Insights Daily Current Events, 24 October 2015
Paper 3 Topic: Science and Technology.
Manipal varsity scholar in deep sea research team
Gurumurthy G.P., a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences (MCNS), Manipal University, has become the first participant from the university and the first from any private university in the country to participate in the prestigious deep sea International Ocean Discovery Programme (IODP).
- Gurumurthy was among the 30 scientists from 26 countries to sail in Joides Resolution, a deep sea drilling research vessel.
About the deep sea International Ocean Discovery Programme (IODP):
- The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is an international research collaboration that coordinates seagoing expeditions to study the history of the Earth recorded in sediments and rocks beneath the ocean floor.
- IODP is dedicated to advance scientific understanding of Earth by sampling, instrumenting and monitoring sub-seafloor environments.
The Earth deep below the seafloor contains a unique record of our planet’s history and structure. Scientists study the subseafloor to better understand Earth’s components, processes, and phenomena. This research helps answer questions about fundamental aspects of our planet such as the past global environment, the deep biosphere, plate tectonics, and deep fluid flow.
sources: the hindu, iodp.
Paper 2 Topic: RPA; Features of Constitution
Adnan Sami will be an Indian citizen soon
The union government has decided to give Indian citizenship to Adnan Sami, a Pakistani singer.
- The decision was taken after Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi gave a favourable opinion to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
- Adnan Sami has been staying in India since 2001. In May this year, the MHA granted him the right to stay in India indefinitely on humanitarian grounds after his Pakistani passport expired the same month.
- He was also exempted from deportation proceedings under Section 3 of the Foreigners Act.
He will be given Indian citizenship under Section 6 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.
What does Section 6 say?
Section 6 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 allows citizenship, through a certificate of “naturalisation,” to applicants with distinguished contribution in the field of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
Basu is Atomic Energy Commission’s new chief
Sekhar Basu was recently appointed as the new Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Mr. Basu will also be Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
- He was till now Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay, Mumbai. He was earlier Chief Executive of the Nuclear Recycle Board.
- Basu made a name for himself as the Project Director of the Nuclear Submarine Programme under which Arihant was built. He was responsible for developing the 80 MWt Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) which propels Arihant.
- He was also responsible for the design, development, construction and operation of plutonium reprocessing plants at Tarapur in Maharashtra and Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu.
- Basu played an important role in the development of the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) slated to come up in Tamil Nadu.
- He has also been guiding the setting up of a nuclear fuel cycle park which includes research reactors, fuel fabrication plants and reprocessing facilities on the Visakhapatnam campus of BARC.
About India Atomic Energy Commission:
- The Indian Atomic Energy Commission was first setup in August 1948 in the Department of Scientific Research.
- Later on, in accordance with a Government Resolution, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established in the Department of Atomic Energy. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was setup on August 3, 1954 under the direct charge of the Prime Minister through a Presidential Order.
- According to the Resolution constituting the AEC, the Secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Atomic Energy is ex-officio Chairman of the Commission.
- The other Members of the AEC are appointed on the recommendation of the Chairman, AEC and after approval by the Prime Minister.
Important functions of the Atomic Energy Commission are:
- to organise research in atomic scientists in the country.
- to train, atomic scientists in the country.
- to promote nuclear research in commission’s own laboratories as well as in India.
- to undertake prospecting of atomic minerals in India and to extract such minerals for use on industrial scale.
sources: the hindu, wiki.
Paper 3 Topic: Public Distribution System objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping.
POS machines to plug pilferage at ration shops
To cut pilferage in the public distribution system (PDS), the Karnataka state government has decided to set up biometric system-based point of sales (POS) machines in all fair price ration shops across the State.
- The POS machines provide real time details about ration. At present, there is no system to know real time details of ration in PDS shops during the month end.
- Based on the successful execution of a pilot project in Udupi district, the POS scheme has been extended to all PDS shops across the State.
This machine is sim card – based. Those who purchase ration will have to give a thumb impression on this machine. It then authenticates the biometric details of the ration card holder before generating the bill. It also sends information to the central server so that there is no scope for pilferage.
Why POS scheme was necessary?
There are possibilities of shop owners selling the remaining food items to others at a higher price, instead of distributing it to the beneficiaries. With the installation of POS machines, as soon as any person gets the ration in the shop, the data is immediately sent to the server and uploaded on the website. Hence, there will be no scope for diversion of food items by shop owners.
- The state government has instructed owners of PDS shops to install the machines by this year end. Owners themselves have to bear the cost of the machine, which is in the range of Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000.
- There are about 20,500 government-controlled ration shops in the State, serving over 1.03 crore BPL card holders and 11 lakh APL card holders.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 2 Topic: mobilization of resources.
GOLD DEPOSIT SCHEME
The Reserve Bank of India has issued guidelines for the gold monetisation scheme that allow banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits.
- The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally launch the scheme on November 5.
- Banks will be free to set interest rate on such deposit, and principal and interest of the deposit will be denominated in gold.
- Redemption of principal and interest at maturity will, at the option of the depositor be either in Indian rupee equivalent of the deposited gold and accrued interest based on the price of gold prevailing at the time of redemption, or in gold. The option in this regard shall be made in writing by the depositor at the time of making the deposit and shall be irrevocable.
- The interest will be credited in the deposit accounts on the respective due dates and will be withdrawable periodically or at maturity as per the terms of the deposit.
Gold Monetisation scheme:
- Through the Gold Monetisation Scheme, gold in any form can be deposited with banks for a period of one to 15 years. This gold will earn interest and redemption will be at the prevailing market value at the end of the tenure of deposit.
- The scheme also provides for incentives to the banks, while individuals and institutions can deposit as low as 30 gm of gold, while the interest earned on it would be exempt from income tax as well as capital gains tax.
- The scheme is aimed at mobilising a part of an estimated 20,000 tonnes of idle precious metal with households and institutions.
- This scheme was actually announced in the Budget for 2015-16.
sources: the hindu, pib.