Current Affairs 4th December
46th Navy Day observed across India on
- 4th December 2017
The 46th Indian Navy Day was greatly admired on 4th
December 2017. The day is celebrated every year to observe the achievements and
role of the naval force in the Nation.
To celebrate the day, 20 innovations were finalized from for central
evaluation. These innovations vary from innovative repairs to multiplex system
modules to development of new economical techniques, time and manpower.
Innovations by Indian Naval Ships 'Kuthar' and 'Vikramaditya' were nominated as
the winner and runner-up respectively in the 'Operational Units' group.
However, innovations by the Weapons Electronic Systems Engineering
Establishment and Naval Aircraft Yard, Kochi were nominated the winner and
runner-up respectively in the 'Shore Establishments' group.
Did you know?
The Navy day is observed every year to commemorate the victory of Operation
Trident of Indian Navy on Karachi Harbor during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Under Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank 3 vessels near the largest
Pakistani port of Karachi. Operation Trident evolved as the 1st use of
anti-ship missiles in the region.
US, South Korea
launch largest aerial drill amidst North Korean threat on - 4th December 2017
The USA and South Korea inaugurated their biggest-ever
common aerial drill called ‘Vigilant Ace’ on 4th December 2017. It would
conclude on 8th December 2017.
Around 12,000 US service members, along with members of the Marines and Navy,
would be meeting the South Korean troops on the occasion.
The annual drill would witness
participation from 6 F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and approximately 230
F-35 fighters will also join the drill
along with the huge number of 5th generation fighters.
The conjoining aircrafts will be take-off from 8 US
and South Korean military installations.
The combine drill has been designed to increase
readiness and operational capability of the both the sides.
It also focuses to ensure peace and safety on the
The joint action comes a week after North Korea
committed that it had successfully trialed its most advanced intercontinental
ballistic missile as a part of its illegal weapons program that has created
The outline north has condemned the action and called
it an act of provocation.
North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification
of the Nation explained that the drill would “push the already acute condition
on the Korean peninsula to the point of nuclear war”.
US pulls out
of - UN’s migrant and refugee pact
The United States has removed itself from a United
Nations pact to upgrade the handling of migrant and refugee situations
considered it ‘inconsistent’ with its policies.
The report was made by the US Mission to the UNs in a statement, in which it
enlightened the UN Secretary-General about US’s intention of finishing its
participation in the Global Compact on Migration.
The statement stated that the United Nation's New York declaration consists of
many provisions that are inconsistent with the Trump Administration's
Talking on the occasion, US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley told that the US would
continue its indulgence in supporting migrants and refugees across the world.
However, she stated that its conclusions on immigration policies must always be
prepared by Americans and Americans only.
Did you know?
In 2016, the UN General assembly had without any
opposition took the New York declaration for refugees and migrants.
Under Trump and his America First strategies, the
United States has removed itself from several global commitments made under the
management of President Barack Obama, including the Paris climate agreement.
Recently, the USA pulled out of UN’s Paris-based
culture and education organization, UNESCO, accusing it of harboring an
President Hassan Rouhani inaugurates first phase of Chabahar port on - 3rd
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on 3rd December 2017
launched the 1st phase of the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman. Pon
Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Shipping, from India attended the
launching function of the Phase 1 of the Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar.
Chabahar port is the new strategic pathway that connects Iran, India and
Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan. The port in the Sistan-Balochistan region on
the southern coast of Iran is easily approachable from India's western coast.
The port is supposed as a gateway for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with
central Asian Nations besides ramping up trade among these 3 Nations. The
Chabahar port is taken as a response to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which is under
development with Chinese investment and is situated at distance of around 80
kms from Chabahar.
India's role in development of Chabahar port
India has been closely associated with
Afghanistan and Iran to make alternative, reliable approachable ways for trade.
India and Iran on 23rd May 2016 signed 12
MoUs and agreements, in which the most important was the trilateral transit
accordance between India, Iran and Afghanistan on Establishment of International
Transport and Transit Corridor.
In the accordance, India proposed to
develop the Port of Chabahar in Iran to allow Indian products to be exported to
As per the MoU, India will be operating 2
berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with money investment of USD 85.21 million and
yearly revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-year agreement.
