Daily Prelims Notes 3 July 2020
- July 3, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Table Of Contents
- Nationality and Immigration Act of 1965 in USA
- National statistics Commission
- Defence acquisition council
- UNCLOS and PCA
1. Nationality and Immigration Act of 1965 in USA
Last month US government decided to temporarily stop issuing H-1B and H-4 visas along with a slew of restrictions on legal immigration
- In recent years, about 70 per cent of H1-1B visas have gone to Indian nationals.
- The burden of the suspension will fall mainly on US high-tech firms, and on Indian IT services firms that rely on temporary skilled migration for a part of their US operations.
Origin of Indians’ migration to USA
- Indians began to migrate to US in significant numbers only in the late 1960s after the passage of the Nationality and Immigration Act of 1965 by USA.
- The new law replaced the national origin quotas with distribution of visas with preferences based on family relationships and skills subject to caps for individual countries.
- Prior to that, there were restrictions on the immigration of Indians and of most other Asians. There were national origin quotas in immigration laws that favored countries of Northwestern Europe.
Farmers from various parts of Maharashtra have complained of germination failure of soyabean seeds.
- Seed companies start their work for seed preparation, which involves procurement of seeds either from the farmers or growing them on their own plots, well before the season.
- Treatment of the seed with bio-fertilsers, insecticidesetc is followed by the certification process.
- During this process, germination tests are carriedout, and seeds which fail to produce 70 per cent yield and more germination, are rejected.
- Unseasonal rain in October and November last year had affected the quality of the seed, which had put a question mark over seed availability and quality for the current season.
- The lockdown from March had also put brakes on the seed production and certification process, both in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh
- Soyabean is one of the fastest growing crops in India. Soyabean is grown as a Kharif Crop in India.
- Soyabean is an oilseed produced forextracting edible oils.
- Soyabean is mostly grown in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These two states together produce about 90 per cent of total output of soyabean in the country
Subject: Science and tech
India has completed its 50% contribution to ITER in France
- ITER is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today.
- In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.
- The ITER Members China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United Stateshave combined resources to conquer one of the greatest frontiers in science. As signatories to the ITER Agreement, concluded in 2006, the seven Members will share of the cost of project construction, operation and decommissioning. They also share the experimental results and any intellectual property generated by the fabrication, construction and operation phases.
- ITER-India is a special project under Institute for Plasma Research.
- It is governed by the Empowered Board, which is chaired by the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
- India became a full seventh partner of ITER in December 2005.
- ITER-India, Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), located in Gandhinagar, western India, is the Indian Domestic Agency to design, build and deliver the Indian in-kind contribution to ITER
What is fusion?
- Fusion is the energy source of the Sun and stars.
- In the tremendous heat and gravity at the core of these stellar bodies, hydrogen nuclei collide, fuse into heavier helium atoms and release tremendous amounts of energy in the process.
- Twentieth-century fusion science identified the most efficient fusion reaction in the laboratory setting to be the reaction between two hydrogen isotopes, deuterium (D) and tritium (T). The DT fusion reaction produces the highest energy gain at the “lowest” temperatures.
4. National statistics Commission
The Draft National Statistics Commission Bill has been put out on public domain for comments.
- Draft bill aimed at empowering the National Statistical Commission (NSC) to become the nodal body for all core statistics in the country.
- It proposed to give sweeping power to the commission on its authority over non-government agencies by making compliance of non-government agencies to mandatory audit.
- The draft bill proposes to restructure the composition of NSC.
- C.Rangarajan Commission set up in 2000 has recommended to establish a permanent National Commission on Statistics to serve as a nodal and empowered body for all core statistical activities of the country, evolve, monitor and enforce statistical priorities and standards and to ensure statistical co-ordination among the different agencies involved.
- In line with the recommendations in 2005, the Government of India has set up a National Statistical Commission (NSC) through a resolution.
- The Commission has a part-time Chairperson, four part-time Members and an ex-officio Member. The Chief Statistician of India is the Secretary of the Commission. He is also the Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Five policemen have been arrested and charged with murder in relation to the custodial deaths of a father and son in Tamil Nadu which created debate over torture.
UN Convention against Torture
- The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT or the Convention) is an international human rights treaty which mandates a global prohibition on torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and creates an instrument to monitor governments and hold them to account.
- The UNCAT was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1984 and came into force on 26 June 1987.
- The absolute prohibition on torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment is also accepted as a principle of customary international law.
- There are 16 substantive articles of the UNCAT which describe the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the absolute prohibition against torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and various additional procedural provisions.
- On ratification, all the obligations in the UNCAT become binding legal commitments.
- Although India signed the UNCAT in 1997, it is yet to ratify it.
- In 2010, Prevention of Torture Bill was passed by the LokSabha, and the RajyaSabha later sent it to a select Committee for review. But the Bill was lapsed.
Article 21 and Right against Torture
- In Francis Coralie Mullin v. Union Territory of Delhi (1981) and SheelaBarse v. State of Maharashtra (1987), Supreme Court condemned cruelty and torture as violative of Article 21. This interpretation of Article 21 is consistent with the principles contained in the UNCAT.
6. Defence acquisition council
Subject: Government bodies
Deals worth ₹38,900 crore for 3 new fighter jets has been approved.
- It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on ‘Reforming the National Security System’, in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).
- The Defence Acquisition Council is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard.
- The Minister of Defence is the Chairman of the Council.
- The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that India is entitled to get compensation in the Italian marines case but can’t prosecute them.
- The two Italian marines are accused of shooting down two Indian fishermen in Kerala in 2012.
- The tribunal ruled that the Italian marines enjoyed diplomatic immunity as Italian state officials under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea.
- Italy had approached the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, an arbitral tribunal under the International Court of Justice in 2015, and the matter was heard by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in July 2019.
- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is an international treaty which was adopted and signed in 1982.
- It replaced the four Geneva Conventions of April, 1958, which respectively concerned the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the continental shelf, the high seas, fishing and conservation of living resources on the high seas.
- The Convention has created three new institutions on the international scene :
- the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
- the International Seabed Authority
- the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf
- UNCLOS as the currently prevailing law of the sea is binding completely.
- There are 17 parts, 320 articles and nine annexes to UNCLOS
- The law of the sea provides for full rights to nations for a 200-mile zone from their shoreline. The sea and oceanic bed extending this area is regarded to be Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and any country can use these waters for their economic utilization.
- The PCA was the first permanent intergovernmental organization to provide a forum for the resolution of international disputes through arbitration and other peaceful means.
- The PCA was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, concluded at The Hague in 1899 during the first Hague Peace Conference.
- The PCA has 122 Contracting Parties.