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[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 21 January 2023

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 ina 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

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

  1. Inclusivity in Judiciary: SC collegium firm on appointing gay lawyer as HC judge
  2. Poor infrastructure, staff crunch continues to plague healthcare in rural India: Centre
  3. Big Tech needs to pay news publishers for content: Govt

 

GS Paper 3:

  1. Alien plants growing together threatening tiger habitats

 

GS Paper 4:

  1. Centre issues guidelines to social media influencers to regulate promotions

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay/ Governance)

  1. Kerala’s Wayanad becomes the first district in the country to provide basic documents to all tribal people
  2. Divya S Iyer
  3. Harichandana Dasari
  4. Krishnanunni H
  5. What makes you happy?
  6. Quotes

 

Facts for Prelims

  1. Education for Democracy
  2. Additional Tier-1 bonds and the case against Yes Bank
  3. SC refuses Google stay on CCI order on ₹1,337 cr penalty
  4. Govt exempts key infra projects from wildlife fund rules
  5. Rising demand for kewda oil a blessing for 200,000 people in Odisha’s Ganjam
  6. India can lead efforts to find a new TB vaccine
  7. Jadavpur University team builds pollution map based on roadside dust
  8. Leopard 2 tank
  9. Mapping

 

Inclusivity in Judiciary: SC collegium firm on appointing gay lawyer as HC judge

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

 

Source: IE

Direction: The article mainly discusses the issue of appointing a judge of different sexual orientations and how it will ensure diversity in the judiciary.

  

Context:

  • The SC Collegium headed by CJI reiterated its decision to appoint five advocates as HC judges, including a senior advocate (Saurabh Kirpal), who if appointed, could be India’s first openly gay judge
  • Earlier the government had sought reconsideration of these names
  • The importance of diversity and inclusivity in the judiciary
  • Constitutional Morality vs Majoritarian and Social Morality
  • Transformative Constitutionalism and a Living Constitution

 

What are the objections made by the government?

  • A candidate’s sexual orientation and his “foreign-national” partner.
  • An advocate sharing content critical of the PM on social media.

 

Government’s position behind these objections: According to the Union Law Ministry, despite the fact that homosexuality is no longer a crime in India, same-sex marriage is still not recognized in either codified statutory law or uncodified personal law.

 

On what grounds Collegium reiterated its decision:

  • The SC (in Navtej Singh Johar case 2018), has established the constitutional position that every individual is entitled to maintain their own dignity and individuality, based on sexual orientation.
  • It would be clearly contrary to the SC’s constitutional principles to reject the candidacy on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • There is no reason to believe that the candidate’s Swiss national partner would be hostile to India because his home country is friendly.
  • All citizens have the right to free speech and expression, and the views critical to government do not disentitle a candidate from holding a constitutional office so long as s/he is a person of competence, merit and integrity.

 

Significance of appointing a judge of different sexual orientation:

  • His appointment will add value to the Bench of the Delhi HC and provide inclusion and diversity.
  • Diverse judges challenge and enhance one another’s perspectives.

 

Significance of Diversity in our Judiciary:

  • It refers to efforts to ensure that the composition of a nation’s judiciary reflects the diversity of the population it serves
  • Eg: measures to increase the representation of women, minorities, SC/STs, Divyangjan and other vulnerable sections like LGBTQ community.
  • “The social & geographical diversity must find its reflection at all levels of the judiciary as diversity on the bench promotes diversity of opinions & efficiency. People from different backgrounds enrich the Bench with their diverse experiences.”: Former CJI Ramana.

 

Conclusion: Several judgments have advanced and advocated for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. We must not sacrifice constitutional morality at the altar of social morality. The SC’s decision to make public the Government’s objections shed some light on the process, but it also heightens tensions with the Centre. Questions will be raised as to why the Collegium released only three objections, rather than all.

 

Quotes:

“We cannot change history but can pave a way for a better future. The Constitution is a living organism and it has to be given life. It is time to bid adieu to prejudicial perceptions deeply ingrained in societal mindset.”- Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India

 

InstaCurious:

DOCTRINE OF MANIFEST ARBITRARINESS:

If a law is drastically unreasonable, capricious, irrational or without adequate determining principle, excessive & disproportionate, it would be manifestly arbitrary.

