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02-July-2024-Daily-Current-Affairs

July 2 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

NHRC ISSUES NOTICES TO CENTRE, T.N. GOVT. OVER RECRUITMENT PRACTICES AT FOXCONN 

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: THE HINDU 

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has raised concerns over alleged discrimination against married women by Foxconn, a major Apple device manufacturer, at its Sriperumbudur iPhone assembly plant. 

NHRC issued a notice to: 

  • Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment 
  • Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu 

Call for detailed reports on allegations of systematic exclusion of married women from jobs at Foxconn. 

  • A former HR executive at Foxconn India alleged: 
  • Verbal instructions were given to hiring agencies to exclude married women. 
  • Cultural issues and societal pressure cited as reasons for not hiring married women. 

NHRC stated that such discrimination: 

  • Violates the right to equality and equal opportunity. 
  • Contravenes gender equality principles in the Indian Constitution. 

Breaches international treaties, including: 

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights 
  • Obligations of State Authorities 

State authorities must ensure: 

  • Companies adhere to labour laws. 
  • The right to health and dignity for all workers, including women in the supply chain. 
  • Investigation Findings 
  • Job seekers and company pamphlets from Jan 2023 to May 2024 were examined. 

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (NHRC) 

Established in 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993.Strengthens India’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights. 

  • Functions as a watchdog for human rights violations. 

Constitutional Provisions (Indirect): 

  • Though not a direct constitutional body, NHRC protects rights enshrined in the Constitution (Part III – Fundamental Rights). 
  • E.g., Right to Life (Article 21), Right to Equality (Article 14-18), Right to Freedom (Article 19-22). 

Composition: 

  • Chairperson: Retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court. 
  • Members: Up to two retired Judges of High Courts and individuals with expertise in human rights. 

Eligibility for Chairperson and Members: 

  • Chairperson and Members should be eminent persons with proven ability in administration, jurisprudence, or human rights. 
  • Should not hold any office of profit after being appointed to the NHRC. 

Functions and Powers: 

  • Investigate complaints of human rights violations by public servants. 
  • Review laws and recommend improvements for better human rights protection. 
  • Visit jails, detention centers, and other institutions to monitor living conditions. 
  • Award compensation to victims of human rights violations. 
  • Promote human rights awareness through research and education. 

Limitations: 

  • Recommendations are not binding on the government. 
  • Cannot inquire into human rights violations by private parties. 
  • Lacks power to punish authorities for non-compliance with recommendations. 

Conclusion 

The NHRC’s involvement underscores the importance of upholding equality and fair employment practices, calling for stringent adherence to national and international norms against discrimination. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements about the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India:
  1. The Chairperson of the NHRC must be a retired Chief Justice of India. 
  1. The NHRC can award monetary compensation to victims of human rights violations. 
  1. The recommendations of the NHRC are binding on the government. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 1 only 
  1. 1, 2, and 3 

ANSWER – A 

EXPLANATION 

The Chairperson of NHRC must be a retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court. 

NHRC has the power to award compensation to victims of human rights violations. 

The recommendations of the NHRC are not binding on the government. This is a key limitation of the NHRC. 

WHAT IS ON THE AGENDA FOR THE 16TH FINANCE COMMISSION? 

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS 

The 16th Finance Commission (FC), established under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution, is tasked with addressing financial devolution to municipalities. Despite past efforts, cities continue to face inadequate funding, impacting their productivity and quality of life. 

Agenda for the 16th Finance Commission 

  • Recognize urbanization dynamics. 
  • Ensure intergovernmental transfers (IGTs) to urban areas are at least doubled. 
  • Address the need for substantial urban infrastructure investment, estimated at $840 billion over the next decade. 

Challenges in Financial Devolution 

  • Five commissions since the 11th FC have failed to adequately devolve funds to cities. 
  • Municipalities suffer from poor fiscal health, affecting city productivity and quality of life. 
  • Rapid urbanization without proper fiscal action adversely affects development. 
  • Current IGTs to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are around 0.5% of GDP, much lower than other developing nations (2-5%). 

Comparison with Other Countries 

  • South Africa: Allocates 2.6% of GDP to cities. 
  • Mexico: Allocates 1.6% of GDP to cities. 
  • Philippines: Allocates 2.5% of GDP to cities. 
  • Brazil: Allocates 5.1% of GDP to cities. 

Impact of GST and Taxation 

  • GST introduction reduced ULBs’ tax revenue from 23% (2012-13) to 9% (2017-18). 
  • IGTs from States to ULBs are low, with recommendations for only about 7% of States’ own revenue in 2018-19. 
  • Increased IGTs as a percentage of GDP are necessary for financial strengthening of ULBs. 

