Comprehensive News Analysis - 29 April 2017

Table of Contents:

A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:

POLITY

1. Flying to become paperless soon

2. Ganga receives first legal notice after getting human status

3. AIDS control programme running blind without enough testing kits

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, Cyprus call for decisive action against hosts of ‘violence factories’

2. Turkey seeks defence ties with India

C. GS3 Related:

ECONOMICS

1. Money laundering may be made criminal offence

ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Air pollution can up risk of heart attack

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. A safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries

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

1. Ischemia

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
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. Flying to become paperless soon

What’s in news?

  • DigiYatra plan– paperless travel for air passengers, including digital boarding passes at airports .
  • Government is woking on DigiYatra plan.
  • Either Aadhaar or passport will be made mandatory to book air tickets so that passengers needn’t carry a printout of the ticket or document proof while entering the airport.

Other features: passengers will soon be able to book taxi, make e-payments and get digital boarding pass through mobile phones.

Pilot project:

  • The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad had started a pilot project in 2015 allowing passengers to enter Aadhaar number at kiosks set up at one of the entry gates.
    The Hyderabad airport plans to implement it soon at all the entry gates.

2. Ganga receives first legal notice after getting human status

Context:

  • The Uttarakhand High Court had earlier this year accorded the status of “living human entities” to the Ganga and Yamuna rivers to help in their “preservation and conservation”.
  • Bestowing human status on the sacred but highly polluted rivers would, according to the court’s order, amount to harming a human being.
  • Officials made custodians of the Ganga when it was granted human status by the high court- the chief secretary, the advocate general and the director of Namami Gange project.

What’s in news?

  • Uttarakhand High Court issued first legal notice asking it (Ganga) to explain why its land was given for construction of a trenching ground.
  • Issuing notice to Ganga, the Union government, central pollution control board, state pollution control board and the Rishikesh municipality, the court directed the respondents to file a reply. Custodians of the Ganga should also respond to the legal notice served by the Court.

3. AIDS control programme running blind without enough testing kits

What’s in news?

  • ‘Test and treat’ policy for HIV patients:
  • The Health Ministry’s new policy.
  • This policy would entitle every person who tests positive for HIV to free treatment.
  • In the offing: India will soon develop a National Strategic Plan for HIV for next seven years and these seven years will be crucial for ending AIDS.

Lack of testing kits

  • Test center lacks viral load test leads to- immunological failure is being detected very late, leading to continuation on failing regimen, accumulation of mutations, and compromised future treatment options.
  • The government is unable to do viral load testing at the required scale due to a shortage of kits.
  • The cause of this shortage: apparently, there are no takers for the government’s tender for manufacture and distribution of kits

Key Fact

  • Testing capacity, as of 2016-17, was only for 14,341 patients, but India currently has more than a million patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Without regular testing, it is not possible to determine what level of treatment (first line, second line or third line) a patient needs.

Basic Information

  • There are two HIV tests: the ELISA detects infection, and viral load test, the HIV’s RNA in an infected person.
  • Viral suppression (reducing viral load to an undetectable level) is the treatment goal.
  • India is party to a UNAIDS programme under which it must implement the ‘90-90-90’ strategy: diagnose 90% of HIV-infected people in India; put 90% of cases on ART; and achieve viral suppression among 90% of the ART recipients. For early detection of treatment failure, and to achieve the 90-90-90 target by 2020, NACO wants a million viral load tests a year.

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. India, Cyprus call for decisive action against hosts of ‘violence factories’

What’s in news?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades pitched for decisive action against states supporting, sheltering and sustaining “violence factories” in their regions.
  • Detailed discussions were held on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.
  • Ways to boost trade ties and U.N. Security Council reforms.
  • Four pacts signed – including one for air services and another on cooperation in merchant shipping.

India’s stand:

  • India has always stood with Cyprus on crucial issues and firmly supports its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

 Cyprus Stand on UNSC reforms:

  • Cyprus’ support to India’s bid for inclusion in the world body (UNSC) as a permanent member.

2. Turkey seeks defence ties with India

What’s in news?

  • Turkey is eager to build a defence partnership with India.
  • Apart from defence, Ankara wants to explore nuclear and space opportunities with India and intends to join hands with it for a more just world order.
  • Turkey and Pakistan have been traditional friends since the 1950s when both joined the Western Bloc. But now Turkey has decided to create space for cooperation with India.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMICS

1. Money laundering may be made criminal offence

What’s in news?

