PRELIM SNIPPETS -December 18th 2021
1. Habeas Corpus
Why in News?
- Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recently informed the Lok Sabha that a total of 52 petitions relating to “habeas corpus matters” are pending in the Supreme Court as on December 13.
- The Indian Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to issue writs for enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by Part III of Indian Constitution under Article 32.
- Thus the power to issue writs is primarily a provision made to make available the Right to Constitutional Remedies to every citizen.
- There are five types of Writs: Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari and Quo warranto.
- Mandamus: A judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.
- Prohibition: A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. This writ is often issued by a superior court to the lower court directing it not to proceed with a case which does not fall under its jurisdiction.
- Certiorari: In law, certiorari is a court process to seek judicial review of a decision of a lower court or government agency.
- Quo warranto: Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right, power, or franchise they claim to hold.
- Habeas Corpus: It literally means “you may have the body.” The writ is issued to produce a person who has been detained, whether in prison or in private custody, before a court and to release him if such detention is found illegal.
- This writ is a bulwark of individual liberty against arbitrary detention.
- The writ of habeas corpus can be issued against both public authorities as well as private individuals.
- The writ, on the other hand, is not issued where the:
- Detention is lawful,
- The proceeding is for contempt of a legislature or a court,
- Detention is by a competent court, and
- Detention is outside the jurisdiction of the court.
2. Traditional Bullock Cart Racing Event
Why in News?
- The Supreme Court allowed Maharashtra to hold the traditional bullock cart racing event, which has been prohibited since 2017.
- The legislative intent of the Act is to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on Animals”.
- The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
- The decision was based on the amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 implemented by the state, in line with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.
- In February 2018, the Supreme Court had referred the pleas related to ‘Jallikattu’ to a five-judge Constitution Bench which would decide if the bull-taming sport fell under cultural rights or perpetuated cruelty to animals
- The court observed that there was no reason to disallow it in the state when similar sports were going on in other places across the country.
- If it is a traditional sport and going on all across the country except Maharashtra, it does not appeal to common sense.
- It is a popular and traditional sport in Western Maharashtra and in Pune district.
- Apart from a traditional sporting event, the rural economy too is associated with bullock cart races.
- Thousands of food stall vendors earn their livelihood through the races.
3. Jaitpur Project
Why in News?
- The Centre has recently given in-principle (first step ) approval for setting up of six nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.
- The Jaitpur Project is a key component of the strategic partnership between India and France.
- Jaitapur would be the world’s most powerful nuclear power plant. There would be six state-of-the-art Evolutionary Power Reactors with an installed capacity of 9.6 GWe that will produce low carbon electricity.
- The six nuclear power reactors, which will have a capacity of 1,650 MW each, will be set up with technical cooperation from France.
- It would provide electricity to seven crore households. That’s huge. It’s a complex project. Both countries are dedicated to reaching an agreement.
- This project will embody the strong partnership between India and France, a commitment to low carb on future, and will directly benefit Maharashtra with thousands of local jobs.
Status of Nuclear Energy in India:
- India has consciously proceeded to explore the possibility of tapping nuclear energy for the purpose of Power Generation.
- In this direction a three-stage nuclear power programme was formulated by Homi Bhabha in the 1950s.The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 was framed and implemented with the set objectives of using two naturally occurring elements Uranium and Thorium having good potential to be utilised as nuclear fuel in Indian Nuclear Power Reactors.
- Other measures taken to enhance the generation from nuclear power plants:
- Administrative approval and financial sanction for 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
- PHWR is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel. It uses heavy water (Deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and Moderator.
- Presently, India has 22 operating nuclear power reactors, with an installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric (MWe).
- Among these eighteen reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and four are Light Water Reactors (LWRs).
- The Atomic Energy Act 1962 has also been amended to enable joint ventures of public sector companies to set up nuclear power projects.
4. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY)
Why in News?
- Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PMKSY) till 2026, with an outlay of Rs 93,068 crore.
