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National Current Affairs July 4th Week 2017
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National Current Affairs July 4th Week 2017

 1. Raipur Airport ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index Survey.


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Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was ranked first in Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Survey among 49 airports in the country. It has achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index.

It was followed by Udaipur (2nd), Amritsar (3rd) and Dehradun (4th) airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively. This is third consecutive time in the past two years, Raipur airport has received this recognition.

Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of Airport Authority of India (AAI) which is evaluated through CSI survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by AAI. The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, passenger facilities, cleanliness and parking etc. The latest CSI survey was conducted for the period of January-June 2017.

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport is located at Mana between Raipur and Naya Raipur. It is the primary airport in Chhattisgarh. Its integrated terminal building was inaugurated in 2012. It is the 28th busiest airport in India in terms of passenger traffic and 31st busiest by aircraft movement. The airport was renamed from Raipur Airport to present name in 2012 as tribute to Swami Vivekananda who spent 2 years of his teenage in Raipur.
 
2. UIDAI launches mAadhaar app for Aadhaar data on phone.
uidai launches maadhaar app for aadhaar data on phone

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched ‘mAadhaar’, a new mobile application for syncing Aadhaar data on mobile phones.

The app allows users to carry their unique Aadhaar information including name, date of birth, gender, address, and the linked photograph, on their smartphones. The app also allows users to lock or unlock biometrics data.

The application allows users to have their Aadhaar profile on their mobile as a quick and convenient identification proof. It also lets users lock/unlock their biometric data that’s linked to Aadhaar via the app to secure their personal data.

It also allows viewing and sharing updated Aadhaar profile via QR (Quick Response) code and sharing eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) details with service providers such as telecommunications companies. It also has a “Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP)” feature that can be used instead of SMS (short messaging service)-based OTP (one-time password).
 
3. TR Zeliang sworn in as 19th Chief Minister of Nagaland.
tr zeliang sworn in as 19th chief minister of nagaland
 
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Senior Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislator TR Zeliang (65) was sworn in as the 19th chief minister of Nagaland. He was administered oath to office and secrecy by Governor P.B. Acharya.

Earlier Governor had dismissed the Shurhozelie Liezietsu government under Clause (I) of Article 164 of the Constitution after he failed to prove majority on the floor of the Assembly. Prior to it, Zeliang had staked claim to form government in Nagaland with a majority support of 47 members in the 60 member Legislative Assembly.

TR Zeliang will now have to prove his majority on the floor of the House. This is his second stint as chief minister in a little more than three years.

Earlier in February 2016, Zeliang was forced out of office following large scale protests over holding of urban local bodies election with 33% reservation for women. After his resignation NPF had made party chairman Shurhozelie (80) as the CM. But recently, he faced rebellion from his party MLAs. The Governor had asked the Speaker to summon an emergent special session of the state assembly for the ousted CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu to seek the confidence vote.
 
4. Underwater ghost nets posing threat to marine ecosystem.
underwater ghost nets posing threat to marine ecosystem
 
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According to recent study, ghost nets (abandoned, lost or dumped fishing nets) have emerged as the greatest killers of the marine ecosystem off Kerala coast.

These ghost notes may have long-term implications for marine life if no proper correctives are taken to deal with them. It may become major threat to the natural habitat and breeding ground of underwater fish.

Ghost nets have destroyed or threatened many of the underwater reefs identified with flourishing fish stock because of its ‘stifling cover’. Globally, it is estimated that at least 10% of the reduced fish catch can be blamed on ghost nets, some of which have survived deep underwater for decades together.

There are four types of ghost nets that infest the bottom of the seas. The first are the large fishing vessels that stray into the territorial waters and deploy large nets. These nets get caught in underwater reefs, forcing the fishing vessel to abandon them before leaving the territorial waters.

The second type of ghost nets are smaller and are used by fishermen, but are cut off by a passing vessel. They too drift at the bottom of the ocean floor and get attached to the rough features there. The third type of ghost nets are those that get caught in violent currents and swivel down to the ocean floor, where they get stuck. The fourth type are ghost nets are those which get abandoned at sea after three or four uses. These nets remain under water for decades if not centuries.
 
5. Supreme Court allows Centre to replace MCI oversight committee.
supreme court allows centre to replace mci oversight committee
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The Supreme Court has allowed the Union Government to replace the oversight committee set up to supervise the functioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) with a fresh panel of five eminent doctors.

The Supreme Court also gave the Government liberty to replace any doctor in the list with another if he does not wish to be a part of the oversight committee.

Earlier, Government had proposed the names of five eminent doctors to replace the earlier members of the oversight committee whose term had just expired.

The Supreme Court using its rare and extraordinary powers under the Article 142 of the Constitution had set up the oversight committee court in May 2016 to oversee the MCI’s functioning for a period of one year or till a suitable mechanism was brought in by the Government to substitute it. The committee was led by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha.

