9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 20th, 2020

Oxfam:Time to Care report

News:Oxfam, an international non-profit organisation has released the study ‘Time to Care’ ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Facts:

Report on Global inequality:

  • The world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people.
  • The 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.
  • The world’s richest 1% have more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
  • The value of unpaid care work by women aged 15 and over is $10.8 trillion annually.
  • The number of billionaires has doubled over the past decade.
  • The women and girls are among those who benefit least from economic system.It would take a female domestic worker 22,277 years to earn what a top CEO of a tech company makes in one year,

Report on India:

  • India’s richest 1% hold more than four-times the wealth held by the bottom 70 per cent of the country’s population
  • The total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires was higher than last year’s Union Budget of India 2018-2019.

Recommendations on reducing inequality:

  • Government should build national care systems, provide free public services and increase taxes on the wealthy.
  • It also suggests countries should try to limit the influence of corporations and the super rich.
  • It said that if the government gets the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth over the next 10 years would equal the investment needed to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health.

India successfully test-fires K-4 nuclear capable missile

News:India has successfully test-fired the 3,500-km range K-4 submarine launched ballistic missile.

Facts:

About K-4 missile:

  • K-4 is a nuclear-capable Intermediate-range submarine-launched ballistic missile.
  • The missile has been developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO).
  • The missile has a maximum range of about 3500 km.It is powered by solid rocket propellants.
  • The missile is to be fitted into the indigenously built Arihant-class nuclear-powered submarines of the Indian Navy.
  • Only the US, Russia and China have submarine-launched ballistic missiles of 3,500-kilometre range.

Significance of K-4 missile:

  • The K-4 missile has a Circular Error Probability(CEP) of 40 metres or less which is much more sophisticated than Chinese missile
  • Circular Error Probability(CEP) is an indicator of the delivery accuracy of a weapon system.It is used as a factor in determining probable damage to a target.

Additional information:

About INS Arihant:

  • INS Arihant is an indigenously designed nuclear-propelled, nuclear ballistic missile submarine(SSBN).
  • The missiles are envisaged for this purpose are (a)the Sagarika with a range of 750 km and (b)the K-4 with a range of 3500 km.
  • The missile is designed to prowl the deep ocean waters carrying nuclear weapons and provide an assured second strike capability which is the capability to strike back after being hit by nuclear weapons first.

Centre for tougher law against sexual harassment at work

News:The Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Home Minister which was constituted to strengthen the legal framework to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace has finalised its recommendations.

Facts:

Background:

  • The Group of Ministers (GoM) was formed in the backdrop of the #MeToo movement.
  • MeToo is a global campaign against sexual harassment and assault where women from all over the world open up and share their stories throwing light on sexual abuse prevalent in our society.

About Sexual Harassment:

  • Sexual harassment is a behaviour with a sexual connotation that is abusive,injurious and unwelcome and makes a person feel offended, humiliated and intimidated.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) recognizes sexual harassment at workplace both as an aspect of gender discrimination and as a form of violence against women.

About Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace Act, 2013:

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act was passed in 2013.The act broadens the Vishaka guidelines which were already in place.
  • The act aims to prevent and protect women against sexual harassment at workplace and to ensure effective redressal of complaints of sexual harassment.
  • It defines an aggrieved victim as a woman of any age whether employed or not who alleges to have been subjected to any act of sexual harassment.
  • The act made the employer responsible to prevent or deter acts of sexual harassment at the workplace.It says that employer must constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at each office or branch with 10 or more employees.
  • It says that complaint has to be made within 3 months from the date of the incident.For a series of incidents,it has to be made within three months from the date of the last incident.
  • However, this time-frame is not rigid as the ICC can extend the time limit if it is satisfied that the circumstances were such which prevented the woman from filing a complaint in that period.

Additional information:

About Vishakha Guidelines:

  • The guidelines date back to 1997 when the Supreme Court laid them down while passing judgment in a public interest litigation filed by Vishaka and other women’s rights groups.
  • The judgement defined sexual harassment for the first time and imposed three key obligations on institutions namely prohibition,prevention and redressal.
  • The Court also directed institutions to establish a Complaints Committee,which would look into matters of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

146 Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Odisha’s Chilika

News:Recently,Odisha Forest Department has sighted 146 endangered Irrawaddy dolphins in Chilika Lake.

Facts:

About Irrawaddy Dolphins:

  • Irrawaddy Dolphins(Orcaella Brevirostris) are oceanic dolphin found in brackish water near coasts, river mouths and estuaries in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Habitat:It extends from the Bay of Bengal to New Guinea and the Philippines.
  • They are found in three rivers namely The Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the Mahakam (Indonesian Borneo) and the Mekong.
  • Features:They have a bulging forehead and short beak.They pop out their head out of the water to breathe followed by its back.
  • Status:They are listed as Endangered under the IUCN Red list.
  • Population:The total population in the world is estimated to be less than 7,500.Of these,around 6,400 Irrawaddy dolphins have been reported from Bangladesh.
  • The dolphin distribution in Chilika is considered to be the highest single lagoon population.
  • Threat:They had been under stress in Chilika lake due to unregulated boating by tourists as well as illegal prawn enclosures.

Additional information:

About Chilika lake:

  • Chilika lake is the Asia’s largest brackish water lake.It is located at the Daya River flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The lake is also the second largest coastal lagoon in the world after the New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia.
  • Chilika lake was also designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1981.

Explained:About Hyperloop technology

News:The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project,an ultra-modern transport system may be scrapped by the Maharashtra government.

Facts:

About Hyperloop:

  • Hyperloop is a proposed mode of transportation that moves freight and people quickly, safely, on-demand and direct from origin to destination.
  • The concept was first proposed by Elon Musk,CEO of the aerospace firm SpaceX.

How does Hyperloop works?

  • Hyperloop technology comprises of a network of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects from one point to another.
  • The system is fully autonomous and sealed, so no driver-related error is anticipated.In a sealed environment with almost no air resistance,the pods are expected to reach very high speeds of around 700 mph or 1,125 km/h.

About Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop Project:

  • In 2018,Maharashtra Government had approved the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project.
  • The responsibility of the project was given to the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) which announced that the project will be implemented in two phases.
  • However,the current government has said that Hyperloop project will be implemented after it has been successfully implemented elsewhere in the world.
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