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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 24-06-2021

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June 25, 2021

Merger of CWC-CRWC

  • The Union Cabinet has approved to merger of the ‘Central Railside Warehouse Company Limited’ (CRWC), with its holding enterprise ‘Central Warehousing Corporation’ (CWC).
  • It will be a step towards implementing the direction of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance” given by Prime Minister.
  • Due to shortage of capital and some of the restrictive clauses in its MoU with Ministry of Railways, CRWC’s pace of growth was not as expected.
  • As CWC is the sole shareholder of CRWC and all the assets and liabilities and rights and obligations will be transferred to CWC, there will be no financial loss to either instead it will bring synergy.
  • The merger will unify similar functions of both the companies (i.e., warehousing, handling, transportation) through a single administration.
  • A separate Division with the name ‘Railside Warehouse Complexes (RWCs) Division’ will be created by CWC for handling operations and marketing of RWCs.

Central Warehousing Corporation

  • CWC is a Schedule ‘A’-Mini-Ratna Category-1 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) set up in 1957 to provide logistics support to the agricultural sector.
  • It is a statutory body that was established under the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962 under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
  • It provides reliable, cost-effective, integrated warehousing and logistics solution in a socially responsible and environment friendly manner.
  • It was set up to provide for incorporation and regulation of Warehousing Corporations for the purpose of warehousing of agriculture produce and certain other commodities notified by the Central Government.
  • As a premier Warehousing Agency, CWC operates Container Freight Stations/ Inland Clearance Depots, Air Cargo Complexes, Inland Check Posts and Temperature Controlled Warehouses.
  • Warehousing activities of CWC includes food grain warehouses, industrial warehousing, custom bonded warehouses, container freight stations, inland clearance depots and air cargo complexes.
  • Apart from storage and handling, CWC also provides services in the area of clearing & forwarding, handling & transportation, disinfestation, fumigation etc.

Central Railside Warehouse Company Limited

  • CWC formed a separate subsidiary company named ‘Central Railside Warehouse Company Ltd.’ (CRWC) in 2007.
  • Central Railside Warehouse Company Limited is a Mini-Ratna Category-II CPSE incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 in 2007.
  • It was set up to plan, develop, promote, acquire and operate RWCs / Terminals / Multimodal Logistics Hubs on land leased from Railways or acquired otherwise.
  • It developed specialization, expertise and goodwill in development and operation of RWCs. It operates 20 Railside Warehouses across the country.

Class Action Suit

  • It is a legal action that allows one or many plaintiffs to file and appear for a group of people with similar interests. Such a group forms a “class”.
  • This suit derives from representative litigation, to ensure justice to the ordinary individual against a powerful adversary.
  • While class action suits have a history dating back to the 18th century, these were formally incorporated into law in the United States in 1938 under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Over the years, class action has become successful at curbing negligence, that it is now a part of US corporate and consumer laws, environmental litigation, etc.

Indian equivalent to US Class Action Suits

  • India has legal provisions for filing class action suits, but under four laws. They are,
  • Order 1 Rule 8 of the Civil Procedure Code refers to representative suits, which is the closest to a classic class action suit in a civil context in India. It does not cover criminal proceedings.
  • Section 245 of the Companies Act allows members or depositors of a company to initiate proceedings against the directors of the company in specific instances.
  • There are threshold limits, requiring a minimum number of people or holders of issued share capital before such a suit can proceed.
  • This type of suit is filed in the National Company Law Tribunal.
  • Section 53(N) of Competition Act allows a group of aggrieved persons to appear at the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in issues of anti-competitive practices.
  • The Supreme Court in certain complaints under the Consumer Protection Act has considered them as class action suits. (Rameshwar Prasad Shrivastava and Ors v Dwarkadhis Project Pvt Ltd and Ors)
  • Class action suit and Public Interest Litigation - For filing a Public Interest Litigation (Article 32 or Article 226 of the Constitution), the plaintiff need not have a personal interest or claim in the matter.
  • A crucial difference is that unlike a class action suit, a PIL cannot be filed against a private party (but only for a matter of public interest.)

