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Daily Current Affairs -27th July 2018
The 123 Agreement negotiations between India and the US concluded on 27th July 2007
The 123 Agreement, also known as the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, under which the US agreed for full civil nuclear cooperationwith India, was concluded on 27th July 2007.
- The Indo-US civil nuclear agreement was conceived by the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then American President George Bush in July 2005 in Washington.
- Under this framework, India agreed to segregate her military and civil nuclear facilities and also to place all the civil nuclear facilities under the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA.
- The deal took its time to come to fruition because the US required an amendment in its domestic law and India required a separation of civil and military nuclear capabilities. There was also an agreement between India and the IAEA. Also, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) also had to grant India an exemption.
- After the deal, India became the only nuclear state which is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be able to engage in nuclear trade with the world because of the NSG waiver obtained in September 2008.
- India’s credibility in the world, her commitment to non-proliferation and her standing as a peaceful nation not indulging in premeditated attacks on other countries were factors that led USA into changing its stance on the issue. One of the architects of the deal Nicholas Burns commented that the same could not be said of Pakistan when asked if the US would strike a similar deal with Pakistan.
- George Bush visited India in March 2006 and issued a joint statement with Manmohan Singh with a special emphasis on civil nuclear cooperation.
- After about four months, the USA passed the Hyde Act which stated that the US would cooperate with India on civil nuclear concerns and would exempt India from signing the NPT.
- Negotiations between both countries on the bilateral agreement concluded on 27th July 2007. Both governments released the 123 Agreement, formally called the ‘Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy’.
- In India, the government faced stiff opposition from rival parties particularly the Left parties. In 2008, the government survived a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.
- The deal is officially signed on 10th October 2008 between the then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the then Secretary of State of the US Condoleeza Rice in Washington D.C.
- International reaction to the deal was mixed. China remarked that the deal represents ‘a major blow to the international non-proliferation regime’.
- There was some speculation in India that the deal tied India’s hands in terms of conducting a nuclear test. But many experts pointed out that there was no such prohibition.
- This deal marked a watershed in the relations between India and the USA.
Lok Sabha passes Anti-Trafficking Bill
- The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.
- The Bill lays down a stringent punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment for aggravated forms of trafficking, which include buying or selling of persons for the purpose of bonded labour, bearing a child, as well as those where chemical substances or hormones are administered, and a survivor acquires life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS.
- It proposes establishing a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB) for coordinating, monitoring and surveillance of trafficking cases.
- It also provides for a Relief and Rehabilitation Committee and Rehabilitation Fund with an initial allocation of ₹ 10 crore.
- It prescribes forfeiture of property used or likely to be used for the commission of an offence.
- Earlier this year, the Cabinet had approved a proposal for making the apex anti-terror body — the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — the nodal authority for probing cases of human trafficking, for which the government is expected to bring a separate amendment to the NIA Act.
More provisions needed:
- Bill lacks safeguards to ensure that people who voluntarily enter into sex trade are not harassed.
- Extension of the bill to transgender
Bengal House passes resolution to rename state as ‘Bangla’
- The West Bengal Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution to change the name of the state to “Bangla”
- The state government will now recommend this change of name to the Centre.
- The change in name will put the state’s name at the fourth spot, after Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam in the 1st
- Art 3: Empowers the parliament to create states either by naming or by altering borders or by union or by division of states.
‘Mission Satyanishtha’ to wipe out corruption
- Indian Railways will take turns to swear an oath publicly to “bring about integrity” and “eradicate corruption” – beginning with the top brass and carrying on to the lowest levels in the organization throughout the year.
- The program will involve railway men attending formal training course on probity and integrity in public life.
- As per CVC statistics released every year, maximum corruption complaints are always against railway employees. In the corruption watchdog’s annual report for 2017 tabled in Parliament this year, 12,089 complaints were against functionaries of the national transporter among the total 23,609 complaints received that year. Railways has also featured as one of the few organisations which went against CVC advice on individual cases of corruption as per the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Para-Athletics under Khelo India Scheme
- The Khelo India Scheme has a dedicated vertical, namely, “Promotion of Sports among persons with disabilities” for supporting athletes with disabilities including sportspersons for Para-athletics. The indicative estimated expenditure for this vertical for the years 2018-19 and 2019-20 is Rs.15 crore each year.
- In the Paralympic Games 2016, Indian para athletes won 04 medals (02 Gold, 01 silver and 01 bronze). India won 01 Bronze medal in power-lifting event in Commonwealth Games 2018.
- For promotion of sports among differently-abled persons, Ministry has recognized three National Sports Federations (NSFs) namely All India Sports Council of the Deaf (AISCD), Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), and Special Olympic Bharat (SOB).
- Government provides support to the differently-abled athletes, through their respective NSFs, for participation in national championships and international events. All the three NSFs for the differently-abled athletes have been placed in the “Priority” category so that they are eligible for maximum financial assistance under the Scheme of Assistance to NSFs.
India to raise H1B issue with U.S.
- India will raise the issue of H1B visas for IT workers during the upcoming ‘two plus two dialogue’ with the United States
- S. had sovereign right to decide on H1B visa but had declared that India would leave “no stone unturned” in ensuring a fair procedure on this issue.
- The government has been in touch with the U.S. administration regarding the issue
- Despite the tightening of rules by the Trump administration, the number of visas has actually gone up from 1, 08,000 in 2014 to 1,29,000 in 2018.
