Current Affairs Notes: January 14, 2021

Diarrhoea in children under 5 

A higher proportion of children under the age of five in the villages had diarrhoea than their counterparts in the cities in 17 of the 22 Indian states and Union territories (UT) covered by the 2019-2020 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5). 

  • This urban-rural gap was significant in Maharastra, followed by Gujarat.
  • Bihar reported the highest rural (12.6 per cent) and urban (13.9 per cent) prevalence among major states.  
  • Diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of deaths in children in this age group globally and claims approximately 1.1 lakh lives in India every year.
  • Compared to the findings in NFHS-4, the prevalence of disease in children under five increased in half of the states and UTs covered in the recent survey.  

Upper oceans hottest in 2020

  • According to a report published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, surface temperature of oceans rose to record levels despite a drop in carbon emissions.
  • In 2020, the heat content of the upper 2,000 metres of the oceans went up by 20 zetta joules from the 2019 level.
  • The oceans absorb over 90 per cent of the excess heat generated by global warming and hence.
  • It is a good indicator for quantifying climate change.
  • Ocean warming is the major contributor of sea level rise since 1900, the report noted.

Ocean warming

  • The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions, leading to rising ocean temperatures.
  • Increasing ocean temperatures affect marine species and ecosystems. Rising temperatures cause coral bleaching and the loss of breeding grounds for marine fishes and mammals.
  • Rising ocean temperatures also affect the benefits humans derive from the ocean – threatening food security, increasing the prevalence of diseases and causing more extreme weather events and the loss of coastal protection.
  • Achieving the mitigation targets set by the Paris Agreement on climate change and limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels is crucial to prevent the massive, irreversible impacts of ocean warming on marine ecosystems and their services.
  • Establishing marine protected areas and putting in place adaptive measures, such as precautionary catch limits to prevent overfishing, can protect ocean ecosystems and shield humans from the effects of ocean warming.

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Constitutional Validity Of Farms Laws

  • The constitutional validity of the farm laws has been challenged in the Supreme Court mainly on the ground that Parliament has no legislative competence to enact these laws.
  • Agriculture is in the State list.
  • But there is a more fundamental reason to challenge these enactments which will be examined now.
  • It is a universally acknowledged fact that the voting on the Farm Bills in the Rajya Sabha was not done in accordance with the rules of the House.
  • These rules require the Chair to order the recording of votes (division) by members even when one member demands it.
  • The Deputy Chairman of the House, who was conducting the proceedings at that time, did not order division although a few members openly and loudly demanded it.

Remember This

  • Article 122 of the Constitution protects the proceedings of the House from judicial review.
  • This protection is available only when the proceedings are challenged on irregularity of procedure.
  • Violation of the Constitution is not covered by the Article 122.

Source: Farm laws, their constitutional validity, and hope (The Hindu)