CURRENT AFFAIRS FOR BEGINNERS
- Govt. leaves decision on section 377 to the court
Protection of Life and Personal Liberty:-
Article 21 declares that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal
liberty except according to procedure established by law. This right is available to both citizens and non-citizens. In the famous Gopalan case11 (1950), the Supreme Court has taken a narrow interpretation of the Article 21. It held that the protection under
Article 21 is available only against arbitrary executive action and not from arbitrary legislative action. This means that the State can deprive the right to life and personal liberty of a person based on a law. This is because of the expression ‘procedure established by law’ in Article 21, which is different from the expression ‘due process of law’ contained in the American Constitution. Hence, the validity of a law that has prescribed a procedure cannot be questioned on the ground that the law is unreasonable, unfair or unjust. Secondly, the Supreme Court held that the ‘personal liberty’ means only liberty relating to the person or body of the individual. But, in Menaka case (1978), the Supreme Court overruled its judgement in the Gopalan case by taking a wider interpretation of the Article 21. Therefore, it ruled that the right to life and personal liberty of a person can be deprived by a law provided the procedure prescribed by that law is reasonable, fair and just. In other words, it has introduced the American expression ‘due process of law’. In effect, the protection under Article 21 should be available not only against arbitrary executive action but also against arbitrary legislative action. Further, the court held that the ‘right to life’ as embodied in Article 21 is not merely confined to animal existence or survival but it includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity and all those aspects of life which go to make a man’s life meaningful, complete and worth living. It also ruled that the expression ‘Personal Liberty’ in Article 21 is of the widest amplitude and it covers a variety of rights that go to constitute the personal liberties of a man.
The Supreme Court has reaffirmed its judgement in the Menaka case in the subsequent cases. It has declared the following rights as part of Article 21:
(1) Right to live with human dignity.
(2) Right to decent environment including pollution free water and air and protection against hazardous industries.
(3) Right to livelihood.
(4) Right to privacy.
(5) Right to shelter.
(6) Right to health.
(7) Right to free education up to 14 years of age.
(8) Right to free legal aid.
(9) Right against solitary confinement.
(10) Right to speedy trial.
(11) Right against handcuffing.
(12) Right against inhuman treatment.
(13) Right against delayed execution.
(14) Right to travel abroad.
(15) Right against bonded labour.
(16) Right against custodial harassment.
(17) Right to emergency medical aid.
(18) Right to timely medical treatment in government hospital.
(19) Right not to be driven out of a state.
(20) Right to fair trial.
(21) Right of prisoner to have necessities of life.
(22) Right of women to be treated with decency and dignity.
(23) Right against public hanging.
(24) Right to hearing.
(25) Right to information.
(26) Right to reputation.
(27) Right of appeal from a judgement of conviction
(28) Right to social security and protection of the family
(29) Right to social and economic justice and empowerment
(30) Right against bar fetters
(31) Right to appropriate life insurance policy
(32) Right to sleep
(33) Right to freedom from noise pollution
(34) Right to electricity
- Centre upholds Net neutrality proposals
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.
Net Neutrality is about:
– No telecom-style licensing of Internet companies
– No gateways (Internet.org, Airtel OneTouch Internet, Data VAS), censorship or selection;
– No speeding up of specific websites
– No “zero rating” or making some sites free over others
Significance of Net Neutrality
- a) Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with.
- b) ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.
- Ancient Romans may have started commercial whaling
A strait is a thin channel of a waterway that connects two large water bodies. There are many water bodies in the world. This is an important area in geography, from where UPSC has asked many questions. Here are the major straits in the world.
