Weekly Current Affairs – Prelims ( 5th to 11th August 2018 )

8888 uprising

 

Weekly Current Affairs – Prelims ( 5th to 11th August 2018 )

 

8888 uprising Myanmar

Topic in Syllabus: Current events of national and international importance

8888 uprising

  • The 8888 Nationwide Popular Pro-Democracy Protestsalso known as the 8-8-88 Uprisings, or the People Power Uprising, the People’s Democracy Movement and the 1988 Uprising.
  • These were 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. The protests began as a student movement and were organised largely by university students at the Rangoon Arts and Sciences University and the Rangoon Institute of Technology
  • Since 1962, the Burma Socialist Programme Party had ruled the country as a totalitarian one-party state, headed by General Ne Win. Under the government agenda, called the Burmese Way to Socialism, which involved economic isolation and strengthening the military, Burma became one of the world’s most impoverished countries.
  • Many firms in the formal sector of the economy were nationalised, and the government combined Soviet-style central planning with Buddhist and traditional beliefs.
  • The 8888 uprising was started by students in Yangon(Rangoon) on 8 August 1988. Student protests spread throughout the country. Hundreds of thousands of monks, children, university students, housewives, doctors and common people protested against the government.
  • The uprising ended on 18 September after a bloody military coup by the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Thousands of deaths have been attributed to the military during this uprising, while authorities in Myanmar put the figure at around 350 people killed.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the statements regarding 8888 uprising are correct?

  1. The 8888 uprising (the popular pro-democracy protests) occurred in Myanmar in 1968.
  2. The uprising was started by university students at Rangoon.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) none

Answer: b


 

Parliament passes Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc

 

Main provisions:

  • The bill stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 12 years and the death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.
  • the punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.
  • Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death.
  • in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The punishment for the gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.
  • the time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.
  • a six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.
  • there will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gangrape of a girl.
  • fast track special courts will be set up which will exclusively deal with rape cases and there is also a provision that the court hearing in rape cases should be presided by a woman judge and statement in cases will also be recorded by a woman police officer.
  • for the quality of investigation, forensic kits will be provided at all police stations and hospitals and special forensic labs will be set up in every state.

 

Sample Question:

Q. Which of the following is not a part of Criminal Law(Amendment) Act 2018?

a)  the time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.

b) the punishment for rape of a girl under 16 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.

c) a six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed

d) fast track special courts will be set up which will exclusively deal with rape cases

Answer:b

 


 

China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft

Topic in Syllabus: Current events of national and international importance

 

China successfully tests first hypersonic aircraft

  • China announced that it has successfully tested its first cutting-edge hypersonic aircraft which could carry nuclear warheads and penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems.
  • The Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2, was launched in a target range located in Northwest China
  • The United States and Russia have been carrying out similar experiments.
  • Launched in a rocket, China’s waverider was released in the air after about 10 minutes.
  • The hypersonic aircraft was designed by the CAAA in collaboration with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
  • Waverider 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 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. But the trajectory of a waverider is relatively unpredictable in the glide and it flies so fast that it poses an extreme challenge to current anti-missile defense systems,
  • Any rocket has the potential of launching a waverider, and the waverider can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • The high speed is what sets apart the hypersonic flights from others. It travels at least four times faster than the speed of sound. It flies through the atmosphere below about 90km at speeds above Mach 5, according to NASA, a speed where dissociation of air begins to become significant and high heat loads exists.
  • This type of aircraft uses the shock waves generated by its own flight as a lifting surface to enhance the lift-to-drag ratio to reach the hypersonic regime of Mach 5 or even above, reported Asia Times.  Some hypersonic vehicles have a special type of jet engine called a Supersonic Combustion Ramjet or scramjet to fly through the atmosphere. Sometimes, a hypersonic plane uses a rocket engine.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following is not correct regarding hypersonic aircraft?

a) It travels at least four times faster than the speed of sound

b) This type of aircraft uses the shock waves generated by its own flight as a lifting surface to enhance the lift-to-drag ratio

c) Recently Russia announced successful testing of its first hypersonic aircraft

d) All the above are correct

 


 

India Thailand Joint military Exercise

Topic in Syllabus: Current events of national and international importance

 

India Thailand Joint military Exercise

  • Exercise Maitree is a joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army
  • It is a platoon level exercise which comprises of infantry component.
  • The exercise will emphasize to hone the tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario under UN mandate.
  • Due emphasis will be laid on increasing interoperability between forces from both countries which is crucial for success of any joint operation.
  • Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well-developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario.
  • Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experience on varied topics for mutual benefit.
  • Exercise Maitree will contribute immensely in developing mutual understanding and bonhomie between the two armies in order to counter terrorism.

