Insights Daily Current Events, 05 November 2015
Paper 2 Topic: Appointment to constitutional posts.
CJI Dattu recommends Thakur
Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu has recommended Justice Tirath Singh Thakur as his successor. Justice Thakur is the senior-most judge in the court after the Chief Justice Dattu, who retires on December 2.
- If appointed, Justice Thakur would be the 43rd Chief Justice of India. He would be in office till January 4, 2017.
Appointment of CJI:
According to the convention, the present Chief Justice recommends the name of his successor to the government. After the Law Ministry clears his name, the file will go to the Prime Minister’s Office and finally reaches the President, after whose approval the Warrant of Appointment will be issued.
sources: the hindu.
Paper 3 Topic: space.
GSAT-15 set to replace dying INSAT-3A and 4B
GSAT-15, which will be put in space shortly, will replace two older spacecraft-INSAT 3A and 4B- that will likely expire in the coming months.
- According to the ISRO, the transponders of GSAT are solely in the Ku band and will cater to DTH (direct-to-home) television needs, besides supporting the thousands of VSAT operators who provide broadband services and DSNG (digital satellite news gathering) for TV news channels.
- ISRO is also focusing on bridging the Ku-band shortage in the country. Currently, Indian D2H broadcasters are heavily dependent on external transponders.
- GSAT-15, weighing 3,164 kg, will be launched in on November 11 from Kourou in French Guiana (in South America) on the European Arianespace’s Ariane-5 launcher.
- The satellite cost and the launch fee are around Rs. 860 crore.
- GSAT-15 will be flown along with Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6B/Badr-7.
- It will be stationed over India at a slot at 93.5 degrees East longitude.
- GSAT will also carry the third GAGAN satellite navigation transponder as a back-up for airlines and other users of augmented GPS-based systems.
Why can’t we use Indian launch vehicles?
The two Indian rockets — PSLV and GSLV — cannot pitch the weight of GSAT-15 to its slot 36,000 km high.
INSAT 3A and 4B:
INSAT-3A, launched in April 2003, has completed its 12-year life. INSAT-4B, flown in March 2007, got reduced to half its functions in 2010 after one of its two power-generating solar panels developed a snag.
sources: the hindu, isro.
Paper 3 Topic: Food security.
NITI Panel Proposes Agri Reforms to Curb Price Rise
NITI Aayog’s task force on agriculture has recommended big bang reforms to address the politically sensitive issue of frequent spurt in crop prices.
- The report talks about the need for reforms in the agriculture sector in a big way to address issues of bad weather, fluctuation in crop prices, and demand and supply problems in the long term.
- The report has been finalized after collating the views of a similar task force of states.
Important recommendations made:
- Guaranteed prices for at least half the key crops.
- Setting up of a unified national agriculture market.
- Changing land lease laws.
- Creating a mechanism to facilitate easy exit for farmers who want to move out of agriculture.
Paper 3 Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
The government-appointed Bankruptcy Law Committee recently submitted its report and its proposed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill to the government.
- The 15-member committee was headed by T K Vishwanathan, a former Lok Sabha secretary-general.
- The committee has observed that the enactment of the proposed Bill will provide greater clarity in the law and facilitate the application of consistent and coherent provisions to different stakeholders affected by business failure or inability to pay debt and will address the challenges being faced at present for swift and effective bankruptcy resolution.
Proposed draft bill:
- The draft Bill has consolidated the existing laws relating to insolvency of companies, limited liability entities, unlimited liability partnerships and individuals which are presently scattered in a number of legislations, into a single legislation.
- The Bill seeks to improve the handling of conflicts between creditors and debtors, avoid destruction of value, distinguish malfeasance vis-a-vis business failure and clearly allocate losses in macroeconomic downturns.
- The Bill suggests an insolvency regulator, for oversight over professionals in this regard. It also lays down a transition provision during which the central government will exercise all the powers of the regulator till the time one is set up.
- The Bill recommends the existing Debt Recovery Tribunals be the adjudicating authority for individuals and unlimited liability partnership firms. And, that the National Company Law Tribunal be the one for companies and limited liability entities. It also proposes setting up of information utilities, to collect and collate financial information from listed companies and their creditors.
- The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget Speech 2015-16, had identified Bankruptcy Law Reform as a key priority for improving the ease of doing business and had announced that a comprehensive Bankruptcy Code, meeting global standards and providing necessary judicial capacity, will be brought in fiscal 2015-16.
- Accordingly, the Government had constituted the Bankruptcy Law Reform Committee to look into various Bankruptcy related issues and give its report along with a draft Bill on the subject to the Government.
The Government will shortly take a final decision on the Report and introduce the Bill in Parliament.
sources: pib, toi.
Paper 3 Topic: environmental pollution.
NGT orders states to check crop burning
Upset over a spurt in pollution in the national capital on account of crop burning by farmers in Delhi and northern states, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked states to notify steps to check the menace and imposed fines on farmers indulging in such activities.
- NGT has asked the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to issue notifications in this regard.
- It has asked district magistrates of the respective areas to constitute a taskforce to stop crop burning. The bureaucrats have been asked to send the report to the respective state pollution boards.
- The court’s observation came after the counsel for the petitioner argued that the website of Delhi Pollution Control Committee recently showed particulate matter (PM) in Delhi to be at 460 mg per cubic metre, as against a maximum permissible limit of 60 mg.
- An image taken on October 30 from a space satellite by America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration shows red outlines indicating fires burning across large swathes of Punjab and Haryana.
- The NGT has observed that straw burning is a serious issue which contributes to global warming and environmental pollution.
- Farmers burn paddy to help prepare the soil for the next crop because the practice releases nutrients back into the ground and helps with pest control. But, some experts dispute this. According to them, this causes pollution, soil erosion and reduction in nitrogen content in the soil.
- This practice emits carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere.
What can be done?
The Punjab government had recently proposed to set up bio – ethanol refineries aimed at tackling the menace of wheat and paddy straw burning in the state. Such practices can help reduce the pollution.
Paper 3 Topic: India’s contribution to S&T.
President to launch IIT-IISc joint initiative on research
President Pranab Mukherjee is all set to launch an initiative to develop a roadmap for research and pave the way for solutions to major engineering and technology challenges.
About the initiative:
The initiative, ‘IMPRINT India’, is a pan-IIT and IISc joint collaboration to develop a blueprint for research of immediate relevance to society requiring innovation, direct scientific research into identified areas, ensure higher funding support for research into these areas and measure outcomes of the research efforts with reference to the impact on the standard of living in rural/urban areas.
- It will focus on 10 themes and each theme will be coordinated by one IIT/IISc. For instance, IIT-Kharagpur will work on the themes of health care, computer science and information and communication technology, while IIT-Kanpur will work on advance material, water resources and river systems.
- The 10 coordinating institutions have done extensive consultations and arrived at specific themes in each area of research that has immediate social relevance.
sources: pib, the hindu.