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Insights Daily Current Events, 28 July 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 28 July 2015

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Abdul Kalam, ‘People’s President’, passes away

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, widely acclaimed as the “people’s president” for his warmth and accessibility, passed away on 27th July. He was 83.

  • Kalam was also called as the Missile Man of India. He was a scientist by training and played a critical role in India’s nuclear tests in May 1998.

Contributions and Achievements:

  • Apart from leading the Indian Space Research Organisation’s satellite launch programme, Mr. Kalam headed the country’s guided missile programme for many years.
  • He was President between 2002 and 2007.
  • As scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, he led the “weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests.”
  • His taking over the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) programme as its Project Director led to its spectacular success in 1980 and it was the turning point in India’s space programme.
  • As director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), he envisioned India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and led teams that built India’s Agni, Akash, Prithvi and Nag missile programmes.
  • He was instrumental in forging India’s collaboration with Russia to build the world’s first supersonic cruise missile called BrahMos.
  • As Director-General of DRDO and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, he played important role India’s nuclear tests in 1998.
  • He has been honored with Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
  • He has received honorary doctorates from over 30 institutions.
  • His 79th Birthday was recognized as the ‘World Student Day’ by the United Nations.
  • Switzerland has declared 26th May as ‘Science Day’ to commemorate Visit of APJ to Switzerland in 2005.

Sources: The Hindu.

Royal Bengal Tiger count falls rapidly

A recently conducted survey showed that the tiger population in Bangladesh has declined sharply to 106 from 440 last year.

Why?

Experts say that the loss of habitat, unchecked wildlife poaching, animal-human conflict in the forest and lack of forest management are the main reasons behind the rapid fall in the tiger population.

Details:

  • The new tiger census project was carried out under ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia Project’ with financial support from the World Bank.
  • The survey was based on footage from hidden cameras.

Bengal Tiger is the national animal of both India and Bangladesh. It has been classified as endangered by the IUCN. The Bengal tigers inhabiting the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh are the only tigers in the world which exist in a mangrove.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

India a source, destination, transit country for trafficking: U.S.report

The U.S. state department recently unveiled its annual anti-trafficking report.

Details:

  • According to the report, India is classified as a “Tier II” nation for human trafficking concerns, implying that the U.S. viewed India as a country whose government did not fully comply with its Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards, but was making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
  • India’s ranking has been at the Tier II level since 2011. But, until 2010 India was ranked as a Tier II “Watch List,” nation, implying that the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking was highly significant or increasing; that there was a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or that the assessment of its progress in combating human trafficking was based on future commitments made by the Indian government.
  • The report has urged India to ramp up its reporting of anti-trafficking data, noting that India continued to be “a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.”

Sources: The Hindu.

Froome wraps up his second Tour triumph

Chris Froome has won his second Tour de France in three years. With this, he has become the first cyclist from Britain to win the Tour De France for the second time.

About Tour de France:

  • It is an annual multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally making passes through nearby countries.
  • The race was first organized in 1903 to increase paper sales for the magazine L’Auto. It is currently run by the Amaury Sport Organisation.
  • The 3 week long race covers around 3500 Kms passing through the mountain chains of Alps and Pyrenees.

Sources: The Hindu, Wiki.

IT secretary Ram Sewak Sharma appointed new TRAI chief

The government has named Ram Sewak Sharma, currently the IT secretary, as the next telecom regulator.

  • The appointments committee of the Union Cabinet has approved Sharma’s selection as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. The post had been lying vacant since mid-May.

About TRAI:

  • It is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.
  • It was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
  • In January 2000, TRAI was amended to establish the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory functions of the TRAI. The TDSAT was set up to resolve any dispute between a licencor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers. In addition, any direction, TRAI orders or decisions can be challenged by appealing to TDSAT.

Sources: The Hindu, ET, TRAI.

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