UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 12th May 2020

SC power for complete Justice

  • In 2019, a five-judge Bench led by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not complete its assigned task of reviewing the apex court’s original Sabarimala judgment of 2018, which allowed women of every age to enter and worship at the temple.
  • Instead, it had framed “larger issues” concerning essential religious practices of various religions and clubbed other pending cases on subjects as varied as female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohras to entry of Parsi women who married inter-faith into the fire temple and Muslim women into mosques and referred them all to a larger Bench.
  • Chief Justice Bobde, who succeeded Justice Gogoi as top judge, set up a nine-judge Bench to hear the reference.
  • In February 2020, it decided to go ahead and examine “larger issues” of religious freedom across multiple faiths in connection with the Sabarimala review.
  • Recently the judgement has been published, it says ‘Sabarimala case review Bench had the power to frame questions on religious freedom’
  • A nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court declared that superior courts enjoy untrammelled power to take up any cause to do complete justice.
  • The court clarified that there is no fetter on the exercise of discretion of this court in referring questions of law to a larger Bench in review petitions.
  • Being a superior court of record, it is for this court to consider whether any matter falls within its jurisdiction or not.
  • Unlike a court of limited jurisdiction, the superior court of record is entitled to determine for itself questions about its own jurisdiction.
  • The nine member bench also invoked Article 142 of the Constitution “which enables this court to make any order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.”

Changes in Labour Laws

  • At least 10 states are are either already implementing or are considering the changes in the labour laws including Industrial Disputes Act and Factories Act.
  • State governments, including that of UP, believe that the changes in labour laws would help them attract investment from companies planning to leave China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • As a result of reforms in labour laws in Uttar Pradesh, new employment opportunities as well as investment from foreign companies will come to the state.
  • Key changes states brought in include Uttar Pradesh exempting businesses from complying with all labour laws except three for three years and Gujarat allowing new industrial units to not comply with labour laws, except for three basic acts, for 1,200 days.
  • Central Trade Unions across the country are planning to approach ILO against the suspension of major labour laws by State governments.
  • The CTUs consider these moves as gross violation of the following
  1. Right to Freedom of Association (ILO Convention 87),
  2. Rights to Collective Bargaining( ILO Convention 98)
  3. Internationally accepted norm of eight hour working day (espoused by Core Conventions of ILO).

International Labour Organization

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
  • Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialized agency of the UN.
  • The ILO’s international labour standards are broadly aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.
  • They are set forth in 189 conventions and treaties, of which eight are classified as fundamental according to the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
  • Together they protect freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • The ILO is subsequently a major contributor to international labor law.
  • The organization is unique in the UN for its tripartite structure: All standards, policies, and programmes require debate and input from governments, employers, and workers.
  • This framework is maintained in the ILO’s three main bodies:
  1. The International labour Conference, which meets annually to formulate international labour standards.
  2. Governing Body, which serves as the executive council and decides the agency’s policy and budget.
  3. International Labour Office, the permanent secretariat that helps administer and implement the agency’s activities.
  • In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

Ban on TB Drugs on crops

  • Recently, the Registration Committee (RC) under the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) has recommended to ban the use of antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline.
  • The RC recommended to ban antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline with immediate effect on crops where other options are available for bacterial disease control.
  • Where no alternatives are available, use of these antibiotics should be phased out by 2022-end.
  • Till then, the antibiotics could be used on crops strictly as per the label claim i.e. streptomycin sulphate (9%) and tetracycline hydrochloride (1%).
  • The RC acknowledged that diseases in crops can be managed by using integrated pest management and other practices.

Streptomycin

  • Streptomycin has important use for previously treated tuberculosis (TB) patients.
  • It is also used in multidrug-resistant TB patients and in certain cases of TB meningitis (brain TB).
  • Although streptocycline use is allowed for eight crops by the CIBRC, it was found to be used on many more crops in practice.
  • Exposure to antibiotics like Streptomycin can lead to development of antibiotic resistance in humans and animals.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises streptomycin as a critically important medicine for human use.

