Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 27, 2017

Defence

INS TARASA commissioned into Indian Navy

  • INS Tarasa (T94), the fourth and last ship in series of Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) was commissioned into Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
  • It is an improved variant of Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built indegenously by Kolkata (West Bengal) based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), for the Indian Navy.

Enlighten about INS Tarasa

  • INS Tarasa has been named after the picturesque island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in Bay of Bengal.
  • It is powered by the latest 4,000-series MTU engines and has displacement capacity of 315 tonnes.
  • 35 knots and for an endurance of nearly 2,000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots.
  • The ship will be fitted with CRN-91 indigenous 30mm gun with optronic pedestal.
  • The ship will also have the latest communication equipment and radars to enable effective surveillance.
  • INS Tarasa will be based at Mumbai under operational control of Western Naval Command.
  • It will be used for missions like coastal and off-shore surveillance, EEZ Patrol, law enforcement. It will also conduct non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.

Some more facts -

  • The first two ships of class INS Tarmugli and INS Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam.
  • The third ship INS Tillanchang was commissioned earlier in March 2017 at Karwar, Gujarat.

International Relations

India, US to explore trilateral navy exercise expansion

  • Two sides will discuss the possibility of inducting new members in the exercise, and Australia and Singapore are likely contenders.
  • The Malabar naval exercises have evolved from a Indo-US naval exercise into a strong display of geopolitical force joining the Indo-Pacific’s three most powerful democracies.
  • After Japan joined as a permanent participant in 2015, the exercise has received attention — in the face of an assertive Chinese military deployment in Indo-Pacific region.

Governance

‘PENCIL’ Portal On Child Labour Elimination

  • The government has launched a web portal called ‘PENCIL’ for effective implementation of the National Child Labour Project, (NCLP).

Enlighten about PENCIL portal

  • PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) — an electronic platform for no child labour in the country is being developed by the Labour Ministry.
  • PENCIL portal has five components — Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence.

Enlighten about NCLP:

  • The National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme initiated in the in 1988 to rehabilitate working children by eliminating all forms of child labour through identification and withdrawal of all children in the Project Area from child labour, Preparing children withdrawn from work for mainstream education along with vocational training.
  • NCLP has been revised expanded and aligned to the new legislative provisions.

Space

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission completes 3 years in orbit

  • The country had on 24 September 2014 successfully placed the Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft in the orbit around the red planet, in it very first attempt, thus breaking into an elite club.
  • ISRO had launched the spacecraft on its nine-month-long odyssey on a homegrown PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on 5 November 2013.
  • It had escaped the earth’s gravitational field on 1 December 2013.

Enlighten about the Mars Orbiter Mission:

  • The Rs 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched with the PSLV-C25 rocket from Sriharikota on November 5, 2013.
  • After travelling 666 million kilometres for around 300 days, it entered into the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014.
  • India created history as the first nation to reach Mars on a maiden attempt.
  • The debut achievement of making the spacecraft go round the planet was the most challenging manouevre of the mission.
  • It eluded old planetary warhorses Russia, the U.S. and Europe, who started out into space 50 years back with superior rockets.
  • The five payloads collect data on geology, morphology, atmospheric processes and surface temperature of Mars.
  • The extended life has helped scientists make more observations of Mars from its five instruments and study the seasons better.
  • Its has sent colourful images of the Martian terrain, valleys and hills from different distances. An ISRO-MOM team won the U.S. National Space Society’s Space Pioneer Award for 2015.
  • ISRO also won the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for promoting international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space

Governance

Government launches Divyang Sarathi Mobile Application

  • The Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment has launched Divyang Sarathi—The accessible and comprehensive mobile application for easy dissemination of information to ‘Divyangjans’.
  • Pertaining to schemes, scholarships, statutes, institutional support systems, jobs and other crucial information.

Enlighten about it

  • The app is integral part of ICT component of Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) launched in December 2015. It also compliant with principles of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for Universal Access and provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 which mandates that all information to be made available in accessible form.
  • The app has inbuilt unique feature of audio notes (text-to-voice conversion software) which converts written information into audio file as well as the adjustable font size which can be altered as per user’s requirement.
  • It has been developed bilingually i.e. information is available in Hindi as well as English.

Consumer Affairs

Government launches Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt System

  • The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution launched web portal of Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) & Electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt (e-NWR) System under Digital India mission.
  • These initiatives aims at simplifying Warehouse Registration Rules, digitizing entire process of registration, monitoring and surveillance as well as creation and management of NWRs in electronic form through two repositories.

