fbpx

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 21st September 2022

  • IASbaba
  • September 21, 2022
  • 0
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Archives


(PRELIMS & MAINS Focus)


Coffee Board

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims: Current Affairs

In News: On the side lines of the annual conference of United Planters Association of Southern India, The Coffee Board is coming out with a sustainability code for Indian coffee.

About Coffee Board:

  • The Government of India established the ‘Coffee Board’ through a constitutional act “Coffee Act VII of 1942”
  • Until 1995 the Coffee Board marketed the coffee of a pooled supply. Later, coffee marketing became a private-sector activity due to the economic liberalisation in India.
  • It is under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The Board comprises 33 members including the Chairman, who is the Chief Executive and appointed by the Government of India.
  • Role of Coffee Board: Coffee Board serves as the friend, philosopher and guide to the Coffee sector covering the entire value chain. The core activities are primarily directed towards research & development, transfer of technology, enhancement of production, quality improvement, export promotion and supporting development of Domestic market.
  • The head office of the Coffee Board is situated in Bangalore.
  • International Coffee Day is on 1st October.

About coffee and its cultivation:

  • It is indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia) from where it was taken to Arabia in 11th century. From Arabia, its seeds were brought to India by Baba Badan Giri in the 17th Century and were raised in the Baba Budan Hills of Karnataka.
  • Climatic conditions
  • hot and humid climate with temperature varying between 15°C and 28 °C
  • Heavy rainfall from 150 to 250 cm.
  • It does not tolerate frost, snowfall, high temperature above 30°C and strong sun shine and is generally grown under shady trees
  • Dry weather is necessary at the time of ripening of the berries
  • Stagnant water is harmful
  • Grown on hill slopes at elevations from 600 to 1,600 metres above sea level
  • Well drained, rich friable loams containing good deal of humus and minerals like iron and calcium are ideal for coffee cultivation
  • In India, coffee is traditionally grown in the Western Ghats spread over Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Coffee cultivation is also being expanding rapidly in the non-traditional areas of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as well as in the North East states.

Types of Coffees in India

  • The two main varieties of coffee viz., Arabica and Robusta are grown in India. Arabica is mild coffee, but the beans being more aromatic, it has higher market value compared to Robusta beans. On the other hand, Robusta has more strength and is, therefore, used in making various blends.
  • Arabica is grown in higher altitudes than Robusta.
  • Arabica is susceptible to pests & diseases such as White Stem Borer, leaf rust, and requires more shade than Robusta.
  • The harvest of Arabica takes place between November to January, while for Robusta it is December to February.

Source:  The Hindu                     

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following States:   (2022)

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Kerala
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Tripura

How many of the above are generally known as tea-producing States?

  1. Only one State
  2. Only two States
  3. Only three States
  4. All four States

World Bank and International Finance Corporation

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims: Current Affairs (International Organizations)

Context: 

  • Indian Finance Minister has urged the World Bank’s private sector investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), to increase lending to India to more than $2 billion in the next two years and to $3-3.5 billion over the next three-four years.

What Is the World Bank?

  • The World Bank is an international organization dedicated to providing financing, advice, and research to developing nations to aid their economic advancement. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
  • The bank predominantly acts as an organization that attempts to fight poverty by offering developmental assistance to middle- and low-income countries.

Historical Overview:

  • The World Bank was established in July 1944 at the Breton Woods Conference which was pursuing three goals:
    • facilitate reconstruction, which led to the creation of IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development)
    • ensure financial and monetary stability, which led to the creation of IMF
    • restore and expand trade, an objective which has been more difficult to achieve. It started with the GATT and it is only in 1995 that the WTO was created.
  • Thus, the World Bank was established in 1944 to help rebuild Europe and Japan after World War II. Its official name was the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). When it first began operations in 1946, it had 38 members. Today, most of the countries in the world are members.
  • The World Bank has expanded to become known as the World Bank Group with five cooperative organizations, sometimes known as the World Banks.

Two major Goals:

Currently, the World Bank has two stated goals that it aims to achieve by 2030.

  • The first is to end extreme poverty by decreasing the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day to below 3% of the world population.
  • The second is to increase overall prosperity by increasing income growth in the bottom 40% of every country in the world.

