be heard before removing access to their accounts.
Compliance of ethics and rules:
- A self-regulatory body, headed either by a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or an independent eminent person, shall also be formed, which will ensure the compliance of ethics and rules by online digital news platforms.
- “In case of emergency nature” the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, may “if he is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient and justifiable” give orders to block access. Such orders can be released “without giving an opportunity of hearing” to the publishing platform.
Subject: International Organizations
Context: The move by US administration to revive the Iran nuclear deal has once again turned the spotlight on International Atomic Energy Agency.
- Widely known as the world’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” organization within the United Nations family, the IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field.
- The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology.
- Headquarter: Vienna, Austria.
- The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.
- In 2005, it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for a safe and peaceful world.
Board of Governors:
- 22 member states (must represent a stipulated geographic diversity) — elected by the General Conference (11 members every year) – 2 year term.
- At least 10 members states — nominated by the outgoing Board.
- Board members each receive one vote.
- It is an independent international organization that reports annually to the United Nation General Assembly.
- When necessary, the IAEA also reports to the UN Security Council in regards to instances of members’ non-compliance with safeguards and security obligations.
Subject: International Agreements
Context : India’s joint proposal with South Africa at the World Trade Organisation for a waiver of certain Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights obligations to ensure smooth supply of medicines and vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has gained support from most developing countries while several developed members, including the US, Australia and the EU are opposing it.
- TRIPS is an international agreement administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which sets down minimum standards for many forms of intellectual property (IP) regulations as applied to the nationals of other WTO Members.
- It was negotiated at the end of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994.
- TRIPS requires WTO members to provide copyright rights, covering content producers including performers, producers of sound recordings and broadcasting organizations; geographical indications, including appellations of origin; industrial designs; integrated circuit layout-designs; patents; new plant varieties; trademarks; trade dress; and undisclosed or confidential information.
- The agreement also specifies enforcement procedures, remedies, and dispute resolution procedures.
- TRIPs Plus are higher level of protection norms demanded by the developed countries that are not prescribed by the WTO’s TRIPs regime.
- They demand higher protection to intellectual property rights including inventions, internationally. These higher levels of protection norms are named as TRIPs Plus.
- The term is used to indicate that these requirements go beyond the minimum standards imposed by TRIPs.
- Many developing countries who are members of FTAs are under pressure to enact these tougher conditions in their patent laws.
- The developing countries have concerns over the higher level of protection demanded by the developed world. They fear that once such levels of protection are given multilaterally, it will reduce competition and may led to price rise of medicines, affecting health security in poor countries
- For example, the demand for Data Exclusivity protection (protection of clinical test data submitted to a regulatory agency) that have high commercial value is a major demand from the developed world which doesn’t usually come under TRIPs.
- India has consistently objected to put higher level of protection (TRIPs Plus) than provided by the TRIPs.
- The implication of TRIPs Plus on India is that it will restrict the operation of the country’s generics drugs manufactures.
Subject: Science & technology
Context: While there were no large surges even during the festival season, ICMR’s third serosurvey found only 21.5% of India has been exposed to the virus.
- The serological survey was meant to detect whether the person being tested had developed antibodies against the coronavirus.
- Since it is not possible to test everyone, detecting antibodies in random sets of people is an indirect way of estimating the extent of disease spread in a community.
- The antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to fight external organisms like viruses that try to enter the body.
- These are produced only after the infection has happened, and are specific to the attacking virus or bacterium.
- The presence of antibodies, therefore, is an indication that an infection by that particular virus or bacterium has already occurred.
- Subsequent attempts to infect the body can be thwarted by these antibodies.
What about Vaccines then?
- Vaccines work in a similar manner – wherein they inject harmless doses of a virus or a bacterium inside the human body to trigger the production of antibodies by the immune system.
- These antibodies can then fight off an actual attack by those viruses or bacteria.
Do antibodies ensure Immunity?
- The mere presence of antibodies does not mean that the person is protected against the disease.
- What is also important is the amount of antibodies present, and whether it also includes what are known as “neutralising antibodies” which actually fight the disease.
What is Herd Immunity?
- Herd immunity is a stage of an epidemic in which some members of a population group remain protected from infection because a majority of those around them have already developed immunity, either through vaccination or because they have been infected earlier.
- Once a certain proportion of population gets infected, and thus builds immunity against the disease, the epidemic begins to slow down and eventually stop.
- No one clearly knows what percentage of the population needs to be infected before herd immunity kicks in. It is different for different diseases, and different population groups.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: One thing that astronomers search for in exoplanets, in the so-called Goldilocks zone of habitability, is the existence of liquid water and an atmosphere like that on Earth.
- In this context it is believed by many that Mars once had such an atmosphere. The mechanism as to why it lost its atmosphere has remained in doubt.
- Scientists from Indian Institution for Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata suggest that it was the planet’s intrinsic magnetic dynamo which, by shielding its atmosphere from the sun’s solar wind, protected its atmosphere.
- When the magnetic dynamo switched off, the atmosphere slowly was eroded by the solar wind and eventually vanished, leaving the thin remnant we see today.
- A habitable zone, also called the “Goldilocks zone”, is the area around a star where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface of surrounding planets.
