Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 November 2016

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 22 November 2016


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Guided Missile Destroyer INS Chennai Joins the Indian Navy

 

INS Chennai, a P 15A Guided Missile Destroyer, has been commissioned into the Indian Navy. This marks the formal induction into the Navy of the third and the last of the three ‘Kolkata’ class destroyers.

 

Key facts:

INS Chennai

INS Chennai

  • The vessel is indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.
  • Following her formal induction, INS Chennai will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. In due course, the ship will be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be base-ported at Mumbai.
  • The ship measures 163m in length, 17.4m in breadth with a displacement of 7500 tonnes and can rightfully be regarded as one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India.
  • The ship is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots.
  • The ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks.
  • INS Chennai is packed with contemporary and sophisticated ‘state of the art’ weapons and sensors such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles. The ship is fitted with a modern Surveillance Radar which provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship.
  • The ship’s Anti Submarine Warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed Rocket Launchers and Torpedo Launchers. The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.
  • A unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the production, accentuating our national objective of ‘Make in India’.
  • Some of the major indigenised equipment / system onboard INS Chennai include Combat Management System, Rocket Launcher, Torpedo Tube Launcher, Automated Power Management System, Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing system, Auxiliary Control System and the Bow mounted SONAR.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India becomes Associate Member of CERN, Geneva

 

India and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have signed an agreement making India an Associate Member State of CERN. This follows CERN Council’s adoption of the resolution to this effect in September 2016.

 European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

Background:

The participation of Indian scientists in CERN dates back to early 1960s, which has become much stronger and closer for the last quarter of a century with the support of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST). In 1991, DAE had signed a formal agreement with CERN, which continues till today.

In recognition of most significant contributions, in 2003, India was awarded the Observer status of CERN, and subsequently invited to join CERN as an Associate Member. Last year, the Indian Cabinet gave its approval following which the CERN Council has accepted India as an Associate member.

 

How this membership helps India?

  • As an Associate Member of CERN, India will be a part of the huge scientific and technological endeavor. The India-CERN association as a whole is interdisciplinary in nature and the involvement of physicists, electronics hardware and software engineers will pave the path for overall knowledge development in the best possible way.
  • Becoming Associate Member of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects and bring back knowledge for deployment in the domestic programmes.
  • It will also open opportunities for Indian industries to participate directly in the CERN project.
  • Through the Teachers programme, teachers teaching in the higher secondary schools would also be able to participate in the programme and pass on the knowledge and quest for high-end science to their students, thereby encouraging large number of students to pursue their career in science.

 

About CERN:

CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory, where scientists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the Universe by using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems. CERN is based in Geneva on the French-Swiss border. Presently CERN has 22 member states, four associate member states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations.

Sources: pib.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

If SAARC fails, there’s BIMSTEC: India warns Pakistan

 

India has sent out a clear message to Pakistan, warning it that South Asian nations would find other ways to cooperate on regional initiatives if it continues to block initiatives under the SAARC banner. In this regard, foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has presented a snapshot of what a ‘SAARC without Pakistan’ could achieve.

 

Background:

The future of SAARC has been increasingly questioned after the cancellation of the summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad. The Summit had been cancelled in the heighted tensions following the terrorist attack on a military camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri. Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka too had pulled out of the Islamabad summit, citing an unfavourable atmosphere due to an escalation of terrorist activities.

The continuing tensions between India and Pakistan have given rise to doubts over whether the consensus needed for a SAARC Summit will be reached in the near future. This in turn has led to the idea of a regional grouping without Pakistan being mentioned with increasing frequency in the discourses of South Asian countries.

 

About SAARC:

WHAT IS SAARC?

SAARC stands for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. It is a geopolitical cooperation maintained for mutual benefits between eight south Asian nations: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Maldives.

