Insights Current Affairs, 30 October, 2017

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Insights Current Affairs, 30 October, 2017


 

GS3 Topic: Indian Economy

India emerging as a leader among milk producing nations

 

Context:

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister said India is emerging as a leader among milk producing nations at Pashu Arogya Mela in Semwapur, Motihari. India produces 163.7 million tonne milk in 2016-17 worth over Rs.4 lakh crore.  There are 19 crore cattle in the country, which amounts to 14% of the total cattle population of the world.

 

Rashtriya Gokul Mission:

  • Rashtriya Gokul Mission, 2014 is a focussed project under National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development.
  • It’s objective is to conserve and propagate indigenous breeds in an organized and scientific manner.

 

Progress update:

  • 1250 MAITRI centres are being set up to facilitate artificial insemination for cattle on the doorstep.
  • One Gokul Gram (Integrated Indigenous Cattle Centres)  will have 500 animals with high genetic quality, out of which 300 will be reproductive animals. The Gokul Grams will rear Lal Sindhi, Sahiwal and Gir breeds along with Bachaur.

 

Indigenous animals:

Indigenous animals are more suitable for the country particularly suitable for climate and environment of their reproductive areas. They are endowed with qualities of heat tolerance, resistance to diseases and the ability to thrive under extreme climatic stress and less than optimal nutrition.

 

Conclusion:

Dairy farming has been a traditional source of livelihood and it has a deep connection with the agricultural economy. It is essential to increase productivity of Indigenous breeds in the country through commercial farm management and balanced nutrition.

 

Source: pib

 


 

GS3 Topic: Indian Economy

 

India and US Hold 11th Trade Policy Forum Meeting in Washington D.C

 

Context:

The Minister for Commerce and Industry noted that the Trade Policy Forum serves as a robust platform that contributes towards promoting bilateral trade and investment between India and the US. During the meeting, discussions were held on issues related to bilateral trade, areas of mutual cooperation, market access in agriculture, non-agricultural goods and services and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

 

Issues Discussed:

US concerns:

  • Market access issues ground handling operations, import regulations relating to poultry, export of pork to India.
  • Price controls on medical devices

 

India concerns:

  • Easing of procedure for export of Indian mangoes and pomegranates and market access for table grapes from India.
  • Problems faced by Indian services companies in obtaining H-1B and L-1 visas. It requested the US to ease the movement of skilled professionals as Indian IT companies contribute significantly to the American economy.
  • Issue of mismatch between U.S. visa and U.S. social security regimes, wherein Indian professionals making social security contributions do not receive their due benefits upon their return to India

 

Greater opportunities for US exports to India:

  • Draft Pharmaceutical Policy addresses many of the US concerns and sought comments from industry stakeholders on the draft policy.
  • National IPR Policy 2016, lays down the roadmap for future development in the field of IPRs, and is a major step towards strengthening the IPR ecosystem in India, including improvements in procedures, timelines and resolution of disputes.
  • India desires to address the concerns of providing affordable healthcare to its citizens and balancing it with the need to introduce high end technology. American manufacturers of medical devices are encouraged to establish manufacturing facilities in India.

 

Current Scenario:

  • Trade between the two counties increased to USD 64.51 billion in 2016-17, from USD 62.11 billion in the previous fiscal. However, foreign direct investment from the US into India dipped to USD 2.37 billion in 2016-17 from USD 4.19 billion in 2015-16.
  • India has already started to import crude oil and new Liquefied Natural Gas exports are expected to commence early next year
  • Indian aviation companies such as Spicejet and Jet Airways have placed orders for over 300 aircrafts valued at several billions of dollars.

Source: pib

 


 

GS3 Topic: Security Agencies

 

Army finalises plan to modernise weapons

 

The army is set to launch a fresh hunt for 7 lakh assault rifles, 44000 light machine guns (LMGs) and 44600 carbines to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.

 

Reason:

  • fault lines found in the entire range of small arms except the AK-47
  • Our casualties in counter-terror operations can be reduced by half if soldiers are provided better assault rifles

 

Reason for delay:

  • Army’s failure to finalise the specifications
  • single-vendor situation

 

Significance:

Modernisation of the Army must be in tune with the evolving security threat facing the country. All its “deficiencies” will be addressed to strengthen its combat capability.

 

Some terminologies:

RFI (request for information) is a process whose purpose is to collect information about capabilities of various vendors.  

A lightweight rifle developed from the sub-machine gun, which may be set to fire automatically or semi-automatically.

A light machine gun (LMG) is a machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant, as an infantry support weapon. Light machine guns are often used as squad automatic weapons.

A carbine is a long arm firearm but with a shorter barrel than a rifle or musket. Many carbines are shortened versions of full-length rifles, shooting the same ammunition, while others fire lower-powered ammunition, including types designed for pistols.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: Indian Judiciary

 

Set up centres under all High Courts for vulnerable victims: SC

 

Context:

The Supreme Court while lauding the Delhi High Court for setting up vulnerable witnesses deposition complexes has asked other High Courts in the Country to follow suit in consonance with guidelines postulated in Sakshi v. Union of India and Ors.This case pertained to the rape of a deaf, dumb and mentally challenged minor girl.

