Comprehensive News Analysis - 11 March 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Supreme Court issues bailable warrants against Justice Karnan

2. The Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016 passed

3. Projects cleared faster in 2015: CAG

4. We can’t declare Pak. a terror state: Centre

5. Slow progress in roads along China border: CAG

6. Partial cover: More needs to be done on the mother and child front

7. National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG)

8. Department of Consumer Affairs issues an advisory to the State Governments on Levy of Service Charge by Hotels

9. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

10. Rs. 294.84 crores deposited by Pharmaceutical companies against demand notices issued by Government for overcharging patients for Scheduled Medicines

11. National Program for prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke with integration of Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Pakistan Parliament passes landmark Hindu Marriage Bill

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMY

1. PAN may be made mandatory for TAN

2. Centre incurs loss of Rs. 3,000 crore on TDS: CAG

3. Faster remonetisation dissipated negative impact: RBI

4. Centre creating a dynamic buffer of up to 2 million tonnes of Pulses

5. Rs.285 crore deficit budget tabled in Arunachal

ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Four States come together for elephant census

2. A mass Coral Bleaching again

3. Pilot Project for improving Water Table

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. ‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon by NASA

INTERNAL SECURITY

1. SSB signs MoU with NSDC & NSDF

D. GS4 Related:
E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

1. Contempt of court

2. Bailable warrant

3. Mascons

4. Tax Deduction Account Number

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂
H. Archives

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Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs


A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 
B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Supreme Court issues bailable warrants against Justice Karnan

What’s in news?

  • 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.
  • Calcutta HC judge C.S. Karnan says he was targeted for being Scheduled caste community.
  • 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.”

Why these proceedings against Karnan?
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  • Earlier in a letter to the Prime Minister, Justice Karnan had allegedly accused several sitting and retired High Court and Supreme Court judges of corruption (Serious allegation).
  • 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. Pul had made corruption allegations against sitting Supreme Court and HC judges.

 

2. Projects cleared faster in 2015: CAG

What’s in news?

  • Report Comptroller and Auditor General tabled in the parliament.
  • Delays in granting environmental clearance (EC) to projects fell in 2015 after consistently rising between 2011 and 2014
  • 62 projects examined by it had “irregularities” in the way they garnered public consent (that involves discussing the impact of project with villagers or residents.)

Basic Information

  • The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is an authority, established by the Constitution under Constitution of India, Part V – Chapter V, Article 148
  • CAG audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government.
  • The CAG is also the external auditor of Government-owned corporations and conducts supplementary audit of government companies, i.e., any non-banking/ non-insurance company in which Union Government has an equity share of at least 51 per cent or subsidiary companies of existing government companies.
  • The reports of the CAG are taken into consideration by the Public Accounts Committees (PACs) and Committees on Public Undertakings (COPUs), which are special committees in the Parliament of India and the state legislatures.
  • The CAG is also the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, the affairs of which are managed by officers of Indian Audit and Accounts Service.
  • The CAG is ranked 9th and enjoys the same status as a judge of Supreme Court of India in Indian order of precedence.
  • CAG is usually referred to as India’s Public Account watch dog.

3. The Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016 passed

Highlights of the Bill

  • The Bill amends the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to vest all rights, titles and interests over enemy property in the Custodian
  • The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy, conducted under the Act, to be void. This applies retrospectively to transfers that have occurred before or after 1968.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts and other authorities from entertaining disputes related to enemy property.

Key Issues and Analysis

  • The Enemy Property Act, 1968 allows transfer of enemy property from the enemy to other persons. The Bill declares all such transfers as void. This may be arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
  • The Bill prohibits civil courts from entertaining any disputes with regard to enemy property. It does not provide any alternative judicial remedy (eg. tribunals). Therefore, it limits judicial recourse or access to courts available to aggrieved persons.

Time Line

  • When wars broke out against China in 1961, and caPakistan in 1965 and 1971, properties belonging to nationals of these countries were taken over by the central government under the Defence of India Acts, 1962 and 1971.
  • These properties were designated as “enemy property” and vested in an office of the central government, the Custodian of Enemy Property.
  • The Enemy Property Act, 1968 was enacted to regulate enemy property.
  • Over the years, several disputes regarding powers of the Custodian and rights of enemies over enemy property went to the courts.
  • In a 2005 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Custodian was a trustee of enemy property responsible for its management, and the ownership lay with the enemy and his legal heirs.
  • To negate this decision, an Ordinance was promulgated in 2010, which subsequently lapsed. On January 7, 2016, an ordinance with a similar purpose was promulgated. The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016 was then introduced and passed in Lok Sabha.

