Current Affairs – October 2016

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BCCI approves use of DRS in India-England Test series

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given its consent for using the Decision Review System (DRS) in the forthcoming five-Test series against England in November 2016.

BCCI will use the DRS on a trial basis to evaluate the improvements and changes made to the system over a period of time.

Earlier, BCCI as well as many members of the current Indian cricket team including Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had objected used of DRS as is not 100% accurate.

What changes have been made?

The technology approved by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It includes introduction of ultramotion cameras with better frame rates for accurate ball tracking and Ultra edge, a sound based technology for determining the frame of impact and minimising manual intervention. A data retrieval system also has been included as a further safeguard.

What is Decision Review System (DRS)?

  • DRS is technology-based system used in sport of cricket for the sole purpose of reviewing controversial decisions made by on-field umpires as to whether or not a batsman had been dismissed. The system was first tested in an India v Sri Lanka match in 2008.
  • It was officially launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan.
  • Initially, ICC had made the DRS mandatory in all international matches, but later made its use optional, so that the system would only be used if both teams agree.

How does the Decision Review System (DRS) work?

  • The DRS comprises a combination of several off-field technologies. Using these off-field technologies, the third umpire informs the on-field umpire whether to overturn or uphold their original decision.
  • The process of checking a DRS it starts with (i) Checking of No-ball (ii) Inside Edge (iii) Pitch of Ball (iv) Location of Ball while hitting the pads (v) Ball hitting the stumps
  • First two things are checked manually by 3rd Umpire.
  • The rule to give out you require this three things (i) Ball should pitch In-Line of stumps or Outside off (ii) Impact of ball while hitting the pads should be In-Line of stumps (iii) Ball should be hitting stumps.

What are off-field technologies of Decision Review System?

Off-field technologies of DRS includes (i) footage from TV cameras placed around the ground; (ii) Hot Spot, an infrared camera system that highlights parts of the bat and body that have been hit by the ball; (iii) Hawkeye, a ball-tracking system usually used to check leg before wicket decisions; and (iv) Realtime Snickometre, a waveform of the sound captured by a stump microphone.

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SC freezes BCCI’s transactions with state cricket bodies

Supreme Court has frozen all financial transactions between the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and state cricket associations.

The apex court directed BCCI, the apex cricket body not to disburse any funds to state cricket associations till they resolve to abide by Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations.

Besides, the Supreme Court also asked the Lodha Committee to appoint an independent auditor to verify the BCCI’s accounts. It was also asked to set a “threshold value” for various contracts the BCCI enters into, and all contracts in excess of that amount would need the committee’s approval.

What is the issue?

  • The Lodha committee appointed by the Supreme Court had recommended a complete overhaul the cricket, the most popular sport in India.
  • The committee had recommended sweeping reforms in BCCI’s administrative and governance structures from top to grassroot levels and on the issue of transparency.
  • The most important set of recommendations were aimed at transforming the entire power structure in the BCCI.
  • However, BCCI’s position was that it could not implement the Committee’s recommendations as majority of its state associations are not agreeing to do so.
  • These state associations were reluctant to accept Committee’s recommendations such as one-state-one-vote policy, the age cap of 70 years for administrators and the limit of three, three-year terms with cooling-off periods in between for office bearers.

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Union Government inks loan pact with World Bank for Eastern Freight Corridor

The Union Government has signed $650 million loan agreement with the World Bank for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project.

The agreement was signed between International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IRBD), part of World Bank Group to lend $650 million, third tranche for construction EDFC to Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL).

Features of EDFC-III project

  • The project aims to enhance rail transport capacity, improve service quality and boost freight carriage on the 401-km- long Ludhiana-Khurja section of the EDFC.
  • On completion it will directly benefit the power and heavy manufacturing industries located in the Northern and Eastern parts of India.
  • This project will provide these industries smooth railway network for efficient transportation of their raw materials along with distribution processed and consumer goods.
  • In addition, railway passengers will also be benefitted as the existing passengers lines would get decongested.

Background

The first two phases of the EDFC are already being implemented by the DFCCIL with the help of financial assistance provided by the World Bank. The IRDB had provided loans worth $975 million and $1,100 million for the Dadri-Khurja-Kanpur and and Kanpur-Mughal Sarai stretches respectively of the Eastern Rail Corridor.

What is Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)?

  • EDFC is 1,840 km long freight corridor of Indian Railways extending from Ludhiana in Punjab to Kolkata in West Bengal.
  • The objective of the EDFC is to augment railway freight carrying capacity along the railway corridor between Ludhiana and Kolkata.
  • The project will benefit industries of northern and eastern India, which rely on railway network for transportation of material inputs and processed goods.
  • It is also going to help to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, as trains complying on this dedicated freight corridor will operate entirely on electricity.

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