Daily Current Affairs : 6th September 2022

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Preventive Detention
  2. Seat belts and head restraints
  3. Ramon Magsasay Awards
  4. Facts for Prelims

1 . Preventive Detention

Context: Preventive detentions in 2021 saw a rise by over 23.7% compared with the year before, with over 1.1 lakh people being placed under preventive detention, according to statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) last month.

 Highlights of the report

  • 483 were detentions under the National Security Act, of which almost half (241) were either in custody or still detained as of 2021-end.
  • Over 24,500 people placed under preventive detention were either in custody or still detained as of 2021-end — the highest since 2017 when the NCRB started recording this data.
  •  In 2017, the NCRB’s Crime in India report found that 67,084 persons had been detained as a preventive measure that year.
    • Of these, 48,815 were released between one and six months of their detention and 18,269 were either in custody or still in preventive detention as of the end of the year.
  •  The number of persons placed under detention has been increasing since 2017.
  • Data pertaining to 2021 showed that 1,10,683 persons were placed under preventive detention last year, of which 24,525 were either in custody or still detained as of the end of the year and the rest were let go within one to six months.
  • While the number of persons placed under preventive detention has seen an increase in 2021, the NCRB data showed that the number of people arrested in such a manner under the National Security Act had dipped significantly compared with the year before.
  •  Preventive detentions under the NSA increased to 741 in 2020. This number dropped to 483 in 2021.

 Use of provision

  •  Among other laws under which the NCRB has recorded data on preventive detentions are the Goonda Act (State and Central) (29,306), Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 (1,331), and a category classified as “Other Detention Acts”, under which most of the detentions were registered (79,514).
    • Since 2017, the highest number of persons to be placed under preventive detention has consistently been under the “Other Detention Acts” category.
  • Several laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act also provide for making preventive detentions.

About Preventive detention

  • Preventive detention is the detention of a person on a mere reasonable apprehension of him doing an activity dangerous to public order and security.
  • Preventive Detention can be understood as imprisonment of a person without trial, an act that is supposedly justified for non-punitive ends and is often described as a preventive measure rather than a punitive one.
  • The essence of the Law on Preventive Detention is entirely different from the arrest and incarceration under regular criminal prison, which is relevant in both a crisis and a calm scenario.
  • According to Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the police are empowered to make preventive arrests if they believe they must do so to prevent the commission of “any cognisable offence”.
    • This detention can be extended beyond 24 hours if required “under any other provisions of this Code or of any other law”.
  • The police have the authority to hold anyone they suspect of committing a criminal offence. The police can make arrests without a warrant or a magistrate’s authorization in certain cases.
  • In the event of arrest and detention, the arrested person is given various safeguards mentioned under Article 22(1) and (2) of the Constitution, but in compliance with the law of preventive detention under Article 22(3), such protections are not extended to the arrested detention. Clauses (4) to (7) provide for the protections in accordance with preventive detention.

Types of Detention

  • There are commonly two types of detentions:
    • Punitive detention, which means detention as a punishment for a criminal offence. It occurs after an offence is actually committed, or an attempt has been made towards the commission of that crime.
    • On the other hand, preventive detention means a person’s incarceration in advance to prevent any further possibility of the commitment of crime or its engagement. Preventive detention is, therefore, an action taken on the basis of apprehension that the person in question might do some wrongful act.
      • ‘Preventive detention’ is also referred to as ‘administrative detention’, since this detention is directed by the executive and the decision-making authority lies exclusively upon the administrative or managerial authority.
      • In the case of Union of India v. Paul Nanickan and Anr, the Supreme Court stated that the purpose of the preventive detention isn’t to punish any person for doing something but to obstruct him before he does it and deter him from doing so.
      • The reasoning for such detention is based on suspicion or reasonable possibility and not a criminal conviction, which can be justified only by valid proof.
      • The laws regulating preventive detention are repulsive to the modern democratic constitution. These laws raise substantial queries about the protection of the citizens, as mentioned under Article 22 of the Indian Constitution and the freedom of a person detained on mere suspicion.

