December 12

1) Cyclone Vardah:

  • Affecting the coast of Tamil nadu and Andhra Pradesh
  • Precautions should be taken to handle such situations:
    • States should give alerts to fishermen to not to get into the seas.
    • Deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State’s DRF, and various forces to handle the situation before it takes place
    • Getting frequent updates from ISRO through its National Remote Sensing Centres and other wings.
    • Allocating extra administrative staff

2) Sambhar Lake:

  • Located in Rajasthan, one of the largest inland salt water lake in India, and National Highway 8 passes through it. It is recognised under Ramsar site (recognised wetland of international importance)
  • Issue:
    • An illegal salt pans are identified
    • Salt manufactures are digging unauthorised borewells in or around which is depleting the groundwater levels.
  • The above activities are contrary to the provision of Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules under Environmental Protection Act 1986 and 2010.
  • Supreme Court Direction to states:
    • No more new salt pan allocations in the area or in the “no construction zone” area according to the specified Rules.
    • To follow the recommendations of Vinod Kapoor and National Environment Engineering Research Institute Committee Reports.

3)Parliamentary Standing Committee Report on Judicial Appointment: (it says)

  • Accused Supreme Court for its unnecessary zeal for supremacy in judicial appointment.
  • The Collegium system is not transparent in appointing.
  • It is the Shared Responsibility of both the Parliament and the Judiciary to appoint Judges for its independency
  • It is taking steps to overcome the judgement of Supreme Court in 2015, invalidating National Judicial Appointment Committee (NJAC) Law.
  • It is required to scrutinise the NJAC law with more no of judges in a bench and questioning it.

4) Major Defence Partnership Status:

  • Granted to India by US under its legislation National Defence Authorisation Act
  • It has been granted to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and its U.S Treaty allies Australia and Japan.
  • Under it, the India get Licensing Regulations in acquiring sensitive Defence technologies of U.S
  • Under Make in India initiative, India wanted to build new fighter aircrafts with technology transfer support in significant numbers.
  • Proposal:
    • U.S Boeing and Lockheed have submitted a proposal to build F-18 and F-16 fighter aircrafts.

5) Amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act:

  • Negatives:
    • This amendment is making the Prevention as Protection to corrupt Act due to following proposal in amendment:
      • 1.Narrowing the current definition of corruption:
        • Currently, if any illegal gratification is possessed by any public servant through abusing his position as public servant. But in proposal any benefit that is not economic, that is illegal and not possessed with the intentional fraud  is not to be treated as corruption
        • This will escape many forms of corruption practices that takes place in the administrative system like Bofor scam to 2G scam, coal scam etc.,
        • Law commission recommended definition: which is more wider
          • Any undue advantage with improper performance of his public duty.
      • 2.To know the ‘known source of income’
        • Currently if the unaccounted monetary values acquired from public servant is enough to prosecute him but in proposal it is required to know the possession is based from what source.
        • It is make the process of prosecution difficult, will protect the offenders
      • 3.Making equal punishment to both Bribe givers and Bribe takers
        • It is keep a fear to the bribe givers to turn into witnesses.
        • As 2nd ARC recommendations to differentiate between coercive and collusive bribers and to safeguard coercive and punish collusive
      • 4.Reduce the chances of prosecution of corrupt:
        • Proposal says, the prior sanctions of govt or higher officials are required before any public servant is prosecuted.
        • This is to protect honest officers from harassment, frivolous and persecution litigations
      • 5.New section 17A has been added which says a prior permission from Lokayukta or Lokpal is required for investigation or enquiry. This provision is more diluter to the prevention
        • And Single Directive has been reintroduced which says any higher official ranks as Joint Secretary or above should be prosecuted only with the prior permission from the govt. This provision has been stated and nullified by S.C in famous Vineet Narain Judgment 1997 as unconstitutional violating right to equality provision.

6) Natural gas is more preferable than Coal for energy requirements:

  • Positives:
    • Natural gas emits less amount of carbon, SO2, NO2 and virtually zero P.M 2.5 than coal
      • It is needed to adopt Gas based development to reach its INDC of 33% reduction in carbon according to Paris Accord 2015.
    • Coal plant production is cheaper when compared to Natural but aftermath investments for health hazard causes due to pollution and environmental impacts will tends to equation of overall investments.
    • Can link to every household as power and telecom linkages is happening.
    • Easy to get environmental clearances
  • Negatives:
    • Natural gas is more costlier than coal in production
    • Natural gas is import dependent which will amount the current account deficit.

7) Nano-ceramic material for next generation nuclear reactors:

  • It is not only sustainable in radiation but it also become more harder in radiation
  • Coolants which are used during high heat like water and in further high heat liquid metal like Sodium and Lead will corrode metallic structures, so nano-ceramic is better alternative to sustain corrosion.
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