9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 5, 2018

 


Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here


GS 2

Disabilities Act: States going slow on roll-out, says study

Disabilities Act: States going slow on roll-out, says study

News

A study conducted by the Disability Rights India Foundation (DRIF) on the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, found that only 10 states have notified rules under the Act

Important Facts

About the study

  1. The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD)
  2. The study was conducted across 24 states

Highlights of the study

  1. 58.3% of the states have not notified state rules under the RPWD Act, 2016
  2. Ten States including Bihar, Chandigarh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have notified the State rules
  3. 79.2% of the States have not constituted the funds for implementation of the RPWD Act.
  4. 62.5% of the States have appointed Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities
  5. 58.3% of the States have not notified Special Courts in the districts for trying offences under the Act
  6. 87.5% have not appointed a Special Public Prosecutors as mandated by the law
  7. Only three States have constituted Advisory Committees, comprising of experts, to assist the State Commissioners
  8. Out of 24 states, Madhya Pradesh ranked the highest, followed by Odisha, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.
  9. Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Jammu and Kashmir ranked the lowest

Additional Information

About Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016

  1. The Act seeks to enhance the Rights and Entitlements of Divyangjan and provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and social inclusion
  2. The Act brings Indian law on Disabled in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory
  3. 21 disabilities are covered under the Act
  4. According to the Act, the state rules are to be notified by all States within six months of the Act coming into force
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GS 3

‘Naxalism is a sign of poor governance premature to write its obituary until the socio-economic causes are addressed’

‘Naxalism is a sign of poor governance premature to write its obituary until the socio-economic causes are addressed’

Article:

Views of Prakash Singh, a former IPS officer on Urban Naxalism

Analysis:

What is Urban Naxalism?

Urban Naxalism means Naxalism as practised in urban areas by different shades of intellectuals

Why and how does Naxalism spread?

  1. The spread of Naxalism is closely related to prevalence of poor governance in India. People are attracted to Naxals who promise to uphold their interests against the prevailing injustices in the society- corruption, unequal development
  2. Further, the presence of political goons, extortionists who infiltrated into the Naxal movement accentuate the problem

Steps to be taken:

  1. Governance:
  • Ensure good governance
  • Address farmers’ grievances
  • Protect forest rights of tribals
  • Taking up welfare measures in Naxal affected areas
  1. Curb fundraising: Effective area domination by the security forces and ensuring security to all those contractors, businessmen and corporate houses operating in interior areas from whom Naxals extract money
  2. Law and Enforcement:
  • Enhancing capabilities of state police forces
  • Improving ground level intelligence
  • Ensuring better inter-state and Centre-state coordination
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Accounting methods of climate fund questioned

Accounting methods of climate fund questioned

News:

In a paper titled “3 Essential “S” of Climate Finance- Scope, Scale and Speed: A Reflection”, submitted at the COP24, the Indian Finance Ministry has questioned climate finance values being reported by the developed countries as having being transferred to developing countries.

Important Facts:

Various issues highlighted in the paper:

  1. Inconsistency in definition: Definitions of climate change finance used in various reports by developed countries were not consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  2. Low Finance: The finance provided by the developed nations till date is far lower than that originally promised by developed nations. According to the paper, the growth in the reported climate specific finance slowed down from 24% between 2014 and 2015 to 14% between 2015 and 2016
  3. Over reporting: The ministry paper has referred to an assessment by Oxfam (2018) which states that the value of loans is being over reported
  4. Issue of moral responsibility: The developing nations have been demanding that the developed nations (particularly USA) take historical and moral responsibility for being among the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Moral responsibility includes transfer of funds and technology to aid developing nations in adapting to climate change. However, India has argued that this has not been taken care of.
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Among Himalayan states, Assam and Mizoram face the biggest climate threat

Among Himalayan states, Assam and Mizoram face the biggest climate threat

News

According to a study presented by a team of Indian scientists at the COP 24 climate conference, Assam and Mizoram are the most vulnerable to climate change among the Himalayan states.

