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Current Events 10 May 2017

 

NEWS

10 May 2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: POLITY- JUDICIARY

SC sentences Karnan to six months in jail for contempt

2.

GS II: BILATERAL -INDIA - PAK.

ICJ stays sentence in Jadhav case

3.

GS II: POLITY- JUDICIARY

Mallya guilty of contempt, says Supreme Court

4.

GS III: ECONOMY- INFRASTRUCTURE

NITI Aayog shelves A.P. port project

5.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT

Kolar welcomes an Amur falcon

6.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT

A dry Kabini fails to draw elephant herds this year

7.

GS II: GOVERNANCE

Tax processed foods: FSSAI panel

8.

GS III : AGRICULTURE

Grain output at record high

9.

GS I : CULTURE

Bishnoi farmers fill troughs of water for deer

10.

GS II : GOVERNANCE

Disclose foreign funds, MHA tells political parties

11.

GS III : SECURITY

‘Tallest bridge built can withstand blasts'

12.

GS II : SOCIAL- HEALTH

Supply of HIV drugs for children hit

13.

GS III : DEFENCE

Soon, Navy to be without minesweepers

14.

GS III: ECONOMY BANKING

RBI places restrictions on loss-making IDBI

15.

GS III : S&T INDIA

India to replace Maitri station in Antarctica

16.

GS III : S&T  IT

Now, turn any surface into a touch screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

GS II: POLITY- JUDICIARY

SC sentences Karnan to six months in jail for contempt

  • Noting that all are equal in the eyes of the law, a seven judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on 9 May 2017 sentenced Calcutta High Court sitting judge, Justice C.S. Karnan, to six months' imprisonment for "contempt of court, judiciary and judicial process of the gravest nature."
  • The Bench ordered Justice Karnan's prison sentence to be executed forthwith.
  • The Bench had on February 8, 2017 - when the contempt proceedings commenced - ordered him not to handle any judicial or administrative work.
  • When a police team went to arrest him in Kolkata, he was not in his residence.
  • Earlier the Bench declined to accept senior advocate K.K. Venugopal's submission that it should ideally wait for another month and act after Justice Karnan retired.
  • The Chief Justice said "contempt of court has no colour, no privileges and there is no distinction to be made between a sitting judge and retired judge."
  • The court ordered the media not to report any statements made by Justice Karnan. As a court of record under Article 129, the SC has the authority to order a ban on such publication or airing of contemptuous material in the media.

 

GS II: BILATERAL -INDIA - PAK.

ICJ stays sentence in Jadhav case

  • In a major breakthrough in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former naval officer sentenced to death in Pakistan, New Delhi won a stay order from the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
  • In its petition, India had accused Pakistan of gross violations of international laws.
  • Ordering the stay, President of the International Court of Justice Ronny Abraham directed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to "act in such a way as will enable any order the Court may make on the request for provisional measures to have its appropriate effects," effectively staying Mr. Jadhav's execution until the court hears the matter and passes orders.
  • In their petition filed on May 8, the team of lawyers, led by senior advocate Harish Salve, listed the details of the case and the "egregious violations" of the Geneva convention that deals with consular relations, including Pakistan's refusal to give any details of Mr. Jadhav's arrest and trial until after the death sentence was passed, the failure to provide consular access to India despite 15 requests, and suggesting that access would be given only in exchange for information about Mr. Jadhav from India.

International Court of Justice 

  • The International Court of Justice commonly referred to as the World Court, ICJ or The Hague is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN).
  • Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

 

GS II: POLITY- JUDICIARY

Mallya guilty of contempt, says Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court on 9 May 2017 found fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt for wilful disobedience of the court's order to come clean about his assets and not disclosing a sum of $40 million (Rs. 600 crore) he received from British liquor major Diageo Plc following his resignation as Chairman of United Spirits Limited in February 2016.
  • Mr. Mallya had told the Supreme Court that the $40 million was one among "thousands of transactions" he did and cannot be counted as an asset.
  • He said he had no control over that money now as he had already disbursed it among his three adult children, who are U.S. citizens.
  • Countering allegations made by a banking consortium led by the State Bank of India which had filed the contempt of court petition against him, Mr. Mallya said he had implicitly complied with the SC order and given a complete list of assets as of March 31, 2016.
  • The court had ordered Mr. Mallya to provide the banks with a list of his assets so that they could recover Rs. 9,200 crore due to them.
  • It is reported that Rs. 8000 crore worth of properties of Mr. Mallya lie attached under the anti-money laundering law and he has income tax dues of about Rs. 2,000 crore.

