CAO The Hindu NOTES – 17th May, 2018 (Daily News Paper Current Affairs Analysis)

📰THE HINDU NEWSPAPER DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis


Date:- 17th May 2018

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SWACHH RANKINGS ARE OUT, INDORE GETS CLEANEST CITY TAG (GS 2 GOVERNANCE)

The results for Swachh Survekshan 2018 released by Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry have been released with Indore in Madhya Pradesh retaining its title of being India’s cleanest city.

Details of the ranking

  • Jharkhand has emerged as the best-performing State in terms of cleanliness. Maharashtra stood second behind Jharkhand, while Chhattisgarh was at the third position
  • As far as cities are concerned, table-topper Indore is followed by Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, while Union Territory of Chandigarh stands at the third place in the national-level category.
  • Indore was the cleanest city last year as well, but that survey was conducted only for around 430 cities. This time it was conducted for around 4,200 cities.
  • Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh found a special mention as the fastest moving big city of the Swachh Survekshan 2018, moving up to Rank 36 from the previous 351, in 2017.
  • Greater Mumbai in Maharashtra was the cleanest state capital, according to the survey.

Parameters of the survey  

Compared to the previous surveys, this year’s exercise allocated higher weightage to the feedback from citizens and direct observation by assessors on the performance parameters of the cities on cleanliness.

Marks were awarded based on various parameters, including open-defecation free status, and collection, transportation, processing and disposal of waste.

While deciding the awards, it has been kept in mind that one city gets only one award — the category in which it has performed the best.

What is Swachh Survekshan?

Swachh Survekshan is a ranking exercise to assess rural and urban areas for their levels of cleanliness and active implementation of Swachhata mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner.

The objective of the survey is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.

The survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities and towns.

The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India takes up the Swachh Survekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas.

The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.

 


EVEN PARLIAMENT CAN’T DENY RIGHT TO LIFE AND LIBERTY: SC (GS 2 POLITY)

Even Parliament cannot allow arrest of a person without a fair procedure, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday asserting that it has only protected the fundamental rights to life and liberty of innocent citizens by ordering prior scrutiny of complaints under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989).

Justice Goel said, in an obvious criticism of the 1989 Act, that “even Parliament cannot deny the fundamental right to life and liberty.”

What did the previous judgments say?

The SC in one of its judgment had directed the police to conduct preliminary enquiries before arresting persons accused of insulting or hurting Dalits. This direction went against the very grain of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, which mandates immediate arrest of the accused.

Later, Justice Goel had explained that the police need to conduct a preliminary enquiry before arrest only in cases where they feel a complaint filed about an atrocity committed on Dalits is outright “absurd” or “absolutely” frivolous. And thus he clarified that the Supreme Court had never intended, in its March 20 judgment, to make preliminary enquiry before arrest a mandatory condition in each and every complaint.

The direction was meant to avoid prosecution of innocent people in frivolous cases filed under the Atrocities Act.


GOVT. MAY SOON ADOPT ‘SHELL’ FIRM DEFINITION (GS 3 ECONOY)

In a bid to empower enforcement agencies to initiate legal proceedings, a government committee has come up with a definition of ‘shell-company’ to plug a loophole in existing laws against such entities. The issue had come up after a large number of entities, against which action had been taken, contested their classification as shell companies.

According to the corporate ministry and regulatory officials, defining a shell company will give more power to investigative agencies for acting against firms that have been stripping the government thousands of crores in tax revenues.

What does ‘Shell companies’ mean internationally?

Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), defines a shell company as a company that is formally registered, incorporated, or otherwise legally organised in an economy but which does not conduct any operations in that economy other than in a pass-through capacity.

In Indian context

The committee which examined the definition provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), encountered some issues its definition, and hence explored other definitions.

After determining that the definition is wide enough to cover all aspects of such entities, the Centre will soon adopt it for inclusion and implementation for legal purposes.

What are shell companies?

Shell companies are typically corporate entities which do not have any active business operations or significant assets in their possession.

