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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

Monthly DNA

17 Nov, 2022

22 Min Read

Status of Indian judiciary

GS-II : Governance Judiciary

Status of Indian judiciary

Some experts recently suggested that India's judicial system be overhauled.

Introduction

  • British colonial legacy: The Indian judicial system is based on recorded judicial precedents that were inherited from the British colonial legacy.
  • The Indian court system is hierarchical, with the Supreme Court of India, High Courts, and subordinate courts at the district, municipal, and village levels.
  • Article 141: The Supreme Court's decisions on the constitutional validity of enacted legislation, including constitutional amendments, are binding on all other courts and authorities in the country (Article 141).
  • There is no area of legislative or executive activity that escapes article 144.
  • Article 144: The Supreme Court has the authority to hold any authority in contempt if it disregards or disobeys a court order.
  • In India, there is no law to guide our judges; we only have guidelines.

Information/ Facts:

  • There are 18 high courts, one for each of the 28 states and eight Union Territories.
  • The British established the Sadar Diwani Adalat and established the common law system in India.
  • They were followed by the formation of high courts.
  • In 1862, the first high court was established in Calcutta.
  • On January 28, 1950, the Supreme Court was established. The Supreme Court has 31 members, including the Chief Justice.
  • Article 124: The President may impeach a Supreme Court judge if the resolution for impeachment is approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting.

The Indian Judiciary's Roles:

Upholding and interpreting the Constitution:

  • The judiciary is in charge of safeguarding and upholding the Constitution and its ideals.
  • The courts interpret the Constitution and overturn any law, ordinance, rule, or regulation that violates or infringes on the provisions of the Constitution.

Resolving inter-state disputes:

  • The Indian Constitution establishes a federal structure of governance.
  • As a result, disagreements between the states and the Union and the States are unavoidable.
  • The judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, is crucial in resolving such disagreements.

Fundamental Rights Protection:

  • Part III of the Constitution grants citizens, non-citizens, legal and natural persons certain fundamental rights.
  • The judiciary ensures that these basic rights are not infringed upon.
  • If a legislative or executive act violates these rights, the Constitutional courts have the authority to issue writs.

Legislative assistance:

  • In a number of cases, the court's issue guidelines that are later incorporated into statutes by the legislature.
  • The judiciary also advises the President on constitutional issues and resolves any doubts about the provisions of the Constitution.

Judicial precedents have binding value.

  • The Supreme Court's decisions are binding on all courts in India. Decisions of High Courts, lower courts, or other judicial authorities do not bind the Supreme Court.
  • Decisions of a High Court are binding on all inferior courts within its jurisdiction (as long as they do not contradict Supreme Court decisions) but have only persuasive value in courts outside its jurisdiction. If the High Court's decisions conflict with those of a similar bench, the case is referred to a higher bench.
  • Decisions of higher courts in their respective states bind lower courts. Decisions of other states' high courts have only persuasive value.

Obstacles in the legal system

  • Overburdened and delayed justice: The constitutional courts, namely the Supreme Court and the high courts, are swamped with cases. This causes enormous delays in justice, and in some cases, litigation can last for decades.
  • Litigation is an expensive affair, and in many cases, ordinary people are forced to give up their rights and claims because they cannot afford the legal proceedings.

Inadequate infrastructure:

  • The judiciary lacks the necessary infrastructure to handle the massive caseload. The judicial complexes are overcrowded, and many Courts lack digital infrastructure.
  • Several laws from the British era have become obsolete and must be amended, modified, or repealed.

Regular adjournments:

  • In such unprecedented times, regular court proceedings in our Indian courts have either been adjourned or have been carried out virtually via videoconferencing.

eCourts website:

  • It provides a one-stop shop for all stakeholders, including litigants, advocates, government agencies, police, and ordinary citizens.
  • E-filing: E-filing, also known as electronic filing, is a service that allows you to file cases over the internet.

NJDG (National Judicial Data Grid):

  • Case statistics at the national, state, district, and individual court levels are now available to the general public, researchers, academics, and society at large.
  • e-Sewa Kendra: The e-Sewa Kendra serves as a one-stop shop for accessing all of the eCourts Project's facilities.

ICJS (Interoperable Criminal Justice System):

  • It is an e-Committee initiative to seamlessly transfer data and information between the various pillars of the criminal justice system, such as courts, police, jails, juvenile homes, and forensic science laboratories, from a single platform.

The Way Forward

  • Independence: The judiciary, as an institution, must maintain its independence, and to do so, it must strive to maintain the public's trust in the established courts.
  • Institutions and organizations: The judges' independence is best safeguarded by the institutions and organisations that the law empowers them to establish, in order to preserve the image of an incorruptible higher judiciary that commands the respect of all right-thinking people.
  • Democracy requires a vibrant and independent judiciary for any democracy to thrive.
  • The judiciary in India ensures that there is a rule of law and that citizens' rights are not violated.
  • Checks and Balances: It also keeps the other two branches of government, the legislature and the executive, in check.
  • Judge shortage: There is an urgent need to address the judge shortage and ensure that cases are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Improving infrastructure: The judicial infrastructure and trial court working conditions must be improved in order to attract talent to the judicial profession.

