April 25th 2017, Current Affairs

Prelims Facts

Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2016 to Kasinadhuni Viswanath

About Dadasaheb Phalke Award

  • Named after the Father of Indian Cinema – Dhundiraj Govind Phalke.
  • Phalke made the first Indian Feature film Raja Harishchandra in 1913.
  • Award was introduced in 1969 and is given to a film personality for his/her outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema.
  • The award comprises of a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash Prize of Rs. 10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lakhs) and a shawl.
  • First recipient: Devika Rani Roerich

About Kasinadhuni Viswanath

  • 48th winner of the Award.
  • Best known for his movies in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.
  • Plots revolve around social themes.
  • ‘Swati Mutyam’ was India’s official entry to the 59th Academy Awards in the best foreign film category.

Source: The Hindu, dff.nic.in

Prelims Facts

Sukhois join frontline squadron in Punjab.

  • 221 Squadron of the Indian Air Force also called the “Valiants”, has inducted the frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.
  • The squadron is based in Halwara, Punjab.
  • The “Valiants” were formed as an offensive fighter squadron on February 14, 1963 at Barrackpore and was equipped with the Vampires, Spitfire, Hurricane and Su-7 aircraft.
  • The “Valiants” were the first to carry out strikes during the Kargil war.

Source: The Hindu

GS III: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organised crime with terrorism.

Arms haul in border village causes concern.

  • Seizure of sophisticated such as AK 47 and M-16 rifles is reported frequently from North Eastern States.
  • International gunrunners operate along the 358-km Manipur-Myanmar border to supply arms to insurgents.
  • The border, previously guarded by the Border Security Force (BSF), is now replaced by Assam Rifles.
  • Several hundred vehicles ply* along the Trans-Asian Highway no. 102 passing through Moreh, Manipur’s border town, which makes it easy to transport illegal weapons.
  • the Assam Rifles troopers have seized guns concealed in cars and explosives stuffed inside fish tins, pumpkins and coconuts.

*Update Your Vocabulary:

  • Ply: (In this context) to go or travel regularly over, on, or through.

Source: The Hindu, merriam-webster.com

GS II: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Local procurement mandatory for metro firms.

  • All manufactured cars and related critical equipment and sub-systems are to be procured indigenously* as a part of Make In India initiative.
  • Standardisations in parameters have been set in all the tenders related to such procurement.
  • Metro rails currently operate in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Gurgaon, with a total route length of 326 km.
  • Will incentivise setting up of manufacturing facilities by increasing the volume of procurement of rolling stock* from domestic markets.
  • this will in turn result in reduction of cost through economies of scale*.
  • As of now 75% of the tendered metro cars have to be procured indigenously.
  • To make this happen, the contractor can either establish independent manufacturing facility in India or partner with a domestic manufacturer.

*Update Your Vocabulary:

  • indigenous: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment.
    • Eg: These birds are indigenous to South America.
  • rolling stock:   the wheeled vehicles owned and used by a railroad.
  • economies of scale:  A proportionate saving in costs gained by an increased level of production.

Source: The Hindu, merriam-webster.com, oxforddictionaries.com

GS IV: Laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance.

SC for broad anti-torture legislation.

  • Why do we need an anti-torture legislation?
    • Will help in securing extraditions
      • Most countries fear handing over the criminals to India owing to the lack of strong regulations of torture. The refusal of the Danish Court to extradite Kim Davy – a prime accused in the Purulia Arms Drop case for fear of inhuman treatment by the Govt. of India.
    • It is a mandate under Article 21, that the right to life and dignity be guaranteed to an individual.
    • The Indian Penal Code does not specifically or comprehensively address the aspects of custodial torture.
    • Only deaths out of custodial torture are reported to the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission). The ones not involving death remain unreported.
    • Building International reputation among other countries and a lot of NGO’s and human rights organisations.
    • India is signatory to the UN Convention against Torture since 1997 but has not ratified it yet. The country which preaches “Ahimsa” is expected to practice it.