Shareholding:

  • The Bank is run like a giant cooperative, where its members are shareholders and is operated for the benefit of those using its services. The number of shares a country has been based roughly on the size of its economy.
  • The United States is the largest single shareholder, followed by Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. The rest of the shares are divided among the other member countries.

How the World Bank is organized?

The World Bank has created new organizations within itself that specialize in different activities. All these organizations together are called the World Bank Group. It consists of:

Reports published by World Bank:

  • Ease of Doing Business
  • World Development Report
  • Global Economic Prospect (GEP) Report
  • Logistics Performance Index
  • Remittance Report
  • Ease of Living Index
  • India Development Update
  • Universal Health Coverage Index
  • The Service Trade Restriction Index

About: International Finance Corporation

  • IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.
  • IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, advances economic development and improves the lives of people by encouraging the growth of the private sector in developing countries.
  • They achieve this by creating new markets, mobilizing other investors, and sharing expertise. In doing so, we create jobs and raise living standards, especially for the poor and vulnerable. They work to supports the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
  • IFC was founded in 1956 on a bold idea: that the private sector has the potential to transform developing countries. Since then, they’ve expanded to more than 100 countries, coining the term “emerging markets” and pioneering new markets such as sustainable bonds.
  • $31.5 billion in investment commitments in FY21: It aim to have a positive impact on people’s lives wherever we operate. they impact-rating system, called the Anticipated Impact Measurement and Monitoring Framework, evaluates projects based on their expected development outcomes, as well as their effect on market creation.

Source:  The Hindu                

Previous Year Question

Q.1) “Rapid Financing Instrument” and “Rapid Credit Facility” are related to the provisions of lending by which of the following: (2022)

  1. Asian Development Bank
  2. International Monetary Fund
  3. United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative
  4. World Bank


Prompt Corrective Action Framework (PCAF) of RBI

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims: Economy

In news: After reviewing the performance of the Central Bank of India, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) removed it from its Prompt Corrective Action Framework (PCAF) after the lender showed improvement in various financial ratios, including minimum regulatory capital and net non-performing assets (NNPAs).

About PCAF:

  • The PCA norm is a supervisory tool of RBI.
  • It is imposed when a bank breaches certain regulatory threshold: –
  • Capital: (Breach of Capital Risk Adequacy Ratio)
  • Asset qualitye., net NPAs
  • Leverage
  • Aim: to initiate and implement remedial measures in a timely manner, so as to restore its financial health.
  • Scope: Apply to all banks operating in India including foreign banks operating through branches or subsidiaries.
  • Conditions for Withdrawal of restrictions imposed:
  1. a) if no breaches in risk thresholds in any of the parameters are observed as per four continuous quarterly financial statements
  2. b) based on Supervisory comfort of the RBI, including an assessment on sustainability of profitability of the bank.

MUST READ:  Bad bank: NARCL and IDRCL

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which of the following statements best describes the term ‘Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A)’, recently seen in the news? (2022)

  1. It is a procedure for considering ecological costs of developmental schemes formulated by the Government.
  2. It is a scheme of RBI for reworking the financial structure of big corporate entities facing genuine difficulties.
  3. It is a disinvestment plan of the Government regarding Central Public Sector Undertakings.
  4. It is an important provision in The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code’ recently implemented by the Government.

Directorate of Enforcement (ED)

Open in new window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs

In News: In the eight years from 2014, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) has investigated 121 prominent politicians and has arrested, questioned, raided, or filed FIRs against 115 major Opposition leaders.

About ED:

  • The Directorate of Enforcement is a multi-disciplinary organization mandated with investigation of offence of money laundering and violations of foreign exchange laws enacted in 2002.
  • It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • The statutory functions of the Directorate include enforcement of following Acts:
  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)
  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA): A civil law under which ED conducts investigation into suspected contraventions of foreign exchange laws and regulations.
  • The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 (FEOA): A law whereby Directorate is mandated to attach the properties of the fugitive economic offenders who have escaped from the India warranting arrest and provide for the confiscation of their properties to the Central Government.
  • The Directorate of Enforcement, with its headquarters at New Delhi, is headed by the Director of Enforcement.
  • The Director of Enforcement is appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a committee chaired by the Central Vigilance Commissioner and members comprising of Vigilance Commissioners, Home Secretary, Secretary DOPT and Revenue Secretary; with a tenure of up to 5 years.

