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Daily Current Affairs : 2-Dec-2019

Major Topic Covered :

  1. JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE SURYA KIRAN

  2. NEW SNAKE SPECIES FOUND IN ARUNACHAL

  3. JNANPITH AWARD

  4. DEFENCE ACQUISITION COUNCIL

  5. WORLD AIDS DAY- 1ST OF DECEMBER

  6. FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

  7. 20TH EDITION OF HORNBILL FESTIVAL BEGINS IN NAGALAND

  8. NATIONAL AWARDS FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FOR THE YEAR 2019

  9. GANGETIC DOLPHINS

  10. OPERATION ‘CLEAN ART’- THE MONGOOSE HAIR BRUSH TRADE CLOSED DOWN



JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE SURYA KIRAN

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

Joint military exercise ‘SURYA KIRAN – XIV’ between India and Nepal will be conducted at Salijhandi, Rupendehi district of Nepal from 03 to 16 December 2019.


Highlights:


The exercise will comprise of 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experience in conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations as also various humanitarian assistance missions by both the Armies.


The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence cooperation which will further foster the bilateral relations between the two nations.


Exercise SURYA KIRAN - XIV is an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India. Notably, in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries.


Exercise SURYA KIRAN with Nepal is an important exercise in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the realm of changing facets of global terrorism.


The aim of this exercise is to conduct a Battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army to increase interoperability in jungle warfare and counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.


Source: PIB


NEW SNAKE SPECIES FOUND IN ARUNACHAL

Part of GS- 3 Ecology and Biodiversity


Why in news?

Researchers have discovered a new species of non-venomous burrowing snake in Arunachal Pradesh, named Trachischiumapteii.


Highlights:


It was found under fallen logs inside a thickly forested area of the Tally Valley Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh during a field expedition by researchers in July 2019.


“Three specimens of the new species were found in field that helped diagnose the new species,” states the paper published by three researchers - Harshal Bhonsle, GaurangGowande and Zeeshan Mirza - in the international science journal Comptes Rendus Biologies.


Trachischiumapteii was named so to honour the contribution of Deepak Apte, well-known marine biologist and Director of the BNHS.


Trachischium species are commonly called slender snakes, and are currently known by seven species that are distributed across the Himalayas, and the Indo-Burma and Indo-China regions.


Morphologically, the snake is distinguished by smooth and dorsal scales arranged in 15 rows throughout the body.


The dorsal colour of the holotype is dark brown to black with faint dorsal longitudinal lines.


Large-sized members of the genus measure about 293 mm to 299 mm (measuring less than a foot, that is 300 mm or 30 cm).


Source: The Hindu


JNANPITH AWARD

Part of GS- Award


Why in news?

Eminent Malayalam poet Akkitham has been chosen for the 55th Jnanpith Award, according to an announcement by the Jnanpith Selection Board on 29th November, 2019.


Highlights:

Akkitham has authored 55 books out of which 45 are collections of poems including Khanda Kavyas, Katha Kavyas, Charitha Kavyas and songs.


Some of his celebrated creations include Veeravadam, Balidarsanam, Nimisha Kshethram, Amrita Khatika, AkkithamKavithaka, Epic of Twentieth Century and Antimahakalam. His works have also been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.


A Padma Shri awardee, he has won several literary accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award (1973), Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1972 and 1988), Mathrubhumi Award, Vayalar Award and Kabir Samman.


About Jnanpith Award:


It is given by BharatiyaJnanpith, a literary and research organization based in Delhi.


It is given annually to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature".


It is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English.


There is no posthumous conferral. Also only works published during the preceding twenty years is considered for the award.


The award consists of cash prize is Rs. 11 lakh and a Bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom.


Source: The Hindu


DEFENCE ACQUISITION COUNCIL

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, met 28th November, 2019 and accorded approval for Capital Procurement for the Services amounting to over Rs 22,800 crore.


Highlights:

  • To boost the 'Make in India' initiative, the DAC accorded approval for indigenous design, development and manufacturing of 'Thermal Imaging Night Sights' for Assault Rifles.

  • These sights will be manufactured by the Indian private industry and used by troops deployed on the frontline.

