Prelim Snippets- 28-12-2019

1. National Anthem

Why in News?
  • On December 27, 1911, the National Anthem was first sung at the Calcutta session of the Congress.
  • ‘Jana Gana Mana’ is the first stanza of the Bengali hymns ‘Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata’, written by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
  • A slightly varied version of the song was adopted by Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army in 1941 as the national anthem, called ‘Shubh Sukh Chain’, which also became popular in India.
  • ‘Jana Gana Mana’was adopted as the country’s National Anthem by the Constituent Assembly of India on January 24, 1950, the last day of its last session.
  • Reverence to the National Anthem is a Fundamental duty in India. According to Article 51A (a) of the Constitution: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”.

2. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal

Why in News?
  • NCLAT was constituted for hearing appeals against the orders of the National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT) , which, in turn, simultaneously replaced the erstwhile Company Law Board.
  • Constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013, the appellate tribunal was conceived as the dedicated appeals forum for resolving corporate law disputes and speeding up the resolution by taking over the role hitherto played by overburdened High Courts in adjudicating such appeals.
  • The NCLAT initially comprised five members:
    • A Chairperson & Two Memberseach on the judicial and Technical Sides.
    • The Chairpersonmust have been a Judge of the Supreme Court of India or a Chief Justice of a High Court.
    • A Member (Judicial) of the NCLAThas to have been a judge of a High Court or a judicial member of the NCLT for fi ve years,
    • A Technical Memberought to possess proven ability and standing with domain knowledge and experience of not less than 25 years in areas such as law, industrial finance, industrial management, investment, accountancy, labour matters or corporate restructuring.
  • The government has also decided to set up a bench of the appellate tribunal at Chennai.
  • Besides deciding on pleas against the NCLT’s rulings, including in matters relating to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the NCLAT also serves as the appellate body for those aggrieved by decisions made by the Competition Commission of India or orders passed by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.

3. Nari Shakti Puraskar 2019

Why in News?
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has invited applications for Nari Shakti Puraskar for the year 2019.
Nari Shakti Puraskar:
  • The National Award is given annually to individuals, groups, institutions in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of women empowerment, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women.
  • Nearly 40 Nari Shakti Puraskars will be given away on International Women’s Day observed on 8th March 2020. The President gives away the awards.
  • The award was formerly known as the Stree Shakti Puraskar. It was instituted in the year 1991.
  • The award carries a cash prize of rupees one lakh and a citation.
  • For the year 2012, the award was posthumously bestowed on the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim named ‘Nirbhaya’.

4. BrahMos Hypersonic Missile

Why in News?
  • The DRDO recently carried out two successful tests of the latest variant of the BrahMos missile, one from the land platform and the other from air.
BrahMos Missile:
  • An amalgam of the names of the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva, BrahMos is being produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Mashinostroyenia of Russia in 1998.
  • The first version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2005, meant to be fired from INS Rajput.
  • It is a cruise missile, meaning it can be guided towards a pre-determined land- or sea-based target.
  • With a capability to attain speeds 2.8 times that of sound (Mach 2.8), BrahMos is classified as supersonic cruise missile.
Recent Upgradation:
  • A newer version under development is aimed at flying at speeds greater than Mach 5. These are called hypersonic cruise missiles.
  • Besides decreasing the reaction time of the enemy, higher speeds also substantially reduce the chances of the Missile Getting Intercepted.
  • In November 2017, the Indian Air Force had become the first in the world to successfully air-launch a Mach 2.8 supersonic surface-attack missile of this category from a fighter jet.
  • The recent successful testing of air-platform of BrahMos has further strengthened the tactical cruise missile triad — land, sea and air — for India.

