Aadhaar and mobile phones to make air travel

An attempt to minimise paperwork for air travel, the government is looking to roll out a digital system for airport entry and boarding flights using a flier’s Aadhaar number and mobile phone. The proposal came in the name DIGI YATRA

Proposed digi yatra

  • The civil aviation ministry is looking to make “boarding pass and security check-in” digital.
  • The ministry is working on the initiative to ensure the whole air travel experience is completely digital.
  • Under the initiative, there will be no need for any paper and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents.
  • The government also decided to have a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers.
  • If passengers behave in an unruly or disruptive manner and endanger the safety in an aeroplane, then he will not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with.

Source : Live Mint

GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

India to seal pact with Eurasian Economic Union

India is set to formalise a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union for deepening trade relations with the five former Soviet republics.

Key Fact

  • The joint statement on the FTA is likely to be issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at St. Petersburg.
  • The Joint Feasibility Study Group had been accepted by both sides and the formal negotiations would begin by July.
  • The FTA is expected to open up with a trade potential of $37 to 62 billion.
  • Trade between India and the five Eurasian countries stands at about $11 billion.
  • Eurasian market could open up new export opportunities in medical tourism, IT and IT-enabled services, besides traditional sectors like spices, marine products, coir and rubber.

Eurasian Economic Union

  • Comprises of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.eurasian nation union
  • It came into force on 1 January 2015.
  • Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars (PPP).
  • Provisions for a single currency and greater integration are envisioned in future.
  • The EAEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common policies in macroeconomic sphere, transport, industry and agriculture, energy, foreign trade and investment, customs, technical regulation, competition and antitrust regulation.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Test and Treat Policy for HIV

Health Ministry launched the Test and Treat policy for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) patients.

Key Facts

  • New policy, anyone who is tested and found positive will get the necessary treatment free of cost.
  • If anyone found positive will be provided with ART (Anti- Retroviral Therapy) irrespective of his CD count.
  • Scheme will be a centrally sponsored scheme and all men, women, adolescents and children who have been diagnosed positively can benefit under this new policy.
  • Also announced that India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years and these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS.
  • The 90:90:90 strategy that the Ministry has adopted will help to identify 90% of those infected, place 90% of these on treatment and ensure 90% have their virus under control.
  • This strategy will offer an opportunity to for ending AIDS by 2030 as a part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
  • India have nearly 1600 ART and Link ART sites where treatment is provided across the country and recently we crossed the 1 million people on ART.
  • India is the second country in world to have such large numbers on free lifelong treatment.

Source : Pib

GS II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Money laundering : Proposal for making a criminal offence

Union government is considering a proposal to make money laundering a separate criminal offence. It will be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, irrespective of a probe by other agencies.

How it help ?

  • This will facilitate quick action against those indulging in money laundering.
  • Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also been of the view that money laundering investigations by the Enforcement Directorate should be allowed without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Current Practice

  • Money laundering cases depends on that of the probe and prosecutions in predicate offences pursued by primary agencies.
  • Registration of cases by other police agencies under the legal provisions listed in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is needed.

Investigation in other countries

  • Money laundering in itself has been defined as a criminal offence in several countries.
  • There are separate legislation for dealing with funds generated through activities like drug trafficking or terror financing.
  • The United States has very stringent laws to check money laundering.
  • In United Kingdom police have to prove predicate offence through circumstantial evidence, linking it to the funds generated and laundered.

  • U.K. agencies are not required to wait for the outcome of investigations into the predicate offence.

Need for nation

Certain restrictions on money laundering investigations on several occasions cause impediments in taking the cases to their logical conclusion. It will allow investigation agency without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Money-laundering and its prevention

 

India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements

India and Cyprus signed four agreements, including on air services and merchant shipping.

Key Facts

  • The two sides signed an executive programme on culture, education and scientific cooperation for the years 2017 to 2020.
  • Both sides signed a work plan under a programme of cooperation in agriculture for the period 2017-2018.
  • Another agreement was signed on cooperation in the area of merchant shipping.
  • A fourth agreement was signed to boost air services between the two countries.
  • Cyprus, the eighth largest foreign investor in India, has cumulative foreign direct investment of about $9 billion.
  • The investment in the areas of financial leasing, stock exchange, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Bhutan backs out of motor vehicle pact

India’s plan for a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement faced a setback as the Bhutan government. It asked the other members of the ‘BBIN’ grouping to continue to operationalise it without Bhutan.

