Wednesday, 13th July 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Mediation Bill Recommendations: Addressing Concerns

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IS4OM - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Azores High - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   This Day in History

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Scottish Church College - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Terms & Concepts

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First Image of Universe - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Mangarh hillock - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Interpol’s ICSE initiative on child sex abuse

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Global Liveability Index 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

4   Editorial of the day

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The scale of municipal finances is inadequate: The Hindu

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Obstacles to a diplomatic solution in Ukraine: Indian Express

5   Case Study of the Day

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Carbon Negative Bricks - Edukemy Current Affairs

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Mediation Bill Recommendations: Addressing Concerns


In News

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice has made recommendations substantial changes to the Mediation Bill.

What are the recommendations of the Committee?

  • The panel cautioned against making pre-litigation mediation compulsory as it may result in delaying of cases. The committee has warned the Centre against the provision to give higher courts the power to frame rules for mediation.
    • Clause 26 of the Bill provides that court annexed mediation including pre-litigation mediation in court annexed mediation centre shall be conducted in accordance with the practice, directions or rules by whatever name called by the Supreme Court or the High Court.
  • The members questioned the non-applicability of the provisions of the Bill to disputes/matters of non-commercial nature involving the Government and its agencies.
  • Qualifications and appointment of the Chairperson and Members of the proposed Mediation Council should be based on ‘shown capacity’ and ‘knowledge and experience’ in ‘mediation.
    • According to present provisions in the Bill, people dealing with problems relating to ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ can become members and chairman of the council.
  • Each mediator should be given a unique registration number by the Mediation Council and empower the Mediation Council to continuously evaluate the mediator.
  • The Committee recommended that the State Mediation Councils should function under the overall superintendence, direction and control of Mediation Council of India and discharge such functions as may be specified by it.
  • The Committee recommended that the Centre to redefine the term ‘mediation’.

What are the major concerns w.r.t. the Bill?

  • The Bill treats international mediation when conducted in India as a domestic mediation. The settlement under the domestic mediation is given the status of a judgment or decree of a court.
    • This proposition is good for cases between Indian parties, but disastrous when one party is foreign. The reason is that the Singapore Convention does not apply to settlements which already have the status of a judgment or decree.
    • The Singapore Convention on Mediation is a uniform framework for international settlement agreements resulting from mediation. It applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation, concluded by parties to resolve a commercial dispute.
  • Problems with the Mediation Council: This is an all-powerful body which regulates, certifies, accredits, plans, governs, etc., and it doesn’t have a single mediator.
  • Disputes not to be mediated: Some cases like Fraud (wherein accusations are disposed of by retraction or apology or simply ignored), Cases involving minors or persons of unsound mind have been denied the possibility of a beneficial mediated settlement.
    • Patents and copyright cases and cases related to telecom, manufacturers and service providers and consumers, which have not been enlisted for mediation, can be talked and resolved.

Sources:

Keywords: Mediation Bill, ADR, Mediation, GS Paper 2
News Snapshot

IS4OM - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

The ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Operation (IS4OM) was recently inaugurated.

About the News

  • IS4OM is ISRO’s holistic approach to ensure the safety of our space assets and thus, sustains the utilization of outer space for national development.
  • As part of IS4OM, dedicated labs have also been set up for space debris mitigation and remediation, compliance verification of UN/Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) guidelines and various R&D activities.

About IS4OM

  • The control centre would facilitate the intensified activities foreseen for Space Situational Awareness & Management (SSAM) in view of increasing debris population and operational space assets.
  • IS40M will undertake
    • Observation and monitoring of space objects and space environment,
    • Processing the observations for orbit determination
    • Object characterization and cataloging
    • Analysis of space environment evolution
    • Risk assessment and mitigation
    • Data exchange and collaboration.
  • The system would safeguard all Indian Space assets by mitigating the collisional threats from space objects through specific orbit maneuvers and complying to international guidelines on post mission disposal and satellite’s end-of-life operations.
  • It would assimilate the tracking data of inactive satellites from indigenous observation facilities and generate useful information from bare observations through analysis.
  • For sustainable use of space, the control centre would enable research activities pertaining to active debris removal, space debris modelling and mitigation.
  • IS4OM facility will aid India in achieving its SSA (Space Situational Awareness) goals by providing a comprehensive and timely information of the space environment to users.
    • Space Situational Awareness (SSA) refers to the knowledge of the space environment, including location and function of space objects and space weather phenomena. SSA is generally understood as covering three main areas: Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) of man-made objects.
  • The R&D activities encompass space object fragmentation and break up modelling, space debris population and micrometeoroid environment modeling, and Near Earth Objects, among others.

Sources:

Keywords: Science and Technology, Space, ISRO, IS4OM, GS Paper 3
News Snapshot

Azores High - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

An extremely large ‘Azores High’ (a subtropical weather phenomenon) has resulted in abnormally dry conditions across the western Mediterranean region.

