Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020
Current Affair 1:
Prison Statistics of India 2019 Report
A big report. So many unnecessary things. But we will cover only few important headings important for exam.
Recently, the National Crime Records Bureau released the 25th edition of the annual Prisons Statistics India (PSI) for 2019 which provides comprehensive statistical information on various aspects of prison administration in India.
An occupancy ratio of more than 100% implies that the prisons are overcrowded and if it is below 100%, it means that the prisons are not yet filled to their capacity. The occupancy ratio of prisons in India was 118.5% in the end of 2019 (see above). In simpler terms, what it means is, in a space where 100 persons could be accommodated, close to 119 persons were accommodated on average. The occupancy ratio of males in prisons was 122% while that of women was only 71.9%, clearly indicating that overcrowding is an acute problem for male prisoners.
The increase in inmates and prison space are not proportional
Data indicates that the accommodation capacity of Indian prisons has increased from over 3.2 Lakh persons in 2010 to around 4.04 Lakh persons in 2019. Nonetheless, the population of inmates in the prisons across India has increased from over 3.69 Lakh persons to 4.79 Lakh persons during the same period.
Prisons in 19 states were overcrowded
There is wide variation in prison occupancy ratio across different states. The prisons in 19 States were overcrowded by the end of 2019 and in seven of these, the occupancy ratio was above 150%. Delhi had reported the highest occupancy ratio in 2019 with close to 175% followed by Uttar Pradesh with 168% and Uttarakhand with 159%.
Almost 70% of the inmates in Indian prisons are under trials
What is alarming is that majority of the prison inmates in India are undertrials. As on 31 December 2019, over 3.27 lakh persons out of the 4.78 lakh persons lodged in prisons in India, accounting for 69.2% of the inmates, were undertrials. Only 30% of the inmates were convicts and 0.67% were detenues.
Undertrials are those who are being held in custody while the trial for the crime is pending. In the last decade, there has been a marginal increase in the percentage of undertrials being held in prisons, from 65% in 2010 to 69% in 2019.
According to the latest response in the Lok Sabha in July 2019 regarding the overcrowding of prisons, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated that administration and management of prisons falls under the purview of the States. Further, MHA stated that it has issued advisories to the States and UTs for taking steps to provide free legal aid to undertrials and setting up Lok Adalats/Special courts in prisons for reviewing their cases.
As per the report, it is conformed that various initiatives, such as legal defence, interviews with lawyers, etc. National Legal Services Authority free legal services to undertrial prisoners through legal service clinics failed to decongest the prison.
Needs a complete overhaul of existing laws to prosecute prisoners and infrastructure change in prisoners. Even United Nations has devised strategies for reducing overcrowding in prisons, as this is a global issue and not limited to India. These measures include:
- looking for non-custodial alternatives to detention before trial takes place and even after sentencing.
- Faster disposal of cases involving undertrials
- rehabilitation program for those involved in minor crimes
- adopting long term measures to reduce recidivism, are some of the strategies suggested by the UN.
Let’s wait for changes.
Current Affair 2:
Draft Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture: NITI Aayog
Now, since it is a draft, just know basics about this. Don’t go in unnecessary details.
Recently, the NITI Aayog has released draft Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA) which aims to promote greater user control on data sharing.
Introduction is very important:
Implementation: RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA and the Ministry of Finance will implement this model.
Application of DEPA
- Using DEPA, individuals and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can use their digital footprints to access not just affordable loans, but also insurance, savings, and better financial management products.
- The framework is expected to become functional for the financial sector starting fall 2020.
- It will help in greater financial inclusion and economic growth.
Flow based lending:
If portability and control of data could allow an MSME owner to digitally share proof of the business’ regular tax (GST) payments or receivables invoices easily, a bank could design and offer working capital loans based on demonstrated ability to repay (known as flow based lending) rather than only offering bank loans backed by assets or collateral.
DEPA is also being launched in the telecom sector following a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) consultation report on privacy released in July 2018.
The first major government department to become a Government Information Provider will be Goods and Services Tax (GST). In future, departments with data on individuals and MSMEs could adopt the specifications to improve the ease of doing business or create greater data portability of individual education, jobs, or transaction data.