Key Facts

  • Bhutan government announced that it is not ready to go ahead with the process at present.
  • Bhutan decided to give its consent for the entry into force of the agreement among the 3 member-states without any obligation to Bhutan.
  • The agreement will enter into force for Bhutan after its ratification process is completed.

Why Bhutan withdraws ?

  • Decision to step out of the BBIN process comes on the back of severe domestic opposition to the motor vehicles agreement,
  • Primarily on fears of vehicular pollution and environmental degradation if trucks from neighbouring countries are given access to Bhutan,
  • Bhutan is a country that prides itself on its “carbon neutrality” and preserving the environment.

About BBIN

  • The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative is a sub regional architecture of countries in South Asia.
  • BBIN agreement aims to promote safe, environmentally sound and economical efficient road transport in the sub-region of BBIN.
  • The agreement will permit the member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles.
  • It also seeks to help each member country to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
  • BBIN agreement will benefit member nations for mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Women force for Jammu and Kashmir

Background

Young girls, teens have become the new face of protests in Kashmir, adding a new dimension to the violence and brutal retaliation government forces. The students were protesting against the assault of students of Government Degree College Pulwama by security forces and manhandling of students during Valley-wide protests. Student protests have become a new challenge for the administration in Kashmir where the law and order situation has gone downhill after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani last summer.

Women Force against protest

  • To counter women stone throwers, the Centre plans to raise an all women India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Centre has also given directions to the State government to not use Special Police Officers at the houses of politicians and other government officials and to use them in active policing instead.
  • The decisions were taken at a meeting to review various developmental and infrastructure projects in the State.
  • The cost of raising each battalion is around ₹61 crore, and 75% of the expenditure will be borne by the Centre.
  • IRB personnel are normally deployed in their respective States but they can be sent elsewhere if required.

Developmental package

  • ₹80,000 crore development package announced by Prime Minister in 2015, around ₹19,500 crore has already been released for various projects.
  • The package has been sanctioned for 63 projects concerning 15 central ministries.
  • Centre also asked the J&K government to build as many football fields and sports facilities as possible in rural Kashmir to engage the youth.
  • IRBs are being raised to provide jobs to the local youths with 60% of the vacancies to be filled with candidates from the border districts.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism

 

India & Cyprus sign Work Plan for 2017–18 in the Agriculture Sector

India and Cyprus here today signed Work Plan for 2017–18 to implement an already singed MOU for cooperation in the agriculture sector.

Key Facts

  • As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the two countries have decided to work in joint research projects, conduct training/exchange programmes for scientists and experts working in specific agri-fields.
  • It also covers exchange of germplasms and technology, promotion of private sector participation and joint workshops and conferences etc.
  • The MoU will accelerate agricultural production to meet the rising demand for food, but also to increase the income of those dependent on agriculture.
  • The initiatives taken as a part of government’s policy to target doubling farmers income by 2022.

Extra information about Cyprus

Cyprus

Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.

Source : Pib

GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

 

Judicial performance index mooted

Need for index

Creation of a judicial performance index that could help High Courts and their chief justices keep track of the performance and processes at district courts and subordinate levels for reducing delay.

About the Index

  • Proposed the introduction of a judicial performance index to reduce delays and the outsourcing of non-core functions of the police to private agencies or other government departments.
  • Also  NITI Ayog mooted changes in criminal justice and procedural laws, a repeal of all irrelevant legislation by March 2019 and reforms in land ownership laws — which account for 67% of litigants in civil suits.
  • The index should be ‘the first step’ in judicial system reforms that Aayog its draft three-year action plan.
  • The performance index for courts will entail fixing of non-mandatory time frames for different types of cases to benchmark when a case has been delayed.
  • The index can also include certain progress on process steps already approved by High Courts and such an annual evaluation should give judges in High Courts a sense of where they are failing and what they need to fix.

Quality of policing

  • To improve the quality of policing, create a task force to identify non-core functions that can be outsourced to private agents or government departments in order to reduce the workload of the police.
  • United Nations norms of 222 per lakh population not yet reached.
  • India’s police to population ratio should reach to 222 per lakh, over the next seven years from the current level of 137.
  • Red-flagging the adverse implications of crimes against women beyond the obvious horror for affected individuals.
  • Aayog has proposed to push for greater hiring of women in the police force, with a target of 30% of all new recruits.

