Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 7, 2017

Defence

CATOBAR: India Navy to use US aircraft launch system in ship

  • Indian Navy is likely to use advanced catapult-based aircraft launch mechanism (CATOBAR) from United States for its second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-II), which is on drawing board.
  • In this regard, both countries have held several rounds of discussions in joint working group (JWG) on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC) under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) set up by them.

EMALS

  • For some time, India was exploring possibility of installing US electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS).
  • The US has offered India its latest EMALS technology, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.
  • EMALS uses electric motor-driven catapult instead, which allows launch of much heavier aircraft and reduces stress on aircraft whereas older-generation CATOBAR is powered by steam catapult.

Enlighten about it –

  • The IAC-II has been envisaged to be around 65,000 tonnes and capable of carrying over 50 aircraft.
  • Indian Navy is keen on nuclear propulsion, which will give it unlimited range and endurance, its development in time seems doubtful.
  • India’s first domestic carrier, Vikrant, weighing 40,000 tonnes, is in an advanced stage of construction in Kochi (Kerala).
  • It is scheduled to be launched by 2018-end.
  • It works on Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) mechanism similar to that in present carrier INS Vikramaditya, with an angular ski-jump.

Space

China launches two BeiDou-3 navigation satellites

  • China successfully launched two BeiDou-3 satellites named BeiDou-3 M1 and BeiDou-3 M2 into space on board of single carrier rocket Long March-3B from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern province of Sichuan.

Enlighten about it –

  • These two satellites represent third phase of BDS system (BeiDou-3). It is the final stage of the establishment of a Chinese space-based navigation architecture.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

  • The BeiDou project was formally initiated in 1994.
  • It was named after Chinese term for plough or Big Dipper constellation.
  • It began to serve China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region at the end of 2012.
  • This system will provide services for countries involved in Belt and Road Initiative and form complete global satellite navigation system by 2020 by which time China plans to have more than 30 satellites.
  • It will make China third country in world after the US and Russia to operate its own navigation system.

Sports

Indian women’s hockey team wins 2017 Asia Cup title

  • Indian women’s hockey team won the 2017 Asia Cup hockey title. In the final match held at Kakamigahara in Japan, India defeated China by 5-4 goals in penalty shootout.
  • With this victory, India qualified for 2018 World Cup and women’s hockey team win closely follows victory of men’s side in October 2017.
  • It was India’s second Women’s Asia Cup title and first one was won in 2004.

Science & Tech

Scientists discover universe’s most ancient spiral galaxy

  • Scientists have discovered most ancient spiral galaxy known as A1689B11, recorded so far in the universe.
  • It was detected using powerful technique that combines gravitational lensing with Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) on Gemini North telescope in Hawaii.
  • Gravitational lenses are nature’s largest telescopes, created by massive clusters composed of thousands of galaxies and dark matter.

Enlighten about it –

  • The A1689B11 galaxy was born 11 billion years ago and existed just 2.6 billion years after Big Bang, when universe was only one-fifth of its present age.
  • It sits behind a massive cluster of galaxies that acts as lens, which scientists used to produce magnified images.
  • The bending of cluster magnified light of galaxies behind it in manner similar to an ordinary lens, but on much larger scale.
  • A1689B11 has very cool and thin disc, rotating calmly with surprisingly little turbulence unlike other galaxies of the same epoch.

Significance

  • Studying ancient spirals like A1689B11 can provide insights into early cosmos.
  • It will help in unlocking mystery of how and when Hubble sequence emerges.
  • Spiral galaxies are exceptionally rare in early universe and this discovery opens door to investigating how galaxies transition from highly chaotic, turbulent discs to tranquil, thin discs like those of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Paradise Papers

ICIJ releases Paradise papers

  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has released ‘The Paradise Papers’, a global investigation that reveals the offshore activities of some of the world’s most powerful people and companies.
  • Among 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of number of names.
  • In all names of 714 Indians have figured in this largest ever black money data leak.

