Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 February 2023
Custodial Deaths Report
- In between 2018 to 2022 the highest number of custodial deaths have been reported in Gujarat at 80, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Rajya Sabha.
- This is followed by Maharashtra (76), Uttar Pradesh (41), Tamil Nadu (40) and Bihar (38).
- Among UTs, highest incidents were reported from Delhi followed by Jammu and Kashmir.
- Custodial violence primarily refers to violence in police custody and judicial custody. Besides death, rape and torture are two other forms of custodial violence.
- However, the term custodial violence has not been defined under any law.
Causes for Custodial Deaths:
- Traditional habit of using force by police,
- Prison overcrowding leads to violence between prisoners or suicide,
- Deficiencies in basic services like medical facilities, food etc.
Constitutional safeguards include:
- Article 20: Right to protection against conviction of offenses,
- Article 21: Right to life and liberty.
- Article 22: Right to protection against arrest and detention in certain circumstance.Statutory safeguards include
- Sections 330 & 331 of Indian Penal Code.
- Sections 25 & 26 of Indian Evidence Act.
- Section 29 of Police Act, 1861 that were enacted to curb tendency of policemen to resort to torture to extract confessions etc.
Election of Deputy Speaker
- The Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and five states — Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand — over the failure to elect a Deputy Speaker.
- A Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) responses on a PIL that contends that not electing a Deputy Speaker to the 17th (present) Lok Sabha, which was constituted on June 19, 2019, is “against the letter and spirit of the Constitution”.
- The post has been lying vacant in the five state Assemblies as well, which were constituted between four years and almost one year ago, the plea states.Constitutional provisions related to Deputy speaker
- Article 93: Lok Sabha shall choose two members of House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
- As office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, House shall choose another member.
- Article 95: While office of Speaker is vacant, duties of the office shall be performed by Deputy Speaker or, if office of Deputy Speaker is also vacant, by such member of Lok Sabha as President may appoint for purpose.
- Article 178: Corresponding position for Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly of a state.
- Term of Office: It is upto5 years.
Global Sea-level Rise and Implications report
- According to a new report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) - “Global Sea-level Rise (SLR) and Implications” - India, China, Bangladesh and the Netherlands face the highest threat of sea-level rise globally.
- Almost 11% of the global population (896 million) in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone, increasing to beyond 1 billion by 2050 and associated development, coastal ecosystems face climate risks, including sea level rise.
- India, China, Bangladesh and Netherlands face highest threat of SLR globally.
- Global mean sea level increased by 0.20 metres from 1901 to 2018.
- Almost 11% of global population (896 million people) lived within Low Elevation Coastal Zone in 2020, potentially increasing to beyond 1 billion people by 2050.
Factors for SLR from 1971-2018
- Thermal Expansion (Warming of water causes volume of water to increase) responsible for 50% SLR.
- Ice loss from glaciers lead to 22% SLR.
- Loss of ice sheets contributes to 20% SLR. Rate of ice-sheet loss increased by a factor of four between 1992-1999 and 2010-2019.
- Changes in land-water storage contributed to 8% SLR.
Sugar prices in the global market have surged to near six-year high
- Surge in global sugar prices is due to fear of lower production in few countries including India.
- The Indian government not allowing exports of more than six milliontonnes (mt) for current season (October 2022- September 2023).
- Sugar is an important agro-based industry that impacts rural livelihood of 50 million sugarcane farmers and around 5 lakh workers directly employed in sugar mills.
- India has emerged as world’s largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as world’s 2nd largest exporter of sugar in 2021-2022.
- Maharashtra is largest producer of sugar followed by Uttar Pradesh in 2021- 2022.
Factors for lower sugar production:
- Excess rain affected sugarcane crops in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
- Brazil faces logistics issues in transporting cane crops.
- Ruling in European Union against neonics-coated sugar beet seeds (neonics coating prevents insects from damaging crops) could result in lower yield.
- Drought faces in Chinese province of Guangxi.
Primary Agricultural Credit Society
- Union Cabinet approves establishment of new Primary Agricultural Credit Society in 2 lakh panchayats in next five years.
- PACS are village level cooperative credit societies that serve as the last link in a three-tier cooperative credit structure headed by the State Cooperative Banks (SCB) at the state level.
- Credit from the SCBs is transferred to the district central cooperative banks, or DCCBs, that operate at the district level. The DCCBs work with PACS, which deal directly with farmers.
- Since these are cooperative bodies, individual farmers are members of the PACS, and office-bearers are elected from within them. A village can have multiple PACS.
- PACS are involved in short term lending — or what is known as crop loan. At the start of the cropping cycle, farmers avail credit to finance their requirement of seeds, fertilisers etc.
- Banks extend this credit at 7 per cent interest, of which 3 per cent is subsidised by the Centre, and 2 per cent by the state government. Effectively, farmers avail the crop loans at 2 per cent interest only.
- To provide short and medium-term purpose loans to farmers for various agricultural purposes.
- To borrow adequate funds from central financial agencies to help its members on time.
- Maintaining the supply of the hired light machinery for agricultural purposes.
- Provide marketing facilities to members that could enhance the sale of their agricultural products in the market at reasonable prices.
::SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY::
Governing Cadaver Organ Transplants
- The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the clause that people beyond 65 years could not receive cadaver organ transplants had been removed.
- Now, people beyond 65 years in need of an organ donation will also be eligible to get one.
- The government has decided to do away with a clause in the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) guidelines as the clause violates the Right to Life.
About Organ Transplantation in India:
- The primary legislation governing organ transplantation in India is the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, passed in 1994.
- It provides a system to regulate the removal, storage, and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
- National Organ transplant program is implemented by the Directorate General of Health Services, Government of India.
- To organize a system of organ and Tissue procurement & distribution for transplantation.
- To promote deceased organ and Tissue donation.
- To train the required manpower.
- To protect vulnerable poor from organ trafficking.
- To monitor organ and tissue transplant services and bring about policy and programme corrections/ changes whenever needed.