Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - April 23, 2018

Focus

Earth Day – 22 April 2018 EDN’s End Plastic Pollution campaign

  • Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. Worldwide, various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network
  • Earth Day 2018 will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics.

Enlighten about Earth day

  • On Earth Day 2016, the landmark Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries
  • This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
  • In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

Economy

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 gets promulgated

  • Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 has come into force
  • Assent given by the President of India

Enlighten about Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018

  • The ordinance lays down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders and thereby deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
  • The absence of such offenders from Indian courts has several deleterious consequences - first, it hampers investigation in criminal cases; second, it wastes precious time of courts of law, third, it undermines the rule of law in India.
  • The existing civil and criminal provisions in law are not entirely adequate to deal with the severity of the problem.
  • Budget announcement was made by the Government in the Budget 2017-18 that the Government was considering to introduce legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum.
  • The Ordinance makes provisions for a Court (‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002) to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.
  • A Fugitive Economic Offender is a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution.
  • A scheduled offence refers to a list of economic offences contained in the Schedule to this Ordinance.
  • Only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is 100 crore rupees or more, is within the purview of this Ordinance.

Defence

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) – 2018 Tehran, Iran

  • The 6th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and Conclave of Chiefs is being hosted by Iran at Tehran from 23 to 25 April 2018.

Enlighten about IONS

  • The IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008.
  • 23 members and 09 observers.
  • The forum seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion on regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead.
  • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in February 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years.
  • This was followed by UAE from 2010 - 2012, South Africa from 2012 - 2014, Australia from 2014 - 2016 and Bangladesh from 2016 - 2018.
  • As the founder nation, India will also be conducting commemorative activities in November 2018 at Kochi, for celebrating its 10thAnniversary this year.

National

The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018 Promulgated The Criminal Law Ordinance recommends a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life and the maximum of death for rape of girls under 12.

Enlighten about the Salient Features

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to the Criminal Law Ordinance, 2018, which allows courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children below 12 years of age.
  • The Ordinance was approved by the Cabinet will now have to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament within six weeks, once they reconvene.
  • The Ordinance recommends a minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment or imprisonment for rest of life and the maximum of death for the rape of girls under 12.
  • In case of gang rape of a girl below 12 years, the minimum punishment will be imprisonment for the “rest of life” and the maximum, death sentence. For the offence of rape, of those above 16, minimum punishment has been increased from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, “extendable to life imprisonment”.
  • The proposed Ordinance also removes the provision for anticipatory bail for those of raping or gangraping a child under 16.
  • It has also been provided that court has to give a notice of 15 days to the public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age
  • The proposed amendment seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes to death.

Source – PIB, The Hindu, LiveMint