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Daily Current Affairs jan30

Daily Current Affairs jan30

                                                          Personal liberty

 

GS II: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

 

Why in the news? Time limit on advance bail violates personal liberty: SC

 

     

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    The protection of anticipatory or pre­ arrest bail cannot be limited to any time frame or “fixed period” as denial of bail amounts to deprivation of the fundamental right to personal liberty in a free and democratic country, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled.

     

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    A five judge Bench acknowledged that anticipatory bail helps thwart influential powers from implicating their rivals in false cases. 

     

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    Section 438 (anticipatory bail) of the Code of Criminal Procedure protects people from the ignominy of detention in jail for days on end and disgrace to their reputation. 

     

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    The court recorded its amicus curiae that anticipatory bail is all the more needed now because there is an accentuation of political rivalry and “this tendency is showing signs of steady increase.

     

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    The life or duration of an anticipatory bail order does not normally end at the time and stage when the accused is summoned by the court, or when charges are framed, but can continue till the end of the trial.

     

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    The questions referred to the Constitution Bench were two fold: whether the protection granted to a person under Section 438 should be limited to a fixed period till the accused surrenders in court, and whether the life of anticipatory bail should end when the accused is summoned by the court.

     

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    The history of our Republic and indeed, the freedom movement has shown how the likelihood of arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention and the lack of safeguards played an important role in rallying the people to demand independence.

     

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    The spectre of arbitrary and heavy­ handed arrests: too often, to harass and humiliate citizens, and oftentimes, at the interest of powerful individuals (and not to further any meaningful investigation into offences) led to the enactment of Section 438.

     

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    The normal rule (for grant of anticipatory bail) should be not to limit the order in relation to a period of time.

     

Court observed the following:

     

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    The court held that protection against arrest should inure in favour of the accused. Restricting the protection would prove unfavourable for the accused.

     

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    It is open for a court to impose appropriate conditions for grant of anticipatory bail if the specific facts or the features of the offence involved demands it. 

     

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    Courts have to consider the nature of the offence, the role of the person, the likelihood of his influencing the course of investigation or tampering of evidence, including intimidating witnesses and fleeing justice. But restrictions/conditions can be imposed only on a case­ to ­case basis.

     

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    An application for anticipatory bail should be based on concrete facts and not vague or general allegations. The application should also contain bare essential facts relating to the offence and why the applicant reasonably apprehends arrest. It should also have “his side of the story”.

     

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    The court held that a plea for anticipatory bail can be filed even before the registration of FIR as long as there is reasonable basis for apprehension of arrest and clarity of facts. 

     

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    Nothing in Section 438 of the CrPC compels or obliges courts to impose conditions limiting the relief in terms of time or upon filing of FIR or recording of statements of witnesses by the police during investigation or inquiry, etc.

     

   ~Source The Hindu

 

 

 

Plastic waste management

 

GS III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

 

Why in the news? RIL lays out road with plastic waste

 

     

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    A 40­km pilot project of road network made with 50 tonnes of plastic waste has taken shape within Reliance Industries Ltd.’s (RIL) Nagothane township. 

     

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    Under its sustainability initiative, plastics used by RIL in the construction include end­ of ­life post­consumer plastics, such as multi­layer films used for packaging of wafers, snacks, flimsy polyethylene plastic bags, flexible polyethylene packaging materials used by e­commerce companies, garbage bags, cling wraps and other flexible plastic products collected from within the township and surrounding areas of Pen taluka.

     

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    This is part of RIL’s endeavour to instil sustainability and circularity concepts in everything they do. The roads at Nagothane manufacturing division are a proof of concept that even end­ of life plastics can be utilised in a sustainable manner in creating meaningful and useful assets

     

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    Apart from being beneficial to the environment, the use of plastics also enhances the quality of roads.

     

Challenges: 

     

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    One of the major challenges in the business is collection of such plastic. The extended producer responsibility or EPR, to make the polluter pay, is touted as the way forward. 

