Insights Daily Current Affairs, 21 October 2017

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 21 October 2017


 

Paper 2:

Topic: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.

 

Rajasthan law: No probe against judges, officers without sanction

 

Rajasthan government has passed an ordinance which seeks to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 has been promulgated in this regard.

rajasthan

Highlights of the ordinance:

  • The ordinance amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also seeks curb on publishing and printing or publicising in any case the name, address, photograph, family details of the public servants.
  • It seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.
  • No magistrate shall order an investigation nor will any investigation be conducted against a person, who is or was a judge or a magistrate or a public servant.
  • If there is no decision on the sanction request post the stipulated time period, it will automatically mean that sanction has been granted.
  • The Ordinance made additions to sections 156 (3) and 190 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which empower a magistrate to take cognizance of an offence and order an investigation.
  • Violation would call for two years imprisonment.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

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

 

India, Brazil, South Africa sign IBSA Trust Fund agreement

 

India, Brazil and South Africa have signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to fight poverty in developing countries. The agreement was signed at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban.

ibsa

About IBSA Trust Fund:

The IBSA Trust Fund brings together the three emerging economies of India, Brazil and South Africa to combat poverty in other developing countries. Each country contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programmes (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.

 

THE INDIA-BRAZIL-SOUTH AFRICA DIALOGUE FORUM:

Established in June 2003, IBSA is a coordinating mechanism amongst three emerging countries, three multi ethnic and multicultural democracies, which are determined to:

  • Contribute to the construction of a new international architecture.
  • Bring their voice together on global issues.
  • Deepen their ties in various areas.

 

Key facts:

  • IBSA also opens itself to concrete projects of cooperation and partnership with less developed countries.
  • The establishment of IBSA was formalised by the Brasilia Declaration of 6 June 2003, which mentions India, Brazil and South Africa’s democratic credentials, their condition as developing nations and their capacity of acting on a global scale as the main reasons for the three countries to come together.
  • Their status as middle powers, their common need to address social inequalities within their borders and the existence of consolidated industrial areas in the three countries are often mentioned as additional elements that bring convergence among the members of the Forum.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

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

 

First Ever Tri-Services India-Russia War Exercise – Indra

 

India and Russia have begun their first mega tri-services war game- Indra involving their armies, navies and air forces with an aim to boost their operational coordination. The Indian contingent includes nearly 450 personnel while the Russian side is being represented by around 1,000 troops in the 10-day exercise Indra.

  • The Indian Army, Navy and Air Force have been holding bilateral exercises separately with their Russian counterparts but it is is for the first time that the two countries are carrying out a tri-services exercise.

indra 2017

Significance of the exercise:

  • The joint tri-service exercise will be a demonstration of the increasing commitment of both nations to address common challenges across the full spectrum of operations.
  • The first ever tri-service exercise between the two countries reflects the vibrancy of the continued Indo-Russian strategic partnership.
  • With the rich operational experience of Russian and Indian armies in counter insurgency operations, both sides will gain immensely from each other to further develop their capabilities. The exercise will further strengthen the relationship between the two defence forces.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Paper 3:

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

 

Govt sets up expert group for suggestions on artificial intelligence policy

 

The Union ministry of electronics and information technology has set up an internal committee to advise the government on a policy on artificial intelligence (AI). The expert committee will advise the IT ministry on the most apt technologies for India.

  • The government’s main focus is to reduce cyber attacks with AI. The main policy will be drawn up once the committee gives its report.

Artificial_intelligence_AI

Need for a policy on AI:

The artificial intelligence market is estimated to touch $153 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 45.4% from 2016 to 2022. However, AI is widely seen as a major challenge in generation of employment as many companies are likely to depend more on it to cut down on human resources.

Globally too, there is a growing interest in AI. In 2016, the White House initiated work on Preparing for the future of artificial intelligence; in the UK, the House of Commons committee on S&T looked at robotics and artificial intelligence while in 2017, the State Council of China started work on the next generation artificial intelligence development plan.

 

Seven- point strategy:

The government has recently drawn up a seven-point strategy that would form the framework for India’s strategic plan to use AI.

  • The strategy includes developing methods for human machine interactions; ensuring safety and security of AI systems; creating a competent workforce in line with AI and R&D needs, understanding and addressing the ethical, legal and societal implications of AI, measuring and evaluating AI technologies through standards and benchmarks, among others.

 

Sources: the hindu.

 


 

Topic: awareness in space.

 

Dawn Mission Extended at Ceres

 

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before at the dwarf planet, which it has been orbiting since March 2015. The spacecraft will continue at Ceres for the remainder of its science investigation and will remain in a stable orbit indefinitely after its hydrazine fuel runs out.

dawn mission

Key facts:

  • A priority of the second Ceres mission extension is collecting data with Dawn’s gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, which measures the number and energy of gamma rays and neutrons. This information is important for understanding the composition of Ceres’ uppermost layer and how much ice it contains.
  • The spacecraft also will take visible-light images of Ceres’ surface geology with its camera, as well as measurements of Ceres’ mineralogy with its visible and infrared mapping spectrometer.
  • The extended mission at Ceres additionally allows Dawn to be in orbit while the dwarf planet goes through perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, which will occur in April 2018. At closer proximity to the Sun, more ice on Ceres’ surface may turn to water vapor, which may in turn contribute to the weak transient atmosphere detected by the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory before Dawn’s arrival.

 

Dawn mission:

NASA’s Dawn mission will study the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, celestial bodies believed to have accreted early in the history of the solar system. The mission will characterize the early solar system and the processes that dominated its formation.

Dawn is the only mission ever to orbit two extraterrestrial targets. It orbited giant asteroid Vesta for 14 months from 2011 to 2012, then continued on to Ceres, where it has been in orbit since March 2015.

 

Sources: et.