Earlier in October 2017, India had sent
its first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan by sea via Chabahar port, that
opened the new transit ways.
Daily Current Affairs, 04 December 2017
GS Paper 1:
their problems and their remedies.
Context: The Kerala government is
considering promoting a ‘green habitat’ concept giving thrust to eco-friendly
and reusable building materials, natural water storage and solid waste
management. The objective of the concept is to introduce maximum
eco-friendly and reusable materials in the construction.
Features of the Green Habitat concept:
The buildings, under the concept, are planned to be
designed in such a way that natural sunlight and wind would be used to maximum
and the usage of electricity reduces to the minimum.
A rainwater harvesting or natural water storage
system would be a sure feature of such ‘green’ buildings, where even kitchen
and drainage water would be recycled and reused for other household purposes.
Significance of this concept:
Not only the danger posed by
unscientific construction practices, but also the scarcity of conventional
building materials is a reason to draw up an alternative green habitat concept.
Laws and legislation alone are not
enough to implement the green habitat concept. A thorough grassroot level campaign
is inevitable to create awareness about this among public and inculcate a green
culture among them.
GS Paper 2:
schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and
the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies
constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
Day of Persons with Disabilities
Context: International day of
persons with disabilities was observed on December 3 to promote the rights and
welfare of disabled individuals around the globe.
2017 Theme: “Transformation
towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.
annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was
proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3 in 1992. It
aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all
spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of on the
situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social,
economic and cultural life.
Facts about disability:
At least 10% of the world’s population, or 650
million people, live with a disability.
20% of the world’s poor are disabled.
The percentage of children with disabilities not
attending school is extremely variable and is between 65 – 85% in some African
Mortality for children with disabilities may be as
high as 80% in countries where under-five mortality as a whole has decreased to
In many low-income and middle -income countries,
only 5-15% of disabled people who require assistive devices and technology have
access to them.
Various efforts in this regard:
on many decades of UN’s work in the field of disability, the Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, has further advanced the
rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other international development
frameworks, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the
Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, the
New Urban Agenda, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for
with disabilities are arguably the largest ‘invisible minority’ on the planet.
WHO figures say that 15.3% of the world’s population lives with some kind of
disability. But India’s 2011 census says that only 2.21% of the population have
Topic: India and its
Pact on Rohingya
Context: Bangladesh and Myanmar
recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement to begin the repatriation of more
than 6,20,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh in the past few
months. Further, a joint working group including officials from Bangladesh,
Myanmar and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) will be set
up in three weeks, and Myanmar would begin to repatriate the refugees within
two months, by January 23, 2018.
What had led to the exodus?
August, when the Myanmar military began a crackdown on Rohingya villages in
Rakhine after a series of terror strikes on army camps, the numbers that have
escaped burning homes and alleged atrocities by the authorities, have risen
rapidly, with most seeking shelter across the border in Kutupalong camp of
Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar. The UN has condemned the violence as a case of
“ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”, putting pressure on Myanmar’s leadership to
How did China help?
between Bangladesh and Myanmar appear to have been guided not by international
agencies, but by China. China had announced that it favoured a “three-step”
solution, comprising a ceasefire in Rakhine, a bilateral repatriation deal for
the Rohingya to Myanmar and long-term solutions including the economic
development of the Rohingya areas.
Why is China interested?
has deep interests in Rakhine, especially in the Kyaukpyu Port, with oil and
energy pipelines to Yunnan province forming part of a $10 billion economic zone
in its Belt and Road Initiative.
on the one hand, China has protected the Myanmar regime from international
sanctions at the UN thus far, it has tied itself to the success or failure of
the repatriation agreement, on which the fate of the Rohingya now rest.
to the deal, Myanmar has committed not to delay sending those repatriated back
to their original homes, but this task will be made more difficult by the fact
that that many of the Rohingya villages have been burnt down. Also of concern
is the stipulation that those who will be accepted by Myanmar must show their
Myanmar-issued identity cards, not just their Bangladesh-issued refugee cards.
Finally, international human rights agencies have warned that refugees cannot
be forced to return while threat of violence against them persists, even as
they process the trauma borne of the atrocities they fled from.
