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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 05 May 2021

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. Supreme Court strikes down W.B. law on regulating real estate.

2. Centre moves SC against Delhi HC’s contempt notice over oxygen supply.

3. Returning officer has final say in recount of votes.

4. A ‘One Health’ approach that targets people, animals.

5. G7 seeks common front on China.

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Moorhen Yoga Mat.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Supreme Court strikes down W.B. law on regulating real estate:


Context:

The Supreme Court has struck down West Bengal’s law on regulating the real estate sector in the State, and said it was “unconstitutional” as the statute encroached upon the Centre’s Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.

  • Also, in exercise of the jurisdiction under Article 142, the Court directed that the striking down of the law will not affect the registrations, sanctions and permissions previously granted under the legislation prior to the date of this judgment.

Why the court struck it down?

  • The top court said that by enacting West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (WB-HIRA), 2017, what the legislature of the State has attempted to achieve is to set up its parallel legislation involving a “parallel regime’.
  • It said that the State legislature has encroached upon the legislative authority of Parliament which has supremacy within the ambit of the subjects falling within the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule.

What the Constitution says?

Article 254(1) in The Constitution Of India 1949:

(1) If any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament which Parliament is competent to enact, or to any provision of an existing law with respect to one of the matters enumerated in the Concurrent List, then, subject to the provisions of clause ( 2 ), the law made by Parliament, whether passed before or after the law made by the Legislature of such State, or, as the case may be, the existing law, shall prevail and the law made by the Legislature of the State shall, to the extent of the repugnancy, be void.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Article 142.
  2. About Article 254.
  3. Subjects under 7th schedule.
  4. What happens to states laws inconsistent with Central laws?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of Article 254(1) in The Constitution Of India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Centre moves SC against Delhi HC’s contempt notice over oxygen supply:


Context:

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea of the Centre against Delhi High Court’s order issuing contempt notice and seeking personal appearance of its officials for non-compliance of the direction on supply of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients in the national capital.

What’s the issue?

The Delhi High Court had directed the Centre to show cause as to why contempt should not be initiated against it for failing to comply with its order on the supply of oxygen to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients.

Contempt of court can be of two kinds:

Civil, that is the willful disobedience of a court order or judgment or willful breach of an undertaking given to a court.

Criminal, that is written or spoken words or any act that scandalises the court or lowers its authority or prejudices or interferes with the due course of a judicial proceeding or interferes/obstructs the administration of justice.

Relevant provisions:

  1. Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt.
  2. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of the High Court to punish contempts of its subordinate courts.
  3. The Constitution also includes contempt of court as a reasonable restriction to the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19, along with elements like public order and defamation.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Powers of SC vs HCs wrt Contempt cases.
  2. Constitutional provisions in this regard.
  3. Changes brought about by Contempt of Courts (Amendment) Act, 2006.
  4. Civil vs Criminal contempt.
  5. Rights under Article 19.
  6. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 is related to?

Mains Link:

Discuss how contempt cases are handled by Supreme Court in India.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: RPA related issues.

Returning officer has final say in recount of votes:


Context:

The Election Commission of India recently took cognisance of media reports on recounting at Nandigram assembly constituency in West Bengal, to clarify that the returning officer appointed by the poll panel is the final authority under the law to take decision on such matter.

What’s the issue?

The Nandigram assembly constituency saw a tough, nail-biting battle between incumbent West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her former aide, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikary.

Ultimately, the election commission declared Adhikari had won by a margin of 1,956 votes. Mamata’s party Trinamool Congress immediately demanded a recount but was turned down by the EC.

Roles and powers of Returning Officer under the Representation of the People Act, 1951:

  • The returning officer of an assembly constituency performs statutory functions under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in quasi-judicial capacity
  • Whether it is nomination, polling or counting, the RO acts strictly in accordance with the extant electoral laws, instructions and guidelines of the ECI.
  • When an application for recounting of votes is made the returning officer shall decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject it in its entirety if it appears to him to be frivolous or unreasonable.

What lies ahead?

In such a case, only legal remedy is to file an EP (election petition) before the high court.

  • As per provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the decision of a returning officer can only be challenged through an election petition under section 80 of the Act.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key Provisions of RPA.
  2. Roles and powers of Returning Officer.
  3. Appeals against EC’s orders.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

A ‘One Health’ approach that targets people, animals:


Context:

Various studies indicate that more than two-thirds of existing and emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, or can be transferred between animals and humans, and vice versa, when the pathogen in question originates in any life form but circumvents the species barrier.

  • The transboundary impact of viral outbreaks in recent years such as the Nipah virus, Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Avian Influenza has further reinforced the need for us to consistently document the linkages between the environment, animals, and human health.

This forces us to acknowledge the interconnectedness of animals, humans, and the environment, an approach referred to as “One Health”.

What is OneHealth concept?

