Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 14 Apr, 2021

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Inauguration of “Judgments and Orders Portal” and “e-Filing 3.0 module”

What is the News?

D.Y.Chandrachud, Judge of Supreme Court and Chairperson, e-Committee of the Supreme Court inaugurated two new initiatives. One is the Judgments and Orders Portal and the other is an e-Filing 3.0 module.

The Pune-based e-Courts project team developed these two initiatives. These initiatives are aimed to strengthen the legal system in the country.

About Judgments and Orders Portal:

  • Judgments and Orders search portal is a repository of judgments pronounced by various High Courts in the country. It provides a facility to search judgments and final orders based on multiple search criteria.
  • Features: The main features of the portal are:
    • Free text search facilitates user to search judgments based on any keyword or combination of multiple keywords
    • Also, users can search judgments based on various criteria like bench, case type, case number, year, petitioner/ respondent name, judge name, etc.

About e-Filing 3.0 module:

  • The E-Filing 3.0 module allows the electronic filing of court documents.
  • Under the module, there will be no need for lawyers or clients to visit the court premises for filing a case. Further, the filing process can take place even when the court, client, and lawyer are at three different locations.

 About E-Courts Project:

  • eCourts is a Pan-India Project. The Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice, monitors and funds this project. These are available for the District Courts across the country.
  • The Project was conceptualised on the basis of the National Policy and Action Plan. The national policy aims at Implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Indian Judiciary in 2005. Similarly, the aim of the project is to transform the Indian Judiciary by ICT-enabled courts.
  • Objectives: The main objectives of the Project are:
    • To provide efficient & time-bound citizen-centric service delivery.
    • To develop, install & implement decision support systems in courts.
    • Also, to automate the processes to provide transparency of Information access to its stakeholders.
    • Further, to enhance judicial productivity and to make the justice delivery system affordable, accessible, and cost-effective.

About E-Committee:

  • The e-Committee was set up in 2004. It provides a guide map for use of information technology and administrative reforms in the Indian judiciary.
  • For that, the committee assists the CJI in formulating a national policy on the computerization of the judiciary.

Source: PIB

High Courts should not intervene during police investigation:SC

What is the News? 

The Supreme Court has cautioned the High Courts from passing blanket orders for protecting the accused from arrest during the pendency of an investigation.

What was the case?

  • In 2020, the Bombay High Court in an interim order directed that no coercive measures shall be adopted against the accused. The order was with reference to an FIR lodged in 2019 on allegations of cheating, forgery, and others.

What did the Supreme Court say?

  • The Supreme Court quashed the judgment of the Bombay High Court.
  • The Court also held that High Courts must not pass blanket orders protecting the accused from arrest during the pending investigation.
    • In case, if it ordered no coercive steps (are) to be adopted, then the High Court must clarify what it means. Because coercive steps have a chance of misunderstood and/or misapplied.
  • Further, the court also reiterated that FIR is not an encyclopedia. As the FIR cannot disclose all facts and details relating to the offense.
  • Hence, when an investigation by the police is in progress, the court should not go into the merits of allegations in the FIR. The court must allow police to complete the investigation.

Source: Indian Express

Japan to release “Fukushima Radioactive Water” into sea

What is the News?

Japan is planning to release more than 1 million metric tons of radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Japanese government planned to release this water into the ocean after two years.

About Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant:

  • Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is located in the town of Okuma, Japan. The reactor is located on the country’s east coast. It is about 220 km north-east of the capital Tokyo.
  • The 2011 Earthquake, destroyed the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant’s electricity and cooling capacity. Since then, Japan is struggling with the piling-up of contaminated water from the nuclear plant.

How is Japan treating the Fukushima Radioactive Water?

  • Japan is using an extensive pumping and filtration system known as “ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System)”. The ALPS process is used to extract tonnes of newly radioactive water each day. Further, it also filters out most radioactive elements.
  • The ALPS process removes most of the radioactive isotopes. It will make the nuclear content in water levels lower than the international safety guidelines for nuclear plant wastewater.
  • However, it cannot remove some radioactive isotopes. Such as tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Release of Fukushima Radioactive Water:

  • Japan is planning to release the contaminated water containing tritium into the ocean.
  • Tritium considered to be relatively harmless because it does not emit enough energy to penetrate human skin. But when ingested tritium can create cancer risks.


  • Some scientists have pointed out that the long-term effects on marine life are unknown. Especially a low-dose exposure to such large amounts of material like tritium.
  • Further, the experts also point out the ill effects of radioactive isotope Strontium 90. Strontium released in the ocean can start to concentrate in the bones of both fish and humans. Thereby increasing cancer risks.

Source: Indian Express

Niti Aayog launches Version 2.0 of “India Energy Dashboards”

What is the News?

Niti Aayog launches the India Energy Dashboards Version 2.0. Version 1.0 of the Dashboard was launched in May 2017.

About India Energy Dashboards:

  • India Energy Dashboards(IED) aims to provide single-window access to the energy data for the country.
  • Purpose: The dashboard compiles Energy data published/provided by various sources. Like the Central Electricity Authority, Coal Controller’s Organisation and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Key Features of the India Energy Dashboards(IED):

  • India Energy Dashboards(IED) provides time-series data from FY 2005-06 until FY 2019-20;
  • The dashboard enables easy downloading of data into convenient spreadsheet formats in a cleaner way;
  • The dashboard provides data at sub-yearly frequencies as well. This includes monthly data and data from portals maintained by the government agencies. Such as Saubhagya, UJALA, PRAPTI and Vidyut PRAVAH.
  • It also has a ‘Feedback and Suggestions’ forum for the engagement of energy data user community
  • A semi-automated workflow will manage periodic updates to the IED. The workflow system performs basic checks and data validation, helping to avoid incorrect data entry.