Eg: Navtej Singh Johar’s judgement held that Section 377 was “manifestly arbitrary”

 

The Collegium system and the process for appointing judges to the higher judiciary:
  • The Collegium system (headed by the incumbent CJI) is the way by which judges of the SC and HCs are appointed and transferred.
  • The Collegium system is not rooted in the Constitution or a specific law promulgated by Parliament, rather it has evolved through judgments of the SC.
  • The Government’s role:
    • Names recommended for appointment reach the Government only after approval by the Collegium.
    • The role of the government in this entire process is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) if an advocate is to be elevated as a judge in an HC or the SC.
    • The government may also object to and seek clarification on the Collegium’s choices, but if the Collegium reiterates the same names, the government is bound to appoint them.

Insta Links:

Law Minister’s suggestion to CJI on the appointment of judges: The context and background

Poor infrastructure, staff crunch continues to plague healthcare in rural India: Centre

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

 

Source: DTE

 Direction: The article highlights the recent data related to rural healthcare in India and government initiatives to transform rural healthcare.

 Context: According to the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s Rural Health Statistics 2021-2022, India’s rural healthcare system continues to be plagued by a shortfall on two critical fronts – doctors and infrastructure.

 

The Indian healthcare system is divided into:

  • Sub-centres (SC): These are the first point of contact for a patient, catering to a population of 3,000-5,000.
  • Primary Health Centres (PHC): SC is succeeded by a PHC, which is required to look after the daily needs of 20,000-30,000 people (50,000-75,000 in urban areas).
  • Community Health Centres (CHC): They provide referrals and access to specialists, catering to 80,000-120,000 people (0.25-0.5 million in urban areas). 

 

Key highlights of the Rural Health Statistics 2021-2022:

  • There is a shortage of 83.2% of surgeons, 74.2% of obstetricians and gynaecologists, 79.1% of physicians and 81.6% of paediatricians.
  • Less than half the PHC (45%) function on a 24×7 basis.
  • Of the 5,480 functioning CHCs, only 541 have all four specialists.
  • SC, PHC and CHC facilities are overburdened across the board, with SCs currently looking after more than 5,000 people, PHCs catering to 36,049 people and CHCs to 164,027 people.
  • This, coupled with a human resource shortage (like auxiliary nurse midwives – ANM), plagues access to adequate and quality healthcare.
    • The shortage was most pronounced in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
    • SCs, PHCs and CHCs had more staff in 2021, at the height of the deadly second wave of COVID-19, as compared to now.

 

Other challenges faced by the Indian rural healthcare sector and additional statistics:

  • Low quality of care
  • Poor accountability
  • Absenteeism: “Even if the personnel are present, their level of participation in providing health services, may not be at desirable levels due to lack of supplies, inadequate infrastructure facilities, poor monitoring of the staff, and so on.”-Economic Survey 2018-19
  • Lack of awareness
  • Limited access to facilities
  • According to the National Health Profile (NHP) 2019, there are only 5 government hospitals per 100,000 population in rural India, compared to 3.5 in urban areas

  

Some of the government initiatives to transform rural healthcare:

  • Under Ayushman Bharat, the existing SCs and PHCs are being transformed into AB-Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) to deliver preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative services which are universal, free and close to the community.
  • PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) envisages increased investments in public health to provide better access to health in rural areas by:
    • Strengthening of HWCs in villages and cities for early detection of diseases
    • Support for Block Public Health Units (BPHU) in 11 high-focus States
    • Integrated district public health laboratories in all districts, etc.
  • National Ambulance Service under National Health Mission (NHM) for free transportation to health facilities.

  

Contribution of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM):

  • While there has been a decline in the past year, a huge improvement has been recorded as compared to 2005, when the government launched the NRHM (now subsumed under NHM).
  • For example, the number of allopathic doctors at PHCs has increased from 20,308 in 2005 to 30,640 in 2022, which is about a 51% increase.

