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Daily Current Affairs -28th July 2018
Congress Boycotts Prince of Wales Visit
- On 28 July, 1921, the Indian National Congress decided to boycott the upcoming visit of the Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VIII) in November as part of the Non-Cooperation Movement.
- The Non-Cooperation movement was an important part of India’s freedom struggle.
- This movement came about due to colonial oppression.
- The Non-Cooperation Movement was launched formally on 1 August, 1920, the day on which Bal Gangadhar Tilak passed away.
- The Congress gave a call to the people to:
- Surrender all titles and honorary offices and resign from nominated seats in local bodies
- Refuse to attend government of semi-government functions
- Withdraw slowly step by step children from schools and colleges, aided or controlled by the government
- Boycott British courts by lawyers and litigants
- Refusal for recruitment for military and other services in Mesopotamia
- Boycott the elections to be held for councils as per the reforms of 1919, and
- Boycott of foreign goods.
- The year 1921-22 witnessed an unprecedented movement in the nation’s history, when there was a widespread unrest among students.
- A nationwide tour was taken up by Mahatma Gandhi and Ali Brothers of Khilafat movement, C R Das, Motilal Nehru, M.R Jayakar, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Vallabhbhai Patel, C. Rajagopalachari, T. Prakasam and Asaf Ali. Many left their legal practice and jumped in the full-fledged politics of the Congress. Thousands of students left government schools and colleges and joined the movement.
- The visit of the Prince of Wales in November 1921 was marked with demonstrations, hartals and political meetings marred by scenes of mob violence and police atrocities in Bombay. This also led to large scale clashes
Longest Lunar eclipse of 21st century
- The total lunar eclipse on the intervening night of July 27 and 28 lasted for 103 minutes and thus be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
- The longest total lunar eclipse of the previous century happened in its last year, on July 16, 2000. It had lasted nearly four minutes longer, at an hour and 46.4 minutes.
How the eclipse happened?
- The alignment of the centres of the Sun, Earth and the Moon, and the distance of the Moon from Earth at the time of the eclipse, combine to determine its duration.
- The centres of the three celestial bodies are almost in straight line, an arrangement called a syzygy. The Moon will also be near its farthest point from Earth – i.e. apogee – and so appear to be at its smallest. As a result, it will take the natural satellite more time to cross Earth’s shadow, making the eclipse last longer.
- Eclipses are nothing but shadow play: during a lunar eclipse, the Sun gets behind Earth from the Moon’s POV, and Earth’s shadow falls on the Moon’s orbit.
Draft data protection bill: Panel frames tension; digital growth versus personal privacy
Srikrishna committee reported on data protection to center.
The committee has identified two pillars as key to the protection of an individual’s autonomy: “Data minimization” (the entity should collect only that much data as is needed) and “purpose specification” (it should disclose the purpose why data is being collected). And made three suggestions:
- Forbid re-identifying individuals amongst anonymized data.
- Allow big data processing that improves services or purposes which are “reasonably expected” by the individual.
- Narrow big data processing to ensure that there is no significant harm to the individual; no decision is specific to or an action directed at an individual and, if the action is specific to an individual, companies must seek explicit consent.
- Both personal data processed by Indian companies, even if the processing occurs abroad, as well as personal data processed by foreign companies in India must be protected.
- If foreign websites access India data in a way that is “neither large-scale nor capable of causing significant harm”, the Indian law should not apply.
Fill CIC, SIC vacancies in four weeks, says SC
- The Supreme Court put the government in the dock over long-pending vacancies in the Central Information Commission and the State Information Commissions, adjudicatory bodies under the Right to Information Act.
- The court asked why four positions were still vacant in the CIC despite a government advertisement in 2016.
- Expressing concern over pendency of cases in the SICs, the Bench asked Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha and Karnataka to respond with a timeline for filling vacancies.
- Because of these vacancies over 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending with the CIC affecting the governance.
In first meet, government panel on lynching discusses need to frame new law
- A committee headed by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is framing new legislation to prevent incidents of lynching.
