Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 19 December 2022

DNA fingerprinting conducted

GS Paper - 3 (Biotechnology)

Recently, Delhi Police recovered bones from the Mehrauli forest area in connection with the Shraddha Walkar murder investigationDNA testing conducted on the bones — parts of the jawpelvis and lower limb — has now confirmed a positive match with Shraddha’s father.

How is DNA fingerprinting done?

  1. Each person’s DNA, except for identical twins, is unique. By analyzing selected DNA sequences (called loci), a crime laboratory can develop a profile to be used in identifying a suspect.
  2. DNA can be extracted from many sources, such as hairboneteethsaliva, and blood.
  3. Because there is DNA in most cells in the human body, even a minuscule amount of bodily fluid or tissue can yield useful information. Samples may even be extracted from used clothes, linen, combs, or other frequently used items.
  4. If a suspect is known, that person’s DNA sample can be compared to biological evidence found at a crime scene to establish whether the suspect was at the crime scene or whether they committed the crime.
  5. If a suspect is not knownbiological evidence from the crime scene can be analyzed and compared to offender profiles in existing DNA databases to assist in identifying a suspect.

DNA fingerprinting comes to India

  1. By 1988Lalji Singh, who had been in the UK from 1974 to 1987 on a Commonwealth Fellowship, developed DNA fingerprinting for crime investigations at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
  2. Today, Lalji Singh, who passed away in 2017, is known as “the father of DNA fingerprinting in India.
  3. In 1989DNA fingerprinting was first used in a case by the Kerala Police. By the early 1990s, the technology had begun to be used for establishing paternity, and to link criminals and identify victims in sensational crimes.
  4. From the 2000s onwards, the technology became a staple in rape cases where vaginal swab samples were matched with semen samples from suspects.

The origin of DNA fingerprinting

  1. DNA fingerprinting was first developed in 1984 by Alec Jeffreys in the UK, after Jeffreys discovered that no two people could have the same DNA sequence.
  2. Within three years of the discovery, the UK achieved the world’s first conviction based on DNA evidence in a case of rape and murder.


Dedicated fund for Biodiversity conservation

GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

There is an urgent need to create a new and dedicated fund to help developing countries successfully implement a post-2020 global framework to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, India at the U.N. biodiversity conference in Canada's Montreal. The 196 parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) finalise negotiations for a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) - A new set of goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.


More about the News

  1. Fund should be operationalised at the earliest to ensure effective implementation of the post-2020 GBF by all countries.
  2. Global Environment Facility which caters to multiple conventions, including the UNFCCC and UN Convention to Combat Desertification, remains the only source of funding for biodiversity conservation.
  3. India said the developing countries bear most of the burden of implementing the targets for conservation of biodiversity and, therefore, require adequate funds and technology transfer for this purpose.
  4. The Minister underlined India's stand that the goals and targets set in the GBF should not only be ambitious, but also realistic and practical.
  5. India stressed that biodiversity conservation requires ecosystems to be conserved and restored holistically and in an integrated manner. 
  6. Conservation of biodiversity must also be based on Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and Respective Capabilities as climate change also has an impact on biodiversity.



  1. It is established as the seventh principle of the Rio Declaration adopted at the Earth Summit in 1992.
  2. CBDR is defined as states that have common but differentiated responsibilities in view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation.
  3. Applying the CBDR principle to biodiversity conservation has not been straightforward as compared to climate negotiations, and there have been repeated disagreements between the global north and south on the issue.


Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF):

  1. India said the GBF must be framed considering science and equity and the sovereign right of countries over their resources.
  2. The GBF must recognise the responsibility of the developing countries towards poverty eradication and sustainable development.
  3. It aims at achieving a historic deal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss on par with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, when all countries agreed to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
  4. The draft GBF, set to replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, comprises 22 targets and four goals proposed for 2030—a stepping stone to the 2050 goal of Living in Harmony with Nature.
  5. The GBF targets include reducing pollution, pesticides, subsidies harmful to nature and the rate of introduction of invasive alien species among others.


AIM and UNDP India launch Youth Co:Lab

GS Paper - 3 (Science and Technology)

The 5th edition of Youth Co:LabAsia Pacific’s largest youth innovation movement was jointly launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)NITI Aayog and UNDP India.


  1. Youth Co:Lab is an initiative launched in 2019 by UNDP India in partnership with Atal Innovation MissionNITI Aayog and aims to establish a common agenda for Asia-Pacific countries to invest in and empower youth to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadershipsocial innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. Atal Innovation Mission, along with UNDP India are driving this movement through the fifth edition of Youth Co:Lab India and have been supporting young social entrepreneurs who can be a powerful force in leading social change and furthering the implementation of SDGs target actions.
  3. The Youth Co:Lab initiative, till date, has been implemented in 28 countries and territories, reaching over 200,000 participants, benefitting more than 11,000 young social entrepreneurs and supporting over 1,240 social enterprises.
  4. UNDP is thrilled to launch the 5th Edition of Youth Co: Lab with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, and provide young inspiring and existing entrepreneurs a platform to scale up their solutions for the common good.
  5. This is a unique initiative with young people at the forefront to solve India’s most pressing issues through social entrepreneurship and innovation.


Renewed debate over appointment of judges

GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Supreme Court and the Centre are at odds over how judges should be appointed in the higher judiciary. The government has reiterated the need for a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), prompting the apex court to defend the present Collegium system.

What is the present Collegium system?

  1. Under the system, the Chief Justice of India along with four senior-most Supreme Court judges recommends appointments and transfers of judges.
  2. High Court Collegium, meanwhile, is led by the incumbent Chief Justice and the two senior most judges of that court.
  3. The Collegium system is not rooted in the Constitution. Instead, it has evolved through judgments of the Supreme Court.
  4. In this system, the government’s role is limited to getting an inquiry conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) if a lawyer is to be elevated as a judge in a High Court or the Supreme Court.
  5. The government can also raise objections and seek clarifications regarding the Collegium’s choices, but, if the Collegium reiterates the same names, the government is bound, under Constitution Bench judgments, to appoint them to the post.

What is the NJAC?

  1. The Constitution (99th Amendment) Act, which established the NJAC and the NJAC Act, was passed by Parliament in 2014 to set up a commission for appointing judges, replacing the Collegium system. This would essentially increase the government’s role in the appointment of judges.
  2. The NJAC was to comprise the Chief Justice of India as the ex officio Chairperson, two senior-most Supreme Court Judges as ex officio members, the Union Minister of Law and Justice as ex officio member, and two eminent persons from civil society — one of whom would be nominated by a committee consisting of the CJI, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, and the other would be nominated from the SC/ST/OBC/minority communities or women.
  3. The laws were repealed in October 2015 after the Supreme Court struck them down.

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