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22-December-2023-Daily-Current-Affairs

December 22, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm

DEFORESTATION FOR MINING RESUMES IN HASDEO; LOCALS, ACTIVISTS ALLEGE DETENTION

GS 3 (ENVIRONMENT): SOURCE – THE HINDU

Deforestation for mining activities in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo forests has reignited tensions, leading to protests, arrests, and accusations of detention. Local activists and residents resist the ongoing deforestation, citing environmental concerns. The Opposition Congress has raised the issue in the State Assembly, alleging favoritism towards Adani Enterprises by the BJP government.

Here's Why Chhattisgarh's Hasdeo Arand Residents Are Protesting Against Coal Mining Clearance

Deforestation Sparks Protests:

  • Hasdeo forests witness renewed deforestation for mining, triggering protests in Sarguja district.
  • Locals and activists claim detention and raise objections to environmental degradation.

Authorities’ Response:

  • Local administration asserts possessing necessary permissions for deforestation.
  • Police claim advising activists against creating a law and order situation.

History of Resistance:

  • Previous protests against tree cutting for mining in Parsa East Kete Basan Phase II.
  • Continued opposition to mining activities in the ecologically sensitive region.

Latest Detentions:

  • Arrests, including the village sarpanch, reported in the morning.
  • Detention of activists, including Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan convener Alok Shukla, during attempts to reach the protest site.

Conclusion:

The ongoing struggle in Hasdeo reflects a longstanding conflict between environmental conservation and industrial interests. With arrests and detentions drawing attention, the situation highlights the need for a balanced approach, ensuring ecological preservation while addressing economic concerns. The State Assembly’s involvement underscores the significance of the issue, raising questions about environmental governance and potential corporate influence on government decisions.

KERALA ACCOUNTS FOR 87% OF ACTIVE COVID CASES IN THE COUNTRY

GS 3 (SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY): SOURCE – THE HINDU

Kerala, while grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases, has emerged as a significant contributor, constituting approximately 87% of the country’s active cases. The state reported around 300 new infections and three deaths in a 24-hour period, leading health authorities to investigate the potential involvement of the JN.1 sub-variant in the fatalities. Meanwhile, Karnataka, experiencing a resurgence with over 100 active cases after almost 10 months, contemplates restarting COVID-19 vaccinations as a precautionary measure.


Kerala’s Dominance in Active Cases:

  • Kerala shoulders a substantial burden, representing 87% of the nation’s active COVID-19 cases.
  • A surge of approximately 300 new cases within 24 hours contributes to the alarming figure.

Concerns Over JN.1 Sub-Variant:

  • Authorities probe possible links between deaths and the recently identified JN.1 sub-variant.
  • First case reported in a 79-year-old woman from Thiruvananthapuram; further investigations underway.

COVID Resurgence in Karnataka:

  • Karnataka witnesses a resurgence with active cases crossing 100 after a 10-month lull.
  • Bengaluru stands as the primary hotspot, contributing over 88% of the total active cases in the state.

Contemplated Restart of Vaccination in Karnataka:

  • Chief Minister Siddaramaiah acknowledges the possibility of restarting COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Despite the current situation not deemed alarming, precautionary measures emphasized, citing recent deaths with multiple comorbidities.

Conclusion:

The escalating COVID-19 scenario in Kerala, coupled with the emergence of the JN.1 sub-variant, necessitates vigilant investigations and measures. Karnataka, witnessing a resurgence, underscores the need for proactive steps, including a potential restart of vaccinations. The situation emphasizes the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and the importance of sustained public health efforts.

INDIA SKILLS REPORT FINDS KERALA THE MOST PREFERRED STATE TO WORK

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

The India Skills Report 2024 has unveiled Kerala as the most favoured state for employment, with cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram securing notable positions in the rankings. The report, conducted through a National Employability Test with a sample of 3.88 lakh youths, signifies a positive trend, indicating that 51.25% possess the requisite skills for employment.

Kerala Dominates Work Preferences

  • Kerala emerges as the top state for employment in the India Skills Report 2024.
  • Cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram secure high positions in the list of preferred work locations.

Overall Employability Excellence:

  • Kerala secures the second position in overall employability for the 18-21 age group.
  • The state’s balanced approach to education and focus on future skills contribute to its robust talent pool.

Mastery in Computer Skills:

  • Thiruvananthapuram claims the top spot among cities for nurturing computer skills.
  • Kerala ranks third overall among states, showcasing proficiency in this critical domain.

Diverse Talent Pool’s Strength:

  • Kerala’s well-rounded talent pool excels in various skills, contributing to its high employability rankings.
  • The report emphasizes that diverse skill sets equip regions to meet the dynamic demands of the evolving job market.

Conclusion:

The India Skills Report highlights Kerala’s supremacy in employment preferences, showcasing a skilled workforce and a strategic focus on education. Thiruvananthapuram’s prominence in computer skills underscores the state’s commitment to technological proficiency. Kerala’s diverse talent pool positions it as a resilient and adaptable force, essential in meeting the challenges of the evolving job landscape.

UNDER NEW LAW, DOCTORS FACE TWO YEARS OF IMPRISONMENT FOR DEATH DUE TO NEGLIGENCE

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – THE HINDU

The amended Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023 (BNSS) has stirred controversy regarding the perceived exemption granted to doctors in cases of death due to negligence. Contrary to statements by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the revised legislation suggests a nuanced approach, prescribing a maximum of two years’ imprisonment for medical practitioners involved in such incidents.

