Today Current Affairs English 1 February 2022

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The supreme failure

What is the issue?

The Supreme Court has failed to operate as the “watchful guardian” of the Constitution by failing to make timely decisions in crucial constitutional disputes (sentinel on the qui vive).

Why Supreme Court is considered as an agent of social justice?

The Supreme Court serves as a beacon. Its merciful beams of justice and liberty illuminate the troubled water’s surface, transforming India into a free and powerful nation. The Indian Supreme Court has issued a number of important decisions in the previous few years. The right to privacy has been declared a basic right by some of them. Consensual sexual behaviour between adults of the same sex has been decriminalised. Outlawed triple talaq and recognised transgender people as the third gender.

These rulings support our Constitution-guaranteed belief in republican values such as liberty and equality.However, in the face of rising majoritarianism and ethnocultural nationalism, the Supreme Court has delayed rulings on a number of constitutional matters. As a result, the Supreme Court’s duty as a watchful monitor is called into question.

Is Supreme Court defaulting in its role as a “watchful guardian”?

The supreme court is now hearing a number of cases involving constitutional and other legal issues that could have significant implications for fundamental rights and essential republican ideals. There are 25 major cases involving a five-judge constitution panel.7 judge constitution bench – 5 cases A nine-judge constitution bench hears five cases.There are more than 500 related instances to these primary cases.

These matters will not be decided until the legal concerns in the major cases before the constitutional courts are resolved.

What are some of the pending constitutional cases?

The following cases have been pending at the Supreme Court for an extended period of time.The Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 is constitutional because it gives non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan a fast track to Indian citizenship. Petition to overturn a Presidential Order of August 5, 2019 that diluted Article 370 of the Constitution and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories. Petitions challenging the constitutionality of the 103rd Amendment Act of 2019 – which offers reservations for economically disadvantaged people in public educational institutions and government positions. The case hasn’t been heard since August 5, 2020, despite the fact that the law has already gone into effect. Union of India v. Vivek Narayan Sharma – This lawsuit concerns the legitimacy of the government’s decision to demonetize all Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in order to combat black money.

It was the most daring economic experiment ever attempted. According to the RBI, more than 99 percent of the cash was returned to the banking system. The lawsuit has been pending for over 5 years.

Electoral bonds scheme is facing a constitutional challenge – Because anonymous funding of political parties is the main cause of corruption in public life, this strategy strikes at the heart of our polity.


What needs to be done?

The Supreme Court has failed to function as the “sentinel on the qui vive” by failing to rule on critical constitutional disputes in a timely way.The Court cannot be regarded to have fulfilled its custodial obligation unless it makes every effort to ensure that the Constitution, the law, is applied fairly to all people. The Supreme Court should uphold its constitutional obligation to act as a forceful counterweight to authoritarianism. The authority of judicial review, which the Chief Justice of India describes as “crucial to democracy,” should be used wisely. Otherwise, India’s hard-won constitutional democracy would be jeopardised.

Strengthen regulation of GM food; ‘Ban GM food’-demand unreasonable

What is the Issue?

The anti-GMO activists’ demand that the draught Food Safety and Standards (Genetically Modified or Engineered Foods) Regulations, 2021 be scrapped is unscientific and unfounded.

What is the draft regulation for GM foods?

The Food Safety and Standards Administration of India (FSSAI) has produced draught regulations to provide regulatory clarity on genetically modified foods.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEOs), and Living Modified Organisms (LMOs) intended for direct use as food or processing will be subject to the restrictions. Even if there is no GM component in the final product, the restrictions will apply to food products prepared with food ingredients or processing aids derived from GMOs. It explains how to obtain prior approval. evaluation of safety norms are being labeled It also sets the standards to which labs must comply when evaluating GM foods.

What are the regulations?

GMOs and GEOs are not permitted to be utilised as ingredients in infant food.

Without prior clearance from the Food Authority, no one may make, store, distribute, market, or import any food or food ingredient derived from GMO.

Food goods containing 1 percent or more of a Genetically Engineered (GE) ingredient must be labelled —Contains GMO/Ingredients Derived from GMO.

What are the concerns raised?

Activists argue that allowing food goods with GMO labels is an implicit approval of GM food imports.

As a result, they are urging the FSSAI to abandon its draught regulations and prohibit the use of genetically modified foods and ingredients.

Why banning GM-food products look obsolete?

Consumers in India have previously been exposed to genetically modified foods, both directly and indirectly.GMOs were found in 32 percent of the 65 food products examined by the Centre for Science and Environment on the market.Imported goods made up over 80% of the total.

Apart from GM-crop based animal feed, imported animal and plant produce with GM origins/exposure are being marketed in India, albeit most likely in compliance with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

In this context, labelling GM origin food assists the consumer by allowing her to choose between a GM and a non-GM product.

What can be done?

In food technology, genetic manipulation plays a bigger role. In the long run, it is inescapable.India also has a significant rate of vision loss due to Vitamin A deficiency. As a result, India intends to improve nutrition among its most disadvantaged citizens.In this scenario, a product like golden rice (rice that has been fortified with Vitamin A) is critical.We won’t be able to gain from the development of genetically altered golden rice unless we adopt a scientific approach to GM foods.Simultaneously, the regulatory environment should instil faith in the general public through scientific rigour.As a result, the FSSAI must reexamine and improve its regulations in order to fill the loopholes.

How can we strengthen the regulations?

GM content – The FSSAI should make it mandatory to mention GM content.

