GK Updates 15 th April 2016
Piyush Goyal Launches “Deep” E-Bidding & E-Reverse Auction Portal”
i. The government has replaced the conventional tendering process for power purchase by state power distributors with an e-bidding platform in an attempt to make the bidding more efficient and transparent by bringing power procurement contract details to the public domain.
ii. Three states, Kerala, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, have already sought 1,000 megawatt (MW) of short-term power through the power trading portal, which was opened by power minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday in the presence of state power secretaries in the national capital.
iii. The Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price (DEEP) e-bidding reverse auction portal for now will cover short-term power purchase of less than a year and in the next few months, start offering the option for longer-term power purchase too.
iv. The idea is to use the portal for all forms of power purchase and trading, including for 15 years and more, reducing the role of humans in transactions and eliminating corruption.
v. Each and every stakeholder in the Power Sector can access the portal “DEEP” through the following three Official Websites: www.mstcecommerce.com,From the Official Website of Ministry of Power www.powermin.nic.in and PFC Consulting website www.pfcclindia.com.
vi. It will be a very strong weapon to bring the illegal transactions into the light, and confine all these illegal transactions. Deep will also help in price reduction through competition. Those first 5 states which put their data within 1 week will be rewarded so that the other states can get inspired and do the work fast and proper manner.
Govt launches carpool app
i. Days before the second phase of the odd-even anti-traffic scheme which begins from April 15, the government today launched ‘PoochhO Carpool app’ to help people explore carpooling options during the 15-day car-rationing exercise. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is being heard in audio and video advertisement asking people to ensure that they follow the odd-even rules.
ii. Ahead of the second phase of odd-even car-rationing scheme set to begin from April 15, Delhi government launched PoochhO Carpool’ app to help people explore carpooling options during the 15-day exercise. After download, users will have to register themselves to find carpooling options within a radius of 1-5 km.
iii. After the spread awareness about the app, the government will ask the Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) to approach representatives of the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and orangisations to download the app. For instance, someone who has an even-numbered car and wants to carpool on an odd date can look for odd-numbered cars on the app. The person will immediately get a list of odd-numbered cars in the vicinity.
Nauru becomes 189th member of IMF, World Bank
i. Tiny South Pacific island nation Nauru has become the 189th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank i.e. Bretton-Woods institutions.
ii. Nauru applied for membership in the Washington-based IMF and World Bank in April 2014, after joining the United Nations in 1996 as the world’s smallest independent republic.
iii. The World Bank, which helps developing countries to spur growth and fight poverty, welcomed Nauru as its smallest member by land mass, at 21 square kilometers.
iv. By joining the World Bank, Nauru gains access to financial support, technical support and special expertise in dealing with Pacific area issues, such as water and sanitation and disaster risk management amid the threat of climate change and rising sea levels.
Cabinet nod to adopt statute of SAWEN to check wildlife crimes
i. Cabinet has given its approval for India adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and becoming its formal member in order to strengthen ties with the member countries in controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.
ii. Adoption of SAWEN statute envisions India being part of the regional inter¬governmental body in combating wildlife crime in the region and beyond. Following objectives have been set to attain the goal:
To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and standardization in laws and policies of member countries concerning conservation of fauna and flora and document the trend of poaching and illegal trade, and related threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in the region.
To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by promoting research and information sharing, training and capacity building, technical support, sharing experiences and outreach and To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their National Action Plans in curbing wildlife crime and to collaborate towards effective implementation.
India, Germany Ink Agreement on Namami Gange Project
i. An implementation agreement for Ganga Rejuvenation under the Namami Gange Programme was signed between India and Germany. The objective of the agreement is to enable responsible stakeholders at National and State level to apply integrated river basin management approach for the rejuvenation of the river Ganga.
ii. This will be based on Indo-German Knowledge exchange and practical experience on strategic river basin management issues, effective data management system and public engagement.
iii. The project will closely cooperate with other National and international initiatives including Indo-German bilateral projects like Support to National Urban Sanitation Policy (SNUSP) and ‘Sustainable Environment-friendly Industrial Production’ (SEIP).
iv. Initial actions will focus on the State of Uttarakhand, with a scope of expansion to other upstream Ganga States. The ultimate goal is to adopt the successful river basin management strategies used for Rhine and Danube and replicate the same, wherever possible for attaining the pristine status of river Ganga.
Akash Missile System successfully test fired
i. Indigenously developed surface-to-air supersonic Akash missile System was successfully test fired from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipuri in Odisha.
ii. Akash is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM). It is medium range nuclear capable supersonic missile. Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
iii. The missile has supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5. It is multi target, multi directional, all weather air-defence system consisting of surveillance and tracking radars. It has capability to carry warhead of 60 kg.
iv. It can engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25 kms. It can reach a high altitude of 18 kms and as low as 30 meters. It is powered by Ramjet-rocket propulsion system (RRPS) which renders thrust for the missile to intercept the target at supersonic speed without any retardation.
Sushila Karki: First female Chief Justice of Nepal’s Supreme Court
i. The Constitutional Council of Nepal has selected Justice Sushila Karki (63) for the post of Chief Justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court of the country. With this selection she will become 26th chief justice of the apex court and the first female CJ in Nepal’s history.
ii. However, her nomination is expected to be confirmed by a Parliamentary Hearings Committee which endorses the recommendation. She will succeed Kalyan Shrestha who retired from the top post. She shall have tenure of 1 year and retire in June 2017 upon reaching the age limit.
iii. Currently she is seniormost judge in the Supreme Court of Nepal. Since 2010, she is member of the International Association of Women Judges. She was appointed ad-hoc justice (judge) at the Supreme Court in January 2009 and as permanent justice on November 18, 2010.
iv. Prior to her appointment as judge of Supreme Court in 2009, she had served as a senior advocate. She was accorded the title of senior advocate in 2004. She also had served as President of the Appelate Court Bar Association Biratnagar for a term until 2004.
Maharashtra CM Fadnavis launched Mission Drinking Water
i. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on 13 April 2016 launched ‘Mission Drinking Water. The mission was launched in the backdrop of recurring droughts and severe water crisis in Marathwada and Vidarbha region of the state.
ii. The government has adopted a two-pronged strategy to scale up drought mitigation through Mission Drinking Water. The mission ensures changes in crop pattern to sustain wholistic development, which includes greater investments in agriculture and industries.
iii. Every remote village in drought districts had been provided a roadmap and adequate budget.
iv. Besides, the government also constituted the Maharashtra Drought Relief Committee headed by Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse and Opposition leader Radhakrishna Patil.
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly approved Social Boycott Bill 2016
i. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 13 April 2016 unanimously approved the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to crack down on extra-judicial bodies like caste and community panchayats.
ii. The bill will be sent for Governor’s assent to enact the Law.Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to enact a law against social boycott.
iii. The bill provides for prohibition of social boycott of a person or group of persons, including their family members as an individual or as a group like caste panchayat. The bill states that social boycott is prohibited and its commission shall be an offence.
iv. The maximum punishment for the offence will be seven years in prison or fine up to 5 lakh rupees or both. It also states that maximum punishment for extending aid in relation to the commission of offence will be three years or 3 lakh rupees or both.
v. As per the bill, the victim or any member of the victim’s family may file a complaint either through the police or directly to the magistrate. To ensure speedy justice, the trial shall be completed within a period of six months from the date of filing of the charge sheet.