9 PM Current Affairs Brief – October 7th, 2019

Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
News: The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region(IFC-IOR) which was set up last year has started functioning as an information sharing hub of maritime data.
About IFC-IOR:
• The IFC-IOR has been established at the Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, Haryana.
• It is the single point center linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
• It has been established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime information hub for the region.
• The IFC will share White Shipping Information with the countries. White shipping refers to commercial shipping information about the movement of cargo ships.
• All Countries that have signed the white shipping information agreement with India are IFC partners.
Significance of IFC-IOR:
• The Information on commercial shipping will improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean region.
• It will strengthen the mutual collaboration and understanding of the threats prevalent in the region.
• It will also help to counter the rise in maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean region.
Explained: Telangana’s idea of supplying medicines to remote areas by drones
News: The Telangana government has adopted a framework to use drones for last-mile delivery of essential medical supplies.
About the framework:
• Telangana Government and the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network had announced the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project.
• The project aims to develop source materials for policymakers and health systems to analyse the challenges that come with drone delivery, and to compare this model with other competing delivery models.
• The project has been co-designed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Apollo Hospitals Group Healthnet Global Limited.
• The project will help facilitate decision-making in healthcare supply chains,focus on last-mile deliveries and address issues that affect the medical distribution system.
Benefits of using drones:
• The core advantage of their use is reduction of the time taken to transport material, and improving supply chain efficiency.
• In Rwanda, drone-related pilot projects have been implemented on a national scale to deliver medical supplies without delay and at scheduled intervals.
Additional information:
What are drones?
• A drone is an aircraft that operates without a pilot on board and is referred to as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
• It has three subsets which are (a) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), (b) Autonomous Aircraft and (c)Model Aircraft.
• RPAs are aircraft that are piloted from remote pilot stations.It can be further classified into five types on the basis of weight: nano, micro, small, medium and large.
Who regulates drones?
• In India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation acts as the regulatory body for drones.
• The DGCA’s drone policy requires all owners of RPAs except drones in the smallest ‘nano’ category to seek permission for flights and comply with regulations including registration and operating hours (only during the day and areas) and not above designated high security zones.
World Economic Forum (WEF)
• WEF was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
• The objective of WEF is to improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
• Some of the most significant reports published by the WEF are (a)Global Competitiveness Report (b)Global Gender Gap Report (c)Global Risks Report and (d)Global Travel and Tourism Report among others.
Wildlife Week India
News: The Forest department has organised an awareness rally to launch Wildlife Week India.
About Wildlife week:
• The Wildlife Week is celebrated all over the country every year between 2nd October and 8th October.
• The aim of this week is to preserve animal life in India.
• The event is organized by National Board of Wildlife since its establishment in 1972.
• The theme of this year’s event is “Life below Water: For people and planet”.
• The events are organized to teach people about animal life and encourage them to save a large number of animals by not killing them for food and other purposes.
Additional information:
About National Board of Wildlife:
• The NBWL has been constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
• NBWL advises the government on policy and strategy for wildlife conservation.
• It also reviews proposals for non-forestry use of forestland within National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries and issue or deny permissions.
• The NBWL is chaired by the Prime Minister.It also comprises of a Standing Committee headed by Union Environment Minister.
• The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 specifies that the committee should comprise of 10 eminent ecologists and five NGOs. The committee considers the merits of projects that come to it for scrutiny.

Finance Minister to inaugurate national tax e-assessment centre
News: Union Finance Minister will be inaugurating the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) in New Delhi. The centre is part of the E-assessment scheme, 2019.
About E-assessment scheme:
• The scheme aims at faceless e-assessment to impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the assessment process. There would be no physical interface between taxpayers and tax officers.
• The scheme makes it mandatory for the taxman to make communication with taxpayers online. The tax notices will be issued by a centralised e-assessment centre requiring taxpayers to reply only through digital mode.
• The cases selected for scrutiny shall be allocated to assessment units in a random manner and notices shall be issued electronically by a Central Cell without disclosing the name, designation or location of the assessing officer.
• The Scheme will have dedicated E-assessment centres such as the National E-assessment Centre, Regional E-assessment Centre, assessment units, verification units, technical units and reviewer units with each centre and unit having a clearly defined role and process to follow.
• The income tax department would use data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other latest tools to ascertain misreporting or evasion.
Structure of the scheme:

India to set up coastal surveillance system in Bangladesh

News: Bangladesh Prime Minister is on a four day visit to India.


