9 PM Current Affairs Brief – November 17th, 2019

CBI forms unit to check online child abuse cases

News:The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) has set up an Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OCSAE) Prevention/Investigation Unit.


About the unit:

  • The unit will probe offences covered under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code(IPC),the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Information Technology(IT) Act and other relevant laws.
  • It will also collect and disseminate information on online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • It will function under the CBI’s Special Crime Zone.The unit’s territorial jurisdiction would be throughout the country.

Additional information:

About CBI:

  • CBI is the premier investigating police agency in India.It functions under Dept. of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances.
  • It owes its origin to the Special Police Establishment, constituted by the British government in 1941 which was substituted by the Delhi Special Police Establishment(DSPE) Act, 1946.
  • It is an executive body formed in 1963 through a Government of India resolution.The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962-64)
  • CBI’s investigative and jurisdiction powers are governed by the DSPE Act,1946.

India fares better than China in global bribery risk matrix

News:The Trace Bribery Matrix,2019 has been released by TRACE, a US based organisation.


About the Trace Bribery Matrix:

  • TRACE is a US based organisation which provides ranking to various countries in terms of the risk of bribery companies face in doing business in those countries.
  • The Matrix evaluates 200 countries countries under four parameters which are (a) business interaction with the government (b) anti-bribery deterrence (c) transparency and (d) civil society oversight.
  • Trace provides a score from 1 to 100 to each country for each domain.If a country gets a higher score it means it is at a higher risk of business bribery.

Key takeaways from the matrix:

  • New Zealand was ranked 1st followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
  • India has been placed in a better position than neighbouring China.India is ranked 78th place with a total risk score of 48.
  • Bangladesh has the highest business bribery risk among South Asian countries.It has been placed at 178 position among 200 countries.
  • On the other hand,Bhutan has the least risk of bribery among South Asian countries as it is placed at 52 in the ranking.
  • Afghanistan(168) and Pakistan (153) are other countries where bribery risk is high in South Asia.

Delhi has the most unsafe tap water

News:Union Minister of Consumer Affairs has released the Water Quality Report for State Capitals & Delhi as analysed by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).


About the report:

  • The samples of drinking water were tested as per Indian Standard 10500:2012 (Specification for Drinking Water) as set by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).
  • The tests were conducted on various parameters such as Organoleptic and Physical Tests, Chemical test, Toxic substances and Bacteriological tests.
  • This study was conducted as per directions of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to check the quality of piped drinking water being supplied in the country in keeping with the objectives of the Jal Jeevan Mission.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • A vast majority of the samples have failed to comply with the requirements in one or more parameters.
  • In Delhi,all the 11 samples drawn from various places did not comply with the requirements of the Indian Standard & failed on several parameters.
  • The city of Mumbai was ranked first in the list of Indian cities to have the cleanest tap water.
  • Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar stood second and third respectively with one of their samples failing on one parameter.

Additional information:

About Jal Jeevan mission:

  • The mission seeks to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections (HarGharJal) to all rural households by 2024.
  • It will be implemented by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation under the Jal Shakti Ministry.

About BIS:

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016.It works under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
  • It aims for harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • BIS has been providing traceability and tangibility benefits to the national economy in a number of ways by (a)Providing safe reliable quality goods (b)Minimizing health hazards to consumers (c)Promoting exports and imports substitute and (d)Control over the proliferation of varieties through standardization, certification and testing.

India completes Agni II test fire successfully

News:India successfully conducted the first night trial of ‘Agni-II’ from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.


About Agni-II:

  • Agni-II is an intermediate-range ballistic missile(IRBM) that has already been inducted into the armed forces.This was the first time that this missile was test-fired at night.
  • The missile was developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization).
  • The missile is a surface-to-surface medium-range nuclear-capable missile that can carry a nuclear payload of 1000kgs.
  • The missile has a strike range of 2000 km.The range of the 21-metre long missile weighing 17 tonnes can also be increased to three thousand kilometres by reducing the payload.

Additional information:

About Ballistic missile:

  • Ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads to a predetermined target.
  • These weapons are guided during relatively brief periods of flight and most of their trajectory is unpowered, being governed by gravity and air resistance if in the atmosphere.

About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):

  • DRDO was established in 1958 by the government of India.It is under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Defence.
  • DRDO aims to enhance India’s self-reliance in Defence Systems.It undertakes design & development leading to the production of a world-class weapon system.

Explained: What is Germany’s Climate Protection Act?

News:German parliament has passed the Climate Protection Act in an attempt to reach its climate target by 2030.


Key features of the bill:

  • The bill aims to cut Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions to 55% of the 1990 levels by 2030.
  • It consists of emissions targets for different sectors of the economy such as transport, energy and housing.
  • The bill also consists of several measures such as $60 billion spending package, a fee system for carbon emissions and taxes to make flying more expensive.
  • The bill also imposes a price on carbon emissions in the transport and heating sectors along with some other measures to combat climate change.
  • From 2021,companies that market diesel and petrol, heating oil and natural gas in the country will need to obtain pollution rights for the amount of greenhouse gases they emit.This will be regulated through a national emissions trading mechanism.

