Daily Current Affairs : 31st May

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Constitutional Provisions Regarding Appointment of Prime Minister and COM
  2. Nandankanan Zoo
  3. Rare Metals
  4. SC Stays Maharashtra’s EWS quota
  5. Population Research centre

1 . Constitutional Provisions Regarding Appointment of Prime Minister & COM

Context : Prime Minister Modi and his 57 member council of ministers takes oath

Article 74

  • There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice:
  • Provided that the President may require the Council of Ministers to reconsider such advice, either generally or otherwise, and the President shall act in accordance with the advice tendered after such reconsideration.
  • The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by Ministers to the President shall not be inquired into in any court.

Article 75

  • The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • The total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed fifteen per cent of the total number of members of the House of the People.
  • A member of either House of Parliament belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of that House under paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister under clause (1) for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or where he contests any election to either House of Parliament before the expiry of such period, till the date on which he is declared elected, whichever is earlier.
  • The Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
  • The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
  • Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule.
  • A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
  • The salaries and allowances of Ministers shall be such as Parliament may from time to time by law determine and, until Parliament so determines, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.

2 . Nandankanan Zoo

Context : India’s only orangutan, Binny, who was at the Nandan Kanan Zoo on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar city has died.

About Oranguttan

  • The orangutans are three extant species of great apes native to Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Orangutans, with distinctive red fur, are the largest arboreal mammal, spending most of their time in trees.
  • Orang-utans are known as gardeners of the forest. They play a vital role in seed dispersal and in maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem, which is important for people and a host of other animals, including tigers, Asian elephants and Sumatran rhinos. 
  • According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there are three species of orangutans — Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli. 
  • All the Three species of Orangutans are listed as critically endangered as per IUCN Red list

About Nandankanan Zoo

  • Nandankanan zoo is located in Bhubaneswar in the State of Odisha
  • Nandankanan Zoological Park is a premier large zoo of India. Unlike other zoos in the country, Nandankanan is built right inside the forest and set in a completely natural environment.
  • The animals are housed in enclosures with greenery with a feel of real forest and live with no fear or apprehension of becoming the hunter’s prey.

Some uniqueness of the zoo

  • Host zoo for white tigers. White tigers born to normal coloured parents in the year 1980.
  • First captive breeding centre for endangered Gharials in the year 1980.
  • Kanjia Lake – A wetland of National importance (2006).
  • Conservation Breeding Centres for Indian Pangolin and Long billed vultures.
  • Situated inside a natural forest of semi-ever green and moist deciduous nature
  • Only zoo having Captive Fodder farm & Slaughter house
  • First record of breeding of Indian Ratels in captivity
  • First zoo in the country to become member of World Association of Zoos & Aquarium (WAZA).
  • Only zoo in India after which an express train (Nandankanan Express) has been named by Indian Railways.
  • The Postal Department released special cover on Nandankanan.
  • The only Zoo in India which had an Orangutan.
  • One among the three zoos in India for breeding Long billed vulture.

3 . Rare Metals

Context : Three public sector units — National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Copper Ltd. — are set to sign by next month, a joint venture (JV) agreement for making overseas acquisition of reserves of rare metals like lithium and cobalt.

About Lithium and Cobalt

  • Lithium and cobalt are critical elements in batteries that power mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles, the centerpiece of future transport solutions.
  • The global race for these minerals is intensifying in the wake of the growing use of such vehicles. 
  • Congo is the Worlds largest Producer of cobalt
  • A spike in demand for lithium has fuelled interest in mining of the metal in countries such as Bolivia, which has one-fourth of the world’s reserves. 

What are rare-earth metals?

  • Rare earths refer to a group of 17 elements that are prized for their unique magnetic and electrochemical properties.
  • The group consists of yttrium and the 15 lanthanide elements (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium). Scandium is found in most rare earth element deposits and is sometimes classified as a rare earth element.
  • These rare metals used in many devices that people use every day such as computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, magnets, fluorescent lighting and much more.
  • Lithium and cobalt are not rare earth metals

Where do they come from?

  • Rare earths are not actually very rare. They can be found across the Earth’s crust. However, they are often in low concentrations and are difficult and expensive to mine.
  • The process can also damage the environment, with ecosystems put at risk by pit mining, the release of metal byproducts from refineries, and water contamination from particles being dumped during waste disposal.
  • China is by far the world’s largest producer of rare earths and accounts for about 70% of global production. The country has some 37% of global reserves.

4 . SC Stays Maharashtra’s EWS quota

Context : The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the 10 per cent EWS quota cannot be applied to PG medical courses in Maharashtra for the academic year 2019-20 as admission process started long before the provision came into force

Background of the case

  • Out of a total of 972 seats in government medical colleges in the state, only 233 seats are available for general category students. Fifty per cent, or 486 seats, are reserved for SC/ST/ VJNT/OBC under the usual reservation quotas, while another 16 per cent, or 156 seats, have now been kept for Socially and Educationally Backward Class reservation, following the Ordinance of the state government to introduce this quota from this year itself.
  • Aggrieved students contended that it was discriminatory as it had taken the overall reservation to 76 per cent, leaving very few seats in the open category. Here the students also had to contend with the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) quota.

About the Court Decision

  • Supreme Court order has categorically stated that the 10per cent EWS quota cannot be granted at the cost of others unless additional seats are created by Medical Council of India (MCI)

About 124th Constitutional Amendment Act

  • The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Fourth Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to provide for the advancement of “economically weaker sections” of citizens.  
  • The Bill seeks to amend Article 15 to additionally permit the government to provide for the advancement of “economically weaker sections”.  Further, up to 10% of seats may be reserved for such sections for admission in educational institutions.  Such reservation will not apply to minority educational institutions. 
  • The Bill seeks to amend Article 16 to permit the government to reserve up to 10% of all posts for the “economically weaker sections” of citizens. 
  • The reservation of up to 10% for “economically weaker sections” in educational institutions and public employment will be in addition to the existing reservation.

5 . Population Research centre

Context : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is organizinga two-day orientation workshop for Population Research Centres (PRCs) to highlight the various features of the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry for concurrent monitoring.

About Population Research Centres

  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has established the network of 18 Population Research Centres (PRCs) spread over 17 major States/UTs, with the mandate to provide, inter alia, critical research based inputs related to the Health and Family Welfare programs and policies at the national and state levels.
  • The PRCs are autonomous in nature and administratively under the control of their host University/Institutions.
  • The scheme started with establishment of 2 PRCs at Delhi and Kerala in 1958 and expanded to 18 PRCs with latest inclusion of PRC, Sagar during 1999. Of these, 12 are attached to various Universities and 6 are in research institutions of national repute.
  • The PRCs were established to undertake research projects relating to family planning, demographic research and biological studies & qualitative aspect of population control, with a view to gainfully utilize the feedback from these research studies for plan formulation, strategies and policy interventions of ongoing schemes.
  • They are also involved in various sample surveys conducted across the country
  • They also monitor important components of NHM Programme Implementation Plans.

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected !! Copying and sharing on Social media / websites will invite legal action