Integrated Pest Management

  • It is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.
  • Pesticides are used only after monitoring and according to established guidelines.
  • Treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism.
  • Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.

Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee

  • The Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIBRC) was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the year 1970 to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides.
  • The insecticides are regulated under Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides Rules, 1971.
  • The Central Insecticides Board (CIB) advises the Central Government and State Governments on technical matters arising out of the administration of Insecticides Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to the Board by or under Insecticides rules.
  • To import or manufacture any insecticide, registration is required at the Registration Committee.

Mission Sagar

  • India has sent Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari, carrying food items and medical assistance teams, to countries in the southern Indian Ocean to deal with Covid-19 pandemic as part of a “Mission Sagar” initiative.
  • The countries including Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles had requested India for assistance in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Under the Mission, India will Deploy Medical Assistance Teams in Mauritius and Comoros, helping their Governments deal with Covid emergency and in case of Comoros, with dengue fever also.
  • Deliver consignments of Covid related essential medicines to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles and about 600 tonnes of food items to Maldives.
  • In addition, in case of Mauritius, a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines is also being sent.
  • The consignments also include Hydroxychloroquine tablets.
  • This is the first time that a single assistance mission is covering all island countries of the western Indian Ocean in one go (except Sri Lanka, for which a second set of medicines have been airlifted)
  • The assistance is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The deployment is also in consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
  • Under the mission INS Magar, is the second Indian Naval ship to reach Male, Maldives for evacuation of Indian citizens.

Indian Ocean Commission

  • The Indian Ocean Commission is an intergovernmental organization that links African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.
  • There are also six observers: China, India, Japan, Sovereign Order of Malta the European Union and the Organization internationale de la Francophonie.
  • The commission was created in 1982 in Port-Louis, Mauritius.
  • India has recently become an observer to the Commission.

SAGAR

  • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was launched in 2015. It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities.
  • Further, India seeks to safeguard its national interests and ensure Indian Ocean region to become inclusive, collaborative and respect international law.
  • The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.

DRUVS Cabinet

  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitization cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitizer (DRUVS).
  • It has been designed to sanitize mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc.
  • The DRUVS cabinet is having contactless operation which is very important to contain the spread of virus.
  • The proximity sensor switches, clubbed with drawer opening and closing mechanism, makes its operation automatic and contactless.
  • It provides 360 degree exposure of UVC to the objects placed inside the cabinet.
  • Once the sanitization is done, the system goes in sleep mode hence the operator need not wait or stand near the device.

Notes Clean

  • The RCI has also developed an automated UVC currency sanitizing device, called NOTESCLEAN.
  • Bundles of currency notes can be sanitized using DRUVS, however disinfection of each currency notes using it will be a time consuming process.
  • For that purpose, a sanitizing technique has been developed, where one has to just place the loose currency notes at the input slot of the device.
  • It picks the notes one by one and makes them pass through a series of UVC lamps for complete disinfection.

SC power for complete Justice

  • In 2019, a five-judge Bench led by then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not complete its assigned task of reviewing the apex court’s original Sabarimala judgment of 2018, which allowed women of every age to enter and worship at the temple.
  • Instead, it had framed “larger issues” concerning essential religious practices of various religions and clubbed other pending cases on subjects as varied as female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohras to entry of Parsi women who married inter-faith into the fire temple and Muslim women into mosques and referred them all to a larger Bench.
  • Chief Justice Bobde, who succeeded Justice Gogoi as top judge, set up a nine-judge Bench to hear the reference.
  • In February 2020, it decided to go ahead and examine “larger issues” of religious freedom across multiple faiths in connection with the Sabarimala review.
  • Recently the judgement has been published, it says ‘Sabarimala case review Bench had the power to frame questions on religious freedom’
  • A nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court declared that superior courts enjoy untrammelled power to take up any cause to do complete justice.
  • The court clarified that there is no fetter on the exercise of discretion of this court in referring questions of law to a larger Bench in review petitions.
  • Being a superior court of record, it is for this court to consider whether any matter falls within its jurisdiction or not.
  • Unlike a court of limited jurisdiction, the superior court of record is entitled to determine for itself questions about its own jurisdiction.
  • The nine member bench also invoked Article 142 of the Constitution “which enables this court to make any order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it.”

