Insights Daily Current Affairs, 12 December 2017
GS Paper 1:
Topic: Role of women and women’s organization.
“Safe City Surveillance” scheme
Context: Bihar state government has approved a “Safe City Surveillance” scheme aimed at putting a check on eve-teasing and other crimes against women at public places across the state.
About the Scheme:
- The scheme will bring all major public places under the watch of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras and improve the overall crime control in the state.
- This scheme is especially being launched for checking crime against women, such as eve-teasing and molestation, harassment, snatching incidents and roadside scuffles etc. It will also help in keeping a track of miscreants.
- The scheme, which will be launched in a phase-wise manner, will commence from capital Patna.
- The Bihar home department will be the nodal agency for implementation of the safe-city surveillance scheme.
Sources: the hindu.
GS Paper 2:
Topic: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
SC agrees to examine plea to bar politicians from contesting from two seats
Context: The Supreme Court has agreed to adjudicate on whether politicians could be barred from contesting from more than one seat in an election and has sought assistance from the Attorney General (AG) to decide the issue.
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Section 33(7) of the Representation of the People Act of 1951 that allows a person to contest elections to Parliament and state assemblies from two constituencies and sought an end to the practice.
Section 33(7) of RPA:
Section 33(7) of the Representation of People’s Act permits a candidate to contest any election (Parliamentary, State Assembly, Biennial Council, or bye-elections) from up to two constituencies. The provision was introduced in 1996 prior to which there was no bar on the number of constituencies from which a candidate could contest.
Why candidates should be barred from contesting from more than one seat?
One person, one vote & one candidate, one constituency is the dictum of democracy. However, as per the law, as it stands today, a person can contest the election for the same office from two constituencies simultaneously. When a candidate contests from two seats, it is imperative that he has to vacate one of the two seats if he wins both. This, apart from the consequent unavoidable financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources for holding bye-election is also an injustice to the voters of the constituency which the candidate is quitting from.
Alternative suggested by the Election commission:
The ECI has alternatively suggested that if existing provisions are retained then the candidate contesting from two seats should bear the cost of the bye-election to the seat that the contestant decides to vacate in the event of his/her winning both seats. The amount in such an event could be Rs 5 lakh for assembly election and Rs 10 lakh for parliament election.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.
Laqshya| Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative
Context: The government has launched “LaQshya – Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative, a Safe Delivery Mobile Application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas.
What is it? LaQshya is mobile app for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral areas. The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.
Aim: It aims to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
Implementation: This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). The initiative also plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined.
Topic: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit (AICS)
Keeping with India’s initiative of connectivity with southeast Asia under its Act East Policy, New Delhi is hosting an Asean-India Connectivity Summit (AICS) on the theme “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century”.
Aim: The AICS aims to accelerate existing connectivity prospects, identify issues of concern, evolve suitable policy recommendations and develop strategies to enhance economic, industrial and trade relations between ASEAN and India.
Its focus areas are infrastructure, roadways, shipping, digital, finance, energy and aviation.
Participants: The AICS would be bringing together policymakers, senior officials from the government, investors, industry leaders, representatives of trade associations and entrepreneurs on the same platform.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. At present there are 10 members namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Sources: the hindu.
GS 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.
New form of matter ‘excitonium’
Researchers at the University of Illinois have announced an exciting finding — the discovery of a new form of matter: excitonium. The existence of this matter has been theorized for 50 years.
It is made up of excitons – unusual particles made up of an escaped electron and the hole it has left behind in a material. This quirky quantum-mechanical pairing is possible because, in semiconductors, electrons on the edge of one energy level in an atom are able, when excited, to jump into the next energy level, leaving behind a “hole” in the previous level. This hole acts like a positively charged particle, attracting the negatively charged electron that escaped.
Scientists used a novel technique called momentum-resolved electron energy-loss spectroscopy (M-EELS) for the study. With their new technique, the group was able to measure collective excitations of the low-energy bosonic particles, the paired electrons and holes.
Now that excitonium has been proven to exist and has been concretely observed in experimentation, its properties can be further explored and applied. Most obviously, as a superconductor and superfluid, this material could be used to further existing technologies.
Additionally, since analyzing quantum phenomena is what guides and shapes our understanding of quantum mechanics, this research could help to further de-mystify current quantum puzzles. These applications, especially those in practical technologies, are purely speculative at this point, however. It is impossible to exactly predict what the future might hold for excitonium, but we do know for certain that it has more potential now than it ever has before.
Sources: the hindu.
Topic: Basics of cyber security.
The Centre has unveiled the NIC-CERT centre that would monitor and help in early detection and mitigation of cyberattacks on government networks.
What is it?
It is a dedicated body to detect, prevent and mitigate the impact of cyber attacks on the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
NIC-CERT will work to ensure early detection and immediate mitigation of cyber attacks by monitoring data across the NIC platform, including communication between all the levels of government and between governments to citizens. NIC-CERT will operate in close coordination and collaboration with sectoral CERTs and more so with CERT-IN.
NIC, which comes under the IT ministry, has a key role in e-governance at the national, state and district levels. Almost all Indian-government websites are developed and managed by NIC.
About CERT- In:
CERT-In is the national nodal agency under the IT ministry, which deals with cyber security threats such as hacking and phishing. It is tasked with the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents and even taking emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents.
Facts for Prelims:
- Universal Health Coverage Day:
Universal Health Coverage Day was commemorated on 12th December, 2017.
Why this day?
It is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means everyone can access the quality health services they need without financial hardship. Universal health coverage has been included in the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
- India’s First Ever Mobile Food-Testing Lab:
Goa state government has launched the country’s first ever mobile food testing laboratory. It is entirely funded by the Centre, which will also bear the maintenance cost for five years.
What is it for?
The laboratory, mounted on a bus will travel across the state and check food samples on the spot. This would be the first ever ‘Food Safety on Wheel’ vehicle in the country. The laboratory will help in the on-the-spot testing of food items and curb adulteration. Besides this, it will also educate people about nutrition and importance of safe food.