15 November Current Affairs
November 15, 2019
Roles and Responsibilities of an IAS Officer
November 16, 2019
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16 November Current Affairs

Dr. Vashishtha Narayan Singh

In News:

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of renowned Mathematician Dr. Vashishtha Narayan Singh.

About:

The 74-year-old is said to have challenged Einstein’s theory of relativity. Born in 1942, Vashishtha Narayan Singh had been suffering from schizophrenia for 40 years.

Vashishtha Narayan Singh did his schooling from Netarhat school in undivided Bihar. He studied at Patna Science College after which he went to University of California in 1965 and completed his PhD on cycle vector space theory in 1969.

Vashishtha Narayan Singh had taught at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He was also a visiting professor at BN Mandal University, Madhepura.

‘Global Cooling Prize’ (GCP)

In News:

Union Minister for Science & Technology will announce the finalists of the ‘Global Cooling Prize’ (GCP) at an Award Ceremony on November 15, 2019, being organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Mission Innovation (MI) programme.

Mission Innovation (MI):

Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation.

MI identified “Affordable Heating and Cooling of Building Innovation Challenge” as one of the seven innovation challenges.

India agreed to its engagement as MI Member for the Mission Innovation Challenge # 7: Affordable Heating and Cooling Challenge. The objective of the MI Challenge #7 is to make low carbon heating and cooling affordable for everyone.

Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL)

In News:

Indian Railways has entered into Procurement cum Maintenance Agreement with Madhepura Electric Locomotive Pvt. Ltd. (MELPL), Bihar, a joint venture of Indian Railways and M/s Alstom.

About:

The Electric Locomotive Factory, Madhepura, Bihar is a joint venture of Alstom SA of France with Indian Railways for the production of 800 high-power Electric locomotives over a period of 11 years designed to run on Indian tracks at 120 km per hour.

The manufacturing has started on 11 October 2017. In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated India’s first high-speed WAG-12 12,000 HP freight electric locomotive at Electric Locomotive Factory, Madhepura. Alstom says its first locomotive will be ready for roll-out early 2019.

The new twin Bo-Bo design Locomotive with 22.5 T (Tonnes) axle load upgradable to 25Tonnes with design speed of 120 kmph will be powered by 12000HP. The locomotive will be used in the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) for the faster movement of goods, especially coal and iron ore.

This is the first time such High Horse Power locomotive is being tested on Broad Gauge network in the World by any Railways.

LINAC Services And AMRIT Pharmacy

 

Union Minister of Health, Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated LINAC services and AMRIT pharmacy at National Cancer Institute, AIIMS Jhajjar campus.

About:

The National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, New Delhi (Jhajjar Campus) was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister on 12.02.2019.

It has been constructed with an approved cost of Rs. 2035 Crore. NCI is the largest investment by the Government of India in a single hospital project.

It is planned as the apex center for translational research in cancer care/prevention and has 710 patient care beds, 25 operation theaters, state-of-the art diagnostics, advanced radiation treatment, 1500 dwelling units, 2705 faculty & staff, etc.

Do you know?

The Linear Accelerator (LINAC) machines will help deliver precise high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient’s tumor such that cancer cells are destroyed while largely sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

The AMRIT Pharmacy commissioned will provide all required medicines at subsidized rates to the poor patients.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

In News:

International Criminal Court (ICC) Judges have approved a request from prosecutors to open an investigation into crimes committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

About:

Mandate: it is an intergovernmental international tribunal for Criminal prosecution of individuals for four main crimes namely –  Genocide, War crimes, Crimes against humanity and Crime of aggression.

Established in: 2002 by Rome statue.

HQ: Hague, Netherlands. The Court’s official seat is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere.

Jurisdiction: It can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes. The Court can generally exercise jurisdiction only in three cases, viz.

  • if the accused is a national of a state party,
  • if the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party or
  • if a situation is referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council.

Judges: 18; Elected for 9-year term.

Members: 122 countries. Israel, United States, Russia, china and India are not its member.

