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bharat ias - In a first, SC issues contempt notice against HC Judge Karnan

In a first, SC issues contempt notice against HC Judge Karnan

In a first, SC issues contempt notice against HC Judge Karnan Context Bench directs him to forthwith refrain from undertaking any judicial or administrative work and return all his official files to the Calcutta HC Registry What has happened? A seven-judge Bench of the seniormost judges of the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, issued contempt of court notice against sitting Calcutta HC judge C.S. Karnan for impeding justice administration and bringing discredit to the judicial institution of the country by writing scurrilous (making scandalous claims) letters about sitting and retired judges The Bench has directed Justice Karnan to forthwith refrain from undertaking any judicial or administrative work and return all his official files to the Calcutta HC Registry. Show-cause notice The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, ordered Justice Karnan to appear in person before it on February 13 to show cause to the court why contempt proceedings should not be taken against him. Constitutional power Supreme Court as the apex judiciary is empowered under Articles 129 read with its extraordinary powers under Article 142 (2) to punish a member of the High Court and subordinate judiciary for contempt. Article 129: The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself Article 142: Enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court and unless as to discovery, etc The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, and any decree so passed or orders so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe Subject to the provisions of any law made in this behalf by Parliament, the Supreme Court shall, as respects the whole of the territory of India, have all and every power to make any order for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person, the discovery or production of any documents, or the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:52 AM
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bharat ias - ISRO launches PSLV rocket with record 104 satellites

ISRO launches PSLV rocket with record 104 satellites

ISRO launches PSLV rocket with record 104 satellites ·       The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched a record 104 satellites on a single Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket from the Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh ·       The earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 series weighs 714 kg. ·       The co-passenger satellites comprise 101 nano satellites, one each from Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and 96 from the United States, as well as two nano satellites from India. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board is about 1,378 kg. About carto sat launch: ·       The Cartosat satellite is the fourth one in the Cartosat-2 series of earth observation satellites. Already three are in the orbit and two more will be launched Four-stage rocket Cartosat:  ·        The Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C34. ·        Cartosat-2 carries a state-of-the-art panchromatic (PAN) camera that can take black and white pictures of the earth in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. ·        The images sent by Cartosat satellite will be useful for cartographic, urban, rural, coastal land use, water distribution and other applications ·        The mission life of the Cartosat satellite is about 5 years. Pslv: The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, commonly known by its abbreviation PSLV, is an expendable launch systemdeveloped and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing(IRS) satellites into Sun-synchronous orbits, a service that was, until the advent of the PSLV, commercially available only from Russia PSLV can also launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:45 AM
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bharat ias - AGRICULTURAL REFORMS IN EASTERN STATES

