Eye Cancer therapy
Why in News?
- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Mumbai had developed Eye Cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for treatment of Ocular Tumours.
- The handling of plaque is very convenient for the Surgeon and it has been acknowledged to be at par with the international standards.
- Recently, AIIMS, New Delhi agreed to use the Plaque developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for Eye Cancer treatment and it was in September 2020 that it was used for the first time for the treatment of a patient with Choroidal Hemangioma and the results proved to be satisfactory.
- The Department of Atomic Energy is also contributing in other areas like, for example, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is developing Bullet Proof Jackets for security personnel and in the Agricultural sector, radiation techniques to extend shelf life of vegetable and food products are being applied.
Quantum based technology for Random Number Generation
Why in News?
- DRDO Young Scientist Laboratory for Quantum Technologies (DYSL-QT) has developed a Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) which detects random quantum events and converts those into a stream of binary digits.
- Random numbers have essential roles in many fields, such as Quantum Communication, cryptography (key generation, key wrapping, authentication etc.), scientific simulations, lotteries and fundamental physics experiments.
- The generation of genuine randomness is generally considered impossible with classical means.
- Quantum Mechanics has the inherent potential of providing true random numbers and thus has become the preferred option for the scientific applications requiring randomness.
About new Development
- The Laboratory has developed a fiber-optic branch path based QRNG.
- Branch path based QRNG is based on the principle that if a single photon is incident on a balanced beam splitter, it will take either of the beam-splitter output paths randomly.
- As the path chosen by photon is random, the randomness is translated to sequence of bits.
- With this development India enters the club of countries who have the technology to achieve the generation of random numbers based on the Quantum Phenomenon.
Why in News?
- Indian Naval Ship Kiltan arrived at Sihanoukville Port, Cambodia as part of ongoing Mission Sagar-III.
- The ship will deliver 15 Tons of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Stores for the flood-affected people of Cambodia.
- This assistance is reflective of the deep people-to-people connect between the two friendly countries.
About Mission Sagar
- Mission Sagar-III is part of India’s HADR assistance to Friendly Foreign Countries during the ongoing pandemic.
- This Mission is being undertaken in accordance with Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and reiterates India’s position as a dependable partner, and the Indian Navy as the Preferred Security Partner and First Responder.
- The Mission also highlights the importance accorded to ASEAN countries and further strengthens the existing bonds.
Ladakh Gets Its Own Meteorological Centre
Why in News?
- A meteorological centre was inaugurated in the Union Territory of Ladakh which would provide localised weather forecasts thus strengthening weather-related early warning system for the region.
- At 3,500 metres, this meteorological centre is the highest such facility in India.
- It will provide short range (three days,) medium range (12 days) and long range (one month) forecast for the two districts — Leh and Kargil — of the Union Territory.
- The region is unique in terms of weather, climate, culture, topography with extreme temperatures, ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius in Drass to scanty average precipitation of 10 centimetres annually, which makes the region a distinct cold desert.
- Ladakh also experiences various kinds of extreme weather events like cloud bursts, flash floods, glacial lake outbursts, avalanches and drought.
- Some important services are highway forecast, forecast for mountaineering, trekking, agriculture, flash flood warning, information on gusty winds, low and high temperatures.
- To improve the network of observations, IMD plans to install more AWSs next year at the remotest of places like Nubra, Zanskar, Changthang, Parkachik and others, thus covering the whole of Ladakh.
Why in News?
- The Minister of Earth Sciences, Science & Technology, and Health & Family Welfare inaugurated the web-based application “Digital Ocean” developed by INCOIS of M/o Earth sciences.
- Digital Ocean is a first of its kind digital platform for Ocean Data Management.
- Digital Ocean is a big step towards Prime Minister’s vision of Digital India ie to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- The ocean is a storehouse of infinite knowledge and ‘Digital Ocean’ helps to share this knowledge about the ocean with a wide range of users including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, academic community, maritime industry and policy makers.
