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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Basel Ban Amendment

7ThAug 2020

Why in news?

The 1995 Basel Ban Amendment, a global waste dumping prohibition, has become an international law after Croatia ratified it on September 6, 2019.

Basel Convention:

  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Basel, Switzerland.
  • It does not address the movement of radioactive waste.
  • To implement and restrict the trade of hazardous waste between more developed countries and less developed countries an organization is formed which is known as Basel Action Network (BAN).
  • The provisions of the Convention center around the following principal aims:
  • The reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal.
  • The restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management.

Which countries yet to sign/ratify?

  • Countries like the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, India,Brazil, and Mexico are yet to ratify the ban.
  • The US produces the most waste per-capita but has failed to ratify the Basel Convention and has actively opposed the Ban Amendment.
  • Nearly, 40 percent of e-waste delivered to US recyclers is exported to Asian and African countries.

 

Basel Action Network (BAN):

  • Founded in 1997, the Basel Action Network is a charitable organization of the United States, based in Seattle.
  • BAN is the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental justice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade and its devastating impacts.
  • BAN serves as the information clearinghouse on the subject of waste trade for journalists, academics, and the general public.

Defamation

Why in News?

The Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Police and Zee News to respond to a plea by Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra challenging the summons and framing of charges against her in a defamation case filed by the news channel and its editor.

What’s the issue?

The case relates to Ms. Moitra’s June 25, 2019 speech in Parliament on the ‘Seven Signs of Fascism’ and a TV show run by the news channel and other subsequent developments.

Zee News has filed the defamation complaint against Ms. Moitra for allegedly making statements against the channel to the media

What is defamation?

Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual person, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.

In India, defamation can both be a civil wrong and a criminal offence.

The difference between the two lies in the objects they seek to achieve.

A civil wrong tends to provide for a redressal of wrongs by awarding compensation and a criminal law seeks to punish a wrongdoer and send a message to others not to commit such acts.

Legal provisions:

Criminal defamation has been specifically defined as an offence under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Civil defamation is based on tort law (an area of law which does not rely on statutes to define wrongs but takes from ever-increasing body of case laws to define what would constitute a wrong).

Section 499 states defamation could be through words, spoken or intended to be read, through signs, and also through visible representations.

Section 499 also cites exceptions. These include “imputation of truth” which is required for the “public good” and thus has to be published, on the public conduct of government officials, the conduct of any person touching any public question and merits of the public performance.

Section 500 of IPC, which is on punishment for defamation, reads,Whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

What has the Supreme Court said?

  1. In Subramanian Swamy vs Union of India case 2014, the Court approved the Constitutional validity of sections 499 and 500 (criminal defamation) in the Indian Penal Code, underlining that an individual’s fundamental right to live with dignity and reputation “cannot be ruined solely because another individual can have his freedom”.
  2. In August 2016, the court also passed strictures on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for misusing the criminal defamation law to “suffocate democracy” and, the court said, “public figures must face criticism”.

Facts for Prelims:

CHANGENOW SUMMIT-2020:

The Change NOW, an International summit for change was held in Paris from 30th January to 1st February 2020.

About Change NOW

  • Change NOW is all about concrete action and innovations that matter: climate change, end of plastic pollution, new forms of agriculture, new models of education, solutions to refugees crisis, clean energy, sustainable cities, and other solutions to our most urgent global issues

Eight Areas of Focus to tackle the world’s most urgent issues :

Based on the UN Sustainable Development goals, the summit considers the following 8 areas as the most urgent Global Issues of the 21st century,  and for which practical and sustainable solutions can be developed:

  • Clean Air & Water: Solutions to reduce or monitor pollution, be it pollution of air or pollution of oceans, seas and rivers.
  • Sustainable and accessible Energy: Solutions related to production or distribution of clean energy, as well as solutions to make energy accessible, affordable and sustainable to off-the-grid areas.
  • Preserved Biodiversity: Solutions to protect or reintroduce biodiversity, as well as solutions to promote a better knowledge of biodiversity.
  • Sustainable construction and production: Solutions to reduce the amount of resources used, to develop production from renewable and recycled materials, as well as solutions to promote sustainable consumption.
  • Good Health and Well Being: Solutions to help prevent, diagnose or cure widespread diseases, as well as solutions to promote sanitation and well-being for all.
  • Quality Education: Solutions to improve educational tools and methods, as well as solutions to develop access to education for all.
  • Peace and Humanity: Solutions to reduce conflicts, discriminations, refugee crisis, as well as solutions to promote peace and solidarity.
  • Pokkali variety of rice:

The pokkali variety of rice is known for its saltwater resistance and flourishes in the rice paddies of coastal Kerala districts.

  • The uniqueness of the rice has brought it the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and is the subject of continuing research.
  • The organically-grown Pokkali is famed for its peculiar taste and its high protein content.

 

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