Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Mar 26, 2021

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“Postal ballot” extended to certain people in Tamil Nadu

What is the News?

For the first time in India, the Election Commission of India has allowed the casting of postal votes for a certain section of Peoples. In the upcoming Tamil Nadu assembly elections, the ECI allowed elderly voters aged over 80, the differently-abled, and persons tested positive for COVID-19 to cast a vote via postal ballot.

What is the Postal Ballot System?

  • A postal Ballot is a facility whereby a voter can cast his/her vote remotely. The user cast the vote by recording preference on the ballot paper and sending it back to the election officer before counting.
  • Section 60 of the Representation of People’s(RP) Act,1951 provides for the person to be given a postal ballot facility.

Click Here to Read more about Postal Ballots

 Procedure for voting through Postal Ballots for these three categories:

  • People permitted to cast a postal ballot can choose to vote by filling up Form 12D. After filling them, he/she can submit the form to the nodal officer within five days of notification of an election.
  • Officials would then visit the houses of the voters on a fixed day before the day of polling. They will receive their ballots in ballot boxes physically. However, indelible ink will not be applied on the fingers of electors.
  • Further, those who have filled 12-D forms will not be allowed to cast votes at the polling booths.

Source: The Hindu

“International Intellectual Property Index” 2021 Released

What is the News?

The International Intellectual Property Index,2021 has been released.

About International Intellectual Property Index:

  • It is an annual report released by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Centre(GIPC).
  • Aim: The index evaluates Intellectual Property rights in 53 global economies. These economies represent together over 90% of global GDP.
  • Parameters: It ranks countries based on 50 unique indicators. These indicators are divided across nine categories of protection: 1) Patents 2) copyrights 3) trademarks 4) design rights 5) trade secrets 6) commercialization of IP assets 7) enforcement 8) systemic efficiency and 9) membership and ratification of international treaties.

Key Findings Related to India:

  • India has been ranked 40th in the 2021 index among the 53 global economies. In 2020 also, India was ranked 40th.
  • Among BRICS nations, India registered the second-highest growth with an overall improvement of over 13%,

Other Key Findings Globally:

  • Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the global IP environment continued to strengthen. In the 2021 report, 32 of the 53 economies had positive improvements in their scores.
  • The US, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan are the top five economies on the IP Index in 2021.

Source: NDTV

Collegium System and Appointment of “Ad-Hoc judges” in High Courts

What is the News?

The Supreme Court has asked the reason from the government for delaying the process of appointment of judges. As the government has not cleared the 55 recommendations made by the Collegium for judicial appointments to High Courts.

Vacancies in High Courts:

  • The total sanctioned strength in the 25 High Courts is 1,080. However, the present working strength is 661 with 419 vacancies as of March 1,2021.
  • The highest number of vacancies is in Patna High Court with 60% of the sanctioned judges vacant.
  • The least number of vacancies is in Meghalaya, Manipur, and Sikkim High Courts where there is no vacancy.

What is the collegium system through which judges are appointed?

  • The Collegium makes decisions regarding appointments/elevation of judges to the Supreme Court, High Courts, and transfers of judges of the High Courts.
  • The Collegium System has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court. It does not come into existence through an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court Collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.
  • Are Collegium recommendations binding? The Central Government can ask the Collegium to reconsider its recommendations only once. The recommendations are binding on the Central Government if the Collegium sends the names of the judges to the government for the second time.

Appointment of Ad-Hoc Judges:

  • The Supreme Court has suggested the appointment of retired judges as ad-hoc judges to deal with the pendency of cases in High Courts.
  • The appointment of ad-hoc judges has been provided in the Constitution under Article 224A (appointment of retired Judges at sittings of High Courts).
  • Under the Article, the Chief Justice of a High Court for any State can request a person to act as a judge of the High Court. The conditions are
    • For this, the prior consent of the president is required.
    • The person should have held the office of judge of that court or of any other High Court.
  • Such a judge is entitled to allowances as determined by the President.
  • He will also enjoy all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of a judge of that high court. But, he will not otherwise be deemed to be a judge of that high court.