- The committee, formed on Monday on the directions of the Supreme Court, is likely to meet again on Saturday and take up cases of lynchings reported from across the country.
- The deliberations was to make changes in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC)
- Under Section 223 (a) of CrPC there are legal provision to “prosecute persons accused of the same offence committed in the course same transaction.” But legal experts say the provision falls far short for prosecuting lynch mobs.
- It is also likely to recommend that those arrested on charge of mob violence should not be granted bail.
- The committee identified rumors on child-lifting and cattle smuggling, the two main causes reported behind incidents of mob violence.
- It recommending to Parliament the proposal to create a “separate offence for lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same”.
- It may also suggest forming a Central fund to pay compensation to mob violence victims in the light of the provisions under Section 357A of CrPC. The financial assistance can be paid by the state government under a Central scheme.
- It will also deliberate on the need to further strengthen the framework relating to social media to ensure that rumors are checked.
MEA developing portal to serve summons, warrants against absconding NRI husbands
- In a bid to prevent such fraudulent marriages, the Ministry of External Affairs is developing a portal, where summons and warrants against absconding NRI husbands would be served, and if the accused does not respond he would be declared a proclaimed offender and his property would be “attached”.
- There need to be amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) that would allow district magistrate to accept such summons and warrants put on the portal to be “deemed as served.
- The move aims to prevent NRI marriages where husbands abandon their wives and abscond or mentally and physically abuse them after marriage in a foreign country.
- Attachment is a legal process by which at the request of a creditor, designates specific property owned by the debtor to be transferred to the creditor, or sold for the benefit of the creditor. The creditor, in this case, would be the victim.
- A Women and Child Development official has said the committee has received 70 complaints in the last two months based on which the National Commission for Women conducted its probe and recommended cancellation of eight passports.
Unhappy with ISPs for not removing key words for child porn, SC warns them: Act, or face fine
- The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish over lynching’s and observed that “all kinds of things” are appearing on social media, and that even as “people are getting lynched”, “no one seems bothered”.
- The court had earlier directed internet service providers (ISPs) to remove certain key words used in search for child pornography, and was unhappy that its directive was not complied with.
- The court warned the ISPs that it will give them one more chance to comply with its directions, and that any further delay will invite a fine of Rs 5 lakh per day. The court gave them time until August 27 to implement its directions.
- Recent trend of introducing tabs right from LKG is creating a vulnerable scenario.
India, China plan to strengthen relations
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, said they were “particularly satisfied by the efforts made by the two sides to strengthen this engagement”
- The two will meet again on the margins of the G20 meet in Argentina at the end of this year. In the meantime, a number of ministerial visits will take place on both sides.
- The foreign ministers of the two countries are also expected to meet in New Delhi in October to take forward a plan to step up people to people interaction, he said. There will also be a meeting of the two special representatives who are discussing a solution to their boundary problem and this will take place in China.
- In a bid to bridge the trade deficit between India and China, that has zoomed to $ 50 billion in the past year, an Indian trade delegation will be travelling to China on 1-2 August.
Timeline of India-China ties in recent times:
- India-China ties have been be devilled by a number of irritants —an unsettled boundary problem dating back to their brief but bitter 1962 war, a ballooning trade deficit against India, China’s close ties with India’s arch rival Pakistan and Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative running through disputed Kashmir that New Delhi says violates its sovereignty, to name a few.
- Last year, however, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in an unprecedented tense standoff that ended after 73 days —seen as an offshoot of their unresolved boundary problem.
- In a bid to stabilize ties bruised by the Doklam standoff, Modi and Xi held an informal summit in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on 27-28 April where the two sides agreed to “respect each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations,” and to maintain peace and tranquillity along their common but yet to be demarcated frontiers.
- In June 2018, the two leaders met again on the margins of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in the Chinese city of Qingdao where they agreed on a further set of measures to boost mutual trust. These included announcements on meetings between their defense and home ministers and setting a bilateral trade target of $100 billion in trade by the year 2020.
