20th DECEMBER-DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS-(The Hindu+Pib+Livemint) – IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: 20th DECEMBER

 

“Positive start will work better than a negative one!”

Meter to measure strength of concrete

      HEADLINES: 

Pune NGO develops ‘cheaper, more reliable’ meter to measure strength of concrete

      WHY IN NEWS:

Research foundation claims its ‘maturity meter’ reduces margin of error and is priced lower than foreign meters, which are currently in use

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Infrastructure

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS name of the meter , institution and theory sounds good for such article .

For MAINS does not sound great !

      ISSUE: 

The Construction Engineering Research Foundation (PCERF) has developed what it claims is the country’s first indigenous Concrete Maturity Meter that determines the strength of concrete used in construction.

 

 

Cost-effective: The India-produced maturity meter kit is priced between ₹50,000 and ₹5 lakh.

 

PCERF is a a non-profit organisation that works to introduce new and cost-effective technologies in the sector.

SALIENT FEATURES :

  • NAME OF THE DEVICE: ‘Intelligent Concrete Maturity Meter’.
  • The device can help in significantly reducing the margin of error in estimating the strength of a structure while cutting project costs as well.
  • Despite the importance of concrete in infrastructure construction, its in-place strength is often erroneously estimated by using the cumbersome and time-consuming ‘standard cube’ or cylindrical tests.
  • IMPROVING ACCURACY: The method is based on the principle that concrete strength is directly related to its hydration (temperature) and age (time).
  • COST FACTOR : The foreign-made maturity meter kit is available in the range of ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh, while the India-produced maturity meter kit is priced between ₹50,000 and ₹5 lakh.

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

PCERF had recently filed a patent for the meter. The device will be presented at the 16th edition of an International Expo called ‘Constro 2020’ organised by PCERF.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

Gandhi prize

      HEADLINES: 

Portugal sets up Gandhi prize

      WHY IN NEWS:

The first edition will be dedicated to animal welfare

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Awards

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS country , the reason of commemoration of this award and occasion can be pinned as a user friendly question in Prelims ! Just pin it 🙂

      ISSUE: 

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Thursday announced the setting up of a Gandhi Citizenship Education Prize while attending the second meeting of the National Committee for the Commemoration Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary , chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

KEYFACTS:

  •  Portugal would launch the prize in order to promote Gandhi’s ideals.
  • Every year, the prize would be inspired by Gandhi’s thoughts and quotes, he said, adding that the first edition of the prize would be dedicated to animal welfare. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

 “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.-MK GANDHI

 

 

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

Section 144

      HEADLINES: 

Section 144, a vestige of colonial rule

      WHY IN NEWS:

It is targeted as an insidious provision as it confers almost unbridled powers upon executive officers

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Criminal Procedure Code: Miscellaneous

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to have a clear picture about section 144 . We have focused it through this article .

For MAINS concentrate on the efficacy of this law post and pre independence through the lenses of democracy.

      ISSUE: 

India’s criminal justice architecture continues to reflect its colonial heritage, both on paper and in practice.

Section 144

Section 144

Section 144 in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 [“Cr.P.C.”], which confers upon executive officers such as executive magistrates or sub-divisional magistrates,

  • Unimaginable powers for passing orders to tackle any urgent cases of “nuisance” or “apprehended danger” that may arise in their territorial jurisdiction,
  • Where such orders will “prevent or are likely to prevent” any adverse impact upon human life, health, safety, or prevent “a disturbance of the public tranquillity.”
[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” cons_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” show_title=”true” title=”SECTION 144″ show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” heading_pros_icon=”icon icon-check-2″ heading_cons_icon=”icon icon-ban-3″ ][i2pros]In theory, Section 144 embodies very noble ideas.

It is a manifestation of the idea that exceptional times call for exceptional measures, something very few of us would disagree with.

But rather than simply conferring a carte blanche upon executive officers, Section 144 circumscribes these powers by stipulating conditions that must be complied with before any order can be passed [clause (1)], while also fixing spatial and temporal limits to ensure that the exception does not overwhelm the norm [clauses (2) through (4)].

Thus, as a rule, an order under Section 144 must be passed after giving prior notice and a hearing to the persons whose rights will be adversely affected, and only “in cases of emergency” can this requirement be waived.

