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Today’s Current Affairs Diary 13-05-2022|A Compilation of Today’s CA Related Articles

Today’s Current Affairs Diary 13-05-2022

 

Today’s Important Prelims Bits

 

INSACOG Network

What is INSACOG?

  • INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) is a more organised manner for setting up of the multi-laboratory, multi-agency, pan-India network to monitor genomic variations.
  • INSACOG is a consortium of 10 labs and 18 satellite labs across India tasked with scanning coronavirus samples from swathes of patients and flagging the presence of variants that were known to have spiked transmission internationally.
  • It is also tasked with tracking certain combinations of mutations that become more widespread in India.
  • The institutes involved include the laboratories of the Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

Genome Sequencing

  • Genome is the genetic material of all living beings.
  • The genome of coronavirus is in the form of RNA while most of the others have DNA as their genetic material.
  • Complete sequencing is reading the complete detail of the genetic material of the genome is called genome sequencing.
  • For genome sequencing, scientists decipher the chemical unit that makes a genome with help of technology and machines. So, they know exactly what those 30,000 letters in this virus are.
  • Now, as the virus is changing, those changes get added in the sequence so they can plot the relationship between one infection to another, the way they can plot the relationship among individuals by just reading their DNA sequence.
  • By reading the genome of the virus,they can find out how it is spreading, which was the path it followed – whether it was first found in Mumbai, then in Delhi and so on.

Delimitation Commission

  • Delimitation literally means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or a province having a legislative body.
  • The job of delimitation is assigned to a high power body. Such a body is known as Delimitation Commission or a Boundary Commission.
  • In India, such Delimitation Commissions have been constituted 4 times – in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952, in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962, in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.
  • These orders come into force on a date to be specified by the President of India in this behalf.
  • The copies of its orders are laid before the House of the People and the State Legislative Assembly concerned, but no modifications are permissible therein by them

Why was the J & K delimitation commission set up?

  • Delimitation became necessary when the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 increased the number of seats in the Assembly.
  • The erstwhile J&K state had 111 seats — 46 in Kashmir, 37 in Jammu, and four in Ladakh — plus 24 seats reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
  • When Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory, J&K was left with 107 seats, including the 24 for PoK.
  • The Reorganisation Act increased the seats to 114 — 90 for Jammu & Kashmir, besides the 24 reserved for PoK.

    Retail Inflation

  • To measure inflation, we estimate how much CPI has increased in terms of percentage change over the same period the previous year.
  • If prices have fallen, it is known as deflation (negative inflation).
  • The Central Bank (RBI) pays very close attention to this figure in its role of maintaining price stability in the economy.
  • The CPI monitors retail prices at a certain level for a particular commodity; price movement of goods and services at rural, urban and all-India levels.
  • The change in the price index over a period of time is referred to as CPI-based inflation, or retail inflation.
  • Generally, CPI is used as a macroeconomic indicator of inflation, as a tool by the central bank and government for inflation targeting and for inspecting price stability, and as deflator in the national accounts.

NDMA

About NDMA

  • On 23 December 2005, the Government of India enacted the Disaster Management Act, which envisaged the creation of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
  • NDMA is headed by the Prime Minister.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the apex body for Disaster Management in India.

NDMA Vision

“To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, pro-active, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.”

About SDMA

  • State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) headed by respective Chief Ministers.
  • Setting up of SDMAs and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is also mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Global COVID Virtual Summit

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Global COVID Virtual Summit in News

  • Recently, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the Second Global COVID Virtual Summit on the invitation of the President of U.S.A., Joseph R. Biden.
    • Prime Minister had also participated in the first Global COVID virtual Summit hosted by President Biden on 22 September 2021.
  • Prime Minister delivered his remarks in the Opening Session of the Summit on the theme ‘Preventing Pandemic Fatigue and Prioritizing Preparedness.

