Insights Daily Current Affairs, 10 January 2016
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Revamped IDF gets more donations
The India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF) is set to transform the Indian landscape where people from the Indian diaspora can contribute for building infrastructure in the country.
- At the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, it received more donations than last year.
The IDF platform existed earlier too but contributions were never significant as there were many legal hurdles and lack of transparency. Taking these matters into account, the Centre has now made it a more dependable and transparent platform that can help build infrastructure anywhere in the country.
India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) is a not-for-profit Trust set-up by the Government of India to facilitate philanthropic contributions by Overseas Indians to social and development projects in India.
- Presently, IDF-OI is promoting flagship programmes of Government of India- Swachh Bharat Mission and National Mission for Clean Ganga; and projects identified by the State Govts, for funding by Overseas Indians.
- Working with State Governments in areas such as sanitation; education; drinking water; women’s empowerment et/c, IDF-OI is offering projects for funding by Overseas Indians. Overseas Indians can contribute as an individual, or a group of individuals or even through their respective Indian Associations.
- IDF-OI does not recover any administrative cost from contributions received from Overseas Indians.
Paper 3 Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
50% jump in smuggling of currency, reveals DRI
The recently-released data by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the Customs show a 50% jump in smuggling of Indian, foreign and counterfeit currency notes over the previous years. The figures are for the financial year 2014, 2015 and 2016 (up to March). The figures do not mirror the impact of demonetisation.
- Nearly ₹36.87 crore of foreign currency notes was seized in 2016, as opposed to ₹25.09 crore in 2015.
- The seizure of Indian notes was to the tune of ₹6.85 crore in 2016 as against ₹3.71 crore in 2015, while the seizure of counterfeit Indian notes rose to ₹2.72 crore in 2016 from ₹1.24 crore in the previous year.
- The data also reveals a 100% rise in smuggling of narcotics, electronic, fabrics, and aircraft parts.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was constituted on 4th December 1957, for dealing exclusively with the work relating to the collection and study of information on smuggling activities and the deployment of all anti-smuggling resources at the all India level, besides arranging training for the intelligence and Investigation officers of the Custom Houses and Central Excise Collectorates deployed on similar work.
- DRI is the major intelligence agency which eradicates smuggling of drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, counterfeit Indian currency, etc.
- It functions under the Central Board of Excise and Customs in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue.
- The Directorate is run by officers from Central Excise and Customs. Though its early days were committed to combating smuggling in of gold, it has now tuned itself to the changing nature of crimes in the field of narcotics and economic crimes.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Second Scorpene submarine ready
Khanderi, the second Scorpene submarine under Project-75 being built at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai is all set to be launched.
- Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century.
- The state-of-the-art features of this Scorpene class submarine include superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth features will give it an invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.
- The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force.
- It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine like anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.
- It is built according to the principle of modular construction, which involves dividing the submarine into a number of sections and outfitting them concurrently.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Scheme to skill Indian youth seeking jobs abroad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, has announced a scheme to skill Indian youth seeking jobs abroad- Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY).
- The Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is aimed at skilling Indians seeking employment abroad.
- The programme is also aimed at boosting the confidence of the Indian youth so that they don’t feel like strangers when they land in a country of their choice for vocation.
- PKVY will train and certify Indians, who are keen on overseas employment in select sectors, in line with international standards.
- It will be implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation through its training partners and in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Skill Development Ministry.
Paper 3 Topic: Disaster and disaster management.
India asked to employ proper resources for operations in conflict zones
A leading global think tank, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has recommended putting in place a formal doctrine or emergency plan and developing standard operating procedures to facilitate evacuation of expatriates from conflict zones.
In the report- ‘India’s Expatriate Evacuation Operations’, the think tank has made recommendations including training and preparing diplomatic corps and military personnel, and establishment of a permanent coordinating mechanism among various government departments at national and international level for a smooth evacuation of expats.
India has extensive experience in conducting evacuation operations. Successive Indian governments have conducted more than 30 evacuation operations across West Asia, Africa and Europe since 1990, including the largest ever civilian airlift of 110,000 people from Kuwait in 1990. About 20 million Indians travel abroad annually and another 11 million Indians reside overseas.
As India’s diaspora continues to grow, so will be challenges New Delhi faces in protecting this diverse and geographically diverse and geographically dispersed population. To overcome these issues, the Indian government will have to institutionalise best practices, bolster its diplomatic and military capabilities, and improve coordination.
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Promulgate ordinance for conduct of Jallikattu: Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam to PM Narendra Modi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider passing an ordinance to ensure that Jallikattu (bull taming) sport is held as a part of the Pongal festivities across Tamil Nadu this year.
- Jallikattu is considered an integral part of the Pongal festivities. Therefore, the CM has asked the centre to consider promulgating an Ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal, 2017.”
Questioning the need to tame a domestic animal like the bull, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea by Tamil Nadu to review a 2014 apex court judgment banning jallikattu in November 2016. The court had observed that the sport runs counter to the concept of welfare of the animal, which is the basic foundation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.
However, Tamil Nadu has been arguing that Jallikattu should be permitted as it showcases a cultural tradition that has been part of the custom and culture of people of the state for 5,000 years.
Jallikattu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day. It is a Tamil tradition called ‘Yeru thazhuvatha’ in Sangam literature(meaning, to embrace bulls), popular amongst warriors during the Tamil classical period.
- Jallikattu is based on the concept of “flight or fight”. All castes participate in the event. The majority of jallikattu bulls belong to the pulikulam breed of cattle.
Paper 2 Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
Telangana plea against Krishna tribunal award dismissed
The Supreme Court has dismissed a Telangana government petition against a decision of the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal-II to limit the re-allocation of the river water only to the two successor States of Andhra and Telangana, and not dabble with the share of water enjoyed by the other two riparian States — Maharashtra and Karnataka.
- The court has refused to intervene in the decision of the Water Dispute Tribunal-II to confine the question of re-allocation of river water, post bifurcation of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, to the two successor States of Telangana and Andhra and not all the four riparian States.
The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar had decided to confine the reallocation of Krishna water between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In its recent verdict delivered in October 2016, the KWDT-II decided to maintain status quo on the allocation made to upper riparian States Maharashtra and Karnataka and take up further action on distribution of water to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh out of the allocation made to the erstwhile united State.
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. 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.
- Maharashtra 560 TMC.
- Karnataka 700 TMC.
- Andhra Pradesh 800 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.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims
World’s Largest LED Street Lighting Programme to the Nation:
- Union Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal recently dedicated the LED based Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), currently running in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) area, to the Nation.
- It is the World’s Largest Street Light Replacement Programme, which is being implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.
- The SLNP programme is presently running in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Pakistan Successfully Test-Fires Submarine-Launched Babur-3 Missile:
- Pakistan has successfully test-fired its first Submarine-Launched Cruise Missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 450km. This has given Pakistan a “credible” second-strike capability.
- The missile, Babur-3, was fired from an underwater, mobile platform and hit its target with precise accuracy.
- Babur-3 is a sea-based variant of Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM) Babur-2, which was successfully tested earlier in December, last year.
- The Babur-3 SLCM incorporates state-of-the-art technologies including underwater controlled propulsion and advanced guidance and navigation features, duly augmented by Global Navigation, Terrain and Scene Matching Systems.
- The missile features terrain hugging and sea skimming flight capabilities to evade hostile radars and air defenses, in addition to certain stealth technologies, in an emerging regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.