AGRICULTURAL REFORMS IN EASTERN STATES

AGRICULTURAL REFORMS IN EASTERN STATES ·       The eastern region comprises of plains of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, representing 21.85 per cent of the geographical area of the country and supporting 33.64 per cent of country’s population. ·        Though the region is endowed with rich natural resources to support higher agricultural production including livestock and fisheries, the production levels have remained low due mainly to lack of location specific production technologies, dissemination of scientific knowledge to farmers, fragmented land holdings, low seed replacement rate, large population of non-descript type of livestock, poverty, lack of infrastructure facilities, natural calamities like frequent floods and droughts, water logging and social conflicts. Nevertheless, the region has vast untapped potential to enhance the production. ·       Agriculture is the main stay of the economy in the Eastern States, since 83 per cent population living in rural areas depends on it for their subsistence. The key features of agricultural scenario of Eastern States are:- ·       The net sown area is 31.43 million hectares out of total geographical area of 71.84 million ha.  ·       The cropping intensity is 150 per cent as against 141 per cent of the national average. ·         The average rainfall varies from 1091 to 2477 mm with a regional average of 1526 mm ·       The region has 18 per cent of country’s utilizable water resources. ·        The region has about 2.73 million ha total area under water constituting reservoirs, ponds, tanks and beels, oxbow lakes, brackish water, etc. ·        The irrigated area in the region is 39 per cent as against 45 per cent of the national average.  ·       About 10 million ha land is monocropped  with rice, and remain fallow after harvest ·       On an average, Eastern States contribute about 50 per cent of the total rice Production 44 per cent of vegetable production and 34 per cent of inland fisheries. Main Constraints Of Agriculture In Eastern Region  1. Farmers mostly depend on unpredictable monsoon for crop production and owing to poor utilization of water resources the cropping intensity is low, particularly in rainfed upland ecosystems. Since water is one of the major resources for agricultural development, deliberation on water use potential of flood affected and drought-prone areas of eastern India is essentially required.  2. Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal account 61 per cent of 153.66 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) of total available ground water for future use. With the exception of Uttar Pradesh the States in Eastern Region have lower ground water development than the national average. The abundance of surface and ground water and less intensive use of land resources means that the region has considerable scope for increase in agricultural productivity and production  3. Rice-based cropping system suffers a lot due to abiotic stress such as drought, flood, submergence and salinity  4. Although Eastern States receive adequate rainfall and soil and climate are very congenial for cropping after harvest but most of the farmers leave their fields fallow after the harvest of rice and do not opt for second crop in the same year. The estimates of International Crop Research Centre for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) reveals that about 11.6 million ha area is left fallow after the harvest of rice in the country. Of this, about 82per cent lies in the Eastern States  5. The ultimate irrigation potential in eastern region is 33.65 million ha, however, the utilization of the created irrigation potential is only 65 per cent. The region has about 4.05 million ha of wetland  which are by and large underutilized.   Measure needed: ·       To address the diverse issues in eastern region relating to agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER), ü  Its main aim is to address the different aspects of land and water resources management, crop husbandry, horticulture, agroforestry, aquatic crops, fishery, livestock and poultry, agro-processing and socio-economic aspects in holistic manner. ICARRCER works to promote and facilitate, coordination and dissemination of appropriate technologies through network approach in involving ICAR Institutes. ü  It provides scientific leadership and do the liaison work among the States and the Central Government Departments. It also provides need based consultancy and advisory support for promoting agricultural sector in the region BRINGING GREEN REVOLUTION TO EASTERN INDIA (BGREI) ·       . BGREI program was initiated to address the constraints limiting the productivity of "rice based cropping systems" in Eastern India comprising of seven States namely, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. ·       The goal of the BGREI program is to harness the water potential for enhancing rice production in Eastern India which was hitherto underutilized.   OBJECTIVES OF BGREI ·       To increase production & productivity of rice and wheat by adopting latest crop production technologies;  ·       To promote cultivation in rice fallow area to increase cropping intensity and income of the farmers;  ·       To create water harvesting structures and efficient utilization of water potential; ·       To promote post harvest technology and marketing support. ORGANIC FARMING IN NORTH EASTERN REGION ·       Many North Eastern State Governments have promoted organic agriculture in the region. ·       Sikkim has aimed to make entire State 100 per cent certified organic by 2015 and has already brought 64,296 hac. area under certification process. ·       Nagaland and Mizoram have also drafted and adopted policies to promote organic farming18 . ·       The tribal dominated areas of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh where the chemical fertilizer used is very low and farming is organic by default offer good scope for expansion of organic farming . ·       Keeping the various opportunities in view and the priority for facilitating the North Eastern areas to make efforts to achieve a quality of life on par with the rest of the country, the Government of India through the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has launched a Scheme for organic farming in the North Eastern Region   WAY FORWARD ·       Special focus should be given to soil health and also on efficient use of water in order to ensure continuity for sustainability of second green revolution in eastern India. ·       Encourage Paramparagat Krishi Yojna (PKY) to utilize indigenous Technical Knowledge· (ITK) and organic farming technologies.  Strengthening the bargaining capacity of farmers for procurement of quality inputs including seeds and sale of their produce through Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs). ·        Strengthening of infrastructure of Kisan Vikas Kendras (KVKs) and coordination between KVK and extension functionaries of State Department of agriculture at district level.  Purchase of seeds only from authorized seed producing agencies without any favour to any individual company/agency to ensure supply of quality seed. ·       Development of climatic resilient varieties/technologies to meet the challenges of frequent floods and droughts.    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:37 AM
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bharat ias - Return to a dangerous normal

