Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 29, 2017

World Day

World Maritime Day – 28 Sep.

  • The World Maritime Day (WMD) is observed every year on September 28 to highlight importance of
  • shipping safety
  • maritime security and marine environment
  • and to acknowledge maritime industry.
  • The 2017 theme of the day is ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’.
  • It was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on many diverse actors involved in shipping and logistics industry.
  • It aims to focus on helping International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses whole range of issues, including facilitation of maritime transport, increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of marine environment, and maritime security.

Enlighten about it

  • The World Maritime Day marks date of adaptation of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention in 1958.
  • The day was first observed in 1978.
  • The IMO’s original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) but it was changed to IMO in 1982.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

  • IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.
  • It was established in 1948 in Geneva as ICMO and came into force in 1959.
  • Its headquarters are in London, United Kingdom.
  • IMO has 171 member states and 3 associate members.
  • India was one of the earliest members of the IMO and had joined it as a member-state in 1959.
  • Its functions are to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit.
  • This framework addresses various areas like safety, legal matters, environmental concerns, technical co-operation, maritime security and efficiency of shipping.

Rating Agencies

India Ratings cuts GDP estimate citing demonetisation, GST

  • India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) an arm of global rating agency Fitch has cut India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.7% from earlier expected 7.4% in the current fiscal.

Reasons -

  • Because of the disruptive impact of demonetisation and the new GST
  • After demonetisation, failing to remonetise the economy quickly

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra)

  • It is India’s Most Respected credit rating agency committed to providing the India’s credit markets with accurate, timely and prospective credit opinions.
  • Ind-Ra currently maintains coverage of corporate issuers, financial institutions, which includes banks and insurance companies. Finance & leasing companies and managed funds, Urban Local Bodies, Structured Finance and Project Finance.
  • Ind-Ra is headquartered in Mumbai and it is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group

Defence

Indian Army strikes Naga insurgents along India-Myanmar border

  • Operation against National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang(NSCN-K)
  • Indian Army soldiers gunned down “a large number” of members of the insurgent Naga group the NSCN(K) along the India-Myanmar border
  • An officer on the ground said the insurgents suffered as many as 30 casualties

Border rules with Myanmar

  • The 1,643 km-long border with Myanmar is extremely porous primarily
  • Because we have an agreement wherein people from across the border are permitted up to 16 kilometers into Indian territory for trade purposes

Abrogation of cease fire agreement

  • The NSCN(K) abrogated a 2001 ceasefire agreement with India on 27 March 2015, a month before it was scheduled to be renewed

Social Issues

Karnataka anti-superstition Bill

  • The Karnataka Cabinet has cleared the much-delayed and debated Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, popularly known as the anti-superstition Bill.
  • The Bill, if cleared by the State legislature, is expected to put an end to various inhuman practices such as black magic, witchcraft, or any act in the name of religion that causes harm to humans and animals. However, acts such as Kesh Lochan (plucking of hair), vaastu and astrology have not been barred.

The bill bans the following

  • Performing any inhumane act, evil practices and black magic in search of treasure, bounty.
  • Tantric acts including physical and sexual assault.
  • Parading anyone naked.
  • Ostracising anyone in the name of ritual and encouraging inhumane acts.
  • Creating impression of ‘possession’ and exorcism.
  • Assaulting people under the garb of exorcism.
  • Spreading misinformation and creating panic in the garb of ghosts, black magic.
  • Making claims of healing power.
  • Propagating practices that involve self-mutilation.
  • Coercing people to perform fire-walking.

What is not banned

  • The form of the worship such as Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama performed at religious places.
  • Harikata, Keerthana, Pravachana, Bhajana, teaching of ancient and traditional learning and arts, practice, propagation and circulation.
  • Miracles of the deceased saints propagation, publicity and circulation of the same and the propagation, publicity and distribution of literature about miracles of the religious preachers which do not cause physical injury.
  • Performance of prayers, upasana and religious rituals at home, temple, darghas, gurdwara, pagoda, church, and other religious places which do not cause physical injury.
  • All religious celebrations, festivals, prayers, procession and other act relating other rituals.
  • Piercing of ears and nose of children in accordance with rituals and performance of religious ritual such as Kesh Lochan by the Jains.
  • Advice in regard to vaastu shasthra, and advice by jyothishya and other astrologers.

