Daily Current Affairs – 23-09-2023

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    Dispute Resolution Mechanism

    Syllabus: GS2/ Judiciary, GS1/ Social Justice

    In Context

    • In the recent monsoon session of Parliament, both Houses passed The Mediation Bill, 2023 (now Act).

    Highlights of theMediation Act, 2023

    • Mediation Agreement: The Act requires every mediation agreement to be in writing, with the parties to the agreement agreeing to submit any dispute that may arise between them to mediation. 
    • Pre-Litigation Mediation: The Act permits parties to a dispute (regardless of whether they have executed a mediation agreement) to voluntarily and mutually refer their dispute to mediation prior to filing a suit or instituting proceedings before any court.
      • To facilitate this process, the Act will also require courts and relevant institutions to maintain a panel of mediators.
    • Exceptions: The Act also provides an indicative list of matters which cannot be referred to mediation thereunder.
      • This includes disputes involving criminal offences, proceedings initiated in relation to the misconduct of any registered professional, and disputes relating to the levy and collection of any direct or indirect tax or refunds.
    • Time Period: Mediation proceedings under the Act must be completed within a period of 120 days from the date of the first appearance before the mediator, which may be extended for a maximum period of 60 days.
    • Mediated Settlement Agreement: Once the mediation has been successfully concluded (with respect to all or some of the disputes referred), the parties shall reduce the terms of settlement to a written agreement signed by the parties and duly authenticated by the mediator.
      • Once authenticated, an unchallenged Mediated Settlement Agreement may be enforced in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in the same manner as if it were a judgment or decree passed by a court.
    • Challenging the mediated settlement agreement: A mediated settlement agreement may be challenged only on the grounds of fraud, corruption, impersonation, and where the mediation was impermissible under the Act .

    Significance of the Act

    • Overall: The legislation imposes stringent timelines for the conduct of proceedings, mandate confidentiality, obligate Indian courts to refer the parties to mediation or arbitration, provide a default mechanism for the appointment of a mediator or arbitrator, and prescribe the procedure for the termination of their mandate. 
    • Reduced filing, confidentiality: This requirement is expected to reduce the filing of frivolous claims before Indian courts.
      • Owing to the confidentiality of a mediation, it may also mitigate the risk of deterioration of the parties’ relationship due to a publicly fought dispute. 
    • Neutrality: The Act will require the mediation to ordinarily be conducted by an empanelled mediator, who must always be neutral and have uncompromising expertise.
    • Expertise, efficiency & balance: These provisions prioritise expertise and efficiency, while ensuring that the obligation of pre-litigation mediation is not weaponised.
      • The aim is to create a balanced framework which encourages the parties to focus more on their commercial dealings and less on their disputes.

    Concerns Over Feasibility of a Mediation

    • Concerns are raised about the feasibility of a mediation conducted under the sword of an obligation as opposed to a sincere desire to arrive at an amicable resolution. 
    • In the latter scenario, this may empower a recalcitrant defendant to delay a genuine claim. 
    What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
    – ADR refers to the methods of resolving a dispute, which are alternatives for litigation in Courts.
    – Generally, it uses a neutral third party who helps the parties to communicate, discuss the differences and resolve the dispute.
    – It offers to resolve all types of matters related to civil disputes, as explicitly provided by the law.
    – It is capable of providing a substitute for the conventional methods of resolving disputes.
    Significance of ADR
    – Disputes happen frequently between parties in the world of business. Both parties suffer losses if the dispute becomes the victim of a long-drawn, complex court battle. 
    1. The solution to this comes in the form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms.
    – When the courts are understaffed and overburdened with cases, ADR serves the purpose of providing faster and simpler means of dispute resolution.
    Methods of ADR
    Arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and negotiation are usually the most common methods of AD

    Way Ahead

    • Clear message to Indian industry: In commercial matters, courts must no longer be the default venue for dispute resolution.
      • Parties are expected to resolve their dispute amicably through mediation, and, alternatively, through commercial arbitration. 
      • While the doors of Indian courts are open if required, this access must be perceived as a matter of last resort.
    • India as a global hub for arbitration: India is already home to experienced arbitration institutions, some of which provide mediation services that are on a par with global best practices.
      • These institutions are, therefore, expected to play a meaningful role in India’s mediation journey. 
      • Only then would India become a global hub not only for arbitration but also for all aspects of commercial dispute resolution.

