+91 9004418746enquiry.aashah@gmail.com
+91 9004078746aashahs.ias@gmail.com

Current Events 11 March 2017

 

NEWS

11 March 2017 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: POLITY  JUDICIARY

Maruti violence, death case: 31 convicted, 117 acquitted

2.

GS II: POLITY JUDICIARY

SC issues bailable warrant against Justice C.S. Karnan

3.

GS III : S&T - SPACE

‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon by NASA

4.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

Four States come together for elephant census

5.

GS I: CULTURE

When history moved on wheels

6.

GS II: REGULATORY BODIES  CAG

Projects cleared faster in 2015: CAG

7.

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

TN model drastically reduces response time in heart attack care

8.

GS II: GOVERNANCE

Enemy Property Bill passed amid walkout

9.

GS III: SECURITY

Slow progress in roads along China border: CAG

10.

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

Swine flu claims 13 lives, over 50 cases recorded

11.

GS II: POLITY JUDICIARY

Augusta: SC refuses to order probe

12.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL CHINA

China inducts J-20 stealth fighters

13.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL PAKISTAN

Pakistan Parliament passes landmark Hindu Marriage Bill

14.

GS II : MULTILATERAL COMMONWEALTH

Commonwealth Ministers commit to boosting trade

15.

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL JAPAN

Japan, U.S. conduct Navy drills

16.

GS III : ECONOMY

PAN may be made mandatory for TAN

17.

GS II: REGULATORY BODIES  TRAI

TRAI moots telecom ombudsman

18.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

A mass coral bleaching again

19.

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

‘Gender-sensitive TB measures needed

20.

GS III: S&T  SPACE

NASA to explore Jupiter’s icy moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



GS II: POLITY  JUDICIARY

Maruti violence, death case: 31 convicted, 117 acquitted

  •  Pronouncing its judgment in the high-profile Maruti violence case following unrest in the company’s Manesar plant, which resulted in the death of Human Resources manager Awanish Kumar Dev, in 2012, a local court convicted 31 of the 148 accused workers and acquitted 117 others.
  •  Thirteen of those convicted, including 12 former office-bearers of the workers’ union, were held guilty of murder, attempt to murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy.
  •  The verdict comes more than four years after Dev was killed and around 90 executives were injured during violence at the plant on July 18, 2012.

 

 

GS II: POLITY JUDICIARY

SC issues bailable warrant against Justice C.S. Karnan

  •  A seven-judge Bench, comprising the senior most judges of the Supreme Court, issued a bailable warrant against sitting Calcutta HC judge C.S. Karnan to secure his presence in the Supreme Court on March 31 in a suo motu contempt case against him for denigrating the judicial institution.
  •  The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, on 10 March 2017 directed the Director General of Police, West Bengal, to personally serve the warrant on Justice Karnan.
  •  Later, addressing a press conference at his residence in Kolkata, Justice Karnan said that “it is [the Supreme Court’s order] a motivated, ridiculous and illegal order.” He urged the President to “recall the bailable warrant” and directed Secretaries- General of both Houses of Parliament to place the facts before the Speaker for a thorough probe.
  •  He alleged that he was being targeted by the Supreme Court because he belongs to a Scheduled Caste community.

Letter to the PM

  •  In a letter to the Prime Minister, Justice Karnan had allegedly accused several sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges of corruption.
  •  A seven-judge Bench led by the Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar heard Mr. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi who said that Justice Karnan should face contempt proceedings for his “scurrilous” letters against sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges.

Writ order of Justice Karnan

  •  During the hearing in the Supreme Court, Mr. Rohatgi submitted that there are reports that an order has been passed by Justice Karnan admitting a petition filed by a lawyer in the Calcutta HC seeking enquiry into the allegations in the suicide note of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul.
  •  The August 2016 note of Pul had made corruption allegations against sitting Supreme Court and HC judges.
  •  In the said order, Mr. Rohatgi submitted that Justice Karnan had agreed with the petitioner-lawyer that the seven-judge Bench’s decision to strip him of judicial and administrative powers in the light of the contempt proceedings was void.
  •  In the “writ order” issued by him, Justice Karnan argued, “no contempt either civil or criminal can be initiated against a sitting High Court Judge under Sections 2 (c), 12 and 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act or under Article 20 of the Constitution of India.”
  •  As for the Supreme Court asking him to appear before it on March 31, Justice Karnan hinted that he will not appear before it as he had not done anything illegal.