Return to a dangerous normal

Return to a dangerous normal   Context The hurry to declare the clean-up operation complete raises questions that go beyond just the specifics of the oil spill on the Chennai coast Poromboke Poromboke is an ancient Tamil revenue term describing areas reserved for communal use such as the seashore, grazing grounds, and the margins of wetlands  What has happened? Two ships, one a tanker carrying petrol and lube oil, and the other carrying LPG, collided outside the Kamarajar Port early morning of 4th Feb 2017  Questions galore the consequent oil spill, the disaster that is unfolding in the name of containment and remediation, and the hurry to declare the clean-up operation complete raise questions No clarity: More than two weeks after the accident, there is no clarity on the quantity and nature of the material that spilled on January 28 No advisories on the toxicity of the spilled material have been issued by the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) & Tamil Nadu pollution control board No prosecution has been launched for violation of environmental laws by various agents  Casual attitude despite a visible oil-coated coastline, state authorities have sought to downplay the incident by terming it as a minor spill and have employed untrained individuals like student volunteers at clearing the spill despite obvious health effects  Dangers of the spill Petroleum oils are complex mixtures of chemicals that are toxic, bio-accumulative and persistent in the environment Carcinogens: Some, like benzene, are known human carcinogens. They enter the body through inhalation, ingestion and the skin  Clean-up operation: A farce Coast Guard had been employed to clean-up the spill but it has threatened to complete the operation in a couple of days  Estimate by INCOIS The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services’ computer model on the first day of the spill estimated that for a 20-tonne spill at this time of the year at Ennore, more than 60% would be beached by the end of the ninth day What has been removed is the weathered oil and sludge from the Nearshore Sea and the accessible parts of the intertidal area What more needs to be done: The rocks remain covered with oil, and the gaps between rocks filled with toxic oily residues Standard practice is to use warm high-pressure water and foams to remove oil from such terrain. Given that only buckets were in use, it is safe to assume that spill has not been cleaned as it should have been  Conclusion a return to a normal where environmental norms are constantly flouted thereby damaging the surroundings, is not going to benefit. Governance structure needs to be modified in order to ensure strict compliance with the rules    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:30 AM
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bharat ias - Pride as well as prejudice

Pride as well as prejudice

Pride as well as prejudice Issue Tribal bodies’ protest against reservation for women in local municipalities in Nagaland. Reason Naga customs, culture and traditions preclude women from inheriting land and participating in the decision-making process. Chronology Women were given 33 per cent reservation in urban local bodies through Nagaland Municipal (First Amendment) Act in 2006. All-male tribal bodies were against this as according to them it will violate Article 371(A) of the Constitution. (Article 371(A) gives protection to Naga culture, tradition and customary laws) Thus because of opposition Nagaland government did not conduct elections to civic bodies for over 10 years. Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), filed a writ petition challenging the State government’s refusal to hold municipal elections. Court directed the government to hold elections to municipal councils and town councils on or before January 20, 2012. Government filed an appeal and Court stayed the previous ruling. On September 22, 2012, the Nagaland State Assembly adopted a resolution rejecting women’s reservation in ULBs on the ground that it infringes on the social and customary practices of the Nagas, which Article 371(A) safeguards. The Joint Action Committee on Women Reservation (JACWR) then moved tothe Supreme Court in September 2012. On April 20, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the single-judge ruling of the Gauhati High Court of October 2011. So, the Nagaland government enacted the Nagaland Municipal (Third Amendment) Bill 2016, which revoked the September 2012 resolution, paving the way for women’s reservation in ULBs. The tribal bodies protested loudly as soon as the elections were announced and when the State government refused to call off the elections, the tribal bodies announced a bandh and violence also occurred. Step taken by government Nagaland government has decided to write to the Centre demanding that Nagaland be exempted from Part IX A of the Constitution. Part IX A of the Constitution, contains a mandatory provision under Article 243T for 33% women reservation in ULBs. Concern raised by civil society and women group If Nagaland is exempted from the purview of Part IX of the Constitution, Naga women will have absolutely no hope of entering into and participating in decision-making bodies.    ...

Publishes on : 17-Feb-2017 10:24 AM
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