7th April 2017, Important Daily Current Affairs

UPSC Current Affairs

Important Current affairs dated 7th April 2017 for Competitive Exams in India.
Hello Readers, We bring you another issue of current affairs that covers the important news in Current Affairs Today Section.
Current Affairs help in your preparing yourself for the various Competitive Exams in India. UPSCSuccess.com wishes all the readers best of luck. These Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exams such as UPSC, and other PSCs.

Indian Affairs

Project Sunrise launched for prevention of AIDS in NE states

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched Project Sunrise on for prevention of AIDS specially among people injecting drugs in the 8 North-Eastern states.
The AIDS prevention special project aims to diagnose 90 per cent of such drug addicts with HIV and put them under treatment by 2020.
Key facts

  • Project Sunrise aims at bringing the people living with HIV/AIDS into the national mainstream and create more awareness about the disease in these N-E states.
  • It will be implemented in the North East in addition to the existing projects of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).
  • The project has been sponsored by US based Centre for Disease Control and would be implemented by Family Health International 360.
  • It will cover one lakh people living with HIV/AIDS by giving them treatment and care facilities free of cost.
  • Other initiatives to be covered it include enhancing capacity of state-level institutions in high burden areas, community mobilization, intervention among females injecting drugs.

Background
North Eastern States like Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram account for highest adult (15-49 years) HIV prevalence in the country. National average for prevalence of HIV/AIDS among drug addicts is 7.14%, whereas in Manipur it is 12.9% and in Mizoram it is 12%.

Centre hands over to SC accreditation guidelines for NGOs, Vos

The Centre has handed over to the Supreme Court the new guidelines framed for accreditation of nearly 30 lakh NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs) in the country.
The Ministry of Rural Development has framed the accreditation guidelines to regulate “manner in which the VOs/NGOs, which are recipient of grants, would maintain their account, the procedure for audit of the account, including procedure to initiate action for recovering of the grants in case of misappropriation and criminal action.”

  • NITI Aayog has been appointed as the nodal agency for the purpose of registration and accreditation of VOs/NGOs seeking funding from the Government of India. The Aayog has been also tasked with maintaining of database systems to manage and disseminate information relating to NGOs/VOs.
  • As per the new guidelines, an NGO will be blacklisted if it provides false and misleading information to the Centre.
  • Under the stringent guidelines, NGOs would be provided a unique ID and subjected to the Income Tax Act and Foreign Contribution Regulations act. They would be granted accreditation after their internal governance and ethical standards are evaluated.
  • Past record of NGOs too would be scrutinized before they are given accreditation. A three-tier scrutiny would be in place to evaluate utilization of funds and the process would also include quality of work done by the NGOs.
  • It would be mandatory for the NGOs to execute a bond to refund the amount with 10% interest if they fail to execute the project for which the grant is allocated. Misappropriation of funds would invite both criminal and civil cases.

India Takes over control of Kudankulam Unit 1

India Takes over control of Kudankulam Unit 1
India Takes over control of Kudankulam Unit 1

India has taken over full operational control of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). An agreement was signed in this regard recently.

  • With the deal, the Russian and the Indian sides have confirmed fulfilment of all warranty terms and obligations of the contractor (ASE Group of Companies) for the construction of Unit 1.

About Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant:
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is situated in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

  • The reactors are pressurised water reactor of Russian design. Thermal capacity is 3,000 MW, gross electrical capacity is 1,000 MW with a net capacity of 917 MW.
  • When completed the plant will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative 2 GW of electric power.

Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are one of three types of light water reactor (LWR), the other types being boiling water reactors (BWRs) and supercritical water reactors (SCWRs). In a PWR, the primary coolant (water) is pumped under high pressure to the reactor core where it is heated by the energy released by the fission of atoms. The heated water then flows to a steam generator where it transfers its thermal energy to a secondary system where steam is generated and flows to turbines which, in turn, spin an electric generator. In contrast to a boiling water reactor,
The heated water then flows to a steam generator where it transfers its thermal energy to a secondary system where steam is generated and flows to turbines which, in turn, spin an electric generator. In contrast to a boiling water reactor, pressure in the primary coolant loop prevents the water from boiling within the reactor. All LWRs use ordinary water as both coolant and neutron moderator.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently laid the foundation stone of the multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj, Jharkhand.
  • The terminal at Sahibganj is an important component of the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for the augmentation of the navigation capacity of National Waterway-1 (Ganga) from Varanasi to Haldia (1390 km).
  • A Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal at Sahibganj will provide critical connectivity to Bihar at Manihari for the cross –river movement of loaded and empty trucks. This will considerably reduce the cost and time of cargo movement between Sahibganj and Manihari.
  • The state of the art terminal at Sahibganj will have cargo handling capacity of 2.24 Million Tons Per Annum (MTPA) on completion in 2019. The overall cost of the Sahibgang terminal is estimated to be Rs 467 Crore.
  • The construction of multi-modal terminal and Ro-Ro terminal will help create substantial direct and indirect employment in Sahibganj and Jharkhand. Overall additional employment opportunities for 1.5 lakh persons are expected to be generated under the Jal Marg Vikas Project on Ganga river.
  • Sahibganj terminal is the second multi-modal terminal (out of the three) to be constructed on NW-1. In May 2016, IWAI had awarded the contract for the construction of a multi-modal terminal at Varanasi.
  • The third terminal will be constructed at Haldia in West Bengal where the work is expected to commence soon. River Ganga is being developed under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) with the technical and financial assistance of World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 5369 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.

About: Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1. The NW-1 passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal and serves major cities and their industrial hinterlands.

International Affairs

Thailand’s king signs new constitution

Thailand’s new king has signed an army-drafted constitution that sets the country on the path to elections while cementing the grip of the military over any future government.

  • The constitution is the nation’s 20th since the absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932.

Key Features:

  • The new charter introduces a different electoral system, a modified proportional method of choosing the 500 members of the lower house of parliament in which people vote for one of 350 constituency candidates; those votes are totalled to determine which of the remaining 150 party list seats go to which party. Under the previous system voters cast two ballots, one for the candidate and one for the party.
  • Along with weaker governments, the constitution stipulates that an unelected, 250-seat upper house, or senate, will wield significant influence in the years following the election, currently expected at the end of 2018.
  • Membership of the senate will be essentially determined by the military, giving the generals enormous sway over future governments, which would need three quarters of the seats in the lower house to have a majority in both houses.
  • Elected governments will also be bound in this constitution to follow the military’s 20-year blueprint for Thailand, and it will be easier for the “independent” bodies, like the Constitutional Court, which will have enhanced powers, to constrain those governments even further.

Ties Severely damaged, says China

The row between India and China on the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh has spiralled with the Chinese Foreign Ministry asserting that the Tibetan leader’s visit to the State will escalate the dispute in border areas and will damage Sino-Indian ties.
Border issue between India and China:
Arunachal Pradesh is at the heart of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute in the eastern sector.

  • The dispute in this zone is over territory south of the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh, which includes Tawang — which is on the Dalai Lama’s itinerary.
  • The McMahon Line was the result of the 1914 Simla Convention, between British India and Tibet, and was rejected by China.

Supreme Court proposes joint trial of Babri cases

Noting that the 25-year pendency of the dual Babri Masjid demolition case trials in Lucknow and Raebareli amounts to “evasion of justice”, the Supreme Court has indicated that it proposes to order a joint trial in a Lucknow court after reviving criminal conspiracy charges against BJP veterans L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other Sangh Parivar leaders in connection with the razing down of the 16th century mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 by kar sevaks.
In this context, the court has invoked its extraordinary constitutional powers underArticle 142.
Article 142: The Supreme Court may pass such decree or order as is necessary for doing complete justice n any cause or matter pending before it.

Centre kicks off programme on cyber-physical systems 

With autonomous vehicles and robot-executed surgeries becoming commonplace around the world, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated a Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) programme.

  • CPS is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the deployment of computer-based systems that do things in the physical world, such as, for instance, the self-driven cars produced by Google and Tesla.
  • Even smart grids (where electricity is optimally distributed on the basis of calculations in real time by micro-processors) as well as autonomous unmanned vehicles and aircraft navigation systems qualify as ‘cyber physical systems.’
  • Still at a nascent stage, it has been conceived as a ₹3,000-crore exercise that would, at first, take root in some of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), according to officials familiar with the project. An initial budget of ₹100 crore has been earmarked for the project in the current financial year.
  • The thrust of the initiative would be to “break silos” in academia and encourage greater synergy between the university scientists and industry.