    Source: TH

    Rules for Protection and Preservation of ASI Monuments

    Syllabus : GS 2/Government policies and interventions 

    In News

    • Parliamentary panel  called for revising rules of construction around protected ASI monuments.

    About (AMASR) Act, 1958

    • The AMASR Act was passed by the Parliament in 1958 for the purpose of protection and preservation of archaeological and historical monuments and sites.
    •  It also provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other such objects.
    • The Archaeological Survey of India functions under the provisions of this Act.

    Amendments 

    • The prohibited and restricted area provision was introduced in 2010 through an amendment to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.
      • It prohibits and regulates all activities like mining and construction around 100 metres and 300 metres.
    • The AMASR Amendment Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2017
      • Amendments in the Bill include allowing the construction of public works in “prohibited areas”, and the approval and impact assessment of such public works.
    What Qualifies as an “Ancient Monument” and “Archaeological Sites and Remains”?
    – In the original Act of 1958, “ancient monument” is defined as “any structure, erection, or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock-sculpture, inscription, or monolith which is of historical, archaeological, or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years”.
    “Archaeological sites and remains” mean “any area which contains or is reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeological importance which have been in existence for not less than 100 years”.

    Concerns 

    • A Parliamentary panel has observed that the provision of 100-metre prohibited and 300-metre regulated area around all monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has pitted the local community against these heritage structures in many places as they find it difficult to carry out necessary repair work of their residential spaces.
    • Such a situation in many places creates a hostile scenario, pitching the local community against the monuments.

    Recommendations 

    • The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport Tourism and Culture has asked the government to revise the rules to make them realistic. 
    • It also recommended that the list of all 3,691 ASI-protected monuments be rationalised and categorised based on their national significance, unique architectural value, and specific heritage content.

    Government’s Response 

    •  The Central government has, however, already said that it was in the process of amending the Act.
    Other Related Steps were taken by Government for Protection  of Monuments
    – Adopt Heritage Project:  It was launched in 2017 as a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments.
    HRIDAY Scheme: The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, launched the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme, with a focus on the holistic development of heritage cities.
    Archaeological Survey of India (ASI): It is an attached office under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture is the premier organization for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
    Adarsh Smarak Scheme: The Ministry of Culture has taken up the scheme to develop and maintain 100 monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the country. 
    Adopt a Heritage: ‘Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchaan’: The Ministry of Tourism has launched it in 2017 on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
    National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme: Launched in 2015 Focus on identifying and developing pilgrim sites across the country to promote religious tourism.
    Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’: Announced in  2015 on the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. 

    Source: TH

    Artificial Reefs

    Syllabus: GS-3/Environment, Conservation

    Context

    • The Department of Fisheries is installing artificial reef units for coastal states as a sub-activity under ‘Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages’ of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY). 
    • The introduction of artificial reefs aims to educate and involve local fishermen in understanding the potential of Artificial Reefs to revolutionize marine fishing.

    What are Coral Reefs?

    • Corals are marine invertebrates or animals not possessing a spine. 
    • Each coral is called a polyp and thousands of such polyps live together to form a colony, which grows when polyps multiply to make copies of themselves.
    • Corals share a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae. 
      • The zooxanthellae also give corals their bright colour.
      • The algae provides the coral with food and nutrients, which they make through photosynthesis, using the sun’s light. 
      • In turn, the corals give the algae a home and key nutrients. 
    • Significance: 
      • Supports Marine Biodiversity: Coral reefs support over 25% of marine biodiversity, including fish, turtles and lobsters; even as they only take up 1% of the seafloor. 
      • Fishing Industry:
        • The marine life supported by reefs further fuels global fishing industries. 
        • Even giant clams and whales depend on the reefs to live
      • Protection from Storm: Coral reefs also provide protection from storm waves.

