Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 October 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 


Insights Daily Current Affairs, 28 October 2017


 

GS2 Topic: Indian Judiciary

 

Why finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the high courts is delayed – asks SC

 

sc

Background:

Constitution Bench’s historic decision, in October 2015, to strike down the government’s National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) law. The NJAC law had given politicians an equal say in judicial appointments to constitutional courts.

In December 2015, Apex Court directed the centre to iron out the do’s and don’ts of judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and the high courts

 

Issues:

  • Delay in the appointment of regular Chief Justices in high courts despite the recommendation of the Supreme Court.
  • Six of the 24 high courts have been without regular Chief Justices for months.
  • Some High Courts like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have acting Chief justice for more than a year now while such arrangement should not have continued for more than a month.
  • No further delay in finalisation of MoP in larger public interest

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

International Conference on Green Initiatives & Railway Electrification

 

green initiative railways

Indian Railways shall lead the world by achieving 100 % electrification  with “an incentive cum penalty” framework scheme to transform Indian Railways truly into a world class, safe and modern transporter

 

Context:

Transport sector is the biggest consumer of energy, especially railway as the single largest consumer with share of about 2% of National energy consumption. Rail being the most energy efficient mode of transport is further working to change the energy mix towards greener sources

Electrification is a powerful measure to achieve cost effectiveness.

It improves mobility by use of high power energy efficient Locomotives, facilitate shift of traffic from road to rail and also to reduce carbon footprints. In addition electrification will also reduce traction energy bill substantially

 

Main objective:

  • Bring green power project developers and other stakeholders on a common platform for making Indian Railways (IR) an efficient and Greener mode of transport
  • Green initiatives including use of renewable energy, shift towards electric traction, development of new locomotive technology, high speed rail traction system and development in generation of Solar/Wind power as well as use of energy in efficient ways.

 

Action Plan:

  • Electrification of Railway Tracks
  • Harnessing Renewable Energy on Indian Railways to reduce energy cost and carbon footprints
  • Production of Energy Efficient High Horsepower Locomotives
  • Head On Generation (HOG) – electrical loads of passenger coaches would be fed directly from electric power drawn by locomotive from grid.

 

About IREE:

  Institution of Railways Electrical Engineer (IREE) registered at Nasik in 1995 is a professional body of Railway Electrical Engineers. It is a technical body under the auspices of Ministry of Railways sharing knowledge and experience of various Railway engineers and others connected with Electrical Engineering.

 

Indian Railway’s First set of Solar Power Plant of 5MW capacity launched:

  • Indian Railway’s first set of solar plants with total capacity of 5 megawatt peak (MWp) was launched on roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations.
  • This project was launched under ambitious National Solar Mission in which Indian Railways plans to commission 1000 MWp solar plants across its network.
  • The first set of solar plant will generate 76.5 lakh units of solar power cumulatively per year and will meet about 30% of energy requirement of these  stations.
  • The project was awarded in 2016 to the developer under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.The developer will maintain it for 25 years and Railways will only pay energy consumed at Rs 4.14 per unit.

Source: pib, economic times

 


 

GS2 Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential

 

Phase 1 of Bharat Net project to be completed by December

 

Bharat Net project, which aims to deploy high-speed optical fibre cables across rural areas, will be completed by December this year, thus providing internet access to 100,000 gram panchayats,

bbnl

Context:

‘i-Bharat 2017’ conference held in the New Delhi, based on the theme of ‘ICT Elucidations for Unserved and Unsolved’, organised by industry body FICCI in association with the ministry of electronics and information technology.

 

Challenges:

  • India being the highest consumer of mobile data throws up as many challenges as opportunities.
  • Public and private sector need to join hands in achieving the objective of doubling the reach of telecom fibre network in the country by 2020.
  • Issues such as cyber security, data protection & privacy, regulation of data and, importantly, data monetisation need to be addressed.
  • How India will leverage its Aadhaar and Election Commission data base.
  • How the country will tackle the privacy debate after the Supreme Court ruling on privacy being a fundamental right

 

Source: indian express

 


 

GS2 Topic: Government Policies and Schemes

Seven shortlisted companies given ‘Letters of Intent’ for 14 monuments under ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ of Ministry of Tourism

 

These companies will be the future ‘Monument Mitras’ who would associate pride with their CSR activities.

lot to reserve monuments

Adopted Monuments are :

  • Jantar Mantar, Delhi.
  • Sun Temple, Konark
  • Raja Rani Temple, Bhubaneshwar
  • Ratnagiri Monuments, Jajpur, Odisha
  • Hampi, Karnataka
  • Leh Palace, Jammu & Kashmir
  • Qutub Minar, Delhi
  • Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
  • Mattancherry Palace Museum, Kochi
  • Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi
  • Gangotri Temple Area and Trail to Gaumukh
  • Mt. StokKangri, Laddakh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Agrasen ki Baoli, Delhi
  • Purana Quila, Delhi.

