News:The Supreme Court referring to the demolition of the Babri Masjid at the disputed site has said that it was invoking Article 142 to ensure that a wrong committed must be remedied.
- The Supreme Court had used extraordinary powers granted to it by Article 142 of the Constitution to grant five acres of land in Ayodhya to Muslim parties.
- This was the first time that the court invoked this power in a case involving a civil dispute over an immovable property, involving private parties.
About Article 142:
- Article 142 provides for the enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court.It consists of two clauses:
- Article 142(1) states that 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 the orders shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.
- Article 142(2) states that Supreme Court shall have the power to make any order for the purpose of (a)securing the attendance of any person, (b)the discovery or production of any documents or (c)the investigation or punishment of any contempt of itself.
Where was Article 142 used earlier?
- The Supreme Court had used Article 142 in 1989 to provide relief to the thousands of people affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy.Applying the provision in the case the court had awarded compensation of $470 million to the victims.
- In 2014, Article 142 was used to cancel allocation of coal blocks granted from 1993 onwards without any specific finding on wrongdoing by those who were allotted these blocks.
- Article 142 has been used for restoring the white marble of the Taj Mahal and for constituting the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee to probe the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal.
News:Haryana Deputy Chief Minister has written to Prime Minister requesting him to undertake cloud seeding plan to combat air pollution engulfing Delhi and NCR.
About Cloud Seeding:
- Cloud seeding is a kind of weather modification technology to create artificial rainfall.It works only when there is enough pre-existing clouds in the atmosphere.
- Rain happens when moisture in the air reaches levels at which it can no longer be held and cloud seeding aims to facilitate and accelerate that process by making available chemical ‘nuclei’ around which the condensation can take place.
- These seeds of rain can be the iodides of silver or potassium, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) or liquid propane.The seeds can be delivered by plane or simply by spraying from the ground.
Where was Cloud Seeding tried earlier?
- Cloud seeding is not new to India and it has earlier been attempted in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to address drought.
- Similar experiments of cloud seeding had earlier been tried in Australia, America, Spain and France.
- In United Arab Emirates,the cloud seeding technique led to creation of 52 storms in Abu Dhabi.
Significance of Cloud Seeding:
- The Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has been carrying out cloud seeding experiments for several years now.
- The success rate of these experiments in inducing rains is about 60 to 70% depending on local atmospheric conditions, the amount of moisture in the air and cloud characteristics.
News:According to a recent study aimed at determining the prevalence of anaemia among men in India, it has found that 23.5% of men had anaemia, ranging from mild to moderate to severe degrees.
Key takeaways from the study:
- The study has found that nearly a quarter of Indian men(23.2% in a sample of 1 lakh men) in the age group 15-54 had some form of anaemia.
- The higher prevalence has been observed for younger age groups while the lowest prevalence has been observed for the age group of 50-54 years.
- Among the states,the highest prevalence of anaemia among men was in Bihar while the lowest prevalence was in Manipur.
- The study has also found that anaemia was more common among poorer and less educated individuals, people living in rural areas and in poorer districts for both men and women.
- The World Health Organization defines anaemia as a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiological needs.
- Anaemia in men can cause fatigue, lethargy, creates difficulty in concentrating thereby reducing the quality of life and decreasing economic productivity.
- An estimated 1.9 billion people had anaemia in 2013, which is 27% of the world’s population, and 93% of these cases occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Factors such as consuming smokeless tobacco, being underweight, level of urbanisation and household wealth are associated with a higher probability of developing the disease.
About Anaemia Mukt Bharat(AMB):
- The schemehas been launched in the year 2018 as part of Intensified National Iron Plus Initiative(NIPI) Program for accelerating the annual rate of decline of anaemia from one to three percentage points.
- The target groups for AMB are Children 6-59 months, 5-9 years, Adolescent Girls & Boys of 10-19 years, Women of Reproductive Age (15-49 years), Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.
- However,the study has suggested that the Indian Government might consider extending some components of the Anemia Mukt Bharat programme to men.
