Polity & Governance
- Chairperson NCST presents Special Report on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People”
- Vishwas Patel appointed Payments Council of India Chairman
- KVIC launches single umbrella pan-India e-marketing
- NITI Aayog to organise India’s First Global Mobility Summit
Government Schemes & Policies
- Agreement signed on repatriation of Bru persons to Mizoram
- WAPCOS celebrates 50th foundation day
Bilateral & International Relations
- Uruguay Army official appointed as head of UNMOGIP
Defence & Security Issues
- India’s homegrown fighter aircraft Tejas commences operations
- Defence Ministry nod to 17 new baffle firing ranges
Art & Culture
- Meghalaya Celebrates Behdienkhlam Festival
Key Facts for Prelims
- Cvigil mobile app
- Genome Valley 2.0.
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Polity & Governance
Chairperson NCST presents Special Report on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People”
Dr. Nand Kumar Sai, Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) presented a special report of the Commission on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People” to President of India.
- The report and recommendations are under Article 338A(5)(e) of the Constitution on the measures to be taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the effective implementation of constitutional safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes who are affected on account of Polavaram Irrigation Project, Andhra Pradesh.
About Polavarm project:
- Polavaram Projectis a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded national project status by the central government.
- This dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha States also.
- The project is multipurpose major terminal reservoir project on river Godavari for development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The project is likely to displace over 1.88 lakh people across 222 villages and so far, 1,730 persons in six villages have been rehabilitated by the government.
About National Commission for Scheduled Castes:
- It is a constitutional body established with a view to provide safeguards against the exploitation of Scheduled Castes.
- To promote and protect their social, educational, economic and cultural interests, special provisions were made in the Constitution.
Composition of the commission:
- The Commission consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members.
- They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
- Their conditions of service and tenure of office are also determined by the president. The commission presents an annual report to the president.
Functions of the commission:
- To investigate and monitor all matters relating to the safeguards provided for the Scheduled Castes under this Constitution or under any other law for the time being in force or under any order of the Government and to evaluate the working of such safeguards;
- To inquire into specific complaints with respect to the deprivation of rights and safeguards of the Scheduled Castes;
- To participate and advise on the planning process of socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes and to evaluate the progress of their development under the Union and any State;
- To present to the President, annually and at such other times as the Commission may deem fit, reports upon the working of those safeguards;
- To make in such reports recommendations as to the measures that should be taken by the Union or any State for the effective implementation of those safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes; and
- To discharge such other functions in relation to the protection, welfare and development and advancement of the Scheduled Castes as the President may, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, by rule specify.
Vishwas Patel appointed Payments Council of India Chairman
Payments Council of India (PCI), an apex body representing companies in payments and settlement system, has a new Chairman in Vishwas Patel.
About Payments Council of India (PCI):
- PCI is an apex non-governmental body representing companies in payments and settlement system.
- It was formed in 2013 under aegis of IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) to cater needs of digital payment industry in India.
Function of PCI:
- It was formed for representing various regulated non-banking payment industry players and to help resolve various industry level issues and barriers in payments and settlement system.
- It works with all its members to promote payments industry growth and support goal of ‘Cash to Less Cash Society’ and ‘Growth of Financial Inclusion’ which is also vision shared by Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- PCI works closely with regulators i.e. RBI, Finance Ministry and any similar government, departments, bodies or institutions to make ‘India a less cash society’.
About Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI):
The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a not-for-profit industry body registered under the Societies Act, 1896.
- The main purpose of IAMAI is to improve and expand the value added services pertaining to mobiles and several online services.
- IAMAI also put forward the problems and requirements of the businesses to the consumers, shareholders, investors and the government of India.
- The association addresses the issues, concerns and challenges of the Internet and Mobile economy and takes a leading role in its development.
- IAMAI is the only specialized industry body in India representing the interests of online and mobile value added services industry.
KVIC launches single umbrella pan-India e-marketing
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has launched its, in-house developed, single-umbrella e-marketing system named Khadi Institution Management and Information System (KIMIS).
