Today Current Affairs: 17th February 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
India plans to prepare digital maps of all its 6,00,000 villages and pan-India 3D maps will be prepared for 100 cities, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said at an event to mark a year of the updated geospatial policy guidelines.
- An ongoing scheme, piloted by the Panchayati Raj Ministry, called SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2020.
- The updated guidelines help private companies prepare a variety of maps without needing approvals from a host of Ministries and make it easier to use drones and develop applications via location mapping.
- The “trinity of geospatial systems, drone policy and unlocked space sector will be the hallmark of India’s future economic progress”.
- The complete geospatial policy would be announced soon as the liberalisation of guidelines had yielded very positive outcomes within a year’s time.
- The geographical information based system mapping would also be useful in forest management, disaster management, electrical utilities, land records, water distribution, and property taxation.
- The size of the Indian geospatial market in 2020 to be ₹23,345 crore, including ₹10,595 crore of export which was likely to grow to ₹36,300 crore by 2025.
World Sustainable Development Summit:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit on 16th February, 2022 via video message.
- World Sustainable Development Summit is TERI’s annual flagship event.
- The theme for this year’s Summit is ‘Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future’.
- The Summit will discuss a wide range of issues including climate change, sustainable production, energy transitions, global commons and resource security.
The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a G20 Secretariat and its reporting structures, which will be responsible for implementation of overall policy decisions and arrangements needed for steering India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency.
- G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation that plays an important role in global economic governance.
- India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023, culminating with the G20 Summit in India in 2023.
- As per practice, a G20 Secretariat is being established to handle work relating to substantive / knowledge / content, technical, media, security and logistical aspects of India’s G20 Presidency.
- It will be manned by officers and staff from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and other relevant line Ministries / Departments and domain knowledge experts.
- The Secretariat will be functional till February 2024.
- The Secretariat will be guided by an Apex Committee headed by Prime Minister, and comprising Finance Minister, Home Minister, External Affairs Minister, and G20 Sherpa (Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister), to provide overall guidance to India’s G20 Presidency.
- Further, a Coordination Committee will also be set up to oversee all G20 preparations and report to the Apex Committee.
Scheme For Economic Empowerment Of DNTs (SEED):
The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, will launch the Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED) on 16th February, 2022 at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi for the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Communities.
- The Scheme will have four components with an approximate cost of Rs 200 crore to be spent over a period of 5 years starting Financial Year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
The four components are:
- To provide coaching of good quality for DNT/NT/SNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.
- To provide health insurance to DNT/NT/SNT Communities.
- To facilitate livelihoods initiative at community level to build and strengthen small clusters of DNT/NT/SNT Communities institutions.
- To provide financial assistance for construction of houses to members of the DNT/NT/SNT Communities.
The Scheme will be implemented through a portal, developed by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment.
- The funds will be transferred directly to the beneficiaries in their account.
- The other implementing agencies are Ministry of Rural Development, National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and National Health Authority (NHA).
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is conducting a program on Renewable Energy namely “New Frontiers” as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. The program will be held from 16th February to 18th February 2022.
- As part of the program, the Ministry will conduct a physical event on the topic titled, “India’s Leadership in Energy Transition” at Vigyan Bhawan on 16th February 2022.
- The Ministry will organize three webinars on 17th February 2022, namely, “Women in RE- Call for Action”, “Role of ISA in Energy Transition”, and “Role of clean-tech start-ups and climate entrepreneur in providing clean and affordable energy”.
- On 18th February 2022, the final day of the program, a brainstorming meeting on “Roadmap to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070” will be organized on a virtual platform.
India Maldives Bilateral Relations:
India’s Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar visited the Maldives on February 13-14, for discussions with the Maldives National Defence Force as part of the second Defence Cooperation Dialogue.
- The Defence Cooperation Dialogue is one of India’s policy-level frameworks that aims to strengthen long-standing and mutually beneficial bilateral defence ties.
- The first Defence Cooperation Dialogue was held in July 2016 during the presidency of Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the second DCD was held in January 2019.
- The location of the Maldives, at the intersection of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean, makes it strategically important for India, particularly in the light of China’s growing aggression in the region.
- During the visit, Dr. Kumar handed over the refitted ship, the CGS Huravee to the Maldives.
- The Trinkat-class patrol vessel was gifted to the Maldivian Coast Guard in 2006. This vessel is used by the Maldives for coastal surveillance and for combating transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
- Since 1988, defence and security have been major areas of cooperation between India and Maldives.
- This cooperation extends to assisting the Maldives with defence training and equipment requirements. India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70 per cent of their defence training requirements.
- In 2016, the two countries also signed a comprehensive action plan to consolidate defence partnership.
Initial Public Offering (IPO):
An IPO or initial public offering is the process by which a privately held company, or a company owned by the government such as LIC, raises funds by offering shares to the public or to new investors. Following the IPO, the company is listed on the stock exchange.
- While coming with an IPO, the company has to file its offer document with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
- The offer document contains all relevant information about the company, its promoters, its projects, financial details, the object of raising the money, terms of the issue, etc.
- In order to protect investors, Sebi has laid down rules that require companies to meet certain criteria before they can go to the public to raise funds.
