9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 20th, 2020

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National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019

News: Rajya Sabha has passed the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019

Facts:

About National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019

    • It seeks to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970

 

  • Objectives:

 

    • To ensure availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine, 
    • To ensure adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine, 
    • To ensure periodic assessment of medical institutions, 
    • To ensure an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

Key features:

  • It provides for the establishment of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM). The NCISM will have the following functions:
    • framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine, 
    • assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure, 
    • ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill, 
    • ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.
  • It sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NCISM.These boards are:
    • Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa
    • Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine
    • Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
  • The central government will constitute an Advisory Council for Indian System of Medicine.  The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NCISM
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate education in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.

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National Commission for Homoeopathy Medicine Bill 2019

News: Rajya Sabha has passed National Commission for Homoeopathy Medicine Bill 2019

Facts:

About National Commission for Homoeopathy Medicine Bill 2019

    • It seeks to repeal the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973

 

  • Objectives:

 

    • To ensure availability of adequate and high quality homoeopathic medical professionals, 
    • To ensure adoption of the latest medical research by homoeopathic medical professionals, 
    • To ensure periodic assessment of medical institutions, 
    • To ensure an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

Key Features

  • It sets up the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH). The functions of NCH will include:
    • framing policies for regulating medical institutions and homoeopathic medical professionals, 
    • assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure, 
    • ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of Homoeopathy of the regulations made under the Bill
    • ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.
  • It sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NCH.  These boards are: 
    • Homoeopathy Education Board:  It will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for setting up of medical institutions, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels respectively, 
    • Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Homoeopathy:  It determine the process of rating and assessment of medical institutions and have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards  It will also grant permission for establishing a new medical institution, 
    • Board of Ethics and Medical Registration for Homoeopathy:  It will maintain a National Register of all licensed homoeopathic medical practitioners, and regulate their professional conduct.
  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate homoeopathy education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.

Lok Sabha passes Aircraft (Amendment) bill, 2020

News: Lok Sabha has passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020

Facts:

About Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020

  • It seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934 which regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts, and licensing of aerodromes. 

Key Features:

  • It provides statutory status to 3 bodies under ministry of civil Aviation. These include:
    • Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
    • Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)
    • Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB). 
  • The bill adds air navigation services to the list for which the central government can make rules.The other matters include registration of aircraft, regulating air transport services, and prohibition of flight over any specified area.

Additional Information:

  1. Directorate General of Civil Aviation: It is the regulatory body in the field of Civil Aviation, primarily dealing with safety issues. It is responsible for regulation of air transport services and for enforcement of civil air regulations, air safety, and airworthiness standards.
  2. Bureau of Civil Aviation Security: It lays down standards and measures with respect to security of civil flights at international and domestic airports in India.
  3. Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau: It is responsible for classification of “Safety Occurrences” involving aircraft operating in the Indian Airspace into Accidents, Serious Incidents and Incidents.

SC rules in favour of permanent commission for women officers in Navy

News:The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled in favour of permanent commission to female officers in the Indian Navy.

Facts:

SC Judgement:

  • Ruled that women naval officers cannot be denied the right to equal opportunity and dignity entitled to under the Constitution on specious grounds such as physiology, motherhood and physical attributes.
  • Directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to SSC women officers within three months.

Implications:

  • All serving women short service commission (SSC) officers in at least seven wings, including the executive, engineering, electrical, education, law and logistics, will be eligible to apply. 
  • The grant of PCs will be subject to: (i) availability of vacancies in the stabilised cadre; (ii) Suitability of the candidate; and (iii) recommendation by the chief of Naval Staff.
  • Grants pension benefits to retired women officers who were not granted permanent commission

Additional Information:

  • Permanent Commission: It means an officer can serve the Navy till he/she retires.
  • Short service commission: One can serve for 10 years and can be extended by four more years, or a total of 14 years.

Resolution to be moved in Rajya Sabha to remove the word “Socialism” in the Constitution

News: A BJP member of the Rajya Sabha is set to move a resolution in the House seeking the removal of the phrase “socialism” from the preamble of the Constitution.

Facts:

Preamble to the Indian Constitution:

  • It serves as a brief introductory statement of the Constitution that sets out the guiding purpose, principles and philosophy of the Indian Constitution.
  • The preamble of the Constitution declares India to be a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic. As originally enacted the preamble described India as a “sovereign democratic republic”.
  • The term ‘Socialist’ and ‘Secular’ were added in the Preamble by 42nd Amendment, 1976. 
  • Socialist means the achievement of socialist ends through democratic means. It is basically a ‘Democratic Socialism’ that holds faith in a mixed economy where both private and public sectors co-exist side by side.

Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum(IUSSTF)

News:Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum(IUSSTF) has created long-term Science and Technology(S&T) linkages between India & US.

Facts:

About IUSSTF:

  • The Indo-U.S Science and Technology Forum(IUSSTF) was established under an agreement between the Governments of India and the United States of America in March 2000.
  • It is an autonomous bilateral organization jointly funded by both Governments.
  • Aim: To promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry. 
  • The Department of Science & Technology, Governments of India and the U.S. Department of States are respective nodal departments.

