Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 March 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 March 2017


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

Online Film Certification System

 

The ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched an Online Film Certification System- or E-Cinepramaan. This is aimed at enhancing ease of doing business in the country. The objective is to eliminate the need for human interface to the extent possible.

  • The new online certification system would be an important step in making the CBFC Office paper less and would enable effective monitoring & real time progress tracking for both CBFC Officials and the applicant (Producers).

 

cbfc

The Salient features of the online film certification system are as follows:

  • In the e-cinepramaan, the status of each application would be visible online in the dashboard of the producer/concerned CBFC official.
  • In case of short films/promos/trailers less than 10 minutes, even for Examination purposes also, the producer need not visit the Office/Theatre. They can merely submit their creations online.
  • For films longer than 10 minutes, the applicant will only have to show the film at the Examining theatre and will not have to visit the CBFC Offices at all except to collect their certificates.
  • The producer/applicant would be informed by SMS/e-mail of the status of their application and any action needed, beginning from the receipt of application to the certificate collection.
  • The transparency in the system and elimination of middle men would mitigate chances of any corruption and would also avoid allegations of jumping the queue or rigging up of Examination committees.
  • The implementation of QR code on the certificates would eliminate chances of fraudulent certificates.
  • The system envisages a robust MIS system for performance tracking and efficient reporting.
  • The system has inbuilt alerts depending on the pendency of the application to ensure that time limits prescribed by the Rules are not violated.
  • Simultaneously, a new CBFC Website has also been developed bringing in new user friendly features and important information at the click of a button.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

By 2021, 4 out of 10 jobs would be lost to automation

 

Automation is the new normal in sectors like engineering, manufacturing, automobiles, IT and banking. As automation adoption increases, all high transaction and labour intensive jobs will take a hit. Experts say, this will affect the bottom of the pyramid so much so that four out of every 10 jobs globally would be lost due to this by 2021.

automation

Concerns:

  • There will be a visible change in the next 3-4 years, first major effects will be seen in the sectors like manufacturing, IT and ITeS and security services and agriculture.
  • By 2021, four out of every 10 jobs globally would be lost because of automation. And of these, one in every four will be from India. That sums up to 23% of job loss in India.
  • India produces 5.5 million jobs (across levels) every year, but this number falls short of jobs needed to employ available talent and automation is further increasing the gap.
  • Low skill and high transaction jobs will be affected as automation takes away their jobs. Hiring for short term projects, flexi hiring would be the way forward in these areas for roles that cannot be automated.

 

Way ahead:

Automation will not take away all the jobs because you still need someone to build and monitor the robots. So, while jobs mostly at the bottom of pyramid will be affected, new jobs will get added.

However, to cater to this fallout, government needs to focus on two key areas:

  • Strengthening the mid-market segment.
  • Reskilling the workforce to take up new jobs which will emerge post automation.

 

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Emission Norms: Supreme Court Tells Automobile Firms Not To Delay BS-IV Roll Out

 

The Supreme Court has asked automobile companies not to frustrate the government’s initiative to check increasing levels of pollution by selling BS-III vehicles which they are holding in stock.

BS norms

What’s the issue?

Companies have been seeking permission to sell their existing stock of BS-III vehicles even after Bharat Stage-IV emission norms come into force from April 1. The motor companies are holding a stock of 8,24,275 BS-III vehicles, which includes 96,724 commercial vehicles, 6,71,308 two-wheelers, 40,048 three-wheelers and 16,198 cars.

  

What has the Court said?

The Supreme Court, which is hearing pleas of automobile manufacturers, indicated that either it will ban registration of such vehicles or impose costs to compensate for the health hazards created by pollution.

 

What has the government said?

The Centre has come out in support of auto manufacturers and urged the Supreme Court to allow the companies to sell their existing stock of BS-III vehicles even after Bharat Stage-IV emission norms come into force from April 1.

 

The government has argued for the case on the following grounds:

  • The existing rules that govern migration of emission standards provide only for halting of manufacturing of vehicles that comply to the previous norms.
  • These rules have not been challenged or objected to at any stage.
  • The same set of rules were followed when the country moved on to BS III emission norms.
  • Sale and registration of BS III vehicles can continue as these vehicles do not become redundant. They can very well be run on BS IV fuel.
  • The stock of BS III vehicles that remain unsold account for a tiny fraction of the 19 crore vehicles already plying on the roads.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Mental Healthcare Bill

mental health care

The Parliament has passed the ‘Mental Healthcare Bill’ in the Lok Sabha that decriminalizes suicide attempt by mentally ill people and provides services for people with mental illness.

Aim: The bill aims to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and ensure these persons have the right to live a life with dignity by not being discriminated against or harassed.

 

Definition:

The Bill defines “mental illness” as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs, but does not include mental retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.

Mental illness shall be determined in accordance with such nationally or internationally accepted medical standards.

 

Important provisions under the Mental Healthcare Bill:

Rights of persons with mental illness: This provision states that every person will have the right to access mental healthcare from services which are operated or funded by the government. It also includes good quality, easy and affordable access to services. It also provides for the right to equality of treatment, seeks to protect such persons from inhuman treatment, access to free legal services, their medical records, and the right to complain in the event of regarding deficiencies in provisions.

Advance Directive: This provision empowers a mentally-ill person to have the right to make an advance directive that explains how she/he wants to be treated for the requisite illness and who her/his nominated representative shall be. This directive has to be vetted by a medical practitioner.

Mental Health Establishments: This provision states that every mental health establishment has to be registered with the respective Central or State Mental Health Authority. For registration, the concerned establishment needs to fulfill different criteria as mentioned in the Bill.

Procedures: The bill also outlines the procedure and process for admission, treatment and subsequent discharge of mentally ill persons.

