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Prelim Bits 25-12-2022 & 26-12-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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December 26, 2022

Right to Repair

The Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister unveiled the ‘right to repair’ portal.

  • Generally, manufacturers retain proprietary control over spare parts, including their design, and this kind of monopoly on repair processes infringes the customer's ‘right to choose’.
  • Right to Repair - When customers buy a product, they should be able to repair and modify the product with ease and at reasonable cost, without being captive to the whims of manufacturers for repairs.
  • The ‘Right to Repair’ movement started all over the world to have an effective 'right to repair' laws.
  • Framework - In July, 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs has set up a committee to develop a comprehensive framework on 'Right to Repair'.
  • The objective of the framework is to empower consumers, harmonise trade between the original equipment manufacturers and the third-party buyers and sellers, and reduction in e-waste.
  • Portal - The Ministry of Consume Affairs launched the ‘right to repair’ portal.
  • On the portal, manufacturers would share the manual of product details with customers.
  • This makes the customer either repair by self, by third parties, rather than depend on original manufacturers.
  • Initially, mobile phones, electronics, consumer durables, automobile and farming equipments would be covered.

References

  1. The Hindu - ‘Right to repair’ portal unveiled
  2. The Hindu - Govt plans 'Right to Repair' framework

Article 200 - Assent to Bills

The Governors of various Opposition-ruled States takes advantage of Article 200 of the Indian Constitution.

  • The article 200 provides for the powers of the Governor over the bills passed in the state legislature.

Article 200 - Assent to Bills

When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of a State or, in the case of a State having a Legislative Council, has been passed by both Houses of the Legislature of the State, it shall be presented to the Governor and the Governor shall declare either -

that he assents to the Bill or

that he withholds assent therefrom or

that he reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.

Timeline for assent

  • Article 200 does not prescribe a timeline for the Governor to provide assent to Bills sent by the Legislative Assembly.
  • Under Article 201, there is no timeline prescribed for the President to grant assent to the Bills reserved by the Governor for the consideration of the President.
  • There is a timeline of 6 months applicable to the State Assembly to reconsider the Bill if the President decides to refer it back to the House.
  • The Governors of various Opposition-ruled States takes advantage of Article 200 of the Indian Constitution to give assent to the bills.

In Tamil Nadu alone, almost 20 Bills are awaiting assent by the Governor, including the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 (passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly)

Incidents that talks about timeline for assent of bills

Case / Commission

Recommendations

‘National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution’

 

“There should be a time-limit — say a period of 6 months — within which the Governor should take a decision whether to grant assent or to reserve a Bill for consideration of the President.”

Purushothaman Nambudiri vs State of Kerala (1962)

The Supreme Court clarified that the Constitution does not impose any time limit within which the Governor should provide assent to Bills.

Sarkaria Commission

Suggested that delay from the side of the Governor in granting assent can be avoided

  • by streamlining the existing procedures;
  • by making prior consultation with the Governor at the stage of the drafting of the Bill itself, and
  • by prescribing time-limits for its disposal.

References

  1. The Hindu - Constitutional silences, unconstitutional inaction

Dolphin Census

The annual census of dolphins began at the coasts of Odisha.

  • The Dolphin census is conducted annually in Odisha's Bhitarkanika national park and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
  • The Odisha coast has emerged as an ideal habitat for dolphins with an impressive rise of 33% in their population.
  • The survey is conducted across the 5 coastal divisions in Chilika lagoon by the Chilika Development Authority.
  • The survey is a 3-day exercise that involves over a 100 of wildlife experts conducting headcount.
  • The survey is being conducted using the ‘Transect Survey Method’, which is used for surveys around the world.

During the last census 6 species of dolphins were recorded in the Chilika Lake.

They are - Irrawaddy, Bottlenose, Humpback, Striped, Finless and Spinner.

References

  1. The Hindu - Dolphin census begins at Odisha coast
  2. Business Standard - Annual census of dolphins begins

Boxing Day Rupture

A new technology is updating our knowledge about the length of the rupture formed on Boxing Day.

  • The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake took place 18 years ago on December 26, 2004 known as the Boxing Day.
  • The location of the 2004 quake and subsequent tsunami is where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate is grinding against the Burma plate, which is part of the Eurasian plate.
  • The Indian plate continues to subduct beneath the Burma plate.
  • On December 26, 2004, stress built up over thousands of years due to the subduction process, caused the two plates to slip or fault, causing the quake and the tsunami.
  • Rather than tearing the land apart all at once, the rupture started beneath the epicentre and progressed northward along the fault at about 2 km/sec (1.2 miles/second).
  • The whole quake and the rupture lasted about 10 minutes caused tsunami.

The displacement of water that takes the form of a series of waves of 30 feet high is known as tsunami or ‘harbour wave’ in Japanese.

  • The previous estimates calculated the rupture was about 1,200 to 1,300 km long.
  • A study by Japanese and Chinese physicists in 2021 noted that the rupture’s total length was 1,400 km.

References

  1. Down To Earth -  New tech to know about how big the rupture on Boxing Day

Zonal Cultural Centres

14 ancient sites have been declared protected by the Archaeological Survey of India over the last three years.

  • The Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) were set up to develop the cultures of various regions under the Ministry of Culture.
  • The Zonal Cultural Centres has been set up as registered autonomous bodies under the Societies Registration Act.
  • The mandate behind setting up the ZCCs was to bind the nation culturally while retaining the individuality of the regions that comprise them.
  • There are seven Zonal Cultural Centres in India across geographic and linguistic boundaries.
  • The 7 ZCCs and their headquarters are
    1. North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala
    2. Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), Kolkata
    3. West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC), Udaipur
    4. North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC), Prayagraj
    5. North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur
    6. South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC), Nagpur
    7. South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), Thanjavur.
  • Each ZCC is governed by a governing body.
  • Each ZCC is headed by the Governor of the state in which the Zonal Cultural Centre has it’s headquarter.
  • The ZCCs were required to concentrate on the folk arts, dance and music.
  • Funding - ZCCs are provided regular annual grant-in-aid by the Government.
  • No State/UT-wise funds are released by the Ministry of Culture for the purpose.

References

  1. The Hindu - 14 monuments, sites declared protected in 3 years
  2. PIB - Ministry of Culture has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres
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