4. We can’t declare Pak. a terror state: Centre

Independent member withdraws Bill

  • The government told Rajya Sabha that declaring Pakistan a “terror state” could have “diplomatic as well as other far-reaching consequences.” Before doing so a detailed study is required.
  • Independent Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the BJP’s Kerala unit, had moved ‘The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016’ to create a legal, economic and travel sanctions regime for citizens of countries which promote terror.
  • Centre was set to oppose the Bill as it would jeopardize international relations under the Geneva Convention.

Independent member of Indian parliament

  • An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. “Private member” is any member of parliament (MP) who is not a member of the cabinet (executive).
  • Independents may support policies which are different from those of the major political parties.
  • A private member’s bill in a parliamentary system of government is a bill (proposed law) introduced into a legislature by a legislator who is not acting on behalf of the executive branch.
  • They may be introduced by non-ministerial MPs from government-supporting parties (backbenchers), by members of opposition parties (frontbencher or backbencher), or by independents or crossbenchers

5. Slow progress in roads along China border: CAG

What’s in news?

  • In 2007, the government decided to aggressively develop infrastructure along the border with China
  • A CAG report points out that targets are not met and incidence of 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.
  • These roads are critical for the Indian Army to quickly mobilise men and equipment to remote posts in the high altitude region.

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Basic information

  • Border road Organisation: Ministry of Defence
  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighbouring countries. It is staffed by officers and troops drawn from the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Military Police and army personnel on extra regimental employment. Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.
  • Currently, the organisation maintains operations in twenty-one states, one UT (Andaman and Nicobar Islands), and neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

6. Partial cover: More needs to be done on the mother and child front

Update

  • Recently Parliament passed Maternity benefit amendment bill, whichca enhanced paid maternity leave for women in the organised sector to 26 weeks from 12.

Critics

  • Focused only on organized sector workers.
  • Unorganized workers fall beyond the scope of any worthwhile labour welfare measures. The amended law is expected to cover only 1.8 million women, a small subset of women in the workforce.
  • For many poor millions in the unorganized sector, the only support available is a small conditional cash benefit of Rs 6,000 during pregnancy and lactation offered under the Maternity Benefit Programme. The reported move to restrict even this meagre benefit to the first child for budgetary reasons is retrograde and must be given up.

Way Forward

  • Providing benefits for women and children is a societal responsibility which can be funded in a large country through a combination of general taxation and contributory payments from those who have the means.
  • Health care should be treated as a right and deliveries handled without cost to women.
  • The income guarantees during the 26-week period can be ensured through a universal social insurance system.
  • There would also be no discrimination against women in recruitment by employers who currently have to factor in benefit payments.
  • Mandating creche facilities to help women workers under the changed law is a forward-looking move, but it will work well only with a good oversight mechanism.
  • Create more jobs for women in a diversified economy, and provide social opportunity through maternal and child welfare measures.

7. National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) 

Key facts

  • The National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) has accredited forty Seven premier Indian Institutions/Organizations as National Centers for Corporate Governance.
  • These centers conduct seminars, workshops conferences, directors’ orientation programmes etc. for promoting good corporate governance practices and also carry out research work in this field.
  • The research report of the foundation include subject such as the role of independent directors, CSR, corporate governance in energy sector, reforms in banking sector etc.
  • National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) set up in 2003.

Objectives

  • Fostering a culture of good governance.
  • To provide a platform to deliberate issues relating to good corporate governance as the key to sustainable wealth creation;
  • To sensitize corporate leaders on the importance of good corporate governance, self- regulation and directorial responsibilities- statutory, social and environmental;
  • To stimulate and to facilitate exchange of experiences and ideas between corporate leaders, policy makers, regulators, law enforcing agencies, non-government organizations and voluntary agencies with a view to developing a framework for corporate governance reforms in the context of liberalization and globalization;
  • To provide research, training, practice, building, standard setting, advocacy, rating, monitoring, recognition and related support in the field of corporate governance;
  • To provide financial or any other assistance directly or indirectly for activities which seek to promote corporate governance including research and training;
  • To develop strategies that enhance value for all stakeholders and ensure long term benefits to the shareholders and the society at large;
  • To establish and deepen links with organizations in various parts of the world which promote corporate governance for exchange of ideas and for collaborative actions, projects and programs;
  • To institute national awards and recognitions for excellence in corporate governance and develop a system of corporate governance rating;
  • To collaborate and to support, directly or indirectly, the initiative of any individual, group, organization or institution in promoting corporate governance;
  • To develop a code of best practices for corporate governance taking into consideration the international examples and to promote its voluntary adoption by the corporate bodies;
  • To prepare, print and publish any papers, periodicals or newspapers, books or leaflets either on its own or in collaboration with other persons/ entities through print or other media and to contribute to any papers or periodicals to disseminate information and knowledge in the area of corporate governance;
  • To facilitate, promote, commend and collaborate on the proposals from individuals, associations and organizations for funding by national, international and multi- lateral organizations as also industry- associations, regulators and governments;
  • To provide advice, consultancy and technical and managerial support to the beneficiaries of the Trust’s programmes through a network of advisors drawn from the industry and institutions of excellence; and other related objects.

