GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.
India Ranks 10th On New Commonwealth Innovation Index.
- India was on 16th April, 2018 ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index, topped by the UK, Singapore and Canada.
- The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
- It has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII).
- It is aimed at providing a tool that allows member states, organisations and citizens to benchmark themselves against 53 countries of the Commonwealth, with the new innovation hub offering a dedicated online space for Commonwealth countries to showcase what they have to offer and share with other members.
Highlights Of The Development-
- The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) will work as the delivery partner to host a new Commonwealth Innovation Fund (CIF), which will use GIFs existing due diligence processes for sourcing, evaluating and investing to generate a high-quality portfolio of enterprises that are aligned with the Commonwealth Secretariats priorities.
- The GIF will manage the fund and its investments, which will be targeted at innovative projects across Commonwealth countries that “save and improve lives”.
- During the ongoing CHOGM, the CIF will engage with member-countries to gain financial and other support for the fund and India is expected to be among the key countries to collaborate.
- Sectors such as health-care, innovation, digital technology and cyber security will be among the core focus areas during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The CIF will deploy grant, equity and debt investments to support innovators across the Commonwealth to accelerate the development, testing and scaling up of evidence-based and market-tested innovations.
- The target size of the new fund, with financial commitments from member-countries, is expected to be 25 million pounds of initial funds to prove the new model.
GS Paper II- Governance.
Cabinet Approves Ordinance For Death Penalty For Child Rapists.
- The Union Cabinet on 21st April, 2018 approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
- The criminal law amendment ordinance seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce a new provision to sentence convicts of such crimes punishment of death.
- On 20th April, the government had informed the Supreme Court that it is actively considering amending the penal law to introduce death penalty to the accused.
Highlights Of The Development-
- The Govt has also decided to put in place a number of measures for speedy investigation and trial of rape cases. For instance, the minimum punishment for rape will now be life imprisonment as opposed to rigorous imprisonment of 7-10 years in the past.
- In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which shall mean imprisonment till that person’s natural life.
- In case of rape of a girl under 12 years, the minimum punishment is that of 20 years’imprisonment, which can be increased to imprisonment for life or death penalty.
- In the ordinance, time limit for investigation as well as completion of trial of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months. According to the source, a duration of six months has also been prescribed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases.
- In the ordinance approved by the Union Cabinet, restrictions on bail have also been prescibed which are as follows:
- It has been prescribed that there will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.
- It has also been provided that court has to give notice of 15 days to public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.
- The decision by the Modi cabinet comes against the backdrop of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district and the alleged rape of a minor in Unnao by a BJP MLA, among other instances. An eight-year-old from Bakarwal community in Kathua district was sedated, held captive, gangraped and murdered in January this year.
Sources- The Indian Express.
GS Paper III- Economic Development.
SJVN Signs MoU With Ministry Of Power; Will Strive To Achieve 9200 Million Units In FY 2018-19.
- SJVN Limited, the operator of one of the largest Hydro Power Plants in the country i.e. 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydro Power Station, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Power, Govt. of India for the year 2018-19.
- The MoU was signed by Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Secretary (Power) and Shri Nand Lal Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, SJVN.
- As per the targets set in the MOU, SJVN shall strive to achieve 9200 Million Units generation during the year under ‘Excellent’ category.
Highlights Of The Development-
- Further, SJVN will have Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) target of Rs. 900 crore and Turnover target of Rs. 2175 crore under Excellent category along with other targets related to operational efficiency and Project monitoring.
- In FY 2017-18, against the target of 8950 Million Units (under ‘Excellent’ category), SJVN generated 9280 Million Units from its projects under operation with an installed capacity of 1964 MW. SJVN has already paid an interim dividend of Rs. 785.95 crores to its shareholders in FY 2017-18.
- Currently, SJVN has four projects with capacity of 1610 MW under construction and another four projects with capacity of 2155 MW under various stages of clearances, soon to enter construction. SJVN envisages being a 5700 MW+ generating company in coming years.