5. Dedicated Freight Corridor

Why in News?
  • Recently, Dedicated Freight Corridor corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) has opened more than 300km section between Rewari, Haryana to Madar, Rajasthan, for commercial trail runs.
 About DFC:
  • It is being built by DFCCIL in 2006. Freight traffic of Railways shares about 83% in 1950-51 and 35% in 2011-12.
  • It will result in immediate relief for both freight and passenger movements via Indian Railways.
  • Both Eastern and Western corridors have reached saturation. The eastern DFC is planned between Ludhiana to Dankuni and the Western DFC is from JN Port Trust to Dadri.
  • In 2016-17 budget proposed 3 more DFCs
    • East-West Corridor planned between Kolkata to Mumbai.
    • North-South Corridor planned between Delhi to Chennai.
    • East Coast Corridor planned between Kharagpur to Vijayawada.
Significance of DFC:
  • It will maintain maximum speed of 100Kmph.
  • It is designed to carry more weight.
  • Its capacity to run long haul train of 1.5 km length.
  • It is established under Ministry of Railways. Its objectives are Planning, development, Mobilisation of resources, construction etc of DFCs.

6. Flamingo Festival

Why in News?
  • The Annual Flamingo Festival is going to be held at Pulicat Lake in Nellore District.
About Flamingo Festival:
  • Birds like Black tailed godwit and Kentish plover, which are rare visitors, have also arrived at the lake this time.
  • It includes aquatic and terrestrial birds including painted storks, large and little egrets, grey herons, and water birds like northern pintails, black-winged stilts, northern shoeller, common teal, seagulls, terns, sandpiper and common coots have come in large numbers this time.
  • There are breeding activities going on for endangered species like grey pelicans, open-billed storks, little cormorants, spoon bills, wite ibises and night herons.
Pulicat Lake:
  • It is the second largest brackish water lake or lagoon in India after Chilika Lake.
  • It is located on border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with over 96% of it in Andhra Pradesh and 4% in Tamil Nadu situated on Coromandal Coast in South India.
  • It encompasses Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
  • The Buckingham Canal, a navigation channel, is part of the lagoon on its western side. Arani and Kalangi are two rivers which feed the lagoon.
About Flamingo:
  • It is an indicator of healthy coastal environment.
  • There are two species of flamingos found in India, that is Greater Flamingo and Lesser Flamingo.
  • Greater Flamingo’sscientific name is Phoenicopterus rosues.
  • They are widespread in India, and they migrate to South India during winter and spend their time in large reservoirs and mud flats. Its IUCN status is Least concern.
  • Lesser Flamingo’sscientific name is Phoeniconaias minor.  They mainly breed at the Rann of Kutch or in North-western India. Its IUCN status is Near threatened.

7. Nari Shakti Puraskar

  • The Government of India confers Nari Shakti Puraskars, to acknowledge Women’s achievements and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of Women Empowerment.
  • It is established in 1991 and since then it is conferred annually by President on occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8 every year.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces this national level award for eminent women, organisations and institutions.
Nari Shakti Awards:
  • It is earlier known as Stree Shakti Awards was constituted by the Government of India.
  • It provides an opportunity to understand the contribution of women in the building of society and the nation.
  • It carries cash award of Rs. 1 lakh and certificate for individuals and institutions.
  • The recipients include both institutions and individuals.

8. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)

  • Recently, the Union Home Ministry has relaxed the provisions for Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card holders that made it compulsory for those aged above 50 and below 20 to renew their cards on renewal of their passports.
  • They are required to re-register each time a new passport is issued till 20 years of age and once after 50 years of age but re-issuance of OCI registration is not mandatory each time a new passport is issued between the ages of 21 and 50.
  • Because of this requirement, the OCI card holders were not able to travel to India and many were stopped by airlines and immigration authorities at various airports due to the mismatch.
  • This requirement has been relaxed till 30th June 2020 as per MHA instructions. They should carry existing OCI card along with Old and New passport.
  • They are given benefits on a par with non-Resident Indiansin financial, economic and educational fields, except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
  • They are also given free multiple entry and multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India and are also exempted from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in India.
About OCI:
  • It is a category introduced by the government in 2005.
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) of certain categories as specified in the Citizenship Act, 1955 are eligible for being OCI cardholders.
  • Some of the benefits for PIO and OCI cardholders were different until 2015, when the government merged these two categories.
  • The MHA defines an OCI as a person who was a citizen of India on or after January 26, 1950; or was eligible to become a citizen of India on that date; or who is a child or grandchild of such a person, among other eligibility criteria.
  • According to Section 7A of the OCI card rules, an applicant is not eligible for the OCI card if he, his parents or grandparents have ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
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