Daily Current Affairs 1st December, 2016
India inks Rs 5,000 crore defence deal with US to buy 145 M777 howitzers manufactured by BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems division.
- India has signed government-to-government (G2G) deal with the United States (US) to buy 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers worth $750 million under the Foreign Military Sales programme.
- The deal was signed at the two-day meeting of the 15th India-US Military Cooperation Group (MCG) held in New Delhi.
- The Howitzers weighs 4,100 kg and can be easily transported by helicopters.
- Moreover it has an effective firing range of 24 km.
Cuban rumba and Ugandan music now on UNESCO’s heritage list:
- Cuba’s sensual rumba dance and Belgium’s thriving beer culture have been added to UNESCO’s coveted list of “intangible” heritage.
- The list of “intangible” cultural treasures was created 10 years ago, mainly to increase awareness about them, while UNESCO also sometimes offers financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect them.
About UNESCO`s heritage list
- The Aim of UNESCO`s Intangible Cultural Heritage list is ensuring the better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance,
- Through a compendium of the different oral and intangible treasures of humankind worldwide, the program aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage, which UNESCO has identified as an essential component and as a repository of cultural diversity and of creative expression.
SC makes national anthem mandatory in cinema halls
- The Supreme Court has ordered cinema halls to mandatorily play the national anthem before every screening and all those present in cinema halls have to “stand up to show respect.”
- According to SC such practice, will instil a feeling of committed patriotism and nationalism.
- It should be seen as an opportunity for the public to express their “love for the motherland.”
About the Indian National Anthem
- Anthem -Jana Gana Mana (in Bengali), Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People (English)
- Composer – Rabindranath Tagore,1911
- Raag -Alhiya Bilawal
- Adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the National Anthem of India on 24 January 1950
- A formal rendition of the national anthem takes fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally.
15 new castes to be included in Central OBC list
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for inclusion of 15 new castes and modification in 13 other castes in the Central list of Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in respect of 8 states.
- These states are Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
- The Union Cabinet took this decision based on the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).
Avantages of Inclusion in the list
- The changes will enable the persons belonging to these castes/communities to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per the existing policy.
- They will also become eligible for benefit under the various welfare schemes, scholarships etc. being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to the persons belonging to the Other Backward Classes.
About National Commission for Backward Classes
- It is an Indian statutory body established on 14 August 1993, under the provisions of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.
- The commission has five members: a Chairperson who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; a social scientist; two persons, who have special knowledge in matters relating to backward classes; and a Member-Secretary, who is or has been an officer of the Central Government in the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India.
- Their term is of Three years.
- At present the current Chairman is Justice Vangala Eshwaraiah.
- The mandate of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) is to examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tender such advice to the Central Government as it deems appropriate as per Section 9(1) of the NCBC Act, 1993.
- Both the National Commission for Backward Classes and National Commission for Scheduled Castes have all the powers of a Civil Court trying a suit.
Union Cabinet approves India’s negotiating position adopted at Kigali conference to Montreal Protocol
- The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating position adopted by India at the recent 28th Meeting of Parties (MoP) to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda.
- The negotiations at Kigali meet held in October 2016 were aimed at including HFCs in the list of chemicals under the Montreal Protocol.
About Kigali conference
- More than 190 countries in Kigali adopted an amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol to eliminate planet-warming HFC gases, thus delivering the second major international agreement in less than a year to fight climate change.
- The amendment will allow the use of ozone-saving Montreal Protocol to phase-out HFCs, a set of 19 gases in hydroflurocarbon family that are used extensively in air-conditioning and refrigerant industry.
- HFCs are not ozone-depleting but are thousands of times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.
- The amendment to the legally-binding Montreal Protocol will ensure that the rich and industrialised countries bring down their HFC production and consumption by at least 85 per cent compared to their annual average values in the period 2011-2013.
- A group of developing countries including China, Brazil and South Africa are mandated to reduce their HFC use by 85 per cent of their average value in 2020-22 by the year 2045.
