TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS1 Related B. GS2 Related POLITY AND GOVERNANCE 1. ‘No double jeopardy bar if there was no trial’ 2. Cong. backing urban Maoists, says Modi INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1. Sirisena dissolves Sri Lanka Parliament, polls on Jan. 5 2. India to export sugar to China C. GS3 Related HEALTH 1. Most child deaths due to pneumonia in India D. GS4 Related E. Editorials HEALTH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. Cause to remain alert (Zika-associated birth defects) F. Tidbits 1. Google outlines steps to tackle workplace harassment 2. Diurnal diktat sets village dress code 3. Long cohabitation is presumed marriage: SC G. Prelims Fact 1. Army fire power gets booster shot H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS2 Related
- The bar of double jeopardy does not arise if an accused was discharged of a criminal offence, even before the commencement of trial, on the basis of an invalid sanction for prosecution, the Supreme Court has held.
- A Bench of Justices R. Banumathi and Indira Banerjee held in an October 30 judgment that if an “accused has not been tried at all and convicted or acquitted, the principles of double jeopardy cannot be invoked at all.”
- If an earlier order of sanction was found to be invalid, there is no bar for the competent authority to issue a proper order of sanction for prosecution, Justice Banumathi, who wrote the verdict for the Bench in a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, observed.
- “The courts are not to quash or stay the proceedings under the Act merely on the ground of an error, omission or irregularity in the sanction granted by the authority unless it is satisfied that such error, omission or irregularity has resulted in failure of justice,” the Supreme Court observed.
What is double jeopardy?
- It is the idea that a person cannot be tried more than once for the same offence.
- The legal principle seems to have its basis in Roman law, and has found its way into the constitutions and statutes of many countries.
- For instance, Article 20(2) of India’s Constitution states: “No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once.”
Background of the Case – State of Mizoram V Dr. C. Sangnghina
- A complaint had been made against the respondent whereby he was alleged to have misappropriated/mismanaged the money of public.
- An inquiry had been conducted submitting a report along with a request for registering the case against the respondent. It had come to the knowledge that the respondent possessed assets which were valuable while being disproportionate to known sources of his income and as such after the prior approval of the Government Vigilance Department; a case was thereon filed against the respondent.
- It was found out by the Special Court, PC Act that the sanction of prosecution against the respondent had been issued by the Commissioner Secretary, Department of Personnel & Administrative Reforms and without the Governor’s sanction. The accused was discharged by an order of the Special Court, PC Act and hence the case was closed.
- Later on, after giving due consideration to the matter, the sanction for prosecution was given by the Governor for the offences along with fresh charge sheet and a request for reopening the case, which was eventually dismissed by the Special Court while concluding that there was absence of a provision for reviewing its own order under the Code and that the second charge sheet had been barred by principles of “double jeopardy”. Being aggrieved, a Criminal Revision Petition was filed by the State in the High Court that was subsequently dismissed by the High Court.
- When the matter was brought before the Apex Court, it allowed the appeal while setting aside the judgment and order and rightly holding that it was not right from the part of the Special Court and the High Court to hold the filing of the fresh charge sheet which had proper sanctioning order for prosecution while that had been barred under the principles of “double jeopardy”.
- In his first campaign meeting after the initiation of the election process in Chhattisgarh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the Congress of backing the ‘urban Maoists (Naxals).’
- “These urban Maoists reside in cities. They look neat and clean. They hang around with big people. Their kids study abroad and travel in expensive cars but they use remote system to spoil the lives of our tribal children,” the Prime Minister said.
Who are the Urban Naxals?
- The term Urban Naxals remains undefined. It is best attributed to a book and a few essays by film-maker and social media opinion-maker Vivek Agnihotri. His book, Urban Naxals: The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam was released in May this year. Union Minister Smriti Irani was the chief guest of the event.
- The phrase loosely means people of Naxalite bent of mind who reside in urban areas and work as activists, supporters and protectors of the ideology while the active Naxals battle it out in the jungles and vast swathes of Maoist-dominated areas.
Who were the Original Naxals?
- The parent term, Naxal entered Indian lexicons in the decade of 1960 and has acquired a certain meaning over the years. The term Naxal comes from a village called Naxalbari in Siliguri district of West Bengal. Naxalism is understood at two levels – as a socio-economic issue and a law and order problem.
- The people who launched Naxal operations were frustrated with growing inequality among the various classes of society and government’s apathy to address the routine grievances of the poor.
