Given below are the daily current affairs for 22nd March 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
SC walks a tightrope over vacancies
The Supreme Court Collegium is striving to reach a consensus on recommendations to fill the five vacancies.
- The names of several High Court judges are in the zone of consideration.
- The Collegium is discussing diverse opinions from within on issues like proportionate representation from various High Courts and seniority among High Court judges before finalising the names to recommend to the government for appointment.
- Proportionate representation from High Courts and seniority carry weight during the appointment process.
- However, these are only conventions and not constitutional or legal mandates.
- The past several months have seen the Supreme Court function under a series of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, even as its judicial strength faded to 29 with the retirement of Justice Indu Malhotra.
- The maximum possible strength is 34.
- The year 2021 will see four retirements in the top court.
- As per the Constitution of India, judges of the Supreme Court retire at the age of 65.
Appointment of Judges to the Supreme Court:
- The Collegium System of the Supreme court of India deals with the appointment and transfer of judges.
- Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) is an agreement between the Government and the judiciary that has a set of guidelines for the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court.
- The MoP was formulated after the Third Judges Case in order to govern the process of how the Collegium System would make recommendations to the executive.
Corrective voice from top court against stereotyping women
Recently, the Supreme Court in a judgement forbade judges from making gender-stereotypical comments.
- A judgment by the Supreme Court forbidding judges from making gender-stereotypical comments came as a corrective voice from within the highest level of judiciary in India.
- The judgment stopped courts from trying to mandate marriage or compromise between a sex offender and his victim.
- It is one among a series of interventions with which the top court has clamped down on abuse and sex stereotyping of women.
- Some notable judgments which have lashed out at sex stereotyping include:
- The framing of the Vishaka Guidelines on sexual harassment of women at workplaces.
- Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s historic judgment giving women Armed Forces officers equal access to Permanent Commission while debunking the establishment’s claim that women were physiologically weaker than men.
- In the Anuj Garg case, the Supreme Court had rebuked the notion of romantic paternalism, which, in practical effect, put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage.
Myanmar border shut amid strains over refugee crisis
India has sealed all entry points along the border with Myanmar and is closely monitoring them to prevent any Myanmar national from entering the country.
- People belonging to Myanmar’s Chin community were seeking to migrate to Mizoram to escape a military crackdown.
- There is considerable support and sympathy among the people of Mizoram over the situation in Myanmar as many have relations across the border.
- The tussle between the Centre and Mizoram on the issue has created a tough time for New Delhi and security agencies in handling the situation on the ground.
- Mizoram CM had written to the centre asserting that India cannot turn a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in our own backyard (Myanmar).
- “Myanmar area bordering Mizoram is inhibited by Chin communities, who are ethnically our brethren with whom we have been having close contacts throughout all these years even before India became independent”, he stated in the letter.
- India and Myanmar have an arrangement called the Free Movement Regime (FMR).
- In March 2020, FMR was suspended due to COVID-19 and no one has been allowed since.
- The fallout of this was that there has been an increase in smuggling across the border as the livelihood of people has been disrupted due to the pandemic.
- The Myanmar border is unfenced and completely blocking incursions is not possible given the tough terrain.
Free Movement Regime (FMR)
- India has a 1,643-km border with Myanmar.
- Mizoram shares a 510-km-long border with Myanmar.
- It has a visa-free movement regime for people living within 16 km on either side of the border known as FMR.
- “Free movement regime” is a bilateral agreement with Myanmar that allows free movement of Indian and Myanmar citizens within 16 km of the border.
- This regime has been in place keeping in view the traditional social relations among the border people. It helps genuine people living in close proximity to the border.
Centre warns of COVID-19 spike at Kumbh
What’s in News?
A Health Ministry team has reported that nearly 10 to 20 pilgrims and 10 to 20 locals at the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, are being reported positive every day.
- The Kumbh Mela is the largest public gathering and collective act of faith, anywhere in the world.
- Crowds gather at the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Sarasvati; four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers.
- In 2017, it was included in the list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.
- Kumbh Mela is celebrated four times over a course of 12 years.
- The Kumbh Mela site keeps rotating between one of the four pilgrimage places:
- Haridwar on the Ganges in Uttarakhand.
- Ujjain on the Shipra in Madhya Pradesh.
- Nashik on the Godavari in Maharashtra.
- Prayagraj at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati in Uttar Pradesh.
Ahom warrior a symbol of atmanirbhar military: PM
What’s in News?
The Prime Minister of India called 17th-century Ahom General Lachit Borphukan a symbol of India’s “atmanirbhar” military might.
- Lachit Borphukan was a commander in the Ahom dynasty, located in present-day Assam.
- He showed exemplary leadership in the Battle of Saraighat (1671).
- The Battle of Saraighat was a naval battle fought between the Mughal Empire and the Ahom Kingdom.
- 24th November is observed as Lachit Diwas in Assam in honour of Lachit Borphukan to commemorate his heroism and the victory of the Assamese army at the Battle of Saraighat.
International Day of Forests
- The United Nations observes March 21 as the International Day of Forests, commemorating the green cover around the world and reiterating its importance. The theme of the International Day of Forests for 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.
- The Day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree-planting campaigns.
- The Day is celebrated by the United Nations Forum on Forests and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests and other relevant organisations in the field.
- This year’s theme aims to emphasise how restoration and sustainable management of forests can help address climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
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