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CURRENT AFFAIRSTHE HINDU : AUGUST 2019

Daily Current Affairs : 9th August 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis



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BHARAT RATNA AWARDS

President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Dr Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (posthumously) and Shri Pranab Mukherjee at an Investiture Ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

About Shri Nanaji Deshmukh

He was an eminent social activist, who worked in the field of Education, Health and Rural Self-Reliance.

He was born on 11th October, 1916 in the Kadoli village of Marathwada and named Chandika Prasad, was fondly called as Nana by everyone. He founded Deendayal Research Institute in the memory of Pandit Nehru in 1968.

During Emergency, when in jail, he laid the foundation of Janata Party that swept to power in 1977.

About Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika 

He was a famous singer, lyricist, musician, poet and filmmaker from Assam. He was born on Sept 8, 1926, in Sadiya, in the State of Assam.



He has received various awards and honours including Padma Shri in 1977, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, Dada Saheb Phalke Award of 1992, Padma Bhushan of 2001, Asom Ratna-the highest civilian award of Assam in 2009, Padma Vibhushan in 2012 and many others.

About Shri Pranab Mukherjee

He is an outstanding statesman who served the Nation in various capacities including the Highest Office of the Country i.e., President of India.


He served as the 13th President of Republic of India from 25th July, 2012 to 24th July, 2017.




FIRST DEFENCE ACQUISITION COUNCIL MEETING HELD

The First Meeting of the DAC has accorded approval for procurement of indigenous Software Defined Radio (SDRTactical) and Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) for the Indian Navy.

Both of these indigenously developed equipments belongs to the latest generation and would give a boost to the Make-in-India initiatives of the Government of India.

What is Software Defined Radio (SDR Tactical) ?

The SDR Tactical is a very complex and state of art communication system, which has been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO, BEL and Weapons Electronics System Engineering Establishment (WESEE).



It would allow information sharing, collaboration and situational awareness through high-speed data and secure voice communication with anti-jamming capability.

What is Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) ?

Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB, LongRange) would be fitted with supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface cruise missiles and would be deployed along the coast.



The NGMMCB has been developed and manufactured in India by Indo-Russia Joint Venture Company, M/s BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited.





SAMAGRA SHIKSHA-JAL SURAKSHA

It is a drive to create awareness about water conservation among all school students in the country. It is proposed to be launched by Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD).

This mega drive is to be launched at Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Auditorium, Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 in Delhi Cantt.

The Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD has launched the ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ drive to promote water conservation activities for School Students, so that they can become competent, conscientious and committed water citizens of our nation.

Major Objectives of the Scheme :
  • To help students learn about the conservation of water.
  • To make students aware about the sensitivity of scarcity of water.
  • To aid students to learn to protect the various natural sources of water.
  • To help every student to save at least 1 litre of water per day.
  • To encourage Students to use water judiciously and ensure a minimum wastage of water at home and school level.

Target under the scheme
  • One Student - One Day - Save 1 Litre of Water.
  • One Student - One Year - Save 365 Litres of Water.
  • One Student - Ten Years - Save 3650 Litres of Water.



‘National Workshop on Tribal Enterprise with focus on Honey, Bamboo & Lac’

The workshop is jointly organized by Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED.

National Workshop was organized to fine-tune its action plan on the Promoting Tribal Enterprise on Bamboo, Honey and lac.



The workshop also introduced feasible technologies and process for production of value-added products from Bamboo, Lac and Honey.

KEY FACTS 
  • Bamboo 
    • India is the world’s second largest cultivator of bamboo after China, with 136 species and 23 general (out of which about 19 care indigenous) spread over 13.96 million hectares.
    • India’s annual Bamboo production is estimated at 3.23 million tons.

    • In contrast to China’s average yield of 50 MT/Ha, the maximal yield range in India is 10-15 MT/ha. 
    • The bamboo is used in various types of end products and it is a very good earning option for the tribals, for which necessary seed money, facilities and expertise need to be provided to tribal artisans.
  • Honey
    • The country's total honey production reported in 2017-18 was 1.05 lakh metric tonnes, compared to the 35,000 metric tonnes in 2005-06
    • The major part of it comes from Apisdorsata

    • India exports 50 per cent of the commodity and in the last 12 years, exports have increased by 207 per cent. 
    • India has exported 61,333.88 MT of natural honey worth Rs.732.16 crores i.e. USD 105.48 million dollars to USA, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia. Morocco, Qatar Germany, UK, Japan, France, Spain and Italy being the main markets.
    • According to latest government studies, large scale employment in the beekeeping sector is estimated to generate around 3 lakh-man-working days by maintaining 10,000 bee colonies
    • The honey is an excellent source of earning and TRIFED is committed towards Prime Minister’s vision of a “Sweet Revolution”.
  • Lac
    • Lac cultivation in India is mainly confined to the states of Jharkhand which contribute 57% of the total production, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 24% and the balance 19% is contributed by Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal

    • This cultivation has proved to be a subsidiary source of income for the tribals
    • Presently Indian lac export is almost non-existent, which needs to be revived. Lac with its availability and possibilities of cultivation in tribal areas has a great potential in creating livelihood and income generation opportunities for tribal communities.




