UPSC Prelims daily current affairs 2018/ 2019 | Dated : 22.4.2018 | Sunday | The Hindu broken into 4


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FRONT PAGE


CABINET APPROVES DEATH FOR RAPE OF GIRLS UNDER 12 YEARS


WHY THIS ORDINANCE IS MADE ? It is in response to the outrage over recent cases of rapes in Kathua and Unnao.


WHAT ARE THE LAWS IT AMMEND ?

  • The Indian Penal Code,

  • The Criminal Procedure Code,

  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and

  • The Indian Evidence Act.

THE CHANGE TABLE

EARLIER : For the crime of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years

NOW : 20 years


EARLIER : Minimum punishment for rape of women rigorous imprisonment of 7 years

NOW : 10 years which can be extended to life.


EARLIER : Anticipatory bail for accused raping minor girls was available

NOW : There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.


FINAL HIGHLIGHT : It provides for speedy investigation and trial, which must be completed in two months.

FUGITIVE ECONOMIC OFFENDERS ORDINANCE CLEARED


THE NEWS : The Union Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018.


WHAT IT WILL DO ? It empower the government to seize the domestic assets of those deemed by a court to be fugitive economic offenders.


WHO ARE FUGITIVE ECONOMIC OFFENDERS ? They are economic offenders - evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.


PRESENT EXAMPLE : Nirav Modi and Vijay Vital Mallay


THE WAY : The ordinance has a provision for a ‘Special Court’ under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, to declare a person as a Fugitive Economic Offender.


THE SCOPE : Only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs. 100 crore or more will be within the purview of the ordinance.


REASON : To halt overburdening of cases.

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NATIONAL


RAMSAR TAG LIKELY FOR SUNDERBANS


THE NEWS : The Sunderban Reserve Forest, spread of 4,260 sq. km. with over 2,000 sq. km. of mangrove forests and creeks, is likely to be declared a Ramsar Site soon.


THE MODE TO DO IT : The West Bengal government gave its approval to the State Forest Department to apply for recognition under the Ramsar Convention.


THE IMPORTANCE : The status of a wetland of international importance will not only be a matter of pride for the Sunderbans but also bring a lot of international scientific attention and intervention to the area.


THE IMPORTANT FACTS :

  • The Indian Sunderbans, with 2,114 sq. km. of mangrove forests, comprise almost 43% of the mangrove cover in the country according to a 2017 Forest Survey of India report.

  • Other than the forests, home to about 100 Royal Bengal tigers, the creeks and river systems of the Sunderbans are also part of the reserve forest.

THE OUTCOME : Once conferred a Ramsar site status, it will be the largest protected wetland in the country.


OTHER SIMILAR LANDS : There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, including the East Kolkata Wetlands also in West Bengal.


ADDED GLORY : The Sunderbans is already a World Heritage Site.


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DEATH, ICEBERG COLLISION MARK ‘DIFFICULT’ ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION


WHAT HAPPENED ? In February 2018, 30 Indian scientists on an expedition to one of India’s base stations in Antarctica had to be evacuated after their ship collided with an iceberg.


WHAT WAS THE SHIP ? The hired Russian ship,m.v. Ivan Papanin, was the one.


WHAT WAS INDIA’S BASE ? Maitri, India’s inland research base.


FROM WHERE THEY STARTED ? From Bharati, another India station.


WHAT HAPPENED THEN ? The impact with iceburg punctured a three - foot hole into the hull and led to water seeping in.


POINT TO NOTE : While India’s scientific expeditions to Antarctica since 1981 have had their share of misadventures, this is the “first time” commissioned by India, suffered from a breach of this kind.


SAD TRUTH : Inspite of regular expeditions to Antarctica, India doesn’t yet have an ice-breaker ship of its own.

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INTERNATIONAL



INSIDE THE MISSION TO RID THE WORLD OF CHEMICAL ARMS

NEWS : The OPCW team has completed 7,000 official investigations


WHAT IS OPCW ? The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).


WHAT IS IT ? It is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997.


COMPOSITION : 192 member states.


HEADQUATERS: It has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands.


WHAT IS ITS WORK ?


  • It oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.

  • The organisation promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.


THE RECORD : This dangerous and methodical work by the OPCW, which has around 400 staff, has succeeded in eliminating some 96% of the world’s toxic arms stockpiles.


THE FAME : Won it the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.

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BUSINESS


ADHIA: SINGLE-PAGE GST FILING SYSTEM TO BE READY IN 3-6 MONTHS


NEWS : Single-page GST return filing system will be in place in 3-6 months.


USE ? Credit could be given on a provisional basis once the supplier uploads the sales invoice.

OPINION


NEW THREAT IN THE AIR


FINDING : India-based study finds a high proportion of mixed malarial infections emerging across the country


WHAT HAPPENED ? Reported cases of P. vivax (a mild form of malaria) to an increasing number of cases of P. falciparum (a virulent form of the disease).


SOURCE : The research group has published its results in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE .


HOW MALARIA IS CAUSED ? Malaria in humans, which spreads through the female Anopheles mosquito, is caused by one of the four different species (or types) of the Plasmodium parasite —


  • P. falciparum ,

  • P. malariae ,

  • P. ovale and

  • P.vivax


THE DIFFERENCE IN IMPACTS : P. vivax . Of these, infection with P. falciparum causes a fatal form of malaria while that with P. vivax results in mild infection.


THE AIM : “India is planning for malaria elimination by 2030”


POINT TO NOTE : But a shift in malaria occurrence is really daunting for targeted malaria elimination


A high-level Malaria Summit was held in London, on April 18.

THE ACTION PLAN : Collective commitments of $4.1 billion were secured from governments, the private sector, philanthropists and international organisations.

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