Nilgiri_Tahr_Eravikulam_National_Park
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Current Affair Analysis

13th July 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Nilgiri tahr; Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA); Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code; Adultery Law in India; India pips France to become world’s 6th largest economy; BSNL launches first Internet telephony service in India; First-ever colour X-ray on a human; Medipix; CERN; Indian Railways’first consolidated Bridge Management System (IR-BMS); “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 13, 2018

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Vice President and President of ICWA appoints Director General of ICWA

Issues related to Health & Education

  • Failure to educate girls could cost world $30 trillion a year: World Bank report

Social Issues

  • Centre opposes plea in Supreme Court seeking to make women also liable for adultery

Economy

  • India pips France to become world’s 6th largest economy
  • BSNL launches first Internet telephony service in India

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Climate change threatens the Nilgiri tahr

Science & Technology

  • First-ever colour X-ray on a human performed

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Indian Railways launches its first consolidated bridge management system
  • “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”

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Polity & Governance

Vice President and President of ICWA appoints Director General of ICWA

Dr. TCA Raghavan was appointed as the Director General (DG) of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

TCA-Raghavan

  • He was selected by Governing Body and Governing Council of ICWA headed by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
  • The post of DG is equivalent to the rank of Secretary to Government of India.

About Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA):

Indian Council of World Affairs logo

  • ICWA was established in 1943 by group of Indian intellectuals as think tank. It was established as non-official, non-political and non-profit organisation under Registration of Societies Act 1860.
  • It was declared institution of national importance by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), 2001 enacted by Parliament.
  • ICWA is devoted exclusively for the study of international relations and foreign affairs.
  • The Vice President of India is the ex-officio President of ICWA, while the Minister of External Affairs is its Vice-President.
  • It had conducted historic international conferences like Asian Relations Conference in 1947 under leadership Sarojini Naidu and United Nations and New World Order in 1994.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

Failure to educate girls could cost world $30 trillion a year: World Bank report

World Bank has said that failing to let girls finish their education could cost the world as much as $30 trillion in lost earnings and productivity annually.

educate-girls-sl1World-Bank

Present scenario:

  • About 132 million girls worldwide aged 6 to 17 do not attend school, while fewer than two-thirds of those in low-income nations finish primary school, and only a third finish lower secondary school.

Highlights of the World Bank report:

  • Women who have completed secondary education are more likely to work and earn on average nearly twice as much as those with no schooling.
  • If every girl in the world finished 12 years of quality education, lifetime earnings for women could increase by $15 trillion to $30 trillion every year.
  • Other positive impacts of completing secondary school education for girls include a reduction in child marriage, lower fertility rates in countries with high population growth, and reduced child mortality and malnutrition.
  • Also, women who have completed secondary education are at lesser risk of suffering violence at the hands of their partners and have children who are less likely to be malnourished and themselves are more likely to go to school.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Social Issues

Centre opposes plea in Supreme Court seeking to make women also liable for adultery

The Centre filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing a public interest litigation plea that seeks to make women and men equally liable for adultery.

adultery-featured-iastoppers

  • At present, Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is applicable only to men who have sexual relations with a woman, who is not their wife.

Arguments put forth by Centre:

  • The Centre told the court that Section 497 “supports, safeguards and protects the institution of marriage”. Striking it down will “prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage.”
[To know all about on this issue, click to IASToppers’ Mains Article Adultery Law in India: Why punish married men alone for adultery?] [Ref: Times of India]

 

Economy

India pips France to become world’s 6th largest economy

According to updated World Bank figures for 2017, India has become the world’s sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place.

india-world’s-6th-largest-economy4

Highlights of the report:

  • The United States continue to be the world’s biggest economy.
  • US is followed by China (second place), Japan (third place) and Germany (fourth place)
  • Britain was still the world’s fifth-biggest economy.

India’s performance:

india-world’s-6th-largest-economy2

  • Manufacturing and consumer spending were the main drivers of the Indian economy last year, after a stutter blamed on demonetisation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • India has doubled its GDP within decade and is expected to power ahead as key economic engine in Asia, even as China economy is slowing down. In near future India is also expected to surpass fifth largest economy United Kingdom.

india-world’s-6th-largest-economy

India Vs France GDP comparison:

india-world’s-6th-largest-economy3

  • India’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France.
  • India, with population of around 1.34 billion is poised to become world’s most populous nation, whereas France’s population stands at 67 million. This means India’s per capita GDP will continue to amount to just fraction of that of France which is still roughly 20 times higher.

Predictions for India:

  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India is projected to generate growth of 7.4 per cent this year and 7.8 per cent in 2019, boosted by household spending and a tax reform. This compares to the world’s expected average growth of 3.9 per cent.
  • The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research, a consultancy, said at the end of last year that India would overtake both Britain and France this year in terms of GDP, and had a good chance to become the world’s third-biggest economy by 2032.
[Ref: The Hindu, Economic Times, Indian Express]

 

BSNL launches first Internet telephony service in India

India first telephony service app—Wings—was unveiled by BSNL, the state-owned telecom firm.

