14 May 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Domestic Violence Act for divorced women
C. GS3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Supreme Court settles the law that ivory is 'government property'
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Atmospheric seasons could signal alien life
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
POLITY
1. Collective assertion
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Domestic Violence Act for divorced women

Why in news?

  • The Domestic Violence Act — meant to punish men who abuse women in a relationship — extends to all man-woman relationships, and also protects divorced women from their former husbands, the Supreme Court has upheld.
  • A three-judge Bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R. Banumathi and Naveen Sinha confirmed a Rajasthan High Court ruling of 2013 that the term ‘domestic violence’ cannot be restrained to marital relations alone.

SC Order

  • The Supreme Court’s recent order found no reason to differ with the High Court’s conclusion that ‘domestic relationship’ includes “consanguinity, marriage, a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or as family members living together as a joint family”.
  • The apex court did not intervene with the interpretation that ‘domestic relationship’ is not confined to the relationship as husband and wife or a relationship in the nature of marriage, but it includes other relationship as well such as sisters, mother, etc.

Court’s Observations

  • Domestic relationship includes any relationship between two persons who either live at the present moment or have at any point of time in the past lived together in a shared household. Absence of subsisting domestic relationship in no manner prevents the court from granting certain reliefs specified under the Act.
  • The court held that domestic violence can continue even after divorce and the reach of the Act should not be shackled by confining only for the protection of women living in marriage.
  • It illustrated how a divorcee husband could resort to violence by entering the workplace of his former wife to commit an act of violence, or even attempt to communicate with her, or threaten or cause violence to her relatives or dependents or any other person.
  • It amounts to domestic violence if the former husband tried to dispossess the woman from a jointly-owned property or refuse to return her ‘stridhan’ or valuable security or other property. The Act brings all these acts of violence within its ambit.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Supreme Court settles the law that ivory is ‘government property’

In news: To whom do tusks of elephants belong?

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that tusks are the property of the government. A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra filled a half-a-century vacuum in law, with its interpretation that there cannot be an iota of doubt about the government having the right.

Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972

  • The court was examining the Kerala Forests Act of 1961 and the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 in a case dealing with the alleged unauthorised collection and storage of elephant tusks, possession of an unlicensed gun and other accessories by an individual in Wayanad two decades ago.
  • The Supreme Court observed that there is a clear declaration in the 1972 Act on elephant tusks being government property.
  • Conservationists campaigning to curb ivory-trafficking and poaching got a boost with the order. India prohibits import and export of ivory.
  • The ruling, however, would not affect individuals who have ownership certificates for declared ivory. Even in the case of captive elephants, either the government keeps custody of tusks or owners are permitted to retain them if they give an undertaking that they would not be traded.
  • The Supreme Court said, “It is quite clear that ivory imported into India and an article made from such ivory in respect of which any offence against this Act (1961 Act) or any rule or order made thereunder has been committed, shall be deemed to be the property of the State Government.”
  • Proceedings were initiated against the collector, Komarrikkal Elias, but he was acquitted. The case continued to simmer on an order passed by the Assistant Wild Life Warden to confiscate the tusks.
  • ‘Forest produce’ under the 1961 Act defines many things, including timber, charcoal, wood oil, gum, resin, natural varnish, flowers and fruits, but does not mention tusks.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Atmospheric seasons could signal alien life

In news

Atmospheric seasonality is a promising biosignature because it is biologically modulated on Earth and is likely to occur on other inhabited worlds

Biosignature

  • A biosignature (sometimes called chemical fossil or molecular fossil) is any substance – such as an element, isotope, molecule, or phenomenon – that provides scientific evidence of past or present life.
  • Measurable attributes of life include its complex physical and chemical structures and also its utilization of free energy and the production of biomass and wastes.
  • Due to its unique characteristics, a biosignature can be interpreted as having been produced by living organisms; however, it is important that they not be considered definitive because there is no way of knowing in advance which ones are universal to life and which ones are unique to the peculiar circumstances of life on Earth.

Alien Life

  • The biological products in the atmospheres of potentially habitable planets outside our solar system may help detect alien life.
  • These atmospheric fingerprints of life, called biosignatures, will be detected using next-generation telescopes that measure the composition of gases surrounding planets that are light years away. However, biosignatures based on single measurements of atmospheric gases could be misleading.
  • Now, scientists are developing the first quantitative framework for dynamic biosignatures based on seasonal changes in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • As Earth orbits the Sun, its tilted axis means different regions receive more rays at different times of the year. The most visible signs of this phenomenon are changes in the weather and length of the days, but atmospheric composition is also impacted.
  • Atmospheric seasonality is a promising biosignature because it is biologically modulated on Earth and is likely to occur on other inhabited worlds.
  • Inferring life based on seasonality would not require a detailed understanding of alien biochemistry because it arises as a biological response to seasonal changes in the environment, rather than as a consequence of a specific biological activity that might be unique to the Earth.
  • Further, extremely elliptical orbits rather than axis tilt could yield seasonality on extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, expanding the range of possible targets.
  • Both oxygen and methane are promising biosignatures, but there are ways they can be produced without life. Observing seasonal changes in oxygen or methane would be more informative.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: POLITY

1. Collective assertion

In news:

  • The propriety of the Centre holding back names from the collegium’s list is in question. The five-member collegium has unanimously agreed, to reiterate its recommendation to appoint the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court as a judge of the Supreme Court.

What does the Law say on reiteration?

  • When reiterated unanimously, the Centre is bound to act on the collegium resolution, going by the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the Third Judges Case of 1998.
  • The Centre, which denies that its objection had anything to do with Justice Joseph’s decision in 2016 to quash the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, ought not to delay his appointment once the reiteration is formally made.
  • However, it is puzzling that the collegium didn’t send its reiteration to the Centre immediately. It has decided that his name would be part of the next set of recommendations, which would include proposals to elevate the Chief Justices of some more high courts.
  • One explanation for this could be that the collegium wants to address the concern the Centre has indirectly raised about the need for fair representation to all high courts.
  • While objecting to Justice Joseph’s appointment on the ground that he was not senior enough, the Centre spoke about ‘excessive representation’ that a relatively ‘small’ high court (the Kerala High Court) may get after his appointment.

The Larger issue: Selective Approval of names

  • While the unanimous reiteration may end the current controversy, there is a larger issue here: the propriety of the Centre holding back one or two names from a list of recommendations and clearing the rest. Justice Joseph’s name was sent along with that of senior advocate Indu Malhotra in January, but the Centre took three months to act on it.
  • It cleared her name alone while seeking reconsideration of Justice Joseph’s name. That it has a right to raise a particular judge’s case is beyond question, but selectively approving some names from a batch of recommendations can make a difference to the seniority of the judges concerned — especially when seniority is the sole consideration for appointment of the Chief Justice as well as membership of the collegium.

Way Forward

  • In a judge-recommended system of appointments, one that is peculiar to India, differences over particular candidates cannot be avoided, but it ought to be possible for the two sides to minimise these differences and act expeditiously.
  • The onus is more on the government of the day to ensure it is not seen as blocking the appointment of anyone the judges themselves have found fit and deserving. It does not augur well for the institution if the present consultative process, admittedly not an ideal one for a diverse democracy, is seen to be vitiated by executive intransigence.

F. Prelims Fact

Nothing here for today!!!

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Consider the following statements about Panmunjom Declaration:
  1. North Korea and South Korea signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula.
  2. They pledged to work for the ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 2. Consider the following statements about N Korea and S Korea:
  1. North and South Korea were one unified country until 1910.
  2. The boundary between their zones of control was called the 38th parallel.

Select the incorrect answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements about Biosignature:
  1. A biosignature is sometimes called chemical fossil or molecular fossil.
  2. It is any substance – such as an element, isotope, molecule, or phenomenon – that provides scientific evidence of past or present life.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
Question 4. Consider the following statements about Megadiverse countries:
  1. The megadiverse countries are a group of nations that contains more than 70% of the earth’s biodiversity.
  2. These 17 nations are mostly located in the tropical or subtropical region.

Select the correct answer using the codes given:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 General Studies III
  1. Discuss the concerns raised about Customer rights in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

General Studies II

  1. North and South Korean leaders have signed grand documents before. Critically Analyse.
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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