Read Also: The Indian Tea Industry

Source: The Indian Express

Eat Right Station Certification

GS-II : Government policies and interventions Government policies and interventions

Eat Right Station Certification

  • Bhopal Railway Station was recently awarded a 4-star 'Eat Right Station' certification for providing passengers with high-quality, nutritious food.
  • The 4-star rating indicates that the station is fully compliant in providing safe and sanitary food to passengers.

What is the 'Eat Right Station' Certification?

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) awards the 'Eat Right Station' certification to railway stations that set standards in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.
  • Following the completion of an FSSAI-appointed third-party audit with ratings ranging from 1 to 5, the station is awarded a certificate.
  • The certification is a component of the 'Eat Right India' campaign.
  • Other railway stations with this certification include: Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station in Delhi; Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai; Mumbai Central Railway Station in Mumbai; Vadodara Railway Station in Mumbai; and Chandigarh Railway Station in Chandigarh.

About the Eat Right Movement:

  • It is an FSSAI initiative to transform the country's food system to ensure safe, healthy, and sustainable food for all Indians. 'Sahi Bhojan, Behtar Jeevan' is its tagline.
  • It is in line with the National Health Policy 2017 and includes flagship programs such as Ayushman Bharat, POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anaemia Mukt Bharat, and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • Eat Right India employs a strategic mix of regulatory, capacity-building, collaborative, and empowerment approaches to ensure that our food is good for both people and the environment.

What are the Initiatives Involved?

  • FSSAI created the State Food Safety Index to assess states' performance in five areas of food safety: human resources and institutional data, compliance, food testing - infrastructure and surveillance, training and capacity building, and consumer empowerment.
  • FSSAI established the Eat Right Awards to recognize the contributions of food companies and individuals in empowering citizens to choose safe and healthy food options.
  • Eat Right Mela: A FSSAI-organized outreach activity for citizens to encourage them to eat healthily.

What is the Value of Food Safety?

  • Access to adequate amounts of safe food is critical to maintaining life and promoting good health.
  • Foodborne illnesses are typically infectious or toxic in nature, and are frequently imperceptible to the naked eye. They are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water.
  • Every year, an estimated 4,20,000 people worldwide die as a result of eating contaminated food, and children under the age of five account for 40% of the foodborne disease burden, accounting for 1,25,000 deaths.
  • Food safety is critical in ensuring that food remains safe at all stages of the food chain, from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, and finally preparation and consumption.
  • Food production accounts for up to 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.

About FSSAI:

  • It is an autonomous body of the Government of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, which consolidates various acts and orders that had previously dealt with food issues in various Ministries and Departments.
  • The Food Standards and Safety Act of 2006 superseded several Acts and Orders, including the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act of 1954, the Fruit Products Order of 1955, and others.
  • The FSSAI is led by a non-executive Chairperson who is appointed by the Central Government and holds or has held a position not lower than that of Secretary to the Government of India. It is not the responsibility of the Director General of Health Services.

Source: PIB

India-US Economic and Financial Partnership

GS-II : International Relations U.S.A

India-US Economic and Financial Partnership

What are the Meet's Main Highlights?

Attempts to Raise Climate Ambition:

  • Both countries shared the reenergized global efforts to raise climate ambition, as well as their respective domestic efforts to meet publicly stated climate goals.

Macroeconomic Issues:

  • In the context of the Ukrainian conflict, both reaffirmed their commitment to the central role of multilateral cooperation in addressing global macroeconomic challenges, such as rising commodity and energy prices and supply-side disruptions, and reaffirmed their commitment to the role of multilateral cooperation in addressing these global macroeconomic challenges.

Banks for Multilateral Development:

  • They recognised the significance of working through MDBS to assist India in accessing and mobilising available financing to support development goals, including climate action.
  • Both intend to continue their multilateral and bilateral engagement on these and other global economic issues.

Equal Debt Treatment:

  • Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to debt sustainability, transparency in bilateral lending, and close coordination on extending fair and equal debt treatment to debt-stricken countries.
  • Both reiterated their commitment to stepping up efforts to implement the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatment in a predictable, timely, orderly, and coordinated manner.

Quantified Collective Goal:

  • Both parties agreed to raise USD 100 billion per year from public and private sources for developing countries until 2025, in exchange for meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.
  • The countries also discussed mutual collaboration in information sharing to combat offshore tax evasion.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act:

  • The two parties will continue to discuss the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for the exchange of financial account information.

India's relations with the United States:

  • The strategic partnership between the United States and India is based on shared values, such as a commitment to democracy and the rule-based international system.
  • Through trade, investment, and connectivity, the United States and India share a common interest in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity.
  • The United States supports India's rise as a leading global power and a critical partner in efforts to keep the Indo-Pacific region peaceful, stable, and prosperous.

