- The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Act of 2017 authorises the Centre to decide the manner in which statistical information can be used.
2. The key features of the amended act are given below:
- It will empower the Central government to make rules on the powers and duties of a nodal officer to coordinate statistical activities in the Central government or a State government or UT under Section 6 of the act.
- The act also extends the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, to Jammu and Kashmir under List I (Union List) and List III (Concurrent List) in the seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
- The act will also strengthen the data collection mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir.
3. The original Act of 2008 had restricted the data collected to be used only for statistical purpose.
4. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects, among others.
5. The Act had originally extended to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.
6. The Jammu and Kashmir State Legislature enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and is almost a replica of the Central legislation.
7. The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, were not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.
- The Odisha government is setting up a world-class interpretation centre at Dangamal near Bhitarkanika National Park.
2. It will help in protecting crocodiles and preserving its rich mangrove diversity.
3. The project was approved under the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project.
4. About Bhitarkanika National Park:
- Bhitarkanika National Park is a national park located in Kendrapara district of Odisha in eastern India.
- Bhitarkanika, one of the State’s finest biodiversity hotspots, receives lakh’s of visitors every year.
- The park is famous for its green mangroves, migratory birds, turtle, estuarine, crocodiles, and creeks.
- It accommodates about 70% of the country’s estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975.
- During 1999 Super Cyclone in Odisha, the rich mangrove forests had acted as a bio-shield. There was very less impact of the cyclone in the mangrove-forested regions.
- Kalibhanjdia Island, a place in Bhitarkanika, has attracted the attention of foreign scientists as it possesses 70% of the total mangrove species of the world.
- The Viyayawada Municipal Corporation is planning to launch the “smart parking” initiative.
2. It will help those looking to park for a longer period at busy locations.
3. The initiative enables any mobile user on the move to check for availability of space offered by the civic body.
4. The app “Parkinslot” could be downloaded from Android and iOS application stores , developed by Chennai-based Smart Parking India Pvt. Ltd, the firm that bagged the contract for maintaining and operating the city’s parking space offline and online.
5. The smartphone application shows availability of space close to the user’s location.
6. Users need to pay and book a slot on the application which would later provide navigation service.
7. Users should pay through the app for advance booking after selecting an available slot.
8. Other motorists who directly arrive at the parking lot can pay in cash or through payment apps.
9. Users need to register on the app on their mobile and vehicle number and the available parking lots and their occupancy status will be shown on a map based on the expected time of arrival (ETA).
10. The real-time space availability is updated via IoT-enabled sensors placed on the surface of each parking space.
- The LIGO detectors discovered the first gravitational waves produced by two giant merging blackholes in 2016.
2. The Environment Ministry has allowed scientists to test the suitability of land in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district to host the India wing of the ambitious Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.
3. The project involves constructing a network of L-shaped arms, which can detect even the faintest ripples from cosmic explosions millions of light years away.
4. The discovery of gravitational waves earned three U.S. scientists the Nobel for physics in 2017.
5. Generally, mining companies prospect a region by sinking boreholes to get a sense of the geology of the site and ascertain availability of required minerals and metals.
6. In the case of the LIGO project, it is to check if the land can be made perfectly level at a reasonable cost.
7. The LIGO project operates three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Two are at Hanford in the State of Washington, north-western USA, and one is at Livingston in Louisiana, south-eastern USA.
8. The proposed LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India.
9. The LIGO-India project is an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the LIGO-India consortium: Institute of Plasma Research, Gandhinagar; IUCAA, Pune; and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore.
10. The LIGO lab would provide the complete design and all the key detector components.
11. Indian scientists would provide the infrastructure to install the detector and it would be operated jointly by LIGO-India and the LIGO-Lab.
12. The project, piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), and is expected to be ready by 2025.
- Imports of steel products used in construction more than doubled to nearly 22,000 tonnes.
2. As per the government documents, India is being hit by steel producers in Japan and South Korea.
3. This is so because mills there redirect supply after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped an import duty on the alloy earlier this year.
4. USA has imposed tariff of 25 % and 10 % on steel and aluminum respectively.
5. During the first fiscal quarter the steel imports has rose by 31% and 30% from Korea and Japan respectively.
6. India imports high end steel product for railway road and construction products. Import of steel product for railway construction has rose to more than 1800 tonns as compared to 500 tonns previous year.
7. South Korea has now become the third largest market for steel industry. South Korea and Japan was the 4th and 10th biggest steep exported to the USA.
8. It is a matter of concern for Indian domestic industry.
9. India has taken the following preventive measures :
- India to impose safeguards duties on products from the United States from September this year.
- Under WTO arrangement, safeguard duties are temporary restriction on import of products.
- India to slap certain duties against US manufactured product as well.