National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 7th August 2018
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018
Why in news?
The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down procedures for arrests under the Act.
- The Bill inserts section 18A (1) (a) in the 1989 Act, that says a “preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.”
- It also inserts Section 18A (1) (b), which says “the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made and no procedure, other than that provided under this Act or the Code, shall apply.”
- Under the CrPC, the decision to arrest a person is taken by the investigating officer and there was no requirement for approval. It also goes back to the original SC/ST (PoA) Bill, doing away with the provision of anticipatory bail the Supreme Court ruling had permitted.
- “The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court,” says section 18A (2) of the Bill.
- The Supreme Court had on March 20, 2018, introduced protective provisions in the SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989, to permit anticipatory bail —despite a section of the Act denying it — and laying down a preliminary enquiry by police before any action is taken.
- It had also laid down that the permission of the appointing authority would be required to arrest a public servant and that of an SSP for the arrest of a person who is not a public servant.
Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015
Why in news?
The government introduced an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, in the Lok Sabha to empower District Magistrates with the authority to grant adoption orders. It will make the adoption procedure faster for prospective parents, by avoiding delays in courts.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018, revises the provisions governing adoptions in the JJ Act by making changes to Section 56,58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65, where the word “court” has been replaced by “District Magistrate.” The changes are applicable for both domestic and international applications.
About JJ Act,2015
- The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.
- Under Section 15, special provisions have been made to tackle child offenders committing heinous offences in the age group of 16-18 years.
- The Juvenile Justice Board is given the option to transfer cases of heinous offences by such children to a Children’s Court (Court of Session) after conducting preliminary assessment.
- The provisions provide for placing children in a ‘place of safety’ both during and after the trial till they attain the age of 21 years after which an evaluation of the child shall be conducted by the Children’s Court.
- After the evaluation, the child is either released on probation and if the child is not reformed then the child will be sent to a jail for remaining term. The law will act as a deterrent for child offenders committing heinous offences such as rape and murder and will protect the rights of victim.
- To streamline adoption procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is given the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
- Separate chapter (VIII) on Adoption provides for detailed provisions relating to adoption and punishments for not complying with the laid down procedure. Processes have been streamlined with timelines for both in-country and inter-country adoption including declaring a child legally free for adoption.
- Several rehabilitation and social reintegration measures have been provided for children in conflict with law and those in need of care and protection.
- Under the institutional care, children are provided with various services including education, health, nutrition, de-addiction, treatment of diseases, vocational training, skill development, life skill education, counselling, etc to help them assume a constructive role in the society.
- The variety of non-institutional options include: sponsorship and foster care including group foster care for placing children in a family environment which is other than child’s biological family, which is to be selected, qualified, approved and supervised for providing care to children.
- Several new offences committed against children, which are so far not adequately covered under any other law, are included in the Act. These include: sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children and, kidnapping and abduction of children.
Why in news?
For advancing research in the high education institutions, the government has approved 122 new research projects at a cost of Rs 112 crore under IMPRINT-2 covering Energy, Security, Healthcare, Advanced Materials, ICT and Security/Defence domains.
- IMPacting Research, INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) is a national initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) designed to address all major engineering challenges relevant to India through an inclusive and sustainable mode of translational research.
- IMPRINT-2 has been approved by Government of India (GoI) with a revised strategy under which, this national initiative will be jointly funded and steered by MHRD and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- While any faculty member from an MHRD funded Higher Education Institute (HEI) including Centrally Funded Technical Institution (CFTI) may lead as the Principal Investigator (PI), single or multiple partners from stake holder ministry, institutions, PSUs, strategic agencies and industry are welcome as Co-PI, partner or collaborator.
- Proposals under IMPRINT II Projects should (a) address any declared theme (thrust area) under one of the 10 domains of IMPRINT, and (b) connect either with already identified or new research topics defined by the PI under the same 10 domains.
