1- Bollywood actor Salman Khan sentenced to five-years in jail in 2002 hit-n-run case
Salman Khan || 2002 hit-n-run case
Bollywood actor Salman Khan was in news as on 6 April 2015 he was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Mumbai Sessions Court. He was sentenced for his 28 September 2002 hit and run case in which one pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured.
The sentence was pronounced in Sessions Court Judge Deshpande’s chamber.
Mumbai Sessions Court Judge DW Deshpande found Khan guilty and convicted him under IPC Section 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). The court while giving verdict said that all charges pressed against Khan under IPC Section 279 (rash driving), 337 (causing minor injuries), 338 (causing major injuries) and 427 (negligence) have been proved. While convicting Khan, the court relied upon judgements in Alistair Pereira and Sanjeev Nanda BMW case of Delhi.
Salman Khan’s, Toyota Land Cruiser on 28 September 2002 hit a bakery in the Bandra area of Mumbai after which the vehicle ran over five people sleeping on the street. In the accident, a 38-year-old Nurullah Mehboob Sharif was killed and four others were injured.
2- Indian Army emerged champions in 19th Federation Cup National Athletic Championships
19th Federation Cup National Athletic Championships
The Indian Army team on 3 May 2015 emerged as champions in the 19th Federation Cup National Senior Athletic Championships. The team scored 123.5 points at the end of the four-day event at the Mangala Stadium in Mangaluru, Karnataka. The Tamil Nadu team notched the second position by securing 114 points.
The overall men’s championships went to the Army when they totalled 123.5 points, while Tamil Nadu came second with 48 points.
Kerala claimed the overall championship in the women’s category with 86 points. They were followed by Karnataka with 68 points.
The best athlete award in the men’s category went to Inderjeet Singh of team Haryana. He was awarded for his stupendous toss in the shot put event, which helped him qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Best athlete in the women’s category went to Srabani Nanda from Odisha for the agility she displayed in the 100 metre event.
3- Lok Sabha passed the Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014
Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2014
Lok Sabha on 6 May 2015 passed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, 2014. The bill also called Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill seeks to introduce GST regime in India. The bill will transform India into a common market, harmonising myriads of state and central levies into a national goods and services tax which is expected to boost manufacturing and reduce corruption.
Main Highlights of the Bill
- It provides for constitution of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council by inserting Article 279A in the Constitution. The Council will recommend to the Union and States on the inclusion and exclusion of goods and services.
- It proposes an additional tax on supply of goods, not exceeding one percent, in the course of inter-State trade will be levied and collected by the Union for a period of two years and apportioned to the States.
- The net proceeds of additional tax on supply of goods, except the proceeds from Union Territories, will not form the part of Consolidated Fund of India.
- It provides for the compensation to the States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of GST for a period of five years.
- It subsumes all the Central indirect taxes, levies and Central Sales Tax and State Value Added Tax and Sales Tax.
- It covers all goods and services except alcoholic liquor for human consumption for the levy of GST.
Now, the bill needs to be passed in Rajya Sabha after which more than a half of India’s 29 states must approve it before the central and state governments would get equal powers to tax goods and services. With the passage of GST bill at every stage, the whole country, which is one-sixth of world’s population, would become a single market and would give a necessary fillip as far as the trade is concerned.
4- NASA’s Ten-Engine Electric Plane GL-10 Prototype Completed Successful Flight Test
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully developed and flight tested the prototype of a ten-engine electric plane Greased Lightning (GL)-10. It was revealed by the US space agency on 1 May 2015 on its website.
Key Features of Greased Lightning (GL)-10
- The aircraft was conceptualized by the NASA in order to enhance its capabilities in using remotely piloted aircrafts in science investigations and to augment technology development for aircraft, cubesats and other platforms.
- It is a battery-powered 10-engine remotely piloted aircraft having eight electric motors on the wings and two electric motors on the tail.
- It weighs a maximum of 62 pounds (28.1 kilograms) at take off and has a 10-foot wingspan.
- It can take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane.
