08, November 2017

‘NIRBHAY’ Missile– India’s first indigenously designed and developed Long Range Sub-Sonic Cruise Missile which can be deployed from multiple platforms.

1.SHe-Box Online Complaint Management System for working women to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace

Source: PIB

Ensuring the dignity and safety of women must be first priority for any digital society.

WCD Minister launched a comprehensive SHe-Box online complaint Management System for women working in both public and private organizations to lodge complaints of sexual harassment at workplace.

  • The SHe-Box was launched to ensure the effective implementation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (the SH Act), 2013.

Key facts:

  • SHe-Box portal is an effort to provide speedier remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace. Once a complaint is submitted to the portal, it will be directly sent to the ICC/LCC of the concerned employer. Through this portal, WCD as well as complainant can monitor the progress of inquiry conducted by the ICC/LCC.
  • Ensuring the dignity and safety of women must be first priority for any digital society.
  • Towards realisation of the vision of the Digital India programme, the Ministry is promoting utilisation of information and communication technology to achieve the goal of gender equality and women empowerment.
  • It is an effort to utilise the digital space to enable speedier response to the complaints of women against sexual harassment at workplace.

Significance:

  • The new SHe-Box portal offers the facility of making online complaints of sexual harassment at workplace to all women employees in the country including government and private employees. Those who have already filed a written complaint with the concerned Internal Complaint Committee (ICC) or Local Complaint Committee (LCC) constituted under the SH Act are also eligible to file their complaint through this portal.
  • This is a historic step since it is probably the first ever time that the government of any country has launched an online portal to receive complaints of sexual harassment at workplace. The government is completely committed to provide a safe and fair environment to working women. It is for this reason that the WCD Ministry has made efforts to make the setting up of Internal Complaint Committees mandatory at all workplaces, the Minister explained
  • The SHe-Box has been launched to provide platform to aggrieved women to make their complaints directly so that suitable action is taken to redress their grievances.

2.NDMA conducts brainstorming session on use of UAVs in Disaster Management

Source: PIB

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today conducted a one-day national-level brainstorming session on “Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Disaster Management“.

  • The event aimed to build and improve the capacity of stakeholders to use UAVs and related technologies for better disaster preparedness and response.

Key facts:

  • This would encourage various stakeholders to collaboratively work towards research and development of UAV technology for Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • UAVs can provide high-resolution, real-time images of even the inaccessible locations.
  • These images can then be used to produce accurate hazard maps so that prevention and mitigation measures for reducing disaster risks are planned accordingly. In a post-disaster situation, UAVs can be used to map the affected areas in high resolution within a short time, which, in turn, can aid swift and efficient response.

National Disaster Management Authority- Ministry of Home Affairs

  • To build a safer and disaster resilient India by a holistic, pro-active, technology driven and sustainable development strategy that involves all stakeholders and fosters a culture of prevention, preparedness and mitigation.
  • The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), headed by the Prime Minister of India, is the apex body for Disaster Management in India. Setting up of NDMA and the creation of an enabling environment for institutional mechanisms at the State and District levels is mandated by the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
  • India envisions the development of an ethos of Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness.
  • The Indian government strives to promote a national resolve to mitigate the damage and destruction caused by natural and man-made disasters, through sustained and collective efforts of all Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and People’s participation. This is planned to be accomplished by adopting a Technology-Driven, Pro-Active, Multi-Hazard and Multi-Sectoral strategy for building a Safer, Disaster Resilient and Dynamic India.

Policy:

  • The National Policy framework has been prepared after due deliberation and keeping in view the National Vision to build a safe and disaster-resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology-driven strategy for DM.
  • This will be achieved through a culture of prevention, mitigation and preparedness to generate a prompt and efficient response during disasters. The entire process will centre-stage the community and will be provided momentum and sustenance through the collective efforts of all government agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations’.
  • This Policy framework is also in conformity with the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Rio Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals and the Hyogo Framework 2005-2015.

The themes that underpin this policy are:-

  • Community-based disaster management, including last mile integration of the policy, plans and execution.
  • Capacity development in all related areas.
  • Consolidation of past initiatives and best practices.
  • Cooperation with agencies at the national, regional and international levels.
  • Compliance and coordination to generate a multi-sectoral synergy.

3.CZT Imager of AstroSat measures first phase resolved X-ray polarisation of Crab pulsar

Source: PIB

AstroSat, India’s multi-wavelength space telescope, has successfully accomplished the extremely difficult task of measuring X-ray polarisation.

  • In a paper published in ‘Nature Astronomy’, the team has documented the results of their eighteen-month study of the Crab pulsar in the Taurus Constellation and measured the variations of polarisation as this highly magnetised object spins around 30 times every second.
  • This landmark measurement puts up a strong challenge to prevailing theories of high energy X-ray emission from pulsars.

