Daily Prelims Notes 7 April 2021
- April 7, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
7 April 2021
Table Of Contents
- WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
- CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA
- CIVIL DEFENCE VOLUNTEERS
- REAL EXCHANGE RATE
- PM KUSUM
- CENTRAL VIGILANCE COMMISSION
- DISQUALIFICATION OF MLAs
- SOUTH ASIA WOMEN IN ENERGY
Subject: International Reports
Context: In its annual World Economic Outlook, the Washington-based global financial institution said that the Indian economy is expected to grow by 6.9 per cent in 2022.
- Also, the IMF projected an impressive 12.5 per cent growth rate for India in 2021, stronger than that of China, the only major economy to have a positive growth rate last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In 2020, India’s economy contracted by a record eight per cent.
World Economic Outlook
- WEO is a survey by the IMF that is usually published twice a year in the months of April and October.
- It analyzes and predicts global economic developments during the near and medium term.
- In response to the growing demand for more frequent forecast updates, the WEO Update is published in January and July between the two main WEO publications released usually in April and October.
- IMF also releases Global Financial Stability Report.
Context: President Ram NathKovind has appointed Justice N V Ramana as the 48th Chief Justice of India with effect from April 24, 2021, accepting the recommendation made by the outgoing CJI SA Bobde.
- The Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court (SC) are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.
- As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
- The Union Law Minister forwards the recommendation to the Prime Minister who, in turn, advises the President.
- SC in the Second Judges Case (1993), ruled that the senior most judge of the Supreme Court should alone be appointed to the office of the CJI.
- The Supreme Court collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
- The collegium system is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court (Judges Cases), and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
Administrative Powers of CJI (Master of Roster):
- It is common to refer to the office as primus inter pares – first amongst equals.
- Besides his adjudicatory role, the CJI also plays the role of the administrative head of the Court.
- In his administrative capacity, the Chief Justice exercises the prerogative of allocating cases to particular benches.
- The Chief Justice also decides the number of judges that will hear a case.
- Thus, he can influence the result by simply choosing judges that he thinks may favour a particular outcome.
- Such administrative powers can be exercised without collegial consensus, and without any stated reasons.
Subject: Current Events
Context: Argument between students, Delhi Civil Defence volunteers turns violent.
- Civil Defence operates under the Civil Defence Act and associated rules and regulations.
- The Act was amended in 2009 and a notification was issued in 2010 to include disaster management as an additional role.
- Civil Defence is primarily organised on voluntary basis except for a small nucleus of paid staff and establishment which is augmented during emergencies.
- Although it is a Central law, Section 4 of the Civil Defence Act empowers State governments to raise corps at the local administration level as per their requirement. The District Magistrate, District Collector or Deputy Commissioner is designated as Controller of the Civil Defence.
Eligibility for becoming a Civil Defence Volunteer:
- A person who intends to apply for appointment to a Civil Defence Corps must fulfil the following conditions;
- s/he shall be a citizen of India, or a subject or Sikkim or of Bhutan or of Nepal.
- s/he shall have completed the age of 18 years provided that this age limit may be relaxed at the discretion of the competent authority up to a maximum of 3 years for any branch or category of the Corps.
- s/he shall have passed at least the primary standard, that is to say, the fourth class, and this condition may be relaxed by the Controller at this discretion.
- Both men and women shall be eligible for appointment to the Corps.
Context: Recently, the Chief Justice of India has launched the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE).
About Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE)
- It is a tool that collects relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge.
- It is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) portal which is designed to make research easier for judges, thereby easing their workload.
- It is not designed to take decisions, but only to process facts and to make them available to judges looking for an input for a decision.
- It is a perfect blend of human intelligence and machine learning and ‘a hybrid system’, which works better with human intelligence.
Subject: International Relations
Context: The head of the meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) said the session had been a “constructive” one and the member states have unity to lift the sanctions on Iran.
- Commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015
- It is signed between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany) together with the European Union.
- Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years.
- For the next 15 years Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time.
- Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks.
- To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities.
- The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and UNSC nuclear-related sanctions.
- On 5 January 2020, in the aftermath of the Baghdad Airport Airstrike that targeted and killed Iranian general QassemSoleimani, Iran declared that it would no longer abide by the limitations of the deal but would continue to coordinate with the IAEA, leaving open the possibility of resuming compliance.
Subject: International organisations
Context: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday urged NATO to speed up his country’s membership in the alliance, saying it was the only way to end fighting with pro-Russia separatists.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
- It is an intergovernmental military alliance.
- Established by Washington treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
- Headquarters — Brussels, Belgium.
- Headquarters of Allied Command Operations — Mons, Belgium.
- It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
- Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 30. The most recent member state to be added to NATO was North Macedonia on 27 March 2020.
- NATO membership is open to “any other European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”
- Political – NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.
- Military – NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations.
- These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO’s founding treaty – Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.
Real Effective Exchange Rate – REER
- The real effective exchange rate (REER) is the weighted average of a country’s currency in relation to an index or basket of other major currencies.
- The weights are determined by comparing the relative trade balance of a country’s currency against each country within the index.
- This exchange rate is used to determine an individual country’s currency value relative to the other major currencies in the index.
- Countries with the largest trading relationships would typically have the largest weightings in this comparative index, while countries with small trading relationships would have smaller weightings in the basket of currencies.
- REER is used to evaluate how a currency is fluctuating against many others at once, and is also used in international trade assessments.
- The nominal effective exchange rate (NEER) is an unadjusted weighted average rate at which one country’s currency exchanges for a basket of multiple foreign currencies.
- The nominal exchange rate is the amount of domestic currency needed to purchase foreign currency.
