Insights Daily Current Affairs, 01 July 2017
Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Innovate in India (i3)
In a bid to create a globally competitive biopharmaceutical industry that addresses the country’s major concerns around barriers to affordable healthcare, innovate in India (i3) program has been launched.
What you need to know about innovate in India (i3)?
It is a 250 million USD program of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Ministry of Science & Technology in collaboration with World Bank. It will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Enterprise, set up by DBT.
It is a first- of-its-kind mission that brings together industry and academia to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharmaceutical sector.
What is it for?
This Mission aspires to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector. The programme will specifically focus on the development of new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices to better address the rising burden of diseases in the country.
It will also bring isolated Centres of excellence together, enhance regional capabilities and strengthen the current bio-clusters network in terms of capacities as well as quantity and quality of output.
Significance of this program:
- This endeavor will help nurture next- generation technical skills; promote entrepreneurship; and support institutions in adoption of global innovations, technologies, and licensing models.
- It will provide young entrepreneurs the confidence as well as the systemic support to pursue their aspirations in biotechnological innovation, and transform India into a global hub for cutting-edge biotechnology research and development.
Paper 3 Topic: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Mizoram celebrates 31st anniversary of Mizo peace accord
The 31st anniversary of the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord between the Union government and the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF) was celebrated on 30th June in Mizoram.
- The Mizo Accord was signed on June 30, 1986 ushering in an era of peace after 20 years of violence and disturbance in the state.
What you need to know about Mizo peace accord?
Under the Accord, the government agreed to grant full statehood to Mizoram, along with its own High Court. A university was proposed. The Accord promised constitutional protection for Mizo religious and social customs, and laws of the Mizo people. Mizo was notified as an official Indian language. The MNF agreed to break all contact with other insurgent groups in the Northeast.
- The signatories were Laldenga, leader of the movement, R. D. Pradhan, Home Secretary, and Lalkhama, Chief secretary.
Sources: the hindu.
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.
A new ransomware going by the name Petya has had a major impact on the operations in India. Cyber security experts claim India’s critical infrastructure remains vulnerable to such attack even as the country’s largest container port – Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) – has been affected, prompting authorities to contain the disruption in emergency mode.
What is Petya?
Petya relies on the same NSA-leaked EternalBlue exploit that was used by WannaCry, but that’s only one of its strategies to burrow itself across computers.
- Petya infects computers and locks down their hard drives. It demands a ransom of $300 (Rs 19,000) in Bitcoins. The email associated with the ransomware has been blocked, so even if victims pay, they won’t get their files back.
- Once it infects a computer, Petya waits for 10-60 minutes, and then reboots the computer. It then encrypts the master file table and then overwrites the master boot record with a custom loader. It places a ransom note to explain what users must do to regain control.
How is Petya different from Wannacry?
Unlike Wannacry, Petya does not encrypt individual files, but overwrites the master boot record and encrypts the master file table, thus rendering the system inoperable until the ransom has been paid.
What is ransomware?
A piece of malicious software which takes control of your system and files. Upon taking over, it applies encryption on those files and asks for money for a key that can restore the files. The ransomware often scrambles file names and changes their extension.
Sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
India gives $100,000 to UN Tax Fund
India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to help developing countries actively participate in the discussion of tax issues, becoming the first country to make the contribution.
What you need to know about the UN Tax Fund?
The UN Tax Trust Fund aims to support the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (the UN Tax Committee).
- Voluntary contributions for the fund have been called for by the UN and the committee since its establishment in 2006.
- The call for contributions was also emphasised in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda adopted at the third International Conference on Financing for Development in 2015.
- Through the fund, the UN expects that more developing countries will draw upon the best practice of other bodies, ensuring that global tax cooperation norms and rules will work more effectively and efficiently for all countries and all stakeholders.
What it does?
The UN Tax Committee, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC), has provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services.
The committee also provides a framework for dialogues with a view to enhance and promote international tax cooperation among national tax authorities, while making recommendations on capacity-building and the provision of technical assistance to developing counties and countries with economies in transition.
About Addis Agenda:
The Addis Agenda provides a global framework to ensure the effective mobilisation of resources at the national and international level for sustainable development. Implementation of the Addis Agenda supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the historic and transformational agenda that countries unanimously adopted in 2015.
Sources: the hindu.
Facts for Prelims:
- PM Modi recently inaugurated ‘Textiles India 2017’ In Gandhinagar. This is India’s first-ever mega trade event for the textiles sector, showcasing the nation as a global sourcing hub and investment destination for manufacturers world-wide.
- The three-day conference ‘Textiles India 2017’ will see participation from 2,500 international buyers.
- India’s first-ever mega trade event for the textiles sector tomorrow, showcasing the nation as a global sourcing hub and investment destination for manufacturers world-wide.
SIERRA ODC building in Coimbatore gets world’s second highest green rating:
- SIERRA ODC building has been recognised as the world’s second highest ranking Green Building, with a score of 103 out of 110 under LEED certification.
- The building uses 100% renewable energy. Sierra has also installed a 100% water recycling system. It uses the recycled water for watering the fauna that is set up in nearly 25% of the premises. This watering system too is controlled, restricting the flow according to the requirement.
- The Green Building Council Inc. (GBCI) has honoured Sierra with the platinum certificate.
UNESCO crowns Sharjah as World Book Capital:
- Sharjah has been crowned with the prestigious the World Book Capital for 2019 by UNESCO for the quality of its literary and cultural activities and for its efforts to make books accessible to the entire population of the nation.
- The emirate was selected because of its innovative and inclusive application, with a community-focused activity programme containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population.
- The accolade is an important addition to Sharjahs existing portfolio of milestones like, Capital of Arab Culture (1998), Capital of Islamic Culture (2014), and Capital of Arab Tourism (2015). The Sharjah is the first in the GCC and third in the Arab world and Middle East, to have received this recognition.
- Sharjah is the 19th city to become World Book Capital.
India’s First Blood Bank for Cattle to Come up in Odisha:
- Odisha is all set to become the first state in the country to have a blood bank for the cattle. The first of its kind blood bank would be established at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore.
- The project will have a 60:40 sharing between the Centre and the state government.
- The cattle farmers will provide blood voluntarily. The blood bank will also go and collect blood from centres. Blood transfusion facility for cattle blood will also be done at the proposed blood bank. This will prevent death of cattle during deliveries and other ailments, he said.
- The storage facility would come in handy for the veterinarians to save lives of the domesticated animals.
Times when the Parliament convened for a session at midnight:
The midnight session of Parliament to launch the goods and services tax (GST) marked a first in India’s history. While Parliament was convened for a midnight session several times in the past, all those occasions were celebratory in nature. It’s the first time that a session has been convened to mark the implementation of a government policy, the GST.
Midnight sessions in the past:
- August 14-15, 1947: The Constituent Assembly of India met in the Constitution Hall (now the Central Hall of Parliament) on the eve of the country’s Independence. It started at 11 p.m. and went on till after midnight.
- August 14-15, 1972: To celebrate the silver jubilee of India’s Independence.
- August 9, 1992: To mark 50th anniversary of Quit India Movement.
- August 14-15, 1997: To celebrate the golden jubilee of India’s Independence.