8. Department of Consumer Affairs issues an advisory to the State Governments on Levy of Service Charge by Hotels 

Why in news?

  • A number of complaints from consumers received in the National Consumer Helpline that hotels and restaurants are following the practice of charging ca ‘service charge’ in the range of 5-20%, in lieu of tips.
  • A consumer is forced to pay this charge irrespective of the kind of service provided to him.
  • The consumers are also required to pay service tax on this service charge so collected by the hotels and restaurants.

Insights into the Constitution

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice is to be treated as an unfair trade practice.
  • The said Act further provides that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against- 
  1. An unfair trade practice adopted by any trader or service provider
  2. the services hired or availed of, suffered from deficiency in any respect
  3. a trader or service provider, as the case may be, has charged for the goods or for the services a price in excess of the price-
  1. fixed by or under any law for the time being enforce,
  2. displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods,
  3. Displayed on the price list exhibited by him or under any law for the time being in force or agreed between the parties.

Solution derived 

  • State Governments to sensitize the companies, hotels and restaurants in the state regarding aforementioned provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and to disseminate the information through display at the appropriate place in the hotels/restaurants that the ‘service charges” are discretionary/ voluntarily and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off.
  • Service tax is levied uniformly as per statutory provisions, which is different from the service charge.

9. Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies 

Why in news?

  • Telecom Regulatory and Authority of India recommended setting up an” Office of Telecom Ombudsman”.
  • This Ombudsman will have the powers to levy penalties on telecom service providers, resolution of complaints and grievances of the consumers.

10. Rs. 294.84 crores deposited by Pharmaceutical companies against demand notices issued by Government for overcharging patients for Scheduled Medicines 

Background

  • Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) issued by the Government from time to time contains provisions to take appropriate action against any manufacturer selling a schedule bulk drug or formulation at a price higher than the ceiling price fixed and notified by the Government.
  • The provisions empower the Government to direct the manufacturer to deposit the overcharged amount along with the interest thereon fromca the date of overcharging, in addition to the penalty.

Why in news?

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, has issued demand notices to companies which have overcharged patients.

Steps taken

  • National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is prepared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the recommendation of the core committee appointed by the Ministry.
  • There were 348 medicines listed in NLEM 2011. A total of 106 medicines have been added, and 70 medicines have been deleted to prepare NLEM 2015, which now contains a total of 376 medicines.
  • The initial price fixation/price determination is not under the purview of Government. Government only controls price of medical devices declared as essential drugs.
  • Out of the 23 medical devices regulated as “Drugs” under Drugs & Cosmetics Act & Rules thereunder,3 devices namely ‘Condom’, ‘Intra Uterine Device (IUD) containing copper’ & ‘Coronary Stents’ have been included in the Schedule-I of DPCO, 2013 and are under price control.
  • The remaining 20 medical devices are categorized as non-scheduled formulations under DPCO, 2013 and therefore, no price has been fixed for these non-scheduled medical devices.
  • However, manufacturers are not allowed to increase the price of these 20 medical devices more than 10% per annum.

11. National Program for prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke with integration of Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani 

Traditional vs Modern

  • The ancient systems of medicine follow a holistic approach focused on the individual (patient) while treating the patients for a specific disease whereas the Modern system of medicine focuses on the disease, thus, the two approaches are fundamentally different from each other.

Intention of the program

  • The Ministry of AYUSH has launched a program to integrate Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani with National Program for prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS).

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  • The Ministry of AYUSH through its three research organizations. namely, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Homoeopahty (CCRH) and Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) implements the program.