  • One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, as defined by the One Health Initiative Task Force.
  • One Health model facilitates interdisciplinary approach in disease control so as to control emerging and existing zoonotic threats.

India’s framework, plans:

India’s ‘One Health’ vision derives its blueprint from the agreement between the tripartite-plus alliance comprising the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — a global initiative supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank under the overarching goal of contributing to ‘One World, One Health’.

  • In keeping with the long-term objectives, India established a National Standing Committee on Zoonoses as far back as the 1980s.
  • This year, funds were sanctioned for setting up a ‘Centre for One Health’ at Nagpur.
  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) has launched several schemes to mitigate the prevalence of animal diseases since 2015, with a funding pattern along the lines of 60:40 (Centre: State); 90:10 for the Northeastern States, and 100% funding for Union Territories.

Need for coordination:

Scientists have observed that there are more than 1.7 million viruses circulating in wildlife, and many of them are likely to be zoonotic, which implies that unless there is timely detection, India risks facing many more pandemics in times to come.

What needs to be done?

  1. Consolidate existing animal health and disease surveillance systems — e.g., the Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health and the National Animal Disease Reporting System.
  2. Develop best-practice guidelines for informal market and slaughterhouse operation (e.g., inspections, disease prevalence assessments).
  3. Create mechanisms to operationalise ‘One Health’ at every stage down to the village level.

one_health

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. One Health component under the National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Well Being.
  2. Zoonotic vs vector-borne diseases.
  3. Common OneHealth issues.

Mains Link:

One Health model is a globally accepted model for research on epidemiology, diagnosis and control of zoonotic diseases. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

G7 seeks common front on China:


Context:

The Group of Seven wealthy democracies recently discussed how to form a common front towards an increasingly assertive China in the Foreign Ministers’ first in-person talks in two years.

  • The recent meet also focused on the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea.

What’s the issue?

China’s growing military and economic clout and willingness to exert its influence at home and abroad have increasingly unnerved Western democracies.

Outcomes of the meet:

  1. US pledged “robust cooperation” with Britain in pressuring China over the Xinjiang region, where Beijing’s incarceration of one million Uighurs and other Muslims has been labelled genocide by Washington, and over a clampdown against civil rights in Hong Kong.
  2. Britain called for “holding Beijing to the commitments that they’ve made”, including on Hong Kong, which was promised a separate system before London handed over the colony in 1997.
  3. The countries also called for “finding constructive ways to work with China in a sensible and positive manner where that’s possible” — including on climate change.

What is G7?

  • The G7, originally G8, was set up in 1975 as an informal forum bringing together the leaders of the world’s leading industrial nations.
  • The summit gathers leaders from the European Union (EU) and the following countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The major purpose of the G-7 is to discuss and deliberate on international economic issues. It sometimes acts in concert to help resolve other global problems, with a special focus on economic issues.

How did G7 become G8?

  • Russia was formally inducted as a member in the group in 1998, which led G7 to become G8.
  • However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condemnable act of moving Russian troops into eastern Ukraine and conquering Crimea in 2014 drew heavy criticism from the other G8 nations.
  • The other nations of the group decided to suspend Russia from the G8 as a consequence of its actions and the group became G7 again in 2014.

g20_g8_g7

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Groups: G7, G8, G10, G15, G20, G24 countries.
  2. Geographical location of member countries.

Mains Link:

Discuss the relevance of G7 countries today. What are the reforms necessary to make the grouping more effective?

Sources: the Hindu.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil:


Context:

Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas flagged off the first supply of UCO (Used Cooking Oil) based Biodiesel blended Diesel.

Background:

To create an eco-system for collection and conversion of UCO into Biodiesel, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas had initiated Expressions of Interest for “Procurement of Bio-diesel produced from Used Cooking Oil” on the occasion of World Biofuel Day on 10th August 2019.

  • Under this initiative, OMCs offer periodically incremental price guarantees for five years and extend off-take guarantees for ten years to prospective entrepreneurs.

Concerns associated with the consumption of used cooking oil (UCO):

  • During frying, several properties of oil are altered, Total Polar Compounds (TPC) are formed on repeated frying.
  • The toxicity of these compounds is associated with several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver diseases.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is a biofuel?
  2. Categorisation of biofuels.
  3. Overview of National Policy on Biofuels.
  4. What is ethanol? How is it produced?

Mains Link:

Discuss the importance of biofuels for India? Critically examine whether the national policy on biofuels will help India unlock it’s biofuel potential?

Sources: PIB.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Moorhen Yoga Mat:

  • It is a biodegradable and compostable yoga mat developed from water hyacinth by six young girls from the fishing community in Assam.
  • It could turn this water plant from a nuisance to wealth.

Background:

The intervention was triggered through an initiative by North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India to involve the entire women community associated with a collective called ‘Simang’ meaning dream, led by the 6 girls to create wealth from water hyacinth plants.


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