9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 27th, 2020

Paradip Port expansion project gets inter-ministerial panel nod

News: An inter-ministerial panel has approved a Ministry of Shipping proposal for deepening and optimisation of inner harbour facilities of the Paradip Port Trust.

Facts:

About Paradip Port

  • Type: Natural, deep-water port.
  • Location: Confluence of the Mahanadi River and the Bay of Bengal in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.
  • Management: Paradip Port Trust (PPT), an autonomous corporation under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 functioning under Ministry of Shipping
Image result for paradip port location in map"

Country’s first Super Fab Lab inaugurated by Kerala CM

News: India’s first Super Fab Lab was launched at the Integrated Startup Complex of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM). It will function in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Facts:

About Fab Labs

  • Fab Labs are fabrication laboratories offering digital fabrication and computation. The idea was conceived by inventor and scientist Professor Neil Gershenfeld.
  • It seeks to enable entrepreneurs turn their ideas into new products and prototypes by giving them access to a range of advanced digital manufacturing technology. 
  • Established in 2002, Vigyan Ashram in Pune, India was the first fab lab to be set up outside MIT.

Additional Information:

Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM): Founded in 2006, is the central agency of the Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in Kerala.

Adhoc Committee of the Rajya made 40 recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of children

News: Adhoc Committee of the Rajya instituted by Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has made 40 f recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of children and to contain access to and transmission of child pornography content on the social media.

Facts:

Recommendations:

Legislative  Technology Institutional Social and Educational State-level Implementation
clause to be inserted in the POCSO Act, 2012 under which advocating or counselling sexual activities with a person under the age of 18 years is an offence Law enforcement agencies be permitted to brake end to end encryption to trace distributors of child pornography upgraded and technologically empowered National Commission for Protection of Child Rights campaigns for greater awareness among parents to recognize early signs of child abuse, online risks and improving online safety for their child Each State and UT shall have empowered State Commission for the Protection for Child Rights
National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal to be designated as the national portal for reporting any electronic matters under POCSO Blockchain analysis companies to trace identities of users engaging in crypto currency transactions to purchase child pornography online National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shall mandatorily record and report annually cases of child pornography   E-safety Commissioners be appointed at state level
Punitive measures for access, produce or transmit Child Sexual Abuse Material(CSAM) separate adult section for on-streaming platforms      

Additional Information:

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act:

  • Enacted in 2012, to protect the children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
  • Provides for gender neutral application of stringent punishment, including death penalty, for aggravated penetrative sexual assault of children.
  • Provides for levy of fines and imprisonment of up to 5years to curb child pornography.

Nagardhan excavations: Why are findings important to understand Vakataka dynasty

News: Recent excavations at Nagardhan near Nagpur, have provided concrete evidence on the life, religious affiliations and trade practices of the Vakataka dynasty.

Facts:

About Nagardhan

  • It is a large village in Nagpur district and hosts the Nagardhan fort.
  • The Nagardhan fort was constructed during the Gond Raja period and later renovated and re-used by the Bhosales of Nagpur during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Recent Excavation:

First time clay sealings have been excavated:

  • It belongs to the period when Prabhavatigupta was the queen of the Vakataka dynasty.
  • It bears her name in the Brahmi script, along with the depiction of a conch- a sign of the Vaishnava affiliation
  • These sealings could have been used as an official royal permission issued for trade with Iran and beyond through the Mediterranean Sea.

Additional Information:

Vakataka dynasty

  • was a Brahmin dynasty
  • Reign: c. 250 CE – c. 500 CE
  • Territorial Extent: southern edges of Malwa and Gujarat in the north to the Tungabhadra River in the south, the Arabian Sea in the west to the edges of Chhattisgarh in the east.
  • Founder: Vindhyashakti
  • The rock-cut Buddhist viharas and chaityas of Ajanta Caves (were built under the patronage of Vakataka emperor, Harishena.
Image result for vakataka"

 India begins coral restoration in Gulf of Kachchh

News: The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), with help from Gujarat’s forest department, is attempting for the first time a process to restore coral reefs using biorock or mineral accretion technology.

Facts:

About biorock or mineral accretion technology

  • Biorock is the substance formed by electro-accumulation of minerals dissolved in seawater.
  • The technology works by passing a small amount of electrical current through electrodes in the water
  • As a result of the process, calcium carbonate is formed and coral larvae adhere to the CaCO3 and grow quickly.