Objective of the initiative

  • Prevention and early diagnosis of these diseases, reducing complications and reducing drug dependency through these systems.


Category: 
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Pakistan Parliament passes landmark Hindu Marriage Bill

Why in news?

  • Pakistan’s Parliament passed the landmark bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in the country.
  • Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously adopted the Hindu Marriage Bill, 2017.

Amendment procedure

  • As per rules, the same text should be passed by the two Houses of the Parliament before it is sent to the President for his signature and promulgation for implementation.

Minutes of the bill

  • The Senate included an amendment to the draft approved by the National Assembly in September. The final text approved by both Houses includes the ‘ShadiParath’ — a document similar to ‘Nikahnama’ in Islam.
  • The ‘ShadiParath’ will be required to be signed by a pandit and will be registered with the relevant government department

Military courts

  • Meanwhile, the Pakistani 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, another bill was presented to seek amendment in the army law to enable military to regulate these courts.
  • In 2015, the Parliament passed two bills, including Twenty-first (Amendment) Bill, and The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, to set up military courts to hear the cases of hardcore criminals.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. PAN may be made mandatory for TAN

  • As per a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), the Central Board of Direct Taxes may make PAN mandatory as a requirement for allotting Tax Deduction Account Numbers (TAN) to companies that deduct tax at source.
  • The CAG had earlier observed that the procedure for allotting TAN does not require any documents as proof of identity or address.
  • The 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.

2. Centre incurs loss of Rs. 3,000 crore on TDS: CAG

  • According to a report by CAG, in the period FY13 to FY15 the Centre has incurred a revenue loss of almost Rs. 3,000 crore either due to TDS not being collected, or being collected and not being deposited by the assessee.
  • There were 128 cases in which the Assessing Officer allowed the expenditure in contravention of the provisions there under even though tax deducted at source was not deducted or deducted but not deposited before the due date of filing of return on such payments.
  • The mistakes in 155 cases resulted in short levy of tax of Rs. 2,026.42 crore.”
  • Additionally, in 168 cases, the Assessing Officer did not impose interest on defaulting tax deductors amounting to Rs. 902.16 crore for failure to deduct TDS or deducting less TDS under the relevant sections of the Income Tax Act.
  • There were also a total of 654 cases where penalties were not imposed against tax deductors on account of non–deduction/collection of tax at source and where tax was deducted at source but not deposited within due date respectively.

3. Faster remonetisation dissipated negative impact: RBI

Highlights of the RBI Report

  • The decision has had some negative macroeconomic impact, but it has been transient as remonetisation has moved at an accelerated pace in last twelve weeks.
  • The adverse impact, in general, was short-lived as it was felt mainly in November and December 2016. The impact moderated significantly in January and dissipated by and large by mid-February 2017.
  • Demonetisation is expected to have a positive impact over the medium to long-term.
  • Greater formalisation of the economy with increased use of digital payments is expected. There has been a significant improvement in the use of digital modes of payments post demonetisation, although their base is still small.
  • The reduced use of cash will also lead to greater intermediation by the formal financial sector of the economy, which should help improve monetary transmission.
  • The currency in circulation declined and deposits with banks surged which expanded the balance sheet of banks and created large surplus liquidity in the system, which was managed by the RBI mostly through a mix of reverse repo and MSS securities.
  • Large surplus liquidity led to a significant improvement in monetary policy transmission as reflected in a significant decline in deposit and lending interest rates.
  • Some NBFCs, especially microfinance institutions, were adversely affected, in terms of disbursals and collection of repayments. But, the situation for most NBFCs began to improve from late December 2016.
  • Jan Dhan accounts increased by 23.3 million post demonetisation, while deposits under Jan Dhan accounts increased by Rs 18,700 crore (41%).
  • After initial softening, G-sec yields increased significantly on two occasions — after the announcement of application of incremental cash reserve ratio (ICRR) and the status quo in monetary policy in December 2016.
  • The impact on the forex market was transitory. Demonetisation has impacted some segments of the export sector such as readymade garments, and gems and jewellery. The impact, however, was transitory. Imports of gold increased sharply in November, but moderated in December.

4. Centre creating a dynamic buffer of up to 2 million tonnes of Pulses

Related Facts

  • Buffer Stock of Pulses Crosses 14.25 lakh MT
  • During 2015-16, around 5.88 million tonnes pulses were imported.ca

Steps taken

  • The measures taken by the Government to improve the domestic availability, inter alia, include zero import duty on pulses, export ban on pulses with certain exemptions, regular enhancement of MSP for pulses, and implementation on National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

Need for the buffer stock??