About PRAAPTI Portal:

  • PRAAPTI is a web portal, launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Power.
  • Full-Form: PRAAPTI stands for Payment ratification and analysis in power procurement for bringing transparency in invoicing of generators.
  • Aim: The portal aims at enhancing transparency and encouraging best practices in Power Purchase transactions.

About Vidyut PRAVAH:

  • Vidyut PRAVAH is a mobile application launched by the Ministry of Power.
  • Purpose: It aims to provide data pertaining to:
    • Market price of power from power exchange
    • Value of current all India demand in GW and
    • All India and State shortage including peak hour and total energy shortage.

Source: PIB

WHO guidelines to control Transmission of “Zoonotic Diseases”

What is the News?

The World Health Organization(WHO), World Organization for Animal Health and United Nations Environment Programme jointly released guidelines to control “Zoonotic Diseases” for governments. Guidelines ask to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production and marketing chains.

What are Zoonotic Diseases?

  • Zoonosis is an infectious disease that jumps from a non-human animal to humans.
  • Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic. They can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water, and the environment.

Key Guidelines issued by WHO:

  • Countries should suspend the sale of live animals captured from the wild in food markets. This is an emergency measure as they are the leading source of emerging infectious diseases like the coronavirus.
  • Strengthening the regulatory base for improving standards of hygiene and sanitation in traditional food markets. This will reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases.
  • Adequately training food inspectors to ensure businesses comply with regulations to protect consumers’ health.
  • Strengthening animal health surveillance systems for zoonotic pathogens. This includes both domestic and wild animals. This will provide an early warning for pathogen emergence. Further, it will also help in developing the control measures.
  • Developing and implementing food safety information campaigns. The campaign should create awareness to market traders, stallholders, consumers, and the wide public. These campaigns should communicate the principles of food safety and the risks of transmission of zoonotic pathogens.

Source: The Hindu

What is a “Currency Chest”?

What is the News?

A Private Security Guard in Chandigarh has stolen Rs 4 crore from a Currency Chest of Axis Bank.

What is a Currency Chest?

  • A currency chest is a place where the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stocks the money meant for banks and ATMs.
  • Administered by: These chests are usually situated on the premises of different banks but administered by the RBI.
  • Belongs to: The money present in the currency chest belongs to the RBI. But the money kept in the strong room outside the currency chest belongs to the bank.
  • Security arrangement for the chests? The security of currency chests varies from one bank to the other where the chests are situated. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reimburses the security expenses to the bank as per the set norms.
  • Recovery Procedure if stolen: As per the set guidelines, the bank in which the currency chest is situated is liable to fulfil the loss of the currency chest.

Source: Indian Express

India will move towards mandatory “gold hallmarking”

What is the News?

The government said that it is fully prepared to implement the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 1, 2021.

What is Gold hallmarking?

  • Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of precious metal. At present, It is voluntary in nature.

Gold Hallmarking in India:

  • In 2019, the Government announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will be made mandatory across the country.
  • The government had given jewellers more than a year to shift to hallmarking and register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

Key Features of Gold Hallmarking:

  • Hallmarked gold jewellery will only available in three grades – 14-carat, 18-carat and 22-carat. Currently, it is available in ten grades.
  • The Hallmarked Gold jewellery will contain four marks. Such as BIS mark, purity in carat, assay centre’s name and jewellers’ identification mark.
  • Applicability: The rule is applicable only to sales by retailers and not to consumers. However, it is available for consumers if they want to get their old jewellery hallmarked.
  • Penalty: Anybody found violating the provision, will have to pay a minimum fine of Rs 1 lakh or 5 times the price of the article.

Benefits of Gold Hallmarking:

  • Gold Hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage. It also ensures consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
  • Further, it will also help to get the purity, bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality.
  • The new system will also weed out anomalies and corruption in the system of manufacturing of jewellery.

Note: India is the largest importer of gold. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.

Source: Indian Express

“Indian Rhino Vision 2020” – Last 2 Rhinos Translocated

What is the News?

Indian Rhino Vision 2020(IRV 2020) came to an end with the release of two rhinos. An adult male and a female rhino transported to Assam’s Manas National Park from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary about 185 km east.

Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020:

  • Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020 launched in 2005.
  • Vision: The vision of IRV is:
    • Increase the Rhino Population in Assam from about 2000 to 3000 by 2020.
    • Ensure that one horned rhinos are spread over seven protected areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 2020.
  • Seven Protected Areas: The seven protected areas are Kaziranga, Pobitora, Orang National Park, Manas National Park, Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary, Burachapori wildlife sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary.
  • Implementation: The plan is implemented by the Department of Environment and Forest Assam in partnership with Bodo Autonomous Council.
  • Supported by: The plan is supported by WWF India, WWF areas (Asian Rhino and Elephant action strategy) program, the international rhino foundation(IRF), US fish and wildlife service, and others.

Achievements of Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020:

  • The Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020 is believed to have achieved its target of attaining a population of 3,000 rhinos in Assam.
  • However, the plan to spread the one-horned rhinos across four protected areas beyond Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and Pobitora could not materialise.

Why was the Indian Rhino Vision plan launched?

  • Assam had at least five rhino-bearing areas till the 1980s. Better conservation efforts helped maintain the population of the one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga, Orange and Pobitora National Parks.
  • But the encroachment and poaching wiped out the one-horned rhinos from Manas and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • This led to the Manas National Park (known for the near-extinction of the pygmy hog) losing the World Heritage Site tag it received in 1985 along with Kaziranga from UNESCO.
  • However, the translocated rhinos helped Manas National Park get back its World Heritage Site status in 2011.

Source: The Hindu

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