Important Straits of World:-
|Straits||Separates land mass||Joining sea|
|Hormuz strait||Iran and UAE||The Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf|
|Bab-el-Mandeb||Djibouti, Yemen and Eritrea of Somali Peninsula||The Gulf of Aden and Red sea|
|Ten Degree Channel||Car Nicobar Islands and Little Andaman||Andaman sea and Bay of Bengal|
|Sunda Strait||Java island of Indonesia with its Sumatra island.||Java sea to the Indian Ocean|
|Florida Strait||Cuba and USA||Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean|
|Bering strait||Asia from America||Arctic ocean and East Pacific ocean|
|Strait of Gibraltar||Spain and Morocco||The Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea|
|Korea Strait||Japan and South Korea||East China sea and sea of Japan|
|Strait of Malacca||Malaysia and Sumatra||The Pacific Ocean to the east with the Indian Ocean to the west|
|Bonifacio strait||Corsica island of France and Sardinia islands of Italy||Tyrrhenian sea and Mediterranean sea|
|Palk strait||India and Sri Lanka||The Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Palk Bay in the southwest|
|Bosphorus Strait||Divides Europe from Asia||Black sea to Marmara sea|
|Bass strait||Tasmania island and mainland Australia||The Great Australian Bight and Tasman sea|
|Davis Strait||Between Greenland and Canada||The Baffin bay and Labrador sea|
|Jamaica Channel||Jamaica and Hispaniola||Caribbean sea and North Atlantic|
|Hudson strait||Baffin island and Labrador peninsula||Hudson bay and Labrador sea|
- Climate change threatens nilgiri tahr-page 18
IUCN red list :-
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1964, has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. With its strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.
The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (1996), the formally stated goals of the Red List are
(1) to provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level,
(2) to draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, (3) to influence national and international policy and decision-making, and
(4) to provide information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity.
The IUCN aims to have the category of every species re-evaluated every five years if possible, or at least every ten years. This is done in a peer reviewed manner through IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Groups, which are Red List Authorities responsible for a species, group of species or specific geographic area, or in the case of BirdLife International, an entire class
Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, specified through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.
- Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining
- Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range
- Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
- Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild
- Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild
- Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future
- Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk (Does not qualify for a more at-risk category; widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.)
- Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction
- Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria
In the context of the IUCN Red List, “threatened” embraces the three categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
- A difficult campaign
Panama paper leaks:-
The panama papers leak and the controversy regarding it were sparked after a list of names of the clientele of an agency that holds undocumented wealth was published anonymously. Implicated celebrities and members of the social elite globally (including Indians like the members of the Bachan family). Although the agency was not the largest known agency to provide such a service it was the largest expose in this regard.
What are Panama papers?
- The Panama papers are files that are related to the documents and other details about illegal activities of wealthy off-shore account holders were leaked.
- They were leaked from one of the world’s most secretive companies, a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca.
- The files show how Mossack Fonseca clients were able to launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid tax.
- In one case, the company offered an American millionaire fake ownership records to hide money from the authorities.
- This is in direct breach of international regulations designed to stop money laundering and tax evasion. It is the biggest leak in history, dwarfing the data released by the Wikileaks organisation in 2010.
- There are links to 12 current or former heads of state and government in the data, including dictators accused of looting their own countries. More than 60 relatives and associates of heads of state and other politicians are also implicated.
- The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a non-profit organisation based in Washington, obtained a cache of 11.5 million records detailing the offshore holdings of a dozen current and former world leaders, as well as businessmen, criminals, celebrities and sports stars.
How it is related to India?
A petition was filed by Supreme Court advocate Manohar Lal Sharma seeking an apex court-monitored probe against the Indian offshore account holders and stock market regulators. A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra was asked to direct the CBI to lodge FIRs and conduct probe into the alleged offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
- panel for automatic suspension in rs
The first hour of every parliamentary sitting is slotted for this. During this time, the members ask questions and the ministers usually give answers. The questions are of three kinds, namely, starred, unstarred and short notice. A starred question (distinguished by an asterisk) requires an oral answer and hence supplementary questions can follow.
An unstarred question, on the other hand, requires a written answer and hence, supplementary questions cannot follow. A short notice question is one that is asked by giving a notice of less than ten days. It is answered orally. In addition to the ministers, the questions can also be asked to the private members. Thus, a question may be addressed to a private member if the subject matter of the question relates to some Bill, resolution or other matter connected with the business of the House for which that member is responsible. The procedure in regard to such question is the same as that followed in the case of questions addressed to a minister. The list of starred, unstarred, short notice questions and questions to private members are printed in green, white, light pink and yellow colour, respectively, to distinguish them from one another.