11th December 2017 : Current Affairs UPSC

Does privacy outlive death, asks SC

TIMELINE :

  1. Madras High Court : ordered to produce the Aadhaar data records of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for verification of her fingerprints.

  2. The ADMK party leaders argue that the fundamental right to privacy continues to remain alive even after the death of an individual. Calling for aadhar records amounts to intrusion.

  3. SC stayed the Madras HC order and has decided to examine whether or not the High Court’s order “amounts to intrusion into the fundamental right to privacy of a third party”.

IMPORTANCE :

  • The case raises the issue whether or not courts and authorities can order to see an individual’s personal data without consent after his or her death.

  • Puttaswamy Judgement, landmark verdict of nine judges of the Supreme Court which upheld privacy as a fundamental right is silent on this aspect.

India’s ultra-mega solar project to be discussed at France One Planet Summit: World Bank chief

India’s ultra-mega solar project will come up for discussion at the One Planet Summit in France this week, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said.

The ultra-mega solar power projects, also known as ultra mega solar parks, are a series of solar power projects planned by India to enhance its capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW.

WHY THIS SUMMIT > to mark the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Paris agreement.

ORGANISED BY : UN + WB Group.

Bidding adieu to a mighty warrior

NEWS : Mi-8 is now being phased out.

MI-8 IN INDIA : It has served the missions in siachen, during the IPKF operations in Sri Lanka and a UN Mission in Congo, besides coming under fire from insurgents in northeastern India.

ABOUT MIL MI-8 :

RUSSIAN MAKE: The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine helicopter, originally designed by the Soviet Union, and now produced by Russia.

USES : In addition to its most common role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform.

ICAN receives Nobel Peace Prize

WHAT IS ICAN> International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

IMPORTANCE OF ICAN : It is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.

APPLICABILITY OF THE TREATY : The treaty is not signed by — and would not apply to — any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

ABOUT THE TREATY : The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty,

  • 1st legally binding international agreement passed on 7 July 2017

  • FOR WHAT> to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination

  • ENFORCEMENT : In order to come into effect, signature and ratification by at least 50 countries is required.

  • MAIN PROVISIONS : For those nations that are party to it, the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.

  • For nuclear armed states joining the treaty, it provides for a time-bound framework for negotiations leading to the verified and irreversible elimination of its nuclear weapons programme.

  • TIMELINE : According to a mandate adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2016, negotiations on the treaty began in the United Nations in March 2017 and continued from 15 June to 7 July 2017.

WTO: diverse views fuel bleak prospect for outcomes

NEWS : The Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) will take place from 10 to 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A vast majority of the 164 WTO member nations — led by India, China and South Africa demanding that the final declaration of the WTO’s highest decision-making body reaffirms commitment to multilateralism and rules-based trading system as well as negotiations with development agenda at the centre.

WHY> Because the trend of anti-globalisation, protectionism and bilateralism is on the rise.

AGENDA OF 11TH MC :

  1. Developed countries want what they call the ‘21st century trade issues’ — such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, matters relating to small firms and gender equality — to be discussed for rule-making to enhance the relevance of the WTO.

  2. Developing are against introduction of such ‘new issues’ and wanted to resolve outstanding issues such as the ones relating to food security and protection of poor farmers which were pending since Doha round 2001.

  3. ‘Work programmes’ will be constituted for : Issue of public stockholding for food security purposes, ‘limiting harmful fisheries subsidies’, ‘possible negotiations on e-commerce’, as well as ‘services trade facilitation’.

  4. WORKING OF DSM : U.S. is said to block the appointment of judges to the appellate body — which would undermine the Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM).

The DSM, according to the WTO, is “recognised as a fundamental pillar of the organisation” and “enjoys wide support and confidence among the membership, which values it as a fair, effective and efficient mechanism to solve trade problems.”

5. AMS : India’s joint proposal with China — asking the developed nations to eliminate the most trade-distorting form of farm subsidies, known in WTO jargon as Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) — has the backing of about 120 WTO members including from Africa.

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