    What are Artificial Reefs?

    • An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure that substitutes as a natural reef to form a habitat for marine life.
    • Artificial reefs are placed in areas where there is little bottom topography or near coral reefs to attract marine populations. 
    • The artificial reef resembles the structure of the natural reefs. The materials used were ceramic, an inert material similar to the calcium carbonate.
    • Artificial reefs serve to protect coral reefs from human-induced damages as well as supporting biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

    Significance of Artificial Reefs

    • It will help restore the marine environment and boost coastal fish production. 
    • It will discourage bottom trawling in the near shore areas, helping the small-scale fishers get a higher catch.
    • It will reduce wave damage on coasts and act as a carbon sink.
    • It will provide a firm substrate for marine life such as corals, algae and plankton to attach to and grow. 
    • It will enhance recreational fisheries, snorkeling, eco-tourism, creating suitable areas for diving.
    Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)
    – About It is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector to be implemented from 2020-21 to 2024-25 as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package.
    Ministry: Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying 
    Aim: 
    1. To bring about a blue revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India.
    2. To double the incomes of fishers and fish farmers, reducing post-harvest losses from 20-25% to about 10% and the generation of employment opportunities in the sector.
    – Implementation: It is implemented as an umbrella scheme with two separate components Central Sector Scheme and Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
    1. North Eastern & Himalayan States: 90% Central share and 10% State share.
    2. Other States: 60% Central share and 40% State share.
    – The ‘Integrated Modern Coastal Fishing Villages’ are under this scheme to promote sustainable fishing practices and leverage the blue economy.
    About ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI)
    – It was established in 1947 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and later it joined the ICAR in 1967. 
    Headquarters: Kochi, Kerala
    – Its mission is to develop an information-based management system to regulate marine fisheries, augment coastal fish production and protect critical marine habitats.

    Source: PIB

    India’s Dairy Sector

    Syllabus : GS 3/Economy

    In News

    • Researchers with the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), describe how COVID-19 put the brakes on India’s artificial insemination programme.

    Dairy sector in India

    • Overview : Milk production in the country was stagnant during the 1950s and 1960s.
      • India was a milk-deficit nation dependent on imports, and the annual production growth was negative for several years.
    • The evolution of the dairy sector in India and the stellar role played by dairy cooperatives since the launch of Operation Flood form an integral part of the country’s remarkable growth story after Independence.
    • Current Status :  India is ranked 1st in milk production contributing around  23 percent of global milk production. Milk production has increased by 51.05% over the past 8 years .
      • Milk production is growing at the annual growth rate of 6.4% over the past 8 years whereas world milk production is growing at 1.2% per annum.

    Significance

    • The dairy sector has been a major contributor to the growth of the rural economy in India.
      • Dairy is the single largest agricultural commodity contributing 5 percent of the national economy and employing more than 8 crore farmers directly.

    Related initiatives

    • Launched in 1970, Operation Flood has helped dairy farmers direct their own development, placing control of the resources they create in their own hands.
    • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was created in 1965 with a mandate to support the creation of the ‘Anand Pattern’ of dairy cooperatives across the country through the Operation Flood (OF) programme which was to be implemented in phases.
    • The government has facilitated the dairy farming infrastructure through its initiatives such as the development of the National Dairy Plan, a sustainable development-focused framework for the sector.
    • The RashtriyaGokul Mission (RGM) is being implemented for development and conservation of indigenous bovine breeds since December 2014.
      • The scheme is important in enhancing milk production and productivity of bovines to meet growing demand of milk and making dairying more remunerative to the rural farmers of the country.
    • In India, the birthday of Dr. Verghese Kurien, on November 26, is observed as National Milk Day.
      • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying celebrates “National Milk Day” to commemorate the birth anniversary of the “Father of the White Revolution in India”, Dr. Verghese Kurien also known as the Milkman of India.

