Insights Daily Current Events, 13 October 2015
Paper 3 Topic: conservation.
Taking cue from Centre, State bans a drug to save vultures
The kerala state government has withdrawn Ketoprofen, a non – steroid anti- inflammatory drug (NSAID) used extensively for veterinary purposes, to save the vulture population in three districts of the state.
- The State government had included Ketoprofen based on an effort to identify an alternative to the banned drug Diclofenac.
- The Centre had banned Diclofenac multi-vial doses after wildlife biologists proved that presence of the drug in the carcasses of the cattle caused the vulture population to dwindle drastically.
How vultures are affected by these drugs?
- Vultures act as scavengers, preying on dead animals. Diclofenac in carcasses lead to slow death of vultures.
- Ketoprofen, which is seen as an alternative, causes the same effect on the vulture population.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Tightened DNA profiling Bill ready
Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan recently said that apprehensions expressed about misuse of the Human DNA Profiling Bill were addressed by the Central government and the legislation is ready for introduction in the next session of Parliament.
- The Bill is in the advanced stage of becoming a law and it would be put up for consideration by the Cabinet.
Highlights of the Human DNA Profiling Bill:
- The bill proposes to allow collection of samples from private parts of human body for DNA profiling and data preservation with the approval of a regulatory body.
- It suggests that a National DNA Profiling Board and a National DNA Bank be set up in Hyderabad, with every state having a regional DNA data bank. The DNA Data Bank would maintain records of samples found at crime scenes, or from suspects, offenders, missing persons, volunteers, etc.
- The bill also makes it clear that no DNA Laboratory shall undertake DNA profiling without the prior approval of the DNA Board.
- If a foreign country requests DNA profiling, the DNA Bank will coordinate through CBI or a concerned department.
- The bill mandates that the DNA profiles or samples be kept confidential, and they should be used only for establishing identity of a person and nothing else.
- Government investigation agencies and judiciary, among others, can seek information from Data Banks. For unauthorized use of data, a stringent punishment is provided.
What is DNA profiling?
It is a forensic technique used to identify individuals by characteristics of their DNA. A DNA profile is a small set of DNA variations that is very likely to be different in all unrelated individuals, thereby being as unique to individuals as are fingerprints.
sources: the hindu, wiki.
Paper 1 Topic: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
Centre seeks report on HC order on Article 370
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report from the Jammu and Kashmir government on the State High Court’s order that Article 370, which grants special status to the State, is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.
- The HC had recently ruled that Article 370 has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution and the feature is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation.
- The court had also said that Article 35A gives “protection” to existing laws in force in the State.
- It said, “Article 370 though titled as ‘Temporary Provision’ and included in Para XXI titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions,’ has assumed place of permanence in the Constitution”.
What is Article 370?
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution is a ‘temporary provision’ which grants special autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir.
- Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with “Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions”, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has been accorded special status under Article 370.
- All the provisions of the Constitution which are applicable to other states are not applicable to J&K.
Important provisions under the article:
- According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needs the state government’s concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus the state’s residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians.
- Indian citizens from other states cannot purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
- Under Article 370, the Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in the state. It can declare emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression. The Union government can therefore not declare emergency on grounds of internal disturbance or imminent danger unless it is made at the request or with the concurrence of the state government.
- Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state.
sources: the hindu, wiki.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
ICHR to conduct research on princely States
The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) will be conducting a research to unravel the history of the many princely States.
- ICHR claims that these princely states were the guardians of “Indian life and culture,” but “disappeared unceremoniously and unwept” after India abolished royal entitlements.
- The project has been approved in principle by the ICHR, with an aim to shine light on the many “accomplishments” of these rulers that have not been sufficiently documented.
- Research into the lives and times of these rulers is also expected to bring out little-known facets about them.
About the Indian Council of Historical Research:
The Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) is plainly a Fund-disbursing Agency that disburses funds to Indian and Foreign Scholars on specific applications for Fellowships and Grants.
- The source of the Funds, at the disposal of the ICHR is Grants-in- Aid received from the Department of Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Grants-in- Aid from various Indian States, donations and from the proceeds of revenues from the sale of Publications.
- The council does not carry any historical research of its own by its staff as was initially envisaged.
- It was established in 1972 by an Administrative Order of the then Ministry of Education of Government of India.
- It is an autonomous organization.
sources: the hindu, ichr.
Topic: General awareness.
British economist Angus Deaton wins Nobel for studies on income, poverty
Professor Angus Deaton, a British economist, has won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for improving the accuracy of basic economic gauges, including measures of income, poverty and consumption.
- Deaton, 69, of Princeton, is best known for his insight that economic averages such as measures of national income could be misleading, because they conceal important variations among individuals.
- Deaton was born in Scotland, and is a British and U.S. citizen.
- He was an early contributor to one of the defining trends in modern economics: the emphasis on building models of broad economic trends from the ground up, using data about individual behaviour rather than relying on averages. He then used this carefully constructed data to address large questions about wealth, health and well-being.
- He is the one who has brought very careful statistical analysis of household choices into development economics.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: conservation.
Green India Mission Plans of Four States Approved
National Mission for a Green India (GIM) falling under the Environment Ministry has approved annual plans for Kerala, Mizoram, Manipur and Jharkhand.
- The National Executive Council (NEC), which met recently, approved the Perspective Plans (PP) and Annual Plan of Operations (APOs) of Mizoram, Manipur, Jharkhand and Kerala.
- NEC approved the plans of all four states with a total financial outlay of Rs. 90,202.68 lakh for a plan period of five to ten years years along with APOs of Rs. 11,195.32 lakh for this financial year.
- The total forest and non-forest area taken up in the four states under GIM during the total plan period will be 1, 08,335 hectares, out of which 81,939 ha will be improving the density of existing forests and 16, 396 ha will be new areas.
Green India Mission:
- It is one of the eight Missions outlined under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).
- It acknowledges the influence forests have on environmental amelioration through climate change mitigation, food security, water security, biodiversity conservation and livelihood security of forest-dependent communities.
- It hinges on decentralized participatory approach involving grass root level organizations and community in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.
- It lays emphasis on landscape approach and convergence with complementary schemes and programmes for better coordination in developing forests and their fringe areas in a holistic and sustainable manner.