Insights Daily Current Events, 04 May 2015
New database of High Courts unearths a 57-year-old case
A Bangalore-based research organisation DAKSH has released a new database which gives insights into the functioning of High Courts across the country. The organization currently has information for 10 High Courts.
Details of the Database:
- The database shows that nearly a quarter of the cases pending in High Courts are still at the admission stage. In the Karnataka High Court alone, a Company Petition has been awaiting admission since 1985. There is a case with the Jharkhand High Court that has been pending for 57 years.
- The database shows that over 40 lakh cases are pending before High Courts.
- The compilation also showed that there exist large differences of definition and data standards between High Courts.
- It has found that of the five High Courts for which the dates on which cases were filed were available — Gujarat, Jharkhand, Patna, Hyderabad and Karnataka — the majority of pending cases were less than two years old.
- In Patna, Gujarat and Hyderabad, 10% of cases were more than ten years old. The oldest pending case in Jharkhand dated back to January 1958, in Patna to May 1970, in Gujarat to December 1980, in Karnataka to January 1985 and in Hyderabad to July 1989.
- Among nine High Courts for which comparable data was available, Gujarat disposed of the maximum cases proportionate to the total cases in its system during the first quarter of this year, while Calcutta disposed the fewest.
Sources: The Hindu.
Japan Government’s Highest Civilian Award to Professor C.N.R. Rao
Eminent scientist C N R Rao was conferred with Japan’s highest civilian award recently.
- Highest Civilian Award of Japan, that is conferred on academicians, politicians and military officers- the “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star”, will be conferred on Professor C.N.R. Rao for his ‘contribution to promoting academic interchange and mutual understanding in science and technology between Japan and India’.
- N.R Rao has been bestowed with about 70 honorary doctorates and has received the highest civilian award of India, Bharat Ratna. Professor Rao had made substantial contributions to the development of Science in India and the Third World.
- Rao is also the only Indian to be elected as a foreign member of the Japan Academy in Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.
Sources: The Hindu, PIB.
High point in Indo-French strategic ties
The 14th edition of the Indo-French naval exercise (Varuna) recently concluded at Goa. It was a ten day long exercise and included both a harbour and sea phase.
- VARUNA aims at deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two navies.
- The scope of Exercise VARUNA included the entire gamut of maritime operations ranging from Aircraft Carrier Operations, Anti Submarines Warfare Exercises, Maritime Interdiction Operations to multi-ship replenishment exercise.
- The confidence gained through such exercises helps develop Standard Operating Procedures, particularly in the fields of Joint Maritime Air Operations Planning with exchange of Carrier Operational Capabilities.
- The exercise goes a long way in enhancing interoperability between the two navies and also showcases the close ties between the two countries.
Sources: The Hindu.
Centre’s nod for India’s associate membership in CERN
The Centre has approved the long-standing demand of Indian scientists that the country be an associate member of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).
- Currently, India has observer status in CERN, which has 21 member states.
- To be an associate member, India will have to pay $10.7 million annually. The status of associate member is also the pre-stage to full membership. As an associate member, India would have been entitled to attend open and restricted sessions of the organization.
- The associate membership will open the doors of mega science experiments for Indian scientists and will also allow Indian industry to participate in bids for Cern contracts across various sectors. India was given “Observer” status in Cern in 2002.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. The CERN convention was signed in 1953 by the 12 founding states and entered into force on 29 September 1954.
- It has 21 European member states. Israel is the first (and currently only) non-European country granted full membership.
- Member states have special duties and privileges. They make a contribution to the capital and operating costs of CERN’s programmes, and are represented in the council, responsible for all important decisions about the organization and its activities.
- CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research – as a result, numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN as a result of international collaborations.
- CERN is also the place the World Wide Web was first implemented.
- It also operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
- Some states (or international organizations) for which membership is either not possible or not yet feasible are observers. “Observer” status allows non-member states to attend council meetings and to receive council documents, without taking part in the decision-making procedures of the organization.
- Observer states and organizations currently involved in CERN programmes include the European Commission, India, Japan, the Russian Federation, Turkey, UNESCO and the USA.
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 ‑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.
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