National Current Affairs
August 1st Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) India’s first Harbour Defence System commissioned in Kochi.

 India’s first Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.
First of its kind system in the country is part of initiatives to strengthen and beef up coastal security in the western coastline.
About Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS)
  • Designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Consists of advance sensors, coastal surveillance radars and sound navigation and ranging systems (SONAR).
  • Capable of detecting, tracking, identifying and generating warning for all types of underwater and surface threats to harbour security. The integrated system can detect presence of divers and under water threats with the help of this automatic system.
  • The system has been contracted by Integrated Headquarters of Union Ministry of Defence in 2012. Henceforth it will operate under the control of the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Kerala).
2) Union Government released the Census data on Highest Educational Level Attained.
  • Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India released the Census 2011 data on Highest Education Level Attained.
  • The data relates to population of 7 years and above by age and sex for total, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) up to district levels.
Main Highlights
  1. Primary occupies the top position in terms of percentage share to total literates in 2011 for both total and SCs. The respective shares are 24.1 per cent for total and 27.7 per cent for SCs.
  2. The percentage share of literates at the higher educational levels, i.e. Middle, Higher Secondary and above have gone up at national level for total, SCs and STs during census 2011 as compared to census 2001.
  3. In case of Matric/ Secondary, there is negligible decline for total while for SCs & STs, there is improvement.
3) Union Cabinet gives nod to Consumer protection Bill, 2015.
  • Union Cabinet approved Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 in order deal with the growing concern over the safety of consumer products and services.
  • It aims at simplifying the consumer dispute resolution process along with enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction of the consumer grievance redressed agencies.
Rationality behind introducing new Bill:
  1. There is a need to modernise the Act to address challenges related to consumer protection effectively.
  2. In technologically evolved marketing strategies which uses advance methods of multi-level marketing, tele-marketing, direct selling and e-tailing in some cases are providing misleading advertisements.
  3. It has resulted in new challenges to consumer protection with growing concern over the consumer products and services safety, especially after the Maggi controversy.
  4. Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986 which was amended thrice earlier in 1991, 1993 and 2002 was not capable to deal with the changing scenario of consumer protection effectively.


4) India foils U.K. firm’s bid to patent Ayurvedic mix.

India once again has been successful in protecting its traditional knowledge by preventing an attempt made by Europe’s leading dermaceutical laboratory - Pangaea Laboratories Limited, to take patent on a medicinal composition containing turmeric, pine bark and green tea for treating hair loss.
Traditional Knowledge Digital Library located the patent application filed at European Patent Office by Pangaea Laboratories Limited and filed pre-grant opposition along with prior-art evidences from TKDL, proving that turmeric, pine bark and green tea, are being used for treating hair loss, since long in Ayurveda and Unani.
5) Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015 came into effect.
  • The new simplified ``Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children 2015`` came into effect from 1 August 2105 were notified by Union Government.
  • The new Guidelines are intended to provide for more effective regulation for adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children and would bring more transparency and efficiency in the adoption system.
  • For hassle-free adoption, CARINGS (Child Adoption Resource Information & Guidance system) will contain a centralized data bank of adoptable children and PAPs (Prospective Adoptive Parents).
  • Clear cut timelines for domestic and inter-country adoption have been laid down to ensure early deinstitutionalization of such children.
CARINGS will now facilitate adoption with the help of the following features:
  1. Parents can directly register online without visiting the adoption agency.
  2. There will be online referral to the PAPs followed by visit to adoption agencies.
  3. Both in domestic and in international adoption, Post-adoption follow-up shall be posted online in CARINGS.
  4. All Specialised Adoption Agencies are connected to CARA online for in-country and inter-country adoption.
  5. Centralized online receipt of application for inter-country adoption at CARA and distribution of applications to Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAAs) by CARA.
6) Operation Muskaan helped Gurgaon Police to trace over 1000 kids.
  • Operation Muskaan, an initiative launched by railway police to trace missing and destitute children and reunite them with parents.
  • It came into news after Gurgaon Police traced 1094 children in Haryana during the month-long operation.
  • The Operation Muskaan was launched by the railway police from Dindigul railway station of Tamil Nadu. The operation was launched with an aim to prevent child trafficking and rescue children from persons who tried to engage them in begging, sexual trade and other antisocial activities.
7) Union Government signed historic peace accord with NSCN (I-M).
  • Union Government signed a landmark peace accord with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN (I-M)), putting an end to almost two decades long pending peace talks.
  • The accord was signed at the Prime Minister`s official residence 7 RCR, New Delhi.
  • RN Ravi inked the document on behalf of the Union government, while NSCN (IM) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah were the signatories on behalf of the Naga organisation.
About Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM):
  1. Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) is a Naga outfit operating in Northeast India. The group was named after its two leaders, Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah.
8) Haryana Government to honour victims of Emergency 1975 with Tamra Patra.
  • The Haryana government has decided to honour those who were oppressed or went to jail during the Emergency between 15 June 1975 and 21 March 1977. Those who struggled for restoration of democratic values during the 18-month-long Emergency will be given ‘Tamra Patra’on the Independence Day function, that is, 15 August 2015.
  • If both the husband and wife had passed away, their next of kin could still reveal the names to the district administration and claim the Tamra Patra for them.
  • The district administration is also collecting articles, poems, features, news stories and other literature published during that period and will be compiled into a book titled `Shubra Jyotsna`, which will be formally released on 26 January 2016.
9) Jharkhand empowered ACB to arrest Ministers & civil servants in bribery cases without permission.
Jharkhand Government empowered Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to arrest Minister, MLA and senior civil servants without taking permission from the concerned authorities in cases of being caught on taking bribes.
The decision to change the rule of ACB was taken during the state’s cabinet meet chaired by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
Besides, the Cabinet also decided to provide tab to all girl students of 8th standards of state- run Kasturba Gandhi schools in Jharkhand.
10) Delhi Government decided to have tram network in Old Delhi.
Delhi government decided to run trams in several walled city areas including Lal Quila, Jama Masjid and Old Delhi Railway Station. The decision was taken to augment transport infrastructure of the city.
Besides, the government also decided to make Shahjahanad Redevelopment Corporation, set up to carry out infrastructure projects in Old Delhi, on the lines of New Delhi Municipal Council.
As of 2014, the Kolkata tram in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the only public tram system in the country.