Economic Relations:

  • Overall bilateral trade in goods and services between the United States and India will reach a record USD 157 billion in 2021.
  • The United States is India's most important trading partner and export market.
  • One of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus is the United States. India had a USD 32.8 billion trade surplus with the US in 2021-22.

International Collaboration:

  • India and the United States work closely together in multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the Group of 20 (G-20), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.
  • The United States welcomed India's appointment to the UN Security Council for a two-year term in 2021 and supports a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member.
  • The United States and India, along with Australia and Japan, form the Quad to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and to provide tangible benefits to the region.
  • India is also one of twelve countries that collaborate with the US on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
  • The United States joined the International Solar Alliance, headquartered in India, in 2021, and the United States Agency for International Development joined in 2022. (USAID).

What are the Consequences of India-US Ties?

Imposition of Tariffs:

  • In 2018, the United States imposed a 25% tariff on certain steel products from India and a 10% tariff on certain aluminum products.
  • In June 2019, India retaliated by raising tariffs on 28 products worth approximately USD 1.2 billion imported from the United States.
  • However, following the imposition of Section 232 tariffs, steel exports to the United States fell by 46% year on year.

Mistaking Self-Sufficiency for Protectionism:

  • The Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign has exacerbated the perception that India is becoming a protectionist closed market economy.
  • Exemption from the United States' Generalized System of Preferences: Beginning in June 2019, the United States decided to withdraw duty-free benefits to Indian exporters under the GSP programme.
  • As a result, special duty treatment on USD 5.6 billion in US exports was discontinued, affecting India's export-oriented sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, agricultural products, and automotive parts.

Hostility of the United States Towards Other Countries:

  • Some of the differences between India and the US are not directly related to the India-US relationship, but rather to the US' hostility toward third-country allies such as Iran and Russia.
  • Other issues threatening the India-US relationship include India's ties with Iran and India's purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia.

The Way Forward

  • The unparalleled Demographic Dividend creates enormous opportunities for technology transfer, manufacturing, trade, and investment for US and Indian firms.
  • India is emerging as a key player in an international system undergoing unprecedented change. It will use its current situation to investigate opportunities to advance its vital interests.
  • Today, India and the United States are strategic partners in the true sense of the term: a partnership among mature major powers that seek to manage differences by ensuring continuous dialogue and channeling these differences into new opportunities.

Source: The Hindu

Dengue

GS-III : S&T Health

Dengue

  • According to one study, the ongoing spread of Dengue fever in India has been attributed to a late monsoon withdrawal.
  • Dengue transmission is closely linked to three key factors: rainfall, humidity, and temperature, which determine where dengue spreads and how quickly it spreads.

What are the Study's Highlights?

  • Each year, the number of months suitable for dengue transmission by Aedes aegypti mosquitos in India has increased to 5.6 months.
  • Between 1951-1960 and 2012-2021, it accounts for a 1.69% increase.
  • According to the study, future climatic changes will cause "expansion of Aedes aegypti in the hot arid regions of the Thar Desert and Aedes albopictus in the cold upper Himalayas."
  • Dengue is spread by the bite of two mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
  • Aedes aegypti is currently prevalent in the southern peninsula, eastern coastline, north-eastern states, and northern plains.
  • The eastern and western coastlines, as well as the northeastern states and the lower Himalayas, are dominated by Aedes albopictus.

About dengue fever:

  • Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus (Genus Flavivirus), which is spread by several female mosquito species in the genus Aedes, most notably Aedes aegypti.
  • This mosquito also spreads chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus.
  • The virus that causes dengue has four distinct but closely related serotypes (separate groups within a species of microorganisms that all share a similar characteristic) (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4).
  • Symptoms include a high fever that comes on suddenly, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe bone, joint, and muscle pain, and so on.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment: A blood test is used to diagnose dengue infection.
  • There is no specific treatment for dengue infection.
  • Dengue fever has become increasingly common in recent decades, with the vast majority of cases going unreported, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • According to the WHO, 39 million dengue virus infections occur each year, with 9.6 million showing symptoms.
  • According to National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control data, India had 63,280 dengue cases as of September 2022.
  • Controlling Dengue with Bacteria: Recently, researchers from the World Mosquito Program successfully controlled dengue in Indonesia by using mosquitos infected with Wolbachia bacteria.
  • The scientists infected some mosquitos with Wolbachia bacteria and then released them in the city, where they bred with local mosquitos until nearly all mosquitos in the area carried Wolbachia bacteria. This is referred to as the Population Replacement Strategy.
  • After 27 months, the researchers discovered that the incidence of dengue was 77% lower in areas where Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were released, compared to areas where such deployments were not made.
  • Dengue Vaccine: The dengue vaccine CYD-TDV, also known as Dengvaxia, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2019, making it the first dengue vaccine to receive regulatory approval in the United States.
  • Dengvaxia is a live, attenuated dengue virus that must be administered to people aged 9 to 16 who have had a previous dengue infection and live in endemic areas.
  • Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a vaccine manufacturer, is developing India's first Dengue vaccine and has received approval for a Phase-1 trial.
  • The vaccine is being developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

Source: The Hindu

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