9 PM Current Affairs Brief – September 27th, 2019

Project NETRA

News:The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has initiated the ‘Project NETRA.

Facts:

About Project NETRA:

  • NETRA stands for Network for Space Object Tracking and Analysis.
  • It is an early warning system in space to detect space debris and to safeguard India’s functional satellites in low-earth orbits.
  • Under NETRA,ISRO plans to put up many observational facilities such as (a)connected radars (b)telescopes (c)data processing units and a (d)Space Situational Awareness Control Centre.
  • These facilities can spot, track and catalogue objects as small as 10 cm, up to a range of 3,400 km and equal to a space orbit of around 2,000 km.

Significance of NETRA:

  • This will improve India’s space situational awareness and allow it to become self-dependent.
  • This will ensure that India will no longer have to depend on data from the North America Aerospace Defence Command(NORAD).
  • NORAD is an initiative of the U.S. and Canada that shares selective space debris data with many countries.

Additional information:

Space situational and awareness centre:

  • ISRO has set up the Space Situational Awareness Control Centre in Bengaluru.
  • The control centre hosts a range of activities related to the protection of Indian space assets from (a)inactive satellites (b)pieces of orbiting objects (c)near earth asteroids and (d)adverse space weather conditions.
  • It also assimilates the tracking data of inactive satellites from indigenous observation facilities and generates useful information from bare observations through analysis.

Space debris:

  • Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional.
  • They consists of dead satellites, spent rocket motors, nuts and bolts etc.Space debris is a threat to active satellites and spaceships as they pose risk of collisions.

ICGS Varaha

News:ICGS Varaha was commissioned by Defence Minister at the Chennai port.

Facts:

About ICGS Varaha:

  • The ICGS Varaha is the fourth in the series of seven 98-meter Offshore Patrol Vessels(OPV) of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
  • The ship has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) at its Kattupalli ship building yard in Chennai.
  • The name ‘Varaha’ is taken from Puranas who was the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu which took the form of Boar to protect mother earth by carrying her out of the sea on his tusks.

Features:

  • The ship is fitted with the latest navigation and communication equipment.
  • The vessel also has some of the most advanced sensors and machinery.It also has the capability of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spill at sea.
  • The ship’s special features include the integrated Bridge System, Automated Power Management System and indigenously built Integrated Platform Management System and Halo Traversing System.

Additional information:

About ICG:

  • The Indian Coast Guard is a multi-mission organization entrusted with superintendence and policing of India’s maritime areas including the Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • ICG was formally established in 1978 by the Coast Guard Act,1978 as an independent Armed force of India.It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • The organization is headed by the Director General Indian Coast Guard (DGICG).

‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ Campaign

News:Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has launched the ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign’ along with the National TB Prevalence Survey.

Facts:

About Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign:

  • The campaign aims to improve and expand the reach of Tuberculosis care services across the country by 2022.
  • The three strong pillars of the campaign include (a)clinical approach, (b)public health component and (c)active community participation.
  • There are some other supporting aspects of the campaign including patient support, private sector engagement, political and administrative commitment at all levels.
  • The government will also ensure that all patients at private or public hospitals receive free-of-cost and high-quality TB care.

National TB Prevalence Survey:

  • Union Health Minister has also flagged off a van for the National TB Prevalence Survey.
  • In all,25 such vans will be part of the prevalence survey, which will go to 625 clusters of the country and check for TB. This sample survey is to be completed by 2020.
  • This shall present national and state level data which will be used as a policy tool for further interventions.

Additional information:

Other initiatives:

  • The Government of India has partnered with the Global Fund to launch JEET (Joint Effort for Elimination of TB) a private sector engagement program operating across the country.
  • In 2018,the government had launched the Nikshay Poshan Yojana, a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme to provide nutritional support to TB patients. 
  • Under the scheme,TB patients have been receiving Rs. 500 per month for the entire duration of treatment. 

Tuberculosis:

  • Tuberculosis(TB) is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.It most commonly affects the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body.
  • TB kills an estimated 4.8 lakh Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day.India has the highest TB burden in the world and also has more than a million ‘missing’ cases every year that are not notified.