- Projects proposals should provide clear and convincing evidence of promise for translational research leading to viable technology (product, process or prototype) development.
Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage
Why in news?
The Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari launched Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and Bhoomi Rashi and PFMS linkage – two IT initiatives of the Road Transport & Highways Ministry that are aimed at expediting pre construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively.
- BIMS is aimed at streamlining the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway works with enhanced transparency and objectivity.
- The portal will work as a data base of information about bidders, covering basic details, civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc.
- It is estimated that BIMS portal will significantly reduce the procurement time for projects through an objective and transparent online evaluation system thereby leading to accelerated project implementation.
About Bhoomi Rashi
- Bhoomi Rashi, the portal developed by MoRTH and NIC, comprises the entire revenue data of the country, right down to 6.4 lakh villages.
- The entire process flow, from submission of draft notification by the State Government to its approval by the. Minister of State for RT&H and publication in e-Gazette, is online.
- The portal, created for expediting the process of publication of notifications for LA, is now being fully utilized for issuing the notifications.
- Bhoomi Rashi portal has been instrumental in reducing the time taken for approval and publication of notifications pertaining to land acquisition.
Public Financial Management System (PFMS)
- Integration of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) with Bhoomi Rashi is one of the key functionalities to facilitate payment related to compensation for land acquisition to all the beneficiaries directly through the Bhoomi Rashi system.
- PFMS is a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) to facilitate sound public financial management system for Government of India (GoI) and It is administered by the Department of Expenditure.
- It provides various stakeholders with a real time, reliable and meaningful management information system and an effective decision support system, as part of the Digital India initiative of GoI.
- With integration of Bhoomi Rashi with PFMS, payment of Compensation by the Ministry to the beneficiaries will be just-in-time, and without any parking of funds.
Annual Awards for Excellence in National Highways Projects
The Annual Road Awards to be presented every year starting 2018, are designed across five categories as follows:
- Excellence in Construction Management acknowledges efficient use of resources along with finest quality standards and smooth execution of all milestones of the project.
- Excellence in Operation & Maintenance recognises projects with swift and smooth execution of maintenance works, inspections and unparalleled quality in riding experience.
- Best Toll Plaza focuses on automation and efficient management of traffic and services at the plaza.
- Safe Highway acknowledges commendable work done to reduce road casualties and establish preventive safety measures and emergency response services.
- Innovation in Design or Construction Technology focuses on significant achievements in devising or adapting a new construction technology or structural and geometric design.
Defence India Startup Challenge
Why in news?
Defence Minister has unveiled the Defence India Startup Challenge.
About Defence India Startup Challenge
- Defence India Startup Challenge is part of iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence) scheme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April meant to build an eco-system of innovation and entrepreneurship in India for the defence sector to make India self-reliant.
- It is an initiative to tap startups for finding safe and futuristic Indian solutions to critical needs of the three Armed Forces.
- A list of 11 technologies that the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force need, have been chosen. They included remote air vehicles, laser weapons, secure and safe communication systems and bandwidth, precision targeting systems, sensors, and protected and informed movement of soldiers in battle tanks.
- Those that come up with prototypes of usable products would be supported with ₹1.5 crore each and friendly procurement procedures from the Ministry under SPARK or Support for Prototype & Research Kickstart in Defence.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
The nominating committee of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has selected Ajay Data, Founder & CEO of Data XGen Plus and a global leader in email linguistic services, as a new council member of Country Code Supporting Organisation (ccNSO).
ccNSO of the ICANN is the policy-development body for global issues regarding country code top-level domains (ccTLD) within the ICANN structure.
What is the ICANN?
- The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non profit organization that was set up in 1998 to oversee the administration of domain names.
- ICANN coordinates and ensures the smooth and secure functioning of the cybernetic framework.
- The global nature of the Web today means that there are constantly increasing numbers of Domain Names, Host Names, IP addresses and web sites that are emerging on a daily basis. ICANN oversees this interconnected network and ensures that computers across the internet can find one another through defined unique pathways and identifiers.
