Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - January 10, 2018

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs

What -

1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference and 2nd Plenary Session on ‘Resurgent India-Role of PIO Parliamentarians’ To connect the lawmakers of Indian origin with their ancestral land

Where -

held in New Delhi

  • The 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India.

Why -

  • To reach out to lawmakers of Indian origin spread across the world seeking support for its emerging status as a global
  • Parliamentarians of Indian Origin from over 20 Democracies of the World gathered to share Parliamentary best practices and mutually enrich each other with their experiences.

Purpose of the event -

  • The Minister invited the august gathering of PIOs to partner in the development of their Motherland India.
  • Flagship schemes of Government of India such as Skill India, Start up India, Stand up India, Make in India etc. provide a great opportunity for PIOs to partner in India’s resurgence as a global power
  • The session also witnessed distinguished PIO Parliamentarians placing their experiences before the gathering and how they are still very much connected to their roots in India through the Principles of Peace and Harmony that they have imbibed from their ancestors.

Source – The Hindu & PIB

Government Schemes

Phase 1: Target Achieved
Concern Ministry - The Department of Telecom

Phase-1 of the project –

  • Connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline of 31 Dec 2017.
  • BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.

BharatNet as

  • The world’s largest rural broadband project created on the mantra of Create, Collaborate and Conquer
  • The project aims to provide affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in rural and remote areas, in partnership with States and the private sector.
  • The project will generate massive employment opportunities both direct and indirect in the country in days to come.

2nd phase of the BharatNet

  • The target of March, 2019 to usher in a rural digital revolution by connecting 2 lakh and 50,000 Gram Panchayats with broadband network.
  • It has given boost to Make-in-India as the key highlight of the project is that the telecom equipment deployed in it has been fully designed, developed and manufactured in India.
  • The project also achieved a global record of laying of 800 kilometres of optical fibre per day.

Enlighten about the project -

  • The project, earlier called the National Optical Fibre Network, had obtained Cabinet approval in 2011 and the deadline was fixed for the end of 2013.
  • It was later deferred to September 2015 by the UPA government.
  • The NDA government re-examined the project status and set a target to complete the roll-out by the end of 2016.
  • This was later delayed to December 2018. Now, the deadline is set for March 2019.

Some more facts – (prelims specific)

  • BharatNet infrastructure is expected to catalyse digital delivery of services for the rural poor – viz. health, education, livelihood, skills, e-agriculture and e-commerce.
  • Under the award categories, UP(East), Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand were adjudged as the Best performing States which implemented BharatNet Phase
  • Kerala, Karnataka and Haryana were the States which covered all the Gram Panchayat GPs under the Project.
  • Karnataka bagged the award for Best Utilisation of BharatNet. Bharat Sanchar Nigam

Source – PIB


Alternative mode of execution No viable alternative to hanging Centre tells SC Supreme Court has sought less painful means of execution

Two Issues -

  • Do we need to ban capital punishment?
  • If allowed, how the death under capital punishment has to be?

Centre response to court -

  • There is no viable method at present other than hanging to execute condemned prisoners. Lethal injections are unworkable and often fail

Court’s concern

  • The court had previously said a condemned convict should die in peace and not in pain.
  • A human being is entitled to dignity even in death.
  • The court had asked the government to consider the “dynamic progress” made in modern science to adopt painless methods of causing death.


T18th All India Whips’ Conference at Udaipur, Rajasthan
For efficient working of parliamentary machinery.

  • The 18th All India Whips’ Conference was inaugurated today at Udaipur, Rajasthan.
  • The two-day conference is hosting around 90 Delegates belonging to 19 States and Centre. The conference will conclude on 9thJanuary, 2018.

