Current Affair – May 14, 2021

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CURRENT AFFAIRS

Extra road accident compensation to self-employed: Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court has held that an extra 40% should be added to the income of de­ ceased road accident victims who are aged below 40 years and are self-employed, while calculating compensation.
  • A three­ judge Bench said the additional amount should be included in the income of the dead person as “future pros­pects”.
  • The recent judg­mentcame in a petition filed by the children of a 37­ years old self-em­ployed woman who died in a car accident near Phagwara in Punjab 11 years ago.

Significance of judgment

  • It recognises self­-employ­ment as gainful employment and calls for an increase in the compensation amount
  • In National Insurance vs Pranay Sethi, had “clearly held that in case the de­ ceased is self­employed and below the age of 40, 40% ad­dition would be made to their income as future prospects”.
  • The High Court had ear­lier held the victim ineligible for future prospects because she was self-employed.
Source: The Hindu

Overseas Citizens of India

  • The Home Ministry’s March 4 order that required profes­sional Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs), such as journal­ists, engineers and research­ers, to notify the Ministry about their activities in India has left them in the lurch.
  • A portal that was to come up for the purpose is not op­erational yet. OCIs could inti­mate the Foreigners Region­al Registration Office (FRRO) through e­mail till the portal is activated.
  • OCIs believed the notification was discrimi­natory.

NRI quota seats

  • On March 4, the Ministry is­sued a gazette notification that OCI cardholders could claim “only NRIquota seats” in educational institutions.
  • It specified that OCIs could on­ly pursue the following pro­fessions — doctors, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, ad­vocates, architects and char­tered accountants, and the rest would require “special permission”.
  • The notification said that OCIs shall be required to ob­tain a “special permission or a special permit” from the competent authority or the FRRO or the Indian mission “to undertake research, mis­sionary or Tabligh or moun­taineering or journalistic ac­tivities or internship in any foreign diplomatic mis­ sions”.
  • OCIs believe place It placed undue burden on scientific, pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology and other research fields,”

OCIs

  • OCIs are of Indian origin but hold foreign passports.
  • India does not allow dual citizenship but provides certain benefits under Section 7B(I) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 to the OCIs.
  • So far, 37.72 lakh OCI Cards are said to have been issued.
Source: The Hindu

Lighting killed elephants in Assam

  • A bolt of lightning is believed to have killed a herd of at least 18 elephants in central Assam’s Nagaon district in the hilly Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest in the Forest Department’s Kathiatoli Range.
  • There have been cases of lightning striking animals down. Lightning claimed five elephants in West Ben­gal some time ago, but this is huge,”
  • The district has had cases of man-animal conflicts in the past.
  • A team of ve­terinary doctors and other wildlife experts will exa­mine if there are other rea­sons behind the death of the elephants.
Source: The Hindu

Increasing access to court proceedings

  • Chief Justice of India N.V. Ra­mana said he was “actively considering” the proposal to telecast live the proceedings of the Su­preme Court.

Significance of media access to court proceedings

  • CJI launched a mobile app which would allow media persons to view the Supreme Court’s virtual proceedings live on their mobile phones.
  • The CJI said the initiative to launch the mobile app for journalists came after he heard that the Press was de­pending on lawyers for video links of virtual hearings.   Transparency is a time­ honoured principle when it comes to the judicial process in our country. Hearing of cases has always taken place in public courtrooms, with access being allowed not only to lawyers and litigants in a particular case, but also to the general public.
  • The CJI said public access to court hearings was impor­tant as the rulings of courts, more particularly the Su­preme Court, had an impact on the lives of people across the country.
  • The role of the media as­sumes importance in the process of disseminating in­ formation.
  • Access to media to court pro­ceedings would increase transparency.
The CJI said the initiative to launch the mobile app for journalists came after he heard that the Press was de­pending on lawyers for video links of virtual hearings.

Indicative Notes

  • The CJI also launched a new feature in the Supreme Court’s official website called ‘Indicative Notes’.
  • It aims at providing concise summaries of landmark judgments in an easy­ to understand format.
  • It will serve as a useful resource for media persons and the gen­eral public who wish to be better informed about the rulings of the court.
Source: The Hindu

China decreasing population growth

  • In the decade up to 2020, China’s population grew at its slowest rate since the 1950s.
  • It now stands at 141.2 crore people.
  • The country’s fertility rate has dropped to 1.3, far below the replacement level of 2.1 required for a generation to have enough children to replace it.
  • The United Nations expects China’s population to begin declining  after 2030, but some experts say this could happen as early as in the next one or two years. By 2025, the country is set to lose its ‘most populous’ tag to India, which in 2020 had an estimated 138 crore people.

China’s latest census data

  • As per the 2020 national census, China’s seventh since 1953, the country’s population has grown from 134 crore in 2010 by 5.34% over the past decade.
  • The rate of population growth has been steadily falling.
  • The country’s working population is 63.35%  of the total, down by 6.79% from 2010.
  • One-child policy was put into force in the late 1970s.    The number of people above age 60 has also gone up to 18.7% of the population, up 5.44%  from the last census.
  • A ray of hope, though, is the greater proportion of children 14 years or younger, who are 17.95%  of the population, up by 1.35% from 2010. This rise has been credited to China relaxing its strict one-child policy in 2016 and allowing two children per family.
One-child policy was put into force in the late 1970s.

Concerns related to a shrinking population for China

  • China’s slowing population growth is part of a trend seen in many countries in Asia and the West. Last year, South Korea saw its population decline for the first time in history. In the United States too, the birth rate has dropped to 1.6, the lowest on record.
  • When the young population in a country declines, it creates labour shortages, which have a major detrimental impact on the economy.
  • More older people also means that demands for healthcare and pensions can soar, burdening the country’s social spending system further when fewer people are working and contributing to it.
  • A problem unique to China is that unlike the other developed countries part of this trend, it is still a middle-income society, despite being the world’s second-largest economy
  • Prosperous countries like Japan and Germany, which face similar demographic challenges, can depend on investments in factories, technology and foreign assets. China, however, still depends on labour-intensive manufacturing and farming. A drop in demographic dividend could thus hurt China and other developing nations like India more than those in the rich world.

Response

  • The Chinese government announced this year that it would increase the retirement age by a few months every year.
  • The government is also expected to increase incentives for couples to have more children, although such sops have failed in the past in the face of higher cost-of-living challenges and career choices.
  •  Authorities have also been urged to completely drop restrictions on the  number of children allowed per family.
Source: Indian Express

National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell Battery Storage

  • The Cabinet has approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme ‘National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage.
  • It seeks to  achieve manufacturing capacity of 50 GigaWatt Hour (GWh) of ACC and 5 GWh of “Niche” ACC.

About the scheme:

  • It is a ₹18,100 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for building Tesla-style giga factories to manufacture batteries.
  • The plan is to set up 50 gigawatt hour (GWh) manufacturing capacity for advanced chemistry cell batteries by attracting investments totaling₹45,000 crore.
  • Each selected ACC battery storage manufacturer would have to commit to set up an ACC manufacturing facility of minimum 5GWh capacity and ensure a minimum 60% domestic value addition at the project level within five years.

Advanced Chemistry Cells (ACC)

  • ACCs are the new generation of advanced storage technologies that can store electric energy either as electrochemical or as chemical energy and convert it back to electric energy as and when required.

Significance of  scheme

  • All the demand of the ACCs is currently being met through imports in India.
  • The National Programme on Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery Storage will reduce importdependence.
  • It will also support the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. ACC battery Storage manufacturers will be selected through a transparent competitive bidding process.
Souce: PIB

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