Source : The Hindu 

GS II ; Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government

 

 

Intellectual property rights awareness campaign in schools

National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on 12th May 2016 is a significant move forward to encourage creativity and stimulate innovation in the country.
Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM)in collaboration with the International Trademark Association (INTA) kicked off the IPR Awareness campaign for schools across the country in New Delhi at Kendriya Vidyalaya.

About policy

  • Focus areas is children in schools, as it is essential to nurture creativity and the ability to innovate from a young age.
  • A streamlined system is being worked out to conduct over 3500 awareness programmes in schools, universities and the industry across the country including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well as rural areas along with translating the content to various regional languages for a wider reach.
  • Programme was an hour long interactive session with a presentation delivered by the INTA Working Group which included various games and activities to keep the kids engaged.
  • Along with the presentation, posters on different IPs were put up and mementos including a brochure on IP designed for kids was given to all students in attendance of the session.

Source : Pib

GS III :  Issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

SC for broad anti-torture legislation

India may be finding it tough to secure extraditions because there is a fear within the international community that the accused persons would be subject to torture in India.

SC on Torture

  • A matter of both Article 21 (fundamental right to life and dignity) and of international reputation that the government must consider a comprehensive law to define and punish torture as an instrument of human degradation by state authorities.
  • India, which had signed the UN Convention against torture way back in 1997, had still not ratified it.
  • The Convention defines torture as a criminal offence.
  • No steps had been taken to implement the Prevention of Torture Bill 2010 even six years
  • 90% of the States had no objection for a special law on torture and the NHRC itself had strongly supported the need for such a law.

Why it needed ?

  • Setback suffered by the CBI in its efforts to get Kim Davy a Danish citizen and prime accused in the Purulia arms drop case of 1995 extradited from Denmark.
  • A Danish court had rejected the plea on the ground that he would risk torture or other inhuman treatment.
  • The Indian Penal Code did not specifically and comprehensively address the various aspects of custodial torture

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Govt plans ID for cows

Government committee has recommended unique identification numbers for cows as one way to prevent their trafficking, according to documents filed by the central government with the Supreme Court.

About the recommendation

  • Unique ID will contain details of the cattle’s age, breed, sex, height, body colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks, according to the panel set up by the home ministry.
  • In the case of milch cattle, it will also have the lactation profile.
  • This ID will take the form of a polyurethane tag.
  • Registration proof must be maintained by the owner of the cattle which may be transferred to the next owner in case a legitimate sale/transfer takes place.
  • The panel also recommended maintaining state- and national-level registries of cattle and prohibiting livestock markets within a 20km radius of the international border with Bangladesh.
  • It is  an attempt to increase the productivity of the country’s dairy industry also helps to curb cattle smugling.

Background

Committee was set up in response to a 2015 public interest litigation seeking the apex court’s intervention on smuggling of cows to Bangladesh from the border states.

Source : Live Mint

GS III : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

NITI Aayog moots taxing agriculture income

Government think-tank NITI Aayog has suggested that agriculture income be brought under the purview of personal Income Tax in a bid to curb tax evasion.

Key Facts

  • At the Governing Council meeting, the Aayog reasoned that non-agricultural entities sometimes use the blanket relief to evade taxes.
  • All agricultural income is currently exempted from Income Tax regardless of its size.
  • While the provision is meant to protect farmers, non-agricultural entities sometimes use it to evade taxes by declaring agriculture as the source of their income.
  • This would widen the tax base and more funds could be made available for the social sector schemes.

Background

In assessment year 2014-15, only 3.65 crore individuals filed returns. Of this group, only 1.91 crore individuals or around 1.5% of the population paid any Income Tax at all. So we should endeavour to bring a large number of citizens into the direct tax net even if their tax liabilities are minimal.There were about 225 million households in India of which roughly 2/3rd were in rural India. Rural India, he said, was effectively out of the purview of all personal income taxation.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

India : world’s fifth largest military spender

India’s military expenditure grew around 8.5 per cent in 2016, making it the world’s fifth largest spender at $55.9 billion, figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) revealed.