  • The Central government is considering a proposal to make money laundering a separate criminal offence to be investigated by the Enforcement Directorate, irrespective of a probe by other agencies.
  • Advantage: facilitate quick action against those indulging in money laundering.
  • The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has also been of the view that money laundering investigations by the Enforcement Directorate should be allowed without any dependence on registration of cases by other police agencies under the legal provisions listed in the schedule of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Present Scenario:

  • Money laundering cases depends on the probe and prosecutions in predicate offences pursued by primary agencies.
  • Many in government agencies are of the view that certain restrictions on money laundering investigations on several occasions cause impediments in taking the cases to their logical conclusion.

Practice Elsewhere:

  • Money laundering in itself has been defined as a criminal offence in several countries.
  • There are separate legislations for dealing with funds generated through activities like drug trafficking or terror financing.
  • The United States has very stringent laws to check money laundering.

What needs to be done?

  • The government will have to bring about several amendments to the PMLA, including the current definition of the “proceeds of crime” that is right now dependent upon the predicate offences as listed in the Act’s schedule.

What is a predicate offence?

  • A predicate offence is a crime that is a component of a more serious criminal offence.

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Air pollution can up risk of heart attack

What’s in news?

  • As per new study, Tiny particles in polluted air can travel from the lungs into our bloodstream and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Nanoparticles in air pollution have been associated with cardiovascular disease, which can lead to premature death.

Key facts

  • The World Health Organisation estimates that in 2012, about 72% of premature deaths related to outdoor air pollution were due to ischemic heart disease and strokes.
    Pulmonary disease, respiratory infections and lung cancer were linked to the other 28%.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. A safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries

What’s in news?

  • Scientists have developed a safer alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries, which are common in household devices such as smartphones and laptops.
  • Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries in which a three-imensional Zn “sponge” replaces the powdered zinc anode, or positively charged electrode, traditionally used.

Advantages:

  • Recharge ability

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for Today

 

        PIB Articles       Editorials Roundup

 

E. Concepts-in-News: Related Concepts to Revise/Learn
1. Ischemia
Ischemia or ischaemia is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue.

 

F. BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGS IN NEWS
BILLS/ACTS/SCHEMES/ORGANISATIONS IN NEWS About the Article
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA)

The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) forms the core of the legal framework put in place by India to combat money laundering. It came into force in 2005.

Objectives

  1. The PMLA seeks to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives.
  2. To prevent and control money laundering
  3. To confiscate and seize the property obtained from the laundered money; and
  4. To deal with any other issue connected with money laundering in India

PMLA defines money laundering offence and provides for the freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of crime.

Salient Features

  • RBI, SEBI and IRDA have been brought under the PMLA, and therefore the provisions of this act are applicable to all financial institutions, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, and their financial intermediaries.
  • The agency monitoring the anti-Money laundering activities in India is the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-IND). This unit is responsible for receiving, processing, analysing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. FIU-IND is also responsible for coordinating and strengthening efforts of national and international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.
  • FIU-IND is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.
  • Punishment for offence of money laundering: There can be punishment of imprisonment upto 3-7 years with fine upto 5 lakh rupees. But in case of offences done under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act 1985, maximum punishment is extent to 10 years rather than 7 years.

 

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam
Question 1: Recently Uttarakhand High Court accorded the status of living 
human entities to which among the following river
  1. Ganga and Narmada
  2. Ganga and Brahmaputra
  3. Ganga and Kaveri
  4. Ganga and Yamuna
See
Answer
Question 2: Recently Government of India launched DigiYatra Plan. 
Identify the correct statement with reference to the plan.
  1. Plan aimed at paperless travel for air passengers, including digital boarding passes at airports.
  2. It is a plan aimed at subsidizing the air travel expenses of Hajj pilgrimages.
  3. It is a plan aimed at subsidizing the air travel expenses of those flying to foreign country for medical services.
  4. None of the above
See
Answer
Question 3: Identify the correct statement with reference to ‘90-90-90’ 
strategy.
  1. It is a part of UNAIDS programme
  2. Strategy seeks to diagnose 90% of HIV infected people.
  3. Strategy seeks to treat 90% of HIV identified case on ART.
  4. All of them above are correct.
See
Answer
Question 4:Which among the following agency monitors the anti –money 
laundering activities?
    1. Financial Intelligence unit
    2. Enforcement Directorate
    3. Central Bureau of Intelligence
    4. Reserve Bank of India
See
Answer
 

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