Important Facts

About the Study:

12 western and eastern Himalayan states were studied on various parameters crucial for adaptation to climate change such as irrigated area, per capita income (for 2014-15), area under crop insurance, forest cover and the extent of slopes

Highlights of the Study:

  1. Assam has the highest vulnerability because:
  • It has one of the lowest areas under irrigation and lowest forest area per 1,000 rural households among the states assessed
  • It has lowest per capita income
  • Lowest area under crop insurance
  • Relatively low participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme (The schemes provides 100 days of unskilled employment to at least one adult member of every poor rural household)
  1. Mizoram (ranked 2nd) is highly vulnerable because of the same issues faced by Assam and because 30% of its geographical area is under slope.
  2. Jammu and Kashmir has third highest vulnerability primarily because:
  • has no area under crop insurance
  • least road density
  • low percentage of area under horticulture crops
  • low livestock to human ratio
  • low percentage of women in the overall workforce
  1. Sikkim has performed the best with lowest vulnerability as
  • It has the highest per capita income among the 12 states assessed,
  • good coverage of dense forests
  • large area under orchards
  • low population density.

Significance of the study:

The study and vulnerability rankings will aid the government in detecting vulnerable states and districts within a state and take appropriate and targeted actions

News

According to a study presented by a team of Indian scientists at the COP 24 climate conference, Assam and Mizoram are the most vulnerable to climate change among the Himalayan states.

Important Facts

About the Study:

12 western and eastern Himalayan states were studied on various parameters crucial for adaptation to climate change such as irrigated area, per capita income (for 2014-15), area under crop insurance, forest cover and the extent of slopes

Highlights of the Study:

  1. Assam has the highest vulnerability because:
  • It has one of the lowest areas under irrigation and lowest forest area per 1,000 rural households among the states assessed
  • It has lowest per capita income
  • Lowest area under crop insurance
  • Relatively low participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme (The schemes provides 100 days of unskilled employment to at least one adult member of every poor rural household)
  1. Mizoram (ranked 2nd) is highly vulnerable because of the same issues faced by Assam and because 30% of its geographical area is under slope.
  2. Jammu and Kashmir has third highest vulnerability primarily because:
  • has no area under crop insurance
  • least road density
  • low percentage of area under horticulture crops
  • low livestock to human ratio
  • low percentage of women in the overall workforce
  1. Sikkim has performed the best with lowest vulnerability as
  • It has the highest per capita income among the 12 states assessed,
  • good coverage of dense forests
  • large area under orchards
  • low population density.

Significance of the study:

The study and vulnerability rankings will aid the government in detecting vulnerable states and districts within a state and take appropriate and targeted actions

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Drones must serve a larger populace

Drones must serve a larger populace

News

Flying drones have become legal in India starting December 1 with the National Drones Policy drafted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation coming into effect.

Important facts:

What are drones?

  1. Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has defined Drone/remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) as an unmanned aircraft piloted from a remote pilot station.
  2. The remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), command and control links and any other components form a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS).

About Drone Regulations 1.0

  1. As per the Civil Aviation Requirements issued under the provisions of Rule 15A and Rule 133A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, the drones will need the following:
  • Registered Unique Identification Number (UIN), the fee for which is Rs 1000
  • Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP), the fee for which is Rs. 25000 and is valid for 5 years
  • Compliance to NPNT (No permission – No Take off), a software program to enable operators to obtain permissions prior to flying.
  1. The DGCA has classified drones into five different categories in accordance with their maximum take-off weight as follows:
  • Nano — Less than or equal to 250 g (does not need registration or license)
  • Micro — From 250 g to 2 kg
  • Small — From 2 kg to 25 kg
  • Medium — From 25 kg to 150 kg
  • Large — Greater than 150 kg
  1. Digital Sky – an online platform to be operational from December 1 has been developed for handling UIN, UAOP applications and permission to fly drones

Issues and Concerns

  1. Surveillance: Surveillance by means of drones raises significant issues for privacy and civil liberties
  2. Safety: Biggest safety threat from drones is potential collisions with airplanes. While most airports ban drones from flying near them, such rules may potentially be hard to enforce and cause serious damages
  3. Environmental: Irresponsible drone use could cause harm to birds by disrupting nests, provoking attacks and mid-air collisions
  4. Societal:
  • Drone has wide applications in rural areas especially in the agricultural sector where it can be used to map vegetation stress, prevent crop-raiding by wild animals, precise spraying of pesticides etc.
  • However, the processes and fees involved in obtaining permission to fly a drone would make it difficult for rural people to use drones.
  1. Technical/Implementation challenges: According to some recent reports, there are delays in the creation of the Digital Sky system which would unnecessarily delay the implementation of the Rules.
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Kandhamal Haldi likely to get GI tag

Kandhamal Haldi likely to get GI tag

News

Odisha’s Kandhamal Haldi is likely to receive GI tag as the Geographical Indications Journal has advertised its application seeking objections.

