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Current Affairs Analysis

16th May 2016 Current Affairs Analysis

By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
May 16, 2016

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Jharkhand shutdown against state govt.’s domicile policy

Economy

  • approves deal between India and Mauritius on cooperation in cooperatives
  • Government inks MoU with NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. to popularize India Handloom products
  • MoU between SEBI, India and FSRA, Abu Dhabi for Mutual Co-operation and Technical Assistance

Environment & Ecology

  • Wildlife Institute of India to relocate endangered ‘dancing deer’ of Manipur
  • MNRE selects Aryans College of Engineering for green campus

International Relations

  • U.S. should beware China’s new ‘Guam killer’ missile: report

Defence & Security Issues

  • Indo-U.S. aerial combat exercises- ‘Red Flag’
  • India successfully test-fires advanced interceptor missile

Science & Technology

  • China launches remote sensing satellite ‘Yaogan-30’
  • Syncytin-1, a protein that could improve recurrent miscarriages treatment

 

Polity & Governance

Jharkhand shutdown against state govt.’s domicile policy

All opposition parties and tribal and Moolvasi organisations in Jharkhand are supporting a call for a state-wide shutdown to protest against the domicile policy announced by the Jharkhand state government.

Background:

  • The domicile policy was notified in April by the state’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government consisting of BJP and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

Key features of the Domicile Policy of Jharkhand:

  • According to the policy, anyone living in the state for 30 years and possessing immovable assets is to be considered a resident of Jharkhand.
  • Also to be deemed residents are people living on boundary of the state who have their name or their forefathers’ name figuring in last land record and those who are landless but speak local language and Gram Sabhas identifies them as local residents.
  • Anyone employed by the state government, central government, board, corporation will be resident of the state.
  • A person born in Jharkhand and passing class 10 examination in the state will also be a resident.

Concerns:

  • Damage to the interests of the tribal and Moolvasi people is the main plank of the opposition to the domicile policy.
  • Critics have strongly objected to the criteria of immovable assets and passing class 10 in Jharkhand.
  • According to them, what if someone illegally acquired land 30 years ago? Providing them benefits of residentship will hurt the interests of the tribals and Moolvasis.

Tribals of the Jharkhand state:

  • The tribals make up 27 percent of Jharkhand’s population and Mahto community, which comes under Moolvasis, constitutes about 14 percent.
[Ref: ToI]

 

Economy

Govt. approves deal between India and Mauritius on cooperation in cooperatives

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of an Inter-Governmental Agreement between India and Mauritius on cooperation in cooperatives and related fields.   

  • The Agreement between the two countries will be for a duration of five years after which it will be automatically extended for another five years.
  • The Agreement provides for promoting cooperation through short and medium term programmes within the framework of the joint activities mentioned in the Agreement.

Background:

  • The Government of Mauritius has shown keen Interest to develop Institutional Mechanism between Cooperative Development Fund (CDF) set up by it and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) so as to benefit from NCUI’s experience in Cooperative Development.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Government inks MoU with NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. to popularize India Handloom products

To popularize India Handloom textiles as a fashionable product for youth, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between The Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd.

  • The MoU is valid for three years.
  • The joint endeavour will endorse and launch a project, Indianroots Fashion Accelerator (IFA), a project by NDTV to support fresh talent and to support new and innovative ventures in fashion industry. Government will support the project with incubation and production support.

About ‘India Handloom’ Brand:

The India Handloom Brand was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 7th August, 2015, the first National Handloom Day.

  • The launch was meant to endorse the quality of handloom products in terms of raw material, processing, embellishment, weaving, design and other parameters, besides social and environmental compliance.
  • The main objective is to promote the production of quality products with new designs for winning the trust and confidence of customers by giving particular attention to defect free, hand woven, authentic niche products with zero defect and zero impact on environment.
  • The registration under the brand is given after stringent testing of samples in Govt. of India laboratories.
  • As on 1st April, 2016, 170 handloom producing agencies/enterprises have been given registration under the brand, in 41 product categories.
  • Several e-commerce platforms and leading retail stores have been engaged for marketing of India Handloom branded products.
  • India Handloom Brand will also provide an interface where fashion professionals will be able to accesses facilities such as Weavers Service Centres and handloom clusters.
  • The initiative will connect fashion designers with Handloom sector in an organized manner.
[Ref: PIB]

 

MoU between SEBI, India and FSRA, Abu Dhabi for Mutual Co-operation and Technical Assistance

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi for mutual co-operation and technical assistance between the two regulators.

  • The MoU will promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two signatories and will help create conditions for development of securities markets in the two countries.
  • It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two regulators.

 [Ref: PIB]

Environment & Ecology

Wildlife Institute of India to relocate endangered ‘dancing deer’ of Manipur

The scientists of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have been assigned the task to relocate 110 Sangai.

