ias-toppers-India-Quake
Current Affairs Analysis

28th July 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

'India Quake' app; 'Sagar Vani' app; Dowry; FAME India scheme; What is Metrino? What is Podtaxi? What is Hyperloop? National Centre for Seismology (NCS); 2017 BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet; BRICS countries; Green Climate Fund (GCF); SurfNet - new artificial intelligence software; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
July 28, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • SC for panels to examine dowry cases

Government Schemes & Policies

  • Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles Installed in Bengaluru under FAME India scheme

Economy

  • Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Government launches ‘India Quake’ & ‘Sagar Vani’

Bilateral & International Relations

  • BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet in China
  • NABARD takes first step to access Green Climate Fund

Science & Technology

  • New AI system can create 3D models from photos

Key Facts for Prelims

  • 29th July: International Tiger Day

For IASToppers’ Current Affairs Analysis Archive, Click Here

Polity & Governance

SC for panels to examine dowry cases

The Supreme Court has ruled that the police cannot arrest the accused without conducting a preliminary inquiry under dowry harassment cases.

ias-toppers-dowry

  • With this, apex court put an end to immediate arrest of the husband and his family members in the dowry harassment cases filed under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Highlights of SC order:

  • Now cases under Section 498A of IPC will be referred to Family Welfare Committees (FWC) must be constituted at every district and no arrest will be effected till the committee’s report is received.
  • Such report may be then considered by the investigating officer or the magistrate on its own merit.
  • FWC must comprise 3 members who may be social workers, retired persons, para-legal volunteers, wives of working officers and other citizens who are found suitable and willing. However, these committee members will not be considered as witnesses.
  • There must be adequate material to show that the arrest is necessary to prevent the accused from committing any further offence. Moreover, designated police officer should be appointed to deal with such complaints.
  • These directions will not apply to the offences involving tangible physical injuries or death.
  • There will be also no routine impounding of passports or issuance of Red Corner Notice for the accused NRI.
  • The personal appearance of all family members and particularly outstation members will also not be required.

Need for the court’s intervention:

  • The anti-dowry law was enacted with the laudable object of punishing cruelty at the hands of husband or his relatives – particularly when such cruelty drives the wife to suicide. However, complaints are mounting up over the years alleging misuse of the anti-dowry harassment law – framed in 1983 following a spate of dowry-related deaths – by disgruntled wives. The law is also being misused.
  • A growing trend is being observed among women involved in marital discord to abuse Section 498A of IPC to rope in their husbands’ relatives — including parents, minor children, siblings and grandparents — in criminal cases.
  • Therefore, it is high time such frivolous cases which violate the human rights of innocent is checked.

Significance of this development:

  • The SC order is a shift from the dominant judicial conception of women as victims who would silently suffer injustice rather than bring disrepute to their family by taking domestic conflict outside the four walls of the home. Going by the popular portrait, it is only the worst victim of abuse among women who approach the court for redress.
  • With its latest observations, the court broke away from the reigning perception to rule that in dowry cases, the account of the alleged victim need not be taken at face value.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Government Schemes & Policies

Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles Installed in Bengaluru under FAME India scheme

Under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) Electric Vehicles in India [FAME-India] Scheme of the Government, 25 Charging Stations have been installed at 6 different locations in Bengaluru by Mahindra REVA Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, as a pilot project.

ias toppers Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

  • Based on the proposals received under FAME Scheme, charging infrastructure in selected cities/ locations were sanctioned by the Department of Heavy Industries.

What is FAME India scheme?

ias toppers FAME

  • With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government had launched the FAME India scheme in 2015 offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars.
  • FAME India – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India – is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.
  • The scheme envisages Rs 795 crore support in the first two fiscals starting with the current year.
  • It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Economy

Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

Niti Aayog has cleared proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport.

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  • These proposals include mass rapid transportation technologies such as hyperloop, metrino and pod taxis.
  • The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially.
  • Following the go-ahead, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by a former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and global practices.

Significance:

  • These new technologies are path breaking and can alter the way of intercity travel in the country.
  • The new technologies are being explored as current public transportation is unable to resolve the increasing traffic crisis in the country.
  • Besides, some of them are more cost effective than the existing ones.

What is Metrino?

  • Fully automatic, driverless small pods travel independently suspended over an overhead network which is usually 5-10 meters above the ground.

What is Podtaxi? 

  • Small automated vehicles/podcars/cable cars which carry a small number of passengers.
  • The ropeway-like system runs on electricity and driverless pods and comes down at designated stations, thus removing the traffic burden from crowded roads.

What is Hyperloop? 

  • A hyperloop comprises a sealed tube or series of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at speeds matching that of an aircraft.
[Ref: Economic Times]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Government launches ‘India Quake’ & ‘Sagar Vani’

The Union Ministry of Earth Science, on the occasion of its foundation day, has launched two Mobile apps – ‘India Quake’ for dissemination of earthquake parameters and the other one ‘Sagar Vani’ to disseminate ocean related information and alerts (like high waves and Tsunami early warnings) to the user community in timely manner for their safety.

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  • The mobile app has been developed by the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) for automatic dissemination of earthquake parameter (location, time and magnitude) after the occurrence of earthquakes.

