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Prelim Bits 22-08-2017

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August 22, 2017

Exploration in Deep Sea Bed

  • India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin have been extended by five years.
  • The rights in the international water, is allocated by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for developmental activities.
  • India’s rights have been approved unanimously in the 23rd session of the ISA concluded at Kingston, Jamaica.
  • India is implementing a long–term programme on exploration and utilization of Polymetallic nodules through the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • This includes survey and exploration, environmental studies, technology development in mining and extractive metallurgy.

International Seabed Authority

  • ISA is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • It was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
  • UNCLOS defines the international seabed area - the part under ISA jurisdiction - as “the seabed and ocean floor and the subsoil thereof, beyond the limits of national jurisdiction”.
  • It was established by the Law of the Sea Convention.
  • It has obtained its observer status in the United Nations.
  • Last year, India was re-elected as a member of the Council of ISA.

Digital Police Portal

  • A digital police portal under the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) was launched by Union Home Ministry.
  • The digital police portal will provide the citizen, facility for online complaint registration and request for antecedent verification.
  • The CCTNS project will interconnect police stations and additional supervisory police officers across the country and digitise data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge-sheets in all police stations.
  • This would lead to the development of a national database of crimes and criminals.

Swasth Bachche, Swasth Bharat

  • It is a programme launched by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
  • The initiative was taken by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to prepare a physical Health and Fitness Profile Card for Kendriya Vidyalaya students.
  • It will provide a comprehensive and inclusive report card for children covering all age groups including the differently-abled children.

International Solar Alliance

  • The International Solar Alliance is likely to be a recognised multilateral agency of the United Nations by this year end.
  • The International Solar Alliance is an alliance of more than 120 countries, most of them being sunshine countries, which come either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • It aims to channel $300 billion in 10 years to promote renewable energy projects under a global mega fund for clean energy.
  • The framework pact was initiated by the Indian and French governments at the climate change summit held at Paris in 2015.
  • The Framework Agreement was opened for signatures in the 22nd session of the UN Climate Change Conference held at Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.
  • The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurgaon.
  • The agreement will become operational after at least 15 countries have ratified it.
  • Recently, the world’s smallest republic, the tiny island nation of Nauru, has become the sixth country to ratify the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Varshadhare Project

  • It is a cloud seeding project flagged off by the Karnataka government to enhance the amount of precipitation from the clouds to generate more rain.
  • Special aircraft will disperse the chemical silver iodide as they fly through rain-bearing clouds that will trigger and enhance the precipitation.
  • Karnataka is facing a cumulative rainfall deficiency of around 25 % till date, while the deficit across the country as a whole is 4 %.

Competition Commission of India

  • It is a statutory body of the Government of India responsible for enforcing the Competition Act, 2002.
  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, to promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • It has some discretionary powers in awarding punishment to an offender. They are called as leniency norms.
  • Presently, an entity can seek lesser penalty in cases related to cartelisation provided the entity is not part of the particular cartel anymore.
  • Such entities are required to provide vital disclosure with respect to cartelisation in order to be eligible for leniency.
  • Currently, only companies are eligible to be covered under these norms.
  • The commission is now considering bringing individuals within the ambit of its leniency norms.



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