In this second part of the Weekly Current Affairs Column, Columnist Mr. Kaustav Pallav provides key insights on a few selected and important news and development in the past week. (2nd May to 14th May, 2022)
To begin with the second part of this segment, in the previous week WHO came up with a scary count of deaths because of the pandemic in India for the past years. The health organisation hints at a whooping 9.8 times higher number than so recorded in the country’s official estimate. The organisation suggests this difference to occur for no reason but the government’s inefficient data collection system, also exclaims such data tells us about the impact that the pandemic has had in totality. And that the director of WHO advises the governments to invest more in resilient health system and in health information system also.
To talk about the petition relating to the sedition law, the Chief Justice of India is wishful to refer the sedition case to a larger bench. It said the court cannot counter a judicial law by a numerically inferior bench by which it referred to the constitutionality of the colonial law being upheld in the Kedar Nath Vs state of Bihar Case. The particular judgement upheld the constitutionality of Section 124A of the IPC while restricting its use to activities involving incitement to violence or intention or tendency to create public disorder or cause disturbance of public peace and not in cases to discredit voices of dissent against the government. However the government has now requested the court to wait for some time that it can reconsider and re-examine the law in the background of shedding away the colonial baggage at a time when the country turns 75. The top court has however questioned the government and demanded response on how they intend to protect the rights of the people already accused under the said section of IPC. Also, the Supreme Court insisted for a time period to be suggested for the process to require for such re-examination.
On the other hand, Ukraine-Russia war is supercharging a three dimensional crisis which includes food, energy and finance, so said the UN Secretary General. In the same narrative many countries are facing food security challenges amidst the war and the region’s failure in exporting wheat. UN World Food Programme therefore said that it is in talks with India that it can procure the excess wheat India has with itself. However on being questioned about restrictions and on how much can be exported, the Chief Economist of WFP advised that such bans be suspended in situations of such emergency.
Also in the previous week, this severe cyclonic storm called “Asani” that initially moved towards the northwest direction took a recurve towards the northeast to gradually weaken as a cyclonic storm near the Odisha coast. Asani is a Sinhalese word which connotes to mean wrath has affected and brought heavy rains in parts of West Bengal and costal districts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
After everything political, to talk about birds, nine avian experts and conservationists have exclaimed that 48% extant bird species are undergoing population decline. The study attributes degradation and loss of natural habitats as one of the prime reasons. On the other hand, two skeletons unearthed from a mound in Rakhigarhi are sent for DNA analysis which shall insinuate narratives from the days of yore; more details about our ancestry, food habits and others. Down south, Sri Lankan crisis seems far from any solution. Amidst violence and emergency declared again, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as the island nation’s Prime Minister. And with rising inflation everywhere across the globe, rupee’s value fell to an all time low of 77.44 against US dollar. This seems to happen because of the contractionary monetary policy initiatives taken by the central banks in an effort to counter rising inflation. Here, taking note of delay in conducting elections to the local bodies in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court has categorically directed the Election Commissions of all states to not skip their constitutional obligation and conduct elections to such bodies positively after every five years. Also the government is expecting to bring in new rules for social media platforms aiming more accountability. This might however dilute the safe harbour rules which otherwise protected the intermediaries from any content posted by any third party.
That is all for the past two weeks, dear readers. I shall be seeing you again the next week with more stories and details. Until then, do take good care of yourself and everyone around.