     

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    A robust collection system of such plastic will ensure that even types of plastic that do not fetch waste pickers much money, because they cannot be recycled, are put to use for making roads

     

      ~Source The Hindu

 

 

 

Nagoba jatara

 

GS I: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

 

Why in the news? Month-long Nagoba jatara concludes in Telangana

 

 

     

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    Thanksgiving took place between the ordinary members of the clan and the elders who made it possible for the Nagoba jatara to be celebrated with customary gusto.

     

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    Thanksgiving and the  ceremony of Betal puja constituted the last of the rituals before the formal end of the annual jatara, which was spread over a month.

     

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    The Betal puja involved display of martial art, in this case sword wielding, by the Adivasi Raj Gond and Pardhans from the Mesram clan near the Govad. 

     

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    The practised exercise has the ‘warrior’ jumping into the air wielding a thin bamboo stick like a sword. 

     

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    According to elders, the Adivasis were familiar with martial arts, having been from the once ruling clans. The Mesram exited Keslapur village  to proceed towards Shampur in Utnoor mandal for the Budumdev jatara.

     

      ~Source The Hindu

 

 

 

 

Cyber security

 

GS III: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention

 

Why in the news? ‘Email accounts of govt. officials hacked’

 

     

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    An independent security researcher has alerted the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, Government of India, that the credentials of the official email accounts of at least 3,000 employees working in sensitive establishments such as the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) among others have been hacked in various data breaches.

     

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    Sai Krishna Kothapalli, founder of Hackrew, did an analysis of data leaks from several services spanning the last six years and compiled a dossier of the leaked credentials from various websites in the “dark web” among other resources. 

     

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    This data was highly disorganised initially, as it came from several sources over a long period and each data breach gave results in different formats.

     

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    The results of the analysis revealed that 3,202 accounts ending with “gov.in” format were hacked and their login name/passwords made available in plain text over the deep web. 

     

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    Never expected such a large scale attack which could possibly be targeted towards some specific organisations. 

     

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    It is closely followed by BARC, with 325 accounts. The two top organisations that deal with atomic research top this list. These organisations were specifically targeted, which is why the count of leaked data is so high compared to other organisations.

     

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    Before the analysis ,a thorough clean­up had to be performed to separate the email IDs and passwords and arrange them in a format legible enough to carry out a detailed analysis. 

     

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    The data was checked against a third party called “Have I been pwned” ­ a website that allows Internet users to check whether their personal data has been compromised by data breaches.

     

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     At this stage, it is important to revoke those credentials and take proper security measures. It is high time that two ­factor authentication is introduced to access email accounts of employees in sensitive organisations.

     

      ~Source The Hindu

 

 

Pneumonia mortality rate

 

GS II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger

 

Why in the news? 14 per cent of India’s under-five deaths due to pneumonia: Report

 

     

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    Fourteen per cent of under-five deaths in India — approximately 1,27,000 deaths annually — happen due to pneumonia. 

     

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    It is estimated that half of these deaths are in the northern belt of the country. The current pneumonia mortality rate is five per 1,000 live births and the target is to reduce this to less than three by 2025, says a report released ahead of the first-ever global forum on childhood pneumonia in Barcelona.

     

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    Scaling up pneumonia treatment and prevention services can save the lives of 3.2 million children under the age of five the world over. 

     

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    It would also create a ripple effect’ that would prevent 5.7 million extra child deaths from other major childhood diseases at the same time, underscoring the need for integrated health services.

     

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    Outdoor air pollution contributes to 17.5 per cent — or nearly one in five —pneumonia deaths among children under five worldwide.

     

 

Key facts

     

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    Pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old, killing 808 694 children in 2017.

     

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    Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi.

     

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    Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition, and by addressing environmental factors.

     

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    Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only one third of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.

