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Insights Daily Current Events, 19 June 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 19 June 2015


Draft HRD Bill tests IIMs’ autonomy

A new Bill framed by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry has brought in worries over autonomy of the Indian Institute of Management. Some IIMs have expressed concern over some of the provisions of the Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2015.

  • Some experts have said that Government should oversee educational institutions from a distance and the proposed IIM Bill 2015 must not be used as a tool for micro-management of Indian Institutes of Management in the country.

Details of the Bill:

  • The Bill proposes to grant statutory status to thirteen existing IIMs, including the IIM-A to enable them to grant degrees to their students in the academic courses conducted by these institutes. Till now, these Institutions could award only certificate, Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management Certificate, which lacked universal acceptability in the field of academia and research.
  • The Bill also has a provision under which government will form a coordination body. This may lead to the centralization of power.
  • The draft Bill seeks to do away with the special emphasis on the IIMs by seeking to declare certain institutes of management to be institutions of national importance to empower them to attain standards of global excellence in management, management research and allied areas of knowledge and to provide for certain other matters connected with such institutions or incidental thereto.
  • Also, the proposed Bill takes away the powers of the institutes to determine fees by making it subject to prior approval of the government.
  • The Bill states that in discharge of its functions, the IIM Board will be accountable to the government.

Sources: The Hindu, ET.

River board notifies Krishna water allocation

The Krishna River Water Management Board recently notified water allocation in the Krishna between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which will get 512 tmcft and 299 tmcft respectively, out of the total assured water of 811 tmcft in the river for both States.

  • This decision was taken at the recently held board meeting under the aegis of Union Water Resources Ministry.
  • It was also decided that the share of water of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana at Nagarjunasagar project will be 164 tmcft and 100 tmcft respectively.
  • A working group comprising the Chief Engineers of irrigation of both States will be constituted to monitor water releases from different projects on a regular basis.
  • The allocation of water from Krishna had been the bone of contention between the two States last year and there were apprehensions that the situation would be no different this year in view of the deficit monsoon forecast by India Meteorological Department.
  • In addition to the irrigation requirements, the two projects Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam are major a source of power generation for Telangana.

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT):

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to adjudicate upon the water dispute regarding the Inter-State river Krishna and the river valley thereof.

  • The tribunal gave its award in 1973. While the Tribunal had in its earlier report detailed two schemes, Scheme A and Scheme B, the final award only included Scheme A and Scheme B was left out. Scheme A pertained to the division of the available waters based on 75% dependability, while Scheme B recommended ways to share the surplus waters.
  • The KWDT in its award outlined the exact share of each state. The award contended based on 75% dependability that the total quantum of water available for distribution was 2060TMC. This was divided between the three states in the following manner.
Maharashtra560 TMC
Karnataka700 TMC
Andhra Pradesh800 TMC

Review of the Award:

  • The tribunal in its first award provided for a review of its award after 31 May 2000. However no such review was taken up for more than 3 years after that.
  • In April 2004, the second KWDT, was constituted by the Government of India following requests by all three states.
  • The second Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal gave its draft verdict on 31 December 2010. The allocation of available water was done according to 65% dependability, considering the records of flow of water for past 47 years. According to KWDT II, Andhra Pradesh got 1001 TMC of water, Karnataka 907 TMC and Maharashtra 666 TMC. Next review of water allocations will be after the year 2050.

The Krishna River is the second biggest river in peninsular India. It originates near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra from the statue of a cow in a temple. It then runs for a distance of 303 km in Maharashtra, 480 km through the breadth of North Karnataka and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal. The river basin is 257,000 km², and the States of Maharastra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh contributes 68,800 km² (26.8%), 112,600 sq.k.m. (43.8%) and 75,600 km² (29.4%) respectively.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

UGC recognition to KSOU courses goes

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has withdrawn its recognition to academic programmes run by the Mysuru-based Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) under the Open Distance Learning (ODL) mode. The courses offered beyond 2012-13 stands derecognised.


The KSOU, in collaboration with private institutions across the country and abroad, had been offering programmes through distance learning, blatantly flouting the norms of the UGC and the erstwhile Distance Education Council of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. Taking note of this, recognition has been discontinued.

About University Grants Commission (UGC):

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is a statutory body set up in 1956, and is charged with coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of higher education.
  • It provides recognition to universities in India, and disburses funds to such recognized universities and colleges.
  • Previously, UGC was formed in 1946 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banaras and, Delhi. In 1947, the Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with all the then existing Universities.
  • After independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of S. Radhakrishnan and it recommended that the UGC be reconstituted on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom.
  • The UGC was however, formally established in November 1956, by an Act of Parliament as a statutory body of the Government of India.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Strive to lift ban on ‘Dhirio’ in Goa: MLA

Goans recently asked the Union government to have a relook at ‘Dhirio’, famous in Goa, which was banned for infliction of pain and suffering on bulls.