MUST READ:  Prevention of Money Laundering Act

Source: Indian Express


Stubble Burning

Open in new  window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: The Delhi government will spray a bio-decomposer free of cost over 5,000 acres of paddy fields in the city this year, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday.

About Pusa Decomposer:

  • It is a bio-enzyme consisting of seven fungi that digest cellulose, lignin, and pectin in paddy straw.
  • It is developed by The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
  • It decomposes the stubble, turning it into manure, thus increases soil fertility, prevents stubble burning and reduces air pollution.

Causes of air pollution in Delhi in winters:

Every winter air pollution spikes in the national capital and adjoining areas due to multiple reasons

  • Slow wind speed
  • Bursting of firecrackers
  • Pollution from stubble burning
  • Household emissions including domestic biomass burning

Actions taken:

  • A list of emergency measures to control air pollution in Delhi-NCR, such as closing schools and stopping construction work, are undertaken each year during the winter months.
  • Graded Response Action Plan, prepared by the Commission for Air Quality Management, emergency measures will now be implemented based on predictions on air quality, three days in advance.

Graded Response Action Plan

Source: The Hindu             

Previous Year Question

Q.1) In the context of solving pollution problems, what is/are the advantage/advantages of bioremediation technique?    (2017)

  1. It is a technique for cleaning up pollution by enhancing the same biodegradation process that occurs in nature.
  2. Any contaminant with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead can be readily and completely treated by bioremediation using microorganisms.
  3. Genetic engineering can be used to create microorganisms specifically designed for bioremediation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Food Security in India

Open in new  window

Syllabus

  • Mains: GS 3 Economy

In News: No negotiation is possible at the cost of food security, announced Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare at the ninth session of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) on Monday

Crop diversity and plant genetic resources being the source of solution to breeding challenges caused by climate change.

About:

  • Food is an essential fundamental right and rights of farmers producing food should not be compromised.
  • The impacts of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss are putting pressure on agriculture. The struggle for climate resilient agriculture and nutritional security depends heavily on the decisions and actions of the signatories.
  • Further, the pandemic and ongoing conflicts are affecting the way the world produces, supplies, and consumes food.
  • Hence, we must increase the use of diverse and resilient crops and their genetic resources
  • There must be a balance between genetic resources governance and use, investment and innovation, and access and Benefit Sharing to achieve future-ready solutions for agriculture and food security.

Food security in India:

  • Food security is defined as “ensuring that all people have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food at all times in order to live a healthy and active life.”
  • It considers both physical and economic access to food as well as people’s dietary demands and preferences.
  • Food security is built on three pillars: constant food supply, access to a balanced diet, and food usage for basic nutrition and care, as well as access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Challenges:

  • Climate Change: Unanticipated consequences such as Drought (because to a shortage of moisture) or floods (due to a surplus of moisture) due to change in monsoon patterns and unusually high/low temperatures. These have a detrimental influence on crop productivity and agricultural net income. It also affects changes in land use patterns and water resource availability.
  • Agricultural Prices: Lack of remunerative prices for end goods, distressed sales, high cultivation costs combined with inappropriate market prices, and the combination of all of these activities as a barrier in the path of food security.
  • Poorly developed commodities market: globalisation has been unable to assure more stable market pricing. As a result, agricultural pricing policy must be regulated for the benefit of the marketing community, hence promoting food security in India.
  • Bio-fuel Cultivation: Diverges land and resource to manufacturing of ethanol at the cost of food security. From 2000 to 2010, the area under cultivation was reported to have expanded from 46 hectares to 9020 ha.

Sustainable Solutions:

  • Transforming the PDS: To improve the efficiency, accountability and transparency of the system which brings supplies of wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene oil to around 800 million poor people across the country
  • Fortification of government distributed food: Boost the nutritional value of the Government’s Midday Meal school feeding programme, rice fortification with iron to tackle anaemia.
  • Policy interventions: Climate flexibility laws, agriculture laws, agricultural waste management laws, soil carbon sequestration laws, and general natural resource management laws are all urgently needed.
  • Infrastructure Requirements: The government should prioritise warehouses, roads, transportation, and market facilities. Encouragement of the PPP model in agriculture will result in speedier infrastructure development.
  • Encouragement to Horticulture Products: It is critical to enhance per capita availability of food grains as well as provide the proper quantity of food items on the common man’s plate in order to ensure food security. Horticulture goods require encouragement in order to increase per capita availability of food while also assuring food security.
  • Capital Investment: In recent years, agriculture’s share of capital investment in GDP has remained unchanged. Although capital spending has improved in recent Five-Year Plans, it has been highlighted that during 2007-2008 to 2009-2010, the agriculture sector contributed significantly to GDP. The main problem is to increase both public and private sector capital investment.