- They launched armed rebellion against the system and the government dealt with it as a law and order problem. In 2008, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “Naxalism is the greatest threat to our internal security.”
- The first NaxaI group sprang off as an offshoot of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). A small group of the party decided to break away to launch an armed struggle against big landowners and establishment.
- Their objective was to capture additional lands of big zamindars and distribute the same among the tilling farmers and landless labourers. The leadership was provided by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal. They became the first Naxals or the original Naxals.
- Avoiding a resolution to Sri Lanka’s political crisis through Parliament, President Maithripala Sirisena late on Friday dissolved the House. The move came just hours after his political front admitted to lacking the majority needed for its controversially installed Prime Minister to be declared legitimate.
- Issuing an extraordinary gazette, Mr. Sirisena dismissed the 225-member assembly with effect from midnight, and called for a snap general election on January 5, 2019.
- Relations between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have soured since their parties suffered humiliating losses to Rajapaksa’s party in February’s local council elections.
- The pair have disagreed over economic policy and day-to-day administration of the government. Recently, they reportedly clashed during a cabinet session over plans to lease a container terminal to neighbouring India.
- Earlier this year, Sirisena reneged on a pledge not to run for re-election, sparking tensions with Wickremesinghe who is believed to have his own presidential ambitions.
- Sirisena is also thought to be behind a failed attempt to impeach Wickremesinghe in April, when 122 legislators in the 225-member parliament voted to back the now-sacked prime minister.
- The ruling coalition has been further strained in recent days by strong criticism from Sirisena and his allies that ministers from Wickremesinghe’s party did not act properly in investigating an alleged assassination plot to kill the president and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new prime minister’s younger brother.
- Rajapaksa, who served as president from 2005 to 2015, put down the decades-old Tamil Tiger separatist struggle in May 2009 through a military assault that killed up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians, according to rights groups. His government was also accused of corruption and murdering political opponents.
- Sirisena had pledged accountability for war atrocities, but has faced international criticism for being slow to deliver on justice.
- Caught in a bitter tussle with his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with whom he joined hands to form the government in 2015, Mr. Sirisena sacked him abruptly on October 26 and appointed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.
- The move drew considerable domestic and international criticism for its apparent defiance of the Constitution. Mr. Wickremesinghe refused to accept the decision and sought a vote in the House to test who commanded its confidence.
- In a boost to sugar mills sitting on surplus stocks, India will start raw sugar exports to China in early 2019, and is in talks to finalise exports to Indonesia and Malaysia as well.
- “Raw sugar is the second product after non-basmati rice that China will import from India,” said the Commerce Ministry. “It is a move to reduce the $60 billion trade deficit that China has with India. India’s exports to China in 2017-18 amounted to $33 billion while imports from China stood at $76.2 billion.”
- The Ministry official said government delegations were also travelling to Malaysia and Indonesia next week, for talks to finalise sugar exports to those countries as well.
- India is the world’s largest sugar producer with a production of 32 million tonnes in 2018. However, domestic consumption is only around 25 million tonnes.
Reasons for the deficit
- China imports raw material from India e.g. iron ore and exports the finished goods as it has got core competency in manufacturing sector and provides huge energy subsidies.
- Importing finished goods obviously cost more. India also imports power equipments, consumer electronics and telecommunications gear from china. China is dumping manufactured products in India.
- On the other hand India does not have a large access to Chinese market and with Indian rupee declining while renminbi gaining centre stage the trade deficit is becoming huge.
C. GS3 Related
- India continues to have the highest burden of pneumonia and diarrhoea child deaths in the world. This was stated in the ‘Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report’ released on Friday by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
- The report, which looked at the progress in fighting pneumonia and diarrhoea in 15 countries with the greatest number of deaths from these illnesses, finds health systems are falling woefully short of ensuring that the most vulnerable children have access to prevention and treatment services.
- The 15 countries that the report looked at account for 70% of pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths in children under five. Globally, pneumonia and diarrhoea led to nearly one of every four deaths in children under five years of age in 2016. The report was released ahead of the 10th World Pneumonia Day on November 12.
- The Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, issued annually, finds that although countries are making progress in immunisation coverage, they seriously lag in efforts to treat childhood illnesses — especially among populations that are remote, impoverished or otherwise left behind.
- Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs. It is caused by inflammation of the airspaces in the lungs.
- Lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, alveoli are filled with pus and fluid, which makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
- It is caused by number of infectious agents, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. The most common are Streptococcus pneumoniae (most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in children), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) (second most common cause of bacterial pneumonia), Respiratory syncytial virus is most common viral cause of pneumonia.
- Vaccinations are available against several common organisms that are known to cause pneumonia. Besides, antibiotics can also treat pneumonia by controlling the bacterial or fungal infection.
D. GS4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
What is Zika?
- Zika is a flavivirus spread mainly by mosquitoes.
- It belongs to the same genus as dengue and chikungunya.
- It is the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus.
- There is some evidence that Zika has been in India for long.
- In the year, 1954, a survey was conducted in India, which found several Indians with Zika antibodies. However, this evidence wasn’t conclusive, because other flaviviruses, like dengue, can also trigger Zika-neutralising antibodies.
- The first confirmed Indian case occurred in 2016 in Gujarat.
- After this case, three more cases were detected, before the 2018 Rajasthan outbreak. Despite its long presence in Asia, Zika outbreaks in this region have been benign. This changed with a large French Polynesian outbreak in 2013 and a larger Brazilian one in 2015.
- It is also important to note that over the last few years, the international community has banded together to quickly address a growing international public health crisis — the Zika virus epidemic.
- After its detection in Brazil during 2015, observant clinicians began to notice a striking increase in the rates of babies born with microcephaly.
What is Microcephaly?
- Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition characterised by underdeveloped brains and undersized heads.
- Epidemiological, clinical, and experimental data has indicated that microcephaly, and a range of other birth defects (such as miscarriages and ocular disease) could be caused by the Zika virus passing from a pregnant women to her foetus.
From the Recent News:
- In the state of Rajasthan, 72 people have been infected with the Zika virus.
- In these cases, Zika is causing fever, rash, muscle and joint pain.
- However, the symptoms from the French Polynesian and Brazilian outbreaks are different. They were linked to deadlier conditions such as microcephaly.
- Conditions such as microcephaly are characterized by instances in which the child of a Zika-infected mother is born with an abnormally small head.
- It is important to note that there is no cure for microcephaly at birth.
- In rare cases, patients also developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes potentially fatal muscle weakness.
- Currently, officials in India are watching out for these complications, since the Rajasthan strain is closely related to the Brazilian strain.
- Recently, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare held a high level meeting to review the activities for prevention and control of Zika virus and Seasonal Influenza.
- Shri Nadda reassured the states for all support from the Union Government. For control of Zika virus in Rajasthan, the Health Minister emphasized on the need for continuous monitoring. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is in regular contact with the State officials.
- Shri Nadda stressed on the need for undertaking exhaustive control measures including intensive fogging for next month in order to ensure vector control in the area.
- He also stressed on strengthening surveillance to facilitate the early identification of cases. The Union Health Minister urged the people to not panic and cooperate with the health officials in controlling the breeding of the vectors. He further said that there was no shortage of medicines and testing kits and required support will be provided to the State.
- Shri Nadda further directed for mounting aggressive communication campaigns in the state. He stated that awareness is the key in controlling the vector borne diseases and no stone should be left unturned to reach out to the people. Noting that community participation is a crucial area in prevention, the Union Health Minister urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken at the community level. He stated that the Union Health Ministry is working along with the State government, the local authorities and the Municipal Corporation for augmenting and strengthening their efforts in vector control, surveillance and awareness activities.
- He specifically instructed that early detection, reporting and proper categorization of patients is critical for Seasonal Influenza management. Minister has instructed National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to monitor the cases on a daily basis. He suggested that States shall ensure that proper awareness is created regarding the prevention and management of Seasonal Influenza. All States shall also ensure that sufficient supplies of drugs and testing kits are maintained at the State level. Further, all cases which require hospitalization shall be monitored intensively both at district and State level so as to ensure that fatalities can be avoided. Availability of sufficient functional ventilators for critical case management is important and States shall be advised accordingly. NCDC & EMR shall coordinate with the States to provide training for ventilator management, if need be.
A Closer Look:
- Currently, about 4.5 lakh people at the outbreak site in Rajasthan have been brought under surveillance.
- Although steps to halt mosquito breeding have been initiated, it is to be noted that controlling the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is very challenging.
- What compounds matters is that controlling the spread becomes even harder as the mosquito is widely prevalent in India.
