Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 5, 2018

Ministry of Coal

The Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and ‘Khan Prahari’

WHAT

  • The Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and Mobile Application ‘Khan Prahari’ have been launched by the Coal Ministry
  • It is developed by CMPDI, Ranchi a Subsidiary of CIL and Bhaskarcharya Institute of Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG).

WHY

  • To curb illegal Mining and to take suitable actions to try to reduce and stop such activities to the extent possible.
  • Ministry of Coal has taken a major initiative in this direction by developing a Web GIS application called ‘Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) and a mobile app called ‘Khan Prahari’.

Enlighten about CMSMS

  • The basic objective of CMSMS is reporting, monitoring and taking suitable action on unauthorised coal mining activities.
  • The CMSMS is a web based GIS application through which location of sites for unauthorised mining can be detected.
  • The basic platform used in the system is of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s (MeiTY) map which provides village level information.
  • The leasehold boundary of all the coal mines are displayed on this map.
  • The system will use satellite data to detect changes by which unauthorised mining activity extending beyond the allotted lease area can be detected and suitable action can be taken on it.

Concept of cooperative federalism

  • It is the working of the concept of ‘cooperative federalism’ in action.
  • The complaint originating from coal mines allotted to Coal India will go to Coal India Offices and those originating from coal blocks not allotted to Coal India will go straight to the State Government Officers and for each complaint the alert will also go to the District Magistrate and SP of the district.

Enlighten about Khan Prahari

  • The system also uses information provided by responsible citizens using smartphones using the mobile application “Khan Prahari’.
  • Citizen reporting Khan Prahari app
  • It is a tool for reporting any activity taking place related to illegal coal mining like rat hole mining, pilferage etc.
  • One can upload geo-tagged photographs of the incident along with textual information directly to the system.
  • Hence, both satellite data and human information will be used to capture information on the unauthorised mining activities.
  • Once reported, the information will be automatically directed to the nodal officers to take suitable action on those activities
  • The uniqueness of the system is that it uses satellite data as well as public input to capture information on unauthorised coal mining activities and also take appropriate action on them with due transparency.

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approves DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2018

  • The primary intended purpose for enactment of "The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill" is for expanding the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.
  • The utility of DNA based technologies for solving crimes, and to identify missing persons, is well recognized across the world.

Enlighten about the provisions of the bill

  • By providing for the mandatory accreditation and regulation of DNA laboratories, the Bill seeks to ensure that with the proposed expanded use of this technology in the country
  • The DNA test results are reliable and the data remain protected from misuse or abuse in terms of the privacy rights of our citizens.
  • Bill's provisions will enable the cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on the one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on the other, and also for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.

Benefits of DNA tests and using this technology

  • Speedier justice delivery.
  • Increased conviction rate.
  • Forensic DNA profiling is of proven value in solving cases involving offences that are categorized as affecting the human body (such as murder, rape, human trafficking, or grievous hurt), and those against property (including theft, burglary, and dacoity).
  • The aggregate incidence of such crimes in the country, as per the statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2016, is in excess of 3 lakhs per year.
  • Of these, only a very small proportion is being subjected to DNA testing at present.
  • It is expected that the expanded use of this technology in these categories of cases would result not only in speedier justice delivery but also in increased conviction rates, which at present is only around 30% (NCRB Statistics for 2016).

Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Competition Commission of India (CCI) launches an Online Guidance System for determining notifiability of Merger & Acquisitions in terms of the Competition Act, 2002.

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today launched an Online Guidance System for determining notifiability of merger & acquisitions (combinations) in terms of the Competition Act, 2002.
  • The Guidance System has been named as “Do It Yourself (DIY): A notifiability check for mergers & acquisitions under the Competition Act, 2002”
  • The online guidance system has been launched as part of CCI’s outreach initiatives and measures to simplify compliance requirements regarding combinations.

Enlighten about Competition Commission of India

  • It is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing The Competition Act, 2002 throughout India and to prevent activities that have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.
  • It was established on 14 October 2003. It became fully functional in May 2009
  • The objectives of the Act are sought to be achieved through the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which has been established by the Central Government with effect from 14 October 2003.
  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

Ministry of Finance

Recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks extended upto 2019-20

  • The extension of the scheme of recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) for the next three years i.e. upto 2019-20.
  • This will enable the RRBs to maintain the minimum prescribed Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) of 9 per cent.

Hou it would be beneficial

  • A strong capital structure and minimum required level of CRAR will ensure financial stability of RRBs which will enable them to play a greater role in financial inclusion and meeting the credit requirements of rural areas.