Initiatives to ensure food security:

  • NFSA act 2013: To provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of the country’s people. It includes the Midday Meal Scheme, Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System.
  • Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS): It is one of the Government of India’s flagship programs. It is the most visible symbol of the country’s commitment to its children and nursing mothers, as a response to breaking the malnutrition food cycle, morbidity, reduced learning capacity, and mortality on the other.
  • Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): Launched in 1997 with focus on identification of the poor (done by the States) for delivery of foodgrains and for its distribution in a transparent and accountable manner.
  • National Food Security Mission: The project was initiated in 2007-2008 with the goal of increasing rice, wheat, and pulses output through expanding land and increasing productivity, as well as offering job possibilities and initiatives to help farmers regain confidence. This programme is now being implemented in 17 states throughout the country.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana: It was started in 2007-2008 with the goal of increasing public investment in states. Several technology packages for enhancing agriculture production have been distributed in the states.
  • The Integrated Scheme of Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize (ISOPOM): Introduced in 2010 in 14 main states for the production of oilseeds, maize and oil palm to serve as a tool for crop diversification.
  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana: Covering poorest citizens and provision of 35kg of food grains at subsidized prices of Rs.3 for rice and Rs.2 for wheat.

Way forward:

  • The recent and ongoing problem of rising food costs, in particular, reminds us that, even as the urban economy increases fast, large segments of the population may confront acute food insecurity.
  • We must use all modern technologies as well as traditional knowledge to preserve and use them in a sustainable manner to tackle this problem.

About ITPGRFA:

  • The ITPGRFA was signed during the 31st session of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome in November, 2001.
  • The treaty seeks to achieve food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA), equitable sharing of profits from its use, as well as playing an important role in the recognition of rights of farmers.

Source:   The Hindu              


Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Open in new  window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – International grouping
  • Mains – GS 2 (International Relations)

Context: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting (September 2022) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, was a test case for governments on how to deal with current conflicts and attempt new guidelines for the future.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

  • SCO is an intergovernmental international organisation that exists indefinitely. It was founded in 2001. The SCO Charter was signed in 2002 and took effect in 2003.
  • SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and security partnership. It is the world’s largest regional organisation in terms of geographic breadth and population, spanning around 60% of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of global GDP.

Structure of the SCO:

  • Heads of State Council – The top SCO body that decides on internal SCO operations, interactions with other states and international organisations, and international concerns.
  • Heads of Government Council – Approves the budget and evaluates and decides on topics pertaining to SCO’s economic domains of engagement.
  • Council of Foreign Ministers – Considers problems concerning day-to-day operations.
  • Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) – An organisation formed to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism.

New version of non-alignment:

  • India’s presence at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO was significant, reflecting a desire to be a part of both blocs, without antagonising either.
  • On the other hand, in his formal opening remarks at the summit, Mr. Modi thanked both Russia and Ukraine for the evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine, highlighting India’s posture of equidistance between the two countries.
  • The philosophical underpinning for this seems to be that ‘Nonalignment of the past’ had not succeeded, and a way had to be found for “multiple engagements of the future”.
  • Recently the United States and other western allies had complimented India for its participation in the Quad (Australia, Japan, India, and the U.S.).
    • Whether India can make out a case for ‘mixing utopia with reality’ under the label of ‘multi alignment’ is yet to be seen, but it does provide grist to an idea being floated that this provides leeway for India to play a much bigger role in ‘managing conflict’.
  • It would be interesting to see whether this SCO summit will pave the way for India to exploit other situations created by political contradictions and use them to its advantage.
    • A test case is India’s relations with Iran which have been on the backburner for some time, following a U.S. threat to impose sanctions on India if it continued to trade with Iran.
  • Refashioning India’s foreign policy has become vital at a time when India is facing a confluence of old and new situations and threats, which often intersect.