 

India-Israel sign agreement for Negev Light Machine Guns(LMG)

News: India has signed an agreement with Israel for procurement of Negev light machine guns(LMG).

Facts:

About Negev Light Machine Guns(LMG):

  • Negev is a light machine gun(LMG) with powerful target acquisition.It was adopted by the Israeli Defence Forces in 1997.
  • It has semi-automatic mode to provide accurate, controlled fire in close quarter battle.

Other Defence Deals by India from Israel:

    • Spike missile: It is a fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile and anti-personnel missile.It can hit targets at a range of 4 kilometres.It can be deployed in both mountains and plains.
    • Heron: It is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system used for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance purposes.

 

  • SPYDER:It is a low-level quick reaction missile(LLQRM) which is used to protect critical infrastructure in ground-to-air missions from a wide spectrum of incoming air-borne threats.
  • Python-5:It is a fifth generation air-to-air missile(AAM) that can engage enemy aircraft from very short ranges and near beyond visual range.

 

Windrush scandal

News:The UK Government has apologised for the Windrush Scandal which involved Windrush generation being wrongly detained or deported for being illegal immigrants.

Facts:

About Windrush Generation:

  • The Windrush generation refers to the immigrants who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries.
  • The immigrants came at the invitation of the British government which was facing a labour shortage due to the destruction caused by World War II.
  • They are referred to as Windrush Generation which relates to a ship named ‘Windrush’, which brought them to the UK shores in 1948.
  • While a large proportion of them were of Jamaican/Caribbean descent, they also included Indians and other South Asians.

About Windrush Scandal:

  • The Windrush scandal is a 2018 British political scandal concerning the Windrush Generation who were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, and some were wrongly deported from the UK.

Coal Bed Methane(CBM)

News:The Ministry of Coal has asked Coal India Limited (CIL) to produce 2 MMSCB((million metric standard cubic meters) per day of coalbed methane (CBM) gas in the next 2 to 3 years.

Facts:

About Coal Bed Methane:

  • Coal bed methane(CBM) is an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits or coal seams.
  • It is considered as an alternative source for augmenting India’s energy resource.

Coal Bed Methane in India:

  • India’s CBM resources are estimated at around 92 trillion cubic feet (TCF) or 2,600 billion cubic metres(BCM).
  • India has the fifth largest proven coal reserves in the world and thus holds significant prospects for exploration and exploitation of CBM.
  • The country’s coal and CBM reserves are found in 12 states of India, with the Gondwana sediments of eastern India holding the bulk.
  • The Damodar Koel valley and Son valley are prospective areas for CBM development.

Significance of CBM:

  • It can be used for power generation,
  • As compressed natural gas (CNG) auto fuel,
  • As a feedstock for fertilizers,
  • Industrial uses such as in cement production, rolling mills, steel plants, and methanol production.

Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution

News: The Government has said that it is taking positive steps for the listing of three languages namely Bhojpuri, Rajasthani and Bhoti into the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Facts:

Constitutional provisions related to Eight Schedule:

  • The Constitutional provisions relating to the Eighth Schedule occur in article 344(1) and 351 of the Constitution.
  • The Eight Schedule consists of the 22 languages namely (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.
  • Of these languages,14 were initially included in the Constitution.Sindhi language was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967.
  • Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali were included by the 71st Amendment Act of 1992.
  • Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003.

Additional information:

Article 344(1):

  • It provides for the establishment of a Commission by the President on the expiration of 5 years and then after 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution.
  • The commission should have members which should represent the various languages specified in the 8th Schedule.They should make recommendations to the President for the dynamic use of Hindi for official purposes of the Government of India and restriction on the use of English language for official purposes among others.

Article 351:

  • It provides for the spread of the Hindi language to develop so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India without interfering with the other languages of India specified in the 8th Schedule.

ARCI scientists develop friction-reducing nanocomposite coatings

News: International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials(ARCI), an autonomous R&D center of the Department of Science & Technology(DST) have developed a process for size-selective deposition of nanocomposite coatings.

Facts:

About Nanocomposite coatings:

  • Nanocomposite coatings are formed by mixing two or more dissimilar materials at nanoscale to improve the physical, chemical and physicochemical properties of the new materials.
  • The unique characteristics of nanocomposite coatings include enhanced mechanical strength, weight reduction, improved barrier properties and increased heat, wear, and scratch resistance for lifelong performance.

China assumes presidency of UN Security Council for March 2020

News: China has taken over as president of the UN Security Council for the month of March 2020.

Facts:

UN Security Council (UNSC):

  • The UN Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945.It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
  • The other 5 organs of the United Nations are—the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice and the Secretariat.
  • The primary responsibility of UNSC is to work to maintain international peace and security.

Members:

  • The Council consists of ten elected members and five permanent members who have veto power (P-5) – China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia.
  • The ten non-permanent members are elected on a regional basis by the General Assembly, (from five areas- five from Asia and Africa, one from Eastern Europe, two from Latin America, two from Western Europe) to serve two year terms.
  • The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.

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