SC criticizes for the CECs' brief terms

(GS 2- Appointment to various Constitutional Posts)

The tenures of Chief Election Commissioners (CECs), which "slid" from over eight years in the 1950s to just a few hundred days after 2004, showed that the government only gives the independence of the Election Commissioners "lip-service," according to the Supreme Court.

  1. Successive administrations have "selected" individuals who they knew would "never ever" serve the entire six-year term required by the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act of 1991, especially after 2004.
  2. According to Section 4 of the 1991 Act, a CEC and Election Commissioners' terms are six years long or until they reach age 65, whichever comes first.
  3. This tendency is extremely, very, very concerning! The decline in picking up those people whose dates of birth the government obviously knows started specifically after 2004.
  4. They (the government) know that these people would never, ever get anything close to six years.
  5. The CECs' rights under Article 324, such as removal by impeachment, would only be useful if they served out their entire term.
  6. The judge demanded an explanation from the administration as to why "no checks and balances" had been applied to the situation. He cited the constitutional procedures used to nominate election officials in nations like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
  7. A number of petitions for functional independence for election commissioners are being heard by the Constitution Bench.
  8. The court is explicitly looking into the issue of creating an "independent, neutral system" for the selection of Election Commissioners that is not under the jurisdiction of the executive branch.

FLASHBACK:

  1. The Election Commission of India, a body with constitutional authority to oversee free and fair elections for the President and Vice-President, as well as for state and national legislatures, is headed by the Chief Election Commissioner of India.
  2. Article 324 of the Indian Constitution gives the Election Commission of India this authority.
  3. Once the Chief Election Commissioner has been nominated by the president, it is exceedingly challenging to remove him from office since two-thirds of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha must present and vote against him for disorderly behaviour or improper actions.

Global Employability University Ranking

GS-2 (Education)

A total of seven Indian institutes have featured in this year’s Global Employability University Ranking and Survey (GEURS) report, released by the Times Higher Education (THE). Three Indian institutions were included in the top 100IIT-Delhi has secured the 29th position in the ranking followed by IISc Bangalore and 58th rank, and IIT Bombay at 72nd rank.

More about the news:

  1. Other institutes from India, The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, IIT-Kharagpur, Amity University and Bangalore University have also secured spots in the top 250.
  2. This year, there are a total of six universities are from the US, two from the UK, one from Japan and one from Singapore featured in the top 100. However, 44 countries and regions are represented in the ranking including China, France, India, Spain, South Korea, Germany and Israel.
  3. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) earned the top rank in this year’s ranking, the same as last year. MIT was followed byCalifornia Institute of Technology and Harvard University at the second and third rank. The top three ranks have been held by these three institutes in the same order for the second time in arow.
  4. University of Cambridge and Stanford University have also retained their position of fourth and fifth respectively.
  5. The University of Oxford has risen from eighth to sixth. The University of Tokyo from Japan, however, has slipped from sixth to seventh this year.
  6. Universities in mainland China are seeing a steady rise throughout the ranking due to strengths in graduate skills and work experience.
  7. Spain is the highest climber of the last two years in the Europe continent. However, Florida Institute of Technology is the highest climber this year, climbing 85 places to 76.

 GEURS (Global Employability University Ranking)

  1. First released in 2010, the GEURS ranking is produced by Emerging and is, for employability, currently the most consulted rankingby employers worldwide.
  2. The annual GEURS employability ranking specifically addresses prospective students' need to identify the universities that offer the best prospects for future employment.
  3. It is the only university ranking based solely on the point of view of employers.

 


Earth has its own temperature regulating mechanism

GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

Earth has its own stabilising mechanism that can keep global temperatures within a steady, habitable range, helping bring climate back from the brink. Scientists have long suspected that silicate weathering plays a major role in regulating the Earth's carbon cycle.

What is Silicate weathering?

  1. "Silicate weathering" is a geological process by which the slow and steady weathering of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ultimately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments, trapping the gas in rocks.
  2. The mechanism of silicate weathering could provide a geologically constant force in keeping carbon dioxide - and global temperatures - in check. But there has never been direct evidence for the continual operation of such a feedback, until now.
  3. The results, produced by scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), US, are the first to use actual data to confirm the existence of a stabilising feedback, the mechanism of which is likely silicate weathering.
  4. Scientists have previously seen hints of a climate-stabilising effect in the Earth's carbon cycle - Chemical analyses of ancient rocks have shown that the flux, or the flow, of carbon in and out of Earth's surface environment has remained relatively balanced, even through dramatic swings in global temperature.
  5. Models of silicate weathering predict that the process should have some stabilising effect on the global climate. And finally, the fact of the Earth's enduring habitability points to some inherent, geologic check on extreme temperature swings.

World’s most expensive drug approved

GS- 3 (Disease)

 

US regulators approved CSL Behring’s haemophilia B gene therapy, a one-off infusion that frees patients from regular treatments but costs $3.5 million a dose, making it the most expensive medicine in the world.

More about the news:

  1. By administering, CSL Behring’s Hemgenix just once, it cut the number of bleeding events expected over the course of a year by 54%, a key study of the therapy found.
  2. It also freed 94% of patients from time-consuming and costly infusions of Factor IX, which is currently used to control the potentially deadly condition.
  3. Haemophilia patients constantly live in fear of bleeds. A gene therapy product will be appealing to some”, because it can dramatically improve a range of devastating conditions by fixing their underlying causes.
  4. Traditional haemophilia treatment infuses missing proteins, called clotting factors that the body needs to form clots and stop bleeding. Hemgenix works by delivering a gene that can produce the missing clotting factors into the liver, where it starts working to make the Factor IX protein.

Haemophilia in India

  1. It is an inherited condition that causes bleeding for a long time after injury or surgery and painful swelling of the joints either after injury or even without injury.
  2. "Inherited” means that the disease is passed from parents to children through their genes.
  3. It is due to a deficiency of clotting factor, this results in increased bleeding.  There are two types of Haemophilia A (clotting factor VIII deficiency), which is more common and occurs in about 1 in 5,000 births.
  4. Haemophilia B (factor IX deficiency) is less common and occurs in around 1 in about 20,000 births. India with nearly two lakh cases is estimated to have the second highest number.
  5. According to Hemophilia Foundation of India, the umbrella body for registration, only 20,000 registered patients for haemophilia in the country.