Thus, when one hears of “144 order” being imposed in times of riots or demonstrations, what that actually refers to is an order passed under this section, which then specifies certain things that shall be done, because the officer considers that these steps will prevent damage to life and property, or a disturbance to public tranquillity; most common among these being an order passed by the local Police Commissioner (who will be an executive magistrate) directing that the police take steps to prevent any associations of people within an area, because the officer considers this necessary to prevent violence.

[/i2pros][i2cons]The first is that in the bid to legislate for all kinds of emergencies, Section 144 ends up conferring almost unbridled powers upon executive officers.

The only check placed upon the officer before passing any order under Section 144 is whether or not it satisfied his conscience, about there being a need for such orders which will almost certainly entail curbs upon the rights of persons.

Further, Section 144 also incorporates within itself the idea of an aggrieved person challenging the exercise of such power, or even the state itself reviewing its actions [clauses (5) through (7)].

So, even where persons may not have been heard prior to passing of a notice, they can be heard subsequently.

And even though there are powers to challenge such orders in appeal or in a writ before constitutional courts, even they cannot substitute their appreciation of the facts for what the officer himself thought.

There is nothing in the statute itself that says that the executive officer can only do A, B, or C to, say, prevent any “disturbance of the public tranquillity”, where this did not suggest any active threats to life or property.

Let’s unpack this further. Section 144(1) confers these powers for achieving certain goals, i.e. preventing any damage to life or property, but frames these objectives as widely as possible given the logic of emergencies.

But given that some link between the remedy and the illness will appeal to any rational observer, appeal courts are willing to interfere where the link is far too tenuous.

The extreme breadth of powers conferred upon executive officers by Section 144 is not specifically tailored towards the kinds of dangers that are sought to be prevented.[/i2cons][/i2pc]

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Thus, to sum up. Section 144 is a useful tool to help deal with emergencies.

However, absence of any narrow tailoring of wide executive powers with specific objectives, coupled with very limited judicial oversight over the executive branch, makes it ripe for abuse and misuse.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

 Trump Impeached faces trial

      HEADLINES: 

Impeached Trump faces trial in Senate

      WHY IN NEWS:

This lawless, partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the Democratic Party, says President

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : President : Impeachment

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS removal procedure of President in USA should be studied comprehensively. This can be asked in upcoming Prelims.

For MAINS we have jotted down some important notes . Pin it in your Prelims books.

      ISSUE: 

The impeachment of President Donald Trump in the U.S. House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress sets the stage for a historic trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate on whether he should be removed from office.

What is impeachment in the US polity?

  • The founders of the United States included impeachment in the US Constitution as an option for removal of presidents by Congress. 
  • Impeachment, a concept in English common law, was one of the more hotly debated points during the constitutional convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.
  • Delegates agreed that presidents could be removed if found guilty by Congress of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.
  • The sole authority under the Constitution to bring articles of impeachment is vested in the House of Representatives where proceedings can begin in the Judiciary Committee.
  • If the House approves articles of impeachment, or “impeaches” a president, he or she would then be subject to trial in the US Senate.

On what grounds can a President be impeached?

  • Under the Constitution, the president, vice president and “all civil officers of the United States” can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

How does impeachment work

  • To begin impeachment proceedings, a House member can introduce an impeachment resolution, or the entire House can vote to initiate an investigation into whether there are grounds for impeachment.
  • The House Judiciary Committee or a special committee will then investigate.
  • The panel votes on whether to bring a vote to the full House.
  • Impeachment in the 435-member House must be approved with a simple majority.
  • If the House votes to impeach, the matter moves to the Senate, where a trial is held.

Next President?

An unlikely Senate conviction that removed Trump from office would automatically elevate Vice President Mike Pence to become president, completing Trump’s term, which ends on January 20, 2021.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Just remember one aspect here : Criminal charges cannot be brought against a sitting president, however, the Constitution does allow for separate criminal charges once a president is removed.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

‘Operation Twist’

      HEADLINES: 

RBI to conduct ‘Operation Twist’ to manage yields on Dec. 23

      WHY IN NEWS:

Bank to simultaneously buy and sell government securities

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : RBI

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS get to know the keyfacts about this initiative !

For MAINS know what happens with OMO vs present economic

      ISSUE: 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will simultaneously buy and sale government securities worth ₹10,000 crore each on December 23 under its open market operations — a move aimed at managing the yields.

What Are Open Market Operations?

