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Current Events 02 May 2017

 

NEWS 

2 May 2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III:   SECURITY

Pakistani troops kill, mutilate two jawans

2.

GS II :  POLITY- JUDICIARY

SC orders Karnan to be medically examined

3.

GS III:  ENVIRONMENT  BIODIVERSITY

Rajasthan to set up bustard breeding centre

4.

GS II :  POLITY  JUDICIARY

Rajiv case: SC wants report on ‘larger plot'

5.

GS II: GOVERNANCE  POLICY

Centre allows beacon use for emergencies

6.

GS III:  ENVIRONMENT

Curious case of dip, rise in Indian seas

7.

GS II:  INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

ASEAN wants stronger ties with China

8.

GS III : S&T - SPACE

SpaceX makes first U.S. military launch

9.

GS II: GOVERNMENT POLICIES

Govt. eyes 2 mn jobs in mobile phone units

10.

GS III:  ECONOMY

NITI Aayog for abolishing 2% duty on mobile phone circuits

11.

GS III:  ECONOMY

Core industries output grows 5% in March

12.

GS III:  ECONOMY

‘Employment under PMEGP falls 9.5%'

13.

GS II:  SOCIAL-HEALTH

‘Fix stent prices based on tech'

14.

GS III:  S&T  IT

3D-printed cartilage may help treat osteoarthritis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GS III:   SECURITY

Pakistani troops kill, mutilate two jawans

  • The Army on 1 May 2017 said Pakistani troops killed two jawans and mutilated their bodies near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Pir Panjal Valley's Poonch district.
  • Pakistani soldiers and their Border Action Team, which includes trained border inhabitants, launched a joint attack early in the day.
  • They first fired rockets and followed this up with firing from automatic weapons.
  • The Pakistanis then crossed the LoC, entered 200 metres into Indian territory, and attacked a joint patrol of the Army and the Border Security Force (BSF), heading to a nearby post.
  • The attack triggered a major exchange of fire on the LoC, and Indian troops resorted to small arms fire and mortar shelling, said an Army official.
  • Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army denied the alleged ceasefire violation or the mutilation of bodies.
  • Kashmir witnessed an incident of mutilation of a soldier by Pakistani troops in Machil sector in November last year.
  • Around 65 ceasefire violations were reported on the LoC this year.

 

GS II :  POLITY- JUDICIARY

SC orders Karnan to be medically examined

  • Wondering whether Calcutta High Court judge Justice C.S. Karnan is "feigning mental imbalance," a seven-judge Supreme Court Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, on 1 May 2017 ordered him to be medically examined by a board of doctors in Kolkata.
  • The order was prompted by Justice Karnan's statements to the media against the Bench and a recent ‘purported judicial order' directing Chief Justice Khehar and seven SC judges to appear before him in Calcutta on May 1, 2017.
  • It further directed courts, commissions or authorities to not take cognisance of any order passed by Justice Karnan after February 8, 2017.
  • Justice Karnan had passed orders in violation of the Supreme Court's express direction to him to refrain from judicial and administrative work during the pendency of the current contempt proceedings.

 

GS III:  ENVIRONMENT   BIODIVERSITY

Rajasthan to set up bustard breeding centre

  • The Rajasthan government will set up India's first captive breeding centre for the great Indian bustard in an attempt to boost the wild population of the country's most critically endangered bird, which is the State bird of Rajasthan.
  • Its last remnant wild population of about 90 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of the total world population.
  • A state-of-the-art egg hatching centre will be raised in the Desert National Park.
  • After the chicks are raised, they would be transported to the desert for reintroduction in the wild.
  • Captive breeding had succeeded with houbara in UAE and great bustard in Spain.

 

GS II :  POLITY  JUDICIARY

Rajiv case: SC wants report on ‘larger plot'         

  • The Supreme Court on 1 May 2017 directed the CBI to submit a detailed status report, replete with the time frame by which its prolonged investigation into a possible larger conspiracy behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi will be completed.
  • The order was passed on a petition filed by A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the case.
  • He has alleged that there has not been an effective probe into the "larger conspiracy" behind the 1991 killing of the national leader.
  • He has claimed that an "effective and straight-forward investigation may bring material contrary to the prosecution case."
  • Perarivalan, lodged in the Vellore prison in Tamil Nadu, claimed that he had spent 25 years in prison, and had every right as a citizen to seek that a proper investigation was carried out into the assassination of a national leader.
  • The story of the ‘larger conspiracy' angle started in 1997 when the Justice M.C. Jain Commission of Inquiry ( JCI) recommended further probe into "various conspiracies behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi".
  • After placing the recommendation before Parliament, the government set up a Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) in the CBI to follow up on the Jain Commission's work.
  • In July 1999, the designated TADA court allowed the MDMA to probe the larger conspiracy angle.
  • However, in 2013, Perarivalan complained to the TADA court that the probe was both "feeble and pandering." But the TADA court dismissed the plea.
  • A subsequent appeal in the Madras High Court to direct the TADA court to effectively monitor the investigation was not entertained in 2015.
  • He claimed that the TADA court had not even deemed it necessary to open the several investigation reports filed before it in sealed covers.
  • In his petition before the Supreme Court, Perarivalan condemned the almost two decade- long CBI investigation, which, he said, was cloaked in secrecy.

