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Daily Current Affairs : 29th August 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis

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Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)

Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID)

Context: India has become the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), which captures the facial bio-metric data of seafarers.

About BSID
  • The new  card conforms to the Convention No. 185 of the International Labour Organisation  on BSID  to which India ratified in October 2015.
  • It introduces modern security features. 
  • Embedded in it will be a biometric chip.  
  • BSID card's security  is ensured at multiple levels and through different methods. 
  • At the time of data capturing, the live face is cross matched through passport photo using a face matching software. 
  • The card comes with two optical security features: 
    • Micro prints/micro texts 
    • Unique Guilloche pattern
    • It is to be noted that the record of each SID issued will be maintained in a national database and its related information will be  accessible internationally.
    • In India, the BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai
    • The issuance of SID involves the collection of biometric and demographic details of the seafarers, their verification and then issuance of the card  to them.
    • There are 9 data collection centers that have been setup  at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla for issue of BSID.  
    • Every Indian seafarer who possesses a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by the Govt. of India will be eligible for issue of a BSID
    • The total number of existing Indian seafarers who will be required to be issued BSIDs is around 3,50,000
    • All the existing seafarers will be given BSID within the next 2 years. After this, it is estimated that  around 15000 new seafarers will be issued BSIDs annually

    SHAGUN: Integrated Online junction for School Education

    SHAGUN: Integrated Online junction for School Education

    Context: One of world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for – School Education ‘Shagun’ launched by Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ in New Delhi.

    What it is?

    It is an over-arching initiative that will improve the  school education system by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of the Department of School Education and Literacy, GoI and all States and UTs.

    The websites of 1200 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 600 Navodaya Vidyalayas, 18000 other CBSE affiliated schools, 30 SCERTs, 19000 organisations affiliated with NTCE among others are integrated with Shagun. Report cards of 15 lakh schools all over the country will be available on this junction.

    It seeks to connect approximately 92 lakh teachers and 26 crore students.

    Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET)  is also to be set up which will envisage a fully integrated, instantly accessible and seamless information network for all parameters that relates to the students, teachers, and schools in the country. The main focus areas includes:
    • Feedback from Stakeholders to reinforce and clean the data of the Integrated Online Junction.
    • To ensure full inter-operability among the websites, portals and applications that are already being hosted in the junction.
    • To create high quality e-contents, including quizzes and puzzles to enhance learning and also for teachers to help them in classroom transactions.
    • Using AI and deep machine learning in a multiple ways to improve the quality of school education including for designing evidence based inventions.

    The 12th India Security Summit

    The 12th India Security Summit

    Context: The 12th India Security Summit was recently held in New Delhi.

    Theme: Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy

    The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has rolled out a scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)’ to combat cyber crime in the country, in a coordinated and effective manner.

    Another initiative known as Cyber Swachhta Kendra which is a part of the Government of India's Digital India initiative under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was also mentioned during the summit.

    About Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)

    MHA has rolled out the ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)’ scheme for the period 2018-2020, to combat cyber crime in the country, in a coordinated and effective manner. The scheme includes seven components:
    • National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit.
    • National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
    • Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team.
    • National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem.
    • National Cybercrime Training Centre.
    • Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit.
    • National Cyber Research and Innovation Centre.


    Context: Cabinet approves the Signing of Agreement between India and Peru on Cooperation in the field of Medicinal Plants.

    The agreement was signed between the National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of AYUSH of the Republic of India and the National Institute of Health of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Peru. 


    In terms of biodiversity, India is one of the richest countries in the world with more than 7000 species of plants estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of traditional medicines like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH System of Medicine).

    The Republic of Peru, one of the Latin American Countries (considered as the biodiversity hotspots in the world), is also having rich biodiversity of medicinal plants and the medicinal plants based traditional medicine practices are practiced by indigenous people.

    The proposed agreement has been envisaged keeping in mind the rich biological diversity of both the countries in the field of medicinal plants and their usage.

    What will be the implementation strategy?

    The initiatives taken by the two countries will be in accordance with the terms of reference of the Agreement and will continue till the Agreement remains in operation. As soon as the agreement is signed, the activities will be started by both the countries.

    What will be the expenditure involved?

    The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, conferences / meetings will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of the National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of AYUSH and there is no additional financial implication involved.

    What will be the impact of this agreement?

    The proposed Agreement will further enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of Medicinal Plants, keeping in mind the fact that both countries having rich medicinal plants biodiversity and medicinal plants based indigenous traditional system of medicines. This Agreement will give a structured framework for cooperation between the two countries on Medicinal Plants.

    Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

    Context: The Union Cabinet has approved for the establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi.

    CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, USA on 23rd September 2019.

    How this would be helpful?
    • The CDRI will serve as a platform where knowledge is generated and exchanged on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure. 
    • It will bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders. 
    • It will also create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their capacities and practices, with respect to infrastructure development.
    • It will help the economically weaker sections of society, women and children, who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of disasters.
    • Areas with high disaster risk will also be benefited. In India, especially the north-eastern and Himalayan regions are prone to earthquakes, coastal areas to cyclones and tsunamis and central peninsular region to droughts. It will help them all.

    Cabinet approves amendments in The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019

    The Bill in its original form was approved by the Cabinet on 17th July, 2019.

    What are the recent amendments?
    The following changes have been made in the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 passed by the Parliament from the version that was approved by the Cabinet on 17th July 2019.
    • Clause 4(1)(c) –22 part-time Members instead of 14 members;
    • Clause 4(4)(b) – 10 members instead of 6 members
    • Clause 4(4)(c) – 9 members instead of 5 members
    • Clause 37(2) – added at the end “for the purposes of teaching also”.
    Read More: National Medical Commission Bill, 2019



    Context: At least 17 children developed the so-called werewolf syndrome in a major medicine mix-up in Spain.

    What is it?

    "Werewolf syndrome," which is also known as hypertrichosis, is the excess production of hair, either in one specific area or all over the body.

    It is not clear that how hypertrichosis is obtained, but one of its form can be passed down genetically.

    It was in February when a boy with hypertrichosis in India went viral after a video from Barcroft TV showcased his ailment, while the same publication showed a girl in Bangladesh with the same state of pain in 2016.

    Other cases can be attributed to the misuse of minoxidil, whose solution and foam are used to help hair growth in the treatment of male pattern baldness and can be applied topically or consumed orally.

    In these cases, "werewolf syndrome" is temporary and will eventually go away after the medicine stops being ingested.

    • Chandrayaan 2  has narrowed its distance from the moon after a manoeuvre. A total of 5 manoeuvres are planned to gradually make the lunar craft's oval orbit circular. It now goes around the Moon in a 179 km x 1,412 km orbit - shifting about 3,000 km closer to its target at the far end of the oval. 
    • Indian rupee has been depreciating sharply in last one month against the US Dollar, staring at its worst monthly loss in 6 years.Indian rupee Depreciation
    • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to set up  9 million metrictonnes per annum (mmtpa) greenfield refinery at Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to expand its refining capacity and help meet the rising energy demand in India. 
    • Space-X test launches Mars rocket prototype called Starhopper, which rose about 500 feet off its launch pad and propelled itself some 650 feet onto an adjacent landing platform, completing a low-altitude test.
    Mars rocket prototype called Starhopper,

    ATTEMPT TODAY'S QUIZ HERE : 29th August Current Affairs Quiz 

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