August 11, 2017 @ 11:30 am

11 AUGUST 2017


  1. Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)
  • Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority was constituted for the National Capital Region by the Central government, in exercise of powers conferred under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • Its recommendation for mandatory linking of PUC certificates with annual vehicle insurance was accepted by the Supreme Court in August 2017 and enforced throughout the country.
  1. Lingayat
  • Lingayatism is a distinct Shaivite religious tradition in India.
  • Its worship is centered on Hindu god Shiva as the universal god in the iconographic form of Ishtalinga.
  • The adherents of this faith are known as Lingayats.
  • Lingayatism was founded by the 12th-century philosopher and statesman Basava and spread by his followers, called Sharanas.
  • Lingayatism emphasizes qualified monism and bhakti (loving devotion) to Shiva, with philosophical foundations similar to those of the 11th-12th-century South Indian philosopher Ramanuja.
  • It rejects the Vedas and the Chaturvarna system.
  • The terms Lingayatism and Veerashaivism have sometimes been used synonymously.
  • Lingayatism is considered a Hindu sect, but some Lingayats have sought legal recognition as a religion distinct from Hinduism.
  • The term Lingayat is derived from Kannada word lingavanta for the “one who wears an i??ali?ga”
  • The Lingayat i??ali?ga is an oval-shaped emblem symbolising Parashiva, the absolute reality, and is worn on the body by a cord hung around the neck.
  • Lingayatism shares beliefs with Indian religions, such as about reincarnation, samsara and karma.
  • Contemporary Lingayatism is influential in South India, especially in the state of Karnataka.
  1. Vachanas
  • Vachana sahitya is a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada that evolved in the 11th century C.E. and flourished in the 12th century, as a part of the Sharna movement.
  • The word vachanas literally means “(that which is) said”.
  • These are readily intelligible prose texts.
  • Madara Chennaiah, an 11th-century cobbler-saint who lived in the reign of Western Chalukyas, is the first attested poet of this tradition.
  • Later poets, such as Basava (1160), prime minister of Southern Kalachuri King Bijjala II, considered Chennaiah to be his literary father.
  1. Veerashaiva
  • Veerashaivism is a form of Shaivism sect of Hinduism.
  • It is predominantly found in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Veerashaivas are also found in other states: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat and around the world.
  • Veerashaivism is enshrined in the Shivagams.
  • It is believed that lord Shiva founded Veerashaiva philosophy some 60,000 years ago
  • The complete philosophy of Veerashaivism is explained in Siddhanta Shikhamani.
  • The terms Veerashaivism and Lingayatism, a Shaivite denomination which also includes wearing Ishtalinga as a significant ritual of observance, have been used synonymosly, both by public and recognized by Governments, though validity of its correctness is the biggest contemporary theological and historical debate related to Lingayatism and Veerashaivism.
  1. Sand mining
  • Sand mining is a practice that is used to extract sand, mainly through an open pit.
  • However, sand is also mined from beaches, inland dunes and dredged from ocean beds and river beds.
  • It is often used in manufacturing as an abrasive, for example, and it is used to make concrete.
  • Another reason for sand mining is the extraction of minerals such as rutile, ilmenite and zircon, which contain the industrially useful elements titanium and zirconium.
  • These minerals typically occur combined with ordinary sand, which is dug up, the valuable minerals being separated in water by virtue of their different densities, and the remaining ordinary sand re-deposited.
  • Sand mining is a direct cause of erosion, and also impacts the local wildlife.
  • For example, sea turtles depend on sandy beaches for their nesting, and sand mining has led to the near extinction of gharials (a species of crocodiles) in India.
  • Disturbance of underwater and coastal sand causes turbidity in the water, which is harmful for such organisms as corals that need sunlight.
  • It also destroys fisheries, causing problems for people who rely on fishing for their livelihoods.
  • Removal of physical coastal barriers such as dunes leads to flooding of beachside communities, and the destruction of picturesque beaches causes tourism to dissipate.
  • Sand mining is regulated by law in many places, but is still often done illegally.
  1. Guam
  • It is a United States Territory in the western Pacific Ocean.
  • As of 2017, 162,742 people reside on Guam.
  • Guamanians are American citizens by birth.
  • Guam has an area of 210 sq mi (544 km²) and a population density of 770/sq mi (297/km²).
  • It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and the largest island in Micronesia.
  • The Chamorros, Guam’s indigenous people, settled the island approximately 4,000 years ago.
  • Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, while in the service of Spain, was the first European to visit the island on March 6, 1521. Guam was colonized by Spain in 1668
  • During the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam on June 21, 1898.
  • Guam is among the seventeen Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations.
  • On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, who occupied the island for two and a half years.
  • American forces recaptured the island in 1944.
  • Since the 1960s, the economy has been supported by two industries: tourism and the United States Armed Forces.
  1. Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • It will amend The Banking Regulation Act 1949, giving the government power to authorise the Reserve Bank of India to issue directions to banks in order to initiate insolvency resolution in case of a default.
  • Before the Bill was introduced in Parliament, the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance was promulgated in May 2017 to amend The Banking Regulation Act 1949 in the same way.
  • Ordinances, however, have to be approved by Parliament within six weeks of session following the introduction.
  • Apart from empowering the RBI in the above-mentioned ways, the Bill will also give RBI the authority to refer NPA cases to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides for a time-bound resolution of defaults and stressed assets, either by restructuring a loan or liquidating the borrower’s assets.
  • The RBI in June identified 12 defaulters all over the country, who accounted for 25 percent of all bad loans in the banking system and is currently focusing on resolving their cases.
  • Some cases like that of Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel have already been referred to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board and action has already been taken.
  1. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016
  • It is bankruptcy law of India passed by Parliament which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy resolution in a time bound manner for maximisation of value of assets.
  • The Act has come into force in August 2016
  • The Code seeks to repeal the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 19 Act, 1993 and Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Repeal Act, 2003, among others.
  • The Code outlines separate insolvency resolution processes for individuals, companies and partnership firms.
  • The process may be initiated by either the debtor or the creditors.
  • For companies, the completion of the insolvency resolution process will have to be completed in 180 days, which may be extended by 90 days, if a majority of the creditors agree.
  • The Code establishes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, to oversee the insolvency proceedings in the country and regulate the entities registered under it.
  • The Board will have 10 members, including representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Law, and the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The insolvency process will be managed by licensed professionals. These professionals will also control the assets of the debtor during the insolvency process.
  • The Code proposes two separate tribunals to oversee the process of insolvency resolution, for individuals and companies:

