Must Read News Articles I 4th March 2020

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UN Rights Body to move SC on CAA

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has filed an Intervention Application in the Supreme Court against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

In the application,  the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has offered to assist the court as amicus curiae.

In response, the external affairs ministry asserted that CAA is an “internal matter of India” and “no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty”.

A COVID-19 response that is quick off the blocks

We are now facing the global spread of COVID-19. India has also reported six confirmed cases to date in Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan and Telangana. 

The article mentions that given that India has fragile health system it  needs to be ready to mount a coordinated, coherent and sustained response against the spread of COVID-19.

A blow against social justice

The two-judge SC bench has ruled that no individual could claim reservation in promotions and that the court could not issue a mandamus directing State governments to provide reservation. 

The article says that it has raised several questions such as Whether reservation in promotions is a fundamental right or not. Whether a court can direct the state to provide reservations. Whether quantifiable data for inadequate representation is a must for giving reservation in promotions. And whether it is the obligation of the state to give reservation.

It further argues that denying application of reservation in promotions has largely confined SCs and STs to lower cadre jobs

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Centre Working on exclusive body for river interlinking projects

The Central government is working on the establishment of an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers.

The proposed body is to be called the National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA). It is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects. It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.

Black carbon levels spike in at Himalayan Glaciers

A study by scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) has indicated that Black carbon concentrations near the Gangotri glacier rose 400 times in summer due to forest fires and stubble burning from agricultural waste, and triggered melting of glaciers.

Black carbon results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. The fine particles absorb light and about a million times more energy than carbon dioxide. It is said to be the second largest contributor to climate change after CO2. But unlike CO2, which can stay in the atmosphere for years together, black carbon is short-lived and remains in the atmosphere only for days to weeks, before it descends as rain or snow.

Rupee in free fall on COVID 19 fears, RBI soothes market

The rupee fell for the third consecutive session on Tuesday on concerns over the deadly COVID-19 spreading in India amid the central bank stepping in to calm investor sentiment.

The rupee dropped below the 73-a-dollar level even as the equity markets bounced back, snapping a seven-day losing streak.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stepped in to issue a statement saying the central bank was closely monitoring the situation and stood ready to take appropriate action.

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