News: July 19, 2020

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Disaster Management
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/6

Disaster Management

Disaster Management Act, 2005

  • It provides for a three tier structural system to manage disasters with NDMA at the national level, State Disaster Management Authorities headed by Chief Ministers at the State level and District Disaster Management Authorities at district level.
  • The legislation also envisages responsibility on the central government to constitute National Disaster Response Fund and National Disaster Mitigation Fund.
  • Provisions for Imprisonment for a term up to two years or fine, or both for violating any provision of the DM Act.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • NDMA is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India, established through Disaster Management Act,  2005
  • It is the nodal division in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for disaster management, and is chaired by Prime Minister
  • Composition - NDMA may have no more than nine members, and the tenure of the members shall be five years
  • NDMA Funds
    • The financial assistance from SDRF/NDRF is for providing immediate relief and is not compensation for loss/damage to properties /crops 
    • For projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation, i.e, measures aimed at reducing the risk, impact or effect of a disaster or threatening disaster situation a separate fund called National Disaster Mitigation Fund has to be constituted
    • NDRF and SDRF accounts are audited by CAG every year
    • National Disaster Response Fund
      • NDRF was set up in accordance with Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
      • NDRF is constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature. 
      • Disaster (s) covered under NDRF: cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and cold wave and frost 
      • Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave frost; while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). 
      • In the event of a disaster of 'a severe nature', in which the funds needed for relief operations exceeded the balances in the SDRF account, additional assistance would be provided from the NDRF 
      • National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Disaster Management Authority takes decisions on the expenses from National Disaster Response Fund.
      • Allows individual and institutional contributions directly
    • State Disaster Response Fund:
      • SDRF was set up in accordance with Section 48 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
      • Fourteenth Finance Commission made provisions of funds for SDRF
      • Every state has to constitute State Executive Committee (SEC) as per section 20 of Disaster Management Act. SEC's administrative expenses are borne by state government.
      • Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF allocation for general category States/UTs; and 90% for special category States/UTs (NE States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir)
      • Disaster (s) covered under SDRF: Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost and cold waves.
      • State Government may use up to 10 percent of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters that they consider to be ‘disasters’ within the local context in the State

Initiatives

  • IFLOWS-Mumbai - Flood warning system for Mumbai developed by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Assam floods
  • July, 20
    • Finance Ministry clears proposal for individual and institutional contributions to NDRF

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/6

Codes And Articles In Focus

Articles

  • States
    • Nagaland
      • Article 371A - Special provision with respect to the state of Nagaland
      • Article 371A (1) (b) - important functions like "transfer and posting of officials" entrusted with the maintenance of law and order of and above the district level will be with the approval of the Governor.
  • Right to Health
    • Right to Health is an integral part of Right to Life as enshrined in Article 21.
    • Article 38 lays down the responsibility of the state to secure social order for the in promotion of the welfare of public health.
    • Article 39 (e) pertains to the protection of health of the workers.
    • Article 41 relates to providing public assistance by the state in special circumstances such as sickness, disability, old age etc.
    • Article 42 protects the health of the infant and the mothers, i.e. in a way, it pertains to maternity benefit.
    • Article 47 imposes a primary duty of the state in improvement of public health, in securing of justice, providing humane conditions of work for the workers, extension of benefits pertaining to sickness, disability, old age and maternity benefits. In addition to this, the state is under an obligation to prohibit the consumption of liquor in the interest of the public good.
    • Article 48A: State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
    • Article 164 (1A) : The total number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister, in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State
  • Environment
    • Article 48A - State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
    • Article 51 A - Every citizen shall protect the environment.
  • Governor
    • Article 159 :  Oath or affirmation by Governor 
    • Article 174 :  Empowers Governor to decide on session sittings of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, but no more than six months should pass between two sittings. It also allows Governor to Prorogue either House and dissolve Legislative Assembly.
    • Article 175 : Governor may address the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, and can require attendance of its members. Governor may also send message (pending Bills, functioning of House, order, etc) to either House, and the respective House will have to consider the said message

Codes

Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)  codes

  • Section 144
    • Power to issue order in urgent cases of nuisance of apprehended danger.
    • It authorizes the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such 'unlawful assembly' can be booked for engaging in rioting.
    • Also referred as 'gag order'

