23 October Current Affairs
October 23, 2019
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October 25, 2019
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24 October Current Affairs

TechSagar

In News:

The National Cyber Security Coordinator’s office in partnership with Data Security Council (DSCI) of India launched TechSagar.

About:

TechSagar is national repository of India’s cyber tech capabilities.

It is a platform to discover capabilities of the Indian Industry, academia and research across 25 technology areas like internet of things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), blockchain, cloud & virtualisation, robotics & automation, wireless & networking.

The portal (techsagar.in) will list business and research entities from the IT industry, startups, academia, and individual researchers.

It will allow targeted search, granular navigation and drilldown methods using more than 3,000 niche capabilities. The repository currently features over 4,000 entities.

‘Prison Statistics India 2017

In News:

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released the report ‘Prison Statistics India 2017.’

Key highlights of the report:

Prisons Types: There are 1,361 prisons in the country consisting of 666 Sub jails, 405 District jails, 142 Central jails, 64 Open jails, 41 Special jails, 22 Woman jails, 19 Borstal School and 2 other jails.

Prisons Occupancy: Out of the total capacity 3,91,574 in 1,361 prisons in 2017, the Central jails of the country were having the highest capacity of inmates (1,74,412) followed by the District jails (capacity of 1,53,383 inmates) and the Sub jails (capacity of 44,577 inmates).

The number of prisoners lodged in various jails has increased from 4,33,003 in 2016 to 4,50,696 in 2017.

Prisoners Types: Out of 4,50,696 prisoners, the number of Convicts, undertrial inmates and detenues accounted for 30.9 per cent 68.5 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. Other prisoners accounted for 0.2 per cent of total prisoners.

The number of deaths in prisons has increased marginally from 1,584 in 2015 to 1,671 in 2017, out of which 1,494 were natural and 133 unnatural.

A total of 378 prisoners escaped from lawful custody during the 2017.

Gujarat has the highest number of undertrial prisoners who are Pakistani nationals. The state has 59 Pakistani undertrial prisoners out of the total 101 overseas prisoners in the state. Jammu and Kashmir has the second-highest Pakistani national undertrials at 35.

Ministry of Electronics & Information (MeitY)

In News:

The Ministry of Electronics & Information (MeitY) unveiled a series of new initiatives during the first MeitY Start-up Summit held at New Delhi.

About:

The initiatives include the MeitY Startup Hub (MSH), the second phase of the BHIM scheme, the Indian Software Product Registry and select Incubation Centres under the TIDE 2.0.

The MeitY Startup Hub (MSH) will act as a platform to connect with incubators, accelerators, mentors, and eventually, angel funds and venture capitalists.

The Indian Software Product Registry will be a single-window portal for cataloguing all companies and products developed in India with key analytics, category-wise listing and options to port the database to the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for enhanced market access.

Technology Incubation Development for Entrepreneurs 2.0 (TIDE 2.0) is aimed at strengthening close to 2,000 technology startups in areas of national concern, by leveraging emerging technologies and empowering 51 incubation centres across the country.

Global Wealth Report

In News:

The Credit Suisse Group, a Switzerland-based multinational investment bank, has released the 10th edition of its annual Global Wealth Report.

About:

The report tracks both the growth and distribution of wealth – in terms of the numbers of millionaires and billionaires and the proportion of wealth that they hold – as well as the status of inequality around the world.

Wealth is defined in terms of “net worth” of an individual. This, in turn, is calculated by adding up the value of financial assets (such as money) and real assets (such as houses) and then subtracting any debts an individual may have.

Key findings of Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2019:

Just 47 million people – accounting for merely 0.9% of the world’s adult population – owned $158.3 trillion, which is almost 44% of the world’s total wealth.

At the other end of the spectrum are 2.88 billion people – accounting for almost 57% of the world’s adult population – who owned just $6.3 trillion or 1.8% of the world’s wealth.

China has overtaken the United States this year to become “the country with most people in the top 10% of global wealth distribution”.

The report singles out India, along with China and Vietnam as the best examples of how wealth can be increased by pushing for higher economic growth.

