Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 November 2022
Delay in appointment of judges
- Underlining that the government is bound to accept the Collegium’s reiteration of its decision on appointment of judges, the Supreme Court issued notice Friday and sought a response from the Ministry of Law and Justice over delays in appointing judges.
About Collegium system
- It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved throughjudgments of SC (called the Judges Cases).
- SC collegium is headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) and comprises four othersenior-most judges of SC.
- HC collegium (led by the incumbent Chief Justice and two other seniormostjudges of that court) sends recommendation to SC collegium.
- Final decisions are taken by a collegium of CJI and two senior-most judges ofSC.
- Judges of higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system, andgovernment has a role only after names have been decided by collegium.
- Government’s role is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by IntelligenceBureau.
- Total sanctioned judicial strength in 25 High Courts (HCs) is 1,108. However, presentworking strength is 772 with 336 vacancies as on October 1.
Per capita income rose in real terms by 33.4 per cent
- Per capita income of population in India has increased in real terms by 33.4 per cent since the enactment of National Food Security Act (NFSA) in 2013, the Centre has told the Supreme Court.
- It provides legal entitlement to nearly 2/3rd of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas) to receive highlysubsidized foodgrains (based on Census 2011).
- Centre provides beneficiary identification norms, following which theStates/UTs are to identify beneficiaries (responsible for inclusion andexclusion of beneficiaries also).
- State-wise coverage ceiling within national ceiling (81.4 crorebeneficiaries) of coverage is also determined.
- Two categories of beneficiaries: Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priorityhouseholds (PHH).Every person in PHH category is entitled to receive 5 kg of foodgrains
- per month and each AAY household gets 35 kg of foodgrains per month.
- Eldest woman of beneficiary household (18 years or above) is considered‘Head of Family’ for the purpose of issuing ration cards.
Right to a Drug-Free Childhood
- The UN-backed conclave will open in Thiruvananthapuram on November 16, featuring prominent voices against drug abuse from India and abroad.
- It is organised by Fourth Wave Foundation (FWF) in partnership with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD).
- Theme: ’Children Matter-Right to a Drug-Free Childhood’ is the central theme of the meet.
- Fourth Wave Foundation’s initiative against substance abuse named ’VENDA’ (No to Drugs), strongly advocates the ‘alternative pursuit’ model in Kerala on the lines of Icelandic Model (IM).
- Major activities of ‘VENDA’ include empowerment programmes for children, football training, summer camp, football tourney ‘Venda Cup’ and awareness classes for parents, teachers, counsellors, police and excise officers.
- ‘VENDA’ is active in districts that have a very high number of drug-addicted teens found by the National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) survey conducted by the Narcotic Control Bureau.
- The increasing relevance of the Icelandic Model (IM) of intervention in bringing teenagers affected by drug use disorders back to normal life through alternative pursuits will be a key topic of deliberations at the International Forum on ‘Right to Drug-free Childhood’.
Actions taken against some civil society organisations due to their illegal practices
- India said actions were taken against some civil society organisations due to their illegal practices, including mala fide rerouting of money and continuing violations of foreign exchange management rules and tax laws of the country, reiterating that such organisations must operate in accordance with law.
- As the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India’s human rights record is underway in Geneva, some member states raised concerns over the issue of the Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010.
- Ireland voiced concern about the application of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, under which over 6000 NGOs have had their operation licenses revoked.
Recent Amendments in FCRA:
- Furnishing of Aadhaar numbers by office-bearers of NGOs is mandatory for registration.
- All foreign contributions are to be received in a bank account opened with SBI’s main branch in New Delhi.
- Certain persons are prohibited to accept any foreign contribution: election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper,judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.
Currency Monitoring List
- The US Department of Treasury removed India along with Italy, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam from its Currency Monitoring List of major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices and macroeconomic policies.
- India had been on the list for the last two years.
- The move came on a day when Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen visited New Delhi and held talks with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
- China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan are the seven economies that are a part of the current monitoring list, the Department of Treasury said in its biannual report to the Congress.
- The countries that have been removed from the list have met only one out of three criteria for two consecutive reports.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 of US requires its Treasury Department to report to the Congress in every six months if any country is manipulating its currencies to gain trade advantages over the US.
One of the ways of manipulation involves any country artificially weakening its currency by selling it in exchange for a foreign currency, usually the US dollar.
This artificial weakening of currency makes its own exports cheaper, thereby gaining an unfair trade advantage over another country’s exports.
::SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY::
Indian Biological Data Bank
- The ‘Indian Biological Data Bank’ has recently come up at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad.
- The government has for the first time set up a digitised repository where Indian researchers will store biological data from publicly funded research, reducing their dependency on American and European data banks.
- The digitised data will be stored on a four-petabyte supercomputer called ‘Brahm’.
- The government has mandated that data from all publicly funded research should be stored in this central repository.
- So, it will not only provide a platform to researchers to securely store their data within the country, it will also provide access to a large database of indigenous sequences for analyses.
- At present, most Indian researchers depend on the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and National Center for Biotechnology Information databases for storing the biological data.
- There are other smaller datasets available with some institutes, but those are not accessible to all. This will be the first national data repository, where the data will not only be submitted from across India but can be accessed by researchers from across India.