 

Sample question:

Q. Maitree is a joint military exercise of India with which country?

a) China

b) Srilanka

c) Thailand

d) Malaysia

 


 

Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc

 

fugitive economic offenders

  • A fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom warrants for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving amount of at least ₹100 crore or more and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.
  • The new legislation will prevent big economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from fleeing the country and evading the law.
  • The new law allows designated special court to declare a person as fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his property, including ‘benami’ ones.
  • All the rights and title in the confiscated property shall, from the date of the confiscation order, vest in the Central government, free from all encumbrances
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will be the investigative agency under the Act

 

Sample question

Q. Which of the following statements with respect to Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 are correct?

  1. A fugitive economic offender is any individual against whom warrants for arrest is issued for his involvement in select economic offences involving amount of at least ₹500 crore or more and has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution.
  2. The new law allows designated special court to declare a person as fugitive economic offender and to confiscate his property, including ‘benami’ ones.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) none

Answer: 2 only


 

Blockchain District

Topic in Syllabus: Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives, etc

block chain technology

 

  • Why in news:
    • The Telangana State Information Technology, Electronics and Communication department (ITE&C) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IT major Tech Mahindra to launch a Blockchain District in the state.
    • Blockchain District will be a Centre of Excellence for Blockchain, an incubator for technology and process development with innovative infrastructure and facilities to foster growth of Indian Blockchain start-ups and companies. Tech Mahindra will provide platform and technology assistance to the incubators in the Blockchain District.

 

  • What is blockchain technology?
    • The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
    • Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

 

  • Blockchain Durability and robustness
    • Blockchain technology is like the internet in that it has a built-in robustness. By storing blocks of information that are identical across its network, the blockchain cannot:
    • Be controlled by any single entity.
    • Has no single point of failure.
    • Bitcoin was invented in 2008. Since that time, the Bitcoin blockchain has operated without significant disruption. (To date, any of problems associated with Bitcoin have been due to hacking or mismanagement. In other words, these problems come from bad intention and human error, not flaws in the underlying concepts.

 

  • Transparent and incorruptible
    • The blockchain network lives in a state of consensus, one that automatically checks in with itself every ten minutes.  A kind of self-auditing ecosystem of a digital value, the network reconciles every transaction that happens in ten-minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a “block”.
    • Two important properties result from this:
      • Transparency data is embedded within the network as a whole, by definition it is public.
      • It cannot be corrupted altering any unit of information on the blockchain would mean using a huge amount of computing power to override the entire network.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following are correct regarding Blockchain technology?

  1. Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
  2. The Telangana Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IT major Tech Mahindra to launch a Blockchain District in the state.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) none

 


 

The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018

Topic in Syllabus:  Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc

 

Background

  • It seeks to amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.  The Act prohibits the commission of offences against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and establishes special courts for the trial of such offences and the rehabilitation of victims.
  • In 2018, the Supreme Court stated that for persons accused of committing an offence under the Act, approval of the Senior Superintendent of Police will be required before an arrest is made.  Further, the Deputy Superintendent of Police may conduct a preliminary enquiry to find out whether there is a prima facie case under the Act.

Amendment:

  • The Bill states that the investigating officer will not require the approval of any authority for the arrest of an accused.  Further, it provides that a preliminary enquiry will not be required for the registration of a First Information Report against a person accused under the Act.
  • The Act states that persons accused of committing an offence under the Act cannot apply for anticipatory bail.  The Bill seeks to clarify that this provision will apply despite any judgements or orders of a court that provide otherwise.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following statements is not correct regarding Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 ?

  1. The Bill states that the investigating officer will not require the approval of any authority for the arrest of an accused.
  2. Preliminary enquiry will be required for the registration of a First Information Report against a person accused under the Act.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) none

 


 

Parliaments passes The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc

  • It seeks to grant the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
  • Role of NCSC: Currently, under the Constitution the NCSC has the power to look into complaints and welfare measures with regard to Scheduled Castes, backward classes and Anglo-Indians.  The Bill seeks to remove the power of the NCSC to examine matters related to backward classes.
  • Constitutional status to National Commission for Backward Classes: The NCBC is a body set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.  It has the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government in this regard.  The Bill seeks to establish the NCBC under the Constitution, and provide it the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
  • Note that this Bill was introduced alongside the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017 that seeks to repeal the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
  • Backward classes: The Constitution Amendment Bill states that the President may specify the socially and educationally backward classes in the various states and union territories.  He may do this in consultation with the Governor of the concerned state.  However, a law of Parliament will be required if the list of backward classes is to be amended.
  • Composition and service conditions: Under the Constitution Amendment Bill, the NCBC will comprise of five members appointed by the President.  Their tenure and conditions of service will also be decided by the President through rules.
  • Functions: Under the Constitution Amendment Bill, the duties of the NCBC will include: (i) investigating and monitoring how safeguards provided to the backward classes under the Constitution and other laws are being implemented, (ii) inquiring into specific complaints regarding violation of rights, and (iii) advising and making recommendations on socio-economic development of such classes.  The central and state governments will be required to consult with the NCBC on all major policy matters affecting the socially and educationally backward classes.
  • The NCBC will be required to present annual reports to the President on working of the safeguards for backward classes.  These reports will be tabled in Parliament, and in the state legislative assemblies of the concerned states.
  • Powers of a civil court: Under the Constitution Amendment Bill, the NCBC will have the powers of a civil court while investigating or inquiring into any complaints.  These powers include: (i) summoning people and examining them on oath, (ii) requiring production of any document or public record, and (iii) receiving evidence.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following statements regarding the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Third Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed by Parliament are correct?