The amount of each individual GM ingredient in the product must be specified on the package.This complies with the Delhi High Court’s recent order that each ingredient in a dish/food product be labelled as vegetarian or animal origin.Threshold limit reduction – India’s laboratories can detect GM content as low as 0.01 percent. As a result, the 1% cutoff is far too high.This is because the rules must not only ensure food safety, but also give the smart customer a choice.

Permission – The FSSAI must specify which jurisdictions/authorities’ approval is appropriate.Approvals from other authorities that may lack an adequate level of testing rigour should not be permitted.Carry out local research – Food supplements based on microorganisms, such as gut biome boosters, may contain numerous Living Modified Organisms.In this instance, local investigations are required to evaluate whether the interaction of such organisms is safe.Infants – No GM-based components are allowed in infant food. It’s nearly impossible to conduct safety tests on infants.However, if the FSSAI has qualms about GM-content in newborn consumables, it can halt development in the early years.

Protest against Kerala’s Silver Line project

What is the issue?

Despite opposition to Kerala’s SilverLine project, the state administration remains committed to its implementation.

What is the Silver Line project?

The proposed 529-kilometer SilverLine is a semi-high-speed railway project that will be built at a cost of around Rs 63,000 crore by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

It will connect the southern city of Thiruvananthapuram with the northern city of Kasaragod. The project has a 2025 deadline.

It has 11 stations and covers 11 districts. At 200 km/hr, Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram may be reached in less than four hours.

It now takes 12 hours on the present Indian Railways network.

KRDCL, often known as K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways that was established to carry out large-scale railway projects.

The line is expected to be built with finances from the Kerala government, the federal government, and multilateral financial institutions.



What are its key features?

According to K-Rail, the project will include electric multiple unit (EMU) trains, each having a minimum of nine cars that may be expanded to a maximum of 12.In business and standard class, a nine-car rake can accommodate up to 675 passengers.On a normal gauge track, the trains may reach a top speed of 220 km/h.There will be under-passages with service roads every 500 metres.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has agreed to provide one acre of land for the station.

What are the benefits of the project?

Remove a considerable amount of traffic from the current segment.Commuters should be able to travel more quickly. Congestion on the roadways will be reduced, and accidents will be reduced.Expansion of Ro-Ro services, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions Create new job opportunities Airports and IT corridors should be integrated. Allow cities it travels through to develop more quickly.

Why are there protests against the project?

Separate protests have been led by various political parties as well as citizen groups such as the K-Rail SilverLine Viruddha Janakeeya Samiti. Despite the fact that the project will improve railway infrastructure, several people are concerned about its financial feasibility.

The railway service’s affordability, given the high cost of construction and the state’s debt-ridden economy.Impact on the environment and society. At a time when the state is addressing climate change, there is an ecological cost. The path passes through wetlands, rice fields, and hills, all of which are environmentally sensitive. Over 30,000 families have been displaced.

Rehabilitation of individuals.The construction of embankments on either side of the line will obstruct natural drainage and result in flooding during heavy rains.

There was no consultation. Despite the protests, the Kerala government is committed to completing the project.

Where does the project stand now?

In June of this year, the Cabinet gave their permission.The state government has started the land acquisition process.There will be 1,198 hectares of private land among the 1,383 hectares that must be purchased.The Cabinet has also accepted a Rs 2,100 crore administrative sanction from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), the government’s central investment arm.

The proposal has only received preliminary permission from the Centre.

Following demands from opposition parties and activists, the administration produced a detailed project report (DPR).

Other’s News

Quiet Diplomacy

India appealed for calm diplomacy and a peaceful resolution of Russia-Ukraine tensions at a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine.

The “softly softly” method is another name for quiet diplomacy.

It is the attempt to sway the behaviour of another state through secret negotiations or the avoidance of a specific action.

States that don’t have any other options for influencing the target government or that want to prevent particular consequences frequently use this strategy.

Mahatma Gandhi – Out of the box Thinker

Mahatma Gandhi was a soft reader of concepts and categories who was open-minded. As a result, he considered himself as one of the poorest and weakest.In such an environment, the weakest should have the same opportunities as the strongest, according to his definition of just and genuine politics.He was a vocal critic of authoritarian institutions and a sceptic of all types of covert and overt authority.

Gandhi is a model of simplicity and openness. His deeds and acts, but especially his way of life, represented his simplicity.Gandhi is a never-ending search of the truth. He is, in reality, victorious as a result of his arduous experiences. Gandhi had a complex personality, yet he never hid behind a mask. He didn’t hide behind a mask, and he didn’t hide behind a mask when it came to Indian history.Instead, he questioned Indian history. All of Gandhi’s historical deeds were moral or spiritual investigation in practise.

As a result, he guided Indians to a spiritual conversion to nonviolence through historical and civilisational knowledge. The Gandhian maieutic dramatically changed the way a leader and his people interacted. Gandhi, like Socrates, was a mental midwife (Gandhi was very much influenced by Socrates and his method of thinking).His worldview was one of spiritual activity combined with active truth pondering and a keen awareness of all aspects of life.

Gandhi thought that the fundamental test of a person’s life may be summed up in two principles: self-control and self-discipline.He believed in the interconnectedness of human life. Similarly, the citizens’ self-transformative nature piqued his interest in democracy.This process of self-transformation should have an impact not just on the individual’s inner life but also on public life.Finally, Gandhi was a moral and political leader who stayed outside the box as a global thinker with a transhistorical and transgeographical influence.

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