Current Affairs February 2017
- The Union Cabinet on February 2017 approved the introduction of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament. The amendment Bill provides for inclusion of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IITDM), Kurnool along with the other IITs in the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014.Subsequently, IITDM Kurnool will be declares as an institute of National Importance with the power to award degrees to students.
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has imposed over Rs 3 crore penalty on Aircel for not meeting set quality parameters for 2G service and Rs 1.56 crore for poor 3G service quality. Apart from Aircel, Trai has imposed Rs 70 lakh penalty on BSNL and Rs 2.5 lakh on Vodafone for breaching 3G service quality benchmark. TRAI is the independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India.TRAI was established in 1997 by an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog).
- China has successfully tested a new version of a DF-5C missile that can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads in January 2017. The flight test of the missile was carried using 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles, (MIRVs), from the Taiyuan Space Launch Centre in Shanxi province and to an impact range in the western Taklamakan desert.
- Chinese scientists from Northwest A&F University have produced world’s first live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB). This development shows that genetic modification technology can be better suited to producing transgenic livestock with purposefully manipulated genetic. Researchers had used a modified version of the CRISPR gene-editing technology called CRISPR/Cas9n to insert a new TB resistance gene NRAMP1 into the genome of bovine foetal fibroblasts, cell derived from female dairy cows.
- The Union Cabinet had approved the amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of SC in Odisha. It also approved amending the Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 to change the name of the Union territory to Puducherry from Pondicherry. In this regard, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2017, incorporating the above changes, will be introduced in the parliament. The amendment of SC list in Odisha makes inclusion of Sualgiri/Swalgiri caste in the list as it is Sabakhia caste which is already in the list of SC in Odisha. The Constitution provides certain privileges and concessions to the members of Scheduled Castes, notified under the provisions of Article 341 of the Constitution. Under the provision of Article 341, first list of SCs in relation to a states/UT is to be issued by a notified Order of the President after consulting concerned state Government. But the clause (2) of Article 341 envisages that, any subsequent inclusion in or exclusion from the list of Scheduled Castes can be effected through an Act of Parliament. So far, six Presidential Orders have been issued between 1950 and 1978 for specifying SC in respect of various States/Union territories. These Orders have been amended from time to time by Acts of Parliament enacted as per Article 341(2) of the Constitution between 1956 and 2016.
- The Income Tax Department (ITD) launched Operation Clean Money (Swachh Dhan Abhiyan), an e-platform to analyse large cash deposits made during the demonetisation window (9 November to 30 December 2016). Under it, e-verification of large cash has been done using data analytics for comparing the demonetisation data with information in ITD databases. In the first batch of the operation,around 18 lakh persons have been identified in whose case, cash transactions do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.