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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Data on Family Planning

17thJuly 2020

Why in News?

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare chaired the virtual meeting on the occasion of World Population Day.

The meeting highlighted the following:

  1. About 50 % of the country’s population falls in the reproductive age group of 15-49 years.
  2. India’s Crude Birth Rate (CBR) has reduced from 8 (2011) to 20 (2018)
  3. Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined from 4 (2011) to 2.2 (2018)
  4. The teenage fertility has halved from 16 (NFHS III) to 7.9 (NFHS IV).
  • These efforts have taken India closer to reaching the replacement fertility level of 2.1 and 25 out of 36 States/UTs have already achieved replacement level fertility.
  • The National Family Planning Program has introduced the Injectable Contraceptive in the public health system under the “Antara” program.

Crude Birth Rate(CBR) :

The CBR in a period is the total number of live births per 1,000 population divided by the length of the period in years. The number of live births is normally taken from a universal registration system for births; population counts from a census, and estimation through specialized demographic techniques.

Total Fertility Rate ( TFR):

The number of children who would be born per woman (or per 1,000 women) if she/they were to pass through the childbearing years bearing children according to a current schedule of age-specific fertility rates.

 

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Nomination of former Judges:

Why in News?

A petition was recently filed in the Supreme Court on the nomination of the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the

Rajya Sabha.

The petition sought the court’s intervention for extending the post-retirement restrictions imposed on the office of the Lokpal to former judges as well.

What is the demand by the petitioner?

The petition said former judges should be insulated from “post-retirement allurements” like the Lokpal, as faith in the judiciary will dry up.

What’s the issue here?

There is no law or constitutional provision that prohibits such a nomination. Nor is this an unprecedented decision by the government. Still, it is not a common practice that a government nominates or appoints a former Supreme Court judge or even a high court judge to some office within months of her or his retirement

What are the exceptions currently in place to ensure independence of the judiciary?

Currently, the only bar imposed on a Judge of the Supreme Court who has retired is that he shall not thereafter plead or act in any Court or before any authority.

 Other Legal & ethical interpretation:

  • 14th report of the Law Commission of India considered the question of such nominations and appointments before forming a negative opinion.
  • The report said it is clearly undesirable that Supreme Court Judges should look forward to other Government employment after their retirement.
  • The Government is a party in a large number of causes [cases] in the highest Court.

Therefore, the practice has a tendency to affect the independence of the judges and should be discontinued.

The 16-point code of conduct for judges says?

Also called the “Restatement of Values of Judicial Life” (adopted at a Chief Justices Conference in May 1997), the code lays the basis of how post-retirement conduct ought to be.

Need of the hour:

There is a creeping worry that post-retirement jobs are a result of pre-retirement judgments. Above all, public confidence in the judiciary cannot be shaken through such appointments. The issue needs to be resolved convincingly.

Besides, ethics demand that no retired judge of the highest court accepts a post that will room to criticism and controversy.

Nominated member of the Rajya Sabha:

Under article 80 of the Constitution, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members, of whom 12 are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.

Facts for Prelims

Safe Hands Challenge:

It is a campaign launched by the World Health Organization in the wake of 2019-20 corona virus pandemic.

The campaign urges everyone to wash their hands regularly for 40 seconds to keep themselves safe and prevent the transmission of disease.

Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal:

  • It intends to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers and thus provide another navigable link from the Black Sea to the North and Baltic Seas.
  • Environmental organisations from across central and eastern Europe are criticising this project. They say, the project, if constructed, would destroy the region’s river landscapes in violation of EU environmental laws.

 

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