Revised Section 106 (1) of the Sanhita:

  • The amended legislation distinguishes penalties for death resulting from rash or negligent acts.
  • While the general provision allows imprisonment up to five years, the clause pertaining to medical practitioners limits the term to two years.

Registered Medical Practitioner:

  • The revised section defines a “registered medical practitioner” under the National Medical Commission Act, 2019.
  • It encompasses practitioners with recognized medical qualifications entered in the National or State Medical Register.

Contradictory Statements by Amit Shah:

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s initial assertion in the Lok Sabha about exempting doctors from punishment faced scrutiny.
  • The subsequent clarification in the Rajya Sabha omitted any mention of the purported exemption.

Comparison with Existing Legal Framework:

  • Presently, Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code prescribes two years’ imprisonment for causing death by negligence.
  • The BNSS proposes an increase to five years but maintains a lower punishment of two years for doctors involved in such cases.

Conclusion:

The amended BNSS introduces nuanced sentencing for deaths due to negligence, with a specific provision for medical practitioners. The legislation aligns penalties with the severity of the offense while addressing concerns about potential exemptions for doctors. Clarity in communication from policymakers remains crucial to prevent misinterpretations and uphold the integrity of legal reforms.

MINES MINISTRY TO LAUNCH NATIONAL GEOSCIENCE DATA REPOSITORY PORTAL

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – PIB

The Union Minister of Mines has inaugurated the National Geoscience Data Repository Portal (NGDRP) as a crucial initiative under the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), 2016. This portal serves as a pivotal component in the endeavor to enhance transparency and accessibility to comprehensive geological, geochemical, and mineral exploration data.

NGDRP Overview:

  • An integral part of NMEP, 2016, the NGDRP emerges as a digital geospatial platform.
  • It centralizes geological, geochemical, and mineral exploration data from government agencies, aligning with the policy’s objectives.

Role of Geological Survey of India (GSI):

  • The GSI, entrusted with the responsibility, establishes the NGDRP to compile baseline geoscience data.
  • This data encompasses mineral exploration information generated by central and state government agencies.

Significance of the Portal:

  • Promotes transparency and knowledge sharing by offering open access to critical geoscience data.
  • Accelerates and enriches exploration coverage across the nation, contributing to the mining sector’s investment attractiveness.

National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), 2016:

  • Focuses on intensifying exploration activities with increased private sector involvement.
  • Key features include auctioning exploration blocks, creating baseline geoscientific data as a public good, and employing advanced mapping techniques for precise mineral location.

Geological Survey of India (GSI):

  • Established in 1851, GSI functions under the Ministry of Mines.
  • Responsibilities include national geoscientific data creation, mineral resource assessment, and air-borne and marine surveys.

Conclusion:

The launch of NGDRP aligns with the broader objectives of NMEP, 2016, promoting a data-driven approach for mineral exploration. By leveraging technology and collaboration, the portal represents a pivotal step towards democratizing critical geoscience data, fostering transparency, and catalyzing sustainable growth in the mining sector.

SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARDS 2023

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

Sahitya Akademi has declared its annual awards in 24 languages, extending beyond the 22 languages listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

  • Notably, English and Rajasthani have been acknowledged as well.
  • Sahitya Akademi, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, was established in 1954 and is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • In addition to the Sahitya Akademi Awards, the institution presents other accolades like Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar, recognizing outstanding contributions to literature in various languages across India.

MALDIVES TO STOP INDIA FROM CARRYING OUT HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYS OF ITS WATERS

GS 2 (INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

In 2019, India signed an agreement to conduct hydrographic surveys in Maldivian waters, reflecting deep-rooted bilateral ties. Recent geopolitical shifts and Maldives’ tilt towards China’s Belt and Road Initiative have sparked concerns, with India-Maldives relations under scrutiny.

Bilateral Relations:

  • Diplomacy: India’s historic recognition of Maldives post-independence underscores diplomatic bonds.
  • Economic Ties: The 1981 trade agreement and India’s emergence as the 3rd largest trade partner in 2021 highlight economic collaboration.
  • Security & Defence Cooperation: Joint exercises, training for the Maldivian National Defence Force, and shared infrastructure projects strengthen defense ties.

Recent Developments:

  • Regime Change in Maldives: The post-October 2023 election shift in Maldives’ political stance towards China raises concerns.
  • Military Personnel Withdrawal Request: Maldives formally requests the withdrawal of Indian military personnel, indicating strain in the relationship.

Humanitarian Assistance:

  • India’s track record of providing aid during crises, including the 2004 tsunami, the 2014 Male Water Crisis, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrates its commitment to regional stability.

Hydrographic Surveys:

  • Carried out by Indian survey ships, hydrographic surveys aid in mapping water bodies’ features, showcasing India’s technical assistance to various nations in the past.

Conclusion:

While India-Maldives relations have deep historical roots, recent geopolitical shifts and evolving dynamics raise concerns. Diplomatic, economic, and defence ties, along with India’s consistent humanitarian assistance, are critical elements in navigating the complexities of this relationship.

Details

Date:
December 22, 2023
Time:
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: