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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-12th December 2022

What is Supreme Court Collegium system in India?

What is a Collegium System and How Did It Evolve?

The Collegium System of Supreme Court is one of the very important topics in understanding the appointment of the Supreme Court judges and the judicial system. It is the system of appointment and transfer of judges that has evolved through judgments of the SC, and not by an Act of Parliament or by a provision of the Constitution.

Who heads the Collegium System?

The Collegium System of Supreme Court is headed by the CJI

and comprises four other senior most judges of the court. A High Court collegium is led by the incumbent Chief Justice and two other senior most judges of that court. Judges of the higher judiciary are appointed only through the collegium system and the government has a role only after names have been decided by the collegium.

Procedures for Judicial Appointments?

For Chief Justice of India:

  • The President of India appoints the CJI and the other SC judges. As far as the CJI is concerned, the outgoing CJI recommends his successor. In practice, it has been strictly by seniority ever since the supersession controversy of the 1970s.

For Supreme Court Judges:

  • For other judges of the SC, the proposal is initiated by the CJI. The CJI consults the rest of the Collegium members, as well as the senior-most judge of the court hailing from the High Court to which the recommended person belongs. The consultees must record their opinions in writing and it should form part of the file. The Collegium sends the recommendation to the Law Minister, who forwards it to the Prime Minister to advise the President.

For Chief Justice of High Courts:

  • The Chief Justice of the High Court is appointed as per the policy of having Chief Justices from outside the respective States. The Collegium takes the call on the elevation. High Court judges are recommended by a Collegium comprising the CJI and two senior-most judges. The proposal, however, is initiated by the outgoing Chief Justice of the High Court concerned in consultation with two senior-most colleagues. The recommendation is sent to the Chief Minister, who advises the Governor to send the proposal to the Union Law Minister.

Appointment of CJI 1950-1973

  • Until 1973, there existed a consensus between the Government of the day and the Chief Justice of India.

  • A convention was formed where the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court was to be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.

  • In 1973, A.N.Ray was appointed as the Chief Justice of India. This violated the convention formed earlier since Justice A.N.Ray superseded three other Supreme Court judges senior to him.

  • Again in 1977, another chief justice was appointed who superseded his seniors. This resulted in a clash between the Executive and the Judiciary.

Timeline of the Evolution of the System:

1. First Judges Case, 1981:

It declared that the “primacy” of the CJI’s (Chief Justice of India) recommendation on judicial appointments and transfers can be refused for “cogent reasons.” The ruling gave the Executive primacy over the Judiciary in judicial appointments for the next 12 years.

2. Second judges case, 1993

Another petition was filed in 1993 by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCARA). In this case, the Supreme court overruled its earlier verdict and changed the meaning of consultation to concurrence. Thus binding the President of India with the consultations of the Chief justice of India. This resulted in the birth of the Collegium System.

3. Third Judges Case, 1998

In the year 1998, the presidential reference to the Supreme court was issued questioning the meaning of the word consultation in articles 124, 217, and 222 of the Constitution. The chief justice won’t be the only one as a part of the consultation process. Consultation would include a collegium of 4 senior-most judges of the Supreme court. Even if 2 of the judges are against the opinion, the CJI will not recommend it to the government.

Why National Judicial Appointment Commission Act came into face?

The Collegium System faced a lot of criticism not only from the government but also from civil society due to its Lack of Transparency and Accountability. This led to the 99th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2014 the National Judicial Commission Act (NJAC) to replace the collegium system for the appointment of judges.

National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014

The 1993 judgment was the basis on which a five-judge Constitution Bench declared the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act (NJAC) and the Constitutional (Ninety-Nine Amendment) Act, 2014 unconstitutional in October 2015. NJAC too would recommend names for the Appointment of Supreme Court Judge and Appointment and Transfer of High Court Judge

Hurun Global 500 rankings: India ranked 5th in the list of valuable companies

2022 Hurun Global 500 list

India, with 20 of the most valuable companies in the world, has moved into the fifth position among countries that are home to the world’s top 500 firms. Last year, it ranked ninth with eight companies. The US continued to top the charts, according to the 2022 Hurun Global 500 list. The list, released by the Hurun Research Institute, is a compilation of the 500 most valuable non-state-controlled companies in the world. Companies were ranked according to their market capitalisation (for listed companies) and valuations for non-listed companies.

