Context: The NHRC hosted the 28th biannual Asia Pacific Forum Conference at New Delhi.
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Members of Indian civil society have condemned the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) for acceding to the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) request to host 28th Biannual Conference in New Delhi.
The APF was established in 1996 to promote the establishment of independent national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific region.
It is made up of 26 National Human Rights Institutions from across the Asia Pacific region.
APF member institutions, along with NHRIs take part in a regular review process by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) to assess their compliance with the Paris Principles.
This happened at a time when NHRC-India has recently been deferred its Accreditation by the Sub Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
GANHRI works with the UN Human Rights Office, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international and regional organisations to review the performance of national human rights institutions across the world.
About National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
It is a statutory body set up under the provisionsof Protection of Human Rights Act (PHRA), 1993.
The formation of NHRC is in conformity with the Paris Principles.
The Paris Principles are a set of international standards that define the role, composition, status and functions of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).
They were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and are considered the cornerstone of the NHRI movement.
It is the watchdog of human rights in the country.
It works to protect the right to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution.
Composition: Chairperson, five full-time Members and seven deemed Members.
Chairperson, should be retired Chief Justice of India or a Judge of the Supreme Court.
Members should be a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court, a serving or retired chief justice of a high court and three members should have knowledge or practical experience with respect to human rights out of which at least one should be a woman.
The deemed members include chairpersons of various commissions such as Chairperson of the National Commission for Backward Classes, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Chief Commissioner for Persons.
Tenure: Three years or till the age of seventy years for both the Chairperson and Members.
Appointment: The Chairperson and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President of India, on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:
The Prime Minister (Chairperson)
The Home Minister
The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha
The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha
The Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha
Inquire into complaints of violation of human rights/abetment or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant.
Intervene in any proceeding involving any allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court with the approval of the such court.
Visit any jail or any other institution under the control of the State Government to study the living condition of the inmates and make recommendations thereon.
Review the safeguards under the Constitution/law in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
Review the factors like terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
Study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations.
Undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.
Spread human rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available.
Encourage the efforts of NGOs and institutions working in the field of human rights.
Brent Crude vs. West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
Context: The global crude oil prices have risen due to a weak U.S. oil output and extended production cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia.
About Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
They are two of the most commonly traded types of crude oil in the world.
They serve as benchmark prices for the global oil market and are used to determine oil prices for various products, including gasoline, diesel, and other refined petroleum products.
Differences Between Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
Extracted from the North Sea region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Extracted in the United States, mainly from the Permian Basin (west Texas and southeastern New Mexico).
It is a light, sweet crude oil, which means it has a relatively low density and sulfur content.
It is also a light, sweet crude oil, but WTI enjoys lower sulfur content than the Brent.
Brent crude price is the international benchmark price used by the OPEC. (Since India imports primarily from OPEC countries, Brent is the benchmark for oil prices in India)
WTI is the benchmark for oil prices in the United States.
It trades on London’s ICE Futures exchange.
It trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
As the Brent crude is produced near the sea, so transportation costs are significantly lower.
West Texas Intermediate is produced in landlocked areas, which makes it more expensive to transport.
About Crude Oil:
Crude oil is made up of a mixture of hydrocarbons – hydrogen and carbon atoms.
It exists in liquid form in underground reservoirs in the tiny spaces within sedimentary rocks. Or it can be found near the surface in oil sands.
Crude oil is formed from the remains of dead organisms (diatoms) such as algae and zooplankton that existed millions of years ago in a marine environment.
Petroleum products are materials derived from crude oil as it is processed in oil refineries through Fractional distillation.
The top five crude oil producers in the world: United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iraq.
The largest producer of crude oil in India is Rajasthan, followed by Assam and Gujarat.
India is dependent on imports for about 83% of its crude oilrequirement.
National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF)
Context: The National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will prove to be efficient if it can address various associated problems.
About the National Higher Educational Qualification Framework (NHEQF)
The NHEQF is a regulatory reform proposed by the National Education Policy 2020.
NEP 2020 is the first education policy of the 21st century in India, which replaced the previous National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986.
Recommended by the K Kasturirangan committee, it proposes reforms in school and higher education, including technical education.
5 foundational pillars: Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability.
It is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is an instrument for the development, classification, and recognition of qualifications for higher education in India.
Aim: To create a nationally accepted and globally comparable system for higher education qualifications, enhancing transparency and comparability at all levels.
The framework divides education into eight levels.
The first four levels are the school levels, while the last four are governed by higher education.
The first four levels will be taken up under the National School Education Qualification Framework (NSEQF), while the last four levels will come under the ambit of NHEQF.
The NHEQF is characterised by six levels based on the complexity of learning outcomes. The levels start from 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, 7 and 8.
Stages of higher education and learning outcomes
Undergraduate Certificate (in the field of learning/discipline) for those who exit after the first year (2 semesters) of the undergraduate programme.
First year or 2 semesters of the undergraduate programme
Undergraduate Diploma (in the field of learning/discipline) for those who exit after the first two years (4 semesters) of the undergraduate programme
First two years or 4 semesters of the undergraduate programme
Bachelor’s Degree (examples: Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Commerce; Bachelor of Physical Education; Bachelor of Business Administration, etc.