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Current Events 26 January 2017

 

NEWS

26 JANUARY 2017 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II : POLITY - JUDICIARY

T.N.’s new jallikattu law faces challenge in Supreme Court

2.

GS II : POLITY - ELECTIONS

Enhance withdrawal limit for candidates: EC to RBI

3.

GS II : POLITY - ELECTIONS

President for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

4.

GS II:   INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

India on Transparency list for failing to curb big corruption

5.

GS II : BILATERAL - INDIA-UAE

India, UAE sign strategic partnership pact

6.

GS II : BILATERAL – INDIA-UAE

India to fill strategic reserve facility at Mangaluru with oil from UAE

7.

GS II : BILATERAL - INDIA- USA

India a true friend, says Trump

8.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL - CHINA

China backs regional trade pacts after U.S. exits TPP

9.

GS III: S&T  HEALTH

GM mosquito trials to control dengue, chikungunya launched


GS II : POLITY JUDICIARY

T.N.’s new jallikattu law faces challenge in Supreme Court

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action and animal rights activists to stay the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed by the State Assembly.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which is the main petitioner in the 2016 challenge against the earlier January 7 central notification, contended in its 14-page application, filed on January 24, 2017 that the Tamil Nadu amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was ultra vires of the 1960 Act and the Constitution.

Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)

  • The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960.
  • The Board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of Indias Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
  • In 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, where it now resides.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India on animal welfare laws, and promotes animal welfare in the country of India. 
  • It is located at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai.
  • It works to ensure that animal welfare laws in the country are followed; provides grants to Animal Welfare Organisations; and considers itself "the face of the animal welfare movement in the country. 


GS II : POLITY ELECTIONS

Enhance withdrawal limit for candidates: EC to RBI

  • The Election Commission requested the RBI to enhance the cash withdrawal limit for candidates in the five poll bound States from Rs. 24,000 to Rs. 2 lakh a week, till the declaration of results on March 11.
  • The entire election process lasts only three to four weeks and therefore, the total amount that can currently be withdrawn would be only ? 96,000 as against the statutory limit of expenditure of ?. 28 lakh in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, and ?. 20 lakh in Manipur and Goa, the EC said in its letter to the RBI.

 GS II : POLITY ELECTIONS

President for simultaneous Lok Sabha, Assembly polls

  • President Pranab Mukherjee said that simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State assemblies could substantially reduce inconvenience in poll management and expenditure.
  • Speaking at the 7th National Voters’ Day event, the President said the reform was possible if the Election Commission (EC) took the initiative and the political parties arrived at a consensus to make necessary amendments to the Constitution.
  • The EC had already given its view on the issue to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, which recommended simultaneous elections in December 2015, and to the Union Law Ministry.
  • Funds in excess of ? 9,000 crore would be required to meet the expenditure.

GS II:   INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

India marginally improves on transparency corruption index, scores 40 out of 100

  • India has marginally improved its ranking in the graft watchdog Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index for 2016, a list topped by New Zealand and Denmark.
  • The Berlin-based anti-graft organisation has used World Bank data, the World Economic Forum and other institutions to rank 176 countries by perceived levels of corruption in public sector.
  • The score runs from zero, which is highly corrupt, to 100, which is very clean.
  • India, China and Brazil with a score of 40 each figured in the 10 key economies in the mid-range.
  • Indias score has improved by two points from 38 in 2015.
  • “India’s ongoing poor performance with a score of 40 reiterates the states inability to effectively deal with petty corruption and large-scale corruption scandals,” said Transparency International.
  • Pakistan, scoring 32, came in the red zone.
  • At the bottom of the index, Somalia was ranked the most corrupt country.
  • Other countries with lower rankings - which typically point to badly performing public institutions, bribery or corruption - were Syria, South Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Transparency International  (TI)

  • Transparency International  (TI) is an international non-governmental organization which is based in Berlin, Germany, and was founded in 1993.
  • Its non-profit purpose is to take action to combat corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.
  • It publishes for example the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perceptions Index
  • Its members are, besides a few individuals, more than 100 national chapters which engage in fighting corruption in their home countries.
  • Corruption Perceptions Index - The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index – a combination of polls – drawing on corruption-related data collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI reflects the views of observers from around the world.


