Consider the following statements: 1. As per Article 312 of the Indian Constitution, the Parliament is entitled to create one or more All India services. 2. All India Judicial Service was first proposed by the 14th report of the Law Commission in 1958. Which of the above statements are correct?
WHY IN NEWS?
The central government is preparing to give a fresh push to the establishment of an All India Judicial Service (AIJS) on the lines of the central civil services.
- The AIJS is a reform push to centralise the recruitment of judges at the level of additional district judges and district judges for all states.
- In the same way that the Union Public Service Commission conducts a central recruitment process and assigns successful candidates to cadres, judges of the lower judiciary are proposed to be recruited centrally and assigned to states.
- The AIJS was first proposed by the 14threport of the Law Commission in 1958.
- A statutory or constitutional body such as the UPSC to conduct a standard, centralised exam to recruit and train judges was discussed.
- The idea was proposed again in the Law Commission Report of 1978, which discussed delays and arrears of cases in the lower courts.
- In 2006, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice in its 15thReport backed the idea of a pan-Indian judicial service, and also prepared a draft Bill.
Supreme Court’s Stand:
- In 1992, the Supreme Court (SC) in All India Judges’ Association v. The Union of Indiadirected the Centre to set up an AIJS.
- In a 1993 review of the judgment, however, the court left the Centre at liberty to take the initiative on the issue.
- In 2017, the SC took suo motu cognizance of the issue of appointment of district judges, and mooted a Central Selection Mechanism.
- Senior advocate Arvind Datar, who was appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court) by the court, circulated a concept note to all states in which he recommended conducting a common examination instead of separate state exams.
- Based on the merit list, High Courts would then hold interviews and appoint judges. Datar submitted that this would not change the constitutional framework or take away the powers of the states or High Courts.
Benefits of AIJS:
- Efficient Judiciary: It will ensure an efficient subordinate judiciary, to address structural issues such as varying pay and remuneration across states, to fill vacancies faster, and to ensure standard training across states.
- Ease of Doing Business: The government has targeted the reform of lower judiciary in its effort to improve India’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, as efficient dispute resolution is one of the key indices in determining the rank.
- Addressing Judges To Population Ratio: A Law Commission report (1987) recommended that India should have 50 judges per million population as against 10.50 judges (then).
- Now, the figure has crossed 20 judges in terms of the sanctioned strength, but it’s nothing compared to the US or the UK — 107 and 51 judges per million people, respectively.
- Higher Representation of Marginalised Sections of Society: According to the Government, the AIJS to be an ideal solution for equal representation of the marginalised and deprived sections of society.
- Attracting Talent Pool: The government believes that if such a service comes up, it would help create a pool of talented people who could later become a part of the higher judiciary
- Bottoms-Up Approach: The bottoms-up approach in the recruitment would also address issues like corruption and nepotism in the lower judiciary.
- Encroaching States Power: A centralised recruitment process is seen as an affront to federalism and an encroachment on the powers of states granted by the Constitution.
- Wont Address Unique Issues: This is the main contention of several states, which have also argued that central recruitment would not be able to address the unique concerns that individual states may have.
- Language and representation, for example, are key concerns highlighted by states.
- Judicial business is conducted in regional languages, which could be affected by central recruitment.
- Not Good For Local Reservation: Also, reservations based on caste, and even for rural candidates or linguistic minorities in the state, could be diluted in a central test.
- Against Separation of Powers: The opposition is also based on the constitutional concept of the separation of powers. A central test could give the executive a foot in the door for the appointment of district judges, and dilute the say that High Courts have in the process.
- Wont Address Structural Issues: The creation of AIJS will not address the structural issues plaguing the lower judiciary.
- The issue of different scales of pay and remuneration has been addressed by the SC in the 1993 All India Judges Association caseby bringing in uniformity across states.
- Experts argue that increasing pay across the board and ensuring that a fraction of High Court judges are picked from the lower judiciary, may help better than a central exam to attract quality talent.
With respect to banking, PCA stands for-
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced a revised Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework.
- The PCA framework enables supervisory intervention of RBI over Banks at an appropriate time and ensures effective market discipline.
- The framework applies to all banks operating in India, including foreign banks operating through branches or subsidiaries based on breach of risk thresholds of identified indicators.
- However, payments banks and small finance banks (SFBs) have been removed from the list of lenders where prompt corrective action can be initiated.
- The new provisions will be effective from January, 2022.
- Monitored Areas:
- Capital, Asset Quality and Capital-To-Risk Weighted Assets Ratio(CRAR), NPA ratio, Tier I Leverage Ratio, will be the key areas for monitoring in the revised framework.