- It produces less noise in the sense that it is quieter than a neighbor mowing the lawn with a gas-powered motor.
- At present it is in the design and testing phase and under the first phase of the It will be an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and could be used for small package delivery or vertical takeoff and landing, long endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping and other applications.
- In the later stage, a scaled up version which can accommodate up to four persons will be developed.
5- Save the Children released 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report
State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM)
Save the Children’s 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers (SOWM) report titled The Urban Disadvantage was on 5 May 2015 released by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla in New Delhi. The report’s special focus is on the struggle of poorest mothers and children in rapidly urbanizing world. It presents the Mothers’ Index for 179 countries and show where mothers and children fare best and where they face the greatest hardships.
Important findings of the report
- While great progress has been made in reducing urban under-5 mortality around the world, inequality is worsening in too many cities. In almost half of the countries, the urban survival gaps have grown.
- The poorest children in almost every city face alarmingly high risks of death. In all but one of the 36 developing countries surveyed, there are significant gaps between rich and poor urban children.
- The 10 countries showing the greatest survival divide between wealthy and poor urban children are: Rwanda, Cambodia, Kenya, Vietnam, Peru, India, Madagascar, Ghana, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
- The poorest urban mothers and children are often deprived of life saving health care like access to prenatal care and skilled birth attendance. The largest coverage gaps between rich and poor were found in Delhi (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Port au Prince (Haiti) and Dili (Timor-Leste).
- High child death rates in slums are rooted in disadvantage, deprivation and discrimination.
- Among capital cities in high-income countries, Washington, DC has the highest infant death risk and great inequality. Washington, DC had the highest infant mortality rate at 6.6 deaths per 1000 live births in 2013 which is 3 times the rates found in Tokyo and Stockholm.
- In cities around the world, the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest urban children.
- The top five countries showing lower U5MR are: Prague (Czech Republic), Stockholm (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), Tokyo (Japan) and Lisbon (Portugal).
Top 10 countries in the Mother Index
Bottom 10 Countries in the Mother Index
|| Haiti & Sierra Leone
|| Ivory Coast
|| Central African Reblic
|| DR Congo
Recommendations of the report
- The final post-2015 framework (Sustainable Development Goals) should include an explicit commitment to equitably ending preventable child and maternal deaths with measurable targets.
- Commit to leaving no one behind by embedding equity in the final post-2015 framework.
- Improve the health of the urban poor by ensuring universal health coverage.
- All governments must follow through on Nutrition for Growth commitments and ensure that the World Health Assembly nutrition targets are met.
- National governments should develop and invest in integrated, cross-sectoral urban policies, strategies and plans that include maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and nutrition, as well as investments in improved access to clean water, sanitation and primary education.
- National governments and donors should invest in strengthening data collection to better identify disadvantaged groups, track quality and use of services and monitor progress against agreed upon plans and targets.
- Mobilize resources to end preventable child deaths in poor urban areas.
The report with respect to India
India is placed at the 140th position in the Mother’s Index which ranks countries on five key factors viz., Risk of maternal death, Under-five mortality rate, Educational status, Economic achievement and Political status.
Further, as per the report, India along with Bangladesh has over half of poor urban children who are stunted compared to 20 percent or less of the wealthiest children and the urban poor are 3.2 times more likely to die compared to the urban rich in Delhi. In the period between 1990 and 2013, under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) in India declined by 54.4 percent as against the global progress of 44.8 percent.
Globally every 5th child is born in India and any improvement in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of even a single state can positively impact the global situation.
6- French Parliament approved Surveillance Law to prevent terrorist attack
The French Parliament on 5 May 2015 approved a surveillance law that strengthens the intelligence services of the country. The aim behind approving the law is to prevent terrorist attacks.
The law on intelligence-gathering adopted by 438 votes to 86, was drafted after three days of Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015, in which 17 people were killed. The law will now be examined by the senate.