 

GS II : BILATERAL  INDIA-UAE

India, UAE sign strategic partnership pact

  • India has sealed 14 agreements, including a comprehensive strategic partnership, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Apart from the strategic partnership, agreements on defence industries, maritime transport, cybersecurity, shipping and transport were also signed.
  • However, a major agreement on engaging the massive investment fund of the UAE for Indias infrastructure sector remained unattained.
  •  “During the visit we are hoping that an MoU will be signed between their investment fund and NIIF (National Infrastructure Investment Fund) that we have created on our side which is at an advanced stage of discussions,” Secretary in charge of economic relations in the MEA, Amar Sinha, had announced.

NIIF (National Infrastructure Investment Fund)

GS II : BILATERAL INDIA-UAE

India to fill strategic reserve facility at Mangaluru with oil from UAE

  • India signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates that allows the Gulf nation to fill half of an underground crude oil storage facility at Mangaluru that is part of New Delhis strategic reserve system.
  • UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) will store about six million barrels of oil at Mangaluru, taking up about half of the sites capacity.
  • India has already filled the other half of the Mangaluru storage in Karnataka state with six million barrels of Iranian oil.
  • India, the worlds third biggest oil consumer, has also filled a Vizag storage site in southern Andhra Pradesh with 7.55 million barrels of Iraqi oil and has invited bids from suppliers to fill an 18.3 million-barrel facility at Padur in Karnataka.

GS II : BILATERAL - INDIA-USA

India a true friend, says Trump

  • The U.S. considered India “a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world”, President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a call.
  • The two discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and India in broad areas such as the economy and defence,” a statement from the White House said.
  • They also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia.
  • President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the United States and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism,” the White House said.
  • Mr. Modi is the fifth world leader Mr. Trump spoke to after he assumed office. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Pena Nieto, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were the first four.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL CHINA

China backs regional trade pacts after U.S. exits TPP

  • China is hoping to galvanise two regional trade proposals — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Free-Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)following the formal exit of the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • On 23 January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, withdrawing the U.S. from the 12-nation trade deal, widely seen in China as a Washington-led attempt to contain its rise.
  • China has now also advocated that the formation of the Asia-Pacific free-trade zone be further advanced, as leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have also agreed on a vision and a plan for this arrangement.
  • In the Asia-Pacific, the U.S.’s exit has triggered different responses — from calls to re-focus on the RCEP, to revive the TPP with China as its new member.

 

GS III: S&T  HEALTH

GM mosquito trials to control dengue, chikungunya launched

  • Outdoor caged trials to demonstrate the efficiency of genetically modified mosquitoes to suppress wild female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika were launched on January 23 in Dawalwadi, Badnapur, in Maharashtras Jalna district.
  • Based on the results of the trials, which use the Release of Insects carrying Dominant Lethal genes (RIDL) technology, and permission from Indian regulatory authorities, Gangabishan Bhikulal Investment and Trading Limited (GBIT) and Oxitec, plan to conduct open field trials in the country.
  • Laboratory-based studies have already been carried out in India since 2012 by GBIT and Oxitec and these studies have demonstrated the compatibility of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
  • “The efficiency to kill offspring was over 99% and male mosquitoes imported from the U.K were able to mate with locally available wild female mosquitoes and the longevity of imported mosquitoes was the same as the wild ones,” says Dr. Shaibal Dasgupta, Project Leader, GBIT, Delhi.
  • Oxitec’s technology uses genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry a dominant lethal gene. When male GM mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes the lethal gene is passed on to offspring. The lethal gene in the offspring kills the larvae before they reach adulthood.
  • Since male mosquitoes do not bite humans, the release of GM males will not increase the risk of dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
  • India is looking at another alternative too. Another vector control method is using A. aegypti infected with Wolbachia, a life-shortening bacteria strain in both male and female mosquitoes.
  • Uninfected wild female mosquito embryos fertilised by Wolbachia-infected males fail to develop, while embryos from infected females fertilised by infected or uninfected wild males survive.
  • As Wolbachia is maternally inherited, the bacteria are anyway passed on to offspring.
  • Dengue, Zika or chikunguya viruses cannot replicate when mosquitoes have Wolbachia.
  • Unlike the RIDL technology, a feature of Wolbachia is that it is self-sustaining, making it a low-cost intervention.
  • The downside is that the release of even a single female mosquito infected with Wolbachia could “potentially lead to the alien bacteria spreading in the target population.”

 

 

 

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