Additional Information:

Corals and Coral Reefs in India

  • Corals are small (0.25-12 inches), soft-bodied marine organisms.
  • They live in colonies called reefs that they build using a limestone skeleton (calicle) lying at their base.
  • In India, coral reefs are located in 7 regions: Goa coast, Kerala coast, Palk Bay, Gulf of Kucch, Gulf of Mannar, Lakshadweep islands, Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Image result for coral reefs in india

Bharat Parv 2020

News:Bharat Parv,2020 will be celebrated from 26th to 31st January,2020.

Facts:

About Bharat Parv:

  • Bharat Parv aims to generate a patriotic fervour, promote the rich cultural diversity of the country and to popularize the idea of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
  • It is organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with other central Ministries.
  • Central theme of Bharat Parv 2020 is ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and ‘Celebrating 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi.

Additional information:

About Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat:

  • Aim:To promote engagement amongst the people of different states/UTs so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures,thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.
  • The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been designated Nodal Ministry for coordination of the programme.

Australia’s iconic platypus under threat from climate change:study

News:According to a study,Australia’s devastating drought and other effects of climate change are pushing platypus towards extinction.

Facts:

About platypus:

  • Platypus is a semi aquatic egg laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia.
  • They are one of the five extant species of monotremes,the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young.
  • Platypuses are also known as venomous mammals as male platypus has a venomous spur on the inside of its ankle.
  • They are listed as Near Threatened under the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) Red list.

Nagoba Jatara Festival

News:Nagoba Jatara festival is being celebrated by the Mesram Raj Gonds and Pardhans in Telangana State.

Facts:

About Nagoba Jatara:

  • Nagoba Jatara is a tribal festival held in Adilabad district,Telangana, India. 
  • It is the second biggest tribal carnival and celebrated by Mesaram clan of Gond tribes for 10 days.
  • The Gusadi Dance performance by dancers from the Gond tribe is a major special attraction of the event.

About Gond Tribe:

  • Gonds are one of the largest tribal groups in the world.They mostly live in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.
  • They majorly speak Gondi which is an unwritten language of the Dravidian family.
  • The Gond staple food is two kinds of millet namely kodo and kutki.Rice is mostly consumed during festival feasts.

Ganga-Volga Dialogue:India-Russia

News:The Ganga-Volga Dialogue was held between India and Russia in New Delhi.

Facts:

About Ganga-Volga Dialogue:

  • The Ganga Volga Dialogue was conceptualized during 2018 India Russia Summit between Russian President and Indian Prime Minister.
  • The dialogue was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.
  • The objective of the dialogue was to provide a platform for enhancing the special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia.
  • Theme of the dialogue:Connectivity

Key takeaways from the dialogue:The dialogue discussed the following key proposals 

  • Impact of rapidly changing international situation
  • Ways of implementation of decisions taken in India-Russia Summit held in September 2019 at Vladivostok.
  • Development of economic activities in the riverine systems of Ganga and Volga.

New Resolution Authority in works to curb failure of large financial institutions

News:Finance ministry is planning to setup a Resolution authority to curb failure of large financial institutions.

Facts:

About the Resolution authority:

  • The Resolution authority aims to address the issue of insolvency of firms in the financial sector.
  • The authority would comprise of members from financial sector regulators as well as senior government officials as its members.
  • The ambit of the authority is likely to be over banks, NBFCs, insurance companies, securities market players, co-operative banks and regional rural banks. 
  • Under it,if a bank,NBFC or other insurance company fails,a solution will be available to either sell that firm, merge it with another firm or close it down.This will ensure least disruption to the economy and to investors and other stakeholders.

India provides platform, Maldives inches closer to re-enter Commonwealth 

News:Recently,India has provided a platform for engagement between the Maldives and the Commonwealth Secretariat that could enable Maldives re-entry into the Commonwealth of Nations.

Facts:

About Commonwealth of Nations:

  • Commonwealth of Nations formerly known as British Commonwealth is an international intergovernmental organization of countries that were mostly former territories of the British Empire and dependencies.
  • It was established by the London Declaration in 1949.Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the Commonwealth.
  • The current membership includes 53 Countries.The membership is based on free and equal voluntary cooperation.
  • Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings(CHOGM) are held every two years to discuss issues of common interest.

Commonwealth Secretariat:

  • The Commonwealth Secretariat was established in 1965.It is the main intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth, facilitating consultation and co-operation among member governments and countries. 

About Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal(CSAT): 

  • The Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal was established and operates under a Statute agreed by Commonwealth governments in 1995.
  • It plays the role of an arbiter in case of disputes among its 53 member-countries.
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