    Emerging Challenges

    • The dairy sector is facing challenges like the availability of good quality fodder, change in weather due to climate change and livestock diseases.
      • Low productivity of milch animals, increased emission of greenhouse gases by the ruminants, having a detrimental effect on climate change and very low share of export.
    • Demand destruction during Covid led to a crash in prices and with it the inability of dairy farmers to invest in the upkeep of their cattle.
    • During COVID-19,Dairy farmers failed to get their animals inseminated at the correct time either due to shortage of frozen semen or due to the unavailability of AI (artificial insemination) technicians.
      • For every missed conception, the farmer has to deal with milk loss, and also incur maintenance costs of the animal.
    • Lumpy skin disease, which causes blisters and reduces milk production in cows, has infected millions of cattle and killed them .

    Way ahead

    • India has already emerged as the largest milk-producing nation in the world, and if it has to capture overseas markets for its surplus milk, then the country must be export-competitive.
    •  India can also tap some high-end markets if it can address milk quality and livestock health.
    • It is the responsibility of all of us to develop the dairy industry by adopting environment-friendly and climate-smart technologies, keeping animal welfare in mind,

    Source: DTE

    Global Recognition of National Medical Commission (NMC)

    Syllabus: GS2/Health/Education

    In News

    • The National Medical Commission (NMC), India has been granted the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status for a tenure of 10 years.

    About the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME):

    • WFME began in 1972, bringing together the World Health Organization (WHO), regional medical education associations from around the world, and other partners. 
    • It is a global organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of medical education worldwide. 
    • WFME believes that medical education should have common high standards internationally and that the best practices in medical education should be disseminated globally. 
    • WFME launched its program to define international standards for medical education in 1997.
    • WFME’s accreditation program plays a pivotal role in ensuring that medical institutes meet and uphold the highest international standards of education and training.

    Significance of Accreditation

    • All the 706 existing medical colleges in India will become WFME accredited and the new medical colleges that will be set up in the coming 10 years will automatically become WFME accredited. 
    • The recognition will further enhance the quality and standards of medical education in India by aligning them with the global best practices and benchmarks.
    • It will also enable Indian medical graduates to pursue postgraduate training and practice in other countries that require WFME recognition, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 
    • It will increase the international recognition and reputation of Indian medical schools and professionals, facilitate academic collaborations and exchanges, and promote continuous improvement and innovation in medical education.
    • With NMC being WFME accredited all the Indian students become eligible to apply for the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Education and United States Medical Licensing Examination.

    About National Medical Commission (NMC):

    • It is a statutory body and India’s premier regulatory body overseeing medical education and practice. 
    • It is committed to upholding the highest standards in healthcare education and ensures the delivery of quality medical education and training across the nation.

    Source: News on Air

    Personality Rights

    Syllabus: GS-2/Indian Polity, Right to Privacy

    Context:  The Delhi High Court has restrained the misuse of the name, image, voice and other attributes of the persona of actor Anil Kapoor for commercial gain.

    What are Personality Rights?

    • Personality rights refer to the right of a person to protect his/her personality under the right to privacy or property. 
    • These rights are important to celebrities as their names, photographs or even voices can easily be misused in various advertisements by different companies to boost their sales.
    • Many celebrities even register some aspects as a trademark to use them commercially.
      • For example, Usain Bolt’s “bolting” or lightning pose is a registered trademark.

    Reasons for Providing These Rights

    • The idea is that only the owner of these distinct features has the right to derive any commercial benefit from it.
    • Exclusivity is a big factor in attracting commercial dividends for celebrities. 
    • Personality rights are not expressly mentioned in a Laws in India but fall under the right to privacy and the right to property.