Understanding Azores High

  • Azores High is a subtropical high pressure system that extends over the eastern subtropical North Atlantic and western Europe during winter.
  • It is associated with anticyclonic winds in the subtropical North Atlantic.
  • It is formed by dry air aloft descending the subtropics and coincides with the downward branch of the Hadley Circulation.

Hadley Circulation:

    • Hadley Cells are thelow-latitude overturning circulations that have air rising at the equator and air sinking at roughly 30° latitude.
    • They are responsible for the trade winds in the Tropics and control low-latitude weather patterns.
    • Hadley cells could extend all the way to the poles. 

Effects of Azores High:

  • An annual drying of 5-10 millimetres per year per decade has been recorded in the Iberian Peninsula throughout the second half of the 20th
  • A further 10-20% drop in winter precipitation is expectedby the end of the 21st
  • These projected changes make agriculture of the Iberian region some of the most vulnerable in Europe.
  • The study projected:
    • Olive-growing regions in southern Spain will suffer a 30% decline in production by 2100.
    • Cultivation area in grape-growing regions across the Iberian Peninsula will shrink 25% - 99% by 2050 due to severe water deficits that will render land unsuitable for viticulture.

 Reasons for the Expanding Azores High:

  • The Azores High expansion is driven by external climate forcesand that the only external forcing that produces this signal in the industrial area is atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
    • Azores High expansion emerged after 1850 and strengthened in the twentieth century, consistent with anthropogenically driven warming.
    • The researchers explored the changing atmospheric conditions since the onset of the industrial era that contributed to these regional hydroclimatic changes by assessing how the characteristics of the Azores High varied over the past 1,200 years.
  • An expanding Azores High agrees with reports of a poleward shift in the North Atlantic storm track and an increase in anticyclone frequency at the Azores High’s poleward edge as well as a positive trend in regional subtropical indicators.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 1: Geography: Climate Change, Azores High, Hadley Cell, Meridional circulation, Mediterranean Climate
This Day in History

Scottish Church College - Edukemy Current Affairs


13 July 1803, Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Alexander Duff started the Scottish Church College with five students. It was the first English Medium Institution in India. It is one of the oldest college for liberal arts and sciences in India. Located in Kolkata, the college began with only five students. During the early part of the nineteenth century, the East India Company supported setting up institutions but only in the native language. It was the British historian and politician, Thomas Macaulay, who introduced English education in India.

The college building was designed by Mr John Gray and Captain John Thompson. It was one of the earliest institutions to support women’s education and was co-ed when it started. Today it can boast of some of the most famous people as it’s alumni which includes, Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekanand, Gopinath Bordoloi, Mithun Chakravarty, Derek O’Brien and Nirad C. Chaudhari.

Source:

Keywords: Scottish Church College, First English Medium Institution Of India, History, GS Paper 1
Terms & Concepts

First Image of Universe - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has recently revealed three more images taken from the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • The images revealed the emerging stellar nurseries and individual stars in the Carina Nebula that were previously obscured.

 

    • The image showed a landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars which was is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region in the Carina Nebula.
  • Images of “Cosmic Cliffs” (looked like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening) were also clicked showcasing the Webb’s cameras’ capabilities to peer through cosmic dust, shedding new light on how stars form
  • The first image revealed, showed the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 also known as Webb’s First Deep Field.
  • The others were images of the following targets: Carina Nebula, WASP-96 b (spectrum data revealed the presence of water vapour on the distant exoplanet for the first time), Southern Ring Nebula and Stephen’s Quintet.
  • The image of the Southern Ring Nebula captured the “final performance” of a dying star and the image of Stephan’s Quintet shed new light on the evolution of galaxies and black holes with the galaxies in a “galactic dance” or cosmic proportions with each other.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 3:, Science and Technology
Terms & Concepts

Mangarh hillock - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: A report by the National Monuments Authority (NMA)has recently called for the Mangarh hilltop to be designated as a national monument in honour of 1500 Bhil tribal freedom fighters.
  • The hillock, situated at the Gujarat-Rajasthan border,is a site of a tribal uprising where a massacre of over 1500 Bhil tribal freedom fighters took place in 1913.

  • The British forces, in 1913 opened fire on tribals gathered at the sitewho were holding a meeting in protest, led by a leader from the community Govind Guru.
  • Thus, this place is also known as theAdivasi Jallianwala.
  • Bhils are commonly referred to asRajasthan's bowmen. They are India's most widely dispersed tribal communities and South Asia's largest tribe.
  • They are considered as Schedule Tribein states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tripura.
  • The Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,1958 defines Ancient Monument as any structure or monument or any cave, rock sculpture, an inscription that is of historical, or archaeological interest.
  • TheCentral Government is authorised to maintain, protect and promote the monuments.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS paper 1: History/Art & Culture: Mangarh hillock, monument of National Importance, Bhil Tribe
Terms & Concepts

Interpol’s ICSE initiative on child sex abuse


  • Context: India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has recently joined the Interpol’s International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) initiative.
  • The ICSE database uses video and image comparison to analyse Child Sex Exploitation Material (CSEM)and make connections between victims, abusers and places. 

