Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 21 Apr, 2021

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Webinar on “Khajuraho Temples” Under Dekho Apna Desh

What is the News? 

The Ministry of Tourism organizes a webinar on “ Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh.

About Dekho Apna Desh webinar

Ministry of Tourism launched Dekho Apna Desh webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

About Khajuraho Temples:

  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Built by: the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130.
  • Situated in: within the Vindhya Mountain range in Central India.
  • UNESCO Site: The temple got the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1986.
  • Style: The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
  • Temples: The temples are categorized into three groups that are Eastern, Western and Southern.
    • To name a few temples are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Brahma Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Parsvanath Temple.
  • Significance: These temples are famous for intricate & exceptional carvings and surprising architectural skills. The first documented mention of Khajuraho was made in 641 by Xuanzang, a Chinese pilgrim.
    • Later, Khajuraho temples also found mention by Abu Raihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
  • Government Initiatives: Ministry of Tourism included Khajuraho Temples as one of the sites under the “Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative”.
    • Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative announced in Budget 2019-20. It aims to develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.

Note: The 10th-century Bhand Deva Temple in Rajasthan was built in the style of the Khajuraho monuments and is often referred to as ‘Little Khajuraho’.

Source: PIB


“World Press Freedom Index” 2021 Released

What is the News? 

The World Press Freedom Index 2021 released.

About World Press Freedom Index:

  • Published by: Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders since 2002.
  • Purpose: The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
    • However, the index neither ranks public policies and nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region.
  • Parameters: The index ranks 180 countries based on the following parameters, such as a) pluralism, b) media independence c) environment and self-censorship d) legislative framework e) Transparency f) Infrastructure, and g) Abuses.

Key Findings Related to India:

  • India ranks 142nd on the World Press Freedom Index 2021. The rank is the same as in 2020 after it had consistently slid down from 133 in 2016.
  • India continues to be counted among the countries classified “bad” for journalism. Similarly, India is termed as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists trying to do their jobs properly.

Other key Findings:

  • Topped by: Norway tops the index, followed by Finland and Denmark.
  • China: China ranks 177 in the index. It is only above North Korea at 179 and Turkmenistan at 178.
  • India’s South Asian neighborhood: Nepal is at 106, Sri Lanka at 127, Myanmar (before the coup) at 140, Pakistan at 145, and Bangladesh at 152.
  • Further, the report shows that journalism is completely or partially blocked in 73% of all the countries on the index

Source: Indian Express


“Global Youth Mobilization Initiative” launched by UN

What is the News?

 United Nations agencies, youth organisations, and WHO have come together to launch the Global Youth Mobilization initiative for local Solutions.

About Global Youth Mobilization Initiative:

  • World Health Organization and United Nations Foundation are supporting Global Youth Mobilization Initiative. Whereas, it is led by the world’s six largest youth organisations, including
    1. Firstly, the World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations
    2. Secondly, World Young Women’s Christian Association
    3. Third, the World Organization of the Scout Movement
    4. Fourth, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
    5. Also, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
    6. Lastly, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
  • Aim: To address the negative impact of the pandemic on young people and support them to build back better.
  • Funding: Young people from around the world can apply for funding. It will support innovative Local Solutions to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Need of the Initiative

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) terms the current young population as the ‘lockdown generation’.
  • As per some estimates, around 90 per cent of young people “reported increased mental anxiety during the pandemic”.
  • Whereas “one in six young people worldwide has lost their jobs during the pandemic”.

Source: Down To Earth


What is “Memorandum of Procedure(MoP)”?

What is the News? 

The Supreme Court of India has laid down a timeline for the Centre to clear names recommended by the High Court Collegiums. This order is essentially contrary to the Memorandum of Procedure(MoP).

About Memorandum of Procedure(MoP):

  • Memorandum of Procedure(MoP) is an agreement between the judiciary and the government. It contains a set of guidelines for making appointments to the Supreme Court and High Court.
  • Significance: The MoP is a crucial document as the Collegium system of appointing judges is a judicial innovation that is not mandated through legislation or text of the Constitution.

Evolution of MoP:

  • The MoP evolved based on three SC decisions – the First Judges Case (1981), Second Judges Case (1993), and the Third Judges Case (1998).
  • In 2016, the MoP re-negotiations took place following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the National Judicial Appointments Commission(NJAC).
  • However, a judicial order can overturn the negotiations as an order of the SC is the law of the land binding the government.

MoP on the appointment of High Court Judges:

  • MoP starts with the recommendation of the High Court Collegium to the center for the appointment of other judges. The Chief Justice of the High Court(HC) heads the collegium.
  • Once the center receives recommendations, it asks for the opinion of state governments and the input from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
  • The government then forwards the files, along with the IB inputs to the Supreme Court collegium.
  • If the Supreme Court collegium clears the names, the files return to the central government. It then either notifies the appointments or sends them back with objections or its views.
  • At this stage, the Supreme court collegium can seek additional inputs on the government’s opinion. Accordingly, it can either reject or reiterate the proposal.
  • If the collegium reiterates its decision, then, under the MoP, the government is bound to notify the appointments.
  • However, the MoP does not specify a timeframe for the central government to act on a collegium decision.

Source: Indian Express


Supreme Court Sets timeline for Appointment of Judges

What is the News?

The Supreme Court of India sets a timeline for the Centre to clear names recommended by the Collegium.

What was the case?

  • The issue of judicial vacancies came up when the Supreme court was hearing a petition seeking transfer of a case from the Orissa High Court due to the lawyers’ strike there.
  • The Supreme Court said that the High Courts are in a crisis-like situation. There are almost 40% vacancies in the High Courts. Many of the larger High Courts are working under 50% of their sanctioned strength.
  • Furthermore, the SC collegium has cleared several names for the appointment to various high courts. But the law ministry is yet to clear the names. Importantly, the Memorandum of Procedure(MoP) does not prescribe any time limit to make the decision for the Central Government.

What is the timeline set by the Supreme Court?

  • The Intelligence Bureau (IB) should submit its report/ inputs within 4 to 6 weeks. Duration will start from the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium, to the Central Government.
  • The Central Government shall forward the recommendations to the Supreme Court within 8 to 12 weeks. The duration would start from the receipt of views from the State Government and the report/ input from the IB.
  • Further, after the Supreme Court collegium clears the names for appointments, the Central Government can proceed to make the appointment immediately.
  • However, if the Government has any reservations on the suitability or in the public interest, It can send back the recommendations to the Supreme Court Collegium.
  • But if the Supreme Court Collegium, after reconsideration still reiterates the recommendation(s) unanimously, such appointment should be processed. Appointments should be made within 3 to 4 weeks.

Source: Indian Express


DRDO Develops SpO2 Based “Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System”

What is the News?

Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) launches the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System. It will be useful for soldiers in extreme high-altitude areas.

About DRDO’s Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System:

  • Purpose: The system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) levels. Thus, it prevents the person from going into a state of Hypoxia.
    • Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfill all the energy requirements of the body.
  • Developed by:  Defence Bio-Engineering & ElectroMedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO
  • Significance: This system will also be helpful in the current Covid-19 pandemic. It is useful for household care for moderate Covid patients for Oxygen flow therapy.

Key Features of the System:

  • The system has been indigenously developed. It has dual qualities of being robust & cheap.
  • Further, this system reads the blood oxygen saturation levels of the subject from a wrist-worn pulse oximeter. After that, the system delivers the required oxygen.
  • Moreover, the system can function at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures, and humidity.
  • The system also has software safety checks in the system to ensure the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.

Source: PIB

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