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Insights Daily Current Events, 06 August 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 06 August 2015

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Bihar Assembly passes bill on redressal of grievances

The Bihar State legislative Assembly has passed the Bihar Public Grievance Redressal Bill, 2015. This is expected to empower people to seek redressal of their grievances in a time-bound manner by government officials.

Details:

  • Under the proposed legislation, rules would be framed to make the government servants duty-bound to dispose grievances of the people in a time-bound manner and their failure to do so would amount to misconduct for which errant officials could be dismissed from service.
  • The bill makes it mandatory for all public authorities to appoint officers to redress grievances.
  • It will also provide for the setting up of a public grievances redressal commission and penalty on officer or grievances redressal officer concerned for failure to deliver the services.

Sources: The Hindu, BS.

US FDA Clears First 3D-Printed Prescription Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription drug made through 3D printing: a dissolvable tablet that treats seizures.

Details:

  • The drug, Spritam levetiracetam, is an oral prescription for treatment of partial onset seizures, myoclonic seizures and primary generalised tonic-clonic seizures.
  • The drug is for both adults and children who suffer from certain types of seizures caused by epilepsy.
  • The tablet is manufactured through a layered process via 3D printing and dissolves when taken with liquid.
  • This printing system can package potent drug doses of up to 1,000 milligrams into individual tablets.
  • By combining three-dimensional printing technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, Spritam is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience.
  • Spritam is expected to be available in 2016.

The FDA has previously approved medical devices – including prosthetics – made with 3D printing. Doctors are increasingly turning to 3D printing to create customized implants for patients with rare conditions and injuries, including children who cannot be treated with adult-size devices.

Sources: BS.

Amalendu Krishna of TIFR wins Ramanujan Prize

The Ramanujan Prize for 2015 has been won by mathematician Amalendu Krishna of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

  • Krishna has been recognised for outstanding contributions in the area of algebraic K-theory, algebraic cycles and the theory of motives.

About the Ramanujan Prize:

  • It was instituted in 2005.
  • The prize is awarded jointly by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, and the International Mathematical Union (IMU) to a person under 45 working in a developing country.
  • It carries a citation and a cash of $15,000. The winner is invited to give a talk at the the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).
  • This is the second time it is being awarded to an Indian, with Sujatha Ramadorai having won it in 2006.

Sources: The Hindu.

Solar telescope operationalised at Udaipur observatory

Udaipur Solar Observatory has operationalised a unique telescope ‘Multi Application Solar Telescope’ (MAST) for detailed study of solar activities which could facilitate space weather predictions in the future.

About Multi Application Solar Telescope (MAST):

  • The observatory is a part of the Physical Reasearch Laboratory (PRL), an autonomous unit of the Department of Space, which operationalised the telescope recently.
  • It is situated on an island in the middle of Fatehsagar lake. Since the site is surrounded by water, it keeps temperature pleasant. Besides, the site can boast of more than 250 days of continuous sunshine, which allows to observe the sun properly during day time.
  • It has a lens of 50 centimetre diameter and is developed on the basis of mechanical and optical system of Belgium.
  • Unlike other telescopes, MAST is capable to capture three-dimensional aspects of the solar magnetic fields further enabling the scientists to get a better understanding of the solar flares and eruptions taking place in such twisted magnetic fields.
  • Using MAST, the scientists can plan to extend the studies to other layers using multiple spectral line diagnostics. This way they would get a 3-D picture of the phenomena.
  • It is now Asia’s biggest telescope.

Sources: ET.

Lok Sabha passes SC/ST amendment bill

The Lok Sabha has passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2014. The bill replaces the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Ordinance, 2014.

  • The Bill aims to prohibit the commission of certain offences against members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SCs and STs) and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and rehabilitation of victims.