Key Facts

  • The US remains the world’s largest military spender registering a growth of 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion.
  • China is second $215 billion an increase of 5.4 per cent, Russia increased its spending by 5.9 per cent to $69.2 billion at third largest spender, Saudi Arabia, the third largest spender in 2015, dropped to the fourth position in 2016 with its spending dropping by 30 per cent in 2016 to $63.7 billion.
  • Four others in the top 15 spenders include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia.
  • Last year’s global military spending accounted for 2.2 per cent of the worldwide GDP.
  • In Asia and Oceania, military expenditure rose by 4.6 per cent in 2016.
  • Pakistan does not figure in the top 15 spenders, and spent $9.93 billion.

Source : ET

General Fact

Centre mulls nodal body for transport

The Centre has begun discussions to set up a national level nodal body for all transport-related matters across modes including aviation, railways, surface transport and waterways. Proposed ‘Logistics and Integrated Transport Board’ will initially work on improving inter-ministerial co-ordination to facilitate an efficient multi-modal transport system in India

Facts

  • A single unified transport ministry by merging the ministries of Aviation, Railways, Surface Transport and Shipping to ensure greater ease of doing business and boost India’s internal and external trade.
  • It is in line with the slogan of minimum government and maximum governance.
  • The country’s larger development goals including economic growth, expansion of employment, geographic expansion of opportunities, environmental sustainability, and energy security.
  • The Centre is also reportedly planning to build 35 multi-modal logistics parks by investing more than ₹50,000 crore.

Background 

The report, submitted to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January 2014, had pointed out that nearly all of the 100 largest economies, all of the OECD countries, and all of India’s emerging market peers the BRICS countries, have a Ministry of Transport or similar integrated equivalent rather than the collection of mode-specific ministries found in India.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Child artistes can work only for 5 hours a day

Labour Ministry has proposed draft rules to fix the working conditions for child artistes and for employing children in family enterprises. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, which put a blanket ban on employment of children below 14 years of age.

Proposed Amendments

  • Child artiste will not be allowed to work for more than five hours a day for not more than three hours without rest
  • Also child assisting in a family business can only work for three hours a day.
  • The amendment to the Child Labour Rules, 1986 to become Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2017.
  • Children will be allowed to assist their family in running family enterprises without affecting their school education.
  • The family would include parents, real siblings, and real brother and sister of the parents.
  • Such children will not be allowed to engage in any production, supply or retail chain which is remunerative for the family and hazardous activities.
  • At least 20% of the income earned by the child artiste will be required to be deposited in a fixed deposit account in a nationalised bank.
  • The money would be credited to the child after she turns 18.
  • The permission of the district magistrate would be mandatory for engaging a child artiste.
  • The production unit must nominate a person, who would be held responsible for the safety and security of the child artiste.
  • A child cannot take part in a street performance for monetary gain.

Aim of the Amendment

  • Security of the Children.
  • Education to be focused.

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

 

NITI Aayog third meeting

The third meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council, which deliberate on the 15-year Vision Document to accelerate the country’s economic development.

Outcome of the meeting

  • NITI Aayog set out the new approach which envisages a 15 year long term vision, accompanied by a 7 year strategy and a 3 year action agenda.
  • In 3 year agenda inputs from the states as well as central ministries and subject experts were incorporated in the agenda.
  • The three-year agenda has been divided into seven parts, with each part having a number of specific action points and over 300 specific action points have been identified covering the whole sectors. NITI 3 year Agenda
  • Besides the 3 YEAR agenda seven-year strategy and a 15-year long-term vision that will replace the erstwhile Five-Year Plans for the nation’s planning framework.
  • The 15-year vision document aims to pegs the Indian economy’s growth from Rs 137 lakh crore in 2015-16 to Rs 469 lakh crore by 2031-32 at 2015-16 prices.
  • Projection is based on growth estimate of 8 per cent per annum
  • The vision of ‘New India’ could only be realised if all States work together and speed up capital expenditure and infrastructure creation.

NITI Aayog

  • National Institution for Transforming India is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the Narendra Modi government to replace the Planning Commission which followed the top-down model.
  • The stated aim for NITI Aayog’s creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India.
  • The emphasis is on bottom-up approach and make the country to move towards cooperative federalism .
  • The Prime Minister as the Ex-officio chairman and governing council consists of all state Chief Ministers,Lieutenant Governors of union territories,and vice chairman nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • In addition to full members, there are two part-time members and four ex-officio members and a chief executive officer.
  • The temporary members are selected from the leading universities and research institutions.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment

 

Indo-Bangla bridge connectivity

Tripura government has commenced the land acquisition process for the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge.