- Also, the infection remains asymptomatic in about 80% of cases. This allows the virus to silently spread from one person to another.
- It can also spread from a pregnant mother to the foetus.
- Even when the infection manifests, the symptoms are very mild and non-specific, making it difficult to correctly and easily diagnose it.
- It must also be noted that a study published in the journal Neurology India found 14 out of 90 patients with the Guillain–Barré syndrome.
- The Guillain–Barré syndrome is a neurological complication seen in Zika-infected adults.
- An important point to note here is that four of the 14 patients also tested positive for an anti-dengue antibody. There is a remote possibility that the virus is circulating in some parts of India and could cause an epidemic at some point.
● Zika-associated birth defects could be a serious public health crisis in India.
- There have been recent announcements that suggest that the Jaipur Zika virus strains cannot cause foetal microcephaly. However, it is important to note that despite these announcements, all possible measures to control transmission and monitor pregnancies should be taken.
- Further, to the best of our knowledge, there is not a specific Zika virus strain — or mutation — linked to microcephaly. All Zika virus strains could possibly cause birth defects.
- Having said this, it is important to note that while the science on the Zika virus has rapidly progressed, there is still much that we do not know about how it causes birth defects.
- For example:
- We do not know the long-term effects of children who were infected with the Zika virus in the womb.
- We do not know why some lead to stillbirths and miscarriages, some lead to neurological complications, and others seem perfectly healthy.
- We do not understand why we only noticed microcephaly and other severe forms of disease during the epidemic in the Americas, and not before.
Having said this, it is important to note that there could be biological answers to these- for example, certain Zika virus strains are more likely to cause birth defects than others.
But at this point, we do not know.
Some Important Observations Made:
- It is important to note that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently announced that the Zika virus strains causing the outbreak in Jaipur, Rajasthan, cannot cause microcephaly.
- This conclusion was based on a genetic sequencing of viruses isolated from the outbreak.
- Further, in these sequences, the ICMR did not find a Zika virus mutation linked to microcephaly that was suggested in a Science magazine study, in 2017.
- However, the problem with this conclusion is that the research was based on infection in mouse brains, not humans and contains no epidemiological or clinical support.
- Also, numerous other studies suggest that all Zika virus strains may have the capacity to infect foetuses and cause neurological disease.
- Currently, much more research is needed to determine if some strains are associated with a higher risk.
- Next, it is also difficult to determine how extensive Zika virus outbreaks will be in India.
For example: If the Zika virus has been silently spreading in the country, as it did throughout most of Asia for the last 50 years, then enough people may be immune to the virus to prevent large outbreaks.
According to the most recent updates, 159 people in Jaipur had confirmed Zika virus infections. Considering that most infections do not cause noticeable disease, and thus most infected individuals do not seek medical attention, the true number of cases may be more than 10,000. At least 50 of the infected individuals are pregnant women, but again, the true number is likely to be much higher.
Lastly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., only 5-10% of Zika virus infections during pregnancies lead to Zika-associated birth defects, and the rates of microcephaly are much lower.
Thus, while the chances for the Zika virus to cause harm to an individual baby are low, there is still a chance, regardless of the Zika virus strain in circulation.
- In conclusion, Pregnant women and their families, including those planning to get pregnant, should take great caution to avoid mosquitoes — wear long sleeves and trousers, stay indoors when possible, use DEET/insect repellent, and remove standing water that mosquitoes use for breeding.
- Further, the Zika virus infection is not guaranteed upon mosquito bite, but the chances for infection rise with each new bite.
- Next, Zika-associated birth defects could be a serious public health crisis in India, and, without a vaccine, all possible measures to control transmission and monitor pregnancies should be taken.
- Since Zika infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, particularly microcephaly (small size of the head), all the 22 pregnant women infected must be monitored.
- Also, as there is no cure for microcephaly at birth, there should be campaigns to educate people living in the outbreak area to avoid sex, particularly with the intent of getting pregnant, till the outbreak is under control.
- The long winter ahead in north India and the imminent onset of the northeast monsoon in the eastern coast of India is conducive for the mosquito to multiply and spread. This calls for a high level of alert.
- Google on Thursday outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, hoping to calm outrage that triggered a worldwide walkout of workers last week.
- “We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a message to employees, a copy of which was shared with AFP. “It’s clear we need to make some changes.”