 

Reason:

Victims often end up being ill-treated by the very system they had approached in the hope of justice. Delay and intimidating questions during trial in a hostile environment lead to fewer convictions.

 

Guidelines:

  • A screen or some arrangement by which the victim does not see the body or face of the accused.
  • Reducing cross-examination questions to writing and handing them over to the judge to be put to the victim in a language that is clear and not embarrassing.
  • Sufficient breaks for victims of child abuse or rape while testifying.

 

Significance:

  • Encourages a vulnerable victim to make a statement.
  • Upholds the right of vulnerable witnesses to be protected while testifying in court.
  • Order is in consonance with international norms in these matters.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: International Relations

 

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni visit to India

 

Background:

The period from 2012 to 2016 marked a difficult bilateral phase as the marines issue- fatal shootings of two Indian fishermen in 2012 by Italian marines became a national debate in Italy.

The case is now with the International Court of Justice is expected to be completed by 2018.

 

Issues to be discussed:

 

  • India’s global push for the Nuclear Suppliers Group membership and bilateral trade are likely to be on the agenda
  • Italy’s support for India’s candidature at the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016
  • Italian support at the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) meeting that begins on Monday in Buenos Aires, where India has been pushing for stringent measures against Pakistan on terror funding issues.

 

Significance:

Italian supportive role in the EU and NSG will help our cause with the EU-India FTA (Free Trade Agreement) and our bid for NSG membership

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS2 Topic: International Relations

 

India ships wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar

 

The Iranian port of Chabahar processed a maiden shipment of wheat from India’s western seaport of Kandla to Afghanistan on Sunday. Chabahar port lies outside the Persian Gulf on the Gulf of Oman and can be easily accessed from India’s western coast.

chabahar

Context:

The shipment is a part of commitment made by India to supply 1.1 million tons of wheat for free to the people of Afghanistan and is the first shipment to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port since the Trilateral Agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor was signed during a visit to Iran by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2016.

 

Significance:

  • The use of Chabahar port is seen as a major boost to India’s efforts to connect with Central Asia and Russia, and it could facilitate Indian imports of iron ore, sugar and rice as well as crude oil from Iran.
  • India’s development of Chabahar port has been seen as a move to counter China’s presence in the Arabian Sea. China is working with Pakistan to develop Gwadar port which is less than 100 nautical miles from Chabahar by road.
  • India to play a larger role in stabilizing war-torn Afghanistan

 

INSTC:

International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the Chabahar-Zahedan-Zaranj corridor would connect South Asia on one hand and Europe on the other, Modi had said. INSTC is an ambitious multimodal transport system established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India to promote transportation cooperation. It is planned to connect the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea through Iran and then onwards to St. Petersburg and northern Europe through Russia.

 

Source: the hindu

 


 

GS3 Topic: Science and Technology

 

Faster, cheaper urinary tract infection(UTI) test

 

UTI second most common infectious disease that affects millions of people globally each year.

These resistant bacteria not only cause long lasting infection but also reduce effectiveness of the available antibiotics.

 

Problems with present testing method:

  • Has 48-hour wait for urine test report
  • It delays treatment
  • Leads to inappropriate use of antibiotics
  • Gives rise to multidrug-resistant pathogens

 

The new test strip contains 15 common antibiotics and helps in identifying the antibiotic sensitivity of the bacteria and deciding the most appropriate medicine to be used for the patient.

 

Advantages:

  • The test does not require any other specialised equipment, dedicated space/lab or trained personnel.
  • As the strip already has the panel of antibiotics, it is easier, faster and cheaper.
  • Minimises the irrational use of antibiotics.

Source: the hindu

 


 

Fact for Prelims:

 

  • Valve annuloplasty is a new heart implant that is expandable and stretches out as the child grows.This will stop children requiring more surgeries to repair or replace heart valves as they grow up.

 

  • Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P, assumes charge as the  Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS)

 

  • New Railway Line between Bidar – Kalaburagi in Karnataka opened.

 

  • Javed Akhtar Receives Hridaynath Mangeshkar Award on 80th birthday of veteran music composer Hridaynath Mangeshkar.

 

  • Scientists have developed a novel vaccine candidate that may prevent HIV infection by stimulating an immune response against sugars that form a protective shield around the virus.The protein fragment of the vaccine candidate comes from gp120, a protein that covers HIV like a protective envelope. A sugar shield covers the gp120 envelope, bolstering HIV’s defences. The rare HIV-infected individuals who can keep the virus at bay without medication typically have antibodies that attack gp120.

 

  • Scientists have developed a novel smartphone-based portable ultrasound machine that can help detect cancer easily at home. The machine called Butterfly IQ is a pocket-sized ultrasound device, which is the size and shape of an electric razor. works by shooting sound waves into the body and capturing the echoes.

 

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that India will host next Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Conference of Parties 13 (CMS COP13) in year 2020. CMS COP is also known as a Global Wildlife Conference. The announcement was made during 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 12 (COP12) to CMS held in Manila, Philippines in October 2017