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The Hindu PDF 22 December 2023 Analysis


The Hindu PDF 22 December 2023 Newspaper is considered an important source of news and information for UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) aspirants in India. This The Hindu Epaper PDF newspaper covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the UPSC exam, including politics, economics, international relations, governance, and social issues.

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The Hindu Epaper Analysis 22 December 2023 for UPSC

Coming soon, a ‘cafeteria’ for oil spill-hit birds at creek in T.N.: Page 1

  • Feeding stations planned for birds at Ennore Creek due to recent oil spill from Manali industries.
  • Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Besant Memorial Animal Dispensary (BMAD) experts involved.
  • Birds affected by oil spill, especially pelicans and painted storks.
  • State Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Forests, along with WTI, working on rescue and rehabilitation.
  • Most birds have flown to other areas; 10 pelicans and painted storks badly affected.
  • Some birds can take care of themselves, but weak ones require intervention.
  • Challenge in capturing birds; plan to set up ‘cafeterias’ with nets to feed and capture sick birds.
  • Paddle boats from ‘Bay of Life’ to reach places where motorized boats can’t.
  • Feeding stations to be set up for a week.
  • Larger impact on fish; some will die, but the ecosystem will recover.

Five-time MLA Devnani elected new Speaker of Rajasthan Assembly: Page 4

  • Vasudev Devnani elected as the Speaker of the 16th Rajasthan Assembly.
  • Five-time BJP MLA from Ajmer North, 73 years old.
  • Former Education Minister known for controversial decisions, including mandatory Surya Namaskar and Saraswati Vandana in schools.
  • Face of RSS in two previous BJP governments in the state.
  • Motion for his appointment moved by Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, seconded by Congress leader Sachin Pilot.
  • Motion passed with a voice vote from both treasury and opposition benches.
  • Devnani from the Sindhi Hindu community, selected for caste diversity in government.
  • Proclaimed commitment to improving the standard of debates in the Assembly.
  • RSS background, served as the State president of ABVP.
  • Requested to protect the rights of Opposition MLAs during Assembly proceedings.

India Skills Report finds Kerala the most preferred State to work: Page 6

  • Kerala tops as the most preferred state to work in the India Skills Report 2024.
  • Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram rank second and fourth among cities for both men and women across age groups.
  • Report conducted by Wheebox, in collaboration with agencies like AICTE, CII, and AIU.
  • Survey covered 3.88 lakh youths through a National Employability Test.
  • Overall employability in India improved, with 51.25% of assessed youths found employable.
  • Kerala ranks second in overall employability for the 18-21 age group.
  • Kerala credited for balanced education approach and honing future skills.
  • Thiruvananthapuram leads in nurturing computer skills among cities; Kerala third overall among states.
  • Kerala also ranks third for the highest concentration of employable talent in B.E./BTech and polytechnic domains.
  • Thiruvananthapuram noted as a city making substantial strides, indicating a growing pool of highly skilled individuals in various regions of Kerala migrating to the State capital.

Bengaluru airport wins award at UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles: Page 6

  • Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2) wins special prize for interiors at UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles.
  • Recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful airports.
  • The award highlights innovation, creativity, reflection of local heritage, ecological efficiency, and values of social interaction.
  • The World Judges Panel, chaired by fashion designer Elie Saab, announced the award.
  • T2, also called the Terminal in a Garden, was inaugurated on November 11, 2022.

Questionable searches under the Money Laundering Act: Page IO

  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and Supreme Court Interpretation:
  • Enforced to combat drug menace and terrorism.
  • Supreme Court limited application to wrongful gain from criminal activity related to a scheduled offence.
  • Property must qualify as “proceeds of crime” under Section 2(1)(u) of the PMLA.
  • ED Searches and Criticism by Supreme Court:
  • Media reports on Enforcement Directorate (ED) searches, seizures, and arrests outside its powers.
  • Supreme Court criticized ED’s functioning, emphasizing probity, dispassion, and fairness.
  • Inconsistency in providing written copies of arrest grounds noted.
  • Damaging Federalism Issues:
  • Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 not covered by PMLA.
  • ED in Opposition-governed States investigating illegal sand mining, a state-controlled activity.
  • Courts allowing CBI and ED investigations where scheduled offences and proceeds of crime are absent.
  • Jharkhand Case and Abuses of Law:
  • ED registered a case related to alleged illegal mining, despite Mines Act being outside PMLA schedule.
  • Court process abused in transferring cases to CBI, with violations of procedure noted.
  • Selective targeting of political parties, particularly those in Opposition.
  • Concerns about Federalism and Constitutional Values:
  • Federalism’s erosion due to central agencies’ actions.
  • Lack of questioning ED’s actions in BJP-run states with serious illegal mining cases.
  • Urgent need to curb such abuses to protect democracy and constitutional values.