GS III: ECONOMY- INFRASTRUCTURE

NITI Aayog shelves A.P. port project

  • After many twists and turns, the NITI Aayog has finally shelved the proposal to develop a greenfield port at Dugarajapatnam in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh as it was found to be technologically and financially unviable.
  • The decision to close the chapter was triggered by the techno-economic feasibility study conducted by American consultant Aecom for the Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), the major equity partner in the project, sources told.
  • The development of the greenfield port has been mentioned in the A.P. Bifurcation Act, 2014.
  • UPA-II had obtained the Cabinet's approval for the project along with another port in Sagar (West Bengal).
  • While the Sagar project is gaining momentum, there was no progress on the Dugarajapatnam port ever since it was finalised after an experts' panel zeroed in on the site.
  • However, as per indications, a port of a large scale is not viable anywhere as the country is witnessing economic slump and most of the ports are not able to ensure capacity utilisation.
  • One of the main reasons for finding Dugarajapatnam unviable is its proximity to Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Kattupalli and Kamarajar (Ennore) ports.
  • The massive dredging required to handle big size vessels is another deterrent.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

Kolar welcomes an Amur falcon

  • On May 1, perched on a lookout in Somalia, the Amur falcon named ‘Longleng' prepared to fly towards India, the midpoint of a nearly 22,000-km journey to Northern Mongolia.
  • The project has provided new evidence on altered flight patterns of the species.
  • After a four-day crossing of the sea - a non-stop flight - it halted near Pune before "surprisingly" heading towards Kolar Gold Fields.
  • "This is the first time one of our tagged birds with satellite tracking has gone south during this season, rather than fly across the Gangetic plains towards Nagaland," said an official at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which is tracking three other falcons to better understand their migration routes.
  • Between October and November, Amur falcons go from Nagaland towards Central Peninsular India and then to Somalia before wintering in Southern Africa.
  • On their return, they fly over 5,500 km from Somalia into Northern India and then Southeast Asia.
  • These birds follow rain, and air currents letting them to fly longer with little effort.

Amur falcon 

  • The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family.
  • It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa.
  • Their diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites; during migration over the sea, they are thought to feed on migrating dragonflies.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

A dry Kabini fails to draw elephant herds this year

  • The Kabini backwaters, which has always been a paradise for elephants during scorching summers, is a let down for wildlife this year owing to extreme drought.
  • Kabini backwaters borders Nagarahole and Bandipur and is a pit stop for animals migrating from dry forests to moist regions during summer.

 

GS II: SOCIAL HEALTH

Tax processed foods: FSSAI panel

  • An 11-member committee of medical experts and nutritionist, tasked by the Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI), which is a Union Health Ministry body, has recommended a tax on "highly-processed" foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • It also advocated a ban on advertisements promoting foods high in FSS (fat, salt, sugar) during TV shows and channels aimed at children.
  • "In fact, we should progress towards a total ban, as being done in a few other countries like Chile. Celebrity endorsements of such foods need to be discouraged," says the report on the FSSAI website.
  • The committee has compiled existing scientific literature on the consumption of fats, sodium and sugar in foods, across socio-economic groups in the country, and endorsed that the proportions of these food constituents not exceed guidelines by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • A salient finding was that Low Income Groups (LIG) reportedly consumed more fried snacks and sweets than High Income Groups (HIG) and, the highest consumption of bakery items was in slums, said a study on urban populations cited in the report.
  • The panel also recommended that all packaged food carry detailed labels specifying the energy value in kcal (kilo calories); the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat; and the amount of any other nutrient for which a nutrition or health claim is made.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 

  • It is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
  • The FSSAI has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India.
  • FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.


Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • It is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research
  • It is one of the oldest and largest medical research bodies in the world.
  • It is funded by the Government of India through the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.


GS III : AGRICULTURE

Grain output at record high

  • The country's foodgrain output for the crop year (2016-17) is seen at an alltime record 273.38 million tonnes, up by around 21.81 million tonnes compared to last year, on account of good monsoon rains during the season.
  • The previous record production at 265.04 million tonnes was achieved during 2013-14.

 

GS I : CULTURE

Bishnoi farmers fill troughs of water for deer

  • In a novel initiative, Bishnoi farmers in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts of northern Rajasthan are providing drinking water for a large number of deer and blackbuck facing the intense heat this summer in the plains of the region.
  • The farmers have dug about 70 troughs, many of them in their own agricultural fields, over a 60 sq. km. area, and filled them with water to quench the thirst of the wild ungulates.
  • The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known for its beliefs associated with nature worship and wildlife conservation.

Bishnois

  • The Bishnois, a Vaishnavite sect, living in western Rajasthan on the fringe of the Thar desert, have for centuries, been conserving the flora and fauna to the extent of sacrificing their lives to protect the environment.
  • For these nature-loving people, protection of the environment, wildlife, and plants is a part and parcel of their sacred traditions.
  • The basic philosophy of this religion is that all living things have a right to survive and share all resources.
  • In the fifteenth century, Jambhoji, a resident of a village near Jodhpur, had a vision that the cause of the drought that had hit the area and hardship that followed was caused by people's interference with nature.
  • Thereafter, he became a sanyasi or a holy man and came to be known as Swami Jambeshwar Maharaj.
  • This was the beginning of the Bishnoi sect.
  • He laid down 29 tenets for his followers which included a ban on killing animals, a ban to the felling of trees - especially the khejri - which grows extensively in these areas, and using material other than wood for cremations.
  • Nature protection was given foremost importance in these tenets.

 

GS II : GOVERNANCE  POLICY

Disclose foreign funds, MHA tells political parties

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs said on 9 May 2017 that all political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, have been sent notices to disclose the foreign funds received by them.
  • Last week, the Aam Aadmi Party, which was also sent the questionnaire, had accused the Centre of a "political witch hunt" and described the move as a danger to democracy.
  • A senior Home Ministry official said the notices were sent as per norms prescribed under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, which bars any political party from receiving donations from any "foreign company".
  • Last year, the National Democratic Alliance government had amended the FCRA through the Finance Bill route, which allowed foreign origin companies to fund NGOs here, and also cleared the way for donations to political parties by changing the definition of "foreign companies".
  • The amendment ensures that "donations made by such (foreign shareholding) companies to entities including political parties will not attract provisions of the FCRA, 2010".
  • Contributions made by Indian companies with foreign holdings up to the prescribed limit as per the extant Foreign Direct Investment policy will not be treated as foreign contribution.
  • The Representation of People's Act bars parties from receiving foreign funds.
  • Both the BJP and the Congress supported the amendment.
  • The Ministry has asked parties to give details of their sources of funding, including those from abroad or foreign business enterprises, an official said, adding that this was part of the routine communication sent to parties every year to ascertain whether they have violated provisions of the FCRA.

