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Appointment of Judges

Paper: General Studies 2

Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Why in the news?

New Chief Justices were appointed to seven High Courts of various states.

What are the provisions regarding appointment of Judges  to the High Courts?

  • Article 217 of the Indian Constitution states that the Judge of a High Court shall be appointed by the President consultation with the Chief Justice of India, the Governor of the State, and, in the case of appointment of a Judge other than the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • Here, opinion of the Chief Justice of India means the opinion of a collegium of two senior-most judges of the  Supreme Court. This provision was evolved with the judgements given by the Supreme Court in the Three Judges cases.
  • In the Second Judges case (1993), the Supreme Court ruled that no appointment of a judge of the high court can be made, unless it is in conformity with the opinion of the chief justice of India. In the Third Judges case (1998), the Supreme Court opined that in case of the appointment of high court judges, the chief justice of India should consult a collegium of two senior-most judges of the Supreme Court.

 

PRAKASH Portal

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: mobilization of resources

Why in the news?

  • PRAKASH (Power Rail Koyla Availability through Supply Harmony) was launched.. 
  • The Portal aims at bringing better coordination for coal supplies among all stakeholders viz – Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Coal India, Railways and power utilities. This is an important step in ensuring adequate availability and optimum utilization of coal at thermal power plants.

What are the aims of the PRAKASH portal?

The Portal is designed to help in mapping and monitoring the entire coal supply chain for power plants, viz –

  • Coal Stock at supply end (mines),
  • coal quantities/ rakes planned,
  • coal quantity in transit and
  • coal availability at power generating station.

It will benefit the stakeholders in the following manner:

  • Coal company will be able to track stocks and the coal requirement at power stations for effective production planning
  • Indian Railways will plan to place the rakes as per actual coal available at siding and stock available at power stations.
  • Power stations can plan future schedule by knowing rakes in pipe line and expected time to Reach.
  • Stock at power generating station
  • Ministry of Power /Ministry of Coal/ CEA/ POSOCO can review overall availability of coal at thermal power plants in different regions

 

Single Use Plastic

Paper: General Studies 3

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Why in the news?

Odisha has decided to strictly enforce the ban on single-use plastic and has begun awareness drives in all urban areas of the state for the same,

What is single-use plastic?

  • Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.
  • Both Thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics can be used to make single-use plastics.

What are the harmful effects of single-use plastics?

They accumulate in the environment as they cannot be recycled and add to the waste burden. This leads to various harmful effects:

  • Plastic bags and Styrofoam containers can take up to thousands of years to decompose, contaminating soil and water, and posing significant ingestion, choking and entanglement hazards to wildlife on land and in the ocean
  • Plastic bags can choke waterways and exacerbate natural disasters. In 1988, poor drainage resulting from plastic bag litter clogging drains contributed to devastating floods in Bangladesh, causing several deaths as two-thirds of the country was submerged
  • Plastic items contain toxic chemicals such as styrene and benzene. Both are considered carcinogenic and can lead to additional health complications, including adverse effects on the nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems, and possibly on the kidneys and liver. Several studies have shown that the toxins in Styrofoam containers can transfer to food and drinks, and this risk seems to be accentuated when people reheat the food while still in the container.
  • In low-income regions, domestic waste – including plastics – is often burnt for heating and/or cooking purposes, exposing largely women and children to prolonged toxic emissions.
  • Research has shown that in developed as well as in developing countries, littering of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers can lead to perceived ‘welfare losses’ associated for instance to the visual disamenity of a park being contaminated with litter. This increases the indirect social costs of plastic pollution.
  • In developing countries with inadequate solid waste management regulations, plastic bag litter can aggravate pandemics. By blocking sewage systems and providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests, plastic bags can raise the risk of transmission of vector-borne diseases such as malaria.
  • Plastic waste and microplastics, if ingested by fish or other marine life, can enter our food chain adding toxicity to the food.
  • Finally, the future costs of removing all single-use plastics accumulating in the environment is estimated as higher than the costs of preventing littering today. In Europe alone, the estimated costs for cleaning shores and beaches reach €630 million per year,and studies suggest that the annual economic damage plastics impact on the marine ecosystem is at least $13 billion.

 

Prelims Specific

  • Military Exercises : Ekuverin (Indian Army and Maldives National Force), Nomadic Elephant (India and Mongolia) and KAZIND (India and Kazakhstan).
  • Vayoshreshtha Samman is given to the eminent senior citizens and institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of the elderly persons
  • Audio Odigos is an audio guide facility that has been launched at 12 tourism sites in India by the Ministry of Tourism. The Audio Odigos app contains an inbuilt map of the site for a smooth navigation during the tour. Listeners will be offered various versions of history like Synopsis, Detailed History and Podcasts.