January 2020

Daily Current Affairs (07-01-20)

ECONOMY

LOKA KERALA SABHA (LKS) 2020

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Economy of Kerala, Programmes and Schemes, Pravasi and Foreign remittance

News

  • The second edition of Loka Kerala Sabha (World Kerala Assembly) summit was held at Kerala legislative assembly complex from January 1 to 3, 2020.
  • The first edition was held on January 12 and 13, 2018.

Context

  • Kerala’s people and its culture have travelled beyond borders, and to every corner of the world, fostering their assimilation and integration with the rest of the world.
  • It is imperative to constitute a democratic space in order that cultural, socio-political and economic co-operation between home and outer Keralites are facilitated, and channelled into the creation of a Global Kerala Synergy.
  • Thus, Government of Kerala has decided to constitute Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) as a common platform.

What is Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS)?

  • It is a platform for the cultural, socio-political and economic integration of non-resident Keralites (NRK).
  • It aims at utilizing the expertise of Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) for developing Kerala state.
  • Loka Kerala Sabha is proposed to happen once in two years.
  • The LKS will conduct discussions on the job opportunities available in various countries, and also the languages and different set of skills required for acquiring jobs.
  • It will also discuss ways to do away with the exploitation of middle-men.

Need for Loka Kerala Sabha

  • Majority of the decisions that pertain as well to the lives of non-resident Keralites are taken within the home Kerala.
  • Loka Kerala Sabha shall address this concern by providing for a more inclusive democratic space wherein these non-resident Keralites are duly represented.

Constitution and Structure

  • The 351-member LKS shall comprise the Members of the Legislative Assembly of Kerala, the Members of the Indian Parliament from Kerala, non-resident Keralites of Indian citizenship nominated by the Government of Kerala, and select members of the returnee community.
  • The non-resident members shall be selected from abroad and other states/UTs within India, taking into account the diversities of gender, age and occupational status; they shall also include eminent non-resident Keralites who have contributed immensely in their respective fields of engagement to achieve public acclaim.
[Source: Indian Express, lokakeralasabha.com]

 

ENVIRONMENT

REHABILITATION CENTRE FOR FRESHWATER TURTLES

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Environment [Paper-II]:

News

  • A first-of-its-kind rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles will be inaugurated in Bihar’s Bhagalpur forest division in January 2020.
  • The rehab centre, spread over half a hectare, will be able to shelter 500 turtles at a time.

Why rehab centre for Turtles?

  • The need to build such a centre was felt after several turtles were found severely wounded and sick when rescued from smuggles by rescue teams.
  • The centre will play a significant role in treating these animals and their proper upkeep before being returned to their natural habitat.
  • Previously, rescued turtles used to be released into rivers without much treatment in the absence of any facility like the centre.
  • But now, they will be properly monitored before being released in their natural habitat.

Why Bhagalpur?

  • Eastern Bihar has been an ideal breeding ground for turtles.
  • In Bhagalpur, the flow of water in the Ganga is ample. Also, there are many sandbanks in the middle of the river, which are ideal breeding ground for turtles.
  • The size of turtles found in eastern Bihar is good as well. A turtle weighing up to 15 kilograms can be found here.

Significance

  • According to environmentalists, the turtles play a significant role in the river by scavenging dead organic materials and diseased fish, controlling fish population as predators and controlling aquatic plants and weeds.
  • They are also described as indicators of healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Threats

  • According to a report jointly prepared by the National Mission for Clean Ganga and Wildlife Institute of India, these species are now under severe threats due to habitat fragmentation and loss through dams and barrages, pollution, illegal poaching, accidental drowning through fishing nets and threats to their nesting habitats.
  • The turtles have come under serious threat primarily for two reasonsfood and the flourishing pet trade.
  • Turtles are being frequently targeted for meat due to the prevailing belief that it gives an energy boost and keeps various diseases away.
  • Hard-shell turtles, especially spotted ones, are being poached for the pet trade. Such turtles are in high demand in south East Asia, China and Japan.
  • According to a recent study conducted by Traffic India, around 11,000 turtles are being smuggled in India every year.