- However, the revised framework excludes return on assets as a parameter that may trigger action under the framework.
- Invocation of PCA:
- The breach of any risk threshold may result in the invocation of the PCA. Stressed banks may not be allowed to expand credit/investment portfolios.
- However, they are allowed to invest in government securities/other high-quality liquid investments.
- In the case of a default on the part of a bank in meeting the obligations to its depositors, possible resolution processes may be resorted to without reference to the PCA matrix.
- RBI’s Powers:
- In governance-related actions, the RBI can supersede the board under Section 36ACA of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
- Amendment to Section 45 of the BR Act enables the Reserve Bank to reconstruct or amalgamate a bank, with or without implementing a moratorium, with the approval of the Central government.
- The RBI, as part of its mandatory and discretionary actions, may also impose appropriate restrictions on capital expenditure, other than for technological upgradation within Board approved limits, under the revised PCA.
- Withdrawal of PCA Restrictions:
- Withdrawal of restrictions imposed will be considered if no breaches in risk thresholds in any of the parameters are observed as per four continuous quarterly financial statements.
Prompt Corrective Action:
- Background: PCA is a framework under which banks with weak financial metrics are put under watch by the RBI.
- The RBI introduced the PCA framework in 2002 as a structured early-intervention mechanism for banks that become undercapitalised due to poor asset quality, or vulnerable due to loss of profitability.
- The framework was reviewed in 2017 based on the recommendations of the working group of the Financial Stability and Development Council on Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions in India and the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission.
- Objective: The objective of the PCA framework is to enable supervisory intervention at an appropriate time and require the supervised entity to initiate and implement remedial measures in a timely manner, so as to restore its financial health.
- It aims to check the problem of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the Indian banking sector.
- It is intended to help alert the regulator as well as investors and depositors if a bank is heading for trouble.
- The idea is to head off problems before they attain crisis proportions.
- Audited Annual Financial Results: A bank will generally be placed under the PCA framework based on the audited annual financial results and the ongoing supervisory assessment made by the RBI.
Consider the following statements: 1. Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration to aims “halt deforestation” and land degradation by 2030. 2. India is a signatory to this declaration. Which of the above statements are correct?
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, an ambitious declaration was initiated by the United Kingdom to “halt deforestation” and land degradation by 2030.
- It is being referred to as the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
- India did not sign this,as it objected to “trade” being interlinked to climate change and forest issues in the agreement.
About the Declaration:
- Integrated Approach:The declaration recognise that to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas:
- Sustainable production and consumption.
- Infrastructure development; trade; finance and investment.
- Support for smallholders, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, who depend on forests for their livelihoods and have a key role in their stewardship.
- To help achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks; to adapt to climate change; and to maintain other ecosystem services.
- Signatories:The declaration has over 105 signatories including the UK, US, Russia and China.
- These countries represent 75% of global trade and 85% of global forests in key commodities that can threaten forests – such as palm oil, cocoa and soya.
- They have also committed USD 12 billion in public funds from 2021-25.
- Commitment to Multilateral Agreement:It reaffirmed respective commitments to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals; and other relevant initiatives.
Major Highlights of the Declaration:
- Conservation: Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration.
- Sustainable Development: Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption.
- Building Resilience: Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering local communities.
- Recognising Indigenous Rights: The development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous.
- Financial Commitments: Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources.
- India, Argentina, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are the only G20 countries that did not sign the declaration. The declaration interlinks trade to climate change and forest issues. Trade falls under the World Trade Organization and should not be brought under climate change declarations.
- India and others had asked the word “trade” to be removed, but the demand was not accepted. Therefore they didn’t sign the declaration.
- The issue of deforestation in India is a hotly contested one. The government has repeatedly said that the tree cover and forest cover in India have increased over the past few years.
- However, environmentalists have long pointed out that the government is busy diluting existing environmental protections to open them up for mining and other infrastructure projects that will alter the forests, wildlife, and the people living around it forever.
Consider the following statements about Human papillomavirus (HPV): 1. There are more than 100 types of HPV. 2. Gardasil and Cervarix are vaccines against HPV. Which of the above statements are correct?
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, new research has found that the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine (Cervarix) reduces the risk of Cervical Cancer significantly in women.
- The results are important because the vaccine was introduced in the 2000s and studies confirming that it is effective against cancer have come up only recently.
- The Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine reduced cervical cancer cases by 87% among women in the U.K. who received the vaccine when they were 12 or 13 years old.