Indian Penal Code (IPC) codes

  • Section 188:  Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys. It can lead to imprisonment of 6 months and/or a fine of Rs 10000
  • Section 295: Damage to a place of worship or an object held sacred, punishable with imprisonment which may extend to two years, or fine, or both.
  • Section 300 and 302: Mob Lynching - Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC. IPC does not specifically describes lynching
  • Section 330 and 331: causing hurt or grievous hurt to extort confession 
  • Section 383: Extortion
  • Section 497 and 498: Adultry
  • Section 498A: Domestic violence
  • Section 506: Criminal Intimidation. non bailable remand

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Madhya Pradesh Council of Ministers exceeding prescribed limit
    • Section 188: Lockdown curbing, in Uttar Pradesh alone, as of 29th April, 2020, FIRs have been registered against 33094 people under Section 188 of IPC during the period of lockdown.
  • July, 20
    • Governor of West Bengal cites Article 159 of deteriorating condition of state
    • 10 yr old dalit girl booked for sacrilege in Punjab
    • Rajasthan Governor allows holding of Assembly session
  • Aug, 20
    • Section 188 - Cases of hospitals and ambulances overcharging public during pandemic

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology Information Technology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/6

Apps And Portals In Focus

Centre

Apps

  • Aarogya Setu 
    • Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Its self assessment test is based on ICMR guidelines
    • When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing, which then shares it with the Aarogya Setu server.
    • The App screen gives color codes green, yellow, orange, or red after doing risk assessment.
    • Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air, train travel
  • e-Choupal 4.0 - By ITC Agri, and will provide end-to-end and personalized services to farmers on weather and markets on a real-time basis.
  • SWAYAM - Online portal by UGC, providing free online courses, however fees is required for certificate.
  • KURMA
    • App for turtle conservation. Provides a database for species identification, and location for nearest rescue centre
    • Developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India

Portals

  • National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM), 2018
    • A dedicated e market, set up by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is used for different goods & services procured by Government Organisations / Departments / PSUs.
      • Some States / UTs have signed an MoU to make procurement through GeM mandatory
      • Before GeM, Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) was used for facilitating procurement.
    • Provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments, State Governments and PSUs
    • "Country of origin" must on products
  • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
    • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime to Union Cabinet cleared central agencies
    • Under Ministry of Home Affairs. First conceptualised in 2009, the project aims to go live by December 31, 2020.
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) - to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities

States

  • Delhi
    • Assess Koro na - Collecting data with a door to door survey done by Delhi government. It is done through BLO (Booth Level Officer), municipal corporation workers, ASHA workers, and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife)
    • Rozgaar Bazaar - focusses on those who lost their jobs and businesses during pandemic
  • Maharashtra
    • Mahajobs - job portal

[In News: Latest]

  • Delhi launches Rozgaar Bazaar for helping those who lost jobs in pandemic

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Ecosystem Vegetation and Wildlife
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/6

Animal Protection

Acts

Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972

The main object of the Act is to provide protection to the wild animals birds and plants. Salient features:

  • Hunting of all wild animals except vermin prohibited, with exceptions.
    • Boars have been declared vermin
  • The Act empowers Central Government to declare certain areas as Sanctuaries or National Parks. Central Government is empowered to appoint the Director and Asst. Director Wild Life Preservation and other officials and employees
  • The Act empowers State Government to appoint Chief Wild Life Warden, Wild Life Wardens and on Honorary Wild Life Warden in each District and other officers and employees as may be necessary.
  • The State govt. by notification, may declare any area as national park; and any area within the reserved forest or territorial waters as a sanctuary. If there are tribals in the area, then their rights need to be met before declaration
  • Setting of 'Wild Life Advisory Board' in each State or Union Territory to advise the State government.
  • All zoos to be monitored by Central Zoo Authority (CZA). Thus CZA is a statutory body chaired by the Environment Minister
  • Any authorized person under this Act is entitled and has power of entry, search, arrest and detention of any premises.
  •  Schedules
    • Sechedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection - offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties
    • Penalties for Schedule III and Schedule IV are less and these animals are protected.
    • Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted
    • Schedule VI contains the plants, which are prohibited from cultivation and planting. 

