Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 15th November 2019


Sabarimala verdict

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Context 

Supreme  Court (SC), in a 3:2 ruling has deferred its decision on review of 2018  Sabarimala verdict until a larger Bench examines broader issues such as  essentiality of religious practices and constitutional morality.

The  Supreme Court’s decision to refer the Sabarimala temple case to a  larger 7-judge Bench will also re-evaluate the “essential religious  practice test”, a contentious doctrine evolved by the court to protect  only such religious practices which were essential and integral to the  religion.

About Sabarimala 

  • The  Sabarimala temple is a temple complex located at Sabarimala inside  the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala.
  • The  temple is dedicated to the Hindu celibate deity Ayyappan also known as  Dharma Sastha, who according to belief is the son of Shiva and Mohini,  the feminine incarnation of Vishnu.
  • The  apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1, in September 2018, had lifted  the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50  from entering the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala. 
  • It had also held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional. 

Highlights of the ruling 

  • Supreme  Court said that restrictions on women in religious places was not  limited to Sabarimala alone and was prevalent in other religions as  well.
  • Supreme Court, by a majority of 3:2, has referred the review petitions to a larger seven judge bench. 
  • The  Apex Court said, the larger bench will decide all such religious issues  relating to Sabarimala, entry of women in mosques and practice of  female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community. 

The Doctrine of essentiality 

  • The doctrine of “essentiality” was invented by a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in the ‘Shirur Mutt’ case in 1954. 
  • The  court held that the term “religion” will cover all rituals and  practices “integral” to a religion, and took upon itself the  responsibility of determining the essential and non-essential practices  of a religion.  

Criticism 

  • This  doctrine has been criticised by several constitutional experts who  argue that the doctrine has tended to lead the court into an area that  is beyond its competence, and given judges the power to decide purely  religious questions.
  • The essentiality test impinges on this autonomy. 
  • The apex court has itself emphasised autonomy and choice in its Privacy (2017), 377 (2018), and Adultery (2018) judgments. 
  • As  a result, over the years, courts have been inconsistent on this  question — in some cases they have relied on religious texts to  determine essentiality, in others on the empirical behaviour of  followers, and in yet others, based on whether the practice existed at  the time the religion originated.

Source: The Hindu, AIR, the Times of India, Indian Express.


IDF Diabetes Atlas

Focus: GS2.

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

current affairs image

Context

The  ninth edition of the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) Diabetes  Atlas was released on the occasion of International Diabetes Day.

India  continues to be home to the second-largest number of adults with  diabetes worldwide, with 77 million adults with diabetes in the 20-79  years age group. This follows China, which has 116 million adults with  diabetes in the same age profile.

Key findings of the report 

  • The worldwide prevalence of diabetes was estimated at 463 million in this age group, or in other words, one in 11 adults.
  • India  was the largest contributor to diabetes mortality with more than 1  million estimated deaths attributable to diabetes and related  complications, in the larger South East Asian region.
  • The number of people with diabetes is predicted to rise to 578 million by 2030 and to 700 million by 2045.
  • 374 million adults have impaired glucose tolerance, placing them at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes was responsible for an estimated $760 billion in health expenditure in 2019.
  • Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death, with people under the age of 60 accounting for almost half the deaths.
  • One in six live births is affected by hyperglycaemia in pregnancy. 

About World Diabetes day 

  • Observed on: November 14. 
  • It  is because the day marks the birth anniversary of scientist and Nobel  laureate Frederick Banting who discovered insulin (in 1922).
  • Objective: To create awareness about the effects of diabetes globally.
  • Origin: It was started in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 
  • The day became an official United Nations Day in 2006. 

Source: The Hindu.


Tobacco Board of India

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.


Context 

Tobacco  Board of India has been awarded the Golden Leaf Award in the Most  Impressive Public Service Initiative category for the year 2019, for its  efforts to initiate various sustainability (green) initiatives in  Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) tobacco cultivation in India.

About Tobacco board

  • Tobacco Board is a statutory body established under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is headquartered in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The  main functions of the Board include regulating the production and  curing of Virginia tobacco in India, improving the yields and quality of  tobacco, facilitating sale of tobacco through e-auctions, undertaking  various grower welfare measures and export promotion of tobacco.

