Polity & Governance
- 5 new governors appointed
- Banks asked to enable core banking in Hindi
- NHAI launches countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign
- Odisha government creating land bank for industrial allocation
- EESL To Procure 10,000 Electric Vehicles From Tata Motors
Bilateral & International Relations
- China ignores a yearly practice
Science & Technology
- Large solar storm sparks global aurora on Mars
Key Facts for Prelims
- 1st October: International Day of Older Persons
- 2nd October: International Day of Non-violence
- ARPAN Version 3.0
For IASToppers Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here
Polity & Governance
5 new governors appointed
President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Governors in five states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Meghalaya.
Newly appointed governors:
- Banwarilal Purohit – Governor of Tamil Nadu
- Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) – Governor of Arunachal Pradesh
- Satya Pal Malik – Governor of Bihar
- Jagdish Mukhi – Governor of Assam
- Ganga Prasad – Governor of Meghalaya
About the appointment of Governors in India:
- Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor.
- The governors and lieutenant-governors are appointed by the president for a term of 5 years.
- The term of governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier by: Dismissal by the president on the advice of the prime minister of the country, at whose pleasure the governor holds office or Resignation by the governor.
- There is no provision of impeachment, as it happens for the president.
Banks asked to enable core banking in Hindi
The Home Ministry has asked all banks, private and public sector, to enable their core banking facility in Hindi.
- Banks have been asked to update databases in Hindi and customers should not be compelled to fill forms only in English.
- Banks should modulate the software in such a way that a customer can get the passbook in Hindi.
- It should also be in regional languages. Some banks in Gujarat and Maharashtra have done it.
- Though States were free to choose their language, Hindi-speaking States should also learn other regional languages like Tamil.
- Software that would help banks transact in Hindi has already been developed by Infosys. ATMs already have a Hindi option.
- As per the Official Languages Act, 1963 there was no provision of punitive action for not using Hindi in official communication but the language could only be promoted through “persuasion and encouragement.
- Hindi was used on signboards in Bangalore Metro as it came under the Central Act and was in consonance with the three-language policy of the Centre.
- Last year, the Official Language department pulled out a 2011 report of the parliamentary standing committee on Hindi and sent it to the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee for his approval in April. As many as 110 out of 117 recommendations in the report were accepted. The Home Ministry issued an advisory to all States and government departments to implement the recommendations.
- The recommendations were not mandatory. In August, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the remaining recommendations which include “financial services in Hindi.”
NHAI launches countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has launched countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers.
Objective of this initiative:
- The objective of this initiative is to ensure clearer vision and safe travel for truck drivers who are most frequent users of national highways.
Key features of the initiative:
- Under it, 50 free eye check-up camps will be set up on identified national highways on either side. The camps will be manned by eye specialist and support staff volunteers.
- The cleaners can avail of this facility on condition of producing valid driving license.
- These camps will distribute free spectacles up to certain power as prescribed by eye specialist. Moreover, other eye defects like cataract will be also identified and medicines will be prescribed.
- NHAI has roped in Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, social enterprises and private businesses for facilitating provision of these facilities.
- Eyesight is basic requirement for safe driving. Poor vision increases risk of collisions due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time to hazard or behaviour of other road users.
Odisha government creating land bank for industrial allocation
The state government of Odisha is creating a 1.2 lakh acre land bank across the state for allocation to the industrial sector to avoid a repeat of the Posco fiasco.
- The purpose of the land bank is to cut red tape and avoid local issues in the land acquisition process.
- Under it, state government is acquiring government land for industrial use.
- It is a plug-and-play kind of model wherein the facilities related to water, power, roads and all clearances are in place.
- The companies need to only make the payment of base premium upfront for the land and the annual rent for rest of the 90 years (their lease).
- Odisha government has created a huge land bank and has identified areas across the state to bring under one umbrella for the industrial sector. Already, the land bank has reached 57,655 acres.
- With the creation of the land bank, the industry department is looking for investment in various sectors including steel, aluminium, agro and food processing based units, apparel, IT and plastic units that will further create employment potential.
EESL To Procure 10,000 Electric Vehicles From Tata Motors
State-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) has decided to procure 10,000 electric vehicles from Tata Motors after a competitive bidding.
