UPSC Daily Current Affairs 11th August 2018

NATIONAL :-

Supreme Court to identify officials, fix responsibility for order :-

  • The Supreme Court has said that it had enough of vandalism and destruction of public property perpetrated by organised groups and would not wait for Parliament to enact a law to deal with the problem.
  • The court said that it would frame guidelines fixing responsibility on officials responsible for preventing it and those indulging in such acts.
  • A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said while hearing on a petition filed by a Kerala film society seeking to prevent vandalism of public property which occurred every time a controversial movie such as Padmavat was released.
  • In Response, The AG said the responsibility of law and order must be fixed on specific officials to check official apathy.
  • The bench has reserved its order on the petition which had sought enforcement of a 2009 ruling of the court to make those indulging in vandalism pay for the destruction of public property.

Background – 2009 Ruling :-

  • The court had ordered that organisers of any protest be held liable for damage.
  • It had also directed police to video record such protests.

Supreme Court to identify officials, fix responsibility for order


GOVERNANCE :-

Bill in Lok Sabha to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce :-

  • India has finally moved to de-stigmatise leprosy by removing it from existing statutes as a ground for divorce, separation and annulment of marriage by introducing a draft legislation in Lok Sabha to amend existing personal laws that isolate and segregate persons suffering from leprosy.

Key Features of Personal Laws Amendment Bill, 2018 :- It changes personal laws across communities to ensure equal rights for leprosy-affected persons.

  • Leprosy as a ground for divorce will be removed from statutes by dropping the relevant provision from the Divorce Act, 1869.
  • An amendment to the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, will ensure that a woman married under Muslim law won’t be able to seek dissolution of marriage on grounds that her husband has been suffering from leprosy for two years prior to her petitioning the court for divorce.
  • It will drop a provision from the Special Marriage Act, 1954, that allows a husband and a wife to file for divorce on grounds that their spouse is leprosy-affected and another provision from the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, that lists “virulent and incurable form of leprosy” as a ground for divorce.
  • The Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, will also be changed by the new Bill that deletes a section allowing a Hindu wife to live separately from her husband if he is “affected by leprosy”.

About Personal Laws Amendment Bill 2018 :-

  • The draft law is in line with the UN General Assembly’s Resolution, 2010, on the “elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members” that India has signed and ratified.

The Supreme Court most recently asked the Centre and states to mainstream those suffering from leprosy.

Fact file :-

  • India contributes 60% of all new leprosy cases globally every year
  • Its current leprosy burden is 3.24 cases per million
  • The country, which sees 1.3 lakh new leprosy cases annually, is targeting 2020 for leprosy elimination

Parliament passes Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2018 :-

  • With the Rajya Sabha on Friday passing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, the legislation has got Parliament`s approval as the Lok Sabha has already cleared it.

Key Features of Bill :-

  • The Bill allows homebuyers to be treated as financial creditors
  • It provides that during the insolvency proceedings, a committee consisting of financial creditors will be constituted for taking decisions (by voting) on the resolution process.
  • The financial creditors will be represented on the committee of creditors by an authorised representative. These representatives will vote on behalf of the financial creditors as per the prior instructions received from them.
  • The bill also bars a guarantor of a defaulter from being an applicant.

Centre rejects further demands on Bru repatriation :-

  • Union ministry of Home affairs (MHA) has refused to accommodate any fresh demand from Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF).
  • MBDPF one of the signatory to the Bru agreement had pulled out of agreement following protest from Bru people.

Bru people demands :-

  • Allotment of five hectares of land to each repatriated family
  • Preservation of language and culture of Bru people
  • Protection to Bru hindus by central security forces
  • Area Development Council for economic development of the people, besides facilities for Bru Hindus including cremation grounds.
  • The people sought the compensation money to be put in savings bank accounts instead of as fixed deposits.

According to new agreement :-

  • After 22 years, a repatriation agreement was hammered out by NDA government on July 3. It was decided that displaced Bru refugees will be repatriated in Mizoram before September 30, 2018 and all the temporary camps in North Tripura would be closed in the first week of October.
  • Soon after the agreement was inked, MBDPF leaders were accused by the Bru people of not being able to negotiate properly and cowardly surrendering before officials.

