7th June Current Affairs
June 7, 2018
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June 9, 2018
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8th June Current Affairs

Pietermaritzburg

In News:

External Affairs Minister recently undertook a train journey from Pentrich to Pietermaritzburg.

Significance of the place:

It is a railway station in South Africa where a young Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a “Whites-only” compartment 125 years ago. On June 7, 1893, Gandhi, then a young lawyer, was thrown off the train’s first class compartment at Pietermaritzburg station after he refused to give up his seat as ordered by racially prejudiced officials.

Outcomes:

The incident led him to develop his Satyagraha principles of peaceful resistance and mobilize people in South Africa and in India against the discriminatory rules of the British.

Source: The Hindu

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

In News:

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved procurement of high powered radars for the Indian Air Force and air cushion vehicles for the Army and the Coast Guard together worth over ₹5,500 crore.

Details:

The 12 high power radars will be procured indigenously under the ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category.

Defence Acquisition Council (DAC):

To counter corruption and speed up decision- making in military procurement, the government of India in 2001 decided to set up an integrated DAC. It is headed by the Defence Minister.

Objective: The objective of the DAC is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces, in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.

Functions: The DAC is responsible to give policy guidelines to acquisitions, based on long-term procurement plans. It also clears all acquisitions, which includes both imported and those produced indigenously or under a foreign license.

Facts for Prelims:

A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 and the same has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment.

Under the new category, indigenously designed equipment with 40% indigenous content (IC), or equipment not necessarily designed in-house but having a 60% IC, is intended for procurement from the local industry.

Source: The Hindu

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

In News:

Indian Railways and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) have jointly launched an awareness campaign on Protection of children in contact with Railways.

Significance of the campaign:

This is an endeavour to spread awareness about large number of vulnerable children coming in contact with Railways as passengers or abandoned, trafficked, run away children separated from their family.

About NCPCR:

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.

It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.

The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Source: The Hindu

World Best Universities Ranking

In News:

The 15th edition of the QS World University Rankings has been released by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds. QS ranks the world’s top 1,000 universities, across 85 countries.

Details:

Being the only international ranking to have received International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approval, the QS ranking is viewed as one of the three most-widely read university rankings in the world, along with Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Global performers:

Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology remains the top university for the seventh consecutive year.

Stanford University, Harvard University and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) all retain their positions at second, third and fourth in the world respectively.

From Asia, National University of Singapore (11) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (12) and Tsinghua University, China (17) have been ranked the best.

Performance of Indian institutions:

Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) are in the top 200.

The number of Indian universities in the top 1,000 increased from 20 to 24. 9 Indian institutions have been individually ranked in the top-500 as against 6 last year.

IIT-Bombay is now the top institute in the country rising 17 positions from 2018 to 162. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, rises 20 places to 170th.

17 of India’s 24 ranked universities improved their rank for Academic Reputation, while 13 improved their rank for Employer Reputation.

Way ahead for India:

The rankings are an affirmation of faith in the premier Indian higher educational institutions. The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has been taking several steps to improve the global rankings, especially the world-renowned IITs by providing more funds and launching the Institutes of Eminence scheme under which institutes would be freed from regulatory framework. However, there’s still work to be done beyond the top universities.

Facts for Prelims:

International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) emerged as a joint initiative of the UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) and a group of international ranking experts concerned with the quality of academic ranking.

Source: PIB

Hague Abduction Convention

In News:

The government has clarified that it is not yet ready to sign the Hague treaty on inter-country abduction of children by parents fleeing a bad marriage. On the other hand, the government is planning to follow the Japan example and put safeguards in place before acceding to the Hague treaty.

Background:

There has been immense pressure from the U.S. on the government to sign the treaty though the government has long held the view that the decision could lead to harassment of women escaping marital discord or domestic violence.

Recommendations of the committee:

A Committee headed by Justice Rajesh Bindal, in April, had submitted its report on legal issues related to Inter-country removal & retention of children to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

 ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’:

The Committee has recommended that the Government may establish an ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority’.

Composition of the authority: The Authority may be chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with Members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries.

Functions of the authority: The authority has been envisaged to provide a one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children. The Authority may examine the inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis the cultural context, merit of the case, and the best interest of the Child.

Need for a policy:

Over three crore Indians living abroad have cross-border marriages. When such a diverse family unit breaks down, children suffer as they are dragged into an international legal battle between their parents. Inter-spousal child removal is one of the most unfortunate outcomes of such break ups. Children are “abducted” by one parent and taken to a country with a different culture. This can be traumatic as they are also cut off from the other parent.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980):

The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty whereby the contracting states will have to cooperate with each other in expeditiously sending back the runaway parent and the child to the country of the child’s ‘habitual residence’.

It seeks to return children abducted or retained overseas by a parent to their country of habitual residence for the courts of that country to decide on matters of residence and contact.

The convention shall apply to any child, up to the age of 16 years who is a habitual resident of any of the contacting states.

Source: The Hindu

Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP)

In News:

The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has approved revised cost estimate of Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP) for Rs. 3466 crore and has extended time period for conclusion till June, 2020.

About DRIP:

The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Government of India, with assistance from the World Bank, is implementing the DAM REHABILITATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (DRIP), which would be a six-year project. The Central Dam Safety Organisation of Central Water Commission, assisted by a Consulting firm, is coordinating and supervising the Project implementation.

Goals: The project originally envisaged the rehabilitation and improvement of about 223 dams within four states namely, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu and later Karnataka, Uttarakhand (UNVNL) and Jharkhand (DVC) joined DRIP and total number of dams covered under DRIP increased to 250. The project will also promote new technologies and improve Institutional capacities for dam safety evaluation and implementation at the Central and State levels and in some identified premier academic and research institutes of the country.

The project development objectives of DRIP are: (i) to improve the safety and performance of selected existing dams and associated appurtenances in a sustainable manner, and (ii) to strengthen the dam safety institutional setup in participating states as well as at central level.

Facts for Prelims:

About CWC: Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.

Functions: The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.

Facts for Prelims- DHARMA:

It is a software programme – Dam Health and Rehabilitation Monitoring Application (DHARMA). DHARMA is a web tool to digitize all dam related data effectively. It will help to document authentic asset and health information pertaining to the large dams in the country, enabling appropriate actions to ensure need based rehabilitation. It is a new stride in asset management aspect by India.

Source: PIB

Kaleshwaram project and Upper Pravara (Nilwande-II) Project

In News:

Ministry of Water Resources has accepted two major irrigation projects from states.

The Kaleshwaram Project of Telangana: It involves diversion of Godavari water for irrigation and drinking water purposes.

The Upper Pravara (Nilwande-II) Project of Maharashtra: It involves diversion water for irrigation and drinking water purposes.

Various Flood management schemes approved (Can be asked in match- the- following questions):

  • The Mahananda Flood Management Scheme: Bihar.
  • Seer Khad Project: Himachal Pradesh.
  • Yanam Flood Protection Works: Union Territory Puducherry.
  • Ghatal Master Plan: West Bengal.