ISFR-IASToppers
Current Affair Analysis

13th & 14th August 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017; Seeds Act, 1966; Difference between certified seed and truthful labelled seed; DUS Testing; Falaq - radar air defence system; Child Care Leave (CCL); National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT); Kajin Sara lake; 'Mission Reach Out' in Jammu; Indian National Science Academy (INSA); Bar Council of India (BCI); etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
August 14, 2019

Contents

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Certification of seeds to be made mandatory to step up farm output

Issues related to Health & Education

  • BCI imposes 3-year moratorium on starting new law colleges
  • Male service personnel to get Child Care Leave

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Northeast crowds list of states with most dense tree, forest cover

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defence system

Defence & Security Issues

  • Tripartite peace pact signed with Tripura ultra group

Science & Technology

  • Indian National Science Academy gets first woman president

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Kajin Sara lake
  • ‘Mission Reach Out’ in Jammu

For IASToppers Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here 

Government Schemes & Policies 

Certification of seeds to be made mandatory to step up farm output

The Central government is planning to mandate uniform certification of seed by amending the Seeds Act, 1966.

SEEDS IASToppers

Objective of the proposed Bill:

  • To bring uniformity to the process of quality regulation.
  • To brought planting materials such as cuttings, grafting and tissue culture under the ambit of the law.
  • To regulate the quality of all seeds sold in the country as well as exported and imported seeds.

Provisions of the new Bill

Bringing uniformity in the quality regulation

different-classes-of-seeds-in-India IASToppers

  • Currently, about 30% of seeds are saved by farmers from his crop which he may re-plant or sell it locally. The remaining seeds which are bought and sold commercially, 45% come through the ICAR system and have gone through the mandated certification process.
  • The other 55% seeds called ‘truthful label seeds ‘are sold by private companies, most of which are not certified. That is, they are simply self-certified by the company.
  • The new legislation will remove that category with the new law and mandate certification through a proper lab process for all seeds.

Increased fine

  • The new Bill will also raise the stakes by increasing penalties for non-compliance by private companies in selling low quality seeds.
  • Currently, the fine ranges from ₹500 to ₹5,000. The Bill intend to raise that to a maximum of ₹5 lakhs.

Need:

  • More than half of all seeds sold in India are not certified by any proper testing agency, and are often of poor quality.

Significance:

  • It can increase overall agricultural productivity by up to 25%.

Definition of seed classes

Nuclear seed:

  • This is genetically pure seed with physical purity and produced by the original breeder/Institute /State Agriculture University (SAU) from basic nucleus seed stock.
  • A pedigree certificate is issued by the producing breeder.

Breeder seed:

  • Breeder seed is seed propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding programme or institution and/or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder.
  • This is also hundred percent physical and genetic pure seed for production of foundation seed.
  • A golden yellow colour certificate is issued for this category of seed by the producing breeder.

Foundation seed:

  • The progeny of breeder seed produced by recognized seed producing agencies in public and private sector, under supervision of seed certification agencies in such a way that its quality is maintained according to prescribed standards.
  • A white colour certificate is issued for foundation seed by seed certification agencies.

Registered seed:

  • Registered seed shall be the progeny of foundation seed that is so handled as to maintain its genetic identity and purity according to standard specified for the particular crop being certified.
  • A purple colour certificate is issued for this category of seed.

Certified seed:

  • The progeny of foundation seed produced by registered seed growers under supervision of seed certification agencies to maintain the seed quality as per minimum seed certification standards.
  • A blue colour certificate is issued by seed certification agency for this category of seed.

 Difference between certified seed and truthful labelled seed

Difference between certified seed and truthful labelled seed

What is DUS Testing?

dus testing IASToppers

  • DUS stands for Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability.
  • This is a criterion on the basis of which the Plant Breeders’ Rights will be granted to a variety by the Authority.
  • DUS test will be used as main criteria for deciding the novelty of a variety. The formulation of National test guidelines for DUS testing has been entrusted to Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Key Facts

  • Seed Replacement Rate is the percentage of area sown out of total area of crop planted in the season by using certified/quality seeds other than the farm saved seed.
  • The National Seeds Corporation Ltd.(NSC), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, was established in 1963 for producing and distributing Seeds of high quality to the farmers.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

BCI imposes 3-year moratorium on starting new law colleges

Taking note of mushrooming of law colleges in the country, the Bar Council of India has imposed a three-year moratorium on opening of new institutions barring national law universities, if proposed by a state.

