26th May, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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UNICEF launches data visualisation app(GS-1 Social empowerment)
The UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) launched Data Visualisation App to provide user-friendly visual representation of complex analytics of education scenario in India.
1. It was developed with technical inputs from the UNICEF, in collaboration with National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and National Institute of Education Planning and Administration (NIEPA).
2. The app uses UDISE (Unified District Information System for Education), NAS (National Assessment survey) and demographic data.
3. It can be used as visual tool by policy makers, academia, senior government officials, and researchers to address gaps and monitor programs in field of education
UNICEF India in partnership with Ministry of Human Resource Development organised Shiksha Mela Education Open Day to demonstrate case stories showcasing holistic and equitable quality education achieved through convergent programming across 17 states.
Rustom-2 drone to be delivered to armed forces by 2020: DRDO chief(GS-3 Science & tech)
Delivery of the Rustom-II
1.Rustom-II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be delivered to the armed forces by 2020
2.It is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Development of the UAV
1.Rustom II has completed one test at Chitradurga recently
2.At present, the basic UAV system is being perfected
3.Attempts are also being made to increase the altitude
4.By the end of this year, DRDO will be ready with the bird, after which the focus will be on the machine systems on it
Particulars of the UAV
1.The drone is being developed for use by all three services of the Indian Armed Forces, primarily for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations
2.The medium-altitude prototype can fly at over 22,000 feet and is a long-endurance UAV that has an 20 hours approximate flight time
1.Rustom 2 or TAPAS-BH-201 is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), designed to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance roles for the Indian Armed Forces
2.It is capable of carrying different combination of payloads including synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems
3.The UAV has an endurance of 24 hours and is similar to the American predator series of drones
4.DRDO carried out a successful test flight of Rustom 2 on 25 February 2018, at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) located in Chalakere, Chitradurga district. This was the first flight of the UAV in user configuration with higher power engine.
Fifteenth Finance Commission constitutes a High Level Group to examine the expansion of Health Sector (GS-2 Governance)
The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a high level group consisting of eminent experts from across the country in Health Sector. Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi will be its Convenor.
The role and functions of the High Level Group on Health Sector will be:
*To evaluate the existing regulatory framework in the Health sector and examine its strength and weaknesses for enabling a balanced yet faster expansion of the health sector keeping in view India’s demographic profile;
*To suggest ways and means to optimize the use of existing financial resources and to incentivize the state governments’ effort on fulfillment of well-defined health parameters in India; and
*To holistically examine best international practices for the health sector and seek to benchmark our frameworks to these practices for optimizing benefits keeping in mind our local issues.
May 25: World Thyroid Awareness Day(Prelims)
The World Thyroid Day is observed every year on May 25 to spread awareness of thyroid health and educating about prevention and treatment of thyroid disease.
1.Increase awareness of thyroid health.
2.Promote understanding of advances made in treating thyroid diseases.
3.Emphasize prevalence of thyroid diseases.
4. Focus on urgent need for education and prevention programs.
5.Expand awareness of new treatment modalities
1.Thyroid gland, often referred to as simply thyroid, is one of the largest endocrine glands. It butterfly-shaped gland located in neck
2. Thyroid health is extremely important, as hormones produced by it influence critical body functions and regulate metabolism. Thyroid disorders are very common worldwide, they affect people of all ages and have large range of symptoms.
3. The most common thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism (abnormally decreased thyroid activity), hyperthyroidism (abnormally increased thyroid activity, thyroiditis or Goitre (inflammation of thyroid gland) and thyroid cancer. They are often caused by iodine deficiency.
In 2008, European Thyroid Association (ETA) and American Thyroid Association (ATA) had joined hands to create, for first time ever day devoted globally to Thyroid Gland and its numerous and often ‘invisible’ symptoms. It was observed for the first time in 2009. Since then, it has been celebrated annually round globe together with its extension, International Thyroid Awareness Week, which surrounds main Day.
The RERA report card (GS-2 Governance)
1.It is a year since the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) came into effect (May 1)
2.A year after the real estate legislation came into effect, the follow-up in many States has been dismal
3.There is still a long way to go before the real estate sector operates in an “efficient and transparent manner and protect the interest of consumers”
Implementation of the Act: Issues
Dilution of the RERA rules
1.Only 20 of the 28 States (the Act is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir) have framed the rules stipulated under RERA to carry out its legal mandate
2.In some States such as Uttar Pradesh, the Act’s provisions have been watered down in favour of builders by altering the definition of “on-going projects” which need registration under RERA
3.There is also a dilution on the penalties for non-compliance
The speedy dispute redress mechanism envisaged by the Act is yet to take shape
1.Apart from Maharashtra, only Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have appointed a permanent regulatory authority (to be established within a period of a year)
2.To ease the transition, RERA allows State governments to designate an existing body as the regulatory authority until a permanent one is established
3.This has resulted in 13 States working with only a designated regulatory authority. West Bengal is yet to even designate a regulatory authority
1.Additionally, only six States have set up the online portal contemplated by the Act
2.In the Northeastern States, RERA has been challenged on certain constitutional grounds — of land belonging to the community and autonomous councils
Conflict between the IBC and the RERA
1.One of the most notable provisions of the RERA is the requirement to keep 70% of funds received for a project in a separate escrow account
(a step to prevent a diversion of funds which usually happens and in turn results in project delays)
2.Perhaps because of this stipulation and the overall ill-health of the real estate sector, many developers are now facing insolvency proceedings under the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC)
3.There appears to be a potential conflict developing between the IBC and RERA which needs to be checked as it would be against consumer interests
Government is taking the cognizance of the issue
1.Recently, the Central government notified June 30 as the date by which all States have to do away with dilutions and bring in all incomplete projects within the ambit of RERA
2.This date is also the deadline by when permanent regulators have to be formed and for the websites of all States to become functional
3.One hopes that in due course, developers will recognise that they can no longer operate with impunity by arbitrarily escalating costs of construction or missing timelines without being held responsible.
Nari Shakti Puraskar to INSV Tarini team (Prelims, GS-1 role of women)
1.Minister for Women and Child Development presented the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar2017 to the members of the INSV Tarini team.
2.The crew of the Indian Navy Sailing Vessel ‘Tarini’ is a part of the Indian Navy’s unique project ‘Navika SagarParikrama’.
3.It is an all-women team circumnavigating the globe, promoting ocean sailing activities in the Navy and depicting Government of India’s commitment towards women empowerment.
4.The Project aims to demonstrate the thrust of Nari Shakti on the world platform.
5.The voyage also showcased the ‘Make in India’s initiative by sailing on-board the indigenously built INSV Tarini.
6.All six members of the crew were trained for over three years under Captain Dilip Donde, who is also the first Indian to successfully carry out solo-circumnavigation of the globe between 2009 and 2010.
CSIR bags the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018 (GS-3 Science & Tech)
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has been awarded the Clarivate Analytics India Innovation Award 2018 in the Government Research Organizations Category. This award yet again recognizes CSIR as the top innovator.
1.CSIR is a pioneer of India’s intellectual property movement and a leader in terms of sheer volume of patents published.
2.CSIR’s patent portfolio touches a wide spectrum of areas in science and technology, some of the top filing areas include: polymers and applications in medicine, materials, electrical industry, pharmaceutical research, fermentation, enzymes, catalysis and applications, chemical & biological treatment of water.
3.Every year, Clarivate Analytics – formerly the IP & Science division of Thomson Reuters – recognizes the most innovative companies in India according to patent-related metrics.
4.The evaluation is strictly driven by metrics for both patent volume (patents published) as well as patent quality (grant success rate, extent of globalization, and citations).
Commissioning of Fourth Ship of Landing Craft Utility MK-IV (PRELIMS, GS-3 Internal security)
Indian Navy inducted Landing Craft Utility MK-IV LCU vessel L54 at Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Island. It is fourth of total eighth Mark IV LCU vessels to be introduced into Indian navy.
1. LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious ship with its primary role being transportation and deployment of Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore.
2. These ships based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands.
3. The Mark IV LCU vessels are further improved version of Mark III LCU vessels presently being used by Indian Navy. These total 8 vessels under Mark IV category have been ordered by Indian Navy from GRSE.
4. The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced systems like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).