 

Conclusion:

  • The focus should be placed on improving rural healthcare infrastructure and human resources. This will ensure that Indians living in even the most remote areas have access to effective healthcare.
  • This would be in line with India’s commitments as a welfare state and would also aid in the achievement of SDG 3 – Health for All.

 

InstaCurious:

Human Resources for Health (HRH)

As per WHO, Human Resources for Health (HRH) are defined as “the stock of all individuals engaged in the promotion, protection or improvement of population health”. This includes both public and private sectors and different domains of health systems, such as personal curative and preventive care, non-personal public health interventions, disease prevention, health promotion services, research, management and support services

 

Health systems require human resources for health (HRH) to ensure healthcare for all. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), HRH scarcity primarily affects low- and lower-middle-income countries (LICs and LMICs) like India

  

Quote:

Dr Devi Shetty, one of India’s most renowned doctors, remarked, “Beds do not treat people. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics are the ones who do it.”

 

Insta Links:

Rural Healthcare

 

Mains Links:

Q. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieving ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (UPSC 2018)

Big Tech needs to pay news publishers for content: Govt

GS Paper  2

Syllabus: Important Aspects of Governance, Transparency and Accountability

 

Source: TH

 

Direction: The article highlights the issues faced by the traditional news industry in India, suggestions to address these issues along with best practices and way ahead.

  

Context: According to the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry, as creators of original content, publishers of digital news platforms should receive a fair share of the revenue from big-tech platforms that act as aggregators.

 

Background: 

  • The statement was made at the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) media conference. DNPA is the umbrella organisation for the digital platforms of 17 top news publishers.
  • Big Tech has enabled unparalleled reach, engagement, and innovation in the news media. This has created an imbalance in bargaining power between Big Tech and News media

 

Issues faced by the news industry:

  • Post-Covid the financial health of both the digital news industry and its parent – the print news industry, is under strain.
  • This led to journalists losing jobs → journalism reducing in quality → a negative feedback loop.
  • The changing dynamics of the news publishing industry (with technological changes), their businesses and their impact on the social lives of citizens have raised questions.
  • It is obvious that if the traditional news industry continues to suffer, the future of journalism/Fourth Pillar will suffer as well.

 

Suggestions:

  • A fair share of the revenue from the Big Tech platforms (aggregator of the content) to original creators.
  • Political Will: Political support across party lines is essential in markets like India to level the playing field between Big Tech and the news media
  • The upcoming Digital India Act will address this issue of disproportionate control and the imbalance in the dynamics between content creation and content creators’ monetisation requirements – and the power that adtech companies and adtech platforms have.

 

International Scenario:

  • Best practices: Australia, Canada, France and the EU, through legislation and strengthening of their competition commissions have ensured a fair split of revenue among the creators of news content and the aggregators.
  • The Australian example: It has developed the landmark News Media Bargaining Code, which will ensure that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for the use of their content by digital platforms, such as Google and Facebook. The code aims to address the bargaining power imbalance between news media businesses and these digital platforms by requiring them to negotiate payment for the use of news content.
  • European Union: The Copyright Directive was adopted in 2019, which includes provisions that require digital platforms to negotiate fair and proportionate remuneration for the use of copyrighted content, including news.
  • France: It passed a law to enforce the European Copyright Directive— which granted ‘neighbouring rights’ to intellectual property owners, potentially allowing news publishers to negotiate agreements with Big Tech platforms for featuring their content.

 

Way ahead:

  • A policy response to curb unfair competition, which is reducing revenues, profitability and funding for quality journalism.
  • Political support is critical in markets such as India because, unlike in countries such as Australia, the media market was not concentrated, reducing each publisher’s bargaining power.

  

Conclusion: In a liberal and large democracy like India, it is important to have diverse and vigorous news media. Thus, for quality journalism, credible content and good governance and to secure the future of the 4th pillar of our democracy, issues faced by the news industry need to be addressed as soon as possible.