- Among other conditions, the company must have net tangible assets of at least Rs 3 crore, and net worth of Rs 1 crore in each of the preceding three full years, and it must have a minimum average pre-tax profit of Rs 15 crore in at least three of the immediately preceding five years.
- While listing on the stock exchange calls for additional disclosures by companies on a regular basis, leading thereby to more stringent compliance requirements, it may help a company raise capital, and diversify and broaden its shareholder base.
- Listing provides an exit to existing investors of the company.
- A listed company can raise share capital for growth and expansion in the future through a follow-on public offering or FPO.
The Karnataka High Court is hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of the state government’s ban on students wearing a hijab in educational institutions.
- The judges heard an argument on whether the state can justify the ban on the ground that it violates ‘public order’.
- Public order is one of the three grounds on which the state can restrict freedom of religion. Public order’ is also one of the grounds to restrict free speech and other fundamental rights.
- Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees to all persons right to freedom and conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.
- Public order is normally equated with equated with public peace and safety. According to List 2 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the power to legislate on aspects of public order rests with the states.
- According to the government order issued on February 5 under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983, “public order” is one of the reasons for not allowing students to wear a headscarf in educational institutions along with “unity” and “integrity.”
River Devika Project: Jammu And Kashmir
River Devika project, built at the cost of over Rs 190 crore, will be complete by June, 2022.
- River Devika project work on the project was started in March 2019 under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
- Under the project, bathing “ghats” (places) on the banks of the Devika River will be developed, encroachments will be removed, natural water bodies will be restored and catchment areas will be developed along with cremation ground.
- The project also includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants, sewerage network of 129.27 km, development of two cremation ghats, protection fencing and landscaping, small hydropower plants and three solar power plants.
- On completion of the project, the rivers will see reduction in pollution and improvement in water quality.
- Devika river originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi river.
- The river holds religious significance as it is revered by Hindus as the sister of river Ganga.
- In June 2020, Devika Bridge was inaugurated in Udhampur. Apart from taking care of traffic congestion, the Devika Bridge was also meant to help smooth passage of Army convoys and vehicles.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently said he had declared February 16, which U.S. officials had said could be the date of a Russian attack, as a day of “national unity”.
- However, Russia has clarified that it has no plans to invade Ukraine.
- Russia want Talks to discuss implementation of previous commitments on NATO expansion, NATO troops moving out of Post-Soviet States,A commitment that Ukraine will not be given NATO members and Security guarantees for the future.
- US and European states that form NATO wants Russian troops to pull back from borders,Russia to stop war games in neighbouring countries like Belarus,Willing to discuss security guarantees, but no commitment on independent states joining NATO – according to a letter leaked to a Spanish newspaper and Want guarantees that Russia will not invade Ukraine- Russia has said it has no intention to —but troops amassed are worrying.
Anti-Mob Lynching Bills:
Bills passed against mob lynching in the past four years by at least four States have not been implemented with the Union government taking a view that lynching is not defined as a crime under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- These states include Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Manipur.
- In 2019, the MHA informed the Lok Sabha that it had received the bills passed by the State legislatures that have been reserved by the Governor for consideration of the President.
- The President has to go with the advice given by the Council of Ministers, in the case of such legislation, represented by the MHA.
- The Ministry examines the State legislations on three grounds— repugnancy with Central laws, deviation from national or central policy and legal and constitutional validity.
- In December 2021, a man was lynched to death by the Sikh Sangat (Sikh devotees) in Shri Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara (Golden Temple) in Amritsar over an alleged attempt to disrespect the holiest book of Sikh religion, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
- In 2021 in Assam, a 23-year-old student leader was allegedly killed by a mob.
- In 2021 October a man was allegedly lynched, his limbs cut off and left to die at the Singhu Border, site of the farmers’ protest against the three farm laws.
- In 2021 August, a bangle seller in Indore was reportedly beaten up by a mob for allegedly hiding his identity.
- The man survived and was sent to judicial custody.
- In 2021 May, a 25-year-old Gurugram man was allegedly lynched when he went out to buy medicines.
- Any act or series of acts of violence or aiding, abetting (encouraging) such act/acts thereof, whether spontaneous or planned, by a mob on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, language, dietary practices, sexual orientation, political affiliation, ethnicity or any other related grounds.
- There should be a “separate offence” for lynching and the trial courts must ordinarily award maximum sentence upon conviction of the accused person to set a stern example in cases of mob violence.
- The state governments will have to designate a senior police officer in each district for taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and lynching.
- The state governments need to identify districts, sub-divisions and villageswhere instances of lynching and mob violence have been reported in the recent past.
- The nodal officers shall bring to the notice of the DGP about any inter-district co-ordination issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching and mob violence related issues.
- Every police officer shall ensure to disperse the mob that has a tendency to cause violence in the disguise of vigilantism or otherwise.
- Central and the state governments shall broadcast on radio, television and other media platforms about the serious consequences of mob lynching and mob violence.
- Despite the measures taken by the State Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional police station shall immediately lodge an FIR.
- The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the provisions of Section 357A of CrPC.
- If a police officer or an officer of the district administration fails to fulfill his duty, it will be considered an act of deliberate negligence.