United States and ICC: The United States has not signed up to the court and in 2002, its Congress passed a law enabling Washington to invade the Netherlands to liberate any U.S. citizen held by the court.

Relation with UN:

While not a United Nations organization, the Court has a cooperation agreement with the United Nations.

When a situation is not within the Court’s jurisdiction, the United Nations Security Council can refer the situation to the ICC granting it jurisdiction.

SC Strikes Down Finance Act Rules for Appointments to Judicial Tribunals

In News:

The Supreme Court has passed an interim order that said the appointments to tribunals shall be on the basis of existing statutes and not the rules framed under the Finance Act of 2017.

Details:

The government should reframe the rules and ordered that until then, the existing laws will govern the tribunals.

The Ministry of law should conduct an impact study and submit report to the apex court.

Validity of passage of Finance Act 2017 as Money Bill should be decided by a larger bench.

Issue:

The Finance Act had given the Centre the power to govern appointments, removal and service conditions of the members of judicial tribunals like National Green Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.

The petitioners had challenged the Finance Act, 2017, particularly Part XIV on various grounds. The Part XIV had repealed provisions relating to the administration of 26 Tribunals established under diverse central laws.

The central government was given the powers to frame rules by virtue of Section 184.

The challenge to the Finance Act, 2017, was on the grounds that it was passed as a Money Bill.

The petitioners had argued that the passage of the Finance Act in the form of a Money Bill amounted to a fraud on the Constitution since they can only be introduced in the Lok Sabha.

About Money Bill:

A money bill is defined by Article 110 of the Constitution, as a draft law that contains only provisions that deal with all or any of the matters listed therein. These comprise a set of seven features, broadly including items such as the imposition or regulation of a tax; the regulation of the borrowing of money by the Government of India; the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Fund of India; and so forth.

In the event a proposed legislation contains other features, ones that are not merely incidental to the items specifically outlined, such a draft law cannot be classified as a money bill. Article 110 further clarifies that in cases where a dispute arises over whether a bill is a money bill or not, the Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision on the issue shall be considered final.

Nadu Nedu programme

In News:

‘Nadu-Nedu’ programme has been launched in Andhra Pradesh.

Details:

The programme seeks to transform government schools into vibrant and competitive institutions.

Key features of the programme:

Aim: to transform all government schools with required infrastructure and up- gradation of skills besides setting up English labs.

It also seeks to provide basic amenities such as clean water, furniture, compound wall, toilets etc.

Teachers would be imparted training to effectively implement the decision to introduce English medium from Classes 1 to 6 in government schools from the next academic year.

The parent committees and locals would be involved to make it an inclusive system.

Criticisms:

A language war has erupted in Andhra Pradesh. In this age of rapid globalization, the detractors, primarily the Opposition, has argued that the state should stick to Telugu to protect itself from cultural degradation, else it would endanger the regional language’s survival.

Atal Tinkering Labs

In News:

Atal Tinkering Lab Marathon is being organised by the Atal Tinkering Labs of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and the NITI Aayog in an effort to identify India’s best student innovators.

Key facts:

It is a six-month-long nationwide challenge across six different thematic areas, namely, clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agriculture-tech.

This is open to all students under the age of 18 years.

Students of top 30 innovations will be trained on business and entrepreneurship skills, including intellectual property, effective communication, making an elevator pitch, etc.

About ATLs:

With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India.

Objective: The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Financial Support: AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.

Eligibility: Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

Significance of ATLs:

Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicentres for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based on self-learning.

Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grassroot level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.

“Shishu Suraksha” app launched in Assam

“Shishu Suraksha”, the mobile application, is the brainchild of Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR).

The e-complaint box will enable users from all over the state to lodge complaints about the violation of child rights.

The purpose of the e-box is to empower citizens to take moral responsibility of protecting our future generations.

The app can be used by anyone in Assam, coming across any incident of children’s rights violation, to lodge a complaint which will be directly registered at ASCPCR.

As soon as the complaint is lodged, the Commission will receive a message. It will then deal with the issue by being in touch with the appropriate authority.

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