 

InstaCurious:

Neighbouring rights are a type of intellectual property rights that protect the rights of performers, producers of phonograms, and broadcasting organizations. These rights are designed to ensure that the creators and performers of creative works are fairly compensated for the use of their works. This concept of “ancillary copyright” or “neighbouring rights” creates a framework for news media to negotiate licensing fees with platforms that use their content.

 

Insta Links:

New India Debate – Role of Media In India

 

Mains Links:

Q. Though 100 per cent FDI is already allowed in non-news media like a trade publications and general entertainment channels, the government is mulling over the proposal for increased FDI in news media for quite some time. What difference would an increase in FDI make? Critically evaluate the pros and cons. (UPSC 2014)

Alien plants growing together threatening tiger habitats

GS Paper 3 

Source: DTE

 

Context: According to a study conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), several alien invasive plants (like Lantana Camara, Parthenium hysterophorous, Prosopis juliflora, etc) growing together can have a detrimental effect on the biodiversities in tiger habitats.

 

Invasive species:

  • Invasive/introduced/alien/exotic species are any non-native species that significantly modify or disrupt the ecosystem it colonises.
  • Such species may arrive in new areas through natural migration, but they are often introduced by the activities of other species like Humans.

 

Background:

  • The study was conducted in Kanha Tiger Reserve (MP), comparing uninvaded native forests with old-growth invasions of single and multiple alien plants.
  • India’s biodiverse ecosystems are threatened by a variety of alien plants, introduced during British colonisation. Lantana alone has pervasively invaded 44% of India’s forests.
  • Apart from their spread in different ecosystems, little is known and even greater confusion when one asks about how alien plants impact native ecosystems.

 

Highlights of the study:

  • Co-occurring invasive plants have a magnified cumulative impact than their individual impacts, causing ecological homogenisation in invaded regions.
  • Multiple alien species together affected soil nutrients and the abundance of rich grasses and herbs.
  • Depletion of the native plant populations → Reduced forage availability for herbivores like sambar and chital → diseases in the herbivores → threaten the sustenance of tiger, leopard and dhole.

 

What needs to be done? Prioritise restoration investments in the least invaded regions to retain native biodiversity and slowly upscale such restored habitats.

Centre issues guidelines to social media influencers to regulate promotions

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations, and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance;

 

Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

 Context: The Centre has released endorsement guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers that mandate compulsory disclosure of monetary or material benefits of a product or a brand they are promoting through their social media platforms.

  • The new guidelines emphasize the increased risk of consumers being misled by advertisements and unfair trade practices by some individuals on social media platforms.
  • Non-disclosure of brand affiliations by influencers may invite a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh.

  

What is ‘Endorsement’?

  • Endorsements are a form of advertising that uses famous personalities or celebrities who command a high degree of recognition, trust, respect, or awareness among the people.
  • Advertisers and clients hope such approval, or endorsement by a celebrity, will influence buyers favourably.
    • For example, Sachin Tendulkar endorsing motorcycles and biscuits can influence young men or children who look up to him as a role model.

  

How often do we follow influencers?

  • A report by iCubesWire Survey, a digital media marketing company, suggests that a major percentage of Indians choose brands based on the suggestions by influencers. 
  • 34 per cent of the respondents of the survey said they buy products or services after watching the social media posts of influencers. This content can be in the form of reels on Instagram or videos on popular social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, among others.

  

Who should disclose:

Individuals/groups who have access to an audience and the power to affect their audiences’ purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand, or experience, because of the influencer ‘ s/celebrity ‘ s authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.

A material connection could include but is not limited to benefits and incentives, such as:

  • Monetary or other compensation.
  • Free products with or without any conditions attached, including those received unsolicited, discounts, and gifts.
  • Contest and sweepstakes entries.
  • Trips or hotel stays.
  • Media barters.
  • Coverage and awards.
  • Any family, personal, or employment relationship.