- India and some other developing countries — Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and some oil economies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — will cut down their HFCs by 85 per cent of their values in 2024-26 by the year 2047.
About Montreal Protocol
- The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
- It was agreed on 26 August 1987, and entered into force on 26 August 1989.
- The Montreal Protocol is widely considered as the most successful environment protection agreement.
- The Protocol sets out a mandatory timetable for the phase out of ozone depleting substances.
- This timetable has been reviewed regularly, with phase out dates accelerated in accordance with scientific understanding and technological advances.
- The Montreal Protocol sets binding progressive phase out obligations for developed and developing countries for all the major ozone depleting substances, including CFCs, halons and less damaging transitional chemicals such as HCFCs
- The Multilateral Fund, the first financial mechanism to be created under an international treaty, was created under the Protocol in 1990 to provide financial assistance to developing countries to help them achieve their phase out obligations.
- The Montreal Protocol targets 96 chemicals in thousands of applications across more than 240 industrial sectors.
- The Multilateral Fund has provided more than US $2.5 billion in financial assistance to developing countries to phase out production and consumption of ozone depleting substances since the Protocol’s inception in 1987.
- The Protocol has been further strengthened through five Amendments — London 1990, Copenhagen 1992, Vienna 1995, Montreal 1997 and Beijing 1999 — which have brought forward phase out schedules and added new ozone depleting substances to the list of substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol.
- The Montreal Protocol has also produced other significant environmental benefits. Most notably, the phase out of ozone depleting substances is responsible for delaying climate forcing by up to 12 years.
Federal Bank ties up with Spice Digital
- Federal Bank has tied up with Spice Digital for cash management services through the bank’s e-collection facility.
- As per the arrangement, 20,000 plus retail outlets of Spice Digital can now remit its cash collection at the Federal Bank branches pan India.
- This helps the outlets to get replenished its running limits on the spot enabling them to continue to serve the customers hassle-free.
About Federal Bank
- Founded -Kochi, 1945
- HeadQuarters -Kochi
NITI Aayog constitutes Chandrababu Naidu Committee to promote cashless society, digital economy
- The NITI Aayog has constituted a 13 member Committee on promotion of cashless society and digital economy.
- It will be headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. Chief Ministers of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Puducherry and Maharashtra representing different political parties are its members.
About NITI Aayog
- National Institution for Transforming India is a Government of India policy think-tank established by the Narendra Modi government to replace the Planning Commission.
- Formed -1 January 2015
- Preceding -Planning Commission
- Jurisdiction -Government of India
- Headquarters -New Delhi
- Agency executives -Narendra Modi, Chairman
-Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman
-Bibek Debroy, Member
-V. K. Saraswat, Member
-Ramesh Chand, Member
-Amitabh Kant, CEO
World Aids Day: 1st December
- World AIDS Day is observed across the world on 1st December annually.
- ]The theme for 2016 World Aids Day is ‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’.
- The day is observed to raise awareness to the Aids pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infection.
- The day is celebrated by the government organizations, NGOs, civil society and other health officials by organizing the speeches or forums discussion related to the AIDS.
- This World AIDS Day brings a mixed bag for India’s HIV Positive community as there’s cheer that the country has managed to put a million infected on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) but worries mount over an important legislation that borders on the ambiguous with regard to the government’s commitment to tackle the deadly disease.
- HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
- HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections.
- If left untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get infections or infection-related cancers.
- Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.
- AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
- AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection.
- AIDS is the stage of infection that occurs when your immune system is badly damaged and a person become vulnerable to oppurtunistic infections.
- HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sex , contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
- There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy.
- Treatment is recommended as soon as the diagnosis is made.
BOOKS IN NEWS
Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography “Playing it my way” named Book of the Year
- The autobiography of India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar “Playing it my way” has won the prestigious Crossword Book of the Year Award in the Autobiography category.
- The book is penned by renowned cricket historian and Tendulkar’s close friend Boria Majumdar.