 

Global COVID Virtual Summit- Steps taken by India to Combat

  • People Centric Approach: PM highlighted that India adopted a people centric strategy to combat the pandemic and has made the highest ever allocation for its health budget this year.
  • Vaccination Drive: PM stated that India was running the largest vaccination campaign in the world.
    • India had vaccinated close to ninety percent of its adult population and more than fifty million children.
  • A Responsible Global Leader: Prime Minister also highlighted that as a responsible member of the global community.
    • India would continue to play an active role by sharing its low cost indigenous COVID mitigation technologies, vaccines and therapeutics with other countries.
  • Role in Global surveillance: India is working to extend its genomic surveillance consortium.
  • Use of Traditional Medicine: India has used traditional medicine extensively and has laid the foundation for a WHO Center for Traditional Medicine in India to make this knowledge available to the world.
  • Indian Prime Minister called for strengthening and reforming the WHO to create a stronger and more resilient global health security architecture.

India-Australia Virtual Summit

Key Points about Global COVID Virtual Summit

  • Global COVID Virtual Summit About: Virtual Global COVID-19 Summit is focused on ending the pandemic and building better health security to prevent and prepare for future biological threats.
    • First Global COVID Virtual Summit was held September 22, 2021 by the President Biden of USA.
  • Participation: Other participants included co-hosts of the event- Heads of State/Government of Belize in its capacity as Chair of CARICOM, Senegal as Chair of African Union, Indonesia as President of G20 and Germany as President of G7 respectively.
    • Secretary General of the United Nations, Director General of World Health Organization and other dignitaries also participated.
  • Objectives: The Global COVID Virtual Summit introduced ambitious targets in three critical areas for ending this pandemic and preventing and preparing for the next-
    • Vaccinate the World;
    • Save Lives Now; and
    • Build Back Better.

 

COVID-19 Pandemic: What is ‘Vaccine Nationalism’?

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Shallow and Deep Ecologism

  • GS Paper 3: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

 

Shallow and Deep Ecologism

  • All forms of environmentalism will not lead to effective climate change. For example, shallow ecologism which is the fashionable fight against pollution and resource depletion.

Background of Shallow and Deep Ecologism

  • The concepts emerged in the 1970s, when Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss sought to look beyond the popular pollution and conservation movements of his milieu to address environmental degradation.
  • He believes that owing to increased anthropocentrism, humans have cut themselves off from nature, viewing nature and themselves as competing entities and establishing a master-slave dynamic.
  • By placing humans at the heart of the environmental crisis, Næss outlines the difference between the two styles of ecologism.
  • He terms the powerful and fashionable fight against pollution and resource depletion as shallow ecologism or environmentalism.
  • On the other hand, deep ecologism believes that humans should radically change their relationship with nature.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Shallow Ecologism/Environmentalism

  • About: Shallow Ecologism/Environmentalism is an ecological philosophy that believes in continuing our present lifestyle, but with specific tweaks aimed at minimising the damage to the environment.
    • Also referred to as weak ecologism, it may include the use of vehicles that cause less pollution or air conditioners that do not release chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
  • Concerns with Shallow Ecological Approach: A narrow focus on pollution and conservation movements is counterproductive.
  • A holistic perspective to environmental crisis is one which acknowledges regional differences and the disparities between under and over-developed nations.
  • This branch of ecologism primarily serves to maintain the lifestyle of those dwelling in developed countries.
  • Shallow ecologism prioritises humans above other forms of life, and subsequently preserve the environmentally destructive way of life in modern societies.
  • By favouring to sustain present lifestyle, shallow ecologism further widens the inequalities between countries and people.
  • For instance, despite constituting only 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. accounts for 17% of the world’s energy consumption and is the second largest consumer of electricity after China.

Analysis of Down to Earth Magazine: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Deep Ecologism/Environmentalism

  • About: Deep ecologism believes that humans should radically change their relationship with nature.
  • Opposite to Shallow Ecologism: Deep Ecologism proponents reject shallow ecologism for prioritising humans above other forms of life, and subsequently preserving the environmentally destructive way of life in modern societies.

