The HINDU Notes – 29th May 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)
- The Army is facing a “dirty war” in Jammu and Kashmir which has to be fought in “innovative” ways, Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said, defending the use of a Kashmiri as a ‘human shield’ by a young officer.
- In an interaction with PTI, he said the aim of awarding Major Leetul Gogoi, when a Court of Inquiry was finalising its probe into the incident, was to boost the morale of young officers operating in a very difficult environment in the State.
- The Army chief’s commendation medal awarded to Major Gogoi, who had tied a man to an Army vehicle and used him as a human shield from stone-throwers last month, was criticised by human rights activists, Kashmiri groups and a few retired Army Generals. A video of the incident triggered a row.
- Six months after thederailment of the Indore-Rajendranagar Expressnear Kanpur claimed over 150 lives, investigating agencies are yet to ascertain the cause of the accident.
- In November 2016, 14 coaches of the Patna-bound train derailed, killing at least 152 passengers and injuring 183.
- The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS), under the Civil Aviation Ministry, hasn’t submitted its preliminary report.
- According to the rules, the CRS has to submit its preliminary report to the Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety and the Indian Railway Board Secretary within one month of the inquiry, and it has to make the report public as well.
- The CRS then submits a detailed report within six months of the inquiry to the Chief Commissioner.
- The accident became a high-profile case after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, suspecting sabotage, had written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding a high-level investigation.
- The Home Ministry then forwarded the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the sabotage angle.
- NIA officials said they were yet to get a report from the Commission and a team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) experts to finalise their investigations.
- Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech during one of his election rallies had termed theaccident a cross-border “conspiracy.”
- The initial inquiry of the CRS which was held up for submission to authorities after the National Investigation Agency started a probe into the case had identified ‘carriage and wagon defects’ as the prime reason for the accident.
Pokkali organic farming
- Pokkaliis a unique saline tolerant rice variety that is cultivated in an organic way in the water-logged coastal regions inKerala.
- The brandPokkalihas received aGI tagfrom the Geographical Indications Registry Office, Chennai.
- The rice is cultivated from June to early November when the salinity level of the water in the fields is low.
- From mid-November to mid-April, when the salinity is high,prawn farmingtakes over.
- The prawn seedlings, which swim in from the sea and the backwaters after the rice harvest, feed on the leftovers of the harvested crop.
- Sluice gatesare used to control the water flow to the fields.
- The rice crop, which get no other fertilizer or manure, draw nutrients from the prawns’ excrement and other remnants.
- Since the tidal flows make the fields highly fertile, no manure or fertilizer need to be applied; the seedlings just grow the natural way.
- The organically-grown Pokkali is famed for its peculiar taste and its high protein content.
- Farmers claim that the rice – its grains are extra large – has several medicinal properties.
- Even a DNA library has been developed by the University of Arizona, USA, for the rice.
- If all goes well with the maiden launch of the GSLV-Mk III (earlier named Launch Vehicle Mark-3) and subsequent flights, this rocket could be India’s vehicle of choice to launch “Indians into space, from Indian soil using Indian rockets” he said.
- The heavy lift rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tonne in a low Earth orbit, enough to carry India’s crew module.
- ISRO has already prepared plans of hoisting a two to three human crew into space as soon as the government gives it a sanction of about $4 billion.
- If the human venture materialises, India would become only the fourth country after Russia, the U.S. and China to have a human space flight programme.
- Earlier India used the French Ariane-5 rocket launched from Kourou in South America to place its heavy 4 ton class of communication satellites.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Berlin on Monday beginning a six-day, four-nation tour of Europe.
- Modi will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks to tackle issues such as the impasse in the India-EU free trade agreement, as well as developing a common strategy to counter China’s moves on connectivity and preserving the international “rules-based” system.
- From Germany, the Prime Minister will travel to Spain (May 29-30), Russia (May 31-June 1) and France (June 2-3). His meetings at each of these countries will also be significant given that all four are members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group that will meet in June to once again consider India’s membership application.
- Modi is to meet all the leaders once again in July at the G-20 summit in Hamburg (Spain is not a G-20 country, but is a permanent invitee).
- Both India and Germany are expected to sign a number of MoUs on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, innovation and science & technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways, civil aviation, clean energy, development cooperation, health and alternative medicine.
- In a few weeks, the Union government will sound out five or six private sector majors to execute mega defence deals in four key areas — submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured vehicles.
- With the Union Cabinet taking note of the strategic partnership model last week, the Defence Ministry is awaiting its formal notification.
- Confinements put by the new guidelines of the Environment Ministry on the offer of steers in a domesticated animals showcase for reasons for butcher and religious animal sacrifices negate the very law — Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 — under which it has been told.
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules of 2017 allow the offer of cows in business sectors just to checked “agriculturists”, who need to give an endeavor to experts that dairy cattle won’t be sold or butchered for meat. Nor might the creature be utilized for penances. The creature will be utilized just to farm.
- The tenets take away the privileges of the proprietor to try and offer the body of a creature biting the dust of “common causes” in the market. The standards endorse that the cadaver will be burned and not be sold or excoriated for calfskin.
- The advancement of the Budget date to February 1 had a positive effect on the pattern of government expenditure, which increased “substantially” in April and May compared to previous years, according to a Finance Ministry official.
- The Budget for the financial year 2017-18 was presented on February 1 instead of at the end of the month in order to facilitate a timely disbursal of funds for various sectors.
- The advancement of the Budget date to February 1 has already seen the disbursement of planned expenditure increasing in the months of April and May, instead of having to wait till the monsoon got over, as was happening earlier.
A gene that staves off heart disease
- Scientists have identified a unique gene variant in people living in isolated Greek villages in Mylopotamos in northern Crete that protects them from heart diseases despite enjoying a high-fat diet.
- Researchers made a genetic portrait of the population by sequencing the genome of 250 individuals.
- The team then used the results to give a more detailed view of about 3,200 people for whom previous genetic information was known.
- Scientists discovered a new genetic variant that was not previously known to have cardioprotective qualities.
- Researchers also found a separate variant of the same gene to be associated with lower levels of triglycerides in the Amish founder population in the U.S.