Current Affairs 22nd September 2018
Portals to strengthen Women Safety launchedThe government has launched two portals to strengthen Women Safety:
Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) portal to check objectionable online content.
National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO) to aid in monitoring & investigation of sexual crimes.
Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) portal:
The portal will receive complaints from citizens on objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material, sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.
The portal is convenient and user friendly that will enable complainants in reporting cases without disclosing their identity. This will not only aid the victims/complainants but also help the civil society organizations and responsible citizens to anonymously report complaints pertaining to child pornography, child sexual abuse material or sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.
Complainants can also upload the objectionable content and URL to assist in the investigation by the State Police. The complaints registered through this portal will be handled by police authorities of respective State/UTs. There are other features such as a victim or complainant can track his/her report by opting for “report and track” option using his/her mobile number.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) will proactively identify such objectionable content and take up with intermediaries for its removal. For this NCRB has already been notified as the Government of India agency to issue notices under Section 79(3)b of IT Act.
National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO):
The National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO), which is accessible only to law enforcement agencies, will assist in effectively tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.
It is a central database of “sexual offenders” in the country which will be maintained by the NCRB for regular monitoring and tracking by the State Police. The database is accessible only to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and monitoring purpose.
The database will include offenders convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO and eve teasing. At present the database contains 4.4 lakh entries.
The State Police have been requested to regularly update the database from 2005 onwards. The database includes name, address, photograph and fingerprint details for each entry. However, the database will not compromise any individual’s privacy.
The two portals launched are part of efforts in the direction of strengthening security of women and children. However, the field level challenges have to be overcome by the Police at the ground level to ensure speedy justice to the victims. The security agencies should fully utilize potential of the two portals and update the database regularly for greater effectiveness.
There is also need for timebound completion of investigation in sexual crimes to instill deterrence among potential offenders.
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features of portals launched.
For Mains: Issues and challenges involved in women safety.
Multidimensional Poverty Index 2018The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) have released the 2018 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
About Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI):
The MPI provides the most comprehensive view of the various ways in which 1.3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily life.
The MPI looks at the multifaceted nature of poverty. It identifies people’s deprivations across three key dimensions – health, education and living standards, lacking amenities such clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education. Those who are left behind in at least a third of the MPI’s components are defined as multidimensionally poor.
How is the global MPI2018 aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals?
Rather than viewing challenges one by one, in silos, the MPI shows how deprivations related to SDGs 1,2,3,4,6,7, and 11 are concretely interlinked in poor people’s lives. Rather than providing only national headlines, the global MPI is disaggregated by subnational region, area, ethnicity, or age cohort. The indicators underlying the global MPI 2018 have been revised to better align with the SDGs.
Performance of India:
India has made giant strides in reducing multidimensional poverty, bringing down its poverty rate from 55% to 28% in ten years.
Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, more than 271 million people have come out of the clutches of poverty in India. However, India still has the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world- around 364 million people. 156 million out of 364 million people who are MPI poor in 2015/2016 are children.
India’s scale of poverty reduction has parallels with the phenomenal level of poverty reduction achieved in China a decade or so earlier. India’s scale of multidimensional poverty reduction over the decade from 2005/6 to 2015/16 – from 635 million poor persons to 364 million– can be compared to the speedy pace of China’s poverty reduction, which occurred over more than 20 years.
Across nearly every state, poor nutrition is the largest contributor to multidimensional poverty. Not having a household member with at least six years of education is the second largest contributor. Insufficient access to clean water and child mortality contribute least.
State- wise data:
Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. However, Bihar is still the poorest state in 2015/16, with more than half of its population in poverty.
In 2015/16, the four poorest states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh – were still home to 196 million MPI poor people – over half of all the MPI poor people in India. Delhi, Kerala and Goa have the lowest incidence of multidimensional poverty.
India’s relative performance:
Among the South Asian countries, only Maldives boasts lower MPI of 0.007 than India (0.121). Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan all boast higher incidences of multidimensional poverty.
After India (364 million people), the countries with the largest number of people living in multi-dimensional poverty are Nigeria (97 million), Ethiopia (86 million), Pakistan (85 million), and Bangladesh (67 million).
