Sarat Chandra IAS Academy brings to you the daily current affairs keeping in mind the changing pattern of the UPSC civil services exam. UPSC Prelims and Mains exams mix the current affairs with static core concepts. So, we give the background explanation for every current topic.
TOPICS OF THE DAY:
- CHINA’S CHANG’E-5 MOON PROBE
- KERALA POLICE ACT AMENDMENT ORDINANCE
- ATAL FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES (FDPS)
- CYCLONE NIVAR
- UMANG App
1) CHINA’S CHANG’E-5 MOON PROBE:
Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: On November 24, China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission will become the first probe in over four decades to bring back samples of lunar rock from a previously unexplored portion of the Moon.
- Early in 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 probe successfully transmitted images from the far side of the Moon, also referred to as the dark side. This was the first probe to land in this portion of the Moon.
What is the Chang’e-5 mission?
- Chang’e-5 probe, which is named after the Chinese Moon goddess who is traditionally accompanied by a white or jade rabbit, is the Chinese National Space Administration’s (CNSA) lunar sample return mission that is set to launch on November 24 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Hainan Island in China.
The goal of the mission:
- The goal of the mission is to land in the Mons Rumker region of the moon, where it will operate for one lunar day, which is two weeks long and return a 2 kg sample of the lunar rock possibly by digging about 2 metres deep into the surface of the Moon.
- The mission components the mission comprises a lunar orbiter, a lander and an ascent probe that will lift the lunar samples back into orbit and return them back to Earth.
- Chang’e-5 comprises a robotic arm, a coring drill, a sample chamber and is also equipped with a camera, penetrating radar and a spectrometer.
- The spacecraft is set to return to Earth around December 15.
What do lunar samples tell us?
- The first samples of rocks from the Moon were collected during the Apollo 11 mission.
- In a document from 1984, NASA noted that lunar samples can help to unravel some important questions in lunar science and astronomy, including the Moon’s age, the formation of the Moon, the similarities and differences between the Earth and the Moon’s geologic features and history and to see if the Moon can give scientists information about the solar system itself
2) KERALA POLICE ACT AMENDMENT ORDINANCE:
Relevant to : Prelims GS
CONTEXT: The Kerala state government has decided not to implement the amendment to the Kerala Police Act following opposition from various groups on the ground that it would curtail freedom of expression.
WHAT DID THE ORDINANCE DO?
- The ordinance amends the Kerala Police Act (a state-level criminal law), adding a new Section 118A.
- This provision punished any kind of “communication” – including statements, articles, social media posts, etc – which threatens, abuses, humiliates or defames a person or class of persons.
- Police can slap criminal charges on citizens by interpreting any kind of communication through any medium as defamatory.
- It finds even “injury to the mind” a reason for slapping criminal charges not just on the petition of the victim, but also anyone “in whom they have interest” or as a suo motu act by a police official.
- The punishment for this offence is up to three years’ imprisonment and/or a fine up to Rs 10,000. Even those who had just shared a post could be punished.
WHY IS IT CONTROVERSIAL?
- The amendment has stretched the law to such an extent that every communication or publication has been left to the subjective interpretation of the police to slap criminal charges against anyone.
- The move comes on the heels of failed efforts by the government to control the narrative in the media, especially social media, in the wake of discussions of ongoing investigations by central agencies in the state.
SECTION 118(D) OF THE KPA:
- The Supreme Court in its landmark judgement on Section 66A of the IT Act had struck down section 118(D) of the KPA for being violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression and for its vagueness.
- In that judgment, the apex court had held that that terms used in these provisions were too vague, and would criminalise even speech that was innocent in nature, and that therefore they could “be used in such a way as to have a chilling effect on free speech.”
- Legally, therefore, the ordinance was on shaky grounds and was likely to be struck down as unconstitutional by the constitutional courts (i.e. the Kerala High Court or the Supreme Court).
3) ATAL FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES (FDPS):
Relevant to: Prelims GS #Mains: GS2
CONTEXT: Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has inaugurated 46 online AICTE Training and Learning (ATAL) Academy Faculty Development Programmes (FDPs) to train teachers of higher education institutions.
- The FDPs will be conducted in 22 Indian states.
- The online Faculty Development Programmes will be conducted according to the new National Education Policy -2020.
- The Education Minister also informed that the London-based organization has recognized the FDPs as a world record, under which 1,000 online FDPs in over 100 emerging areas will benefit one lakh faculty members across premier institutions like IITs, NITs, and IIITs.
- This year the online FDP programme will cost 10 crore rupees.
- The main objective of ATAL Academy is to provide quality technical education in the country and to promote research and entrepreneurship through training in various emerging fields. IITs, IIITs, NITs and research labs are organizing these ATAL FD
4) CYCLONE NIVAR:
Relevant to: Prelims GS #Mains: GS1
Context: The cyclone Nivar is to make landfall between Mamallapuram and Karaikal of Tamil Nadu. It is to hit the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. The National Crisis Management Committee recently reviewed the status of cyclone held through video conferencing.
National Crisis Management Committee:
- The committee was set up by Government of India in the wake of natural calamity. It gives instructions to the Crisis Management Group. The Crisis Management Group consists of nodal officers from varied ministries. Disaster Response Team
- Around six National Disaster Response Force are deployed in parts of Tamil Nadu.
National Disaster Response Force
- It is a force constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The Ministry of Home Affairs is the nodal ministry to manage natural disasters. The force has 12 battalions. It includes three central reserve Police Fore, three Border Security Force, two Indo-Tibetan Border Force and two Sahastra Seema Bal.
The NDRF operates under the National Disaster Management Authority:
- National Disaster Management Authority
- It is an apex body that lays down policies for disaster management. It was constituted in 2006 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. As the bodies constituted under an act of Parliament are statutory body, National Disaster Management Authority is a statutory body. The chairperson of the authority is the Prime Minister of India. The main objective of the authority is to build a safe and disaster resilient India.
Concerns and Challenges in Disaster Management in India
According to CAG report there are delays and completion of projects undertaken by the National Disaster Management Authority.
5) UMANG App:
Relevant to: Mains GS3-Science and technology, Infrastructure
Context: Online conference under chairmanship of Union IT Minister to be organized to mark 3 Years of UMANG
- To mark the occasion of 3 years of UMANG and 2000+ services milestone, an online conference is being organized
- UMANG’s international version will be launched during the conference for select countries that Include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, UAE, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
- It will help Indian international students, NRIs and Indian tourists abroad, to avail Government of India services, anytime
- It will also help in taking India to the world through Indian Culture’ services available on UMANG and create interest amongst foreign tourists to visit India.
About Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance: The UMANG Mobile App: It is a unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app.
It is a Digital India initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched in 2017.
- It provides seamless integration with popular customer centric services like Aadhaar and Digilocker.
- It provides a unified approach where one can install one application to avail multiple government services.
- It can be accessed on multiple channels like mobile application, web, and SMS which can be accessed through smartphones, tablets and desktop It has a rich multimedia interface with a focus on maximizing usability and enriching user experience.
- Services provided by the app: It is a unified application that can be used to avail a number of pan India e-government services such as: Filing income tax, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) services, Aadhar, Pension, ePathshala, e- Land Records, Crop Insurance etc.
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