Background :-

  • Thousands of Bru refuges from Mizoram are staying in Tripura after the ethnic clashes of 1997.
  • The clash was triggered after a forest official was killed by Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF) militants.Over 32,000 Bru people have been living in six temporary camps in North Tripura district.

Aadhaar cards of children under institutional care linked with Track Child Portal :-

  • Aadhaar cards of over 30,000 children living in Child care institutions (CCIs) have been linked to the Track Child portal in a bid to bolster the information base on the number of children under institutional care amid reports of children going missing from shelter homes.
  • There are a total of 261566 children living in over 9000 CCIs across the country. 
  • The Ministry has asked all the stakeholders to ensure Aadhaar registration of children in all CCIs. There is already a provision of entering Aadhaar details of a child on the TrackChild Portal

What is Track Child Portal ?

  • Track Child functions as a central database of all those children who have gone missing in different parts of the country.
  • The portal will aid coordination between child homes, police departments and state governments.

Objective :-

  • Linking the Aadhaar to Track Child is also helping in finding the child who had gone missing from child care institutions as if the child is tried to enrolled somewhere his whereabouts would become known.
  • Aadhaar enrolment procedure by child care institutions at times have led authorities to finding parents of the child as during enrolment it was found that children already had an Aadhaar card which had their address.

Background :-

  • The details come amid reports of children going missing from child care institutions. About 18 girls were recently reported missing from a shelter home in Deoria where reports of alleged sexual harassment of girls surfaced.
  • As reported by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), a total of 68,874, 60,443, and 63,407 children were reported missing during the year 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Comprehensive grievance redressal system must be established in each state: Oxfam :-

  • Oxfam, a UK-based confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations has called on Indian authorities to set up of a comprehensive grievance redressal system in each state to respond to women and child protection issues.
  • The call by Oxfam, came after cases of sexual abuse of minor girls at shelter homes were uncovered in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Oxfam Proposes :-

  • It said survivors should receive psychological counseling and medical support.
  • The government must ensure safety and provide protection to minor survivors and witnesses.
  • Regular social audits of the shelter homes and the schemes under which it functions must be conducted by an independent body.

Background :-

  • The issue of sexual abuse of minor girls first made headlines in April after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences submitted its audit report of shelter homes in Bihar to the state social welfare department. It raised the possibility of sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, which was later confirmed by their medical examination.
  • The second case came to light this week, when 24 girls were rescued from one of these homes in Deoria in Uttar Pradesh amid allegations of their sexual exploitation.

Social audit of 3000 shelter homes done, more than 40 shut: Maneka Gandhi :-

  • The Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that social audit of 3,000 shelter homes across the country has been completed and more than 40 have been closed down for not adhering to norms.
  • The government move came following reports of alleged rape of inmates in shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The minister had asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to conduct a social audit of child care institutes (CCIs) and submit a report within two months.

Under the Social Audit :-

  • The Ministry has been relentlessly pursuing with the states and Union Territories to ensure that CCIs adhere to standards of care as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015
  • The ministry took up a drive for registration of these CCIs and shelter homes. As an outcome, 7,109 of these CCIs were reported to have been registered by December, 2017 while 401 are reportedly under process.

Maneka Gandhi Proposals :-

  • Those CCIs who fail to get registered within two months will face closure.
  • For long-term solution to the problem of providing adequate care and protection to the children, states should have a large central facility for women and children. 
  • The WCD Ministry will allot funds from the Nirbhaya Fund and other sources. Therefore, Government will be able to run well-designed programmes of skilling, trade, education etc in these homes along with providing protection.

About National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) :-

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is an Indian governmental commission, established by an Act of Parliament, the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act in December 2005, thus is a statutory body.
  • The commission works under the aegis of Min. of Women and Child development, GoI.
  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) emphasizes the principle of universality and inviolability of child rights and recognizes the tone of urgency in all the child related policies of the country.
  • For the Commission, protection of all children in the 0 to 18 years age group is of equal importance.

