Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 8, 2018

Internal Security

Restricted Areas Permit Access to Andamans eased Foreigners can visit 29 inhabited islands without Restricted Areas Permit


  • Foreigners no longer need a Restricted Areas Permit to visit 29 inhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar chain.
  • The Union Home Ministry decided to lift restrictions as the government intends to boost tourism.
  • 11 other uninhabited islands will also be thrown open to foreigners.

Enlighten about the area permits

  • The 29 inhabited islands have been excluded from the restricted area permit (RAP) notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions.
  • However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory
  • For visiting Mayabunder and Diglipur, citizens of Myanmar will continue to require RAP, which shall be issued only with the prior approval of the ministry.
  • To ensure preservation of natural and marine resources, including marine parks and environment, of the Union Territory without affecting tourism and business at large, it should be ensured by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration that the guidelines issued by the Environment and Forests Ministry are strictly adhered
  • Separate approvals of the competent authority would be required for visiting reserved forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves

Enlighten about it

  • The Foreigner (Protected Areas) Act requires foreigners to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India.
  • This requirement is in addition to getting an Indian visa.
  • In order to get this permit, you must meet certain requirements.
  • Such restriction is in place due to security reasons. Even Indian citizens who are not residents of those areas require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these places.
  • The Inner Line Permit is significantly easier to get.
  • However, NRIs (Indians who are staying abroad for more than 6 months), PIO Card holders, and OCI holders are not eligible for Inner Line Permit.
  • They will have to apply for a regular Protected/Restricted Area Permit.
  • However, most of these areas are remote and away from normal tourist destinations.
  • Some tourists still visit the restricted areas because they are very beautiful and fascinating remote places.
  • The previous PAP requirements have been lifted for Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and the Darjiling area of West Bengal. There is $30 fee for Protected/Restricted Area Permits for all nationalities.

Science and Technology

Project SHAKTI


  • Computer scientists from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras have developed first of family of six industry-standard microprocessors under Project Shakti.
  • The chips have been named RISECREEK and are fabricated at Intel’s facility at Oregon, US for free to run Linux operating system.

Enlighten about Project Shakti

  • It was started in 2014 as IIT-M initiative and part of it is funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

RISECREEK microprocessors

  • Their design is open source and can be adapted by others.
  • They optimise power use and compete with international units such as Cortex A5 from Advanced RISC Machines (ARM).
  • They have better performance in terms of DMIPS per megahertz rating than A5 and score of 1.68 against competition’s 1.57.
  • These viable industry-grade microprocessors can operate at frequency of 350 MHz, thus meets demands of defence and strategic equipment of country such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and Internet of Things (IoT) electronics.
  • These processors can also be tapped for future efforts in semiconductors.


Ajay Data – First Indian to get selected as a member of ccNSO


  • Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has selected Ajay Data as new council member of Country Code Supporting Organisation (ccNSO).
  • The first Indian to get selected as a member of ccNSO, which is policy development body of ICANN for ccTLD (country code top-level domains) issues and represents all country code top level domain operators from around the world.
  • He has been selected for two-year term and will take up position during ICANN 63 Meet in Spain in October 2018.
  • He will be representing India at global level and will be also custodian of Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands as member of ccNSO.

Enlighten about Ajay Data

  • He is founder & CEO of Data XGen Plus and global leader in email linguistic services.
  • He is creator of world’s first email address mobile app and email solution for IDN (Internationalized Domain Names) Domains.
  • He was awarded Graham Bell Award for this innovation. He has been also credited for giving access to World for Internationalized Email Address in 19 languages which is available through Data Mail app.

Enlighten about ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)

  • ICANN is private (non-government) non-profit corporation with responsibility of supervising domain names on internet.
  • It plays major monopolistic role in IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions.
  • It was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States.
  • ICANN is responsible for Coordination of global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers. Ensuring stable and secure operation of internet.
  • Coordination of the Internet Protocol address spaces. Assignment of address blocks to regional Internet registries, for maintaining registries of Internet protocol identifiers, and for management of top-level domain name space (DNS root zone), which includes operation of root name servers.
  • DNS policy development for internationalization of the DNS system. Introduction of new generic top-level domains (TLDs)


ASCI Reported 732 Complaints of Misleading Advertisements Regarding Herbal Medicines


  • GAMA (Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements) portal maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs has been received complains regarding Misleading advertisements
  • Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), with whom Ministry had signed a MoU for suo moto monitoring of Ayush advertisements appearing in print and TV media

Enlighten about ASCI

  • The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), established in 1985, is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry in India.
  • It is a non-Government body. ASCI is committed to the cause of self- regulation in advertising ensuring the protection of the interest of consumers.
  • ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition.
  • ASCI looks into complaints across ALL MEDIA such as Print, TV, Radio, hoardings, SMS, Emailers, Internet / web-site, product packaging, brochures, promotional material and point of sale material etc.
  • ASCI’s role has been acclaimed by various Government bodies including The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of AYUSH as well as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • ASCI is a part of the Executive Committee of International Council on Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS).