 

Key facts:

  • SAARC Summits are held annually. There have been, however, times when the summits skipped a year.
  • The diplomatic summits can only take place when all the members of SAARC are present.
  • SAARC Secretariat is based in Kathmandu. It is responsible for monitoring the activities of the cooperation.
  • Apart from its members, SAARC has nine countries with observer status: Australia, China, Iran, Japan, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, the United States, the European Union. It is in permanent diplomatic relations with the United Nation as well.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

Sack 70-year-old cricket bosses, says Lodha panel

 

Tightening the leash on the powerful and the political among the administrators in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its member State associations, the R.M. Lodha-led Supreme Court Committee has reiterated before the apex court its recommendation to remove office-bearers who are over 70 years old, government ministers and those who have already served at the Board’s helm for nine years.

  • In its third report filed in the court, the committee said the Supreme Court had upheld its recommendations in a July 18, 2016, judgment, and the time had come to implement them so that work on reforming the Board could go ahead.
  • The panel also sought the disqualification of BCCI office-bearers who are not Indian citizens, those who hold any office or post in a sports or athletic association or federation apart from cricket, those declared insolvent or of unsound mind and administrators charged with a crime.

 

Background:

The recommendations are the latest development in the stand-off between the Supreme Court and the BCCI over reforms that span the entire breadth of cricket administration in the country.

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its affiliate state associations have resisted some of the reforms recommended by the Lodha committee, and had received sharp rebukes from the Supreme Court for this. The Court had also criticised the constitution of the BCCI, saying it was unsuited to bring any level of transparency.
  • The three-member Lodha Committee, led by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, had been appointed by the Supreme Court in 2015, to recommend reforms to the Board of Control for Cricket in India and all its affiliated state-level cricket associations.

 

Important recommendations made by Lodha panel:

  • One state, one cricket body: One association of each state will be a full member and have right to vote. One unit should represent one state.
  • CEO-run organisation: Committee also suggested the restructuring of the BCCI’s administrative set-up, proposing the position of a CEO accountable to a nine-member apex council. An apex council for the BCCI comprising 9 members, of which 5 should be elected, 2 should be representatives of players association, and one woman. CEO to be assisted by 6 professional managers and the team of CEO and managers will be accountable to the apex council.
  • Under RTI: To ensure transparency in its functioning, the panel has said that it is important to bring the body under the purview of the Right to Information Act.
  • Ethics officer: The committee recommended the institution of the office of an Ethics Officer, who would be responsible for resolving issues related to the conflict of interest. Ethics officer would be a former High Court judge.
  • Electoral officer: The committee has also suggested the appointment of an Electoral Officer to conduct the Board elections. The electoral officer would oversee the entire election process relating to the office-bearers namely, preparation of voters list, publication, dispute about eligibility of the office-bearers
  • Ombudsman: The panel has also proposed an Ombudsman for dealing with internal conflicts. Ombudsman can take cognisance of complaints suo moto, or received complaint or referred complaint by the apex council.
  • Among the most sensational recommendation by Lodha panel was the suggestion to legalize betting. The panel felt that the move would help curb corruption in the game and recommended that except for players and officials, people should be allowed to place bets on registered sites.
  • The Panel also suggested that the grants given to state associations be properly monitored.
  • It has also suggested that a person cannot be a BCCI office-bearer and a state association office-bearer at the same time.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

India’s public health care to get a new boost

 

Boosting the capacity of Indian healthcare industry further, UNSW Australia and Medvarsity – Apollo Hospital Group’s e-learning venture, have come together. A fully online, new Master of Public Health (International) programme has been tailored by the university specifically for Indian students. UNSW public health degree launched in India will strengthen our capacity to respond to major health challenges.

 

Key facts:

  • The new degree, aimed at doctors and other health professionals, will be delivered and awarded by UNSW, along with an internship at an Apollo health site.
  • Indian students will join fellow health professionals from Australia and around the world in a virtual global classroom, learning essential public health theory and skills.
  • Since it is a flexible online programme, busy clinicians will not have to take a sabbatical to enhance their knowledge and skills. Instead, these professionals can keep working as they achieve this degree that too without expense of actually living in Australia.
  • Not only this, the students enrolled in this programme will also have access to advanced learning tools and technology with a fully comparable experience to face-to-face learning.
  • With the introduction of this programme, Indian students will be able to apply for jobs with global organisations like the World Health Organization and UNESCO.