 

GS III : INFRASTRUCTURE

‘Tallest bridge built can withstand blasts'

  • The world's tallest railway arch bridge over the Chenab river in Jammu, providing rail connectivity to Kashmir, will be capable of handling high intensity blasts and resisting the worst possible natural disaster.
  • "This is for the first time globally that a bridge is designed to handle high level trinitrotoluene (TNT) blast load. We consulted the Defence Research and Development Organisation to ensure safety of the bridge architecture," said Rajendra Kumar, Project Director at Konkan Railway Corporation Limited which is executing the Rs. 1,200-crore Chenab rail bridge project.
  • The 1.3 km long bridge over the Chenab at a height of 359 metres will be 35m taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris and five times the height of the Qutab Minar in Delhi.
  • The bridge will be a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra (Jammu) and Banihal (Kashmir) which is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar- Baramulla section of the railway project aimed at linking Kashmir through rail with the rest of the country.
  • The project site located barely 60 km from the Pakistan border - has faced several delays since its inception.
  • The construction work of the Chenab Bridge - declared as a national project - was awarded in August 2004 with a completion target of April 2007.
  • However, the project has since missed several deadlines as the Railways was in the process of addressing bridge alignment and safety issues.

GS II : SOCIAL- HEALTH

Supply of HIV drugs for children hit

  • Despite having run out of child-friendly HIV drugs, the Indian drug controller's Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has rejected fast track registration of the Lopinavir and Ritonavir pellets.
  • The drugs are currently not registered in India and therefore, not available in the national HIV Programme.
  • Meanwhile, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) programme is running out of the substitute for oral pellets currently available in India - Lopinavir syrup.
  • It has been reported that India had run out of paediatric formulations of the syrup after Cipla Pharmaceutical, Lopinavir syrup's sole manufacturer, stopped production over non-payment of dues .
  • NACO had placed an emergency order for Lopinavir and written to the Drugs Controller General, requesting that Lopinavir and Ritonavir be registered soon.

 

GS III : DEFENCE

Soon, Navy to be without minesweepers

  • By the end of 2018, the Indian Navy would be left without any minesweepers to defend its ports and vessels from enemy mines.
  • Two minesweepers, INS Karwar and INS Kakinada, were decommissioned after a distinguished service of 31 years.
  • With this the Navy is left with four other such ships all set to be retired next year.
  • A ship is most vulnerable when it is at the harbour and minesweepers are crucial to detect mines and explosives planted by the enemy targeting our ships as they enter or leave harbour.
  • Efforts to procure new minesweepers have been repeatedly delayed.
  • Navy officials said all issues have been addressed and the deal is in the final stages.

 

GS III: ECONOMY  BANKING

RBI places restrictions on loss-making IDBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed sanctions on state-run IDBI Bank that include curbs on branch expansion and distribution of dividend after the lender's financial health weakened.
  • Sanctions are imposed if a bank breaches a certain level of net non-performing assets (NPA), Return on Assets (RoA) and capital adequacy ratio.

 

GS III : S&T  INDIA

India to replace Maitri station in Antarctica

  • India has decided to replace the Maitri research station in Antarctica with a new one in the next three or four years Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary said.
  • The country is poised to expand its research activity there and is procuring a ship with ice-cutting capacity, he added.

Indian Antarctic Program 

  • The Indian Antarctic Program is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program under the control of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
  • It was initiated in 1981 with the first Indian expedition to Antarctica.
  • The program gained global acceptance with India's signing of the Antarctic Treaty and subsequent construction of the Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983, superseded by the Maitri base from 1990.
  • The newest base commissioned in 2015 is Bharati, constructed out of 134 shipping containers.
  • Under the program, atmospheric, biological, earth, chemical, and medical sciences are studied by India, which has carried out more than 30 scientific expeditions to the Antarctic.

 

 

GS III : S&T  IT

Now, turn any surface into a touch screen

  • Scientists have developed a new technology that can turn any surface - including walls, furniture and steering wheels - into a touch screen using tools as simple as a can of spray paint.
  • The "trick" is to apply electrically conductive coatings or materials to objects or surfaces, or to craft objects using conductive materials, researchers said.
  • By attaching a series of electrodes to the conductive materials, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. showed they could use a well-known technique called electric field tomography to sense the position of a finger touch.
  • With the new technology dubbed Electrick, conductive touch surfaces can be created by applying conductive paints, bulk plastics or carbon-loaded film.
  • Like many touchscreens, Electrick relies on the shunting effect - when a finger touches the touchpad, it shunts a bit of electric current to ground.
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