Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 11th July 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 11th July 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Contents:

  1. Extra-judicial killing
  2. Labour Ministry notifies draft on minimum wages
  3. World Population Day
  4. Draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020
  5. Bhashan char island
  6. Rajasthan’s education guidelines: NCPCR
  7. Other important current affairs

 

1.Extra-judicial killing:

Recently, Vikas Dubey, a gangster was killed by the Uttar Pradesh Police in an encounter (extra-judicial killing). Many experts raised questions on the encounter and demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.

  • The police force has the right to injure or kill the criminal, for the sole and only purpose of self-defense or where it is imminently necessary for the maintenance of peace and order.
  • Under Section-96 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), every human being has the right to the private defense which is a natural and an inherent right.
  • Section-46 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) authorizes the police to use force, extending up to the cause of death, as may be necessary to arrest the person accused of an offense punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

Reasons behind Increasing Extra-judicial Killing:

  • It emerges out of a lack of faith in the judiciary because many believe that the courts will not provide timely justice.
  • The fact of getting away with cold-blooded murders is the key reason behind police getting bolder by the day and killing at will.
  • Many leaders project encounter numbers as their achievement in maintaining law and order.
  • The police forces are very often rewarded and awarded for encounters.
  • The government provides promotion and cash incentives to the teams involved in the encounters.
  • The National Human Rights Commission and the state human rights commissions have been redundant for many years.
  • Though the judiciary is fully empowered to take up such cases suo-moto, however, this has now become a very rare practice.
  • The police become heroes in society as many people see them doing the job of cleaning up the Indian society by killing the criminals.
  • Many times they are also projected as heroes on the silver screen with big-budget films made on them and their ‘heroic’ acts.
  • Amidst all the hero-worshipping, the people, the media and even the judiciary seem to cast aside the fact that all the killings are suspect unless they have been properly investigated and the real story established.

Constitutional Provision:

  • The Constitution of India intended for India to be a country governed by the rule of law.
  • As per the rule of law, the Constitution is the supreme power in the land and the legislative and the executive derive their authority from the constitution.
  • There is a procedure prescribed by the law for criminal investigation which is embedded in the Constitution under Article 21 as the Right to Life and Personal Liberty. It is fundamental, non-derogable, and is available to every person. Even the State cannot violate that right.
  • Hence, it is the responsibility of the police to follow the Constitutional principles and uphold the Right to Life of every individual whether an innocent one or a criminal.

 

2. Labour Ministry notifies draft on minimum wages:

The Union Labour and Employment Ministry has published the draft rules framed for the implementation of the Code on Wages Act, 2019.

  • The latest draft rules are similar to the preliminary draft published in November 2019 with one major change.
  • The Ministry has changed the work requirement for eligibility for minimum wages and other benefits from nine hours to eight.
  • The latest draft clarified the issue as the nine hours mentioned earlier included one hour of rest, which has now been mentioned separately from the eight working hours.

Criteria for determination of minimum wages:

  • A net intake of 2,700 calories per day per consumption unit, 66 metre of cloth per year per standard working-class family, which includes a spouse and two children apart from the earning worker – an equivalent to three adult consumption units.
  • Housing rent expenditure to constitute 10% of the food and clothing expenditure; fuel, electricity, and other miscellaneous items of expenditure to constitute 20% minimum wage and expenditure for children education, medical requirement, recreation, and expenditure on contingencies to constitute 25% of the minimum wage.
  • When the rate of wages for a day is fixed, then such amount shall be divided by eight for fixing the rate of wages for an hour and multiplied by twenty-six for fixing the rate of wages for a month and in such division and multiplication the factors of one-half and more than one-half shall be rounded as next figure and the factors less than one-half shall be ignored.

About the Code on Wages Act:

  • The code will amalgamate the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.
  • The wage code universalizes the provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees, irrespective of the sector, and wage ceiling.
  • It ensures the “right to sustenance” for every worker and intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce.
  • It also introduces the concept of statutory floor wage which will be computed based on minimum living conditions and extended qualitative living conditions across the country for all workers.
  • While fixing the minimum rate of wages, the central government shall divide the concerned geographical area into three categories – metropolitan area, non-metropolitan area, and rural area.
  • Wages include salary, allowance, or any other component expressed in monetary terms. This does not include bonus payable to employees or any traveling allowance, among others.
  • The minimum wages decided by the central or state governments must be higher than the floor wage.
  • Payment of wages: Wages will be paid in (i) coins, (ii) currency notes, (iii) by cheque, (iv) by crediting to the bank account, or (v) through electronic mode. The wage period will be fixed by the employer as either: (i) daily, (ii) weekly, (iii) fortnightly, or (iv) monthly.

