Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 12th July-2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 12-07-2021

Topics

  • Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Survey in Jharkhand
  • Importance of Separation of Powers in Indian Democracy
  • In defence of India’s noisy democracy
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and trademarks
  • What plumes on Enceladus tell us about possibility of life on Saturn’s Moon

 

  1. Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) Survey in Jharkhand

#GS1 #Issues regarding Children and Health

Context: Over 55% did not get nutrition under ICDS in 159 Jharkhand blocks.

Key Details:

How Vulnerable is Jharkhand?

  • In Jharkhand, 11.26 lakh children are in the age group six months to three years and 15.78 lakh children in three to six years of age group, and 7.21 lakh pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • As per National Family Health Survey-4 data, every second child in the state is stunted and underweight and every third child is affected by stunting and every 10th child is affected from severe wasting and around 70% children are anaemic.
  • According to a recent survey, more than 55% did not receive Supplementary Nutrition under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in Jharkhand even once in the first six months of 2021.

About Integrated Child Development Scheme:

  • The scheme was started in 1975 and aims at the holistic development of children and empowerment of mother.
  • It is a Centrally-Sponsored scheme.
  • The scheme primarily runs through the Anganwadi centre.
  • The scheme is under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Tenth Five Year Plan also linked ICDS to Anganwadi centres established mainly in rural areas and staffed with frontline workers.
  • Supplementary Nutrition includes Take Home Ration (THR), Hot Cooked Meal and morning snacks and holds importance for many vulnerable households as it impacts the nutritional outcome of the children.

Six Schemes under Umbrella ICDS:

  • Anganwadi Services Scheme:
    • It is a unique programme for early childhood care and development.
    • For Children in the age group of 0-6 years, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
    • The ICDS provide for anganwadis or day-care centres which deliver a package of six services including:
      • Immunization
      • Supplementary nutrition
      • Health checkup
      • Referral services
      • Pre-school education(Non-Formal)
      • Nutrition and Health information
    • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:
      • It provides cash incentive amounting to Rs.5,000/- in three installments directly to the Bank/Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mother (PW&LM) in DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) Mode during pregnancy and lactation in response to individual fulfilling specific conditions.
    • National Creche Scheme: (earlier named as Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme)
      • It provides day care facilities to children of age group of 6 months to 6 years of working women.
      • The facilities are provided for seven and half hours a day for 26 days in a month.
      • Children are provided with supplementary nutrition, early childcare education, and health and sleeping facilities.
    • Scheme for Adolescent Girls:
      • It primarily aims at breaking the inter-generational life-cycle of nutritional and gender disadvantage and providing a supportive environment for self-development.
      • It aims at out of school girls in the age group 11-14, to empower and improve their social status through nutrition, life skills and home skills.
      • The scheme has nutritional and non-nutritional components which include nutrition; iron and folic acid supplementation; health check-up and referral service; nutrition and health education; mainstreaming out of school girls to join formal schooling bridge course/ skill training; life skill education, home management etc,; counselling/ guidance on accessing public services.
    • Child Protection Scheme:
      • It institutionalizes the essential services and strengthen structures for emergency outreach, institutional care, family and community-based care, counselling and support services at the national, regional, state and district levels
      • Educate public and raise public awareness regarding child protection schemes, services.
      • Proper Coordination of inter-sectoral response at all levels.
    • POSHAN Abhiyaan:
      • The programme seeks to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
      • Launched in 2018 with specific targets to be achieved by 2022.

It aims to reduce:

  • Stunting and wasting by 2% a year (total 6% until 2022) among children.
  • Anaemia by 3% a year (total 9%) among children, adolescent girls and pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • The target of the mission is to bring down stunting among children in the age group 0-6 years from 38.4% to 25% by 2022.

Objectives of ICDS:

  • To improve the nutritional and health status of children in the age-group 0-6 years.
  • To lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child.
  • To reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school dropout.
  • To achieve effective coordination of policy and implementation amongst the various departments to promote child development.
  • To enhance the capability of the mother to look after the normal health and nutritional needs of the child.
  • To facilitate, educate and empower Adolescent Girls (AGs) so as to enable them to become self-reliant and aware citizens.

Implementation:

  • For nutritional purposes ICDS provides 500 kilocalories (with 12-15 grams of protein) every day to every child below 6 years of age.
  • For adolescent girls it is up to 500 kilo calories with up to 25 grams of protein every day.
  • The services of Immunisation, Health Check-up and Referral Services delivered through Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

 

  1. Importance of Separation of Powers in Indian Democracy

#GS2 #Judiciary # Separation of Powers between various organs Dispute Redressal Mechanisms and Institutions # Judicial Activism

Context: Recently, the Supreme Court said that the judges should not behave like emperors and summon government officials instantly without a good reason.

What did the Supreme Court say?

