Current Affairs 25 March 2021
1) Justice N.V.Ramana set to take over as 48 CJI
- Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde has recommended Justice N.V.Ramana, the senior-most judge of Supreme Court, as the next top judge.
- How it works? The Selection of CJI to SC
- o The Chief Justice of India is traditionally appointed by the outgoing Chief Justice of India on the day of his/her retirement.
- By Convention, the outgoing Chief Justice of India selects the senior most then-sitting Supreme Court Judge.
- Seniority at the apex court is not determined by age, but by;
- The date a judge was appointed to the Supreme Court.
- If two judges are elevated to the Supreme Court on the same day, the one who was sworn in first as judge would trump over another.
- If both were sworn in as judges on the same day, the one with more years of high court service would ‘win’ in the seniority stakes.
- An appointment from the bench would ‘trump’ in seniority an appointee from the bar.
o The Constitution of India does not have any provision for criteria for appointing the CJI.
o Article 124(1) of the constitution says there “shall be a Supreme Court of India consisting of a Chief Justice of India”.
o In the absence of constitutional provision, the procedure relies on customs and convention.
What is the procedure?
o The procedure to appoint next CJI is laid out in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) between the government and the judiciary
- The procedure is initiated by the Law Minister seeking the recommendation of the outgoing CJI at the ‘appropriate time’, which is near to the date of retirement of the incumbent CJI.
- The CJI sends his/her recommendation to the Law Ministry; and in the case of any qualms, the CJI can consult the collegiums regarding the fitness of an SC judge to be elevated to the post.
- After receiving recommendation from the CJI, the Law Minister forwards it to the Prime Minister who then advises the President on the same.
- The President administers the oath of office to the new CJI.
Does the government get a say?
o Except the Law Minister seeking the recommendation from the incumbent CJI, and forwarding it to the Prime Minister, the government has no say in the appointment of the CJI.
2) ‘Double mutant’ virus variant found
- A combination of mutations not seen anywhere else in the world – has been found in India, Says the Union Health Ministry.
- Genome sequencing of a section of virus samples by a consortium of 10 laboratories across the country, called INSACOG – Indian SARS-CoV-2 Consortium on Genomics, revealed the presence of two mutations, E484Q and L452R together, in at least 200 samples from Maharashtra, as well as a handful from Delhi, Punjab and Gujarat.
- The identification of new variant does not yet imply new public health measures.
3) Supreme Court flags concerns over misuse of electoral bonds
- The Supreme Court flagged a concern that political parties could misuse crores of rupees received as donations through electoral bonds to bankroll violent protests or even terror.
- Electoral Bonds
- The Finance Act of 2017 introduces the use of electoral bonds.
- The electoral bonds scheme allow citizens and corporate (incorporated or established in India) to buy monetary instruments from SBI (State Bank of India) and donate them to political parties, who can redeem them for money.
- The bonds are issued in multiples of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 10,000, Rs. 1 lakh, Rs. 10 lakh, Rs. 1 crore without any maximum limit.
- Bonds are valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
- Only SBI is authorized to issue and encase these bonds
- These bonds are redeemable in the designated account of a registered political party.
- Donor’s name is not mentioned on the bond.
- Buyers have to use white money to purchase electoral bonds, because the purchase is through bank drafts, cheques or electronic transfer.
4) RS approves Bill empowering Delhi L-G amid opposition walkout
- The Rajya Sabha passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that seeks to empower the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi against the elected Chief Minister and his cabinet
- Making CM of Delhi just a puppet.
- Against the concept of Federalism and Democracy, which is enshrined in the Constitution of India.
- The Bill States the following
- Government in the national capital territory of Delhi means the “Lieutenant-Governor”.
- The L-G is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give his/her opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers is implemented.
5) Parliamentary panel warns Centre that predatory pricing will wipe out competition, hurt customers
· Predatory Pricing as a short-term strategy, adopted by some of the market giants with deep pockets to sustain short-term losses and reduce the price below the average variable costs may lead to wiping out competition from the market and could be detrimental to the customers in the long run.
· The Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020, Bill Tabled in the Parliament.
· Recommended fixing a cap on delivery charges levied by e-commerce firms, as well as providing penal provisions for violation of rules related to misinformation.
6) Arctic warming is causing heat waves in India: study
· Arctic warming or increased surface temperature is a result of “global warming”
· “Large-scale connection to Deadly Indian Heat waves” – research article published by a group of researchers from India and Brazil
o They state that Indian heat waves occur due to a theoretical mechanism called “Quasi-Resonant Amplification” (QRA)
· Heat Waves
o A heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperature, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western and South-Central parts of India
o Heat waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July
o If the normal maximum temperature of a station is less than or equal to 40°C, then an increase of 5°C to 6°C from the normal temperature is considered to be Heat Wave condition
o Further, an increase of 7°C or more from the normal temperature is considered as Severe Heat Wave condition.
· Heat wave and health impacts
o Heat Cramps
o Heat exhaustion
o Heat stroke
o The extreme temperature and resultant atmospheric condition adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometime resulting in death.
7) DHFL booked for fake home loan accounts
· Firm claimed PMAY interest subsidy
· CBI has booked the Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), its promoters and others for allegedly claiming interest subsidy under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), based on bogus loan accounts opened with its Bandra branch in Mumbai
· PMAY – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
o Launched in 2015
o Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
o Housing for all by 2020
o Centrally Sponsored Scheme
o The mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programmes:
ü Slum rehabilitation of Slum dwellers with participation of private developers using land as resource.
ü Promotion of Affordable housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
ü Affordable housing in partnership with Public and Private Sectors.
ü Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction / enhancement.
o Beneficiaries include economically weaker section, Low-income groups and middle income groups.
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