Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 6, 2018

Science & Technology

India’s first Blockchain district

Implementing Ministry

  • Telangana State Information Technology, Electronics and Communication department (ITE&C) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tech Mahindra

Enlighten about the MoU

  • The MoU was signed at International Blockchain Congress 2018 held in Hyderabad.

Blockchain district

  • It will be centre of excellence, incubator and process development for emerging technology with innovative infrastructure and facilities to foster growth of Indian blockchain start-ups and companies.
  • Tech Mahindra will provide platform and technology assistance to all incubators in it.
  • It will also empower accelerators to develop and solve market problems across its global customer ecosystem.
  • Telangana ITE&C Department will provide regulatory and policy support to enable and promote Blockchain growth both in India and globally.
  • It will be global talent hub which can help to unlock value of blockchain technology in democratising data and solving big scale world problems.

Enlighten about Blockchain Technology

  • Blockchain is decentralized incorruptible digital ledger for storing data across peer-to-peer network.
  • It decentralizes information without it being copied.
  • Information is held on blockchain through shared database which can be accessed on real-time basis.
  • This database is not stored on physical servers but on cloud, which makes it easy to store unlimited data.

Advantages Blockchain technology

  • It is not controlled by any single entity and has no single point of failure.
  • It is transparent and incorruptible.
  • It is kind of self-auditing ecosystem of digital value and blockchain network automatically checks every transaction that happens in it.

State Specific

Horn not ok awareness campaign and ‘shaur nahin’ (no noise) mobile application

Implementing State

  • Himachal Pradesh

WHAT

  • Himanchal Pradesh has launched ‘horn not ok’ awareness campaign and ‘shaur nahin’ (no noise) mobile application
  • The campaign aims to spread awareness of unnecessary blowing horn as it creates unnecessary noise pollution and is harmful to health.

Shaur Nahin mobile app

  • The mobile application is initiative of department of environment science and technology in association with National Informatics Centre (NIC), Himachal Pradesh.
  • The app will enable general public to report cases of noise pollution.

Amendments/bills

Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017

What

  • Lok Sabha has unanimously passed Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 by two-third majority.

Why

  • The constitutional amendment bill seeks to grant National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status at par with National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCSTs).

Enlighten about the bill

  • The Bill removes power of NCSC to examine matters related to backward classes.
  • Currently, under Constitution NCSC has power to look into complaints and welfare measures with regard to Scheduled Castes (SCs), backward classes (OBCs) and Anglo-Indians.
  • The Bill seeks to make NCBC Constitutional body by inserting new article 338B in constitution composition, mandate, functions and various officers of NCBC.

Article 338B

  • This will give NCBC authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.

Article 442-A

  • The Bill inserts article 342-A to empower President to specify socially and educationally backward classes in various states and union territories.
  • He can do this in consultation with Governor of concerned state.
  • NCBC will comprise of Five members appointed by President.
  • Their tenure and conditions of service will also be decided by President through rules.

Enlighten about the functions of NCBC

(i) investigate and monitor safeguards provided to backward classes under Constitution and other laws are being implemented
(ii) inquire into specific complaints regarding violation of rights of backward classes and
(iii) advise and make recommendations on socio-economic development of such classes.

  • Union and State governments will consult NCBC on all major policy matters affecting socially and educationally backward classes.
  • NCBC will be required to present annual reports to President on working of safeguards for backward classes.
  • These reports will be tabled in Parliament and state legislative assemblies of concerned states.
  • The Bill gives NCBC powers of civil court while investigating or inquiring into any complaints.
  • These powers will include summoning people and examining them on oath, production of any document or public record and receiving evidence.

National Sports University Bill, 2018

What

  • National Sports University bill passed by the Lok Sabha

Why

  • To set up the country’s first National Sports University in Imphal (west), Manipur that will provide sports education, research and coaching.
  • The Bill replaces National Sports University Ordinance, 2018 promulgated by President in May 2018 to protect interests of students who already have been enrolled in National Sports University.

Enlighten about the National Sports University Bill, 2017

  • The Bill establishes National Sports University in Manipur.
  • It is mandated to promote sports education in areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management, and sports coaching.
  • It will function as national training centre for select sports disciplines.
  • The Bill empowers University to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates.
  • It also allows Government to establish campuses and study centres in other parts of the country

Enlighten about the University

  • The specialised university for sports will be first of its kind in the country and it will adopt best international practices.

Manipur government already has allocated land for proposed university.

International Organisations

Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD)

What

  • India was elected as President of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for period of two years.
  • India got elected against Iran during voting which took place at 44th annual gathering of AIBD held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Enlighten about AIBD

  • It is regional inter-governmental organisation serving countries of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) in field of electronic media development.
  • Broadcasters from 26 countries in the region including India are full members of the organization.
  • It was established in 1977 under auspices of UNESCO. It is hosted by Government of Malaysia and its secretariat is located in Kuala Lumpur
  • AIBD is mandated to achieve vibrant and cohesive electronic media environment in Asia-Pacific region through policy and resource development.
  • Currently it has broadcasters from 26 full member countries, represented by 34 organisations and 67 Affiliate Members (organisations) and over 50 partners in Asia, Pacific , Europe, Africa, Arab States and North America

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indian Express