About Golden Leaf Awards 

  • The Golden  Leaf Awards were created to recognize professional excellence and  dedication in the tobacco industry by Tobacco Reporter, an international  magazine in the year 2006.
  • Awards  are granted on an annual basis to companies that have achieved  outstanding performance in five categories - most impressive public  service initiative, most promising new product introduction, most  exciting newcomer to the industry, most outstanding service to the  industry and the BMJ most committed to quality award.

Source: PIB.


INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)

Focus: GS2.

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

Context 

International  Criminal Court (ICC) Judges have approved a request from prosecutors to  open an investigation into crimes committed against Myanmar's Rohingya  Muslim minority.  

About ICC 

  • It is an intergovernmental international tribunal for Criminal prosecution of individuals for four main crimes namely 
    • Genocide,
    • War crimes,
    • Crimes against humanity and
    • Crime of aggression.
  • Established in: 2002 by Rome statue.
  • HQ: Hague, Netherlands. 
  • The Court's official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.
  • Jurisdiction:  It can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are  unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes. 
  • The Court can generally exercise jurisdiction only in three cases, viz.
    • if the accused is a national of a state party,
    • if the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party or
    • if a situation is referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council.
  • Judges: 18; Elected for 9-year term.
  • Members: 122 countries. 
  • Israel, United States, Russia, China and India are not its member.
  • United  States and ICC: The United States has not signed up to the court and in  2002, its Congress passed a law enabling Washington to invade the  Netherlands to liberate any U.S. citizen held by the court.
  • Relation with UN: While not a United Nations organization, the Court has a cooperation agreement with the United Nations.
    • When  a situation is not within the Court’s jurisdiction, the United Nations  Security Council can refer the situation to the ICC granting it  jurisdiction.

Highlights on recent development 

  • ICC said that it has jurisdiction over crimes partially committed in Bangladesh, which is a member state of the court.
  • Myanmar is not a member of the global court. 
  • It has been accused of committing widespread abuses in a campaign against the Rohingya. 
  • Myanmar's military began a counterinsurgency campaign against the Rohingya in August 2017 in response to an insurgent attack. Source: The Hindu, AIR.


NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, AIIMS JHAJJAR

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

Union  Minister of Health, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated LINAC services and  AMRIT pharmacy at National Cancer Institute, AIIMS Jhajjar campus.

The  National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, New Delhi (Jhajjar Campus) was  dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister on 12.02.2019.

About the Institute

  • It has been constructed with an approved cost of Rs. 2035 Crore. 
  • NCI is the largest investment by the Government of India in a single hospital project.
  • It  is planned as the apex centre for translational research in cancer  care/prevention and has 710 patient care beds, 25 operation theaters,  state-of-the art diagnostics, advanced radiation treatment, 1500  dwelling units, 2705 faculty & staff, etc. 

About LINAC and AMRIT Pharmacy

  • The  Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines will help deliver precise  high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient's tumor  such that cancer cells are destroyed while largely sparing the  surrounding normal tissue.
  • The AMRIT Pharmacy commissioned will provide all required medicines at subsidized rates to the poor patients. 

Source: PIB.


GLOBAL COOLING PRIZE

Focus: GS2.

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

Image result for GLOBAL COOLING PRIZE

Context

Union Minister  for Science & Technology will announce the finalists of the ‘Global  Cooling Prize’ (GCP) at an Award Ceremony on November 15, 2019, being  organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the  Mission Innovation (MI) programme.

About Mission Innovation (MI)

  • Mission  Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European  Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation.
  • MI identified “Affordable Heating and Cooling of Building Innovation Challenge” as one of the seven innovation challenges.
  • India agreed to its engagement as MI Member for the Mission Innovation Challenge # 7: Affordable Heating and Cooling Challenge. 
  • The objective of the MI Challenge #7 is to make low carbon heating and cooling affordable for everyone. 