International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Context: India has been re-elected
to the Council of the International Maritime Organization [IMO]
under Category “B” at the recently held 30th session of the Assembly of the IMO
in London. With re-election in IMO, India will continue to engage with the
international maritime community to further her maritime interests and promote
the welfare of her citizens.
has been one of the earliest members of the IMO, having ratified its Convention
and joined it as a member-state in the year 1959. India has had the privilege
of being elected to and serving the Council of the IMO, ever since it started
functioning, and till date, except for two years for the period 1983-1984.
The International Maritime Organization
– is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety
and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
It has 171 Member States and three Associate
The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and
maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today
includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation,
maritime security and the efficiency of shipping.
IMO is governed by an assembly of members and is
financially administered by a council of members elected from the assembly.
The IMO’s structure comprises the Assembly, the
Council, the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection
Committee, the Legal Committee, the Technical Cooperation Committee, and the
secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General.
The IMO Council acts as the IMO’s
Governing Body. It has a crucial role to play in deciding various matters in
relation to the global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy
Members of the Council consist of 40 member states,
elected by its Assembly including 10 members in category A with the largest
interest in providing international shipping services; 10 members in category B
with the largest interest in international seaborne trade and 20 members in
category C with special interests in maritime transport or navigation.
India has been one of the earliest members of the
IMO, having ratified its Convention and joined it as a member-state in the year
GS Paper 3:
in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology,
bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
Context: Venezuelan has launched its own cryptocurrency, called the
“Petro,” which will be backed by the country’s vast natural resource reserves.
The country has also approved the creation of a Blockchain Base observatory to
oversee the development and rollout of the new cryptocurrency.
OPEC member Venezuela boasts the
largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world, but has struggled against
the plunge in oil prices which began in 2014.
Purpose of Petro:
The purpose of Petro will be to advance
the country’s monetary sovereignty, to carry out financial transactions and to
defeat the financial blockade against the country.
Value of Petro:
The value of the new cryptocurrency
will be pegged to the country’s vast reserves of oil and gas as well as its
mineral wealth, including gold.
With the new cryptocurrency, Venezuela
hopes it can overcome the economic blockade which the U.S. has put on the
country. The blockade has caused the country’s national currency, the Bolivar,
to lose around 57% of its value in the last four weeks.
While it’s great to see yet another
country deciding to set up a national cryptocurrency, Venezuela will likely
garner some friction from the U.S. over the move. The Trump administration has
already been railing against Venezuela and its socialist leadership in-between
tirades against Iran and North Korea.
What you need to know about the cryptocurrencies?
as a peer-to-peer electronic payment system, cryptocurrencies enable transfer
of money between parties, without going through a banking system. These digital
payment systems are based on cryptographic proof of the chain of transactions,
deriving their name, Cryptocurrency. These employ cryptographic algorithms and
functions to ensure anonymity (privacy) of the users (who are identified by an
alphanumeric public key), security of the transactions and integrity of the
payment systems. “Decentralised Digital Currency” or “Virtual Currency” is also
interchangeably used for a cryptocurrency.
How are they used?
Cryptocurrency is fundamentally a
decentralised digital currency transferred directly between peers and the
transactions are confirmed in a public ledger, accessible to all the users. The
process of maintaining this ledger and validating the transactions, better
known as mining, is carried out in a decentralised manner. The underlying
principle of the authenticity of the present to historical transactions is
cryptographic proof, instead of trust; different from how it happens in the
case of traditional banking systems.
Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics,
nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property
Context: With a huge talent pool and growing demand for innovation in
drugs and medical devices to address the rising disease burden, the demand for
the creation of a favorable environment for clinical trials in the country has
once again come to the fore.
Need for local clinical trials:
transition, in recent decades, compounded with the burgeoning population as
well as widespread malnutrition and poverty, have resulted in the steep rise in
both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country, across all age
groups. To counter this rising burden of disease, there is a compelling need
for local clinical trials.
a peak in 2009-2010, the clinical research sector in India is continually
contracting. India represents 17.5% of the world’s population but conducts only
1.4% of global clinical research. This is unfortunate, considering we have all
the requisite factors, such as English-speaking health-care professionals, a
large number of experts, steady economic growth, access to world-class
technologies, strong IT- and data-management infrastructure, access to
ethnically diverse patient populations and competitive operational costs. All
these factors present clear advantages for clinical research.
