- Malabar Exercise 2018 to be held off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea
- Trilateral Naval Exercise Malabar 2018 between India, Japan and the United States will be held off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea from June 6-15, 2018.
- It will be the 22nd edition of the naval exercise.
- The exercise comes at the time of increased friction between China and US along with nations bordering resource-rich South China Sea (SCS) as China is militarising reclaimed islands in it to further strengthen its claim.
- Indian Navy participation in this year’s exercises will include indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, fleet tanker INS Shakti, anti-submarine corvette INS Kamorta.
About Malabar Exercise
- Malabar Exercise was started as Indo-US bilateral naval war drill in 1992.
- Since then it is held annually.
- Japan had formally joined the exercise as the permanent participant in 2015, making it trilateral exercise.
- The primary aim of this multilateral exercise is to increase interoperability amongst navies of three countries and develop the common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations and deepen defence relations between them.
- In 2007, the exercise also saw the participation of Australia and Singapore.
Source: The Hindu
- Facebook, NCW partner to launch digital literacy mission for women in India
- Facebook has announced a partnership with National Commission for Women, under which it has launched a Digital Literacy Program.
- This programme will run in collaboration with the Cyber Peace Foundation and attempts to conduct training across local languages to ensure the safe use of the internet.
- Facebook’s digital literacy program for women will begin with a one-year long pilot phase, that aims to train 60,000 women in universities through interactive sessions.
Why is digital literacy important for women?
- In today’s internet age, opportunities for women are immense.
- NCW has seen an increasing number of complaints related to cybercrimes, that have been registered over the past three years.
Source: Indian Express
- India’s First Advanced Forensic Lab in Chandigarh dedicated to women related cases
- Minister for Women and Child Development laid the foundation of Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab, Chandigarh.
- Forensic analysis plays a critical role in criminal investigation and the Advanced Lab will contribute to addressing the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country.
- The lab is being set up as a model forensic lab and would be replicated in other parts of the country.
- 5 more advanced forensic labs would come up in Mumbai, Chennai, Guwahati, Pune and Bhopal.
- This Project is a joint effort of Ministry of Home Affairs and WCD Ministry and it will play a vital role in justice delivery system.
Four Units in the Lab
In Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory, four units are to be established to address cases related to women:
- Sexual Assault and Homicide Unit
- Paternity Unit: Paternity Unit is essential to solving cases related to criminal paternity, gender selection & child swapping in hospitals.
- Human Identification Unit: Human Identification Unit is important in cases of missing person or children.
- Mitochondrial Unit: Mitochondrial Unit will conduct mitochondrial DNA analysis in cases where regular Nuclear DNA analysis is not possible such as in case of highly degraded samples. The Mitochondrial Unit can also be used to better explore family relationships.
Special forensic kits for rape cases:
- Underscoring the importance of the forensics in nabbing the culprits in sexual assault cases, special forensic kits for rape would be distributed to all the police stations and hospitals by the month of July.
- These inviolable kits will be used for providing uncontaminated evidence.
- These kits would contain a complete list of evidence/samples to be collected along with the equipment required to collect the evidence.
Central Forensic Science Labs
- The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which fulfils the forensic requirements in the country.
- These labs are responsible for conducting forensic analysis of all cases in the country including sexual assault, criminal paternity and homicide.
- Online Analytical Tool to monitor foreign contributions under FCRA
- Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh launched an Online Analytical Tool to facilitate closer monitoring of the flow and utilisation of foreign contributions received by various organisations registered or permitted under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
- It is a web-based tool and it will enable decision-makers in various Departments of Government to scrutinise source of foreign funds and their actual use in India.
- It gives them capacity to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions regarding the compliance of the provisions of the FCRA, 2010.
- It has analytical features to conduct big data mining and data exploration.
- Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of the FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updation of transactional data on a real-time basis.
- It will help the stakeholders in Government to better regulate acceptance and utilisation of foreign contributions.
Public Financial Management System (PFMS)
- It is an end-to-end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting.
- It is implemented by Controller General of Accounts and administered by the Department of Expenditure.
- It provides a unified platform to scheme managers for tracking releases and monitoring their last mile utilisation.
- It also provides the single platform for efficient management of funds by tracking them and real-time reporting of expenditure and receipts through treasury and bank interface.
- It is also used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) payments under MGNREGA and other notified schemes of the Centre.
- Sikkim: 1st state to outlaw pesticides and chemical fertilizers
- Fifteen years ago, the Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state.
- In the years since the shift to organic (Sikkim has declared the first organic state in 2016), Sikkim has outlawed pesticides and chemical fertilizers, aided farmers in certifying about 190,000 acres of farmland as organic
- On April 1 it also banned the import of many nonorganic vegetables from other states.
- The transition has not been always easy
- Some farmers have complained that their crop yields have decreased
- Farmers also claim that they haven’t gotten enough support from the government.
- Some farmers say their income has decreased or have quit farming altogether.
- Note: Sikkim banned disposable plastic plates in 2016. Roadside snack stalls use plates fashioned from leaves.
- To encourage farmers to make the switch to organic, Sikkim tapered off its supply of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – making their use a criminal offence in 2014 – launched education programs, and installed thousands of composting pits.
Advantages accrued to Sikkim
- The country’s move to all-organic also has been a boon to its tourist industry, with a growing market for eco-tours and farm vacations.
- The Lonely Planet travel guide named it the world’s top destination in 2014, and the number of foreign visitors has more than doubled since 2011
- Ruthenium: Fourth single element to show ferromagnetism
- Scientists have discovered that the chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature.
- The discovery could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry, or other devices using magnetic materials.
- Until now, only three elements on the periodic table have been found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature – iron (Fe), cobalt (Co), and nickel (Ni).
Source: Economic Times