Key points in the ranking:

  • Of the 20 Indian companies featuring on the list this year, 11 are based in Mumbai, four in Ahmedabad and one each in Noida, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

  • With a $202-billion valuation, Reliance Industries (RIL) topped the charts of Indian companies, while it ranked 34th in the world. It was followed by Tata Consultancy Services ($139 billion) and HDFC Bank ($97 billion).

  • The list also saw the entry of four companies — Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy, Adani Enterprises and Adani Total Gas — led by billionaire Gautam Adani, with a total valuation of $173 billion.

  • The other new entrants in the list from India include ITC ($52 billion), Avenue Supermarts ($33 billion), Axis Bank ($33 billion), Bajaj Finserv ($32 billion) and Larson & Toubro ($32 billion).

  • Interestingly, 50 per cent or 250 companies in the Hurun Global 500 companies have presence in India.

Tops global charts:

  • Globally, Apple retained the title of the most valuable company in the world with a market cap of $2.4 trillion and Microsoft came second ($1.8 trillion), while Alphabet, the parent company of Google, displaced Amazon to take the third place.

  • China came in second with 35 companies, followed by Japan (28) and the UK (21). India and Canada moved up to the fifth place with 20 companies each, adding eight and three companies, respectively, overtaking France and Germany.

International Universal Health Coverage Day 2022: 12th December

International Universal Health Coverage Day 2022

International Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated annually on 12th December. The day is marked to promote the importance of building robust, resilient, world-class healthcare systems globally. International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.

Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.

International Universal Health Coverage Day 2022: Theme

According to the UN, this year’s theme, “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all,” emphasises the importance of equity, trust, healthy surroundings, investments, and accountability in order to build strong health systems.

International Universal Health Coverage Day: History

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care. The United Nations declared December 12th as International Universal Health Coverage Day in 2017.

Every year on this day, promoters of universal healthcare speak out to celebrate the accomplishments achieved so far and also acknowledge the fact that there is still a significant chunk of the population that currently lacks access to healthcare. Additionally, they implore decision-makers to commit their organisations to work toward achieving universal health coverage by 2030 and to spend more money wisely on health.

Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

Congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has took oath as the New Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at historic ridge ground in Shimla. Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri also took oath with him. Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar administered the oath to both.

The new Government in Himachal was attended by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, party leader Rahul Gandhi, AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, State Party President Pratibha Singh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot among other senior congress leaders.

Notably: On December 8, the Congress made a comeback in Himachal Pradesh, by winning 40 seats in the high-stakes electoral contest for the 68-member Legislative Assembly. The BJP could win only 25 seats while Independent candidates won three seats.

About the Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu:

  • A four-time MLA from the Nadaun constituency in Himachal Pradesh and the head of the Congress’s election committee in the state, Sukhu, who is a law graduate, began his career in student politics and went on to rise to the position of state unit chief.

  • Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu was the general secretary of the Himachal Pradesh unit of the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). Later, he became the president of NSUI.

  • For the first time he won the assembly elections in 2003 from Nadaun in Hamirpur district. He then retained the seat in 2007 but lost it again in 2012 and won it again in 2017 and 2022.

About Himachal Pradesh:

  • Himachal was made the eighteenth state of India on 25 January 1971 under the Himachal Pradesh State Act, 1971.

  • Legislative Assembly seats- 68

  • Rajya Sabha seats- 3

  • Lok Sabha seats – 4

  • Major rivers and dams– Sutlej (Bhakra Dam, Gobind Sagar Reservoir, Koldam Dam), Vyas (Pandoh Dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar Reservoir), Ravi (Chamera Dam), Parvati

  • Major Lakes– Renuka, Revalsar, Khajjiar, Dal, Beas Kund, Dasaur, Brighu, Parashar, Mani Mahesh, Chander Tal, Suraj Tal, Kareri, Sarolsar, Govind Sagar, Nako Lake

  • National Parks– Great Himalayan National Park, Pin Valley National Park, Khirganga, Inderkilla and Simbalbara National Parks

India’s First Carbon Neutral Farm Inaugurated In Kerala

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared a seed farm, located in Aluva, as the first carbon neutral farm in the country. A significant reduction in carbon emission has helped the seed farm, achieve the carbon neutral status.

