NITI Aayog has launched Move Hack, a global mobility hackathon to crowd source solutions aimed at the future of mobility in India.
· Move Hack is focused on 10 themes and structured over three legs: online, followed by Singapore leg, and the finals in New Delhi.
The hackathon has two-pronged campaign approach:
(a) “Just Code It”: aimed at solutions through innovations in technology / product / software and data analysis, and
(b) “Just Solve It”: innovative business ideas or sustainable solutions to transform mobility infrastructure through technology.
Move Hack is open to individuals from all nationalities, making it a truly global hackathon.
Awards for the hackathon include recognizing top 10 winners, with total prize of more than Rs. 2 crores.
Key Words: Move Hack, NITI Ayog
Dam Safety Bill
The Dam Safety Bill, 2018 aims to provide robust legal and institutional framework under Central & State Governments for safety of dams.
· The Bill envisages prevention and mitigation of dam failure related disasters through proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all dams in the country.
· The Bill provides for constitution of a ‘National Committee on Dam Safety (NCDS)’ to evolve dam safety policies and recommend necessary regulations. NCDS is proposed to be chaired by Chairman, CWC.
· The Bill provides for establishment of ‘National Dam Safety Authority’ (NDSA) as a regulatory body to implement the policy, guidelines and standards for dam safety in the country.
· The Bill also provides for constitution of ‘State Committee on Dam Safety’ by the State Governments to ensure proper surveillance, inspection, operation and maintenance of all specified dams in the State and to ensure their safe functioning.
As per Dam Safety Bill 2018, every State has to establish a State Dam Safety Organisation, manned by officers from the field of dam safety preferably from the areas of dam-designs, hydro-mechanical engineering, hydrology, geo-technical investigation, instrumentation and dam-rehabilitation.
The NDSA is mandated in the Bill to:
i. maintain liaison with the State Dam Safety Organisations and the owners of dams for standardisation of dam safety related data and practices;
ii. provide the technical and managerial assistance to the States and State Dam Safety Organisations;
iii. maintain a national level data-base of all dams in the country and the records of major dam failures;
iv. examine the cause of any major dam failure;
v. publish and update the standard guidelines and check-lists for the routine inspection and detailed investigations of dams and appurtenances;
vi. accord recognition or accreditations to the organisations that can be entrusted with the works of investigation, design or construction of new dams; and
vii. resolve issue between the State Dam Safety Organisation of states, or between the State Dam Safety Organisation and the owner of a dam in that State.
In certain cases, such as where a dam is extended over two or more States or dams of one State falling under the territory of another State, the National Authority has to perform the role of State Dam Safety Organization thereby eliminating potential causes for inter-state conflicts.
Key Words: Dam Safety Bill 2018
The Supreme Court ordered that the Infrastructure at the district courts to be revamped. The order came on a petition filed in 1989 by the All India Judges Association for better facilities to help do their job
Separate washrooms for transgenders, ‘court managers’ with an MBA degree, Braille and colour-coded signage, crowd management arrangements, crèche facility and even a front desk for litigants to find their way, are some of the slew of improvements the Supreme Court wants district courts across the country to have.
The court ordered the State Chief Secretaries to constitute a committee of which the Secretary of the Department of Law should be a member to formulate the development plan for courts. The committee would invite an officer of the High Court, nominated by the Chief Justice of the court.
Key Words: District Courts, Supreme Court, Judiciary
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR BACKWARD CLASSES
Why in News?
The Lok Sabha unanimously passed the 123rd Constitutional Amendment Bill providing for a National Commission for Backward Classes as a constitutional body.
· The Bill inserts Article 338 B in the Constitution, which provides for a Commission for the socially and educationally backward classes with a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other members, all of whom shall be appointed by the President of India.
Key Words: NCBC, Backward classes
Why in News?
The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but characterised the economy as strong, keeping the central bank on track to increase borrowing costs in September.
The Fed said economic growth has been rising strongly and the job market has continued to strengthen while inflation has remained near the central bank’s 2% target since its last policy meeting in June, when it raised rates.
People spending rises
Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low.
Household spending and business fixed investment have grown strongly,” the Fed said following the conclusion of its latest two-day policy meeting.
The Fed’s decision left its benchmark overnight lending rate in a range of 1.75% to 2%. The central bank currently expects another two rate rises by the end of the year.
Key Words – U.S. Federal Reserve, policy rates.
Facial Recognition System (FRS)
The integration of the Facial Recognition System (FRS) with TSCOP is another significant development for the Telangana Police.It will aid in prevention of crime and identification of criminals across the State in real time.
FRS allows the investigation officers to identify potential offenders by comparing their face (live) with lakhs of digital photographs that are stored in Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) central database including offenders, wanted persons, missing persons and also photographs of arrested offenders published in the media.
· When the person’s face or a photograph is uploaded into the system, it will be compared with photos in the central database and the matches of photographs will be ranked in descending order. Further, the investigating officer will carry out manual comparison of matched photographs and initiate appropriate action after confirmation using other information.
· Photographs of persons that do not match with the central database will automatically be discarded immediately and shall not be stored anywhere in the system.
The new system is only an aid to the officers and won’t be used as evidence in the court of law, in consonance with the Evidence Act.
Key words: Police, Investigation, Telangana
Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam
Why in News?
