DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 15
Role of women and
Sakhi One Stop Centres
Context: A National Workshop on Role of Sakhi One Stop
Centres in Strengthening Multi Sectoral Response to Violence is being held
in New Delhi. The workshop has been organized by the Ministry of Women and
Child Development. Around 400 Sakhi- One Stop Centre Functionaries and nodal
officials from State Department of Women and Child Development from 33
States/UTs across the country, are participating in the workshop.
The conference provides platform to understand, discuss and
deliberate on strengthening the multisector response to address violence
against women through the Sakhi One Stop Centres across the country.
About the Sakhi scheme:
Popularly known as Sakhi, the scheme is being implemented
since 1st April 2015. The scheme aims to facilitate access to an integrated
range of services including medical aid, police assistance, legal aid/case
management, psychosocial counselling, and temporary support services to women
affected by violence.
Under the scheme, it has been envisaged that One Stop
Centres (OSC) would be set up across the country in a phased manner.
Issues relating to
development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health,
Education, Human Resources.
ATL Community Day
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission has decided to
celebrate Atal Tinkering Lab’s Community Day on December 15th.
About the ATL Community Day:
The Atal Tinkering Lab Community Drive Initiative is
aimed at maximizing the impact of Atal Tinkering Labs by extending innovation
to children in the community who do not have access to formal educational
institutions. The purpose of this initiative is to provide these children with
the same educational tools as the students in Atal Tinkering Labs to enable
them to become problem solvers.
The day will mark the Community Drive Initiative in which
25 young Mentors will engage with more than 200 students who are not enrolled
in the formal education system. These mentors will visit four locations in New
Delhi to conduct brief sessions with children from various NGOs, on how
innovations can help resolve the problems in the communities.
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission is among one of
the flagship programs of the Government of India to promote innovation and
entrepreneurship in the country to set up the Atal Tinkering Labs across the
country. The Mission has / is in the process of setting up 900+ such labs
across India and aims to have 2,000 such labs by end of 2017.
Atal Tinkering Labs are dedicated works spaces where
students learn innovation skills and develop ideas that will go on to transform
India. The labs are powered to acquaint students with state-of-the-art
equipment such as 3D printers, robotics & electronics development tools,
Internet of things & sensors etc.
and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and
associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
CSR Summit for Pioneering
Cochlear Implant Surgery
Context: CSR Summit for Pioneering Cochlear Implant Surgery under
CSR initiative of Airport Authority of India (AAI) through Artificial Limbs
Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) was recently inaugurated. This
major CSR initiative of AAI will help the children to completely overcome their
hearing disability, thereby enabling them to hear and speak coherently and
making them fully independent to lead a normal and productive life. This effort
will not only bring these underprivileged children to the mainstream of life
but will also contribute to national economy.
An estimate shows that around 35,000 children need
Cochlear Implant annually in India. Government of India has made provision to
sponsor 500 numbers under the ADIP Scheme which is minuscule in comparison to
actual requirement. Till date more than 1000 number of Cochlear Implant
Surgeries have been successfully conducted in the country under the ADIP
Government of India and CSR funds.
About Cochlear implant:
Cochlear Implant is an electronic device having two parts
(External and Internal). Internal part is surgically implanted in the skull
(Cochlear) by ENT surgeons. Post-operative rehabilitation is undertaken by
Audiologist and speech language pathologist and special educator of Hearing
Impaired. Parent have very important role in stimulating child to learn speech
and language at home and maintain the external part (Processor).
The cochlear implant technology may help children who:
Have severe to profound hearing loss in both ears.
Receive little or no benefit from hearing aids.
No Development Delay or Mental Retardation.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) acknowledges the
corporation’s duty that the corporation owes to the community within which it
operates. It regards the community as an equal stakeholder.
As per provision of Company Act 2013 it is now mandatory
for all companies to contribute 2% of their 3-year average annual net profit on
their CSR activities as mentioned in Schedule VII of the acts with effect
from April, 2014. Further added in Scheduled VII there is provision of aids and
appliances to Divyangjans under ‘Promoting Health and Care including preventive
Activities undertaken by corporates under their CSR
obligation could prove a game changer for providing sustainable development in
Social Sector. Disability sector is one of the area which needs to be addressed
for inclusive growth of the society and CSR provide the huge opportunity to
serve the persons with disabilities that fall under vulnerable section of
India and its
What is it?
