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Centre releases Rs 113 crore to six Border States
- The Centre has released over Rs 113 crore to six Border States as part of its plan to ameliorate the problems of people living in these isolated locations.
- The amount was released to Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP).
- With this, the Home Ministry has released around 638 crore rupees so far during this fiscal to the States having International Border.
- The BADP covers 111 border districts in 17 states to meet special development needs of the border population with a focus on the people living within 50 kilometres of the International Border.
- The BADP schemes include construction of primary health centres, schools, the supply of drinking water, community centres, connectivity, drainage to enable sustainable living in border areas.
New rules for foreigners in detention centres
- The government has informed the Supreme Court that new guidelines are being framed for keeping foreign nationals in detention centres across the country.
- The Bench had sought responses from the Centre and the Assam government on the plight of families, who languish in the State’s six detention centres as “declared foreigners”, separated from each other and their children.
SC was hearing the issue of framing of a manual detailing the guidelines for detaining foreigners.
India, South Korea sign MoU on cooperation in sports
- India and South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in sports in New Delhi.
- Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea Do Jong-hwan signed the MoU.
- The objective of the MoU is to establish a framework to facilitate and promote cooperation between the two countries on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.
- The two countries will encourage exchanges and cooperative actions between sports authorities, sports federations and other sports bodies in the different areas of cooperation.
- Such initiatives will broaden the cooperation between the two countries not only in the field of sports but also in other areas.
- Both sides must also collaborate in sports such as Archery and Taekwondo where South Korea is one of the pioneer countries.
- The best practices in the management of sports infrastructure, governance of sports followed by South Korea need to be studied for improvement in our system.
India, Malawi sign MoUs in Extradition Treaty, Atomic Energy and VISA Waiver
- India and Malawi have signed three MoUs on Extradition Treaty, cooperation in the field of Atomic Energy for peaceful purposes and VISA Waiver for Diplomatic and Official Passports.
- India will also extend a new Line of credit of 215 million US dollars to Malawi for 18 water projects.
Govt approves operationalization strategy for Operation Greens
- The government on Monday approved the operationalization strategy for Operation Greens to ensure availability of Tomato, Onion and Potato throughout the country round the year without price volatility.
- Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 with an outlay of 500 crore rupees to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato crops.
- Price volatility of these crops wreaks havoc in the households of this country.
- This is a revolutionary scheme which has been evolved after sustained dialogue with all stakeholders.
- The Minister also said that the government has laid down special measures and grants-in-aid under the scheme to ensure enhanced production of these crops.
Finance Commission holds discussion with MEA
- Finance Commission held a productive discussion with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other officials in New Delhi as part of its interactive process with major central ministries.
- The Commission was apprised of the broad architecture of the working of the foreign affairs in a detailed presentation.
- The Commission was conscious that contours of the foreign policy of an increasingly interdependent India entail multiple challenges and opportunities.
- The emergence of other major powers in this region and the need for timely completion of projects initiated in friendly countries need adequacy of resources.
- Opening new embassies in different parts of the world in near future and improving the public service delivery by a network of Passport Centers across the country also need finances for physical infrastructure and manpower.
- The Chairman and Members of the Commission tried to understand the trade relations of India across the globe, its challenges and efforts done to enhance this.
- The Commission was given an understanding of the challenges in matching India’s diplomatic power with India’s economic power as the world’s fastest-growing emerging economy in the 21st Century.
India among 8 countries allowed to buy Iranian oil: US
- The United States exempted eight countries, including India from the US sanctions for buying Iranian oil.
- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the list of the countries temporarily exempted from the sanctions.
- These include China, Japan, Italy, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
- These countries showed significant reduction in oil purchase from the Persian Gulf country after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
- Mr Pompeo also warned companies globally that they would be subject to severe penalties including potential sanctions if they continued to have commercial transactions with Iran.
- Asserting that the US wants Iran to change its behaviour, Mr Pompeo said that at the center of it is an unprecedented campaign of economic pressure.
- The objective is to starve the Iranian regime of the revenue it uses to fund violent and destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East and around the world.
- The US today imposed the toughest ever sanctions on Iran. The sanctions cover Iran’s banking and energy sectors and reinstate penalties for countries and companies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere that do not halt Iranian oil imports.
Teach menstrual hygiene in ‘sensitive, supportive’ manner: Child rights panel to schools
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has released a manual titled ‘Safety and Security of Children in Schools’, a compilation of laws, Acts, guidelines and rules available in India, to ensure children’s safety in schools.
- The 88-page manual lists the rules and guidelines which schools have to follow to ensure safety of children in each category – divided into categories such as infrastructure, health and hygiene, psycho-social aspects, roles and responsibilities of teachers, child safety checklist for schools among others.
- The manual has to be followed by all government, private and other schools across the country.
- It also deals with how teachers have to deal with girls when they start menstruating and that the girls should be provided all possible support.
- The manual also directs schools to provide facilities such as sanitary pads and incinerators for proper disposal of sanitary napkins during menstruation.
GS-III(Science & Technology)
NASA’s Hubble spots cosmic smiley among colourful galaxies
- The Hubble Space telescope has spotted a formation of galaxies that resembles a smiling face in the sky.
- The image, taken with the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), shows a patch of space filled with galaxies of all shapes, colours and sizes, many of which belong to the galaxy cluster SDSS J0952+3434.
- Just below centre is a formation of galaxies akin to a smiling face. Two yellow-hued blobs hang atop a sweeping arc of light.
- The lower, arc-shaped galaxy has the characteristic shape of a galaxy that has been gravitationally lensed — its light has passed near a massive object en route to us, causing it to become distorted and stretched out of shape.
- Stars are born within giant clouds of gas.
- These massive clouds, or stellar nurseries, grow unstable and begin to collapse under gravity, becoming the seeds that will grow into new stars.
- By analysing the luminosity, size and formation rate of different stellar nurseries, scientists hope to learn more about the processes that can lead to the formation of a newborn star.
INS Arihant is now operational
- INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously developed nuclear submarine, returned to the Indian shores on Monday after successfully completing its first deterrence patrol.
- The submarine is a vital cog in India’s quest in attaining a minimum deterrent nuclear ‘triad’ – the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea.
- It is a 6,000-tonne submarine with a length of 110 metres and a breadth of 11 metres. The vessel will be able to carry 12 Sagarika K 15 submarine launched ballistic missiles that have a range of over 700 km.
Timeline of INS Arihant:
- The submarine was sanctioned using secret funds in the late 1970s by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi after India conducted its first nuclear test.
- The design and technology of INS Arihant was locked in 1984 when the formal go-ahead was given. Work on the submarine started in 1998.
- It took the Ship Building Centre (SBC) almost 11 years to construct the country’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine.
- INS Arihant was launched on July 26, 2009 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to mark 10 years since the end of the Kargil War.
- In August 2013, the submarine’s atomic reactor was activated.
- In August 2016, Prime Minister Modi inducted the submarine into the Navy.