About the Project

  • India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge constructed over river Feni that demarcates boundaries between the two countries in south Tripura.
  • The process for acquiring land for a four-lane approach road and a connecting road on Indian side in southern Tripura has also begun.
  • the construction of the 150-metre bridge which will connect Sabroom of India and Ramgarh in Bangladesh.
  • The bridge would facilitate implementation of a protocol India earlier signed with Bangladesh to use Chittagong sea port as a ‘port of call’.
  • The port is 72 kilometre away from Sabroom.
  • India is also expanding rail network up to Sabroom to handle cargo consignments that would arrivefrom Chittagong port.
  • Ultimate connectivity plan is to benefit Tripura and other landlocked northeastern States with international and domestic shipments using the sea port.

Feni River

  • River in the Indian state of Tripura and southeastern Bangladesh.
  • It is a trans-boundary river with an ongoing dispute about water rights.
  • The Feni River originates in South Tripura district and flows through Sabroom town and then enters Bangladesh.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

Underwater tunnels to connect Howrah with Kolkata

howrah to kolkattaThe construction of the first underwater metro tunnel in the country cutting deep inside the bed of the Hooghly river. By the end of July, two tunnels running parallel will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata located on either side of the Hooghly. The construction is a first in India, the two 520-metre structures are part of a 10.8 km underground stretch and are crucial to the East West Metro project

About the Tunnel

howrah tunnel

  • The tunnels are being dug at a depth of 30 metres below the earth’s surface and 13 metres below the riverbed.
  • The twin tunnels, about 520 metres long, are crucial to the much-awaited ₹ 8,900 core East West Metro project that will connect Salt Lake Sector V in the eastern part of Kolkata to the Howrah Maidan across the river.
  • The diameter of the two tunnels running across the river is 5.5 metres and the distance between the two tunnels will vary at different places.

Concern over heritage site

  • Three heritage buildings in Kolkata and the existing rules, construction and mining operations are prohibited within 100 meters of protected monuments.
  • over the concern of Archaeological Survey of India, an expert committee from the Indian Institute of Technology found no adverse affect on the protected monuments.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

 

India and Republic of Korea sign for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding

India and the Republic of Korea (RoK) signed an Inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding.

Salient points of the MoU

  • Develop and strengthen defence industry co-operation between Republic of India and the Republic of Korea.
  • Two sides will recommend the organisations for collaborating in the implementation of specific projects.
  • The organisations recommended for co-operative projects may conclude separate agreements (contracts) between them to implement the specific projects.
  • MoU will come into effect from the date of signature by both sides and will be initially valid for a period of five years and would be automatically extendable for further successive five year at a time.
  • To substantiate the Special Strategic Partnership, the two sides had inter-alia agreed to encourage greater co-operation between their shipyards in the defence sector.
  • Accordingly, it was decided to sign an inter-governmental MoU on Defence Industry Co-operation in Shipbuilding.

Significance

Co-operation with the recommended Korean Shipyard would enable Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) to upgrade and modernise its facilities and execute naval shipbuilding projects in a timely and cost effective manner. HSL would be able to imbibe best practices in shipbuilding leading to effective project management. the production of HSL is expected to grow substantially, leading to creation of more employment avenues.

Source : Pib

GS III : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

Land attack variant of BrahMos missile

The Indian Navy successfully carried out the maiden test-firing of the land attack variant of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a stealth frigate in the Bay of Bengal.

Details

  • The test-firing is seen as a major capability addition as, so far, the Navy has inducted only the anti-ship variant in many of the frontline vessels.
  • The land attack variant provides the naval ships the capability to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea.
  • Majority of the frontline ships of the Navy, like the Kolkata, Ranvir and Teg classes of ships, are capable of firing this missile.

About BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

brahmos

  • BrahMos, derived from Russian P-800 Oniks or Yakhont missile, is a joint product of India and Russia.
  • It is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land.
  • The present range of the BrahMos is 290 km, which is now in the process of being extended up to 450 km following India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime last year.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

World Bank loan for National Waterway-1 on Ganga

The World Bank has approved a loan of $375 million for capacity augmentation of National Waterway-1 (NW-1) on the river Ganga under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP).

Key Facts

  • The financial assistance from the World Bank would help to develop the Rs 5,369-crore NW-1 from Haldia to Varanasi.
  • The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 deadweight tonnes along a 1,390-km stretch.

Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)

  • It involves developing a 1,620-km navigable waterway between Haldia and Varanasi.It involves developing a 1,620-km navigable waterway between Haldia and Varanasi.
  • This will enable commercial navigation of at least 1,500-tonne vessels.
  • The project will be completed over six years at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,200 crore.
  • NW-1 is a waterway of national significance passing through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, serving the cities of Allahabad, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Bhagalpur, Patna, Howrah, Haldia and Kolkata, and their industrial hinterland including several industries located in the Ganga basin.
  • The rail and road corridors in this region are already saturated.
  • The project entails the construction of terminals and development of ferry services.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India will set up a River Information Service System (like air-traffic control for airways) on NW-1, the first of its kind in India.

Source : Live Mint

GS III : Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

 

 

25% of ex-husband’s net salary as benchmark for alimony

A woman can claim 25% of the former husband’s net salary as alimony, the Supreme Court setting a benchmark for maintenance paid to women by former husbands after divorce.

About the SC direction

  • Its order came on the man’s plea challenging a Calcutta high court order directing him to pay her Rs 23,000 per month.
  • The amount of maintenance or permanent alimony must be sufficient to ensure that a woman lived with dignity after separating from her husband.
  • Court’s ruling follows its inclination to protect claims of women in matrimonial disputes affecting their financial status.

Source : Live Mint

GS II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

China renames six towns in Arunachal

Chinese government on April 14 released standardised Chinese names of six towns in the north-eastern state.

Renamed towns

  • The ministry of civil affairs in Beijing issued an order on April 14 the official names of the six places using the Roman alphabet are Wo’gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La and Namkapub Ri.
  • It did not give the existing names of the six towns in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Bumo La could be BumLa, an area that was captured by China in 1962 but from which it later withdrew.
  • China had used a similar ploy naming islands in South China Sea or pulling out ancient records showing old Chinese names of islands to support its claims over the sea areas, and fight back similar claims from other countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.
  • China also began announcing weather forecasts of the disputed area to prove that they are part of Chinese territory.
  • The new names will be shown in the international diplomatic arena as proof of China’s claims.

India’s stand

  • India seen it as move to claim the region that is illegally occupied by China
  • Renaming or inventing names of states of your neighbour does not make illegal occupation legal.
  • The Chinese move is seen as a retaliation to India allowing exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to visit Arunachal Pradesh.
  • India has, in recent months, boosted the defences in Arunachal Pradesh.

History of Dalai Lama issue

  • The Dalai Lama is the traditional religious head of Tibetan Buddhists. He was made head of state in 1950.
  • In same year that Chinese troops occupied Tibet and later in 1959, he fled Tibet for exile in India.
  • The Dalai Lama is a celebrated figure across the globe but in China, he is a despised troublemaker.
  • He advocate an autonomy that would allow Tibetans to maintain their cultural, language and religion under China’s rule.
  • So the China considered him as a separatist in the Tibetan region.
  • They were not interested in seeing the world treated him as a VIP.

Source : Live Mint

GS II : Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

NDMA conducts its first mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a first-of-its-kind State-level mock exercise on forest fire in Uttarakhand.

Key facts

  • The mock exercise, aimed at assessing the efficacy of integrating the preparedness and response mechanisms of the forest department with those of the district administration, has been conducted in collaboration with the State Government.
  • The exercise is significant as almost 70 per cent of the State’s geographical area is under forests and incidents of forest fires are commonplace.
  • The simulation exercise was conducted simultaneously at multiple locations.
  • It includes residential areas adjoining forests, across all 13 districts covering different types of forests and varying degrees of severity of forest fires.
  • The exercises were conducted in coordination with various agencies, such as fire, forest, Army, health, police, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and civil defense.

National Disaster Management Authority

  • An agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs whose primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response.
  • NDMA was established through the Disaster Management Act enacted by the Government of India in December 2005.
  • 9-member board chaired by the Prime Minister of India. The remainder of the board consists of members nominated based on their expertise in areas such as, planning, infrastructure management, communications, meteorology and natural sciences.
  • The day-to-day management of the agency is overseen by the office of the Vice Chair.
  • The agency is responsible for framing policies, laying down guidelines and best-practices and coordinating with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) to ensure a holistic and distributed approach to disaster management.

Covered on 18 April 2017

Source : Pib

GS III : Disaster and disaster management