It is a joint military exercise between India and
Maldives. The eighth edition of the exercise is being held in Belagavi,
The bilateral annual exercise is a 14-day joint military training between
the Indian Army and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), which is held
alternatively in India and Maldives since 2009. The seventh edition of the
exercise was held at Kadhdhoo, Lammu Atoll, Maldives in December, 2016.
The focus of the exercise is to acquaint both armies with each other’s
operating procedures in the backdrop of a counter-insurgency or
counter-terrorist operations in an urban or semi-urban environment under the
United Nations (UN) Charter, with an overall aim to enhance interoperability
between the two armies.
‘Ekuverin’ means ‘friends’ in the Maldivian language.
Issues related to
direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices.
World Trade Organization conference
The Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the WTO was
held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meeting ended in stalemate after U.S.
criticism and member country vetoes, raising questions about the body’s ability
to govern increasingly disputed global trade. However, the outcome of the
conference was a positive one for India as the country was able to secure the
interests of its farmers as well food security for the poor.
India was successful stopping any of the new issues like
investment facilitation and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from
entering the ambit of the WTO. India became the second largest proponent of
issues after the EU as it submitted proposals on six issues — public
stock-holding, special safeguards mechanism, domestic regulation, domestic
support, trade facilitation in services, and eCommerce.
What India wanted?
A permanent solution for food security by improving existing peace clause.
Stopping entry of new issues like investment facilitation, e- commerce,
Safeguarding WTO and multilateralism.
What India got?
No dilution in peace clause that protects MSP programmes for food grain.
No fast- tracking of e- commerce talks.
No commitments to curb fisheries subsidies.
New issues and non trade issues like gender and trade were not taken
What should India do now?
Get legal backing for permanent solution.
Broaden interests on agriculture and services.
Form coalition to push interests.
What is peace clause?
It is an interim mechanism, as per which WTO members had
agreed not to challenge developing nations at the WTO Dispute Settlement
Mechanism if they breached the cap of the product-specific domestic support
(which is 10% of the value of production). The ‘Peace Clause’ is available to
developing nations, including India, till a permanent solution is found to
public stock holding for food security purposes.
The limited window offered by the Western powers for the
peace clause was seen by India as insufficient assurance. The clause also
requires full disclosure of MSPs and annual procurement for food security
programmes, which the Government fears would leave India open to questioning by
other countries on domestic matters.
Why is it important?
The right to food is a basic human right. Therefore,
Western misgivings about a country like India − where a third of the 1.3
billion-population lives beneath the poverty line − providing food subsidies
seems hypocritical. The developed nations see India as a huge market for
foodgrains and other products, but their produce is rendered uncompetitive when
the government is willing to subsidise farmers, purchase their produce for a
minimum support price and then sell it at a loss through the public
distribution system and other channels.
Accepting a temporary peace clause would be tantamount to
admitting that the subsidy programmes in India and other developing nations
violate global trade norms, leaving the nation a sitting duck if a complaint
was to be raised in the WTO or other international forums later. This would
also result in India losing its biggest bargaining chip in future WTO meetings.
Plants that can glow
MIT scientists have found a way to induce plants to give
off dim light by embedding specialised nanoparticles into their leaves, a major
step towards using plants to illuminate the workspace. This technology could
also be used to provide low- intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees
into self- powered streetlights.
To create the glowing plants, scientists relied on
luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. Luciferase acts on a molecule
called luciferin, causing it to emit light. Another molecule called co-enzyme A
helps the process along by removing a reaction byproduct that can inhibit
Researchers packaged each of these three components into
a different type of nanoparticle carrier.
The nanoparticles, which are all made of materials that
the US Food and Drug Administration classifies as “generally regarded as safe,”
help each component get to the right part of the plant. They also prevent the
components from reaching concentrations that could be toxic to the plants.
How plants were made to glow?
To get the particles into plant leaves, the researchers
first suspended the particles in a solution. Plants were immersed in the
solution and then exposed to high pressure, allowing the particles to enter the
leaves through tiny pores called stomata.
Particles releasing luciferin and coenzyme A were
designed to accumulate in the extracellular space of the mesophyll, an inner
layer of the leaf, while the smaller particles carrying luciferase enter the
cells that make up the mesophyll.
The particles gradually release luciferin, which then
enters the plant cells, where luciferase performs the chemical reaction that
makes luciferin glow.
