DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS , 16th July , 2018
Domestic tech security firms get priority in govt. purchases
PAPER 3:Indian Economy.
The Centre has mandated giving preference in all public procurement to locally produced cybersecurity products where intellectual property rights are owned by companies or start-ups incorporated in India.
Highlights of the Notification
- The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in an order that it “hereby notifies that Cyber Security being a strategic sector, preference shall be provided by all procuring entities to domestically manufactured/produced Cyber Security Products.”
- The notification is based on Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order 2017 which aims to enhance income and employment in the country.
- Preference will be granted to a firm incorporated and registered in India or to start-up firms that meet the prescribed definition, provided revenue from the product and intellectual property licensing accrues to the firm in India.
- Though IP registration is not mandatory in the country, a firm claiming benefit should have the right to use and commercialise the product without third party-consents, distribute and modify it, the order said.
Significance and Impact
- It is imperative for a country to use and promote indigenous cybersecurity products to protect our information space as well as bring economic prosperity.
- The U.S., China and Russia have already started this process and it’s high time India follows suit.
Source :The Hindu.
‘ATF, natural gas may get into GST net’
PAPER 3:Indian Econoomy.
The GST Council may this week consider bringing jet fuel (ATF) and natural gas under the GST ambit but the tax slab is acting as a deterrent, people familiar with the matter said.
- When Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced on July 1 last year, five commodities — crude oil, natural gas, petrol, diesel, and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) - were kept out of its purview.
- While considerations of revenue loss to both the Centre and the States are holding back bringing all of them under GST net immediately, natural gas and ATF are considered fit case to begin the process.
- However, fitting the two products in the tax slabs is proving to be difficult.
Jet fuel, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or avtur, is a type of aviation fuel designed for use in aircraft powered by gas-turbine engines.
It is colorless to straw-colored in appearance.
The most commonly used fuels for commercial aviation are Jet A and Jet A-1, which are produced to a standardized international specification.
The only other jet fuel commonly used in civilian turbine-engine powered aviation is Jet B, which is used for its enhanced cold-weather performance.
About Natural Gas
- Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium.
- It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years.
- The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.
- Natural gas is a fossil fuel used as a source of energy for heating, cooking, and electricity generation.
Source : The Hindu.
How Omega 3 curbs spread of cancer
PAPER 3:Issues related to Health.
The new study, led by Aditi Das from University of Illinois, U.S., showed that when the human body metabolises omega-3 fatty acids, it produces a class of molecules called endocannabinoid epoxides, or EDP-EAs. These have anti-inflammatory properties and can inhibit cancer’s growth and spread.
Details of the study
While eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, certain nuts and seeds, have been known to prevent heart diseases and arthritis and also showed that it may also have anti-cancer effects.
These molecules could address multiple problems: cancer, inflammation and pain.
About Omega – 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a class of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids with the double bond in the third carbon position from the methyl terminal (hence the use of "3" in their description).
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, halibut, sardines, albacore, trout, herring, walnut, flaxseed oil, and canola oil.
Other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include shrimp, clams, light chunk tuna, catfish, cod, and spinach.
Source :The Hindu, Medicinenet.
Golden jackal faces threat in its habitat
PAPER 3:Bio Diversity.
Destruction of mangrove cover in the Bandar Reserve Forest is forcing the golden jackal (Canis aureus) out of its habitat, triggering a conflict with the local communities.
- Recently, there were reports which documented how a young golden jackal was swimming in the brackish waters out of its habitat for prey near the Palletummalapalem village in Machilipatnam mandal in Krishna district.
- The sighting out of its habitat is a sign of its destruction.
About Golden Jackal
- The conservation status of the animal is the ‘least concern’ and it preys on wild crab and fish.
- Golden jackals exhibit flexible social organization depending on the availability of food.
- Golden jackals are monogamous and will remain with the one partner until death.
- The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a wolf-like canid that is native to Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and regions of Southeast Asia.
Source : The Hindu.
Flying into trouble: Harrier birds decline as grasslands disappear
PAPER 3:Bio Diversity.
Harrier birds, a migratory raptor species that regularly visits vast swathes of India, are declining. This may foretell lurking dangers to the country’s grasslands.
- The “poorly studied” species is the focus of a study by two researchers from the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), who compared previous records of sightings with more current observations to determine what many had feared.
- Every winter, several species of harrier birds travel thousands of kilometres to escape frigid Central Asia for the grasslands of the subcontinent.
- At least five species of harriers were recorded in India over the years; India has one of the largest roosting sites in the world for Pallid Harriers and Montagu’s Harriers.
- The researchers focused on six of the 15 major roosting sites in six States, where consistent observations had been made for over five years.
- While a general declining trend was observed in all the monitored sites, researchers noted the most dramatic changes at the Rollapadu Bustard Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district, one of the largest.
- In the mid-1990s, an estimated 1,000 birds roosted here. By 2016, the number was down to less than 100 birds.
- In Hessarghatta on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Western Marsh Harriers declined significantly, leaving the area nearly deserted.
Source : The Hindu.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
- National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India is an autonomous public body constituted on 12 October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Ordinance of 28 September 1993.
- It was given a statutory basis by the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 (TPHRA).
The NHRC consists of:
- A Chairperson, should be retired Chief Justice of India (though GoI mulling appointment of retired SC Judges as chairperson)
- One member who is, or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court of India
- One member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court
- Two members to be appointed from among persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights
- In addition, the Chairpersons of four National Commissions (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women and Minorities) serve as ex officio members.
The sitting Judge of the Supreme Court or sitting Chief Justice of any High Court can be appointed only after the consultation with the Chief Justice of Supreme Court.
Enforcement Directoratee (ED)
Mains Answer Writing
- Leprosy must not continue to be a ground for divorce noted the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) stating that this disease is now fully curable, and that the archaic laws relating to leprosy must be relooked at. Comment.
- The presence of the Indian diaspora in Gulf countries and Chinese efforts to facilitate the rise of petro-yuan should shape India’s response to sanctions on Iran. Analyse.
- Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest health insurance scheme aimed at covering 50 crore Indians, is facing teething troubles. Examine.