Significance of Census Data 

  • Reliance on outdated 2011 Census data hampers evidence-based fiscal devolution. 
  • Accurate data on approximately 4,000 statutory towns, an equal number of Census towns, and 23,000 effectively urban villages are needed. 
  • Migration trends to Tier-2 and 3 cities must be captured. 

Importance of Supporting Local Governments 

  • The 13th FC noted the negative impact of parallel agencies on local governments. 
  • Union and State governments should provide funds, functionaries, and technical aid. 
  • Parallel programs like the MPLADS and MLALADS distort the federal structure. 

 

FINANCE COMMISSION 

Constitutional Body: 

  • Established under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution. 
  • Set up every five years or earlier by the President. 

Functions: 

  • Recommend the vertical devolution of taxes between the Union and State governments (share of states in central tax pool). 
  • Determine the horizontal allocation of resources among states based on needs, capacities, and performance. 
  • Recommend grants-in-aid to specific states or sectors requiring assistance. 

Composition: 

  • Chairperson: Eminent person with expertise in public finance or economics. (Current Chairperson – Dr. Arvind Panagariya as of July 2024) 
  • Members: Up to four members with experience in financial and economic matters. 

Eligibility for Chairperson and Members: 

  • Proven ability in administration, public finance, or economics. 
  • Cannot hold any office of profit after appointment. 

Related Constitutional Provisions: 

  • Article 270: Power to levy and collect taxes. 
  • Article 275: Distribution of revenue between Union and States. 

Recent Focus Areas (may vary by commission): 

  • Fiscal consolidation (reducing budget deficits). 
  • Targeting resources to sectors like education and health. 
  • Addressing regional imbalances. 
  • Recommendations for disaster relief and economic revival. 

Limitations: 

  • Recommendations are not binding on the government. 
  • Focus on revenue sharing, less emphasis on expenditure reforms. 

Conclusion 

To address the challenges posed by rapid urbanization, the 16th FC must prioritize substantial increases in IGTs, accurate data collection, and support for local governments. Ensuring financial stability and operational efficiency of ULBs is crucial for the sustainable development of India’s cities. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. With reference to the Finance Commission of India, consider the following statements:
  1. The Finance Commission is a permanent body established by the Constitution. 
  1. The Finance Commission determines the salary and allowances payable to the Governors of States. 
  1. The recommendations of the Finance Commission are binding on the Union and State governments. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  1. 2 and 3 only 
  1. 3 only 
  1. None of the above 

ANSWER – D 

EXPLANATION 

The Finance Commission is constituted every five years, not permanent. 

The Finance Commission deals with resource allocation, not salaries. 

Recommendations are not binding, but influential. 

HOW THE WORLD’S FIRST BRAIN IMPLANT TO CONTROL EPILEPTIC SEIZURES WORKS 

TOPIC: (GS3) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS 

Oran Knowlson, a UK-based teenager, is the first person globally to receive a brain implant to manage epileptic seizures. This deep brain stimulation (DBS) device has significantly reduced his daytime seizures by 80%. 

What is Epilepsy? 

  • Definition: A condition causing recurring seizures. 
  • Symptoms: Jerking of limbs, confusion, staring spells, stiff muscles. 

Causes: 

  • Unknown in 50% of cases. 
  • Possible factors: head trauma, brain tumors, infections (e.g., meningitis), genetics. 
  • Risks: Increased accidents, drownings, and falls. 
  • Prevalence in India: 3 to 11.9 per 1,000 people. 
  • Treatment Resistance: 30% of patients are resistant to available anti-seizure medications. 

How Does the Device Work? 

  • Function: The neurostimulator delivers electrical impulses to block seizure-causing signals. 
  • Specifications: Size: 3.5 cm square, 0.6 cm thick. 
  • Implantation: In the skull, connected to electrodes in the thalamus. 
  • Operation: Activated post-surgery and rechargeable wirelessly. 

What is DBS? 

  • Usage: For epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions. 
  • Previous Applications: Neurostimulators placed in the chest for childhood epilepsy. 

Expert Opinion: 

  • Dr. Manjari Tripathi, AIIMS: Emphasizes that DBS is not a miracle cure and not the first line of treatment. 
  • Alternatives: Anti-seizure medicines, ketogenic diet, brain surgery, corpus callosotomy. 

Cost of DBS 

  • Neurostimulators: Approximately Rs 12 lakh. 
  • Total Surgical Costs: Up to Rs 17 lakh in private hospitals. 
  • Comparison: Brain surgery costs Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. 

Conclusion 

DBS devices, though not a cure, offer a significant reduction in seizures for those with epilepsy resistant to conventional treatments. They should be considered when seizures originate from multiple brain regions or when other treatments fail. 