  • The SC bench noticed that a practice had developed in certain High Courts to call officers instantly to exert direct or indirect pressure.
  • The SC has prescribed modesty and humility to judges by asking them not to cross the line of separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive and call officers to court unnecessarily.
  • It observed that summoning of officers frequently is not appreciable at all and it is liable to be condemned in the strongest words.
  • It noted that at times, when officials have to travel great distances and wait for hours in court, their official work was delayed, creating an extra burden on the officer.
  • It argued that the courts have the power of the pen, which is more effective than the presence of an officer in Court. If any particular issue arises for consideration before the Court, and the advocate representing the State is not able to answer, it is advised to write such doubt in the order and give time to the State or its officers to respond.

The Doctrine of Separation of Powers:

  • Separation of powers is the division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government.
  • Since the sanction of all three branches is required for the making, executing, and administering of laws, it minimises the possibility of arbitrary excesses by the government.
  • The constitutional demarcation precludes the concentration of excessive power by any branch of the government.

Instruments of Checks & Balances

  • Legislature Control:
    • On Judiciary: Impeachment and the removal of the judges. Power to amend laws declared ultra vires by the Court and revalidating it.
    • On Executive: Through a no-confidence vote it can dissolve the Government. Power to assess works of the executive through the question hour and zero hour. Impeachment of the President.
  • Executive Control:
    • On Judiciary: Making appointments to the office of Chief Justice and other judges.
    • On Legislature: Powers under delegated legislation. Authority to make rules for regulating their respective procedure and conduct of business subject to the provisions of this Constitution.
  • Judicial Control
    • On Executive: Judicial review i.e. the power to review executive action to determine if it violates the Constitution.
    • On Legislature: Unamendability of the constitution under the basic structure doctrine pronounced by the Supreme Court in Kesavananda Bharati Case 1973.

Articles in the Constitution facilitating Separation of Powers are as follows:

  • Article 50: State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive. This is for the purpose of ensuring the independence of the judiciary.
  • Article 122 and 212: Validity of proceedings in Parliament and the Legislatures cannot be called into question in any Court. Also, Legislators enjoy certain privileges with regard to speech and anything said in the Parliament cannot be used against them.
  • Judicial conduct of a Judge of the Supreme Court and the High Court cannot be discussed in the Parliament and the State Legislature, according to Article 121 and 211 of the Constitution.
  • Articles 53 and 154 respectively, provide that the executive power of the Union and the State shall be vested with the President and the Governor and they enjoy immunity from civil and criminal liability.
  • Article 361: The President or the Governor shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office.

Issues with Judicial Activism:

  • In many recent judgments, the Supreme Court has become hyper-activist in making judgements that are deemed as laws and rules. This transgresses the domain of legislature and executive.
  • The line between judicial activism and Judicial Overreach is very narrow. When judicial activism crosses its limits it lead to Judicial Overreach.
  • It may interfere with the proper functioning of the legislative or executive organs of government.
  • It destroys the spirit of separation of powers. Thus damage balance between various organs of government.
  • Judicial activism may lead to inactivity of legislature and executive, leading to running away from duties and responsibilities which they hold for people of India.

Conclusion:

Repeated interference by one organ in another’s functioning can diminish public confidence in the integrity, quality, and efficiency of those other organs. This undermines the spirit of democracy as too much power is accumulated in government organs.

 

  1. In defence of India’s noisy democracy

#GS2 #Comparison of the Indian Constitutional Scheme with that of Other Countries.

Context: A recent article in The Hindu draws a comparison between the political system prevalent in India and China. It analyses the authoritarian Chinese model of efficiency, but supports the democratic ideas and values.

Background:

  • China’s economic growth and development over the last few years has been impressive. Hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty and also social indicators have improved drastically.
  • It has focused on capital accumulation, powered an export engine to overcome a limited domestic market, welcomed foreign direct investment, plugged into global supply chains and kept its public finances more or less in order.
  • Despite impressive growth since the 1990s, India continues to be behind China in its global competitiveness
  • India’s developmental record has been much more mixed. Since the 1990s.
  • Moreover, improvements in basic social development indicators have lagged.
  • Many educated Indians think India’s problem is that it is just too democratic. Unlike China, making and implementing key decisions about public investment and various reforms is problematic and challenging in a democratic setup.
  • However, the claim that less democracy is good for development does not stand up to comparative, theoretical, and ethical scrutiny.

Arguments in favour of the China Model:

  • China is able to take decisions quickly as it is not stopped by the contradictory democratic voices. India’s problem is that it is just too democratic.

Why Democratic regime is better?

  1. Authoritarian states barring China have not performed better than democracies.
    • Africa and West Asia, where authoritarian governments have dominated, remain world economic laggards.
    • China’s model comprises a number of key characteristics, State-guided industrial policy and finance; massive infrastructure investments; rural industrialization and openness to foreign trade and technology.
    • Similar standards were also met by countries like Japan and South Korea.
    • Democratic regimes have on balance performed better.
    • In Taiwan and South Korea, their transitions to democracy saw their economies moving up to the next level and become much more inclusive.
  2. Kerala and Tamil Nadu Model:
  • Kerala and Tamil Nadu have done more to improve the lives of all their citizens across castes and classes than any other State in India.
  • These states have also had the longest and most sustained popular democratic movements and intense party competition in the country.
  1. Democracy promotes equality by endowing all citizens with the same civic, political and social rights even as it protects and nurtures individuality and difference.
    • Whereas in China (authoritarian state) the cost of development is huge.
  2. Conflict resolution
    • Democracy is, slow and often contentious. But its deliberative and electoral processes help mitigate conflicts, especially in heterogeneous and conflict-ridden societies.