Safeguards against Preventive Detention

  • Article 22 of the Indian Constitution deals with certain rights that are provided in case of preventive detention:
    •  Clause 2 of Article 22: It states that each individual who is arrested and detained shall be produced before the nearest judge within a timeframe of 24 hours of such capture barring the time vital for the journey from the spot of arrest to the court and no such individual will be confined in custody more than the said period without the authority of a magistrate.
    • Clause 4 of Article: It provides that no law for preventive detention authorizes any individual to be detained for more than three months unless an advisory panel claims a reasonable justification for such detainment.
      • The members on the consultative panel will be as eligible as a high court jury. The report must be presented before the expiration period of the said three months.
    • Clause 5 of Article 22: It specifies that the reason for detention shall be conveyed to the individual as quickly as possible by any official when detaining any individual under preventive detention.
      • The reason for detention should have a rational connection to the object that the detenu is prevented from acquiring. The correspondence should include all the ground-related information, and it should not be a simple assertion of information.
      • The authority who has detained the person is not under any obligation to provide the reasons for the detention to be held before his arrest but is recommended to do so as soon as possible, thus giving the detained person with an incentive to be represented.
      • A person who is already in detention may be detained if reasonable and satisfactory reasons exist to do so. The main problem is that there is no way to verify if the reason for detention is just and reasonable in the context of preventive detention until it is provided to the advisory committee that is applicable only after a 3-months span.
      • It also says that the reasons for the detention should be conveyed as quickly as possible in order to enable the person to have the right to representation.
      • The authority that provides the command for detention shall give the person the soonest chance to make a representation against the order.

2 . Seat belts and Head Restraints

Context: The death of Cyrus P. Mistry, former Chairman of Tata Sons, in a car crash in Maharashtra’s Palghar district has turned the focus on whether compulsory use of seat belts in cars — including by passengers in the rear seat — can save lives during such accidents. 

How does a seat belt make a life saver?

  • The three-point seat belt engineered by Nils Evar Bohlin, a passive safety device first incorporated into a car by Volvo in 1959, and now standard in cars sold in India, is a low-cost restraint system that prevents occupants of a vehicle from being thrown forward in a crash.
  • In the U.S, unrestrained drivers and passengers represented 48% of all deaths in vehicle crashes during 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  •  In a car crash, particularly at moderate to high speeds, the driver or passenger who has no seat belt continues to move forward at the speed of the vehicle, until some object stops the occupant.
    • This could be the steering wheel, dashboard or windscreen for those in front, and the front seat, dashboard or windscreen for those in the rear.
  • Without an airbag, and no seat belt restraint, a severe crash leads to the occupant of the rear seat striking the seat in front with such force that it is sufficient for the seat mountings and seat structures to fail.
  • The seat belt performs many functions, notably slowing the occupant at the same rate as the vehicle, distributing the physical force in a crash across the stronger parts of the body such as the pelvis and chest, preventing collisions with objects within the vehicle and sudden ejection.
  • Newer technologies to “pretension” the belt, sense sudden pull forces and apply only as much force as is necessary to safely hit the airbags.
  • Absence of seat belts could lead to rear seat occupants colliding with internal objects in the car, or even being ejected through the front windscreen during the collision.

 What role do head restraints play?

  • Head restraints, which are found either as adjustable models or moulded into the seats, prevent a whiplash injury.
  • This type of injury occurs mostly when the vehicle is struck from behind, leading to sudden extreme movement of the neck backwards and then forwards. It could also happen vice versa in other circumstances.
  • The injury involves the muscles, vertebral discs, nerves and tendons of the neck, says Johns Hopkins Medicine, and is manifested as neck stiffness, pain, numbness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision and sleeplessness among others.
  •  The head restraint built into the seat must be properly placed and aligned with the neck, to prevent injury in a vehicle accident.
  • A study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the U.S. estimated that claims for neck injuries were lower by 11% when the seats and restraints were rated good by it, compared to those rated poor. The ratings system has resulted in newer models, since 2015, almost fully getting a good rating.

 How does India regulate and enforce safety?