  • The RBI purchases and sells GOI Treasury securities on the open market in order to regulate the supply of money that is on deposit in Indian banks, and therefore available to loan out to businesses and consumers.
  • It purchases Treasury securities to increase the supply of money and sells them to reduce the supply of money.
  • By using this system of open market purchasing, the RBI can produce the target federal funds rate it has set.
  • It calls this process its open market operations.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Loans become harder to get and more expensive, or easier to get and cheaper, as a result of this process.
  • These open market operations are the method the RBI uses to manipulate interest rates.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Operation Twist is a move taken by U.S. Federal Reserve in 2011-12 to make long-term borrowing cheaper.

“The action of Operation Twist by the RBI today is encouraging. There is indeed a need to bring down the term premium because that remains the driving factor for long-term economic activity and addition of new investment stock.

Market experts had suggested unconventional steps by the central bank as policy rate cuts are unable to bring down the bank lending rates proportionately.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

Indian Pharmacopoeia

      HEADLINES: 

Afghanistan first country to recognize Indian Pharmacopoeia

      WHY IN NEWS:

New Beginning for Indian Pharmaceuticals and Standards

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 :Pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS insert the new wordPharmacopoeia into your dictionary.

Pharmacopoeia : an official publication containing a list of medicinal drugs with their effects and directions for their use or a stock of medicinal drugs.

      ISSUE: 

The Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) has been recognised formally by the National Department of Regulation of Medicines and Health Products of the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • It will also be used based on the requirement as reputable pharmacopoeia in the laboratory of medicines and health products quality.
  • IP is an officially recognized book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder.
  • The IP specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of theiridentity, purity and strength.
  • The quality, efficacy and safety of the medicines are important from healthcare perspective.
  • In order to ensure the quality of medicinal products, the legal and scientific standards are provided by Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) in the form of Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP).
  • As per, the Second Schedule of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, IP is designated as the official book of standards for drugs imported and/or manufactured for sale, stock or exhibition for sale or distribution in India.

The IP Commission’s mission is to promote public and animal health in India by bringing out authoritative and officially accepted standards for quality of drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients, excipients and dosage forms, used by health professionals, patients and consumers.

  • This is achieved by developing the standards for medicines and supporting their implementation.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

In addition, IPC also develops IP Reference Substances (IPRS) that act as fingerprint for identification of an article under test and its purity as prescribed in the IP monographs.

Standards prescribed in the IP are authoritative in nature and are enforced by the regulatory authorities for quality control of medicines in India.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 

EChO Network

      HEADLINES: 

EChO Network launched to catalyze cross-disciplinary leadership in India; will train educators and students in interdisciplinary manner

      MINISTRY:

Preparing Indian education for post-technological world: Prof. VijayRaghavan

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Education

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS dive into the aim of this initiative.

      ISSUE: 

EChO Network, a national program to provide a template for cross-disciplinary leadership in India with the specific focus of increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment was launched yesterday in New Delhi by Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Speaking at the launch programme, Prof. VijayRaghavan said India has recently embarked on a number of national-level efforts to promote ecological and environmental research on the subcontinent; however, there remains a lacuna of trained scientists with interdisciplinary skills and collaborative mindset.
  • We need to train a new generation of educators and students who can identify and solve problems in an interdisciplinary manner and who can listen to our natural world and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology and I am convinced this network will inspire an entirely new approach to Indian education and exploration necessary for the post-technological world said Prof. VijayRaghavan.
  • India faces unprecedented threats to its human environmental and ecosystems, solving which requires a confluence of India’s strong technological expertise and knowledge of the natural world itself.

EChO Network would develop a national network to catalyse a new generation of Indians who can synthesize interdisciplinary concepts and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.

MISSON:

  • With no precedent for such a network anywhere in the world, EChO Network establishes a new platform to change how science is embedded in our modern society.
  • Through interactive sessions with citizens, industry, academia, and the government, the Network will identify gaps in knowledge regarding selected topics in human and environmental ecosystems.
  • The program will then train postdoctoral leaders in research and outreach on these topics.
  • It would then go on to establishing nation-wide awareness in these issues through public discourse and education for citizens, industry, and government with information exchange at all educational levels.

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

VARIOUS PARTNERS:

The initiative has drawn in partners from Government, industry and academia, with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India steering the program under the guidance of Prof. Shannon Olsson, Director, EChO Network. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hindustan Unilever Limited, RoundGlass, India Climate Collaborative, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) are the founding partners of the EChO Network.

      SOURCES:  THE HINDU 

 

 


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