Fourth Edition of Women Transforming India Awards

The Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards is being organized in collaboration with the United Nations to recognize women entrepreneurs from across India.

THEME 2019‘Women and Entrepreneurship’, which is in continuation of the theme for WTI Awards 2018.

About Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)

It is a Government of India initiative by NITI Aayog to promote and support aspiring as well as established women entrepreneurs in India, assist and handhold them in their journey from starting to scaling up and expanding their ventures.

It has more than 5,000 women entrepreneurs registered on the platform, more than 30 partners and, has also committed funding of more than US$10mn for these startups.

As an enabling platform, WEP is built on three pillars - Iccha Shakti, Gyaan Shakti & Karma Shakti


  • Iccha Shakti represents motivating aspiring entrepreneurs to start their business.
  • Gyaan Shakti represents providing knowledge and ecosystem support to women entrepreneurs to help them foster entrepreneurship.
  • Karma Shakti represents providing hands-on support to entrepreneurs in setting-up and scaling up businesses.



CHANGES TO PREVENTION OF MONEY LAUNDERING ACT

changes in Act includes some of the provisions which tend to treat money laundering as a stand-alone crime and also expand the ambit of “proceeds of crime” to assets that may have been derived from any other criminal activity related to scheduled offences.

Under the PMLA Act, the Enforcement Directorate is empowered to conduct money laundering investigation.

Key Changes :

The most important amendment made includes the deletion of provisos in sub-sections (1) of Section 17 (Search and Seizure) and Section 18 (Search of Persons), which ends the earlier process of pre-requisite of an FIR or chargesheet by other agencies that are authorised to probe the offences listed in the PMLA schedule.

Another crucial amendment is the insertion of an explanation in Section 44

According to Section 44, “The jurisdiction of the Special Court, while dealing with the offence under this Act, during investigation, enquiry or trial under this Act, shall not be dependent upon any orders passed in respect of the scheduled offence, and the trial of both sets of offences by the same court shall not be construed as joint trial.”

An explanation has also been added to Section 45 that clarifies that all PMLA offences will be cognisable and non-bailable.

The scope of “proceeds of crime”, under Section 2, has also been expanded to empower the agency to act against even those properties which “may directly or indirectly be derived or obtained as a result of any criminal activity relatable to the scheduled offence”.

Another important change made to Section 3 makes concealment of proceeds of crime, possession, acquisition, use, projecting as untainted money, or claiming as untainted property as independent and complete offences under the Act.

An amendment made to Section 72 now includes a part, that gives power to the Centre to set up an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee for inter-departmental and inter-agency coordination for operational and policy level cooperation, besides consultation with all stakeholders on anti-money laundering and counter-terror funding initiatives.



INDIA TO SEEK BOOST TO PROTECTION STATUS OF 5 SPECIES AT CITES

India has submitted proposals regarding changes to the listing of various wildlife species in the CITES secretariat meeting.

The proposal submitted are regarding the changes in the listing of the smooth-coated otter, small-clawed otter, Indian Star tortoise, Tokay gecko, wedgefish and Indian rosewood. 
Indian Star Tortoise

The country seeks to boost the protection of all the five animal species as they are facing a high risk of international trade.

Tokay Gecko

In case of Indian Rosewood, the proposal is to remove the species from CITES Appendix II.

Wedgefish


India is among the parties who have proposed the re-listing of the star tortoise from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I.

Small Clawed Otter


The species faces two major threats : Loss of Habitat to agriculture and illegal harvesting for the pet trade.

With respect to the two Otter species, India, Nepal and the Philippines have proposed that the listing be moved from CITES Appendix II to Appendix I for the more endangered species.

A similar proposal has been made for the inclusion of Tokay gecko in Appendix I.

About CITES

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty that ensure trade in wild animals and plants do not threaten their survival. The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at Geneva, Switzerland.

CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). It is an international agreement to which States and regional economic integration organizations adhere voluntarily. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention ('joined' CITES) are known as Parties.

Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. For many years, CITES has been among the conservation agreements with the largest membership, with now 183 Parties.

The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need.

Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct procedure from changes to Appendices I and II, as each Party’s is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it.

India is a party to CITES.


QUICK FEEDS

  • The Virasat-e-Khalsa museum in Anandpur Sahib is all set to find a place in the Asia Book of Records for becoming the most visited museum in the Indian sub-continent on a single day.
    • It has received 20,569 visitors on March 20.

  • Elangbam Valentina Devi, a 9-year-old girl, has been appointed as the Manipur's Green Ambassador following a video of her crying for two trees axed for a road-widening project went viral.


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