December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (13-12-19)

GOVERNANCE

ANDHRA PRADESH DISHA BILL, 2019

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:     

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance

News

Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly recently passed the Andhra Pradesh Disha Bill, 2019 (Andhra Pradesh Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2019).

About the Bill

  • The bill provides for awarding death sentence for offences of rape and gangrape and expediting trials of such cases to within 21 days.
  • The Act envisages the completion of investigation in seven days and trial in 14 working days, where there is adequate conclusive evidence, and reducing the total judgment time to 21 days from the existing four months.
  • The AP Disha Act also prescribes life imprisonment for other sexual offences against children and includes Section 354 F and 354 G in IPC.
  • In cases of harassment of women through social or digital media, the Act states two years imprisonment for the first conviction and four years for second and subsequent convictions. For this, a new Section 354 E will be added in IPC, 1860.
  • The period for disposal of appeal cases related to rape cases against women and children has been reduced to three months.
  • The government will constitute special police teams at the district level to be called District Special Police Team to be headed by DSP for investigation of offences related to women and children.

Other Key Highlights

Introducing women and children offenders registry

  • Government of India has launched a National Registry of Sexual offenders but the database is not digitized and is not accessible to the public.
  • Under the Andhra Pradesh Disha Act, 2019, the Andhra Pradesh government will establish, operate and maintain a register in electronic form, to be called the Women & Children Offenders Registry’.
  • This registry will be made public and will be available to law enforcement agencies.

Establishment of exclusive special courts in every district

  • According to the Act, the government will establish exclusive special courts in each district to ensure speedy trial.
  • These courts will exclusively deal with cases of offences against women and children including rape, acid attacks, stalking, voyeurism, social media harassment of women, sexual harassment and all cases under the POCSO Act.

[Source: Indian Express]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Wi-Fi CALLING (VoWiFi)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:     

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Nature and Scope of Information and Communications Technology

News

  • Bharti Airtel has introduced Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi), a first for India.
  • Following its introduction in Delhi/NCR, Bharti Airtel commercially rolled-out its Voice Over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) service –‘Airtel Wi-Fi Calling’ in Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Airtel Wi-Fi calling claims to enhance indoor voice calling experience for smartphone customers.

What is Wi-Fi Calling?

  • Wi-Fi Calling is aimed especially for areas where cellular networks are not strong.
  • It uses high speed Internet connection, available via broadband, to make and receive high definition (HD) voice calls.
  • Users don’t have to pay extra for these calls as it is using a Wi-Fi network.

Features

  • This is similar to a voice call using WhatsApp or any other over-the-top messaging platform, but the difference is that call is from one number to another, and not using an app.
  • Since these calls use stable Wi-Fi connections, call drops are not expected to be a problem.
  • It can be configured on compatible smartphones by upgrading operating systems to the version that supports Wi-Fi Calling, and enabling this in Settings.
  • Keeping VoLTE switched on will help in seamless voice calling, but this is not essential.
[Source: Indian Express]

 

ECONOMY

INDIA SKILLS REPORT 2020

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:      

Economy [Paper-II]: Trends and Patterns in structure of population over time, Unemployment – trends, Structure and National Rural Employment policies

News

India Skills Report 2020 was released recently.

About the Report

  • India Skills Report is a joint initiative of Wheebox, a Global Talent Assessment Company, PeopleStrong, a leading HR Tech Company and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • It is supported and backed by renowned partners like United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU).
  • The report assessed 300,000 candidates from 35 educational institutes across states and Union Territories, who appeared for the test.

Key Highlights

  • About 46.21 percent students were found employable or ready to take up jobs in 2019, compared with 33 percent in 2014, and 47.38 percent in 2018.
  • Maharashtra topped the list of states with the highest employable talent, followed by Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh while Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune stood out as the most employable cities.
  • Female employability witnessed an upward trend at 47 percent this year from 38 percent in 2017 and 46 percent in 2018.
  • The most employable candidates as per the courses were MBA Students at 54 per cent as against 40 per cent in the last two years.
  • B Pharm, Polytechnic, B Com and BA courses, on the other hand, saw an improvement in employability which is increased by more than 15 per cent.
  • A decline in employability was seen in BTech, other engineering streams, MCA, technical and computer-related courses.
  • Male and female participants underwent a role reversal in terms of employability scores (from 48% and 46% respectively in 2018 to 46% and 47% respectively in 2019.
  • On the basis of the four skills that were assessed for the participating students from the states, Telangana aced the chart for availability of business communication, numerical skills and critical thinking ability.
[Source: Hindu, Times of India]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

ADMIRAL’S CUP SAILING REGATTA, 2019
  • Team Israel won the tenth edition of the Admiral’s Cup Sailing Regatta, 2019 that concluded on the Ettikulam Beach at the Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala.
  • Team USA came second and Team Singapore came third.
  • The Admiral’s Cup sailing regatta witnessed competitive sailing races in Laser Radial boats from December 10 to 13, 2019.
  • It was instituted in 2010 under the burgee of Yachting Association of India as a forum for competition in sailing in a regatta format amongst the officer trainees of friendly foreign navies.
UNITED STATES-MEXICO-CANADA AGREEMENT (USMCA)
  • US, Mexico and Canada have finalised a trade deal that will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will now go to the countries’ legislatures for final approval.
  • USMCA is intended to last 16 years and will be reviewed every 6 years.
  • The new deal includes stronger labor and environmental provisions. American labor groups have backed the new trade deal.
  • NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.It came into force on January 1, 1994.
GENOCIDE CASE AGAINST MYANMAR
  • Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi attended the proceedings of International Court of Justice (ICJ) to lead her country’s defence against charges of carrying out genocide against its Muslim Rohingya minority.
  • The claim that Myanmar’s military carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of Rohingya Muslim communities has been brought by the Gambia, a West African state that belongs to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
  • Under the rules of the ICJ, member states can bring actions against fellow member states over disputes alleging breaches of international law – in this case, the 1948 convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.
  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It is headquartered at The Hague, Netherlands.
  • It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946.
LICYPRIYA KANGUJAM –INDIAN ‘GRETA’
  • Eight-year-old Licypriya Kangujam has urged global leaders to take immediate action to save the planet and the future of young children like her.
  • She is known as Indian ‘Greta’ for her passion towards the fight against climate change.
  • Hailing from Bashikhong in Manipur, Licypriya was one of the youngest speakers at the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Madrid from December 2 – 13, 2019.
  • The climate activist was earlier in the news for spending weeks in front of Parliament with a placard, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MPs to pass climate change law to control and regulate the emission of carbon.
V.S. SIRPURKAR COMMISSION
  • Supreme Court has set up an inquiry commission led by its former judge, Justice V.S. Sirpurkar, to probe the circumstances of the police ‘encounter’ killing of four persons accused in the gang-rape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad.
  • A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, asked the inquiry commission, which included former Bombay High Court judge, Justice Rekha Baldota, and the former CBI Director, D.R. Karthikeyan, to complete its investigation in six months.

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