Current Affairs – November 2016

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November 26: Constitution day

The Samvidhan Diwas or the Constitution Day of India is being observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution.

On this day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted and came into force on January 26, 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India.

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is the nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day. This year it is second edition of the Constitution Day.

On this occasion Prime Minister Narendra has released two books on Constitution ‘Making of Constitution’ and ‘New Version of Constitution of India‘.

Some facts about Indian Constitution

  • The Indian Constitution is a core legal document which has nearly 448 articles or provisions in 25 parts, 12 schedules. It is living fundamental document which makes the government system work effectively.
  • It lists out fundamental rights of citizens, duties, role of the government, powers of the prime minister, president, governor and chief minister, interaction between the government and its citizens and defines how the federal structure of the country will be maintained.
  • It also defines the powers of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The key feature of the Constitution is separation of powers while keeping a check on each arm of the government.
  • The Indian Constitution drafters had borrowed concepts and ideas from the Constitutions of UK, US, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Background

In October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared 26 November as Constitution Day as part of year-long nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly.

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Indian Navy’s seventh landing craft utility L-57 launched by GRSE

Indian Navy’s seventh landing craft utility (LCU) L-57 was launched by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, West Bengal.

LCU L-57 is the largest ship of this kind built anywhere in the world. It is the seventh vessel in the series of eight LCU Ships being designed and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

Key Facts

  • LCU L-57 is fully designed in-house by GRSE. It is designed for a maximum speed of 15 knots with an endurance of more than 1,500 nautical miles.
  • It has a capability to transport two tanks or four special vehicles and 160 Army troops for landing in remote area.
  • It can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, humanitarian and disaster relief operations and evacuation from distant islands.
  • It will be extremely useful for joint operations carried out by the Indian Navy and Indian Army for ensuring maritime security and protection of remote islands.
  • It is best suited for protection of India’s island territories of Lakshadweep islands in the Arabian Sea as well as Andaman and Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal.

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Union Government constitutes Amitabh Kant Committee to push cashless transactions

The Union Government has constituted a new committee to form a strategy to expedite the process of transforming India into a cashless economy.

The committee will be headed by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. It has been tasked with identifying various bottlenecks affecting access of digital payments.

Terms of Reference of Committee

  • Identify and operationalise in the earliest possible time frame user-friendly digital payment options in all sectors of the economy.
  • Identify various digital payment systems appropriate to different sectors of the economy and coordinate efforts to make them accessible.
  • Engage regularly with Central ministries, state governments, regulators, local bodies, district administration, trade and industry associations to promote adoption of digital payment systems.
  • Estimate costs involved in various digital payments options and oversee implementation of measures to make such transactions between citizens and government cheaper than cash transactions.
  • Implement an action plan on advocacy, awareness and hand-holding efforts among public-, micro-enterprises and other stakeholders.

Background

The committee was set up following a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to back up the demonetisation move. The Union Government is working towards moving all government transactions to the cashless mode, through a new single window e-payment system that businesses or individuals can use to make payments to any central or state department.

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