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03rd August Current Affairs

Arab World’s first ever nuclear reactor starts its operation

In News:

Oil-rich Gulf state UAE finally starts its first-ever nuclear reactor “Barakah” at Abu Dhabi on the Gulf coast. Barakah was expected to start its operation in 2017. However, due to various safety issue, it kept on getting delayed.

Barakah in Brief:

Developed in a joint venture with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Barakah means “blessing” in Arabic. In association with KEPCO, the nuclear reactor power plant has begun the process of nuclear fission in one of its four reactors. The energy in the reactor plant will be generated by 1,400-megawatt pressurised water reactors, designed in South Korea, called APR-1400. For now, only one of four reactors are working, however, the aim of the country is to have its all four reactors set to the operational mode by 2023. This will produce around 5.6 gigawatts of the energy which will be enough to serve a quarter of the country’s need for electricity in a safe, reliable and emission-free way.

Other Developments:

The watchdog of Nuclear Industry (IAEA) International Atomic Energy Agency in its praising tweet wrote that the “plant’s Unit 1 had achieved its first criticality – that is, generation of a controlled fission chain reaction. The oil-rich Gulf state UAE is seen investing heavily in solar power. A couple of weeks ago the country sent a probe on a Mars Mission which is also one of its first kind in the Gulf region.

One Nation One Card Scheme integrates four more States/UT’s

In News:

The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan extended the One Nation One card scheme to four more states and UT’s Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. With this new move, the scheme has now been enabled in 24 states and UT’s across the country.

What is the scheme?

Under the scheme “One Nation One Ration Card” a beneficiary of a ration card regardless of their location in the country can avail ration under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) through one of their ration cards. Apart from the above mentioned four states, 20 states have already been integrated with the scheme in the past. Formerly integrated 20 States and UTs are: – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, and Uttar Pradesh.

What is NFSA?

The National Food Security Act 2013 widely known as the Right to Food Act was made into law on 12th September 2013. This act of the Indian Parliament was implemented with the aim to subsidized food grains to approximately two-thirds of the population’s of the country which is nearly 1.2 billion people. There is a various food security programme which runs under NFSA act like, Mid-day meal scheme, Integrated Child Development Services Scheme, and the Public Distribution Scheme. Under PDS (Public Distributed Scheme) beneficiaries are entitled to get grains at very nominal rates. Rice is at 3 Rs. Wheat at 2 Rs. Millets at 1Rs. However Pregnant women, lactating mothers, and certain categories of children are eligible for daily free cereals.

Government notification on E-invoicing

In News:

The central government comes up with a centralized e-invoicing scheme for business having turnover more than 500 crores. As per the recent scheme, it will be mandatory for all those businesses with a turnover of more than 500 crores to generate all their B2B invoices on a centralized government portal which will go live from 1st October.

Why this new move?

Till now, all the companies be it, small-cap, mid-cap or large-cap use their own mechanism for generating invoices. These invoices vary company to company and can be forged easily to manipulate the buyer or for doing any other forgery. To curb this the government in association with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has come up with an initiative wherein it will be mandatory for business with turnover more than 500 crores to generate an e-invoice through a centralized governmental portal for all their B2B sales.

Background:

The talk about this system was first heard in town in November last year. Then the proposal was to make this system mandatory for businesses with turnover over 100 crores and the system was set to be implemented by 1st April itself. However, due to some technical fault, the system couldn’t arrive in time.

Benefits:

The single centralized e-invoicing system brings with it a lot of advantages. The return filing process will become much easier for the businesses as after the introduction of this centralized system the invoice data would be captured easily without any delay. The fake invoice generation for forgery will reduce and finally will be removed. GST department will have access to real-time data as the business transactions move through the real world. This will eventually lead to easing in the generation of high-level data analytics.

One in every Three Child are Poisoned by Lead: UNICEF Report

In News:

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a recent report which is first of its kind published impact of lead on children’s health across the world. As per the recent report one in every three children is being poisoned by lead.