Staying alert: Page 10

  • JN.1 Variant Overview:
  • Origin: Luxembourg, late August.
  • Lineage: Descendant of BA.2.86 Omicron lineage.
  • Prevalence: Rapid global spread, reaching over 27% in a month.
  • Dominance: Becoming dominant variant in some countries.
  • Mutation: Carries additional spike protein mutation (L455S).
  • Traits: High transmissibility and enhanced immune evasion.
  • Global Health Response:
  • WHO Classification: JN.1 classified as a separate variant of interest.
  • Previous Tracking: Part of BA.2.86 lineage, now “vast majority” of it.
  • Disease Severity: No evidence of increased severity compared to other variants.
  • Fatality: No higher fatality reported despite increased transmissibility.
  • Situation in India:
  • First Case: Detected in Kerala during routine surveillance.
  • Cases in Goa: Highest number reported (19 cases).
  • Total Cases in India: 21, all clinically mild requiring home isolation.
  • Recent Increase: India sees a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the last fortnight.
  • Health Measures:
  • Masking: Universal masking not mandatory, but high-risk individuals should mask up.
  • Testing Protocol: Patients with ILI and SARI tested for COVID-19, positive cases sequenced.
  • Surveillance: Emphasis on sustained focus on genome sequencing for novel variants.
  • Policy Recommendations:
  • Avoid Shaming: Learn from past mistakes, refrain from shaming states reporting more cases or variants.
  • Surveillance Integrity: States with better surveillance and reporting may register more cases.
  • Public Health: Should not be communalised or politicised; prioritize public safety.

Analysing the Post Office Bill, 2023: Page 12

  • Post Office Bill, 2023: Key Points
  • Replaces Indian Post Office Act, 1898.
  • Aims: Effective Postal Department functioning, banking facilities.
  • Bill Features
  • Allows interception for state security, public order, etc.
  • Empowers Union-appointed officer to intercept, open, detain articles.
  • Government can dispose of intercepted items as deemed fit.
  • Post Office exempted from liability, except for fraudulent actions.
  • No specified offenses, penalties, except unpaid amounts recoverable.
  • Earlier offenses and penalties removed by Jan Vishwas Act, 2023.
  • Concerns Raised by Opposition
  • Violation of privacy as a fundamental right.
  • Lack of guidelines encourages state surveillance.
  • Opposition leaders cite vague grounds, unbridled powers.
  • Absence of interception procedure details.
  • No grievance redressal mechanism for citizens.
  • Government Response
  • Emphasis on national security as a reason for interception.
  • Assurances of fair and transparent procedures in upcoming rules.
  • History of the Bill
  • 1898 Act’s ‘public emergency’ grounds criticized by Law Commission.
  • 1981 Amendment introduced safeguards following Law Commission’s recommendations.
  • 1986 Bill with interception provisions lapsed in 1987; withdrawn in 2002.
  • Relevant Supreme Court Rulings
  • PUCL vs. Union of India (1996): Safeguards against arbitrary surveillance.
  • Justice KS Puttaswamy vs. Union of India (2017): Declared right to privacy as fundamental.
  • Stipulated requirements for state measures impacting privacy.
  • Expert Opinions
  • Apar Gupta, Internet Freedom Foundation: Bill lacks safeguards, encourages state surveillance.
  • Criticism of the absence of usual interception order requirements.

Parliament clears laws to repeal IPC, CrPC, Evidence Act: Page 14

  • Rajya Sabha passed Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita Bill, and Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill.
  • These replace Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Indian Evidence Act, respectively.
  • Lok Sabha passed the Bills earlier.
  • Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar calls it a historic moment, replacing colonial-era criminal justice system.
  • Opposition boycotted proceedings, seeking a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah on Parliament security breach.
  • Bills passed unanimously in the absence of the Opposition.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah emphasizes the Bills as a new beginning for the country’s criminal justice system.
  • Current system governed by British-era laws after the 1857 struggle for freedom.
  • New laws aim to make the justice system the most modern globally.
  • Processes from FIR to judgment will be online, adapting to technological changes.
  • Promise of justice within three years for victims.
  • New Bills define all forms of terrorism and punish organized crime perpetrators.
  • Proposal to make the position of director of prosecutions mandatory in every district.

