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Daily Current Affairs

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy- UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 25th December 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 25-12-2021

Daily Current Affairs – Topics

 

  • Maharashtra government’s Shakti Bill
  • Cold Waves in Northwest India
  • Mediation Bill, 2021 in RS to Formalize Pre-Litigation Mediation
  • African Cheetah
  • N. Panicker

1.Maharashtra government’s Shakti Bill

GS2- Laws and Institutions

Context

  • In rape cases, the Maharashtra government’s Shakti Criminal Laws (Maharashtra Amendment) Bill, 2020, on crimes against women and children, recommends capital penalty.
  • In depth information

The committee’s main recommendations are as follows:

  • In rape instances, the death penalty is used.
  • The investigation must be completed within 30 days of the complaint being filed.
  • It is the responsibility of social media platforms and Internet data providers to share data for police investigation.
  • In the original Bill, there was no provision for submitting an anticipatory bail plea in the instance of false charges or intentional harassment. The recommendation has been dropped by the committee.

What is Maharashtra’s justification for enacting a new law?

  • An increase in the number of cases of violence against women and children, particularly sexual violence.

What does the bill’s draught proposal entail?

  • The Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act are all proposed to be amended in the draught Bill.
  • Changes to current sections on rape, sexual harassment, acid attack, and child sexual abuse are proposed.
  • In cases of rape, gang rape, rape by persons in power, aggravated sexual assault of minors, and acid attacks resulting in grave injury, the bill recommends the death penalty.
  • The death sentence is advocated in cases where the crime is very severe, there is sufficient conclusive proof, and the circumstances necessitate exemplary punishment.
  • Section 326 of the IPC, which applies in cases of acid attacks, should be revised to provide for a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of life imprisonment for those who commit the crime, as well as a monetary fine.
  • The cost of plastic surgery and face reconstruction will be covered by the monetary penalties that will be imposed on the guilty.

Constraints imposed by strict laws

  • Despite the existence of various laws, rapes continue unabated.
  • In fact, we are now hearing reports of tremendous cruelty.
  • The widespread view is that, as regulations have become more rigorous, rapists have resorted to extreme measures in an attempt to destroy evidence.

a path forward

  • Better policing, making public spaces safer for women, assuring round-the-clock surveillance of isolated locations, and police deployment at all crucial sites are what we need.
  • The solution is prevention, not punishment, and this necessitates coordinated efforts from all parties.
  • The use of higher penalties will not deter. It’s the fear of being discovered and being punished.

 

2.Cold Waves in Northwest India

#GS1-Geographical Features

Context

  • A cold wave is expected in portions of Northwest India, according to the India Meteorological Department.

In depth information

  • A cold wave is expected in portions of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh during the next few days, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • According to an IMD advisory, a western disturbance with cyclonic circulation is present over north Pakistan and neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Storms that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring winter rains to northwest India are known as Western disturbances.
  • The IMD forecasts severe north-westerly and westerly cold winds over north India over the next five to six days.
  • According to the projection, the minimum temperature in these areas would drop by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius during the next few days.

What is a Cold Wave, exactly?

  • A cold wave, according to the IMD, is “a state of air temperature that is lethal to the human body when exposed.”
  • Cold wave conditions, according to the IMD, occur when the temperature in the plains falls below 10 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature remains at least 4.5 degrees to 6.4 degrees Celsius below normal.
  • Inflow of cold air mass from higher latitudes over the region in the aftermath of the passage of a well-marked low pressure system in the westerly wind flow of mid-latitudes are favourable conditions for a cold wave.
  • Foggy weather during the day prevents the region from warming up during the day.
  • Under clear skies, strong radiation cooling occurs during the third night.

India is experiencing a cold spell.

  • During the months of December to February, the country is prone to cold waves.
  • Cold waves are more likely to occur in India’s northwestern regions.
  • The arrival of very cold air from the far northwestern areas of the Indian subcontinent, or even further, is linked to the occurrence of cold waves.

Reasons for the Formation of Cold Waves

  • Wind chill factors are caused by snowfall in the upper Himalayas.
  • Western Disturbances: Western disturbances, which are extratropical storms that mainly occur during the winter months, are rare. The chilly winds from the Himalayas are continuing to blow into northern India, allowing the current frigid temperatures to persist and worsen.
  • Storms that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring winter rains to northwest India are known as Western disturbances.
  • The Pacific’s La-Nina Effect La Nina is characterised by unusually cool sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which is believed to favour cold waves.
  • Clouds catch some of the outgoing infrared heat and reflect it downward, warming the ground.
  • North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Siberian High.

Impacts

  • Agriculture: It has the potential to harm the Rabi crop and reduce the productivity of cash crops (Coffee, Tea). The temperature difference between day and night would be greater.
  • Impact on Health: The cold wave is particularly dangerous to human health, and it may afflict those who are most vulnerable (children, pregnant women, the elderly, and persons with chronic ailments).
  • Increased risk of infections such as the flu as a result of extended exposure to the cold.
  • Impact on visibility: A cold wave can reduce visibility, making people more vulnerable to accidents and death as a result of them.

 

3.Mediation Bill, 2021 in RS to Formalize Pre-Litigation Mediation

# GS2 Governance

Context

  • In the Rajya Sabha, the Centre introduced the Mediation Bill, 2021, which formalised the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method of pre-litigation mediation in civil and commercial disputes before parties approach a court or tribunal.

