TOPICS OF THE DAY:
- New Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) appointed
- Report on “Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System”:
- Tristan Da Cunha declared the largest fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Emergency Retrieval System (ERS)
- Forest rights claims of 1,200 tribals rejected
1) New Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) appointed:
Relevant to: #GS Prelims #Mains: GS-II – Statutory bodies
Context: Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) recently.
Central Information Commission
- The RTI Act 2005 provides for the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions in each state.
- The CIC was constituted in 2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
- The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.
- The Central Information Commission shall consist of:
-The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC)
-Such numbers of Central Information Commissioners (ICs), not exceeding ten, as may be deemed necessary
- Eligibility: (1) The members shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and Governance.
- The CIC or IC shall not be an MP or MLA or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession.
- Appointment: The members of the commission are appointed by a committee consisting of the PM (as Chair), Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister appointed by the PM.
- Resignation: The CIC or an IC may, at any time, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign from his office.
- Removal: The CIC or an IC may be removed from office only by order of the President on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the President, reports that he/she should be removed on the grounds mentioned.
- The President may also remove them from office if such a person is adjudged insolvent, convicted for certain offences etc.
2) Report on “Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System”:
Relevant to : Mains :GS 2
Context: The report was published recently by the Registrar-General of India. It throws light on Sex Ratios of various states in the country.
What is sex ratio ? Sex ratio at birth is the number of females born per 1,000 males.
What is Civil Registration System (CRS)? It is the unified process of continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the vital events (births, deaths, stillbirths) and characteristics thereof.
- State with best Sex Ratio: Arunachal Pradesh (1084).
- Worst: Manipur (757).
- Arunachal Pradesh is followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957).
- Delhi recorded a sex ratio of 929, Haryana 914 and Jammu and Kashmir 952.
- The number of registered births increased to 2.33 crore in 2018 from 2.21 crore registered births the previous year.
- The level of registration of births has increased to 89.3% in 2018 from 81.3% in 2009.
What government is doing?
It is implementing many schemes. These include:
- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY).
- Girl Child Protection Scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandhana Yojana (PMMVY).
- Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK).
The challenges in implementing the schemes and laws for women empowerment.
- There are no sufficient resources to undertake inspection and monitoring.
- Insufficient qualified staff.
- The poor performance of advisory committees at various levels.
- Insufficient understanding of laws and procedures.
- Lack of awareness.
- Limited infrastructure to support the implementation of these schemes
- Stringent implementation of the laws that ban foeticide;
- Providing favourable schemes for those parents who have no sons;
- Free and compulsory education for girls;
- Women should be provided with job reservations;
3) Tristan Da Cunha declared the largest fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean:
Relevant to:# GS Prelims # Mains: GS-III – Biodiversity
Context: Tristan da Cunha was declared the largest fully protected marine reserves in the Atlantic Ocean.
- It is also home to the world’s most remote human settlement.
- It is also an isolated UK Overseas Territory.
- It is a remote group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.
- It has its own constitution.
- It is also home to tens of millions of seabirds and several unique land birds.
- It is also home to the World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, which is one of the most important seabird islands in the world.
Do you know?
- After joining the UK’s Blue Belt Programme, it will become the largest no-take zone in the Atlantic and the fourth largest on the planet.
- This means fishing, mining and any such activities will not be allowed.
- This will close over 90% of their waters to harmful activities such as bottom-trawling fishing, sand extraction and deep-sea mining.
4) CSIR-SERC, Chennai Develops Indigenous Emergency Retrieval System (ERS) for Power Lines:
Relevant to: GS3- Economy Infrastructure
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), constituent laboratory Structural
Engineering Research Centre (SERC) based in Chennai, has developed an indigenous technology,
Emergency Retrieval System (ERS), for quick retrieval of power transmission in the event of failure of transmission line towers.
- About: At present, the ERS systems are imported and the cost is relatively high. This technological development will enable the manufacturing in India for the first time, which will be an import substitute and will cost about 40% of imported systems.
- ERS is a lightweight modular system that is used as temporary support structure to restore power immediately after the collapse of transmission line towers during natural calamities such as cyclone/earthquake, or manmade disruptions.
- Made of structurally highly stable box sections, ERS is lightweight, modular and reusable.
- ERS can be assembled quickly at the disaster site for restoration of power in 2-3 days, whereas the permanent restoration may take several weeks.
- This development is very significant as failure of transmission lines severely impact lives of common people and causes huge monetary loss to the power companies.
5) Forest rights claims of 1,200 tribals rejected:
Relevant to: GS prelims # Mains GS2: Polity & Governance, Topic: Issues related to Vulnerable sections
Context: Nearly 1,200 tribals review petitions for recognition of their claims over forest land under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was rejected by the local authorities in Karnataka.
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006:
- Protects the marginalized socio-economic class of citizens
- Balances the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.
- Deals with the rights of Scheduled Tribes and other forest-dwelling communities
- Grants legal recognition to the rights of traditional forest dwelling communities
Rights recognized under this act:
- Community Rights or rights over common property resources of the communities
- Right of ownership to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce,
- Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages into revenue villages,
- Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource
- Right to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or displacement from forest land,
- Right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity
- For diversion of forest land for public utility facilities managed by the Government, such as schools, dispensaries etc… prior recommendation of Gram Sabhas is required
Eligibility to get rights under the Act:
- People who “primarily reside in forests” and depend on forests and forest land for livelihood
- Claimant must be a member of the Scheduled Tribes scheduled in that area or
- Claimant must have been residing in the forest for 75 years.
Process of recognition of rights:
- Gram sabha/ village Assembly: Passes resolution recommending whose rights to which resources should be recognised.
- Resolution screened and approved at sub-division level and district level.
- The screening committees consist of:
- Three government officials (Forest, Revenue and Tribal Welfare departments)
- Three elected members of the local body at that level.
4. These committees also hear appeals