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04 Feb 2023: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

CNA 04 Feb 2023:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
GOVERNANCE
1. Rural Tourism
POLITY
1. Supreme Court on Terminally Ill Patients
C. GS 3 Related
D. GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
INDIAN ECONOMY
1. Going green
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. Little to celebrate in Sri Lanka at 75
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Charge sheet scrutiny is not a case of prying eyes
F. Prelims Facts
1. PM-KUSUM
G. Tidbits
1. Tihar jail to get AI-powered surveillance system
2. Antonov-32 (AN-32)
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
FIP Magazine

Category: POLITY

1. Supreme Court on Terminally Ill Patients

Syllabus: Judiciary

Mains: Major Changes in Guidelines of Euthanasia in India.

Context: The Supreme Court of India recently passed a judgement on altering the existing guidelines for ‘living wills’.

Introduction:

  • A  Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice K M Joseph passed an order to significantly ease the procedure for passive euthanasia in the country by altering the existing guidelines for ‘living wills’, as laid down in its 2018 judgement in Common Cause vs. Union of India & Anr, which allowed passive euthanasia.
  • The case had come back to the court after a petition filed by a nonprofit association submitted that the 2018 guidelines on living wills were “unworkable”.

2018 Judgement:

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra allowed passive euthanasia while recognising the living wills of terminally-ill patients who could go into a permanent vegetative state, and issued guidelines regulating this procedure.
  • The Constitution Bench said that the guidelines would be in force until Parliament passed legislation on this. However, this has not happened, and the absence of a law on this subject has rendered the 2018 judgement the last conclusive set of directions on euthanasia.
  • The guidelines pertained to questions such as who would execute the living will, and the process by which approval could be granted by the medical board. “We declare that an adult human being having the mental capacity to make an informed decision has the right to refuse medical treatment including withdrawal from life-saving devices,” the court said in the 2018 ruling.
  • Directions in the 2018 judgement had several implementation hurdles such as:
    • An advance medical directive (AMD) required the signatures of two independent witnesses, and also had to be countersigned by a Judicial Magistrate.
    • Also, the treating physician was required to constitute a board comprising three expert medical practitioners from specific but varied fields of medicine, with at least 20 years of experience, who would decide whether to carry out the living will or not. If the medical board granted permission, the will had to be forwarded to the District Collector for his approval.
    • The Collector was to then form another medical board of three expert doctors, including the Chief District Medical Officer. 
    • Only if this second board agreed with the hospital board’s findings would the decision be forwarded to the Judicial Magistrate of First Class (JMFC), who would then visit the patient and examine whether to accord approval.

New guidelines:

  • In its current order authored by Justice Joseph, the court said it needs to be signed by the executor/patient and independent witnesses in the presence of a notary or gazetted officer who would record his/her satisfaction that the AMD was voluntary and executed without coercion. 
    • The AMD, if the executor chooses, may be made part of the digital health records.
  • Instead of the hospital and Collector forming the two medical boards, both boards will now be formed by the hospital. 
  • The requirement of 20 years of experience for the doctors has been relaxed to five years. 
  • The requirement for the Magistrate’s approval has been replaced by an intimation to the Magistrate. The medical board must communicate its decision within 48 hours; the earlier guidelines specified no time limit.
  •  In case the medical boards set up by the hospital refuses permission, it will now be open to the kin to approach the High Court which will form a fresh medical team.
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Image Source: Hindustan Times

Euthanasia and Living Will:

  • Euthanasia refers to the practice of an individual deliberately ending their life, oftentimes to get relief from an incurable condition, or intolerable pain and suffering. Euthanasia, which can be administered only by a physician, can be either ‘active’ or ‘passive’.
  • A living will, or an advance directive, is a document that a person can execute in advance, explaining his/her wish about withholding or withdrawing medical treatment in case of terminal illness and is undergoing prolonged medical treatment with no chances of recovery and cure.
  • Passive euthanasia was legalised in India by the Supreme Court in 2018, contingent upon the person having a ‘living will’ or a written document that specifies what actions should be taken if the person is unable to make their own medical decisions in the future.
    • In case a person does not have a living will, members of their family can make a plea before the High Court to seek permission for passive euthanasia.

Read more on Judicial Activism

Nut Graf: In a recent ruling, the constitution bench of the Supreme Court simplified passive euthanasia rules in cases of terminal illness to reduce red tape such as the time limit for the medical board decision by modifying the existing guidelines it laid down in 2018 on living wills, or advance directives.

G. Tidbits

1. Tihar jail to get AI-powered surveillance system

  • Tihar jail is installing artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCTV cameras to monitor inmates and fight crime.
    • The AI-powered CCTV cameras will help detect movements in “dark spots”.
  • The premises will also have a real-time grievance redressal system and optical fibre network.
    • The grievance redressal system will operate like police control rooms (PCR) to address the problems of inmates in real time.
  • Tihar jail is the largest prison complex in South Asia and is home to some of the most high-profile criminals. 
  • The maximum-security Tihar jail, which has the capacity to house 5,200 inmates, has 12,762 prisoners at present across its nine central prisons.
  • The overcrowding has made monitoring inmates difficult. 