- It reduced the risk by 34% in women who were aged 16-18 years when they were offered the jab.
- Over a period of 11 years (since 2006), the vaccine prevented around 450 cervical cancers and around 17,200 cases of precancerous conditions.
- It is a type of cancer that occursin the cells of the cervix – the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
- Various strains of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
- When exposed to HPV, the body’s immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. In a small percentage of people, however, the virus survives for years, contributing to the process that causes some cervical cells to become cancer cells.
- The HPV vaccine (Cervarix) protects against two of the cancer-causing strains, which are HPV 16 and 18.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract.
- There are more than 100 types of HPV.
- More than 40 types of HPV are spread through direct sexual contact.
- Out of these 40, two cause genital warts, while about a dozen of HPV cause different types of cancer including cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar and vaginal.
Types of HPV Vaccines:
- Quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil): It protects against four types of HPV (HPV 16, 18, 6 and 11). The latter two strains cause genital warts.
- Bivalent vaccine (Cervarix): It protects against HPV 16 and 18 only.
- Non valent vaccine (Gardasil 9): It protects against nine strains of HPV.
- These vaccines prevent cervical cancer in women and girls who have not yet been exposed to the virus.
- India is home to 16-17% of the world’s population, globally 27% of total cervical cancer cases are from here.
- Further, in India about 77% cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV 16 and 18.
- In India, bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccines were licensed in 2008 and a non valent vaccine was licensed in 2018.
- Officially, the HPV vaccine has not been recommended for boys and males in India.
Molnupiravir, an oral drug, seen recently in news has proven efficacy for-
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, it is claimed that Molnupiravir, an oral drug, can cut the risk of hospitalisation in Covid-19 patients by half, in phase 3 trials.
- In India, the Optimus Group recently announced the results of phase 3 clinical trials, which found 91.5% of patients given the drug tested RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) negative.
- It belongs to a class of broad spectrum antiviral drugs called nucleoside analogues.
- They act by interfering with the function of viral RNA (Ribonucleic Acids) polymerases – which are enzymes that make new viral RNA in infected cells.
- RNA is a polymer of ribonucleotides and an important biological macromolecule that is present in all biological cells.
- It is principally involved in the synthesis of proteins, carrying the messenger instructions from Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which itself contains the genetic instructions required for the development and maintenance of life.
- It works by causing viruses to make errors when copying their own RNA, introducing mutations that inhibit replication.
- It was initially invented as a drug for the influenza virus.
- These drugs work by preventing the process of replication of the virus inside human cells.
- A virus is a biological agent that can self-replicate inside a host cell. The infected cells by viruses may produce thousands of new copies of the original virus at an extraordinary rate.
- It alters critical enzymes that were necessary to the virus for replicating in the human body cells.
- As of now, the Emergency Use Authorization is awaited for the drug but currently, it can be administered as a pill in a 5-day regimen.
Consider the following statements about Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: 1. It is given to corporate entities (both in private and public sector), sports control boards, NGOs including sports bodies for sports promotion and development. 2. It was instituted in 2014. Which of the above statements are correct?
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports announced the National Sports Awards 2021.
- The National Sports Awards of India comprise six different awards given to sportspersons of India by the Central Government.
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:
- Formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, it is the highest award bestowed to a sports person in India and was instituted in the year 1991-1992.
- It is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of the previous four years.
- It comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.
- Arjuna Award:
- It was instituted in 1961 by the Government of India to recognise outstanding achievement in national sports events.
- It is given for good performance over a period of previous four years and showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
- The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll of honour.
- Dronacharya Award:
- It wasinstituted in 1985 by the Government of India to recognise excellence in sports coaching.
- It is given to coaches for doing outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis and enabling sportspersons to excel in International events.
- It carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Dronacharya and a scroll of honour.
- Dhyan Chand Award:
- It was institutedin the year 2002 and comprises a Dhyan Chand statuette, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate and a ceremonial dress.
- It is given to honour sportspersons who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to promotion of sports events after their retirement.
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy:
- It was instituted in the year 1956-1957.
- It is for university-level sports performances.
- It is given to a university for “top performance in the inter-university tournaments” over the period of the last one year.
- Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar:
- It was instituted in the year 2009
- It is given to corporate entities (both in private and public sector), sports control boards, NGOs including sports bodies at the State and National level who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.
Government Initiatives for Sports Development:
- Khelo India Scheme.
- National Sports Development Fund.
- The National Sports Talent Contest (NSTC) Scheme.
- Sports Authority of India Training Centres Scheme (STC).
- Special Area Games (SAG) Scheme.