Features of the Surveillance Law
- It allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails without judicial permission from judges
- It defines the purposes for which secret intelligence-gathering may be used
- Sets up a supervisory body, the National Commission for Control of Intelligence Techniques (CNCTR), with wider rules of operation
- It authorises new methods, such as the bulk collection of metadata via internet providers
- It allows placement of cameras and recording devices in private homes of suspects along with keylogger devices that record every key stroke on a targeted computer in real time by Intelligence services
- It allows authorities to keep recording for a month and metadata for five years
- It allows intelligence services to vacuum up metadata, which would then be subject to analysis for potentially suspicious behavior
- It says that the metadata would be anonymous but could be followed by intelligence agents with a request to an independent panel for deeper surveillance that could yield the identity of users
- It allows authorities to force the internet providers to install so-called black boxes or complex algorithms to flag up a succession of suspect behavioural patterns online, like keywords used, sites visited and contacts made
The new law, especially the action of tapping phones and emails, has sparked protests in the country terming that the legalisation of the intrusive surveillance method surpasses the individual freedom and privacy. In wake of the law, the protesters for civil liberties group launched a campaign under banner 24 hours before 1984 in reference to George Orwell’s dystopian novel about life under an all-knowing dictatorship. The new Surveillance Law of France is similar to mass surveillance Patriot Act of the United States which was introduced in the backdrop of 9/11 attacks. Although, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, defended the bill by saying that a law was needed to take into account the communication technology.
7- Algorithmic Trading caused BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty to close at lowest level in 2015
The term Algorithmic Trading or Algo-Trading or Black-Box Trading was in news on 6 May 2015 since they triggered the two major stock indices Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex and National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty to close at lowest levels since 17 December 2014. Algo-trading refers to those trade practices which are done by computers loaded with pre-defined instructions. In this, automated order execution engines perform trade without any human intervention when certain predefined market conditions such as indices reaching a particular level (whether in bullish or bearish conditions) are met.
Algorithmic trading is primarily used by institutional traders such as investment banks, pension funds, mutual funds, etc.
Advantages of Algo-Trading
- It helps in executing trade at a huge speed and frequency, not possible for a human trader. As a result, emotional human impacts on trading activities can be circumvented.
- It makes markets more liquid as more orders are placed in the market.
- It helps in identifying trading opportunities in a milliseconds based on the codes written by the trader ensuring that trading opportunities are not missed.
- It helps in identifying mispricing and instances of inefficiency very fast by rapidly closing in on arbitrage opportunities.
Disadvantages of Algo-Trading
- It increases the volatility in the market and stock prices by generating massive orders within few seconds.
- If erroneous programmes are allowed to run they can distort market prices to a large extent.
As per an estimate, Algorithmic trading accounts for a third of the total volume on Indian cash shares and almost half of the volume in the derivatives segment. Earlier in March 2012,the stock market regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued an order saying that all the Algo-Trading orders must be routed through broker servers located in India in order to regulate them.
8- Indigenously developed Akash Weapon System (AWS) inducted into Indian Army
The first regiment of the indigenously developed Surface-to-Air missile Akash Weapon System (AWS) on 5 May 2015 was inducted into the Indian Army in New Delhi. It is part of the orders for two regiments placed by the Army worth about 19000 crore rupees.
Features of Akash Weapon System (AWS)
- Each regiment of AWS consists of six launchers with each launcher having three missiles.
- It consists of sophisticated radars and control systems to guide the missile towards the target.
- Each missile weighs 720 kg having a length of 5.78 meters.
- It is fully automated and can simultaneously engage multiple targets in all weather conditions including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in addition to helicopters and fighter planes.
- It has a large operational range from a low altitude of 30 metres to a maximum of up to 20 km.
- At 96 per cent indigenisation, it represents a major capability development for a crucial weapon system.
- Unlike the Air Force version, which was inducted in March 2012, the Army variant of Akash is designed for high mobility and can be quickly moved to any operational theatres based on necessity.
- Akash has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and is being built by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
- It was originally planned as part of the five missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development (IGMD) Programme initiated in 1984.
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