Sardar Patel National Unity Award

News:The government has instituted a new civilian award in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Facts:

About the award:

  • The award has been instituted in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • It will be the highest civilian award in India in the field of contribution to the unity and integrity of India. 
  • The award seeks to recognise notable and inspiring contributions to promote the cause of national unity and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India
  • The award will be announced annually on the occasion of the National Unity Day which is the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October.
  • An award committee would be constituted by the Prime Minister which would include the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the PM, Secretary to the President, Home Secretary as Members and three-four eminent persons.
  • The Award would consist of a medal and a citation.No monetary grant or cash award would be attached to this Award.
  • Further, not more than three Awards would be given in a year.It would also not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases.

NATIONAL WATER MISSION AWARDS- 2019

News:Union Minister for Jal Shakti has presented the National Water Mission Awards- 2019.

Facts:

National water mission award:

  • The water mission awards is an initiative of National Water Mission (NWM), Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The award seeks to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices.
  • The awards are given in ten categories defined under five goals of National water mission(NWM).

National water mission:

  • The National water mission is one of the eight missions launched under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) for combating the threats of global warming.
  • The main objective of the Water Mission is conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management.

Goals:The National Water Mission envisages the following five goals : 

  • Comprehensive water data base in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resources, 
  • Promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation
  • Focused attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas
  • Increasing water use efficiency by 20%
  • Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.

Google wins in ‘right to be forgotten’ fight with France

News:European Union’s(EU) top court has ruled that the right to be forgotten online does not extend beyond the borders of the European Union.

Facts:

Background:

  • The ruling came on a dispute between Google and the French privacy regulator CNIL which in 2015 had asked Google to globally remove links to pages containing damaging or false information about a person.
  • However,the court has now ruled that the Google only needs to remove links from its search results in Europe and not elsewhere after receiving an appropriate request.

About Right to be forgotten:

  • The right to be forgotten has been in practice in Argentina and the European Union since 2006.
  • The rule allows for the lawful removal of personal information of an individual if such request is made.
  • The right is seen as significant in these jurisdictions as it can determine the development of their life in an autonomous way without being stigmatised as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.

Right to be forgotten vs Right to privacy:

  • The right to be forgotten is distinct from the right to privacy because the right to privacy constitutes information that is not publicly known.
  • But the right to be forgotten involves removing information that was publicly known at a certain time and not allowing third parties to access the information.

Right to be forgotten in India:

  • India has no legal provision neither in the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 (amended in 2008) or the IT Rules, 2011 related to Right to be forgotten.
  • However,the Karnataka High Court had recently upheld a woman’s ‘right to be forgotten’.
  • The judgment stated that this is in line with the trend in western countries of the ‘right to be forgotten’ in sensitive cases involving women in general and highly sensitive cases involving rape or affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned.
  • Further,the Delhi High Court in another case had asked whether the right to privacy included the right to delink from the Internet the irrelevant information from the Centre and Google.

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC)

News:Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) has called on India to repeal its actions revoking Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Facts:

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC):

  • OIC is an international organization with the primary objective of safeguarding the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony. 
  • It was established in 1969 after the attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.It is headquartered at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 
  • It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states.Of these,47 are Muslim Majority countries. 
  • The Observer states are (a)Bosnia and Herzegovina (b)Central African Republic (c)Thailand (d)Russia and (e)Turkish Cypriot State. 
  • The OIC also has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.

India and OIC:

  • India had shown an interest in joining the OIC as a member state at the time of its formation.
  • However,India has never since made a formal application to join OIC as an observer or as a member state.
  • Further,Pakistan has been strongly opposed to India’s inclusion in the OIC.
  • It has argued that India’s inclusion in OIC would violate the rules of the OIC, which require that an aspirant state should not have an ongoing conflict with a member state.

Social media platforms to follow ‘code of ethics’ in all future elections: EC

News:InternetMobile Association of India(IAMAI) has said that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have agreed to follow the voluntary code of ethics in all future elections.

Facts:

About Voluntary code of ethics:Thefeatures of Voluntary Code of Ethics are as follows:

  • Social Media platforms will voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions. 
  • Social Media platforms have created a high priority dedicated grievance redressal channel for taking expeditions action on the cases reported by the Election Commission of India(ECI). 
  • Social Media Platforms and ECI have also developed a notification mechanism by this ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of the R.P. Act, 1951 and other electoral laws. 
  • Platforms will ensure that all political advertisements on their platforms are pre-certified from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees as per the directions of the Supreme Court. 
  • Participating platforms are committed to facilitate transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels or disclosure technology for such advertisements.

