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National Investigation Agency

Why in news?

NIA Court acquits Swami Aseemanand & 3 others In 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case.

About Samjhauta Express

  • The Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express runs between Lahore and Attari every Thursday and Monday.
  • It covers a total distance of 29 km on the stretch and the train’s international route comprises of a 3.2 km stretch between Wagah and Attari in India.
  • The train operates from Delhi every Wednesday and Sunday.

About NIA

  • The need for setting up of an Agency at the Central level for investigation of offences related to terrorismand certain other Acts which have complex inter-State and international linkages, and possible connection with organized criminal activities resulted in NIA.
  • It enacted a legislation to make provisions for establishment of a National Investigation Agency in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation.
 
  • The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
  • At present NIA is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India.
  • State Government may requestthe Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offences as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.

About NIA Special Court

  • Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for trial of the cases registered at NIA under NIA Act 2008.
  • Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government.
  • These are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.
  • The NIA Special Courts are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for trial of any offense.
Economy
D-SIB

Why in news?

SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank continue to be in the Reserve Bank of India’s list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) for 2018.

About D-SIB

  • D-SIB means that the bank is too big to fail.
  • According to the RBI, some banks become systemically important due to their size, cross-jurisdictional activities, complexity and lack of substitute and interconnection.
  • Banks whose assets exceed 2% of GDP are considered part of this group.
  • The RBI stated that should such a bank fail, there would be significant disruption to the essential services they provide to the banking system and the overall economy.
  • The too-big-to-fail tag also indicates that in case of distress, the government is expected to support these banks.
  • Due to this perception, these banks enjoy certain advantages in funding.
  • It also means that these banks have a different set of policy measures regarding systemic risks and moral hazard issues.

World Affairs

Sary Arka-Anti terror 2019

Why in news?

 

India, Pakistan and the other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will take part in a  joint anti-terrorism exercise to be held this year by the grouping.

About the news

  • The decision to hold the joint exercise 'SaryArka-Antiterror 2019' was announced during the 34th meeting of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) council held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

About SCO

  • SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • The Shanghai Five grouping was created in 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in Shanghai, China by the heads of states of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
  • In 2001, the annual summit was held in Shanghai and Uzbekhistan was admitted in the Shanghai Five mechanism (thus transforming it into the Shanghai Six).
  • India and Pakistan were admitted into the bloc in 2017.
  • The official working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are Chinese and Russian.
  • Observer status is given to Iran, Mongolia, Belarus, and Afghanistan.

About RATS

  • RATS is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • It is headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
World Happiness Report

Why in news?

Indians are not as happy in 2019 as they were in 2018.

About the news

  • This is the UN’s seventh annual World Happiness Report.
  • India figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year.
  • The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row.

About the Report

  • The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness.
  • It is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
  • The report was released on March 20, which has been designated as the World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly.
  • The report ranks countries on six key variables that support wellbeing:
  1. Income
  2. Freedom
  3. Trust
  4. Healthy life
  5. Expectancy
  6. Social support
  7. Generosity

About UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

 
  • UNSDSN is an independent global network of research centers, universities and technical institutions aiming to mobilize scientific and technical expertise for problem-solving in relation to sustainable development.
  • UNSDN was launched in 2012 as part of the UN's response to the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).
  • The secretariat of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network is located in Paris, France, and New York, USA.
  • It works under control of UN secretary general.
  • The SDSN Assembly is an advisory body to facilitate the two-way flow of information and activities between SDSN members and the Secretariat/Leadership Council of the SDSN

Purpose

  • It’s mandate to work towards a post-2015 development agenda
  • SDSN is intended to overcome problems of compartmentalization and integrated approach between
  • different economic, social and environmental challenges
  • technical and policy work
  • private and public sector
  • at local, national and global levels

Current Affairs Capsules

Port Beira
  • The ships of Indian Navy (Sujata, Sarathi and Shardul) operating in the Southern Indian Ocean were diverted to Port Beira, Mozambique to provide Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) post the devastation caused by cyclone 'IDAI'.
Stadia
  • It is a game streaming platform by Google that allows video game play on any internet-connected device, eliminating the need for games consoles.
  • The tech platform aims to connect more people to participate in interactive play on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices.
Exercise Mitra shakti-VI
  • Exercise MITRA SHAKTI is conducted annually as part of military diplomacy and interaction between armies of India & Sri Lanka.
  • The aim of the exercise is to build and promote close relations between armies of both the countries and to enhance ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command.
Worldwide Cost of Living Survey
  • For the first time three cities share the title of the world's most expensive city – Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.
  • It is an annual Worldwide Cost of Living Report given by Economic Intelligence Unit which provides a ranking of the world’s major cities.

Map Aided Programme

Nursultan
  • Kazakhstan renames capital ‘Nursultan’ after ex-President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
  • The name of the Central Asian nation’s capital from Astana to Nursultan, or “Sultan of Light” in Kazakh, and parliament approved the change within hours.

Location

  • Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country.
  • It is a transcontinental country largely located in Asia; the most western parts are in Europe.
  • Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea.

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2012)

  1. Consider the following crops of India:                                                        
  2. Groundnut
  3. Sesamum
  4. Pearl millet

Which of the above is/are predominantly rainfed crop/crops?

(a) 1 and 2 only                (b) 2 and 3 only                      

(c) 3 only                                                   (d) 1, 2, and 3