Key objectives of Deep Ecologism/Environmentalism

  • Deep ecologism aspires to sustain nature by making large-scale changes to our lifestyle.
    • These may include limiting the commercial farming of meat to preserve forest areas and reduce the artificial fattening of animals, or the reshaping of transport systems which involve the use of internal combustion engines.
  • Besides advocating these lifestyle changes, deep ecologism shifts the attention from pollution and conservation narratives to robust policy formulation and implementation.
  • To recognise the complex richness of different lifeforms, deep ecologism calls for a re-evaluation of the ‘survival of the fittest’ doctrine.
  • Survival of the fittest should be understood through the human ability to cooperate and coexist with nature, as opposed to exploiting or dominating it.
  • Deep ecologism thus prioritises a ‘live and let live’ attitude over an ‘either you or me’ approach.

Næss recommendations for Deep Ecologism

  • Policy-making must be aided by the reorientation of technical skills and inventions in new directions that are ecologically responsible.
  • Næss recommends that ecologists reject work that is supervised by authorities with limited ecological perspectives.
  • As irreplaceable informants, ecologists should not submit to power which does not recognise critical ecological priorities.
  • Næss stresses that the political potential of the movement be realised, and that those in positions of power be held accountable.
  • The responsibility of solving the climate crisis falls on policy-makers as much as it does on scientists and ecologists.

Conclusion

  • A holistic perspective to the crisis is one which acknowledges regional differences and the disparities between under and over-developed nations.

ESG Funds: Environmental Social and Governance Funds

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Marital Rape in India

  • GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Marital Rape in India in news

  • Recently, a two-judge Bench of the Delhi High Court delivered a split verdictin a batch of petitions challenging the exception provided to marital rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Marital Rape in India

  • Background: A split verdict in the Delhi High Court on the question of criminalising marital rape has reignited the controversy over legal protection for disregard of consent for sex within marriage.
  • Marital Rape in IPC: Exceptions to the Section 375 of the IPC says that intercourse by a man with his wife aged 18 or above is not rape even if it is without her consent.
  • Government’s View: The Union government has been opposing the removal of the marital rape exception.
    • In 2016, it had rejected the concept of marital rape, saying it “cannot be applied to the Indian context” due to various reasons, not least because of the “mindset of society to treat marriage as a sacrament”.
    • However, in the final hearing, the Union government did not take a stand on the issue.

The Editorial Analysis- A Far-reaching Verdict that Ends a Regressive Exception

Delhi High Court on Marital Rape

  • In favour: Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who headed the recent Delhi High Court Bench, struck down exception to Section 375 of the IPC as unconstitutional.
    • Justice Shakdher’s opinion goes to the heart of the matter, inasmuch as it treats the absence of consent as the core ingredient of rape.
    • He says what is defined as rape in law should be labelled as such, irrespective of whether it occurs within or outside marriage.
    • He finds that the marital exception violates equality before law, as well as deprives women of the right to trigger a prosecution for non-consensual sex.
    • Besides, it also discriminates among women based on their marital status and robs them of sexual agency and autonomy.
  • Against Criminalizing Marital Rape: Justice C. Hari Shankar rejected the plea to criminalise marital rape.
    • He pointed out that any change in the law has to be carried out by the legislature since it requires consideration of social, cultural and legal aspects.
    • He prioritizes importance of preserving the institution of marriage to such an extent that he holds that any legislation that keeps rape out of a marital relationship “is immune to interference”.

Marital Rape in India- Way Forward

  • No Place for Exception: If marriage is regarded as a partnership between equals, an exception in a 162-year-old law should have had no place.
  • Zero Tolerance to Violence: While there are other laws governing civil relationships that legitimise conjugal expectations, these cannot be seen as giving a free pass for violence within marriage, which is essentially what sex without consent is.

Conclusion

  • Whether the legislative route is more appropriate in making marital rape a criminal offence is a matter of detail. What is important is that sexual violence has no place in society, and the institution of marriage is no exception.

PM Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJKs) | PMBJP Scheme

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