 

 

Acts against misleading advertisements in India: 

  • The new guidelines are in alignment with the Consumer Protection Act, of 2019, which was enacted to protect consumers from unfair trade practices and deceptive advertising.
  • The department of consumer affairs published Guidelines for the Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022. The criteria for valid advertisements are outlined in these guidelines, as are the responsibilities of manufacturers, service providers, advertisers, and advertising agencies. These guidelines also addressed celebrities and endorsers. It states that misleading advertising in any form, format, or medium is illegal.

  

Global Scenario:

  • In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines for endorsements and testimonials in advertising, which also apply to social media. These guidelines require that any endorsements or testimonials be truthful and not misleading and that any material connections between the endorser and the advertiser be disclosed.
  • In the UK, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) provide guidance on advertising and sponsorship across all media, including social media influencer marketing.

  

Unethical Aspects of Celebrity Endorsement – We had already covered this in one of our previous articles – Responsibility of Celebrity Endorsers – Find the link below.

 

 Insta Links:

 

Mains Link:

Q. Do you think that the brand ambassadors of products should be held accountable for misleading advertisements and endorsements? Examine. (250 Words)

  

InstaCurious:

Ethical consumerism is the practice of making conscious & informed purchasing decisions based on a company’s social and environmental impact. It involves considering factors such as a company’s labour practices, environmental impact, and contributions to society when making a purchase.

In the context of influencer marketing, ethical consumerism relates to the choices that consumers make about which products and brands to support based on the values and practices of those brands and the influencers who promote them. Consumers may be more likely to trust and support products and brands that are endorsed by influencers who align with their own values and ethical principles.

 

Influencer marketing can also be considered ethical when influencers themselves are transparent about their partnerships and disclose their relationship with the brands they promote, and when brands use influencer marketing to promote sustainable, fair trade, or socially responsible products or services.

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (Ethics/Essay/ Governance)


Kerala’s Wayanad becomes the first district in the country to provide basic documents to all tribal people

Source: The Hindu

 Direction: This example can be used in governance case studies/Ethics case studies as an innovative step.

 

Context: Wayanad becomes the first district in the country to provide basic documents and facilities such as Aadhaar cards, ration cards, birth/death certificates, election ID cards, bank accounts and health insurance to all tribespeople.

 

Works done by the administration:

  • ABCD campaign organised by the Wayanad district administration for people’s awareness
  • Collaboration with different departments: It organised over 26 campaigns across the district so far with the support of the Revenue and Tribal Development departments, District IT Mission, and local administrative bodies
  • Ensuring basic documents to all citizens belonging to the Scheduled Tribes communities and these documents are digitalised and saved in DigiLocker accounts opened for them

  

Benefits:

  • People (mostly tribal) can avail themselves of the government incentives
  • It will save them the time and effort of visiting several offices
  • Digitalising the documents through DigiLocker will help the beneficiaries easily retrieve the documents in case they are lost or damaged
  • Build trust between people and the government

 

Direction: We are giving the list of good initiatives taken by civil servants every day (state-wise). One need not remember all the names or their work. Choose the one which connects with you and note it down for using it as an example in Essay/ Ethics/ Governance Mains Questions.

 

Divya S Iyer (Governance Award, Collector Pathanamthitta, Kerela)

Key work:

  • Crowd management at a key pilgrimage spot
  • Coordinating with 52 stakeholder departments
  • Safety walk and landslide hazard mapping carried out
  • Last year she delivered a speech at the sixth International Film Festival of Adoor with her three-and-a-half -year old son in her
      • While critics pointed out the ‘propriety’, those backing Iyer, highlighted the multiple roles women play and their right to have their moments with their children.

Harichandana Dasari (Governance Award in Public Amenities, Narayanpet, Telangana)

She is well-known for her work as an officer passionate about the environment and a recycling champion (Eco-Warrior). She left her prestigious job at World Bank in London to come back to India and become an IAS officer.

Key works:

  • Innovative toilet models
  • More than 11,000 public toilets were set up in 3 months
  • Making Narayanpet an Open Defecation Free district

 

 

Krishnanunni H (Excellence in Governance Award in Healthcare, DM Erode, Tamil Nadu)

Keywork:

  • Launch of Punnagai (smile in Tamil), a multi-sectoral tele-facilitation project
  • 5G wireless systems in Kathirimalai to deliver healthcare to tribals

 

What makes you happy?