Indian-driven gold mining project in Russia praised at BRICS Summit
- An Indian-driven gold mining project in Siberia has been hailed at the BRICS Summit here as the first practical implementation of the objectives of the grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
- The Kluchevskoye Gold Mining Project, initiated by India’s SUN Gold Ltd, is being seen as the first-ever industrial public-private partnership investment project to be undertaken by partners from all BRICS member-states.
- This project has gives an understanding of how BRICS can actually work in a practical manner where we can use complementary strengths.
- This innovative model of public and private partners from BRICS countries coming together can be used as a model to tackle significant projects in non-BRICS countries as well, creating a sustainable model for cooperation, collaboration and investment-led economic growth, boosting industrial development and providing turnkey, sustainable job creation.
Invest India and UAE signs MoU
- Invest India and the UAE Minister for Artificial Intelligence (AI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for India – UAE Artificial Intelligence Bridge.
- This partnership will generate an estimated USD 20 billion in economic benefits during the next decade for both countries.
- The MoU will spur development across areas like Blockchain, AI and Analytics as data and processing will be a catalyst for innovation and business growth and serve as the backbone of more effective and efficient service delivery systems.
- By 2035 AI can potentially add USD 957 billion to the Indian economy.
- The UAE-India collaboration will seek to evaluate the dynamic nature of innovation and technology by convening a UAE-India AI Working Group (TWG) between the UAE Ministry for Artificial Intelligence, Invest India and Startup India. The TWG will meet once a year with the mandate to increase investment in AI startups and research activities in partnership with the private sector.
- India and UAE share a bond that extends beyond business as Indians make-up the largest expat community in the UAE at 27% and the UAE is India’s third largest trading partner.
- The UAE has invested over USD 5.3 billion in India and infrastructure is one of the top 5 focus sections of UAE-India bilateral trade.
US GDP growth hits 4.1%, fastest since 2014, in win for Donald Trump
- Consumer spending propelled US economic growth to a 4.1% pace in the second quarter, the fastest since 2014
- Net exports contributed 1.06 percentage point to the pace of growth, the most since 2013, partly on a surge in soybean shipments ahead of retaliatory tariffs
- Economists’ forecasts for second-quarter GDP, the value of all goods and services produced in the nation, ranged from 3% to 5%.
- They showed a higher household-saving rate than previously reported, as well as faster growth in the first quarter of recent years, though the overall narrative of the economy’s performance over the last decade wasn’t much different.
- The revisions also showed the economy surpassed $20 trillion in nominal dollars in the first quarter.
Sources of ‘Rogue’ CFC-11 Emissions Damaging the Ozone Layer Need to Be Identified
- Officials of Montreal protocol sought help to trace the source of ‘rogue’ CFC 11 emissions damaging the ozone layer, setting back decades of healing.
- The Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) of the protocol – an international treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out production of substances harmful to it – questioned Chinese authorities about foam manufacturing companies in rural China, which many suspect are the primary, if not sole, source of the emissions.
- Officials are likely to maintain a close a watch on atmospheric data from South and East Asia. This will help pinpoint the source of emissions and the Montreal Protocol’s scientific assessment panel will gather the most recent data from the atmospheric monitoring stations in the region, including those of South Korea and Japan.
- The spike in emissions has been reported for at least four years now.
- There has been a 25% increase in CFC-11 emissions since 2012. Researchers said that the spike was not related to past CFC-11 production and suggests that there is unreported new production.
What is CFC-11?
- Trichlorofluoromethane, also called freon-11, CFC-11, or R-11, is a chlorofluorocarbon.
- It is a colorless, faint ethereal, and sweetish-smelling liquid that boils around room temperature.
- It was the first widely used refrigerant.Because of its high boiling point (compared to most refrigerants), it can be used in systems with a low operating pressure, making the mechanical design of such systems less demanding than that of higher-pressure refrigerants R-12 or R-22.
- R-11 is assigned an ozone depletion potential of 1.0, and U.S. production was ended on January 1, 1996.