    Are Personality Rights Different from Publicity Rights?

    • Personality rights consists of two types of rights:
      • Firstly, the Right of Publicity, or the right to keep one’s image and likeness from being commercially exploited without permission or contractual compensation, which is similar (but not identical) to the use of a trademark; 
      • Secondly, the Right to Privacy or the right not to have one’s personality represented publicly without permission.
    • Publicity rights fall into the realm of the ‘tort of passing off’, when someone intentionally or unintentionally passes off their goods or services to another party. This type of misrepresentation damages the goodwill of a person or business, resulting in financial or reputational damage. 
    • Publicity rights are governed by statutes like the Trade marks Act 1999 and the Copyright Act 1957.

    About Anil Kapoor’s Case:

    • In the case of Anil Kapoor, the Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte, omnibus injunction restraining 16 entities from using Kapoor’s name, likeness, and image.
    • An ex-parte injunction is when relief is granted to a party without hearing the other side.
    • An omnibus injunction is an injunction granted against any unauthorized use- even those that are not mentioned in the plea.

    Criteria for Granting Injunction

    In the Titan case, the HC in its order listed out the “basic elements comprising the liability for infringement of the right of publicity.”

    • Validity of the Right: The plaintiff owns an enforceable right in the identity or persona of a human being.
    • Easy to Identify in the alleged misuse: The defendant’s unauthorized use must make the celebrity identifiable easily. 
    • Celebrity is identifiable: The unaided identification should be enough if the celebrity is well-known. Otherwise, the plaintiff will have to bring evidence that adds up at a geometric rate to associate with the plaintiff.

    Source: IE

    UN SDG Summit 2023 / High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF)

    Syllabus: GS3/Conservation of Environment

    News

    • The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), was held under the auspices of the General Assembly in September 2023.

    High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF):

    • Background: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), through its outcome on “The Future We Want”, established the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2012.
    • What is it? The HLPF is the central United Nations platform for the follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development established by the 2030 Agenda and General Assembly resolution 70/299.
    • Annual Meetings: The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The Forum’s first meeting was held in 2013. It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993.

    SDG Summits: 

    • The HLPF meets every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly. This is known as the SDG Summit. 
    • The first SDG Summit was convened in New York in 2019 which resulted in the adoption of the Political Declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. 
    • The SDG Summit in September 2023 was the second time for the HLPF to be convened under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. The outcome of the Summit resulted in a political declaration.

    Political Declaration Adopted at UN SDG Summit, 2023: Key Highlights

    • The declaration reiterated that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of 2015 is a crucial component of the 2030 Agenda. The Agenda had emphasised on efficient use of all financial flows, both public and private, for sustainable development and the need for integrated national financing frameworks.
    • To achieve the objectives of the SDGs 2030, the declaration asked for an SDG stimulus, which would significantly increase funding for SDG implementation by $500 billion annually. 
    • Additionally, they have urged for scaling up debt swaps for SDGs, including debt swaps for climate and nature.
    • In the declaration, leaders recommitted to full implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. 

    UNCTAD Report:

    • A new analysis related to the cost required for the transition towards sustainable food systems was released recently by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) during the UN SDG Summit.
    • The cost of Sustainable Development Goals indicators related to transition towards sustainable food systems is estimated to be around $6.1 trillion per year till 2030.  This translates to $1,383 per person per year, the analysis showed. 
    • The UNCTAD analysis is an outcome of the project which focuses on six transformative “pathways” for sustainable development goals by 2030. These include (1) Social protection and decent jobs; (2) Education transformation; (3) Food systems; (4) Climate change; (5) Biodiversity loss and pollution and (6) Energy transition and inclusive digitalisation.