  • 'Thermal Imaging Night Sights' would enable troops to undertake long range accurate engagements in dark and all-weather conditions thereby enhancing the night fighting capabilities.

  • After the successful indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) programme, the DAC revalidated the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of additional AWACS aircraft.

  • The mission system and sub-systemsfor these aircraft would be indigenously designed and developed by DRDO.

  • The DAC also approved procurement of Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) Anti-Submarine Warfare P8I aircraft for the Indian Navy.

  • These aircraft would strengthen the Navy's capabilities for maritime surveillance and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).

  • The DAC approved procurement of Twin-Engine Heavy Helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard.

  • These aircraft would enable the Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent infiltration of terrorists by sea routes as well as Search & Rescue operations.


Source: PIB


WORLD AIDS DAY- 1ST OF DECEMBER

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

World AIDS Day 2019 is being observed on the 1st of December with this year theme of “Communities make the difference.”


Highlights:

  • World AIDS Day is observed on the 1st of December, every year, since 1988. World AIDS Day was the first global health day to be celebrated.

  • AIDS is the abbreviation for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

  • It is a chronic illness, which can also be potentially life-threatening.

  • The disease is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV which affects the human immune system.

  • According to the WHO, at the end of 2018, about 37.9 million people were living with HIV.

  • Data suggests that about 75 million people have been infected with the virus until now, out of which 32 million lives have been lost because of HIV.


Government of Indias Initiatives:

  • The government is implementing National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) as a hundred per cent Central Sector Scheme for prevention and control of AIDS.

  • NACP response to HIV epidemic comprise a comprehensive three-pronged strategy of prevention, testing and treatment.

  • The Government has also developed a seven-year National Strategic Plan from 2017 to 2024 to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.


Source: PIB


FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Constitution


Why in news?

Over the last one week, the government has been making a pitch for fundamental duties. In his Constitution Day address to a Joint Session of Parliament last week, Prime Minister stressed the importance of constitutional duties, while making a distinction between seva (service) and these duties.


Highlights:


On the same occasion, President Ram Nath stressed the difference between rights and duties, while Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called for fundamental duties to be included in the school curriculum and the list of the duties to be displayed at educational institutions and at other public places.


Fundamental Duties are described in the Constitution- an Emergency-era provision that was introduced by the Indira Gandhi government.


How were Fundamental Duties incorporated in the Constitution?


The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, during Emergency under Indira Gandhi’s government.


Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th


Amendment in 2002, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.


These are statutory duties, not enforceable by law, but a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter.


The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasise the obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys.


The concept of Fundamental Duties is taken from the Constitution of Russia.


What are the Fundamental Duties?


The 11 Fundamental Duties are:

  • To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem

  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom

  • To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India — it is one of the preeminent national obligations of all the citizens of India.

  • To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so

  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women

  • To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture — our cultural heritage is one of the noblest and richest, it is also part of the heritage of the Earth

  • To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures

  • To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform

  • To safeguard public property and to abjure violence

  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement

  • Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

It is the one on children’s education that was added in 2002 by the 86th Amendment that provided for the Right to Free and Compulsory Education for children in the age group 6-14, with the insertion of Article 21A.


It also cast an obligation on parents to provide such opportunities under Article 51A(K).


Source: Indian express


20TH EDITION OF HORNBILL FESTIVAL BEGINS IN NAGALAND

Part of GS-1 A&C


Why in news?

The much-awaited festival, the Hornbill Festival began with a colourful blend of culture and tradition with a modern twist at Naga Heritage Kisama in Nagaland this evening. This is the 20th edition of Hornbill Festival.


Highlights:

  • The festival organised by Nagaland Government is an annual tourism promotional event to showcase the state’s traditional and rich cultural heritage in all its ethnicity, diversity and grandeur.

  • The/ 10 Days Hornbill Festival began with the traditional blessing pronounced by Mongtei of Aniashu village while the Chief host and Host opened the festival by beating the traditional gong. Addressing the opening ceremony, Governor RN Ravi said it is convenient that the Hornbill Festival coincides with Nagaland Statehood Day.

  • It is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments of the Government of Nagaland.

  • To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland.