Important provisions in the Bill:

  • Forcing an SC or ST individual to vote or not vote for a particular candidate in a manner that is against the law is an offence under the Bill.
  • Impeding certain activities related to voting will also be considered an offence.
  • Wrongfully occupying land belonging to SCs or STs is an offence under the Bill.
  • Assaulting or sexually exploiting an SC or ST woman too is an offence. The Bill adds that touching an SC or ST woman intentionally, in a sexual manner, without her consent or using words, acts or gestures of a sexual nature, dedicating an SC or ST women as a devadasi to a temple, or any similar practice will also be considered an offence. Consent is defined as a voluntary agreement through verbal or non-verbal communication.
  • New offences added under the Bill include garlanding with footwear, compelling to dispose or carry human or animal carcasses, or do manual scavenging, abusing SCs or STs by caste name in public, attempting to promote feelings of ill-will against SCs or STs or disrespecting any deceased person held in high esteem, and imposing or threatening a social or economic boycott.
  • Preventing SCs or STs from using common property resources or from entering any place of worship that is open to the public or from entering an education or health institution will also be considered an offence.
  • Under the Role of Courts Act, a court of session at the district level is deemed a special court to provide speedy trials for offences. A special public prosecutor is appointed to conduct cases in this court. The Bill substitutes this provision and specifies that an exclusive special court must be established at the district level to try offences.

Sources: PIB.

Kashinath Singh chosen for Bharat Bharti

Noted Hindi litterateur Kashinath Singh has been chosen for Uttar Pradesh’s highest literary award, Bharat Bharti.

  • Kashinath has penned many novels and short stories. His most famous novel is ‘Kashi ka Assi’, which captures the vibrant hues of Banaras. The novel has been adopted for the upcoming movie ‘Mohalla Assi’.

About Bharat Bharti award:

  • The award is given by UP Hindi Sansthan.
  • It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.

Besides Singh, 100 other writers have been selected in various categories on the basis of their work which was evaluated and examined by a committee set up by Hindi Sansthaan.

Sources: TOI.

Samanvay

The Union Rural Development Ministry recently launched ‘Samanvay’ web portal.

  • The portal monitors progress and implementation of the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), which was launched last October.
  • It will act as a database for mapped and compiled information on various gram panchayat activities through schemes undertaken by the Centre and State Governments.

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana:

It is a village development project under which each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of developing physical and institutional infrastructure in three villages by 2019.

  • The goal is to develop three Adarsh Grams or model villages by March 2019, of which one would be achieved by 2016. Thereafter, five such Adarsh Grams (one per year) will be selected and developed by 2024.
  • The Project was launched on the occasion of birth anniversary of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan.

Implementation:

  • The scheme will be implemented through a village development plan that would be prepared for every identified gram panchayat with special focus on enabling every poor household to come out of poverty.
  • The constituency fund, MPLADS, would be available to fill critical financing gaps.
  • The planning process in each village will be a participatory exercise coordinated by the District Collector. The MP will play an active facilitating role in this exercise.
  • Adoption and adaptation of technology and introduction of innovations are critical to this programme. This will include use of space application and remote sensing for planning, mobile based technology for monitoring, agriculture technology for increasing productivity etc.
  • At the national level, a separate, real time web based monitoring system will be put in place for the scheme covering all aspects and components. The Ministry will put in place a specially designed capacity building programme for Government functionaries at different levels including Gram Panchayats.
  • At the state level there will be an Empowered Committee headed by the Chief Secretary consisting of the relevant Departments and including experts, as required with at least two Civil Society representatives.
  • The district Collector will be the nodal officer for implementing the SAGY. He will conduct a monthly review meeting with representatives of the participating Line Departments. The Members of Parliament concerned will chair the review meetings.
  • SAGY gives focus to community participation. Social mobilization of village community can trigger a chain of other development activities in the village. For instance, reducing risk behaviours like alcoholism, smoking, substance abuse (drugs/tobacco/gutkha etc) among all age groups of population. Women participation in the decision-making process will be encouraged.

Sources: The Hindu, PIB.

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