Polity & Governance
- The idea of regional Supreme Court Benches, and ‘divisions’ of the top court
- Pilot project to introduce Industry 4.0 launched by railways
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
- IPCC Working Group meets in India to further preparations of Sixth Assessment Report
Defence & Security Issues
- Defence minister Sang INS Vikramaditya Anthem On His Visit
Key Facts for Prelims
- Exercise KAZIND – 2019
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Polity & Governance
The idea of regional Supreme Court Benches, and ‘divisions’ of the top court
Expressing serious concern over inordinate delay in justice delivery in the country, Indian Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha has suggested several reforms.
WHAT ARE THE SUGGESTED REFORMS?
Four regional Benches
- Supreme Court should institute four regional Benches to tackle the enormous backlog of cases.
- Moreover, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice also recommend on having Regional Benches of the Supreme Court on trial basis at Delhi, Chennai/Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.
- This arrangement does not require any amendment to the Constitution because as per Article 130, the Supreme Court can sit in Delhi or in such other place or places, as the Chief Justice of India may, with the approval of the President, from time to time appoint. Hence, Supreme Court Rules give the Chief Justice of India the power to constitute Benches.
Splitting the Supreme Court
- As per recommendation of the Law Commission, Supreme court should be split into two divisions for steady disposal of cases: Constitutional Division and Courts of Appeal.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be evolved by the judiciary by which the number of permissible adjournments can be specified and a time limit can be set for disposal of cases based on the nature of issues involved.
Re-visiting Anti-Defection Laws
- There is need to revisit the Anti-Defection Laws contained in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to prevent loopholes and set time limits for the Presiding Officers of various legislatures to decide on defection matters in quick time.
Cases related to election and politicians
- There is need for election cases and cases of criminal proceedings against politicians to be decided by special benches of higher courts for their disposal within six months.
PROBLEM OF PENDENCY OF CASES
- As anyone can approach the Supreme Court directly on the question of violation of fundamental rights, more than 65,000 cases are pending in the Supreme Court, and disposal of appeals takes many years.
- Due to their heavy workload, judges mostly sit in two- or three-judge Benches to dispose of all kinds of cases including several non-Constitutional and relatively petty matters such as on films, or allegations that a Commissioner of Police is misusing his powers.
- This heavy workload is due to the fact that India’s Supreme court has a very wide jurisdiction and hears matters between the Centre and states, and between two or more states; rules on civil and criminal appeals; and advises the President on questions of law and fact.
WHAT THE LAW COMMISSION SAID
- In 1984, the Tenth Law Commission of India (95th Report) under Justice K K Mathew recommended that the Supreme Court of India should consist of two Divisions, namely (a) Constitutional Division, (only matters of Constitutional law may be assigned to the proposed Constitutional Division) and (b) Legal Division.
- The Eleventh Law Commission also endorsed the bifurcation of supreme court.
- Thereafter, the 18th Law Commission under Justice A R Lakshmanan (2009) recommended that a Constitution Bench be set up at Delhi to deal with constitutional and other allied issues, and “four Cassation Benches be set up at Delhi, Chennai/Hyderabad, Kolkata and at Mumbai to deal with all appellate work arising out of the judgments of the High Courts.
What are Cassation Benches?
- Cassation courts decide cases involving non-Constitutional disputes and appeals from the lower level of courts. These are courts of last resort that have the power to reverse decisions of lower courts.
ARGUMENT FOR MULTIPLE BENCHES
- As per Article 39A “the state shall ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities”.
- However, travelling to New Delhi or engaging expensive Supreme Court counsel to pursue a case is beyond the means of most litigants. Hence, in the past, Standing Committees of Parliament suggested that Supreme court benches should be set up elsewhere.
- In 2008, the Standing Committee suggested that at least one Bench be set up on a trial basis in Chennai. But the Supreme Court has not agreed with the proposal, which in its opinion will dilute the prestige of the court.
- The world’s first constitutional courts were set up in in Austria in 1920 and in Germany after World War II. Today, 55 countries have constitutional courts, including most European or civil law jurisdictions.
Pilot project to introduce Industry 4.0 launched by railways
The Ministry of Railways and Department of Science & Technology have joined hands in partnership with IIT Kanpur for taking up a unique project on ‘Industry 4.0’ by launching a Pilot Project for implementation at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.
ABOUT THE NEW PILOT PROJECT
- The project launched would be undertaken under the aegis of “Technology Mission for Indian Railways” (TMIR).
- It would be implemented by a consortium of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Science & Technology.
WHAT IS INDUSTRY 4.0?
- Industry 4.0, commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, is a name given to the current trend of automation, inter-connectivity and data exchange in manufacturing technologies to increase productivity.
- Industry 4.0 is a complex cyber-physical system which synergies production with digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Analytics, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing.
- Full transition to the digital factory using ‘Industry 4.0’ will help enhance productivity by providing insight into production process to take the decisions in real time basis, minimizing human errors by effective monitoring to ensure that resources are put to the best utilization measured by, what is called the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS:
There are four distinct industrial revolutions that the world either has experienced or continues to experience today.
