Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Verdict on application of RTI Act regarding agenda, decision and resolution of a Collegium meeting
- Singapore Declaration of ILO
- Private Member’s Bill
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Verdict on Application of RTI Act on Collegium decisions
Context: The Supreme Court on December 9, 2022 held that only the final decisions of the apex court Collegium need to be published in the public domain.
- The January 10, 2019 Collegium resolution had recommended Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna as Supreme Court judges. But a public debate in the media had ensued at the time on why the Collegium had “dropped” its December 12, 2018 “proposal” to recommend Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog (both are now retired) and, within days, pick then Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Maheshwari and Justice Khanna, a Delhi High Court judge.
- The judgment came in a petition filed by activist Anjali Bhardwaj, who had applied under the RTI Act to the Supreme Court for a copy of the agenda, decision and resolution of a Collegium meeting held on December 12, 2018.
- Only final decision of the Collegium need to be put in the public domain.
- Tentative decisions of the multi-member Collegium need not be put in the public domain via publication on the Supreme Court website nor do they come under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
- Whatever was discussed behind the closed doors of the Collegium would remain confidential.
- Justice Shah said this was envisaged in a resolution published by the Collegium in October 2017 when the judicial appointments’ body had decided to publish its resolutions in the court website.
- A “final decision” of the Supreme Court Collegium would mean a resolution drawn and signed by all the collegium members of the court after due deliberations, discussions among them and post consultations conducted among the other Supreme Court judges.
About the collegium
- The Collegium system in India also called “Judges- selecting- Judges”, is the system by which the judges are appointed and transferred only by the judges.
- The Supreme Court Collegium is headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprises 4 other senior-most judges of the SC.
- A High Court collegium is headed by its Chief Justice and 4 other senior-most judges of that court. Names recommended for appointment by a High Court collegium reach the government only after approval by the CJI and the Supreme Court collegium.
- The government can return the recommendation for reconsideration by Collegium.
- If the collegium reiterates its recommendation then the government is mandated to appoint the respective person.
2 . Singapore Declaration of International Labour Organisation
Context : The 17th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organisation (APRM of ILO) set ten-point priorities of national action for the member countries to deal with the issue of dwindling wages of workers, inflation and unemployment. Singapore Declaration was adopted by the delegates representing governments, employers and workers’ governments, employers and workers in the regions.
About the declaration
- Social Dialogue: It agreed that social dialogue is essential to address labour market challenges and finding solutions in crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty.
- The declaration said social dialogue is key to building trust.
- Labour market institutions- resilient labour market institutions are essential to sustained recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth, and need to be strengthened in the regions.
- Representative organisations of workers and employers-
- Strong and representative organisations of workers and employers play an important role in building and sustaining inclusive societies.
- They are fundamental to achieving social justice and decent work.
- The social partners in some countries do not have the capacity, mechanisms or freedom to contribute effectively to policy development and discussion.
- The capacities and skills of employer and worker representatives, and of governments must be strengthened.
- Labour Protection-
- It urged the governments to ensure labour protection for all through the promotion of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining throughout the regions.
- It will be including for workers in vulnerable situations and workers in the informal economy, as enabling rights for decent work.
- Closing Gender Gap-
- It called for closing gender gaps in the world of work through measures that increase women’s labour force participation, promote equal pay for work of equal value, balance work and responsibilities, and promoting women’s leadership.
- It suggested that governments must develop and implement inclusive labour market programmes and policies that support life transitions and demographic shifts.
- Formal Economy-
- It recommended collective and determined efforts to promote and accelerate a smooth and sustained transition from the informal to formal economy.
- Migrant Workers-
- The declaration also urged the governments to strengthen governance frameworks and respect for freedom of association to protect the rights of migrant workers, including improved accommodation, protection of wages, and extension of social protection and, where appropriate, through enhanced bilateral labor migration agreements between both sending and receiving countries.
- Tripartite mechanisms should help promote cooperation between constituents to mitigate negative impacts and harness opportunities that arise from labour migration.
- Climate Change-
- It asked the governments to recognise the impact of climate change and develop through tripartite committees’ national plans for a just transition that help build environmentally sustainable economies and societies, based on meaningful and effective social dialogue, taking into account policies regarding the labour market, regulated labour migration, coordinated labour mobility, and social protection
3 . Private Member’s Bill
Context: The introduction of a private member bill by a BJP member on implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) across the country witnessed vociferous protest from the Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on December 9, 2022.