Important Facts

About Kandhamal Haldi

  1. Kandhamal Haldi is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, which is a part of the ginger family whose botanical name is Curcuma Longa. It is known for its medicinal values
  2. The crop is cultivated in Kandhamal, a district in Odisha which is centrally located and whose geographical area is hilly and covered with forest.

3.Kandhamal Apex Spices Association for Marketing (KASAM) in its application had stated that turmeric is the main cash crop of the poor tribal farmers of the district.

  1. Further Kandhamal turmeric is organically produced and is sustainable in adverse climate conditions

Additional Information

What is Geographical Indication (GI)?

A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

About Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999:

  1. It was enacted after the ratification of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  2. The Act prescribes uniform standards for the protection of geographical indication and govern GI registrations and goods
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Tiger in the snow

Tiger in the snow

News:

Wildlife Institute of India has found Royal Bengal Tiger in the snow-capped regions of the Eastern Himalaya.

Facts:

  • IUCN Red List status: Endangered
  • Tiger only have one species in the world but it is divided into six subspecies: Bengal (Indian), Sumatran, Amur (Siberian), Malayan, Amoy (South China) and Indochinese.
  • Bengal tiger habitats usually are tropical rainforests, marshes, and tall grasses however recently they have also been traced in the snow-capped region of Eastern Himalaya in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley
  • A large part of the Dibang Valley is home to the Mishmi tribes who have found to co-exist with the animals.
  • The mangroves of the Sundarbans shared between Bangladesh and India—are the only mangrove forests where tigers are found.
  • Smaller populations are also found in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. It is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies.

Threats and Conservation

  • The main threats are: poaching and conflicts with humans
  • Since the 1970s India began to establish reserves through the Tiger Project that helped stabilize the Number of tigers. Also, the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 empowers the government to take conservation measures.
  • The Wildlife Protection Society of India continues watching all allegations of tiger poaching
  • Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and World Land Trust (WLT) are working together to secure safe passage for elephants, tigers and other threatened species away from humans.

Additional Facts:

  • Namdapha National Park

o   It is located between the Dapha bum range of the Mishmi Hills and the Patkai range.

o   Noa-Dihing River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra which flows westwards through the middle of Namdapha

o   Country’s only reserve to have four big cat species — the tiger, leopard and the severely endangered clouded and snow leopards

o   Namdapha was originally declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972, then a National Park in 1983 and became a Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger scheme in the same year

o   Chakma, Tangsa and Singpho and Lisu tribal settlement found around the park.

  • Project Tiger:

o   Tiger conservation programme was initiated in 1973 in the Corbett national park of Uttarakhand by the government of India with the help of World Wildlife Fund

o   The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body of the Ministry, with an overarching supervisory / coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

o   There are 50 tiger reserves in India which are governed by Project Tigers.

  • In 2005, The Prime Minister of India set up the Tiger Task Force to strengthen the conservation of Tigers in the country.
  • About World Wide Fund for Nature

o   WWF is world’s largest international non-governmental organization for conservation founded in 1961

o   The Living Planet Report is published every two years by WWF since 1998; it is based on a Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculation.

o   Currently, their work is organized around these six areas: food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests, and oceans

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Mumbai startup first Indian pvt firm to have satellite in space

Mumbai startup first Indian pvt firm to have satellite in space

News:

US space agency SpaceX launched India’s first privately built satellite.

Facts:

  • SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket placed Exseed Sat-1 along with 63 other satellites from 17 countries in orbit.
  • Mumbai-based Exseed Space has become the first private commercial organisation in India to have a satellite in space.
  • It is a mini communication satellite with an objective to serve Radio community in India and helps the country in time of disaster.
  • Indian Space Kidz’s KalamSat-1 is the tiniest satellite launched by NASA on June 22, 2017.

Additional Info:

  • About Falcon 9

o   The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful cargo-lifting rocket developed by private spaceflight company SpaceX of U.S

o   It is a two-stage rocket powered by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene to transport satellites to low Earth orbit and geosynchronous transfer orbit.

o   Falcon 9 is the first orbital class rocket capable of reflight/reuse.

o   Falcon Heavy was designed to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

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