BCI--1-IASToppers

Need

  • At present, there were enough institutions in the country to produce required number of law graduates annually.
  • Due to the lethargic attitude of universities and some states, several colleges are running without proper infrastructure.
  • State governments seldom take interest in appointing law faculties in the Government Law Colleges and the constituent units.
  • State government grant no objection certificates and universities are granting affiliations recklessly.
  • Universities are unable to stop the use of unfair means at the law exams in most of rural areas.
  • 90 per cent of law colleges do not get any grant to improve their standards.
  • Hence, there is an urgent need to improve standard of teaching in law.

Background:

 

BCI--2IASToppers

  • In 2016, BCI had decided to stop approval of new law colleges and had requested state governments not to grant NOC to any law college or university for two years.
  • However, even after the decision, more than 300 No Objection Certificate (NOCs) were issued.
  • When BCI refused to grant approval of such affiliations, the institutions approached law courts and some of the high courts issued directions to consider the proposals.

About the Bar Council of India (BCI)

BCi-4-IASToppers

  • The Bar Council of India is a statutory body created to regulate and represent the Indian bar.
  • It was established by Parliament under the Advocates Act, 1961.
  • The Bar Council of India can constitute funds for the following purposes:
  1. Giving financial assistance to organise welfare schemes for poor, disabled or other advocates
  2. Giving legal aid
  3. Establishing law libraries

Functions of BCI

  • To lay down standards of professional conduct and etiquette for advocates.
  • To lay down procedure to be followed by its disciplinary committee and the disciplinary committees of each State Bar Council.
  • To safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of advocates.
  • To promote and support law reform.
  • To promote legal education and to lay down standards of legal education.
  • To recognise Universities whose degree in law shall be a qualification for enrolment as an advocate.
  • To organise legal aid to the poor.
  • To recognise on a reciprocal basis, the foreign qualifications in law obtained outside India for the purpose of admission as an advocate in India.

Bar Council of India Trust

  • The Bar Council of India Trust was created by the BCI in 1974 as a public charitable trust which works towards maintaining professional standards in the legal profession and effecting improvements in legal education.
  • The Trust established the first National Law University in Bangalore in 1987.
  • The National Moot Court Competition of the Bar Council of India is organised under the aegis of the Trust, and has been promoting advocacy skills amongst law students, since its inception in 1981.
  • It also publishes the quarterly journal named ‘The Indian Bar Review’ since 1972.
[Ref: Business Standard]

 

Male service personnel to get Child Care Leave

Defence Minister has approved the extension of benefits of Child Care Leave (CCL) to single male service personnel and certain relaxations of CCL provisions in case of women officers of defence forces.

Male-service-personnel-to-get-Child-Care-Leave-IASToppers

Changes made in CCL provision

  • Single male service personnel and women officers of defence forces will be able to avail CCL in respect of child with 40% disability without any restriction of age limit of the child. Earlier, age limit was 22 years.
  • The minimum period of CCL that can be availed in each spell has been reduced to 5 days from the earlier limit of 15 days.

What is Child care leave?

Child-Care-Leave-iastoppers

  • Child Care Leave can be granted to women employees having minor children below the age of 18 years, for a maximum period of 2 years (i.e. 730 days) during their entire service, for taking care of up to two children whether for rearing or to look after any of their needs like examination, sickness etc.
  • It was introduced by Sixth Central Pay Commission.
  • In the first two years of its implementation, the experience was that women employees tended to treat this as Casual Leave, and the resultant frequent absences caused disruptions at work.
  • To address this, in September 2010, a clarification was issued stipulating that CCL may not be granted in more than three spells in a calendar year and also that it may not be granted for less than 15 days at a time.
  • However, the government decided to remove the requirement of minimum period of 15 days CCL in 2014.

Changes made in CCL by Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) in 2018

Child-Care-Leave-1

  • In 2018, Government announced that the Male personnel in the central government who are single parents to dependent children can also avail CCL for 730 days during their entire period of service.
  • A ‘single’ male government employee has been defined as an unmarried or widower or divorcee government servant.
  • However, The DoPT introduced a cut in salary drawn for the latter half of the 730-day period. While the earlier rule required the beneficiary to be paid leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding on leave, the amended rule entitles such a beneficiary to 100% salary for the first 365 days and 80% for the next 365.
  • Apart from CCL, women can avail paid maternity leave of 180 days and male parents can claim 15 days.
  • The DoPT also allowed a concession to women government employees who are single parents. As per the amended Rule 43(C) of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972, a single female parent can avail CCL over six instead of just three spells in a year.
[Ref: PIB, The Hindu]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Northeast crowds list of states with most dense tree, forest cover

Among the six states with the highest forest and tree cover, four are in the Northeast – Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya.

