Insights Daily Current Events, 24 November 2014
Sleeper cell busted
The Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra police, in a joint operation, recently busted a sleeper cell and picked up three terror suspects.
What is Sleeper Cell?
- A group of people (sleepers) who inconspicuously remain dormant in a community until activated, by a prearranged signal, to perform acts of espionage, sabotage, and/or terrorism.
- This consists of secret agents who receive specialized training in their home countries and are then assigned to assimilate into another country’s culture and society. These agents may spend years performing their regular duties while living deep undercover, then suddenly receive orders from their overseas handlers to either commit an act of terrorism or provide aid to those who will.
More interesting Details:
- Individual members of a sleeper cell may not even be aware of each other, since plausible deniability during police interrogations can be vital.
- When the commanders of the terrorist organization want to activate a cell, each agent may only receive the name of one contact person or receive only his or her specific orders.
- It can be extremely difficult for government agencies to track and dismantle sleeper cells because of their nebulous construction. If the individual members are well-trained and dedicated to their cause, they can easily blend into society without raising any suspicions.
- A cell doesn’t necessarily need to hold regular meetings or undergo additional training to carry out their missions. Members simply go about their daily routines until a handler contacts them for an assignment. Some agents may not even be fully aware of their obligations, believing that a benevolent government agency simply paid for their education and immigration expenses.
The events of September 11, 2001 highlight the dangers of a sleeper cell.
Sources: The Hindu, Wiki, http://www.wisegeek.org/.
SC notice to Centre, States on advocates’ clerks plea
The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Centre and all the States on a petition by the Supreme Court Bar Clerks Association seeking enactment of a law to provide social security benefits to them.
What are the problems faced by the Clerks?
- The advocates’ clerks have been suffering untold miseries because of lack of social security measures.
- Even after working for four to five decades, they do not get any benefits except some charity.
- Few of the Association members had crossed the age of 65 years, but were working to meet their livelihood as they were not entitled to any pension.
- Premature death of some clerks had exposed their families to poverty and no provision of medical aid for sick clerks.
- Lack of pension is a serious concern in old age exposing them to the mercy of grown-up children.
Hence, there is an urgent need for implementation of social security measures by enacting a legislation to meet the demands of advocates’ clerks.
Article 21 and the issue:
The SC said the Centre and the States were jointly and severally liable to implement the right to social security guaranteed to the advocates’ clerks under Article 21 of the Constitution by enacting legislation.
Sources: The Hindu.
IMAC will help Navy step up coastal surveillance
The Defence Minister, recently, inaugurated the Indian Navy and Coast Guard’s joint operations facility, called the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), at Gurgaon.
Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC):
IMAC is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communications and Intelligence Network (NC3I Network), and is a joint initiative of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.
Why is it set up?
It is set up to provide coastal security and to avert tragic incidents like the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai.
How is it Helpful?
- The National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) network links 51 Naval and Coast Guard stations, located along the coast and on island territories. The network provides these stations coastal surveillance information obtained from various sensors such as the coastal radar chain of the Indian Coast Guard and automatic tracking systems as well as electro-optical cameras. The network rides on dedicated terrestrial data circuits, as well as, satellite communication, which helps the stations in remote locations to be networked.
- The IMAC is the centre where data from various sensors and databases is aggregated, correlated and then disseminated to various stations for enhanced awareness. The software on which the coastal surveillance will be carried out incorporates hi-tech features like data fusion, correlation and decision support features thus facilitating better decision making.
- The National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) will eventually become the backbone of National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA).
- The NC3I will link 20 naval and 31 Coast Guard monitoring stations to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km long coastline. The system currently comprises 46 radars and 30 additional radars are planned to fill all the gaps in coastline security.
- The hubs are linked by high speed optical fibre networks and satellite links serve as a back-up in case of emergency. Apart from coastal radars and optical sensors, it also draws information from automatic identification systems fitted on merchant ships and has a comprehensive shipping database of world registers of shipping for analysis of traffic.
It will be manned by the Navy and function under the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Sources: The Hindu.
IIT-Madras joins CERN experiment
IIT-Madras has been accepted as a full member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment collaboration and is looking forward to make best use of the opportunity.
- The Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, which is part of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, is famous for its role in the discovery of the Higgs Boson a.k.a the god particle. It is expected to start collecting data once again around March 2015.
Large Hadron Collider:
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
Built by: European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Aim: to allow physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics and high-energy physics, and particularly prove or disprove the existence of the theorized Higgs boson and of the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetric theories.
The LHC consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way.
- Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide.
- The beams travel in opposite directions in separate beam pipes – two tubes kept at ultrahigh vacuum. They are guided around the accelerator ring by a strong magnetic field maintained by superconducting electromagnets.
- The electromagnets are built from coils of special electric cable that operates in a superconducting state, efficiently conducting electricity without resistance or loss of energy. This requires chilling the magnets to ‑271.3°C – a temperature colder than outer space. For this reason, much of the accelerator is connected to a distribution system of liquid helium, which cools the magnets, as well as to other supply services.
- Just prior to collision, another type of magnet is used to “squeeze” the particles closer together to increase the chances of collisions. The particles are so tiny that the task of making them collide is akin to firing two needles 10 kilometres apart with such precision that they meet halfway.
Sources: The Hindu, http://home.web.cern.ch/, Wiki.