Enlighten about Negotiable warehouse receipts

  • NWRs are documents issued by warehouses to depositors against commodities deposited in warehouses for which warehouse is bailee.
  • They are transferred by endorsement and delivery i.e. either original depositor or holder in due course (transferee) can claim commodities from warehouse.
  • NWRs can be traded, sold, swapped and used as collateral to support borrowing or loans from banks.
  • These receipts were made negotiable under Warehouse (Development and Regulation) Act, 2007 and are regulated by Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA).
  • e-NWR will have no chances of any tempering, mutilation, fudging, loss or damage and also no possibility of any multiple financing.
  • e-NWR will also help to save expenditure in logistics as stocks could be traded through multiple buyers without physical movement and can be even split for partial transfer or withdrawal.

Some more facts -

  • These initiatives will revolutionize marketing of agricultural commodities and help farmers realize better price for their produce which will be step towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022

Defence

DRUZBA 2017: Pakistan, Russia hold joint military drill

The second edition of DRUZBA 2017 (Friendship-2017), a joint military exercise between special forces of Pakistan and Russia was held in Minralney Vody, Russia.

Enlighten about it

  • The joint exercise DRUZBA 2017 focused on counter-terrorism operations, hostage and rescue, cordon and search operation.
  • It aimed to enhance and further strengthen military ties between two countries and share Pakistan Army’s experience in war against terrorism.
  • It also involved experience sharing and develop coordination in carrying out practice combat tasks in a mountainous environment, including operations against illegal armed groups.

Energy Sector

India ranks third in nuclear power installations: study

  • According to World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, India with six installed nuclear reactors ranks third in world, while China is leading at 20 installed nuclear reactors.

Decline in Nuclear Reactors:
The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is declining globally for fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017. Most nuclear reactor constructions are behind schedule, with delays resulting in increase in project costs and delay in power generation.

Delay in Projects:
Globally, there are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over past year. In India itself, five out of six reactors under construction are behind schedule. Eight nuclear power projects have been under construction globally for a decade or more, of which three have been so for over 30 years.

Nuclear power vs Renewable energy:
Debate regarding value of nuclear energy “is over” especially nuclear power vs renewable energy development. It reveals that since 1997, worldwide, renewable energy has produced four times as many new kilowatt-hours of electricity than nuclear power.

Power generation:
Globally it has increased by 1.4% in 2016 due to a 23% increase in China, but it is stagnated at 10.5%. By comparison, globally, wind power output grew by 16% and solar power by 30%. Wind power increased 3.8 times, and solar power by 2.2 times more than nuclear power respectively. Renewables represented 62% of global power generating capacity additions.

Shutting down of nuclear plants:
Russia and US have shut down reactors in 2016. Sweden and South Korea also have closed their oldest units in first half of 2017.

Financial crisis in nuclear Industry:
In recent years, financial crisis plaguing nuclear industry. Toshiba has filed for bankruptcy of its US subsidiary Westinghouse, largest nuclear power builder in history. France’s AREVA also has accumulated $12.3 billion in losses over past six years. French government has provided it $5.3 billion bailout and continues its break-up strategy.

Science & Tech

Stratolaunch: World’s largest aircraft successfully passes first engine tests

The world’s largest all-composite airplane Stratolaunch in terms of wingspan successfully completed its initial engine tests. It is designed for launching for sending satellite-carrying rockets into low-Earth orbit.

Enlighten about it -

  • Stratolaunch plane is fitted with six 747 turbofan engines.
  • It is designed to carry nearly 250,000 kg between the two fuselages. It can hold more than 113,000 kg of fuel. It has operational range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles.
  • Stratolaunch plane is designed for runway-style takeoff.
  • Once it reaches cruising altitude of 11,000 metres, it can detach rockets carrying small satellites into low-Earth orbit.
  • It is capable of delivering payloads to multiple orbits and inclinations in a single mission.

Social Issues

Child Rescue Campaign

Railway Protection Force

  • to implement its Child Rescue Campaign in 47 additional Railway Stations taking total to 82 Railway Stations
  • The campaign is presently successfully implemented in 35 existing Railway Stations.
  • RPF rescued around 21,000 children in last three years.

Operation Muskaan

  • An initiative of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to rescue/rehabilitate missing children.
  • It is a dedicated campaign where several activities are taken up by Police organizations to trace and rescue missing children and reunite them with their families.
  • The Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force are required to take preventive measures
  • As a result of tireless, vigilant and prompt action with compassion and humane touch, RPF has been conferred with the ‘Service of Excellence Award’ by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the efforts in rescue of missing children under operation “MUSKAN’’ drive.