- The Government also approved the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Har Khet ko Pani (HKKP), and watershed development components of the PMKSY for four years to 2025-26.
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (Core Scheme) launched in 2015. Centre- States will be 75:25 per cent. In the case of the north-eastern region and hilly states, it will be 90:10.
- It will benefit about 22 lakh farmers, including 2.5 lakh scheduled caste and two lakh scheduled tribe farmers.
- In 2020, the Ministry of Jal Shakti launched a mobile application for Geo-Tagging of the components of projects under PMKSY.
- It has three main components namely the AIBP, HKKP and Watershed Development.
- AIBP was launched in 1996 with the aim of accelerating the implementation of irrigation projects that exceed the resource capabilities of states.
- HKKP aims to create new water sources through Minor Irrigation. Repair, restoration and renovation of water bodies, strengthening carrying capacity of traditional water sources, construction rain water harvesting structures.
- It has sub components: Command Area Development (CAD), Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI), Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies, Ground Water Development.
- Watershed Development is the effective management of runoff water and improved soil & moisture conservation activities such as ridge area treatment, drainage line 5 treatment, rain water harvesting, in – situ moisture conservation and other allied activities on watershed basis.
- An aquifer is a body of porous rock or sediment saturated with groundwater. Groundwater enters an aquifer as precipitation seeps through the soil. It can move through the aquifer and resurface through springs and wells.
- Peri-urban agriculture refers to farm units close to town which operate intensive semi- or fully commercial farms to grow vegetables and other horticulture, raise chickens and other livestock, and produce milk and eggs.
- Precision Irrigation is an innovative technique that uses water wisely and helps farmers achieve higher levels of crop yield in a minimal amount of water.
5. Extension for PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana
Why in News?
- The Cabinet has given its approval to extend its umbrella scheme Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana for Irrigation, Water Supply, groundwater and watershed development projects for another five years till 2026.
PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana:
- The PMKSY was launched on 1st July, 2015 with the motto of “Har Khet Ko Paani”.
- It is being implemented to expand cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency.
- The scheme has basically combined three active projects under various ministries which is as follows:
- Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (Ministry of Water Resources)
- Integrated Watershed Management Program (Ministry of Rural Development)
- Farm Water Management Project of the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture
Components of PMKSY:
- PMKSY seeks to provide a complete solution to farm level irrigation and assured irrigation for every farm.
- It aims to integrate Irrigation with the latest technological practices and cover more cultivable areas under assured Irrigation.
- Increase the implementation of water-saving technologies and precision irrigation which in other words can be said as More Crop Per Drop.
- PMKSY also targets the promotion of micro-irrigation in the form of sprinklers, rain-guns, drips, etc.
Advantages of Micro Irrigation:
- Higher Profits
- Water Saving & Water Use Efficiency (WUE)
- Less Energy Costs
- Higher fertilizer-use efficiency (FUE)
- Reduced Labour Costs
- Reduce Soli Loss
- Marginal Solis & Water
- Efficient & Flexible
- Improved Crop Quality
- Higher Yields
Implementation of PMKSY:
- Everything from planning and execution of plans is regionalized in PMKSY.
- District Irrigation Plans (DIPs) will identify the areas that require improved facilities in irrigation at block levels and district levels.
- State Irrigation Plan consolidates all the DIPs and it oversees the agricultural plans developed under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.
- Funds will be allocated by the centre only if the state has prepared the district irrigation plans and the state irrigation plans.
- The state government’s share under PMKSY is 25% and rest is borne by the centre, with an exception for north-eastern states where contribution by the state government is 10%.
6. Growth of India’s Defence Exports
Why in News?
- India’s defense exports have increased manifold from ₹1,521 crore in 2016-17 to ₹8,434.84 crore in 2020-21.
India’s Defense Exports:
- India has the strength of low-cost, high-quality production.
- The Government has set an ambitious target to achieve exports of about ₹35,000 crore ($5 billion) in aerospace and defense goods and services by 2025.
- The Defense Ministry has clarified that the names of the major defense items exported cannot be disclosed due to strategic reasons.
