Factly articles for 23rd July 2020

10 min read

1.WHO launches Covid-19 law lab for implementing legal frameworks to manage pandemic

News: The World Health Organization(WHO) has launched COVID-19 Law Lab initiative.

Facts:

  • COVID-19 Law Lab: It is a database of laws that countries have implemented in response to the pandemic.It includes state of emergency declarations, quarantine measures, disease surveillance, legal measures relating to mask-wearing, social distancing and access to medication and vaccines.
  • Purpose: This database will be shared across the world to help countries establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic and also ensure that laws adhere to international human rights standards.
  • Bodies Involved: It is a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

2.Union Home Minister to launch Vriksharopan Abhiyan

News: Union Home Minister will launch Vriksharopan Abhiyan in the presence of Union Minister of Coal.

Facts:

  • Vriksharopan Abhiyan: It is a plantation drive organized by the Ministry of Coal.
  • Purpose: It involves all Coal/Lignite PSUs carrying out large scale plantations in mines, colonies, offices and other suitable areas and the seedlings will also be distributed in the nearby areas for promoting plantation by the society.

3.Dhruvastra: DRDO test fires ‘made in India’ anti-tank guided Nag missile

News:Defence Research and Development Organisation has successfully conducted flight trials of Dhruvastra.

Facts:

  • Dhruvastra: It is a helicopter variant of the HELINA(Helicopter based NAG) Weapon System being inducted into the Indian Air Force(IAF).
  • HELINA is a third generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile(ATGM) system mounted on the Advanced Light Helicopter(ALH).
  • Purpose: The Dhruvastra missile can be fired to target enemy battle tanks, armoured vehicles and bunkers.

Additional Facts:

  • Nag Missile: It is a third generation fire and forget class anti-tank guided missile(ATGM) system developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme(IGMDP).
  • The other missiles under IGMDP are Prithvi(Short range surface to surface ballistic missile) Agni(Intermediate Range surface to surface ballistic Missile), Trishul(Short range low level surface to air missile) and Akash(Medium range surface to air missile).
  • India’s Nag range of missiles: DRDO has developed a number of state-of-the-art anti-tank missiles in the ‘Nag’ range.These include:
    • Prospina which is used by the infantry and has a range of up to 4km
    • Man Portable Anti-tank Guided Missile(MPATGM) which can be launched from the shoulder and the 
    • Helina (Helicopter based NAG) missiles which are customised for a helicopter-led assault on the enemy’s tanks.

4.Supreme Court initiates contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan

News: The Supreme Court has initiated suo motu (on its own) contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan for his alleged derogatory tweets against the judiciary.

Facts:

  • Contempt of Court: As per the Contempt of Courts Act 1971, contempt refers to the offence of showing disrespect to the dignity or authority of a court.
  • Types: The act divides contempt into civil and criminal contempt.
    • Civil contempt: It is willful disobedience to a judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other processes of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to the court.
    • Criminal contempt: It means the publication (whether by words, spoken or written or by signs or by visible representations) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which
      • scandalises or tends to scandalise or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court; or
      • prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with, the due course of any judicial proceeding; or
      • interferes or tends to interfere with or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.
  • Punishment: A contempt of court may be punished with:
    • Simple imprisonment which may extend to six months or
    • Fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or With both.
    • However,the accused may also be discharged or the punishment awarded may be remitted on apology being made to the satisfaction of the court.

Additional Facts:

  • Constitutional Provisions Related to Contempt:
    • Article 129: Grants Supreme Court the power to punish for contempt of itself.
    • Article 142(2): Enables the Supreme Court to investigate and punish any person for its contempt.
    • Article 215: Grants every High Court the power to punish for contempt of itself.

5.EU leaders clinch €750 billion coronavirus Recovery Fund

News: European Union has agreed upon a historic €750 billion ($860 billion) coronavirus recovery fund.

Facts:

  • Coronavirus Recovery Fund: The fund is aimed at containing an unprecedented economic downturn in the EU countries caused due to Covid-19 induced disruption.
  • What does the fund contain? There are two parts of the fund:
    • Euro 360 billion in low-interest loans for countries most hit by Covid-19.
    • Euro 390 billion in grants to the worst affected economies.
  • Significance of the fund:
    • The EU as a whole will borrow money from the markets instead of individual countries.

6.Explained: The significance of Kakrapar-3

News: Prime minister has congratulated India’s nuclear scientists after the third unit of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project(KAPP-3) achieved its first criticality — a term that signifies the initiation of a controlled but sustained nuclear fission reaction.

Facts:

  • Kakrapar-3 Atomic Power Plant: It is a nuclear power station located in Gujarat.
    • It is the country’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) unit and the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

Additional Facts:

  • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR): It is a nuclear reactor, which uses natural uranium as its fuel and heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and neutron moderator.
  • Nuclear Fission: It is a process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei and usually some byproduct particles.
    • When the nucleus splits, the kinetic energy of the fission fragments is transferred to other atoms in the fuel as heat energy, which is eventually used to produce steam to drive the turbines.