- In economics, the NEER is an indicator of a country’s international competitiveness in terms of the foreign exchange (forex) market. Forex traders sometimes refer to the NEER as the trade-weighted currency index.
- The NEER may be adjusted to compensate for the inflation rate of the home country relative to the inflation rate of its trading partners. The resulting figure is the real effective exchange rate (REER).
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) has commissioned the country’s first farm-based solar power project under the PM-KUSUM scheme.
- The PM-KUSUM scheme was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to support installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas and reduce dependence on grid, in grid-connected areas.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had in February 2019 approved the launch of the scheme with the objective of providing financial and water security.
- The government’s Budget for 2020-21 expanded the scope for the scheme with 20 lakh farmers to be provided assistance to install standalone solar pumps; another 15 lakh farmers to be given help to solarise their grid-connected pump sets.
- This will enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their barren lands and to sell it to the grid.
Components of the PM-KUSUM:
- PM-KUSUM consists of three components and aims to add a solar capacity of 30.8 GW by 2022:
- Component-A: 10,000 MW of decentralised ground-mounted grid-connected renewable power plants.
- Component-B: Installation of two million standalone solar-powered agriculture pumps.
- Component-C: Solarisation of 1.5 million grid-connected solar-powered agriculture pumps.
Subject : Governance
Context : Central Vigilance Commission officers will be transferred every 3 years from now onwards.
- The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has modified the guidelines pertaining to the transfer and posting of officials in the vigilance units of government organisations, restricting their tenure to three years at one place.
- The tenure may be extended to three more years, albeit at a different place of posting.
- According to the CVC, undue long stay of an official in a vigilance department had the potential of developing vested interests, apart from giving rise to unnecessary complaints or allegations.
- Central Vigilance Commission is the apex vigilance institution, free of control from any executive authority, monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government and advising various authorities in Central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.
- The CVC was set up by the Government in February, 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam.
- In 2003, the Parliament enacted CVC Act conferring statutory status on the CVC.
- The CVC is not controlled by any Ministry/Department. It is an independent body which is only responsible to the Parliament.
- The CVC receives complaints on corruption or misuse of office and to recommend appropriate action.
- Following institutions, bodies, or a person can approach to CVC: Central government , Lokpal , Whistle blowers.
- A whistleblower is a person, who could be an employee of a company, or a government agency, or an outsider (like media, higher government officials, or police) disclosing information to the public or some higher authority about any wrongdoing, which could be in the form of fraud, corruption, etc.
- It is not an investigating agency. The CVC either gets the investigation done through the CBI or through chief vigilance officers (CVO) in government offices.
- It is empowered to inquire into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by certain categories of public servants.
- Its annual report gives the details of the work done by the commission and points to systemic failures which lead to corruption in government departments.
- Improvements and preventive measures are also suggested in report.
Subject : Polity
Context : Recently, the Goa Assembly Speaker has agreed to pass orders on a Congress leader’s petition seeking disqualification of 10 party MLAs who had joined the opposition in July 2019.
Constitutional Provisions for Disqualification of MLAs
- Under the Constitution, a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as and for being a member of the legislative assembly or legislative council of a state:
- If he holds any office of profit under the Union or state government (except that of a minister or any other office exempted by state legislature),
- If he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a court,
- If he is an undischarged insolvent,
- If he is not a citizen of India or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance to a foreign state, and
- If he is so disqualified under any law made by Parliament.
Parliamentary Provisions for Disqualification of MLAs
- The Parliament has prescribed a number of additional disqualifications in the Representation of People Act (1951) and the same is followed by Legislative Assembly and Council:
- He must not have been found guilty of certain election offences or corrupt practices in the elections.
- He must not have been convicted for any offence resulting in imprisonment for two or more years.
- But, the detention of a person under a preventive detention law is not a disqualification.
- He must not have failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time.
- He must not have any interest in government contracts, works or services.
- He must not be a director or managing agent nor hold an office of profit in a corporation in which the government has at least 25 per cent share.
- He must not have been dismissed from government service for corruption or disloyalty to the state.
- He must not have been convicted for promoting enmity between different groups or for the offence of bribery.
- He must not have been punished for preaching and practicing social crimes such as untouchability, dowry and sati.
- The governor’s decision is final on the question whether a member has become subject to any of the above disqualifications.
- The governor should obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and act accordingly.
Disqualification on Ground of Defection
- The Constitution lays down that a person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of state legislature if he is so disqualified on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.
- The question of disqualification under the Tenth Schedule is decided by the Chairman, in the case of legislative council and, Speaker, in the case of legislative assembly.
- In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that the decision of Chairman/Speaker in this regard is subject to judicial review.
Subject : International Relations
Context : India is a “red-hot” investment opportunity because of its “clean energy” shift, said U.S. special envoy, suggesting that having the US as a partner in tackling climate change is a unique advantage at a virtual conference for South Asian women involved in the energy industry.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) have officially launched the “South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) platform to promote women’s empowerment and gender sensitization in the energy sector in South Asia region.
- SAWIE aims to provide a platform for women to form a collaborative and strategic approach towards reaching gender equality goals and building strong pillars across the energy sector.
- This platform will bring together women leaders across the energy sector to work together on designing interventions in outreach and recruitment; mentorship and leadership; and professional development that can help bridge gender gaps.
- USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results.
- The Market Integration and Transformation Program for Energy Efficiency (MAITREE), is a part of the US-India bilateral Partnership between the Ministry of Power and USAID and is aimed at accelerating the adoption of cost-effective energy efficiency as a standard practice within buildings, and specifically focuses on cooling.