- The system can be accessed from anywhere in the country for the sale and purchase of Khadi and Village Industries products.
About Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
- The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body formed by the Government of India, under the Act of Parliament, ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
- In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.
- It is an apex organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, with regard to khadi and village industries within India
KVIC seeks to – “plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.”.
Objectives of KVIC:
- The social objective of providing employment
- The economic objective of producing saleable articles
- The wider objective of creating self-reliance amongst the poor and building up of a strong rural community spirit
NITI Aayog to organise India’s First Global Mobility Summit
NITI Aayog, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners, is organising ‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi.
Significance of the summit:
- The summit will be the first Global Mobility Summit of its kind, with over 1,200 expected participants from across the world including Government leadership, Industry leaders, Research Organizations, Academia, Think Tanks and Civil Society Organisations.
- This Summit will help drive Government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.
Government Schemes & Policies
Agreement signed on repatriation of Bru persons to Mizoram
In a major development, the Centre and the state governments of Tripura and Mizoram finally managed to sign an agreement for repatriation of thousands of people belonging to the Bru community from Tripura to Mizoram.
- An agreement has been signed by Government of India, Governments of Mizoram and Tripura and Mizoram Bru Displaced People’s Forum (MBDPF).
- Under the agreement, the central government will provide financial assistance for rehabilitation of Bru community members in Mizoram and address their issues of security, education, livelihood, etc. in consultation with the governments of Mizoram and Tripura.
About the Bru community:
- The Brus, also referred to as the Reangs, are spread across the northeastern states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, and Mizoram.
- A bout of ethnic violence forced thousands of people from the Bru tribe to leave their homes in Mizoram. As many as 32,876 people belonging to 5,407 families are living in the refugee camps in the Jampui Hills of Tripura.
- The displaced Bru people from Mizoram have been living in various camps in Tripura since 1997. In 1997, the murder of a Mizo forest guard at the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram’s Mamit district allegedly by Bru militants led to a violent backlash against the community, forcing several thousand people to flee to neighbouring Tripura.
- The Bru militancy was a reactionary movement against Mizo nationalist groups who had demanded in the mid-1990s that the Brus be left out of the state’s electoral rolls, contending that the tribe was not indigenous to Mizoram.
WAPCOS celebrates 50th foundation day
WAPCOS Limited celebrated its 50th foundation day on July 3rd, 2018.
About WAPCOS Limited:
- WAPCOS Limited is a MINI RATNA-I Public Sector Enterprise under the aegis of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation.
- It was incorporated in 1969 under the Companies act. 1956.
- WAPCOS provides consultancy services in all facets of Water Resources, Power and Infrastructure sectors in India and Abroad.
Bilateral & International Relations
Uruguay Army official appointed as head of UNMOGIP
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Major General José Eladio Alcain of Uruguayan Army as Head of Mission and Chief Military Observer for UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the ceasefire in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir.
About UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP):
- UNMOGIP has been established by UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution and started its operations in 1949.
- It has been tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line or tasked with monitoring the ceasefire line between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The group is financed by the United Nations regular budget.
- The group, based in Rawalpindi, is composed of 43 military observers and 23 international civilian personnel.
Mandate of UNMOGIP:
- UNMOGIP’s military observers conduct field tasks (field trip, area recce, field visit and observation post) along LoC.
- As part of 1949 Karachi Agreement, it also conducts investigations into alleged ceasefire violation complaints, which two parties (India and Pakistan) can submit to it.
- Its findings of investigations are shared with UN Secretary-General and summary of investigations with two parties.
- India has maintained that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Shimla (Accord) Agreement and consequent establishment of Line of Control (LoC) in 1971.
- Since the Simla Agreement of 1972, India has adopted a non-recognition policy towards third parties in their bilateral exchanges with Pakistan over the question regarding the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The military authorities of Pakistan have continued to lodge alleged ceasefire violations complaints with UNMOGIP.
