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Insights Daily Current Events, 11 July 2016

Insights Daily Current Events, 11 July 2016


Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Indian Captain Radhika Menon Is First Woman To Get Bravery At Sea Award


Captain Radhika Menon, first woman captain of the Indian Merchant Navy will receive IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

  • The 2016 International Maritime Organisation Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea will be given to Captain Radhika Menon for her role in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous seas in the Bay of Bengal in June last year.

About IMO:

The International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

  • It has 171 Member States and three Associate Members.
  • The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly.
  • The IMO’s structure comprises the Assembly, the Council, the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Cooperation Committee, and the secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General.

IMO council:

The IMO Council acts as the IMO’s Governing Body. It has a crucial role to play in deciding various matters in relation to the global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy and budget.

  • Members of the Council consist of 40 member states, elected by its Assembly including 10 members in category A with the largest interest in providing international shipping services; 10 members in category B with the largest interest in international seaborne trade and 20 members in category C with special interests in maritime transport or navigation.
  • India has been one of the earliest members of the IMO, having ratified its Convention and joined it as a member-state in the year 1959.

About the award:

The annual Award was established by IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment.

  • Nominations are scrutinized by an Assessment Panel made up of members of non governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General.
  • Subsequently, a Panel of Judges meets (under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Council, with the participation of the Chairmen of the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Cooperation Committee and the Facilitation Committee) to consider the recommendations of the Assessment Panel and to select the recipient of the Award.

There are three categories of honour: first, the Award itself, for the nominee judged to have performed the most outstanding act of bravery from among those described. Secondly, Certificates of Commendation are awarded to nominees who have committed acts of extraordinary bravery. And, thirdly, Letters of Commendation are sent to those nominees who are judged to deserve some special recognition for meritorious actions.

Sources: pib.


Paper 2 Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


India to seek help for services pact at UN


During the forthcoming Nairobi meet of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India is planning to press for endorsement by more nations for its proposal on a global pact to expedite the services trade flow.

About the pact:

  • It will officially be known as the ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for Services’ at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level.
  • The proposed pact, among other things, is aimed at making it easier for services professionals and skilled workers to move across borders for ‘short-term’ projects.
  • Its objectives include streamlining procedures for global services trade, besides ensuring recognition at the WTO-level for services as a tradable item by establishing a framework — for clarity on definitions and for settlement of disputes.


The idea of a ‘TFA for Services’ – similar to the WTO’s ‘TFA for Goods’ — was mooted by India soon after the WTO’s tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015. India had on April 22 ratified the ‘TFA for Goods’, which is aimed at easing customs norms and boosting global merchandise trade.

  • India had reiterated the proposal for a TFA in Services during the informal meeting of trade ministers from 25 WTO member countries on the sidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ministerial council meeting in Paris.

Trade facilitation:

The Trade Facilitation Agreement forms part of the Bali Package agreed by members at the Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali.

  • The agreement contains provisions for faster and more efficient customs procedures through effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues. It also contains provisions for technical assistance and capacity building in this area.
  • It is being believed, especially by the proponents of the agreement that deal could add $1 trillion to global GDP and also can generate 21 million jobs by slashing red tape and streamlining customs.


UNCTAD has 194 member States and is the UN subsidiary looking at measures to boost trade and investment in developing countries.

  • Upcoming Nairobi (Kenya) meet will be the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) 14th quadrennial ‘Ministerial Conference’.
  • The ‘Ministerial Conference’ is the Geneva-headquartered UNCTAD’s highest decision-making body, and is held every four years ever since UNCTAD was set up in 1964.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.


India signs five agreements with Tanzania


India and Tanzania have signed five agreements. The agreements were signed following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tanzanian President John Magufuli.


  • According to one agreement, India will extend a line of credit of $92 million for the rehabilitation and improvement of the water supply system in Zanzibar.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on water resource management and development was also signed.
  • Another MoU seeks to establish a vocational training centre in Zanzibar.
  • An MoU was also signed on visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders.
  • An agreement was also signed between the National Small Industries Corporation of India and the Small Industries Development Organisation of Tanzania.

Sources: the hindu.

Paper 2 Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.


SC seeks review of law on advocates


The Supreme Court has asked the Law Commission to review “all relevant aspects” relating to the law governing the legal profession, including issues like professional misconduct by lawyers, in consultation with all stakeholders. Therefore, Advocates Act, under which lawyers are governed, will be reviewed.

  • The court has also asked the government to take appropriate steps in the light of report of the Law Commission within six months. The Central Government may file an appropriate affidavit in this regard within one month after expiry of one year.


The direction came in a verdict by which the apex court upheld the conviction of a Uttar Pradesh-based advocate for criminal contempt for intimidating and threatening a civil judge in Etah.

Law commission:

Law Commission of India is an executive body established by an order of the Government of India. Its major function is to work for legal reform. Its membership primarily comprises legal experts, who are entrusted a mandate by the Government. The Commission is established for a fixed tenure and works as an advisory body to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 2 Topic: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.


Farmer can’t be evicted even after lease expires: SC


The Supreme Court has held that a farmer, who is in possession of leased land even after expiry of the lease period, cannot be evicted if the owner either acknowledges the tenancy or is accepting the rent.


These observations were made by the court during the review of the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Referring to a provision of the Transfer of Property Act, the court has set aside the verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which ordered the eviction of a farmer after expiry of the lease period of the land.

What has the Supreme Court said?

The operation of Section 116 of the Transfer of Property Act would confer legitimacy to the possession of the tenant even after the termination or expiration of the deemed period of the lease so as to confer on him a status akin to that of a statutory tenant and hence protection from eviction as envisaged by the provisions of the Act (Punjab Security of Land Tenure Act) of 1953.

Also, there was no legal provision to evict the farmer as the eviction conditions laid down in the Punjab Security of Land Tenure Act 1953 and the Punjab Tenancy Act 1887 did not include a tenant whose lease had expired.

Sources: the hindu.


Paper 3 Topic: awareness in space.


DAWN marks ice-bearing Ceres craters


Scientists with NASA’s Dawn mission have identified, on the dwarf planet Ceres, permanently shadowed regions most of which likely have been cold enough to trap water ice for a billion years. The findings suggest that that ice deposits could exist in these regions even now.

Key findings:

  • The conditions on Ceres are right for accumulating deposits of water ice. Ceres has just enough mass to hold on to water molecules, and the permanently shadowed regions identified are extremely cold — colder than most that exist on the moon or Mercury.
  • Permanently shadowed regions do not receive direct sunlight. They are typically located on the crater floor or along a section of the crater wall facing the pole. The regions still receive indirect sunlight, but if the temperature stays below about minus minus 151 degrees Celsius, the permanently shadowed area is a cold trap: a good place for water ice to accumulate and remain stable.

Dawn mission:

NASA’s Dawn mission will study the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres, celestial bodies believed to have accreted early in the history of the solar system. The mission will characterize the early solar system and the processes that dominated its formation.

Sources: the hindu.


Facts for Prelims:

  • Russia has offered Indian oil companies a stake in the second phase of Yamal LNG, the biggest project to produce liquefied natural gas in the Arctic. The Russian firm holds 50.1% stake in the project that comprises development of the South-Tambeyskoye field with proven deposits of 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and the construction of natural gas liquefaction plant (LNG) for producing 16.5 million tonnes of LNG a year by 2017.