- To boost indigenous manufacturing, the govt had issued two “positive indigenization lists” consisting of 209 items that cannot be imported and can only be procured from domestic industry.
A Significant Achievement:
- According to the latest report of the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), three Indian companies figure among the top 100 Defence companies in the 2020 rankings.
- These include Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Ordnance Factory Board and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).
Yet India is a Top Importer:
- While India remained among the top importers, it was also included in the Top 25 Defence Exporters.
- There was an overall drop in India’s arms imports between 2011-15 and 2016-20, according to another SIPRI report of 2020.
Items that India Export:
- India has supplied different types of missile systems, LCA/helicopters, multi-purpose light transport aircraft, warships and patrol vessels etc.
- It is also willing to export artillery gun systems, tanks, radars, military vehicles, electronic warfare systems and other weapons systems to IOR nations.
Major Partners: South Asian Countries:
- Vietnam is procuring 12 Fast Attack Craft under a $100 million credit line announced by India.
- It is also interested in Advanced Light Helicopters and Akash surface-to-air missiles.
- HAL has pitched its helicopters and the Tejas LCA to several Southeast Asian and West Asian nations and is in the race to supply the LCA to Malaysia.
- Discussions on the sale of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, jointly developed by India and Russia, are at an advanced stage with some Southeast Asian nations.
Steps taken by the Centre to Boost Defence Production:
- Licensing Relaxation: Measures announced to boost exports since 2014 include simplified defence industrial licensing, relaxation of export controls and grant of no-objection certificates.
- Lines of Credit: Specific incentives were introduced under the foreign trade policy and the Ministry of External Affairs has facilitated Lines of Credit for countries to import defence product.
- Policy boost: The Defence Ministry has also issued a draft Defence Production & Export Promotion Policy 2020.
- Indigenization lists: On the domestic front, to boost indigenous manufacturing, the Government had issued two “positive indigenization lists” consisting of 209 items that cannot be imported.
- Budgetary Allocation: In addition, a percentage of the capital outlay of the defence budget has been reserved for procurement from domestic industry.
Issues retarding Defence Exports:
- Excess reliance on Public Sector: India has four companies (Indian ordnance factories, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)) among the top 100 biggest arms producers of the world.
- Policy Delays: In the past few years, the government has approved over 200 defence acquisition worth Rs 4 trillion, but most are still in relatively early stages of processing.
- Lack of Critical Technologies: Poor design capability in critical technologies, inadequate investment in R&D and the inability to manufacture major subsystems and components hamper the indigenous manufacturing.
- Long Gestation: The creation of a manufacturing base is capital and technology-intensive and has a long gestation period. By that time newer technologies make products outdated.
- ‘Unease’ in doing Business: An issue related to stringent labour laws, compliance burden and lack of skills, affects the development of indigenous manufacturing in defence.
- Multiple Jurisdictions: Overlapping jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Industrial Promotion impair India’s capability of defence manufacturing.
- Lack of quality: The higher indigenization in few cases is largely attributed to the low-end technology.
- FDI Policy: The earlier FDI limit of 49% was not enough to enthuse global manufacturing houses to set up bases in India.
- R&D Lacunae: A lip service to technology funding by making token allocations is an adequate commentary on our lack of seriousness in the area of Research and Development.
- Lack of skills: There is a lack of engineering and research capability in our institutions. It again leads us back to the need for a stronger industry-academia interface.
- Reducing Import Dependence: India was the world’s second-largest arms importer from 2014-18, ceding the long-held tag as the largest importer to Saudi Arabia, says 2019 SIPRI report.
- Security Imperative: Indigenization in defence is critical to national security also. It keeps intact the technological expertise and encourages spin-off technologies and innovation that often stem from it.
- Economic Boost: Indigenization in defence can help create a large industry which also includes small Manufacturers.
- Employment Generation: Defence manufacturing will lead to the generation of satellites industries that in turn will pave the way for a generation of employment Opportunities.