ECONOMY :-

IIP surges to five-month high of 7% :-

  • The Index of Industrial Production registered a growth rate of 7% in June, rising from 3.93% in May. Within this, the manufacturing sector grew 6.9% in June, an increase from 3.66% in May.
  • Growth in industrial activity picked up to a five-month high of 7% in June, driven by an across-the-board acceleration in growth rates including in sectors such as manufacturing, electricity, infrastructure, and capital and consumer goods.

What is IIP?

  • IIP data indicates about Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  • The IIP is a composite indicator that measures the changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to the volume of production in a chosen base period.
  • The data refers to the General Index as well as for each industry group. The base year for the current series of IIP is 2011-12.
  • The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) is responsible for the compilation and publication of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) since 1950.
  • The monthly figure of production value in such cases is first deflated by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)
  • The scope of the IIP as recommended by the United Nations Statistical Office (UNSO) includes mining, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas and water supply. But due to constraints of data availability, the IIP compiled in India has excluded construction, gas and water supply sectors.

DEFENCE :-

Exercise SCO Peace Mission 2018 :-

  • As part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) initiatives, SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for SCO member states.
  • The joint exercise for the year 2018 will be conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia from 22 August to 29 August 2018 at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk, Russia.
  • This will be a historic occasion due to the maiden participation of India post becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017.
  • This exercise marks a major milestone in the multilateral relations of SCO member nations. The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under SCO Charter.

SCO:

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
  • The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
  • The SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Operation ‘Madad’ by Southern Naval Command :-

  • Operation “Madad” has been launched by the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi since 09 Aug 2018 for assisting the state administration and undertaking disaster relief operations due to the unprecedented flooding experienced in many parts of Kerala, owing to incessant rainfall and release of excess water from Idukki and other dams.
  • INHS Sanjivani is ready for rendering medical assistance as required and all preparations towards setting up community kitchen by naval personnel from INS Venduruthy have been made in case the need arises.
  • Under this operation many Gemini boats, diving teams, helicopters are arranged.Naval helicopters are also being deployed for ferrying divers, power tools, axes and relief material to the flooded areas to augment ongoing relief operations.

ENVIRONMENT :-

PARIVESH” – an environmental single window hub launched :-

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched PARIVESH (Pro-Active and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single-window Hub) on the occasion of World Biofuel Day.
  • PARIVESH is a Single-Window Integrated Environmental Management System, developed in pursuance of the spirit of ‘Digital India’ initiated by the Prime Minister and capturing the essence of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.
  • PARIVESH, MoEFCC has become more of a facilitator, than a regulator.
  • “PARIVESH” is a workflow based application, based on the concept of web architecture.
  • It has been rolled out for online submission, monitoring and management of proposals submitted by Project Proponents to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC), as well as to the State Level Environmental Impact Assessment Authorities (SEIAA), to seek various types of clearances (e.g. Environment, Forest, Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone Clearances) from Central, State and district-level authorities.
  • It includes – single registration and single sign-in for all types of clearances (i.e. Environment, Forest, Wildlife and CRZ), unique-ID for all types of clearances required for a particular project and a single Window interface for the proponent to submit applications for getting all types of clearances (i.e. Environment, Forests, Wildlife and CRZ clearances).

Status of National Animal :-

  • The parliament in its monsoon session discussed about the status of National Animal. It is known fact that our National animal is Tiger

Details:

  • 237 tigers died in the country in last two years
  • In 2016, 122 tigers died across the country while 115 died in 2017
  • During 2012-17, 55% of the tiger deaths were due to natural causes while 7% were due to unnatural causes not attributable to poaching.
  • 23% (of tigers) died due to poaching while 15% have been tiger body part or derivative seizures.
  • The government through Project Tiger and National Tiger Conservation Authority, has taken a number of initiatives towards anti-poaching operations.
  • These include creation of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF), formulation of Security Plan guidelines which form part of the overarching Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP), development of a security audit framework and creation of an online wildlife crime database.
  • However unnatural deaths have not had an impact on tiger numbers which are growing at the rate of 5.8% per annum.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority has a collaborative project with the Wildlife Institute of India to customize drones for various tasks including surveillance in 13 tiger landscapes.

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