Northeast_india-IAStoppers

Highlights of India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017

Highlights of India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017

  • A quarter of India’s geographical area (24.5 %) is under forest and tree cover.
  • Highest forest and tree cover: Lakshadweep (97 % of its geographical area)
  • Lowest forest and tree cover: Haryana (6.79 % of its geographical area)
  • In terms of geographical area, the highest tree and forest cover is in Madhya Pradesh, with more than 85,000 sq km.
  • Among the six states with the highest forest and tree cover, four are in the Northeast – Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
  • Rajasthan’s forest and tree cover is over 7.26%, Madhya Pradesh’s is 27.73 per cent and Punjab’s is 6.87 %.
  • Goa and Kerala are two other states with more than 50 per cent of their geographical area under forest and tree cover.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defence system

Iran unveiled what authorities said was a locally upgraded radar system with a range of 400 km that could help defend against cruise and ballistic missiles and drones.

radar-air-defence-system-iastoppers

About the improved radar system

About-the-improved-radar-system-iastoppers

  • The newly improved radar system, named Falaq, can detect all types of cruise and ballistic missiles and drones.
  • Falaq is a mobile radar and a vehicle housing a control room and is an improved version of the Gamma, a military system of Russian origin.
  • The Falaq system was developed in order to counter sanctions restricting access to spare parts of a previously foreign-developed system.

Background:

  • The announcement of newly improved radar system comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and United States.

Iran-shot-down-a-U.S.-military-iastoppers

  • Iran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile recently as it says that the drone was over its territory.

To know more about U.S.-Iran nuclear conflict, refer IASTopper’s Mains article. Click here:

[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Defence & Security Issues

Tripartite peace pact signed with Tripura ultra group

A Memorandum of Settlement was signed by the Government of India, Government of Tripura and National Liberation Front of Twipra led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma (NLFT-SD).

Tripura-ultra-group iastoppers

About National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

(NLFT)-iastoppers

  • The National Liberation Front of Tripura is a Tripuri nationalist militant organisation based in Tripura.
  • It seeks to secede from India and establish an independent Tripuri state and is an active participant in the Insurgency in Northeast India.
  • NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997 and has been involved in violence, operating from their camps across the international border.
  • Peace talks with NLFT were initiated in 2015 and there has been no violence by NLFT since 2016.

About the memorandum:

  • NLFT (SD) has agreed to abjure the path of violence by surrendering their cadres and weapons.
  • The surrendered cadres will be given surrender benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The State Government of Tripura will help the surrendered cadres in housing, recruitment, education etc.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Science & Technology

Indian National Science Academy gets first woman president

Former director of the National Institute of Immunology Chandrima Shaha has been elected as the first woman president of the reputed Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

first-woman-president-iastoppers

About Indian National Science Academy (INSA)

insa_iastoppers

  • The Indian National Science Academy was established in 1935 to promote science in India and harnessing scientific knowledge for the cause of humanity and national welfare.
  • It was earlier known as the National Institute of Sciences of India (NISI).
  • The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) played a leading role in the formation of INSA.
  • It is headquartered at New Delhi.
  • It was designated as the adhering organization in India to the International Council for Science (ICSU) on behalf of the Government of India in January 1968.
  • The Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS), established in 2014, is an initiative of the INSA.

Objectives

  • Promotion of scientific knowledge in India
  • Coordination among Scientific Academies, Societies, Institutions, Government Scientific Departments and Services.
  • To act as a body of scientists of eminence and to present internationally the scientific work done in the country.
  • To act through properly constituted National Committees for undertaking scientific work of national and international importance
  • To promote and maintain liaison between Science and Humanities.
  • To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science.
[Ref: PIB, Indian Express]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Kajin Sara lake

  • The Kajin Sara lake in Nepal is likely to set a new record of being the world’s highest lake replacing Tilicho lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres in Nepal and currently holding the title.

Kajin-Sara-lake-iastoppers

About the Kajin Sara lake:

  • The Kajin Sara lake is located in Manang district of Singarkharka area of Chame rural municipality.
  • The lake would be the world’s highest lake if its altitude of 5200 metres is officially verified.

 

‘Mission Reach Out’ in Jammu

  • A high level ‘Mission Reach Out’ conference to review the prevalent situation in J&K was held in the Nagrota Military Station.

Mission-Reach-out-iastoppers  Current Affairs Analysis

About Mission Reach out

  • The Army has launched “Mission Reach Out” in Jammu to ensure basic necessities and essential services are available in the region post the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

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