  • The database avoids duplication of effort and saves precious time by letting investigators know whether a series of images has already been discovered or identified in another country, or whether it has similar features to other images.
  • The image and video database is an intelligence and investigative tool, which allows specialized investigators to share data on cases of child sexual abuse.
  • It helps victim identificationspecialists worldwide analyse and compare child sexual abuse images.
  • INTERPOL’s Child Sexual Exploitation database holds more than 2.7 million images and videos and has helped identify 23,564 victims worldwide.
  • International Criminal Police Organisation-Interpol, is the world’s largest international police organisation with 195 member countries, and is headquartered in Lyon, France. 

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 2: Governance:, Sexual abuse
Terms & Concepts

Global Liveability Index 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Global Liveability Index 2022 has been released recently.
  • The Global Liveability index ranks cities across the globe for their “liveability quotient”.
  • In the index, 172 global cities are listed for the urban quality of life based on stability, healthcare, culture, education, environment, and infrastructure.

  • It is published by the Economist Intelligence Unit annually.
  • In the latest index, top 10 world’s most liveable city list is dominated by Western European countries.
    • Vienna has topped the ranking.
    • It is followed by Copenhagen, at second position.
    • Among the least 10 liveable cities, Tehran, Karachi, Dhaka and Lagos have been listed.
  • Among the Indian cities, Bengaluru has been ranked 146th- the least liveable city in India.
  • Delhi has been placed at 140th followed by Mumbai at 141st
  • Chennai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad have been included to the list for the first time.

Source:

Image source:

Keywords: GS Paper 3:, economy
Editorial of the day

The scale of municipal finances is inadequate: The Hindu


Essence: The article discusses the problems with ULBs like rowing fiscal deficits, constraints in tax base expansion, and weakening of institutional mechanisms that enable resource mobilisation remain challenges. Revenue losses after implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the pandemic have exacerbated the situation.

Tapping into property taxes, other land-based resources and user charges are all ways to improve the revenue of a ULB. Inter-governmental transfers (IGTs) assume significance in the fiscal composition of ULBs, and a stable support from Central and State governments is crucial till ULBs improve their own revenues. Measures need to be made to also cover operations and maintenance (O&M) expenses of a ULB for better infrastructure and service.

Why should you read this article?

  • To understand the financial problems being faced by ULBs
  • To know the potential solutions to these problems

Source:

Keywords: municipal finances, ULBs, economy, GS Paper 3
Editorial of the day

Obstacles to a diplomatic solution in Ukraine: Indian Express


Essence: World is witnessing a geopolitical and economic crisis and the Ukrainian crisis is certainly contributing to it by leading to disruption in energy supply and increasing distrust among countries.

Author is of the view that it is difficult to predict the course of the war because no one knows the end objective Putin has in his mind. Human cost of war is escalating all over the world and diplomacy appears to be the only solution.

However, the author says that the stand of India and China and Russia’s reliance on them for trade means that Putin has no incentive to negotiate. If diplomacy has to succeed in stopping Russia from prolonging the war, India and China will have to play a more proactive role.

Why should you read this article?

  • To understand the critical role India and China have to play to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Source:

Keywords: Ukraine Crisis, India and China, Economic Crisis, UPSC, GS Paper 2
Case Study of the Day

Carbon Negative Bricks - Edukemy Current Affairs


Background

  • The Process of creation of cement leads to high level of CO2 Emissions.
  • Visakhapatnam based social enterprise, GreenJams, is creating carbon-negative building material from agriculture biomass and hemp blocks.

About carbon-negative bricks

  • Called Agrocrete, the product is made of upcycled material and can reduce construction costs by 50%, increase thermal insulation by 50%, and cut down the time required for constructing buildings.
  • The product is made from the residue from farmers, which is then mixed with our innovative product BINDR, a 100% up-cycled low carbon replacement of Portland cement made from industrial by-products of steel, paper and power industries.
  • The product has the strength equivalent to that of a conventional red brick from the kiln, but has better thermal conductivity, less water absorption tendency, captures tonnes of carbon emissions and has a life duration of at least 75 years.
  • The blocks are 30% lighter, making it convenient for masons to work on. They’re also bigger, which reduces the construction time and cost of labour.

Source:

Keywords: Carbon-Negative Bricks, Agrocrete, GreenJams, environment, Sustainability, GS Paper 3, Case study
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