News:According to the data by Sample Registration System on Maternal Mortality in India,maternal mortality ratio(MMR) has declined from 130 during 2014-2016 to 122 during 2015-17.
Key takeaways from the data:
- The data has revealed that 68% of deaths due to maternal mortality were among women in the age group of 20-29.
- Assam recorded the highest MMR with 229 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births but there was an improvement from the 2014-16 MMR of 237.
- Kerala has the lowest MMR at 42.It is followed by Maharashtra ,Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Telangana.
About Maternal Mortality:
- Maternal mortality is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy.
- The WHO says the MMR has dropped by 38% worldwide between 2000 and 2017.However,an estimated 810 women died every day in 2017 from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- The MMR in low income countries in 2017 is 462 per 100,000 live births versus 11 per 100,000 live births in high income countries.
- The factors that prevent women from receiving or seeking care during pregnancy and childbirth are (a)poverty (b)distance to facilities (c)lack of information (d)inadequate and poor quality services and (e)cultural beliefs and practices.
- According to the United Nations(UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),the global target is to bring down the MMR to fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.
News:U.S. President will host NATO Chief to discuss military spending as the U.S continues his effort to press alliance members to pay more toward their own defense.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called North Atlantic Alliance is an intergovernmental military alliance.
- It was formed in 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty.It consists of 29 countries from North America and Europe.It is headquartered at Brussels,Belgium.
- Nato was originally set up in the post-World War II atmosphere of anxiety largely to block Soviet expansion into Europe.
- The goal of NATO is to safeguard the Allies freedom and security by political and military means.
- It aims to promote democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and in the long run prevent conflict.
- It is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes.If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis management operationsunder Article 5 of the treaty.
- Article 5 of the treaty states that if one member of the alliance is attacked in Europe or North America,it is to be considered an attack on all members.
What has US demanded?
- The US President has demanded that other NATO countries should also contribute an amount equal to at least two percent of GDP to defence spending In 2018.
- However,only seven of NATO’s 29 member states hit the two-percent target.
News:Nepal government has objected to the inclusion of ‘Kalapani’ under the Indian Territory as per the newly released political map of India after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.
About Kalapani territory:
- Kalapani is a 35 square kilometre area.The Kali River in the Kalapani region demarcates the border between India and Nepal.
- Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territories with India as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of the Darchula district.
- The Treaty of Sugauli signed by the Kingdom of Nepal and British India (after Anglo-Nepalese War) in 1816 located the Kali River as Nepal’s western boundary with India.
- However,the discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal with each country producing maps supporting their own claims.
- The Prime Ministers of both the countries discussed the issue in 2000, with Indian PM assuring Nepal that India would not occupy even an inch of Nepal.
- Five years ago,the matter was referred to a new mechanism comprising foreign secretaries of both sides.
News:Recently,people have discovered the bones of Pliosaur in a cornfield in the Polish village of Krzyzanowice.
- Pliosaurs were aquatic carnivorous reptiles that lived between 220 and 70 million years ago.
- They are classified in the order Plesiosauria along with their long-necked relatives,the plesiosaurs.
- They were characterized by massive heads, short necks, and streamlined tear-shaped bodies.
- They were the largest aquatic carnivorous reptiles that have ever lived and are often dubbed sea monsters.
- They measured over 10 metres in length and can weigh up to several dozens tons.They had powerful, large skulls and massive jaws with large sharp teeth.
- They had modified paddle-like limbs (like those of a penguin) which they used to swim through the water.
News:Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment has visited the Shilpostav- 2019 to encourage the artisans at in New Delhi.
- Shilpostav is the annual fair of artisans from across the country, belonging to the weaker sections of the society.
- It was started during the year 2007-08 by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment by way of collaborating with all the Apex Corporations and National Institutes under this ministry.
- The objective of the fair is to provide a platform to the beneficiaries assisted under the developmental schemes of various Finance & Development Corporations and National Institutes to showcase their art & craft.
- The range of products in this fair includes silk sarees, durries, readymade garments, terracotta products, jute products, marble artefacts, handloom among others.