Key Features of the ‘India Quake’ app:

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  • The App facilitates information dissemination faster with no restrictions on the number of recipients.
  • It will provide real time earthquake location information on mobile of the user.
  • It also will help in reducing panic amongst people during an earthquake. For example, if an earthquake occurs in Hindukush region, Afghanistan and is strongly felt in Delhi, then people in Delhi will know in less than 2 minutes that the earthquake has actually occurred in Afghanistan and not in Delhi.
  • The app will notify two categories of events scrutinized and unscrutinized. Unscrutinized earthquake events are those whose parameters have been estimated automatically by the software using the incoming waveform data from remote stations. In the case of scrutinized events category, the unscrutinized will be scrutinized and confirmed by the NCS.

Key features of the ‘Sagar Vani’ app:

ias-toppers-Sagar-Vani-app

  • The ‘Sagar Vani’ is a software platform where various dissemination modes are integrated on a single central server.
  • The App has provisions of multi-lingual SMS, Voice Call, Audio Advisory, Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and Digital Display Boards for dissemination of information.
  • The system also has facility to provide access to various stakeholders (NGOs, State Fishery Departments and Disaster Management Authorities) so that they too will be able to further disseminate these ocean-related information and alerts to the user community – residents of coastal areas and fishermen.
  • This ‘Sagar Vani’ system compares with the most advanced countries’ services in terms of speed of delivery, omni channel capabilities and diverseness of services. With this system, the services will be disseminated in local languages using advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
  • For the first time in India, the power of television and cable network mediums for topical and alert dissemination services is being used.
  • The ‘Sagar Vani’ will now serve the coastal community, especially the fishermen community with the advisories and alerts towards their livelihood as well as their safety at Sea.

About the National Centre for Seismology (NCS):

  • The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) under the Ministry of Earth Science operates national seismological network with 84 stations.
  • These stations are connected to NCS headquarter for real time data communication through VSAT.
  • In case of an earthquake, NCS locate these stations using data from its network and disseminate earthquake parameters to all concerned government departments and other stake holders through email, SMS and fax.

However, this causes some delay in dissemination and also restricts the number of recipients.  India Quake app will overcome this problem.

[Ref: PIB]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet in China

The 2017 BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet was chaired by China.

ias toppers 2017 BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meet

  • The meeting was held in Chonqging, China.
  • The meeting concluded with the adoption of the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration by the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministers.

About the BRICS Labour and Employment Ministerial Declaration:

  • The Declaration covered a variety of areas that are of critical importance to all BRICS countries including India and called upon strengthening collaboration and cooperation on these through appropriate institutionalisation.

These areas consisted of:

  • “Governance in the Future of Work”,
  • “Skills for development in BRICS”,
  • “Universal and sustainable social security systems”,
  • “BRICS Network of Labour Research Institutions”,
  • “BRICS Social Security Cooperation Framework” and
  • “BRICS entrepreneurship research”.

About the BRICS countries:

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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  • It was established in 2009.
  • The BRIC idea was first conceived by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs.
  • In 2011, South Africa joined this informal group and BRIC became BRICS.
  • So far, eight BRICS summits have taken place. The first formal summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009.
  • The BRICS countries are home to 42% of the world’s population.
  • Their total share in the global economy has risen from 12% to 23% in the past decade, while contributing more than half of global growth.
[Ref: PIB]

 

NABARD takes first step to access Green Climate Fund

India’s National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has signed an Accreditation Master Agreement (AMA) with the Green Climate Fund.

ias-toppers-NABARD-Green-Climate-Fund

  • With the signing of the AMA, NABARD becomes the first Indian organisation to get Direct Access Entity status and is the first step for the body to access GCF resources.

About the Green Climate Fund (GCF):

iastoppers-green-climate-fund

What is it?

  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

Who will govern the Fund?

  • The Fund is governed and supervised by a Board that will have full responsibility for funding decisions and that receives the guidance of the COP.
  • The Fund is accountable to, and functions under the guidance of, the COP.

Why it was founded?

  • It was founded as a mechanism to redistribute money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
  • It was also founded to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.

How does it help?

  • The Green Climate Fund will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country Parties using thematic funding windows.
  • It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise Climate Finance of $100 billion a year by 2020.
  • The Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • The Fund will strive to maximize the impact of its funding for adaptation and mitigation, and seek a balance between the two, while promoting environmental, social, economic and development co-benefits and taking a gender-sensitive approach.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Science & Technology

New AI system can create 3D models from photos

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed a new artificial intelligence software, called SurfNet, that can create 3D models from two dimensional photographs.

ias-toppers-AI-SurfNet

  • This advance could allow future robots to navigate in the real world.

About the technology:

  • SurfNet software using hundreds of thousands of 2D shapes of objects can reconstruct it model in 3D.
  • It utilizes machine learning to analyze 2D shapes and convert them into projected 3D forms.
  • In addition to transforming 2D shapes, the technology can also merge two shapes into one another.
  • The technology becomes more refined over time as the AI learns more about the shapes.

Potential application:

  • When fully developed, the method could have significant applications in the fields of 3D searches on the internet.
  • It can be used in robotics, object recognition and even self-driving cars. SurfNet will give them ability to understand the 3D environment around them using standard 2D cameras.
  • It can also be used to create 3D content for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by simply using standard 2D photos.
[Ref: Indian Express]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

29th July: International Tiger Day

ias-toppers-Current Affairs-International-Tiger-Day

  • The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is celebrated every year on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation.
  • The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022.
  • The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face.
  • According to WWF, only 3,890 tigers are left in the world, of them, India with more than 2500 tigers has the highest number.

 

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