GS II: GOVERNANCE  POLICY

Centre allows beacon use for emergencies

  • The Centre on 1 May 2017 issued a notification allowing officials on emergency and disaster management-related duties to use beacons on top of their vehicles.
  • The notification allows use of multi-coloured - red, blue and white light - beacons on top of official vehicles related to "control of fire, police duty, defence forces or paramilitary forces for maintenance of law and order".
  • Officials on disaster management duties related to "natural disasters, including earthquake, flood, land slide, cyclone, tsunami, and man-made disasters such as nuclear disaster, chemical disaster and biological disaster" can use vehicles with multi-coloured beacons.
  • The Transport Department of each State will need to issue a notice enlisting the list of authorities to whom the permission to use vehicles with multi-coloured lights, the notification said.

 

GS III:  ENVIRONMENT  CLIMATE CHANGE

Curious case of dip, rise in Indian seas

  • Global warming may be inching the oceans higher every year but researchers studying the seas around India report a paradox.
  • From 1993 to 2003 - the first decade when satellites started to consistently track the rise and fall of ocean heights and global temperatures soared - the north Indian Ocean (NIO) sea levels fell.
  • The NIO consists of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and part of the Indian Ocean up till the 5°S latitude.
  • After 2004, sea levels began an unprecedented, accelerated spike till 2014.
  • This rise and fall was even as global temperatures steadily climbed and registered their largest two decadal jump in more than a century.
  • While Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports have concluded that while unabated greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere would cause oceans to rise every year, there would be years during which some seas could register a fall.
  • Scientists associated with the study said that such a "decadal swing" in the North Indian Ocean was unique and never observed in either the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.
  • The North Indian Ocean was warming twice as fast as the other oceans after 2004.
  • The NIO went down about 0.3 mm a year and from 2004 gained about 6 mm annually.
  • This was twice the global, annual average of about 3 mm.
  • Unlike the Pacific and Atlantic, the NIO was hemmed in all sides, except for an outlet on the southern side.
  • This influenced the rate at which heat was absorbed and flushed out from within the system.
  • Wind flows, which welled warm water on the Indian Ocean surface, changed directions every decade and probably influenced sea level patterns.

 

GS II:  INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

ASEAN wants stronger ties with China

  • Steering clear of blaming China for the maritime disputes in the South China Sea, the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has focussed on a regional trade pact and shoring up economies of some of the lesser developed countries in the grouping.
  • A Chairman's statement issued at the end of the Manila summit on 30 April 2017 took note of the improving cooperation between ASEAN and China.
  • It welcomed the progress to complete a framework of the code of conduct in the South China Sea by mid-2017.
  • The code is a non-binding document that urges self-restraint and resolution of disputes through direct negotiations.
  • The document welcomed the operationalisation of the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among senior officials of the ministries of foreign affairs of ASEAN countries and China in response to maritime emergencies.
  • The leaders focused on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, pointing out that the giant free trade pact will boost global trade.
  • The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between ASEAN and six other states - Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
  • The document highlighted a commitment to assist Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to enable them to bolster regional integration.

Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • It is a regional organisation formed in 1967 comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.
  • Its principal aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.
  • The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • ASEAN shares land borders with India, China, Bangladesh, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea, and maritime borders with India, China, Palau, and Australia.
  • Both East Timor and Papua New Guinea are backed by certain ASEAN members for their membership in the organisation.

 

 

GS III : S&T - SPACE

SpaceX makes first U.S. military launch

  • SpaceX on 1 May 2017 blasted off a secretive U.S. government satellite, known only as NROL-76, marking the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.
  • The payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States, soared into the sky atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • About 10 minutes after launch, the scorched first stage of the rocket came back to Earth and landed upright at Cape Canaveral, marking the fourth successful solid ground landing for SpaceX.
  • The larger portion of the rocket, known as the first stage, made a gentle arc and powered its nitrogen thrusters to guide it back to Earth.
  • Mr. Musk is leading an effort in the rocket industry to re-use costly parts.
  • SpaceX has already made multiple successful landings - some on land and others on floating ocean platforms, known as drone ships.

