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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 May 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
IWAI holds Road Show in Guwahati
The Inland Waterways Authority of India recently organized a road show in association with the Ministry Of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in Guwahati to brainstorm on the major issues linked with developing the rivers of the North East as viable and sustainable means for cargo and passenger transportation.
Proposed NE waterways:
Of the 106 new National Waterways that were notified in April 2016 under the National Waterways Act, 2016, 19 are in the North East. These include NW- 16 (river Barak), NW- 95 (river Subansiri), NW- 39 (river Ganol), NW- 93 (river Simsang), NW- 101 (river Tizu and Zungki), NW- 31 (Dhansiri), NW- 62 (river Lohit), NW- 106 (river Umngot), NW- 18 (river Beki), amongothers.
The Government of India is making constant endeavours to promote waterways as a more cost effective, economically viable and environment friendly mode of transport in the country. In this context, a lot of work has already been carried out to develop IWT in the North East Region.
Know about IWAI:
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India. Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP. It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration.
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
International Day of UN Peacekeepers
May 29th is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. The International Day of Peacekeepers serves to honor the memory of UN Peacekeepers who have lost their lives, and pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
The theme for the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World”.
What you need to know about UN Peacekeeping?
United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948. Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
- UN Peacekeeping maintains three basic principles: Consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of Force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
- The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DKPO).
- There are currently 17 UN peace operations deployed on four continents.
- UN Peacekeepers are from diverse backgrounds, from areas all around the world. They include police, military and civilian personnel. They are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets.
- The UN Peacekeeping Force won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
- The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
North Eastern Council
Plenary of the North Eastern Council was recently held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra Singh.
Know about North Eastern Council:
In 1971, the Indian Central government set up the North Eastern Council by an Act of Parliament. The eight States of North East India viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, are members of the council, with their respective Chief Ministers and Governors representing them. Sikkim was added to the council in the year 2002.
- The headquarters of the council is situated in Shillong and functions under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region of the (Government of India).
- The Council is an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which the North Eastern States have a common interest and advise the Central Government as to the action to be taken on any such matter. This was done so as to take care of the economic and social planning of these states, as well as to provide mediation in the event of inter-State disputes.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
SEBI targets participatory note norms
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to further tighten norms for issuance of offshore derivative instruments (ODIs) and participatory notes (PNs) as part of its overall effort to reduce the exposure investors take via such instruments in the Indian equity market.
- SEBI has proposed levying a regulatory fee of $1,000 on every foreign portfolio investor (FPI) that issues ODIs or PNs. SEBI-registered FPIs will have to pay this fee once every three years for each of their ODI subscribers.
- The regulator has also proposed to prohibit ODIs from being issued against derivatives for speculative purposes. Currently, ODIs are issued against derivatives along with equity and debt.
What you need to know about P notes?
Participatory notes are the financial instruments through which individual foreign investors or hedge funds who do not want to disclose their identity can invest in Indian markets.
Registered foreign institutional investors (FIIs), foreign banks and brokerages based in India issue P-notes to foreign investors and invest in Indian stocks on their behalf. Any dividends or capital gains collected from the underlying securities go back to the investors.
What are govt & regulator’s concerns?
The primary reason why P-Notes are worrying is because of the anonymous nature of the instrument as these investors could be beyond the reach of Indian regulators. Further, there is a view that it is being used in money laundering with wealthy Indians, like the promoters of companies, using it to bring back unaccounted funds and to manipulate their stock prices.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
More Akash systems for Army
The Defence Ministry has decided to cancel the Army’s global contest for Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SR-SAM) systems and instead procure two additional regiments of the indigenously developed Akash missile systems.
- The decision was taken at a recently held meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.
Know about Akash Missile:
The Akash missile is India’s first indigenously designed, developed and produced air defence surface-to-air missile system.
- Akash is a supersonic short range surface-to-air missile capable of neutralising aerial threats.
- The asset of this missile system is its capability to neutralise multiple aerial targets coming from different directions at the same time.
- The maximum range of this missile is 25 kilometres and can neutralise targets at a maximum altitude of 20 kilometres. It is meant for neutralising medium range air targets flying at low or medium height.
- An Akash missile regiment has six launchers with three missiles each. This defence system consists of surveillance and tracking radars, control centres and ground support systems. This all weather missile system can work from both static and mobile platforms.
- Akash has been indigenously built. It is a result of 96% indigenisation, with the design being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and built by Bharat Dynamics Limited along with the involvement of Bharat Electronics Limited.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
ATR of DRDO:
- The Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley recently inaugurated the newly built Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chitradurga in Karnataka.
- It is aimed at creating conditions for research, which will in turn develop the type of human resource in the country required in the field of aeronautical testing. The range will cater to the needs of DRDO for testing of indigenously developed aeronautical systems.
- The ATR is the first of its kind range in the country exclusively meant to conduct flight-tests of indigenous unmanned and manned aircrafts, developed by the DRDO.
- This outdoor testing and evaluating facility has been set up by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), one of the premier laboratories of the DRDO.
- Cyclone Mora has formed in the east-central part of Bay of Bengal and it is expected to move towards the north-east part of India. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, it is expected to intensify into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ over the next 24 hours. According to the IMD, wind speeds will be in the range of 100-150 kilometres per hour.
- According to an Accuweather report, the coastal region of Bangladesh is prone to storm surges and that the topography along with high population density has earlier resulted in eight out of the top ten ‘deadliest’ cyclones to originate in the Bay of Bengal.