A shell company may be legal or illegal. There are many shell companies which work within legal limits. However, the term shell company is mostly used for illegal shell companies and such companies should be identified on the basis of purpose of their creation. Such companies exists generally only in papers; mostly established in tax havens; mostly used to make only financial transactions without no economic activity.

The government views them with suspicion as some of them could be used for money laundering, tax evasion and other illegal activities.

Some laws helping curbing illegal activities to target shell companies are

  • Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002
  • The Companies Act, 2013.

BANNED OZONE-DESTROYING CHEMICAL ON RISE: SCIENTISTS (GS 3 ENVIRONMENT)

Emissions of a banned, ozone-depleting chemical – CFC-11 , are on the rise, a group of scientists reported Wednesday, suggesting someone may be secretly manufacturing the pollutant in violation of an international accord.

The rate of decline of atmospheric CFC-11 was constant from 2002 to 2012, and then slowed by about 50% after 2012. As a result emissions of CFC-11 have climbed 25 percent since 2012, despite the chemical being part of a group of ozone pollutants that were phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

CFC chemicals were used in making foams for furniture and buildings, in aerosols and as refrigerants. But they were banned under the global Montreal protocol after the discovery of the ozone hole over Antarctica in the 1980s. Since 2007, there has been essentially zero reported production of CFC-11, the second most damaging of all CFCs.

Unless the culprit is found and stopped, the recovery of the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from damaging UV radiation, could be delayed by a decade. The source of the new emissions has been tracked to East Asia, but finding a more precise location requires further investigation.

Montreal Protocol

It is an international treaty designed to protect ozone layer by phasing out production of numerous Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) that are responsible for ozone depletion. It was agreed on 26 August 1987 in Montreal, Canada and entered into force on 26 August 1989.

Under it production and consumption of key ODSs like Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), Methyl Chloroform, CTC halons and Methyl Bromide have been phased-out globally. Due to its universality, Montreal Protocol has helped in recovering the ozone hole in Antarctica.

Ozone Layer

The Ozone layer is fragile shield of gas which protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation of Sun and thus helping preserve life on the planet. It contains high concentrations of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere. Stratospheric Ozone is not harmful, but its presence on land it is harmful. Substances like Chlorofluorocarbons, halons, Carbontetrachloride are responsible for ozone layer depletion.


IMD ISSUES 72 HOURS WARNING ABOUT THUNDERSTORM (THUNDERSTORM)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a thunderstorm alert for the next 72 hours anticipating similar weather conditions across large parts of north India, including the National Capital Region.

In the context of the large destruction to life and property made by thunderstorms all over the country, we need to look at what exactly are these geographical phenomena.

What are THUNDERSTORMS?

Thunderstorms are severe local storms of short duration, occurring over a small area but are violent. These violent storms are the manifestation of the atmosphere’s adjustments to varying energy distribution

A thunderstorm is a well-grown cumulonimbus cloud producing thunder and lightning. Thunderstorms are caused by intense convection on moist hot days. A thunderstorm is characterised by intense updraft of rising warm air, which causes the clouds to grow bigger and rise to greater height. This causes precipitation. Later, downdraft brings down to earth the cool air and the rain

When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground it actually opens up a little hole in the air. Once then light is gone the air collapses back in and creates a sound wave that we hear as thunder.

If there is insufficient moisture, a thunderstorm can generate dust-storms.

For a thunderstorm to form, the following conditions need to be satisfied.

  • There must be plenty of moisture available in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere together with large amount of insolation.
  • The atmospheric conditions must be conducive for the establishment of instability.
  • In addition, it is necessary to have a mechanism for initiating an updraft in a moist unstable atmospheric environment.

Thunderstorms in India

Severe thunderstorms occur in large numbers and in their most violent form over India during the pre-monsoon months of April and May as well as during the month of June. The above months are characterized by hot and humid conditions and hence the above characteristics are conducive for the formation of thunderstorms.

The most intense of the pre-monsoon thunderstorms as well as the highest number of thunderstorms occur over the eastern parts of India comprising the state of West Bengal and Orissa and the north-eastern parts of India.


 

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