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[Mission 2024] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 13 November 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. Analysis of Bills to Overhaul the Criminal Justice System
  2. Ragging in India

 

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

  1. Silent Diwali

 

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

  1. Ao and Sümi Naga communities in Nagaland
  2. Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023
  3. Insurance Surety Bond 
  4. Concept of White Hole and Big Bounce
  5. Attenborough echidna
  6. Cell Broadcast Alert System (CBAS)

 

Mapping

  1. Ben Gurion Canal Project

 


 

Analysis of Bills to Overhaul the Criminal Justice System

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Governance: Criminal Justice System

 

Source: TH

 Context: The government has introduced three Bills to replace the foundational laws of the criminal justice system in India—the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and the Indian Evidence Act (IEA).

Kindly refer to an article on the same topic: Analysis of Recent Reforms in Indian Criminal Law

 

What is the Criminal justice system?

The criminal justice system is a set of institutions and procedures established by governments to maintain social order, deter and mitigate crime, and administer justice. It includes law enforcement, the judiciary, and correctional facilities, working together to investigate, prosecute, adjudicate, and penalize individuals accused of committing crimes.

 

Need for modernization of India’s criminal justice system (CJS) in India:

Key Aspects Details
Modernizing Jurisprudence There is a need to reform the current criminal justice system to bring it in line with contemporary legal standards. Notably,
Example: The introduction of community service as a punishment in the new bill reflects a shift towards a more reformative approach.
Aligning with Supreme Court Rulings There is a need to reform CJS to align with the Supreme Court decisions, including the decriminalization of adultery and same-sex relations
Addressing Overlaps There is a need to eliminate inconsistencies and duplications with specific laws, e.g., the removal of IPC provisions on weights and measures to avoid overlap with the Legal Metrology Act, 2009.
Updating Definitions There is a need to replace the old definition in acts, to align it with new modern reality e.g., the new bill updates terminology, replacing ‘unsound mind’ with ‘mental illness’ in line with modern medical understanding (Mental Healthcare Act, 2017)
Ensuring Fairness and Efficiency The overarching goal is to establish a criminal justice system that is fair, just, and efficient, addressing the evolving needs of modern society.

 

Major Provisions of the Bills:

 

For more positive aspects of the proposed criminal law reforms: Click Here

 

For issues (updated) related to the proposed law (refer Infographic below):

 

 

Conclusion:

Parliament must thoroughly scrutinize the bills to guarantee a fair, just, and efficient criminal justice system. It should address concerns about potential overlaps with special laws, evaluate sentencing ranges, and fill gaps in codifying Supreme Court directions. The debate on reformative versus punitive systems, age thresholds, and gender-related offences should be deliberated upon for a comprehensive legislative approach.

 

Insta Links:

India’s Criminal Justice System

 

Mains Links:

Comprehensive reforms are needed in the criminal justice system to ensure effective enforcement of the law, uphold accountability, have a well-trained workforce and speedy disposal of the cases. Comment. (250 words)

Ragging in India

GS2/GS1/GS4

 Syllabus: Governance/ Indian Society/Ethics

 

Source: TH

 Context: Recent incidents, including the death of a 17-year-old at Jadavpur University and the brutalization of a PSG College of Technology student in Tamil Nadu, highlight the systemic gaps allowing this vicious cycle of Ragging to continue.

What is Ragging?

 Ragging refers to the practice of subjecting new students to humiliating or abusive behaviour as a way of initiating them into a group or community. It can take many forms, including physical and emotional abuse, harassment, bullying, and even sexual assault.

 

Data on caste discrimination in colleges:

A parliamentary panel found rampant caste bias within Indian colleges and universities.

 

Previous cases:

Location Case Legislation and Outcome
TAMIL NADU Pon Navarasu Tamil Nadu enacted the country’s first anti-ragging legislation in 1997 based on this case.
Navarasu, son of the then vice-chancellor of the University of Madras, was murdered during a ragging session.
John David, a senior student, confessed to the crime, surrendering to judicial custody.
Navarasu was assaulted, forced to strip, lick David’s footwear, and violently beaten to death when he refused.
MAHARASHTRA Payal Tadvi Payal Tadvi, a second-year MD student at Mumbai’s TN Topivala National Medical College (TNMC), faced caste discrimination and harassment within the campus.
She belonged to the Adivasi Tadvi Bhil community and was found dead in Mumbai.

 

Laws against ragging in India:

Measures Description
Judicial Measures In 2001, the Supreme Court of India banned ragging nationwide and mandated the creation of proctoral committees within educational institutions for active monitoring and addressing ragging issues.
Severe incidents are recommended to be reported to the police.
Legal Measures Ragging cases can be addressed under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 339 and 340 dealing with wrongful restraint and confinement.
Some states, such as TN, Kerala and Maharashtra, have enacted specific anti-ragging laws, providing a robust legal framework at the state level.
UGC Measures The University Grants Commission (UGC) issued comprehensive guidelines in 2009, requiring universities to ensure students sign anti-ragging undertakings.
The guidelines also mandate the establishment of vigilant committees comprising staff and senior students.
The UGC supports an anti-ragging helpline, available in 12 languages, and maintains a dedicated website for reporting and tracking ragging incidents.
Other Measures The 2007 R.K. Raghavan Committee report described ragging as psychopathic behaviour and recommended both its prohibition and the implementation of preventive measures, influencing the UGC’s 2006 guidelines.
The Unny Committee’s recommendations included a range of punishments for ragging, from monetary fines to imprisonment, reinforcing the seriousness of the issue.

 

 Gaps in Anti-Ragging System:

Gaps Description
Lack of Effective Prevention State laws predominantly focus on prohibiting ragging rather than addressing its root causes and behaviours, resulting in a failure to prevent incidents of ragging.
Poor Enforcement Despite the existence of guidelines, such as the UGC’s 2009 regulations, there is a lack of strict implementation by governments and authorities, contributing to unsafe campus environments.
Insufficient Institutional effort Educational institutions often limit their anti-ragging efforts to formalities, such as displaying ‘no-ragging’ notices and obtaining undertakings, which may not effectively deter ragging.

 

To address the issue of ragging, it is imperative to strengthen institutional accountability by ensuring educational institutions actively prevent such incidents through rigorous monitoring and the strict enforcement of anti-ragging policies. Creating supportive environments is crucial, with an emphasis on making teachers and hostel wardens easily approachable for students facing ragging, ensuring immediate assistance for victims. Additionally, engaging multiple stakeholders, including students, teachers, and parents, in the anti-ragging campaign is essential, fostering a comprehensive, community-wide effort against ragging.

  

Ethical issues associated with ragging:

  1. Violation of human dignity
  2. Infringement of individual rights
  3. Promotion of unhealthy behaviour
  4. Compromise of academic standards
  5. The legal and moral responsibility of educational institutions

 

Solutions:

  1. Strict rules and regulations
  2. Awareness campaigns
  3. Counselling and support
  4. Orientation programs
  5. Monitoring and surveillance

 

Mains links:

Why ragging in schools and colleges is considered an issue of serious concern? Comment. (10M)

 

Silent Diwali

Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)

 

Source: India Today

 Context: Seven villages in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu, celebrated Diwali without firecrackers to protect the avian population at a nearby bird sanctuary.

Over 900 families committed to a quieter celebration during the breeding season, recognizing the sensitivity of the period. For 22 years, these communities have opted for a conservation-minded approach to Diwali, limiting festivities to sparklers and new clothes for children.

Values shown by villagers are Environmental Ethics, Community Harmony, Sustainability, Peaceful Coexistence, etc.

Ao and Sümi Naga communities in Nagaland

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: DTE

Context: Ao and Sümi Naga communities in Nagaland follow practices passed down through generations, preserving seeds from successful harvests for successive cycles.

  • Traditionally agrarian, the Ao and Sümi Naga communities practise jhum or shifting cultivation

 

About Ao Naga Community:

The Aos, a major Naga ethnic group in Nagaland’s Mokokchung District, refer to themselves as Aoer, meaning “those who came” from across the Dikhu River. They were the first Nagas to embrace Christianity, incorporating Western education. The Moatsü Festival is observed in early May after sowing, and the Tsüngremong Festival, the community’s largest, is celebrated right after the harvest.

About Sumis:

The Sümis are a major Naga ethnic group inhabiting the territories of Zünheboto District, parts of Niuland District and Kiphire District in the Northeast Indian state of Nagaland.

They are recognised as a Scheduled Tribe (STs). The ancestral religion of the Sümis was the worship of nature. Sümis are 99% Christians. Very few of them still practice animism. Tülüni (July 8) is a festival of great significance for the Sümis.

Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has sanctioned the Digital Advertisement Policy, 2023,” which aims to expand the government’s outreach through digital media channels.

 

Key Highlights:

  • Digital Penetration and Media Shift: With increasing internet users and telecom subscribers, the policy responds to the shift in media consumption towards digital platforms.
  • Government Outreach: The policy enables the Central Bureau of Communication (CBC) to employ digital advertising for government initiatives, using digital media’s wide reach to efficiently convey citizen-centric messages.
  • Expansion Across Various Platforms: CBC will leverage digital audio platforms, Over-the-Top (OTT) services, video on demand, mobile apps, and social media for government advertising.
  • Transparency and Efficiency: The policy introduces competitive bidding for rate discovery, ensuring fair pricing and efficiency.
  • Enhanced Digital Outreach: Aligning with the current social media presence of various government departments, this policy amplifies the outreach of government schemes and initiatives through CBC’s extensive advertisement dissemination.
  • Adaptability and Stakeholder Engagement: The policy acknowledges the dynamic nature of the digital landscape and incorporates provisions to embrace new technologies and platforms

About Central Bureau of Communication:

The Central Bureau of Communication (CBC) is a unit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The CBC provides communication solutions to Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), and autonomous bodies. The CBC was set up on December 8, 2017 by integrating the following departments:

  • Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP)
  • Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP)
  • Song & Drama Division (S&DD)

Insurance Surety Bond

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: PIB

 Context: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has embraced an innovative approach, accepting an Insurance Surety Bond in place of a Bank Guarantee for the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT), marking the first such use in the road infrastructure sector.

  • This move aims to boost liquidity, encourage private participation in highway development, and promote the ‘Ease of Doing Business’.
  • The Insurance Surety Bonds, facilitated by NHAI in partnership with insurance companies, serve as a financial guarantee, underlining their significance in evolving the road infrastructure landscape.
  • This approach has received substantial traction, with over 40 such bonds issued for various NHAI contracts, signalling the potential for wider adoption.
  • The Ministry of Finance, Government of India has recognized e-BGs and Insurance Surety Bonds at par with Bank Guarantees, consolidating their role in government procurements

 

About Surety Bonds:

A surety bond is a legally binding contract that is a unique type of insurance. It is a three-party agreement that guarantees compliance, payment, or performance of an act. 

A surety bond is a promise to be liable for the debt, default, or failure of another. The principal is the debtor, and the surety is the third person who becomes responsible for the payment of the obligation if the principal is unable to pay or perform. The principal remains primarily liable, whereas the surety is secondarily liable. 

Surety bonds are used as an assurance that the issuer will pay any debts if the other party fails to do so. For example, surety bonds can be used as a substitute for bank guarantees in government procurement

Concept of White Hole and Big Bounce

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: Carlo Rovelli, an Italian physicist and author of popular-science books, explores the concept of white holes in his latest work, “White Holes: Inside the Horizon.”

