IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


17th September, 2019


Explained: What is Jammu and Kashmir’s Public Safety Act?

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has been detained under the state’s stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), which enables authorities to detain any individual for two years without trial.

About PSA:

-       The Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 is a preventive detention law, under which a person is taken into custody to prevent him or her from acting in any manner that is prejudicial to “the security of the state or the maintenance of the public order”.

-       It is very similar to the National Security Act that is used by other state governments for preventive detention.

-       Preventive detention is meant to be preventive, not punitive.

-       It comes into force by an administrative order passed either by Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate or not by detention order by police based on specific allegations or for specific violation of laws.

Draconian features of PSA:

-       The PSA allows for detention of a person without a formal charge and without trial.

-       It can be slapped on a person already in police custody; on someone immediately after being granted bail by a court; or even on a person acquitted by the court.

-       Person who is detained under the PSA need not be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of the detention.

-       The detained person does not have the right to move a bail application before a criminal court, and cannot engage any lawyer to represent him or her before the detaining authority.

-       The High Court and the Supreme Court have the jurisdiction to hear such petitions and pass a final order seeking quashing of the PSA.

-       There cannot be prosecution or any legal proceeding against the official who has passed the order.

-       The DM has to place the detention order within four weeks before an advisory board, consisting of three members including a chairperson who is a former judge of the High Court.

Constitutional Safeguards against PSA:

-       Article 22(a) of the Constitution states that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.

-       Article 22(b) states that every person arrested and detained shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of 24 hours (excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court) and no such person shall be detained beyond this period without the authority of a magistrate.

-       However, Article 22(3) (b) allows for preventive detention and restriction on personal liberty for reasons of state security and public order.

-       Supreme Court has held that in order to prevent “misuse of this potentially dangerous power, the law of preventive detention has to be strictly construed and meticulous compliance with the procedural safeguard is mandatory and vital”. Therefore, the DM has to show that the detention order follows the procedure established by law.

-       Supreme Court has also held that when a person already under police custody is slapped with the PSA, the DM has to record “compelling reasons” for detaining that person.

-       All the material on the basis of which the detention order has been passed, the Supreme Court has held, should be provided to the detained person for making an effective representation; and the grounds of detention has to explained and communicated to the person in the language understood by the detained person.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/farooq-abdullah-psa-jammu-and-kashmir-explained-6001031/


Explained: What global food industry costs human health and environment

A new global study has quantified the damage that the modern food industry does to human health, development and the environment costs. Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), a global alliance of economists and scientists, have done this study.

Findings of Report:

-       The “hidden cost” to the world is $12 trillion a year — equivalent to China’s GDP.

-       The report calls for the world to diversify its food production and consumption.

-       Global over-dependence on a relatively small number of staple foods leaves populations vulnerable to crop failures, with climate change adding to the strain.

-       A small disruption in supply really can do a lot of damage and leads to huge price increases. That creates suffering and social unrest and it will highly likely lead to hunger and instability.

-       The report proposes a series of solutions, from encouraging more diverse diets to improve health and reduce dependency on specific crops, to giving more support to the types of farming that can restore forests, a key tool in fighting climate change

Indian findings:

-       The report points out that India have 4 per cent of global freshwater resources to support 19 per cent of the world’s population.

-       Some 80 per cent of water in India goes to agriculture, primarily from groundwater sources. This is unsustainable, it says.

-       Existing government policies already address critical transitions that the new report recommends, FOLU observes.

-       Report mentions the “Eat Right Movement” of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in 2017, the National Food Security Act of 2013, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture, and the Zero Budget Natural Farming programme in Andhra Pradesh.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-global-food-industry-costs-human-health-and-environment-6001037/


Explained: What is yank?

Students of physics define acceleration as the rate of change of velocity (or speed) with respect to time. In turn, the time derivative of acceleration is “jerk”. For further time derivatives after jerk, the words are, “snap”, “crackle” and “pop” for each successive derivative.

Force, another familiar concept of physics, is measured in units of mass time’s acceleration. Unlike velocity and acceleration, however, time derivatives for force have never been defined.

-       Scientists are defining a new term: Yank – change in force with time.

-       Rate of force development, a measure of explosive strength refers to how our muscles respond to forces.

-       Yankcould be useful in understanding spasticity, a common muscle impairment in multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke and cerebral palsy.

Reference https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-is-yank-6001032/



Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2019 Comes Into Force

The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill, 2019 that passed by the Parliament during the Budget Session, 2019 has come into effect from today.

Benefits of the act:

-       Facilitate smooth and speedy eviction of unauthorised occupants from Government residential accommodations.

-       Ensure retrieval of these residential accommodations from unauthorised occupants without requiring elaborate procedures under sections 4 and 5 of the Act.

-       It would increase availability of Government residential accommodations for eligible persons and reduce the waiting period.

As per the Amendment Act, the Estate officer will issue short Show cause notice of three days before eviction of the unauthorized occupant from Government accommodation.

Public premises eviction act and need to change it:

-       It was enacted to provide for eviction of unauthorised occupants from “public premises” and for certain incidental matters.

-       Government provides residential accommodation on licence basis to its employees, Members of Parliament and other dignitaries while they are in service or until the term of their office.

-       The Act confers powers upon the estate officers to evict such unauthorised occupants from "public premises" in a smooth, speedy and time-bound manner.

-       Under the existing provisions, the eviction proceedings of unauthorised occupants from “public premises” take around five to seven weeks’ time. It may take around four more weeks in case the unauthorised occupants file appeal before the District Court under the Act.

Provisions of the act:

-       Payment of damages: If the person in unauthorised occupation of the residential accommodation challenges the eviction order passed by the estate officer in court, he will be required to pay damages for every month of such occupation. 

-       The Bill defines ‘residential accommodation occupation’ as the occupation of public premises by a person on the grant of a license for such occupation.  The license must be given for a fixed tenure, or for the period, the person holds office. 

Reference: pib


On World Ozone Day, India’s Cooling Action Plan gets UN applaud

India became one of the first countries in the world to launch a comprehensive Cooling Action plan in March 2019, which has a long-term vision to address the cooling requirement across sectors such as residential and commercial buildings, cold-chain, refrigeration, transport and industries.

The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) lists out actions, which can help reduce the cooling demand, which will also help in reducing both direct and indirect emissions.

Indian Cooling Action Plan (ICAP):

-       Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20% to 25% by 2037-38.

-       Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.

-       Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25% to 40% by 2037-38.

-       Recognize “cooling and related areas” as a thrust area of research under national S&T Programme.

-       Training and certification of 100,000 servicing sector technicians by 2022-23, synergizing with Skill India Mission.

-       ICAP recommends synergies with ongoing government programmes and schemes such as Housing for All, the Smart Cities Mission, Doubling Farmers Income and Skill India Mission, in order to maximize socio-economic co-benefits.

-       It will help in climate change mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Source: The pib