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Prelims Booster

13th August – Prelims Booster

International Youth Day

In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the  World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

What is it?

  • International Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement.
  • The commemoration takes the form of a podcast-style discussion that is hosted by youth for youth, together with independently organised commemorations around the world that recognise the importance of youth participation in political, economic and social life and processes.
  • The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

Why is it celebrated?

Enabling the engagement of youth in formal political mechanisms does increase the fairness of political processes by reducing democratic deficits, contributes to better and more sustainable policies, and also has symbolic importance that can further contribute to restore trust in public institutions, especially among youth.

IYD 2020 –

This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams –

  • Engagement at the local/community level;
  • Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
  • Engagement at the global level.

E-Vehicles

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has allowed registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries.

Details –

  • The vehicles without batteries can now be sold and registered based on the type of approval certificate issued by the Test Agency.
  • Further, there is no need to specify the Make/Type or any other details of the Battery for the purpose of Registration.
  • However, the prototype of the electrical vehicle, and the battery (regular battery or the swappable battery) is required to be type approved by the test Agencies specified under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Also read – Delhi’s Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020 –

  • Delhi government has notified the Electric Vehicles (EV) Policy 2020. It lays the maximum emphasis on replacement of two-wheelers, public transport and shared vehicles and goods-carriers instead of private four-wheelers, with Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  • It envisions the replacement of the existing auto rickshaws and State-run buses with e-autos and e-buses respectively. It will also ensure that delivery-based services operating in the city are powered by e-mobility.
  • It talks about increasing road tax for fuel-based vehicles, at least in the luxury segment and imposing in certain parts of the city a congestion fee that EVs will be exempt from.
  • It has a ‘scrapping incentive’ for those people who want to make the switch, allowing them to exchange an old fuel-based vehicle while purchasing a new EV, further reducing its cost.
  • The government will also offer low-interest rate loans to people interested in buying commercial EVs.
  • The policy also offers subsidies and road tax and registration fee waivers, for EVs bought in the capital.
  • A State EV fund will be set up, encompassing all the expenditure of the EV Policy. A State Electric Vehicle Board will be constituted for effective implementation of the policy and managing the fund. Besides, a dedicated EV Cell will also be constituted.
  • Incentives – In addition to registration fee and road tax waivers, a subsidy of Rs. 5,000 per kWh of the battery capacity up to Rs. 30,000 will be given on the purchase of each EV. For the first 1,000 e-cars or electric four-wheelers, a subsidy of Rs. 10,000 per kWh will be given, capped at Rs. 1,50,000 per vehicle.

Hindu women’s inheritance rights

Recently, the Supreme Court expanded on a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint legal heir and inherit ancestral property on terms equal to male heirs.

What is the ruling?

  • A three-judge Bench ruled that a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth and does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005.
  • The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 gave Hindu women the right to be coparceners or joint legal heirs in the same way a male heir does. “Since the coparcenary is by birth, it is not necessary that the father coparcener should be living as on 9.9.2005,” the ruling said.

What is the 2005 law?

  • The Mitakshara school of Hindu law codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governed succession and inheritance of property but only recognised males as legal heirs.
  • The law applied to everyone who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion. Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and followers of Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj are also considered Hindus for the purposes of this law.
  • In a Hindu Undivided Family, several legal heirs through generations can exist jointly. Traditionally, only male descendants of a common ancestor along with their mothers, wives and unmarried daughters are considered a joint Hindu family. The legal heirs hold the family property jointly.
  • Women were recognised as coparceners or joint legal heirs for partition arising from 2005. Section 6 of the Act was amended that year to make a daughter of a coparcener also a coparcener by birth “in her own right in the same manner as the son”.
  • The law also gave the daughter the same rights and liabilities “in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been a son”.
  • The law applies to ancestral property and to intestate succession in personal property — where succession happens as per law and not through a will.
  • The 174th Law Commission Report had also recommended this reform in Hindu succession law. Even before the 2005 amendment, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had made this change in the law, and Kerala had abolished the Hindu Joint Family System in 1975.

