Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - December 13, 2017

Cyber Security


Implementing Ministry –

Implementing body –

  • The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)

What -

  • Launched first NIC-CERT, a setup of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to prevent and predict cyber-attacks on government utilities.
  • It was launched by Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi as part of Digital India Initiative.

Enlighten about NIC-CERT

  • The NIC-CERT will monitor and help in early detection and mitigation of cyberattacks on government networks.
  • It has been setup with objective of creating comprehensive framework that integrates world class security components and inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.
  • It will operate in close co-ordination and collaboration with other sectoral CERTs and more so with CERT-In.
  • Using advance tools, NIC-CERT team will correlate events that would help in generating canvas of attack surface and identify vulnerabilities and possible exploits.
  • The PAN-India connectivity of NIC coupled with its enhanced ability to detect and prevent attacks will collectively upscale NIC-CERT capability to protect government’s data.

National Informatics Centre (NIC)

  • The NIC (Rashtriya Suchna Vigyan Kendra) is premier science & technology organisation of Government in informatics services and information and communication technology (ICT) applications.
  • It is a part of MeitY’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology. It was established in 1976.
  • It plays a pivotal role in steering e-governance applications in governmental departments at national, state and district levels, thus enabling improvement and wider transparency in government services.
  • Almost all Indian-government websites are developed and managed by NIC.

Health Care

Universal Health Coverage

  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched ‘LaQshya’ Initiative and mHealth: Safe Delivery Application on the occasion of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. Moreover, Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units were also released.
  • UHC Day is observed every year on 12 December to commemorate first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.
  • UHC aims at ensuring equitable access for all to affordable, accountable, appropriate health services of assured quality.

Laqshya- A Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative

  • It is safe delivery mobile application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral area.
  • It objective is to improve quality of care provided to pregnant mother in Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres (OTs), thereby preventing undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
  • It aims to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OTs.
  • It will be implemented in government Medical Colleges (MCs), District Hospitals (DHs), high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
  • It plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and provide facilities to achieve outlined targets.

mHealth: Safe Delivery Application

  • It was launched for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in peripheral areas.
  • The app has Clinical Instruction films on key obstetric procedures to help health workers translate their learnt skills into actual practice.
  • It has been field tested in few districts and found to be useful for health workers providing maternity care.

Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units

  • These guidelines will complement already existing national guidelines.
  • It will also help states and state level policy makers in setting up and operationalising critical care units dedicated to pregnant women.


KHELO India Programme

To be launched by

  • The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • For period 2017-18 to 2019-20 at cost of Rs 1756 crore.
  • It was announced by Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajyavardhan Rathore while addressing Yuva Sambardhana Utsav organized by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, at KIIT Campus, Bhubaneswar.
  • He also announced that year 2018 will be celebrated as the Year of Sports.

Enlighten about Khelo India programme

  • The programme aims at mainstreaming sports as tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development.
  • It will have holistic impact on entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, talent identification, community sports, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy.
  • The programme will promote 150 select schools from different districts and 20 universities across country, as hubs of sporting excellence, enabling talented sportspersons to pursue both education and competitive sports.
  • It will cover about 200 million children in age group of 10-18 under a massive national physical fitness drive.
  • It will also see launch of new Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme that would cover 1000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines.
  • Each athlete selected under the programme will receive an annual scholarship worth Rs. 5 lakh for duration of 8 years.

Heavy Industry

Government approval must to avail incentives under FAME India Scheme

  • Government has made mandatory for Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to seek approval from Department of Heavy Industry (DHI) before accepting any proposal to supply electric buses for availing incentives under the FAME India scheme.
  • The move is aimed at facilitating smooth roll out and management of demand incentives for e-buses under FAME. After DHI gives the nod, OEMs become eligible for the incentives under the scheme.

Enlighten about FAME India Scheme

  • The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-India) was launched in 2015 under National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) with an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles in country.
  • Its objective is to provide fiscal and monetary incentives for adoption and market creation of both hybrid and electric technologies vehicles in the country.
  • It aims at incentivising all vehicle segments, including two-wheelers, three wheeler auto, passenger four-wheeler vehicle, light commercial vehicles and buses.
  • The scheme covers hybrid and electric technologies like a strong hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
  • Its mandate is to support hybrid or electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing eco-system in country in order to achieve self-sustenance in stipulated period. It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.

Science & Tech

ISRO developing compact launcher for smaller satellite

  • The Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is developing small satellite launch vehicles to launch low-cost small satellites.
  • Preliminary work to design and develop such ambitious small launch vehicle already has started at ISRO’s rocket development node, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
  • The small launch vehicle will be able to put satellites of up to 500-600 kg in orbits close to the Earth.
  • VSSC has designed the vehicle using the rocket technology.

Enlighten about it -

Implementing body –

  • Small satellite launch vehicles have tremendous potential to cut the launch fee that customers pay.
  • Ride on small launchers is ninth or tenth of the present cost. Besides, they are easy to assemble compared to about 40 days taken to assemble a PSLV.

Enlighten about ISRO

  • Since 1999, ISRO’s PSLV rockets have launched 209 small satellites from 28 countries for fee.
  • In February 2017, PSLV created world record by launching 104 satellites to space.
  • Globally, the small satellites market is booming as they are used for various applications.
  • As such, worldwide, operators and private players are developing small launchers to capture the market at a much lower cost
  • Global space industry consulting firm Euroconsult in July 2017 had estimated that 6,200 smallsats — many of them will be launched during 2017-2026 and its market value will touch to $30 billion — up from $8.9 billion in last decade.


World’s largest automated container terminal opens in China

  • China started trial operations of world’s biggest automated container terminal at Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, the country’s commercial hub.
  • The terminal is located at south of Donghai Bridge, phase 4 of Yangshan Port and covers 2.23 million square metres and has a 2,350-metre shoreline.
  • The automated management system is also used at port to maintain safety and efficiency.

Enlighten about it

  • The project uses automated handling equipment designed and manufactured in China.
  • The machinery used in loading and unloading, including bridge crane, automated guided vehicle (AGV) and rail-mounted gantry crane, are all made in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company.
  • Initially, automated terminal will have capacity to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and later it will be expanded to 6.3 million TEUs at later stage.
  • The automated terminal not only increases the port’s handling efficiency, but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 10%.

Supreme Court Decisions

SC agrees to examine plea to bar politicians from contesting from two seats

  • 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.

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.

Election commission suggestion on this –

  • 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.

State Specific

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.

Enlighten about it –

  • 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.