- Tata Motors will supply the electric vehicles (EVs) in two phases with 500 e-cars in the first phase in November 2017 and the remaining 9,500 EVs in the second phase.
- EESL claimed that its tender was for the world’s largest single electric vehicle procurement.
- The company (Tata Motors) was selected through an international competitive bidding aimed at increased participation.
About Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL):
- EESL is a joint venture of NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) was set up under Ministry of Power (India) to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency projects.
Bilateral & International Relations
China ignores a yearly practice
Departing from past practice, the Chinese army did not send an invitation to its Indian counterpart for a ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) to mark China’s National Day on October 1.
- This follows a no-show by the Chinese in response to an Indian invitation to attend a ceremonial BPM on Indian Independence Day on August 15.
- This is the first time since 2005 that there was no BPM held on the India-China border.
- Although tensions between India and China have reduced following the disengagement between the two armies at the face-off site in Dolam plateau on August 28, relations between the two armies have not reverted to normal so far.
About the Border Personnel Meeting (BPM):
Ceremonial BPMs are held on National Days and, usually, the process of inviting and confirming is carried out a couple of days in advance.
- It is seen as an opportunity for each side to showcase its traditions and cultural diversity to the other.
- These ceremonial meetings include a small cultural show, a sporting contest and a meal.
- They are attended by officers, soldiers and families from both sides, and are different from flag-meetings, which are convened to discuss border issues.
- Both sides had agreed to two ceremonial meetings every year, starting from 2005, consequent to the signing of the Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas.
- There are five BPM points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh, and Nathu La in Sikkim.
Science & Technology
Large solar storm sparks global aurora on Mars
Recently, in a surprising event, an unexpectedly strong solar storm hit Mars thus creating a sparkling global aurora due to the doubling of radiation levels on the Red Planet.
- NASA Scientists informed that the sparks created an aurora which was 25 times more bright than any of the previously radiations seen by the MAVEN Orbiter.
- Since 2014, the MAVEN Orbiter has constantly been studying and analyzing the interaction of Martian atmosphere with the solar winds.
- The radiation levels produced from the Mars’ surface was more than double than any other previous radiations as measured by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) of Curiosity rover since its Mars landing in 2012.
- This event was big enough to be detected at Earth too, even though Earth was on the opposite side of the Sun from Mars.
- The current solar cycle has been an odd phase as less activity was observed during its peak time and intense activity was observed recently during the dormant period or the solar minimum.
Significance of this detection:
- This detection of solar storm will definitely improve understanding of how such solar events affect the whole Martian environment that is from the top of its atmosphere to bottom of its surface.
- The increased radiation also interacts with the atmosphere to produce additional, secondary particles, which need to be understood and shielded against to ensure the safety of future human explorers.
About RAD findings:
- Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) findings strengthen understanding of radiation’s impact on Mars habitability, a key objective of the Curiosity mission.
- NASA is also using RAD findings for planning the safety of human-crew missions to Mars.
Key Facts for Prelims
1st October: International Day of Older Persons
- The International Day of Older Persons is observed throughout world every year on October 1.
- It aims to raise awareness about issues affecting elderly and to appreciate contributions that older people make to society.
- The theme for this year is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society”.
- The International Day of Older Persons was instituted by United Nations General Assembly by adopting resolution 45/106 in December 1990 for raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse.
- The observance is a focus of ageing organizations and the United Nations Programme on Ageing.
2nd October: International Day of Non-violence
- The International Day of Non-violence is celebrated every year on 2 October throughout world on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- The day is observed by all countries of the UN. In India, this day is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti.
- The day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in June 2007 to disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.
ARPAN Version 3.0
- Defence Security Corps personnel now have a software ‘ARPAN’ which shall ease personal documentation and all issues related to their progression.
- The software was jointly developed by Army Software Development Centre (ASDC) and Tech Mahindra, using state-of-the-art web-based technology.
- ARPAN 3.0 will provide over 12 lakh soldiers of Indian Army easy access to their service records including pay and leave details and transfer and postings among others. As of now, all these records are maintained manually, which is a time-consuming exercise.