  • Festival highlights include the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, song and dance shows, indigenous games etc.

  • One of the major highlights of this festival is the Hornbill International Rock Festival where local and international rock bands perform.

  • The festival is named after the bird “Indian hornbill”, which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state's tribes.

  • There are 9 hornbill species in India of which Great Hornbill is the most famous.

  • It is also called the 'Festival of Festivals'.

  • The Governor called on the people to strengthen the spirit of unity during the Hornbill Festival. Highlights of the ceremony include a colourful display of Naga Culture themed as “Colours of Nagaland.

  • A display of Sukhoi aircraft flying over Kisama site was also organised in close coordination between the state government and headquarter, Eastern Air Command (IAF) Shillong.

  • Various inaugurations of stalls put up at Kisama also marked the opening day.

  • Highlights of the Hornbill Festival will witness cultural performance of different tribes of Nagaland and Northeastern States, indigenous games, city tour, night carnival, art exhibition, photo-fest and many more.


Source: PIB


NATIONAL AWARDS FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES FOR THE YEAR 2019

Part of GS- Award


Why in news?

Vice President to Confer National Awards for outstanding work done towards empowerment of PwDs on International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December


Highlights:

  • The “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” organized by the DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment on 3rd December 2019 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

  • He will confer the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations and State/District etc. for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).


Till 2017, the Award Scheme was governed under the National Awards Rules, 2013 which provided 7 categories of disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.

However, with the coming into force of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 w.e.f. 19th April 2017, the number of specified disabilities increased from 7 to 21 under the new Law. Accordingly, all the 21 disabilities have been included under the National Award Guidelines which have been notified in the Extra-ordinary Gazette of India dated 2nd August, 2018.


In all 65 awards in 14 categories were approved for the Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities; Best Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities; Best District in providing rehabilitation services, Best Sports-person with Disabilities etc.


Source: PIB


GANGETIC DOLPHINS

Part of GS- 3 Environment and Ecology


Why in news?

At last count, the rivers of Assam and Uttar Pradesh respectively had 962 and 1,275Gangetic dolphins, India’s national aquatic dolphin. These numbers were tabled in Parliament recently by Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babul Supriyo.


Highlights:

  • The population assessment in Assam was done between January and March 2018, while the UP count of 1,272 is for 2015, up from 671 in 2012.

  • In Assam, the assessment was carried out in three rivers, with the Brahmaputra accounting for 877 of the 962 dolphins.

  • In addition to the species being India’s national aquatic animal, the Gangetic dolphin has been notified by the Assam government as the state aquatic animal, too. Silting and sand lifting from rivers in Assam has been stopped to maintain its population.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Gangetic dolphin as an endangered species in India.

  • According to the WWF, the main threat to the Gangetic dolphin is the creation of dams and irrigation projects.

  • The Conservation Action Plan for the Gangetic Dolphin, 2010-2020, identified threats to these dolphins that include the impact of river traffic, construction of irrigation canals and depletion of their prey-base.


Source: Indian Express


OPERATION ‘CLEAN ART’- THE MONGOOSE HAIR BRUSH TRADE CLOSED DOWN

Part of GS-3 Environment, Biodivesity


Why in news?

Operation Clean Art was recently conducted in India to ensure that the mongoose hair brush trade be closed down across the country.


Highlights:

  • Operation Clean Art was the first pan India operation to crack down on the smuggling of mongoose hair in the country.

  • It was conceived by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB).

  • It was a planned raid, not to apprehend criminals, but to check on organised factories that were making paint brushes with mongoose hair.

  • Raids were carried out not only in Uttar Pradesh, but also at Jaipur in Rajasthan, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, and in Kerala, on the same day.

  • The entire operation across the country yielded 54,352 brushes and 113 kg of raw hair.

  • There are six species of mongoose found in India.

  • The mongoose is listed under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 - making its hunting, possession, transportation and trade a punishable offence.

  • Mongoose hair is in high demand among artists worldwide because of the quality of brushes they help create, which define lines clearly and hold paint properly.

  • India is a major source for these brushes.

  • For about 150 kg of mongoose hair, at least 6,000 animals would have been killed.


Source: The Hindu

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