POLITY & GOVERNANCE
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Indian Constitution [Paper-I]: Indian Constitution and its salient features, Judiciary in India
- Supreme Court (SC) has decided to refer the Sabarimala temple case to a larger 7-judge Bench.
- The larger Bench reference will also re-evaluate the “essential religious practice test”, a contentious doctrine evolved by the court to protect only such religious practices which were essential and integral to the religion.
What is the SC’s doctrine of essentiality?
- The doctrine was invented by a seven-judge Bench of the SC in the ‘Shirur Mutt’ case in 1954.
- The court held that the term “religion” will cover all rituals and practices “integral” to a religion, and took upon itself the responsibility of determining the essential and non-essential practices of a religion.
- The ‘essentiality doctrine’ of the Supreme Court was criticised by several constitutional experts.
- Scholars of constitutional law have argued that the essentiality/integrality doctrine has tended to lead the court into an area that is beyond its competence, and given judges the power to decide purely religious questions.
- Over the years, Courts have been inconsistent on this question.
- In some cases they have relied on religious texts to determine essentiality, in others on the empirical behaviour of followers, and in yet others, based on whether the practice existed at the time the religion originated.
- Experts also argue that while the essentiality test privileges certain practices over others, in fact, it is all practices taken together that constitute a religion.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Public Health, Health Care
- International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched the ninth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas in Brussels on World Diabetes Day.
- World Diabetes Day is celebrated as world’s largest Diabetes campaign and is observed on 14th November every year.
What is IDF Diabetes Atlas?
- It is the authoritative resource on the global burden of diabetes and was first published in 2000.
- It is produced by IDF biennially in collaboration with experts from around the world.
- It contains data on diabetes cases, prevalence, mortality and expenditure on the global, regional and national level.
- India is home to the second-largest number of adults with diabetes worldwide with an estimated 77 million diabetics in the 20-79 years age group.
- China leads the list with over 116 million diabetics.
- The worldwide prevalence of diabetes was estimated at 463 million in this age group, or in other words, one in 11 adults.
- India was the largest contributor to diabetes mortality with more than 1 million estimated deaths attributable to diabetes and related complications, in the South East Asian region.
- Diabetes-related health expenditure in the South East Asia (SEA), at $8.1 billion in 2019, was the lowest total of all IDF regions.
- In India, which accounts for 87.9 per cent of adults with diabetes in the Region, $92 was spent per person.
- Type 2 diabetes accounted for around 90 percent of all people with diabetes.
- The number of people with diabetes is predicted to rise to 578 million by 2030 and to 700 million by 2045.
- Diabetes was responsible for an estimated $760 billion in health expenditure in 2019.
- Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death, with people under the age of 60 accounting for almost half the deaths.
- One in six live births is affected by hyperglycaemia in pregnancy.
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Institutes and Organization in India promoting integration of S&T
and Innovation, their activities and contributions
- Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare will announce the finalists of the ‘Global Cooling Prize’ (GCP) on 15th November, 2019.
- It is organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Mission Innovation (MI) programme.
- The seven finalists will be awarded US $200,000 to develop two prototypes for real field testing in India.
What is Global Cooling Prize (GCP)?
- Department of Science & Technology (DST), in partnership with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) & Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), has launched GCP jointly with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
- GCP aims to spur development of a residential cooling solution that has at least five times (5x) less climate impact than today’s standard products.
- This competition runs for two years and will disburse at least US$3 million in interim and final awards to best innovative residential cooling technologies which demonstrate performance.
- This prize is expected to stimulate innovation in cooling technology that can be accessed by millions of people in India initially and around the world eventually.
Mission Innovation (MI)
- It is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation.
- MI identified “Affordable Heating and Cooling of Building Innovation Challenge” as one of the seven innovation challenges.
- India agreed to its engagement as MI Member for the Mission Innovation Challenge # 7: Affordable Heating and Cooling Challenge.
- The objective of the MI Challenge #7 is to make low carbon heating and cooling affordable for everyone.
- Global cooling demand will increase from the present 900 million units to 5 billion units by 2050.
- Air conditioning already accounts for 40–60 percent of summer peak load in large Indian cities.
- India already contributes 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The future increases in cooling demand will not only worsen this impact, but also place an undue burden on India’s electricity sector.
- Global Cooling Prize will help India in developing extremely efficient cooling technology that can sustainably meet the cooling needs of the growing populations without contributing to runaway climate change or costly stresses on already burdened electricity systems.
FACTS OF THE DAY
- Cdr. Karabi Gogoi became the first woman officer from the Navy to be posted as a Defence Attache at an Indian mission abroad.
- She has been posted as the Assistant Naval Attache at the Indian embassy in Moscow.
- In October 2019, the IAF became the first Service to post a woman officer abroad at a diplomatic mission.
- Wing Commander Anjali Singh was posted as the Deputy Air Attache at the same embassy.
- India has over 100 Defence Attaches or Defence Advisors posted at missions across the world.
- All three Service Attaches were posted at important missions like the U.S., the U.K. and Russia with which India has significant defence ties.
MIHIR SHAH COMMITTEE TO DRAFT NEW WATER POLICY
- Union Water Resources Ministry has finalised a committee to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP).
- It will be chaired by Mihir Shah, who is a former Planning Commission member and a water expert.
- The present NWP was drafted in 2012. It is the third such policy since 1987.
- One of the major policy innovations in the 2012 policy was the concept of an Integrated Water Resources Management approach that took the “river basin/ sub-basin” as a unit for planning, development and management of water resources.
KERALA LOK AYUKTA DAY
- Kerala Lok Ayukta has decided to observe every November 15 as Lok Ayukta Day, to create more awareness among the public about its functions.
- It was on November 15, 1998 that the Kerala Lok Ayukta Ordinance was promulgated by the Governor after obtaining consent from the President of India.
- Justice Cyriac Joseph is the present Lok Ayukta of Kerala.
INDIA’S FIRST FULL-FLEDGED INTERNATIONAL CRUISE TERMINAL
- India’s first full-fledged international cruise terminal is coming up at Ernakulam wharf in Willingdon Island. It will be commissioned in February 2020.
- The ₹25.72-crore cruise terminal with facilities can handle 5,000 tourists.
- It will bring personnel of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and CISF under one roof, speeding up paperwork.