Hunar Haat

In News:

Minister for Minority Affairs has decided to organise about 100 ‘Hunar Haat’ in the next five years across the country to provide employment to lakhs of craftsmen.

About:

Objective: Hunar Haat is being organised across the country by the Ministry of Minority Affairs under a mission to provide a platform to master artisans and craftsmen to display as well sell their products.

Achievements: More than 2 lakh 50 thousand master artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts have been provided employment opportunities in the last 3 years under the Hunar Haat programme.

Way ahead: The next Hunar Haat will be organised at North Central Zone Cultural Centre in Prayagraj from 1st to 10th of November 2019. All Hunar Haat, to be organised this year and next year will be based on the theme of ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’.

 

Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act

In News:

Delhi High Court has sought a response from the Centre and the Election Commission (EC) on a petition challenging the EC’s decision to reduce the disqualification period of Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang from six years to 13 months.

Details:

This was done in accordance with the Section 11 of Representation of the People Act.

Background:

Mr. Tamang was convicted of the charge of misappropriation of public funds. His disqualification period of 6 years, which began on August 10, 2018, was to end on August 10, 2024.

Rationale behind the relief:

It is based on Mr. Tamang’s main argument. According to him, the law prevailing at the time of his offence entailed disqualification only if the sentence was for a term of two years or more; and that the amendment in 2003, under which any conviction under the anti-corruption law would attract the six-year disqualification norm, should not be applied to him.

Section 11 of the RP Act:

The Election Commission may, for reasons to be recorded, remove any disqualification under this Chapter 1 (except under section 8A) or reduce the period of any such disqualification.

What’s the criticism now?

While this may seem to be an innocuous condonation, the fact that condonation was granted just before the fresh state elections were to be held, demonstrates arbitrariness. The only inference from the period condoned, that is, four years 11 months, seems to be for the specific purposes of allowing the candidate to contest the state elections.

Therefore, it is also argued that Section 11 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, was unconstitutional since it provided uncanalised, uncontrolled, and arbitrary power to the Election Commission to remove or reduce the disqualification period.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush

In News:

To ensure that not a single child in the country misses out on vaccination, the government will launch the ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush 2.0‘ on October 31 with a special focus on improving coverage in areas with “low” immunisation.

Key facts:

Through ‘IMI 2.0’, the health ministry aims to reach each and every child below the age of two years and all pregnant women still uncovered/partially covered in 271 districts of the country and 652 blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

IMI 2.0 will include four rounds of vaccination, with each round involving a seven-day immunisation drive to be conducted each month.

The IMI programme is supported by 12 ministries and departments and is being monitored by the cabinet secretary at the national level.

Existing gaps:

The current national full immunisation coverage rate stands at 87 per cent. According to government data, 260 lakh children are born every year and an estimated 31 lakh out of them would not receive complete rounds of vaccination in the first year of their life due to various reasons.

Mission Indradhanush:

To strengthen and re-energize the programme and achieve full immunization coverage for all children and pregnant women at a rapid pace, the Government of India launched “Mission Indradhanush” in December 2014.

Goal of Mission Indradhanush: The ultimate goal of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI):

To further intensify the immunization programme, the government launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017.

Through this programme, Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme/UIP.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush will cover low performing areas in the selected districts (high priority districts) and urban areas. Special attention will be given to unserved/low coverage pockets in sub-centre and urban slums with migratory population.

Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

In News:

About 70% of Indian contribution to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will be in the form of both hardware and software for the telescope. Indian entities are engaged in developing observatory software as well as telescope control system.

About TMT:

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an astronomical observatory with an extremely large telescope (ELT).

It is an international project being funded by scientific organisations of Canada, China, India, Japan and USA.

Planned location: Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii in the US state of Hawaii.

Purpose: The TMT is designed for near-ultraviolet to mid-infrared observations, featuring adaptive optics to assist in correcting image blur.

Significance:

TMT will enable scientists to study fainter objects far away from us in the Universe, which gives information about early stages of evolution of the Universe.

It will give us finer details of not-so-far-away objects like undiscovered planets and other objects in the Solar System and planets around other stars.

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