- It also provides free access to information to the general public and the common man.
- Today we are looking at a large number of possibilities for harnessing the wealth of the ocean like the Deep Ocean Mission, research on alternate sources of energy, its mineral wealth, source of food among others.
- Deep Ocean Mission will help to explore the power of the ocean which will be reflected through data. The sharing of this data will become critical factors in achieving better outcomes for strengthening our economy.
- INCOIS has adopted and developed various state-of-the-art technologies and tools through sustained and focussed oceanographic research for the timely dissemination of ocean information and advisory Services that includes Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories, Ocean State Forecast (OSF), High Wave Alerts, Tsunami early warnings, Storm Surge and Oil-Spill advisories, etc.
About Digital Ocean
- Digital Ocean platform is a first of its kind platform for ocean data management (www.do.incois.gov.in).
- It includes a set of applications developed to organize and present heterogeneous oceanographic data by adopting rapid advancements in geospatial technology.
- It facilitates an online interactive web-based environment for data integration, 3D and 4D (3D inspace with time animation) data visualization, data analysis to assess the evolution of oceanographic features, data fusion and multi-format download of disparate data from multiple sources viz., in-situ, remote sensing and model data, all of which is rendered on a georeferenced 3D Ocean.
Why in News?
- Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H) set up a new technology innovation hub on autonomous navigation (TiHAN) for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and remotely operated vehicles.
- The foundation stone of ‘TiHAN-IIT’ Hyderabad, a testbed for autonomous navigation systems (terrestrial and aerial), was laid by the Union minister of education.
- Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, has sanctioned ₹135 crore to IIT-H under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems to set up a Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems (UAVs and RoVs).
- The Technology Innovation Hub on Autonomous Navigation Systems for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Remotely Operated Vehicles at IIT-H, known as ‘TiHAN Foundation’ was incorporated as a Section-8 company in June 2020.
- “TiHAN Foundation, established at IIT-H, is a multi-departmental initiative including researchers from electrical, computer science, mechanical and aerospace, civil, mathematics, and design at IIT-H with collaboration and support from reputed institutions and industry.
- It is a great step towards ‘Atmanibhar Bharat’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Digital India’.
- With an essential focus on the research and development of interdisciplinary technologies in the specific domain area of Autonomous Navigation and Data Acquisition Systems, this hub focuses on addressing various challenges hindering the real-time adoption of unmanned autonomous vehicles for both terrestrial and aerial applications.
Digital India Awards 2020
Why in News?
- President Ram Nath Kovind will virtually confer the Digital India Awards 2020 on December 30.
- Digital India Awards have been institutionalized under the ambit of National Portal of India to honor exemplary initiatives/practices in Digital-Governance.
- The National Portal of India is a Flagship Project to facilitate single window access to Government Information and Services in cyberspace.
- The awards have been held for 5 seasons earlier, in 2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 & 2018.
- The Awards were initially known as Web Ratna Awards until 2014 and were re-named Digital India Awards from the 2016 season.
The 6th Digital India Awards 2020 have been announced under the following six categories:
- Innovation in Pandemic: To felicitate a Government Entity which has developed an outstanding, innovative digital solution to facilitate the citizens to undertake various activities with ease during the time of pandemic in areas like communication, health, education, travel etc. or to ensure continuity of government services.
- Excellence in Digital Governance – MINISTRY / DEPARTMENT (Central): To felicitate a Ministry or Department of the Government of India which has a comprehensive digital presence and displays a high level inter and intra-Department Integration in its digital initiatives. Integration with electronic authentication and digital payments are also assessed.
- Excellence in Digital Governance – STATE / UT: The Award acknowledges the State/UT of India that displays exemplary initiative in establishing comprehensive digital presence in sectors like health, labour, finance, social justice and environment leading to the accomplishment of sustainable development goals.
- Excellence in Digital Governance – DISTRICT: To reward the accomplishments of the District administration which has displayed exemplary focus on providing comprehensive information to the citizens in the regional language. Entries must display the spectrum of coverage highlighting the important facets of the district in terms of tourism, art, culture, handicraft and access to utilities.
