Current Affairs 14th September 2022

1.     RIGHT TO CONTEST ELECTION

  • News: The right to contest an election is neither a fundamental right nor a common law right, the Supreme Court has said while dismissing with a cost of ₹1 lakh a petition which raised the issue regarding the filing of nomination for Rajya Sabha elections.
  • Details:
    • The right to contest an election is neither a fundamental right nor a common law right.
    • It is a right conferred by a statute.”, the bench observed while referring to earlier judgments viz Javed v. State of Haryana, (2003) and Rajbala v. State of Haryana (2016).
  • About The Representation of People’s Act, 1950:
    • Lays down procedures for delimitation of constituencies.
    • Provides for the allocation of seats in the House of the People and in the Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils of States.
    • Lays procedure for the preparation of electoral rolls and the manner of filling seats.
    • Lays down the qualification of voters.
    • Delimiting Constituencies
      • The President of India has been conferred the power to amend orders delimiting constituencies, only after consulting the ECI.
      • In Lok Sabha, there is a reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
      • The ECI has the power to determine the constituencies to be reserved for scheduled tribes in the states of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
      • Allocation of seats: As far as possible, every state gets representation in the Lok Sabha in proportion to its population as per census figures.
    • Electoral Rolls
      • The 1950 Act permits the registration of persons in electoral rolls who are ordinarily resident n a constituency and persons holding:
      • Service qualification such as a member of armed forces, member of the armed police force of a state, serving outside the state, or central government employees posted outside India.
      • Certain offices in India declared by the President in consultation with ECI.
      • The wives of such persons are also deemed to be ordinarily residing in India. There is a proposal for making some provisions gender-neutral by replacing the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’.
    • Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)
      • Each state to have a CEO nominated or designated by the ECI in consultation with the state government to supervise the election work in the State/ UTs.
      • The ECI also nominates or designates an officer of the state as the District Election Officer (DEO)in consultation with the state government
      • The DEO works under the overall superintendence and control of the CEO.
    • Electoral Registration Officer (ERO)
      • The ERO is responsible for the preparation of the electoral roll for each constituency (parliamentary/assembly).
      • An appeal against the order of the ERO during the update of the electoral rolls now lies with District Magistrate.
    • Returning Officer (RO)
      • RO is responsible for the conduct of the election in a constituency and returns an elected candidate.
      • The ECI nominates or designates an officer of the government or local authority as the RO in consultation with the state government.
      • Power to make rules under the act is conferred to the Central government, which can exercise this power in consultation with the ECI.
      • The Civil Courts have also been barred to question the legality of any action of the ERO regarding revision of electoral rolls.
    • Voting Rights:In 2010, voting rights were extended to citizens of India living abroad.

2.     FORTIFIED RICE

  • News: In order to promote the benefits of fortified rice while elucidating the concerns about the impact of its consumption among some sections of the population those are vulnerable to Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Anaemia, the Centre directs state govts to organise awareness workshops about the benefits of fortified rice.
  • About Fortified Rice:
    • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defines fortification as “deliberately increasing the content of essential micronutrients in a food so as to improve the nutritional quality of food and to provide public health benefit with minimal risk to health”.
    • Various technologies are available to add micronutrients to regular rice, such as coating, dusting, and ‘extrusion’.
    • The last mentioned involves the production of fortified rice kernels (FRKs) from a mixture using an ‘extruder’ machine. It is considered to be the best technology for India.
    • The fortified rice kernels are blended with regular rice to produce fortified rice.
    • Fortified rice will be packed in jute bags with the logo (‘+F’) and the line “Fortified with Iron, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12”.
    • Need for fortification:
      • India has very high levels of malnutrition among women and children. According to the Food Ministry, every second woman in the country is anaemic and every third child is stunted.
      • Fortification of food is considered to be one of the most suitable methods to combat malnutrition.
      • Rice is one of India’s staple foods, consumed by about two-thirds of the population.
      • Per capita rice consumption in India is 6.8 kg per month. Therefore, fortifying rice with micronutrients is an option to supplement the diet of the poor.
    • Standards for Fortification:
      • Under the Ministry’s guidelines, 10 g of FRK must be blended with 1 kg of regular rice.
      • According to FSSAI norms, 1 kg of fortified rice will contain the following: iron (28 mg-42.5 mg), folic acid (75-125 microgram), and vitamin B-12 (0.75-1.25 microgram).
      • Rice may also be fortified with zinc (10 mg-15 mg), vitamin A (500-750 microgram RE), vitamin B-1 (1 mg-1.5 mg), vitamin B-2 (1.25 mg-1.75 mg), vitamin B-3 (12.5 mg-20 mg) and vitamin B-6 (1.5 mg-2.5 mg) per kg.

3.     KUNO NATIONAL WORK

  • News: As a part of the Cheetah reintroduction program, eight cheetahs from Africa will be shifted to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur National Park by helicopter.
  • About Kuno National Park:
    • Kuno National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India, established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary with an area of 344.686 km2 (133.084 sq mi) in the Sheopur and Morena districts.
    • In 2018, it was given the status of a national park. It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.
    • Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1981 with an initial area of about 344.68 km2 (133.08 sq mi).
    • In the 1990s, it was selected as a possible site to implement the Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project, which aimed at establishing a second lion population in India.
    • The main predators occurring in the protected area are Indian leopard, jungle cat, sloth bear, dhole, Indian wolf, golden jackal, striped hyena and Bengal fox.