Statics of RRBs

  • There are 56 RRBs functioning in the country.
  • As on 31st March, 2017(Prov.), the total credit given by RRBs is Rs.2,28,599 crore, of which the credit under key categories

Enlighten about the RRBs Recapitalization

  • The scheme of Recapitalization of RRBs started in FY 2010-11 and was extended twice in the year 2012-13 and 2015-16.
  • A total amount of Rs. 1107.20 crore, as Gol share, out of Rs.1450 crore, has been released to RRBs upto 31st March, 2017.
  • The remaining amount of Rs.342.80 crore will be utilized to provide recapitalization support to RRBs whose CRAR is below 9%, during the years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • The identification of RRBs requiring recapitalization and the amount of capital to be provided, will be decided in consultation with NABARD.

Enlighten about RRBs

  • RRBs were set up with the objective to provide credit and other facilities, especially to the small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, artisans and small entrepreneurs in rural areas for development of agriculture, trade, commerce, industry and other productive activities.
  • RRBs are jointly owned by Government of India, the concerned State Government and Sponsor Banks with the issued capital shared in the proportion of 50%, 15% and 35% respectively.

Election Commission

Series of Measures for the Maximum Participation of Persons With Disabilities in Election Process Two-Day National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections Draws to a Close

  • The two-day National Level Consultations on Accessible Elections organized by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi

Enlighten about Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC)

  • The Election Commission launched the distribution of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) with Braille features for visually challenged voters by handing them over to two of the recipients.
  • These cards would be distributed to all visually challenged voters across the country.

Auxiliary polling stations

  • To establish auxiliary polling stations for the People with Disabilities (PwDs) during elections.

Mobile app for PwDs/ Ease of voting for PwDs(initiatives by ECI)

  • A mobile app would be developed in-house for the PwDs to facilitate them participate fully in election processes.
  • The ECI would make available all its election related awareness materials in accessible formats for the PwDs.
  • The photo voter slips would also be made in accessible formats for them.
  • A new unit called Accessible Division would be established in the ECI-run International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Management (IIDEM) in New Delhi.
  • Accessibility Master Trainers would also be employed to provide cascaded trainings for the welfare of the PwDs.
  • The Framework includes 14 important parameters like Identification of Barriers and respective solutions, Voter registration and polling, Inclusive Voter Education, Leveraging Technology for Accessible Elections, Research and Knowledge Sharing, Role of Partner Departments, Educational Institutions, CSOs, Volunteers and Media, Training and sensitisation of Staff, Alternative Voting Methods, Legislative Initiatives and Special four tiered Committees on Accessible Elections.
  • ECI’s theme for the year- 2018, Accessible Elections-to identify barriers/gaps in the inclusion of PwDs in the electoral process, assess the present accessibility policies in place and put forward recommendations for addressing barriers to enhance the participation of the differently-abled.

State Specific

MoU between Telangana and Singapore life sciences and biotechnology industrial cluster

  • MoU for preparing roadmap for Genome Valley 2.0.
  • It will be an upgraded version of life sciences and biotechnology industrial cluster, Hyderabad

Genome Valley Genome Valley

  • It is India’s first organized pharma-biotech cluster for life sciences R&D activities and largest life sciences destination in Asia
  • Presence of multinationals such as Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, DuPont, Mylan, U Pharmacopeia among others.

Enlighten about the inception of the cluster

  • The cluster was conceptualized in 1999 in Shamirpet, Hyderabad, India.
  • It spread over 600 sq kms in vicinity of Hyderabad.
  • It is India’s first systematically developed R&D cluster, boasting world-class infrastructure facilities in form of Industrial/Knowledge Parks, Special Economic Zone (SEZs), Multi-tenanted wet laboratories and Incubation facilities.
  • It synergize a healthy mix of companies in realm of biopharma, vaccine manufacturing agri-biotech, Clinical Research Management (CRM), regulatory and testing and other related areas.

Enlighten about Genome Valley 2.0

  • Genome Valley 2.0 is vision to upgrade cluster into world-class knowledge le integrated corridor in self-sufficient life sciences ecosystem.
  • It is being envisioned to transform into industry led knowledge based ecosystem to become a driver for local economic development.
  • It will introduce world class knowledge cluster and lay master plan to transform the ecosystem into smart satellite town of Hyderabad.
  • Its expansion will enable more glob companies to establish and expand their operations.