- Open Data Champion: Open Data Championship Award is to acknowledge the Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations/ States for proactive, timely and regular release of datasets/resources through Web Services/APIs on the Open Government Data (OGD) Platform (https://data.gov.in) in compliance with the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP).
- Exemplary Product: The award honors those products that have made their mark in the field of Digital Governance. The product must have shown a high degree of replicability, scalability and must be successfully implemented by government departments / entities. Aspect of Digital security is a primary criterion of evaluation.
- In addition to above six categories, Jury Choice Award will be conferred to honour excellence in design and implementation of National Public Digital Platform.
Board of GAVI
Why in News?
- Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has been nominated by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a member on the GAVI Board.
- He will be representing the South East Area Regional Office (SEARO)/ Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) constituency on the GAVI Board.
- He will be representing India from 1st January 2021 until 31st December 2023.
About GAVI Board
- The Board normally meets twice a year in June and November/ December and holds an annual retreat, normally in March or April.
- The GAVI Board is responsible for strategic direction and policy-making, oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
- With membership drawn from a range of partner organisations, as well as experts from the private sector, the Board provides a forum for balanced strategic decision making, innovation and partner collaboration.
Beirut Port Blast
Why in News?
- FBI investigation into an August 4 explosion at the Beirut port found it was caused by 500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
- The Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who resigned in the wake of the blast that killed more than 200 people, had previously said that more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertiliser had been stored haphazardly at a port warehouse for years.
- In India, The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012, under The Explosives Act, 1884, define
- Ammonium nitrate as the “compound with formula NH4NO3 including any mixture or compound having more than 45 per cent ammonium nitrate by weight”.
Regulations in India about ammonium nitrate
- Because it is used as an ingredient for the production of industrial explosives, anaesthetic gases, fertilisers, cold packs and has a strong possibility of misuse, ammonium nitrate is highly regulated in India, at least in letter.
- The manufacture, conversion, bagging, import, export, transport, possession for sale or use of ammonium nitrate is covered under The Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012.
- The rules also make storage of ammonium nitrate in large quantities in populated areas illegal in India.
- For the manufacture of ammonium nitrate, an Industrial licence is required under the Industrial Development and Regulation Act, 1951.
- A license under the Ammonium Nitrate Rules, 2012 is also required for any activity related to ammonium nitrate.
New U.S. Dietary Guidelines
Why in News?
- The first U.S. government dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers, recommend feeding only breast milk for at least six months and no added sugar for children under age two.
- The guidelines stop short of two key recommendations from scientists advising the government.
- Those advisers said in July that everyone should limit their added sugar intake to less than 6% of calories and men who drink should limit alcohol to one drink per day.
- Instead, the guidelines stick with previous advice: limit added sugar to less than 10% of calories per day after age 2. And men should limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day, twice as much as advised for women.
- The dietary guidelines are issued every five years by the Agriculture Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The government uses them to set standards for school lunches and other programs.
Britain, Turkey Reach Post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement
Why in News?
- Turkey and Britain signed a free-trade agreement as the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union’s economic orbit at the start of the New Year.
- The deal, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, aims to support trade between the two countries which was worth more than $25 billion in 2019.
- It is one of many post-Brexit trade deals the British government is pursuing with nations around the world and came days after it finalized a trade agreement with the EU.
- The deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for some 7,600 British businesses that exported goods to Turkey in 2019, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods.
2020: The Year Science Took Centre-stage
- The year 2020 also termed as the year of the pandemic, social distancing, work from home, was also the year of research at breakneck speed.
- Virologists, immunologists, computational biologists, epidemiologists, and medical professionals across the globe turned into superheroes without capes.
- Quick sequencing of the whole genome of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) helped develop various test kits.
- We now have not one or two, but multiple COVID-19 vaccines that have succeeded in human clinical trials.
