NIRBHAY-missile-iastoppers
Current Affairs Analysis

8th November 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

'NIRBHAY' Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile; What is Kambala? SHe-Box (sexual harassment e-box) online complaint Management System; Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013; Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI); Coal India’s New App “Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App”; OHEPEE Project; Musa paramjitiana; Tyrannomyrmex alii; Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor; Jurassic Coast; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
November 08, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Supreme Court refuses stay PETA plea to ban Kambala
  • ‘SHe-box’ in private sector too
  • IBBI tightens rules on rescue plan approvals
  • Coal India’s New App “Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App”

Issues related to Health & Education

  • India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for US$ 119 Million for OHEPEE Project

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Musa paramjitiana
  • New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats

Defence & Security Issues

  • DRDO Conducts Successful Flight Trial of ‘NIRBHAY’ Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile

Science & Technology

  • Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor discovered in UK

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Polity & Governance

Supreme Court refuses stay PETA plea to ban Kambala

What is Kambala?

ias-toppers-kambala

  • Kambala is an annual Buffalo Race held traditionally under the auspices of local land lords and households or Patel of village, in coastal Karnataka, India.
  • The Kambala season generally starts in November and lasts until March.
  • The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair raced in wet rice fields, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer.
  • The ‘track’ used for Kambala is a paddy field filled with slush and mud.
  • The “Kambala Committee” is formed and it usually arranges Kambala in several categories.
  • People place massive bets on the buffaloes to win and one can witness more than 20,000 spectators in a well-organised Kambala, egging on and cheering the buffaloes to complete the race.
  • In traditional form of Kambala, racing is non-competitive, and buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields.
  • A ritualistic approach is also there, as some agriculturists race their buffaloes for thanks giving (to god) for protecting their animals from diseases.
  • The buffaloes developed for the race are carefully fed and some owners of the buffaloes have even built separate swimming pool for competing buffaloes.

What is the controversy over kambala?

  • This age-old tradition of buffalo race is a cause of concern for animal lovers and animal activists.
  • Animal rights activists are objecting to the traditional sport, claiming it tortures the buffaloes, whose anatomy is not made for racing.

Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court has refused to stay a plea filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-governmental organisation, to ban a legislation in Karnataka that permits the annual buffalo race known as Kambala.

Background:

  • The Karnataka state government passed an ordinance amending the Prevention of Cruelty Act to allow Kambala and received the green signal from the President for its Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance 2017″ on July 3 this year.
  • The Karnataka HC had stayed these traditional sports in view of Supreme Court’s ban on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.
[Ref: The Hindu, Times of India]

 

‘SHe-box’ in private sector too

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) launched comprehensive SHe-Box (sexual harassment e-box) online complaint Management System for women working in both public and private organizations to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

SHe-box image ias

  • The SHe-Box was launched to ensure the effective implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.

About the SHe-Box:

ias toppers SHe-Box

  • The platform will cater to Central government employees in the beginning and thereafter, its ambit will be widened to include the private sector as well.
  • The platform seeks to ensure “effective implementation” of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
  • It is also an effort to provide “speedier remedy” to women facing sexual harassment at the workplace.
  • The portal is an initiative to provide a platform to women working or visiting any office of Central Government (Central Ministries, Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, Autonomous Bodies and Institutions etc.) to file complaints related to sexual harassment at workplace under the SH Act.
  • Those who had already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal.

SHe-box-info-ias

How will it work?

  • Once a complaint is submitted to the ‘SHe-Box’, it will be directly sent to the internal complaints (ICC) committee of the ministry/ department/ PSU/ autonomous body etc concerned, having jurisdiction to inquire into the matter.
  • The ICC will take action as prescribed under the Act and update the status of the complaint.

About the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013:

  • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.
  • This statute superseded the Vishakha Guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment introduced by the Supreme Court of India.
  • Under the Act, which also covers students in schools and colleges as well as patients in hospitals, employers and local authorities will have to set up grievance committees to investigate all complaints.
  • Employers who fail to comply will be punished with a fine of up to 50,000 rupees.
[Ref: PIB, The Hindu]

 

IBBI tightens rules on rescue plan approvals

About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI):

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) was established on October 1, 2016 in accordance with the provisions of The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

iastoppers Insolvency-and-Bankruptcy-Board-of-India IBBI

  • It has been set up by the code to regulate professionals, information utilities (IUs) and agencies engaged in the resolution of insolvencies of companies.
  • It is a unique regulator: regulates a profession as well as transactions.
  • It functions under Ministry of Commerce.

Insolvency-and-Bankruptcy-Code,-2016-iastoppers

Members:

It has chairman and 10 members. Present chairman is M S Sahoo. There four government-nominated members. Following is the structure of the IBBI.

  • One Chairperson
  • Three members from Central Government officers not below the rank of Joint Secretary or equivalent.
  • One nominated member from the RBI.
  • Five members nominated by the Central Government; of these, three shall be whole-time members.

More than half of the directors of its board shall be independent directors.

Functions:

  • It provides a market-determined and time bound mechanism for orderly resolution of insolvency, wherever possible, and orderly exit, wherever required.
  • It writes and enforces rules for transactions, namely, corporate insolvency resolution, corporate liquidation, individual insolvency resolution and individual bankruptcy under the Code.
  • It seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner.

Why in news?

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has tightened the due diligence framework on resolution applicants, including promoters.