- Our Earth is in the Sun’s Goldilocks zone. If Earth were where the dwarf planet Pluto is, all its water would freeze; on the other hand, if Earth were where Mercury is, all its water would boil off.
- Life on Earth started in water, and water is a necessary ingredient for life as we know it.
- So, when scientists search for the possibility of alien life, any rocky exoplanet in the habitable zone of its star is an exciting find.
Does it mean a Planet in the Goldilocks Zone Bound to Have Liquid Water?
- No, not necessarily.
- If we look into our own planetary system, both Venus and Mars are also in the Goldilocks zone. But, water is nowhere to be seen on these planets.
- On Venus, a catastrophic greenhouse effect is in play that is heating up the planet and presumably evaporated all the water it held.
- On Mars, lack of an atmosphere and a magnetic field is bombarded by the solar particles which have evaporated the water present on it.
- Thus, being present in a goldilocks zone does not guarantee the availability of water on a planet.
- But make them potential targets for astronomers to explore and determine the presence of water through various other methods.
Context: The Channapattana toy makers thanked Prime Minister Modi for his support to the Indian toy makers.
- Channapatana is a city and taluk headquarter in Ramanagara District, Karnataka, India.
- Channapatana is also called as Channpatna by locals.
- The city is famous for its wooden toys and lacquerware. Channapatna is also called Town of toys (“Gombegalanagara”).
- The origin of these toys is dated back to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited the artisans from Persia in order to train the local artisans in the art of wooden toy making.
- These toys have been given Geographical Indication tag by Government of India.
Context: Himachal Pradesh’s hilly terrain could be harbouring as amany as 73 snow leopards according to recent study on the animal.
- The Snow Leopard (also known as Ghost of the mountains) acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live, due to their position as the top predator in the food web.
- The Snow Leopard lives at high altitudes in the steep mountains of Central and Southern Asia, and in an extremely cold climate.
- They inhabit the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the states/union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- India is a unique country to have a good presence of 5 big cats, including Snow Leopard. The other 4 are, Lion, Tiger, Common Leopard, and Clouded Leopard.
- Snow Leopard capital of the world: Hemis, Ladakh.
- Hemis National Park is the biggest national park of India and also has a good presence of Snow Leopard.
- Threat: Factors that have contributed to the decline in the snow leopard populations include, reduction in prey populations, illegal poaching and increased human population infiltration into the species habitat and illegal trade of wildlife parts and products among others.
- IUCN Red List- Vulnerable
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)- Appendix I
- Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)- Appendix I
- Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction.
- Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972- Schedule I
- Schedule I provides absolute protection and offences under this have the highest penalties.
Conservation Efforts Launched by India:
- HimalSanrakshak: It is a community volunteer programme, to protect snow leopards, launched on 23rd October 2020.
- In 2019, First National Protocol was also launched on Snow Leopard Population Assessment which has been very useful for monitoring populations.
- SECURE Himalaya: Global Environment Facility (GEF)-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the project on conservation of high altitude biodiversity and reducing the dependency of local communities on the natural ecosystem.
- This project is now operational in four snow leopard range states, namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.
- Project Snow Leopard (PSL) : It was launched in 2009 to promote an inclusive and participatory approach to conserve snow leopards and their habitat.
- Snow Leopard is in the list of 21 critically endangered species for the recovery programme of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.
- Snow Leopard conservation breeding programme is undertaken at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Context: Attorney General has refused consent for contempt proceedings against former CJI Gogoi.
- Section 15 of Contempt of Courts Act 1971, describes the procedure for contempt proceedings against an individual.
- In the case of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General or the Solicitor General, and in the case of High Courts, the Advocate General, may bring in a motion for initiating a case of criminal contempt.
- However, if the motion is brought by any other person, the consent of the Attorney General or the Advocate General in writing is required.
- It has to specify the contempt for which the person charged is alleged to be guilty.
Is AG’s consent mandatory for all contempt of court cases?
- It is mandatory when a private citizen wants to initiate a case of contempt of court against a person.
- The objective behind AG’s consent is to save the judicial time of the court as it will be wasted if a frivolous petition occurs.
- AG’s consent is not required when the court itself initiates a contempt of court case (suomotu) as it did in the case of Prashant Bhushan case.
- Article 129 of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to initiate contempt cases on its own, independent of the motion brought before it by the AG or with the consent of the AG.
What happens if AG denies consent?
- If AG denies consent, petition ends there itself.
- Earlier AG denied consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against actor SwaraBhasker& against author Shefali Vaidya.
- However, complainant can urge the court to take suomotu cognizance.
What happens after the AG has granted consent?
- After the consent, notice is served personally to the person against whom the proceedings are sought to be initiated by the court.
- If the court decides not to serve the notice personally, the court has to record the reasons for it.
- If the court is satisfied that the alleged contemnor is likely to abscond or evade judicial proceedings, it can order attachment of property of a value that it deems reasonable.
- Once the notice is served, the alleged contemnor may file an affidavit in support of his defence, explaining the nature and circumstances of her remarks.
- Then the case has to be heard by at least two judge bench which will take into account any evidence available to check the affidavit and pass appropriate orders.