- Moderna’s and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines that use messenger RNA have reported efficacy of about 95%, and the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Arab Emirates have already launched mass vaccinations.
- Apart from new findings on coronavirus every single day, the year was also filled with stories from outer space, archeology and anatomy.
Here is a list of a few of them in random order
Water on the Moon
- In October, NASA confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit side of the Moon indicating that water may be distributed across the moon’s surface, and not limited to the cold and shadowed side.
A new gland in humans
- Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute announced in October that they have discovered a new pair of salivary glands hidden between the nasal cavity and throat.
- The team proposed the name “tubarial glands” and noted that this identification “could help to explain and avoid radiation-induced side-effects” such as trouble during eating, swallowing, and speaking.
Microbes on Venus?
- In September, an international scientific team announced that they have spotted phosphine gas on Venus.
- On Earth, microorganisms that live in “anaerobic” (with no oxygen) environments produce phosphine.
- This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life, it means that we are not alone. It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy.
CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in tackling diseases
- In March, a person suffering from Leber congenital amaurosis, a rare inherited disease that leads to blindness, became the first to have CRISPR/Cas-9-based therapy directly injected into the body.
- In June, two patients with beta-thalassemia and one with sickle cell disease had their bone marrow stem cells edited using CRISPR techniques.
Stories from Indus Valley vessels
- The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study showed that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.
- Another study found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years.
Samples from the Moon and an asteroid
- China’s Chang’e-5 probe brought back about 1,731 grams of samples from the moon becoming the third country to bring moon samples after the U.S and Soviet Union.
- Also, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 brought back the first extensive samples from an asteroid.
- The spacecraft, launched from Japan’s Tanegashima space centre in 2014, took four years to reach the asteroid Ryugu before taking a sample and heading back to Earth in November 2019.
NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance
- Mars rover Perseverance blasted off for the red planet on July 30 to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth. If all goes well, the rover will descend to the Martian surface on February 18, 2021.
Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2019-20
Why in News?
- In 2020-21, as policy support is rolled back, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may dent the health of the banks and non-banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India 2019-20.
- In order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the RBI allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans due between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, which was later extended till August 31, 2020.
- This is a statutory publication in compliance with Section 36 (2) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and this Report presents the performance of the banking sector, including co-operative banks, and non-banking financial institutions during 2019-20 and 2020-21 so far.
- An analysis of published quarterly results of a sample of banks indicates that their GNPA ratios would have been higher, in the range of 0.10% to 0.66%, at end-September 2020.
- Banks’ gross non-performing assets ratio declined from 9.1% at end-March 2019 to 8.2% in March from 9.1% a year earlier, and further to 7.5% at end-September 2020.
- The COVID-19 provisioning and ploughing back of dividends would help shield their balance sheets from emanating stress to a certain extent.
- Preliminary estimates suggested that potential recapitalisation requirements for meeting regulatory purposes as well as for growth capital may be to the extent of 150 basis points (bps) of the common equity tier I (CET I) ratio for the banking system.
- The Financial Stability Report (FSR), to be released shortly, will present an updated assessment of the GNPA and capital adequacy of SCBs under alternate macro stress test scenarios.
- NBFCs profitability may dampen due to loan impairment, lower credit demand.
New Coronavirus Variant
Why in News?
- Preliminary results from a cohort study found no statistically significant difference in hospitalisation and 28-day case fatality between cases with the new coronavirus variant (VOC 201212/01) and wild-type comparator cases.
- There was also no significant difference in the likelihood of reinfection between variant cases and the comparator group.
- Scientists studied whether the new variant caused increased reinfection rates.
- A possible case of reinfection was considered if a PCR test was positive before 90 days of a previous infection with SARS-COV-2 virus.
- While only two reinfections were caused by the new variant, there were three reinfections in the other group.
- Following risk assessment, the nomenclature of the new variant has been changed.
- While the variant was earlier called Variant Under Investigation (VOI), it is now known redesignated as Variant of Concern (VOC).