On the Energy Conservation Day celebrated on December 14th,
the government unveiled the interactive online portal, ECO-NIWAS (Energy
Conservation – New Indian Way for Affordable & Sustainable homes) for
increasing awareness to build sustainable and energy efficient homes in the
About the Energy Conservation Day:
The Energy Conservation Day is organized on 14th December
each year by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under Ministry of Power, with
an aim to demonstrate India’s achievements in energy efficiency and
conservation, while working for its ambition of holistic development as part of
the nation’s overall effort towards climate change mitigation.
As part of its awareness outreach, BEE recognizes and
encourages endeavours of industries in reducing energy consumption by
felicitating them with National Energy Conservation Awards. BEE also awards
prizes to the national winners of the annual National Painting Competition on
Panel to review Flexi-fare system formed by -
The Railway Board has initiated the reviewing process
also called the Flexi-fare system in premium trains by evaluating the prices
with that of other transport modes in the same sectors.
The move came after months of deliberations and negotiations.
The Railway Board has formed a 6-member committee to review the system
and submit a report in one month in order to initiate this process.
This panel consists of railway board officials along with Adviser, NITI
Ayog,Ravinder Goyal, S Sriram, Professor of transport economics and Iti Mani,
Director, Revenue, Le Meridien, Delhi and Meenakshi Malik, Executive
Director, Air India, Revenue Management.
purpose of this panel will be to inspect all options and suggest the best
option keeping in mind railway's and passengers interest.
panel would be measuring the effect of flexi-fare implementation in its present
form with respect to the revenue generated for railways, impact on passengers
psychology in terms of their choice of the railways as a means of transport
with its increased fare.
panel would also be looking at ways to offer adds-on to passengers like
deferred benefits or loyalty benefits for the better patronage of the scheme.
panel shall also be suggesting if any revision or modifications can be brought
to the flexi-fare system to offer passengers flexibility of rates during peak
season, lean season or during weekdays or weekends or during festivals even.
panel has also been asked to examine the fares of the Humsafar Express launched
in previous year.
Flexi-fare system was launched in September 2016, led to up to 50 percent
increase in its fares. Under the flexi-fare system formula, base fares of
tickets increased from 10% to 50% with every 10% of berths booked.
due to increase in the revenue amount, the railways lost passengers as several
berths remained vacant.
MoU for cooperation in Water
Resources, Road and Marine Sectors signed between India and - Morocco
India on 14th December 2017 signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with Morocco for collaboration in Water Resources, Road and
Marine areas. The accordance was signed between Union Transport and Water
Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari and his Moroccan equivalent, Abdelkader
Amara, who presently is on a visit to India with his high-level delegacy of
the Moroccan government.
During the high-profile delegacy meet, the both sides considered matters
relating to India-Morocco bilateral cooperation in road transport, water
resources and the marine area.
Following is the list of MoUs signed
and exchanged between the two nations:
- MoU in collaboration with the field of Water
- MoU to establish collaboration between Indian
Maritime University and Higher Institute of
- Maritime Studies of Morocco.
- Framework Accordance for Cooperation in
Training between the National Ports Agency of Morocco and the Indian
- Collaboration Framework Accordance between
the Institute of Training in Engines and Road Maintenance of Morocco
and Indian Academy of Highway Engineers.
- Talking on the occasion, Union Minister Gadkari
explained that he looked forward to utilizing the immense scope for
cooperation between the 2 nations in the road transport, water resources
and marine areas.
Narinder Batra elected as new
President of Indian Olympic Association on - 14th December 2017
The chief of International Hockey Federation, Narinder
Batra was chosen as the President of Indian Olympic Association at their
Annual General Meeting organized in New Delhi on 14th December 2017.
The 60-year- old Batra got 143 votes out of total 160, success the polls with
an overwhelming majority. His challenger Anil Khanna on the other side
just got 13 votes.
The voting was organized under the supervision of a 3-member Election
Commission incorporate retired High Court justices. S K Mendiratta, a legal
advisor to the Election Commission of India, was the
With this victory, Batra would hold the position for a period of 4 years from
2018 till 2022. He would be
succeeding Narayana Ramachandran, who worked at the position from 9th February
2014 to 14th December 2017.
Did you know?
victory was more or less certain as his contender Khanna, the late President of
All India Tennis Association, had declared his withdrawal from the polls
on 7th December.
the elections were still managed for the Presidential position as Khanna sent
the withdrawal letter to the IOA-appointed Election Commission after the
specified last date, which was 3rd December.
