- 11 Sep 2019
- 18 min read
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ( 11-SEPTEMBER-2019)
- Eminent lawyer and former Union law minister Ram Jethmalani passed away at the age of 95.
- Ram Jethmalani (1923 – 2019) was an Indian lawyer and politician.
- He was the highest paid lawyer in the supreme court of India. He took up a number of high-profile defence cases as lawyer– people involved in market scams (Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh). He also defended L. K. Advani in the Hawala scam.
- During the emergency period of 1975–1977, he was the chairman of the Bar Association of India.
- He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1988. He became The Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs in 1996 in the Government of India led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 1998, he was given the portfolio of Union Minister of Urban Affairs and Employment and in 1999 he was again sworn in as the Union Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs.
- In 2010, he was elected as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association.
U.S. Draft Troop Pullout Deal With Taliban
- U.S. envoy announced a draft troop pullout deal with Taliban.
- Under a draft peace deal with the Taliban the United States will withdraw 5,400 troops from Afghanistan and close five bases within 135 days.
- The accord requires the insurgent movement to ensure Afghanistan is not used by Al Qaeda or so-called Islamic State as a base for global attacks.
- Top U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad showed a draft deal to the Afghan president after declaring that they are “at the threshold of an agreement” following the end of the ninth round of U.S.-Taliban talks in Qatar. The agreement still needs President Donald Trump’s approval.
- The Taliban, at their strongest since their 2001 defeat by a U.S.-led invasion, want all U.S. and NATO troops out of Afghanistan immediately, while the U.S. seeks a withdrawal in phases that would depend on the Taliban meeting certain conditions such as a reduction in violence.
- Almost nine months after American national John Allen Chau was allegedly killed by the Sentinelese on the North Sentinel Island of Andaman and Nicobar islands, a recent publication by the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) throws more light on the incident. He was killed on the island after he illegally travelled to the North Sentinel Island with the help of local fishermen in the hopes of making contact with the Sentinelese.
- The Sentinelese is a negrito tribe who live on the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans.
Demography and Lifestyle:
- To various estimates, the Sentinelese presence on the islands varies from 2,000 years to 30,000 years ago.
- Census 2001 counted 39 inhabitants.
- The Sentinelese are hunter-gatherers, likely using bows and arrows to hunt and more rudimentary methods to catch local seafood.
- It is known that the Sentinelese speak their own language, the Sentinelese language.
Contacts with other people:
- The Sentinelese have been fiercely hostile to outside contact. They have been mostly left alone even from colonial times, unlike other tribes such as the Onges, Jarawas and Great Andamanese, because the land they occupy has little commercial attraction.
- They are designated as a Scheduled Tribe.
- Access to North Sentinel Island and its buffer zone is strictly restricted under the Protection of Aboriginal Tribe (Regulation), 1956 and Regulations under Indian Forest Act, 1927.
- Under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956,
- traditional areas occupied by the tribes have been declared as reserves,
- Entry of persons and photographing the tribe members is prohibited except with authorisation.
- Any passage within three miles of the coastline of Island is illegal, and is enforced by the Indian Navy.
- The population of Nilgiri tahr in the Mukurthi National Park have risen from 568 in 2018 to 612 this year. This was the second consecutive year that an increase in the population of the animal had been recorded in the park.
- Nilgiritragus hylocrius; Hemitragus hylocrius.
- Saddlebacks (as Adult males develop a light grey area or “saddle” on their backs).
Habitat and distribution:
- They are found at high elevations on cliffs, grass-covered hills and open terrain (i.e. open montane grassland habitats at altitudes of 1,200 – 2,600 meters of the South Western Ghats.
- Their present distribution is limited to approximately 5% of the Western Ghats in southern India (Kerala and Tamil Nadu). It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- Eravikulam National Park is home to its largest population.
- Around 2,500 in Wild.
- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and
- Listed as Endangered on IUCN Red List.
- Principal threats are habitat loss (mainly from domestic livestock and spread of invasive plants which leads to diminishing grazing land) and poaching.
Mukurthi National Park (MNP)?
- Mukurthi National Park (MNP) is a protected area located in the northwest corner of Tamil Nadu.
- It has montane grasslands and shrublands interspersed with sholas in a high-altitude area of high rainfall
- It’s a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India's first International Biosphere
- As part of the Western Ghats, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Acute malnutrition among Saharias, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, due to crushing poverty, delayed breastfeeding, premature pregnancies and seasonal migrations is continuing to take away lives. As a result, every second child under five in the Shivpuri and Sheopur districts of central India is underweight.
- The Saharia, Sahar, Sehariya, or Sahariya are an ethnic group mainly found in the districts of Morena, Sheopur, Bhind, Gwalior, Datia, Shivpuri, Vidisha and Guna districts of Madhya Pradesh and Baran district of Rajasthan.
- Saharias are a particularly vulnerable tribal group.
- An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study revealed that, among Saharias, TB prevalence is an alarming 1,995 per 1,00,000 persons.
Particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs)?
- These are separately classified by government of India.
- According to 12th plan, out of the total ST population, 3 % belong to the PTVGs.
