Press Council of India
Paper 2 – Governance, Constitution
Why Should You Know?
- On June 17, 2022, retired Supreme Court Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai became the first woman President of the Press Council of India.
- The name of 72-year-old Justice Desai for the post of PCI President was recently cleared by a committee comprising Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and PCI member Prakash Dubey.
- it is worth mentioning that this post was vacant since November last year. Soon other members of the council will also be appointed.
- The post of PCI President was lying vacant since last November after the completion of the tenure of Justice Chandramouli Kumar Prasad (retd).
About Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai:
- Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai was born on 30 October 1949.
- She passed the Bachelor of Arts from Elphinstone College Mumbai in 1970 and Bachelor of Law from Government Law College, Mumbai in 1973.
- She became a judge of the Bombay High Court in the year 1996.
- On 13 September 2011, she was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court.
- Justice Ranjana Desai has also recently served as the chairperson of the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir.
- It is worth mentioning that a few days ago, the drafting committee announced by the Uttarakhand government to implement the Uniform Civil Code also includes Ranjana Prakash Desai.
About Press Council of India
- The Press Council of India (PCI) is a statutory autonomous organization responsible for protecting and maintaining the freedom of the press, ensuring a high standard of public interest and inculcating a proper sense of citizens’ rights and obligations. Sustains.
- It was first established on July 4, 1966.
- The Press Council considers complaints received from or against the Press.
- The Council may warn or censure or condemn any newspaper, news agency, editor or journalist, including the Government, or may disprove the conduct of any editor or journalist.
- The decision of the Council cannot be challenged in any court.
- The Council has a chairman – traditionally, a retired Supreme Court judge, and 28 additional members of which 20 are members of media, nominated by the newspapers, television channels and other media outlets operating in India.
- In the 28 member council, 5 are members of the lower house (Lok Sabha) and upper house (Rajya Sabha) of the Indian parliament and three represent culture literary and legal field as nominees of Sahitya Academy, University Grant Commission and Bar Council of India
Paper 2 – Social justice
Why Should You Know?
- Recently, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the practice of ‘talaq-e-hasan’ among Muslims.
- The petition, filed through petitioner Benazir Heena’s counsel Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, sought to declare the practice unconstitutional, saying it was illogical, arbitrary and violative of various fundamental rights, including right to equality, life and liberty.
- It is worth mentioning that ‘Talaq-e-Hasan’ is one of the various forms of ‘Triple Talaq’ prevalent among Muslims. Under this practice, a Muslim man can divorce his wife by saying ‘talaq’ once every month for three months.
- A vacation bench of Justices A S Bopanna and Vikram Nath took note of the plea of advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, appearing for petitioner Benazir Heena, that the plea needed urgent hearing.
- It may be recalled that Upadhyay had sought an urgent hearing, saying that the third ‘talaq’ to be spoken on behalf of the petitioner’s husband on June 19 would complete the process (of talaq-e-hasan).
What is Talaq-e-Hasan ?
- In Talaq-e-Hasan, the Muslim husband can divorce the wife verbally or in writing on three different occasions. In this, the marriage is considered valid until the third time before the divorce is said and as soon as the divorce is said for the third time, the marriage is considered to be over.
- In this, the time of iddat is important which is 90 days or three months. According to the Shariah, there should not be a divorce at once, so this is the format of divorce.
- After this, the husband and wife can marry again, but in the case of the wife, halala has to be done.
PAPER 2 – Constitution
Why Should You Know?
- Recently Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that at least three meetings of the Inter-State Council should be held every year to “strengthen the spirit of cooperative federalism”.
- Stalin also suggested that bills of national importance should be placed before the Council before being tabled in Parliament.
- He said this was because there is no “effective and interactive communication” between the states and the Centre on issues of common interest.
- The Council has met only once in the last six years and that there has been no meeting since July 2016. Since its constitution in 1990, the body has met only 11 times, although its procedure states it should meet at least three times every year.
- Stalin appreciated the reconstitution of the Council, carried out last month. The body will now have 10 Union Ministers as permanent invitees, and the standing committee of the Council has been reconstituted with Home Minister Amit Shah as Chairman. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, UP, and Gujarat are some of the other standing committee members.
What is the Inter-State Council?
- The Inter-State Council was established under Article 263 of the Constitution, which states that the President may constitute such a body if a need is felt for it.
- It is a mechanism that was constituted “to support Centre-State and Inter-State coordination and cooperation in India”. The Council is basically meant to serve as a forum for discussions among various governments.
- In 1988, the Sarkaria Commission suggested the Council should exist as a permanent body, and in 1990 it came into existence through a Presidential Order.
