31st December Current Affairs
December 31, 2020
2nd January Current Affairs
January 2, 2021
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1st January Current Affairs

India to bring more nations into coastal radar network

In News:

The coastal radar chain network meant to enable real-time monitoring of the high seas for threats.

Details:

Assistance for capacity building to Indian Ocean littoral states.

India’s past and future efforts in this regard:

Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into the country’s coastal radar chain network.

Plans to set up coastal radar stations in the Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Maritime data fusion in India- institutional and structural efforts:

Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) is the nodal agency for maritime data fusion. Located in Gurugram, it was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

As part of information exchange regarding traffic on the high seas, the Navy has been authorised by the government to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs. So far agreements have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct.

At the Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) which is meant to promote Maritime Domain Awareness, three more International Liaison Officers (ILO) are expected to join soon. The ILOs from France, Japan and the U.S. have joined the centre.

Under Phase-I of the coastal radar chain network, 46 coastal radar stations have been set up across the country’s coastline. Under Phase-II of the project, which is currently under way, 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations are being set up by the Coast Guard and is in advanced stage of completion.

About the Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR):

The Navy set up the IFC-IOR in December 2018 within the premises of the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram to track maritime movements in the region.

Parliamentary Panel report on Covid-19 management

In News:

Report submitted recently by the standing committee on Home Affairs.

Key Recommendations:

Bring a comprehensive public health Act with suitable legal provisions to keep checks and controls over private hospitals in times of a pandemic.

Curb black marketing of medicines and ensure product standardisation.

The government should be proactive by holding awareness campaigns on cheaper and effective repurposed medicines to prevent people from panicking and spending a huge amounts of money on expensive drugs.

There is need to have regulatory oversight on all hospitals working in the country to prevent refusal to accept insurance claims.

A separate wing may be formed in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) that will specialise in handling /managing pandemics like COVID-19 in future.

Measures should be taken to avoid social stigma and fear of isolation and quarantine, by making people aware and treating them with respect and empathy.

The problems being faced by farmers, non-corporate and non-farm small/micro enterprises in getting loans need to be addressed.

Need for comprehensive measures:

There have been several reported instances of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in private hospitals being sold at exorbitant rates.

Also, medicines that ‘helped’ in containing the COVID-19 infection were sold at higher rates.

In the initial phase of the pandemic, medical insurance was not extended to patients with COVID-19 infection.

With schools shut down now for more than nine months, many children were deprived of mid-day meal. Many States continued the scheme by delivering dry ration to students at their homes or giving them allowances. But this was not uniform.

Lok Adalat creates history by settling 2.61 lakh cases in Karnataka

In News:

The High Court of Karnataka and the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) have created history in settlement of cases.

Key Points:

A record 2,61,882 cases were settled in a single day at the mega Lok Adalat held on December 19.

This has resulted in a 12.17% reduction of cases pending before courts in taluks and districts, apart from the High Court.

A total of ₹669.95 crore was awarded as compensation or settlement amount by amicably resolving cases related to motor vehicle accident claims, land acquisition, and other civil matters.

The settlements also yielded a revenue of ₹41.45 crore for the State exchequer by way of fine through the compounding of around two lakh pending criminal cases.

What is a Lok Adalat?

Lok Adalat is one of the alternative dispute redressal mechanisms, it is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.

The Lok Adalats are formed to fulfil the promise given by the preamble of the Indian Constitution– securing Justice – social, economic and political of every citizen of India.

Constitutional basis:

Article 39A of the Constitution provides for free legal aid to the deprived and weaker sections of the society and to promote justice on the base of equal opportunity.

Articles 14 and 22(1) of the Constitution also make it compulsory for the State to guarantee equality before the law.

Statutory provisions:

Under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 Lok Adalats have been given statutory status.

Final award:

The decision made by the Lok Adalats is considered to be a verdict of a civil court and is ultimate and binding on all parties.

No appeal:

There is no provision for an appeal against the verdict made by Lok Adalat.

But, they are free to initiate litigation by approaching the court of appropriate jurisdiction by filing a case by following the required procedure, in exercise of their right to litigate.

Court fee:

There is no court fee payable when a matter is filed in a Lok Adalat. If a matter pending in the court of law is referred to the Lok Adalat and is settled subsequently, the court fee originally paid in the court on the complaints/petition is also refunded back to the parties.

Nature of Cases to be Referred to Lok Adalat:

Any case pending before any court.

Any dispute which has not been brought before any court and is likely to be filed before the court.

Provided that any matter relating to an offence not compoundable under the law shall not be settled in Lok Adalat.

Shigella infection

In News:

Health officials in Kozhikode district of Kerala recently convened emergency meetings and kicked in preventive measures after six cases of shigella infection.

What is shigella infection?

Shigellosis, or shigella infection, is a contagious intestinal infection caused by a genus of bacteria known as shigella.

The bacteria is one of the prime pathogens responsible for causing diarrhea, fluctuating between moderate and severe symptoms, especially in children in African and South Asian regions.

How does it spread?

The bacteria, after entering the body through ingestion, attack the epithelial lining of the colon resulting in inflammation of the cells and subsequently the destruction of the cells in severe cases.

It takes only a small number of shigella bacteria to enter a person’s system and get her sick.

The infection is known to spread person-to-person when the bacteria is swallowed accidentally.