Daily Current Affairs : 17th and 18th June 2022

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Stagflation
  2. Demolition
  3. UNSC Designated Terrorists
  4. Aspirational Districts Programme
  5. Polio
  6. Facts for Prelims
    1. CEPI
    2. NTAGI
    3. Poshan sudha Yojana

1 . Stagflation

Context : India’s economy is better placed than many other countries to avoid the risk of potential stagflation, Reserve Bank of India officials headed by Deputy Governor Michael D. Patra wrote in an article in the June edition of the RBI Bulletin.

What is Stagflation?

  • Stagflation is a blend of stagnant growth and persistently high inflation. It, thus, describes a rather rare and curious condition of an economy.
  • Iain Macleod, a Conservative Party MP in the United Kingdom, is known to have coined the phrase during his speech on the UK economy in November 1965.
  • Typically, rising inflation happens when an economy is booming — people are earning lots of money, demanding lots of goods and services and as a result, prices keep going up. When the demand is down and the economy is in the doldrums, by the reverse logic, prices tend to stagnate (or even fall).
  • But stagflation is a condition where an economy experiences the worst of both worlds — the growth rate is largely stagnant (along with rising unemployment) and inflation is not only high but persistently so.

Why is Stagflation difficult to control for Central Banks

  • Governments respond to recessions through expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. That is, they pump more money into the economy. More money means cheaper money. Businesses are encouraged to borrow, grow, and hire. Consumers use credit more and consider major purchases.
  • Inflation requires the opposite response. The government restricts the supply of money in the system in order to make it more expensive to borrow. Businesses and consumers borrow less and spend less. The overall economy slows down. With demand declining, prices stop rising.
  • It becomes difficult for policy-makers when a recession coincides with higher inflation

2 . Domestic and International Laws against illegal Demolitions

Context : The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Uttar Pradesh government that demolitions could happen only in accordance with the provisions of law and could not be retaliatory. The court said this after hearing petitions which alleged that State authorities had taken the “appalling” step to wreak “vengeance” on the homes of people allegedly linked to violence in the aftermath of the Prophet remarks’ row.

Domestic Laws & Case Laws

  • Article 300 – In 1979, the 44th amendment to the Constitution did away with the right to property as a fundamental right but introduced Article 300A, which retained the right to property as a constitutional right. Article 300A categorically states “No person shall be deprived of his property save by the authority of law”. Subsequent judgments of the Supreme Court have reiterated that any deprivation of property by the State should not only have a statutory sanction, but also should adhere to touchstones of ‘reasonableness’ and ‘due process’.
  • Olga Tellis &Ors – In 1985, in the landmark judgement of Olga Tellis & Ors. v. Bombay Municipal Corporation & Ors, the Supreme Court, while dealing with the question of why notice was a legal requirement and concomitantly the opportunity of being heard essential before the process of evicting the residents of an illegal slum, basti or pavement dwelling could begin, observed that even a trespasser should be given a reasonable opportunity to depart before force is used to expel them.
  • Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India – In 1978, in the now famous case of Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India, the Supreme Court, while interpreting the scope of Article 21 of the Constitution, stated that the “due process of law” is an integral part of “procedure established by law”, explaining that such procedure must be fair, just and reasonable. If the procedure prescribed by law is fanciful, oppressive and arbitrary in nature then it should not be considered procedure at all and thus not all the requirements of Article 21 would be satisfied.
  • Municipal Corpn., Ludhiana v. Inderjit Singh : The Supreme Court once again in a case titled Municipal Corpn., Ludhiana v. Inderjit Singh categorically stated that if the requirement of giving notice is provided under a municipal legislation, then this requirement must be necessarily complied with. The Apex Court of the country has made it unambiguously clear that no authority can directly proceed with demolitions, even of illegal constructions, without providing notice and an opportunity of being heard to the occupant.
  • There is no gainsaying that the authorities are empowered to take action against illegal construction or encroachment within the paradigm of the legislative framework and the Constitution. Though the authorities have termed the demolitions as removal of encroachment, leaders of the ruling dispensation have stated that these drives are targeted towards the people suspected or accused of committing crimes. The Home Minister of

International Laws

  • The right to housing is also a well-documented right under the international human rights law framework, which is binding on India.
  • Likewise, Article 11.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognises “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions”. Furthermore, under Article 11.1, countries are under an obligation to take “appropriate steps” to ensure the realisation of these rights such as the right to adequate housing.
  • The rights recognised under ICESCR, according to Article 4, can be restricted by States only if the limitations are determined by law in a manner compatible with the nature of these rights and solely to promote society’s general welfare. However, any limitation imposed on the rights given in the Covenant such as the right to adequate housing cannot lead to the destruction of these rights. This is categorically recognised in Article 5 of ICESCR.
  • Article 12 of the UDHR states that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation”. Article 12 also stipulates that “everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”. This same right is also provided under Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 17 further provides that everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others and that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property. Thus, arbitrary interference with an individual’s property is a gross violation of the ICCPR.

