Friday, 24 March 2017

Daily Update On Current Affairs - March 23, 2017

current affairs

Here's your daily summary of Current Affairs.

India Ranks 131 In 2016 Human Development Index

India was ranked 131 in the 2016 Human Development Index (HDI) among the 188 countries. India scored 0.624 and was placed in medium human development category. The index was unveiled recently as part of the Human Development Report (HDR) 2016 titled Human Development for Everyone published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Top three countries:
Norway (0.949 scores),
Australia (0.939), and
Switzerland (0.939).
SAARC countries: Sri Lanka (73) and Maldives (105) were placed in “high human development” category, followed by India (131), Bhutan (132), Bangladesh (139), Nepal (144), Pakistan (147) and Afghanistan (169).

ISRO Commissions World’s Third-Largest Hypersonic Wind Tunnel

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created history by commissioning the world’s third-largest hypersonic wind tunnel at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. In this regard, ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar commissioned two facilities – a 1-m Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and a 1-m Shock Tunnel.

Key Facts: These facilities are the third largest in terms of size and simulation capability in the world next only to the ones in the United States (US) and Russia. They have been indigenously designed, developed and made in India with the support of Indian Industries. Few critical technologies of these tunnels which are under embargo were also indigenously developed. These facilities together are quite complex with 500 valves, 2 km of pipelines, 41 electric motors, 35 pumps, 320 instruments and 10 km of cables. These tunnels have a wide spectrum of simulation capabilities in terms of Mach number, Reynolds number and re-entry velocities.

Applications: These wind tunnels will be used to study the effects of air flowing past a solid object and in ISRO’s case, space vehicles. These new facilities will help aerodynamic characterization of advanced space transportation systems in a hypersonic environment. 

Significance: Such facilities will provide adequate data for design and development of current and future space transportation systems in the country. Commissioning of these facilities also symbolises the country’s capability in establishing such world-class facilities wherein technology from outside is restricted or not available.

NGT Suspends Green Nod For Neutrino Project

The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO). It has asked the project proponent to make a fresh application. NGT suspended the EC after petitioner submitted that the INO project was just 4.5 km away from Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district (Kerala) and one kilometre from Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and falls under category ‘A’ project in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

What is the issue? The Union Environment Ministry had categorised INO project as a Category ‘B’ project, for which an EIA is not necessary. But, as per EIA Notification, 2006, any project specified in category ‘B’ will be treated as category A, if it is located in whole or in part within 10 km from the boundary of protected areas notified under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and inter-State boundaries.

What NGT says? INO is a category ‘A’ project, which meant EIA study has to be done by an accredited agency. Since the project was near a national park, INO needs to get a clearance from the National Board for Wildlife. It also needs to get necessary clearance from the Kerala government as well.

Right Of Children To Free Education

The Union Cabinet approved the amendment to Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education - RTE Act, 2009. The amendment  will ensure all teachers acquire minimum qualifications and extend period for training for 4 years upto 31st March, 2019. It will enable in-service untrained elementary teachers to complete training to have minimum standard of qualifications.

403 Kms Of National Highways To Be Built In North East

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs - CCEA, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi  gave its approval for development of 403 kilometer of National Highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram. Out of this, approximately 52 kilometer will be in Meghalaya and 351 kilometer in Mizoram. The estimated cost is 6,721 crore rupees. The project will be executed in Engineering Procurement Construction - EPC Mode.

States Pulled Up For Failing To Implement National Food Securities Act

The Supreme Court has summoned Chief Secretaries of nine drought affected states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, for failing to implement the National Food Security Act, NFSA. A bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said despite considerable time having passed since the law came into force, these states have failed to enforce it.

The bench, also comprising Justice N V Ramana, said it is a matter of concern that State Food Commission, as mandated under section 16 of the National Food Security Act, has not been appointed. It said that with regard to the statute, the state governments have to appoint the food commission and it cannot give a go by to the statute enacted by the Parliament. Besides Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, other states whose Chief Secretaries have been summoned include Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Chhattisgarh. The bench's order came on a plea filed by an NGO seeking various relief for farmers in drought affected states.

March 22: World Water Day

The World Water Day (WWD) is observed every year on 22 March to spread message of preservation and rational consumption of water. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in developing countries. It also advocates for sustainable management of freshwater resources.

2017 Theme: “Why Wastewater?” It focuses on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater. It also highlights that untreated wastewater flows from homes, industry, cities and agriculture to nature causing pollution and leading to loss of valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. It also highlights that waste water as a valuable resource and its safe management as an efficient investment in the health of humans and ecosystem. This year, observance of the day is supported by various stakeholders across the globe. Many organizations promoted clean and affordable water campaigns for people and sustainable aquatic habitats. In India, Union Ministry of Water Resources had conducted seminar on Waste Water – Monitoring and Management.

Aadhar Number Linked To Income Tax Returns

Income tax payers would have  to declare their Aadhaar number in all tax returns filed from 1st of July. They would also have to link the Aadhaar number with the PAN before the July deadline.

Lok Sabha Passes Finance Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha has passed the Finance Bill, 2017 to give effect to the financial proposals of the Central Government for the financial year 2017-18. In the bill the Government has capped cash transactions at two lakh rupees instead of three lakh rupees. It is one of the important amendments introduced in the Finance Bill. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had moved 40 amendments to the bill.

GRAPES-3 Telescope Upgraded To Detect Solar Storms

The GRAPES-3 experiment at TIFR’s (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) Cosmic Ray Laboratory in Ootacamund in Tamil Nadu is getting upgraded to detect solar storms. GRAPES-3 (Gamma Ray Astronomy PeV EnergieS phase-3) experiment had detected the effect of a solar storm that hit the earth in June 2015.

Key Facts: GRAPES-3 has an important role in understanding the propagation of storms from the L1 point (Lagrange point 1) to its impact on the Earth. The upgraded detector will have an increased coverage and improved capacity to determine the direction of incident cosmic rays. It will play a major role in getting precise information about the propagation of storms in the last million miles (from the L-1 point) of their journey from the Sun to the earth.

Tamil Nadu Wins Vijay Hazare Trophy

Tamil Nadu won the 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy of cricket for record fifth time defeating Bengal. Earlier Tamil Nadu has won the trophy in 2002–03, 2004-05, 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. In the final match played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium (New Delhi) they defeated Bengal by 37 runs. It was Tamil Nadu’s third victory over Bengal in the final of this competition. Opting to bat first, Tamil Nadu had set target of 217, riding on a century by Dinesh Karthik who had made 112. In reply, they bundled out Bengal for 180 in 45.5 overs. For Tamil Nadu Aswin Crist, Rahil Shah and M. Mohammad took 2 wickets each. Karthik was named man of the match.

About Vijay Hazare Trophy: It is an annual limited-overs cricket domestic competition started in 2002–03. It is played among state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates. It is also known as the Ranji One Day Trophy, named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.

2017 Olympics World Winter Games


India’s special athletes continue to make the country proud  in the ongoing 2017 Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. A team of 89 differently-abled sports persons of the Special Olympics Bharat has so far won 18 medals, comprising six gold, four silver and eight bronze.  Over 2,600 athletes from 105 nations are participating in the event.
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