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UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 4th June 2022

 CURRENT AFFAIRS

 

TOPICS

Supreme Court objects to frivolous PIL petitions

GS II Judiciary

S. and India working to build on gains from trade forum

GS II International relations

Keep ESZ of 1 km around forests: SC

GS III Environment and Biodiversity

New India needs free and quality higher education

GS II GOVERNANCE

 

 

Supreme Court objects to frivolous PIL petitions

Context:

  • A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitioner in the Supreme Court on Friday barely escaped having to pay 18 lakh for indulging in a “luxury litigation”.
Misuse of PIL:
  • Loss of valuable judicial time
  • Stall development work undertaken by the government
  • No time for addressing genuine concerns
  • Pendency of cases may increase
Importance of PIL
  • Public interest litigation (PIL) refers to litigation undertaken to secure public interest and demonstrates the availability of justice to socially-disadvantaged parties and was introduced by Justice P. N. Bhagwati.
  • The expression ‘Public Interest Litigation’ has been borrowed from American jurisprudenc
  • Public interest litigation is not defined in any statute or in any act
  • The court can itself take cognizance of the matter and proceed suo motu.

Any citizen can file a public case by filing a petition: Under Art 32, Art 226 and under sec. 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The court in Jaipur Shahar Hindu Vikas Samiti vs State of Rajasthan had emphasised how such petitions “bring justice to people who are handicapped by ignorance, indigence and illiteracy.

 

How to ensure efficiency
  • The Supreme Court asked every High Court to frame its own rules to encourage bona fide PIL petitions and curb the motivated ones
  • The Supreme Court had also issued eight directions in its Balwant Singh Chaufal judgment to help constitutional courts separate genuine PIL petitions from the barmy ones.
  • Verifying the credentials of the petitioner before entertaining the plea;
  • Checking the correctness of the contents
  • Ensuring the petition involves issues of “larger public interest, gravity and urgency”
  • Ensuring there is no personal gain, or oblique motive behind the PIL
  • Ensuring that it is aimed at redressal of genuine public harm or public injury.

 

U.S. and India working to build on gains from trade forum

Context:

  • With the reappearance of Indian mangoes in the U.S. market, after the November 2021 U.S. India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) helped overcome a pandemic induced hiatus in mango trade, officials are looking at what can be achieved in this year’s TPF session, likely to be held in November.
About U.S. India Trade Policy Forum (TPF)
  • Established in 2005.
  • It is a forum to resolve trade and investment issues between India and the United States
  • It is a platform for constructive discussion.
USA concerns:
  • Greater access to the Indian market for medical devices
  • Digital trade
  • S. exporting ethanol and an associated animal feed ingredient, called DDGS (Distillers’ Dried Grains with Solubles) to India in the agricultural goods category is important.
India’s Concerns
  • Wild caught shrimp exports.
  • Four working groups were identified during the TPF — agricultural goods, non-agricultural goods, services and investment (includes digital trade), and intellectual property (IP).
  • The export of Cara beef (water buffalo meat) to the U.S., as well as table grapes are among the agricultural trade priorities currently under discussion
  • India wants to be reinstated as a beneficiary of the U.S.’s preferential market access programme – the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).
  • About $5.6 billion of Indian exports to the U.S. were covered by the programme (GSP)

 

Keep ESZ of 1 km around forests: SC

Context:

  • The Supreme Court directed that every protected forest, national park and wildlife sanctuary across the country should have a mandatory eco sensitive zone (ESZ) of a minimum one km starting from their demarcated boundaries.
Rationale behind this decision by the court:
  • A three judge Bench of Supreme Court in a 60pagejudgment, highlighted how the nation’s natural resources have been for years ravaged by mining and other activities.
  • The government should not confine its role to that of a “facilitator” of economic activities.
  • The State also has to act as a trustee for the benefit of the general public in relation to the natural resources so that sustainable development could be achieved in the long term.
  • The court directed that “mining within the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries shall not be permitted”.
ECO SESITIVE ZONE (ESZ)
  • Environment Ministry guidelines show that the purpose of declaring ESZs around national parks, forests and sanctuaries is to create some kind of a “shock absorber” for the protected areas.
  • These zones would act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to those involving lesser protection
  • ESZ is notified under Environment Protection Act 1986
Prohibited activities in ESZ:
  • Commercial mining
  • Industries causing pollution (air, water, soil, noise..etc )
  • Establishment of major hydroelectric projects (HEP)
  • Production of hazardous substances.
Permitted activities:
  • Agricultural or horticultural practices
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Organic farming
  • Use of renewable energy sources
Regulated activities:
  • Hotels
  • Roads construction
  • Erection of electrical cables

 

New India needs free and quality higher education

Problems in quality higher education
  • The burden of tuition fees in professional courses is becoming unbearable.
  • Quality professional education became a commodity rather than the noble service in India.
  • Educational loans and debt crippling economic development and welfare of the students.
  • If students pay for education, they would be forced to earn from the degrees they acquire.
  • The profession then becomes a privilege to earn rather than a privilege to serve and excel
  • Poor research and development
  • Faculty shortage
Learn from best international models
  • Nordic model of education – except Denmark and Sweden, remaining all the Nordic countries are providing free higher education to their people, and overseas students as well.
  • All Nordic countries have a strong legacy of equality, extending to equal opportunities in the education system.
  • The Nordic countries have measures in place to promote gender equality and assist students from lower socioeconomic categories to gain access to higher education
  • New York University’s NYU Grossman School of Medicine announced that from the 2021–22 academic year, it will pay the tuition fees for all its students admitted in its MD programme, regardless of their financial needs.
  • Giving choices to students over higher education rather than forcing them to choose specific subject directly or indirectly
  • Universities need funds for education and research. Education is a noble service and an investment to charter a bright future for humanity.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 4th June 2022

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