Insights Daily Current Affairs, 06 August 2016
NGT steps in to check Periyar pollution
The circuit bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered the inspection of all industrial units located on the banks of the Periyar river to check the feasibility of effluent treatment plants and to find out whether the effluents discharged into the river are within the prescribed parameter.
- The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
- National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
- On 25 April 2014, the NGT said that the health of Yamuna will be affected by the proposed recreational facilities on the river. The NGT also recommended the Government to declare a 52 km stretch of the Yamuna in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as a conservation zone.
Paper-3: Developments in S&T
Fly on rails: Global tenders floated to induct Maglev trains
- The Indian Railways plans to introduce Maglev trains that can run at a top speed of 500 km an hour, in a bid to lure passengers from airlines.
- After receiving a proposal from a foreign investor, the Railways last week floated an expression of interest (EoI) for calling of a global tender to develop trains and tracks that operate on the principle of magnetic levitation (Maglev)
- According to the document, the developer will be responsible for designing, testing, building, running trials and operations of the levitation-based system between two key cities at a distance of 200-500 km.
- Maglev trains are in operation in China, Japan, Germany and South Korea. As the trains are propelled by magnetic forces, friction is eliminated, making transportation free of noise and vibration.
- Maglev (derived from magnetic levitation) is a transport method that uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground.
- With maglev, a vehicle travels along a guideway using magnets to create both lift and propulsion, thereby reducing friction by a great extent and allowing very high speeds.
Paper-2: Government policies on education
- The government has called for a ‘fail-safe’ system in which passengers and cargo are safe even in case of “failure of any system of the train tracks or controls.”
- The government said the developer shall be responsible for a third-party inspection of the entire train system.
- The developer will be given a free-hand in running the train services, fixing schedule, fares and add-on services on board, the EoI document added.
- The developer will be required to submit the funding plan for the investment along with their audited financial statements for the last five years.
TRAI for strict quality norms
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday issued a consultation paper seeking to tighten the benchmarks for measuring the quality of service offered by telecos.
- While the regulator has sought stakeholders’ view on an appropriate way to calculate call drop rates, it has suggested that instead of measuring it for an entire service, the call drop rate be measured for smaller locations to identify problem areas.
- TRAI also elicited a debate for imposing financial disincentives in case of below par performance.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
- established with effect from 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997
- to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
- The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
- TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.
Paper-3: Development and spread of extremism
14 killed as Bodo rebels attack market in Kokrajhar
- Fourteen persons, including two women, were killed in Kokrajhar district of Assam in broad daylight on Friday when militants dressed in Army fatigues opened fire and hurled bombs at a busy weekly market.
- Though the incident occurred 15 km from Kokrajhar town, an Army patrol van which was nearby when the firing started engaged the terrorists, killing one of them.
- The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) is an armed separatist outfit which seeks to obtain a sovereign Bodoland for the Bodo people in Assam, India.
- It is designated as a terrorist organisation by the Government of India
- The NDFB constitution, adopted on 10 March 1998, lists its objectives as the following
- Liberate Bodoland from the Indian expansionism and occupation;
- Free the Bodo nation from the colonialist exploitation, oppression and domination;
- Establish a Democratic Socialist Society to promote Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and
- Uphold the integrity and sovereignty of Bodoland.