The Cabinet named the unemployment allowance scheme for the 22-35 age group as ‘Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam’ and decided to throw it open for online registrations in the third or fourth week of August.
· Minister for IT and Panchayat Raj Nara Lokesh said about 12 lakh unemployed youth were expected to benefit from the scheme.
· The youth should have been enrolled in the Smart Pulse Survey (‘Praja Sadhikara Survey’) to be eligible and must furnish Aadhaar numbers and other information for authentication (e-KYC).
· The allowance (₹1,000 per month) would be deposited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
· Youth who took subsidies exceeding ₹50,000 towards self-employment projects earlier and those paying provident fund were not eligible.
· The Cabinet decided to offer skill development programmes to such unemployed youth through the same platform but it would not be a pre-condition for drawing the above allowance.
· This database was planned to be made available to the industries to enable them to recruit skilled youth.
Key Words - Mukhyamantri Yuva Nestam, unemployment allowance, Andhra Pradesh.
Why in News?
The Cabinet has cleared the decks for raising ₹2,000 crore through the Bombay Stock Exchange’s electronic bidding platform at a coupon rate of 10.32% for funding the construction of Capital city Amaravati.
The coupon rate is payable quarterly. The basic issue size of the bond is ₹1,300 crore with a greenshoe option of ₹700 crore.
A standing committee was being formed to oversee the issuance of the bonds, evaluate the coupon rate and take care of fee and other arrangements.
· The Cabinet gave its nod for creation of an agricultural market stabilisation fund under the purview of the AP-Markfed with a likely corpus of ₹500 crore to help farmers in realising Minimum Support Price (MSP).
· The stage has been set by the Cabinet for the formation of a Physiotherapy Council to regulate the profession of physiotherapists and improve the standards of physiotherapy courses.
· The Cabinet has further cleared the payment of ₹3,000 as minimum wages to the ASHA workers and productivity-linked incentives.
· The Cabinet approved some amendments to the A.P. Electric Mobility Policy - 2018 which enables the government to exempt electric vehicles purchased by it or private organisations and individuals from registration charges and road tax till 2024 and give other incentives.
· The Cabinet also gave the green signal for A.P. Textile, Apparels and Garments Policy 2018-23 under which various incentives will be given and supportive measures taken in order to attract investments worth ₹15,000 crore.
Article 1 : Draft e- commercepolicy
Why in news?
Draft Regulatory frame work for e-commerce in country was submitted by a task force.
Now it is being studied by a 70 member think tank headed by Honourable union minister
Need for such a policy:
1. E-commerce in India is estimated to have market of $5billion.
2. In a decade it is expected to swell to $200billion.
3. Reasons: smart phones
a. Cheaper data access.
b. Increase in spending.
4. Traditional sellers concern for level playing field against the e commerce giants with deep pockets.
5. In the first 8 months of 2017-2018 alone 50,000 consumer grievanceswere on consumer ministry’s helpline.
Contents of the draft national e-commerce policy:
1. A single national regulator to oversee entire e-commerce industry should be constituted.
However operationalisation action requires support from multiple ministries.
2.Sunset clause on discounts that can be offered by e-commerce firms,restrictions on sellers backed by market operators.
Reason:to curb unfair practices.
3. FDI restrictions on players who sought to hold their own inventory are to be lifted.
However there must be
a. Majority Indian partner.
b. All products must be made in India.
4.The data must be stored and processed locally.
Negative side of draft policy
1. Too much licensing (sunset clause in draft) can depress the sector.
2. Only government say on Whocan offer How much discount and How long without letting consumer exercised informed choices is a regressive step to economy.
3. The e commerce policy might drive away the FDI in this sector .
4. Opportunities to create jobs and benefit the consumers would be lost .
1. There should also be Consumer norms to guard shoppers from frauds. This is overdue.
Indian grown company Flipkart has merged with giant global giant company Walmart.
Article 2: SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act 1989.
Why in news?
Amendment to SC/ST (prevention of atrocities) Act 1989.
Need for amendment:
To undue 3 rules laid down by the Supreme Court.
Reason:The Supreme Court rules were predicted to dilute the law.
What were the rules laid down by the apex court?
1. Bar on anticipatory bail under the act need not prevent the court from granting advance bail if the complaint has no merit.
2. Arrest can be done only if appointing authority (in case of public servant) or district
Super indent of police (SP) (in case of others) approve it.
3. Preliminary inquiry into complaints is a must.
What are the new amendments?
4. Bar on anticipatory bail will remain “notwithstanding any judgement or order of any court”.
5. Prior approval of authorities is not needed for arrest.
6. No enquiry is needed before an FIR is registered.
1. Court didn’t alter any important provisions of the act.
2. It only sought
a. To protect innocent against arbitrary arrest.
b. Providing relief and compensation to SC and ST
3. But these rules were perceived as a hindrance to quick action.
Fact: Conviction rate under the act is low andatrocities against Dalits are disturbing reality.
1. It is vital that any law founded on punishing social ostracisation (exclusion)
2. Should maintain a affine balance between
a. Protecting rights of individuals.
b. Free trial.
This would help to enforce spirit of law.
3. The amendments will help in protecting the dignity of disadvantaged who have suffered as a social discrimination.