     

Causes:

Pneumonia is caused by a number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are:

     

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    Streptococcus pneumoniae – the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children;

     

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    Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) – the second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia;

     

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    respiratory syncytial virus is the most common viral cause of pneumonia;

     

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    in infants infected with HIV, Pneumocystis jiroveci is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, responsible for at least one quarter of all pneumonia deaths in HIV-infected infants.

     

 

 

~Source IndianExpress

 

   Coronavirus

 

GS II: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.

 

Why in the news? WHO weighs science and politics in global virus emergency decision

 

     

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    Most of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) criteria for declaring a global emergency have been met, but it is awaiting clear evidence of a sustained spread of the new coronavirus outside China before doing so.

     

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    The U.N. agency is seeking to balance the need to ensure China continues to share information about the virus while also giving sound scientific advice to the international community on the risks.

     

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    Doing so can hurt the host countries because it may lead to flight cancellations and travel or trade restrictions, dragging on the economy.

     

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    The WHO declined to declare China’s coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern(PHEIC) twice last week, although its Emergency Committee was split “50-50” over whether to do so.

     

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    To declare an international emergency were deaths abroad and human-to-human transmission outside of China.

     

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    While the vast majority of the 4,500 or so confirmed cases and 106 deaths so far have been in China, cases in Germany, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan where the virus has spread from person-to-person have heightened concerns.

     

~Source IndianExpress

 

Agricultural biotechnology

 

GS III: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Why in the news? Agricultural biotechnology: Gene Editing versus Gene Modification

 

Issues related to rice farming:

     

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    Rice, like other crops, is exposed to various biotic and abiotic stresses during its life cycle. Several diseases such as bacterial leaf blight and blast, and insect pests like the brown plant hopper, cause significant damage that result in devastating yield reductions. 

     

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    The crop losses from some of these biotic stresses can be as high as 50% and even reach 90% in epidemic conditions.

     

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    In addition, rice accounts for more than half of the freshwater used in agriculture. Water availability for agriculture in general is becoming a significant constraint now, due to ever-increasing domestic, urban and industrial consumption requirements. 

     

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    The situation will become more complex with decreased arable land availability as well, not to speak of the impact of climate change on crop productivity.

     

 

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    Targeted “genome editing” of crop plants, which could yield varieties with desired traits within a short period of time compared to traditional breeding methods. For this, first identify rice varieties that are already being grown extensively in a selected geography and develop strategies for improving traits such as disease and pest resistance, drought tolerance, etc.

     

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    Targeted genome editing using “CRISPR/Cas9” has captivated the attention of the research community. 

     

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    The applications of this technology an acronym for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9” have gained significant traction in various fields of science, including agriculture.

     

 

 

   

     

       

     

   

 

         

               

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    CRISPR/Cas9 was originally identified and adapted from a naturally-occurring immunity mechanism in bacteria, which is employed against invading viruses. 

               

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    The bacteria basically capture snippets of DNA from the viruses and use them to create CRISPR arrays. These DNA segments allow the bacteria to “remember” the viruses. In the event of the viruses attacking, the bacteria produce RNA (messenger that carries genetic information from the DNA) from the CRISPR arrays. 

               

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    The bacteria then uses Cas9 enzyme, which acts as a pair of “molecular scissors”to cut the DNA apart and disabling the virus.

               

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Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 is possible through three different approaches: Site-Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1, 2 and 3. 

     

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    SDN1 produces a double-stranded break in the genome of a plant and modifies an existing trait without undertaking insertion of any foreign DNA or even editing at the site of interest. 

     

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    SDN2 modifies the trait of interest by producing a double-stranded break and, while that is being repaired by the cell, editing a small sequence at the target site. 

     

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    SDN3 uses site-specific insertion of a large, foreign DNA fragment to introduce a new trait of interest.

     

The use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology has been successfully demonstrated, for instance, in developing rice lines that are resistant to blast (by knocking-out genes that suppress immunity to the fungus) and bacterial leaf blight (by editing the binding sites of the disease-causing genes).

~Source IndianExpress

 

 

 

 

Daily Current Affairs jan30