Changes in Labour Laws

  • At least 10 states are are either already implementing or are considering the changes in the labour laws including Industrial Disputes Act and Factories Act.
  • State governments, including that of UP, believe that the changes in labour laws would help them attract investment from companies planning to leave China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • As a result of reforms in labour laws in Uttar Pradesh, new employment opportunities as well as investment from foreign companies will come to the state.
  • Key changes states brought in include Uttar Pradesh exempting businesses from complying with all labour laws except three for three years and Gujarat allowing new industrial units to not comply with labour laws, except for three basic acts, for 1,200 days.
  • Central Trade Unions across the country are planning to approach ILO against the suspension of major labour laws by State governments.
  • The CTUs consider these moves as gross violation of the following
  1. Right to Freedom of Association (ILO Convention 87),
  2. Rights to Collective Bargaining( ILO Convention 98)
  3. Internationally accepted norm of eight hour working day (espoused by Core Conventions of ILO).

International Labour Organization

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice through setting international labour standards.
  • Founded in 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialized agency of the UN.
  • The ILO’s international labour standards are broadly aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.
  • They are set forth in 189 conventions and treaties, of which eight are classified as fundamental according to the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
  • Together they protect freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • The ILO is subsequently a major contributor to international labor law.
  • The organization is unique in the UN for its tripartite structure: All standards, policies, and programmes require debate and input from governments, employers, and workers.
  • This framework is maintained in the ILO’s three main bodies:
  1. The International labour Conference, which meets annually to formulate international labour standards.
  2. Governing Body, which serves as the executive council and decides the agency’s policy and budget.
  3. International Labour Office, the permanent secretariat that helps administer and implement the agency’s activities.
  • In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations.

Ban on TB Drugs on crops

  • Recently, the Registration Committee (RC) under the Central Insecticides Board and Registration Committee (CIBRC) has recommended to ban the use of antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline.
  • The RC recommended to ban antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline with immediate effect on crops where other options are available for bacterial disease control.
  • Where no alternatives are available, use of these antibiotics should be phased out by 2022-end.
  • Till then, the antibiotics could be used on crops strictly as per the label claim i.e. streptomycin sulphate (9%) and tetracycline hydrochloride (1%).
  • The RC acknowledged that diseases in crops can be managed by using integrated pest management and other practices.

Streptomycin

  • Streptomycin has important use for previously treated tuberculosis (TB) patients.
  • It is also used in multidrug-resistant TB patients and in certain cases of TB meningitis (brain TB).
  • Although streptocycline use is allowed for eight crops by the CIBRC, it was found to be used on many more crops in practice.
  • Exposure to antibiotics like Streptomycin can lead to development of antibiotic resistance in humans and animals.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises streptomycin as a critically important medicine for human use.

Integrated Pest Management

  • It is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties.
  • Pesticides are used only after monitoring and according to established guidelines.
  • Treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism.
  • Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.

Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee

  • The Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIBRC) was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the year 1970 to regulate the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides.
  • The insecticides are regulated under Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticides Rules, 1971.
  • The Central Insecticides Board (CIB) advises the Central Government and State Governments on technical matters arising out of the administration of Insecticides Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to the Board by or under Insecticides rules.
  • To import or manufacture any insecticide, registration is required at the Registration Committee.