    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development:

    • Mandate: UNCTAD is the UN’s leading body dealing with trade and development. It aims to promote trade, investment, and development in developing countries.
    • Parent Bodies: As part of the United Nations Secretariat, UNCTAD reports to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
    • Membership: 195 Member States.
    • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Background: It was established in 1964 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
    • Conferences: The highest policy-making body of UNCTAD is the Conference, which meets once every four years. There have been 15 quadrennial conferences since 1964. The second UNCTAD Conference was held in 1968 in India (New Delhi). 
    • Bridgetown Covenant: The fifteenth (UNCTAD15) was held in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2021 where the Bridgetown Covenant was adopted to promote economic recovery in developing countries.
    • Flagship reports Published:
      • Trade and Development Report
      • World Investment Report
      • The Least Developed Countries Report
      • Economic Development in Africa Report
      • Information Economy Report
      • Digital Economy Report
      • Technology and Innovation Report
      • Review of Maritime Transport

    Source: DTE

    Facts In News

    International Day of Sign Languages

    Syllabus: GS2/ Social Justice

    News

    • Sign Language Day is being celebrated by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) on 23rd September 2023.

    About

    • The UN General Assembly proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages.The choice commemorates the date that the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established in 1951. 
    • The day is a unique opportunity to support and protect the linguistic identity and cultural diversity of all deaf people and other sign language users.
    • Theme for 2023: A World where Deaf People Everywhere can Sign Anywhere!

    Need for  Sign Language

    • According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 70 million deaf people worldwide. 
    • As per the 2011 Census, the total population of deaf persons in India numbered about 50 lakh.

    Initiatives by Government of India

    • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 recognizes Sign Language as a means of communication.
    • Realising the importance of Sign language the Government of India has set up the ISLRTC (Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center) in 2015.
    • Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), New Delhi is an autonomous body under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • The New Education Policy 2020, standardized the sign language across the country. 
    World Federation of the Deaf (WFD)
    – WFD  is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization of deaf associations from 133 countries.
    Established: 23 September,1951 in Rome, Italy, at the first World Deaf Congress.
    Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland
    It promotes the human rights of deaf people in accordance with the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other Human Rights Treaties.
    -The WFD has a consultative status in the United Nations and is a founding member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA).

    Source: PIB

    International Lawyer’s Conference 2023

    Syllabus:GS2/ Judiciary

    News

    • International Lawyers Conference 2023 is being organized on 23rd – 24th September 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan.

    International Lawyer’s Conference 2023

    • It is being organized by the Bar Council of India.
    • Theme: ‘Emerging Challenges in Justice Delivery System’
    • The conference aims to serve as a platform for meaningful dialogue and discussion on various legal topics of national and international importance, foster the exchange of ideas and experiences, and strengthen international cooperation and understanding on legal issues.
    • The conference is organized for the first time in the country.It will witness the participation of distinguished judges, legal professionals, and leaders of the global legal fraternity.

    Source: PIB

    ‘Nadi Utsav’ Festival

    Syllabus: GS1/ Conservation, Environment pollution & degradation

    In News

    • The fourth ‘Nadi Utsav’ is being organized by the National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).

    About

    • The ‘Nadi Utsav’ commenced in 2018, with its inaugural event on the banks of the Godavari River in Nashik. 
    • The second ‘Nadi Utsav’ took place on the banks of the Krishna River in Vijayawada, and the third on the banks of the Ganga River in Munger.
    • ‘Nadi Utsav’ is an attempt to document riverine culture, its tradition, rituals and water wisdom.
    • ‘Nadi Utsav’ will have three types of exhibitions. The ‘Sanjhi’ exhibition is based on 16 Ghats of the country. Apart from this, a photography exhibition related to river civilization and an exhibition of paintings made on rivers by school children of Delhi is organised. 

    National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM)

    • It is a mission mode project of the Ministry of Culture that encompasses data mapping, demography building, formalising the processes and bringing all cultural activities under one umbrella for better results.
    •  It was enacted in 2015.

    Source: AIR

    IEEE 1028 Standard

    Syllabus:GS3/Science and Technology

    News

    • The Supreme Court declined to consider a writ petition seeking an independent audit of the source code, governing the entire Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system.

