Who was Rani Lakshmibai? Rani Lakshmibai, one of the warriors of India’s struggle for Independence, was born as Manikarnika Tambe in 1828 in Varanasi. In 1842, Lakshmibai got married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi and got the name of Rani Lakshmibai. Few years after marriage, in 1851, Manikarnika gave birth to a boy but he couldn’t survive and died after four months.
Then Lakshmibai and Gangadhar Rao adopted Rao’s cousin’s son, Anand Rao, who was later renamed as Damodar. Soon after they adopted Anand, Maharaja died due to an illness in 1853. Rani Lakshmibai was just 18 at that time.
The East India Company took advantage of the Maharaja’s death and applied the Doctrine of Lapse. The British rulers did not accept little Damodar Rao, as the legal heir of late Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai. Their plan was to annex Jhansi on the ground that it did not have any legal heir.
In March 1854, Rani of Jhansi was granted an annual pension of 60,000 and was ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. She was firm on the decision not to give up the dominion of Jhansi to the British. She died on June 17, 1958, martyring her life for India’s freedom.
What’s the issue? Since J&K has a separate Constitution, Governor’s rule is imposed under Section 92 for six months after an approval by the President. In case the Assembly is not dissolved within six months, President’s rule under Article 356 is extended to the State. Governor’s rule expires in the State on January 19.
Governor’s rule in J&K: The imposition of governor’s rule in J&K is slightly different than that in other states. In other states, the president’s rule is imposed under the Article 356 of Constitution of India. In J&K, governor’s rule is mentioned under Article 370 section 92 – ‘ Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State.’
Article 370 section 92: Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in the State: If at any time, the Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the Government of the State cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, the Governor may by Proclamation:
Assume to himself all or any of the functions of the Government of the State and all or any of the powers vested in or exercisable by anybody or authority in the State.
Make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the Governor to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Proclamation, including provisions for suspending in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution relating to anybody or authority in the State.
Related key facts: Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent Proclamation. Any such Proclamation whether varied under subsection (2) or not, shall except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, cease to operate on the expiration of six months from the date on which it was first issued.
If the Government or by a Proclamation under his section assumes, to himself any, of the powers of the Legislature to make his laws, any law made by him in the exercise of that power shall, subject to, the terms there of continue to have effect until two years have elapsed from the date on which the proclamation ceases to have effect, unless sooner.
No Proclamation under this section shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation, be laid before each House of the Legislature as soon as it is convened.
What is President’s Rule in the Indian context? The imposition of Article 356 of the Constitution on a State following the failure of constitutional machinery is called President’s Rule in India. Once the President’s Rule has been imposed on a state, the elected state government will be temporarily dissolved, and the Governor, who is appointed by the government at the Centre, will replace the Chief Minister as the chief executive of the State.
The state will fall under the direct control of the Union government, and the Governor will continue to be head the proceedings, representing the President of India – who is the Head of the State.
The imposition of the President’s rule requires the sanction of both the houses of Parliament. If approved, it can go on for a period of six months. However, the imposition cannot be extended for more than three years, and needs to be brought before the two houses every six months for approval.
Significance: The initiative, with technical support from the World Bank, WHO and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is being launched as unhealthy diet is pushing up metabolic syndrome and premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Keralites.
Latest estimates put the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in Kerala between 24-33%, indicating that one in three or four persons — predominantly women — have this condition.
Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abdominal obesity, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, raising risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Trans fats: Trans fatty acids (TFAs) or Trans fats are the most harmful type of fats which can have much more adverse effects on our body than any other dietary constituent. These fats are largely produced artificially but a small amount also occurs naturally. Thus in our diet, these may be present as Artificial TFAs and/ or Natural TFAs.
Artificial TFAs are formed when hydrogen is made to react with the oil to produce fats resembling pure ghee/butter. In our diet the major sources of artificial TFAs are the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVO)/vanaspati/ margarine while the natural TFAs are present in meats and dairy products, though in small amounts.
Harmful effects: TFAs pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats. While saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels, TFAs not only raise total cholesterol levels but also reduce the good cholesterol (HDL), which helps to protect us against heart disease. Trans fats consumption increases the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
It is also associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, infertility, certain types of cancers and can also lead to compromised fetal development causing harm to the yet to be born baby.
Why they are increasingly being used? TFA containing oils can be preserved longer, they give the food the desired shape and texture and can easily substitute ‘Pure ghee’. These are comparatively far lower in cost and thus add to profit/saving.
Permissible limit: WHO recommends that trans fat intake be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake and has called for the total elimination of TFAs in global food supply by 2023. FSSAI has proposed to limit TFA limit in foods to 2% and eliminate trans fats from foods by 2022.
Outcome of the summit: It ended with no joint statement from the leaders – a first in Apec history – and with the fight for dominance in the Pacific region between Australia, the US and Japan on one side and China on the other, coming out into the open.
APEC: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC has 21 members.
Aim: to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.