National Health Authority which has been tasked with implementing the National Digital Health Mission, is piloting the DEPA architecture for healthcare data.
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is encouraging adoption of a digital skill credential that could be used to address low data portability in employment by sharing verified information on work experience or educational training.
Current Affair 3:
A new species of blind, underground ant from Goa
A new species of ant has emerged from the leaf litter at Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa. This underground-dwelling species turned up as part of a statewide survey of ants in the state.
The new species, Vaibhav’s Protanilla (Protanilla flamma) belongs to the genus Protanilla, a rare group of ants of which only 12 species are known worldwide. This discovery from Goa is the 13th species.
The species Vaibhav’s Protanilla is very small, measuring just 2.5 mm in length, yellow in colour, and is completely blind. The ant uses just chemical signals and touch response for navigation in their dark subterranean world. These ants are presumed to live in small-sized colonies and being exclusive predators of other smaller insects.
Ants as ecosystem engineers:
Ants play an important role in a forest by maintaining soil fertility, decomposition of organic matter, soil aeration, improving water percolation, and maintaining the population of other insects. A lot of such activities are done by hypogene ants, the group to which this newly described ant belongs. Hypogene ants are a group about which we know very less, so much so that we still do not know what all species comprise this group.
Importance of study:
Watch this: Butterfly-Ant relationship. Not from exam purpose.
Current Affair 4:
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia. Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds). However, as per IAEA reports, Iran continues to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium in violation of limitations set in the deal.
Why this oversight is necessary?
- The suspected work on a uranium metal disk, which could be used as a nuclear weapon component, and on neutrons—which are used to trigger a nuclear implosion—point to Iranian work on a neutron initiator for a nuclear weapons test or nuclear weapons device.
- Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has grown by around 50% since February to 1,572 kilograms. That puts Iran’s stockpile of the nuclear fuel far above the limit of 202.8 kilograms stipulated in the 2015 nuclear accord.
- With 1,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, Iran would likely have enough material to fuel a single bomb once the material is further enriched, a process some experts believe could take as little as three months.
Now, what we will write below is the only thing you have to read about IAEA. Everything will be covered.
Question can be whether it is inter-governmental forum or non-governmental forum. So, you will say:
The International Atomic Energy Agency is the world's central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. It works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, contributing to international peace and security and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
The Statute of the IAEA was approved on 23 October 1956 by the Conference on the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was held at the Headquarters of the United Nations. It came into force on 29 July 1957.
The IAEA was created in 1957 in response to the deep fears and expectations generated by the discoveries and diverse uses of nuclear technology. The Agency’s genesis was U.S. President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” address to the General Assembly of the United Nations on 8 December 1953.
Function of this Agency:
The IAEA’s policy-making bodies decide on the Agency’s programmes and budgets. They comprise the General Conference of all Member States and the 35-member Board of Governors.
- The General Conference consisting of representatives of the IAEA Member States meets in a regular annual session, usually in September, to consider and approve the IAEA’s budget and to decide on other issues raised by the Board of Governors.
- The Board examines and makes recommendations to the General Conference on the IAEA's financial statements, programme and budget. Currently Board members: They won’t ask in exam, just to bring clarity that there are 35 members as mentioned above.
So, India is a member? Yes.
Current Affair 5:
About Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
- He was born on September 5, 1888 in Thiruthani, Tamil Nadu.
- He was India’s first Vice President and second President.
His Philosophy and Literary works:
- His book, ‘The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore’ attracted global attention to Indian philosophy.
- His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta.
- He defended Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism” and played a major role in the formation of contemporary Hindu identity.
- His other works include Indian Philosophy, (1923-27), The Philosophy of the Upanishads (1924), An Idealist View of Life (1932), Eastern Religions and Western Thought (1939), and East and West: Some Reflections (1955).
Positions held, Awards and honours:
- He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1954.
- He received a knighthood in 1931 and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.
- In 1930, he was appointed Haskell lecturer in Comparative Religion at the University of Chicago.
- He won the Templeton Prize in 1975, for promoting the notion of "a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people". He donated all the award money to Oxford University
- Oxford University, in the memory of the loving teacher of India, set up a scholarship by his name, known as "Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships"
- In 1939, Radhakrishnan served as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University
- After independence, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan represented India at the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and later, he also served as the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union.