Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - January 6, 2018

Defence

Defence Ministry approves projects worth 2,420 crore
Training solution for the Navy’s P-8I , along with a 10-year comprehensive maintenance service, to be brought from Being

  • The Defence Ministry on Thursday gave final approval for the procurement of simulated training solutions for the Navy’s P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft and electronic warfare systems for the Army at a combined cost of ₹2,419.32 crore.

P-8I

  • “The P-8I training solution, along with 10 year comprehensive maintenance service, will be brought from Boeing for ₹1,949.32 crore.
  • This training solution accurately simulates P-8I aircraft and mission systems
  • This will help Indian Navy train and realistically rehearse for sophisticated missions involving P-8I aircraft, at a fraction of the cost of live aircraft training, the statement said.
  • The Navy currently operates eight P-8Is inducted since 2013 out of the INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu.
  • Four more aircraft have been ordered last year under the optional clause and are scheduled to be delivered from 2020.
  • The second proposal was for the procurement of Low Intensity Conflict Electronic Warfare System (LICEWS) for the Army.
  • These will be procured from Bharat Electronics Limited for 470 crore.
  • This system will equip the Army with upgraded communications infrastructure that will help the forces to effectively deal with the advanced communications systems being used by terrorist groups, the statement added.

Bills

Bill to hike salaries of Supreme Court Judges
High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 Passed by Lok Sabha

  • The Bill seeks to amend HC Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954; and SC Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958. These Acts regulate salaries and conditions of service of judges of HCs and SC.
  • The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed a Bill to hike the salaries of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
  • The Bill proposes to hike the salary of the Chief Justice of India to ₹2.80 lakh a month, and that of judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts to ₹2.5 lakh a month.
  • Judges of High Courts will draw a salary of ₹2.25 lakh a month once this Bill becomes law.
  • The Rajya Sabha has to pass the Bill by Friday, the last day of this session, failing which it will spill on to the budget session.

Separation of powers

  • The salary hike, in line with the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission for officers of all-India services, will come into force with effect from January 1, 2016.
  • The discussion on the Bill saw members express concern over what they saw as threats to separation of powers, calls for hiked salaries for MPs, and even for reservation in the judiciary.

All-India Judicial Service

  • Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed his support for the idea of an All-India Judicial Service on the lines of the Indian Administrative Service for drawing the best legal minds to the judiciary.
  • The salaries and allowances CJI and Supreme Court judges are charged from Consolidated Fund of India. The salaries and allowances of state high court judges including chief justices are charged from Consolidated Fund of State. However, retired Judges are entitled to pension which is drawn from Consolidated Fund of India

Festivals

Jal Mahotsav

  • India’s biggest water carnival through ‘Jal Mahotsav’ is organised every year in Hanuwantiya Island in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The third such ‘Jal Mahotsav’ concluded this year on January 2.
  • The festival, held between October and January, is a celebration of Madhya Pradesh’s natural beauty and its culture.
  • It is also a great place to try out a variety of adventure sports like parasailing, paramotoring, water zorbing, and many others.
  • The festival also represents the culture of Madhya Pradesh – a culture that stands for rich skill set of its artisans and rich heritage.
  • Hanuwantiya island, located on the banks of the Indira Sagar dam in Madhya Pradesh, plays host to India’s largest water carnival – Jal Mahotsav

Cabinet Decisions

Jal Marg Vikas Project

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for implementation of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of navigation on National Waterway-1 (NW-1) at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore with the technical assistance and investment support of the World Bank.
  • The Project is expected to be completed by March, 2023.

Enlighten About Jal Marg Vikas Project

  • The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga.
  • The major works being taken up under JMVP are development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.
  • NW 1: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1.
  • States covered under NW-1: States: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.

Benefits of this project:

  • Alternative mode of transport that will be environment friendly and cost effective.
  • The project will contribute in bringing down the logistics cost in the country.
  • Mammoth Infrastructure development like multi-modal and inter-modal terminals, Roll on – Roll off (Ro-Ro) facilities, ferry services, navigation aids. Socio-economic impetus; huge employment generation.

MoU

MoU between three Ministries for Indian Railways
Railways, HRD and S&T Ministry ink MoU on Technology Mission for Indian Railways

  • Three Ministries viz. Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) and Ministry of Science &Technology have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)for joint funding of Technology Mission for Indian Railways(TMIR).

Enlighten about the MoU

  • The MoU aims to facilitate co-financing of (TMIR) by investment sharing for identified railway projects for applied research.
  • The percentage division of the funding between the three ministries for Technology Mission for Indian Railways’ is Ministry of Railways:30% , Ministry of HRD: 25% and Department of Science & Technology: 25%.
  • Under the MoU, Ministry of HRD and Ministry of S&T have agreed to fund TMIR projects to the tune of Rs 75 crore each while Railways and Industries would also be contributing to their respective shares.

Technology Mission for Indian Railways

  • The Ministry of Railways had set up TMIR as consortium of Ministry of Railways,
  • Ministry of HRD and Ministry of Science & Technology on investment sharing model for taking up identified railway projects for applied research and use on Indian Railways.
  • TMIR is tasked to take up research and development projects in the areas of heavy haul, safety, energy, environment and urban railways.
  • These projects will be implemented through Mission Implementation and Coordination Committee having members from the three Ministries, academia and industry.
  • Moreover, these projects will be implemented in the national research and development labs and academic institutions.

Enlighten about the significance

  • Indian Railways will be benefitted with availability of world class indigenized technologies at very reasonable cost through this consortium approach for technology development in mission mode.
  • Moreover, academic research institutions will be also benefitted with applied research and real situation output in form of new products for immediate use.
  • The Indian industries will also get benefitted in form of production of new items to be used on Indian Railways with additional export potential