  • On February 11, 2022, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a draft notification providing for three-point seat belts to be provided in all vehicles coming under the M1 category, that is, for carriage of passengers comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat, for vehicles manufactured from October 1.
    • Also, it stipulated relevant Indian Standards to be followed by the manufacturers for both seat belts and reminder systems alerting occupants to wear them.
  •  The amended Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 already requires the occupants of a passenger vehicle to wear a seat belt.
    • As per Section 194(B) of the Act, whoever drives a motor vehicle without wearing a safety belt or carries passengers not wearing seat belts shall be punishable with a fine of one thousand rupees.
  • Evidently, although cars are equipped with seat belts, the enforcement for rear seat occupants is virtually absent in India.
  • U.S. research findings show that seat belt use was low in states with weak laws or no laws at all, and riders of taxi services are high risk groups.
  • The IIHS study found that rear seat passengers who did not buckle up were eight times more likely to suffer serious injuries than those who did.
  • The toll from non-compliance in India is high, as taxicabs often have missing seat belts.
    • In India, 26,896 people lost their lives due to non-use of seat belts and 16,876 of them were passengers. No specific data about loss of lives due to non-usage of seat belts by rear seat passengers is available.

Way ahead

  • Automotive technology can bring compliance by making it impossible to operate the vehicle if seat belts are not fastened.
  • As of July, the European Union’s General Safety Regulation requires new vehicles to incorporate advanced emergency braking technology that launches automatically when a collision is imminent, and intelligent speed assistance to reduce speed suitably besides accident event recorders, all of which are relevant to the Palghar crash.
  • Making high quality dash cameras standard in cars could be a start to help record accidents and establish the cause.

3 . Ramon Magsaysay Award

Context : On Sunday, in response to a report that the CPI (M) had vetoed her selection as a finalist for the international Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2022, former Kerala health minister K K Shailaja said that she had consented to her party’s decision. Shailaja said that in view of the anti-communist stance of Ramon Magsaysay, the former Philippines president whose legacy the prestigious award honours, and for its foundation’s decision to consider her as an individual recipient for what was a state initiative, she had declined her nomination.

Who was Ramon Magsaysay?

  • Born on August 31, 1907 to a father who worked as a blacksmith and a mother who was a teacher, Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay Senior was the seventh president of the Philippines, from 1953 until his death in an air crash in 1957.
  • Magsaysay started out as an automobile mechanic before being drafted into the Pacific War (1941-1945), during World War II.
  • The Pacific War would see the Japanese occupation of the Philippines — then a colony of the US — for nearly four years. The US formally recognised the Philippines as an independent nation in 1946.
  • As a guerrilla leader resisting the Japanese occupation, Magsaysay’s bravery and leadership saw his appointment as a military governor. In 1946, he would be elected under the Liberal Party to the Philippine House of Representatives, where he would serve two terms as a Congressman before being appointed secretary of National Defence in 1950. On December 30, 1953, he would be elected president from the Nationalist Party, the oldest political party in the Philippines.

Communism and Magsaysay

  • Founded in 1902, the Unión Obrera Democrática is considered the first modern trade federation in Philippines.
  • The Communist Party of the Philippines or the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) was formed in 1930. The Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon or the People’s Army Against the Japanese, popularly known as the Hukbalahap (Huk), was a prominent guerrilla outfit that fought the Japanese.
  • As the country plunged into post-war chaos after 1946, the fortunes of the Hukbalahaps, too, changed dramatically. With the expansion of capitalism, the gap between the rich and poor widened and the farmers continued to languish. Huk leaders were viewed with suspicion over their declaration of commitment to communism and the demand for peasant rights. With the US as its close ally, the Philippine government cracked down on the Huks, who formed an alliance with the PKP to take their struggle to a parliamentary platform.
  • The severe crackdown against the Huks continued until Magsaysay became the National Defence Secretary under President Elpidio Quirino. Magsaysay drew upon his own experience of guerrilla warfare to initiate a two-pronged system of reforms and military campaigns. It was under his administrative and military policies that the Huk threat was considered to be neutralised.
  • All through, Maysaysay’s commitment to the US, too, remained strong.