Mental Health Review Commission and Board: This is a quasi-judicial body responsible for reviewing procedure for making advance directives. It will also advise the government on the protection of mentally ill persons’ rights. It further states that the body in agreement with the state governments constitute Mental Health Review Boards in states’ districts.

Decriminalising suicide and prohibiting electro-convulsive therapy: The most notable of all is this provision effectively decriminalises suicide attempt under the Indian Penal Code by mentally ill persons by making it non-punishable. Electro-convulsive therapy, which is allowed only with the use of anaesthesia, is however out of bounds for minors.

 

Background:

India is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international human rights treaty of the United Nations. Around 6-7% of India’s population suffers from some kind of mental illnesses.

 

Sources: the hindu. indian express


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation. 

 

‘Triple talaq not in SC purview’

 

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) recently told the Supreme Court that the court had no jurisdiction to hear petition challenging the practices of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy.

triple talaq

Why?

The Board said the validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Koran and sources based on it, could not be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution.

It said, the petitions, filed by a plethora of Muslim women against the practices, were misconceived. The preamble of the Constitution clearly enshrines values of liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship,” the AIMPLB argued in an affidavit filed before the court.

 

Background:

The government had earlier opposed the AIMPLB stand in court that triple talaq was intended to save the family from delayed justice in conventional courts and to avoid mud-slinging in public.

  • The Board had contended that concern and sympathy for women lay at the core of polygamy. That it was a better option for a “barren” wife to allow her husband to marry a second time than let him indulge in a “mistress”.
  • The Centre had countered that in a secular democracy, any practice which left women socially, financially or emotionally vulnerable or subject to the whims and caprice of men folk was incompatible with the letter and spirit of Articles 14 and 15.”

 

Way ahead:

The Muslim body has called for judicial restraint as the issues in the petitions before the court fell within the legislative domain.

 

What is triple talaq?

‘Triple Talaq’ is a procedure of divorce under the Sharia Law which is a body of the Islamic law. Under this, a husband can divorce his wife by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ thrice.

 

Why triple talaq should be abolished?

  • In spite of protests by Muslim women and activists world-wide the procedure is still prevalent in most countries.
  • There are several instances where ‘triple talaq’ has enabled husbands to divorce their wives arbitrarily, devoid of any substantiation.
  • According to a study, 92% of Muslim women in India want oral triple talaq to go.
  • Oral talaq or ‘triple talaq’ delivered through new media platforms like Skype, text messages, email and WhatsApp have become an increasing cause of worry for the community.
  • The ‘triple talaq’ has been abolished in 21 countries including Pakistan, but is still prevalent in India.
  • The Centre reasons that these practices are against constitutional principles such as gender equality, secularism, international laws etc.
  • The government also argues that when these practices are banned in Islamic theocratic countries, the practices could have absolutely no base in religion and are only prevalent to permit the dominance of men over women.

 

Sources: the hindu, times of india


 

Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Find alternatives to pellet guns: SC

 

Reminding the government that it is a ‘welfare state’ meant to protect all without causing harm to none, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre to come up with alternatives to pellet guns used by security forces against agitators and stone-pelting mobs on the streets of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The court expressed its concern about how minors, students and innocent by-passers of the Valley become collateral damage, sometimes scarred permanently for life, in the battle for the streets between forces and the mobs. For their sake and that of their parents and loved ones, the court asked the government to consider other alternatives to quell the mobs.
  • The centre informed the court that security personnel battle for their own lives and use these guns, at the minimum, as a means of self-defence, and at the most, to bring law and order back on the streets.

 

pallet guns

Background:

In December 2016, the Supreme Court sought a similar assurance from the Jammu and Kashmir government to avoid the “indiscriminate” use of pellet guns on protesters in the restive State.

The court’s recent reservations about the use of pellet guns without “proper application of mind” came while hearing a petition filed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association.   

 

What are pellet guns?

They are a form of non-lethal crowd control methods used by police and military worldwide. The other popular methods are tear gas, water cannon, pepper spray, taser guns etc. Pellet guns are also popular in hunting and pest control.

 

What are they intended for?

Pellets guns are intended to injure individuals and cause pain. They are effective over short ranges up to 500 yards but when fired from close quarters can be lethal, particularly when sensitive parts like eyes are hit. Pellets can penetrate soft tissues.

 

Who manufactures them?

Pellet guns are manufactured at the Ordinance Factory, Ishapore.

 

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for prelims:

World Winter Games 2017:

  • World Winter Games 2017, also known as Special Olympics, was held in Austria. Austria, in 1993, became the first country outside the US to host the Special Olympics World Winter Games.
  • What is the Special Olympics? The Special Olympics comprise a group of athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The competition is held every two years, alternating between the Special Olympics World Summer Games and the Special Olympics World Winter Games.
  • Participating Athletes: Only those who are over eight years of age are allowed to participate. A competitor needs to be identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction.
  • Background: The Special Olympics are the brainchild of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who is the sister of former US president John F Kennedy. Shriver had organised informal sports events in her backyard in an effort to bring joy and a sense of belonging to those with intellectual disabilities for many years before she held the first Special Olympics World Games in 1968 in Chicago, where around 1,000 athletes from the US and Canada participated.
  • Performance of India: India finished its campaign at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria with a total of 73 medals, which included 37 gold medals, 10 silvers and 26 bronze.

 

China nominates Tai Chi for UNESCO list:

China has nominated Tai Chi, a form of ancient martial art, for inclusion in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

 

Cyclone Debbie:

A powerful cyclone- Debbie– has pummelled the north-east Australian coast, causing major damage, torrential rain and power cuts to tens of thousands of homes.