Ministry of Communications

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India TRAI integrates its Mobile App DND 2.0 & MyCall with UMANG Platform with the objective of reaching out to consumers and safeguarding their interests


  • TRAI has now integrated its Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 & MyCall with UMANG Platform.

Enlighten about UMANG

  • UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is developed by National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services.
  • It provides a unified approach where citizens can install one application to avail multiple government services.
  • From now onwards, TRAI’s Mobile Apps namely DND 2.0 & MyCall shall also be available on Umang Platform.
  • With a view to increase reachability and facilitate citizens, NeGD and TRAI have integrated DND 2.0 and My Call App on UMANG Android platform (App).

Enlighten about TRAI MyCall App

  • TRAI MyCall is an intuitive and user friendly application for Crowdsourced Voice Call Quality Monitoring.
  • The Application helps Mobile phone users to rate their experience about voice call quality in real time and help TRAI gather consumer experience data along with Network data.
  • A pop up requests the user to rate the call after it ends. Callers simply select their rating in the form of stars and indicate if the calls were made in indoor, outdoor or while travelling.
  • Callerscan also provide additional details such as noise or audio delay or mark a call-drop.

Enlighten about DND 2.0 App

  • DND (Do Not Disturb) Services App enables smart phone users to register their mobile number under DND and report spam messages or calls to avoid Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC)/Telemarketing Calls/SMS.

NITI Aayog

Niti Aayog to organise Government and Business Partnership Conclave


  • With a view to exploring the roles and contributions of the business sector in the implementation of SDGs in India, NITI Aayog, United Nations in India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) are jointly organizing a Government and Business Partnership Conclave on 8th August 2018


  • The conclave will focus on the interrelated sectors of water, energy and green industry. Objectives of the Conclave are as follows:

Enlighten about the conclave

  • Facilitate deliberation on key thematic areas and issues around Water, Energy and Green Industry in the Indian context;
  • Generate clarity about the responsibilities and contributions of businesses and industries towards implementation of SDGs, particularly in the context of selected theme areas and sustainability issues involved;
  • Highlight best practices from businesses and industries, and explore strategies and ways forward to achieve the related SDG targets;
  • Identify opportunities for partnership between the business sector and the Government at various levels in sectoral/intersectoral areas of water, energy and green industry.
  • The Conclave will have three technical sessions covering sectors of Water, Energy and Green Industry chaired by Secretaries of Government of India.
  • The First Session will be on “Green Industry: Innovations, Initiatives and Sustainability” followed by sessions on “Water: Uses, Management and Ecosystem Protection” and “Energy: Managing Demands and Sustainability”

Parliament Bills /Amendments

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018


  • The Lok Sabha passed Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018


  • To reverse effects of Supreme Court order concerning certain safeguards against arrests under SC/ST law.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Enlighten about the bill

  • Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 protects marginalised communities against discrimination and atrocities.
  • It prohibits commission of offences against members of SCs/STs and establishes special courts for trial of such offences and rehabilitation of victims.

Supreme Court’s verdict regarding this (bone of contention)

  • In 2018, Supreme Court had expressed concern over misuse of Act and ruled against automatic arrest of booking of accused under this law.
  • It also had introduced provision of anticipatory bail. It had stated that for persons accused of committing offence under Act, approval of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) will be required before an arrest is made. Further, Deputy
  • Superintendent of Police (DySP) may conduct preliminary enquiry to find out whether there is prima facie case under Act.

Enlighten about the Features of Bill (amended)

  • The Bill states that investigating officer will not require approval of any authority for arrest of accused.
  • The preliminary enquiry will not be required for registration of First Information Report (FIR) against person accused under Act.
  • The Act states that persons accused of committing offence under Act cannot apply for anticipatory bail.
  • It also clarifies that this provision will apply despite any judgments or orders of any court that provide otherwise, thus overturning SC judgment given in April 2018

State Specific

World’s largest bird sculpture, Jatayu sculpture, will be inaugurated in Kollam, Kerala


  • The Jatayu sculpture at the Jatayu Earth Center in Kollam, Kerala, said to be world’s largest bird sculpture, will be inaugurated on August 17 by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Designed by Rajiv Anchal, it is built on a massive rock called Jatayupara.
  • Jatayu Earth’s Center or Jatayu Nature Park is a park and tourism centre at Chadayamangalam in Kollam district of Kerala.
  • The town got this name in connection with Jatayu, the demi-god in Hindu mythology, who has the form of a vulture.
  • This rock-theme nature park is about 38 km (24 mi) away from Kollam and 46 km (29 mi) away from the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • It is the first PPP tourism initiative in the state of Kerala under the BOT model
  • Jatayu Nature Park holds the distinction of having the world’s largest bird sculpture (200 feet (61 m) long, 150 feet (46 m) broad, 70 feet (21 m) in height and having 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of floor area) of the great mythical bird Jatayu.

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , IndianExpress