3 . UNSC Designated Global Terrorists

Context : China has blocked a joint proposal by India and the US to designate Pakistan-based top LeT militant Abdul Rehman Makki as a global terrorist under the UN sanctions committee, a move Beijing’s claimed was consistent with relevant rules and procedures.

About the News

  • On June 1, India and the US jointly proposed to list Makki under the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaeda and ISIL Sanctions Committee which is also known as the UNSC 1267 Committee.
  • But, China, a close ally of Pakistan, placed a “technical hold” on the proposal to list Makki and this measure can last for up to six months at a time.

1267 Sanctions regime

  • Counter-terrorism is an important objective of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.1
  • The two main UNSC regimes establishing sanctions against individuals and entities suspected of terrorism are known as the 1267 regime and the 1373 regime. They impose mandatory obligations on all UN members concerning their implementation.
  • The 1267 sanctions regime was initially based on three UNSC resolutions.
    • First, UNSCR 1267 (1999), adopted following the Al-Qaeda attacks on United States (US) embassies in East Africa, imposed a limited air embargo and assets freeze on individuals and entities connected with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
    • Second, UNSCR 1333 (2000), extended those sanctions to individuals and entities associated with Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. This regime evolved to include asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargoes against individuals and entities named on the 1267 Sanctions List, without the requirement of any territorial connection and for a potentially unlimited period of time (UNSCR 1390 (2002)). A Sanctions Committee was established to oversee the regime. In 2011, UNSCR 1988 split the regime in two: a new Taliban sanctions regime was established alongside the Al-Qaida sanctions regime.
    • Finally, UNSCR 2253 (2015) extended the Al-Qaida Sanctions List to individuals and entities connected with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), changing the title of the Sanctions Committee and of the Sanctions List, now the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.

Listing Procedure & Sanctions

  • Under the listing procedure, any UN member state may submit names to the Sanctions Committee to request their inclusion on the Sanctions List.
  • The committee approves or rejects the listing requests, unless a UNSC member objects within a certain period. All decisions of the Committee are taken through consensus.
  • Once an individual or entity is placed on the Sanctions List, all UN member states are obliged to implement the asset freeze, arms embargo and travel ban against them

Listing Criteria

Acts or activities indicating that an individual, group, undertaking or entity is associated with ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida include:

  • Participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of;
  • Supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to;
  • Recruiting for; or otherwise supporting acts or activities of, ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof.

1373 Regime

  • The other main counter-terrorist sanctions regime was set up by the UNSC by means of Resolution 1373 (2001) in the aftermath of the attacks on 11 September, 2001.
  • The resolution requires states to criminalise the support of terrorism, by freezing the funds of those suspected of making financial resources available to terrorists and by introducing domestic legislation making support for terrorist acts a serious criminal offence, sanctioned accordingly. UNSCR 1373(2001) therefore establishes a ‘parallel’ or ‘decentralised’ listing system, whereby UN member states are given discretion over decisions on whom to list.
  • Under this regime, suspects or groups need not therefore necessarily be associated with Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, as UNSCR 1373 allows for the listing of individuals or groups as considered necessary ‘to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts’.
  • As these designations are made at national or regional level, however, individuals or groups have greater means to challenge their listing, including through judicial review. The 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) was established as a subsidiary body of the UNSC to monitor the implementation of the 1373 regime.

4 . Aspirational Districts Programme

Context : Aspirational districts should be ‘inspirational districts’ of India, and the Aspirational District Programme (ADP) should be extended to block and city levels, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

About Aspirational Districts Programme

  • Launched by the Hon’ble PM in January 2018, the Aspirational Districts programme aims to quickly and effectively transform 112 most under-developed districts across the country.
  • The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors), and Competition among districts through monthly delta ranking; all driven by a mass movement.
  • With States as the main drivers, this program focuses on the strength of each district, identifying low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement and measuring progress by ranking districts on a monthly basis.
  • The ranking is based on the incremental progress made across 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under 5 broad socio-economic themes – Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development and Infrastructure. The delta-ranking of Aspirational Districts and the performance of all districts is available on the Champions of Change Dashboard.
  • Districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch up with the best district within their state, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others in the spirit of competitive & cooperative federalism.
  • NITI Aayog works closely with the respective line Ministries and various development partners to fast-track progress at the district level. Various programmes such as – Saksham Bitiyan Abhiyan, Anemia Mukt Bharat and Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum, are some of the flagship initiatives that have been taken up by NITI Aayog in this regard. The districts are also encouraged to develop and replicate best practices that drive improvement across the socio-economic themes.
  • Another focus of the programme is to further dive into the progress at the block-level within each district. The districts are encouraged to monitor the progress of the blocks that lead to the overall improvement of the district.
  • The Aspirational Districts Programme essentially is aimed at localizing Sustainable Development Goals, leading to the progress of the nation.