[Source: Down To Earth]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

NATIONAL LAUREL FOR KUDUMBASHREE

The Kudumbashree Mission has bagged the second position in the Systematic Progressive Analytical Real time Ranking (SPARK) of States for implementation of the centrally sponsored Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) programme for the year 2018- 19.

JUSTICE HEMA COMMISSION
  • The Justice Hema Commission that was appointed by the Kerala government to study the issues faced by women in Malayalam film industry submitted its report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on December 31, 2019.
  • The commission was constituted in July 2017, after Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) submitted a memorandum to the CM regarding the issues faced by women in Malayalam film industry.
  • The three-member committee was headed by retired Justice K Hema. The other members were senior actor Sharada and former bureaucrat K B Valsala Kumari.
  • One of the key findings in the report is that the casting couch was a reality in Mollywood.
  • The commission also detailed on issues faced by women actors in film sets and threw light on gender inequality prevailing in the industry.
  • The commission has kept forward many recommendations that include strict measures like fine and ban, on those who do not ensure a safe atmosphere and sufficient facilities for women in cinema.
CHEETAH PATROL SYSTEM
  • Kerala Police have operationalised the Cheetah patrol system in Thiruvananthapuram city to boost traffic regulation and ensure smooth vehicular flow.
  • Apart from clearing traffic blocks and detecting traffic offences, the patrol teams will also be responsible for spotting potholes on the roads and trees that pose threat to the traffic and report them to the officers concerned.
NASEEM-AL-BAHR
  • Two ships of the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) arrived in Goa to participate in the 12th edition of the Indo-Oman bilateral naval exercise ‘Naseem-Al-Bahr’.
  • ‘Naseem-Al-Bahr (or sea breeze) is a naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the RNO, being conducted since 1993.
  • Indian Navy ships Beas and Subhadra will participate in the exercise, with harbour phase in Goa followed by sea phase off the Goa coast.
KERALA REAL ESTATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY (K-RERA)
  • The newly-formed K-RERA is set to establish conciliation forums for ensuring speedy resolution of disputes that may arise between real estate developers and home buyers.
  • According to K-RERA chairman P.H. Kurian, forums could have, in addition to the aggrieved parties, a representative of real estate forums such as the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), a trained conciliation officer assigned by K-RERA and a reputed NGO specialising in consumer protection in the sector.
  • It is expected that 20-30% of the disputes that arose between builders and buyers could be amicably settled by bringing the aggrieved parties to the negotiating table.
  • K-RERA, which had a formal launch on January 2020, would take steps to post trained officers to guide the conciliation process.
FIRST URBAN COOPERATIVE BANK (UCB) TO CONVERT TO SFB
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) granted in-principle approval to Uttar Pradesh-based Shivalik Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd to convert to a small finance bank (SFB).
  • Thus, it became the first urban cooperative bank (UCB) to convert to SFB since the guidelines came out nearly two years ago.
  • The UCB will get 18 months to comply with the requirements under the scheme, which state that banks with a minimum net worth of 50 crore and capital to risk (weighted) assets ratio of 9% and above are eligible to apply for voluntary transition to SFB.
  • These UCBs will also have to comply with the latest guidelines for on-tap licensing of SFBs in the private sector, under which SFBs will have to maintain a minimum net worth of 100 crore from the date of commencement of business.
INDIAN DATA RELAY SATELLITE SYSTEM (IDRSS)
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that it aims to launch its own satellite pair for space communication purposes, called Indian Data Relay Satellite System (IDRSS).
  • IDRSS is already being worked on, and will be pivotal in maintaining communication with the astronaut crew and ground mission control at any given phase, during manned space missions.
  • It will be a set of satellites that will track, send and receive information from other Indian Satellites.
  • India is set to embark upon its first ever manned space mission with Gaganyaan in 2022, and IDRSS will be imperative to the mission.
  • The IDRSS is planned to track and be constantly in touch with Indian satellites, in particular those in low-earth orbits which have limited coverage of earth.
  • In the coming years, IDRSS will be vital to ISRO whose roadmap is dotted with advanced LEO missions such as space docking, space station, as well as distant expeditions to moon, Mars and Venus.

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