MCI is a statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education in India. It grants recognition of medical qualifications, gives accreditation to medical schools, grants registration to medical practitioners, and monitors medical practice in India.

6. Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Information Technology (PPP) Bill, 2017.

lok sabha passes indian institutes of information technology (ppp) bill-2017

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The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership (IIIT-PPP) Bill, 2017 to allow 15 IIITs established on a PPP model to grant degrees and get statutory status.

The bill also seeks to grant institute of national importance status to IIITs on the lines of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).

The Union Government had initiated the opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are already operational. These engineering and tech schools were established at a cost of Rs. 128 crore each. The centre had contributed 50% of the amount, states 35% and private partners remaining 15% (i.e. 50:35:15 ratio). However, these institutes were not been eligible to grant degrees.

Definition of PPP: 
The bill define PPP as a partnership under a scheme of the centre for establishment of institutes through collaboration between the centre, the state government and industry partners such as individuals, trusts, companies or societies.

Establishment of an institute: 
State government will identify at least one industry partner for collaboration to establish an institute and submit a proposal to the centre. The centre will examine the proposal based on certain criterias. The centre may reject or accept the proposal with modifications. Upon such acceptance, the centre will enter into a MoU with the concerned state government and industry partners to establish proposed institute.

Role of the industry partner: 
It will have powers for co-creating programs as per the requirements of the industry; actively participating in the governance of the institutes; and funding and mentoring startups in the institutions.

Board of Governors: 
It will be the principal policy making and executive body of the institute. The Board of each institute will comprise upto 15 members including Chairman nominated on the recommendation of the centre.

Senate: 
It will be the principal academic body of each institute. It will specify the criteria and procedure for admission to courses of study; recommend to the Board, creation of teaching and other academic posts; and specify academic content of programmes and courses of study.

Coordination Forum: 
It will deliberate on matters of common interest to all the institutes. It will advise the centre to include or exclude an institution from the schedule of the Bill.

Funds of the institute:  
Each institute will maintain a fund consisting of funds from the government and other sources including grants, fees and donations. Further, each institute will create corpus fund of the net income of the institute and donations for its long term sustainability.
 
7. Indian Army inks MoU with DRDO to raise MRSAM defence system regiment.
 
indian army inks mou with drdo to raise mrsam defence system regiment
 
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The Indian Army has signed MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to raise one regiment of the advanced Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles (MRSAM) defence system.

The Indian Army is planning to have a total of five regiments of MRSAM defence system, which will be deployed opposite to China and Pakistan. Each regiment consists of four launchers with three missiles each. So five regiments will have total 60 missiles. Earlier the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi had approved proposal for procuring MRSAM system for the army.

The MRSAM is an advanced, all weather, mobile, land-based air defence system. It can shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS aircraft.  It is capable of engaging multiple aerial targets at ranges of more than 50 km.

MRSAM is a land-based variant of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defence system, which is designed to operate from naval vessels. Each MRSAM system comprises a command-and-control system, mobile launchers, tracking radar and missiles.
The system will be jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and DRDO with the involvement of DPSUs and private sectors. It has majority indigenous content, giving boost to the Make-in-India initiative.

n July 2016, the IAI and DRDO successfully had conducted three flight tests of the MRSAM at the integrated test range off the Odisha Coast. The missile had successfully intercepted moving aerial targets in all three tests.
 
8. SEBI inks pact with ESMA for information exchange on CCPs
 
sebi inks pact with esma for information exchange on ccps
 
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Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The MoU was signed for exchange of information concerning Central Counterparties (CCPs) under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). CCPs are entities that help facilitate clearing and settlement activities.

The MoU establishes cooperation arrangements, including exchange of information regarding CCPs which are established and authorised or recognised in India by SEBI and which have applied for EU recognition under EMIR.

EMIR provides for signing of a cooperation arrangement between ESMA and relevant non-EU authorities, whose legal and supervisory framework for CCPs have been deemed equivalent to EMIR by the European Commission. Signing of MoU is one of the conditions for recognition of third country CCPs by ESMA under EMIR.
 
9. India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force.
india, japan civil nuclear deal comes into force
 
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The landmark India-Japan civil nuclear agreement came into force. In this regard, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar exchanged the diplomatic notes with the Japanese envoy to India to formalise the completion of the process.

The deal would enable Japan to export nuclear power plant technology as well as provide finance for nuclear power plants in India. It will also assist India in nuclear waste management and could undertake joint manufacture of nuclear power plant components under the Make in India initiative.

