National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams-11th April 2019

SC Collegium recommends 5 new Chief Justices of HCs

Topic: Polity and Governance

In News: The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended names of five judges for appointment as the Chief Justices in Rajasthan, Kerala, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh High Courts.

More on the Topic:

  • The Collegium System is a system under which appointments/elevation of judges/lawyers to Supreme Court and transfers of judges of High Courts and Apex Court are decided by a forum of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.’
  • There is no mention of the Collegium either in the original Constitution of India or in successive amendments.
  • The Collegiums System of appointment of judges was born through “three judges case” which interpreted constitutional articles on October 28, 1998.
  • The recommendations of the Collegium are binding on the Central Government; if the Collegium sends the names of the judges/lawyers to the government for the second time.
  • The Collegium sends the recommendations of the names of lawyers or judges to the Central Government. Similarly, the Central Government also sends some of its proposed names to the Collegium. The Central Government does the fact checking and investigate the names and resends the file to the Collegium.
  • Collegium considers the names or suggestions made by the Central Government and resends the file to the government for final approval. If the Collegium resends the same name again then the government has to give its assent to the names. But time limit is not fixed to reply. This is the reason that appointment of judges takes a long time.

Model Mains Question: What are the challenges faced by Indian Judiciary? Suggest measures to mitigate the same.

Source:The Hindu


Topic: Science and Technology

In News:  The commerce ministry has asked the health ministry to frame a law banning the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in the country.

More on the Topic:

  • It would be impossible to put a blanket ban on imports of e-cigarettes in the absence of a domestic legislation. The commerce ministry has also been asked to issue a notification banning the import of electronic nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes and flavoured hookah.

About e-Cigarettes:

  • Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but vaporise a solution, which a user then inhales. The main constituents of the solution, in addition to nicotine, are propylene glycol (with or without glycerol and flavouring agents).
  • e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) are most common prototype of ENDS(Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems)
  • Use of ENDS may affect development of foetus during pregnancy.
  • It may contribute to cardiovascular disease to people who use ENDS.
  • Moreover, nicotine may function as ‘tumour promoter’ and seems to be involved in biology of malignant diseases.
  • Foetal and adolescent nicotine exposure have long-term consequences for brain development, potentially leading to learning and anxiety disorders.

Source: The Hindu

New state of matter exists as solid and liquid at the same time

Topic: Science and Technology

In News: Researchers have discovered a new state of matter that can actually exist as both a liquid and a solid at the same time.

More on the topic:

  • In a new study, researchers turned to artificial intelligence to help make sense of what happens to the metal potassium when it’s compressed under pressures that would you find in the Earth’s mantle.
  • At these extreme pressures, researchers have found that matter can exist in some interesting states.
  • For example, one past study discovered that sodium, a simple metal that conducts heat and electricity, transforms into a transparent material under extreme pressure. The new state of compressed sodium is also no longer conductive.
  • Potassium, like sodium, reacts out of character under pressure and the potassium atoms rearrange themselves. However, until now, researchers were not sure what exactly was going on at the atomic level to create this change.
  • The researchers used artificial intelligence to simulate what happens to potassium atoms under extreme pressure.
  • The artificial intelligence program learned quantum mechanics and was trained to analyze potassium atoms so that the program could simulate the reactions of thousands of potassium atoms under pressure.
  • The AI computer models showed that when exposed to extreme temperatures and heat, potassium becomes both liquid and solid and enters a chain-melted state.
  • The chains of potassium atoms dissolve in this state, but the potassium crystals remain solid.

Model Mains Question:What is artificial intelligence? Exemplify the applications of the same.

Source: The Hindu

Namami Gange

Topic: Government Programmes

In News: India’s flagship programme, National Mission for Clean Ganga or Namami Gange was felicitated with the coveted ‘Public Water Agency of the Year’ award at the Global Water Summit.

More on the Topic:

  • The coveted Global Water Awards are presented by the Global Water Intelligence at the Global Water Summit, the major business conference for the water industry worldwide.
  • The Global Water Awards recognise excellence across the entire international water industry and reward those initiatives in the water, wastewater, and desalination sectors which bring remarkable improvements in the lives of people.

About Namami Gange:

  • The Namami Gange programme is an integrated mission for Ganga rejuvenation. It has a comprehensive multi-sectoral intervention with multi-stakeholder involvement and adopts a basin based approach which includes Ganga and its tributaries.
  • The Namami Gange Mission aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable solutions for major pollution hot spots along the stretch of 97 towns and 4,465 villages on the Ganga stem.

Source:The Hindu

Bold Kurukshetra–2019

Topic: Joint Military Exercises

In News: Armed forces of India and Singapore kicked off a joint military exercise, ‘Bold Kurukshetra–2019.

More on the Topic:

  • The three-day exercise is aimed at bolstering cooperation against terrorism, developing defence technology and improving maritime security.
  • India and Singapore had entered into an official agreement in November 2017 to strengthen defence ties between their respective armed forces. As per the understanding, personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces will receive training and undertake firing exercises along with the Indian Armed Forces.

Source: PIB

Veer Parivar App

Topic: e-Governance

In News: President Ramnath Kovind launched the ‘Veer Parivar’ mobile app.

More on the Topic:

  • The application will act as an interface between the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) authorities and the next of kin of the slain personnel.
  • It will render all assistance to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel with regard to issuance of ex gratia, pensionary benefits and all information regarding the welfare schemes introduced for them by the government.
  • The assistance will be provided to the families on a real-time basis. The CRPF headquarters in Delhi and various group centres across the country will respond to these issues.
  • The Android-based app will be installed by the force’s officials securely on the phone of the families and will not be available over the app stores.

Source: The Hindu

Astro Ecology

Topic: Science and Technology

In News:Recently the concept which is used to study the luminosity of stars, was used to carry out detailed monitoring of orangutan populations in Borneo.

More on the Topic:

  • Orangutans, like all great apes, build a sleeping nest in trees, traditionally orangutan numbers are estimated by counting these nests from the ground.
  • However, this method is costly and time consuming due to the large areas that need to be surveyed.
  • Astro ecology has combined drone technology with thermal-imaging cameras, which are mostly used by astronomers.
  • This tech helps to spot and classify the animals by using their heat signatures.
  • This innovative technology could potentially be used to understand and monitor population numbers of Orangutans or other endangered primate species.

Source: Down to Earth


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