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The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

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    Current Affairs – 17th February 2022


    • News: A year after Nana Patole resigned as Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly to be the State unit Congress president, the House will get a new Speaker in its budget session, which will begin from March 3.
    • About Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker:
      • The Constitution provides that the office of the Speaker should never be empty.
      • Election of Speaker:
        • Criteria:
          • The Constitution of India requires the Speaker to be a member of the House.
          • Although there are no specific qualifications prescribed for being elected the Speaker, an understanding of the Constitution and the laws of the country is considered a major asset for the holder of the Office of the Speaker.
          • Usually, a member belonging to the ruling party is elected Speaker. The process has evolved over the years where the ruling party nominates its candidate after informal consultations with leaders of other parties and groups in the House.
          • This convention ensures that once elected, the Speaker enjoys the respect of all sections of the House.
        • Voting:The Speaker (along with the Deputy Speaker) is elected from among the Lok Sabha members by a simple majority of members present and voting in the House.
          • Once a decision on the candidate is taken, his/her name is normally proposed by the Prime Minister or the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.
        • Term of Office of the Speaker:The Speaker holds Office from the date of his/her election till immediately before the first meeting of the next Lok Sabha (for 5 years).
          • The speaker once elected is eligible for re-election.
          • Whenever the Lok Sabha is dissolved, the Speaker does not vacate his office and continues till the newly-elected Lok Sabha meets.
        • Role and Powers of Speaker:
          • Interpretation: He/She is the final interpreter of the provisions of the Constitution of India, the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of Lok Sabha and the parliamentary precedents, within the House.
          • Joint Sitting of Both Houses:He/She presides over a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
          • Such a sitting is summoned by the President to settle a deadlock between the two Houses on a bill.
          • Adjournment of Sitting: He/She can adjourn the House or suspend the meeting in absence one-tenth of the total strength of the House (called the quorum).
          • Casting Vote: The speaker does not vote in the first instance but in the case of a tie; when the House is divided equally on any question, the Speaker is entitled to vote.
          • Such a vote is called a Casting Vote, and its purpose is to resolve a deadlock.
          • Money Bill:He/She decides whether a bill is a money bill or not and his/her decision on this question is final.
          • Disqualifying Members:It is the speaker who decides the questions of disqualification of a member of the Lok Sabha, arising on the ground of defection under the provisions of the Tenth Schedule.
          • The 52nd amendment to the Indian Constitution vests this power in the Speaker.
          • In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that the decision of the Speaker in this regard is subject to judicial review.
          • Chairing the IPG: He/She acts as the ex-officio chairman of the Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) which is a link between the Parliament of India and the various parliaments of the world.
          • He also acts as the ex-officio chairman of the conference of presiding officers of legislative bodies in the country.
        • Constitution of Committees:The Committees of the House are constituted by the speaker and function under the speaker’s overall direction.
          • The Chairmen of all Parliamentary Committees are nominated by him/her.
          • Committees like the Business Advisory Committee, the General Purposes Committee and the Rules Committee work directly under his Chairmanship.
        • Privileges of the House:The Speaker is the guardian of the rights and privileges of the House, its Committees and members.
        • Removal of Speaker:Under following conditions, the speaker, may have to vacate the office earlier:
          • If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
          • If he resigns by writing to the Deputy Speaker.
          • If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the members of the Lok Sabha.
          • Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
          • When a resolution for the removal of the Speaker is under consideration of the House, he/she may be present at the sitting but not preside.
        • Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha:
          • Election:
            • The Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Lok Sabha from amongst its members right after the election of the Speaker has taken place.
            • The date of election of the Deputy Speaker is fixed by the Speaker (date of election of the Speaker is fixed by the President).
          • Term of Office and Removal:
            • Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in office usually during the life of the Lok Sabha (5 years).
          • The Deputy Speaker may vacate his/her office earlier in any of the following three cases:
            • If he ceases to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
            • If he resigns by writing to the Speaker.
            • If he is removed by a resolution passed by a majority of all the then members of the Lok Sabha.
            • Such a resolution can be moved only after giving 14 days’ advance notice.
          • Responsibilities and Powers:
            • The Deputy Speaker performs the duties of the Speaker’s office when it is vacant.
            • He/She also acts as the Speaker when the latter is absent from the sitting of the House.
            • He/She also presides over the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament, in case the Speaker is absent from such a sitting.
            • The Deputy Speaker has one special privilege, that is, whenever he/she is appointed as a member of a parliamentary committee, he/she automatically becomes its chairman.