 

 

  

GS III : S&T -SPACE

‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon by NASA

  •  India’s first lunar probe, Chandrayaan-1, which was considered lost, is still orbiting the moon, NASA scientists have found by using a new ground-based radar technique
  •  The ISRO lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 on August 29, 2009, almost a year after it was launched on October 22, 2008.
  •  Now, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California have located the spacecraft still circling some 200 km above the lunar surface.
  •  Chandrayaan-1 is very small and cuboid in shape, about 1.5 metres in length on each side.
  •  Chandrayaan-1 was predicted to complete one orbit around the moon every two hours and eight minutes.
  •  Although the interplanetary radar has been used to observe small asteroids several million miles from the earth, researchers were not certain that an object of this size could be detected as far away as the moon.
  •  To find a spacecraft 380,000 km away, JPL’s team used the 70-metre antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California to send out a powerful beam of microwaves towards the moon.
  •  Then the radar echoes bounced back from lunar orbit were received by the 100-metre Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.
  •  Finding a derelict spacecraft at lunar distance that has not been tracked for years is tricky because the moon is riddled with mascons (regions with higher than- average gravitational pull) that can dramatically affect a spacecraft’s orbit over time, and even cause it to have crashed into the moon.
  •  Chandrayaan operated for 312 days, as against the intended two years, but the mission achieved 95 per cent of its planned objectives.

 

 

 

 

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

Four States come together for elephant census

  •  In what will probably be the first such attempt, the States of Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have decided to conduct a synchronised elephant census between May 9 and 12.
  •  The four States together have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict prone regions in India.
  •  The States will conduct the census based on an identical set of rules — using the direct and indirect counting methods.
  •  The direct counting method is based on sighting of elephants while the indirect method uses the ‘dung decay’ formula, in which the analysis of elephant dung is used to estimate the population.
  •  The second method has already been used by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  •  As per the 2015 census, Odisha has 1,954 elephants while Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal had approximately 700, 275 and 130 elephants, respectively.


GS I: CULTURE

When history moved on wheels

  •  An armoury of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century warrior-king who forged his reputation fighting British colonialists, has been moved to build new railway tracks between Bengaluru and Mysuru.
  •  About 225 years old, the armoury at Srirangapatnam is part of 10 built by Tipu to store gunpowder and weapons.
  •  The monument is a 1000-tonne structure, and it is being moved by a New Delhi-based engineering firm and the US company, Wolfe.
  •  The semi-buried structure was raised on beams, moved and is being lowered at the new site about 130 meters away.
  •  The task was completed by the Railways.
  •  This is the first time the Railways has moved a monument in one piece to a new site.

 

 

GS II: REGULATORY BODIES - CAG

Projects cleared faster in 2015: CAG

  •  Delays in granting environmental clearance (EC) to projects fell in 2015 after consistently rising between 2011 and 2014, according to a report tabled in Parliament by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
  •  India’s public accounts watchdog also found that 62 projects examined by it had “irregularities” in the way they garnered public consent.
  •  Of 2,898 projectsspanning coal mining, industry, non-coal mining, construction, infrastructure and river valley and hydro electric project— granted EC between 2011 and 2015 (until July), the CAG chose 208 from across the country and analysed them to check if they were cleared within the prescribed 105 days.
  •  Nearly 90% of them were delayed with a project, on average, getting delayed by 86 days in 2011 and spiking to 316 days — or almost a year — in 2014.
  •  Though the average delay for seven months of 2015 had reduced to 238 days, it also saw some projects delayed by as many as 1002 days.
  •  2013 was a tumultuous year in the Environment Ministry with the then Environment Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, accused of delaying environmental clearance to major projects, suddenly quitting her post.
  •  In January 2015, Ms Natarajan told that she got “specific requests” from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi regarding clearance for certain projects.
  •  After the NDA government came to power, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar introduced a provision, whereby project developers could submit their applications online.
  •  In a reply to the CAG, the Environment Ministry said reasons for delay were in moving documents from the Central Registry sections to the impact assessment divisions, opening specific files for submitting to the Member Secretary concerned, insufficient skilled hands, a glut of projects for clearance between 2011-2014, and insufficient information and clarification from project developers
  •  62 of the 216 projects scrutinised had problems with the way they conducted their public consultation process that involves discussing the impact of project with villagers or residents.


GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

TN model drastically reduces response time in heart attack care

  •  A unique model of heart attack care has brought down the time taken respond to cardiac episodes from 900 minutes to 170 minutes in Tamil Nadu.
  •  The landmark study, reduces the symptom-to-door time by effective, early and rapid reperfusion — restoring blood flow through blocked arteries, typical after a heart attack.
  •  The year long study has been funded by the Indian Council of Medical Reseach (ICMR) and the results were published online on 8 March 2017 in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association ( JAMA, Cardiology).
  •  Traditionally, a heart attack is treated by two strategies of re-perfusion.

1.     If a patient arrives at a hospital equipped with a catheterisation laboratory or ‘cath lab’, a procedure known as Primary PCI is performed — an urgent balloon angioplasty.

2.     The patient is then ‘Thrombolysed’ — treated to dissolve clots in blood vessels, improve blood flow, and prevent damage to tissues and organs before being discharged.

  •  In the new model, STEMI India, a not-for-profit organisation, set up by Dr. Thomas Alexander of Kovai Medical Central and Hospital (KMCH) Coimbatore, and Dr. Ajit Mullasari of Madras Medical Mission in Chennai, use the pharmaco invasive strategy, which can be administered in any small hospital or even in the ambulance.
  •  The Classic STEMI India model has a hub hospital, where a cath lab is available and primary PCI is done for patients directly presented at these hospitals.
  •  These are linked to peripheral spoke hospitals, where thrombolysis is done following which the patient is shifted within three to 24 hours to the hub hospital for invasive treatment.
  •  Investigators of the study are meeting with State governments to scale up the model in other parts of the country.

 

 

GS II: POLITY  BILL/ACT

Enemy Property Bill passed amid walkout

  •  The Rajya Sabha passed the The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, in the sixth attempt after ordinances were passed to keep the Bill alive, following fierce objections by the Opposition parties.
  •  As the government introduced the Bill for consideration in the Rajya Sabha, the entire Opposition walked out.
  •  The 49-year-old law was amended to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan and China.
  •  The Bill, which amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, was passed by the Rajya Sabha despite the Opposition demanding deferring of the debate on the draft legislation for a threadbare deliberation next week.
  •  The measure was passed by the Lok Sabha in March last year. After this, the Rajya Sabha had sent it to a select committee, following whose recommendations, the government had moved a number of amendments to it.
  •  After the amended Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha, it was returned to the Lok Sabha for final passage just before it was adjourned for the day.
  •  The amendments proposed include that once an enemy property is vested in the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as enemy property irrespective of whether the enemy, enemy subject or enemy firm has ceased to be an enemy due to reasons such as death.
  •  The new Bill ensures that the law of succession does not apply to enemy property; that there cannot be transfer of any property vested in the Custodian by an enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm and that the Custodian shall preserve the enemy property till it is disposed off in accordance with the Act.
  •  The amendments are aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that the enemy properties that have been vested in the Custodian remain so and do not revert to the enemy subject or firm.
  •  The Bill also prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

 

 

 

 

GS II: REGULATORY BODIES  CAG

Slow progress in roads along China border: CAG

  •  For the Indian military, the disaster of 1962 did not end with the humiliation by China in the war.
  •  In a strategic blunder thereafter, the government decided not to develop its infrastructure along the China border.
  •  In the aftermath of the brief but bloody border war with China in 1962, India had maintained a policy to not build border roads reasoning that they could be used by the Chinese forces to make quick inroads.
  •  It took more than four decades for the decision to be reversed.
  •  In 2007, the government decided to aggressively develop infrastructure along the border with China, in a late and desperate measure to catch up.
  •  A CAG report tabled in Parliament on 10 March 2017, however, has burst the myth about the ambitious catch up, painting a picture of targets not met and huge cost escalations.
  •  Of the 61 India-China Border Roads scheduled to be completed by 2012, only 22 had been completed as late as March 2016 with massive cost overruns.
  • 22 roads or 36% had only been completed up to March 2016 despite incurring an expenditure of Rs. 4536 crore or 98% against the estimated cost of Rs. 4644 crore for 61 ICBRs, the report observed.
  •  The report also noted “numerous instances” of defective construction of roads.

