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Daily Current Affairs : 10-Feb-2020

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. MUKTOSHRI (IET 21845)

  2. MANDAMUS

  3. THWAITES GLACIER

  4. GURU RAVIDAS JAYANTI

  5. HELICOPTER SERVICES UNDER UDAN FLAGGED OFF

  6. BASMATI RICE

  7. EMERGENCY RESPONSE SANITATION UNITS (ERSUs)

  8. GENOME INDIA PROJECT

  9. PANGOLINS


MUKTOSHRI (IET 21845)

Why in news?

  • Researchers have developed and commercialised a rice variety that is resistant to arsenic. Several studies have shown that arsenic from groundwater and the soil can enter the food chain through paddy.


Highlights:

  • West Bengal is among the States with the highest concentration of arsenic in groundwater, with as many as 83 blocks across seven districts having higher arsenic levels than permissible limits.

  • The new rice variety, Muktoshri — also called IET 21845, was developed jointly by the Rice Research Station at Chinsurah coming under West Bengal’s Agriculture Department and the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, over several years.

  • A gazette notification for the commercial use of Muktoshri was made by West Bengal last year in 2019.

Source: The Hindu



MANDAMUS

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that reservation in the matter of promotions in public posts is not a fundamental right, and a state cannot be compelled to offer the quota if it chooses not to.


Highlights:

  • “There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the court directing state governments to provide reservations,” the bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta said.


What is ‘Mandamus’?

  • Mandamus is among the “prerogative writs” in English common law — meaning the extraordinary writs or orders granted by the Sovereign when ordinary legal remedies are inadequate. These are habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari, and quo warranto.

  • In India, the Supreme Court can issue prerogative writs under Article 32 of the Constitution, and the High Court's under Article 226.

  • Mandamus literally means ‘we command’.

  • When issued to a person or body, the writ of mandamus demands some activity on their part.

  • It orders the person or body to perform a public or quasi-public duty, which they have refused to perform, and where no other adequate legal remedy exists to enforce the performance of that duty.

  • The writ cannot be issued unless the legal duty is of public nature, and to whose performance the applicant of the writ has a legal right.

  • The remedy is of a discretionary nature — a court can refuse to grant it when an alternative remedy exists.

  • However, for enforcing fundamental rights, the alternative remedy argument does not hold as much weight, since it is the duty of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to enforce fundamental rights.


WRITS—TYPES AND SCOPE

  • The Supreme Court (under Article 32) and the high courts (under Article 226) can issue the writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and quo-warranto.


HABEAS CORPUS

  • It is a Latin term which literally means ‘to have the body of’.

  • It is an order issued by the court to a person who has detained another person, to produce the body of the latter before it.

  • The court then examines the cause and legality of detention. It would set the detained person free, if the detention is found to be illegal.

  • Thus, this writ is a bulwark of individual liberty against arbitrary Detention.

  • The writ of habeas corpus can be issued against both public authorities as well as private individuals.

  • The writ, on the other hand, is not issued where the Detention is lawful,The proceeding is for contempt of a legislature or a court,Detention is by a competent court, and (d) detention is outside the jurisdiction of the court.


PROHIBITION

  • Literally, it means ‘to forbid’.

  • It is issued by a higher court to a lower court or tribunal to prevent the latter from exceeding its jurisdiction or usurping a jurisdiction that it does not possess.

  • Thus, unlike mandamus that directs activity, the prohibition directs inactivity.

  • The writ of prohibition can be issued only against judicial and quasi judicial authorities.It is not available against administrative authorities, legislative bodies, and private individuals or bodies.

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