  • Sky-rocketing pulse prices, especially when the crucial Bihar elections were underway.
  • The shortfall in pulse production 2015-16 around 5 million tonnes.
  • India’s average annual import of pulses during 2010-11 and 2014-15 was 3.56 million tonnes. That is roughly a quarter of total pulse exports globally.
  • Any effort to fulfil the production deficit through imports is both difficult and inflationary.
  • Recent data from the Commission on Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) shows that domestic prices of pulses are often higher than international prices.

5. Rs.285 crore deficit budget tabled in Arunachal

What’s in news?

  • Arunachal Pradesh Finance Minister presented a Rs285-crore deficit budget for the 2017-18 fiscal with major thrust on women empowerment, infrastructure development and law and order.

What is a deficit budget?

  • A budget is said to be deficit when the total expenditure is more than the total revenue earned.
  • It increases the liability of the government.


Category: 
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Four States come together for elephant census

What’s in news?

  • Four States – Odisha, West Bengal, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand to conduct synchronized elephant census.
  • These four states have the maximum number of human-elephant conflict-prone regions in INDIA.
  • Method used for survey- direct counting method (involves direct sighting) and indirect counting (uses the dung decay method- analysis of dung is made out to estimate the elephant population).
  • As per 2015 census, Odisha has 1954 elephants, Jharkhand – 700, Chattisgarh-275 and West Bengal-130 elephants respectively.

2. A mass Coral Bleaching again

What’s in news?

  • Great Barrier Reef threatened by heat wave for second consecutive year
  • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing an unprecedented second straight year of mass coral bleaching
  • 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.
  • This is the first time the Great Barrier Reef bleached two years in sequence.
  • The back-to-back occurrence of widespread bleaching leaves insufficient time for corals to fully recover
  • The Barrier Reef — already under pressure from farming run-off, development and the crown-of-thorns starfish — escaped with minor damage after two other bleaching events in 1998 and 2002.

What is Bleaching

  • Warmer water temperatures can result in coral bleaching. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.
  • Corals can recover if the water temperature drops and the algae are able to recolonise them.

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Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. ‘Lost’ Chandrayaan-1 found orbiting Moon by NASA

What’s in news?

  • 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.
  • To find a spacecraft 380,000 km away, NASA’s 70-metre antenna at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California 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.


Category: 
INTERNAL SECURITY

1. SSB signs MoU with NSDC & NSDF

Why in news?

  • A MoU was signed between Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and National Skill Development Fund (NSDF).
  • An android based and in-house developed mobile application “MySSB” was launched. 

Need of the MoU?

  • The paramilitary forces are highly skilled because of the nature of their job and the Skill Development Ministry aspires to provide them better livelihood options for their future.
  • Recent MoU with the CRPF was fostered and led to a partnership with SSB, NSG and Welfare and Rehabilitation Board (WARB).
  • These workforces are an important and integral part of our society and respect should be given to all those who possess skills in them.
  • Objective of the MoU is also to make skilling an aspiration and aim to attract more people towards the mission. 
  • SSB will be able to provide gainful employment to the retiring/retired personnel of SSB in-order to facilitate resettlement through generation of second career option.
  • MoU will establish a framework under which dependents of SSB personnel as well as locals, school dropouts, victims and potential victims of Human Trafficking will also be benefited directly in the area/region where SSB is deployed.
  • The mobile application “MySSB” will cater to the general requirements and information of Force personnele. accessibility to details of salary & allowance, GPF subscription, service particulars including posting profile, APAR etc. 
  • Presently, SSB has been deployed with its mandate to guard 1751 kilometers of Indo-Nepal and 699 kilometers of Indo-Bhutan Borders as well as deployed in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand & Chhattisgarh and in the state of J&K.
  • Through this MoU the unemployed educated/ uneducated youths will get an opportunity to adopt a course of their choice/earn their livelihood and plan their future. 
  • Skill development training program will be organized in collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. Sectors like Apparel, Food Processing, Beauty and Wellness, Automotive, Security, Sports etc are given emphasis for the said program.