About ‘Global Cooling Prize’ (GCP)

  • Department  of Science & Technology (DST) in partnership with BEE &  MoEF&CC has launched GCP jointly with Rocky Mountain Institute  (RMI), an independent non-profit research institute and think tank  founded in 1982 in the US.
  • GCP aims to spur  development of a residential cooling solution that has at least five  times (5x) less climate impact than today's standard products.
  • GCP was launched in November, 2018. 
  • This  competition runs for two years and will disburse at least US$3 million  in interim and final awards to best innovative residential cooling  technologies which demonstrate performance.
  • The seven finalists will be awarded US $200,000 to develop two prototypes for real field testing in India. 

Source: Indian Express.


ACQUA ALTA

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.

current affairs image

Context

Italy  has declared a state of emergency in Venice after the Italian city was  engulfed by 1.87m (6ft) high water levels, flooding its historic  basilica and cutting power to homes. 

More than 80% of the city, a UNESCO world heritage site, was under water when tides were at their highest.

About Venice

  • Venice is a city in north-eastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region.
  • It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. 
  • The  islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay  that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers.
  • Venice  has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the  Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The  Floating City", and "City of Canals". 
  • The lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

About Acqua alta

  • Acqua alta is the term used in Veneto for the exceptional tide peaks that occur periodically in the northern Adriatic Sea.
  • The peaks reach their maximum in the Venetian Lagoon, where they cause partial flooding of Venice and Chioggia.
  • The  phenomenon occurs mainly between autumn and spring, when the  astronomical tides are reinforced by the prevailing seasonal winds that  hamper the usual reflux. 
  • The main winds involved are the
    • sirocco, which blows northbound along the Adriatic Sea, and
    • bora, which has a specific local effect due to the shape and location of the Venetian lagoon. 

Source: Indian Express.


Quote for the Day

“Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes”. – Jawaharlal Nehru

Mains Answer Writing

1.World  trade organisation (WTO) as a multilateral body is facing challenges on  various counts. In this light discuss the relevance of WTO and also  suggest suitable reform in its functioning. (250 Words).

2.‘UN report  indicates that Child labour was more pronounced in domestic production  processes than global supply chains’. Enlight the issue of child labour  in Indian perspective. (250 Words).

3.“Judicial independence and  accountability go hand in hand as accountability ensures, and is a facet  of judicial independence.” Comment on the above statement in the light  of recent Supreme Court judgement declaring the office of the Chief  Justice of India (CJI) as a public authority under the Right to  Information (RTI) Act. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge


1.Choose the correct statement regarding Money Bill:

a.A  bill shall be deemed to be a Money Bill if it contains only provisions  relating to imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation  of any tax.
b.A Money Bill has provisions for the custody of the Consolidated Fund of India or the Contingency Fund of India.
c.A Money Bill is concerned with the appropriation of money out of the Contingency Fund of India.
d.A Money Bill deals with the regulation of borrowing of money or the giving of any guarantee by the Government of India.


2.Consider the following statement/s about Mangrove forests?

1.Mangroves are salt-tolerant trees, also called halophytes, and are adapted to life in harsh coastal conditions.

2.They can easily survive in Oxygen Deficient Soil.

3.Due to their Peculiar Characteristics of adaptation they are found  worldwide with significant presence in  the Arctic and Antarctic  regions.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d)All of the above 


3.Consider the following statements regarding a Sundarbans National Park:

1..The Park is Located between India and Nepal.

2..It is home to a significant number of tiger populations.

3.It is a Ramsar Site, UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of World MAB (Man and Biosphere Initiative) as well.

Which of the following is the correct answer as per information given below?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 


4.Consider the following statements regarding Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2018:

1..It amends the 2016 Plastic Waste Management rules.

2..The provision pertaining to explicit pricing of carry bags is now included.

3.All MLPs (Multi Layered Plastics) needs to be phased out under this.

Which of the following is the correct answer as per information given below?

a) 1 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above


5.Which of the following statements is /are not correct about ASEAN India FTA (free trade agreement)?

1.India has trade deficit with all the ASEAN countries.

2.ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement does not include services.

Which of the following is the correct answer as per information given below?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) 1 and 2 only

d) None of the above

 

Answers

  1. C 2.A 3.B 4.A 5.C