Current Affairs

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelims and Mains Exam 13th March 2020


  • National Crime Records Bureau was set-up in 1986 under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It was set up based on the recommendations of the National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Taskforce (1985).
  • It was constituted by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Inter-State Criminals Data Branch of CBI, Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI and Statistical Branch of BPR&D.
  • NCRB brings out the annual comprehensive statistics of crime across the country through ‘Crime in India’ report.
  • Being published since 1953, the report serves as a crucial tool in understanding the law and order situation across the country.
  • It developed CCTNS in 2009 which interconnects approximately 15000 police stations and 6000 higher offices across the country.
  • CCTNS digitizes data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all police stations leading to the development of a national database of crimes and criminals.
  • Recent Initiatives of NCRB
  1. Crime Multi Agency Centre (Cri-MAC) – has been launched for sharing the information on heinous crime and other issues related to inter-state coordination.
  2. National Cybercrime Training Centre (NCTC) has been launched for professional quality eLearning services on cyber crime investigation on large scale to police officers, judges, prosecutors and other stakeholders.
  3. National Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) provides a huge database of fingerprints helping in solving crimes faster. It is a network based pan India system for recording and sharing of fingerprints of criminals in various crimes
  • Reports published by NCRB
  1. ‘Crime in India’,
  2. ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’,
  3. ‘Prison Statistics India’
  4. ‘FingerPrint in India’

Serious Fraud Investigation Office

  • SFIO is a multi-disciplinary organization under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • SFIO was initially set up by the Government of India by way of a resolution dated 2nd July 2003.
  • Section 211 of the Companies Act, 2013 has accorded statutory status to the SFIO.
  • It consist of experts in the field of accountancy, forensic auditing, law, information technology, investigation, company law, capital market and taxation for detecting and prosecuting or recommending for prosecution white-collar crimes/frauds.
  • SFIO has powers to arrest people for the violation of the Company law.
  • SFIO can start an investigation into the affairs of a company under the following circumstances:
  1. On receipt of a report of the Registrar or inspector under section 208 (Report on Inspection made) of the Companies Act, 2013.
  2. On intimation of a special resolution passed by a company that its affairs are required to be investigated.
  3. In the public interest.
  4. On request from any department of the central government or a state government.

YUva VIgyani KAryakram

  • ISRO has launched the YUva VIgyani KAryakram programme for School Children, in tune with the Government’s vision “Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhan”.
  • The Program is primarily aimed at imparting basic knowledge on Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications to the younger ones with the intent of arousing their interest in the emerging areas of Space activities.
  • It is proposed to select 3 students each from each State/ Union Territory to participate in this programme covering CBSE, ICSE and State syllabus.
  • Those who have just completed 9th standard will be eligible for the online registration.
  • The selection is based on the 8th Standard academic performance and extracurricular activities. Students belonging to the rural area have been given special weightage in the selection criteria.
  • In case there is tie between the selected candidates, the younger candidates will be given priority.

Methanotrophic Bacteria

  • Recently Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune has enriched, isolated and cultivated 45 different strains of methanotrophs (methane-utilising bacteria).
  • They created the first indigenous methanotroph culture.
  • ARI is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology.
  • Methanotrophs can effectively reduce the emission of methane, which is the second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) and 26 times more potent as compared to carbon-di-oxide.
  • Native methanotrophs isolated from rice fields can be excellent models to understand the effect of various factors on methane mitigation.
  • Besides methane mitigation studies, methanotrophs can also be used in methane value addition (valorization) studies.
  • Bio-methane generated from waste can be used by the methanotrophs and can be converted to value-added products such as single-cell proteins, biodiesel, and so on.

Microbial Inoculants

  • In microbiology, inoculation is defined as introducing microorganisms into a culture where they can grow and reproduce. More generally, it can also be defined as introducing a certain substance into another substance.
  • Bio-inoculants are living organisms containing strains of specific bacteria, fungi, or algae. These are also known as microbial inoculants.

Sahyadri Megha

  • The University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga (Karnataka), has developed a new variety of paddy, ‘Sahyadri Megha’.
  • The new variety has been developed to prevent decline in the area under paddy cultivation.
  • Sahyadri Megha is a red variety of paddy that is resistant to blast disease and rich in nutrients.
  • The red variety gets its rich colour from an antioxidant called anthocyanins, which are also found in deep purple or reddish fruits and vegetables.
  • The compound is believed to have properties that can reduce inflammation, allergy, prevent risks of cancer and help in weight management.
  • The protein content in it is 12.48%, higher than the other red rice varieties grown.
  • The yield per hectare from ‘Sahyadri Megha’ is around 65 quintals, substantially higher than other red paddy varieties.
  • It is a medium-term paddy that can be grown when there is a delay in the onset of monsoon. It can be harvested after 120 days of sowing.
  • The new variety will be notified under the Indian Seed Act 1966 shortly after which it will become part of the seed chain.

Blast Disease in rice

  • The disease in rice is caused by fungus Pyricularia grisea (P. oryzae), was first recorded in India during 1918.
  • It is also known as rotten neck or rice fever.
  • Expected grain loss: 70 to 80%.

Nidhi Companies

  • Nidhi Company is a class of Non-Banking Financial Company(NBFC) and Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has powers to issue directives for them related to their deposit acceptance activities.
  • However, since these Nidhis deal with their shareholder-members only, RBI has exempted them from the core provisions of the RBI Act and other directions applicable to NBFCs.
  • Under Nidhi Rules, 2014, Nidhi is a company which has been incorporated as a Nidhi with the object of cultivating the habit of thrift and saving amongst its members, receiving deposits from, and lending to, its members only, for their mutual benefit.
  • It is a company registered under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • It works on the principle of mutual benefits that are regulated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • Recently, union government has amended the provisions related to Nidhi companies under the Companies Act, 2013 and the Rules.
  • The amendments have been made to make the regulatory regime for Nidhi Companies more effective.
  • This will accomplish the objectives of transparency & investor friendliness in the corporate environment of the country.

National Sports Development Fund

  • NSDF was established in 1998 under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890.
  • Purpose of its creation was to impart momentum and flexibility in assisting the cause of sports.
  • The Fund helps sportspersons excel by providing those opportunities to train under coaches of international repute with technical, scientific and psychological support and giving them exposure to international competitions.
  • It also provides financial assistance for the development of infrastructure and other activities for the promotion of sports.
  • The Fund is managed by a Council constituted by the Central Government.
  • It is chaired by Union Minister in charge of Youth Affairs and Sports.
  • Recently Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) has contributed ₹1 crore to the National Sports Development Fund under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited

  • It is a wholly-owned Schedule ‘A’ Miniratna Category-I company of Government of India, incorporated on 13th January 2006.
  • The Ministry of Finance exercises its administrative control over SPMCIL through Board of Directors.
  • SPMCIL is engaged in the manufacture/ production of Currency and Bank Notes, Security Paper, Non-Judicial Stamp Papers, Postal Stamps & Stationery, Travel Documents viz. Passport and Visa, Security certificates, Cheques, Bonds, Warrant, Special Certificates with security features, Security Inks, Circulation & Commemorative Coins, Medallions, Refining of Gold & Silver, and Assay of Precious Metals.

Source: PIB, the Hindu

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