Jal Marg Vikas Project
Why in news?
IWAI recently held a large public outreach along Ganga for Jal Marg Vikas Project.
About Jal Marg Vikas Project
- The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga.
- The major works being taken up under JMVP are development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.
- The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March, 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.
- Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India.
- Its headquarters is located in Noida, UP.
- It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in these waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects and also administration.
Why in news?
Computer scientists and a student team from the IIT- Madras have developed the first of a family of six industry-standard microprocessors.
- The initial batch of 300 chips, named RISECREEK and produced under Project Shakti, have been fabricated free at Intel’s facility at Oregon, U.S., to run the Linux operating system.
- At a frequency of 350 MHz, RISECREEK can meet the demands of defence and strategic equipment such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and Internet of Things (IoT) electronics.
- The plan includes a family of six types of microprocessors. The first to be ready is the C class, RISECREEK.
- The E class of microprocessors that can be used in smart cards, IoT devices, fan/motor controls, etc, is almost ready and the I class, which can be used for mobile phones, desktops and mobile phones is soon to follow.
- The design for the S class which can be used for enterprise class servers is underway, and the H class, which will be used for building High Performance computers with a massive parallel processing capacity.
About Shakti project
The Shakti project is not aimed at only building processors. It also aims to build high speed interconnects for servers and supercomputers based on variants of the RapidiIO and GenZ standards. These are key to build large clusters of processors to get Petaflop and Exaflop level supercomputers.
GIS Technology on Ganga Cleaning Projects
Why in news?
National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology for improving planning, execution and monitoring of projects as well as providing platform for central repository of all data related to Ganga river basin including Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) / Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), water quality monitoring location, afforestation, ghats and crematorium, river front development.
About Namami Gange Programme
- Government of India has approved Namami Gange Programme in May 2015 for conservation of river Ganga with total outlay of Rs.20,000 Crores.
- Namami Gange Programme is an umbrella programme which integrates previous and currently ongoing initiatives by enhancing efficiency, extracting synergies and supplementing them with more comprehensive & better coordinated interventions.
- The following corrective measures have been taken up under Namami Gange Programme for Ganga Clean up in Uttar Pradesh and other states in the last 3 years include:
- Condition assessment study taken up to know the sewage generation and sewage treatment gap in towns along main stem of river Ganga for sanctioning of sewerage infrastructure projects in holistic and scientific manner.
- Rehabilitation of existing STPs and their Operation & Maintenance (O&M).
- The Namami Gange Programme have been made 100% central sector scheme to ensure sufficient availability of funds to the state government, reduction in time loss for collection of state share thereby faster approval of contracts and effective implementation of the projects;
- The Operation and Maintenance period have been increased from 5 to 15 years to ensure performance of STPs for a longer period.
- Formation of NMCG as an authority and enhanced financial power for faster sanctioning of projects and award of contracts; formation of state and district Ganga Committee for effective monitoring of works at the grass root levels.
- Implementation of projects under Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) to address issues such as sub-optimal design, lesser O&M support and lack of ownership. HAM will also ensure ownership and distinct accountability for continuous acceptable performance in the long term of the STPs.
- One City one Operator: Existing STPs in 13 towns namely Kanpur, Allahabad, Mathura, Patna, Kolkata, Howrah-Bally-Kamarhati-Baranagar and Bhagalpur are being integrated with new sanctioned STPs and tendered under HAM based PPP mode for selection of one specific operator for better accountability and monitoring.
- Recycling and reuse of treated waste water is being promoted; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for using of treated waste water for their Mathura Refinery.
- Drain treatment by use of innovative technology and modular STPs.
- Creation of Rural Sanitation facilities in identified villages along river Ganga in support from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
- River Surface Cleaning activities taken up to clean river surface and banks from solid waste on a regular basis.