Enlighten about Paradise Papers

  • The Paradise Papers are set of 13.4 million documents mainly from Appleby, an offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond related to offshore investment in some of the world’s most secretive countries.
  • The files were first obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with ICIJ and partner 95 media outlets.
  • They contain the names of more than 120,000 people and companies across the globe.
  • Big companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, EBay, Uber, Glencore, Nike, Walmart, Allianz, Siemens, McDonald’s and Yahoo were also named in it.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

  • The ICIJ is global network of more than 200 investigative journalists in 70 countries who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories.
  • It was founded in 1997 by respected American journalist Chuck Lewis.
  • It was launched as a project of Centre for Public Integrity, focusing on issues that do not stop at national frontiers: corruption, cross-border crime and accountability of power.
  • It is headquartered in Washington DC, US. Earlier in 2016, it had released Panama Papers.

Power Ministry

Postmen to collate data on homes still without electricity

The power ministry has engaged postmen for door-to-door survey to expedite the Saubhagya scheme

Enlighten about it

  • India Post through its network 1.73 lakh outlets has begun collecting data on un-electrified households spread over three states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Similar initiatives are being launched in Assam and Jharkhand.
  • The data for a total 1.75 lakh villages in the five states is likely to be submitted in a month.
  • The data is being uploaded online through a web portal and a mobile application by the postmen called ‘Gram Dak Sewaks’ by the postal department.
  • The web portal and the application have been created and are being monitored by state run Rural Electrification Corp.

Enlighten about Saubhagya Scheme

  • The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana -Saubhagya- launched in September with over Rs 16,000 crore outlay for universal household electrification, will cover a total of 300 lakh households–250 lakh households in rural areas and 50 lakh in urban areas.
  • As per scheme, the states will have to submit detailed project reports to the Centre.
  • Projects would be sanctioned based on the detailed project reports to be submitted by the states.

India & It’s Neighbourhood

For year-round border security, India plans tunnels on China border

  • For year-round border security and ensure better connectivity along the entire Line of Actual Control, India is planning to construct tunnels on China border.

Benefits of tunnels:

  • Land acquisition and forest clearance are relatively easier for tunnels.
  • Tunnels reduce the operational cost of vehicles and reduce the need for deploying troops for security duties in sensitive areas.
  • They help avoid situations where military posts remain cut off for six months due to snowfall or rain.
  • Furthermore, the Himalayan ranges with its fragile geology has a history of earthquakes, landslides and avalanches.

Economy

Global watchdog FATF puts Pakistan on notice

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global anti- money laundering watchdog has put Pakistan on notice for terror financing.
  • FATF has sought from Pakistan, notwithstanding opposition from China, a compliance report by February 2018 on action taken against terror groups such as LeT and JuD.
  • FATF has asked Pakistan to do more to freeze assets of terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

Enlighten about it –

  • The decision was taken at the recently held Buenos Aires plenary of the FATF, where India raised the issue of Pakistan’s support for terror group at the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) meet.
  • Terror financing was a key theme at the FATF meet in the Argentine capital.

About FATF

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 on the initiative of the G7.
  • It is a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in various areas.

Objectives

  • The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

What it does?

  • The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.
  • In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

Corporate Affairs

National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA):

  • Corporate Affairs Ministry (MCA) is taking steps to set up National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).

What is it?

  • It is an independent body to test check financial statements, prescribe accounting standards and take disciplinary action against errant professionals.
  • The Companies Act 2013 provides for setting up a National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).

International Conference

Inauguration of Three-Day International Conference – ‘FIPSPHYSIOCON 2017’

  • "FIPSPHYSIOCON 2017”, Conference on Human Physiology - VII Congress of Federation of Indian Physiological Societies (FIPS) along with XXIX Annual Conference of the Physiological Society of India (PSI) organised by Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Science (DIPAS) of DRDO was inaugurated at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute (VPCI), University of Delhi