Banking and Finance

Maharastra first state to enact bill to protect journalist 

In a first of its kind move in the country, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Friday passed a much-anticipated bill seeking to protect journalists and media houses from attacks, with provisions for three years’ imprisonment and/or penalty.
All attacks on the media and media houses in the state shall now be treated as a “cognisable and non-bailable” offence, which shall be tried by a First Class Judicial Magistrate. It had been a long-standing demand of media persons in Maharashtra.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis introduced the bill, titled “Maharashtra Mediapersons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2017”, in the assembly.
It was passed without any discussion in the absence of the opposition parties on the last day of the budget session of the legislature.
Fadnavis said that due to “rampant instances” of violent attacks against media persons and damage or loss to the property of media houses, there was a strong demand to prevent such violence and recurring attacks.
“In order to effectively curb the occurrences of such incidents, protect and safeguard the media persons and their property and that of the media houses in the state, the government considered it expedient to enact a special law,” Fadnavis explained.

In a first court sends summon via whatsapp

In a first court sends summon via whatsapp
In a first court sends summon via whatsapp
  • With technology revolutionising communication, a financial commissioner (FC) court in Haryana  a quasi-judicial body — headed by senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka has ordered that summons in a partition suit be served via WhatsApp.
  • It is for the first time that this would be done in the country.
  • As of now, summoning process in electronic form is prevalent only through e-mail or fax.
  • The step will prevent delay in service of summons to opposite parties.
  • An email address or a mobile phone number is also the address of a person in the present times
  • The FC court directed that an image of the summons notice bearing the court’s seal be sent to his number and that printout of the delivery report on WhatsApp shall be considered as proof of delivery.

 National Mission on Bioeconomy launched in Shillong, Meghalaya

National Mission on Bioeconomy launched in Shillong, Meghalaya
National Mission on Bioeconomy launched in Shillong, Meghalaya
  • The National Mission on Bioeconomy was launched in Shillong, Meghalaya by the Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD).
  • The purpose of the mission is to boost rural economy by utilizing bio-resources and create a large number of jobs atvillage level.
  • It also focuses on sustainable utilization of renewable biological resources for food, bio-energy and bio-based products through knowledge-based approach.
  • It has potential to generate new solutions for the planet’s major challenges in the field of energy, food, health, water, climate change and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits.
  • The Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) functions under the Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science and Technology.

RBI Board clears proposal to introduce Rs 200 notes

RBI Board clears proposal to introduce Rs 200 notes
RBI Board clears proposal to introduce Rs 200 notes
  • The board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cleared a proposal to introduce banknotes of Rs200 denomination.
  • The decision was taken at the RBI board meeting held in Mumbai in March 2017.
  • The process of printing the new Rs 200 notes is likely to begin after June 2017 once the government officially approves the new denomination.
  • Earlier in November 2016, RBI had announced the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, amounting to around 86% of currency in circulation of Rs 17.9 trillion. Since then, it has replaced these denominations with the new Rs 2,000 and redesigned Rs 500 bank notes. RBI board: It has 14 members including governor and four deputy governors. The board also has economic affairs secretary and financial services secretary as its members.
  • Since then, it has replaced these denominations with the new Rs 2,000 and redesigned Rs 500 bank notes. RBI board: It has 14 members including governor and four deputy governors. The board also has economic affairs secretary and financial services secretary as its members.
  • RBI board: It has 14 members including governor and four deputy governors. The board also has economic affairs secretary and financial services secretary as its members.