GS II: GOVERNMENT POLICIES

Govt. eyes 2 mn jobs in mobile phone units

  • The government expects its ‘major new policy' of a phased manufacturing programme for mobile phones notified on 28 April 2017, to create two million jobs and half-a-billion dollars worth of manufacturing activity in the country over the next five to seven years.
  • The basic chipset (for mobile handsets) is imported. But the rest of the manufacturing can happen in India.
  • The phased manufacturing programme is our roadmap for the next ten years as to how value addition should happen in India.
  • The Centre will initiate fresh talks with Apple Inc which will now have to calibrate its plans to manufacture its iconic iPhones in the country.
  • While the programme will enable handset makers and component suppliers to plan investments, separately, infrastructure will be created across 8,000 acres of land over three years for electronics manufacturing clusters.
  • The basic issue for mobile phones, she said, was that it became cheaper to import components and finished goods after India signed the World Trade Organisation's ITA-1 pact, under which certain inputs for IT products were exempted from duties. Therefore, investors were not interested in manufacturing in India.
  • With the intention to substantially increase value addition within the country, the programme envisages promoting the sub-assembly of mechanics, microphone and receiver, keypad and USB cables in 2017-18; printed circuit boards, camera modules and connectors in 2018-19; and display assembly, touch panels, vibrator motor and ringer in 2019-20.

 

GS III:  ECONOMY

NITI Aayog for abolishing 2% duty on mobile phone circuits

  • Mobile phones could become cheaper if the government accepts a proposal by the NITI Aayog to drop the 2% import duty imposed on a critical component for handsets in the Union Budget for 2017-18.
  • The Aayog, in its draft three-year action plan, has said the duty will hurt mobile phone makers in the country and the government must ensure that industries are not built behind ‘a wall of protection.'
  • The Budget had imposed a 2% special additional duty on imports of populated printed circuit boards (PCBs) used for mobile phones, to push the Make in India campaign.
  • Though India has the potential to become a large electronics manufacturer and exporter due to its large labour force, a growing domestic market and proximity to other economies on the electronics value chain, the sector accounted for just 3% of India's merchandise exports in 2015, the Centre's think tank has pointed out.
  • "The world market in electronics products is $2 trillion compared with only $65 billion in the domestic market. Therefore, an aggressive export strategy is essential to credibly prepare ourselves for the fourth Industrial Revolution," the Aayog noted.

GS III:  ECONOMY

Core industries output grows 5% in March

  • The eight core industries grew by 5% in March 2017, the fastest in three months, on the back of higher coal and steel production.
  • The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity - was, however, lower than 9.3% recorded in March 2016.

Eight Core Industries

  • The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

1.            Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%)

2.            Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy) production (weight: 6.68%)

3.            Petroleum Refinery Products (93% of Crude Throughput) (weight: 5.94%)

4.            Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22 %)

5.            Coal production (weight: 4.38 %)

6.            Cement production (weight: 2.41%)

7.            Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71 %)

8.            Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%)

 

GS II:  SOCIAL  SCHEMES

‘Employment under PMEGP falls 9.5%'

  • Job opportunities under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) fell over 9.5% year-on-year to 3.2 lakh in FY16 from more than 3.5 lakh in FY15, according to industry body Assocham.
  • "Besides, the number of projects set up under the PMEGP also reduced from over 48,100 in FY15 to about 44,300," according to a report by Assocham based on an analysis of government data.
  • While the number of credit proposals approved under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) increased significantly from just over four lakh to over 5.1 lakh between 2014-15 and 2015-16, the approved amount under this scheme fell 6% from ?21,200 crore in FY15 to more than ?19,900 crore in FY16.
  • The number of MSMEs which benefited from the Marketing Assistance and Technology Upgradation programme also fell from 359 in FY15 to 303 in FY16, according to the analysis.
  • It added that the number of trainees under the Entrepreneur Development Programmes Scheme fell significantly from more than 1.4 lakh in FY15 to just over 66,000 in FY16.
  • The number of new ideas approved as part of Entrepreneurial Development of SMEs through Incubators rose marginally from 143 in FY15 to 145 in FY16, according to ASSOCHAM.

 

GS II:  SOCIAL-HEALTH

‘Fix stent prices based on tech'

  • Stent manufacturers want the government to apply differential pricing for drug-eluting stents by classifying them on the basis of technology used.
  • Such a move will reward quality and innovation to keep the segment viable while also giving physicians broader treatment options
  • Drug-eluting stents (DES) have a polymer coating over mesh that emits a drug which prevents blockage of arteries from recurring. These are seen as superior to bare metal stents.
  • In February 2017, the NPPA had capped prices at Rs 7,260 for bare metal varieties and Rs 29,600 for DES.

 

 

 

 

GS III:  S&T  IT

3D-printed cartilage may help treat osteoarthritis

  • Researchers have successfully generated cartilage tissue using a 3D bioprinter, an advance that could lead to new treatments for osteoarthritis.
  • The research team was able to influence the stem cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure.
  • "The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself," researchers said.
  • The team used cartilage cells harvested from patients who underwent knee surgery, and these cells were then manipulated in a laboratory, causing them to rejuvenate and revert into "pluripotent" stem cells - cells that have the potential to develop into many different types of cells.
  • The stem cells were then expanded and encapsulated in a composition of nanofibrillated cellulose and printed into a structure using a 3D bioprinter.
  • Following printing, the stem cells were treated with growth factors that caused them to differentiate correctly, so that they formed cartilage tissue.

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