11) Ministry of Rural Development launches `SAMANVAY` portal for Gram Panchayats.

  • Union Ministry of Rural Development has launched `SAMANVAY` web portal to monitor progress and implementation of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) for development of Gram Panchayats.
  • It was launched by Union Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.
  • The purpose of this portal is to help Member of Parliament’s (MPs) to utilise relevant schemes in the planning and implementation of SAGY.
  • In SAMANVAY, around 1800 state schemes from across all states have been documented.
  • Apart from this, minister also launched a magazine Panchayat Darpan to monitor the progress of the SAGY.
  • The magazine will act as a mirror of all the development activities by identifying 35 indicators undertaken in the village panchayats under SAGY.
  • Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) was launched in October 2014. Under this flagship scheme of Union Government, MPs have adopted a village (Gram Panchyat) to create Model Village.
12) Kerala’s first IIT starts functioning at Palakkad district.
  • The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kerala started functioning from a temporary campus at Palakkad district.
  • In the initial phase, IIT-Palakkad will offer four B-Tech streams including Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
  • Classes of the institute will begin in a temporary campus located near Valayar in Palakkad district.
  • Later this temporary campus will be shifted to a 500 acre permanent campus located at Puthussery in the district.
13) Union Cabinet gets MoU with UNESCO.
  • Union Cabinet gave its nod to a proposal to sign an agreement with UNESCO for establishment of a Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia-Pacific region.
  • This centre will be established as a category-2 centre (C2C) of the UN body at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • By signing this agreement WII Dehradun will be first existing institute to be accorded recognition by UNESC. It will be also the first institute to get natural heritage recognition by UNESCO as currently there are 9 C2C institutes related to cultural heritage.
  • Union Environment Ministry: Prakash Javadekar.
14) Cabinet approves proposal to Direct Release of Wages into bank accounts of MNREGA workers.
  • Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of direct release of wages in to the accounts of the workers engaged under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • The wage component of MGNREGA will be directly released to the worker’s accounts based on a fund transfer order to be generated by states’ implementing agencies of government.
  • Objective: Direct release of wages system under the MNREGA aims to streamline the flow of funds and to empower state governments to deliver entitlements as per the objectives of the Act.
  • The fund transfer order in case of wages of workers from implementing agencies will be based in accordance with procedures prescribed by Union Rural Development Ministry and the wage component will be given to the State Employment Guarantee Fund window for further transferring it to beneficiaries.
  • In the implementation of this scheme, the gram panchayats will be empowered to take up work according to the agreed labour budget and without struggling for release of funds.
  • Union Rural Development Ministry: Chaudhary Birender Singh.
15) Delhi Government and Union Government agreed to prepare blueprint to Clean & Rejuvenate Yamuna River.
  • Union Government and Delhi Government agreed to set-up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the cleaning-up and rejuvenation of the Yamuna River.
  • The two governments agreed to prepare a blueprint for this purpose during the next 45 days. They also discussed the issues related to beautification of the Yamuna River Front.
  • The two sides expressed confidence that a joint effort will lead to a clean Yamuna, an issue which has now been pending since decades.
  • Union Water Resources Minister: Uma Bharti.
  • Delhi Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal.
16) MoUs for Rs. 2,452 crore investments in Rajasthan at the investment meet in New Delhi.
  • Rajasthan signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth 2,452 crore rupees at an investor event organised in New Delhi.
  • The event was organised in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) by the Bureau of Industry Promotion in Rajasthan.
  • Investment pacts were signed between the state government and several private companies that plan to set up industrial units in Rajasthan.
  • These investments are expected to generate over 7000 direct and more than thousand indirect jobs.
  • Chief Minister: Vasundhara Raje.
  • Capital: Jaipur.
17) Uttar Pradesh government decided to rename UPTU as APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University.
  • The Bill amends the UP Technical University Act, 2000 to rename the Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Uttar Pradesh in the honour of 11th President of India.
  • Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, 83, passed away in Shillong on 27 July 2015 after suffering a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
  • The cabinet also decided to create a memorial and central library in memory of Kalam and other famous scientists at the new campus of the University.
18) Tamil Nadu government instituted youth award in name of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The state government of Tamil Nadu instituted a youth award in the name of former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • In a statement issued in Chennai, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that the annual Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Award consisting 8 gram gold, 5 laks rupees in cash and a citation.
  • The award would be given from 2015 onwards on every Independence Day (15 August) to a person from the state who works with exceptional merit in science, humanities and students welfare.
  • She also announced that Dr. Kalam’s birthday on October 15th would be celebrated as the Youth Revival Day.
  • Former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam awarded with Bharat Ratna in 1997.