Advisory for dealing with import of exotic live species in India and declaration of stock

  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued an advisory in June, 2020 to streamline the process for import and possession of exotic live species in India.
  • The advisory has defined exotic animals as those that are mentioned in Appendices I, II and III of CITES, but not under the schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • A person trying to import a live exotic animal will have to submit an application for grant of a licence to the Director General of Foreign Trade  (DGFT). He will also have to attach a No Objection Certificate (NOC) of the chief wildlife warden  (CWLW) of the state concerned
  • The processes under this Advisory shall be dealt online through the Parivesh Portal
    • PARIVESH portal - Single window clearances of Environment, Forests and Wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Clearances. By Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change 

Indian Bodies

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB)

  • WCCB is statutory multi-disciplinary body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to combat organized wildlife crime.
  • WCCB is mandated under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to collect and collate intelligence related to organized wildlife crime activities and to disseminate the same to State and other enforcement agencies
  • It also assists and advises the Customs authorities in inspection of the consignments of flora & fauna

Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

  • an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, established in 1982

Global Bodies

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) / Washington Convention, 1975

  • CITES is an international treaty to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. India has ratified the convention
  • Does not have arbitration or dispute resolution powers.
  • CITES Appendices: Appendices I, II and III to the Convention are lists of species afforded different levels of protection. Species are proposed for inclusion or deletion from the Appendices I and II, at meetings of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), held approximately once every three years. However, species from Appendix III may be added or removed at any time and by any Party unilaterally
    • Appendix I: Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. These species are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except for non commercial purposes like scientific research.
    • Appendix II: Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction but that may become unless trade is closely controlled. International trade is authorized with export permit, but no permit is required for import
    • Appendix III: Appendix III is a list of species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. For trading, an export permit and a certificate of origin is required.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau busts syndicate smuggling exotic macaws
  • July, 20
    • Environment Ministry has reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) 
    • KURMA app  - One of the major challenges for freshwater turtle conservation in the country is that wildlife crime prevention agencies are not sufficiently equipped to know how to distinguish one species from the other, or their protection status in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Aug, 20
    • Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has slammed a petroleum exploration major for not learning any lesson from two earlier oil well blowouts in Assam

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Space
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/6

Space Concepts In Focus

Sun

  • Heliosphere: A giant bubble of charged particles and magnetic fields blown outward by the Sun that stretches more than twice the distance to Pluto at its nearest edge
  • Magnetic reconnection: Magnetic reconnection refers to the breaking and reconnecting of oppositely directed magnetic field lines in a plasma. In the process, magnetic field energy is converted to plasma kinetic and thermal energy. 

[In News]

  • Aug, 20
    • Sun's corona or outer atmosphere is much hotter than its surface. A possible theory is sun's magnetic reconnection

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Space
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/6

Global Space Agencies

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Probes

  • Parker Solar Probe
    • Launched in 2018
    • Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living With a Star program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system. It will try to assist understanding of corona and solar winds.
    • NASA's parker probe will orbit as close as 3 million miles in its final stages

China National Space Administration (CNSA)

Probes

  • Tianwen-1 /  Huoxing-1
    • The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, and the mission aims to study the thickness and sub-layer distribution of the Martian soil.
    • China's previous attempt, in partnership with Russia, to Mars in 2011 was unsuccessful. This will be China's first solo attempt

European Space Agency (ESA)

Probes

  • Solar Orbiter
    • Joint mission between ESA and NASA launched in Febuary 2020 on United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket
    • Solar Orbiter is traveling as close as 26 million miles from the Sun, inside the orbit of Mercury to measure the magnetic fields, waves, energetic particles and plasma escaping the Sun, while they are still in their pristine state, before being modified and mixed in their long journey from the Sun. 
    • Solar Orbiter joins NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in studying our star from closer than any spacecraft before them 

Others

  • United Arab Emirates
    • Al-Amal / Hope: First Arab space mission to Mars launched from Japan. It will orbit Mars for a whole Martian year

[In News]

  • July, 20
    • Al-Amal / Hope launches from Japan
    • Tianwen-1 launches from CNSA

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