National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 16th March 2019

India Energy Modelling Forum

Topic: Economy

In News: NITI Aayog and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized the first workshop on development of the India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF), which has been envisaged as a pan-stakeholder platform for debating ideas, scenario-planning & discussing the India’s energy future.

More on the Topic

  • The two-day workshop, being held with the support of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was organized under the Sustainable Growth Pillar of the India-U.S. Strategic Energy Partnership.
  • The IEMF seeks to provide a platform for leading experts and policy makers to study important energy and environmental issues and ensure induction of modelling and analysis in informed decision making process.
  • The Forum aims to improve cooperation and coordination between modeling teams, the Government of India, knowledge partners and think-tanks, build capacity of Indian institutions, and identify issues for joint modeling activities and future areas of research.
  • Discussions on energy modelling in India and the world explored how energy modelling can play an important role in decision-making.
  • The panelists particularly laid focus on bridging the rural-urban divide and factoring in energy pressures from the informal economy within models.
  • There was a need expressed to ensure that holistic perspective of energy consumption and ground realities must be inducted to produce practical and feasible energy models, converging land and water use patterns within energy models.
  • Deliberations included a spotlight on how the impact of the evolving character of India’s cities, industries and especially the transport sector should be included in the any India-centric models.
  • The shift towards electric mobility, an increasing emphasis on mainstreaming of renewable energy options and overarching environmental concerns were also stated as key factors for determining India’s energy future.
  • The session featuring representatives of key central government ministries laid special emphasis on ensuring social, environmental and economic costs of energy production and consumption are accurately calculated to future-proof decision making and policy planning.
  • The workshop included extensive discussions about the framework of an India Energy Modelling Forum and its institutional, coordination and funding mechanisms.

Source: The Hindu

Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Topic: Science and Technology

In News: President Ramnath Kovind inaugurated the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Grambharti near Gandhinagar in Gujarat. He also presented the 10th Biennial National Grassroots Innovation Awards on this occasion.

More on the Topic:

  • FINE would provide an excellent platform to the innovators for building the linkages with potential stakeholders whose support can improve their prospects in coming years for the larger social good.
  • It will also help in promoting lateral learning and linkages among the innovators to enrich the ecosystem for new India.
  • It would also be a great opportunity to create awareness about the importance of various Ministries of Government of India attaches to their effort and participation in the FINE.
  • In order to make the FINE more inclusive, in addition to grassroots innovators and innovators nominated by various ministries, there will be display of innovations by innovators from common public (specifically not associated with any institutes or ministries) in FINE.

Source: The Hindu

Women in Transnational Cinema’ Festival

Topic: Art

In News: National Film Archive of India and TIFA Working Studios are hosting a festival to celebrate Women in Transnational Cinema.

More on the topic:

  • The festival will witness film screenings, presentations, a panel discussion, a multi-channel film installation and a Wikipedia edit-a-thon.
  • The festival sheds light on under-represented moving image history and wants to initiate a revision of the established film canon.
  • It wants to highlight the work of female film artists not only as directors and actors, but also as cinematographers, composers, editors, costume designers and so forth.
  • A focal point will be on film form and aesthetics created around gender representation, womanhood and girlhood. The festival seeks to create a dialogue among national cinemas throughout film history.

Source: The Hindu

Representation of the People Act, 1951


Topic: Polity and Governance

In News:  Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951

More On the Topic:

  • A party seeking registration under the said Section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Election Commission of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Commission of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • As per existing guidelines, the applicant association is inter-alia asked to publish proposed Name of the party in two national daily news papers and two local daily newspapers, on two days in same news papers, for inviting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within  a 30 days from such publication.

About Representation of People Act

  • The Representation of People Act, 1951 is an act of Parliament of India to provide for the conduct of election of the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of those Houses, the corrupt practices and other offences at or in connection with such elections and the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection with such elections. It was introduced in Parliament by law minister Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
  • The Act was enacted by the provisional parliament under Article 327 of Indian Constitution, before the first general election.

Source:The Hindu

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)


Topic: Science and Technology

In News: NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has observed water molecules moving around the dayside of Moon, an advance that could help us learn about the accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future lunar missions.

More on the Topic:

  • The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon in an eccentric polar mapping orbit.
  • Data collected by LRO has been described as essential for planning NASA’s future human and robotic missions to the Moon.
  • Its detailed mapping program is identifying safe landing sites, locating potential resources on the Moon, characterizing the radiation environment, and demonstrating new technologies.
  • The probe has made a 3-D map of the Moon’s surface at 100-meter resolution and 98.2% coverage (excluding polar areas in deep shadow),including 0.5-meter resolution images of Apollo landing sites.
  • The first images from LRO were published on July 2, 2009, showing a region in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium (Sea of Clouds).

The objectives of LRO are to:

  • Identify potential lunar resources.
  • Gather detailed maps of the lunar surface.
  • Collect data on the moon’s radiation levels.
  • Study the moons polar regions for resources that could be used in future manned missions or robotic sample return missions.
  • Provide measurements to characterize future robotic explorers, human lunar landing sites and to derive measurements that can be used directly in support of future Lunar Human Exploration Systems.

Source: The Hindu

Royal Gurkha Rifles of Britain


Topic: International Affairs

In News: Recently British Army announced that it would create a new Specialized Infantry Battalion by recruiting Nepalese Gurkha servicepersons.

More on the Topic:

  • British were impressed by the discipline and ferocity of Gurkha soldiers during the Anglo-Nepalese War of (1814-16) and started recruiting these soldiers from 1815.
  • Since then, the Gurkhas have fought on the side of the British Empire in almost every war, including both World Wars.
  • During Indian independence (1947) Britain-India-Nepal Tripartite Agreement was signed for the allotment of Gurkha regiments, which assigned the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 10th Gurkha Rifles regiments to India, and the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th regiments to Britain.
  • In 1948, India created an 11th Gurkha Rifles regiment to accommodate the Gurkhas who refused to depart with the now-British regiments.
  • Later, the British Army amalgamated their four regiments into a combined Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR) regiment consisting of three battalions.

Source: The Hindu


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