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National Current Affairs June 5th Week 2017
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National Current Affairs June 5th Week 2017

 1. Survey for world`s highest rail track to commence in Leh.

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The Railways will kick off the final location survey of the 498 km long Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir this week.

Coming up at a high of 3,300 metres, the strategically important rail project is touted to become the highest rail track in the world, overtaking China`s Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
The all-weather Leh rail network is one of the four important railway connectivities identified by the defence ministry along the China border.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the work for the final location survey on June 27 at an estimated cost of Rs 157.77 crore. The survey is funded by the defence ministry.
The proposed new rail line will connect all important locations between Bilaspur and Leh namely Sunder Nagar Mandi, Manali, Tandi, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu.

The final location survey has been entrusted to RITES, a Railways PSU.
"RITES has deployed its expert team to carry out this challenging task. The survey will be carried out in three phases and is slated to be completed by 2019," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Presently, the road route is open only for about five months in a year.

Apart from strategic considerations, the line connecting Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir is expected to give immense "socio-economic benefits" to the region, including tourism.

The defence ministry had initiated rail line projects along China, Nepal and Pakistan borders as strategic lines.

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2. Indian Army to rethink on its Sahayak System.
 
 
Indian Army is considering doing away with the colonial-era Sahayak System and considers recruiting civilian staff in peace stations. 
 
The Indian Army’s move comes in the wake of rising cases of jawans coming out openly against the Sahayak system. Some jawans have accused of being treated as servants by their attached officers. 
 
The critics point that Sahayak System is liable to be misused, and is demeaning to the soldier. However, the army has said that Sahayaks would continue to be deployed in key bases and field areas as these areas will have defined military duties. 
 
Instead of Sahayaks, employment of civilian staff at peace stations will help the Indian Army in economising on its manpower as well.
 

3. HRD Ministry Constitutes K. Kasturirangan Panel to Frame National Education Policy.
 
The HRD ministry has constituted a new nine-member panel headed by space scientist K Kasturirangan to frame a new National Education Policy (NEP). The other members of the panel include chosen experts and educationists from wide-ranging backgrounds. 

The panel includes former IAS officer K.J. Alphonse Kanamthanam, who was instrumental in making Kerala’s Kottayam and Ernakulam districts achieve 100% literacy. Another member of the panel will be Ram Shanker Kureel who has wide experience in the field of agricultural sciences and management. He is also the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Saheb Ambedkar University of Social Sciences, Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.

The committee also comprises of M.K. Shridhar, former member secretary of the Karnataka State Innovation Council, T.V. Kattimani, an expert on language communication, Dr. Mazhar Asif, professor of Persian at Guwahati University, Krishan Mohan Tripathi, a former director of education, Uttar Pradesh, mathematician Manjul Bhargava from Princeton University and Vasudha Kamat, former vice chancellor of Mumbai’s SNDT University. 

The panel members belong to different sections and regions of the country reflecting the diversity of the country. Background In 2015, Narendra Modi Government had set up a committee under former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian to chalk out a new education policy. This committee had submitted its report in May 2016. 

The committee had presented its report in two volumes with around 90 suggestions. The other important past committees in Education includes Radhakrishnan Commission (1948-49) on higher education; Mudaliyar Commission (1952) on secondary education and the Kothari Commission (1964-66).  

The Kothari Commission had a mandate to advise the government on the development of education at all stage and in all aspects. The Kothari Commission’s report was used to formulate the Education Policy of 1968.
 
4. Union Government clears proposal for setting up new airport in Greater Noida.
 
The government has cleared a proposal for setting up a greenfield airport in Jewar in Greater Noida, which is likely to be operational in the next five to six years. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at a press briefing here today that “in-principle clearance has been granted” for the airport.

The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has notified 3,000 hectares of land for a world-class international airport, Raju added. “Noida International Airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years,” Raju tweeted.

The airport will help reduce congestion at the Delhi international airport. “In Delhi, we are expecting 91 million passengers by 2020 and 109 million passengers by 2024,” Raju told reporters.
 
5. Arunachal Pradesh Govt raises retirement age of employees to 60 years.
 
 
The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to increase the retirement age of regular state government employees to 60 years with effect from January 1 next year.

The matter was under consideration of the state government for past many months and was discussed in the cabinet in two separate occasions.

After threadbare discussion, the government observed that there are various categories of employees who are already having the benefit of retirement age of 60 years, an official release said here on Sunday.

In order to do away with differential retirement age for the regular employees serving under the same government, the state government decided to implement the retirement age of such employees from existing 58 to 60 years.
 
6. Delhi Police Launches Bicycle Patrols For Better Policing.
 
 
The Delhi Police on Tuesday launched a bicycle patrol scheme to increase police presence in congested areas of the city.The bicycle patrol, for which 65 high-end bicycles have been acquired, was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir from the Yamuna Sports Complex in east Delhi.

"Delhi Police has introduced bicycle patrols to supplement its existing motorcycle and PCR patrols which focus mainly on crime prevention along main roads of Delhi," said Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav.One of the main areas of focus of these bicycle patrols will be parks where people, including senior citizens and women, go for walks.

"The bicycle patrols will also be introduced near schools and campus so that officers can have a friendly interaction with student community," Mr Yadav said.The bicycle patrols will move around in pairs and each patrol will cover a distance of two to five kilometres, police said.

The patrolling officers will have standard police communication equipment and will function like mobile police posts of the local police station.The scheme will be extended to other areas of Delhi in due course.
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 7. FSSAI issues Draft Regulations for Organic Food Products.