(i)       the National Company Law Tribunal for Companies and Limited Liability Partnership firms; and

(ii)     the Debt Recovery Tribunal for individuals and partnerships.

  1. Stressed assets = NPAs + Restructured loans +Written Off Assets
  2. Non Performing Asset (NPA)
  • An NPA means interest or principal is not repaid by the borrower during a specified time period (90 days).
  1. Restructured asset
  • Those assets which got an extended repayment period, reduced interest rate, converting a part of the loan into equity, providing additional financing, or some combination of these measures.
  1. Written off assets
  • Those that bank or lender doesn’t count as money that borrower owes to it.
  • The financial statement of the bank will indicate that the written off loans are compensated through some other way.
  • This does not mean that the borrower is pardoned or got exempted from payment.
  1. Chhaupadi
  • Chhaupadi is a social tradition related to “menstrual taboo” in the western part of Nepal for Hindu women, which prohibits them from participating in normal family activities during a menstruation period, as they are considered “impure”.
  • The women are kept out of the house and have to live in a cattle shed or a makeshift hut.
  • This period of time lasts between ten and eleven days when an adolescent girl has her first period; thereafter, the duration is between four and seven days each month.
  • Childbirth also results in a ten to eleven-day confinement.
  • During this time, women are forbidden to touch men or even to enter the courtyard of their own homes.
  • They are barred from consuming milk, yogurt, butter, meat, and other nutritious foods, for fear they will forever mar those goods.
  • The women must survive on a diet of dry foods, salt, and rice.
  • They cannot use warm blankets and are allowed only a small rug; most commonly, this is made of jute (also known as burlap).
  • They are also restricted from going to school or performing their daily functions like taking a bath and forced to stay in the conditions of the shed.
  • Women have died while performing the practice, including two young women in late 2016 who died from smoke inhalation and “carbon monoxide poisoning” from lighting fires to heat secluded makeshift shelters, huts and sheds during cold wearher, this was a common cause of death in poorly ventilated huts.
  • Rape, snakebites and wild animal attacks were other common causes of death of banished women practising Chhaupadi
  • Chhaupadi was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2005, but the tradition has been slow to change.
  • In 2017, Nepal passed a law punishing people who force women into exile during menstruating with up to three months in jail or a fine of 3,000 Nepalese rupees.
  1. Cholera
  • Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
  • Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe.
  • The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days.
  • Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur.
  • Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
  • The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish.[7] Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
  • It is spread mostly by unsafe water and unsafe food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria.
  • Undercooked seafood is a common source.
  • Humans are the only animal affected.
  • Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty.
  • The primary treatment is oral rehydration therapy—the replacement of fluids with slightly sweet and salty solutions.
  • Zinc supplementation is useful in children.
  • In severe cases, intravenous fluids, such as Ringer’s lactate, may be required, and antibiotics may be beneficial.
  1. 2016–17 Yemen cholera outbreak
  • In October 2016, an outbreak of cholera began in Yemen.
  • The outbreak was in decline by mid-March 2017, but it has resurged since 27 April 2017, and remains ongoing as of July 2017.
  • The resurgence is reportedly partly because the sewer system in the capital city, Sana’a, ceased functioning after airstrikes following Saudi intervention in the Yemeni Civil War.

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