Functions: APEC works to help all residents of the Asia-Pacific participate in the growing economy. APEC projects provide digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women export their products abroad.
Recognizing the impacts of climate change, APEC members also implement initiatives to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources.
The forum adapts to allow members to deal with important new challenges to the region’s economic well-being. This includes ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.
Members: APEC’s 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.
APEC Members account for approximately 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade.
About GROWTH-India Telescope: The GROWTH-India telescope is part of a multi-country collaborative initiative – known as the Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) – to observe transient events in the universe.
The fully robotic telescope is designed to capture cosmic events occurring over relatively shorter periods of the cosmological timescale: years, days and even hours.
Universities and research institutes from the US, the UK, Japan, India, Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part of the initiative. Their primary research objective is time-domain astronomy, which entails the study of explosive transients and variable sources (of light and other radiation) in the universe.
Its goals are threefold: Search for explosions in the optical regime whenever LIGO group detects a Binary Neutron Star merger Study nearby young supernova explosions Study nearby asteroids.
Nova Observation: Novae are explosive events involving violent eruptions on the surface of white dwarf stars, leading to temporary increase in brightness of the star. Unlike a supernova, the star does not go on to die but returns to its earlier state after the explosion.
The recurrent nova, named M31N-2008, has been observed to erupt several times, the most recent eruption happening in November 2018.
What is general consent? Unlike the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is governed by its own NIA Act and has jurisdiction across the country, the CBI is governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act that makes consent of a state government mandatory for conducting investigation in that state.
There are two kinds of consent: case-specific and general. Given that the CBI has jurisdiction only over central government departments and employees, it can investigate a case involving state government employees or a violent crime in a given state only after that state government gives its consent.
“General consent” is normally given to help the CBI seamlessly conduct its investigation into cases of corruption against central government employees in the concerned state. Almost all states have given such consent. Otherwise, the CBI would require consent in every case.
What does withdrawal mean? It means the CBI will not be able to register any fresh case involving a central government official or a private person stationed in these two states without getting case-specific consent. Withdrawal of consent simply means that CBI officers will lose all powers of a police officer as soon as they enter the state unless the state government has allowed them.
Under what provision has general consent been withdrawn? GO (government order) number 176 issued by the Andhra Pradesh Home Department by Principal Secretary A R Anuradha on November 8 states: “In exercise of power conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act No 25 of 1946), the government hereby withdraws the general consent accorded in GO No 109 Home (SC.A) Department dated August 3, 2018 to all members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said Act in the State of Andhra Pradesh.’’
Section 6 of the Act says, “Nothing contained in Section 5 (which deals with jurisdiction of CBI) shall be deemed to enable any member of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise powers and jurisdiction in any area in a State, not being a Union Territory or Railway, area, without the consent of the Government of that State.”
Does that mean that the CBI can no longer probe any case in the two states? No. The CBI would still have the power to investigate old cases registered when general consent existed. Also, cases registered anywhere else in the country, but involving people stationed in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, would allow CBI’s jurisdiction to extend to these states.
There is ambiguity on whether the agency can carry out a search in either of the two states in connection with an old case without the consent of the state government. However, there are legal remedies to that as well. The CBI can always get a search warrant from a local court in the state and conduct searches. In case the search requires a surprise element, there is CrPC Section 166, which allows a police officer of one jurisdiction to ask an officer of another to carry out searches on his behalf. And if the first officer feels that the searches by the latter may lead to loss of evidence, the section allows the first officer to conduct searches himself after giving a notice to the latter.
What happens in fresh cases? Withdrawal of consent will only bar the CBI from registering a case within the jurisdiction of Andhra and Bengal. The CBI could still file cases in Delhi and continue to probe people inside the two states.
An October 11, 2018, order of the Delhi High Court makes it clear that the agency can probe anyone in a state that has withdrawn “general consent” if the case is not registered in that state. The order was given with regard to a case of corruption in Chhattisgarh, which also gives consent on a case-to-case basis. The court ordered that the CBI could probe the case without prior consent of the Chhattisgarh government since it was registered in Delhi.
Context: In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated November 19 as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners. Previously, World Toilet Day was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001.
About World Toilet Day: World Toilet Day is a day to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis – a topic often neglected and shrouded in taboos.
SDG 6 aims to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet and that no-one practises open defecation by 2030. Failure to achieve this goal risks the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2018 Theme: When Nature Calls.
India’s first specialized hospital for elephants has been formally opened in Mathura.
The unique medical centre offers wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging, ultrasonography, hydrotherapy and quarantine facilities.
Located close to the elephant conservation and care centre, the hospital is designed to treat injured, sick or geriatric elephants and is equipped with a medical hoist for lifting elephants, as also an elephant restraining device with a dedicated indoor treatment enclosure for long duration medical procedures.
Punjab has become the third state in the country after Maharashtra and Gujarat to ban hookah bars or lounges.
President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Punjab Amendment) Bill, 2018.
The objective of this law is to check use of tobacco in various forms and prevent diseases caused by use of the tobacco products.