Daily Current Affairs : 14-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. SECOND COVID- 19 DEATH IN INDIA

  2. PSA REVOKED FOR FAROOQ ABDULLAH

  3. NPR EXERCISE

  4. WHEAT PRODUCTION

  5. SHORTAGE OF MASKS

  6. NATIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY (NRA) AND COMMON ELIGIBILITY TEST (CET)

  7. REGIONAL APPROACH AGAINST COVID

  8. PROTESTS IN THAILAND


SECOND COVID- 19 DEATH IN INDIA

Why in news?

  • India reported its second COVID-19 death on Friday, with a 68-year-old woman succumbing to the infection, while the number of positive cases touched 82.

Highlights:

There are 4 stages of transmission of the disease –

  • First stage – Imported cases : Cases relating to people who have travelled from outside.

  • Stage two – Transmission : Cases relating to people who came in contact with infected people who came from outside.

  • Stage three – Community transmission : Transmission of disease from one person to another.

  • Stage Four – Epidemic : Transmission turns into epidemic with widespread transmission.

  • India is at the second stage of transmission of disease.

  • As per experts at ICMR, The COVID 19 will behave similar to it did in China. India has a 30 day window to halt the beginning of community transmission. Community transmission happens when a patient who is not exposed to anyone known to be infected and has not travelled to countries in which the virus is circulating tests positive for infection.

Source : Hindu and Economic Times



PSA REVOKED FOR FAROOQ ABDULLAH

Why in news?

  • Farooq Abdullah who has been in detention for over seven months since the revoking of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has been released by revoking his detention under Public Safety Act (PSA)

Highlights:

📷

Features of PSA :

  1. Definition : Public Safety Act (PSA), 1978, of Jammu & Kashmir is an administrative detention law that allows detention of any individual for up to two years without a trial or charge.Conditions for arrestThe Public Safety Act allows for the arrest and detention of people without a warrant, specific charges, and often for an unspecified period of time.In some cases, the person can be informed about the reason of custody and he/she can file a case against the government for detention.Right to know of DetaineeThe detaining authority is not required to reveal any facts “which it considers being against the public interest to disclose”.TimeA person can be detained for upto 2 years when he/she acts in a manner prejudicial to the security of the state and upto 1 year when it is against public order.Issuing authorityA detention order under the PSA is issued either by the Divisional Commissioner or District Magistrate.Minimum age for detentionAfter the amendments of 2012, detention under 18 years of age is not allowed.Right to be heardAn individual detained under the PSA shall be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours.Advisory bodyThe Advisory Board is a non-judicial body established under Section 14 of the PSA to review detention orders and determine whether there is sufficient cause for detention.Members of Advisory BodyIt contains two members and a chairperson who are appointed by the government. They have 3 year tenure, extendable to 5 years.

Safeguards for Detention provided under Statute or Constitution :

  • Article 22 (a) : No person who is arrested will be detained in the custody without being informed. He will be communicated until he shall be denied the right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice.

  • Article 32 and 226 : It allows the judiciary to examine a case of arrest and issue the writ of “Habeas Corpus” for ensuring that no citizen is detained against law.

  • Under PSA : A person detained under the PSA shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours (article 22-b).

Source : Hindu and Multiple sources



NPR EXERCISE

Why in news?

  • The Delhi Assembly on Friday passed a resolution against the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at a special session.

Highlights :

📷

Can state block implementation of NPR, NRC and CAA –

  • The subject matter lies under Entry 17 of List 1 under seventh schedule by which it is under the exclusive domain of Union government. Thus, state governments are duty bound to implement it and the law mandates the state government to provide the requisite manpower for conducting the NPR exercise. Still, it is near to impossible for the Centre to conduct it without States support. If the State continue to desist from the exercise then the Centre can take the states to Court under Article 131 of the Indian Constitution. However the larger question is of propriety where the whole structure of federalism falls if union and state act on brinkmanship.

NPR NRC Linkage –

  • NPR contains the data of both citizens and non-citizens.

  • NPR will collect 15 demographic details of each resident - name, date of birth, place of birth, address, relationship to head of household, sex, marital status, occupational activity, names of mother, father and spouse, nationality, educational qualification and duration of stay at current address and permanent address.