Source: The Hindu

GS II: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies, constituted for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.

‘Child Artists can only work 5 hours a day.’

  • The Union Govt. had passed the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016 last year.
  • New rules to the Principal Act, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 are now drafted to pass the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2017. Some of them are:
    • No child (artist) shall be allowed to work for more than five hours in a day, and for not more than three hours without rest.
    • The family would include parents, real siblings, and “real brother and sister of the parents”.
    • Such children will not be allowed to engage in any production, supply or retail chain which is “remunerative” for the family and hazardous activities.
    • at least 20% of the income earned by the child artiste will be required to be
      deposited in a fixed deposit account “in a nationalised bank”. Money would be credited after child turns 18.
    • The permission of the district magistrate would be mandatory for engaging a child artiste.
    • The production unit must nominate a person, who would be held responsible for the safety and security of the child artiste.
    • A child cannot take part in a “street performance for monetary gain” as per the proposal.

Source: The Hindu

Prelims Facts

GS I: Social Empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.

Goldman Prize for Niyamgiri hero.

PB3307228

  • Activist Prafulla Samantara was named on Monday as one of the six winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize for 2017.
  • known for his championing of the rights of the Dongria Kondh, an 8,000-member indigenous tribe in Odisha.
  • The activist was given the award for rallying the tribe using legal provisions to thwart mining-to-metals conglomerate, Vedanta exploiting Niyamgiri which was held sacred to the tribe.
  • The Supreme Court ruled on April 18, 2013 that gram sabhas (village councils)
    would have the final say in mining projects on their land.
  • The Sabha ruled against Vedanta unanimously and the latter was forced to suspend operations with immediate effect.

About Goldman Prize

  • Instituted in 1990.
  • honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions:
    1. Africa,
    2. Asia,
    3. Europe,
    4. Islands & Island Nations,
    5. North America, and
    6. South & Central America.
  • Awards grassroot leaders;
    • protecting endangered ecosystems and species,
    • combating destructive development projects,
    • promoting sustainability,
    • influencing environmental policies and
    • striving for environmental justice.
  • Award is the Ouroboros, which depicts a serpent biting its tail, is a symbol of nature’s power of renewal along with a citation and a cash award of $175,000 (Rs. 1.13 Crores approx.)

 

  • Indian’s who previously received the award:
    1. Medha Patkar (1992): Medha Patkar has been a central organizer and strategist of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)
      • Upon completion, Sardar Sarovar would submerge more than 37,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land.
      • The dam and its associated canal system would also displace some 320,000 villagers, mostly from tribal communities, whose livelihoods depend on these natural resources.
    2. M.C. Mehta (1996):M.C. Mehta single-handedly won numerous landmark judgments from India’s Supreme Court since 1984, including introducing lead-free gasoline to India and reducing the industrial pollution fouling the Ganges and eroding the Taj Mahal.
    3. Rasheeda Bee & Champa Devi Shukla (2004):On the 20th anniversary of the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak that killed 20,000 and injured more than 150,000 in Bhopal, Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla led a class action suit demanding cleanup and compensation for affected individuals.

 

  • Other 5 awardees for 2017:
    1. Uros Macerl from Slovenia: stopped a cement kiln from co-incinerating petcoke with hazardous industrial waste.
    2. Mark Lopez from U.S.A: pushed government officials to provide comprehensive lead testing and cleanup of East Los Angeles homes contaminated by a battery smelter.
    3. Rodrigo Tot from Guatemala: Got a court verdict against environmentally destructive nickel mining from expanding into his community.
    4. Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo from Congo: went undercover to document and release information about bribery and corruption in the quest to drill for oil in Virunga National Park.
    5. Wendy Bowman from Australia: stopped a powerful multinational mining company from taking her family farm and protected her community & the environment.

Image Source: thethirdpole.net

Source: The Hindu, goldmanprize.org

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