About Ramon Magsasay Award

  • In 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay award was set up by trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Philippine government to carry forward Magsaysay’s legacy of service to the people, good governance, and pragmatic idealism.
  • In the six decades since 1958 — the first year the Award was given out — over 300 organisations and individuals have been recognised for their developmental endeavours crucial to Asia, and, consequently, to the world. The award is given out every year on August 31, on Magsaysay’s birth anniversary.
  • Ramon Magsaysay Award, widely considered to be Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize, recognises outstanding leadership and communitarian contributions in Asia. This year’s annual list of awardees was announced last week.
  • Shailaja was considered for the award for her performance as state health minister from 2016 to 2021, a period which saw Kerala fight against the Nipah virus and Covid-19

Indian winners on the list

  • Prominent Indians who have won the award include Vinoba Bhave in 1958, Mother Teresa in 1962, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay in 1966, Satyajit Ray in 1967, Mahasweta Devi in 1997.  In recent years, Arvind Kejriwal (2006), Anshu Gupta of Goonj (2015), human rights activist Bezwada Wilson (2016), and journalist Ravish Kumar (2019) have won the award.

4 . Facts for Prelims

PM Shri

Context:  Celebrating Teacher’s Day with the 45 winners of National Teachers Award 2022, PM announced that 14,500 schools across the country will be developed as Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI).

About Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI)

  • These centrally sponsored schools will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and act as exemplar schools, also offering mentorship to other institutions in their vicinity.
  • The pedagogy to be adopted in the PM-SHRI schools will be more experiential, holistic, integrated, play/toy-based, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner- centered, discussion-based, flexible and enjoyable.
  • They will be equipped with modern infrastructure including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, sports equipment, art room etc. which is inclusive and accessible.
  • The PM-SHRI schools shall also be developed as ‘green’ schools with water conservation, waste recycling, energy-efficient infrastructure and integration of organic lifestyle in curriculum.
  • Focus will be on achieving proficiency in learning outcomes of every child in every grade.
  • Assessment at all levels will be based on conceptual understanding and application of knowledge to real life situations and will be competency-based.

S Radhakrishnan

Context: Teachers’ Day celebrated on September 5 in India every year marks the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a teacher, who was the first vice president and second president of India.

About Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

  • Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, in Tiruttani, Tamil Nadu.
  • When he was elected president of India in 1962, his friends and students wanted to celebrate his birthday, to which he said that it would be his honor if September 5 was marked as Teachers’ Day. Since then, Teachers’ Day has been celebrated on September 5.
  •  Dr Radhakrishnan was awarded various scholarships throughout his student life in Tirupati and Vellore. He then pursued philosophy at the Christian College, Madras.

A professor before foraging into politics

  • Fondly revered by his students, he served as a professor of philosophy at Mysore and Calcutta University.
  • He also became the vice chancellor of Andhra University. As a professor, he taught about eastern religions and ethics at the University of Oxford, England from 1936–52.
  • The former president was also vice chancellor of Benares Hindu University (BHU) from 1939–48 and chancellor of the University of Delhi (DU) from 1953 to 1962.

 Radhakrishnan as a statesman

  • Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and was elected chairman of UNESCO’s executive board from 1948–49.
  • He also served as Indian ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1949 to 1952.
  • When he returned to India in 1952, he was elected as vice president, and on May 11, 1962, as president, succeeding Rajendra Prasad, the first president of independent India.

 Works of the visionary philosopher

  • Some of the renowned works of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan include books such as Indian Philosophy, The Philosophy of the Upanishads, An Idealist View of Life, Eastern Religions and Western Thought, and East and West: Some Reflections.
  • In his lectures and books, he tried to interpret Indian thought for Westerners.
  • Dr Radhakrishnan died on April 16, 1975, in the then Madras.
Enlightening quotes by the great scholar “When we think we know, we cease to learn.”  “The end product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature.”  “Books are the means by which we can build bridges between cultures.”

Conversion therapy

Context: The National Medical Commission (NMC), the apex regulatory body of medical professionals in India, has written to all State Medical Councils, banning conversion therapy and calling it a “professional misconduct”. 

What is conversion therapy? What are the risks?

  •  Conversion or reparative therapy is an intervention aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of an individual with the use of either psychiatric treatment, drugs, exorcism and even violence, with the aim being to make the individual a heterosexual.
  • The conversion therapy umbrella also includes efforts to change the core identity of youth whose gender identity is incongruent with their sex anatomy.
  • Often, the therapy is offered by quacks with little expertise in dealing with the issue.
  • According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the interventions under conversion therapy are provided under the false premise that homosexuality and diverse gender identities are pathological.
  • Further, according to AACAP and other health experts, conversion therapy poses the risk of causing or exacerbating mental health conditions, like anxiety, stress and drug use which sometimes even lead to suicide.

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