Mission Sagar

  • India has sent Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari, carrying food items and medical assistance teams, to countries in the southern Indian Ocean to deal with Covid-19 pandemic as part of a “Mission Sagar” initiative.
  • The countries including Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles had requested India for assistance in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Under the Mission, India will Deploy Medical Assistance Teams in Mauritius and Comoros, helping their Governments deal with Covid emergency and in case of Comoros, with dengue fever also.
  • Deliver consignments of Covid related essential medicines to Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles and about 600 tonnes of food items to Maldives.
  • In addition, in case of Mauritius, a special consignment of Ayurvedic medicines is also being sent.
  • The consignments also include Hydroxychloroquine tablets.
  • This is the first time that a single assistance mission is covering all island countries of the western Indian Ocean in one go (except Sri Lanka, for which a second set of medicines have been airlifted)
  • The assistance is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The deployment is also in consonance with the Prime Minister’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
  • Under the mission INS Magar, is the second Indian Naval ship to reach Male, Maldives for evacuation of Indian citizens.

Indian Ocean Commission

  • The Indian Ocean Commission is an intergovernmental organization that links African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.
  • There are also six observers: China, India, Japan, Sovereign Order of Malta the European Union and the Organization internationale de la Francophonie.
  • The commission was created in 1982 in Port-Louis, Mauritius.
  • India has recently become an observer to the Commission.

SAGAR

  • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) was launched in 2015. It is India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities.
  • Further, India seeks to safeguard its national interests and ensure Indian Ocean region to become inclusive, collaborative and respect international law.
  • The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like Act East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.

DRUVS Cabinet

  • Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitization cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitizer (DRUVS).
  • It has been designed to sanitize mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc.
  • The DRUVS cabinet is having contactless operation which is very important to contain the spread of virus.
  • The proximity sensor switches, clubbed with drawer opening and closing mechanism, makes its operation automatic and contactless.
  • It provides 360 degree exposure of UVC to the objects placed inside the cabinet.
  • Once the sanitization is done, the system goes in sleep mode hence the operator need not wait or stand near the device.

Notes Clean

  • The RCI has also developed an automated UVC currency sanitizing device, called NOTESCLEAN.
  • Bundles of currency notes can be sanitized using DRUVS, however disinfection of each currency notes using it will be a time consuming process.
  • For that purpose, a sanitizing technique has been developed, where one has to just place the loose currency notes at the input slot of the device.
  • It picks the notes one by one and makes them pass through a series of UVC lamps for complete disinfection.

NASA Perseverance Rover

  • Mars Exploration Program (MEP) is a long-term effort to explore the planet Mars, funded and led by NASA.
  • Formed in 1993, MEP has made use of orbital spacecraft, landers, and Mars rovers to explore the possibilities of life on Mars, as well as the planet’s climate and natural resources.
  • NASA’s 2020 Mars rover Perseverance is a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, is scheduled to launch between July 17 and August 5 to hunt for evidence of extraterrestrial life on the red planet.
  • It will investigate an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars and investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability, the possibility of past life on Mars, and the potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials.
  • It will cache sample containers along its route for a potential future Mars sample-return mission.

Mastcam-Z

  • To achieve its objective, NASA’s Perseverance rover will have the most advanced pair of “eyes” ever sent to Mars.
  • Its Mastcam-Z instrument packs a next-gen zoom capability that will help the mission make 3D imagery more easily.
  • The Mastcam-Z is located on Perseverance’s head, it is a more advanced version of the Mastcam that helped the Curiosity Mars rover to produce panoramas of the Martian surface.
  • The Mastcam-Z will not only produce images that enable the public to follow the rover’s daily discoveries, but it will also provide key data to help engineers navigate and scientists choose interesting rocks to study.
  • The Z in Mastcam-Z stands for ‘zoom’.
  • Mastcam-Z will provide ‘superhuman vision’ to view the landscape in a variety of colours (wavelengths of light), including some that can’t be detected by the human eye.

Source: PIB, The Hindu, Indian Express, Down to Earth

Author: IAS Blogger