Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - October 25, 2017

Rural Development

Unprecedented community action in ‘Gram Samridhi Evam Swachhata Pakhwada’ from 1st to 15th October, 2017

  • In partnership with State Governments and other Departments, Department of Rural Development organized Gram Samridhi Evam Swachhata Pakhwada from 1st October to 15th October, 2017.
  • Gram Sabhas were held in nearly all the Gram Panchayats of the Country on 2nd October.During this period,
  • DISHA Monitoring Portal and Gram Samvaad App were introduced on 11th October, 2017.
  • Disha Monitoring Portal would enable Members of Parliament to track progress in implementation of various centrally sponsored schemes in their constituency.
  • Gram Samvaad Mobile app allows a citizen to access information on and implementation of Rural Development schemes at Panchayat level.
  • Thrust was placed on skill development among youth and total of 1404 Skill Raths were launched in different parts of the country to register demand through the Kaushal Panji App for skill training.
  • Public accountability thrust was seen at Panchayat offices, with complete disclosure of beneficiary lists and works under execution with details.
  • Special efforts were made in the 50,000 Gram Panchayats that States have been selected purposively by State Governments for coverage under Mission Antyodaya.

Gram Samridhi Evam Swacchata Pakhwada

  • It is an effort to prepare the Gram Panchayat Development Plan through extensive community participation especially of women and youth.
  • The recommendations of this plan will be given top most priority in finalization of Annual Action Plan across schemes and programmes of various Ministries and Departments.

Social

Hindu adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development is set to initiate amendments to the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA)
  • To disallow any further adoptions under the personal law and instead bring it under the purview of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Why such a move?

  • A study that showed that among the adoptable 48,000-odd children across child care institutions, only 2,000 are linked to adoption agencies under JJAct, half of them are children with special needs.
  • The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) presently has a waitlist of more than 17,000 prospective parents.
  • There cannot be two parallel systems as it makes it very difficult to check instances of child trafficking.

The Hindu Adoptions And Maintenance Act, 1956 (Hama)

  • HAMA allows couples from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh communities to adopt children of parents belonging to these communities through a simple agreement.
  • Adoptions under HAMA are between two individuals and it is very difficult to monitor cases of misuse, selling or trafficking of children.
  • The JJ Act states that nothing in this Act shall apply to the adoption of children made under the provisions of the HAMA.
  • Another recent study, by CARA, showed the extent of unregistered adoptions under HAMA.
  • For Example-In Delhi less than 50 adoptions were officially registered in a year under HAMA, but 3,200 stamps were sold for the stated purpose of adoption where the deeds were simply notarised.

What is the problem?

  • As per the adoption regulations of the JJ Act, all child-care institutions were to be registered with CARA within six months of the legislation coming into force in January 2016.
  • Twenty months later, 10 per cent of the total institutions are both linked to adoption agencies and registered under the Act.
  • The recent ministry study found that there are 9,400 child-care institutions across the country, over half of which are unregistered.
  • The ministry will issue an ultimatum to all child-care institutions asking them to register under the JJ Act by December 31, else shut down operations.
  • This is aligned with May 2017 order by a Supreme Court bench in a case regarding exploitation of children in a Tamil Nadu orphanage that held that all child-care institutions have to be registered under JJ Act by the year end.
  • Many institutions hold on to the children as their funding agencies give them grants based on the number of children with them.

Economy

Formation of task force for India public credit registry

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a high-level task force on public credit registry (PCR) for India.
  • The task force, chaired by Y M Deosthalee, will have nine other members.
  • The terms of reference of the task force include, reviewing the current availability of information on credit in the country, assessing gaps in India that could be filled by a comprehensive public credit registry and suggesting a roadmap including the priority areas, for developing a transparent, comprehensive and near-real-time public credit registry for India.