Sangai is a brow-antlered and one of the most endangered species under Centre’s Endangered Species Recovery Project.

About Sangai- a “dancing deer” of Manipur:

The sangai is an endemic, rare and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer.

IASToppers-16th May2016-sangai

  • It is also state animal of Manipur. It is classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN.
  • The Sangai is now restricted to the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in the Southeastern fringe of Loktak Lake in Manipur.

IASToppers-16th May 2016

  • They feed, live and breed on about 9 km area of Phumdis. Phumdis is a floating vegetation which occupy about two-third of the surface area of the Loktak lake.
  • While walking on the floating biomass, Sangai often balances itself which looks as if it is dancing on the green grassland and therefore popularly called as “dancing deer” of Manipur.
[Ref: ToI]

 

MNRE selects Aryans College of Engineering for green campus

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has selected Aryans College of Engineering, Rajpura near Chandigarh for developing it as a green campus under its scheme on development of Solar Cities.

  • In accordance with this, under the scheme of “Development of Solar Cities”, 12 organizations have been sanctioned a grant of Rs 5,00,000 each.
  • The grant has been given for preparing the master plan which should be done within 12 months as per the guidelines in order to develop their campuses as green campuses.

 [Ref: ToI]

International Relations

U.S. should beware China’s new ‘Guam killer’ missile: report

According to a report of US congressional panel, China’s new ‘Guam killer’ missile, capable of hitting targets some 5,500 km away, is raising new fears of a growing Chinese threat to key American military facilities and stability in the Pacific Rim.

  • China’s DF-26 missile — dubbed by analysts the “Guam killer” and unveiled at a high-profile military parade in Beijing last September — allows China to bring unprecedented firepower to bear on the U.S. territory of Guam. The territory sits well within the missile’s range.

IASToppers-16th May 2016_compressed

Where is Guam?

Located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, Guam is one of five American territories with an established civilian government. Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States.

  • It is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, and the largest island in Micronesia. 
  • On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, and was occupied for thirty months when American forces recaptured the island on July 21, 1944. 
  • Since the 1960s, the economy is supported by two industries: tourism and the United States Armed Forces.

Strategic importance of Guam for U.S.

  • Guam, home to Andersen Air Force Base and Apra Naval Base, has been a place from where the U.S. could project power across the Pacific while having its forces at relatively safe distance from possible threats, including North Korea and China.

Why U.S. is so concerned with Chinese DF-26 missile?

  • Prior to the deployment of the DF-26, China’s only way to attack Guam would have been with H-6K strategic bombers, which would have been much less effective given the strong defensive capabilities of the U.S. military on the base.
[Ref: Hindu]

 

Defence & Security Issues

Indo-U.S. aerial combat exercises- ‘Red Flag’

The Air Forces of India and the U.S. have recently concluded their four-week “Red Flag” aerial combat exercises at Alaska in the U.S.

  • The objective of this inter-continental deployment was not only to showcase the IAF’s capability in undertaking integrated air operations but also to imbibe operational lessons from the exercise engagements, which will help India add more teeth to his overall war waging capabilities.
  • However, the exercises are an expensive endeavour and hence, the IAF had decided to participate once in five years. This edition is believed to have cost over Rs. 100 crore.
[Ref: Hindu]

 

India successfully test-fires advanced interceptor missile

India has successfully test-fired Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile from the integrated test range (ITR) of Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, in Balasore.

  • It was engaged against the naval version of Prithvi missile launched from a ship anchored inside Bay of Bengal.
  • The indigenously developed interceptor missile is capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile.
  • The interceptor is a 7.5 metre single-stage solid fuel rocket equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.
  • The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
[Ref: Hindu]

 

Science & Technology

China launches remote sensing satellite ‘Yaogan-30’

China has successfully launched a remote sensing satellite named ‘Yaogan-30’ to carry out land surveys and disaster relief.

  • The satellite was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China’s Gobi Desert.
  • The satellite will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.
  • Yaogan-30 was carried by a Long March-2D rocket, the 227th mission for the Long March rocket family.
  • China launched the first “Yaogan” series satellite, Yaogan-1, in 2006.
[Ref: ToI]

 

Syncytin-1, a protein that could improve recurrent miscarriages treatment

The study showed that a protein called Syncytin-1, which was the result of a viral infection of our primate ancestors 25 million years ago, is first secreted on the surface of a developing embryo even before it implants in the womb.

  • This means the protein is likely to play a major role in helping embryos stick to the womb as well as the formation of the placenta.

Importance of the findings:

  • This fundamental understanding of the earliest stages of human embryo development is crucial for improving current treatments for a variety of stressful complications during pregnancy such as recurrent miscarriages, fetal growth restriction syndrome and pre-eclampsia — a life-threatening condition of elevated maternal blood pressure during pregnancy. 
[Ref: ToI]

 

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