AstroSat:

ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi wavelength space observatory.

  • This scientific satellite mission endeavours for a more detailed understanding of our universe.
  • One of the unique features of ASTROSAT mission is that enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
  • ASTROSAT observes universe in the optical, Ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, whereas most other scientific satellites are capable of observing a narrow range of wavelength band. Multi-wavelength observations of ASTROSAT can be further extended with co-ordinated observations using other spacecraft and ground based observations. All major astronomy Institutions and some Universities in India are participating in these observations.
  • ASTROSAT with a lift-off mass of about 1513 kg was launched into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 deg to the equator by PSLV-C30. After injection into Orbit, the two solar panels of ASTROSAT were automatically deployed in quick succession. The spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore manages the satellite during its mission life.

The scientific objectives of ASTROSAT mission are:

  • To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes
  • Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars
  • Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy
  • Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky
  • Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.

4.Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) strengthens its Due Diligence Framework under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

Source: PIB

Amendments to the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Resolution Process, 2016 impose a greater responsibility on the Resolution Professionals and the Committee of Creditors in discharging their duties.

Key facts:

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended its Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process Regulations to ensure that as part of due diligence, prior to approval of a Resolution Plan, the antecedents, credit worthiness and credibility of a Resolution Applicant, including promoters, are taken into account by the Committee of Creditors.
  • With a view to ensure that the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process results in a credible and viable Resolution Plan, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has carried-out amendments to the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Resolution Process, 2016 (CIRP Regulations).
  • The Revised Regulations make it incumbent upon the Resolution Professional to ensure that the Resolution Plan presented to the Committee of Creditors contains relevant details to assess the credibility of the Resolution Applicants.
  • The details to be provided would include details with respect to the Resolution Applicant in terms of convictions, disqualifications, criminal proceedings, categorization as willful defaulter as per RBI guidelines, debarment imposed by SEBI, if any, and transaction, if any, with the Corporate Debtor in the last two years.

IBBI:

  • The Code, which provides for a market-determined and time-bound resolution of insolvency proceedings, became operational in December 2016.
  • It offers a market determined, time bound mechanism for orderly resolution of insolvency, wherever possible, and orderly exit, wherever required.
  • The Code envisages an ecosystem comprising National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Board), Information Utilities (IUs), Insolvency Professionals (IPs), Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs) and Insolvency Professional Entities (IPEs) for implementation of the Code.

The Preamble of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code describes the basic functions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code as:

  1. To consolidate and amend the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximization of the value of assets of such persons,
  2. To promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders including alteration in the order of priority of payment of Government dues and
  3. To establish an Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Adjudicatory authority:

  • The adjudicating authority for corporate insolvency and liquidation is the NCLT. Appeals from NCLT orders lie to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal and thereafter to the Supreme Court of India.
  • For individuals and other persons, the adjudicating authority is the DRT, appeals lie to the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal and thereafter to the Supreme Court.

5.Andaman’s new taste is sweet-and-sour

Source: The Hindu

  • Botanists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been quietly going bananas. And it is not their fault, for the islands are a biodiversity hotspot that hosts seven different species of wild banana that we know of, not to mention numerous, as yet undocumented, others.
  • The latest discovery, published in the Nordic Journal of Botany, is of a species of wild banana named Musa paramjitiana, in honour of Paramjit Singh, who happens to be the director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). The species was found in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, 6 kilometres from any human habitation.
  • The plant grows to a height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds. Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as it has so far been spotted in only two locations on the islands, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump.
  • The fruits and seeds have ethno-medicinal importance. Pseudo-stem and leaves of these species are also used during religious and cultural ceremonies.

6.New ant species discovered in the Western Ghats

Source: The Hindu

The species belongs to Tyrannomyrmex genus of ants

  • Researchers have discovered a new species of ant in the Western Ghats, recognised as one of the world’s ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.
  • The new species was found in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
  • Belonging to Tyrannomyrmex, a rare tropical genus of ants, the species was discovered by the team from the Vallakadavu range during an expedition a year ago. Paying tribute to their mentor and eminent myrmecologist Musthak Ali, who is regarded as the country’s ‘ant man’, the authors of the study have named the new species Tyrannomyrmex alii (or T. alii) Sadasivan and Kripakaran 2017.

Periyar Tiger Reserve:

  • Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, is an example of nature’s bounty, with great scenic charm, rich bio diversity and providing veritable visitor satisfaction. Sprawled over an area of 925 Sq .km., Periyar is one of the 27 tiger reserves in India. Zealously guarded and efficiently managed reserve is a repository of rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and Pamba.
  • Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is situated in the Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills of the Southern Western Ghats of peninsular India. The major portion of the Reserve forms the catchment of the river Periyar and the rest that of river Pamba.



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