The draft regulations have come up with the following definitions: Organic agriculture has been defined as a system of farm design and management that creates an eco-system of agriculture production without the use of synthetic external inputs such as chemicals, fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic hormones or genetically modified organisms. 

The organic farm is defined as the product obtained from organic agriculture. Organic foods are defined as those food products that are produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production. Organic farm produce means the product obtained from organic agriculture, while organic food means food products that have been produced in accordance with specified standards for organic production.

FSSAI’s regulation mandates that labelling of organic foods should provide full and accurate information regarding the organic status of the organic foods. Organic food products must carry a certification mark or a quality assurance mark provided by the notified certification bodies. FSSAI’s regulations have exempted organic food marketed by the original producer or producer organisation through a direct sale from verification compliance. However, this exemption will not be applicable to processed organic products.

8. Indian Army gets Modern Bullet Proof Helmets.

After decades of wait, the Indian Army has finally received its first batch of bullet-proof helmets. The helmets were manufactured by Kanpur-based MKU Industries at the cost of Rs 180 crore.

The new bullet proof helmets are capable of withstanding the impact of 9mm ammunition fired from a short range. The helmets match global standards of equipment for armed forces. According to MKU, the bullet-proof helmets undergo rigorous quality and ballistic lab test at the company’s testing facilities in India as well as in Germany. The helmets are designed in such a way that it can be comfortably integrated with communication and night-vision devices.

Head forms the most vulnerable part of the body that is prone to get injured during the combat operation. As per the studies, nearly 26%-28% soldiers die of head injuries. Bullet proof helmets can make a significant difference between life and death during combat operations.

At present, Indian armed forces are using patkas that are worn over outdated infantry helmets. However, it had severe limitations as they are bulky and heavy, weighing over 2.5 kgs. They are capable of protecting only the forehead and back of the head.

9. Odisha to become First State in the Country to Open a Blood Bank for Cattle.

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Odisha is set to become the first state in the country to open a blood bank for cattle. The proposal has received the nod from the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP). It is now awaiting the approval from the state government.

The blood bank for cattle would be set up on the premises of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore. 60% of the project cost would be funded by the Central government and the rest 40% would be funded by the Odisha state government. 

Under this initiative, the blood would be procured voluntarily from the cattle farmers. The blood bank will also have blood transfusion facility for cattle blood. The blood bank will help in preventing cattle deaths during deliveries and other ailments. It would come handy in saving the lives of the domesticated animals.

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10. NALSA has launched Web Application for Legal Services to Prisoners.

NALSA has launched a web application for free Legal Services to Prisoners at the conference held at Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. 

The Conference saw the participation of Member Secretaries and administrative officers of 18 State Legal Services Authorities. The Legal Services Management System has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

The State Legal Services Authorities and District Legal Services Authorities will feed into the web application the data for each individual prison inmate in the jails within their jurisdiction. The feeds will have details regarding the representation of prisoners through a counsel in the court.

The software will also help in generating reports showing the total number of inmates, the number of inmates unrepresented, the number of inmates represented by legal services lawyers and the number of inmates represented by private lawyers. 

All these information can be generated State wise, District wise and also with respect to each jail. The software is also capable of generating information with regard to prisoners eligible for bail under Section 436-A Cr.P.C.

11. Mizoram: 31st Anniversary of Mizo Peace Accord Celebrated.
 
 
The 31st anniversary of the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord on June 30, 1986, was celebrated in Mizoram. 

The Mizo Accord was signed by the Mizo National Front (MNF) leader Laldenga, Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalkhama, and Union Home Secretary R D Pradhan. The accord ushered in an era of peace after 20 years of violence and disturbance that hampered Mizoram.

On pre-condition of statehood to Mizoram, the Mizo Accord was signed. The MNF fighters surrendered en masse and government fulfilled its promise by giving full-fledged state status to Mizoram, along with its own High Court. Mizo was notified as an official Indian language. A university was proposed. 

Mizo religious and social customs were promised Constitutional protection. As per the accord, the MNF agreed to forgo all contacts with other insurgent groups in the Northeast. Mizo Accord is considered to be the most successful agreement with insurgents. 

The peace established under the accord has been sustained in Mizoram for over 30 years. This is an achievement when the situation in parts of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam still remains turbulent and unsettled.
 
12. Chief Minister launches MSME corporation.
 
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In a bid to encourage the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday launched the logo of the Andhra Pradesh MSME Development Corporation. The corporation, with a corpus of Rs. 100 crore, would help the MSME entrepreneurs in marketing, branding, skill development and quality improvement of products.

Showering many sops on the sector, Mr. Naidu assured the MSME entrepreneurs that there would not be any upward revision of power tariff for MSMEs. In fact, if required, the government would reduce the power tariffs, he said amidst a big round of applause at the MSME day celebrations here.

The Chief Minster said the government had plans to construct a MSME Bhavan at Amaravati in 15 acres. The bhavan would be the centre for the development of the MSMEs. A Research and Development (R&D) wing, training centre, advanced and latest technologies across the globe would be provided there, he said.

The government introduced a single window clearance policy with a view to boosting industry in the State.

It was necessary to fine- tune it further. The government was toying with the idea of introducing random and combined inspections to simplify clearances procedures. Except statutory clearances such as pollution, all other clearances would be given in real time. To hasten and streamline the process, the government intended to set up District Investment Promotion Council in each district, he said.
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