Highlights of the visit:

  • India and Bangladesh has inked a MoU that will enable India to set up a coastal surveillance system radar in Bangladesh.
  • The two countries agreed at early operationalization of Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement for movement of goods and passengers between the member countries who are willing and ready.
  • They have also directed their officials to expedite establishment of twelve Border Haats which have been agreed to by both countries.

List of agreements signed:

  • The use of the Chattogram and Mongla ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India particularly from Northeastern India.
  • The exchange of data and information to prepare a framework of interim sharing agreements for six rivers- (a)Manu, Muhuri, Khowai and Gomati rivers of Tripura (b)Dharla river of Bangladesh and (c)Dudhkumar river of West Bengal.
  • The withdrawal of water from Feni River for drinking water scheme for Sabroom town, Tripura.
  • The Implementation of the Lines of Credit (LoCs) committed by India to Bangladesh.

Bilateral development projects: The two leaders also inaugurated three bilateral projects-

  • Import of bulk Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from Bangladesh
  • Inauguration of Vivekananda Bhaban (student’s hostel) at Ramakrishna Mission, Dhaka.
  • Inauguration of Bangladesh-India Professional Skill Development Institute(BIPSDI) at the Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB), Khulna, Bangladesh.

39th World Congress of Poets

News: Vice President has addressed the valedictory ceremony of 39th World Congress of Poets at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


About World Congress of Poets:

  • The World Congress of Poets (WCP) was founded in 1969.The first WCP was held at Manila, Philippines.
  • The 39th World Congress of Poets (WCP) has been jointly organized by World Academy of Arts and Culture (WAAC) and the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT).
  • The WCP is being held at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KIIT & KISS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. 
  • The theme for this year is “Compassion through Poetry.” The congress is being held in English, Spanish and Chinese
  • The eligibility criteria for poets to be participating in the Congress are as follows: (a)The poet should have a minimum of one book published with an ISBN and (b)The poet should have a recommendation letter from a poetry society that is legally established and has a legal existence.

YSR Vahana Mitra scheme

News: Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has launched the YSR Vahana Mitra scheme.


About the scheme:

  • The scheme provides an annual cash incentive of Rs 10,000 to the self-employed drivers.
  • The beneficiary of the scheme includes Self-Employed driver cum owners of autos, taxis and maxi cabs of the state.
  • The annual allowance will be provided to meet the recurring expenses such as insurance premium, licence fee and maintenance of vehicle to procure fitness certificate.
  • This amount will be credited into bank accounts directly while processing will be done in a transparent manner.

Explained: What are ‘A, B’ forms & why they are crucial

News:Candidates aspiring to contest upcoming assembly elections on the ticket of a political party are required to submit various documents and forms.The most important documents are Form A and Form B.


About Forms:

  • Form A and Form B denotes that a certain candidate has been approved by a political party and should be allotted the election symbol of that party.
  • These two forms referred collectively as ‘AB Form’ prove that a political party has appointed a person in charge of distributing tickets and the candidate has obtained a ticket for a certain constituency from that person.

About Form A:

  • This is a communication from a ‘recognised national or state political party’ or a ‘registered but unrecognised political party’ to the returning officer of the constituency or the chief election officer of the state.
  • It conveys names of office-bearers of the party, who have been authorised to intimate names of the candidates chosen by the party to contest the polls.

About Form B:

  • This is a communication from the authorised office-bearer of a political party (whose name is mentioned in Form A issued by the president or secretary of the party) to the returning officer of the constituency.
  • This letter informs the returning officer about the name of the authorised candidate for the party who should be allotted the party symbol.
  • The letter also contains a substitute name for allotment of the symbol and candidature.
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