03, May 2017

‘Wall of Valour’ IN Educational Institutions Launched

Source: PIB

“Wall of Valour” in 1,000 educational institutions across the country

Portraits of Param Vir Chakra (PVC) decorated soldiers will be displayed at designated places on educational campuses to instil sense of nationalism among the students. This is part of a nationwide ‘Vidya Veerta Abhiyan’.


  • It Highlighting the importance of the occasion gratitude towards the most difficult service rendered by our armed forces. We Feel secure just because of the continuous vigil and alertness of our forces busy in securing our borders.
  • These are our real post-independence heroes while the freedom fighters who laid their lives and faced atrocities for the cause of freedom are the natural heroes since the days of Satyagraha which culminated in the revolution for getting independence from the foreign rule.

Department of Telecom (DoT) Launches Tarang Sanchar:

  • It is a portal launched by telecom department.
  • It allows people to track radiation emitted from mobile towers within a locality and check their compliance with the stipulated norms.
  • It is aimed at clearing “myths and misconceptions” about mobile towers and emissions from them.

1.PM Modi on World Press Freedom Day: Free, vibrant press is vital in a democracy

Source: Indian Express

World Press Freedom Day– May 3.: “Social media has emerged as an active medium of engagement & has added more vigour to press freedom”.

  • The World Press Freedom Day, observed internationally, was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 following a Recommendation adopted at the 26th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991. This was in response to a call by African journalists who in 1991 produced the landmark Windhoek Declaration on media pluralism and independence.
  • The day is observed to pay tribute to those journalists who lost their lives while working on stories they’re passionate about. It also serves a reminder to those in power that the independence of the media is crucial for the survival of a democracy.
  • 3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics. Just as importantly, World Press Freedom Day is a day of support for media which are targets for the restraint, or abolition, of press freedom. It is also a day of remembrance for those journalists who lost their lives in the pursuit of a story.

2.Panama Papers: 424 names in probe, 49 are by Enforcement Directorate

Source: Indian Express

Investigations have begun against 49 individuals and entities by the Enforcement Directorate in the Panama Papers case, the Government has told a Parliamentary panel.

In a three-page note, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has told the Public Accounts Committee that the ED investigation comes after a referral from the Reserve Bank of India that these entities “may have contravened the provisions of FEMA, 1999.

Enforcement Directorate

Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, which enforces the following laws: –

  • Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) – A Civil Law, with officers empowered to conduct investigations into suspected contraventions of the Foreign Exchange Laws and Regulations, adjudicate, contraventions, and impose penalties on those adjudged to have contravened the law.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) – A Criminal Law, with the officers empowered to conduct investigations to trace assets derived out of the proceeds of crime, to provisionally attach/ confiscate the same, and to arrest and prosecute the offenders found to be involved in Money Laundering.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) is an Act of the Parliament of India “to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India”.

Panama agrees to sign tax treaty

  • Indian agencies believe this will help them expedite probe into the “Panama papers”
  • Panama’s request to join the Convention. Signing and ratifying the Convention will be a very significant step forward in implementing its commitment to tax transparency and effective exchange of information.
  • India is among the 98 countries and jurisdictions that have already joined the Convention.
  • It was developed jointly by the OECD and the Council of Europe in 1988 and amended in 2010, in response to the call by the G20 to align it to the international standard on exchange of information and to open it to all countries, “thus ensuring that developing countries could benefit from the new transparent environment.”
  • The Convention also represents a wide range of countries, including all G20, BRIICS and OECD countries, financial centres and several developing countries.
  • It is learnt that though Panama has decided to sign the Convention following an analysis of international expectations and consultations with the private sector, its commitment for automatic exchange of information would be only towards those countries with which it signs bilateral agreements.

3.Expedite work on Kishanganga Project: PMO directs power ministry and J&K government

Source: The Hindu

Notwithstanding Pakistan’s challenge to Jammu and Kashmir’s 330 mw Kishanganga hydro-electric project, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed the power ministry and the J&K government to expedite work on the two major Kishanganga transmission lines that are to be commissioned along with the first unit of the crucial project.

Two transmission lines — the Kishanganga-Amargarh and the Amargarh-Wagoora lines — are to be commissioned by the power ministry.