The India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in November 2016. Subsequently, the Japanese government also got approval from the Diet (Japanese Parliament) for the nuclear deal with India. India is the only non-Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory country with which Japan has entered into a civil nuclear deal, giving recognition for India’s impeccable non-proliferation record. Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. Russia, United States, France, South Korea, Mongolia, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

 10. Castor plant can reduce soil pollution.


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According to study conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad, Castor bean plants can prove useful in fighting soil pollution. It was found that these plants can absorb toxic heavy metals from soil from these polluted areas due to industrial pollution.

The roots, leaves and stem of these plants from the polluted areas contain heavy metals such as lead. It was also observed that these plants accelerate the remediation of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators which enhances the capability of the plant to accumulate heavy metals.

Castor seed plants are generally known to be one of the sturdiest plants that can grow in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out. Traditionally, Castor oil (also known as ‘Arandi ka tel’ in Hindi) has been an age old home remedy for a variety of ailments in India.

This study highlights how castor plants which are having medical properties can also prove a boon in remediation in soil pollution. Government bodies can take a cue out of this study for natural remediation of soil pollution.
 
11. Government to launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana.
 
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The Union Ministry of Rural Development will launch Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY), a sub-scheme under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM).

AGEY aims to provide an alternative source of livelihood to members of Self Help Groups (SHGs) by facilitating them to operate public transport services in backward rural areas.

AGEY will provide safe, affordable and community monitored rural transport services like e-rickshaws, 3 and 4 wheeler motorised transport vehicles to connect remote villages. These transport vehicles will connect villages with key services and amenities including access to markets, education and health for the overall economic development of the area.

The scheme will be implemented in 250 blocks in the country on a pilot basis for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Under it, Community Based Organisation (CBO) is proposed to provide interest free loan from its own corpus to SHG member for purchase of the vehicle.

DAY-NRLM is a poverty alleviation scheme implemented by Union Ministry of Rural Development. It was launched as NRLM in 2011 but was succeeded by Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana in 2016. The scheme aims at promoting self-employment and organization of rural poor.

The basic idea behind this programme is to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) groups and make them capable for self-employment. It has a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas.

The basic idea behind this programme is to organize the poor into SHG (Self Help Groups) groups and make them capable for self-employment. It has a special focus on women empowerment including a dedicated component for promoting farm and non-farm based livelihoods for women farmers in rural areas.
 
 
12. Lok Sabha passes The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
 
 
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The Lok Sabha has passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The Bill amends the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 to extend the deadline for teachers to acquire the prescribed minimum qualifications for appointment.

Through the amending measure inadequately qualified teachers as on March 31, 2015, working after enactment of the RTE Act, 2009 are being given last chance to acquire minimum qualifications within a period of four years i.e. by March 31, 2019 to hold their jobs as teachers.

The amendments to RTE Act, 2009 will enable the in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete their training and ensure that all teachers at the elementary level have certain minimum standard of qualifications. It will ensure that all teachers attain minimum qualifications as considered necessary to maintain the standard of teaching quality. It will ultimately result in improvement in overall quality of teachers, teaching processes and learning outcomes of children. It will reinforce Government’s emphasis on improvement of quality of elementary education.

The RTE Act, 2009 envisages free and compulsory elementary education to every child in the age group of 6-14 years. The section 23(2) of the Act specifies that all teachers at elementary level at commencement of this law if did not possess minimum qualifications under it need to acquire these within a period of five years i.e. by March 2015. However, several state governments have reported that 11.00 lakh teachers at the elementary level are still untrained out of a total number of 66.41 lakh teachers.

13. Government launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana for senior citizens.
 
 
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The Union Finance Ministry has launched Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY), a pension scheme exclusively for senior citizens aged 60 years and above.

Under this scheme, senior citizens will get a guaranteed interest of 8% for 10 years depending upon the investment made by them.

This PMVVY scheme will be available from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has been given the sole privilege to operate the scheme. It can be purchased offline as well as online through LIC.

This scheme provides an assured return of 8% per annum payable monthly for 10 years on single lumpsum premium ranging from Rs. 150000 (minimum) to Rs.750000 (maximum). Pension (minimum: Rs.1000/ month; maximum: Rs.5000) will be payable at the end of each period, during the policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly as chosen by the pensioner at the time of purchase.

It is exempted from goods and services (GST) tax. It will offer senior citizens more avenues to earn steady regular income at a time of falling interest rates. On survival of the pensioner to the end of the policy term of 10 years, the purchase price of the scheme along with the final pension instalment will be payable.

The scheme also offers loan up to 75% of the purchase price after 3 policy years (to meet the liquidity needs). Loan interest will be recovered from the pension instalments and loan will be recovered from claim proceeds.

The scheme allows for premature exit for the treatment of any critical terminal illness of self or spouse.  On such premature exit, 98% of the purchase price would be refunded. On death of the pensioner during the policy term of 10 years, the purchase price should be paid to the beneficiary.

 

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