Additional information:

About Emission trading mechanism

  • Emission trading systems(ETS) is also referred to as the cap-and-trade system.
  • Under ETS, the government caps the total level of greenhouse gas emissions provided to the companies and allows those industries with low emissions to sell their extra allowances to larger emitters.

NCDEX ties up with NSE Indices to launch AGRIDEX

News:The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange(NCDEX) has tied up with National Stock Exchange(NSE) to launch India’s first agri index ‘NCDEX Agridex’.


About Agridex:

  • The index represents a basket of ten commodities that are selected based on both liquidity and its importance in Indian and global commodities market.
  • The index will be made tradable after being approved from the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI).
  • The index has tied up with NSE Indices which will maintain and disseminate real time NCDEX Agridex values.

Significance of Agridex:

  • As index represents a diverse basket of commodities,it is less risky and more predictable compared to individual commodity.
  • Futures trading on Agridex will also enhance overall liquidity on the exchange platform.

Additional information:

About NSE:

  • The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading stock exchange of India,located in Mumbai.
  • The NSE was established in 1992 as the first demutualized electronic exchange in the country.

About NCDEX:

  • National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is an online commodity exchange based in India.
  • It is a public limited company incorporated in 2003 under the Companies Act,1956.
  • It has an independent board of directors and provides a commodity exchange platform for market participants to trade in commodity derivatives.

India Hypertension Control Initiative(IHCI) yields results

News:The India Hypertension Control Initiative (IHCI) launched in four districts of Kerala has been able to control hypertension in about 35% of the people covered under the initiative.


About IHCI:

  • The IHCI was launched in Kerala in 2018 as a multi-partner five-year initiative with the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian Council of Medical Research, State government and WHO India.
  • The initiative was also launched in Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Punjab.
  • But the results from Kerala had been the most impressive because of the infrastructure strength of non-communicable disease clinics across the State.

Features of IHCI:The key features of the Initiative include

  • treatment protocols that simplify quality patient care in primary care facilities
  • provision of adequate supply of quality medicines and blood pressure monitors
  • comprehensive training for healthcare workers at all levels on the latest practices in hypertension treatment and
  • team-based care for counseling and follow up of the patients.

Additional information:

About Hypertension:

  • Hypertension occurs when a person’s arterial blood pressure is consistently elevated above a certain level.It is commonly known as high blood pressure.
  • The IHCI initiative was launched as in India,one in four adults has high blood pressure.Among them,only half have been diagnosed and only 10% have their blood pressure under control.
  • As a result,a large number of people develop heart attacks,strokes and kidney failure while in their productive years of life.

Home Ministry, UN Women Launches Campaign to End Violence Against Women

News:Union Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with UN Women has launched an awareness campaign to end violence against women.


About the campaign:

  • The campaign is part of the #OrangeTheWorld global campaign which is being observed ahead of ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women’ marked annually on 25 November.
  • As part of the campaign,people would be made aware about India’s single emergency helpline 112.
  • It is an internationally recognised emergency number used in several countries.Currently,the 112 services are available in 27 States/Union Territories of India.
  • The emergency helpline 112 was launched as part of the Emergency Response Support System(ERSS).

Additional information:

About ERSS:

  • The Emergency Response Support System(ERSS) is one of the key projects of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs under Nirbhaya Fund.
  • The system has been designed to play a pivotal role in mitigation or preventing escalation of crime, especially against women and children.
  • ERSS envisages a single pan-India emergency number ‘112’, which is an internationally recognised number to target all types of emergencies.
  • The features of ERSS includes (a)computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress and (b)Citizens can send their emergency information through call, sms through the 112 mobile app.

About UN Women:

  • UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • It was established in July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly to accelerate the progress on meeting women needs worldwide.

Objectives of UN Women:

  • To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms.
  • To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society.
  • To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.

GI Tag For Darjeeling Green, White Tea

News:Geographical Indication Registry of India has accorded Geographical Indication(GI) tag to Green Tea and White Tea of Darjeeling.


About Green Tea and White Tea:

  • Green Tea and White Tea are made from the same tea leaves of Camellia sinensis.
  • Green tea leaves are processed less than black but more than white tea. The lack of oxidation ensures that the nutrients specifically the polyphenols are preserved to make it rich in antioxidants.
  • On the other hand,White tea is known as the most delicate tea varieties. This is because it is minimally processed.The leaves are harvested before the leaves open completely.

About GI tag:

  • A geographical indication(GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 provides registration and also protection of GI goods in India.
  • The act is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and trademarks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • GI tag secures the quality and authenticity of a product to a particular geographical origin.It provides legal protection from duplication. Darjeeling Tea is the first good to receive a GI Tag in India.

Additional information:

Tea cultivation in India:

  • Tea cultivation and plantation in India is practiced in Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri Hills of South India and Tarai along the foothills of the Himalayas .
  • India is currently (a)largest consumer of tea in the world (b)second largest producer of tea in the world and (c)fourth largest exporter of tea in the world.
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