BSNL-Wings

Key features of the Wings:

  • The app allows users to place a call using an internet connection to any phone in India.
  • Wings comes with the unique feature of allowing users to call any phone number, from other mobile networks to even landlines.
  • The service provider will be required to comply with all interception and monitoring related requirements.
  • The calls will be charged by telecom operators and all rules related to standard calls will apply to them.

Background:

  • Last month, the government amended norms to allow full-fledged Internet telephone services, which will enable calls from app to app as well as from an app to a telephone number.
[Ref: The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Climate change threatens the Nilgiri tahr

Scientists predicted in a latest study that climate change is threatening the Nilgiri tahr.

Nilgiri_Tahr_Eravikulam_National_Park

  • It is estimated that the endangered wild goat could lose approximately 60% of its habitat.

What they found?

  • Scientists found that tahr strongholds such as Chinnar, Eravikulam and Parambikulam in Kerala will still be stable habitats under different climate change scenarios.
  • However, other regions, including parts of Tamil Nadu’s Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and the wildlife sanctuaries of Peppara, Neyyar, Schenduruny and Srivilliputhur, could experience severe habitat loss in future.

Background:

  • There are only around 2,500 tahrs left in the wild and their population — “small and isolated, making them vulnerable to local extinction” — shows a “decreasing” trend, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

About Nilgiri tahr:

The Nilgiri tahr is an ungulate (animal with hooves).

  • It is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India.
  • As per IUCN Red data list, it is listed as Endangered.

Nilgiri tahr conservation status

  • The Nilgiri tahr is fully protected (Schedule I) by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, although this protection is rarely enforced, and illegal hunting is a major threat.
  • It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
  • Currently, the only populations with more than 300 individuals are in Eravikulam National Park and in the Grass Hills in Anamalai.
  • The creation of Eravikulam and Silent Valley National Parks, Mukurti, Anamalai, and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary and the Kalakadu-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, together offer an important degree of protection to the Nilgiri Tahr.
[Ref: The Hindu, iucnredlist.org]

 

Science & Technology

First-ever colour X-ray on a human performed

New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics.

Medipix x ray

  • The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology dubbed ‘Medipix’ developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which in 2012 discovered the elusive Higgs Boson particle.

About Medipix:

  • Medipix works like a camera detecting and counting individual sub-atomic particles as they collide with pixels while its shutter is open. This allows for high-resolution, high-contrast pictures.
  • The machine’s “small pixels and accurate energy resolution meant that this new imaging tool is able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve. The images very clearly show the difference between bone, muscle and cartilage, but also the position and size of cancerous tumours, for example.

About CERN:

ias-toppers-cern

  • CERN is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory.
  • CERN is based in Geneva on the French-Swiss border.
  • Presently CERN has 22 member states, four associate member states, and the observer status is given to four states and three International Organizations.
  • CERN operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.

ias-toppers-india-cern

Functions of CERN:

  • It helps scientists and engineers probing fundamental structure of Universe using the most sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems.
  • It provides the necessary infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research including particle accelerators.

India and CERN:

  • India has been actively involved in CERN’s activities for over 50 years.
  • Indian physicists, engineers and technicians have made substantial contributions to various projects of CERN.
  • In 1991, India and CERN had signed a Cooperation Agreement, setting priorities for scientific cooperation. Since then India and CERN have signed several other protocols.
  • Indian scientists had active in construction of the LHC in the areas of design, development and supply of hardware accelerator components, software development and deployment in the machine.
  • They also had played significant role in the CMS (Compact Muon Experiment), one of the two large experiments that led to discovery of God particle.
  • In January 2017, India formally became an associate member of CERN.
[Ref: The Hindu, Economic Times]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Indian Railways launches its first consolidated bridge management system

bridge-management-system-IR

  • Indian Railways launched its first consolidated Bridge Management System (IR-BMS), a web-enabled IT application to store data on its 1.5 lakh bridges.
  • BMS aims to enable meaningful assimilation, analysis and dissemination of information related to various activities about its bridges.
  • The web-based platform will show the bridge master data, works data, information regarding inspection/monitoring and maintenance of the bridges and other essentials.

 

“Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”

Jal-Bachao,-Video-Banao,-Puruskar-Pao

  • Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has launched a video contest titled “Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao”.
  • It is an effort to engage with the people of India on the important issues of water conservation and water management.
  • The contest will run on MyGov portal of the Government of India.
  • It is a fortnightly contest. Three winners will be chosen every fortnight.
  • Any Indian citizen can upload their video entries on YouTube and enter the publicly accessible link on the Video link section of MyGov contest page.
  • The participants will be judged on the basis of elements of creativity, originality, composition, technical excellence, artistic merit, quality of video, content and visual impact.

 

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