    Background

    • Recently a petitioner filed a writ that the technical audit by the manufacturers of the EVM system was not transparent enough.
    • The petitioner argued that there is a need for an independent audit of the source code undertaken by applying the IEEE 1028 standard.

    What is Source Code?

    • The source code is the “brain of an electronic machine”. It is the fundamental component of an electronic machine program that is created by a programmer, often written in the form of functions, descriptions, definitions, calls, methods and other operational statements. 
    • It is designed to be human-readable and formatted in a way that developers and other users can understand.
    • “An independent auditing public body which can view a human-readable set of written instructions [source code] would ensure confidence that these processes would run exactly as intended and exclude the possibility of concealed [Trojan] code beyond the prescribed Software Requirement Specifications [SRS].

    IEEE 1028 Standard

    • This is a well-established standard for software reviews and audits fixed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE ), the world’s largest technical professional organization.
    • Five types of software reviews and audits are defined in this standard.The types included are management reviews, technical reviews, inspections, walk-throughs, and audits.
    • This standard is concerned only with the reviews and audits. Procedures for determining the necessity of a review or audit are not defined, and the disposition of the results of the review or audit is not specified.

    Source: TH

    Special Session of the Parliament

    Syllabus: GS2/Polity

    In News

    About

    • It was adjourned sine die on September 21, 2023. Question hour and zero hour were not scheduled for this session.
      • Adjournment sine die means dismissing a sitting of Parliament for an unspecified period
    • The session had four sittings that lasted for about 31 hours.
    • Lok Sabha worked for 137% of its scheduled time and Rajya Sabha for 128%.  
    • Only one Bill, the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced and passed during this session.
      • The Bill provides for reservation to women in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies.  
    • Five Bills were listed for consideration and passing as part of the agenda for the session, however, none of them were taken up during the session.

    Bills listed for consideration and passing:

    • The Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill, 2023.
    • The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
    • The Repealing and Amending Bill, 2022.
    • The Post Office Bill, 2023.
    • The Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023.

    Source: TH

    Dattatray Padsalgikar Report

    Syllabus: GS2/Polity and Governance

    In News

    • The Chief Justice of India (CJI) opted to wait a “little bit” before seeking the Dattatray Padsalgikar Report.

    What is the Dattatray Padsalgikar Report?

    • Dattatray Padsalgikar, former Maharashtra Director-General of Police was appointed by the Supreme Court to supervise the CBI probe into 11 cases of crimes committed against women and children in the Manipur ethnic violence.
      • He was appointed to supervise the investigation by the CBI into the FIRs transferred to it and the investigation by the investigative machinery of the State into the remaining FIRs.
    • Other than the 11 FIRs with the CBI, there are more than 6,500 FIRs, registered between May and July, being investigated by the Manipur Police.

    Source: TH

    Lighthouse Tourism in India

    Syllabus: Prelims/Current Events of National Importance

    News

    • The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways recently inaugurated India’s First Lighthouse Festival from the Fort Aguada Lighthouse in Panjim, Goa

    Lighthouse

    • A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and used as an aid to navigation for mariners and local fisherman. 
    • Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs, safe entries to harbours.

    Government Initiatives

    • India’s First Lighthouse Festival: The three day festival will be celebrated across all the lighthouses in the country in an effort to transform these historic spots as tourist destinations. 
    • Lighthouse Heritage Tourism: This campaign was launched in 2023 by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) to transform 75 historic lighthouses into Tourism Spots 
    • The Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships: It is a subordinate office under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. The Headquarters of the Directorate is at Noida.(U.P.) 
    • Marine Aids to Navigation Act, 2021: It repealed the Lighthouse Act, 1927. Under this 2021 act, the central government may designate any aid to navigation under its control as a heritage lighthouse, which will be developed for educational, cultural, and tourism purposes apart from functioning as aids to navigation.

    Source: PIB