 

3.World Population Day:

Every year, 11th July is celebrated as the World Population Day.

  • The theme for 2020: How to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Various reports have shown that domestic violence has increased globally amid the lockdown.
  • The National Commission for Women in India reported a huge rise in the number of complaints related to domestic violence.
  • A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says, “47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives” if the lockdown-like disruptions continue for six months.
  • This could result in millions of unintended pregnancies and gender-based violence.
  • Women are also hit harder economically due to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Around 60% of women across the world earn their livelihood by working in the informal sector, according to the report.

Background:

  • In 1989, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recommended that 11th July be observed by the international community as World Population Day, a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.
  • UNDP was inspired by the public interest and awareness that was created by “Five Billion Day” on 11th July 1987 when the world’s population reached 5 billion.
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) seeks to create awareness about the issues associated with the population.
  • India has just 2% of the world’s landmass and 16% of the global population. It is the second-most populous country in the world with an estimated population of around 1.37 billion by 2019.
  • It has been reported that India will soon surpass China’s population.
  • Mismatch in birth and death rate resulted in faster growth of population in the past few decades.
  • Poverty and illiteracy contribute immensely to the population explosion.
  • Children in rural areas are considered as assets, who will take care of parents at old age, also more children mean more earnings.
  • The level of female education has a direct impact on fertility, as it is evidenced that the fertility rate of illiterate women tends to be higher than those who are literate.
  • Lack of education prevents women from having full knowledge about the use of contraceptives, of the consequences of frequent childbirth.
  • Although the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is declining in India, poorer states like Bihar (3.2), Uttar Pradesh (3.0), Rajasthan (2.6), and Jharkhand (2.5) still have TFRs above the national average of 2.2.
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is the average number of children born to women during their reproductive years. For the population to remain stable, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is needed.
  • High youth unemployment in India is turning demographic dividend into a demographic disaster for India.
  • This youth potential is often referred to as the ‘demographic dividend’ which means that if the youth available in the country are equipped with quality education and skills training, then they will not only get suitable employment but can also contribute effectively towards the economic development of the country.

 

4.Draft Aids to Navigation Bill 2020:

Recently, the Ministry of Shipping has issued the draft of the Aids to Navigation Bill, 2020 for suggestions from the stakeholders and the general public.

  • It aims to regulate state-of-the-art technologies of marine navigation which was earlier used to tangle in statutory provisions of the Lighthouse Act, 1927.
  • A navigational aid is any kind of marker which aids the traveler in navigation, usually nautical or aviation travel. Common types of such aids include lighthouses, buoys, fog signals, and day beacons.
  • Replacement of Lighthouse Act: It is proposed to replace the nine decades-old colonial Lighthouse Act, 1927, to incorporate the global best practices, technological developments, and India’s International obligations in the field of aids to marine navigation.
  • It also provides for the identification and development of heritage lighthouses.
  • The Lighthouse Act is an act relating to the provision, maintenance and control of lighthouses. It was enacted by the Britishers in 1927.
  • Empowerment of DGLL: It provides for empowering Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) with additional power and functions such as vessel traffic service, wreck flagging, training and certification, implementation of other obligations under International Conventions, where India is a signatory.
  • Offenses: It comprises a new schedule of offenses, along with commensurate penalties for obstructing and damaging the aids to navigation, and non-compliance with directives issued by the Central Government and other bodies.
  • Aids to Navigation Cess: Every ship arriving at or departing from any port in India will have to pay cess at rates notified by the Central government.
  • Currently, the Central government, as per the provisions of the Lighthouse Act, levies light dues on all the foreign going ships arriving at or departing from any port in India.
  • Light dues are the charges levied on ships for the maintenance of lighthouses and other aids to navigation.

 

5. Bhashan char island:

Bangladesh has announced that it will not move the Rohingyas settled on the Bhashan char island amid Corona pandemic.

  • Bhasan Char, also known as Char Piya, is an island in Hatiya Upazila, Bangladesh. It is located in the Bay of Bengal, 37 miles from the coast.
  • The island was formed with Himalayan silt in 2006.
  • Bhashan Char is an uninhabited island where the government of Bangladesh has made shelter houses for one lakh Rohingya refugees. In June 2015, the Bangladeshi government suggested resettling Rohingya refugees on the island.
  • However, environmentalists say that the Bhashan Char falls in an ecologically fragile area prone to floods, erosion, and cyclones.
  • The issue of forced relocation and lack of mobility on the island has also been raised by organizations working among the Rohingyas.

 

6. Rajasthan’s education guidelines :NCPCR:

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has pulled up the Rajasthan government for its new guidelines on elementary education.