- The main functions of the Council are inquiring into and advising on disputes between states, investigating and discussing subjects in which two states or states and the Union have a common interest, and making recommendations for the better coordination of policy and action.
- The Prime Minister is the chairman of the Council, whose members include the Chief Ministers of all states and UTs with legislative assemblies, and Administrators of other UTs. Six Ministers of Cabinet rank in the Centre’s Council of Ministers, nominated by the Prime Minister, are also its members.
Shortfall in foreign exchange reserves
Paper 3- Economy
Why Should You Know?
- India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $4.599 billion to $596.458 billion for the week ended June 10.
- According to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data, last week, forex reserves had declined by $306 million to $601.057 billion.
- The reason for the decline in foreign exchange reserves in the week ended June 10 is the decline in foreign currency assets, which is a significant component of the total reserves. Foreign currency assets (FCAs) declined by $4.535 billion to $532.244 billion in the reporting week, according to the data.
- Foreign currency assets held in foreign exchange reserves, expressed in dollars, include the effects of appreciation or depreciation in non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen.
- According to the data, the value of gold reserves also declined marginally by $ 1 million to $ 40.842 billion in the week under review.
- In the week under review, special drawing rights (SDRs) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by $23 million to $18388 billion. The country’s currency reserves kept with the IMF also declined by $ 40 million to $ 4.985 billion.
What is Foreign exchange reserves?
- Foreign exchange reserves are funds or other assets held by the central bank of any country so that it can pay its liabilities when needed. Such currencies are issued by the central bank.
- As well as the amount deposited with the central bank on behalf of the government and other financial institutions. These reserves are kept in one or more currencies.
- The foreign exchange reserves are mostly included in the dollar and to a lesser extent in the euro. Foreign exchange reserves are also called forex reserves or FX reserves.
The following are included in India’s foreign exchange reserves:
- forex assets
- gold reserves
- Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
- Reserve Trench with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
China launches third aircraft carrier
Paper 2- International Issues
Why Should You Know?
- On June 17, 2022, China launched the third aircraft carrier Fujian. This was revealed in the official media report.
- It is noteworthy that its launch was delayed due to the lockdown imposed due to Corona infection in Shanghai. It was to be launched on 23 April, close to the 73rd anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
- It is noteworthy that China’s first aircraft carrier was Liaoning which was developed in 2012. This was followed by the second aircraft carrier Shandong which was developed in 2019.
- China aims to become the second largest modern navy in the world after the US by 2030 by building four aircraft carriers. Like the Liaoning and Shandong, the Type 003 aircraft carrier is also a conventional diesel-powered platform, while China’s fourth aircraft carrier is expected to be equipped with nuclear reactors.
- In the year 2018 itself, China had officially confirmed that it has started building the third aircraft carrier. It was also told that it would be bigger and more powerful than the first domestically built aircraft carrier.
Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project
Paper 3- Infrastructure
Why Should You Know?
- On June 19, 2022 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the tunnel and six underpasses that are part of the Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project
- It is expected that the Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor will ease traffic for 1 lakh commuters.
- The corridor has been built at a cost of more than Rs 920 crore and is funded entirely by the central government.
- It is aimed at providing hassle-free and smooth access to the new world-class exhibition and convention centre being developed at Pragati Maidan, thereby facilitating easy participation of exhibitors and visitors in the programmes being held at Pragati Maidan.
- The 1.36-km-long tunnel will have six lanes, with a three-lane carriageway on both sides. It connects Ring Road with India Gate via Purana Qila Road passing through Pragati Maidan. It will also provide direct connectivity to the huge basement parking of Pragati Maidan.
- It is expected to provide a hassle-free commute for people travelling between East, Southeast and Central Delhi. Officials said that it will de-congest the road at Pragati Maidan, ITO junction, India Gate and the Supreme Court.
- The tunnel will have two control rooms at the entry and exit to monitor traffic through CCTVs. An 80-metre-long, five-metre wide emergency lane has also been constructed on the underground stretch to tow away any vehicle that breaks down.
- The six underpasses, of which five are on the Mathura Road, will create a signal-free stretch between Pragati Maidan and Sunder Nursery. The sixth underpass on the Ring Road will go beneath the railway line and connect to Bhairon Marg.
- The underpasses will ease the commute on Mathura Road from Pragati Maidan to Ashram, Nizamuddin, Sarai Kale Khan, Central and Southeast Delhi and Badarpur.
- According to officials, work on the tunnel and underpasses started in 2017. It was estimated to be ready by 2019 but the project was delayed due to the pandemic and ban on construction activities.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
Paper 1- Geography
Why Should You Know?
- The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is a United Nations observance celebrated each year on 17 June.