Additional information:

About Representation of the People(RP) Act,1951:

  • The Representation of the People Act,1951 is an act of Parliament of India.
  • The act provides (a)the conduct of elections of the Houses of Parliament and the House of the Legislature of each State (b)the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses and (c)the corrupt practices,decisions,doubts and disputes arising in connection with such elections.

Section 126 of RP Act,1951:

  • Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act,1951 imposes election silence period which prohibits any form of election campaign in the last 48 hours leading up to voting.It gives voters a peaceful condition to consider and make a final decision on their vote.

Chabahar port

News:Indian Prime minister and Iranian President met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s 74th session to discuss progress on Chabahar Port.

Facts:

About Chabahar port:

  • Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar city located in southeastern Iran on the Gulf of Oman.It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port.
  • The Chabahar Agreement was signed in June 2015 and approved by Iran’s Guardian Council in November 2016. 
  • Chabahar is being seen as a gateway for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with Central Asian countries.

Significance of Chabahar port:

  • The most important significance of Chabahar port is the fact that India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.
  • The port is also beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port.
  • Chabahar also ensures in the establishment of a politically sustainable connectivity between India and Afghanistan.This will lead to better economic ties between the two countries.
  • The port could also be used as a point from where humanitarian operations could be coordinated by India.
  • Chabahar port also fosters closer ties between India and Iran and allows India to secure cheaper energy imports from Iran.

India TB Report 2019

News:Government has released the India Tuberculosis(TB) Report 2019.

Facts:

Highlights of the report:

  • The report has found that there was a 16% increase in the number of TB cases in 2018 as compared to the previous year. 
  • India accounted for a quarter of the Global TB burden with an estimated 27 lakh new cases in 2018.
  • The majority of the Tuberculosis affected individuals (89%) were in the age group 15-69.
  • Uttar Pradesh accounted for 20% of all notifications of TB cases(187 cases/lakh population).
  • Odisha witnessed a decline in the number of notified cases from TB.The Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands too witnessed a drop.
  • The two UTs of Delhi and Chandigarh had the highest number of notified patients per lakh population at 417 and 468 respectively.The rates were higher because people from many other parts of India get notified from these UTs.

Additional information:

About Tuberculosis:

  • Tuberculosis(TB) is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.It most commonly affects the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body.
  • In 2017,the government of India has launched National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination (2017-2025).It aims to work towards the elimination of TB in India by 2025.This would be 5 years ahead of the Sustainable Development Targets (SDG 3.3) which sets the goal to 2030.

Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)

News:Indian Prime minister has met with the leaders of the CARICOM group of countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

Facts:

  • During the meeting,Prime minister announced $14 million grant for community development projects in the CARICOM and another $150 million Line of Credit for solar, renewable energy and climate- change related projects.
  • Prime minister has also announced the setting up of the Regional Center for Excellence in Information Technology in Georgetown, Guyana and the Regional Vocational Training Center in Belize.

CARICOM:

  • The Caribbean Community(CARICOM) is an organisation of fifteen Caribbean nations.
  • The organisation was established in 1973.The headquarters is in Georgetown,Guyana.
  • The organisation is an economic and political community that works jointly to shape policies for the region and encourages economic growth and trade.
  • The major activities include (a)coordinating economic policies and development planning (b)devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction (c)operating as a regional single market for many of its members and (d)handling regional trade disputes.
  • CARICOM is also an official United Nations Observer.

World Tourism Day

News:United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has chosen India as the host country to celebrate World Tourism Day 2019.

Facts:

  • The United Nations World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27. 
  • The day aims at creating awareness on social, political, cultural and economic values among international community.
  • The theme for this year’s tourism day is ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’.
  • The focus of UNWTO in 2019 is on jobs as tourism generates 10% of world jobs.Hence, creating equitable employment is important to achieve social inclusion, peace and security.

Additional information:

About United Nations World Tourism Organisation(UNWTO):

  • The UNWTO is the United Nations Specialised Agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • It was established in 1975 with headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
  • It encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts.
  • UNWTO’s membership includes 158 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 500 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Free IAS Preparation by Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to the blog followed by several Rankholders and ensure success in IAS.