About Dhirio:

Dhirio is a Bull fight that takes place between two bulls. Bull fight is known as ‘Dhirio’ in Konkani and is a simple game in which the bulls fight one another.

  • The bulls are bred and trained to fight and the game attracts huge crowds. It usually takes place in an open area with a bamboo fence created outside the village.
  • Goan bull fighting involves huge betting of money done by the owner on their bulls. The people in the crowd back their favourites and a lot of money is made or lost in one game. The game involves a lot of excitement and sometimes one can witness some frantic sprinting and even bloodshed at times.
  • Bullfighting was banned in Goa in 1998. However some illegal bull fight games still take place at some parts in Goa and people are informed about it in about 30 minutes.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Tamil Nadu artists for Salzburg Festival

The prestigious Salzburg Festival of music and drama will begin in Austria on July 25 to the strains of nadaswaram. In a first, three artists from Tamil Nadu have been invited for the festival.

About Salzburg festival:

The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer within the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Since its inception, it has been famed for the supreme quality of it musical output, the commitment of the international performers and the harmonious combination of tradition and modernity. Every year more than 200 events are held during July and August, and these are attended by a total of over 250,000 guests.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Valleys, gaps, climate change affect songbirds’ speciation

A new study by National Centre for Biological Sciences on high elevation songbirds of Western Ghats, has found that deep valleys have greater impact on speciation than shallow ones in this mountain chain. The study was conducted to investigate genetic variation of all 23 species of songbirds that inhabit the Shola forests of the sky islands of Western Ghats.

Details of the study:

  • The study found that not all species are affected by the gaps. Out of the 23 species studied, 10 showed genetic divergences across the deepest, widest valley, the Palghat gap, while three others diverged across the Shenkotta gap. Only one species diverged across the shallowest valley, the Chaliyar River valley.
  • While the Western Ghats were formed some 50 million years ago, the arrival of songbirds in the Western Ghats is only dated earliest to 34 million years ago.
  • Simulated studies suggested the species diverged at different times. It was also observed that it was not only the valleys and gaps in the mountain, but also the climate that affect to play an important role in these bird divergences.

songbird western ghats

About Songbird:

  • A songbird is a bird belonging to the clade Passeri of the perching birds (Passeriformes).
  • This group contains some 4,000 species found all over the world, in which the vocal organ typically is developed in such a way as to produce a diverse and elaborate bird song.
  • Songbirds form one of the two major lineages of extant perching birds, the other being the Tyranni which are most diverse in the Neotropics and absent from many parts of the world.
  • Songbirds are alike in having the vocal organ highly developed, though not all use it to melodious effect.
  • China in 1997 banned these hunting of the species, known there as the “rice bird“.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Metro corridor closes in on heritage structures in Kolkata

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has expressed its concern over the proposed route of the much-awaited East-West Metro corridor in Kolkata — a metro station is proposed to be built very near the Currency Building, a 182-year-old protected monument.

  • Since the metro station will be built in the prohibited area of the Currency Building, it requires sanction from the National Monuments Authority.
  • Concerns are being raised because the construction of the station as well as the vibrations from the running of trains will adversely affect the building.
  • A study of the detailed project report (DPR) of the metro project points out that the left side of Mahakaran station is 31-35 metres from the Currency Building. As per existing rules, construction and mining operations are prohibited within 100 metres of protected monuments.


About the currency building:

  • Built in the year 1833 with Italian style this beautiful building was originally known as Agra Bank and Office of issue and Exchange of Government Currency later on.
  • Once it was housed as the Reserve Bank of India till 1937.
  • It was built when the Lord William Bentinck was the Governor General of the British India. In 1998, it was declared a heritage building and a monument of national importance.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Battle of Waterloo

European royals and diplomats recently gathered in Belgium to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a turning point for the continent which still touches a nerve and stirs national passions.


About the Battle of Waterloo:

  • The battle was a pivotal moment in European history, when around 93,000 French troops led by Napoleon faced off against 125,000 British, German and Belgian-Dutch forces commanded by the Duke of Wellington and Field Marshal Bluecher.
  • In the battle, the French army was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising Anglo-allied army and Prussian army.
  • Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, where he died in 1821. The victors redrew the map of Europe and the continent enjoyed almost a century of relative peace until the carnage of World War I tore it apart again.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

Insights Secure Prelims 2015

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