Enlighten about Whip -

  • Whip is not only to monitor the Members of the party in Legislature but also to moderate and motivate them.
  • A whip is a member of political party’s parliamentary body responsible for discipline within the party.
  • Their main job is ensuring that their members in Parliament and legislature vote in line with the party’s social policy on important issues.
  • The office of whip is neither mentioned in constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in the Parliamentary Statue.
  • It is based on conventions of parliamentary government.
  • The purpose of this conference is to strengthen the parliamentary democracy, its institutions and ultimately serve the people at large,
  • The conference provides a platform to Whips of various political parties – ruling as well as opposition at the Centre as well as the States to exchange their views and experiences and discuss the challenges facing them in discharge of their Parliamentary duties and evolve norms for efficient working of parliamentary machinery.

e- Sansad and e- Vidhan

  • Government to launch e-Sansad and e-Vidhan in Parliament and State
  • The Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) has proposed rolling out of e-Sansad in Parliament and e-Vidhan in State Legislatures to digitize and make their functioning paperless.
  • It was announced by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar after inaugurating 18th All India Whips’ Conference in Udaipur, Rajasthan

Enlighten about e-Sansad and e-Vidhan

  • They are mission mode projects of Union Government under Digital India to make the functioning of Parliament and State Legislatures paperless.
  • They aim to digitise and make available Parliament and state legislature documents, including debates, speeches, committee reports and questions on internet

Source – PIB


Flamingo festival

Where -

  • Pulicat lake in Andhra Pradesh and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Sullurpet mandal
  • The three-day annual Flamingo Festival .

Why -

  • Flamingo Festival is held every year to promote tourism in Pulicat and Nellapattu.

Enlighten about the festival -

  • Flamingo Festival is being organised for the past 12 years.
  • Migratory birds from Siberia have visit this place during winter season for breeding.
  • Somewhere between 9,000 to 12,000 migratory birds arrive at Pulicat region for breeding this season.

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

  • Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is one of the biggest habitats for some hundreds of pelicans and other birds.
  • It is located about 20 km north of the Pulicat Lake on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border.

Pulicat lake

  • Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish water lake or lagoon in India after Chilika Lake.
  • It is located on border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with over 96% of it in Andhra Pradesh and 4% in Tamil Nadu situated on Coromandal Coast in South India.
  • The lake encompasses Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary.
  • The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
  • Arani and Kalangi are two rivers which feed the lagoon.
  • The Buckingham Canal, a navigation channel, is part of the lagoon on its western side

Source – The Hindu

Tribal Festival

Medaram’s Jatara
Central government is likely to declare Medaram’s Sammakka-Sarakka/Saralamma Jatara a national festival this year
Sammakka-Sarakka Jatara held by forest dwelling Koya tribe of Telangana and surrounding States

  • It is the biggest Tribal festival in Asia which is attended by one crore people on an average.
  • This year, the four-day Jatara, scheduled to begin on January 31
  • Once declared a national festival, Jatara can be considered for ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ tag of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
  • UNESCO had given the tag to Kumbh Mela, which is world’s biggest festival which sees participation by up to 10 crore persons.
  • Medaram is a remote place in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary – a part of Dandakaranya- the largest surviving forest belt in the deccan

Enlighten about the History –

  • Several communities in Telangana society support Jatara as it is also a mythical narrative of two tribal women leaders who fought against the Kakatiya rulers who tried to annex their land and forests.
  • According to the myth it was Sammakka’s curse which caused gradual decline and death of Kakatiya rule. The Jatara gets 12 % Non-Resident Indian footfall
  • Union government had in 2015 declared Vanaj, a tribal dance and music festival, as national festival.

Tribal Affairs

Mankidia (PGVT) denied habitat in Simlipal
Mankidia – one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Trible Groups (PGVT) in Odisha

  • Denied habitat rights inside the simlipal tiger reserve under the schedule tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) Act 2006

Enlighten about PGVTs

  • Most vulnerable among the tribal groups
  • The government of India in the year 1975 initiated to identify the most vulnerable tribal groups in a separate category known as PGVTs
  • As of now there are total 75 PGVTs out of 705 schedule tribes
  • Highest number of PGVTs found in Odisha(13)

Enlighten about the Mankidia issue –

  • Reason cited by the state forest department regarding denial of permission – tribals could be attacked by wild animals esp. tiger
  • Mankidia is a marginalised group that critically depends on making rope with siali fibre

Source – The Hindu