- As a result, the new variant, which was earlier called VUI 202012/01 on detection, has been re-designated recently as VOC 202012/01.
Turkey’s Controversial Law
Why in News?
- The Turkish parliament recently passed a bill that would increase the monitoring of civil society groups.
- The act is called “Preventing Financing of Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” and was proposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party in order to comply with UN Security Council’s recommendations to keep terror financing and money laundering in check.
- Critics are seeing certain provisions of the bill as arbitrary and believe that it violates the provisions under the Turkish constitution since it interferes with the right to freedom of association.
What does the Bill say?
- The Bill has come following the 2019 report on Turkey prepared by the intergovernmental body Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meant to fight money laundering and terror financing.
- The bill consists of 43 articles and has made changes to seven laws on Turkey’s Law of Associations and is meant to keep Turkey from being blacklisted by the Paris-based watchdog of terror financing.
- The FATF is an inter-governmental body that is now in its 30th year, working to “set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system”.
What are the implications of the Bill being passed?
- The Bill gives the Turkish government the power to appoint trustees to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to suspend their activities, seize their assets and monitor their sources of funding.
- As per various media reports, critics and human rights activists are seeing this move as a way to crack down on dissidents in a country where civil society is already not very free.
- After a failed coup in 2016 that was aimed at protecting democracy in the country, thousands of journalists, bureaucrats, academics and judges have been targeted by the government.
Device that can recognise Hand Gestures
Why in News?
- A new device uses wearable biosensors and artificial intelligence (AI) to recognise hand gestures from electrical signals in the forearm.
- Developed by a team of international researchers, the device can potentially help control prosthetic limbs using electrical signal.
- The biosensing device has a flexible armband to detect electrical signals from 64 points on the forearm.
- It also has an AI-powered electrical chip to correlate with signal patterns detected in the forearm with specific hand gestures.
- The algorithm has been taught to recognise 21 unique hand gestures, including thumbs-up, fist, flat hand, holding up individual fingers and counting numbers.
- When someone want his/her hand muscles to contract, brain sends electrical signals through neurons in neck and shoulders to muscle fibres in arms and hands. Essentially, what the electrodes in the cuff are sensing is this electrical field.
- What’s unique about this device is that it integrates the biosensing, signal processing and interpretation, and artificial intelligence into one system that is relatively small and flexible and has a low power budget.
Why in News?
- Madhya Pradesh Government is introducing Campaign regarding promotion of “Ek Zila- Ek Shilp ”.
- The State Government is focussing on local traditional art of each district in the state and making efforts to promote it.
- The first of such kind of exhibition called Raag-Bhopali is being organized to promote Zari-Zardozi crafts of Bhopal.
- Chief Minister while inaugurating Raag Bhopali exhibition said that all possible measures will be taken to keep this traditional art alive.
- He said that the government is committed to provide employment opportunities to artisans engaged in this.
- Chief Minister also honoured the crafts persons by giving them certificates for Zari-Zardozi training by M.P. Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation.
About Zari & Zardari
- The richest embroidery of India is the Zari and the zardozi, which is known since late 16th century.
- This art form was introduced in India by the Mughal invaders.
- Zari zardozi is a form of embroidery, which came to India from Persia.
- Its literal translation, Zar means gold and dozi meaning embroidery.
- Zari zardozi embroidery under goes the process of using metallic-bound threads to sew on the various products.
- This skill of embroidering practiced by artisans of early days has passed on this trade among their families and local communities.
- The Muslim communities residing in India initially executed Zardozi work.
- These Zardozi designs vary from place to place.
- Zardozi is a style of embroidery, which has been in India since the time of Ramayana, Mahabharata.
- The Actual original process of Zardozi is known as ‘Kalabatun’.
Eco-sensitive Zone in Narmada District
Why in News?
- Mansukh Vasava, who represents the Bharuch parliamentary constituency, resigned from the BJP recently, days after he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to withdraw the Centre’s notification classifying 121 villages around the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Narmada district as eco-sensitive zones.
