Current Affairs 2017 (July)

Lok Sabha passes Indian Institutes of Management Bill, 2017

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. The Bill declares the IIMs as institutions of national importance.

The bill seeks to empower these institutions to attain standards of global excellence in management, management research and allied areas of knowledge. It also promises to grant administrative, academic and financial autonomy to these B-Schools and allow them to grant degrees.

Key Highlights of Bill

The bill allows IIMs to grant degrees to their students. It also grants them complete autonomy, combined with adequate accountability. It establishes coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body. It empowers board of an IIM to drive the management of the institution. It will select Chairperson and Director of IIM.

The board will have greater participation of experts and alumni. It will also include women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes. Besides, it adds provisions for periodic review of the performance of IIM by independent agencies and their results will be placed in public domain. Besides, it also has provision to place the Annual Report of the IIMs in the Parliament and CAG (Comptroller and auditor general of India)  auditing their accounts.

Background

IIMs are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management and are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centres of Excellence. India has 20 IIMs now. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act. Earlier they were not authorized to award degrees. These awards were treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, but their equivalence was not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

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Government launches India Quake app for earthquake parameter dissemination

The Union Ministry of Earth Science has launched India Quake application on the occasion of its foundation day.

The mobile app has been developed by the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) for automatic dissemination of earthquake parameter (location, time and magnitude) after the occurrence of earthquakes

Key Features of India Quake app

The App facilitates information dissemination faster with no restrictions on the number of recipients. It will provide real time earthquake location information on mobile of the user. It also will help in reducing panic amongst people during an earthquake.

The app will notify two categories of events scrutinized and unscrutinized. Unscrutinized earthquake events are those whose parameters have been estimated automatically by the software using the incoming waveform data from remote stations. In the case of scrutinized events category, the unscrutinized will be scrutinized and confirmed by the NCS.

Background

The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) under the Ministry of Earth Science operates national seismological network with 84 stations. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter for real time data communication through VSAT.

In case of an earthquake, NCS locate these stations using data from its network and disseminate earthquake parameters to all concerned government departments and other stake holders through email, SMS and fax.  However this causes some delay in dissemination and also restricts the number of recipients.  India Quake app will overcome this problem.

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