Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 July 2022

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 July 2022


India’s Presidential Election 

  • Under Article 62(1) of the Constitution, an election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of the Presidentshall be completed before the expiration of the term (5 years).


  • The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of MPs of both Houses ofParliament and MLAs of the states and Delhi and Puducherry.
  • Nominated members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, and members ofstate Legislative Councils, are not part of the Electoral College.
  • The election is held as per the system of proportional representation by means of a singletransferable vote.
  • The winning candidate has to secure the required quota of votes to be declared elected,i.e., 50% of valid votes polled +1.
  • Anti-defection law is not applicable in the presidential election; thus, electors are not boundto vote along party lines.


Minority status in India 

  • Every person in India can be a minority in one state or another. According to the Supreme Court, the minority status of religious and linguistic communities is “dependent on the state”. 


  • A Marathi may be a minority outside his home state, e.g., Maharashtra.Likewise, a Kannada speaker may be a minority in states other than Karnataka. 
  • The Court considered a petition alleging that the followers of Judaism, Bahaism and Hinduism, who are the true minorities in Ladakh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur are unable to establish or manage educational institutions of their choice due to the non-identification of “minorities” at the state level. 
  • However, the Court pointed out that a religious or linguistic group which is a minority in a given state can, in principle, claim protection and the right to administer and direct its own educational institutions under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution. 


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Sri Lanka to witness three-way contest for presidency

  • Sri Lanka will witness a three-cornered race for presidency, as the island awaits a new leader and government after an astounding people’s uprising ousted Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week.   


  • Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the formerly Rajapaksa-aligned, and now independent DullasAlahapperuma, and the leftist Anura Kumara Dissanayake nominated by parties in parliament, a day ahead of the poll through a secret ballot. 
  • The Rajapaksas’ Sri Lanka PodujanaPeramuna [SLPP or People’s Front] dominates the legislature with well over 100 seats. 
  • The SJB currently has around 50 seats in the 225-member House, following recent defections of some of its members. The opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA), with 10 members in Parliament, is yet to announce its stance.Dissanayake’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna [JVP] has three seats. 
  • With the SLPP still holding majority in the House, all presidential aspirants would need the support of some of its members to win the vote. 
  • For six-time Premier and Acting President Wickremesinghe, this is arguably the closest he has been to clinching presidency. 
  • However, with Premadasa pulling out of the race and throwing his weight behind Alahapperuma, the contest may have just got harder for him.   

Marburg virus

  • The first two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious Ebola-like disease, have been confirmed officially by Ghana after test results were verified by a Senegal laboratory. This outbreak is only the second time that the disease has been detected in West Africa.


  • Marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever.
  • Marburg, like Ebola, is a filovirus; and both diseases are clinically similar.
  • Rousettus fruit-bats are considered the natural hosts for Marburg virus. However, African green monkeys imported from Uganda were the source of the first human infection.
  • It was first detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.



Concern over Crypto currencies 

  • The Government has said that the Reserve Bank of India has registered its concern over the adverse effect of Cryptocurrencies on the Indian economy.


  • This was informed by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Loksabha. 
  • She said that according to the RBI, Crypto currencies are not a currency because every modern currency needs to be issued by the Central Bank or government.
  • The Finance Minister said that in view of the concerns expressed by RBI on the destabilising effect of cryptocurrencies on the monetary and fiscal stability of the country, RBI has recommended framing of legislation on this sector. She said that the RBI is of the view that cryptocurrencies should be prohibited.



IISc develops new technology to produce green hydrogen 

  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, announced the development of new technology to produce green hydrogen from biomass. 

Key findings:

  • The technology is said to produce 100 grams of hydrogen from one kilogram of biomass.
  • The process consists of two steps. First, the biomass would be converted into syngas – a hydrogen-rich fuel gas mixture through a novel reactor using oxygen and steam.  
  • And then, the pure hydrogen would be generated from syngas using an indigenously developed low-pressure gas separation unit. 
  • India uses nearly 50 lakh tonnes of hydrogen for various processes in different sectors, and its market is expected to grow in the coming years. 


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