These tribal communities have following features:
- Pre-agricultural system of existence (i.e. practice of hunting and gathering), or
- Zero or negative population growth, or
- Extremely low level of literacy in comparison with other tribal groups.
Automatic Identification System (AIS)
- There has been a huge increase in Chinese deep-sea fishing trawlers in the southern Indian Ocean far from the Chinese coast which has raised concerns in the government and the security establishment.
- In the last four years, on an average at least 500 Chinese trawlers were present in the region and around 32,250 incidents per year were recorded. The trawlers were, however, not in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but beyond.
- There were 1,100 occurrences near Somalia and 1,500 occurrences near the Coast of Oman. Occurrences are recordings of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) aboard trawlers and ships recorded when they are activated.
Automatic Identification System (AIS)?
- The automatic identification system (AIS) is an automatic tracking system that uses transponders on ships and is used by vessel traffic services (VTS). AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport.
- The AIS information comprises name, MMSI number, position, course, speed, last port visited, destination and so on. This information can be picked up through various AIS sensors including coastal AIS chains and satellite based receivers.
- In India, there has been a national effort to install AIS systems on ships under 20m for which a pilot study has been carried out. AIS works through satellite and the ISRO has already delivered 1000 transponders for trails in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
Space Physics Laboratory (SPL)
- Scientists at the Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) are continuing their efforts to establish contact with Vikram, the lander on the Chandrayaan-2 mission which has now been traced by the orbiter. Of the 14 payloads aboard India’s second moon mission, four are from the SPL.
- Space Physics Laboratory (SPL) is a premier science laboratory of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
- Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- It carries out research on the lower and upper atmospheres, ionospheres and magnetospheres of the Earth and other solar system bodies, using a suite of state-of-the-art experiments; ground-based, aboard ships and aircrafts, balloon and rocket -borne, and satellite payloads.
- Of the 14 payloads aboard India’s second moon mission, four are from the SPL.
- Of the four, two — RAMBHA-LM (Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere-Langmuir Probe) and ChaSTE (Chandra’s Surface Thermo physical Experiment) — are on the lander, which is believed to have crash-landed during Saturday’s soft-landing mission on the lunar south pole.
- On the bright side for the SPL, its payload on the orbiter — CHACE-2 (short for Chandra’s Altitudinal Composition Explorer) — is functioning perfectly.
Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019
- The Central Government has enforcement various Sections of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 by notifying it in Gazette.
Salient features of amendment act:
- It amends the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The Act contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration, and defines the law for conducting conciliation proceedings.
Arbitration Council of India:
- It establishes an independent body called the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms.
Composition of the ACI:
- The ACI will consist of a Chairperson who is either: (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court; or (ii) a Judge of a High Court; or (iii) Chief Justice of a High Court; or (iv) an eminent person with expert knowledge in conduct of arbitration.
Relaxation of time limits:
- Under the original Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings. The amendment acts remove this time restriction for international commercial arbitrations.
Completion of written submissions:
- The written claim and the defence to the claim in an arbitration proceeding should be completed within six months of the appointment of the arbitrators.
Confidentiality of proceedings:
- All details of arbitration proceedings will be kept confidential except for the details of the arbitral award in certain circumstances.
Applicability of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 2015:
- It clarifies that the 2015 Act shall only apply to arbitral proceedings which started on or after October 23, 2015.
International Symposium on Buckwheat
- In Meghalaya, a four-day international symposium on buckwheat with the theme "diversifying food systems for health and nutritional security" was organised by North Eastern Hills University, Shillong from 3rd to 6th September 2019.
- Buckwheat suppresses weeds and attracts beneficial insects and pollinators with its abundant blossoms. It extracts soil phosphorus from soil better than most grain-type cover crops.
- Buckwheat is a relatively low input crop that has relatively high yields even in marginal soil. Since it adds nutrients to the soil, it makes a good cover crop or rotational crop.
- Buckwheat thrives in cool, moist conditions but it is not frosted tolerant.
- The flour of buckwheat can be used either as food or as medicine. As a medicine, buckwheat is used to improve blood flow by strengthening veins and small blood vessels; to treat varicose veins and poor circulation in the legs, and to prevent hardening of the arteries.
Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)
- NYKS will prepare Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in collaboration with NDRF to be launched on pilot basis in 32 Districts of 28 States/UTs.
- Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) has taken up an initiative on preparing Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) of NYKS Youth Volunteers for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in collaboration with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
- It is proposed to establish institutional mechanism for engagement of NYKS by creating Block Level Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) of volunteers as first responders in NDRF selected hazard prone districts.
- Initially, institutional mechanism is going to be on a pilot basis in 32 multi-hazard Districts of 28 States/UTs. It is expected to train more than 50,000 youth associated with NYKS till 2024.
National Genomic Grid
- Union Minister for Health said that the government has plans to set up a National Genomic Grid, so as to take cancer research to the next level and make treatment viable for people of different economic classes.
- The National Genomic Grid for India-specific cancer research will collect samples from cancer patients to study genomic factors influencing cancer and identifying the right treatment modalities for the Indian population.
- The grid will have four parts, with the country divided into east, west, north and south.
- The grid to be formed will be in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at the Indian Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The NCTB is functioning in close association with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).