Read more on Reforms in Criminal Justice System

Read more on Prison Reforms

2. Antonov-32 (AN-32)

  • The Indian Air Force has initiated the process to find a replacement for the AN-32 transport aircraft in service.
  • It has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for the procurement of a Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) with a carrying capacity of 18 to 30 tonnes.
  • An-32 is a twin engine, tactical light transport aircraft designed and manufactured by Antonov Design Bureau of Ukraine for the Indian Air Force (IAF). 
    • Its NATO reporting name is Cline. 
  • The IAF currently operates a fleet of more than 90 AN-32s that play a critical role in supporting forward-deployed troops along the country’s frontiers including Ladakh and the Northeast.
  • The aircraft can transport either 7.5t of cargo, 50 passengers, 42 paratroopers, or 24 patients and three medical crew over domestic and international air routes.
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Image Source: The Print

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements regarding legislative councils in India: 
(Level – Easy)
  1. In 2020, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed a resolution for the abolition of the Legislative Council.
  2. The Parliament can abolish a Legislative Council (where it already exists) or create it (where it does not exist) by a special majority, if the legislative assembly of the concerned state, by a simple majority, passes a resolution to that effect.
  3. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 & 2 only
  2. 2 & 3 only
  3. 1 & 3 only
  4. All of the above
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: c

Explanation:

  • Statement 01 is correct, In 2020, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed a statutory resolution seeking to abolish the State Legislative Council under Article 169 (1) of the Constitution.
  • Statement 02 is incorrect, Parliament may by law (simple majority) provide for the abolition of the Legislative Council of a State having such a Council or for the creation of such a Council in a State having no such Council, if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting (Special Majority).
  • Statement 03 is correct, The legislative council is a continuing chamber, that is, it is a permanent body and is not subject to dissolution. The tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of the members retiring every two years.
Q2. Consider the following statements with regards to Dholavira: (Level – Moderate)
  1. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2021, Dholavira is believed to have been occupied from around 3500 BC (pre-Harappan) till around 1800 BC (late-Harappan period).
  2. Dholavira is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites, including Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupnagar and Lothal.
  3. Dholavira’s location is on the Tropic of Cancer.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: d

Explanation:

  • The ancient city of Dholavira, the southern centre of the Harappan Civilization, is sited on the arid island of Khadir in the State of Gujarat. 
  • It was occupied between ca. 3000-1500 BCE and it is one of the best preserved urban settlements from the period in Southeast Asia, comprising a fortified city and a cemetery.
  • It was inscribed on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 2021, making it the first site of Indus Valley Civilisation in India to be included on the coveted list.
  • Rakhigarhi is the largest Harappan site in the Indian subcontinent whereas Dholavira is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites.
  • Dholavira is located on the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees north).
Q3. The Kaladan multimodal project aims to improve connectivity to which of the 
Indian states through Myanmar? (Level – Easy)
  1. Mizoram
  2. Manipur
  3. Nagaland
  4. Arunachal Pradesh
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: a

Explanation: 

  • The Kaladan Multimodal project connects Kolkata port with Myanmar’s Sittwe Port by sea, Sittwe to Paletwa via river Kaladan, Paletwa to the border of India, and Myanmar via road and further ahead to Lawngtlai, Mizoram by road. 
Q4. “It is a group of mostly western creditor countries that grew from a 1956 meeting
 in which Argentina agreed to meet its public creditors. Their objective is to find 
sustainable debt-relief solutions for countries that are unable to repay their 
bilateral loans.” Which group is this? (Level – Moderate)
  1. OECD
  2. Paris Club
  3. Global Environment Facility
  4. CAF – Development Bank of Latin America
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • The Paris Club is a group of mostly western creditor countries that grew from a 1956 meeting in which Argentina agreed to meet its public creditors in Paris. Their objective is to find sustainable debt-relief solutions for countries that are unable to repay their bilateral loans.
  • It describes itself as a forum where official creditors meet to solve payment difficulties faced by debtor countries. All 22 are members of the group called Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Q5. Consider the following: (Level – Difficult)
  1. Calcutta Unitarian Committee
  2. Tabernacle of New Dispensation
  3. Indian Reform Association

Keshab Chandra Sen is associated with the establishment of which of the above?

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3
CHECK ANSWERS:-

Answer: b

Explanation:

  • In 1881, Keshab Chandra Sen established Naba Bidhan (New Dispensation) meaning new universalist religion after having differences within Brahmo Samaj. He was also part of the Indian Reform Association to legalise Brahmo marriage and to fix the minimum age of marriage.
  • The Calcutta Unitarian Committee was formed by Raja Rammohan Roy, Dwarkanath Tagore and William Adam, hence irrelevant to the question. Hence options A and D are eliminated.
  • Sen formed the Indian Reform Association (1870) to persuade the British government to enact the Native Marriage Act of 1872 (Civil marriage act) legalising Brahmo marriages and fixing the minimum marriageable ages for boys and girls.

Read the previous CNA here.

CNA 04 Feb 2023:- Download PDF Here

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