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

Swine flu claims 13 lives, over 50 cases recorded

  •  At least 13 deaths have been reported due to swine flu (H1N1) virus since the beginning of the year in western Maharashtra, according to medical authorities.
  •  “Despite a slight increase in the H1N1 toll this year in the same time period, this is the normal seasonal transmission pattern of the virus. Although people need to take precautionary measures.” Scientists from the city-based National Institute of Virology said there has been no change in the genetic make-up of the virus.

 

 

GS II: POLITY JUDICIARY

Augusta: SC refuses to order probe

  •  The Supreme Court refused to order a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe against journalists who allegedly took payoffs and favours from Italian firm Agusta Westland and its parent company Finmeccanica to publish reports in favour of the multi-crore Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal.
  •  The Bench said that ordering such a blanket investigation into the functioning of the media without any concrete evidence would be an “attack” on free speech.
  •  The court, however, said that investigative agencies were free to conduct a probe against certain individuals and proceed against them as per law.
  •  The Bench was hearing a petition filed by noted journalist and author Hari Jaisingh that the top court should intervene in the ongoing investigation of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and direct the two agencies to submit a status report on whether the media played a role in influencing the deal for a dozen VVIP helicopters.

 

GS II:  INTERNATIONAL CHINA

China inducts J-20 stealth fighters

  •  China has inducted J-20 stealth fighters in its arsenal, marking a solid incremental step in the transition of its air force to the next level.
  •  The J-20 stealth fighters are designed to compete with other fifth generation fighter jets, such as the F-22 Raptor of the United States and the Russian PAK-FA.
  •  China is also focusing on the development of its Navy, though its offensive punch is still limited by the presence of only one aircraft carrier, which is mainly used for training purposes.
  •  Nevertheless, China’s indigenous aircraft carrier, which would be the second in its inventory, is in an advanced stage of construction.

 

GS II : INTERNATIONAL PAKISTAN

Pakistan Parliament passes landmark Hindu Marriage Bill

  •  Pakistan’s Parliament has finally passed the much awaited landmark bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in the country.
  •  Pakistan’s Hindus are set to get an exclusive personal law to regulate marriages.
  •  The National Assembly passed the bill in September last year but had to pass it again as its version of the bill was changed by the Senate, when it adopted the law in February.
  •  The final text approved by both Houses includes the ‘Shadi Parath’ — a document similar to ‘Nikahnama’ in Islam.
  •  The ‘Shadi Parath’ will be required to be signed by a pandit and will be registered with the relevant government department.
  •  Meanwhile, the government introduced a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament to revive the controversial special military courts for trying “hardcore” militants.
  •  Apart from changes sought in the constitution to set up such courts, another bill was presented to seek amendment in the army law to enable military to regulate these courts.
  •  The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, to set up military courts to hear the cases of hardcore criminals. He said positive results were received through these steps.

 

GS II : MULTILATERAL COMMONWEALTH

Commonwealth Ministers commit to boosting trade

  •  A two-day Commonwealth trade summit concluded and Ministers from across the bloc committed to boosting intra-Commonwealth trade in the face of the growing clamour for protectionism globally.
  •  India, meanwhile, announced a summit on trade amongst Commonwealth SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) in May.
  •  The two-day meeting involved round-table discussions that brought businesses and politicians from around 35 Commonwealth member states together in what was the first meeting of trade ministers from the Commonwealth in the past 12 years.
  •  It is hoped that a “Commonwealth Accord”, a standard of rules — based on the shared experiences, rules and regulations — is arrived at.
  •  The trade meeting has gained increased significance as the United Kingdom seeks to increase its trade links beyond the European Union, while India also looks at the Commonwealth with renewed focus.