About Public Credit Agency (PCR)

  • A PCR is set up by the central bank and reporting of loan details to the Registry by lenders and/or borrowers is mandated by law.
  • A public credit registry would help good borrowers in securing credit at lowers costs and also improve access of credit to small and medium enterprises.
  • Currently, there are four credit bureaus in India — Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL), Equifax, Experian, and CRIF Highmark.
  • These bureaus provide credit scores and allied reports and services.
  • Their analysis reports are used for issuing credit cards and for taking decisions mainly on retail loans. The bureaus are regulated by the RBI under the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005.
  • A survey conducted by the World Bank reported that as of 2012, out of 195 countries that were surveyed, 87 were having PCRs, as per the RBI.

Environment

Comments sought on draft guidelines for groundwater extraction

  • The Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) has sent Draft guidelines for “issuance of NOC” for ground water withdrawal and draft “Public Notice” to the Chief Secretaries of all the State and Administrators of Union Territories for their comments within 60 days.

Reasons for coming up with draft guidelines

  • Due to the increasing number of litigations in the National Green Tribunal, various branches of Tribunal are directing CGWA to ensure that the groundwater withdrawal in the country should be in accordance with law.

Major Revisions
The major revisions in the guidelines are

  • pan India coverage,
  • decentralization of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) issuing authorities, dispensing with the provisions relating to submission of artificial recharge proposals and construction of artificial recharge structures by project proponents
  • introduction of a water conservation fee in lieu of recharge mechanism;
  • Funds raised through the water conservation fee to be used by States for effective groundwater management.

Central Grounder Water Authority

  • The CGWA constituted by Government of India under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 has been regulating groundwater development and management in the country.
  • The authority has been granting NOC for withdrawal of ground water by industries/infrastructure/mining projects.

CPCB eases norms for sewage plants

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has relaxed standards for upcoming sewage treatment plants (STP), including those to come up on extremely polluted stretches of the Ganga.
  • It is part of the government’s ₹20,000 crore push to clean the river was a 2015-proposal to have higher standards for STPs.
  • The government earlier planned that the biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) — a marker for organic pollutants — in the treated water had to be no more than 10 mg/litre.
  • Existing laws permit BoD up to 30 mg/litre.
  • But a recent notification by Union Environment Ministry says that STPs coming up after June 2019 except in major State capitals and metropolitan cities need only conform to 30 mg/litre of BoD.

Contemporary Issues

National anthem in movie halls

  • SC Judge Justice D Y Chandrachud was critical of last year’s apex court order making it mandatory for movie halls to play the national anthem before the start of a film
  • Justice Chandrachud who was part of a three-judge bench which heard a petition filed by a film society seeking recall of its November 30 order making it mandatory for movie halls to play the anthem

Suggestion from the Chief Justice of India

  • Chief Justice Misra said the court may modify its earlier order and replace the “shall” in it with “may”
  • Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General too agreed with this

Centre–State Relations

Centre appoints Shri Dineshwar Sharma as its Representative in J&K

  • Former Intelligence Bureau (IB)chief Dineshwar Sharma is appointed as Representative of Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with the elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tasks ahead for the Interlocutor

  • He will have rank equivalent to a Cabinet Secretary and complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with.
  • He is likely to hold talks with mainstream local political workers of the PDP, National Conference and Congress, heads of various religious seminaries in the Valley, local student unions etc
  • He would try to know how things are panning out on the ground for and against India and try to understand the legitimate aspirations of the people of the state.

Defence

Navika Sagar Parikrama – Tarini Enters Fremantle

  • INSV Tarini entered Fremantle (Australia) port today during it’s maiden voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
  • This is the first-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.

Navika Sagar Parikarma

INS Tarini

  • First-ever Indian circumnavigation of the globe by an all-women crew.
  • They will begin their voyage later this month from Goa, and expect to return to Goa in March 2018, after completing the circumnavigation.
  • The expedition has been titled Navika Sagar Parikrama.
  • The Parikrama will be covered in five legs, with stop-overs at 4 ports: Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).
  • INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and was inducted in the Indian Navy earlier this year.
  • The vessel will be skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi, and the crew comprises Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.

