The Hindu NOTES – 02nd Nov 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)
📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 02nd Nov 2017
Date:- 02-NOV, 2017
📰 Speed up trial of politicians, says SC
The Supreme Court asked the government to frame a central scheme for setting up special courts across the country to exclusively try criminal cases involving ‘political persons.’
Why special courts are required ?
In a determined effort to cleanse politics of criminality and corruption, the apex court said it takes years, probably decades, to complete the trial against a politician.
By this time, he or she would have served as a minister or legislator several times over.
Countering the Centre’s argument that setting up such courts would depend on the availability of funds with the States, the apex court said “the problem can be resolved by having a central scheme for setting up of courts exclusively to deal with criminal cases involving political persons on the lines of the fast track courts.”
The Bench ordered the government to place the scheme before it on December 13, the next date of hearing.
- It said the scheme should provide details of the funds required to set up such courts.
- The Bench said the Supreme Court would directly interact with the State governments on issues like the appointment of judicial officers, public prosecutors, court staff and other requirements of manpower and infrastructure for the special courts.
- Giving no quarter, the apex court directed the Centre to submit a report card by December 13 on the status of the 1,581 criminal cases pending against Members of Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies at the time of the 2014 elections.
- The court said it wanted to know whether its March 10, 2014 order to complete the trial in all these cases within a year’s time had been complied with or not.
- The Bench agreed to examine the issue raised whether such a lifetime ban would be discriminatory and a violation of Article 14 (right to equality), especially when such a disqualification has not been provided either under the Constitution or The Representation of the People Act of 1951.
Additional Solicitor General response
The Centre was not averse to the setting up of special courts to exclusively try political persons.
There was no room for a second opinion that corruption and criminality should be wiped out of politics.
The government would support any move for the “utmost expeditious disposal” of criminal cases involving political persons.
📰 Mass bathing in Ganga aggravates anti-microbial resistance woes
- Mass-bathing in the Ganga during pilgrimages may be contributing to anti-microbial resistance (AMR), says a government-commissioned report on the threat from AMR.
- Such resistance —previously acknowledged to be widespread in India — is said to be the reason for certain key antibiotics becoming ineffective against diseases, including tuberculosis.
- Some years ago, researchers from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi sampled water and sediments at seven sites along the Ganga in different seasons.
- The report was commissioned by the Department of Biotechnology and the UK Research Council and prepared by the Centre for Disease Dynamics and Economic Policy
- In 2014, they reported in the peer-reviewed Environmental Science and Technology that levels of resistance genes that lead to “superbugs” were found to be about 60 times greater during the pilgrimage months of May and June than at other times of the year.
- The researchers had then said preventing the spread of resistance-genes that promote life-threatening bacteria could be achieved byimproving waste management at key pilgrimage sites.
- The report of the Ganga as a reservoir for AMR genes sits alongside a 2016 study by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research — still not made public — that portions of the the river had “anti-bacterial” properties.
- Other than ‘cultural factors’ such as bathing in the Ganga, the drivers of AMR included excessive use of antibiotics in the livestock industry and unchecked discharge of effluents by the pharmaceutical industry.
📰 India, Bhutan security indivisible: President
- The security of India and Bhutan is “indivisible and mutual”, President Ram Nath Kovind said after meeting Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in Delhi.
- He thanked the King for his “personal involvement” in addressing the Doklam crisis, the first time a reference has been made to his role during the tensions between India and China.
- The first such statement on the subject since the Doklam standoff with China ended in August 2017 indicates a closer engagement between India and Bhutan after the months-long episode.
- Expressing “satisfaction at the excellent state” of ties in a joint statement issued after his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the King also thanked India for its support to Bhutan’s socio-economic development, which includes hydropower projects.
- Year 2018 marks the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
📰 With draft rules, prospects of drones go skyhigh
- The government has issued draft regulations for drone operations that could be used for anything from e-commerce deliveries to photography.
- The drone industry offers many advantages and can help development in several sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas
- The newly drafted policy allows unfettered use of drones while taking care of the unique security challenges they pose.
- The draft regulations, which will be finalised by December 31 this year, envisage a virtually unregulated flight at heights up to 50 feet for nano drones that weigh 250 grams or lower.
- All drones will have to operate within a visual line of sight, will be allowed only during day time and below 200 feet.
- Barring the nano drones that could also be used indoors, all drones will have to register with theDirector General of Civil Aviation.