- The military authorities of India have lodged no complaints since January 1972 limiting the activities of the UN observers on the Indian-administered side of the Line of Control, though they continue to provide necessary security, transport and other services to UNMOGIP.
Location of Uruguay:
- Uruguay is a sovereign state in the south-eastern region of South America.
- It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata (River of Silver) to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast.
- Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname.
Defence & Security Issues
India’s homegrown fighter aircraft Tejas commences operations
Two years after its induction into the Indian Air Force, indigenous fighter aircraft Tejas formally commenced operations from Sulur Air Force Station in Tamil Nadu.
Key features of the Tejas:
- Tejas is the first advance Fly-by-wire (FBW) fighter aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in India.
- It is a single-seat, single-jet engine, multirole light fighter.
- It is also the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in the Indian Air Force.
- The aircraft was named “Tejas” (meaning radiance in Sanskrit) by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister.
- Conceived as a MiG-21 replacement, the aircraft has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- Tejas is a 4th Plus generation aircraft with a glass cockpit and is equipped with state of the art Satellite aided Inertial Navigation System.
- It has a digital computer based attack system and an autopilot. It can fire Air to Air Missiles, Bombs as well as Precision Guided Munitions.
- LCA Tejas is not India’s first indigenous fighter to be inducted into IAF. In April 1967, IAF had formed the first operational squadron with the indigenous HF-24 Marut fighter.
Defence Ministry nod to 17 new baffle firing ranges
The Union Ministry of Defence has sanctioned construction of 17 new baffle firing ranges at various Military Stations, Cantonments, Training Establishments.
- The proposed baffle shooting ranges can facilitate firing from 300 to 500 meters.
What are Baffle firing ranges?
- Baffle firing ranges are covered shooting practice areas which prevent possible accidents due to stray bullet injuries.
Need for more baffle firing ranges:
- In recent times, due to growth of civilian population around cantonments areas, possibility of accidents due to stray bullet injuries have increased. In order to prevent accidents and casualties without affecting the training requirements of Armed Forces new baffle ranges were approved.
Art & Culture
Meghalaya Celebrates Behdienkhlam Festival
Most popular festival of the Jaintia tribe, Behdienkhlam is recently celebrated in the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.
About Behdienkhlam Festival:
Behdienkhlam, one of the most colourful festivals of the State, was celebrated in the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.
- The Behdienkhlam literally means driving away the plague as “Khlam” means ‘Plague’ and “Beh Dein” means to drive away the plague.
- The non-Christian ‘Pnar’ people who believe either in the traditional faith of ‘Niamtre’ or Hinduism observe this festival.
- It is the ritualistic expression of the relentless struggle of mankind to overcome the destructive forces of nature, including diseases, since the dawn of civilization.
- This festival is also an invocation to God seeking blessings for a good harvest. Women offer sacrificial food to the spirits of the ancestors.
- Most popular festival of the Jaintia tribe, Behdienkhlam is celebrated in the month of July for good health, property and bumper harvest.
- The festival witnessed a colourful display of 12 rots or ‘rath’ at the sacred pool ‘Aitnar’.
- The festival ends with a final salutation to the divine powers when the women of the tribe offer sacrificial food to their almighty. The festival is also known as the festival for chasing away the Demon of Cholera.
- The festival is celebrated around the same time “Rath Yatra” is celebrated in other parts of eastern India.
Key Facts for Prelims
Cvigil mobile app
- The Election Commission of India has launched Cvigil mobile application for citizens to report any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during elections.
- The app aims at empowering people across the country to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates and activists directly with ECI.
- It will allow anyone in election-bound state to report violations of MCC. By using this app, vigilant citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct anonymously and in real-time by clicking picture or record video of upto two minutes and uploading it on the app.
- It will be active only in States where elections have been announced.
Genome Valley 2.0.
- Telangana Government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore-based engineering & consulting firm Surbana Jurong for preparing roadmap for Genome Valley 2.0.
- It will be an upgraded version of life sciences and biotechnology industrial cluster state’s capital city Hyderabad.