Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 03 August 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 03 August 2019


::NATIONAL::

Supreme court says giving voice sample does not amount to violation of privacy

  • In a significant judgment, the Supreme Court on Friday held that a judicial magistrate is empowered to order a person to give a sample of his voice for the purpose of investigation.

  • The judgment authored by Chief Justice Gogoi said “the fundamental right to privacy cannot be construed as absolute and must bow down to compelling public interest”.

  • The Bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and SanjivKhanna, held that giving voice sample to an investigating agency was not a violation of the fundamental right against self-incrimination. Article 20 (3) of the Constitution mandated that “no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself”.

  • The 87th Report of the Law Commission of India in 1980 describes a voice print as a “visual recording of voice”. Voiceprints resemble fingerprints, in that each person has a distinctive voice with characteristic features dictated by vocal cavities and articulates.

  • The court dismissed an argument that the making of such far-reaching interpretations in the Criminal Procedure Code – which is silent on whether a court can order a person to give voice sample to police – should be best left to the legislature.

  • The judgment came in an appeal filed by RiteshSinha against a 2010 order of a magistrate court in Uttar Pradesh allowing police to get his voice sample. The police wanted to compare the voice sample with his alleged telephone conversations with his co-accused.

Census 2021 unlikely to collect caste wise data

  • Census 2021 is unlikely to collect “caste wise” data as a similar exercise conducted in 2011 by another ministry threw up about 40 lakh caste names that were difficult to tabulate, a senior government official said on Friday.

  • The decennial exercise would involve 31 lakh trained enumerators, with data collected digitally using Android based mobile phones.

  • The Census data would be available by the year 2024-25 as the entire process would be conducted digitally and data crunching would be quicker, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

  • The 2011 caste data, collected as part of the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC), is yet to be released by the Centre. As per the National Commission for Backward Classes, there are 2,479 entries in the Central list of the Other Backward Classes (OBC).

  • An official said that last time, the Census was recorded on paper, with the information then scanned and later fed into the database, leading to the publication of various datasets.

  • “The digitisation will ensure there is not much delay and most parameters will be available by 2024-25. In many countries, census is collected in one day,” an official said.

::ECONOMY::

RBI mandates elected directors of PSB’s to be appointed by board

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that the elected directors of public sector banks (PSBs) are to be appointed by the nomination and remuneration committee of the board of the respective banks.

  • The RBI has come out with guidelines on ‘fit and proper’ criteria of elected directors in PSBs and said all these banks were required to constitute a nomination and remuneration committee consisting of a minimum of three non-executive directors from the board, out of which not less than one-half will be independent directors and should include at least one member from the risk management committee of the board.

  • “The non-executive chairperson of the bank may be appointed as a member of the committee but shall not chair such a committee,” the RBI said.

  • On the tenure, the RBI said an elected director can be appointed for three years and could be re-elected but cannot hold office for than six years. “The candidate should not be holding the position of a Member of Parliament or State Legislature or municipal corporation or municipality or other local bodies,” the RBI said.

  • Candidates engaged in stock broking, or a member of any other board of a bank or financial institution, connected with hire purchase, financing, money lending, investment, leasing and other para banking activities cannot be considered for the appointment.

  • Moreover, the RBI said the candidate should not be acting as a partner of a chartered accountant’s firm which is currently engaged as a statutory central auditor of any nationalised bank or the State Bank of India.

Pashmina products get BIS certification

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. The Standard is being released in Leh, today.

  • In a message Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, SmritiZubinIrani said that the certification will help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material. It will also assure the purity of Pashmina for customers

  • Textiles Minister further said that it is a step in the right direction and will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products, currently a disadvantaged lot due to rampant marketing malpractices.

  • The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the hostile and tough terrain of Changthang and are solely dependent on Pashmina for their livelihood. At present, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats.

  • This initiative of hallmarking Pashmina will protect the interests of these families, motivate the younger generation to continue in this profession as well as encourage more families to take up this occupation.

  • These goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh. The Changthangi goats have revitalized the economy ofChangthang, Leh and Ladakh region.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India to expand connectivity with MGC nations

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has emphasised on better connectivity between India and other member countries of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) bloc for developing a vibrant economic growth corridor.

  • The MGC, is a sub-regional cooperation organisation comprising India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

  • The Minister also emphasised on the need to quickly finalise the India-Myanmar-Thailand Motor Vehicle Agreement to facilitate seamless movement of goods and passengers across borders. He said, the move, will lead to greater trade and tourism. India had earlier announced a one billion dollar Line of Credit for connectivity projects in the ASEAN.

  • During the meeting, the new MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 was adopted that envisages project-based cooperation in various areas including tourism and culture, education, public health and traditional medicine, agriculture and allied sectors, transport and communication, MSMEs and water resources management.

  • MGC which takes its name from the Ganga and the Mekong, the two civilisational rivers in Southeast Asia, was launched in 2000 at Laos capital Vientiane.

  • The MGC aims at facilitating closer contacts among the people inhabiting these two major river basins and enhancing cooperation in tourism, culture, education, transport and communications.
    Sudanese factions agree for transitional government

  • Sudan's military council and the main opposition coalition have reached an agreement to usher in a new period of transitional government, African Union mediator for Sudan Mohamed Hassan Lebatt told a news conference in the early hours of Saturday morning.

  • The document, which outlines the powers and the relationships between the branches of the transitional government, comes after weeks of protracted negotiations brokered by the African Union and neighbouring Ethiopia amid sporadic bouts of violence in the capital Khartoum and other cities.

  • Sudan has been in a state of political turmoil since the army ousted veteran leader Omar al-Bashir in April, with dozens of demonstrators killed during street protests.

  • Sudan's stability is crucial for the security of a volatile region stretching from the Horn of Africa to Libya that is riven by conflict and power struggles.

  • Two key points of contention had been the role of Sudan's General Intelligence Service and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the country's most powerful paramilitary group.

  • When the sovereign council is formed, the country's current ruling body, a transitional military council headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, RSF commander General Mohamed HamdanDagalo, will be dissolved.

  • A top priority for the transitional government during its first six months in power will be working towards peace with a number of armed groups active in the southern and western regions of the country, Satea al-Hajj, an FFC negotiator, said on Saturday.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Scientists claim European heat wave linked to man-made global warming

  • The heat wave that smashed temperature records in Western Europe last month was made more intense by man-made climate change, according to a study published Friday.

  • The rapid study by a respected team of European scientists points to an array of evidence that man-made global warming was behind the continent’s most recent heat wave.

  • In countries where millions of people sweltered through the heatwave, temperatures would have been 1.5 to 3 degrees Celsius lower without human-induced climate change, the study said.

  • While the heat wave broke in Western Europe after a few days late last month, the extreme temperatures have since shifted north and are causing massive ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic.

  • The scientists calculated the odds of this type of heat occurring now and how often it would have happened in a world without man-made global warming and compared them. They created the simulations by using eight different sets of complex computer models.

  • The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2016 studied this new scientific method of climate attribution and pronounced it valid.

::SPORTS::

Adarshsingh wins gold in shooting meet

  • In Shooting, young Adarsh Singh outclassed his rivals in the SardarSajjan Singh Sethi Memorial Masters competition, winning the gold medal in both the men and junior 25 metres rapid fire pistol event in New Delhi today.

  • The 17-year-old Adarsh shot 584 to top the qualification rounds, his score way above the second-ranked shooter in both the competitions.

  • The Haryana boy then won the men's final 27-26 to edge out Army marksman Gurmeet in a tense finish as both shot identical 3s to end the duel.

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