Multiple Choice Question: 

  1. Consider the following statements regarding Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for epilepsy:
  1. DBS is primarily used for treating movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease. 
  1. The neurostimulator device for DBS is typically implanted in the chest with wires running up to the brain. 
  1. The recent case of Oran Knowlson is the first instance of a brain implant specifically for controlling epileptic seizures. 
  1. DBS is often the first line of treatment for epilepsy, before considering medications or dietary changes. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 and 3 only 
  1. 1 and 2 only 
  1. 2 and 4 only 
  1. 1, 3, and 4 only 

ANSWER – A 

EXPLANATION 

DBS is indeed used for treating movement disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease. 

While DBS devices have been implanted in the chest with wires running to the brain for some conditions, the specific case of Oran Knowlson involved implanting the neurostimulator in the skull. 

Oran Knowlson is the first person to receive a brain implant specifically designed to control epileptic seizures. 

DBS is not the first line of treatment for epilepsy; anti-seizure medications and dietary changes are considered before resorting to DBS. 

WHAT IS PROJECT NEXUS THAT RBI HAS SIGNED UP FOR? 

TOPIC: (GS3) ECONOMY – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS 

Project Nexus, initiated by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), aims to enhance cross-border payments by interlinking domestic Fast Payments Systems (FPSs). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined this multilateral initiative to facilitate instant cross-border retail payments. 

What is Project Nexus? 

  • Conceptualized by: BIS Innovation Hub. 
  • Purpose: To connect multiple domestic Instant Payment Systems (IPS) globally, enhancing cross-border payments. 
  • Significance: The first BIS Innovation Hub project in payments moving towards live implementation. 

India’s Participation 

  • RBI’s Role: Collaborating to link India’s FPS (UPI) with other countries’ FPSs for cross-border Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M) payments. 
  • Current Bilateral Efforts: India has been linking UPI with FPSs of various countries. 

Benefits of Project Nexus 

  • Standardization: Simplifies the connection process by creating a single link to the Nexus platform, eliminating the need for custom connections for each new country. 
  • Efficiency: Facilitates instant cross-border payments, reducing transaction time to within 60 seconds. 
  • Cost-Effective: Near-zero cost for domestic payments, extending benefits to cross-border transactions. 

Participating Countries 

  • Founding Members: India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand. 
  • Future Expansion: Potential to include more countries, with Indonesia expected to join. 

Agreement and Implementation 

  • Signing Date: June 30, 2024. 
  • Location: Basel, Switzerland. 
  • Signatories: Central banks of the founding countries – BNM, BOT, BSP, MAS, and RBI. 

Conclusion 

Project Nexus represents a significant advancement in global payment systems, promoting efficiency, speed, and cost-effectiveness in cross-border transactions. By joining this initiative, India aims to expand the international reach of its payment systems and enhance global financial connectivity. 

eSankhyiki Portal 

TOPIC: (GS3) ECONOMY – SOURCE: TIMES OF INDIA 

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has launched the eSankhyiki portal to provide real-time statistical data for planners, policy-makers, researchers, and the public. This portal aims to streamline data management and facilitate the dissemination of official statistics across the country. 

About eSankhyiki Portal 

  • Purpose: To establish a comprehensive data management and sharing system for ease of dissemination of official statistics. 
  • User Base: Planners, policy-makers, researchers, and the public at large. 
  • Modules: The portal comprises two primary modules: 

Data Catalogue Module 

  • Function: Catalogues major data assets of MoSPI for ease of access. 
  • Users can search within datasets and download data. 
  • Enhances the value and re-usability of data. 

Data Products: 

  • National Accounts Statistics 
  • Consumer Price Index 
  • Index of Industrial Production 
  • Annual Survey of Industries 
  • Periodic Labour Force Survey 
  • Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 

Features: 

  • Filtering and visualizing data. 
  • Downloading custom datasets and visualizations. 
  • Sharing data through APIs. 

Launch and Significance 

  • Launch Date: Officially launched on Statistics Day. 
  • Theme: Aligned with the Statistics Day theme, “Use of data for Decision making.” 
  • Objective: Facilitates ease of access to data, a prerequisite for evidence-based decision making. 
  • User-Centric: The portal is designed to facilitate the use and reuse of information, creating impact through value addition and analysis. 

Conclusion 

The eSankhyiki portal is a significant initiative by MoSPI, aiming to enhance the accessibility and usability of official statistics. By providing comprehensive and user-friendly data resources, the portal supports informed decision-making and research, aligning with the broader goal of evidence-based policy formulation. 

SANTHAL TRIBAL COMMUNITY 

TOPIC: (GS1) HISTORY – SOURCE: THE HINDU 

The Prime Minister recently honored the Santhal tribal community for their bravery and sacrifices.The Santhals, known for their rich cultural heritage and historical significance, are the third largest scheduled tribe in India. 

 

About the Santhal Tribal Community 

  • Population: Third largest scheduled tribe in India after Gonds and Bhils. 
  • Geographical Concentration: Predominantly found in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha. 