Centre State Relations

Delhi v/s Centre – The Supreme Court Verdict

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously stated that the Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal is bound by the “aid and advice” of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
  • ‘Lieutenant-Governor has free hand in judicial, quasi-judicial functions’ ‘Administrator has to be more active than the Governor of a State’CJI quotes from the 1987 Balakrishnan report to conclude that Delhi is not a State‘Control of the Union over Delhi is vital in the national interest’

Enlighten about the highlights of the judgement

  • In case of difference of opinion, the L-G should straightaway refer the dispute to the President for a final decision without sitting over it or stultifying the governance in the National Capital
  • The S.C concluded that the governance of Delhi cannot rest upon the whims of one functionary — the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • The Lieutenant-Governor has not been entrusted with any independent decision-making power.
  • He has to either act on the ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers or he is bound to implement the decision taken by the President on a reference being made by him
  • The judgment came on appeals filed by the NCT government against an August 4, 2016, verdict of the Delhi High Court, which had declared that the L-G has “complete control of all matters regarding the National Capital Territory of Delhi, and nothing will happen without the concurrence of the L-G.”
  • Chief Justice Misra said the “L-G must work harmoniously with his Ministers”.

Economy

Payments Council of India (PCI)

  • PCI is an apex non-governmental body representing companies in payment and settlement system.
  • It was formed in 2013 under aegis of IAMAI (Interne and Mobile Association of India) to cater needs of digital payment industry India.
  • It was formed for representing various regulated non-banking payment industry players and to help resolve various industry level issues and barrier in payments and settlement system.
  • It works with all its members to promote payments industry growth and support goal of ‘Cash to Less Cash Society’ and ‘Growth of Financial Inclusion
  • PCI works closely with regulators i.e. RBI, Finance Ministry and an similar government, departments, bodies or institutions to make ‘India a les cash society’

Rural Development/Financial Inclusion

Common Service Centres to work as banking correspondents of HDFC bank All the bank facilities which are available in cities will be made available to people in rural areas through CSCs

WHAT

  • CSC SPV, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics & IT, has entered into agreement with HDFC Bank to enable its three lakh Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) managing the Common Services Centers operate as Banking Correspondents of HDFC Bank.
  • The agreement was signed between Chairman and Managing Director and Ministry of Electronics & IT

Enlighten about the agreement

  • Under the agreement, VLEs of CSC will work as Banking Correspondent of HDFC Bank and support the Government initiative to promote financial inclusion and make banking services more accessible in rural areas.
  • This agreement is expected to be a game changer as it would significantly contribute to Government’s objectives of enabling Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of various schemes.
  • Women, senior citizens and persons with disability will especially get benefitted through this initiative.
  • This will facilitate withdrawal and deposit of government entitlements such as payments under MGNREGA as well as various social welfare schemes like widow pension, handicapped and old age pension, etc.

Digi Gaon (Digital Villages)

  • Apart from this, HDFC Bank will support CSC SPV in converting 1000 identified villages into Digi Gaon (Digital Villages) within this financial year.
  • CSC SPV is implementing Digi Gaon initiative in rural and remote villages of the country, with the mandate of the Ministry of Electronics & IT, where citizens can avail various online services of the central and State government.
  • The Digi Gaons are positioned to promote rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods through community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with key focus on the rural citizen.

Stree Swabhiman’

  • HDFC Bank will also support CSC SPV by funding Stree Swabhiman Sanitary Napkin Manufacturing Units.
  • CSC SPV, through its initiative ‘Stree Swabhiman’ is striving to create a sustainable model for providing affordable and accessible sanitary products close to the homes of adolescent girls and women in rural areas.
  • So far 204 sanitary pad manufacturing units have become operational across the country.

Common Service Center (CSC)

  • The Common Service Center (CSC) Scheme is an integral part of “Digital India” initiative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.
  • Currently, close to three lakh VLEs are operational across the country, of which 2.10 lakh are at Gram Panchayat level.

Science and Technology

Astronaut escape feature ‘Pad abort test’ involves aborting a space capsule at launch

WHAT

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has scheduled a ‘pad abort test’ of an experimental space crew capsuleas an important cog of its plan to send Indians to space one day.
  • The launch pad abort test, or PAT, involves aborting a space capsule at launch to save the inmates.
  • It is slated For today at ISRO’s Sriharikota launch venue, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), in coastal A.P.
  • Space Application Centre Ahmedabad (SAC) has provided devices that enable satellite communication and navigation of this flight.

Enlighten about Pad abort test

  • The priority of all space agencies in a human space mission is the safe return of its astronauts.
  • With the pad abort test, ISRO aims to prove its technology that will safely parachute future astronauts down in case their space vehicle develops snags while taking off, a senior ISRO executive said.
  • ISRO describes PAT as the first milestone in qualifying its crew escape system in an emergency.
  • The test is also one of the many main and supporting technologies that the space agency is developing ahead of its ambitious Human Space Flight Programme (HSP).

Sources – PIB , The Hindu , Livemint