Facts Corner-Part-116

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The SC/ST Act

  • The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is popularly known as POA, the SC/ST Act, the Prevention of Atrocities Act, or simply the Atrocities Act. The SC/ST Act was enacted on September 9, 1989. The rules for the Act were notified on March 31, 1995.
  • The SC/ST Act lists 22 offences relating to various patterns or behaviours inflicting criminal offences and breaking the self-respect and esteem of the scheduled castes and tribes community. This includes denial of economic, democratic and social rights, discrimination, exploitation and abuse of the legal process.
  • According to the SC/ST Act, the protection is provided from social disabilities such as denial of access to certain places and to use customary passage, personal atrocities like forceful drinking or eating of inedible food sexual exploitation, injury etc, atrocities affecting properties, malicious prosecution, political disabilities and economic exploitation.
  • For speedy trial, Section 14 of the SC/ST Act provides for a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try offences under this Act in each district.
  • The prime objective of the SC/ST Act is to deliver justice to marginalised through proactive efforts, giving them a life of dignity, self-esteem and a life without fear, violence or suppression from the dominant castes.

Pingali Venkayya

  • Pingali Venkayya was a freedom fighter and the designer of the Indian National Tricolour. The national flag that we see today was based upon his design.
  • He was born on August 2, 1876 in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Venkayya served as a soldier in the British Army in South Africa during the Anglo Boer war in Africa. A firm believer in Gandhian principles and an ardent nationalist, Venkayya met the Mahatma during the war.
  • The flag was officially adopted by the Indian National Congress in 1931.

Safeguard Duty

  • The Indian government has recently announced the imposition of safeguards duty of 25% on imported solar cells and modules for 2 years.
  • It would specifically impact the solar panels coming from China and more than 85 per cent of India’s solar capacity is built on Chinese panels.
  • Safeguard duties are applied when,
    1. There is a surge in imports of a particular product irrespective of a particular country and,
    2. It causes serious injury to the domestic industry.
  • Safeguard measures are applied to all imports of the product in question irrespective of the countries in which it originates or from which it is exported.
  • This aspect distinguishes Safeguards from antidumping measures which are always country specific.
  • Safeguards are applied in the form of either safeguard duty or in the form of safeguard QRs (import licenses).
  • These measures are administered in India by an authority called Director General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • Earlier, it was administered by Director General of Safeguards (DGS) under Ministry of Finance. But its function was shifted to DGTR earlier this year.

Smerch MBRL – Multiple Barrel Rocket Launchers

  • Smerch is designed to defeat soft and hard-skinned targets, artillery and missile systems.
  • It features an automatic rocket preparing and launching system and range of up to 90km.
  • It was developed by Russia in the early 1980s and entered service with the Russian Army in 1988.
  • In December 2005, India placed an order for an initial 38 systems and deliveries began in May 2007.
  • A tender for mobility vehicles to carry this Smerch system and missiles developed by DRDO, was opened by the Indian government earlier in 2015.
  • For the first time, an Indian vehicle manufacturer (Ashok Leyland) has acquired the tender and it will deliver heavy duty, high mobility vehicles for the above stated purpose.

Wave rider

  • Wave rider is a flight vehicle that flies in the atmosphere and uses shockwaves generated by its own hypersonic flight with the air to glide at high speed.
  • The hypersonic aircraft was designed by the CAAA in collaboration with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
  • The current generation of anti-missile defence systems is mainly designed to intercept cruise and ballistic missiles, which are either slower or easier to predict, making them possible to intercept.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action 

  • World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.
  • WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF and an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

Move Hack

NITI Aayog has launched Move Hack, a global mobility hackathon to crowdsource solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India.

The hackathon has a two-pronged campaign approach:

  1. “Just Code It”: aimed at solutions through innovations in technology/product/software and data analysis.
  2. “Just Solve It”: innovative business ideas or sustainable solutions to transform mobility infrastructure through technology.

Public Financial Management System (PFMS)

  • It is an end-to- end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting.
  • It is administered by the Department of Expenditure.
  • It is implemented by the Controller General of Accounts.
  • It provides scheme managers a unified platform for tracking releases and monitoring their last mile utilisation.
  • It provides platform for efficient management of funds through tracking of funds and real time reporting of expenditure and receipts through treasury and bank interface.
  • The line ministries/departments utilise this platform to monitor the utilisation of funds provided to the implementing agencies and state governments.
  • PFMS is also used for DBT payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Government of India.

Defence India Startup Challenge:

  • Defence India Startup Challenge is part of iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence) schemeannounced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April meant to build an eco-system of innovation and entrepreneurship in India for the defence sector to make India self-reliant.
  • It is an initiative to tap startups for finding safe and futuristic Indian solutions to critical needs of the three Armed Forces.
  • A list of 11 technologies that the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force need, have been chosen. They included remote air vehicles, laser weapons, secure and safe communication systems and bandwidth, precision targeting systems, sensors, and protected and informed movement of soldiers in battle tanks.
  • Those that come up with prototypes of usable products would be supported with ₹1.5 crore each and friendly procurement procedures from the Ministry under SPARK or Support for Prototype & Research Kickstart in Defence.

ccNSO

  • ccNSO of the ICANN is the policy-development body for global issues regarding country code top-level domains (ccTLD) within the ICANN structure.
  • The members of ccNSO, which is ICANN’s policy development body for ccTLD (country code top-level domains) issues, are all country code top level domain operators from around the world.

