Given below are the daily current affairs for 05th Jan 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
Repeal law permitting seizure of livestock: SC
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to “delete” the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017. The rules were framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- The law allowed seizure and subsequent confiscation of livestock from people who depended on these animals for a livelihood, even before they were found guilty of cruelty towards them.
- According to Section 29 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, only a person convicted of cruelty can lose his animal.
- These animals, the law prescribes, would then be lodged in gaushalas as case property to await the court’s verdict.
- The 2017 Rules allow a Magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
- In short, a farmer, a livestock owner or a cattle trader loses his animals before being found guilty of the charge of cruelty.
- The Buffalo Traders Welfare Association said that the Rules were being used as a tool to seize and forfeit their cattle and had become a cause for polarisation in society.
- A Bench led by the Chief Justice of India warned the government that it would stay the implementation of the 2017 law.
- The SC said that the rules were plainly contrary to Section 29 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, under which only a person convicted of cruelty can lose his animal.
Bird flu confirmed in dead birds in Kangra
Migratory birds found dead at Pong Dam Lake in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district have tested positive for bird flu.
- Himachal Pradesh is the fourth state to report cases of the dreaded avian influenza in recent days after Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
- Around 1,800 migratory birds have been found dead in the lake sanctuary so far.
- Most of them are bar-headed geese.
- Kerala has been placed on high alert after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
- The presence of the H5N8 subtype of the Influenza A virus was reported in ducks.
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu):
- Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds.
- Occasionally mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza.
- The symptoms of H5N1 infection in humans include mild upper respiratory tract infection (fever and cough), early sputum production and rapid progression to severe pneumonia.
- It can lead to sepsis with shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome and even death.
- Avian Influenza outbreaks can lead to devastating consequences, particularly in the poultry industry.
Faceless tax scheme delivers 24,000 final orders
According to the Finance Secretary, the government’s faceless tax assessment scheme has managed to deliver about 24,000 final orders since its introduction in August 2020.
Faceless Tax Assessment Scheme:
- In the Union Budget 2019, the Finance Minister proposed the introduction of a scheme of faceless e-assessment.
- The e-assessment scheme of 2019 has been amended and hence is known as the Faceless Assessment Scheme.
- The faceless assessment scheme applies to scrutiny assessment and best judgment assessment.
- The scheme seeks to eliminate the human interface between the taxpayer and the Income Tax Department.
- The scheme lays down the procedure to carry out a faceless assessment through electronic mode.
- The e-assessment is made in respect to such territorial area, or persons or class of persons, or income or class of income, or cases or class of cases, as specified by the CBDT.
- The scheme allows for hearings in certain situations only.
- The faceless tax assessment scheme was launched in an attempt to remove individual tax officials’ discretion and potential harassment for income taxpayers.
The fact that more than 24,000 final orders have been passed through the faceless system demonstrates that the system has stabilised. The scheme allows for appropriate cases where a certain hearing is necessary, so then after following protocols, a hearing is given.
Iran steps up uranium enrichment, seizes tanker
What’s in News?
Iran has begun enriching uranium up to 20% at an underground facility.
- Also, Iran has seized a South Korean-flagged oil tanker in the crucial Strait of Hormuz, further escalating tensions in West Asia between Tehran and the West.
- Iran’s decision to begin enriching to 20% purity a decade ago nearly triggered an Israeli strike targeting its nuclear facilities.
- However, the tensions abated with the 2015 atomic deal.
- The U.S. leader unilaterally withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and set off months of tense episodes that increasingly strained relations between the countries.
- Currently, a resumption of 20% enrichment could see that brinksmanship return.
- The level of purity (uranium) is only a technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%.
What’s in News?
Scientists at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) in Kerala have come up with a new product, banana grit or granules, developed from raw Nendran bananas.
- Changalikodan Nendran Banana is a banana variety originated and cultivated in Chengazhikodu village of Thrissur District in the Kerala state of India.
- Changalikodan Nendran Banana is also known as Chengazhikode Banana.
- The Nendran banana has a GI Tag.
Varities of banana across the country having GI tag:
- Nanjangud banana of Karnataka got GI tag in 2005 and has validity till 2025.
- Two varieties of banana in Tamil Nadu: Virupakshi Hill banana and Sirumalai Hill banana got GI tags in 2008 and have validity until 2028.
- The Changalikodan Nendran banana grown in Kerala and Jalgaon banana of Maharashtra got GI tag in 2014; both certifications are valid till 2024.
‘Track social media to check pangolin poaching’
The Odisha Forest department has stressed the need for stricter monitoring of social media platforms to check pangolin poaching and trading.
Pangolin is the only scaly mammal on the planet.
According to CITES, it is also the most illegally traded vertebrate within its class (Mammalia).
Of the eight species of pangolin worldwide, two are found in India. They are Chinese pangolin, mostly found in northeast India and Indian pangolin.
- Chinese pangolin has been listed as “critically endangered”.
- Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) has been listed as “endangered”.
DoE circular asks teachers to check weight of school bags
What’s in News?
The Directorate of Education has issued a circular asking schools to follow the new ‘School Bag Policy, 2020’ released by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
- Heavy school bags are a serious threat to the health and well-being of students.
- Heavy school bags have severe/adverse physical effects on growing children which can cause damage to their vertebral column and knees.
- According to the circular, schoolteachers should inform the students in advance about the books and notebooks to be brought to school on a particular day and frequently check their bags to ensure that they are not carrying unnecessary material.
- The circular adds that it is the responsibility of the school management to provide quality potable water to all the students so that they do not need to carry water bottles from their homes.
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