Ties with China:

  • India’s foreign policy should be creative enough to leave an opening for an improvement in India-China relations over the longer term.
  • Again, the intensity of the current conflict between India and China should not lead India’s strategic establishment to overlook the fact that the primary conflict between India and China is ‘civilizational’, and not for territory.
  • India’s foreign policy mandarins must look for opportunities for the betterment of relations at an opportune time, which could well arise when China’s economy begins to stall and India’s economy rises, moderating China’s current aggressive behaviour.

Nuclear dimension

  • An issue that has remained on the backburner for years may now need consideration in the context of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, viz., the nuclear dimension.
  • We have a ‘No First Use Doctrine’, and while nuclear relationships involving India, China and Pakistan have remained remarkably subdued over many years, India’s strategic and foreign policy establishment cannot afford to overlook the nuclear aspect, given that the country is wedged between two active, and hostile, nuclear powers — China and Pakistan.
  • We cannot ignore the growing sophistication of Chinese nuclear forces, and to a lesser extent that of Pakistan, which has the effect of putting India at a disadvantage with both predictable and unpredictable consequences.
  • India’s new foreign policy imperatives cannot again afford to ignore this aspect, even though at present India is the only one among the three that does not see nuclear weapons as intended for use in the event of a war.

Conclusion:

Hence, navigating the coming decade necessitates giving up many of the existing policy constructs, providing for a wider outreach, and ensuring that our policy is not merely in step with current needs but is always a step ahead.

Source: The Hindu                               


Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act

Open in new  window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs (Governance)
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) submitted a report to the city government pointing out the sorry state of affairs in the implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act in the union territory.

The Law:

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.
  • It defined sexual harassment, lay down the procedures for a complaint and inquiry, and the action to be taken.
  • It broadened the Vishaka guidelines, which were already in place.
  • The Vishaka guidelines were laid down by the Supreme Court in a judgment in 1997.

Genesis of Vishaka guidelines:

  • This was in a case filed by women’s rights groups, one of which was Vishaka.
  • They had filed a public interest litigation over the alleged gangrape of Bhanwari Devi, a social worker from Rajasthan.
  • In 1992, she had prevented the marriage of a one-year-old girl, leading to the alleged gangrape in an act of revenge.

Guidelines and the law

  • The Vishaka guidelines, which were legally binding, defined sexual harassment and imposed three key obligations on institutions —
    • prohibition, prevention, and redress.
  • The Supreme Court directed that they should establish a Complaints Committee, which would look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

The 2013 Act broadened these guidelines.

  • It mandated that every employer must constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
  • It lay down procedures and defined various aspects of sexual harassment, including:
    • the aggrieved victim,
    • who could be a woman of any age whether employed or not,
    • who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment.
  • This meant that the rights of all women working or visiting any workplace, in any capacity, were protected under the Act.

 Definition of sexual harassment:

  • Sexual harassment includes any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour committed directly or by implication:
    • Physical contact and advances
    • A demand or request for sexual favours
    • Sexually coloured remarks
    • Showing pornography
    • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
  • Additionally, the Act mentions five circumstances that amount to sexual harassment
    • implied or explicit promise of preferential treatment in her employment;
    • implied or explicit threat of detrimental treatment;
    • implied or explicit threat about her present or future employment status;
    • interference with her work or creating an offensive or hostile work environment;
    • humiliating treatment likely to affect her health or safety.

Procedure for complaint:

  • Technically, it is not compulsory for the aggrieved victim to file a complaint for the ICC to act.
  • The Act says that if she cannot file a complaint, any member of the ICC shall render all reasonable assistance to her to complain in writing.
  • If the woman cannot complain because of physical or mental incapacity or death, her legal heir may do so.
  • Under the Act, the complaint must be made within three months from the date of the incident.
  • However, the ICC can extend the time limit if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint within the said period.
  • The ICC may, before inquiry, and at the request of the aggrieved woman, take steps to settle the matter between her and the respondent through conciliation, provided that “no monetary settlement shall be made as a basis of conciliation”.
  • The ICC may either forward the victim’s complaint to the police, or it can start an inquiry that has to be completed within 90 days.
  • The ICC has powers similar to those of a civil court in respect of summoning and examining any person on oath, and  requiring the discovery and production of documents.
  • The identity of the woman, respondent, witness, any information on the inquiry, recommendation and action taken, the Act states, should not be made public.
  • If the allegations of sexual harassment are proved, the ICC recommends that the employer act in accordance with the provisions of the service rules of the company.
  • Compensation is determined based on five aspects:
    • suffering and emotional distress caused to the woman;
    • loss in career opportunity;
    • her medical expenses;
    • income and financial status of the respondent; and
    • the feasibility of such payment.
  • After the recommendations, the aggrieved woman or the respondent can appeal in court within 90 days
  • Section 14 of the Act deals with punishment for false or malicious complaint and false evidence.