Language 

  • Language: Santhali, a dialect of Kherwari, a Munda (Austroasiatic) language. 
  • Script: Written in Ol Chiki script, recognized in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. 

History and Settlement 

  • Origins: Originally a nomadic group, they settled on the Chotanagpur plateau. 
  • Migration: Concentrated in the Santhal Parganas of Jharkhand by the late 18th century, then migrated to Odisha and West Bengal. 

Culture and Religion 

  • Religion: Nature worshippers, paying homage at Jaher (sacred groves). 
  • Traditional Dress: Men wear dhoti and gamuchha; women wear short-check sarees, typically in blue and green, and often have tattoos. 
  • Marriage Customs: Accept various forms of marriage including elopement and widow remarriage. Divorce is not taboo. 

Occupation 

  • Agriculture: Primary occupation, supplemented by seasonal forest collection. 
  • Income Source: Subsidiary income from forest collection. 

Cultural Practices 

  • Dance and Music: Integral to Santhal life, with dance (enej) and music (sereng). 
  • Housing: Homes (Olah) feature a distinctive three-color pattern: black soil at the bottom, white in the middle, and red at the top. 

Historical Significance 

  • Santhal Rebellion (1855-56): A major peasant uprising against the British Raj, led by Sido and Kanhu, triggered by the Permanent Land Settlement of 1793. 

Conclusion 

The Santhal community, with its rich cultural heritage and historical importance, continues to be a vital part of India’s tribal landscape. Their contributions and resilience, especially during the Santhal Rebellion, are a testament to their enduring spirit and significance in Indian history. 

PROJECT-76 

TOPIC: (GS3) INTERNAL SECURITY – SOURCE: MINT 

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched an initial study for the design and development of a homegrown conventional submarine as part of Project-76 

This initiative represents a major advancement in boosting India’s maritime capabilities and achieving self-reliance in defense technology. 

About Project-76 

  • Objective: Develop India’s first indigenously designed conventional diesel-electric submarine. 
  • Leadership: Undertaken by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy. 
  • Scope: The Indian Navy aims to construct 12 submarines under this project. 

Features and Specifications 

  • Envisioned as air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped diesel-electric attack submarines. 
  • Expected to have a submerged displacement of 3,000 tons. 

Advanced Features: 

  • Indigenous Weapon Control system. 
  • Lithium-ion batteries for enhanced performance. 

Significance 

  • Comparison: Represents an advancement beyond previous foreign-designed submarines like Project-751 (India) and Project-75. 
  • Legacy: Designed to succeed the renowned Sindhughosh (Kilo) class, ensuring the Navy maintains a robust fleet of 3,000-ton class submarines. 

Technological Collaboration: 

  • Incorporates top-tier French technology from Project 75. 
  • Leverages expertise from German/Spanish collaboration from Project-751 (India). 
  • Timeline and Future Prospects 
  • Prototype Construction: Aimed to commence by 2028. 

Strategic Importance: 

  • Enhances India’s submarine-building capabilities. 
  • Reduces reliance on foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for submarine design. 

Conclusion 

Project-76 is a pivotal initiative in India’s pursuit of maritime supremacy and technological self-reliance. By integrating advanced features and leveraging international expertise, this project aims to significantly boost the Indian Navy’s operational capabilities and indigenous defense manufacturing. 

MINAMI-TORISHIMA ISLAND 

TOPIC: (GS1) GEOGRAPHY – SOURCE: MINT 

Researchers recently discovered approximately 230 million metric tons of minerals essential for electric car batteries on the seabed near Minami-Torishima Island. This find has significant implications for the global supply of critical minerals. 

 

About Minami-Torishima Island 

  • Location: Also known as Marcus Island, it is an isolated Japanese coral atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. 

Geography: 

  • Easternmost territory of Japan. 
  • Only Japanese territory on the Pacific Plate, beyond the Japan Trench. 
  • Lies 1,950 km southeast of central Tokyo. 
  • Equilateral triangle shape, formed by a raised coral reef (2 km on each side, 6 km perimeter). 
  • Flat terrain, maximum altitude of 9 m, surrounded by steep cliffs (1,000 m deep) and waters reaching 6,000 m at their deepest. 
  • Climate: An oceanic climate in the transitional area between tropical and subtropical zones has an average yearly temperature of 25.6°C. 

Economic Significance 

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): 

  • The EEZ based on Minami-Torishima Island’s baseline is approximately 430,000 km², larger than Japan’s land area. 
  • Rich in minerals crucial for electric car batteries, highlighting its strategic economic importance. 

Conclusion 

Minami-Torishima Island’s mineral wealth and strategic location make it a significant asset for Japan, potentially influencing global mineral supply chains for electric car batteries. 

Details

Date:
July 2
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7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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