Source: The Hindu

Traffic in “Suez Canal” suspended

What is the News?

A 400 m long “Ever Given vessel” blocked the Suez Canal. The ship blocked the canal due to a lack of visibility created by bad weather and a sand storm. The officials are still not able to clear the Vessel. So they temporarily suspended the traffic

About the Suez Canal:

  • Suez Canal is a sea-level waterway running north-south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt to connect the Mediterranean and the Red seas. The canal separates the African continent from Asia.

  • Significance:
    • Suez Canal is actually the first canal that directly links the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
    • The Suez Canal is also important because it is the shortest maritime route from Europe to Asia.
  • Alternative Route: An alternative route to the Suez Canal is through the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa. But this route takes two weeks longer than the Suez Canal Route.
  • Operated by: The United Kingdom and France owned the canal until 1956 when the President of Egypt nationalized it. Since then, the canal is operated and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority(SCA).
  • Trade: Suez Canal is one of the world’s busiest and important trade route. About 12% of global trade passes through it.

Source: Indian Express

The first “Inter-State Tiger Relocation Project” Suspended

What is the News?

The first inter-state tiger relocation project launched in 2018 has been suspended.

About the First Tiger Relocation Project:

  • The first Tiger Relocation Project was launched in 2018 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA).
  • Under the Project, two tigers a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from MP were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha.

Why Relocation of Tigers? The relocation was meant to serve two purposes:

  1. To reduce the tiger population in areas with excess tigers to majorly reduce territorial disputes
  2. To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons.

About Satkosia Tiger Reserve, and why was it chosen for Relocation?

  • Satkosia Tiger Reserve comprises two adjoining sanctuaries of central Odisha named Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Sanctuary.
  • The reserve lies in a transitional zone extending between the Chhota Nagpur Plateau and the Deccan Plateau.
  • Satkosia was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2007. It had a population of 12 tigers then. However, the numbers reduced to two in 2018.
  • Hence, the purpose of the relocation was to repopulate tigers in the reserve areas. Also, Satkosia was found to fall under reserves where there is a potential for increasing tiger populations.

Why has then the Tiger Relocation Project suspended? The project was suspended due to the following reasons:

  • Protests by villagers living on the sidelines of the forest as they felt that their lives and livestocks were endangered.
  • Lack of confidence and trust-building between the forest department and the villagers.
  • One of the tigers, Mahavir was found dead and a field inspection report claimed poaching as the cause of death.
  • Further, the tigress Sundari was blamed for the death of a woman and another person. Hence, the tigress Sundari was then tranquilized and was shifted.
  • Following this, the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) suspended the first tiger relocation project.

Source: Indian Express

PM thanked “United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR)”

What is the News?

Recently the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) appreciated India’s progress in reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Indian Prime Minister(PM) has thanked the UNITAR in return.

About United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR)

  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations system. It was founded in 1963.
  • Purpose: UNITAR provides training and learning services to individuals, organizations and institutions. The services of UNITAR aims to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
  • Governance: UNITAR is operated as an autonomous body within the United Nations system. It is headed by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Trustees. They are appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General.
  • Funding: UNITAR does not receive any funds from the United Nations budget. The institute is financed entirely from voluntary contributions. It receives contributions mainly from the UN Member States, other UN agencies, Intergovernmental organization, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

About United Nations University(UNU):

  • United Nations University(UNU) is the academic and research arm of the United Nations established in 1972.
  • Purpose: Its mission is to help resolve global issues related to human development and welfare through collaborative research and education.
  • Significance: Since 2010, UNU has been authorized by the UNGA to grant degrees, offering several masters and doctoral programs.
  • Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan.

Source: The Hindu


9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 26, 2021

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