Sources: toi.


 

Paper 3 Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Prithvi-II missiles successfully test-fired

 

Two Prithvi-II missiles were recently successfully test-fired from the launch complex-III of the Integrated Test Range near Balasore in Odisha. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired the missiles from a road-mobile launcher.

 

Key facts:

  • Prithvi-II is a short-range surface-to-surface missile.
  • Inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003, Prithvi II is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
  • The twin-engine Prithvi-II is 8.56 metre in length, 1.1 metre in width and weighs 4,600 kg. It has the ability to dodge enemy missiles.
  • The missile, capable of reaching targets 350 km away, can carry a 500-kg nuclear warhead.
  • The battlefield missile has a flight duration of 483 seconds and a peak altitude of 43.5km. Also, Prithvi is India’s first indigenously-built ballistic missile.
  • Prithvi-II has been designed to operate with both liquid and solid fuels and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

HIV|AIDS bill to be tabled in RS during winter session

 

In a move to grant stronger protection to the country’s HIV community, the government plans to introduce the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill in Rajya Sabha during the ongoing winter session. The bill seeks to end discrimination and ensure equality for people living with HIV.

  • The bill, which was approved by the Cabinet last month, seeks to bring legal accountability to prohibit discrimination against the HIV community and instead promotes equality while accessing healthcare, acquiring jobs, renting houses or in educational institutions in the public and private sectors.

 

Background:

There are approximately 21 lakh persons estimated to be living with HIV in India and the percentage of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy treatment currently stands at a mere 25.82% as against the global percentage of 41%.

HIV|AIDS bill to be tabled in RS during winter session

HIV India Stats

Key provisions in the bill:

Provisions related to the role of governments:

Under the Bill, central and state governments are obliged to provide for anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and management of opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weakness in the immune system and occur frequently). The bill also prohibits specific acts of discrimination by the state, or any other person, against HIV-positive people, or those living with such people.

Provisions related to discrimination:

The Bill lays down penal provisions for any discrimination practised against a person with HIV/AIDS and breach of confidentiality. The protection mandated in the Bill extends to the fields of employment, healthcare services, educational services, public facilities, property rights, holding public office, and insurance. It also provides for confidentiality of HIV-related information and makes it necessary to get informed consent for undertaking HIV tests, medical treatment and research.

Provisions related to ombudsman:

The bill also provides for an ombudsman. According to the provisions of the Bill, an ombudsman shall be appointed by each state government to inquire into complaints related to the violation of the Act and the provision of health care services. The ombudsman shall submit a report to the state government every six months stating the number and nature of complaints received, the actions taken and orders passed.

Provisions related to guardianship:

Provisions related to guardianship are also specified. A person between the age of 12 to 18 years who has sufficient maturity in understanding and managing the affairs of his HIV or AIDS affected family shall be competent to act as a guardian of another sibling below 18 years of age. The guardianship will apply in matters relating to admission to educational establishments, operating bank accounts, managing property, care and treatment, amongst others.

Role of courts:

Cases relating to HIV positive persons shall be disposed off by the court on a priority basis. In any legal proceeding, if an HIV infected or affected person is a party, the court may pass orders that the proceedings be conducted (a) by suppressing the identity of the person, (b) in camera, and (c) to restrain any person from publishing information that discloses the identity of the applicant.

When passing any order with regard to a maintenance application filed by an HIV infected or affected person, the court shall take into account the medical expenses incurred by the applicant.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Facts for Prelims

Artificial intelligence by BSE:

  • BSE has introduced a data analytics-based solution that relies on artificial intelligence to track news related to listed companies on digital media using social media.
  • The objective of the tool is to detect and mitigate potential risks of market manipulation and rumours, and to reduce information asymmetry arising from it on digital media platforms.
  • It would provide accurate information involving listed companies and the BSE through the exchange website for the benefit of investors. The solution employs an advanced level combination of statistical modeling and big data analytics.