The Hindu NOTES – 30th Dec, 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)

📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY  Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 30th, Dec 2017


Date:- 30-Dec, 2017

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Rajya Sabha likely to send talaq Bill to select panel {Law & Justice}


Why in news?

India’s Lower House of Parliament has approved a bill criminalizing the controversial Islamic divorce practice known as “triple talaq” and making it punishable with up to three years in prison.

The House of Elders is likely to send the legislation making instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to three years, to a select committee.

Select committee

Under Rule 125 of the Rajya Sabha Rules and Procedures, any member may move as an amendment that a bill is referred to a select committee and, if the motion is carried, the bill shall be referred to such a committee.

Who: The House decides on a motion moved by a member who will comprise the select committee.

How: The quorum needs to be one-third of the total number of members of the committee. If at the time fixed for any meeting, there is no quorum, the committee chairman will either suspend the meeting until there is a quorum or adjourn the meeting. In case of equality of votes on any matter, the chairman (or any other person presiding) will have a second or casting vote. A select committee may appoint a sub-committee to examine any special points connected with the bill. If any doubt arises on any point of procedure or otherwise, the chairman may refer the point to the Rajya Sabha chairman, whose decision is final.

When: As soon as a bill has been referred to it, the select committee is to meet from time to time and make a report within the time fixed by the Rajya Sabha. If no deadline has been fixed, the report is deemed to be presented before the expiry of three months from the date on which the House adopted the motion for the reference of the bill to the select committee. This deadline can be altered by the House on a motion moved by a member.


Hyderabad welcomes ‘Robocop’ prototype {Science & Tech}

In news

Hyderabad may soon get its first ‘robocop’, with the launch of a prototype in the city.

Features of the robot

  • It can take complaints, record audio and video clips, identify suspects, detect metals, and monitor temperature.
  • The policing robot has been made by H-BOTS, a Hyderabad-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning start-up.
  • The robot is expected to be familiar with basic policing work, regulation of traffic, and details of the Indian Penal Code.
  • If someone tries to tamper with it, the robot is programmed to blow a siren similar to that used by police vehicles.

Protection of Majuli Island – Endeavour of Brahmaputra Board {Environment}

The Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Shri Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for a new scheme for the protection of Majuli Island in Assam from flood and erosion of river Brahmaputra.

The major components of the scheme

(a) Bank revetment with geo bags filled with earth/sand for a reach length of 27 km in 14 locations

(b) RCC porcupine works in 41 locations

(c) Construction of a sluice and

(d) Construction of a Pilot channel for a length of 3.50 km. The scheme was sanctioned by Government of India in March, 2017. The funding for the project would be from Ministry of DoNER.

The Assam government had in the past constructed embankments to protect the island from floods.

Mājuli

It is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 became the first island to be made a district in India. It had an area of 1,250 square kilometres (483 sq mi) at the beginning of the 20th century, but having lost significantly to erosion it covers 352 square kilometres (136 sq mi) as at 2014. Majuli has shrunk as the river surrounding it has grown. It is recognised as the world’s largest river island.

The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Mājuli island is accessible by ferries from the city of Jorhat. The island is about 300–400 kilometres (186–249 mi) east of the state’s largest city —Guwahati. It was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit. Mājuli is the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture.


Minister flags off cargo movement on Brahmaputra {Business & Economics}

In news

In a major boost to inland waterway transport system in the Northeast, Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday flagged off cargo movement on the Pandu-Dhubri route of the Brahmaputra river.

The bridges would connect Jorhat with Nematighat, Disangmukh with Tekeliphuta, Louit with Khablu, Numaligarh with Gohpur and North Guwahati with Guwahati, Nitin Gadkari said at the flagging-off ceremony in Majuli Island in Assam.

 Five bridges would be constructed on the river to ease transportation

Another roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro)’ ferry service to transfer passengers and vehicles in large numbers will start here soon

The 891-km stretch of the Brahmaputra river between Sadiya in the easternmost part of upper Assam and Dhubri was declared the National Waterway-2 in 1988.

Note:- In India  14000km waterway are navigable out of which  5000km length in rivers and 4000km length through the canal.

Related image


Photovoltaic road tested in China {Science & Tech}

China successfully tested its first photovoltaic highway based on home-grown technology in the country’s eastern Shandong province.

