Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022
Current Affair 1:
Reduction in The Number of Short-Duration & Half-an-Hour Discussions in Lok Sabha
Members have a right to get information from the Government on any matter of public concern by means of questions to Ministers. When a member feels that the answer given to a question, Starred or Unstarred or Short Notice, is not complete or does not give the desired information or needs elucidation on a matter of fact, he may be allowed by the Speaker to raise a discussion in the House for half an hour. The procedure is, therefore, termed as ‘Half-an-Hour Discussion’.
Over the decades, the number of such discussions has come down significantly in the Lok Sabha. Even the Lok Sabha terms that completed a full five-year term in more recent times have witnessed very few such discussions. The most recently concluded Lok Sabha term i.e., the 16th Lok Sabha has the second lowest number of Half-an-Hour discussions with just five.
Short-duration discussions were held during 8th Lok Sabha
A short-duration discussion
A short-duration discussion enables members to raise matters of urgent public importance without a formal motion. There are several rules in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha which determine the nature of the short-duration discussion.
As per the data available in the handbook, the highest number of short-duration discussions were during the 8th Lok Sabha with 94.
Current Affair 2:
Implementation of the COTPA 2003
The Government, in an answer to a question on tobacco sale and consumption, provided statistics about the number of people fined under Section 6 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003). This data along with the data from the Crime in India report of the NCRB is vital in understanding the implementation of the COTPA 2003.
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003) is a comprehensive law on tobacco use enacted to prohibit the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products and regulate its trade and advertising to improve the public health.
Some of its key provisions relate to the restrictions on the sale and consumption of tobacco products, restrictions on advertising and marketing, regulations on the packaging of tobacco products and powers of the Government in upholding these provisions.
The data from 2017 to 2021 indicates a huge increase in the number of cases filed under the COTPA 2003. In 2017, the number of cases registered was 29579, which rose to 49639 in 2020, and to 53946 in 2021.
Penalty provisions of the COTPA 2003
The COTPA 2003 provides for punishments for different violations of the act as mentioned below.
From the above, it is clear that all these key sections have a provision for levying penalties for violations.
Section 4 prohibits smoking in public places. A public place is defined under Section 3(l) of the same statute as below.
Section 6 of the COTPA 2003 prohibits the sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to a person below the age of eighteen years and in an area within a radius of one hundred yards of any educational institution.
In addition to the Central act, several states such as Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan have enacted state-specific laws, while other states have adopted the COTPA 2003 with minor state-specific amendments.
Public Health is a state subject and the primary responsibility for enforcement of the Act, lies with the State Governments. The Union Government has requested the State Governments to undertake enforcement drives for effective implementation of these provisions of COTPA, 2003.
Current Affair 3:
Road accidents in India — 2021'
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published the annual report ‘Road accidents in India — 2021’. The report provides information on various facets of road accidents in the country during the calendar year 2021.
This report is based on the data/information received from police departments of States/Union Territories collected on calendar year basis in standardized formats as provided by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) under the Asia Pacific Road Accident Data (APRAD) base project.
In this direction the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, has implemented a scheme, “Grant of Financial Assistance for Administering Road Safely Advocacy and Awards for the Outstanding Work Done in the Field of Road Safety”.
Advancement of Vehicle Engineering play a major role in taking efficient Road Safety measures; therefore, Crash Safety Norm of the vehicles have been revised.
To strengthen the system of driver licensing and training to improve the competence and capability of drivers, Ministry is setting up model Institutes of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) Centres. Also, The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, expected to bring reforms in the various segments such as enforcement of Road Safety norms and guidelines, bring citizen facilitation, transparency, and reduce corruption with the help of information technology and removing intermediaries.
A central repository, Integrated Road Accident Database (iRAD) system has been developed by Ministry for reporting, management, claim processing and analysis of road accidents data to enhance road safety in the Country.
Current Affair 4:
Ratnagiri’s pre-historic rock art
Experts and conservationists have raised concerns over the proposed location for a mega oil refinery in Barsu village of Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. They claim that the refinery might damage prehistoric geoglyphs found in the area.
What are Geoglyphs?
Geoglyphs are a form of prehistoric rock art, created on the surface of laterite plateaus (Sada in Marathi). They are made by removing a part of the rock surface through an incision, picking, carving or abrading. They can be in the form of rock paintings, etchings, cup marks and ring marks.
The UNESCO listing mentions “Konkan geoglyphs.” However, elsewhere, the term petroglyph (literally, “rock symbol/character”) is also used. As per the UNESCO listing, petroglyphs and geoglyphs share similarities as both require the skills of removing parts or engraving a symbol on the rock surface.
What is the significance of Ratnagiri’s prehistoric rock art?
Clusters of geoglyphs are spread across the Konkan coastline in Maharashtra and Goa, spanning around 900 km. porous laterite rock, which lends itself to such carving, is found on a large scale across the entire region.
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