Ranked Choice Voting

  • Ranked choice voting system made its debut in New York City’s mayoral primary.
  • The system is based on a simple premise - Democracy works better if people aren’t forced to make an all-or-nothing choice with their vote.
  • Rather than pick just one candidate, voters get to rank several in order of preference.
  • Even if a voter’s top choice doesn’t have enough support to win, their rankings of other candidates still play a role in determining the victor.
  • Working - If one candidate is the first choice of a majority of voters (more than 50%) that person wins the race outright, just like in a traditional election.
  • If nobody hits that threshold, ranked choice analysis kicks in.
  • Vote tabulation is done in rounds. In each round, the candidate in last place is eliminated. Votes cast ranking that candidate first are then redistributed to those voters’ second choices.
  • That process repeats until there are only two candidates left. The one with the most votes wins.
  • Benefit - Nobody “wastes” their vote in this system by picking an unpopular candidate as their first choice. If that person is eliminated, you still get a say in who wins the race based on your other rankings.
  • Another benefit is that it’s tough for someone to get elected without broad support, unlike the traditional election.

Pygmy Hogs

  • Under the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme (PHCP), eight of 12 captive-bred Pygmy hogs (Porcula salvania), were released in Manas National Park (Assam).
  • Pygmy hogs are the world’s rarest and smallest wild pigs.
  • Habitat - It thrives in tall and wet grasslands. It is one of the very few mammals that build its own home, or nest, complete with a ‘roof’.
  • Its presence reflects the health of its primary habitat, the tall, wet grasslands of the region. So, it is an indicator species of the management status of grassland habitats.
  • Presence - Once found along a narrow strip of wet grassland plains on the Himalayan foothills - from Uttar Pradesh to Assam, through Nepal’s terai areas and Bengal’s duars.
  • Now, they are found mainly in Assam and southern Bhutan.
  • Threats - Loss and degradation of grasslands (Habitat loss), illegal hunting, dry-season burning, livestock grazing, afforestation of grasslands, flood control schemes.
  • Conservation - Pygmy Hogs are protected as “Endangered” in IUCN Red List. It is kept in the “Appendix I” of CITES and the “Schedule I” under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme

  • It is a collaboration among Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (UK), Assam Forest Department, Wild Pig Specialist Group of International Union for Conservation of Nature and Union Environment Ministry.
  • It is currently implemented by NGOs Aaranyak and EcoSystems India.
  • For starting the breeding programme, six hogs were captured from the Bansbari range of the Manas National Park in 1996.
  • The reintroduction programme began in 2008 with the Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, Orang National Park and Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • With the recent release, the number of pygmy hogs reintroduced into the wild under the PHCP reached 142, which is more than their current original global wild population.
  • By 2025, the PHCP plans to release 60 pygmy hogs in Manas.

Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve

  • National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s technical committee has given a nod for the Ramgarh Vishdhari wildlife sanctuary to become Rajasthan’s fourth tiger reserve.
  • The area that has been identified as the reserve area comprises of two forest blocks of Bhilwara, territorial forest block of Bundi and Indargarh, which falls under buffer zone of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR).
  • Prior to the formation of the state of Rajasthan, these forests were a part of the erstwhile Bundi princely states and were hunting reserves.
  • In 1982, a part of the forest was declared as Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary under the Rajasthan Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act, 1951. The core area of the Ramgarh Vishdhari has eight villages.
  • The sanctuary has leopards, sambhars, chitals, wildboars, smaller cats, caracals, chinkaras and nilgai.
  • Other Tiger Reserves in Rajasthan,
    • Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Sawai Madhopur,
    • Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) in Alwar, and
    • Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Kota.

Green Hydrogen

  • NTPC Ltd, India’s largest energy integrated company under Ministry of Power anchored a 2-day online event BRICS Green Hydrogen Summit.
  • Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy and electrolysis.
  • Electrolysis method uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water. By Products are water and water vapour.
  • If this electricity is obtained from renewable sources we will, therefore, produce energy without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Grey Hydrogen

  • Grey hydrogen is produced from hydrocarbons (methane, fossil fuels, natural gas) and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
  • It constitutes India’s bulk Production.

Blue Hydrogen

  • Blue hydrogen captures the above greenhouse gas emissions and stores them underground to prevent them causing climate change.
  • By products are CO, CO2. They are Captured and Stored, so better than gey hydrogen.

 

Source: PIB, The Hindu, The Indian Express

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