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GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

Worlds First Hydrogen Tram Begins Operation In China.

Background-

  • The worlds first hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen fuel cells has started running in China, marking a big step in the application of green energy in public transport.
  • Researched and manufactured by Chinese, it is the worlds first hybrid electric tram, with hydrogen being the main power source, according to China Railway Rolling Corporation (CRRC) Tangshan Co, the maker of the tram.
  • The tram was put into commercial operation for the first time in Tangshan, north Chinas Hebei Province.

 

Highlights Of The Development–

  • With water being its only emission, the tram emits no pollutants. No nitrogen oxides will be produced as the temperature of the reaction inside hydrogen fuel cells is controlled under 100 degrees Celsius.
  • The distance between carriage floor of the tram and the rail is only 35 centimeters thanks to the latest low-floor technology, which can remove station platforms and thus making boarding easy for passengers.
  • The tram, having three carriages with 66 seats, can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour after being refilled with 12 kilograms of hydrogen.
  • The tram operates on a 136-year-old railway line in Tangshan City, one of Chinas earliest industrial cities, and links several of its industrial heritage sites.

Sources- Indiatoday.

 

GS Paper II- International Relations.

India, US To Implement HOSTAC To Strengthen Maritime Security.

Background

  • To strengthen maritime security, India and the United States have agreed to implement the programme for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC).
  • A decision in this regard was taken by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her US Counterpart Jim Mattis during their meeting in Philippines on 25nd October, 2017 on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The two emphasized the importance of strengthening maritime security cooperation, and, in support of this objective, decided to implement the program for Helicopter Operations from Ships other Than Aircraft Carriers (HOSTAC).
  • Sitharaman and Mattis agreed on the importance of a rules-based international order in which all nations are able to prosper, and the “need to work together” against the common threat of terrorism.
  • They discussed a range of initiatives to strengthen US- India defense cooperation and enhance Indias leadership role in the Indo-Pacific.
  • This was their second meeting in less than a month.
  • Mattis had travelled to India late September (2017).

Sources- The Times Of India.

 

GS Paper IV- Ethics.

Karnataka Cabinet Approves Transgender Policy.

Background

  • Karnataka state cabinet on 26th October, 2017 approved a policy to safeguard transgender individuals from social, sexual exploitation, and integrate them into mainstream of the society.
  • The policy aims to remove the stigma attached to the transgender community, and allow them to be an equal participant in the society, by providing them legal protection.
  • In pursuance of the aim, sensitisation of the general public through awareness programmes, as well as at the classroom-level by way of a reformed curriculum, will be implemented.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The policy also entails provision of reservation to transgender individuals in all levels of education, and setting up of redressal cells for cases of harassment and discrimination of the individuals.
  • The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government in the state will roll out the policy within 36 months.
  • As per India census, 2011, the population of transgenders is 4,87,803, of which 20,266 reside in Karnataka.
  • In 2015, the Supreme Court recognised transgender as a third gender.
  • At the national level, a parliamentary panel in its report on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, in July, 2017 suggested the exemption of transgender community from criminalisation under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex or marriage with persons of the same gender punishable by law, which conflicts with the sexual practices of transgenders.
  • Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 seeks to bring social, educational and economic empowerment to the transgender community.
  • The bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, and is pending for approval in Lok Sabha since August, 2016. The bill however, suffers with loopholes as pointed out by trans activists and several others.

Sources- Business-Standard.