Death Penalty in India

Open in new  window

Syllabus

  • Prelims – Current Affairs (Governance)
  • Mains – GS 2 (Governance)

Context: The Supreme Court’s decision to frame uniform norms for trial courts in awarding the death sentence is a welcome intervention. This is a case that a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit had taken up on its own and has now referred to a larger Constitution bench of five judges.

What are the kinds of punishment awarded for Crimes in India?

  • Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prescribes 5 kinds of punishments that can be awarded to criminals. This includes:
  • Death Penalty: Under this punishment, a person is hanged till he dies. Death penalty is prescribed in certain IPC offences like Waging war against the Government of India (Sec 121), Murder (Sec 302) etc.
    • Provision of Death Penalty is also there for some offences covered under certain other Acts like the Army Act (1950), BSF Act (1968), Defense of India Act (1971), NDPS Act (1985), POCSO Act (2012, as amended in 2019) etc. It is awarded in the ‘rarest of rare cases’.
  • Life Imprisonment: In its ordinary connotation imprisonment for life means imprisonment for the whole of the remaining life period of the convicted person’s natural life.
  • Imprisonment (Simple or Rigorous): Simple imprisonment is a punishment in which the offender is confined to jail only. He is not subjected to any hard labor. In rigorous imprisonment, a person is put to hard labor such as digging, cutting wood etc.
  • Forfeiture of Property: The State seizes the property of a criminal. The property forfeited may be movable or immovable.
  • Fine: The State can also impose a monetary punishment on a criminal.

What is the current status of Death Penalties awarded in India?

  • The number of prisoners on death row at the end of 2021 stood at 488, the highest in 17 years, according to the Death Penalty in India Report.
    • According to the report, while trial courts imposed a total of 144 death sentences in 2021, High Courts decided only 39 matters in the same period.
    • The Supreme Court, despite listing death penalty cases on priority in September last year, decided only 6 cases in 2021 compared to 11 in 2020 and 28 in 2019.

What is the Judicial view on Death Penalty?

Ediga Anamma v. the State of Andhra Pradesh, (1974): The Supreme Court (SC) laid down the principle that life imprisonment for the offence of murder is the rule and capital punishment is the exception in certain cases.

Bachan Singh v. the State of Punjab, (1980):The SC stated that the death penalty should be awarded only in ‘rarest of rare‘ cases. A case becomes rarest of rare when there is extreme culpability of the offender in committing the offence of murder; and an extreme cause of the offender in committing the offence of murder.

  • The Supreme Court stated that it should be issued only when the alternative of a life sentence is ‘unquestionably foreclosed’. The death penalty should be awarded after seeing the aggravating and mitigating factors and balance of the same.

What are arguments in favour of Death Penalty?

Maintaining Deterrence: The foremost argument given in support is the level of deterrence maintained in society by awarding death penalty. Many people believe that a person may restrain himself from committing a heinous crime like murder if death penalty is awarded for it.

National Security: Some acts like waging war against the State, terrorism etc. erodes the sanctity of our National Security framework. Such acts threaten the very existence of the country and its people. For instance, Ajmal Kasab was awarded the death sentence for carrying out 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Acts that shake the collective conscience: Supporters of Death Penalty says that there are some acts which shakes the collective conscience of society and deserves nothing except death penalty.

  • For instance, The Vinay Sharma v. the Union of India (2020) case, also famously known as the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, had shocked the conscience of the whole country. One of the accused committed suicide in jail and one of the accused was a juvenile so he was not sentenced to death.
  •  But the other four accused were sentenced to death and were also hanged in the year 2020.