  1. It seeks to grant constitutional status to the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC)
  2. Under the Constitution Amendment Bill, the NCBC will comprise of five members appointed by the President.

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) both 1 and 2

d) none


 

SBI launches MOPAD, a unified payment terminal

Topic in Syllabus: Economic and Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector initiatives,

 

sbi mopad

  • State Bank of India (SBI) launched the Multi-Option Payment Acceptance Device or MOPAD, a unified payment option that accepts multiple payment methods.
  • Under this, customers will be able to pay through credit or debit cards, Bharat QR, Unified Payments Interface(UPI) and SBI Buddy (e-wallet) at a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal.
  • This initiative aims at providing digital convenience to customers and ease of doing business for merchants at the same time.
  • A charge-slip as a proof of payment, which was not available for the Bharat QR, UPI, and the SBI Buddy transactions, will be available for customers who pay through MOPAD.
  • The merchants get a single management information system (MIS) for all types of digital transactions, helping them to have total control over cash flows. This multipurpose initiative is expected to enhance the digital ecosystem and help the bank in driving the economy towards a less-cash society.
  • The bank will roll-out the facility on all PoS terminals in a phased manner, for which over 6.23 lakh terminals have been deployed. This will result in increased digital transactions as the merchant needs to deploy only one terminal.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following is not correct regarding digital payment terminal Multi-Option Payment Acceptance Device( MOPAD)?

a) It was launched by SBI

b) This initiative aims at providing digital convenience to customers and ease of doing business for merchants at the same time

c) A charge-slip as a proof of payment, which was available for the Bharat QR, UPI, and the SBI Buddy transactions, will not be available for customers who pay through MOPAD

d) none


 

Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha

Topic in Syllabus: Indian Polity and Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc

harivansh narayan singh

Why in news: 

Harivansh Narayan Singh has been elected as the new deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

The Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha:

The Deputy Chairman is a constitutional position created under Article 89 of the Constitution, which specifies that Rajya Sabha shall choose one of its MPs to be the Deputy Chairman as often as the position becomes vacant. The office becomes vacant either by resignation or removal from office or when the Rajya Sabha member’s term gets over.

Election of Deputy Chairman:

  • The election of a Deputy Chairman shall be held on such date as the Chairman may fix and the Secretary-General shall send to every member notice of this date.
  • At any time before noon on the day- preceding the date so fixed, any member may give notice in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of a motion that another member be chosen as the Deputy Chairman of the Council, and the notice shall be seconded by a third member and shall be accompanied by a statement by the member whose name is proposed in the notice that he is willing to serve as Deputy Chairman if elected: Provided that a member shall not propose or second more than one motion.
  • A member in whose name a motion stands in the list of business may, when called, move the motion or not move the motion, in which case he shall confine himself to a mere statement to that effect.
  • The motions which have been moved and duly seconded shall be put one by one in the order in which they have been moved and decided if necessary by division. If any motion is carried, the person presiding shall, without putting later motions, declare that the member proposed in the motion which has been carried, has been chosen as the Deputy Chairman of the Council.

Powers of Deputy Chairman etc. while presiding:

The Deputy Chairman or other member competent to preside over a sitting of the Council under the Constitution or these rules shall, when so presiding, have the same power as the Chairman when presiding over the Rajya Sabha and all references to the Chairman in these rules shall in these circumstances be deemed to be, references to any such person so presiding.

Significance of the position:

The Deputy Chair is the one position that is elected solely by members of Rajya Sabha. It is a critical position not just because s/he steps in when there is a vacancy in the office of Chairperson/Vice President but also because s/he plays a critical role in the smooth running of the House.

 

Sample question:

Q. Which of the following with respect to Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha or Council of States is not correct?

a) The Deputy Chairman is elected solely by members of Rajya Sabha

b) The election of a Deputy Chairman shall be held on such date as may be fixed by the Chairman

c) The Deputy Chairman is a statutory position created by an Act of Parliament.

d) The Deputy Chairman shall, when presiding over the Council , has the same power as the Chairman when presiding over the Council.

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