Current Affairs 15 November

India votes against UNGA draft resolution on use of death penalty

India has voted against a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution on the use of death penalty, saying it goes against the statutory law of the country where an execution is carried out in the “rarest of rare” cases.

UN Against Death Penalty:

The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly was approved with a recorded vote of 123 in favour, 36 against and 30 abstentions.
The draft aimed to ensure that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law.
The resolution sought to promote a moratorium on executions with the aim of abolishing death penalty.
India was among the countries that voted against the resolution, which would have the Assembly call on all States to respect international standards on the rights of those facing death penalty.

India’s views:

India has voted against the resolution as a whole, as it goes against statutory law in India. The death penalty is exercised in ‘rarest of rare’ cases, where the crime committed is so heinous that it shocks the conscience of the society.

Indian law provides for all requisite procedural safeguards, including the right to a fair trial by an independent Court, presumption of innocence, the minimum guarantees for defence, and the right to review by a higher court.

What to study?

For Prelims: Key facts on the resolution.
For Mains: Significance of the resolution, India’s views, capital punishment- arguments in favour and against.



Mega Food Park

Maharashtra’s second Mega Food Park has been opened in Aurangabad District. It is promoted by M/s Paithan Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd, the Park.

Facts for Prelims:

A 3rd Mega Food Park has been sanctioned by the Ministry in Maharashtra and is under implementation in Wardha District while the first Park was inaugurated on 1st of March 2018 in Satara district.

About Mega Food Parks:

Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing Mega Food Park Scheme in the country.

The Scheme of Mega Food Park aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers so as to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastages, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities particularly in rural sector.

These food parks give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage at each stage of the supply chain with particular focus on perishables.

A maximum grant of R50 crore is given for setting up a MFP, in minimum 50 acres of contiguous land with only 50% contribution to the total project cost.

Mode of operation:

The Scheme has a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model. It includes creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure at Central Processing Centre (CPC).
The PPCs are meant for functioning as a link between the producers and processors for supply of raw material to the Central Processing Centres.
CPC has need based core processing facilities and basic enabling infrastructure to be used by the food processing units setup at the CPC. The minimum area required for a CPC is 50 acres.
The scheme is demand-driven and would facilitate food processing units to meet environmental, safety and social standards.
What to study?

For Prelims: Mega food park scheme and mega food parks in the country.
For Mains: Need for Mega food parks and other related agricultural issues.

Young Champions Awards

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF have announced Young Champions Awards on occasion of Children’s Day.

The awards were presented to the top six most innovative solutions from across the country, which were shortlisted through the Atal Tinkering Marathon.


Background:

On October 2 last year, AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) had launched a six month long nationwide challenge called the Atal Tinkering Marathon, across six different thematic areas, namely, clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility and agri-technology. The objective was to encourage students to observe community problems and develop innovative solutions.

What are ATLs?

With a vision to ‘Cultivate one Million children in India as Neoteric Innovators’, Atal Innovation Mission is establishing Atal Tinkering Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India.

Objective: The objective of this scheme is to foster curiosity, creativity and imagination in young minds; and inculcate skills such as design mindset, computational thinking, adaptive learning, physical computing etc.

Financial Support: AIM will provide grant-in-aid that includes a one-time establishment cost of Rs. 10 lakh and operational expenses of Rs. 10 lakh for a maximum period of 5 years to each ATL.

Eligibility: Schools (minimum Grade VI – X) managed by Government, local body or private trusts/society can set up ATL.

Significance of ATLs:

Atal Tinkering Labs have evolved as epicenters for imparting these ‘skills of the future’ through practical applications based onself-learning.
Bridging a crucial social divide, Atal Tinkering Labs provide equal opportunity to all children across the spectrum by working at the grassroot level, introducing children to the world of innovation and tinkering.

Need for such labs:

As the world grapples with evolving technologies, a new set of skills have gained popular acceptance and have come to be in high demand. For India to contribute significantly during this age of raid technological advancement, there is an urgent need to empower our youth with these ‘skills of the future’.

Equipped with modern technologies to help navigate and impart crucial skills in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the ATLs are at the vanguard of the promoting scientific temper and an entrepreneurial spirit in children today.

What to study?

For Prelims: Young Champions Awards, AIM, ATLs and their key features.
For Mains: Need for innovation and efforts by government in this regard.


GSAT-29

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched its latest communication satellite, GSAT-29, from its second developmental flight GSLV-MkII D2.

About GSLV Mk III:

GSLV Mk III is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Two massive boosters with solid propellant constitute the first stage, the core with liquid propellant form the second stage and the cryogenic engine completes the final stage.

About GSAT-29:

GSAT-29 is a multiband, multi-beam communication satellite, intended to serve as test bed for several new and critical technologies. Its Ku-band and Ka-band payloads are configured to cater to the communication requirements of users including those from remote areas especially from Jammu & Kashmir and North-Eastern regions of India.
In addition, the Q/V-Band communication payload onboard is intended to demonstrate the future high throughput satellite system technologies. Geo High Resolution Camera will carry out high resolution imaging. Optical Communication Payload will demonstrate data transmission at a very high rate through optical communication link.

Significance of the launch:

The success of GSLV MkIII-D2 marks an important milestone in Indian space programme towards achieving self-reliance in launching heavier satellites. The success of this flight also signifies the completion of the experimental phase of GSLV Mark III.


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Key facts on GSAT- 29 and GSLVMk 3, significance of the launch.

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