Current Affairs Analysis

24th February 2016 Current Affairs Analysis

By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
February 24, 2016


Polity & Governance

  • Amnesty International report condemns ‘growing intolerance’ in India

Environment & Ecology

  • Falcated Duck sighted in Goa

Defence & Security Issues

  • India remains world’s largest arms importer, with 14% of total share

Science & Technology

  • Internet by light promises to leave Wi-Fi in the shade

Also in News

  • Vienna is world’s best city to live in: Survey

Polity & Governance

Amnesty International report condemns ‘growing intolerance’ in India


The London-based rights body Amnesty International in its annual report  “State of the World’s Human Rights Report 2015-16”  has stated that authorities in India failed to stop “incidents of religious violence” and often “contributed to tensions through polarising speeches”.


Amnesty International has condemned “growing intolerance” that led to attacks on journalists, authors, artists and rights activists.

  • The report has stated that authorities resorted to repressing civil society organisations opposing official policies through restrictive foreign funding laws, referring to issues faced by Greenpeace India.
  • The report notes that laws that did not meet international standards on freedom of expression were also used to persecute human rights defenders and others in the country.
  • The report also noted that there at least 3200 prisoners held in various prisons across India without trial under executive order.

[Ref: Hindu, ToI]


Environment & Ecology


Falcated Duck sighted in Goa


The birders of Goa have sighted a new bird Falcated Duck, a very rare vagrant species to the south of India, which became the latest addition to the checklist of ‘Birds of Goa’.

About Falcated duck:

Falcated Duck sighted in Goa

  • Falcated Duck is a migratory bird, breeding in Russia and north China in summers and in winter migrate towards north of India.
  • Some individuals though are known to move further south. There are two reports of this species from south of India.
  • The first was reported from Tamil Nadu in 2012 while in January 2015 a single individual was reported from Akola in Maharashtra and this sighting by the birding trio is only the third from south India.

Present status of Falcated duck:

  • Falcated duck is classified as near threatened in terms of its conservation prioritization by International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Falcated Duck sighted in Goa 2

  • Recent estimates have put the world population of this species to be just about 89,000 individuals. The greatest threat faced by this species globally is the loss of habitat and hunting. Loss of habitat in their winter migratory region is also a cause for concern.

With this new sighting, the checklist of Birds of Goa stands at 461 species.

[Ref: Hindu]


Defence & Security Issues


India remains world’s largest arms importer, with 14% of total share


The latest data on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show that India continues to remain the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe.


  • India’s arms imports remain three times greater than those of its rivals China and Pakistan. Its biggest suppliers are Russia, the US, Israel and France.
  • However, India’s position is another indicator of the country’s enduring failure to build a strong domestic defence-industrial base (DIB).

Other countries:

  • After India, China ranks second in the global arms import list with 4.7%, followed by Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).
  • Incidentally, Pakistan is the main recipient of Chinese arms exports, notching up 35% of the total, followed by Bangladesh (20%) and Myanmar (16%).
  • Russia, in turn, is China’s largest arms supplier with 59%, followed by France (15%) and Ukraine (14%).

[Ref: ToI]


Science & Technology


Internet by light promises to leave Wi-Fi in the shade


French start-up Oledcomm demonstrated the Li-Fi technology at the recently held Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile fair, in Barcelona.

  • Laboratory tests have shown theoretical speeds of over 200 Gbps — fast enough to “download the equivalent of 23 DVDs in one second”.

What is Li-Fi?

Li-Fi, or light fidelity, invented by German physicist and professor Harald Haas, is a wireless technology that makes use of visible light in place of radio waves to transmit data at terabits per second speeds—more than 100 times the speed of Wi-Fi.

How it works?

  • Li-Fi is a Visible Light Communications (VLC) system. This means that it accommodates a photo-detector to receive light signals and a signal processing element to convert the data into ‘stream-able’ content. Unlike Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves, Li-Fi runs on visible light.
  • Here, data is fed into an LED light bulb (with signal processing technology), it then sends data (embedded in its beam) at rapid speeds to the photo-detector (photodiode).
  • The tiny changes in the rapid dimming of LED bulbs are then converted by the ‘receiver’ into electrical signal.
  • The signal is then converted back into a binary data stream that the user would recognise as web, video and audio applications that run on internet enables devices.
  • An LED lightbulb is a semi-conductor light source meaning that the constant current of electricity supplied to an LED lightbulb can be dipped and dimmed, up and down at extremely high speeds, without being visible to the human eye.


  • Li-Fi could make a huge impact on the internet of things too, with data transferred at much higher levels with even more devices able to connect to one another.
  • Since it does not pollute, it can be called a green technology for device-to-device communication in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Difference between Li-Fi and Wi-Fi:

  • Due to its shorter range, Li-Fi is more secure than Wi-Fi.
  • Li-Fi systems consume less power.
  • Li-Fi offers great promise to overcome the existing limitations of Wi-Fi by providing for data-heavy communication in short ranges.

Limitations of Li-Fi:

  • As visual light can’t pass through opaque objects and needs line of sight for communication, its range will remain very restricted to start with. In order to enjoy full connectivity, more capable LED bulbs will need to be placed at various places.
  • Li-Fi requires the lightbulb is on at all times to provide connectivity, meaning that the lights will need to be on during the day.
  • Li-Fi is likely to face interference from external light sources, such as sunlight and bulbs, and obstructions in the path of transmission, and hence may cause interruptions in communication.
  • Also, initially, there will be high installation costs of visual light communication systems as an add-on to lighting systems.

[Ref: Hindu]


Also in News


Vienna is world’s best city to live in: Survey


According to the 18th Mercer Quality of Life study, an international survey on quality of life, Vienna is the world’s best city, followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver.

Key facts:

  • Austria’s capital Vienna, a city of nearly 1.8 million people, is the best place in the world to live.
  • While famous cities like London, Paris and New York failed to make a cut even in the top 30s.
  • Baghdad was named as the worst city in the world.


  • There is no Indian city in the top 100.
  • Among Indian cities, Hyderabad topped the rankings at 139th position, followed by Pune at 144, Bangalore 145, Chennai 150, Mumbai 152, Kolkata 160 and national capital Delhi at 161.

About the study:

  • Mercer Quality of Life study examined socioeconomic conditions of 230 global cities.
  • The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff.

[Ref: ToI]


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