 

Adopt a Heritage Scheme (Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project):

  • Scheme was launched on World Tourism Day i.e. 27th September, 2017 by Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which envisages developing monuments, heritage and tourist sites across India and making them tourist friendly.
  • Ministry of Tourism invited Private, Public Sector Companies and Corporate individuals to adopt the sites and to take up the responsibility for making our heritage and tourism more sustainable through conservation and development.

 

Significance:

The project primarily focuses on development and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities like Cleanliness, Public Conveniences, Ease of access, secure environment, illumination and night viewing facilities for an overall inclusive tourist experience that will result in more footfall from both domestic and foreign tourists.

 

Source: pib

 


 

GS3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

Public Finance Management System (PFMS)

 

Mandatory use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) will help monitor the flow of funds to beneficiaries of different government welfare schemes.

Advantages:

  • The actual status of utilization of funds by the multiple implementing agencies of the Central and the State Governments can be known.
  • There will not be much paper work and it would go a long way in monitoring and tracking of any unnecessary parking of funds by the implementing agencies
  • Minimizes the cases of delay and pending payments to a large extent.
  • PFMS will progress towards a Government wide Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) – as a comprehensive Payment, Receipt and Accounting System.
  • PFMS would not only help in complete tracking of funds but would also ensure just in time transfer of funds.
  • PFMS, with the capability of providing real time information on resource availability, flows and actual utilization has tremendous potential to improve programme/financial management, reduce the float in the financial systems by enabling ‘just in time’ releases and also the Government borrowings with direct impact on interest costs to the Government.

 

Public Financial Management System (PFMS):

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) initially started as a Plan scheme named CPSMS of the Planning Commission in 2008-09 as a pilot in four States of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Mizoram for four Flagship schemes e.g. MGNREGS, NRHM, SSA and PMGSY. After the initial phase of establishing a network across Ministries / Departments, it has been decided to undertake National rollout of CPSMS (PFMS) to link the financial networks of Central, State Governments and the agencies of State Governments. The scheme was included in 12th Plan initiative of Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance. 

Source: pib

 


 

GS3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

SIDBI revamps portal for easy credit access

 

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has revamped its portal www.udyamimitra.in with enhanced features to provide easy access to credit and hand-holding services for micro small medium enterprises (MSME).

sidbi

Key Features:

  • The portal brings transparency and competition among lenders
  • It removes the need to approach several banks individually
  • The portal is mobile-enabled and provides a self-assessment module.
  • It sends various information on registered MSMEs from time to time.
  • It also allows loan applications to be perused and picked up by multiple lenders.

 

SIDBI:

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), set up on April 2, 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament, acts as the Principal Financial Institution for the Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector and for Co-ordination of the functions of the institutions engaged in similar activities.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: International Affairs

 

Spain sacks Catalan government after independence declaration

 

catalonia-location-on-the-spain-map

Background:

Catalonia is one of Spain’s most prosperous regions and already has a high degree of autonomy. But it has a series of historic grievances, exacerbated during the 1939-1975 Franco dictatorship, when its culture and politics were suppressed.

Catalonia held an Independent referendum on Oct. 1, 2017 which was declared illegal by Madrid and marred by heavy-handed national police tactics to stop it.

 

Highlights:

  • The Catalan parliament had voted to make a unilateral declaration of independence.
  • Shortly afterwards the Spanish Senate in Madrid approved the imposition of direct rule.
  • It sacked Carles Puigdemont as head of the autonomous region, also fired its police chief and said central government ministries would take over the Catalan administration.
  • A new regional election will be held in Catalonia on Dec. 21
  • Several European countries, including France and Germany, and the United States also rejected the independence declaration and said they supported Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s efforts to preserve Spain’s unity.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

India, France Decide To Boost Co-Operation In Indo-Pacific Region

 

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her French counterpart Florence Parly held extensive talks covering a range of issues, including the regional security situation, joint development of defence platforms and expansion of military-to-military ties.

nirmala-sitharaman-with-florence-parly

Context:

France is a major partner for India in developing various key military platforms including the Scorpene submarines. Parly attended foundation ceremony of an aerospace park being set up under a joint venture by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation and Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Aerospace Ltd.