Safety of Citizens: Proponents of capital punishment argue that some criminals commit most terrible of crimes and are beyond redemption (e.g., some accused of multiple rape cases). They show no remorse or repentance. There is no change of reform and should be awarded death sentence for safety of citizens.

What are the arguments in favour of abolition of Death Penalty?

  • High Degree of Subjectivity: There is a high degree of subjectivity in awarding death sentences as the judges find it difficult to balance the mitigating and aggravating factors.
    • According to the Death Penalty India Report 2016 (DPIR), approximately 75% of all convicts sentenced to death in India are from socio-economically underprivileged categories, such as Dalits, OBCs, and religious minorities.
  • Mental Stress: In many cases the convicts have to undergo a huge term of imprisonment before being finally executed.
    • The findings of Project 39A’s report ‘Deathworthy’ shows that the segregated, alienated, and stigmatized experiences of being on a death row for a longer time result in mental illness.
  • Irreversible in Nature: Courts often give compensation to individuals who are wrongly convicted and have spent considerable time in jail due to an error by the State. However, if a person is wrongly hanged, then no amount of compensation can bring back the person and mitigate the error.
  • Inhumane: Human rights and dignity are incompatible with the death penalty. The death sentence is a violation of the right to life, which is the most fundamental of all human rights.

Global Precedent – No correlation with low crime rates:

  • Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden and Finland have one of the lowest crime rates in the world without death penalty. They focus on reforming the criminal rather than deterring him with stricter and harsh punishments.
    • More than 100 countries have already abolished death sentence for all offences. This includes most European nations, Australia, New Zealand etc.

What lies ahead?

  • The Supreme Court can step in and commute Balwant Singh’s death sentence on account of undue delay in disposal of the mercy petition that has violated his right to life under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The SC should release updated guidelines on how to balance the aggravating and mitigating factors in cases.
  • The Courts can evolve innovative ways for giving stricter punishment in place of death penalty. For instance, giving minimum 25-30 years rigorous imprisonment that can’t be reduced or reviewed.
  • The focus should be on ensuring certainty of punishment rather than quantum of punishment that will act as a better deterrent for criminals.
  • The Union Government should also act swiftly on mercy petitions based on merits and not on political advantage/disadvantage it may get from the petition.

Conclusion:

The Law Commission in its 262nd report proposed that the death penalty should be abolished for all crimes excluding terrorism-related offences and war. The experience of the Scandinavian countries also supports this view. However, till the time it happens, there should be proper implementation of the Bachan Singh Judgment by the Indian Courts.

Source:

Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements:    (2022)

  1. Pursuant to the report of H.N. Sanyal Committee, the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 was passed.
  2. The Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and the High Courts to punish for contempt of themselves.
  3. The Constitution of India defines Civil Contempt and Criminal Contempt.
  4. In India, the Parliament is vested with the powers to make laws on Contempt of Court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 3 only

Q.2) With reference to India, consider the following statements:  (2021)

  1. Judicial custody means an accused is in the custody of the concerned magistrate and such accused is locked up in police station, not in jail.
  2. During judicial custody, the police officer in charge of the case is not allowed to interrogate the suspect without the approval of the court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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


Namibian Cheetah

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by IASbaba (@iasbaba)



Baba’s Explainer –Scandinavian Social democracy

Scandinavian Social democracy

Syllabus

  • GS-2: Democracy and rights 

Context: Sweden’s right-wing coalition led by Moderate Party and Sweden Democrats(SD) has defeated the centre-left bloc coalition led by Social Democrats Party (that had emerged as the single largest party).

  • Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, collectively known as the Nordic countries.

Read Complete Details on Scandinavian Social democracy


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to the “Prompt Corrective Action Framework”, consider the following statements:

  1. The framework is based on parameters such as Capital, Profitability and Asset Quality.
  2. The objective of the framework is to enable Supervisory intervention at appropriate time
  3. The framework applies to Indian banks only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1 only

Q.2) Consider the following statements:

  1. The Directorate of Enforcement is entrusted with implementation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
  2. It is part of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements about ‘Pusa bio-decomposer’:

  1. It is a bacteria-based formulation
  2. It converts crop stubble into bio-manure

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’21st September 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.


ANSWERS FOR 20th September – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – c

Q.3) – a

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....