Current Affairs - January 2017

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SC appoints Committee of Administrators headed by Vinod Rai to run BCCI

The Supreme Court has appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of four-member Committee of Administrators to run Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Other three members of the committee are noted historian Ramachandra Guha, former Indian women’s  cricket team captain Diana Edulji and managing director of IDFC Limited Vikram Limaye.

They will function as the interim bosses of the BCCI and run the day-to-day administration of  cricket body till the Lodha Committee reforms are fully implemented and elections held.

SC order
  • Committee of Administrators’ first task will be to find out how much the BCCI has complied with the recommendations made by the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.
  • Named Amitabh Chaudhary, Anirudh Chaudhary of BCCI and Vikram Limaye as representative of BCCI at the ICC meeting to be held in the first week of February, 2017.
  • Declined Centre’s request to appoint Secretary of Sports Ministry as the member of the committee. It referred to its earlier judgement debarring Ministers and Government servants from holding office in BCCI.
  • Dismissed the names to be appointed as BCCI administrators, submitted in a sealed envelope, while asserting that any individual over the age of 70 will not be appointed as BCCI administrators. 
Background

In its earlier order of January 2, 2017 the Supreme Court had removed Anurag Thakur as BCCI president, Ajay Shirke as BCCI secretary and disqualified all the board and its state association office bearers after they had failed to implement new norms set by the Justice Lodha Committee.  In its order SC had indicated that it would soon appoint a panel of administrators to carry out the reforms in the BCCI to make its affairs transparent.

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Karnataka government to amend law for conducting kambala

The Karnataka government has decided to bring an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 for conducting traditional sports of Kambala and bull-cart race in the State.

State Cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah approved amendments to the Act and announced that bill will be placed before both Houses of the State legislature.

Karnatak state government is going to follow the model of the Tamil Nadu government and bring changes to the PCA. The Bill passed by the legislature will require an assent from the President. 

Issue

The traditional sport along with bull-cart race was banned in the state by the Karnataka high court in November 2016 in an interim order while hearing a case filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) citing animal cruelty. Earlier, the high court had stayed this event in view of the Supreme Court’s verdict on jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu.

What is Kambala?

Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area. Slushy/marshy paddy field track is used for Kambala. The sports season generally starts in November and lasts till March. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in two seprate wet rice fields tracks, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In the traditional form of Kambala, buffalo racing is non-competitive and he-buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields. Besides, there is also ritualistic approach also as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving to god for protecting their animals from diseases. But in recent times, Kambala has become an organised rural sport.

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Atomic clocks on indigenous navigation satellite IRNSS-1A develops snag

The atomic clocks on the first satellite IRNSS-1A of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), the indigenously built satellite-based positioning system, has developed a technical snag.

One of the three crucial rubidium timekeepers (atomic clock) on IRNSS-1A satellites failed six months ago and the other two followed subsequently. ISRO will soon launch one of its back up navigation satellites as a replacement to IRNSS-1A satellite.

Key Facts
  • Remaining satellites of NavIC constellation (having total 7 satellites) are performing their core function of providing accurate position, navigation and time.
  • Each satellite has three clocks and a total of 27 clocks for the navigation satellite system. These clocks are supplied same foreign vendor. These clocks are important to provide precise data.
  • The troubled IRNSS-1A spacecraft was put in space in July 2013 and has an expected life span of 10 years. The seventh navigation satellite, IRNSS-1G, was launched in April 2016.

Atomic clock: It is an extremely accurate type of clock regulated by the vibrations of an atomic or molecular system. Its principle of operation is not based on nuclear physics, but rather on atomic physics. It uses the microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels. The accuracy of an atomic clock depends on two factors, temperature of the sample atoms and frequency and intrinsic width of the electronic transition (higher frequencies and narrow lines increase the precision).

About NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation)

  • NavIC also known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is similar to the GPS (Global Positioning System) of US, Glonass of Russia and Galileo of Europe as well as China’s Beidou.
  • Starting in July 2013, ISRO had launched all the seven navigation satellites of the IRNSS by April 2016. Each satellite has a life span of 10 years.
  • IRNSS is said to be the “Indian GPS” that will give accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and the region around it extending to 1,500km. Thus, NAVIC’s reach is regional.
  • Applications of IRNSS: terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers, vehicle tracking and fleet management, disaster management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers. Apart from the civilian applications, it will be used for defence purposes as well.

For more Information: IRNSS

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