- Dropping human payload, animals or hazardous material will not be permitted,
- It would also be possible to imagine air rickshaw drones that could ferry passengers.
- The other classifications of drones, officially termed unmanned aircraft systems, are Micro (250 gm to 2 kg), Mini (more than 2 kg to 25 kg), Small (more than 25 kg till 150 kg) and Larger (over 150 kg).
📰 India mulls national e-commerce policy
India is considering drafting a comprehensive national e-commerce policy to develop an ecosystem that would support exports and protect consumer interests, said a senior government official.
However, the country is of the view that starting negotiations on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules in e-commerce would be premature at this stage as it was still unclear how they would benefit developing nations, including their companies and consumers, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Addressing an interactive session on ‘e-commerce, digital infrastructure, trade rules and WTO,’ organised by industry body FICCI and Centre for WTO Studies, several countries were enthusiastic about negotiating multilateral rules to govern international trade through e-commerce.
- However, such rules could hurt the interests of most developing countries, including India, adding India needed time to study whether it was prepared to take on obligations that would bind its stakeholders to an international policy in a sector like e-commerce, which was still evolving.
- There were many challenges in starting international negotiations, the key areas which India needed to look at include data flows, server and data localisation, transfer of technology and mandatory sharing of telecom infrastructure.
- India needed a harmonised approach at both the WTO and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations while balancing its interests.
Global e-com market
Global e-commerce market was estimated at $25 trillion of which trans-border component was a minuscule 5% — meaning the remaining 95% was domestic e-commerce trade.
- E-commerce in recent times has been growing rapidly across the world.
- It is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet.
- Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer and consumer to business.
In India, there are three type of e-commerce business model are in vogue
- Inventory base model of e-commerce
- Marketplace base model of e-commerce
- Hybrid model of inventory based and market place model.
Indian Information Technology Act and E-commerce: Indian Information Technology (IT) Act gives legal recognition to electronics records and electronic signature.
- FDI guidelines for e-commerce by DIPP: DIPP has issued guidelines for FDI in e-commerce. In India 100% FDI is permitted in B2B e-commerce, however No FDI was permitted in B2C e-commerce earlier. As per these new guidelines on FDI in e-commerce, 100% FDI under automatic route is permitted in marketplace model of e-commerce, while FDI is not permitted in inventory based model of e-commerce.
- E-commerce has become an important part of many multilateral negotiations such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), WTO, BRICS etc. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology is leading such negotiations on e-commerce from Indian side.
📰 UN says carbon emissions gap could affect climate target
The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 warns that a big carbon emissions gap exists between the levels that can be achieved in 2030 with present climate commitments
- Needs to be done using set pathways to limit increases in global average temperature to less than 2° Celsius or a more ambitious 1.5° C by the year 2100.
- The breaching of the safe limits that is possible even with current climate commitments — the NDCs that form the core of the Paris Agreement — indicates that governments will need to deliver much stronger pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions when they are revised in 2020, said the report released ahead of the 23Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Bonn, commencing on November 6. (COP 23)
- Full implementation of the unconditional Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and comparable action afterwards “could result in a temperature increase of about 3.2° C by 2100 relative to pre-industrial levels.
- Indicates that governments will need to deliver much stronger pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions when they are revised in 2020.
- Fossil fuels and cement production account for about 70% of greenhouse gases, the report noted.
- The 2°C emissions gap for the full implementation of both the conditional and unconditional NDCs for 2030 is 11 to 13.5 gigatonne CO2 equivalent (Gt COe).
- The Paris accord pledges only a third of what is needed to avoid climate catastrophe.
- A large part of the potential to close the emissions gap lies in solar and wind energy, efficient appliances and passenger cars, afforestation and stopping deforestation.
- These six factors hold a total potential of up to 22 Gt CO2e per annum.
- Plugging other greenhouse gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and other short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, could contribute.
📰 Climbing Australia’s giant red rock Uluru banned
- Traditional owners and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park representatives have decided to ban the climbing of the world’s largest monolith, Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, from October 2019 amid fears it was being treated as a ‘theme park’, undermining the giant red rock’s deep cultural significance.
- Scrambling up the symbol of the Outback, also known as Ayers Rock, is seen by many tourists as a must-do on their visit to Australia.
- But they do so against the wishes of the traditional Aboriginal owners, the Anangu, to whom the site is sacred.
- Tackling Uluru’s sandstone slopes is not an easy exercise and there have been numerous deaths over the years on the rock, where summer temperatures often hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
SOURCE: The Hindu