- Arbitration of harassment claims will be optional instead of obligatory, according to Mr. Pichai, a move that could end anonymous settlements that fail to identify those accused of harassment.
- “Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and it still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy, predictability of process), but we recognize that the choice should be up to you,” he said in the memo.
- A section of an internal “Investigations Report” will focus on sexual harassment to show numbers of substantiated concerns as well as trends and disciplinary actions, according to the California-based company.
- He also said Google is consolidating the complaint system and that the process for handling concerns will include providing support people and counsellors. Google will update its mandatory sexual harassment training, and require it annually instead of every two years as had been the case.
- It is also putting the onus on team leaders to tighten the tap on booze at company events, on or off campus, to curtail the potential for drunken misbehavior. “Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse,” Google said in a released action statement.
- Tokalapalli village in Andhra Pradesh bans use of nighties during the day to ensure ‘decency in public places’
- Elders of this village in Nidamarru mandal in West Godavari have banned women from wearing nighties during the day after the latter were subject to humiliating remarks when they ventured out in them. A violation of the rule could set a woman back by ₹2,000.
- Village elders discussed the “issue” at length and issued a “dress code” to ensure “decency in public places”.
- The sight of nightie-clad women in hospitals, markets, schools and public places during the day was determined to be “uncomfortable”.
- A resolution was passed prohibiting women from wearing nighties from dawn to dusk. And the women of Tokalapalli have not protested.
- The nine-member Vaddi panchayat is elected annually by them.
- “There is nothing wrong in the panchayat’s decision and we are following it voluntarily. In fact, women faced humiliation when they wore nighties during the day,” said G. Mahalakshmi, former sarpanch of the village panchayat.
- The Supreme Court has upheld the “presumption” that a couple who live together as husband and wife are legally married and the woman can claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- A Bench of Justices R. Banumathi and Indira Banerjee observed that it is “fairly well settled that the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabited continuously for a number of years”.
- Citing past judgments of the apex court, the Bench quoted that “where a man, who lived with a woman for a long time and even though they may not have undergone legal necessities of a valid marriage, should be made liable to pay the woman maintenance if he deserts her”.
- “The man should not be allowed to benefit from the legal loopholes by enjoying the advantages of a de facto marriage without undertaking the duties and obligations. Any other interpretation would lead the woman to vagrancy and destitution, which the provision of maintenance in Section 125 is meant to prevent,” the court said in a recent judgment.
- The judgment was based on an appeal filed by a woman against a Karnataka High Court decision of June 2009. The High Court set aside a family court order, directing the man she lived with since 1998, and had two children by, to pay maintenance. Their relationship had been solemnised in a temple. He had later abandoned the family.
- The family court had ordered him to pay the woman ₹3000 and the children ₹2500 each on a monthly basis. The court said they were accepted as husband and wife by society. The man had, however, moved an appeal in the High Court, which pronounced that there was no proof that she was his legally-wedded wife.
G. Prelims Fact
- Emerging from the shadow of the Bofors scandal, the Army on Friday inducted its first artillery gun systems in three decades.
- The M777 Ultra Light Howitzers from the U.S. and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled artillery gun from South Korea were inducted at the Devlali Field Firing Ranges in Maharashtra. The third equipment inducted is a common gun tower.
- The Army last inducted an artillery gun system — the Bofors guns procured from Sweden — in the early 1980s. Attempts to buy new guns did not make progress.
- In April 2017, the Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin signed a contract to make the K9 Vajra-T guns. The gun was short-listed by the Army after extensive trials.
- India signed a $737-million deal with the U.S. in November 2016 under the Foreign Military Sales Programme for 145 M777 Ultra Light Howitzers. Twenty-five guns will be imported and the rest will be assembled in India in partnership with Mahindra Group.
- The M777 is a 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun. It weighs just four tonnes, making it transportable underslung from helicopters.
H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1. Burning biomass for energy does not release
Choose the right option:
- 1and 2 only
- 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1,2 and 3
Question 2.Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) is related to
- Racing and sports car driving.
- Manoeuvre outside military aircrafts.
- Works done outside spacecrafts
- Underwater maintenance work of large ships.
Question 3. The cell wall is present in
- Blue-green Algae
Choose the right option:
- 1and 3 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 3 only
- 1,2 and 3
I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam
E-governance has its own inherent limitations. Analyze in the context of India.(250 words)
What are the factors responsible for criminalization of politics in India? (250 words)
Also, check previous Daily News Analysis
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