Insights Daily Current Affairs, 10 February 2017
Paper 1 Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
ISRO, lifeguard agency collaborate to study killer tides
The phenomenon of ‘killer rip tides’ is being studied by ISRO in collaboration with a private lifeguard agency appointed by the Goa government to safeguard its beaches.
- The study Ripex 2017 is being conducted by a team of scientists at Space Applications Centre, ISRO Ahmedabad, along with Drishti Lifesaving, a private agency appointed by the state tourism ministry to maintain a lifeguard force.
What are Rip tides?
A rip tide is a strong sea current which pulls the water away from the shore, often catching unawares swimmers and people enjoying the sea in the shallows and can drag them into the sea.
Rip currents are one of the most common problem-causing currents witnessed along Goa’s coast. Rip tides are one of the most common causes for drowning in the shallow waters off Goa’s popular coastline.
Paper 3 Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Rs 2,845 cr released under AIBP for irrigation projects: Government
In its recent clarification, the government has said that it has so far released central assistance worth over Rs 2,845 crore for various Extension, Renovation and Modernisation (ERM) irrigation projects under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP).
Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme:
The Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) was launched during 1996- 1997 to give loan assistance to the States to help them complete some of the incomplete major/medium irrigation projects which were at an advanced stage of completion and to create additional irrigation potential in the country.
- Grant component has been introduced in the programme from April 2004 like other Central Sector Schemes.
- As per the existing AIBP criteria effective from December 2006, grant amounting to 25% of the project cost for major and medium irrigation projects in non-special category States and 90% grant of the project cost for major/medium/minor irrigation projects in special category States are provided to the selected projects.
- The minor irrigation schemes in non-special category States falling in drought prone/tribal areas are treated at par with special category States and are provided 90% grant of the project cost.
- Major and medium projects providing irrigation benefits to drought prone/tribal area and flood prone area are also eligible for 90% grant of the project cost.
Paper 2 Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
India hands over to the UK extradition request for Vijay Mallya
India has handed over to the UK an extradition request for absconding businessman Vijay Mallya who is facing cases of loan default and other financial irregularities.
Last month, a CBI court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mallya in the Rs 720-crore IDBI Bank loan default case. Mallya, whose now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks, had left India on March 2, 2016.
What is extradition?
Extradition refers to the surrender of a criminal to one country by another. The process of extradition is regulated by treaties between the two countries. Extradition is important because it helps to maintain the sanctity of the penal code of one country or territory. The penal code says that it shouldn’t apply its criminal law to a person who committed an offence outside its territories except when the crime is related to the country’s national interest.
What are the internationally accepted conditions for extradition?
- The crime done by the accused should fall in the category of dual criminality. This means that it should be a punishable offence according to the laws of both countries – the one where the accused has taken refuge, and the one that seeks extradition.
- Persons charged for political reasons are generally not extradited.
- There are countries where capital punishment is banned. If a fugitive has taken refuge in such a country, and if the establishment of that country thinks that, if extradited, the accused might get capital punishment, the country most likely refuses to extradite.
Extradition laws in India:
- In India, the Extradition Act, 1962, regulates the surrender of a person to another country or the request for arrest of a person in a foreign land. According to the act, any conduct by a person in India or elsewhere mentioned in a list of extradition offences punishable with a minimum one year of imprisonment qualifies for an extradition request.
- The process of extradition is to be initiated by the central government. Currently, India has extradition treaties with 38 countries.
- If there is no treaty with the country from which the fugitive is to be extradited, then there aren’t any defined guidelines for the law to be applied and procedure to be followed. In such a scenario, a lot depends on the cooperation and coordination between different authorities of the two countries. Another option is to resort to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty wherein both countries agree to exchange information in order to enforce criminal laws.
- If the extradition request comes from two or more countries, then the government has the right to take the call to decide which country is fittest for the request. Since 2002, India has extradited 44 fugitive criminals to various countries. On the contrary, India has got 61 criminals extradited to itself from different countries since 2002.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
SEBI to form panel to facilitate crowdfunding
The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is forming an advisory committee on financial technology or fintech-related issues, which would look at safeguards that can be put in place to facilitate crowdfunding of ‘genuine’ ventures and mobilise more household savings into the financial markets.
- The committee will help to address the issues and mobilise domestic savings, which will spur growth of the economy.
- It will help mobilise savings through technology solutions.
- The committee will examine the best way forward to facilitate crowdfunding of genuine ventures.
There is a huge potential for channelising household savings into capital markets for growth of the country. According to experts, with the economy doing well and a well-regulated market, the current numbers for household savings invested in capital markets are unacceptable.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Centre makes Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving subsidised foodgrains from PDS shops
In a significant step to reform the Public Distribution System (PDS), the government has made Aadhar card mandatory for receiving subsidised foodgrains from all PDS shops under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
- The government has allotted time till June 30 for those not having Aadhar card to get it for availing subsidised foodgrain under the Food Law.
An Aadhaar card is a unique number issued to every citizen in India and is a centralised and universal identification number. The Aadhar card is a biometric card that stores an individual’s personal details in a government database, and is fast becoming the government’s base for public welfare and citizen services.
- The government uses the Aadhar network in order to ensure that individuals who require assistance and benefits gain access to these resources directly, eliminating the need for middlemen.
- As part of this process, it is gradually linking all essential government services and benefits schemes to the Aadhaar network, creating a centralised database through which it can distribute and keep track of the various schemes and programmes it runs along with the beneficiaries. In this manner, it can also identify those who are receiving benefits but are not eligible for them and take corrective action.
NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people. It extends to the whole of India. The cost of the implementation is estimated to be $22 billion(1.25 lac crore), approximately 1.5% of GDP.
Under the provisions of this act, beneficiaries are able to purchase 5 kilograms per eligible person per month of cereals at the following prices:
- Rice at 3 Rupees per kg.
- Wheat at 2 Rupees per kg.
- Coarse grains (millet) at 1 rupee per kg.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims
- The international naval exercise “AMAN-17” is being held in Karachi, Pakistan. More than 35 countries are participating in the event.
- The multinational exercise, themed “together for peace,” has been planned by the Pakistan Navy.
- AMAN 17 exercise will feature harbor and sea phases where participants will witness a variety of activities including Search & Rescue (SAR) Operations, gunnery drills, anti-piracy demonstrations, replenishment at Sea (RAS) and maritime counter-terrorism demonstrations.
- It involves ships, aircraft, helicopters, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD), marine teams and observers from regional as well extra-regional navies.
- This exercise provides a platform for the navies involved – some of which do not work together very often – to hone their skills and build cooperation and friendship to promote peace and stability.
Archaeologists Discover First New Dead Sea Scrolls Cave in 60 Years:
- Archaeologists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a new “Dead Sea Scroll cave,” the first such discovery in more than 60 years.
- The cave—located in cliffs near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea—is now thought to be the 12th of its kind.
- Researchers found a long list of items including smashed jars and a leather strap for binding and cloth for wrapping the scrolls, but they did not actually find an actual scroll.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of ancient manuscripts thought to be among the oldest known surviving Judeo-Chrisitian texts.