First Industrial Revolution:
- Happened between the late 1700s and early 1800s.
- During this period of time, manufacturing evolved from focusing on manual labor performed by people and aided by work animals to a more optimized form of labor performed by people through the use of water and steam-powered engines and other types of machine tools.
Second Industrial Revolution:
- In the early part of the 20th century, the world entered a second industrial revolution with the introduction of steel and use of electricity in factories.
- The introduction of electricity enabled manufacturers to increase efficiency and helped make factory machinery more mobile.
- It was during this phase that mass production concepts like the assembly line were introduced as a way to boost productivity.
Third Industrial Revolution:
- Starting in the late 1950s, it slowly began to emerge, as manufacturers began incorporating more electronic—and eventually computer—technology into their factories.
- During this period, manufacturers began experiencing a shift that put less emphasis on analog and mechanical technology and more on digital technology and automation software.
WHAT IS CYBER PHYSICAL SYSTEM (CPS)?
- A Cyber Physical System (CPS) is a mechanism controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, tightly integrated with internet and its users.
- In general, Cyber means computation control while Physical means natural and human-made systems. CPS are physical and engineered systems whose operations are monitored and coordinated by a computing and communication core.
ABOUT NATIONAL MISSION ON INTERDISCIPLINARY CYBER-PHYSICAL SYSTEMS (NM-ICPS)
- It is an initiative Department of Science & Technology.
- The Mission aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
- The Hubs & TTRPs have four focused areas: (i) Technology Development; (ii) HRD & Skill Development; (iii) Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Start-ups Ecosystem Development; (iv) International Collaborations.
- The Mission will feed the Central Ministries/ Departments and State Govts and also the Industry to effectively use the CPS technologies in their projects and schemes for the benefit of the society.
ABOUT TECHNOLOGY MISSION FOR INDIAN RAILWAYS
- In 2018, Ministry of Railway set up the “Technology Mission for Indian Railways” (TMIR) as a consortium of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Science & Technology and Industries.
- The Technology Mission will take up R&D projects in the areas of heavy haul, safety, energy, environment and urban railways.
- Railway will be benefitted with availability of world class indigenized technologies at very reasonable cost.
- Academic research institutions will be benefitted with applied research and real situation output in the form of new products for immediate use and with availability of source codes for all such indigenized technologies at very low cost.
- The Indian industries will also be gaining in the form of production of new items to be used on Indian Railways with additional export potential, helping in the national cause of revenue generation and on the theme of ‘Make in India’.
- Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli was established as a State of the Art coach manufacturing unit with the capacity to manufacture 1000 passenger coaches annually.
Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management
IPCC Working Group meets in India to further preparations of Sixth Assessment Report
Experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meets in New Delhi to advance their work on the Working Group III contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, which will be finalized in July 2021.
SIXTH ASSESSMENT REPORT (AR6)
- Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years by IPCC. The latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014, and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.
- The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment cycle. During this cycle, Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) along with other reports will be published.
The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) will,
- examine the link between consumption and behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions, and the role of innovation and technology.
- assess the connection between short to medium-term actions and their compatibility with the long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement.
- assess mitigation options in sectors such as energy, agriculture, forestry and land use, buildings, transport and industry.
- Each of the three IPCC Working Groups will release their contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report in 2021.
- A Synthesis Report in 2022 will integrate them together with the three special reports that the IPCC is producing in the current assessment cycle.
- It will be released in time to inform the 2023 global stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC)
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change.
- It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change as well as to put forward mitigation strategies.
- It has 195 member
- The main activity of the IPCC is the preparation of reports assessing the state of knowledge of climate change. These include assessment reports, special reports and methodology reports.
ABOUT IPCC WORKING GROUPS
The IPCC work is shared among three Working Groups, a Task Force and a Task Group.
- Working Group I aims to assess the physical scientific basis of the climate system and climate change.
- Working Group II assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change and options for adapting to it.
- Working Group III focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Defence & Security Issues
Defence minister Sang INS Vikramaditya Anthem On His Visit
The office of Defence Minister released a video clip of him in which he is seen singing the anthem of INS Vikramaditya onboard the aircraft carrier along with crew of the ship.
- INS Vikramaditya is the largest ship to join Indian Navy in 2013.
- It is a modified Kiev-class (made by Russia) aircraft carrier.
- Originally named as Baku and commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Russian Navy (as Admiral Gorshkov) before being decommissioned in 1996. The carrier was purchased by India from Russia after in 2004.
Key Facts for Prelims
Exercise KAZIND – 2019
Joint Military Exercise KAZIND-2019 between India and Kazakhstan will be conducted at Pithoragarh from 02 to 15 October 2019.
ABOUT EXERCISE KAZIND-2019
- Exercise KAZIND-2019 is the fourth edition of an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Kazakhstan and India.
- The aim of this exercise is to conduct company level joint training with emphasis on counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain.
- During the exercise, aspects of emerging trends of global terrorism and hybrid warfare have also been included.