PSU’s biggest donors to Clean Ganga Fund
- The government has committed to cleaning nearly 70-80% of the river by March next year.
- Nearly 90% of the dedicated fund that the Water Ministry has collected as part of donations for various projects to clean the Ganga is sourced from State and Central government public sector units (PSU).
- The Water Minister Nitin Gadkari has directed that focus should be on getting money from the private sector.
- Director-General for National Mission for Clean Ganga, which coordinates programme activities. The government will be putting in place nearly 288 projects, worth ₹20,000 crore, and clean up 70%-80% of the river by March next year.
Clean Ganga Fund (CGF)
- The Clean Ganga Fund (CGF), was created in 2014 and envisioned as a source of funds from private companies, individuals and institutions.
- Minister of State Satyapal Singh reported that ₹220 crore was donated to the CGF as of January 2018.
- Private companies contributed around ₹20 crore and the public sector, Central public sector and Government Departments contributed about ₹177 crore. The rest were from individual donations.
NITI Aayog in talks with water ministry to set-up authority for cleaning Yamuna
- NITI Aayog said that it is in discussions with the water resources ministry for establishing an authority to clean and rejuvenate the Yamuna River in the capital.
- Almost 60-70 per cent of the pollution in Yamuna comes from the Najafgarh drain alone and if that single drain could be handled, it is possible to enliven the river again.
- NITI Aayog have decided to formulate/establish Yamuna Water Management Authority.
- The government is planning to use the funds of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme to desilt water bodies such as ponds in villages an in hinterlands to conserve water in a better way.
India to give flash flood warning to Asian nations
- India has been designated as a nodal center for preparing flash-flood forecasts by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
- That means India will have to develop a customized model that can issue advance warning of floods in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
- On the sidelines of the Earth Sciences Foundation Day, the IMD would be working to customize a weather model, developed by the United States and donated to the WMO, to warn of flash floods at least six hours in advance.
- The Central Water Commission, which monitors India’s dams, warns of rising water levels in the reservoirs, which are usually taken to be signs of imminent floods. The organisation has recently tied up with Google to develop a software application to visualise rising water levels during heavy rains.
- The WMO says flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, causing some 5,000 deaths each year.
Who all availing?
- Like India, several South-East Asian countries depend on the monsoon and are prone to its vagaries.
- The proposed model would provide forecasts by computing the likelihood of rainfall and the soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods.
- Though Pakistan was among the list of countries that would benefit from the forecast, it had refused to participate in the scheme
How it works?
- Using a combination of satellite mapping and ground-based observation, this system — called the Flash Flood Guidance System — aims to provide forecasts six hours in advance.
Govt to bottle and sell traditional tribal drink Mahua from Bastar
- The government is planning to bottle and sell mahua in markets across the country. Mahua is an alcoholic drink made out of flowers of the mahua tree and is a popular summer drink. The government plans to sell it as a mildly-alcoholic drink.
- To carry this forth, TRIFED has signed a MoU with IIT-Delhi.
- The drink would be mostly sourced from Bastar and sold under the brand name Mahua.
- Besides this, the government is also planning to sell de-seeded tamarind and amla as candies and jams
- The marketing plan will be done under the Van Dhan Vikas Karyakram that was launched earlier this year by PM Modi in Chattisgarh’s Bijapur. Under this program, Rs 500-Rs 600 crore has been earmarked to train tribal clusters across the country to sell their produce with packaging that will lead to an increase in their income.
- TRIFED tied up with IIT-Delhi to use the syrup of mahua flower to create jam, squash, chutney and non-alcoholic beverages.
- The Tamarind-Mahua candy that was the result of this process has been picked for bulk supply to Air India.
- Bastar been one of the most vulnerable area for naxalism.
- Initiatives like this will create huge employment opportunities to the youth.
- As youth are more prone to naxal joining activities these initiatives will reduce the impact of anti social elements, trying to reduce the internal security challenges created by Naxalism.