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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 24th April 2021

  • IASbaba
  • April 24, 2021
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


Special Task Force to Monitor J&K Government Employees 

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Policy and Governance 

In news

  • The J&K government constituted a Special Task Force (STF) for identifying and scrutinising the government employees who are involved in any cases related to posing threat to the security or anti-national activities.

Key takeaways 

  • The STF will have the ADGP, (CID), J&K, as its chairman and the IGP, representatives of the Home Department; Department of Law, Justice Member and Parliamentary Affairs and the concerned department as its members.
  • The STF will scrutinise cases of employees suspected of activities requiring action under Article 311(2)(C) of the Constitution.
  • The STF has been tasked to compile records of such employees and engage with other members of the Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) for identifying such other employees.
  • The move comes as a number of government employees in the past were found expressing their political opinion in public space on the Kashmir conflict.

Important value additions 

Article 311(2) in The Constitution Of India, 1949

  • No such person as aforesaid shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges against him and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.
  • Provided further that this clause shall not apply:
  1. where a person is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge; or
  2. where the authority empowered to dismiss or remove a person or to reduce him in rank ins satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry; or
  3. where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold such inquiry

5th session of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH)

Part of: GS Prelims and GS –III – Economy 

In news

  • The Fifth session of Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH), began virtually. 
  • Host: India 
  • Secretariat of Committee: Spices Board India 
  • CCSCH is established under Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

Important value additions 

Codex Committee On Spices And Culinary Herbs (CCSCH)

  • Objective: To develop and expand worldwide standards for spices and culinary herbs
  • Formed in: 2013 
  • It was formed with support of more than a hundred countries
  • Host: India 
  • Secretariat of Committee: Spices Board India 
  • Since its inception, the CCSCH has been successful in developing harmonised global Codex standards for spices and herbs.
  • In its past four sessions, the committee developed and finalized standards for four spices, viz. dried or dehydrated forms of black/white/green pepper, cumin, thyme, and garlic. 

Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

  • Set up in: 1963. 
  • It is an intergovernmental body
  • Established jointly by: UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), within the framework of the Joint Food Standards Programme 
  • Objective: To protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

Appointment of retired judges as ad-hoc judges in High Courts

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – Constitution; Judiciary

In news

  • The Supreme Court cleared the way for appointment of retired judges as ad-hoc judges in High Courts (HCs) under Article 224A of the Constitution to deal with mounting backlog of cases.
  • Around 57 lakh cases in HCs are pending
  • This will be applicable for two to three years to clear the backlog.

Important value additions 

Article 224A 

  • It deals with appointment of ad-hoc judges in High Courts.
  • It is used rarely 
  • It says “the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State may at any time, with the previous consent of the President, request any person who has held the office of a Judge of that Court or of any other High Court to sit and act as a Judge of the High Court for that State”.

Russia’s space agency hopes to launch its own orbital station

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III Sci & tech; Space 

In news

  • Russia’s space agency (Roscosmos) hopes to launch its own orbital station in 2025 as it considers withdrawing from the International Space Station programme to go it alone.

Key takeaways 

  • Work had begun on the first module of a new station. 
  • The announcement came with tensions soaring with the West.
  • Russia lost its monopoly for manned flights to the ISS last year after the first successful mission of U.S. company Space X.

Do you know? 

  • ISS was launched in 1998 and involves Russia, USA, Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency 
  • It is one of the most ambitious international collaborations in human history.

Miscellaneous

Earth Day 

  • Earth Day was celebrated on April 22.
  • It is an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection.
  • Theme: ‘Restore Our Earth’. 
  • The theme focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.
  • This year, seven major climate-related events are taking place in parallel on April 22, including the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by the USA and the Exponential Climate action Summit on Financing the Race to Zero emissions.
  • Earth Day was first observed in 1970, when 20 million took to the streets to protest against environmental degradation. 
  • The event was triggered by the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, and other issues such as smog and polluted rivers.
  • In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 as ‘International Mother Earth Day’.


(Mains Focus)


GOVERNANCE/ ECONOMY/ SOCIETY

Topic:

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Urban Housing 

Issues

  • Growth of Slums: The long-existing problem of shortage of affordable formal housing in India has pushed 40% of people to move to overcrowded informal and unauthorised colonies and slums.
  • Harassment by authorities: Slum-dwellers live in congested and insecure localities, in constant danger of eviction and displacement.
  • Substandard Quality of Life: Over 65 million people live in urban slums or informal settlements with poor living conditions, inadequate access to safe water and sanitation, overcrowding and insecure residential status. 

Why addressing Housing Issue is important?

  • Socio-Economic Development: Security of land tenure and stable access to housing have the potential to unlock massive economic and social value for India’s poorest. 
  • Multiplier Effect: Addressing ‘housing poverty’ in India can be a simultaneous weapon against many other developmental issues — better physical safety and public health, sanitation, livelihoods, dignified living and human development.

Way Ahead

  • Sustainable approach: Government need to make the process of urbanisation more equitable and sustainable.
  • Empowering Migrants: Maximising transparency in the rural-to-urban migration decisions and thus, empowering the otherwise vulnerable migrant workers.
  • Civil Society Contribution: Entrepreneurs, nonprofits, philanthropists and policy-makers need to collectively develop meaningful interventions for the economically and socially disadvantaged.
  • Leveraging innovation & digital technologies for inclusivity: Innovations in housing fabrication like use of Recycled material makes urbanization more sustainable, Open data solutions connecting the government, and a more focused economic push for property rights of women and facilitation rights of vulnerable populations/ tribals
  • Institutional Welfare measures: Insurance facility, Legal aid, awareness, and dispute resolution; Innovations for affordable housing; Access to welfare schemes and financial services.

Connecting the dots:

  • PM Awas Yojana
  • PM SVANidhi Scheme

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.
  • Comments Up-voted by IASbaba are also the “correct answers”.

Q.1 Which of the following article deals with appointment of ad-hoc judges in High Courts?

  1. Article 26 
  2. Article 330
  3. Article 224A
  4. Article 32

Q.2 What was the theme of this year’s Earth Day? 

  1. Environmental and climate education
  2. Restore Our Earth
  3. End Plastic Pollution
  4. Protect Our Species.

Q.3 Consider the following statements regarding Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)

  1. It was established by WHO alone. 
  2. Its objective is to To protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade.

Which of the above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

Q.4 Consider the following statements regarding Codex Committee On Spices And Culinary Herbs (CCSCH):

  1. India is the host country. 
  2. The committee has developed and finalized standards for dried or dehydrated forms of black/white/green pepper, cumin, thyme, and garlic in its last four session

Which of the above is/are correct? 

  1. 1 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. Both 1 and 2 
  4. Neither 1 nor 2 

ANSWERS FOR 23rd April 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 B
2 A

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