 

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL  JAPAN

Japan, U.S. conduct Navy drills

  •  The Japanese and U.S. navies are conducting joint exercises in the East China Sea as tension intensifies in the region following North Korea’s missile tests.
  •  The two sides launched the drill, involving Japanese destroyers and a U.S. Navy carrier strike group.
  •  The drill is looked as issuing a warning against nuclear armed North Korea and also meant to display the joint Japan-U.S. military presence in the East China Sea, where Japan and China are locked in a long-running dispute over uninhabited islets.
  •  In Japan they are known as the Senkakus, while China claims then as the Diaoyus.

 

 

GS III : ECONOMY

PAN may be made mandatory for TAN

  •  The Central Board of Direct Taxes is considering making PAN mandatory as a requirement for allotting Tax Deduction Account Numbers (TAN) to companies that deduct tax at source, according to a report
  •  The Department is considering tightening the KYC norms for TAN issuance in light of the CAG’s discovery that the procedure for allotting TAN does not require any documents as proof of identity or address, not even a PAN.
  •  More than one lakh notices amounting to a total demand of Rs. 4,180 crore were not addressed due to inadequate information about the assessee.
  •  Many notices were received back as ‘un-served’ on account of inadequacies in ‘KYC’ details.
  •  This inability to deliver the notices to the correct addresses resulted in the tax department being unable to recover a demand of Rs. 4,180 crore raised in the period 2007-08 to 2011-12.
  •  The CBDT had in December 2016 agreed to consider making PAN mandatory for the issuance of TAN, according to the CAG report.

 

 

GS II: REGULATORY BODIES  TRAI

TRAI moots telecom ombudsman

  •  Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended setting up an ‘Office of Telecom Ombudsman,’ with powers to levy penalties on telecom service providers, for resolution of complaints and grievances of consumers.
  •  “There is a need for an independent and appropriately empowered structure to be created for resolution of grievances of telecom consumers... an Office of Telecom Ombudsman needs to be established.”

 

GS III : ENVIRONMENT BIODIVERSITY

A mass coral bleaching again

  •  Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing an unprecedented second straight year of mass coral bleaching, scientists said, warning many species would struggle to fully recover.
  •  The 2,300-km reef suffered its most severe bleaching on record last year due to warming sea temperatures during March and April.
  •  The agency said more bleaching was being observed in the central part of the reef, which last year escaped widespread severe bleaching.
  •  The 2016 bleaching was more severe in the northern areas of the bio-diverse site. The back-to-back occurrence of widespread bleaching also meant there was insufficient time for corals to fully recover.
  •  Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour.

 

 

 

 

 

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

‘Gender-sensitive TB measures needed

  •  To mark International Women’s Day and the upcoming World Tuberculosis Day, REACH (Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) organised a discussion on the urgency to integrate gender in India’s tuberculosis (TB) programmes.
  •  According to a recent WHO report, TB affects an estimated three million women every year and remains a leading cause of death among adult women globally.
  •  Issues such as stigma and poverty are heightened for women with TB as they are often abandoned by families.
  •  Even if women are biologically less susceptible to TB, socially, their burden is greater than that of men.

 

 

GS III: S&T SPACE

NASA to explore Jupiter’s icy moon

  •  NASA’s ‘Europa Clipper’ set to launch in the 2020s will probe the habitability of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.
  •  The mission plan includes 40 to 45 flybys, during which the spacecraft would image the moon’s icy surface at high resolution and investigate its composition and the structure of its interior and icy shell.
  •  Europa has long been a high priority for exploration because it holds a salty liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust.
  •  The ultimate aim of Europa Clipper is to determine if Europa is habitable, possessing all three of the ingredients necessary for life: liquid water, chemical ingredients, and energy sources sufficient to enable biology.
  •  “During each orbit, the spacecraft spends only a short time within the challenging radiation environment near Europa. It speeds past, gathers a huge amount of science data, then sails on out of there,” said Europa Clipper project scientist.

Back to Top