  • These are considered the opposite of black holes and might generate new universes, a theoretical idea supported by the math

White Holes vs. Black Holes: White holes are akin to a movie running in reverse. Matter falling into a black hole, according to Rovelli, bounces back in the form of a white hole, predicted by quantum mechanics, and alters our understanding of space and time

  • Quantum Bounce Theory: Black holes potentially transition to white holes via a bounce. This theory suggests the possibility of a universe emerging from a white hole, creating something similar to the Big Bang, implying we might be products of a “big bounce.”
  • Concept of Time: Rovelli suggests that time isn’t uniform, as discovered through relativistic effects, where it passes differently for different observers. It’s a product of space-time, influenced by gravity and subject to quantum granular aspects.
  • Space-Time and Quantum Effects: The combination of quantum mechanics and gravity indicates that space-time might have granular aspects, influenced by what’s known as “time-steps” or atoms in space that are static entities shaping space itself.

 

Attenborough echidna

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 

Context: The Zaglossus attenboroughi, a long-beaked echidna named after David Attenborough and last seen in 1961, has been rediscovered in a remote region of Indonesia.

  • This elusive creature, known for its nocturnal and reclusive nature, was found in the Cyclops Mountains of Papua, Indonesia.
  • The discovery also revealed a tree-dwelling shrimp, a kind of honeyeater bird unseen since 2008, and several previously unknown underground species.

 Attenborough Namesake Species: Sir David Attenborough has various species named after him, including an extinct plesiosaur, a Tasmanian snail, a gecko from Australia, and a carnivorous pitcher plant from the Philippines.

 

About David Attenborough: 

David Attenborough, the esteemed British naturalist and broadcaster, is known for his extensive contributions to natural history and environmental conservation. He’s been the face of several ground-breaking wildlife documentaries and series that explore the wonders of the natural world. Attenborough’s work emphasizes the urgency of conservation and educates the global audience on the beauty and importance of the world’s ecosystems. He’s received numerous awards and honours for his work and has had various species named after him in recognition of his dedication to the field of biology and palaeontology

/ 13 November 2023, Today's Article

Cell Broadcast Alert System (CBAS)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: TH

 Context: The National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) Cell Broadcast Alert System (CBAS) and Google’s early earthquake warning system did not effectively reach people during recent seismic events in Delhi and surrounding areas.

 

What Happened?

  • CBAS, tested by the NDMA, failed to send alerts in North India, raising concerns about the effectiveness of these early alert systems during seismic events.
  • NDMA’s seismo.gov.in website crashed during the tremors, hindering access to crucial information.
  • Google’s Android Earthquake Early Warning system sent alerts in regions near the India-Nepal border where shaking was stronger, the tremors in Delhi did not trigger alerts due to their lower intensity

  

What is NDMA’s Cell Broadcast Alert System?

NDMA’s Cell Broadcast Alert System is a cutting-edge technology enabling the government to send urgent disaster management messages to all mobile devices within a specific geographic area.

  • Developed by C-DOT under the Department of Telecommunication, it is designed to deliver critical alerts for severe weather warnings, public safety messages, evacuation notices, and other emergency information.
  • The system was recently tested in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications, with sample alerts labelled as “SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE.”

 

About NDMA:

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) (founded 2005; HQ: New Delhi) is an apex body mandated to lay down policies for disaster management. It was established through the Disaster Management Act 2005. It is headed by the Prime Minister.

Ben Gurion Canal Project

Mapping

 

Source: IE

 Context: The current Israel-Palestine crisis in the Middle East has refocused attention on the ambitious Ben Gurion Canal Project.

 

What Ben Gurion Canal Project?

The Ben Gurion Canal Project is a theoretical proposal to cut a canal through Israel’s Negev Desert, creating an alternative route to the Suez Canal. Envisioned in the 1960s, it aimed to challenge Egypt’s monopoly on the shortest trade route between Europe and Asia.

However, the project faces immense challenges, including logistical complexities, high costs, a longer route, and security concerns in a region marked by ongoing military threats.

What is the Suez Canal?

It is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt (completed in 1869), connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The 193 km long canal is a key trade route between Europe and Asia.

 

Who was Ben Gurion? 

David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973) was Israel’s founding father and its first Prime Minister. He played a pivotal role in establishing the state of Israel in 1948

 

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