What is a private member’s Bill?
- An MP who is not a minister is a private member and while both private members and ministers take part in the lawmaking process, Bills introduced by private members are referred to as private member’s Bills and those introduced by ministers are called government Bills.
Difference between Private Member Bill and Government Bill
- Government Bills are backed by the government and also reflect its legislative agenda.
- The admissibility of a private Bill is decided by the Chairman in the case of the Rajya Sabha and the Speaker in the case of the Lok Sabha.
- Before the Bill can be listed for introduction, the Member must give at least a month’s notice, for the House Secretariat to examine it for compliance with constitutional provisions and rules on legislation.
- While a government Bill can be introduced and discussed on any day, a private member’s bill can only be introduced and discussed on Fridays.
Has a private member’s bill ever become a law?
- To date, Parliament has passed 14 such Bills, six of them in 1956.
- As per PRS Legislative, no private member’s Bill has been passed by Parliament since 1970.
- In the 14th Lok Sabha, of the over 300 private member’s Bills introduced, roughly four per cent were discussed, the remaining 96 per cent lapsed without a single dialogue.
- The selection of Bills for discussion is done through a ballot.
4 . Facts for Prelims
Tribes included in ST list
- Recently, government has approved the inclusion of certain communities in the lists of Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, fulfilling long-pending demands from these states.
- The move will enable members of the communities newly listed in the revised list of Scheduled Tribes to derive benefits meant for STs under the existing schemes of the government.
- Some of the major benefits include post-matric scholarship, overseas scholarship and the national fellowship, besides education, concessional loans from the National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation, and hostels for students.
- In addition, they will also be entitled to benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions as per the government policy.
- Tribes included-
- Narikoravan and Kuruvikkaran hill Tribes (Tamil Nadu)
- Betta-Kuruba (Karnataka)
- Bhariya Bhumia tribe (Chattishgarh)
- Binjhia Tribe(Chhattisgarh)
- Hattee Tribe (Himachal Pradesh)
- Gond Community (Uttar Pradesh)
IUCN Red List-
- The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.
- Established in 1964, The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.
- The IUCN Red List is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), natural resource planners, educational organisations, students, and the business community.
- Currently, there are more than 150,300 species on The IUCN Red List, with more than 42,100 species threatened with extinction, including 41% of amphibians, 37% of sharks and rays, 36% of reef building corals, 34% of conifers, 27% of mammals and 13% of birds.
- It uses a set of precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world.
- The aim of the IUCN Red List is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to reduce species extinction.
- Headquarters: United Kingdom
Trisonic Wind Tunnel-
- Wind tunnels are devices used to study the effects of air flows on solid objects. They are mainly used for simulating flight conditions in the laboratory.
- A Trisonic Wind Tunnel (TWT) is a wind tunnel so named because it is capable of testing in three speed regimes – subsonic, transonic, and supersonic.
- ‘Trisonic’ refers to the tunnel’s capability to test in three speed regimes—below the speed of sound (subsonic), at the speed of sound (transonic), and above the speed of sound (supersonic).
- The earliest known trisonic wind tunnel was dated to 1950 and was located in El Segundo, California before it closed in 2007.
- A new trisonic wind tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) was recently inaugurated.
- The trisonic wind tunnel at VSSC is about 160 metres long and measures 5.4 metres at its widest part.
- The tunnel can simulate flight conditions from 0.2 times the speed of sound (68 metres per second) to four times the speed of sound (1,360 metres per second), according to the space agency.
- Commissioned in 2017, this tunnel can simulate flow speeds up to Mach 12.
- A scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) is a variant of a ramjet airbreathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow.
- A ramjet operates by combustion of fuel in a stream of air compressed by the forward speed of the aircraft itself, as opposed to a normal jet engine, in which the compressor section (the fan blades) compresses the air.
- The air flow through a ramjet engine is subsonic, or less than the speed of sound.
- A scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion.
- Scramjet powered vehicles are envisioned to operate at speeds up to at least Mach 15.
- Recently, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the hot test of Scramjet Engine, a type of Air Breathing Engine.
- India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of a Scramjet Engine.
- An air-breathing engine is an engine that takes in air from its surroundings in order to burn fuel.