Women & Child Development

CARA launches monthly “Jan Sampark” Program to facilitate adoption

  • The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of the Ministry of Women & Child Development has started a monthly “Jan Sampark” program to enable the public to have interaction with its officials and staff for seeking information related to Adoption as well as flagging their concerns.

Enlighten about it

  • The first of its kind programme was held recently in New Delhi.
  • Prospective Adoptive Parents (PAPs), Adoptive Parents and representatives of agencies will participate in the event.
  • Details pertaining to Immediate Placement and Special Needs Adoption Module of Child Adoption Resource Information & Guidance System (CARINGS) as well as the newly launched Grievance/Query portal will be shared with all the stakeholders in the event.
  • The event also serves as a platform for counselling and motivating PAPs to go for adopting older children.
  • The event will now be a regular feature every month apart from the quarterly Facebook live chat by CEO CARA.

Enlighten about CARA

  • Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is a statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
  • It functions as the nodal body for adoption of Indian children and is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA is designated as the Central Authority to deal with inter-country adoptions in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993, ratified by Government of India in 2003.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.

National

Indian Railways to launch 100 New Suburban Rail Services in Mumbai area

  • Indian Railways is going to introduce 100 additional local train services on its Mumbai suburban network of Western Railway and Central Railway zones.
  • Out of these 100 services, 32 new services will be introduced on Western Railway while 68 services will be introduced on Central Railway, giving major boost to suburban rail services in Mumbai area.

Directorate General of Quality Assurance celebrates its Diamond Jubilee

  • The Diamond Jubilee of Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) was observed on 28 September 2017 as it completed 60 years of its existence

Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA)

  • DGQA functions under Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.
  • It was established in 1957, but its origin dates back to 1869, when first Inspectorate was set up at Ammunition Factory, Kirkee (now Khadki) in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Its headquarters are located in New Delhi.
  • Provide Quality Assurance (QA) cover for entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipments and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.
  • It is also responsible for import substitution and associates with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the development projects
  • It also ensures documentation, codification and standardisation action for minimizing variety of components/ equipments. It also renders services such as promotion of small scale industries, post procurement services, defect investigations and technical consultancy

Environment & Ecology

Aquatic Rhabdops: New species of non-venomous aquatic snake discovered in Western Ghats

  • Misidentified since 1863, was identified and described as new species from northern Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Goa and North Karnataka.
  • Earlier the new species, Rhabdops aquaticus, was considered as variant of Olive Forest Snake, first described in 1863. But new study has confirmed that Aquatic Rhabdops has different colours and patterns and also vary in other features of size, shape and structure, and also genetic make-up.
  • Aquatic Rhabdops snakes belong to genus Rhabdops which are endemic to India.
  • It is named after its aquatic nature three-foot-long nocturnal snake and mostly prey underwater like other water snakes.
  • Aquatic Rhabdops is found only in the laterite plateaus of the northern Western Ghats in Goa, southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka which are mostly areas facing high human pressure.

Disaster Management

NDMA’s 13th Formation Day observed

  • The 13th Formation Day of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was celebrated across the country. The theme of this year’s Formation Day was School Safety.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • The NDMA is apex statutory body for disaster management in India under aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Its provisions are envisaged in Disaster Management Act, 2005 and was established in 2009.
  • It is headed by the Prime Minister of India.

Mandate:

  • Its primary purpose is to coordinate response to natural or man-made disasters and for capacity-building in disaster resiliency and crisis response.
  • It is also apex body to lay down policies, plans and guidelines for Disaster Management to ensure timely and effective response to disasters

Cabinet Decisions

Cabinet approves installation of telecom towers in cantonments, military areas

  • The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for revision of policy of Ministry of Defence for providing Defence land to Communication Operators for construction of Shared Communication Towers and allied Infrastructure.
  • Decision in this regard was taken based on experience in implementing policy and guidelines issued by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for issue of clearance for installation of Mobile Towers.

Governance

National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL)

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) registered National E-Governance Services Limited (NeSL) today as an Information Utility (IU) under the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017
  • This registration is valid for five years from the date of registration
  • It stores financial information that helps to establish defaults as well as verify claims expeditiously and thereby facilitates completion of transactions under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 in a time bound manner.