Insights Daily Current Affairs, 23 October 2017
Topic: International Affairs
Japan PM Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc likely to win the election
According to TV exit polls, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party led coalition could likely be the winner in Sunday election bolstering Shinzo Abe’s chance of becoming the nation’s longest serving premier.
- “Abenomics” growth strategy centred on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue.
- On the background of North Korea’s nuclear threat, Nationalist Mr. Abe could propose changes to pacifist Japan’s U.S.-imposed Constitution, which forces it to renounce war and effectively limits it military to a role of self-defence.
Source: the hindu
Topic: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
Election Commission announces Assembly Poll Schedule to Himachal Pradesh, stalls announcement of Gujarat Poll Schedule.
PM slammed Opposition that it has no right for questioning the Election Commission’s motives in delaying the announcement of the Assembly poll schedule for the Gujarat State.
- Election Commission is bound by a 2001 Supreme Court judgement, which says there cannot be a gap of more than 3 weeks between the notification and the announcement of the election.
- The Relief and rehabilitation work in flood-hit Gujarat would get affected if polls were announced as model code of conduct would have come into immediate effect
Election Commission of India
Articles 324 – 329 mention the Election Commission of India and contain all the relevant provisions.
- The ECI Conducts Presidential, Vice Presidential, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assembly, and State Legislative Council elections.
- It also evaluates and verifies election applications.
- It also is responsible for administrative functions such as announcement preparation of electoral rolls.
- It prescribes Model Code of Conduct to prevent electoral malpractices.
- Any dispute relating to the conduct and management of elections have to placed before the Election Commission of India. However, any dispute with respect of LS, RS, and State Elections have to be placed before respective High Courts.
Source: the hindu
Topic: Important aspects of governance transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures
Why Exempt CBI from RTI, Asks Petition
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court for an early hearing of a petition challenging a 2011 government notification, which includes the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the list of “intelligence and security organisations” exempted from disclosing information to the public under section 24 of the Right to Information Act. CBI is only an investigating agency and not a security or intelligence organisation.
“Such an administrative decision has a profound impact on the citizens of India as it restricts their fundamental right to information. By this method the government could keep adding organisations to the Second Schedule, which do not meet the express criteria laid down in Section 24(2) of the RTI Act and ultimately render the RTI Act ineffective,” the application said.
Section 24 of the RTI act is titled ‘act not to apply to certain organizations’. it provides exception to obtaining information from intelligence and security organisations specified in the second schedule to the rti act or any information furnished by them to the government.
Source: the hindu
Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc
PM inaugurates Phase 1 of RO RO Ferry Service between Ghogha and Dahej
The Prime Minister, inaugurated Phase 1 of the RO RO (Roll on, Roll off) ferry service between Ghogha in Saurashtra, and Dahej in South Gujarat which shall reduce the travel time from eight hours to over an hour.
- At present passenger movement is enabled, vehicle movement is possible once the ferry service is fully operational.
- This ferry service is a first of sorts, will save a lot of time and fuel as many people commute between these two regions frequently.
- Government aims to develop coastal infrastructure, integrate transport sector and improve state-of- the art to augment steps towards blue economy
What is Blue Economy:
It is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health. It encompasses many activities
- Renewable Energy : Sustainable marine energy can play a vital role in social and economic development,
- Fisheries : More fisheries can generate more revenue, more fish and help restore fish stocks
- Maritime Transport
- Tourism : Ocean and coastal tourism can bring jobs and economic growth
- Waste Management: Better management of land based litter will help the ocean recover
- Climate Change: Oceans are an important carbon sink and can mitigate climate change
Topic : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
IIT teams use plant extract, heat to kill skin cancer cells
Two Teams from IIT Hyderabad and IIT Bombay are working on achieving promising results on skin cancer
- Nanoparticle formulation of a chlorophyll-rich biomolecular extract of an Indian medicinal plant Anthocephalus cadamba combined with a near-infrared dye has been found to selectively kill skin cancer cells.
- The plant extract is toxic to cancer cells as there is enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) while the dye aids in the destruction of cancer cells through photothermal therapy..
- On being irradiated with near-infrared light, the dye gets heated up and facilitates the release of the extract from polymer membrane. After 4-5 minutes of irradiation, about 80% of cancer cells were killed
Source: the hindu
Facts for Prelims:
- India won Asia Cup Hockey Championship 2017 held in Dhaka defeating Malaysia. Pakistan stood third in the game. This is the Third Asia Cup Hockey title won by India which had won the Asia Cup Hockey previously in 2003 (Kuala Lumpur) and 2007 (Chennai).
- Gaganjeet Bhullar won Macao Open golf trophy 2017 and bagged his eighth Asian Tour title.
- To highlight tribal way of agriculture in ‘Janjatiya Kisan Swaraj Yatra’ in south Rajasthan laid focus on sustainable farming through rain-fed agriculture and indigenous tribal practices
- 69 species of Butterflies were recorded in a study by the Zoological Survey of India in the Singur, a rural block in West Bengal’s Hooghly district. Five of the species found in Singur are rare and to be protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.