D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn

1.Contempt of court

  • Contempt of court, often referred to simply as “contempt”, is the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.
  • There are broadly two categories of contempt: being rude or disrespectful to legal authorities in the courtroom, or wilfully failing to obey a court order.
2.Bailable warrant

  • Bailable warrants means ,if you appear before the court on the mentioned date, the court will recall his order and cancel the warrants and will not take you in custody . In case you do not appear on the date, the bailable warrants will converted in to non-bailable and in that case you may be arrested by the police or the court will take you in to legal custody.
  • You just have to appear before the court on mentioned date and move an application for cancellation of bailable warrants.
3.Mascons

  • In astronomy and astrophysics, a mass concentration (or mascon) is a region of a planet or moon’s crust that contains a large positive gravitational anomaly.
4.Tax Deduction Account Number

  • It is a 10-digit alpha- numeric number issued by the Income-tax Department. TAN is to be obtained by all persons who are responsible for deducting tax at source (TDS) or who are required to collect tax at source (TCS).


F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
 

BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Articles
Article 20:- Protection in respect of conviction for offences

(1) No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of the law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence
(2) No person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once
(3) No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

Article 129:-Supreme Court to be a court of record

The Supreme Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself

Article 215:- High Courts to be courts of record

Every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Article 148:- Comptroller and Auditor General of India

(1) There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General of India who shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal and shall only be removed from office in like manner and on the like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court
(2) Every person appointed to be the Comptroller and Auditor General of India shall, before he enters upon his office, make and subscribe before the President, or some person appointed in that behalf by him, an oath or affirmation according to the form set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule
(3) The salary and other conditions of service of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be such as may be determined by Parliament by law and, until they are so determined, shall be as specified in the Second Schedule: Provided that neither the salary of a Comptroller and Auditor General nor his rights in respect of leave of absence, pension or age of retirement shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment
(4) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall not be eligible for further office either under the Government of India or under the Government of any State after he has ceased to hold his office
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service of persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department and the administrative powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General shall be such as may be prescribed by rules made by the President after consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General
(6) The Administrative expenses of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, including all salaries, allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of pensions serving in that office, shall be charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India.

Article 14:-Equality before law

The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India
Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth

ACTS IN NEWS 

About the Act

Contempt of court Act, 1971

This act distinguishes between civil and criminal contempt.
Civil Contempt has been defined as wilful disobedience to any judgment, decree, direction, order, writ or other process of a court or wilful breach of an undertaking given to a court.
Criminal Contempt has been defined as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which: (i) Scandalizes or tends to scandalize, or lowers or tends to lower the authority of, any court, or (ii) Prejudices, or interferes or tends to interfere with the due course of any judicial proceeding, or (iii) Interferes or tends to interfere with, or obstructs or tends to obstruct, the administration of justice in any other manner.


G. Fun with Practice Questions 🙂

Question 1: Consider the following statement with reference to Comptroller 
and Auditor general of India:
  1. Comptroller and Auditor General of India shall be appointed by the President.

  2. CAG is directly removed by President based on the recommendation of Council of ministers.

  3. CAG expenditure is not a charged upon consolidated fund of India.

  4. CAG has to subscribe to an oath administered by President before entering his office.

Identify the incorrect statements.

  1. 1 and 4
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are correct
See
Answer
Question 2: Consider the following statement with reference to Enemy 
Property Bill, which was in news recently:
  1. The Bill declares transfer of enemy property by the enemy to be void.
  2. Retrospective  transfers that have occurred before or after 1968 are to be nullified.
  3. The Bill allows civil courts and other authorities to deal with the disputes related to enemy property.
  4. Such a motion needs support of at least 30 members.

Identify the correct statements.

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. All are incorrect
See
Answer
Question 3: Border road organization is under _________.
  1. Ministry of Home affairs
  2. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  3. Ministry of Defense
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 4: Identify the correct statements.
  1. Both African male and female elephant’s possess tusk.
  2. Only male elephants in India posses tusk.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are correct
  4. Neither A nor B.
See
Answer
Question 5: Consider the following statement with reference to Maternity 
Benefits Bill, which was in news recently:
  1. The Bill covers both the organized as well as unorganized women employees
  2. The Bill enhanced paid maternity leave for women in the unorganized sector to 26 weeks from 12.

Choose the correct answer

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both are Correct
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
See
Answer
Question 6: Identify the correct statements.
  1. Coral and zooxanthellae are symbiotically linked.
  2. It is the zooxanthellae which gives color to the coral.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None
See
Answer
Question 7: Identify the correct statements.
  1. Warm water temperature results in Coral bleaching.
  2. Corals can survive a bleaching event.
  3. Usage of Sunscreen lotion by those who take sun bath, results in coral bleaching

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1, 2, and 3
  4. None
See
Answer


For previous practice questions solution, click here

 

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