    • News: The pristine beach of Dhanushkodi at the southern-most tip of the Rameswaram island in the Indian peninsula has witnessed a rare phenomenon over the past few days.
    • Details:
      • Crimson Rose, a large butterfly with a mix of black, white and crimson colours on its wings and body, is known for crossing the sea to migrate to Sri Lanka.


    • News: New Year till Ugadi, Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh presents a frenzied picture, with thousands of villagers, mostly enthusiastic youth, taking part in the “Pasuvula Panduga” (cattle festival) in over two dozen villages across the region.
    • About Jallikattu:
      • Jallikattu (or sallikkattu), also known as eru thazhuvuthal and mañcuvirattu, is a traditional event in which a bull (Bos indicus), such as the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds, is released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to grab the large hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape.
      • Participants hold the hump for as long as possible, attempting to bring the bull to a stop. In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull’s horns.
      • Jallikattu is typically practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day, which occurs annually in January.
      • As there were incidents of injury and death associated with the sport, both to the participants and to the animals forced into it, animal rights organizations have called for a ban on the sport, resulting in the court banning it several times over the past years. However, with protests from the people against the ban, a new ordinance was made in 2017 to continue the sport.


    • News: While India ramps up its solar power capacity, the nation does not yet have a firm policy on managing waste that results from used solar panels or from the manufacturing process.
    • Details:
      • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that the global photovoltaic waste will touch 78 million tonnes by 2050, with India expected to be one of the top five generators of such waste.
      • India currently considers solar waste a part of electronic waste and does not account for it separately.
      • There was no commercial raw material recovery facility for solar e-waste operational in India, but a pilot facility for solar panel recycling and material recovery had been set up by a private company in Gummidipoondi in Tamil Nadu.
      • India has set a target of producing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022.
      • The cumulative capacity of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) installations is around 40 GW and of the current capacity, about 35.6 GW, is generated from ground-mounted plants and 4.4 GW from rooftop solar.
      • Solar panels have an estimated life of 25 years, and given that India’s solar manufacturing industry took off around 2010, most of the installed systems were new and early in their calendar lifecycle and therefore unlikely to generate a large quantity of solar waste.
    • About International Renewable Energy Agency:
      • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
      • It is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energy, addressing needs in both industrialised and developing countries. It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010. The agency is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
      • The Director-General of IRENA is Francesco La Camera, a national of Italy.
      • IRENA is an official United Nations observer.
      • The first suggestions for an international renewable agency is based on the 1980 Brandt Report activities. NGOs and industry lobbying groups like Eurosolar, the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and the World Wind Energy Association have promoted IRENA since several decades
      • IRENA provides advice and support to governments on renewable energy policy, capacity building, and technology transfer.
      • IRENA will also co-ordinate with existing renewable energy organizations, such as REN21.
      • The statute to gain IRENA membership requires that a state be a member of the United Nations and to regional intergovernmental economic-integration organizations. States that gain membership to IRENA must uphold the organizations statute to the best of its abilities.
    • About Council on Energy, Environment and Water:
      • The Council on Energy, Environment and Water, commonly known as CEEW, is a Delhi-based not-for-profit policy research institution.
      • Some of CEEW’s research areas include resource efficiency and security; water resources; renewable energy; sustainability finance; energy-trade-climate linkages; integrated energy, environment and water plans; and climate geoengineering governance.
      • The think-tank advises the Indian government.
      • The CEEW was founded in 2010. The International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG), as part of its ‘Climate Think Tank’ standardised ranking, has rated CEEW as India’s top climate think tank in 2012 and 2013.
    • About Circular Economy:
      • A circular economy entails markets that give incentives to reusing products, rather than scrapping them and then extracting new resources.
      • In such an economy, all forms of waste, such as clothes, scrap metal and obsolete electronics, are returned to the economy or used more efficiently.
      • This can provide a way to not only protect the environment, but use natural resources more wisely, develop new sectors, create jobs and develop new capabilities.