Salient features

  • The road has wireless charging systems for electric vehicles.
  • The road is constructed using solar panels which have a thin sheet of clear concrete on top of them, protecting the surface.
  • The panels were built to transfer energy to electric vehicles passing on top of them.
  • he one-kilometre segment of solar-powered highway covers a surface area of 5,875 sq.m. The stretch has three layers. At the bottom is an insulator to prevent moisture from getting to the photovoltaic devices in the middle layer, and on top is the layer of transparent concrete.
  • The tested segment of highway can generate 817.2 KW of power and is expected to generate 1 million KW hours of electricity each year. The electricity generated will be connected to China’s national power grid.
  • China has become the second country to construct a photovoltaic highway. France was introduced the world’s first photovoltaic road fitted with solar panels in late 2016.

 ISRO to launch 31 satellites in one go aboard PSLV {Science & Tech}

 In news

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 29 said it would launch 31 satellites, including India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation spacecraft, in a single mission on January 10.

Highlights

The mission will be the first ‘Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle’ (PSLV) mission after the unsuccessful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1H in August this year.

“The launch is tentatively scheduled for January 10,” a senior ISRO official said.

The mission’s main payload would be India’s Cartosat-2 series earth observation satellite.

The mission would be a combination of 28 nano satellites from abroad, including Finland and the U.S., one micro and one nano satellite from India along with one Cartosat satellite, the official said.

IRNSS


IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. An Extended Service Area lies between primary service area and area enclosed by the rectangle from Latitude 30 deg South to 50 deg North, Longitude 30 deg East to 130 deg East.

IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.


Lok Sabha amends bankruptcy law {Economy}

In news

The Lok Sabha amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code law to prevent wilful defaulters and existing promoters from taking part in insolvency proceedings of stressed assets of companies unless they make their bad loans operational by paying up interests.

Resolution plan

  • A defaulter, however, can become “eligible to submit a resolution plan” if they clear all dues with interest and other charges relating to their NPA accounts.
  • Gross non-performing assets of banks had gone up from 2.7% in 2011 to 9.2% in 2016.

‘A legacy issue’

  • The Finance Minister said the NPAs were a legacy issue and during the UPA regime, banks resorted to “window dressing and ever-greening of loans”.
  • Changes have had to be made to ensure that ineligible people do not find loopholes to walk back into the companies against which insolvency proceedings were initiated

Legacy issues are issues stemming from code written in previous versions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be bugs that have existed for a while. It could be that a change in newer code doesn’t work in every case with the legacy code and is now causing a new bug.


Army to procure new bulletproof jackets {Defence}

The Army’s attempts to procure bulletproof jackets for its infantry soldiers have moved closer to conclusion.

It has completed the general staff (GS) evaluation trials and moved on to contract negotiation committee,” a defence official said.

Three Indian companies are in the fray and all three have now cleared the GS evaluation. In the next stage, price benchmarking would be undertaken and the supplier would be selected followed by cost negotiations with the shortlisted vendor, the official said.

 Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)

  1. The Government has set up a Defence Acquisition Council headed by the Raksha Mantri for decision making in regard to the totality of the new planning process.
  2. Which inter-alia involves according ‘in principle’ approval of Capital Acquisitions in the long-term perspective plan and for each Capital Acquisition programme.
  3. The decision flowing from the Defence Acquisition Council are to be implemented by the following 3 Boards
  • Defence Procurement Board headed by the Defence Secretary
  • Defence Production Board headed by the Secretary (Defence Production)
  • Defence Research & Development Board headed by the Secretary (Defence Research & Development)

E-way bill to boost GST compliance {Economy}

The mandatory implementation of the e-way bill system from February 1 for all inter-State movement of non-exempted goods will help boost compliance under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

Issues with e-way bill

  • The e-way bill system would result in a return of ‘inspector-raj’ and said only in the initial period would a few random vehicles be stopped en route to check if the goods being transported were accompanied by an e-way bill.
  • Also, once a vehicle had been stopped and checked it would not face any further inspections along the rest of its route, even if it traversed multiple States. The number of exemptions for complying with the requirement of an e-way bill was also extensive, including about 50% of the CPI (Consumer Price Index) basket of goods
  • Some of these States had not only intra-State but they also had inter-State requirement of e-way bills. These States saw a 15% to 20% increase in revenue the year after they implemented it

Finance Ministry follows RBI, warns about cryptocurrencies {Economy}

The government has joined the Reserve Bank of India in cautioning potential customers about investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, likening them to ponzi schemes where investors risk losing their money.

‘No intrinsic value’

There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in Ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers losing their hard-earned money,” the statement added.

It is still exotic and difficult to understand exactly what it is, either for the Finance Ministry or the Enforcement Directorate or tax authorities.


 

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