Perseids Meteor

The Perseids meteor shower, the annual celestial event is considered the best meteor shower, thanks to the many bright meteors and fireballs shooting through the sky making it easy for people to watch it from Earth.

What are meteor showers?

  • Meteors are bits of rock and ice that are ejected from comets as they manoeuvre around their orbits around the sun. For instance, the Orionids meteors emerge from the comet 1P/Halley and make their yearly presence in October. Meteor showers, on the other hand, are witnessed when Earth passes through the trail of debris left behind by a comet or an asteroid.
  • When a meteor reaches the Earth, it is called a meteorite and a series of meteorites, when encountered at once, is termed as a meteor shower. According to NASA, over 30 meteor showers occur annually and are observable from the Earth.
  • As meteors fall towards the Earth, the resistance makes the space rocks extremely hot and, as meteorites pass through the atmosphere, they leave behind streaks of glowing gas that are visible to the observers and not the rock itself.

What is the Perseids meteor shower?

  • The Perseids meteor shower peaks every year in mid-August. It was first observed over 2,000 years ago. The Perseids occur as the Earth runs into pieces of cosmic debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
  • The cloud of debris is about 27 km wide, and at the peak of the display, between 160 and 200 meteors streak through the Earth’s atmosphere every hour as the pieces of debris, travelling at some 2.14 lakh km per hour, burn up a little less than 100 km above the Earth’s surface.

Where do the Perseids meteor showers come from?

  • The comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, takes 133 years to complete one rotation around the sun.
  • The last time it reached its closest approach to the sun was in 1992 and will do so again in 2125.
  • Every time comets come close to the sun, they leave behind dust that is essentially the debris trail, which the Earth passes through every year as it orbits around the Sun.

Naga Peace Accord

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM has for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement.It has also accused interlocutor R.N. Ravi of deleting a key word from the original document and sharing the modified version with other Naga groups.

2015 Framework Agreement –

  • The NSCN-IM, one of the largest Naga groups, signed a framework agreement on August 3, 2015 to end the decades old issue.
  • Mr. RN Ravi (now Governor of Nagaland) signed the agreement on behalf of the Centre in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The other two signatories were Isak Chishi Swu, who died in 2016 and Thuingaleng Muivah, 86, who is currently leading the talks.
  • Accordingly, the Government of India and the NSCN, respecting people’s wishes for sharing the sovereign power as defined in the competencies reached an agreement on the 3rd August, 2015 as an honourable solution.

What’s the issue now?

  • The agreement released by the NSCN-IM stated “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”. 
  • However, it is alleged that Mr. Ravi, also Nagaland Governor, “craftily deleted the word new from the original” and circulated to the other Naga groups including the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

What are the demands?

  • The NSCN claimed that the word ‘new’ is politically sensitive as it goes to define the meaning of peaceful co-existence of the two entities (two sovereign powers) and it strongly indicates outside the purview of the Constitution.
  • It has demanded that the Centre should come out with an undertaking that the framework agreement is still alive in its original form and “to be handled by somebody other than RN Ravi” who is sensitive enough to understand and respect what has been achieved during the past 23 years.

Background –

  • The Naga Hills became part of British India in 1881. The effort to bring scattered Naga tribes together resulted in the formation of the Naga Club in 1918, which told the Simon Commission in 1929 “to leave us alone to determine for ourselves as in ancient times”.
  • The club metamorphosed into the Naga National Council (NNC) in 1946. Under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo, the NNC declared Nagaland as an independent State on August 14, 1947, and conducted a “referendum” in May 1951 to claim that 99.9% of the Nagas supported a “sovereign Nagaland”.
  • On March 22, 1952, Phizo formed the underground Naga Federal Government (NFG) and the Naga Federal Army.
  • The Government of India sent in the Army to crush the insurgency and, in 1958, enacted the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
  • The insurrection petered out by the mid-1970s but returned with more intensity in the form of the NSCN led by Mr. Muivah and S.S. Khaplang.

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