Appointments Handball Federation of India's Anandeshwar Pandey was chosen
as the treasurer of the IOA, after he beat Rakesh Gupta by 113 to 37
organization's present Secretary General Rajeev Mehta was re-elected for a 2nd
term without any contest as he was the only candidate for the position.
Anand was chosen as the Senior Vice President of the organization, after
beating his opponent - Kabaddi federation's Janardhan Gahlot, by 96 votes
his victory, Batra explained that he would take a scheme to the government to
hold the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games and 2026 Commonwealth Games. He
told that the final conclusion on holding the games, however, will depend
on the government, as they will dispense the funds. He also added that the IOA
desires to work with the government in a conducive environment.
Sri Lanka becomes 163rd nation to
accede to landmine - ban treaty
Sri Lanka has turned the 163 Country to assent to
the anti-personnel mine block convention. Sri Lanka had pledged previous
year to join the mine block convention and help the international community to
aid the landmine clearance program.
Now, it has accepted to Accession to the Convention of the barring of the
utilization, production, stockpiling and shift of anti-personnel mines.
More about Mine Ban Treaty or Ottawa Treaty
Mine Ban treaty came into force on March 1st, 1999. This agreement bans the
use, manufacturing, stockpiling, and shifting of antipersonnel mines.
will manage and host over the 16th conference of the state’s parties to the
agreement in Vienna during the period of December 18-21st, 2017.
the report by International Campaign to prohibit Landmines- a Nobel
Prize-winning campaign, previous year 8,605 mine or explosive remnants of
war casualties were detailed, in which minimum 2,089 people were murdered.
Disney acquired 21st Century Fox
assets for USD 52.4 Billion in stock on - 14th December 2017
Disney reached a deal to acquire certain assets of
21st Century Fox (FOXA), the parent company of FOX Business on 14th December
2017 for approximately USD 52.4 billion in its stock. The total
transaction is valued for USD 66.1 billion, including debt of 21st Century Fox.
deal is including 21st Century Fox assets- 20th Century Fox Film and Television
studios, along with cable and international TV businesses such as Star India.
this acquisition, Fox will be separating the Fox Business Network, FS1, Fox
Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, FS2 and Big Ten Network
into a newly listed company.
Robert Iger will also be continuing to serve as the Chairman and CEO of Disney
8th planet Kepler-90i spotted by –
NASA has recently discovered an 8th planet
circling Kepler-90 which is a Sun-like star and is 2545 light-years away
from Earth. NASA made this announcement of discovery on 14th December 2017.
Kepler-90i was discovered in data from NASA’s Kepler
Space Telescope using Machine Learning from Google. Machine learning is an
approach towards artificial intelligence for machin's learning.
computers learned to identify planets by finding the instances in the Kepler
data where the telescope recorded its signals from the exoplanets.
More about Kepler-90i
is a hot rocky planet orbiting its star once every 14.4 days.
is that close to its star where its average surface temperature is more than
800 degrees Fahrenheit, at par with Mercury and it is approximately 30
percent larger than Earth.
outermost planet, Kepler-90h, orbits at the similar distance to its star as Earth
does to the Sun.
planet discovery was made after researchers Christopher Shallue and Andrew
Vanderburg trained a computer to learn how to identify exoplanets in the
light readings recorded by star Kepler. The light readings were the tiny
changes in brightness captured whenever a planet passes in front of its star.
Supreme Court approved setting up this many special
courts to exclusively deal with cases against lawmakers - 12
• This state government approved the bill to check land
maa and ght organised crime - Uttar Pradesh
• This boxer was named as youth boxer of year by Asian
Boxing Confederation - Sachin Siwach
• This state recently increased non-creamy layer limit
for OBCs to Rs 8 lakh - Maharashtra
• Person elected as BARC India Chairman recently -
• Political gure Prem Singh, who passed away recently,
belonged to - Indian National Congress
• He has been elected as the new President of Indian
Olympic Association - Narinder Batra
• This online retailer is going to enter India’s beauty
market with a chain of brick-and-mortar stores - Myntra
• This airport when completed will be India’s biggest
airport - Jewar
• Google X has signed a MoU with this Indian state to set
up its rst development centre outside USA - Andhra Pradesh
• The World Conference on Vedas was inaugurated by Vice
President M. Venkaiah Naidu in this city - New Delhi
• This state government is going to adopt the Clinical
establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act – Maharashtra
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