Current Affairs Analysis

24th April 2018 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

National Panchayati Raj Diwas 2018; Inter-country removal & retention of children; Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’; International Child Abduction Bill; GI tag; Adilabad Dokra; Warangal durries; Earth BioGenome Project; sequence genomes of 1.5 million species; Eukaryotes; Diu Smart City; Bengaluru Smart City tests ITMS prototype; Intelligent Traffic Management Solution; World Press Freedom Prize; UNESCO/Guillermo Cano, etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
April 24, 2018


Polity & Governance

  • Inter-country removal & retention of children
  • April 24: National Panchayati Raj Diwas

Art & Culture

  • Adilabad Dokra and Warangal Durries get GI tag

Science & Technology

  • Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Diu Smart City: First to run on 100% Renewable Energy during daytime
  • India highest recipient of remittances
  • Bengaluru Smart City tests ITMS prototype
  • World Press Freedom Prize


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Polity & Governance

Inter-country removal & retention of children

Committee headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal has submitted its report on legal issues related to Inter-country removal & retention of children to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • The Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’.

 About the ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’:


  • The Authority may be chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with Members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries.


  • The authority has been envisaged to provide a one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children.
  • The Authority may examine the inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis the cultural context, merit of the case, and the best interest of the Child.

International Child Abduction Bill:

  • The Protection of Children (Inter-Country Removal and Retention) Bill, 2016 seeks to address the issue.
  • The Bill is in consonance with the principles of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980, which seeks to protect a child from the harmful effect of wrongful removal and secure prompt return and reintegration of the child in an environment of his/her ‘habitual residence’.
  • The Bill defines ‘wrongful removal or retention’ as an act in breach of custody to a person or an institution or any other body under the law of the country in which the child was habitually resident immediately before the removal or retention.
  • The law will be applicable to those wrongfully removed or retained children in India who have not completed 16 years.
  • The Bill recommends the setting up of a Central Authority tasked with discovering the whereabouts of the child.
  • The Authority will further act to prevent harm to the child, secure the voluntary return of the child to his or her habitual residence, exchange information relating to the child with the appropriate authorities of the contracting state, institute judicial proceedings in the High Court concerned to secure the return of the child, provide free legal aid advice, and make administrative arrangements for the return of the child.
  • The court can order the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained in India and if a period of one year has not elapsed from the date of removal or retention. However, the one-year cap is not final.
  • The court can order return if it is established that the child is not settled in his/her new environment. It can refuse to order return if returning would expose the child to harm or if the child, on attaining an age and level of maturity, refuses to go back, among other conditions.
[Ref: PIB]


April 24: National Panchayati Raj Diwas


  • National Panchayati Raj Day is the national day of India celebrated by Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually.
  • This date marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level.
  • The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24th April, 1993 has institutionalized Panchayati Raj through the village, Intermediate and District level Panchayats.
  • The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010.
  • Every year on this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organises National Conference and awards best performing Gram Panchayats with ‘The Panchayat Shashakatikaran Puraskar/Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar’. 


Art & Culture 

Adilabad Dokra and Warangal Durries get GI tag

Two craft forms that are unique to Telangana were recently granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the GI registry in Chennai.


Adilabad Dokra:

  • It is an ancient metal craft that is popular in the state’s tribal regions.
  • The uniqueness of this art form is that no two sculptures are the same, as they are not made out of a pre-designed cast.
  • The craftsmen of this art form belong to the Woj community, commonly referred to as Wojaris or Ohjas in the rural areas of Telangana.
  • They use brass as their main material and an ancient casting technique called ‘cire perdue’. As part of this technique, the craftsmen use clay and design a model of the sculpture that they want to create. They wrap the clay with wax threads before baking the mould, so that the wax melts away and the molten metal is poured into the mould.
  • The common items made by the craftsmen include small idols and statues of tribal deities, jewellery, bells, small-scale animal sculptures and others.


Warangal durries:

  • In this style of durries, weavers create beautiful patterns and dye them using vegetable colours, which are washed in flowing water after the printing process.
  • Warangal district became a renowned hub for weaving these rugs due to the availability of cotton, which is grown by farmers in the area.
  • Currently, there are more than 2000 weaving community members present in Kothawada, Warangal in spinning Dhurrie.
  • The products are exported mainly to UK, Germany along with few other European and African countries.
[Ref: The Hindu, Indian Express]


Science & Technology

Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species

Scientists have proposed Earth BioGenome project, a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all eukaryotic species on the planet.


What are Eukaryotes?

  • Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea.
  • It includes plants, animals, fungi and other organisms whose cells have a nucleus that houses their chromosomal DNA.
  • There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth.

About the Earth BioGenome Project:

The central goal of the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) is to understand the evolution and organization of life on our planet by sequencing and functionally annotating the genomes of 1.5 million known species of eukaryotes.

  • The project also seeks to reveal some of the estimated 10 to 15 million unknown species of eukaryotes, most of which are single cell organisms, insects and small animals in the oceans.
  • The Project also plans to capitalize on the “citizen scientist” movement to collect specimens.
  • The initiative is led by a coordinating council with members from the United States, the European Union, China, Brazil, Canada, Australia and some African countries.
  • This will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity.

Benefits of the project:

  • The benefits of the project promise to be a complete transformation of the scientific understanding of life on Earth and a vital new resource for global innovations in medicine, agriculture, conservation, technology and genomics.
  • The project is also being seen essential for developing new drugs for infectious and inherited diseases as well as creating new biological synthetic fuels, biomaterials, and food sources for growing human population.
  • The project will likely enable the development of new technologies, such as portable genetic sequencers and instrumented drones that can go out, identify samples in the field, and bring those samples back to the laboratory.
[Ref: The Hindu]


Key Facts for Prelims 

Diu Smart City: First to run on 100% Renewable Energy during daytime

  • Diu Smart City has become first city in India to run on 100% renewable energy during daytime. With this, it has set new benchmark for other cities to become clean and green.
  • Diu was importing 73% of its power from Gujarat until last year. But now it has adopted two-pronged approach to reduce dependence on Gujarat for power requirements through renewable energy.


India highest recipient of remittances


  • As per the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief, India has retained the top position as a recipient of remittances with its diaspora sending about $69 billion back home last year.
  • India is followed by China ($64 billion), the Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion) and Egypt ($20 billion).


Bengaluru Smart City tests ITMS prototype

  • Bengaluru Smart City is testing prototype of an intelligent traffic management solution in collaboration with the Electronics City Township Authority (ELCITA) to improve traffic management in the city.
  • It aims to provide traffic information that is currently unavailable and help improve management of commuter traffic.


What is Intelligent Traffic Management Solution?

  • It involves capturing video streams from several cameras and processing them using artificial intelligence.
  • This will help in automation of traffic management tasks such as vehicle detection, traffic density estimation and control of traffic lights for real-time performance.


World Press Freedom Prize

  • The United Nations’ cultural agency has awarded the World Press Freedom prize to an imprisoned Egyptian photographer- Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as Shawkan.


UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize:

  • Created in 1997, the annual UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and, or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.
  • The Prize was established on the initiative of UNESCO’s Executive Board and is formally conferred by the Director-General of the Organization, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, on 3 May.
  • It is named in honour of Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia on 17 December 1986.


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