Under new law, doctors face two years of imprisonment for death due to negligence: Page 14

  • Amended Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita Bill, 2023, doesn’t provide blanket exemption to doctors for death due to negligence.
  • Maximum two-year imprisonment for doctors in cases of death due to negligent acts.
  • Amendment in Section 106 (1) of the Sanhita specifies the punishment for medical practitioners.
  • Registered medical practitioners, as per the National Medical Commission Act, may face two years of imprisonment and a fine for causing death due to negligence.
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah initially claimed doctors were exempted from punishment, citing Indian Medical Association’s request.
  • The punishment for causing death by negligence under the BNSS is five years, but doctors will face two years of imprisonment if convicted.
  • Contrary to earlier statements, Mr. Shah did not mention the exemption for doctors in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Currently, under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code, the punishment for causing death by negligence is two years imprisonment and a fine or both.

Parliament passes Bill to replace the PRB Act: Page 14

  • Parliament passed the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill.
  • Purpose: Simplify title allotment and registration of periodicals through an online system.
  • Eliminates the need for physical interface in the registration process.
  • Replaces the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.

Centre approves deployment of CISF in Parliament complex: Page 15

  • Union Home Ministry approves deployment of CISF in Parliament complex.
  • Decision follows December 13 security breach in Parliament.
  • Eight Delhi police security personnel suspended after the incident.
  • Approval for survey of Parliament premises for comprehensive CISF deployment.
  • CISF to cover Security Wing and Fire Wing under Government Building Security (GBS).
  • CISF already deployed at Central government buildings, airports, and Delhi Metro stations.
  • Accused entered with visitor’s pass recommended by BJP member Pratap Simha.
  • Security breach involved hiding canisters in shoes, going undetected by security personnel.
  • Overall security in Parliament administered by Lok Sabha Secretariat.
  • Delhi Police responsible for access control, while Parliament Duty Group (PDG) of CRPF intervenes if armed response needed.
  • Parliament Security Service, under Lok Sabha Speaker, oversees overall security.

India receives price bids for 26 Rafalejets, 3 submarines: Page 16

  • Price bids received from France for 26 Rafale-M carrier-based fighters and three Scorpene-class submarines.
  • Rafale-M processed through Inter-governmental agreement, while submarine deal is a follow-on to the earlier contract with Naval Group.
  • Defence Ministry sets up committee to determine benchmark price for the submarine deal.
  • France submitted Letter of Acceptance for Rafale-M, outlining pricing and details for jets meant to operate from Navy’s aircraft carriers.
  • MDL submitted commercial offer for three more Scorpene submarines to the Indian Navy.
  • Costing committee established for internal benchmarking of the Scorpene deal.
  • Formal procurement process initiated for Rafale deal; negotiations with the French Government to follow.
  • Defence Acquisition Council approved procurement of 26 Rafale-M fighters and three additional Scorpene-class submarines on July 13.
  • Deal includes 22 single-seater Rafale-M fighters and four twin-seater Rafale trainers.
  • Purpose of 26 jets is to fill the gap until the indigenous Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter is inducted into service.
  • Contracts expected to be concluded by end-2024; delivery of submarines likely to begin in 2031.
  • New Scorpene submarines to feature integrated combat system with indigenous components by Bharat Electronics Limited and French suppliers.

Missing for 42 years, Namdapha flying squirrel resurfaces in Arunachal Pradesh: Page 16

  • Namdapha flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi) resurfaces in Arunachal Pradesh after 42 years.
  • Last described in 1981 based on a single individual found in Namdapha Tiger Reserve.
  • Zoologists failed to locate the squirrel in subsequent expeditions, leading to two theories.
  • Assam-based conservation group, Aaranyak, conducted ten expeditions in 2021, totaling 79 days.
  • Team from Aaranyak sighted the Namdapha flying squirrel in April 2022.
  • Led by Firoz Ahmed, the team included field researcher Sourav Gupta and volunteer Sourav Mardi.
  • Tajum Yomcha, a research officer with Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department, aided the search.
  • Sighted a small reddish and grizzled furry mammal high up on a tree.
  • Experts, after scrutinizing photographic evidence, believe it is the Namdapha flying squirrel.
  • Plans to conduct a study to collect DNA samples in the field for genetic comparison with the 1981 specimen stored in Kolkata.
  • If confirmed, the rediscovery can be a flagship for conservation in Namdapha Tiger Reserve.

Source: The Hindu Epaper

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