5 . Wild Polio Virus

Context : Not wild poliovirus but vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) was detected in the environmental surveillance of sewage samples from Kolkata, said a senior Health Ministry official on Thursday. “The genetic sequencing is done at ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Mumbai, and this was discussed with the World Health Organisation (WHO). It can occur in any country where oral polio vaccine (OPV) is given,’’ added the official.

About Wild Polio Virus

  • There are three individual and immunologically-distinct wild poliovirus strains: wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1), wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) and wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3).
  • Symptomatically, all three strains are identical, in that they cause irreversible paralysis or even death.
  • But there are genetic and virologic differences which make these three strains three separate viruses that must each be eradicated individually.
  • People need to be protected against all three types of the virus in order to prevent polio disease and the polio vaccination is the best protection. 
  • Type 2 wild poliovirus was declared eradicated in September 2015, with the last virus detected in India in 1999.
  • Type 3 wild poliovirus was declared eradicated in October 2019. It was last detected in November 2012
  • Type 1 remains in circulation in just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Vaccine derived Polio

  • Oral polio vaccine (OPV) contains an attenuated (weakened) vaccine-virus, activating an immune response in the body. When a child is immunized with OPV, the weakened vaccine-virus replicates in the intestine for a limited period, thereby developing immunity by building up antibodies. During this time, the vaccine-virus is also excreted. In areas of inadequate sanitation, this excreted vaccine-virus can spread in the immediate community (and this can offer protection to other children through ‘passive’ immunization), before eventually dying out.
  • On rare occasions, if a population is seriously under-immunized, an excreted vaccine-virus can continue to circulate for an extended period of time. The longer it is allowed to survive, the more genetic changes it undergoes. In very rare instances, the vaccine-virus can genetically change into a form that can paralyse – this is what is known as a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV).
  • It takes a long time for a cVDPV to occur. Generally, the strain will have been allowed to circulate in an un- or under-immunized population for a period of at least 12 months. Circulating VDPVs occur when routine or supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) are poorly conducted and a population is left susceptible to poliovirus, whether from vaccine-derived or wild poliovirus. Hence, the problem is not with the vaccine itself, but low vaccination coverage. If a population is fully immunized, they will be protected against both vaccine-derived and wild polioviruses.

6 . Facts for Prelims

Custodian of Enemy Property for India

  • The Custodian of Enemy Property for India is an Indian government department that is empowered to appropriate property in India owned by Pakistani nationals. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was promulgated in 1968. 
  • Following the Chinese aggression in 1962, Indo-Pak conflict in 1965 and the Indo-Pak war of 1971, movable and immovable properties of enemy have been vested in Government of India by the Defence of India Rules, 1962. The office of Custodian of Enemy Property for India (CEPI) was established under the Enemy Property Act, 1968. Custodian is assisted by Dy. Custodians and Assistant Custodians.
  • The office of the Custodian of Enemy Property for India, worked under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce upto October 1969, from November, 1969 to February, 1973 under the Ministry of Foreign Trade, from March, 1973 to June, 2007 under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and thereafter, it was transferred to Ministry of Home Affairs by a Presidential Notification dated 28 th June, 2007.
  • Presently, the Office of the CEPI is a statutory authority under the provisions of the Enemy Property Act, 1968 (as amended in 2017) and a subordinate office under Ministry of Home Affairs, Freedom Fighters Division, with its Head Office at New Delhi and three Branch offices at Mumbai, Kolkata and Lucknow.
  • The Enemy Property Act 1968, amended from time to time (latest amendment 2017), governs the vesting, preservation, management, control, sale, transfer of rights, disposal and other forms of usage of Enemy Property. The Enemy Property Act empowers the Custodian of Enemy Property for India to continue to hold such property that vests in him including the rights, title, interest and benefits arising out of such property.
  • The Custodian is a quasi judicial Authority under the Enemy Property Act and a Civil Court under the Civil Procedure Court,1908 for the purpose of Section 11 of the Act.
  • Under section 18 of the Enemy Property Act, appeal against CEPI vesting order lies with the JS (FFR) of the Ministry of Home Affairs where, if aggrieved appeal can be preferred in the High Court.
  • There are 12610 number of Enemy Properties (belonging to Pakistan Nationals and Chinese Nationals), which have been declared and are vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.

National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation

  • The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India (NTAGI) fulfils a need for informing decision-making concerning the introduction of new vaccines and strengthening the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
  • The role and membership of NTAGI have expanded over the years in tune with the emerging needs and priorities of the Government of India.

Poshan sudha Yojana

  • Under Poshan Sudha Yojana hot cooked meals will be provided to tribal women once a day at Anganwadi centres.
  • Under this scheme, pregnant women and lactating mothers registered at Anganwadi are provided a full nutritious meal. In addition, iron and calcium tablets as well as education on health and nutrition are also offered.
  • It is Scheme implemented by Government of Gujarat

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