News (Text)


When:
November 22, 2017 @ 1:00 am
2017-11-22T01:00:00+05:30
2017-11-22T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

22 NOVEMBER 2017 

Sr. No. Topic News

1.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION

India pulls off a diplomatic coup, wins prized ICJ seat

2.

GS II: POLITY – LAW

Penal law soon on triple talaq

3.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

No need for privacy in court: Supreme Court

4.

GS III: SECURITY – J&K

First-time offenders to go scot-free in J&K

5.

GS II: INTER-STATE WATERS

SC refuses TN’s plea for immediate release of 30 tmc of Cauvery water

6.

GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT

Modified KPME Bill tabled without prison clause

7.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC reserves orders on plea against lawyers’ verification

8.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Bhopal gas leak survivors launch unique campaign

9.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

India calls for stronger treaties to protect space assets

10.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION

WTO: India resolute on food security

11.

GS III: ENERGY

Low tariffs slowing new bids for wind, solar energy projects: ICRA

GS II: INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION

India pulls off a diplomatic coup, wins prized ICJ seat

  • India scored a major diplomatic victory as its nominee to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected after the United Kingdom withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood.
  • The U.K. chose to withdraw after it became clear that it would not win the contest in the General Assembly (GA) and it did not have adequate support in the Security Council (UNSC) for its attempts to derail the voting process itself.
  • This is the first time in over seven decades of the United Nations, that the U.K. will not be represented in the ICJ; and this is the first time that one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council lost out to an ordinary member in a race.
  • This is also the first time that one sitting member of the ICJ lost out to another sitting member.
  • The winning candidate required a majority in both the GA and the UNSC, but 11 rounds of voting had ended with India winning in the GA and the U.K. winning in the SC.
  • With the UK announcing its exit from the race, in the 12th round, Mr. Bhandari received 183 of the 193 votes in the GA and secured all the 15 votes in the Security Council after separate and simultaneous elections were held at the UN headquarters in New York.
  • It initially wanted to suspend the voting process and move to a conference mechanism that has never been used in the history of the UN to break the stalemate.
  • But this move needed approval by the UNSC in an open voting while the voting for the ICJ is through a secret ballot.

GS II: POLITY – LAW

Penal law soon on triple talaq

  • The Union government has set up a ministerial committee to frame a new law that would attract penal provisions in the case of use of triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat for divorce between Muslim couples, and will be bringing the new Bill in the winter session of Parliament.
  • The Supreme Court had, in August 2017, in a majority judgement set aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat, an arbitrary and unilateral decision by a Muslim husband to end the marriage by utterance of the word talaq three times.
  • A senior government official said that the need for a new law was felt after it was found that divorce by way of talaq-e-biddat was taking place even after the SC judgment.
  • The Centre in its affidavit during the case before SC (Shayara Bano vs Union of India and others) had advocated the end of this practice.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

No need for privacy in court: Supreme Court

  • Judges have no need for privacy inside the courtrooms they preside in, Supreme Court judge, Justice A.K. Goel, said, giving the thumbs-up for audio and video recording of court proceedings.
  • Unlike the legislature, proceedings inside courtrooms have been a zealously guarded affair.
  • The to and fro between lawyers and judges, submissions made by the advocates and questions asked from the Bench have hitherto been beyond the eye of the camera or the ear of a recorder.
  • The court has expanded the scope of a petition filed by Pradyuman Bisht for installing CCTV cameras in criminal courts as a measure to ensure fair trials.
  • Signalling a paradigm shift, the Supreme Court Bench of Justices Goel and U.U. Lalit had, in August 2017 mooted the possibilities of having audio and video recordings of proceedings in the constitutional courts — the Supreme Court and the high courts.
  • This was a follow-up to their March 2017 order to have CCTVs installed inside courtrooms and at vantage points within court complexes in at least two districts across States and Union Territories.
  • The Bench had asked why the judiciary in India should be considered any different from the judges of other countries who do not consider recording of proceedings a violation of privacy of court proceedings.
  • The Bench has even mulled the possibility of recording tribunal proceedings.
  • We make it clear that the footage of the CCTV camera will not be available under the RTI and will not be supplied to anyone without permission of the High Court concerned.

GS III: SECURITY – J&K

First-time offenders to go scot-free in J&K

  • The Centre has advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to withdraw cases against first-time offenders involved in stone-throwing incidents in the 2016 unrest in Kashmir Valley, a top government official said.
  • It has also offered to bear the cost of treatment of those who were blinded, partially blinded or injured in firing by security forces.
  • Six persons were blinded and 21 lost an eye.
  • The official said the Centre was hopeful that separatists would join the dialogue process.
  • The move comes days before the second visit of Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma to the State as his first visit from November 6-10 did not evoke much interest.
  • The Centre’s decisions are also in consonance with the recent initiatives of the J&K police for surrender and rehabilitation of young men who have joined terror groups.
  • Around 700 young men were slapped with criminal cases for throwing stones and damaging public property in the Kashmir Valley in violent protests that broke after July 8, 2016, when Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.

GS II: INTER-STATE WATERS

SC refuses TN’s plea for immediate release of 30 tmc of Cauvery water

  • The Supreme Court refused Tamil Nadu’s plea to direct Karnataka to forthwith release Cauvery river water from its reservoirs to make good a shortfall of 63 TMC ft at Billigundulu.
  • In September 2017, the Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Misra (as he was then) had reserved its judgment on the appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal in 2007 on the allocation of the river water to the three States.
  • In the mentioning, Chief Justice Misra made it clear that since the judgment is reserved, the court will not pass any interim orders.
  • The court had ordered Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu everyday as an interim measure till the appeals are finally decided by it.

GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT

Modified KPME Bill tabled without prison clause

  • After much heated debate and opposition by doctors, the Karnataka State government tabled the modified Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill, 2017, doing away with the clause on imprisonment.
  • It, however, includes a clause on levying of penalty and even cancellation of registration in case of non-compliance.
  • The modified Bill empowers the government to fix uniform package rates for treatment and procedures under its health insurance schemes, but not across all categories.
  • It says that hospitals have to hand over bodies of the deceased patients to next of kin without insisting on payment of dues.
  • It insists on providing emergency treatment when required, without insisting on payment of advance from patients or representatives of patients in specified cases.
  • The Bill has done away with the proposed provisions on imprisonment, which had seen protests by doctors, but envisages levying of penalty in case of non-compliance to Patients’ Charter and Private Medical Establishment’s Charter in the schedule to KPME Act.
  • The Bill seeks to reconstitute the Registration and Grievance Redressal Authority in each district.
  • The five-member authority will be headed by the Deputy Commissioner.
  • The authority has been given powers to impose penalties of up to Rs. 50,000 and to cancel registration if the establishment does not comply with the law.
  • It has the power to impose a penalty equivalent to one-and-a-half times the overcharged amount, after giving the establishment an opportunity of being heard.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC reserves orders on plea against lawyers’ verification

  • The Supreme Court reserved orders on a batch of petitions challenging the Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules of 2015 which requires a mass verification of lawyers’ credentials to weed out fake practitioners.
  • The Bar Council of India (BCI) informed the court that out of over 15 lakh enrolled advocates, over six lakh have submitted verification forms.
  • The BCI said a high-level verification committee has been formed under former Supreme Court judge, Justice Anil R. Dave. The panel has already met with State Bar Councils.
  • The Bench however, expressed concern that the verification process could stall elections to the State bar councils and said it would pass orders on the petitions on November 24.
  • The petitions have alleged that the resolution by the apex lawyers’ body on January 13, 2015 titled ‘Certificate and Place of Practice (Verification) Rules 2015’ was unconstitutional and violative of the Advocates Act.
  • “The BCI does not have the power to add to the conditions of enrolment as expressly laid down under Section 24 (1) of the Advocates Act,” one of the petitions argued.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Bhopal gas leak survivors launch unique campaign

  • Survivors of the Union Carbide gas leak disaster in Bhopal launched a unique campaign to draw the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
  • They sent images of children pleading for medical care and rehabilitation to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister through Twitter.
  • On December 2, 1984, leakage of poisonous gas from the Union Carbide chemical plant resulted in the death of thousands.
  • The campaign named “paanch guhaar” (five requests) will focus on the issues of:

(i)   Medical care,

(ii)  Social and economic rehabilitation,

(iii)  Adequate compensation,

(iv)  Punishment of the culprits and

(v)  Cleaning up of lingering poisons in soil and groundwater which has become poisonous with hazardous waste released from the Union Carbide factory.

  • December 3, 2017 is the 33rd anniversary of the Union Carbide gas leak disaster,

GS III: S&T – SPACE

India calls for stronger treaties to protect space assets

  • Stressing international cooperation in space as in all domains of global commons, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar called for strengthening global treaties to protect space-based assets and prevent militarisation of outer space.
  • In line with this, Dr. Jaishankar said India had more than 200 international cooperation agreements with more than 40 countries and international organisations, and called the maiden moon mission, Chandrayaan-Ia “successful example of international cooperation with international payloads”.
  • “The South Asia satellite is a matter of particular pride as it literally raises the heights to which we had taken our ‘neighbourhood first’ policy,” the Foreign Secretary said.
  • In May 2017, ISRO launched the communications satellite GSAT-9, also called SAARC satellite, meant to provide connectivity and disaster support to countries in South Asia.
  • The satellite cost around Rs. 235 crore and had a life span of 12 years.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION

WTO: India resolute on food security

  • At the upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) highest decision-making body, India will not agree to severe restrictions on its right to give price subsidies to farmers through the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to procure grains from them for food security purposes, according to highly-placed official sources.
  • The WTO’s Ministerial Conference is slated to take place at Buenos Aires in Argentina in December 2017.
  • Currently, an interim mechanism called the ‘Peace Clause’ is in place, as per which WTO members had agreed not to challenge developing nations at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism if they breached the cap of the product-specific domestic support (which is 10% of the value of production).
  • The ‘Peace Clause’ is available to developing nations, including India, till a permanent solution is found to public stockholding for food security purposes.
  • However, the ‘Peace Clause’ is learnt to be difficult to invoke even in its current form because prior to using it, the country concerned will have to first admit that it ‘is breaching’ or ‘is about to breach’ the ceiling entitlement to give product-specific domestic support.
  • Also, the ‘Peace Clause’ can be used only for public stockholding programmes that have been in existence on the date at which it was agreed upon at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013, and not for new programmes on public stockholding for food security purposes.

GS III: ENERGY

Low tariffs slowing new bids for wind, solar energy projects: ICRA

  • The renewable energy sector is in the midst of a lull after the storm, as bidding for wind and solar energy projects is seeing a short-term slowdown, said rating agency ICRA.
  • The capacity addition in the near term remains adversely impacted due to migration from feed-in tariff to bid tariff route.
  • The wind energy sector is now following a bid based regime since February 2017, given the success of a reverse auction under two rounds of 1GW each by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) with a bid tariff discovery at Rs. 3.46/kwh in February 2017 & Rs. 2.64/kwh in October 2017.
  • This option is being preferred by the State utilities since the bid tariff level is significantly lower than the approved feed-in tariffs by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) for wind power projects.
  • The recent increase by about 15% (i.e. 6-7 cents/watt) in imported PV module prices, if sustained, could have an adverse impact on the viability of solar power projects with tariffs lower than Rs. 3.5 per unit.

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