In depth information

What exactly is mediation?

  • Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party is engaged to facilitate organised negotiation between opposing parties and assist them in reaching an amicable agreement.
  • It’s referred to as an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) technique, or an alternative to courtroom litigation.
  • India is a party to the Singapore Convention on Mediation, which guarantees that mediation agreements would be upheld without trouble around the world.
  • What are the main characteristics of the proposed Mediation Bill?
  • The draft law aims to enforce domestic and international mediation settlement agreements, establish a body for mediator registration, promote community mediation, and make internet mediation a viable and cost-effective option.
  • The draft Bill proposes pre-litigation mediation while also protecting litigants’ rights to contact competent adjudicatory forums/courts in the event of an urgent relief request.
  • The successful outcome of mediation has been made enforceable by law in the form of a Mediation Settlement Agreement (MSA). Because the Mediation Settlement Agreement is based on a mutual agreement between the parties, it can only be challenged on restricted grounds.
  • The mediation procedure safeguards the confidentiality of the mediation and, in some situations, gives immunity from disclosure.
  • The registration of the Mediation Settlement Agreement with the State/District/Taluk Legal Authorities within 90 days is also required to ensure the preservation of verified records of the settlement reached.
  • It calls for the formation of the Indian Mediation Council.
  • It also includes a mechanism for community mediation.

What is the bill’s significance?

  • The bill recognises that mediation, unlike the court-annexed mediation programmes, should be considered as a profession rather than a part-time honorarium.
  • The bill recognises the necessity of mediator training institutes and service companies providing organised mediation under their guidelines.
  • If an urgent interim order is required, it is possible to skip mediation at the outset and return to it once the interim relief issue has been resolved.
  • The Bill resolves the ambiguity around the terms “mediation” and “conciliation” by selecting for the former, as per international practise, and broadening its definition to include the latter.
  • It honours online conflict settlement, which received a lot of attention at COVID-19.
  • The Singapore Convention on Mediation provides for the enforcement of business agreements agreed through international mediation, i.e. between parties from different countries.

What are the proposed bill’s concerns?

  • The Bill incorrectly treats foreign mediation undertaken in India as domestic mediation, and the settlement reached under the latter is accorded the status of a court decision or decree.
  • Because the Singapore Convention does not apply to settlements that already have the status of a judgement or decree, it will be terrible if one of the parties is a foreign national.
  • When cross-border mediation is conducted in India, the enormous benefits of global enforceability are lost.
  • The Council consists of three members: a retired senior judge, a person with knowledge in ADR law, and an academic who has taught ADR. However, there is no mediator on the Council.
  • It is obvious that none of them will be active practitioners because they are full-time members.
  • The Chief Justice of India has been removed from the picture for making appointments in the sphere of dispute resolution, which is the judiciary’s domain.
  • Issues that should not be mediated- There is a broad list of disputes that should not be resolved, including fraud.
  • The statute allows the court to issue protective orders in circumstances involving kids or those who are mentally ill.
  • There is no provision for manufacturers, service providers, and consumers to communicate and resolve difficulties in the telecom industry.
  • What’s missing is a focused and involved discussion once the comments have been sent.

 

4.African Cheetah

#GS3- Species

Context

  • Due to Omicron variant constraints, the introduction of African Cheetah from Namibia into India has been postponed.

In depth information

About African Cheetah

  • Acinonyx jubatus jubatus (scientific name)
  • Description: They are shy and introverted predators with a long, slender body of 1.2 metres (4 feet) and a long tail (65–85 cm) that usually ends in a white tuft.
  • At the shoulder, they stand roughly 75 cm tall.
  • Males are slightly larger than females, with a weight range of 34 to 54 kg (75 to 119 pounds).
  • Small black spherical spots cover their entire body, and black markings extend from the inside of the eye to the corner of the mouth.
  • Savannahs of Africa are their natural habitat.
  • Small antelopes, animals, and birds serve as prey.
  • Speed: The fastest land animal.
  • Conservation: IUCN status: Vulnerable; CITES: Appendix I
  • Human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction, illegal trafficking, and snatching of prey by larger omnivores such as lions and a pack of hyenas are all threats.

Solutions

  • Reduce confrontation between humans and wildlife.
  • Collaboration with local communities
  • Put a stop to unlawful commerce
  • Ex-situ breeding is one example of conservation initiatives.

 

5.P.N. Panicker

GS1: Modern Indian History

Context

  • Shri P.N. Panicker’s statue was recently unveiled by India’s President in Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram.

In depth information

Panicker, P.N. (1909-1995)

  • Puthuvayil Narayana Panicker is regarded as Kerala’s “Father of the Library Movement.”
  • Since 1996, the 19th of June has been celebrated in Kerala as Vayanadinam (Reading Day).
  • In 2017, the Prime Minister of India announced June 19, Kerala’s Reading Day, as National Reading Day.
  • In India, the following month is likewise designated as National Reading Month.

Contributions

  • With 47 rural libraries, Panicker founded Thiruvithaamkoor Granthasala Sangham (Travancore Library Association) in 1945.
  • ‘Read and Grow’ was the organization’s tagline.
  • It was renamed Kerala Granthasala Sangham after the state of Kerala was formed in 1956. (KGS).
  • He went around Kerala’s villages preaching about the importance of reading.
  • In 1975, UNESCO awarded Grandhasala Sangham the ‘Krupsakaya Award.’

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