India’s first Blockchain district 

  • Tech Mahindra and the Telangana government have signed an agreement to establish a Blockchain district in Hyderabad, a first-of-its-kind Centre of Excellence for Blockchain in India.
  • Blockchain is a new-age technology that helps in record-keeping through the use of cryptography, a secure method of writing digital codes. With blockchain, many people can write entries into a record of information, and a community of users can check the records to reduce the scope of fraudulent practices in altering information.

IMPRINT

  • IMPacting Research, INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) is a national initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) designed to address all major engineering challenges relevant to India through an inclusive and sustainable mode of translational research.
  • IMPRINT-2 has been approved by Government of India (GoI) with a revised strategy under which, this national initiative will be jointly funded and steered by MHRD and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • While any faculty member from an MHRD funded Higher Education Institute (HEI) including Centrally Funded Technical Institution (CFTI) may lead as the Principal Investigator (PI), single or multiple partners from stake holder ministry, institutions, PSUs, strategic agencies and industry are welcome as Co-PI, partner or collaborator.
  • Proposals under IMPRINT II Projects should (a) address any declared theme (thrust area) under one of the 10 domains of IMPRINT, and (b) connect either with already identified or new research topics defined by the PI under the same 10 domains.
  • Projects proposals should provide clear and convincing evidence of promise for translational research leading to viable technology (product, process or prototype) development.

Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions.
  • The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
  • The funding would flow from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions.
  • The funding to states would be made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
  • The key objectives of RUSA are to improve access, equity and quality in higher education through planned development of higher education at the state level.
  • Objectives include creating new academic institutions, expanding and upgrading the existing ones, developing institutions that are self-reliant in terms of quality education, professionally managed, and characterized by greater inclination towards research and provide students with education that is relevant to them as well the nation as a whole.
  • RUSA would create new universities through upgradation of existing autonomous colleges and conversion of colleges in a cluster.
  • It would create new model degree colleges, new professional colleges and provide infrastructural support to universities and colleges.
  • Faculty recruitment support, faculty improvements programmes and leadership development of educational administrators are also an important part of the scheme.
  • In order to enhance skill development the existing central scheme of Polytechnics has been subsumed within RUSA. A separate component to synergise vocational education with higher education has also been included in RUSA.
  • Besides these, RUSA also supports reforming, restructuring and building capacity of institutions in participating state.

‘8888’ uprising

  • It was a series of nationwide protests, marches and civil unrest in Burma (Myanmar) that peaked in August 1988. Key events occurred on 8 August 1988 and therefore it is known as the 8888 Uprising.
  • ‘8888’ was a people’s movement that challenged the then ruling Burma Socialist Programme Party’s grip on political, economic and social affairs which led the country into extreme poverty.
  • The objective of ‘8888’ was two-fold -to push for the transfer of power from the military to a civilian leadership and a change in the political system from an authoritarian regime to a multi-party democracy.

RISECREEK

  • IT-M achieves a technological milestone! Computer scientists from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras have developed the first of family of six industry-standard microprocessors under Project Shakti.
  • The initial batch of 300 chips have been named RISECREEK and have been fabricated at Intel’s facility at Oregon, US for free to run Linux operating system.
  • Project Shakti was started in 2014 as IIT-M initiative and part of it is funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Their design is an open source and can be adapted by others. 
  • They optimise power use and compete with international units such as Cortex A5 from Advanced RISC Machines (ARM).
  • They have better performance in terms of DMIPS per megahertz rating than A5 and score of 1.68 against competition’s 1.57
  • These viable industry-grade microprocessors can operate at a frequency of 350 MHz, thus meets demands of defence and strategic equipment of the country such as NAVIC (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite) and Internet of Things (IoT) electronics.
  • These processors can also be tapped for future efforts in semiconductors.

Mt. Manirang:

  • Manirang is one of the highest mountains in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It lies on the border between Kinnour and Lahaul and Spiti district.
  • Mount Manirang (Altitude: 6593 mtr. / 21625.04 ft) is known as the crown of the Spiti valley.
  • The whole region is situated in the rain shadow area and more or less lies dry other than winter.

UMANG App

  • UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is envisaged to make e-governance . It is developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India.
  • UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services. 
    UMANG intends to provide major services offered by Central and State Government departments, Local bodies and other utility services from private organizations. It provides a unified approach where citizens can install one application to avail multiple government services. 
  • UMANG service has been made available on multiple channels like mobile application, web, IVR and SMS which can be accessed through smartphones, feature phones, tablets and desktops. UMANG  has been created with a thought to add convenience to your lifestyle. UMANG will revolutionize the way how an Indian citizen avails government services today, because it leverages the current accelerated internet and smartphone penetration in our country.
  • Apart from EPF services, the app can be used for other services like

    -One can apply for a PAN (permanent account number) using the UMANG app. The e-KYC can be done by providing the Aadhaar. If one has applied for the PAN card, they can also check the status of the application using this app.-

    -Pensioners can generate their digital life certificate using this app.

    -If you have an NPS (National Pension System) account, you can check your current holdings, account details, recent contributions using UMANG app. You can also apply for a change in the address some of the services using this app. Also, you can change the schemes under NPS using this app.

    -Job seekers can also register themselves under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana using UMANG app.


Numaligarh Refinery Limited

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed a review petition by a refinery in Assam for retaining a concrete boundary wall with barbed wire on a part of a reserve forest, stating that elephant corridors need to be protected.
  • The refinery, close to the Kaziranga National Park and about 260 km east of Guwahati, was expected to demolish the wall within a month. However, it wasn’t until March this year that the Golaghat district administration and Forest Department demolished about 220 metres of the wall.