Direction: The image shows examples of smaller things that can bring joy and happiness for a moment. Previously UPSC had asked Questions on ‘Happiness’ in the Ethics paper. You can cite these examples in your answer.

 

Quotes:-

 Like in business, ‘ the customers are always right’, similarly in the government service also, the mantra should be that ‘the citizen is always right’ – PM Modi’s Speech at recently held Rozgar Mela

Usage: The analogy can be used in the governance/Ethics/Essay paper as the way forward in public service.

 

‘Imperfections need to be appreciated’

Usages1: Education should not be targeted at making perfect candidates, it should not be the poor imitation of the western system of education. India has such enormous diversity and imperfections need to be appreciated.

Usage 2: Individuals need to embrace their “flaws” and other peoples’ imperfections need to be appreciated.

 


Facts for Prelims


Education for Democracy

Source: Newsonair

Context: India-supported resolution ‘Education for Democracy’ gets adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

  • The resolution encouraged member states to integrate education for democracy into their education standards and curriculum. It also asked member states to close digital divides.

 

What is ‘Education for Democracy’?

Education for democracy focuses primarily on democratic rights and responsibilities and education for active participation, in relation to the civic, political, social, economic, legal and cultural spheres of society.

Recently, the district of Kollam (Kerala) has become the country’s first constitution-literate district.

 

Additional Tier-1 bonds and the case against Yes Bank

 Source: IE 

Context: The Bombay HC quashed the write-off of Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds worth Rs 8,400 crore issued by Yes Bank Ltd, bringing relief to investors.

 

Background:

  • Yes Bank, which was on the verge of collapse, was placed under a moratorium by the RBI in 2020 and a new management and board were appointed as part of a rescue plan worked out by the RBI.
  • The central bank allowed a write-off of Rs 8,400 crore on AT1 bonds issued by Yes Bank after it was rescued by the SBI.
  • A SEBI probe found that the bank facilitated the selling of AT1 bonds (as a ‘Super FD’ and ‘as safe as FD’) from institutional investors to individual investors, who were not informed about all the risks involved in the subscription of these bonds.

  

What are AT1 bonds?

  • These are unsecured bonds (issued by banks) that have perpetual tenor (no maturity date). These bonds are typically used by banks to bolster their core or tier-1 capital.
    • Tier I capital is a bank’s highest quality capital because it is fully available to cover losses and is made up primarily of share capital and disclosed reserves.
  • They have a call option, which can be used by the banks to buy these bonds back from investors.
  • AT1 bonds are subordinate to all other debt and only senior to common equity. Mutual funds (MFs) were among the largest investors in perpetual debt instruments.

 

 

SC refuses Google stay on CCI order on ₹1,337 cr penalty

Source: HT

Context: The Supreme Court refused to stay the order passed by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) directing Google to deposit 10% of a penalty of ₹1,337 crore imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

  

What is the issue about?

  • Google abused its dominant position in the Android ecosphere (anti-competitive practices) by mandating the pre-installation of Google mobile services including Search, YouTube, Maps, etc.
  • As per CCI, Google can’t force equipment manufacturers to pre-install Google’s app. It can’t restrict uninstalling its pre-installed apps.

 

About NCLAT:

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal is a tribunal which was formed by the Central Government of India under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013, for hearing appeals against the orders of National Company Law Tribunal(s) (NCLT), with effect from 1st June 2016.

  • NCLT is a body having original Jurisdiction. NCLAT is a body having Appellate Jurisdiction.

 

Govt exempts key infra projects from wildlife fund rules

Source: HT

Context: The Centre has exempted road, rail, and transmission line projects from having to deposit 2% and 0.5% of the total project cost towards the cost of the Wildlife Management Plan (WMP) and Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan (SMCP) in a move that will benefit developers, but which has been criticised by environmentalists

 

Previous guidelines:

The Union environment ministry under guidelines issued on June 7, 2022 made it mandatory for all projects to deposit 2% of the total project cost towards the cost of implementation of WMP and 0.5% for SMCP, as the case may be, to obtain Stage-II (final forest) clearance under the Forest Conservation Act 1980 (FCA).

