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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jan 15, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Roundup of important court judgments

 

1. Bombay HC: Media Trial during investigation interferes with administration of justice

n disposing of a batch of PILs seeking regulation of media trial, the Bombay high court made several important observations & issued directions on “media trial”, how it interferes with the administration of justice and hence amounts to ‘contempt of court’ as defined under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971

With respect to the “administration of justice”, any report of the media, having the propensity of tilting the balance against fair and impartial “administration of justice”, could make a mockery of the justice delivery system rendering ‘truth’ a casualty.

The Division Bench also discussed the status of regulation of cable television networks in India with respect to the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act (CVTN) which were brought into effect from September 29, 1994.

The ‘Programme Code’ enshrined in the Act is emphasized. They observed that media trial not only runs counter to the Program Code framed under the Cable TV Act but also interferes with the criminal investigation by police.

Considering the provisions of the CTVN Act and the CTVN Rules, and the Programme Code as stipulated under rule 6 of the CTVN Rules, the bench concluded that it would apply to the telecast which is in the nature of a media trial having adverse consequences on an ongoing criminal investigation.

The Court also held that the media coverage by the Republic TV and Times Now against Mumbai police in the case pertaining to the death of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput is prima facie contemptuous.

2. Supreme Court: Segmentation of project as a strategy to avoid environmental clearance not permissible

In the case of the National Highways Authority of India vs. Pandarinathan Govindarajulu and others, the apex court while observing the there was no requirement for obtaining environmental clearance for NH-54 A, held that segmentation of a project cannot be adopted as a strategy to avoid environmental clearance impact assessment.

The bench of Justice L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, and Ajay Rastogi also observed that the adoption of segmentation of a project cannot be adopted as a strategy to avoid environmental clearance impact assessment. Therefore, it directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to constitute an Expert Committee to examine whether segmentation is permissible for National Highway projects beyond a distance of 100 kms and, if permissible, under what circumstances.

The bench also directed NHAI to strictly conform to the EIA notifications in the matter of acquisition of land being restricted to 40 meters on the existing alignments and 60 meters on realignments, and also to fulfill the requirement of reafforestation in accordance with the existing legal regime.

 

The bench emphasized that development and the environment must go hand in hand.

3. Jharkhand HC: Retrospective application of 10% EWS quota is against Articles 14 and 16

We will not discuss the full issue. Wastage of time.

In the case of Ranjeet Kumar Sah and Uttam Kumar Upadhyay vs. State of Jharkhand and others, the Jharkhand high court held that retrospective application of 10% EWS quota is against Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.

Current Affair 2:
Henley Passport Index

Recently, India was ranked 85th in the ‘Henley Passport Index 2021’.

 

About the Index:

The Henley Passport Index gives ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Originally created by Dr. Christian H. Kaelin (chairman of Henley & Partners), the ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.

It was launched in 2006 and includes 199 different passports.

Latest Rankings:

India’s Performance:

    • India ranks 85th, with a visa-free score of 58.
    • The Indian passport ranked higher in both 2020 (84th) and 2019 (82nd).

Comparison with Neighbouring Countries:

    • Pakistan was ranked 107th and Nepal was ranked 104th.

Related Government Initiatives:

    • The government has been making efforts to increase the number of countries that provide visa free travel, visa-on-arrival and e-visa facilities so as to further ease international travel for Indians.
    • While issuance of visa and visa related process is the sovereign and unilateral decision of the respective country, the matter regarding easier and liberalised visa policy for Indian nationals is taken up regularly in bilateral meetings and forums with foreign countries.

Top Rank Holders:

    • Japan continues to hold the number one position on the index, with passport holders able to access 191 destinations around the world visa-free.
    • Singapore is in second place (with a score of 190) and South Korea ties with Germany in third place (with a score of 189).
    • The top spots were traditionally held by EU countries, the UK, or the US. This year, it is the Asia-Pacific (APAC) passports which are the most powerful in the world as it includes some of the first countries to begin the process of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bottom Rank Holders:

    • Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be the countries with the worst passport to hold with a passport score of 29, 28 and 26 respectively.

 

Reference Link - Henley Passport Index Rankings 2021

Current Affair 3:
World's oldest Cave Art

 

Context:

Recently, archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest known cave art which is a life-sized picture of a wild pig that was painted at least 45,500 years ago in Indonesia.

 

Location:

 

The picture was found in the Leang Tedongnge cave in a remote valley on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Sulawesi Warty Pig Painting:

  1. It dates to at least 45,500 years ago.
    2. It shows a pig with a short crest of upright hairs and a pair of horn-like facial warts in front of the eyes, a characteristic feature of adult male Sulawesi warty pigs.
    3. Sulawesi warty pigs were the most commonly portrayed animal in the ice age rock art of the island, suggesting they have long been valued both as food and a focus of creative thinking and artistic expression.
    4. Painted using red ochre pigment, the pig appears to be observing a fight or social interaction between two other warty pigs.

Previous Oldest Painting:

The previously oldest dated rock art ‘scene’ at least 43,900 years old, was a depiction of hybrid human-animal beings hunting Sulawesi warty pigs and dwarf bovids.

Current Affair 4:
National Innovation Portal (NIP)

 

Context:

Recently, Government has dedicated the National Innovation Portal to the nation.

 

About NIP:

Developing Agency:

It is developed by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

What NIP constitutes?

The National Innovation Portal (NIP) is currently home to about 1.15 lakh innovations scouted from common people of the country, covering Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary and Human Health.

In terms of domain areas, presently the innovations cover Energy, mechanical, automobile, electrical, electronics, household, chemical, civil, textiles, Farm / cultivation practice, storage practice, plant variety, plant protection, poultry, livestock management, nutraceuticals etc.

How will it benefit?

The Innovation Portal will help institutionalise new ideas by common people towards finding solutions to local problems.

The Innovation Portal in coming days could be one of the significant contributions amongst all of our digital progress so far and would act as a bridge between people who are looking for Innovative solutions and those who have been at the helm of their evolution.

Innovation Portal is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and an excellent resource for students, entrepreneurs, MSME’s, Technology Business Incubators (TBI’s) and common people engaged in a variety of occupations.

About National Innovation Foundation (NIF) – India:

1. It is an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
2. Set up in February 2000 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat to provide institutional support for scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up the grassroots innovations across the country.
3. It is India’s national initiative to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge.
4. Its mission is to help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.

Reference Link - Press Information Bureau

Current Affair 5:
Impeachment process of American President and Indian President

 

Just remember this diagram for American President.

Indian President.

What is the procedure for impeachment of a Indian President?

The only condition for the initiation of impeachment of the Indian president is the ‘violation of the constitution.’

Note: Indian Constitution contains no definition of ‘violation of the constitution.’

The impeachment process of President is given below. (We have taken Lok Sabha as the first house to initiate the impeachment charges, however, Rajya Sabha too can initiate the impeachment charges against President and in that case, it will pass the resolution and send the charges to Lok Sabha which will investigate and pass it if it finds those charges valid.)

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