- Tribal communities have been protesting against the notification since the beginning of November, when the district administration served the first notice to execute the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) order.
- Tribals, especially from the Tadvi and Vasava communities, have been on the edge ever since Kevadia, a sleepy village in Nandod taluka of Narmada district, was developed into a tourism circuit around the Statue of Unity.
Why are tribal communities protesting against the notification?
- Firstly, as per the provisions of the notification, land falling in the eco-sensitive zone — including land belonging to the forest department, horticulture department, that used for agricultural use and plots reserved for parks — cannot be transferred for non-agricultural use for commercial, industrial or residential purposes. Any land that needs to be transferred can be done so only after approval from the state government.
- Second, a process has been initiated to include the state government as the co-owner of the land in the 121 villages.
- Third, the notification, combined with the formation of the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority, or Statue of Unity Tourism Authority (SoUTA), by the Gujarat government to govern Kevadia, which now has increased administrative needs owing to the booming tourism, has left tribals in a state of mistrust and fear.
- They feel the simultaneous implementation of the two government decisions could dilute the “power” vested with villagers under the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, implemented in areas notified under Schedule V of the Constitution.
What is PESA?
- Gujarat notified the State PESA Rules in January 2017, applicable in 4,503 gram sabhas under 2,584 village panchayats in 50 tribal talukas in eight districts of the state.
- While the provisions of the law deem the gram sabhas as “most competent” to deal with matters related to their territories for safeguarding their customs, traditions as well as the natural resources in the tribal areas, the Act has not been enforced in letter and spirit
What is SoUTA? Does it contradict PESA?
- The government passed the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority or the SoU Tourism Authority (SoUTA) Bill last year.
- The SoUTA has powers ranging from acquiring land for any development project to taking punitive action against those violating/encroaching it.
- The authority will define the limits of the tourism development area and will be empowered to acquire immovable property under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
- The Bill sets aside Rs 10 crore from the consolidated fund of the state for the discharge of functions and duties by SoUTA.
- The police, as per the Bill, can assist the authority in prohibiting “any nuisance being caused or prevent any such activity, process, the operation being carried out,” if it opines that it will damage or deteriorate the “tourism potentiality” of the area.
- While activists and legal experts feel the Act will overpower the provisions of PESA, officials say rules of SoUTA are yet to be clarified.
Jharkhand Assembly Rules 2006
Why in News?
- On January 13, the Jharkhand High Court will hear a case on ‘legality and propriety’ of the power conferred to the Speaker of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly under ‘Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 6 of the Rules, 2006’.
- In simpler terms: whether the original provisions can be overstepped by the rules framed by the legislature.
- The issue arose after Babulal Marandi was not given the status of Leader of Opposition after he merged his party – Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) – with the BJP. The saffron party, however, appointed him Leader of BJP’s Legislature Party.
- Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahato issued him a notice attracting the 10th Schedule of the Constitution – which deals with defection.
What is Paragraph 6 of the 10th Schedule of the constitution and why it is being brought up in this case?
- Paragraph six of the 10th Schedule deals with the decisions on ‘disqualification on ground of defection’.
- It says that in case if any question as to whether a member of a House has become subject to disqualification under this Schedule, the question shall be “referred” for the decision of the Speaker of such House and his decision shall be final.
- It means that any MLA, but not the Speaker himself, will have to file a complaint asking for disqualification on ground of defection.
- Referred being the key word here. But the Speaker was not out of his jurisdiction to take up the issue suo-motu, as he has exercised such power with the provision of Sub-Rule (1) of Rule 6 of the Rules, 2006, which confers power to the Speaker to take suo motu decision for determining the question of defection in view of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India.
Japan’s ‘Green Gold’
- Wasabi is a crucial ingredient in Japanese sushi.
- It is known as ‘green gold’ in Japan.
- But even in Japan, authentic wasabi is hard to find.
- It is difficult to grow, consequently expensive to buy.