  • However, the new form will require every resident to provide additional data points - date and place of birth of parents, last place of residence, Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhaar (on a voluntary basis), voter ID card number, driving licence number and mobile number.

  • These additional information especially regarding the place of birth of parents will mean that the same data can be processed for NRIC.

  • This will mean that local registers of Indian citizens will be created from the NPR data and then opened for objections. Then all these local registers will be joined to create registers at district, state and national level.

  • Also, the Aadhar and NPR data will be collaborated and used for de-duplication of Aadhar data.

Source : Hindu and Multiple sources



WHEAT PRODUCTION

Why in news?

  • Widespread rain accompanied by hailstorm and strong winds have flattened wheat crop over one lakh hectares in Punjab with Fazilka district being the worst hit


Highlights:

Conditions required for Wheat production

  • Wheat is essentially a rabi crop , it is sowed in the beginning of winter but harvested in the beginning of summer. Time for sowing and harvesting differs in different agro climatic regions.

  • Wheat is a crop of mid latitude grassland. It requires cool climate with moderate rainfall. Temperature required during sowing 10°C to 15°C (little cold climate is required during sowing). Temperature required during harvesting 21°C to 26°C ,but sudden rise in temperature during growing is harmful.

  • Wheat thrives well in areas having annual rainfall of 75 cm. (for Rice around 150 cm of rain on an average is required). During the maturity time a light drizzle or cloudiness is considered good for healthy production of wheat, while prolonged drought during maturity is dangerous. During flowering period a frost or hail storm is very harmful for the wheat.

Source : Hindu and NCERT



SHORTAGE OF MASKS

Why in news?

  • Masks and hand sanitisers have been declared as essential commodities due to their shortage in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak


Highlights:

  • The Centre notified an order under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to declare 2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities till June 30, 2020.

  • It has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act, so that States can ensure these items are not sold for more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP).

  • The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities to consumers and to protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders.

  • The Act provides for the regulation and control of production, distribution and pricing of commodities which are declared as essential.

  • Essential items under the Act include drugs, fertilisers, pulses and edible oils, and petroleum and petroleum products.

  • States are the implementing agencies to implement the EC Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Black marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, by exercising powers delegated to them.

Source : Hindu and ECA, 1955



NATIONAL RECRUITMENT AGENCY (NRA) AND COMMON ELIGIBILITY TEST (CET)

Why in news?

  • Applicants for jobs in railways, banks and lower levels of Central government will now write a Common Eligibility Test (CET) from 2021.


Highlights:

  • To streamline the hiring process for government agencies as well as the 2.5 crore candidates who apply each year, the Centre will set up an autonomous National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct this online test, under which, candidates can apply through a common registration portal.

  • This is not merely an administrative reform, but a huge socio-economic reform as well. It aims at providing a level playing field for all candidates by removing the obstacles involved in appearing for multiple examinations

  • It is still to get Cabinet approval.

  • The CET will replace the first level tests conducted by the Staff Selection Commission, the Railway Recruitment Board and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection.

Source : Hindu



REGIONAL APPROACH AGAINST COVID

Why in news?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for a videoconference summit of leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to discuss a common strategy to tackle COVID-19.


Highlights:

  • All leaders in the eight-nation regional grouping, except Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, welcomed Mr. Modi’s suggestion.

  • SAARC has been in suspension since 2014.

  • While SAARC member-states occupy just 3% of the world’s landmass, they account for 21% of its population.

  • Tn the past few years, due to the government’s decision to call off all talks with Pakistan until cross-border terrorism ends, New Delhi has shifted focus to other regional groupings that do not include Pakistan, like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

Source : Hindu



PROTESTS IN THAILAND

Why in news?

  • Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters marched in Bangkok on Friday, wearing black T-shirts to mourn the state of Thailand under an Army-aligned government


Highlights:

  • Discontent with the administration of ex-Army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha is seething, with a progressive Opposition party disbanded and the country’s economy faltering as the COVID-19 crisis batters the key tourism industry.

  • Thailand voted Mr. Prayut’s conservative government into power a year ago. It was the first election since a 2014 coup and held under an Army-scripted Constitution that critics say gave Mr. Prayut an unfair advantage.

  • Discontent with the government of Gen Prayut Chan-o-Cha has been growing since the court-ordered dissolution of the opposition Future Forward Party.

Source : Hindu and Bangkok post

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