Awards and Recognition

64th National Film Awards

The 64th National Film Awards for year 2016 were announced on 07 April 2017. Marathi film Kasaav won the award in the Best Feature Film category and Fireflies in the Abyss won in the Non-Feature Film Category.
Telugu drama film Sathamanam Bhavathi directed by Satish Vegesna was selected as the Best Popular film providing wholesome entertainment.
Background
Over 300 films vied for the honours this year. The winners in feature films category were chosen by jury headed by Filmmaker Priyadarshan and winners in non-feature category were chosen by jury headed nationally acclaimed cinematographer and writer Raju Misra.
The 64th National Film Awards in the various categories are as follows

  1. Best Feature Film: Kasaav (Marathi).
  2. Non-Feature Film: Fireflies in the Abyss.
  3. Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: Sathamanam Bhavathi
  4. Best Direction: Rajesh (Ventilator)
  5. Best Actor: Akhay Kumar (Rustom)
  6. Best Actress: Surabhi Lakshmi (Minnaminungu)
  7. Best Supporting Actress: Zaira Wasim (Dangal)
  8. Best Child Artist: Adhish Praveen (Kunju Daivam), Saj (Noor Islam), Manohara (Railway Children)
  9. Best stunt choreography: Peter Hein (Pulimurugan)
  10. Best Children’s Film: Dhanak (Hindi)
  11. Best Film on social issue: Pink
  12. Best Male Playback Singer: Sundara Iyer (Joker)
  13. Best Female Playback Singer: Thume jaake
  14. Best Screenplay (original): Syam Pushkaran (Maheshinte Prathikaram)
  15. Best Screenplay (adapted): Sanjay Krishnaji patel (Dashakriya)
  16. Best Editing: Rameshwar Ventilator
  17. Sound designer: Jayadevan (Kaadu Pookunna Neram)
  18. Best production design: 24
  19. Best Costume Designer: Sachin (Marathi film)
  20. Best Environmental film including agriculture: The Tiger who crossed the line
  21. Best Make-up Artist: MK Ramakrishna
  22. Best Music Direction: Babu Padmanabha (Kannada Lama)
  23. Special Mention: Kadvi Hawa (Hindi), Mukthi Bhavan (Hindi), Majirathi Keki (Assamese), Sonam Kapoor (Neerja).
  24. Special Jury award: Mohanlal( Pulimurugan), Janatha Garage and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol.
  25. Best feature films in regional languages: Madipur (Tulu), Joker (Tamil), Wrongside Raju (Gujarati), Pelli Chupulu (Telugu), Dashakriya (Marathi), Bisarjan’ (Bengali), Maheshinte Prathikaram (Malayalam), Ke Sara Sara (Konkini), Reservation (Kannada) and Neerja (Hindi).

About National Film Awards

  • The National Film Awards are most prominent film award ceremonies in India. It was established in 1954. Since then awarded annually.
  • Winners in different categories of these awards are selected by the national panel of Juries appointed by Union Government. These awards are presented by the President of India in the official ceremony.

Business

FMCG is highest paying sector in India: Randstad

FMCG is highest paying sector in India, according to a survey by Randstad.
Highlights:

  • Employees of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry receive the highest salaries in India at ₹11.3 lakh a year as the average annual cost-to-company (CTC) across all levels and functions.
  • The FMCG sector is followed by power and information technology, where employees earn average annual salaries of ₹9.8 lakh and ₹9.3 lakh respectively, according to Randstad 2017 Salary Trends Study findings.
  • Pharma and healthcare, offering an average annual CTC of ₹8.8 lakh and telecom ₹8.7 lakhs take the fourth and fifth position in the list as India’s most lucrative industries.
  • As far as the location-specific salary trends are concerned, Bengaluru, the IT capital of India tops the chart as the highest paying city in the country, with an average annual CTC of ₹14.6 lakhs while Mumbai offered ₹14.2 lakh.

Environment

India’s first ‘Green corridor’ inaugurated

India’s first ‘Green corridor’ inaugurated
India’s first ‘Green corridor’ inaugurated
  • Green Train Corridors are sections of the railways which will be free of human waste discharge on the tracks.
  • Trains running on these corridors will be equipped with bio-toilets.
  • It will completely stop discharge of human waste from trains onto the ground which in turn would help in improving cleanliness and hygiene.
  • The 114-km long Rameswaram-Manamadurai section of Tamil Nadu was made the India’s first Green Rail Corridor in July 2016.
  • The Railway Ministry has declared the Okha-Kanalus and the Porbandar-Wansjaliya railway sections of Gujarat as Green Train Corridors.

 

  • The Union Ministry of Railways has taken up the task of equipping human discharge free bio-toilets in all its coaches by 2021-22

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