  • NCPCR said the new guidelines “violate” the Right to Education Act of 2009 and deny children from economically weaker sections the right to free education in nursery classes.
  • The guidelines state that admissions to private schools under the RTE Act, 2009, for the 2020-21 academic year will take place only from class 1 or above, and that the law’s provisions will not be applicable for pre-schoolers.
  • This is in contravention of the RTE Act 2009, which states that private schools will have to admit, “to the extent of at least twenty-five percent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighborhood and provide free and compulsory education till its completion.”
  • The guidelines also violate the RTE Act insofar as they recommend the age of admission to be “5 years or above but less than 7 years as of 31st March 2020.”
  • However, under Central law, there is no such restriction and a “male or female child of the age of six to fourteen years” can seek admission.

About NCPCR:

  • Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
  • It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
  • The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
  • All of them are appointed by the Central Government for three years.
  • The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.

 

Other important current affairs:

1. The Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) at the University of Toronto, Canada recently released a study titled ‘Snakebite Mortality in India: A Nationally Representative Mortality Survey’.

  • India recorded 1.2 million snakebite deaths in the 20-year period from 2000 to 2019 with an average of 58,000 deaths caused by snakebite annually.
  • Around 70% of these deaths occurred in low altitude, rural areas of eight States — Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • Half of all the snakebite deaths occurred during the monsoon period from June to September.
  • Snakebite deaths occurred mostly in rural areas (97%), were more common in males (59%) than females (41%), and peaked in the age group of 15-29 years (25%).
  • The numbers for annual snakebite deaths were highest in the States of Uttar Pradesh (8,700), Andhra Pradesh (5,200), and Bihar (4,500).

2. India has expressed concern over the possibility that F-1 visa students attending online-only classes in the US may lead to the return of a large number of Indian students studying there.

  • In the United States, the F visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education (academic studies and/or language training programs) in the United States.
  • Three types of F visa:
    • F-1 visas are for full-time students.
    • F-2 visas are for spouses and children of F-1 visa holders — these are technically called “dependents.”
    • F-3 visas are for “border commuters” who reside in their country of origin while attending school in the United States. F-3 visas are granted only to nationals of Mexico or Canada and these visa holders may study part- or full-time.

3. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated six new bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the Jammu Division of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir

  • Of the six bridges, four bridges are in the Akhnoor sector and two in the Jammu-Rajpura area.
  • One of these bridges, Tarnah bridge, falls in the Hiranagar area of Kathua district. The Tarnah bridge will connect more than two dozen border villages from border Chakra to Tehsil Hirnagar to Jammu-Kathua National highway.
  • The bridge will also connect Gurdaspur district in Punjab with Jammu and will be an alternate highway.

4. Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee-Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.

  • ASEEM portal will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of a skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
  • The portal will map details of workers based on regions and local industry demands and will bridge the demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors.
  • The Artificial Intelligence-based platform will also provide real-time granular information by identifying relevant skilling requirements and employment prospects.

5. The Smart Cities Mission opened the registration for India Cycles4Change Challenge on 10th July 2020. The challenge was launched on 25th June 2020 by the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs.

  • The Challenge aims to help cities connect with their citizens as well as experts to develop a unified vision to promote cycling.
  • The Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UTs, and all cities with a population of more than 5 lakh population.
  • The Challenge will run in two stages.
    • Stage One will run until October where cities will focus on piloting quick interventions to promote cycling and developing a scale-up strategy.
    • In October 2020, 11 cities will be shortlisted and will receive Rs. 1 Crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale-up the initiatives in Stage Two, which will be held until May 2021.

6. Researchers have found Ophiocordyceps nutans (fungi) for the first time in central India, while setting out on a plant survey at the Kanger Valley National Park in Bastar, Chhattisgarh.

  • Earlier, these have been reported in India only from the Western Ghats.
  • Ophiocordyceps nutans host on a specific insect, Halyomorpha halys.
  • Halyomorpha halys is commonly known as the stink bug and is a pest to forest trees and agricultural crops.
  • The stink bug is known to damage the flower and fruits of soybean, green beans, apple, pear, etc.
  • The fungi infect the insect when alive and develop fungal mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus) inside its thorax (chest).
  • The spores (single-celled reproductive units) sprout out from between the insect’s thorax and head, killing the insect but it continues to take nutrition from the dead body.
  • The fungi are very host-specific, so the spores travel and infect stink bugs only.

7.Boeing has handed over the last of the five AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

  • The handover was slightly delayed due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
  • Earlier, Boeing handed over the last five of the 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF as well.
  • India contracted 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing through the Foreign Military
  • Sales program of the USA government in September 2015 under a USD 3 billion deal.
  • The addition of both these helicopters is a significant step towards the modernization of IAF’s helicopter fleet.
  • AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter: These are all-weather capable, easily maintainable helicopters and have high agility and survivability against battle damage.

 

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