 

Why are the changes now?

The government decided to tweak the guidelines for road and other linear projects such as rail lines, sidewalks, trails, and transmission lines after it was pointed out that these projects would end up paying for the entire length of the project even though only a small part would pass through a forest

  • Now the cost of WMP and SMCP will be proportionate to extent of forest land involved instead of the total project cost

 

About FCA, 1980:

FCA regulated deforestation and aims to preserve the forest ecosystem of India and the integrity and territory of the forests. It prohibits the felling of forests for any non-forestry use without prior permission of the central government.

 

Rising demand for kewda oil a blessing for 200,000 people in Odisha’s Ganjam

Source: DTE

Context: The recent growth in demand for kewda oil has boosted the revenue of families in the coastal pockets of Odisha‘s Ganjam district who have been eking out a living by preparing aromatic kewda oil for years.

  

About Kewda:

  • Ganjam kewda (Pandanus fascicularis) oil is steam-distilled from the flower of the aromatic screwpine plant and used as an aromatic in the food industry and other sectors.
  • It is registered under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 by the Government of India.
  • Colour depends on the sex of the pine. While the male pines are colourful and are used in oil making, the female pines are green and later turn brown.

 

 

India can lead efforts to find a new TB vaccine

Source: The Hindu

Context: India needs to develop a new vaccine for tuberculosis, considering its accelerated timeline for TB elimination (by 2025) than the rest of the world.

 

  • TB is the issue of equity: In India, the main risk factor for TB is undernutrition. TB incidence is higher in lower economic groups, especially in tribal and remote rural areas and in the urban poor. This becomes an issue of equity.
  • REACH, an NGO working in the area of TB
  • Recently, WHO announced plans to establish a new TB Vaccine Accelerator Council to facilitate the licensing and use of effective novel TB vaccines.
  • BCG is currently the only licensed TB vaccine.

 

About TB:

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

 

 

Jadavpur University team builds pollution map based on roadside dust

Source: The Hindu

Context: Geologists at Jadavpur University have found that they can get a preliminary sense of the pollution in an area by collecting roadside dust and testing it with magnetic fields.

  • The technique reveals the presence of different magnetic elements, and by tracing them back to specific sources of pollution, the researchers could tell which sources were dominating in different places.

 

About Environmental Magnetism:

  • Their study is in the area of environmental magnetism – which is “magnetism as it depicts the impact of climate change, pollution and environmental footprints on magnetic minerals present in environmental samples such as soil, dust, and sediments,”
  • Environmental magnetism deals with the identification of ferromagnetic grains and their grain size with an aim to reconstruct the way they are associated with the various environmental processes. 

 

 

Leopard 2 tank

Source: Indian Express

Context: Germany is under pressure to authorize sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine from other European nations.

  • The Leopard 2 is one of the world’s leading battle tanks. Until now, both Ukraine and Russia have used Soviet-era tanks in battle, and the Leopards would offer a big step forward in capability.

 

 

What is a Leopard 2 tank?

  • The Leopard 2 is one of the world’s leading battle tanks, used by the German Army for decades and by the militaries of more than a dozen other European nations, as well as by the armies of countries as far apart as Canada and Indonesia. It has seen service in conflict zones of Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Syria.
  • The tank, which is powered by a diesel engine, features night-vision equipment and a laser range finder that can measure the distance to an object, enabling it to better aim at a moving target while travelling over rough terrain.

 

Why does Germany have to approve the transfer of Leopards owned by other countries?

  • Re-exporting German-made tanks without permission would be illegal.
  • The contracts that a country signs to obtain weapons from German manufacturers or German military stocks require them to request a re-export license from the federal government should they wish to send such weapons to another country. (The United States has similar requirements, as do other countries, including Switzerland.)

 

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Mapping (from last two weeks)


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