  • Pakistan has been consistently objecting to the Kishanganga hydro-electric project which is to be completed by India in three units of 110MW each, the first of which is set to be commissioned in the coming months. Last month, India had put on hold a World Bank-facilitated initiative for water secretary-level talks with Pakistan in Washington, owing to differences of opinion on technical issues on the Indus river hydro-projects like Kishanganga.
  • In January, Pakistan had reportedly asked India to suspend the ongoing construction of the Kishanganga project and asked the World Bank to set up a court of arbitration to mediate the dispute over the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan.

The Project:

  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is an $864 million dam which is part of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.
  • It is located 5 km north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir, India and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW. Construction on the project began in 2007 and is expected to be complete in 2016.
  • Construction on the dam was temporarily halted by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in October 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest of its effect on the flow of the Kishanganga River (called the Neelum River in Pakistan). In February 2013, the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum amount of water for power generation.

4.Skill councils have conflict of interests

Source: The Hindu

The Government may soon review the public report of Sharda Prasad committee, that suggested the challenges in vocational education and training system of the country and convergence, synergy and rationalization of sector skill councils (SSCs).

  • The committee has advised the skill development ministry to drastically reduce the number SSCs from 40 to around 20 by merging identical sector councils and curtail their powers of assessment of skill training centers. It is because these SSCs are overlapping in nature, and were unnecessarily floated


  • Sector Skill Councils are set up as autonomous industry-led bodies by NSDC.
  • They create Occupational Standards and Qualification bodies, develop competency framework, conduct Train the Trainer Programs, conduct skill gap studies and Assess and Certify trainees on the curriculum aligned to National Occupational Standards developed by them.
  • Till date, the NSDC Board has approved proposals for 38 Sector Skill Councils. There are approximately 450 Corporate Representatives in the Governing Councils of these SSCs.

5.Hamas softens language, accepts pre-1967 border

Source: The Hindu

Hamas, the Islamist movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, has unveiled a new policy document ahead of a first face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, whose Fatah party remains at loggerheads with Hamas.

  • The document accepts for the first time pre-1967 armistice lines as a matter of “national consensus” — in what many interpreted as implicitly accepting the existence of Israel.
  • Some analysts see the move as an attempt by Hamas to ease tension with regional allies and assuage hostilities with global powers.


Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks. It seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state. It also governs Gaza independently of the Palestinian Authority.

What is GAZA?

The Gaza Strip is a Detroit-sized area on the border with Egypt up against the Mediterranean Sea that is one of the most densely packed places on Earth with 1.8 million people living in just 139 square miles. Technically part of the Palestinian Authority, it has been governed since 2007 by the militant group Hamas.

  • Gaza is a densely populated strip of land that is mostly surrounded by Israel and peopled almost exclusively by Palestinians. Israel used to have a military presence, but withdrew unilaterally in 2005. It’s currently under Israeli blockade.
  • The sporadic rocket fire that’s hit Israel from there since its pullback has strengthened Israeli hawks’ political position, as they have long argued that any Palestinian state would end up serving as a launching pad for attacks on Israel.
  • Egypt controlled Gaza until 1967, when Israel occupied it (along with the West Bank) in the Six-Day War. Until 2005, Israeli military authorities controlled Gaza in the same way they control the West Bank, and Jews were permitted to settle there. In 2005, then–Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled out Israeli troops and settlers unilaterally.
  • Gaza is governed by the Islamist group Hamas, which formed in 1987 as a militant “resistance” group against Israel and won political power in a 2006 US-based election. Hamas’s takeover of Gaza prompted an Israeli blockade of the flow of commercial goods into Gaza, on the grounds that Hamas could use those goods to make weapons to be used against Israel. Israel has eased the blockade over time, but the cutoff of basic supplies like fuel still does significant humanitarian harm by cutting off access to electricity, food, and medicine.
  • Hamas and other Gaza-based militants have fired thousands of rockets from the territory at Israeli targets. Israel has launched a number of military operations in Gaza, including an air campaign and ground invasion in late 2008 and early 2009, a major bombing campaign in 2012, and another air/ground assault in the summer of 2014.


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