04&05, March 2018

Defexpo India 2018

  • An international land, naval and internal homeland security systems exhibition – is being held in Chennai. It will brand India as a defence exporter of several defence systems and components for all three Services – Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • This is the tenth edition of the exhibition.
  • It is the first time that the defence expo is going to be held in Chennai.
  • Till 2016, all defence expos had been held only in New Delhi. It was held in Goa 2017

Namaste Shalom

  • It is a regular monthly magazine on bilateral relations between the two friendly nations. The magazine aims to strengthen India-Israel relations and provide a platform for exchanging views between Indians and Jews the world over.

1.Silver copper telluride (AgCuTe)

Source: The Hindu

Researchers have developed silver copper telluride (AgCuTe), a novel compound that exhibits poor thermal conductivity in the 25-425 degree C range but shows good electrical conductivity.

AgCuTe:

  • The new material made from silver, copper, and tellurium shows high levels of thermoelectric performance that the scientists are hoping could some day be harnessed to extract electricity from waste heat of chemical, thermal, or steel power plants.
  • Due to the low thermal conductivity of AgCuTe, one end of the 8 mm-long rod that is contact with waste heat remains hot while the other end maintains cold temperature. The temperature difference is essential for the generation of electrical voltage. At the same time, the material exhibits good electrical conductivity like metal.

Potential applications:

  • The compound, silver copper telluride (AgCuTe), shows promise as a thermoelectric material for converting waste heat into electricity. Potential applications of the thermoelectric technology are in automobile industry, chemical, thermal and steel power plants where large quantities of heat are wasted.

2.India’s falling sex ratio

Source: The Hindu

Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB)

  • The SRB is the number of girls born for every 1,000 boys.
  • A recent report from the NITI Aayog said sex ratio at birth (SRB) nationwide had dropped from 906 in 2012-2014 to 900 in 2013-2015. In all, 17 of 21 large Indian States saw a drop in the SRB, with Gujarat performing the worst, declining 53 points. Also, newer data from India’s Sample Registration System show the SRB fell even further in 2014-2016, from 900 to 898.

Issues:

  • The number of girls born is naturally lower than the number of boys, and demographers speculate that this may be nature’s way of offsetting the higher risk that men have of dying — male babies are biologically weaker than females, and men have historically seen higher mortality rates owing to risk-taking behaviour and participation in wars. This evens out the sex ratio of a population as it grows older. But India is a special case. Its SRB is far lower than 952 because of the preference for the male child. This means we are killing girl children in the womb. As on today, around 63 million girls are estimated to be ‘missing’ in India because of such actions.
  • Low SRBs starting from the Seventies have led to large numbers of “surplus men” today in countries like India and China. There are concerns that skewed sex ratios lead to more violence against both men and women, as well as human-trafficking. In India, some villages in Haryana and Punjab have such poor sex ratios that men “import” brides from other States. This is often accompanied by the exploitation of these brides.

Performance of PC- PNDT:

  • From female infanticide till 1970s to the emergence of sex selection technologies in 1980s, people have always found ways to have male child. A thriving market for sex selection sprung up with doctors openly advertising their services.
  • In 1994, the government took notice and introduced the Prenatal Diagnostics Techniques Act which punishes healthcare professionals for telling expectant parents the sex of a child with imprisonment and hefty fines.
  • In 2003, when technologies that allowed gender-selection even before conception became available, the act was amended to become the Prenatal Conception and Prenatal Determination Act (PC-PNDT).
  • By any token, this Act has been a failure. In November 2016, a report from the Asian Centre for Human Rights noted that between 1994 and 2014, 2,266 cases of infanticide were registered in India, against 2,021 cases of abortion under the PC-PNDT, even though abortions outnumber infanticides today. In all, 17 out of 29 States had either not registered any case, or had zero convictions.
  • The PHFI report in 2010 found major gaps in the training of personnel implementing PC-PNDT. Poor training meant that they were unable to prepare strong cases against violators to secure convictions.

Way ahead:

  • Now, India must implement the PC-PNDT more stringently, but must also dedicate more resources to fighting the preference for boys.

3.Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP)

Source: The Hindu

India and Vietnam have signed an MoU on Cooperation between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute (VINATOM). The two countries had signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2016 and the MoU will enhance training and research collaboration possibilities.

GCNEP:

  • Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) is located near Bahadurgarh in Haryana. GCNEP is the sixth R&D unit under the aegis of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  • GCNEP will help in capacity building, in association with the interested countries and the IAEA, involving technology, human resource development, education & training and giving a momentum to R&D in enlisted areas.

The main objectives

  • Mark Development of enhanced nuclear safeguards to effectively and efficiently monitor nuclear materials and facilities.
  • Mark Promoting the development of advanced, more proliferation resistant nuclear power reactors.
  • Mark Training manpower in the field of Nuclear Security and Radiological Safety.
  • Mark Educating in the field of Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems, Isotopes and Radiation Technologies, nuclear forensic.
  • Mark Establishing accreditation facilities for radiation monitoring.

4.Border pact between India and Myanmar

Source: The Hindu

Citing “domestic compulsions”, Myanmar has indefinitely deferred signing an agreement with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 km along the border.

Background:

  • On January 3, the Union Cabinet had approved the agreement between India and Myanmar on land border crossing to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries. To give it shape, the Centre had asked four States — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram — that share the unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border pass” to all the residents living within 16 km from the border.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been deferred twice in the past seven months.

Significance of the agreement:

  • The agreement aims to enhance economic interaction between people of the two countries. The agreement will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries.
  • It is expected to provide connectivity and enhance interaction of the people from north-eastern states of India with those of Myanmar.
  • The agreement will also safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border.

Free movement across border:

  • There are over 250 villages with over 300,000 people living within 10 km of the border who frequently cross the border through 150 small and large, formal and informal, border crossings. Also, both the countries intend to put a system in place after India raised the issue of movement of extremists and smugglers freely across the border.
  • As per the proposal, there would have been no restrictions on the movement of people across the borders. The domiciles were to be allotted border passes and those going across for agriculture, work or to meet relatives should carry the pass at all times.
  • India and Myanmar share a 1,643 km unfenced border along Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km) and permit a ‘free movement’ regime upto 16 km beyond the border.



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