- Its purpose is to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, highlighting methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.
- Each year’s global celebration has a unique, novel emphasis that had not been developed previously.
- Established in 1994, World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was declared by the United Nations General Assembly. This day came into existence to raise public awareness around the solutions to combat desertification, especially in those areas that are experiencing a serious drought.
- In 1995, people across the globe observed World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought for the first time.
- Every year, this day is observed under a special theme. This year’s theme is ‘Rising up from drought together.
- While the theme of 2021 was – “Restoration, land and recovery. We build back better with healthy land”
- This year the Global Day of Desertification and Drought will be held in Madrid, Spain. Spain is vulnerable to the effects of drought, water scarcity and climate change. The Spanish government is at the forefront of dealing with these issues and is sharing what they are doing to deal with them.
- Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s ice-free land has been replaced by humans to meet the ever-increasing demand for food, raw materials, highways and homes. Avoiding, slowing and reversing the loss of productive lands and natural ecosystems is now essential and vital to a rapid recovery from pandemics and to guarantee the long-term survival of people and the planet.
- Current commitments from more than 100 countries pledge to restore approximately 1 billion hectares of land over the next decade, an area roughly the size of China. If we restore this land, we can bring benefits to the people and the earth at large.
Paper 3 – Science and tech
Why Should You Know?
- Recently Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India, has developed an Indian Standard, IS 17693: 2022 for ‘non-electric cooling cabinet made of clay’.
- Named as ‘Mitticool refrigerator’, It has been developed by Mansukhbhai Prajapati, from Wankaner, from Gujarat.
- BIS standard specifies the construction and performance requirements of a cooling cabinet made out of clay, which operates on the principle of evaporative cooling.
- It is a natural refrigerator made primarily from clay to store vegetables, fruits, milk, and also for cooling water.
- It provides natural coolness to foodstuffs stored in it without requiring any electricity. Fruits, vegetables, and milk can be stored reasonably fresh without deteriorating their quality.
- In this era, where the world is dominated by technology and advancement, there are people in our country who still bank on traditional cooling. Clay pots have been an integral part of Indian kitchens until factory-made products of variety of materials invaded the market.
About Bureau of India Standards –
- The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standards Body of India under Department of Consumer affairs,Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
- It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 which came into effect on 12 October 2017.
- The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is the ex-officio President of the BIS.
- Earlier its name was ‘Indian Standards Institution -ISI’ which was established in the year 1947.
- A new Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 which was notified on 22 March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017.
- BIS was established for the harmonized development of standardization, marking and quality certification activities of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
UPPER AGE LIMIT FOR AGNIPATH SCHEME
Paper 3 – Security
Why Should You Know?
- Agnipath Scheme was recently launched by the Government of India in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Indian Armed Forces.
- As Agnipath Scheme faces backlash with protests taking place all over the country, the Government of India has decided to increase the upper age limit of Agniveers to 23 years. Earlier, it was between 17 to 21 years.
- The increase in the upper age limit of Agniveers, who will be recruited under Agnipath Scheme, was announced by the Ministry of Defence who said that the one-time waiver in the upper age limit has been granted as no recruitments have taken place in the last two years.
- It is noteworthy that The move comes amidst violent protests against the recruitment scheme in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
- While some protestors sought the reinstatement of the old method of recruitment in the armed forces, some demanded a reservation in jobs after the end of the four-year stint in the armed forces.
About Agnipath scheme –
- around 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers will be recruited annually for a period of four years.
- Of these, 25% of total recruits will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission, and most will leave the service in just four years.
- Of the total annual recruits, only 25% will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.
- They will undergo training for six months after which they will be deployed for the remaining 3.5 years.
Modi to launch maternal nutrition scheme in Gujarat
Paper 2 Social Justice
Why Should You Know?
- On a two-day visit to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will launch a scheme on maternal nutrition in the State at an outlay of +800 crore.
- Under the “Mukhyaman tri Matrushakti Yojana”, pregnant and lactating mothers will be given 2 kg of chickpeas, 1 kg of tur dal and 1 kg of edible oil free of cost
- every month from anganwadi centres in Gujarat. An estimated 1.36 lakh women will benefit from the scheme.
- The Prime Minister will al so disburse around 2120 crore towards “Poshan Sud ha Yojana’, which is now being extended to all tribal beneficiaries in the State. The scheme was being implemented as a pilot project in 10 talukas of five tribal-dominated districts and is now
- being expanded to 14 tribal dominated districts. It offers one nutritious meal a day to pregnant and lactating women.
- The schemes aim to intervene during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, which is the period from conception till the time the child turns two.
- Their objective is to improve infant mortality and maternal mortality rates.