Current Affairs, News & Facts of 11 Dec 2015

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  • Israel successfully tests Arrow ballistic missile interceptor

     

    Israel successfully tests Arrow ballistic missile interceptor

    Israel has successfully tested its advanced ballistic missile interceptor Arrow 3 as part of its defence upgradation measures in the face of regional threats. The Arrow system is a joint project between IAI and the US aviation giant Boeing. Each Arrow 3 missile costs about USD 2.2 million.

    Key facts about Arrow 3

    Arrow 3 is the top-tier system in Israel’s missile shield arsenal. The country’s lowest-tier defense is the short-range Iron Dome interceptor. Next year Israel will present David’s Sling – a system intended to intercept mid-range targets.

    The missile flies into the atmosphere, where it splits up into ‘kamikaze’ satellites that lock onto and eliminate targets.  It is also possible that the Arrow 3 could serve as an anti-satellite weapon.

    It will measure the seeker's  line-of-sight propagation relative to the vehicle's motion, the kill vehicle will use proportional navigation to divert its course and line up exactly with the target's flight path.

    Arrow 3 is able to intercept ballistic missiles, especially those carrying weapons of mass destruction at altitudes of over 100 km (62 mi)  and in greater ranges.

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  • UN slams torture in China prisons : Human Rights Day  

     

    UN slams torture in China prisons : Human Rights Day

    The United Nations Committee Against Torture, a UN watchdog, urged China to end the rampant use of torture in its prisons and close all secret jails. Members of the council expressed concern at the arrest of dissidents, the continued use of the death penalty and the use of torture in prison.

    The U.N. Committee Against Torture, which reviewed Beijing's record on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment last month, found that "the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system" in China.

    The Committee Against Torture that Chinese police uses wield excessive power during the criminal investigation without effective control, and are also involved in the running of detention centers, creating an incentive for torture in the pursuit of confessions to take place in detention.

    In 2009 it was recommended that China make improvements in reducing poverty and support the rights of ethnic minorities but Human rights groups claims that China has failed to address these and other issues.

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  • US updates jet-engine technology transfer policy with India

     

    As a sign of increasing trustworthiness, US has updated its policy on gas-turbine engine technology transfer to India to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components. This information in this regard was provided by US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar as Parrikar is on his visit to US.

    Through such a crucial technical update US will be able to expand cooperation in production and design of sensitive jet engine components. Carter and Parrikar look forward to US companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests that will benefit from this updated policy.

    Parrikar and Carter commended positive discussions at the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation (JWGACTC), especially in the area of aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE).

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  • Lok Sabha approves the bill regarding the control of potable alcohol

     

    Lok Sabha approves the bill regarding the control of potable alcohol

    The Lok Sabha has passed a bill that seeks to transfer the authority from  the central government to the states to control over industries engaged in the production of potable alcohol. 

    The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, was passed by voice vote after a reply by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.The amendment would bring potable alcohol under the jurisdiction of states and help address the issue of litigations which have been filed.

    Amendment and it's significance

    • The bill amends the first schedule of Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 to provide that existing heading "26 Fermentation Industries" will be substituted with the heading "26 Fermentation Industries (other than potable alcohol)".
    • The amendment  in conformity with the judgement of the Supreme Court (of 1997) and also ensure that the industries engaged in the manufacture of alcohol meant for potable purposes shall be under the total and exclusive control of states in all aspects
    • The amendment will help end a long-standing confusion over the jurisdiction of central and state government on potable alcohol and industrial alcohol, and ensure that industries engaged in manufacturing alcohol meant for potable purposes shall be under the total and exclusive control of the states in all respects.

    Judgement of the Supreme Court (of 1997) 

    The Supreme Court, in its judgment on January 20, 1997, demarcated the regulation of production of alcohol between the Centre and states (Bihar Distillery and another vs Union of India and others). The court ruled that the Centre should regulate the production of alcohol for industrial use while the states should regulate the production of alcohol for potable purpose (consumption).

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  • China launches new communication satellite

     

    China launches new communication satellite

    China has launched a new communication satellite named " ChinaSat 1C"  into orbit. The " ChinaSat 1C" satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre and was carried by the Long March-3B carrier rocket .

    It will provide high-quality voice, data and radio and TV transmission services. The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology and is owned by China Satellite Communications Co., Ltd. 

    This launch was the 220th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. 

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  • US English Access programme launched in Bihar

     

    US English Access programme launched in Bihar

    As a part of US-India collaboration in the areas of development and education, first ever English Access Microscholarship Programme (Access) was launched in Bihar by US Consul General in Kolkata Craig Hall. 

    This programme is mainly focused towards students hailing from economically disadvantaged section of the society. The programme is supported by the US Department of State. The Access programme in Bihar will be managed by a non-governmental body Association for Promotion of Creative Learning (APCL). 

    The global programme through after-school classes would provide foundation of english language skills to talented students in the age category of 13-20 year hailing from economically disadvantaged background.

    A total of 100 bright students from rural areas of Bihar who mostly belong to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category have been selected for the first course.

    About the US English Access programme :

    Since its inception in 2004, over 1,10,000 students in more than 80 countries have participated in the English Access Microscholarship programme.
    In India, the Access programme consists of 180 hours of english language instruction during each academic year and a 30-hour summer intensive course.
    The students will be taught english by trained teachers who use current task-based, skills-oriented,learner-centred approaches to emphasis active learning

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