Current Affairs and News Analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination and State Civil Service Examinations.

15 September 2018 - Current Affairs for UPSC IAS and State Civil Service Exam

Polity

President Ram Nath Kovind appoints Justice Ranjan Gogoi as CJI

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind appointed the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Ranjan Gogoi as the 46th Chief Justice of India. He will assume the office on October 3 following the retirement of the present CJI Dipak Misra.

  • Justice Gogoi will be the first to become CJI from the Northeast.
  • Seniority at the apex court is determined not by age, but it is measured by:

  • The date a judge was appointed to the Supreme Court.
  • If two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day,
    • The one who was sworn in first as a judge would trump another;
    • If both were sworn in as judges on the same day, the one with more years of high court service would ‘win’ in the seniority stakes;
    • An appointment from the bench would ‘trump’ in seniority an appointee from the bar.
  • Ethics Committee Lok Sabha

    Function of Ethics Committee

  • The committee examines complaints relating to unethical conduct by members of Parliament.
  • It is also free to take up suo motu investigation into the matters relating to ethics and unethical conduct by a member, wherever necessary, and make such recommendations, as it may deem fit.
  • Right to be forgotten

    Justice BN Srikrishna Committee’s draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 is introducing a new right — the right to be forgotten, to remove very old, irrelevant and unnecessary information links from social media networks. This concept is prevalent in the European Union (EU) and France, though it was not preferred in the US to the more valuable press freedom. Mario Costeja Gonzalez wanted Google and a Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia, to remove a 1998 news item about selling off property to pay off debts

    What does the bill say?

  • As per the Srikrishna Committee’s Bill, an adjudicating officer, who is not a judge but a bureaucrat, will decide.
  • According to Section 27 of the Bill a data principal (any person or individuals of that data) has a right to prevent the data processor or data fiduciary (could be a TV, web portal or newspaper) from using such data or information if data disclosure is no longer necessary, the consent to use data has been withdrawn or if data is being used contrary to the provisions of the law.
  • Section 27(2) says the adjudicating officer can decide on the question of disclosure, and the circumstances in which he thinks such disclosure can override the freedom of speech and the citizen’s right to information. In determining this, the adjudicating officer has to consider five factors listed in subsection (3). They are:
    • the sensitivity of the personal data;
    • the scale of disclosure and the degree of accessibility sought to be restricted or prevented;
    • the role of the data principal in public life;
    • the relevance of the personal data to the public;
    • the nature of the disclosure and of the activities of the data fiduciary, particularly whether the data fiduciary systematically facilitates access to personal data and whether the activities would be significantly impeded if disclosures of the relevant nature were to be restricted or prevented.

    Exceptions

    • The PDP Bill says the rights of the data principal, including the right to be forgotten, are exempted if the purpose of data processing is in the interest of the security of state (Section 42).
      • But, the Bill says, Parliament should pass a law explaining the procedures to determine the interests and to create another authority to decide the disclosure.
    • Further, these rights will not apply to the processing of data in the interests of prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of any offence or any other contravention of law (Section 43).
      • For that, too, however, Parliament has to make a law to consider and achieve such interests.

    Conclusion

    • Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution did not provide “privacy” as a ground for imposing restrictions.
    • This Bill fails on constitutional verification by the judiciary, unless “privacy” is added in Article 19(2) by a major amendment to the Constitution.
    • The Data Protection Bill is going to be a serious threat to press freedom and RTI.

    Environment/Eco

    Greenhouse Gas Emission

    • According to a recent study, rice farming across the world could be responsible for up to twice the level of climate impact.
    • The study found that intermittently flooded rice farms can emit 45 times more nitrous oxide as compared to the maximum from continuously flooded farms that predominantly emit methane.
    • Methane and Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from rice farms could have the same long-term warming impact as about 600 coal plants.
    • India, china, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh are the world’s biggest producers of rice.
    • The emissions from intermittently flooded rice farms contribute to global warming far more than the previous estimate of 10%.
    • The researchers also found an inverse correlation between methane and N2O emissions from rice farming.
    • Water and organic matter management techniques that reduce methane emissions can increase  N2O emissions.
    • N2O is a long-lived greenhouse gas that traps several times more heat in the atmosphere than methane over 20 and 100 year time frames.

    Governance

    First tribal circuit Project

    The first 'tribal circuit' development project was started in Gangrel of Chhattisgarh. It is worth mentioning that this is the second project of the country to be started under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. The first project to be launched under this scheme is 'Northeast Circuit Development: Imphal and Khongjong' project.

    • The project, approved in February 2016, was approved by the Ministry of Tourism, costing Rs 99.21 crore. 
    • Within the scope of this scheme, Chhattisgarh's Jashpur, Kunkuri, Mainepat, Kamleshpur, Maheshpur, Kurder, Sarodadadar, Gangrel, Kondagaon, Nathia Navagang, Jagdalpur, Chitrakoot and Tirathgarh are coming.

    About Home

    • Swadeshi Darshan is one of the most important projects of the Ministry of Tourism, under which tourism related circuits based on a subject have to be planned in a planned manner. 
    • This scheme was started in 2014-15 and so far the Ministry has sanctioned 74 projects worth Rs 5,997.47 crores in 31 States and Union Territories. 
    • The Ministry of Tourism is working on various projects on the development of tribals and tribal culture and is developing tourism infrastructure in these areas under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. 
    • Under the subject of Tribal Circuits, the Ministry has approved 4 schemes at Nagaoland, Telangana and Chhattisgarh at a cost of 381.47 crores.

    Important Day

    Hindi Diwas

    On September 14, the whole country is celebrated as Hindi Day. It is important that World Hindi Day is celebrated on 10th January every year. 

    • Hindi was given the status of official language by the Constituent Assembly on September 14, 1949 and important provisions related to it in part 17 of the Constitution were made.
    • Due to the historic significance of this day, Hindi day is organized on 14th September by the National Language Campaign Committee since 1953.
    • With the view of encouraging Hindi, this day is an important place to organize. On this occasion, many awards are given for the promotion of Hindi, such as the Official Language Award and the National Language Gaurav Award. 
    • Kirti Award is given to a department which has promoted work in Hindi throughout the year, while the national language honors award is given for technical science writing.