More Than Just Neutrality:

The total amount of carbon emission from the farm, located at Thuruthu in Aluva, in the last one year was 43 tons but its overall procurement was 213 ton. Compared to the emission rate, as many as 170 tons of more carbon have been procured at the farm, which helped it to be declared as the first carbon neutral seed farm in the country.

What Has Been Said: Extent Of This Move:

“Carbon neutral farms will be set up in all 140 Assembly constituencies. Efforts have already been launched to make 13 farms in Kerala carbon neutral,” Chief Minister said. Carbon neutral agricultural methods would be implemented through women’s groups and such interventions would be made in the tribal sector as well, Mr Vijayan added.

Even as the state moves towards the goal to achieve food self-sufficiency, plans to maintain ecological equilibrium are also equally important, the Chief Minister said. As many as 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and this can be prevented and climate change can be regulated through carbon neutral agricultural practices, he added.

What is Carbon Neutrality: According to the definition of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon neutrality, or net zero CO2 emissions, refers only to carbon dioxide emissions and is a state of balance between the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and the CO2 removed from the atmosphere. In actual business practice, organizations often use the term “carbon neutrality” to include all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when they announce their ambitious emissions reduction targets. There are a number of ways of achieving the balance we are talking about. The healthiest way is not to emit more CO2 than can be absorbed naturally by the world’s forests and plants, which act as carbon sinks through the process of photosynthesis – they take in CO2 from the air and turn it into oxygen – helping to reduce emissions.

International Day of Neutrality observed on 12 December

International Day of Neutrality 2022:

International Day of Neutrality is commemorated on December 12. It is a day when people look at the possibility of a world free of armed and other types of conflicts. Its focus was on advocating and campaigning for intra-state peaceful relations. Switzerland serves as the perfect example of neutrality.

What is Neutrality?

Neutrality, defined as the legal status arising from the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states, the maintenance of an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents, and the recognition by the belligerents of this abstention and impartiality, is critically important for the United Nations to gain and maintain the confidence and cooperation of all in order to operate independently and effectively, especially in situations that are politically charged.

International Day of Neutrality 2022: Significance

The International Day of Neutrality is a reminder of how important neutrality truly is, especially for humanitarian reasons. During armed conflicts, it is neutrality that NGOs and other humanitarian agencies are able to care for casualties in a proper way. The day is also a reminder to strive towards peace. It asks people to aim for a world where there is no conflict and how the world by putting their efforts together can achieve this.

International Day of Neutrality: History

On 2 February 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 71/275, introduced by Turkmenistan, recognized by the UN as a permanently neutral state since 12 December 1995, which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality.

Tamil Nadu Becomes First State To Launch Its Own Climate Change Mission

Tamil Nadu is set to become the first state to launch its own Climate Change Mission. It had launched the Green Tamil Nadu Mission last September and the Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission this August. A Special Purpose Vehicle–the Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC)–will implement the State Climate Action Plan.

Ahead Of The Nation:

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin said that the state is set to achieve carbon neutrality much ahead of the national target of 2070.

“Our government views climate change as a major humanitarian crisis. We have taken various measures to protect the environment after assuming power. Global warming has occurred due to high carbon emissions. Many scientists have said the world should reach carbon neutral by 2050. Last year in COP26 the Indian government declared that it will become carbon neutral by 2070. Let me assure you that Tamil Nadu will achieve carbon neutrality before that,” Stalin said.

Key Goals Of This Mission:

  • To formulate plans to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the state, increase the use of public transport, develop strategies to cut emissions by using green and renewable energy, increase forest cover, and manage waste effectively.

  • The goals also embrace ways to develop ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, access financial resources for adaptation, initiate climate education in educational institutions, focus on climate action for women and children.

  • Adopt a ‘One Health’ approach that includes human, animal, and ecological health to understand health disruptions caused by climate change.

A Global Good:

Stalin stated this initiative is not just for Tamil Nadu or India, but for the world. “Climate change is a concern for all of us and the Tamil Nadu Government takes the issue very seriously. I am proud to lead from the front. I see this as my life’s mission,” he said.

TN Govt Approach:

Stalin’s government has also set up the Tamil Nadu Governing Council on Climate Change, the first such to be headed by a Chief Minister. The council will provide policy guidance to the Tamil Nadu Climate Change Mission, provide advice on adaptation to climate change and mitigation of climate change impacts, formulate the Tamil Nadu State Climate Change Action Plan and provide appropriate guidelines for its implementation.

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