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    Current Affairs – 18th April 2022


    • News: The retirements in the topmost rung of the judiciary in 2022 will encompass changes in the powerful Supreme Court Collegium and see two new Chief Justices in a span of months.
    • About Collegium system:
      • It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court (SC), and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
      • Evolution of the System:
        • First Judges Case (1981):
          • It declared that the “primacy” of the CJI’s (Chief Justice of India) recommendation on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.”
          • The ruling gave the Executive primacy over the Judiciary in judicial appointments for the next 12 years.
        • Second Judges Case (1993):
          • SC introduced the Collegium system, holding that “consultation” really meant “concurrence”.
          • It added that it was not the CJI’s individual opinion, but an institutional opinion formed in consultation with the two senior-most judges in the SC.
        • Third Judges Case (1998):
          • SC on the President’s reference (Article 143) expanded the Collegium to a five-member body, comprising the CJI and four of his senior-most colleagues.
        • Who Heads the Collegium System?
          • The SC collegium is headed by the CJI (Chief Justice of India) and comprises four other senior most judges of the court.
          • A HC collegium is led by its Chief Justice and four other senior most judges of that court.
          • Names recommended for appointment by a HC collegium reaches the government only after approval by the CJI and the SC collegium.
          • Judges of the higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system and the government has a role only after names have been decided by the collegium.
          • What are the Procedures for Judicial Appointments?
          • For CJI:
            • The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges.
            • As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor.
            • In practice, it has been strictly by seniority ever since the supersession controversy of the 1970s.
          • For SC Judges:
            • For other judges of the SC, the proposal is initiated by the CJI.
            • The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs.
            • The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file.
            • The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.
          • For Chief Justice of High Courts:
            • The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States.
            • The Collegium takes the call on the elevation.
            • High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges.
            • The proposal, however, is initiated by the outgoing Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues.
            • The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.

    2.    BRICS

    • News: Weeks after the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Delhi, India has agreed to attend a virtual summit of leaders of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping, likely to be held at the end of June, sources here have confirmed.
    • About BRICS:
      • BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
      • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs.
      • Since 2009, the governments of the BRICS states have met annually at formal summits. India hosted the most recent 13th BRICS summit on 9 September 2021 virtually.
      • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”) before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
      • The BRICS have a combined area of 39,746,220 km2 (15,346,101.0 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 3.21 billion, or about 26.7% of the world land surface and 41.5% of the world population.
      • Four out of five members are among the world’s ten largest countries by population and by area, except for South Africa which is twenty-third in both.
      • Members of G20, as of 2018, these five states had a combined nominal GDP of US$19.6 trillion, about 23.2% of the gross world product, a combined GDP (PPP) of around US$40.55 trillion (32% of the world’s GDP PPP), and an estimated US$4.46 trillion in combined foreign reserves.


    • News: China continues to expand its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) network and use in areas close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    • Details:
      • There is a significant increase in their use for a variety of tasks from intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities and logistics support, official sources said citing intelligence inputs.
      • This follows an increasing trend in UAV deployment by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Tibet and along the LAC since the stand-off began in eastern Ladakh in May 2020.
      • It is learnt that flight sorties are being coordinated from a unified command centre and are extensively monitored for further improvement. Efforts are being made to cover all important locations, places in the UAV net for better patrolling and other related activities
      • China is also increasingly deploying its advanced UAVs in Tibet close to the LAC, another official said.
      • In addition, drones have been used for supplying vaccines in the border areas for effective last-mile coverage at several locations and especially opposite Arunachal Pradesh.
      • As the Armies of India and China prepared for winters in the high-altitude region, China had released videos of swarms of quadcopter drones being used to supply rations and other essential items to personnel deployed close to the border.
      • In line with this, the PLA UAV units have been regularly conducting exercises to fine-tune their employment. One such exercise was held in February according to inputs during which drones were packed with food, water and medicines for delivery to troops in remote areas.
      • China is also trying to reduce its dependence on foreign origin satphone communications and is promoting the use of indigenously built Tiantong satellite communication system, officials said.
      • The testing and use of the Tiantong system has been noticed at several locations along the northern borders, the latest being areas opposite Arunachal, according to inputs.