 

Highlights:

  • Resolved to further ramp up the overall defence and security ties.
  • Agreed to expand counter-terror cooperation at maritime side
  • French side explored the possibility of a follow on order of additional Rafale fighter jets by India.
  • Comprehensively reviewed developments in defence equipment and industry cooperation between the two countries.

 

Source: the hindu, ndtv

 


 

GS3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Scientists link new virus to kala-azar

 

Background:

Parasite Leishmania donovani is believed to be responsible for the dreaded infection.

People get infected when bitten by an insect called the sandfly, which harbours the disease-causing parasite.

Leishmaniasis

Discovery:

Another parasite called Leptomonas seymouri may also be present

It’s still early to pointedly blame the virus but its discovery portends a new kind

of treatment regime and may aid attempts to eradicating the disease.

 

Kala-azar:

  • Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, black fever, and Dumdum fever, is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and, without proper diagnosis and treatment, is associated with high fatality.
  • Caused by protozoan parasites of the Leishmania genus. migrates to the internal organs such as the liver, spleen (hence “visceral”), and bone marrow
  • Signs and symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, anemia, and substantial swelling of the liver and spleen.
  • Kala-azar is endemic to the Indian subcontinent in 119 districts in four countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal)
  • This disease is the second-largest parasitic killer in the world

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

 

‘Decision on removal of fishing subsidies certain in WTO’s Dec. meet’

 

Event:

WTO’s Ministerial Conference meeting at Buenos Aires (Argentina)to be held in December 2017. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development

fishing

Reason:

  • Addressing government incentives that drive unsustainable fisheries practices is not just an environmental imperative.
  • Government subsidies in the fisheries sector can have severe negative social and economic impacts for the most vulnerable countries and communities.
  • Subsidies Weaken The Sustainability Of Global Fisheries While Increasing Inequality Among Fishers
  • Harmful fishing subsidies (globally) that contribute to overfishing are estimated to be as high as $35 billion.

 

Other issues:

  • Permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes’ would be a part of the outcomes
  • ‘No’ to e-commerce talks as many developing countries are not ready to allow e-commerce to be negotiated. They want to ensure that e-commerce is an enabler for development, without going into rule-making at the WTO

 

UNCTAD:

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964. UNCTAD is the principal organ of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. The primary objective of UNCTAD is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. The conference ordinarily meets once in four years; the permanent secretariat is in Geneva.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS3 Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

 

Arctic sea ice waning faster than predicted, says study

 

arctic

Findings:

  • Arctic sea ice, a key indicator of climate change, could be dwindling faster than predicted.
  • Research undertaken by the Cryosphere Climate Research Group, Canada found that satellite measurements over the years have overestimated the thickness of Arctic sea ice by as much as 25% because of the presence of salty snow.
  • Salty snow formed when brine is expelled upward from the ice surface does not allow radar waves from satellites to penetrate, leading to skewed measurements.

 

Significance:

  • Dwindling ice cover hastens the warming of oceans, and has an impact on weather phenomena like the El Nino that influences the Asian monsoon.
  • The thinning ice would make it difficult for animals like polar bears and seals and organisms like phytoplankton to survive

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

Fact for Prelims:

  • National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) set up under the administrative control of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) at Gwalpahari Village, Distt. Gurgaon (Haryana).

 

  • Establishment of permanent campus of six new IITs at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwad (Karnataka), Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Goa will have a facility for housing 1,200 students from the academic year 2020-2021

 

  • The Infantry Day in observed every year in India on 27 October to commemorate supreme sacrifices made by Indian Army’s infantry against Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in 1947. It was first infantry action by Indian Army after independence. Observance of the day also commemorates infantry’s exceptional courage and dedicated service to nation.

 

  • President of India launched the Technocity project in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on October 27, 2017 and laid the foundation stone for the first government building in Technocity.

 

  • Burundi on Friday became the First ever nation to leave the International Criminal Court(ICC), the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. International Criminal Court, set up in July 2002, headquartered at Hague, Netherlands to prosecute those behind the world’s worst atrocities.

 

  • Australian court disqualifies Barnaby Joyce, deputy PM for dual citizenship. Critics have condemned the outdated constitutional ban saying half the people are immigrants or have an overseas-born parent. Critics argued for exemption from the ban because he had not voluntarily acquired or retained citizenship of another country.