Hindu Notes from General Studies-02
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‘Leakage of Aadhaar data dangerous for country’
- Unique Identification Authority of India, in response to a report based on a RTI reply stating that 210 government websites had made Aadhaar data public, said that Aadhaar data was completely safe and secure.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the Centre for the alleged leakage of data of some Aadhaar beneficiaries on more than 200 Central and State government websites and described it as “dangerous” for the individual, society and the country.
China condemns Kovind’s trip
- China on Monday strongly objected to President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from “complicating” the border dispute when bilateral relations are at a “crucial moment”.
- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told that Chinese government never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear.
- Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet.
- India has dismissed Beijing’s objections, maintaining that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are as much free to visit the State as they are to any other part of the country.
Supreme Court gives the nod for audio, video recording of court proceedings
- Judges have no need for privacy inside the courtrooms they preside, Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Goel said while giving the thumbs up to audio and video recording of court proceedings.
- Signalling a paradigm shift, a Supreme Court Bench , mooted the possibilities of having audio and video recordings of proceedings in the constitutional courts — the Supreme Court and High Courts.
The Bench had asked why the judiciary in India should be considered any different from the judges of other countries who do not consider recording of proceedings as a violation of privacy of court proceedings.
- Supreme Court directed that at least “two districts in every State/Union Territory [with the exception of small States/Union Territories where it may be considered to be difficult to do so by the concerned High Courts) CCTV cameras [without audio recording] may be installed inside the courts and at such important locations of the court complexes as may be considered appropriate.”
India thanks U.N members for Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election to ICJ
- Judge Dalveer Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of the 193 votes in the UN General Assembly. The extraordinary support from the UN membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and independence of the judiciary in India.
- India said the election process reflects respect for its constitutional integrity and independent judiciary.
- The Government of India also expressed appreciation for the United Kingdom that chose to withdraw its candidate at the last moment.
The UN Security Council and the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of India.
Hindu Notes from General Studies-03
ISRO opens doors to private sector
- In an attempt to increase the number of satellite launches and build the capacity of the private sector, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) issued a tender on Monday to the private industry for Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) of 30-35 satellites.
- ISRO currently launches 3-4 launches per year but the demand is for 16-18 satellites.
- In the next step, the idea is to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise. The private sector already supplies majority of the sub-systems in satellite manufacturing.
The big fish that inspired a beach cleaning drive
The image of plastic all twisted up in the belly of a dead shark that washed ashore has become a catalyst for a massive beach cleaning movement in the fishing villages of north Chennai.
- They have mobilised around 300 youngsters to clean up the shores and fishing hamlets every weekend. So far, they have removed two tonnes of plastics and thermocol, 5000 bottles and one tonne of old plastic-wired fishing nets.
- Indian Fishermen Association’s M.D. Dayalan, who is helping the youngsters, says that most fishermen are not aware that the plastic in fish nets can be recycled.
‘Indian renewable energy firms among lowest rated’
- Indian renewable energy companies are among the most poorly rated investment grade companies in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by ratings agency Fitch.
Findings of Fitch’s 2018 Outlook on Asia-Pacific Utilities.
- Most of the issuers are owned by their respective sovereigns due to the strategic importance of energy supply.
- These entities also have strong standalone profiles given solid and stable cash flow generation.
- At the bottom end are the Indian renewable issuers with ratings that reflect lower plant utilisation, limited operating history, volume risk, weaker counterparties, and weak but improving financial profiles.
The agency expects renewable energy to make up a larger portion of India’s electricity generation, bolstered by untapped generation potential, strong policy support and lower tariffs.
- Tariffs for both wind and solar electricity hit a new low of under Rs. 3.0/kWh in mid-2017, making the two the cheapest source of electricity in the country.
- Renewable energy made up 58% — its biggest share yet — of the 25 GW of generation capacity added in India in FY17.
Small renewable players would remain protected from price risks due to long-term power purchase agreements, but production volumes would vary on the basis of climatic patterns.
Fitch said that India’s overall demand for petroleum products would grow at about 5% over the medium term, driven by strong GDP growth over the next two financial years and continued growth in auto sales.