Details:

World’s one-third child population which is nearly around 800 million are affected by lead poisoning. Among the total affected nearly half of them are from South Asia. India accounts for nearly 275,561,163 of these cases.

Children, when exposed to lead, gets highly affected. Severe problems like mental health and behavioural problems, including an increase in crime and violence, can be seen in them.

What harm does it make?

Lead is a potent neurotoxin which harms the brains of small children irreparably even before they are allowed a chance to develop. This severe harm can lead to lifelong cognitive, neurological and physical impairment.

When compared to other normal children who did not have such elevated levels of lead in their blood the affected children with blood levels of five µg / dL, were found to score three to five points lower IQ points.

According to a meta-analysis, lead levels in the blood of Indian children showed they could lose four IQ (intelligence quotient) points each because of lead exposure. Kidney damage and cardiovascular diseases were also found predominantly among older children exposed to lead.

Who is more prone to it?

Mainly children from lower economic country and strata work in the factories where the recycle of lead is done. Also, parents who work in such factories often bring contaminated dust home on their hair, cloth, hands, shoes thus unknowingly exposing their child to the deadly toxic element. However, the president of Pure Earth in an interview said that the lead can be recycled safely without exposing workers.

Reliance Power in Collaboration with JERA set to Build Power Plant in Bangladesh

In News:

Reliance Bangladesh LNG and Power a joint venture between India’s Reliance Power and Japan’s JERA are all set to develop a new gas-fired power generation project in Bangladesh through their project company. A total of $642 million with a group of banks which includes the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has been allocated.

What this project is all about:

In this joint venture, the project company will be building and operating a 745 MW natural gas combined-cycle power project in Meghnaghat, Naranganj, which is located approximately 40 km southeast of Dhaka the capital city of Bangladesh.

After its construction, the electricity generated will be sold under a long-term power purchase agreement between the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and the project company for a period of 22 years from the start of commercial operation.

Construction:

The upcoming plant at Dhaka will be powered by two GE 9F gas turbines, one GE D11 steam turbine and three H53 generators. GE (General Electric) an American multinational conglomerate and a leading player in natural gas power technology will be providing the advanced gas turbine technology to the plant. Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) group Samsung C&T will build the Meghnaghat power plant.

Conclusion:

This project a joint venture of India’s Reliance Power and Japan’s JERA is expected to give an enormous boost to the economic and industrial growth of Bangladesh. The power plant will supply electricity to more than 8,50,000 homes in Bangladesh by utilising re-gasified liquified natural gas (LNG).

India celebrates 1st August as Muslim Women’s Rights Day

In News:

On the occasion of the first anniversary of law-making Triple Talaq a criminal offence which got Presidential nod last year after getting approval from the Parliament, the day is declared as the Muslim Women’s Rights Day across the country. Triple Talaq Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 25th July 2019 with 79% of MP voting in favour and 21% voting against it. Further, it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 30th July 2019 with 54% votes in favour and 46% voting against it. Finally, after getting the Presidential nod it became a law in the country.

Triple Talaq:

Triple Talaq also known as “talaq-e-biddat” was a special provision bestowed upon Muslim man by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. The law legalised and allowed the practice of Triple Talaq which gave Muslim husband some special privileges over his wife. This law has provisions which allowed the husband to cancel all marital ties with his wife by simply uttering “talaq” word three times.

Triple Talaq Act:

The bill makes any such act of divorce a legal offence and makes it void and illegal. The act further states that any man whosoever practices Triple Talaq mode of divorce shall be punished with an imprisonment of three years or fine or both. The offence is non-bailable and entitles the married woman to take custody of her minor children.

Impact after a year of its implementation:

The country has seen a decline of 82% in the triple talaq case since the implementation of the act. As per a data from the ministry officials which were collected from various Waqf boards, around 383,000 cases of Triple Talaq were reported in India from 1985 until the formation of Act in 2019. After the implementation of the new act post-July 2019, only 1,039 cases of triple talaq were recorded.

 

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