The global MPI covers 105 countries in total, home to 75% of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion people. Of this proportion, 1.3 billion are identified as multidimensionally poor, and half of them are younger than 18 years old.
83% of the world’s poor live in South Asia and Africa. The latest data further reveals the vast majority of the multidimensional poor – 1.1 billion people – live in rural areas around the world, where poverty rates are four times higher than among those living in urban areas.
What to study?
For Prelims: MPI- key facts, India’s performance.
For Mains: Key findings of the report, multidimensional poverty- global and country level challenges, concerns and ways to address them.
Transiting Exoplanet Survey SatelliteNasa’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, better known as TESS, has discovered “super-Earth” and “hot Earth” planets in solar systems at least 49 light-years away, marking the satellite’s first discovery since its April launch.
The two newly discovered planets are Pi Mensae c, a “super-earth” planet 60 light-years away orbiting its sun every 6.3 days and LHS 3844 b, a “hot-earth” planet 49 light-years away that orbits its sun every 11 hours.
About TESS mission:
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a NASA mission that will look for planets orbiting the brightest stars in Earth’s sky. It was led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with seed funding from Google.
Mission: The mission will monitor at least 200,000 stars for signs of exoplanets, ranging from Earth-sized rocky worlds to huge gas giant planets. TESS, however, will focus on stars that are 30 to 100 times brighter than those Kepler examined. This will help astronomers better understand the structure of solar systems outside of our Earth, and provide insights into how our own solar system formed.
Orbit: TESS will occupy a never-before-used orbit high above Earth. The elliptical orbit, called P/2, is exactly half of the moon’s orbital period; this means that TESS will orbit Earth every 13.7 days. Its closest point to Earth (67,000 miles or 108,000 kilometers) is about triple the distance of geosynchronous orbit, where most communications satellites operate.
How it works? It will use transit method to detect exoplanets. It watches distant stars for small dips in brightness, which can indicate that planet has passed in front of them. Repeated dips will indicate planet passing in front of its star. This data has to be validated by repeated observations and verified by scientists.
Significance of the mission:
TESS is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,700 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years and is running out of fuel.
Nasa expects to pinpoint thousands more previously unknown worlds, perhaps hundreds of them Earth-sized or “super-Earth” sized – no larger than twice as big as our home planet.
Those are believed the most likely to feature rocky surfaces or oceans and are thus considered the best candidates for life to evolve. Scientists have said they hope TESS will ultimately help catalog at least 100 more rocky exoplanets for further study in what has become one of astronomy’s newest fields of exploration.
What to study?
For Prelims: TESS- key features.
For Mains: Scientific objectives and significance of the mission.
RemoveDEBRISRemoveDebris system has successfully completed its capture test.
Back in June, the RemoveDEBRIS system was deployed from the International Space Station. On September 16th, the group began to proceed with in-space testing.
Operating over 186 miles (30o km) above the Earth, the RemoveDEBRIS system set out to capture a tiny satellite known as a CubeSat. With a net shooting off at around 44 MPH (20 meters per second) and a vision based navigation including cameras and LiDAR, the net was able to quickly capture the runaway CubeSat.
About RemoveDebris mission:
RemoveDebris is an EU (European Union) research project to develop and fly a low cost in-orbit demonstrator mission that aims to de-risk and verify technologies needed for future ADR (Active Debris Removal) missions.
RemoveDebris is aimed at performing key ADR technology demonstrations (e.g., capture, deorbiting) representative of an operational scenario during a low-cost mission using novel key technologies for ADR. The project is based on and aimed at contributing to global/European ADR roadmaps.
How it works?
A microsatellite called here RemoveSAT, will release, capture and deorbit two space debris targets, called DebrisSats, in sequence using various rendezvous, capture and deorbiting technologies thus demonstrating in orbit, key ADR technologies for future missions in what promises to be the first ADR technology mission internationally.
Space junk is an ever-growing problem with more than 7,500 tonnes of redundant hardware now thought to be circling the Earth. Ranging from old rocket bodies and defunct spacecraft through to screws and even flecks of paint – this material poses a collision hazard to operational missions.
The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station (ISS), space shuttles, satellites and other spacecraft.
What to study?
For Prelims: RemoveDebris.
For Mains: Space junk menace- threats and missions in this regard.