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Insights Daily Current Events, 09 December 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 09 December 2015


Paper 3 Topic: indigenization of technology.

Country’s flagship HAL turns 75

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is all set to celebrate its 75th anniversary this month.

About HAL:

  • Started as Hindustan Aircraft Company by visionary industrialist Walchand Hirachand Doshi, HAL was acquired by the British in 1942 and consolidated in 1964 under the present name. HAL is now part of the Ministry of Defence.
  • It is ranked 34 among the world’s aerospace and is among the top four in Asia by turnover. It is also India’s sole maker of military aircraft.
  • HAL’s production portfolio includes Sukhoi-30, Mirage 2000 fighters; the DRDO-ADA’s Light Combat Aircraft that is in the final configuration; trainer aircraft including the British-make Hawks; transport aircraft for the Forces; and military helicopters.
  • Currently, HAL is pursuing high-end research to create the country’s future aircraft and aeroengine technologies.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: river water disputes.

Mullaperiyar safety: Kerala to move Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu

As heavy rain brought the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam closer to the permissible limit of 142 feet, the Kerala government has told the Assembly that it was preparing to move the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu for the failure to comply with dam safety regulations.

  • The government is all set to file a petition in the Supreme Court pointing out that the dam supervisory committee had opened the spillway shutters to release excess water into the Periyar river without observing the operational schedule mandating 12-hour prior notice to Kerala.
  • A torrential downpour like the one experienced by Chennai recently could pose a danger to the 120-year-old dam.

Mullaperiyar Dam- Quick facts:

  • It is a masonry gravity dam on the Periyar River in Kerala.
  • It is located 881 m (2,890 ft) above mean sea level, on the Cardamom Hills of the Western Ghats in Thekkady, Idukki District of Kerala.
  • It was constructed between 1887 and 1895 by John Pennycuick to divert water eastwards to the Madras Presidency area (present-day Tamil Nadu).
  • The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is located around the dam’s reservoir.
  • The dam is located in Kerala on the river Periyar, but is operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu state.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.


Paper 2 Topic: River disputes; Quasi judicial bodies.

No change in State share of Krishna water, SC told

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that the assigned Krishna Water Tribunal will decide Telangana’s share of the river water, and this will be done without disturbing the allocation made to neighbouring States of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

  • The Centre has already referred to the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal-II the issue of allocation of Krishna water to Telangana post bifurcation in a notification dated May 15, 2014 and subsequently in a letter dated July 23, 2014.
  • The tribunal will decide the respective shares of the successor State of Telangana and the residual State of Andhra Pradesh.

What is the issue now?

  • Telangana had filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court, contending that its interests were not represented before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal – II.
  • It has sought total re-consideration of the Tribunal’s final award in December 2010 as it concerned only Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Telangana says it has no other forum to address its grievance for a fresh allocation of the water on the basis of its identity as a separate State. Telangana is restricted by the terms of reference of Section 89 of the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act of 2014, which considers only the prospect of carving out its share of the water from Andhra Pradesh’s share.
  • It is said that Telangana, which came into existence only on June 2 this year, did not get an opportunity to raise its “independent grievances”.

In August this year, the Supreme Court had prima facie recognised Telangana’s status as an “affected” State with a voice of its own.

What are the demands of Telangana now?

It wants the court to set aside previous dispute proceedings and orders of past tribunals in the light of the bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh.

What other states say?

Opposing Telangana’s demands, the States of Maharashtra and Karnataka say that the interests of Telangana were represented by the undivided Andhra Pradesh, and there cannot be any new proceedings for fresh allocation of the water.

Present allocation:

As per the final award passed on December 2010, Andhra Pradesh is entitled to get 1,001 tmcft of water, Karnataka will get 907 tmcft and Maharashtra’s share is 666 tmcft. This award is binding till 2050.

sources: the hindu, wiki.


Paper 3 Topic: conservation.

India adds 112 sq. km. to mangrove cover

According to the latest report of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), India has recorded a net increase of 112 sq. km. of mangroves forest.

  • The earlier FSI report in 2013 had recorded a net decrease of 34 sq. km. of mangrove forest.

Key facts:

  • According to the latest report, the overall mangrove cover in the country stands at 4,740 sq. km., which is 0.14 sq. km. of India’s overall geographical area.
  • There are only 12 States and Union Territories along the country’s coastline that can boast of mangroves.
  • West Bengal, which has a total mangrove cover of 2,106 sq. km., accounts for 44.5%, the highest in the country. It is followed by Gujarat with about 1,107 sq. km. Andaman and Nicobar islands also has a considerable mangrove forest cover with 617 sq. km. of it.
  • West Bengal, which can considerably increase its mangrove cover, has only been able to augment it by 9 sq. km. The highest increase in the mangrove cover as per the FSI 2015 is from Maharashtra, which has added 36 sq. km.
  • As per the report, the very dense mangrove forest in the country comprises 1,472 sq. km. (31.05%), moderately dense mangrove spans 1,391 sq. km (29.75%) and open mangroves constitute 1,877 sq. km. (39.60%).

Mangroves are crucial to the survival of the coastal ecosystem, which is very vulnerable to climate change.

sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Country’s first anti-piracy police unit

Telangana has set up the country’s first anti-piracy unit – the Telangana Intellectual Property Crime Unit (TIPCU).

  • Its main task will be to monitor online piracy and recommend blocking of websites. It will also prosecute the pirates and choke their revenue sources.
  • The taskforce is expected to start work in the next few months. It will have representatives from cyber crime police, state IT ministry, internet service providers, the Telugu film industry, legal experts and financial experts.

It’s significance:

  • Modelled on London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), the initiative is critical for the Telugu film market, which is the second-largest in South India after the Tamil film industry.
  • Film piracy is a $1-billion market in India and the formation of TIPCU will have larger implications. Most of the piracy market has shifted online thanks to the growing penetration of smartphones.
  • Every year, 1,500-2,000 films are produced in India, losing up to 30% of their business to piracy.
  • The government also loses a sizable chunk of tax revenue to piracy.

While it is not clear how TIPCU will be funded, PIPCU in UK is an independent unit of London Police. It is dedicated to protecting industries that “produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime”.

sources: bs.