U.S.,EU agree to ease trade tensions
- S. President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday agreed on a plan to defuse the festering trade dispute between the two major economies.
- Washington will not follow through with a threat to impose tariffs on autos that would hurt the dominant German car industry — as a “breakthrough” that “can avoid trade war.”
- The leaders agreed to “launch a new phase” in the relationship and “to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.
- In addition, the EU has made a commitment to buy U.S. soybeans and natural gas.
Pakistan ready to improve ties with India: Imran Khan
- Pakistan is ready to improve its ties with India, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on July 26.
- He stated to resolve all disputes, including the “core issue” of Kashmir, through talks
- The PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly elections, amid claims by rival political parties “blatant” rigging in the counting.
- India-Pakistan relations will be beneficial for the entire region and suggested to increase trade ties between the two neighbors.
- India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.
- On ties with the U.S., he said Pakistan wants a balanced relations with America which should be mutually beneficial, not one-sided. Additionally, Mr. Khan said he and his party wanted stronger ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
- He wants to strengthen relations with China, as they have provided us an opportunity by investing in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
PM Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, and said the friendship between India and Russia is deep-rooted.
- The two leaders then met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao, China, in June.
- The two leaders had a comprehensive discussion on bilateral issues of mutual interest, especially in trade, investment, energy, defense and tourism.
- BRICS is a grouping of emerging nations formed in 2009 and comprises five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- Representing over 40 per cent of the world’s population, the block’s growth rates surpass those of the developed countries of the G7.
PM Narendra Modi meets Chinese President Xi Jinping, discusses ties
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the informal bilateral summit in Wuhan was a “milestone”, and both sides will keep up the level of engagement.
- The two leaders, who met for the third time in three months on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, acknowledged the frequent meetings.
- They decided to unveil the calendar of diplomatic engagement
- The two sides also discussed bilateral trade. An Indian trade delegation will travel to China on August 1 and 2, where they will discuss issues pertaining to export of rice and soya from India, and import of urea from China.
Liver cancer on mind, government to give free antiviral for hepatitis C
- GoI will launch an ambitious programme to control viral hepatitis later this week, under which an expensive antiviral for hepatitis C infections will be made available free of cost at all government hospitals.
- The National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme will be launched at Vigyan Bhawan on July 28 which is observed as World Hepatitis Day.
- The programme aims at both prevention and treatment of hepatitis which is among the leading causes of liver cancer, cirrhosis of liver and acute liver failure.
- According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology, incidence rate of liver cancer in India for men ranges from 0.7 to 7.5 and for women between 0.2 and 2.2 per 100,000 population per year. The male to female ratio for liver cancer in India is 4:1.
- The programme will set up and upgrade facilities for the diagnosis and treatment primarily of hepatitis B and C.
- The programme aims to treat a minimum of 3 lakh hepatitis C cases over a period of three years.
- Hepatitis A and E viruses are important causes of acute viral hepatitis and acute liver failure (ALF). Hepatitis A virus is responsible for 10-30 per cent of acute hepatitis and 5-15 per cent of acute liver failure cases in India. Hepatitis E virus is said to be responsible for 10-40 per cent of acute hepatitis and 15-45 per cent of acute liver failure cases.
Prescribing medicines without diagnosis amounts to culpable negligence: Bombay HC
In a case filed in Bombay HC, it is stated that
- Prescription without diagnosis would amount to culpable negligence.
- This amounts to gross negligence from the point of standard of care and recklessness and negligence
- An error in diagnosis could be negligence and covered under section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. But this is a case of prescription without diagnosis and, therefore, culpable negligence
Solar-powered Cochin Airport gets UN’s highest environmental accolade
- The Cochin International Airport in Kerala, the first fully solar-powered airport in the world, has been chosen for the prestigious Champion of Earth Prize – 2018 instituted by the United Nations (UN).
- The Champion of Earth Prize is considered the UN’s highest environmental accolade.
- A massive solar plant, adjoining the airport’s cargo complex, produces 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity every day taking care of its energy needs.
- The airport, the first to be built in India under the public-private-partnership model, had logged 10 million passengers in the last financial year. It currently operates 25 airlines to several domestic and international destinations. In FY 2017-18, it had witnessed a 22% increase in domestic passenger volume and 4% increase in foreign passenger arrivals compared to the previous financial year.
GS-III(Science & Technology)
Underground lake detected on Mars
- Using a radar instrument on an orbiting spacecraft, scientists have spotted appears to be a sizeable salt-laden lake under ice on the southern polar plain of Mars, a body of water they called a possible habitat for microbial life.
- The reservoir they detected — roughly 20 km in diameter, shaped like a rounded triangle and located about 1.5 km beneath the ice surface — represents the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars.
- The water in the Martian lake was below the normal freezing point but remained liquid thanks in large part to high levels of salts.
Two Indians among 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Award winners
- Two Indians, Bharat Vatwani and Sonam Wangchuk, are among six who have been declared winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, often referred to as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize.
- Bharat Vatwani is a psychiatrist who works for mentally-ill people living on the streets and Sonam Wangchuk, known for his reforms in the education sector in Ladakh, started a movement to help poor village student’s clear examinations.
- The others award winners are from Cambodia, East Timor, Philippines and Vietnam.
- Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour.