Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 3, 2018

Election Commission

National Consultation on Accessible Elections A dedicated portal of the ECI’S Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) to be launched

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has organized a two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections
  • The event is a part of the ECI’s pursuit of its mission ‘leave no voter behind,’ with special focus on “Persons with Disabilities” (PwD).

Highlights of the session

  • A dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative will also be launched.
  • They are aimed at identifying the barriers or gaps in the inclusion of PwD’s in the electoral process, to assess the existing accessibility initiatives and to find solutions for the challenges being faced by the PwD’s.
  • The whole exercise is to enhance their participation in the forthcoming state and Lok Sabha elections.
  • The theme of “Inclusion of PwD’s” has been given a special focus in the ECI’s Strategic Plan 2016-2025.
  • Besides, “Accessible Elections” has been adopted as its central theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day celebrations.

National Policies

National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has notified the "National Policy on Marine Fisheries, 2017"
  • This will guide the development of marine fisheries sector for the next 10 years.

Enlighten about Issues related to "Marine Fisheries - Mariculture in India"(National Policy)

  • Assistance for Deep-Sea Fishing' under 'Blue-Revolution'.
  • Under this scheme, traditional fishermen, their associations/organizations or self-help groups are provided with central financial assistance upto 50% of the cost of the vessels i.e. Rs 40 lakh for 'Deep-Sea Fishing Vessels'.
  • For implementation of this scheme, Rs 312 crore of central share has been released in the first year (2017-18) to benefit the traditional fishermen of the country.

Enlighten about fish production

  • Fish production in India is estimated at 11.4 million tonnes, out of which 68% is registered from inland fisheries sector and the remaining 32% from marine sector.
  • It is expected that the indigenous fish requirement by 2020 would be 15 million tonnes as against the production of 11.4 million tonnes.
  • This gap of 3.62 million tonnes is expected to be made up by Inland Aquaculture and also through mariculture.

Government to promote Mari culture

  • The government has decided to promote 'marine culture fisheries' and included the sub-components of ‘Mariculture' under 'Blue Revolution' Scheme.
  • Open sea cage farming is one of the eco-friendly farming activities under mariculture which is being practiced in open sea where wave action is less.
  • The fishes that are being cultured in cages are high value fishes; hence there is a huge export demand for cage cultured fishes.
  • Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries (DADF) has formulated a document on Mission Mariculture-2022 with the main objective of enhancing fish production from marine sector.

Enlighten about Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan

  • To aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.
  • The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational District identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per the directions of NITI Ayog.
  • In districts where number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.

International Trade Agreements

Asia Pacific Trade Agreement 4th Round of trade negotiations

  • 4th Round of negotiations under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) (formerly Bangkok Agreement) among six countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka, have been implemented with effect from 1st July, 2018.

Enlighten about APTA

  • It is an initiative under the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among developing country members of the Asia Pacific Region, in place since 1975.
  • APTA is a Preferential Trade Agreement, under which the basket of items as well as extent of tariff concessions are enlarged during the trade negotiating rounds which are launched from time to time.
  • As a founding member of APTA, India is committed to strengthening the APTA process through tariff concessions.

UNESCO

UNESCO World Heritage Site 2018 The iconic cluster of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings

  • The iconic cluster of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings in Mumbai was inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • This is the third such honour for the metropolis after the Elephanta Caves and the majestic Victoria Terminus, rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station.
  • The decision was taken at the 42nd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which is underway at Manama in Bahrain.
  • Last year, Ahmedabad in Gujarat was declared a World Heritage City, the first city in India to have earned that tag.

Enlighten about Victorian Gothic and Art Deco

  • Art Deco It's a colourful, vibrant, free, sophisticated style that represented the aspirations of a whole new class
  • Mumbai's Art Deco buildings house residential properties, commercial offices, hospitals and single screen movie theatres, including the popular Regal and Eros cinemas.
  • Their characteristics include elegant Deco fonts, marble floors and spiral staircases.
  • Mumbai's Art Deco buildings — believed to be the world's second largest collection after Miami
  • Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the world which forms the unique character of this urban setting, unparalleled in the world.
  • Together, this architectural ensemble represents the most remarkable collection of The Ensemble consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture with the Oval Maidan in the centre.
  • The 19th century Victorian buildings form part of the larger Fort precinct situated to the east of the Oval Maidan.
  • These public buildings include the Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), the Bombay High Court (1878), the Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870), the Elphinstone College(1888), etc.
  • The Art Deco styled buildings to the west of the Oval Maidan were raised in early 20th century on the newly reclaimed lands at Marine Drive and symbolised the shift in expression to represent contemporary aspirations.

UNESCO World Heritage Properties in India

  • India now has overall 37 World Heritage Inscriptions with 29 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed sites.
  • India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of World Heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall sixth in the world.

Enlighten about UNESCO

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms etc.
  • UNESCO implements its activities through the five programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee

  • The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
  • It monitors the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
  • It is composed of 21 states parties that are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term and India is not a member of this Committee.

Economy

Tax department launches ‘instant’ PAN card service It is free of cost and only available for Aadhaar card holders

What

  • The Income Tax Department has launched an ‘instant’ Aadhaar-based PAN allotment service for individuals seeking the unique identity for the first time.
  • This facility is free of cost and instant allotment of e-PAN is available for a limited period on a first-come, first-served basis for valid Aadhaar holders

Enlighten about this Aadhar based PAN card

  • A fresh PAN will be allotted on the basis of a one-time password sent on the mobile number linked to the Aadhaar number of a person.
  • The new PAN will have the same name, date of birth, gender, mobile number and address as in the Aadhaar.
  • The e-PAN facility is only for resident individuals and not for Hindu Undivided Family, firms, trusts and companies
  • Once the PAN is allotted to an applicant through his electronic Aadhaar-based verification system in a few seconds, the applicant will be sent the PAN card by post

Infrastructure Industries

Infrastructure sector growth dips to 10-month low

What

  • The growth in eight infrastructure industries dropped to a 10-month low of 3.6% in May due to a decline in production of crude oil and natural gas.

Enlighten about the data released by Commerce Ministry

  • The eight sectors, which also include coal, refinery products, fertilizers, steel and cement, had expanded by 3.9% in May 2017, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • This is the lowest growth rate since July 2017 when infrastructure industries had expanded by 2.9%.
  • The growth rate recorded in April 2018 stood higher at 4.6%.
  • Crude oil and natural gas registered a contraction of 2.9% and 1.4% respectively in May compared with the same period a year earlier.
  • The growth rate for refinery products declined to 4.9% in May this year compared from 5.4% in May 2017, while growth rates for steel and electricity also fell to 0.5% and 3.5% respectively in May, compared with 3.8% and 8.2% in the same period of the previous year.
  • However, the output for both coal and fertilizer grew by 12.1% and 8.4% respectively, in May over the year-earlier period.
  • In April and May this year, the eight industries recorded 4.1% growth compared with 3.3% a year earlier

Sources – PIB, The Hindu , LiveMint