Conclusion:

India’s pluralistic democracy has led to greater political awareness and self-expression, and our independent judiciary, Election Commission, and regulatory bodies already operate autonomously. Therefore, instead of taking a cue from China, it’s important to defend the noise of India.

 

  1. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and trademarks

#GS3 # Indigenization of Technology #Changes in Industrial policy #Innovation

Context: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has recently secured trademark registrations in three countries – Bhutan, UAE and Mexico.

Key Details:

  • This outcome is a big move towards protecting the identity of brand “Khadi” globally.
  • So far KVIC was having Trademark registrations for the word mark “KHADI” in 6 countries namely Germany, UK, Australia, Russia, China and EU where trademark registrations were granted in certain classes.
  • With this, KVIC has succeeded in securing trademark registration for the first time in a Gulf country.
  • However, with recent trademark registrations in Bhutan, UAE and Mexico (In December, 2020), the number of such countries has gone up to nine.
  • The development assumes great significance as there have been instances of some private local entities in countries like Mexico and Germany seeking trademark registration for brand name “Khadi” in their respective countries.
  • In these countries, KVIC has got registrations in various classes that pertain to Khadi fabric, Khadi readymade garments and village industry products like Khadi soaps, Khadi cosmetics, Khadi incense sticks among others.
  • Apart from these countries, KVIC’s trademark applications are pending in 40 countries across the world that include the USA, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil and others.
  • These trademark registrations will prevent any misuse of the brand name ‘Khadi’ globally.
  • This development assumed great significance as there had been instances of some private local entities in countries like Mexico and Germany seeking trademark registration for brand name “Khadi” in their respective countries.
    • In Mexico, the KVIC challenged the trademark application of “One Foundation Oaxaca Ac” which had applied for the “Khadi” logo. However, the firm did not challenge KVIC’s objections and trademark registration for the word “Khadi” and “Khadi” logo was granted in favour of KVIC.

Trademarks:

  • A Trademark means any symbol, word, name, device, numerals or combination of both, which can be represented graphically can be registered as trademark.
  • A trademark is unique symbol which distinguishes your goods or services from others. The trademark which is registered for services are known as the service marks.

Advantages of Trademark Registration:

  • Exclusive Rights: The owner of Registered Trademark enjoys exclusive right over the trademark.
  • Builds trust and Goodwill: The established quality of the product helps in creating permanent customers who are loyal and always opt for the same brand.
  • Differentiates Product: It makes easy for customers to find your products.
  • Creation of Asset: Registration of Trademark creates an intangible asset i.e. Intellectual Property for an organisation.
  • Provides Protection against infringement

 

  1. What plumes on Enceladus tell us about possibility of life on Saturn’s Moon?

#GS3 # Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics

Context: NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Cassini spacecraft had detected an unusually high concentration of methane, along with carbon dioxide and dihydrogen, in the moons of Saturn by flying through their plumes .

Highlights of the findings:

  • Cassini has found that Titan has methane in its atmosphere and Enceladus has a liquid ocean with erupting plumes of gas and water.
  • Using new statistical methods, an international research team has examined whether methanogens or microbes can produce methane while making molecular hydrogen.
  • Cassini found ice particles, salts, hydrogen and organic molecules in the plumes, tentative hints of an ocean that is similar to Earth’s oceans in composition.
  • There is also evidence for alkaline hydrothermal vents on Enceladus’ seafloor, similar to those that support methanogens in Earth’s oceans.

What are Methanogens and Are there methane-producing organisms on Earth?

  • Most of the methane on Earth has a biological origin. Microorganisms called methanogens are capable of generating methane as a metabolic by-product.
  • They do not require oxygen to live and are widely distributed in nature.
  • They are found in swamps, dead organic matter, and even in the human gut.
  • They are known to survive in high temperatures and simulation studies have shown that they can live in Martian conditions.
  • Methanogens have also been part of various studies to understand if they can be a contributor to global warming.

Could there be methanogens on Enceladus?

  • Using the newly developed model, the team gave a set of conditions, including dihydrogen concentration and different temperatures to understand if microbes would grow.
  • Methane could be formed by the chemical breakdown of organic matter present in Enceladus’ core.
  • Hydrothermal processes could help the formation of carbon dioxide and methane.
  • Enceladus’ hydrothermal vents could be habitable to Earth-like microorganisms (Methanogens).

About Cassini Mission:

  • Launched in 1997, the Cassini mission — a cooperation between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency — has sent back thousands of stunning images and made numerous discoveries about the ringed planet and its moons.
  • The spacecraft was launched on October 15, 1997. This was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System.
  • Cassini–Huygens is an unmanned spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn.
  • Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit.
  • Its design includes a Saturn orbiter and a lander for the moon Titan. The lander, called Huygens, landed on Titan in 2005.

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