Facts in News

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    Facts in News

    Parliamentary Sessions

    • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has recommended the Monsoon Session of the Parliament from July 19 to August 13.
    • A session of the Indian Parliament is the time period during which a House meets almost every day continuously to transact business. 
    • Article 85: 
      • The President can summon a session of Parliament “at such time and place as he thinks fit”.
      • Thus, a session can be called on the recommendation of the government, which decides its date and duration.
    • Three sessions:
      • They are the Budget Session (February to May); the Monsoon Session (July to September); and the Winter Session (November to December)
      • A session consists of many meetings. Each meeting has two sittings – morning sitting from 11 am to 1 pm and post-lunch sitting from 2 pm to 6 pm.
    • Importance of sessions:
      • Lawmaking and enacting Ordinances, scrutiny of the government’s functioning (Question Hours), enforcing accountability.
    • Termination of sessions:
      • A sitting of Parliament can be terminated by adjournment, adjournment sine die, prorogation or dissolution.
      • The period between the prorogation of a House and its reassembly in a new session is called ‘recesses’.

    African Swine Fever

    African swine fever (ASF) has wreaked havoc in piggeries across 10 of Mizoram’s 11 districts, killing almost 7,600 pigs.

    About African Swine Fever

    • Viral disease: It is a contagious hemorrhagic viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs. 
    • Geographical distribution: The disease was first detected in Kenya in 1909 and are later found in regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. 
    • No Vaccine developed: As of now, there is no approved vaccine against ASF unlike classical swine fever (Hog Cholera) which is caused by a different virus. Although signs of ASF and classical swine fever (CSF) may be similar, the ASF virus is unrelated to the CSF virus.
    • Transmission and spread: African Swine Fever persistently infects its natural hosts, warthogs, bushpigs, and soft ticks, which likely act as a vector, with no disease signs.
      • According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, ASF is caused by a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family. African swine fever virus is the only virus with a double-stranded DNA genome known to be transmitted by arthropods.
      • The virus can be spread by ticks and can also be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids.
    • Public health risk- African Swine Fever does not cause disease in humans.
    • Prevention and control: Classic sanitary measures may be employed including early detection and humane killing of animals (with proper disposal of carcases and waste); thorough cleansing and disinfection and opting for strict biosecurity norms.
    • Symptoms of illness:  It includes weight loss, intermittent fever, respiratory signs, chronic skin ulcers and arthritis. Acute forms of ASF is characterised by high fever, anorexia, loss of appetite and haemorrhages in the skin.

    World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

    • The need to fight animal diseases at the global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties(OIE) through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. 
    • In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
    • The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.

    NATRAX

    • Recently, India inaugurated NATRAX- the High-Speed Track (HST).

     

    About

    • Location: Indore
    • Length: 11.3 km HST.
    • Purpose:
      • One-stop solution for all sorts of high-speed performance tests, being one of the largest in the world. 
      • It can cater to the widest category of vehicles; say from two-wheelers to the heaviest tractor-trailers.
    • Multiple Test Capabilities:
      • measurements of maximum speed, acceleration, constant speed fuel consumption;
      • emission tests through real road driving simulation, 
      • high-speed handling and stability evaluation during manoeuvred such as lane change, 
      • high-speed durability testing, etc
    • Significance: 
      • It will help attract foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) as it will become more accessible for the development of prototype cars for Indian conditions. 
      • It can be used for measuring the maximum speed capability of high-end cars like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Tesla and so forth.

    ‘Méndez Principles

    • The ‘Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering’, are also called the ‘Méndez Principles’.
    • The Méndez Principles aim to provide a cohesive blueprint of practical measures to replace torture and coercive interrogation with “rapport-based” interviews, reinforced through legal and procedural safeguards at every step.
    • The Méndez Principles thus represent a new standard for effective interviewing by police and others, while respecting human rights.

    UN Peacekeeping

    • United Nations peacekeeping missions globally are preparing for a possible shutdown if the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is unable to agree to a new $6 billion budget for the year to June 30, 2022.
    • About:
      • Some diplomats blamed changes to negotiating procedures, issues with logistics and tough talks pitting China against Western countries for the delay in reaching an agreement.
      • United Nations Peacekeeping is a joint effort between the Department of Peace Operations and the Department of Operational Support. Every peacekeeping mission is authorized by the Security Council. 
    • Financial resources:
      • The financial resources of UN Peacekeeping operations are the collective responsibility of UN Member States. 
      • According to UN Charter, every Member State is legally obligated to pay their respective share for peacekeeping. 
      • The United States is the largest assessed contributor to the peacekeeping budget, responsible for about 28%, followed by China with 15.2% and Japan with 8.5%.
    • Composition:
      • UN peacekeepers (often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets) can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel. 
      • Peacekeeping forces are contributed by member states on a voluntary basis.  The civilian staff of peace operations are international civil servants, recruited and deployed by the UN Secretariat.
    • Functions:
      • It helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace.
      • Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.

    Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme

    • The Scheme is currently being implemented in 35 States and Union Territories.

    About

    • A scheme of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
    • Launched under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
    • A centrally sponsored scheme. (GOI and the States in a ratio of 60:40)
    • Aim: 
      • to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and 
      • to promote formalization of the sector and provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain. 
    • Outlay: Rs. 10,000 crores over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
    • Components
      • One District One Product (ODOP) 
      • Capacity Building and Incubation Centres
      • Providing Seed Capital
    • Beneficiaries: It envisions directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for the up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.