Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 16, 2017

Defence

Navika Sagar Parikarma

INS Tarini

  • First-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.
  • They will begin their voyage later this month from Goa, and expect to return to Goa in March 2018, after completing the circumnavigation.
  • The expedition has been titled Navika Sagar Parikrama.
  • The Parikrama will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
  • INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and was inducted in the Indian Navy earlier this year.
  • The vessel will be skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.

Energy Security

TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline(proposed)

  • Why in NEWS - Steering committee meeting – To be hosted by India
  • 1814 km long pipeline
  • To be operational by(expected) – 2019
  • Construction started in – Dec. 2015( in Afghanistan only)
  • Financed by – Asia development bank (ADB)

Steering Committee Meeting -

  • Decision in this regard was taken at the sixth joint India Turkmenistan Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation
  • The IGC discussions between both countries comprehensively reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and took stock of the progress achieved in the areas of energy, security cooperation, civil aviation, information technology, science and technology, trade and economic cooperation, transport and connectivity, cultural and educational matters.

Enlighten about Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline

  • It is a proposed transcountry natural gas pipeline developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • The pipeline first proposed in 1995 will transport natural gas from energy rich Caspian Sea (Galkynysh gas fields: fourth largest in the world) in Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan into Pakistan.
  • The project will supply both India and Pakistan about 38 mmscmd of natural gas whereas Afghanistan will get 14 mmscmd supply.
  • The life of supply is expected to last for period of 30 years and shall be operational from 2019.
  • TAPI gas pipeline project is considered as an important initiative of these four countries as it connects energy rich Central Asia with energy starved South Asia.
  • It will enhance economic engagement through regional connectivity by economically integrating region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea.
  • Member countries of the project have recommended establishing an inter-government joint security task force (JSTF) to serve as the nucleus of the safety of the pipeline
  • It will not just be a commercial project, but also help in providing peace and security in the region.
  • From India’s perspective, TAPI Project will provide an alternative supply source of gas with dependable reserves leading to enhanced energy security.

International

CHINA – NEPAL – Signed three agreements

In power, energy and economic sectors.

  • It will cover oil and gas resources exploration, economic and technological cooperation and promotion of investment.
  • These agreements were signed after visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang held discussions with Nepal’s Deputy Prime Ministers Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar and Krishna Bahadur Mahara.
  • The agreements cover three different domains
  • (i) Economic and technological cooperation
    (ii) framework agreement on promotion of investment and economic cooperation
    (iii) China-aid oil and gas resources survey project.

  • These pacts also include a feasibility study for excavating natural gas and petroleum in mountain areas and plains of Terai region of the Himalayan country
  • They will help to make signicant contributions in Nepal’s socio- economic transformation
  • Both countries also agreed to establish hydropower projects and transmission lines and take steps for technological development in Nepal, which suffers from acute shortage of electricity.
  • China also agreed to upgrade 114-kilometre Araniko highway- an old route connecting two countries, which was damaged and subsequently closed after the massive 2015 Nepal earthquake

E- Governance

eBiz project – launched 4 years ago, yet not become fully operational

WHY SO? -

  • State governments’ apathy: Many State governments have not come on board for critical components of the project.
  • Technical glitches have arisen in the plan to integrate all clearances onto a single system owing to government departments opting for different technology platforms. Even services that were available on the portal, such as registrations with the Corporate Affairs Ministry and the Employees’ Provident Fund, have been ‘impacted’ due to technical issues.
  • Multiple stakeholders: Testing the integration of individual services with the eBiz portal also added to delays. This is mainly because of ‘dependency on multiple stakeholders’ such as NSDG, banks and state treasuries.

Enlighten about eBiz

  • eBiz project was unveiled in 2013 to serve as online, single-point entry for investors looking to set up a business anywhere in the country.
  • eBiz is one of the integrated services projects and part of the 27 Mission Mode Projects (MMPs) under the National E-Governance Plan (NEGP) of the Government of India.
  • Implementation - eBiz is being implemented by Infosys Technologies Limited (Infosys) under the guidance and aegis of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
  • FOCUS - to improve the business environment in the country by enabling fast and efficient access to Government-to-Business (G2B) services through an online portal. This will help in reducing unnecessary delays in various regulatory processes required to start and run businesses.
  • Aim -This project aims at creating an investor-friendly business environment in India by making all regulatory information – starting from the establishment of a business, through its ongoing operations, and even its possible closure – easily available to the various stakeholders concerned. In effect, it aims to develop a transparent, efficient and convenient interface, through which the government and businesses can interact in a timely and cost effective manner, in the future.

Internal Security

AFSPA – Autonomy given to states ( Assam,Manipur)

  • The Union Home Ministry is set to give up its power to impose the ‘disturbed areas’ tag on Assam and Manipur.
  • The move effectively means it will be the States’ decision to either continue the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) or revoke it.
  • It would be the first time since 1990 — when the AFSPA was first invoked in Assam — that the Centre would give up its power to continue or discontinue it.

Enlighten about AFSPA

  • AFSPA, enacted in 1958, gives powers to the army and state and central police forces to shoot to kill, search houses and destroy any property that is “likely” to be used by insurgents in areas declared as “disturbed” by the home ministry.
  • The Act provides army personnel with safeguards against malicious, vindictive and frivolous prosecution.
  • Security forces can “arrest without warrant” a person, who has committed or even “about to commit a cognizable offence” even on “reasonable suspicion”.

Considering a disturbed area -

  • The state or central government considers those areas as ‘disturbed’ “by reason of differences or disputes between members of different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities.
  • Section (3) of the Afspa empowers the governor of the state or Union territory to issue an official notification in The Gazette of India, following which the Centre has the authority to send in armed forces
  • Once declared ‘disturbed’, the region has to maintain status quo for a minimum of three months, according to The Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976.”