56th Raising Day of ITBP observed

  • The 56th raising day of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) was celebrated 24 October.
  • It was raised on 24th October in 1962. ITBP is deployed on guarding 3488 kilometer long India-China Border from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Its motto is Shaurya – Dridhata – Karm Nishtha (English: Valour – Steadfastness and Commitment). At present, ITBP is strong Central Armed Police Force of 90000 personnel. It primarily guards the 3,488 km long Indo-China border along Tibet Autonomous Region.

Telecommunicaton

TRAI recommends 40% reduction in carbon emission by 2022-23 for sustainable telecommunications

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended 40% reduction in carbon emissions in telecom networks by 2022-23 considering 2011-12 as the base year in order to make telecom sector greener.
  • It was mentioned in TRAI’s recommendation to Department of Telecom (DoT) on approach towards sustainable telecommunications.

More facts -

  • The target for reduction in carbon emission will be set as 30% by year 2019-20 taking base year as 2011-12 and 40% by year 2022-23.
  • The targets will be reviewed in year 2022-23. TRAI has set target of 5% by year 2012-2013, 8% by 2014-2015, 12% by 2016-2017 and 17% by 2018-2019 for carbon emission reduction.

World Day

24 October: World Polio Day

  • The World Polio Day is observed annually across world on 24 October to create awareness about the hazards of the crippling Polio disease.
  • The day was established by Rotary International to commemorate birth of Jonas Salk who had led the first team of researchers which had developed a vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio virus).
  • This development had led to widespread use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequently use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin.
  • It also had led to establishment of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which has helped to reduce polio worldwide by 99%.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

  • GPEI launched in 1988 has played pivotal role in eradication of wild poliovirus.
  • When it was launched wild poliovirus existed in 125 countries.
  • Now, it exists in two countries Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Till 2012, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country was reservoir of more than half of the Polio cases in the world.
  • But in 2015, it was removed from list of Polio endemic countries by World Health Organization (WHO).

Poliovirus

  • Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5.
  • The virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food).
  • After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
  • Its initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs.
  • In some cases, it causes permanent paralysis.
  • There is no cure for polio, however it can only be prevented by immunization. Polio vaccine

October 24: World Development Information Day

  • The World Development Information Day (WDID) is observed every year on October 24 to draw attention of world to development problems and necessity of strengthening international cooperation to solve them.
  • To celebrate this day, many events are organized to focus attention on work that UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development.
  • Many of these are aimed at journalists working for range of media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines and internet sites.

Background

  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development on May 17, 1972 had proposed measures for information dissemination and mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems.
  • These measures came to be known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by UN General Assembly in 19, 1972 and instituted World Development Information Day on October 24.

24 October: United Nations Day

  • The United Nations Day is observed every year on 24th October to mark anniversary of entry into force of UN Charter in 1945.
  • ‎With ratification of this founding document by majority of its members, including five permanent members of UN Security Council, United Nations officially came into existence.
  • Since then, 24th October is celebrated as UN Day.
  • On this day all member states of UN contribute finances to its operation to help further its goals.

Enlighten about United Nations

  • UN is successor of ineffective League of Nations and was established in 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict.
  • Now, it has become world’s only truly universal global organization and is foremost forum to address issues that transcend national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country acting alone.

Post- Independence

Paika rebellion to be named as 1st War of Independence: Government

  • The Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has announced that Paika rebellion (Paika Bidroha) of 1817 will be named as First War of Independence against British Rule in history books from next academic session.
  • Earlier, 1857 Sepoy Mutiny was regarded as the First War of Indian Independence, but Paika Bidroha predates it.

Paika Bidroha (rebellion)

  • Paiks were traditional landed militia under Gajapati rulers of Odisha.
  • They used to perform policing functions and owned rent-free land that was given to them for their military service to Kingdom of Khurda.
  • However they were forcefully usurped their land rendering them landless by the policies of British East India Company.
  • They were also subjected to repressive land revenue policies and humiliation by the British.