Current Affairs 7th September 2022

1.   HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX

  • News: India ranked 132 out of 191 countries in the 2021 human development index (HDI), according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • About Human Development Index:
    • The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and per capita income indicators, which is used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.
    • A country scores a higher level of HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher.
    • It was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and was further used to measure a country’s development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Human Development Report Office.
    • The index is based on the human development approach, developed by Mahbub ul Haq, anchored in Amartya Sen’s work on human capabilities, often framed in terms of whether people are able to “be” and “do” desirable things in life.
    • The index does not take into account several factors, such as the net wealth per capita or the relative quality of goods in a country.
    • In its 2010 Human Development Report, the UNDP began using a new method of calculating the HDI. The following three indices are used:
      • Life Expectancy Index: LEI is equal to 1 when life expectancy at birth is 85 years, and 0 when life expectancy at birth is 20 years.
      • Education Index (EI)
        • Mean Years of Schooling Index (MYSI): Measured till the age of 15 years. Fifteen is the projected maximum of this indicator for 2025.
        • Expected Years of Schooling Index : Measured by number of year’s spent in education. Eighteen is equivalent to achieving a master’s degree in most countries.
      • Income Index(II): It is 1 when GNI per capita is $75,000 and 0 when GNI per capita is $100.

2.   BHITARKANIKA NATIONAL PARK

  • News: The Odisha government has cancelled leases granted to two aquaculture companies for shrimp culture over a sprawling area inside Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which is famous for crocodile conservation and thick mangrove forests.
  • About Bhitarkanika National Park:
    • Bhitarkanika National Park is a 145 km2 (56 sq mi) large national park in northeast Kendrapara district in Odisha in eastern India.
    • It was designated on 16 September 1998 and obtained the status of a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.
    • The area is also been designated as second Ramsar site of the State after the Chilika Lake.
    • It is surrounded by Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which spread over 672 km2 (259 sq mi). Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary are to the east, separating swamp region and mangroves from the Bay of Bengal.
    • The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala.
    • It hosts many mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
    • The national park is home to Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Indian python, king cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna.
    • The park is home to the saltwater crocodile, Indian python, black ibis, wild boar, rhesus monkey, chital, darter, cobra, monitor lizard.
    • Olive ridley turtles nest on Gahirmatha and other nearby beaches.

3.   NAGA’S YEHZABO

  • News: The Government of India is ready to incorporate the Yehzabo, the Naga Constitution, into the Indian Constitution and has agreed for a civil and cultural flag for the Nagas.
  • Fact:
    • 60-member Nagaland Assembly is Opposition-less as all parties were made part of the government.
    • Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party was declared elected uncontested in the Northern Angami II constituency after no other candidate was nominated against him.
  • Details:
    • The Yehzabo will be incorporated into the Indian Constitution by presenting a Bill in Parliament.
    • As far as flag is concerned, it will only be used for civil and cultural functions, but not in any government function.
    • The Centre is clear that there cannot be two Constitutions and two flags in the country.

4.   BASIC STRUCTURE OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • News: A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, hearing petitions against the 10 per cent quota for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and admissions, will examine whether the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, by which it was introduced, violates the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • About Basic Structure of the Constitution:
    • The basic structure theory was first introduced by Justice Mudholkar in the Sajjan Singh case (1965) by referring to a 1963 decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    • In Kesavananda Bharati case, a relief was sought against the Kerala government vis-à-vis two state land reform laws, which imposed restrictions on the management of religious property.
    • The case was challenged under Article 26, concerning the right to manage religiously owned property without government interference.
    • Question underlying the case: Was the power of Parliament to amend the Constitution unlimited? In other words, could Parliament alter, amend, abrogate any part of the Constitution even to the extent of taking away all fundamental rights?
    • The Constitutional Bench in Kesavananda Bharati case ruled by a 7-6 verdict that Parliament could amend any part of the Constitution so long as it did not alter or amend the basic structure or essential features of the Constitution.
    • However, the court did not define the term ‘basic structure’, and only listed a few principles — federalism, secularism, democracy — as being its part.
    • The ‘basic structure’ doctrine has since been interpreted to include
      • Supremacy of the Constitution
      • Rule of law
      • The principle of separation of powers
      • The objectives specified in the preamble to the Constitution of India
      • Judicial review
      • Articles 32 and 226
      • Federalism (including financial liberty of states under Articles 282 and 293)
      • Secularism
      • The sovereign, democratic, republican structure
      • Freedom and dignity of the individual
      • Unity and integrity of the nation
      • The principle of equality, not every feature of equality, but the quintessence of equal justice;
      • The “essence” of other fundamental rights in Part III
      • The concept of social and economic justice — to build a welfare state: Part IV of the Constitution
      • The balance between fundamental rights and directive principles
      • The parliamentary system of government
      • The principle of free and fair elections
      • Limitations upon the amending power conferred by Article 368
      • Independence of the judiciary
      • Effective access to justice
      • Powers of the Supreme Court of India under Articles 32, 136, 141, 142
      • Legislation seeking to nullify the awards made in exercise of the judicial power of the state by arbitration tribunals constituted under an act

5.   MIYAWAKI METHOD

  • News: Kuharianwali, a village in the Fazilka district of Punjab, has become a trendsetter in expanding forest cover. As of 2021, according to data from the Forest Research Institute, the district had just 1.34 per cent forest cover, one of the lowest in the state.
  • About Miyawaki Method:
    • Miyawaki method is a method of urban afforestation by turning backyards into mini-forests.
    • It includes planting trees as close as possible in the same area which not only saves space, but the planted saplings also support each other in growth and block sunlight from reaching the ground, thereby preventing the growth of weed.
    • Thus the saplings become maintenance-free (self-sustainable) after the first three years.
    • It helps to create a forest in just 20 to 30 years while through conventional methods it takes anywhere between 200 to 300 years.
    • The native trees of the region are identified and divided into four layers — shrub, sub-tree, tree, and canopy.
    • The quality of soil is analysed and biomass which would help enhance the perforation capacity, water retention capacity, and nutrients in it, is mixed with it.
    • A mound is built with the soil and the seeds are planted at a very high density — three to five sapling per square meter.
    • The ground is covered with a thick layer of mulch.

6.   PRAJA MANDAL MOVEMENT

  • News: After his own death a few months later, his daughters, the princesses, don’t get the palaces, gold and vast lands they claim as their birthright. Instead, they are given a few dollars a month from palace officials they accuse of scheming to usurp the royal billions with a forged will. The fight rages for decades.
  • About Praja Mandal Movement:
    • The Praja Mandal movement was a part of the Indian independence movement from the 1920s in which people living in the princely states, who were subject to the rule of local aristocrats rather than the British Raj, campaigned against those feudatory rulers, and sometimes also the British administration, in attempts to improve their civil rights.
    • One response to the Praja Mandal agitations was the foundation of the Central Reserve Police Force in 1939.

7.   FACTS FOR STATE SERVICES

  • Ancient name of River Jhelum: Vitasta River.
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