  • Corporate resolution applicants including promoters will now be put through a stringent test as regards their credibility and creditworthiness before a resolution plan is approved by the committee of creditors.
  • Further, the IBBI has also imposed greater responsibility on the resolution professional and Committee of Creditors in discharging their duties.
  • For this purpose, the IBBI has tweaked its regulations on corporate insolvency resolution process so as to ensure that it results in a credible and viable resolution plan.
[Ref: PIB, Live Mint, Business Line]

 

Coal India’s New App “Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App”

Coal India, a Public sector undertaking (PSU), has launched ‘Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App’ benefitting customers of Coal India Limited (CIL) lifting coal through road mode.

iastoppers-Grahak-Sadak-Koyla-Vitran-app

Key features of the app:

  • The app provides date-wise, truck-wise quantity of coal delivered against the Sale Orders and information related to Scheme-wise, Colliery-wise, Grade-wise, customer-wise details of Sale Orders issued during a period.
  • In terms of loading it provides allotment verses lifting status in details from different sources truck by truck and summary of the despatch.

Grahak-Sadak-Koyla-Vitran-app-iastoppers

Benefits of the app:

  • The main benefits of the App for the customers, against the Sale Orders issued, include easy accessibility of the information at the click of the button, apart from transparency in the system of loading programme and despatch.
  • The app also helps in logistics planning for lifting of coal in tune with the loading programmes.
  • It further helps in improved planning of procurement, production and stock management by the customers.

Significance of the app:

  • The app is for the benefit of customers lifting coal through road mode.
  • It is a step towards transparency in the system of loading programme and despatch.
  • It helps achieve transparency in despatch operations, as a tool to monitor, whether the despatches are made on the fair principle of ‘First in First Out’ and keeps track of all the activities from issuance of Sale Order to physical delivery of coal by road.

About Coal India:

Coal-India-ias

  • CIL (Coal India Limited) is the largest coal producer company in world and contributes around 81% of coal production in India.
  • Union Government of India owns 90% of the shares in CIL and controls the operations of CIL through Ministry of Coal.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

India Signs Loan Agreement with World Bank for US$ 119 Million for OHEPEE Project

The Union Government has inked US$ 119 million Financing Agreement with World Bank for IBRD loan for the Odisha Higher Education Programme for Excellence & Equity (OHEPEE) Project.

ias-toppers-World-Bank

Aim of the project:

  • The OHEPEE Project aims is to improve the quality of ‘students’ equitable access to selected institutions and enhance governance of the higher education system in Odisha.

Project Component

  • Improving quality of and students’ equitable access to selected institutions of higher education. It includes Institutional Development Plan (IDP) Grants (performance–based Financing)
  • Enhancing governance of higher education system. It includes improvement of governance in colleges and improvement of financial and procurement management and accounting in all government and government-aided colleges.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Musa paramjitiana

Botanists have discovered new species of wild banana named Musa paramjitiana in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Musa-paramjitiana-iastoppers

  • It was discovered in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres from any human habitation.

About Musa paramjitiana:

  • Musa paramjitiana species grows to height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds.
  • Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as it has so far been spotted in only two locations on islands, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump.
  • No population has been located in other regions of Islands.

Usage of Musa paramjitiana:

  • The fruit of Musa paramjitiana is part of diet of local tribes.
  • Its fruits and seeds have ethno-medicinal importance. Pseudo-stem and leaves of these species are also used during religious and cultural ceremonies.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats

Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala in Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.

Tyrannomyrmex iastoppers

  • The new species has been named Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii), after eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the India’s ‘ant man’.

Key facts:

  • The new species belongs to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants.
  • Tyrannomyrmex is a rare myrmicine (subfamily of ants) ant genus that is distributed in the Indomalayan bio-region that extends from southern India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia.
  • alli has become the four species of the rare genus and the second one from India.
  • Both of Tyrannomyrmex species that described from India are known from Western Ghats range in Kerala.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Defence & Security Issues

DRDO Conducts Successful Flight Trial of ‘NIRBHAY’ Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully conducted test flight of ‘NIRBHAY’ – India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile.

NIRBHAY-missile-iastoppers

  • It was successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.

About NIRBHAY missile:

Nirbhay is an all-weather low-cost long-range cruise missile with stealth and high accuracy.

NIRBHAY-missile-ias

  • It can be deployed from multiple platforms.
  • The Nirbhay cruise missile is an Indian version of the American Tomahawk.
  • The missile is capable of being launched from multiple platforms on land, sea and air.
  • The missile has a range of more than 1000 km.
  • The missile has the capability to loiter and cruise at 0.7 Mach, at altitudes as low as 100 m.
  • Its relatively slow flight speed allows it to navigate its way precisely to the target.
[Ref: PIB, The Hindu, ET]

 

Science & Technology

Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor discovered in UK

Scientists have discovered the remains of humankind’s oldest mammal ancestor — a tiny rat-like creature that lived 145 million years ago.

Fossils-of-oldest-mammal-ancestor-iastoppers
Image Credit: National Geographic
  • The fossils of the nocturnal mammal were discovered on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.

Key facts:

iastoppers Fossils of oldest mammal ancestor

  • The new species has been named Durlstotherim newmani — after an amateur palaeontologist and pub owner Charlie Newman, who helped scientists collect the new specimens.
  • According to the study, the animal is the earliest in the line that evolved into humans, and branched off into creatures as diverse as blue whales and pigmy shrews.

About Jurassic Coast:

Dorset Walking Routes iastoppers

  • The Jurassic Coast is a World Heritage Site on the English Channel coast of southern England.
  • It stretches from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset.
[Ref: The Hindu, National Geographic]

 

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