India has been lagging in this area primarily
because the regulatory system in India for clinical research has become
increasingly a deterrent for biopharmaceutical- and device-companies which
sponsor clinical trials. The existing legal framework lacks credibility, in
terms of predictability and transparency, in the criteria and protocols
governing clinical research.
Clinical trials also seem to be misunderstood in
the media and have sometimes been portrayed as experimental procedures, where
new products are being unsafely tested on people.
There have also been instances of lapses in
confidentiality or non-adherence to protocols or shortcomings in getting
informed consent from participants and these are to be totally condemned.
Because of this they have received wide support.
Recent push by the government:
Recognising the importance of local clinical trials
in developing better and safer drugs, the Government of India is now working on
new policies that could ensure swift approvals to begin clinical trials without
making compromises on patient safety.
The Government has taken steps such as recognising
ethics committees, centralising a system whereby adverse side-effects can be
appropriately investigated by the Drugs Controller General of India and
formally recognising centres which are capable of conducting clinical trials in
accord with regulations.
To further speed up the availability of new and
effective drugs, the Government has proposed waiving off clinical trials for
those drugs that have already proved their efficacy in developed markets.
Health research is not only crucial to the
development of new diagnostic tools and treatments, it goes on to guiding the
planning of health-care services in the appropriate direction, facilitating
continuous evaluation and improvement of medical care, and allowing a thorough
investigation of risk factors and disease associations.
Therefore, Improvements in the overall policy
environment can have a significant impact on attracting and securing greater
investment and the associated economic gains.
To reap the benefits of clinical trials, our
objective should be to bring about more clinical research in the country while
maintaining high standards to ensure patient safety and accuracy of data.
Facts for Prelims:
first IT campus for differently-abled in Hyderabad:
the eve of World Disability Day, the Telangana State government has entered
into an agreement with Vindhya E-Infomedia Private Limited to set up the IT
campus which will focus on creating employment exclusively for PWDs. With this
Hyderabad is all set to be a home for world’s first Information Technology
campus for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
proposed campus spread over 10 acres, will come up in the IT Park developed by
the State government near Hyderabad International Airport and will have all
amenities like training, residential facility and delivery centers. The campus
which will cater to various clients both domestic and international, is aimed
to provide training and employment for 2,000 people in the next five years.
Kapu reservation bill:
Andhra Pradesh assembly has unanimously passed the Kapu reservation bill which
will provide the community with a 5% quota in education and employment in the
state government will now send this bill to the centre. As 5% of reservation to
Kapus makes total reservation exceed 50%, central govt nod is compulsory. Kapus
are primarily an agrarian community, forming a heterogeneous peasant caste.
What is it? It is the annual U.S.-South
Korean aerial drill. It is their largest ever joint exercise. It is designed to
enhance their readiness and operational capability and to ensure peace and
security on Korean peninsula.
country was awarded the Certificate of Commendation by CITES for its exemplary
effort to combat illegal wildlife trade – India
• The 7th
edition of the three-day ‘Kathakar: International Storytellers Festival’ was
inaugurated in this city - New Delhi
• A new
NASA study has discovered that there may be liquid water oceans beneath the
surface of this planet - Pluto
have discovered more than hundreds of fossilised eggs of this group of extinct winged
dinosaurs - Pterosaurs
currently active Indian sportsperson resigned as the national observer for
Indian boxing - Mary Kom
• India was
re-elected to this International Council recently - International Maritime
• Person sworn-in as the President of Kenya - Uhuru Kenyatta
celebrated on 3 December every year - International
Day of Persons with Disabilities
appointed as the CEO and MD of Infosys - Salil
State Government approved 5 per cent reservation to Kapu Community - Andhra Pradesh
inaugurated the first phase of Chabahar Port recently - Hassan Rouhani
• This state will soon have the world’s first IT
campus for differently-abled persons - Telangana
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