4.     HYDERABAD LIBERATION DAY

  • News: Hyderabad Liberation is celebrated every year on 17th
  • Details:
    • At the time of Partition in 1947, the princely states of India, who in principle had self-government within their own territories, were subject to subsidiary alliances with the British, giving them control of their external relations.
    • With the Indian Independence Act 1947, the British abandoned all such alliances, leaving the states with the option of opting for full independence.
    • However, by 1948 almost all had acceded to either India or Pakistan. One major exception was that of the wealthiest and most powerful principality, Hyderabad, where the Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, a Muslim ruler who presided over a largely Hindu population, chose independence and hoped to maintain this with an irregular army.
    • Fearing the establishment of a Communist state in Hyderabad by the rebels and the rise of Muslim nationalist Razakar militas, India defeated the Razakars and liberated the state in September 1948 from the Muslim following a crippling economic blockade.
    • Subsequently, the Nizam signed an instrument of accession, joining India.

5.     RUBBER CROP

  • News: After a moderate post-pandemic revival, the price of natural rubber (NR) has crashed to a 16-month low of ₹150 per kg (RSS grade 4) in the Indian market.
  • About Rubber Crop:
    • Rubber trees require moist and humid climates with heavy rainfall of more than 200cm.
    • It grows well in equatorial climate and temperature above 25-degree Celsius.
    • Rubber tree thrives well when the distribution of rainfall is uniformly high all over the year.
    • Deep, friable, well-drained soils are ideal as they promote root devel­opment, and acidic soils are also suitable.
    • It is a labour-intensive activity.

6.     GROUP OF 20

  • News: India will hold over 200 G-20-related meetings across the country during its presidency of the grouping that will begin on December 1, 2022 and continue till November 30, 2023.
  • Details:
    • The G-20 Leaders’ Summit will be held in New Delhi on September 9 and 10 in 2023, and Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE will be the “guest countries” at the event.
    • “India is currently part of the G-20 Troika [current, previous and incoming G20 presidencies] comprising Indonesia, Italy and India.
    • During our Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice.
  • About G20:
    • The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU).
    • It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.
    • The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations, and accounts for around 80% of gross world product (GWP), 75–80% of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and roughly half the world’s land area.
    • The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises. Since 2008, it has convened at least once a year, with summits involving each member’s head of government or state, or finance minister, or foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials; the EU is represented by the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
    • Chair rotation:
      • To decide which member nation gets to chair the G20 leaders’ meeting for a given year, all members, except the European Union, are assigned to one of five different groupings, with all but one group having four members, the other having three.
      • Nations from the same region are placed in the same group, except Group 1 and Group 2.
      • All countries within a group are eligible to take over the G20 Presidency when it is their group’s turn.
      • Therefore, the states within the relevant group need to negotiate among themselves to select the next G20 President. Each year, a different G20 member country assumes the presidency starting from 1 December until 30 November.
    • This system has been in place since 2010, when South Korea, which is in Group 5, held the G20 chair. The table below lists the nations’ groupings:
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
 Australia (2014)

Canada (2010-1)

Saudi Arabia (2020)

United States (2008)

 India (2023)

Russia (2013)

South Africa (2025)

Turkey (2015)

 Argentina (2018)

Brazil (2024)

Mexico (2012)

 France (2011)

Germany (2017)

Italy (2021)

United Kingdom (2009)

 China (2016)

Indonesia (2022)

Japan (2019)

South Korea (2010-2)

  • To ensure continuity, the presidency is supported by a “troika” made up of the current, immediate past and next host countries.
  • As of 2022, there are 20 members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain, the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union, ASEAN, and other organizations are permanent guest invitees.

7.     NATIONAL LIST OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES

  • News: Twenty-six drugs, including the common gastrointestinal medicines ranitidine and sucralfate, have been excluded from the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), 2022.
  • Facts:
    • A total of 384 drugs find place on the list with the addition of 34 drugs. Twenty-six from the previous list have been dropped.
    • The medicines have been categorised into 27 therapeutic categories.
    • The first NLEM was compiled in 1996 and was revised thrice in 2003, 2011, and 2015.
    • Drugs deleted from the NLEM include medicines banned in India and those having reports of concerns on the safety profile.
  • About National List of Essential Medicines:
    • The first country in the world to compose its EML was Tanzania in 1970.
    • Then in 1975, the World Health Assembly requested WHO to assist member states in selecting and procuring essential medicines, assuring good quality at reasonable cost.
    • The WHO EML is a model list.
    • The decision about which medicines are essential remains a national responsibility based on the country’s disease burden, priority health concerns, affordability concerns etc. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India hence prepared and released the first National List of Essential Medicines of India in 1996 consisting of 279 medicines.

8.     FACTS FOR STATE SERVICES

  • 1098 Child helpline is being transferred to National Emergency number 112.
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