Friday, February 7, 2014

Current Affairs 07 February 2014

Anti-gay google doodle

  • With the Winter Games underway in Sochi, Google Inc. quietly but vibrantly added its voice to the chorus of U.S. companies speaking out against Russia’s law restricting gay-rights activities by updating its iconic search page logo to depict illustrations of athletes skiing, sledding, curling and skating against a rainbow-coloured backdrop.
  • The company declined to comment on the new Google Doodle that appeared on its home pages worldwide, saying it wanted the illustration to speak for itself.
  • But the logo clearly was meant as a show of support for gay rights and a rebuke of the law that bans pro-gay “propaganda” that could be accessible to minors- below the updated logo appears a two-sentence section of the Olympic charter that reads, in part, “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind.”
  • Although Google is not an Olympics sponsor, its action came a day after three sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Committee AT&T, DeVry University and yogurt maker Chobani issued statements explicitly speaking out against the Russian law.

Children’s Nobel Prize

  • Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has been nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden for her crusade for education rights for girls.
  • Malala was last year nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and won the European Union’s Sakharov human rights prize for her fight for the right of all children to education.
  • The 16-year-old, who lives in Britain following extensive medical treatment, was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for her outspoken views supporting education for girls in Pakistan.
  • The World Children’s Prize, also known as the ‘Children’s Nobel Prize’, was founded in 2000 and aims to raise awareness of children’s rights in 60,000 schools in 110 countries through educational programmes.

Helpline for rail passengers

  • With increased instances of molestation on trains, the Indian Railways has decided to launch an all-India security helpline number for passengers .
  • The railways has informed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, which enquired into the security of women passengers in suburban trains, that the process of launching the four-digit number 1322 at a cost of Rs. 4.7 crore is on.
  • Although it will be managed by a professional call centre, complaints will be monitored by a DIG and four inspectors. They will be transmitted to the zones concerned for action.
  • The report noted an increase in the incidents of molestation of women on suburban trains. The committee chairman, T.R. Baalu, said during the members’ visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal, Mumbai, women complained of unauthorised entry of male passengers in reserved compartments, molestation and harassment, and snatching of chains and handbags. The Railways claimed that 6,400 men had been prosecuted for entering ladies’ compartments.

Majithia wage board

  • In a victory for working journalists and newspaper employees, Supreme Court upheld the validity of the Majithia wage board, saying that its recommendation are based on genuine consideration.
  • It also dismissed newspaper organisations’ challenge to the constitutional validity of the working journalists and newspaper employees act.
  • An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam also upheld the procedure adopted by the Majithia wage board, holding that the variations pointed out in procedure was not grave in nature.
  • The court also upheld the independence of the two members, holding that their mere association to the government did not attribute any bias or independence to them.
  • The court held that the wage board will be implemented from Nov 11, 2011 when it was notified by the government and the arrears from Nov 11, 2011 to March 2014 will be paid to the employees in four equal instalments spread over a period of one year and the revised pay scales under the recommendation of Majithia wage board comes into force from April 2014.

Day 5 in Spectrum auction

  • On the fifth day of the third round of spectrum auction , the Delhi circle saw an upward revision of prices for both the premium 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.
  • There is excess demand in circles, including Assam, J&K, MP, West Bengal, UP (E) and UP (W).
  • The price of 900 Mhz in Delhi shot up by about 78 per cent to 639.24 crore per Mhz compared to the base price of 360 crore fixed by the Government; whereas for the 1800 MHz band, the reserve price rose 5 per cent to 230 crore a MHz.
  • In Mumbai, the price of 900 Mhz band increased by 72 per cent to 563.09 crore for a Mhz and in Kolkata by 54 per cent to 192.71 crore.
  • The Government is auctioning airwaves in 900 Mhz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, which are held by Vodafone, Airtel and Loop Mobile through their licences which are expiring in November.
  • The 3G auction in 2010 lasted for 34 days, while the auction in November 2012 lasted for 2 days and March auction last year lasted only one day.

HCL Corp’s entry in healthcare sector

  • HCL Corporation has announced its foray into the healthcare sector with the launch of HCL Healthcare that seeks to address the entire spectrum of health care needs, providing health care delivery, innovative medical services, and training to meet the growing need for quality healthcare.
  • To begin with, Shiv Nadar, founder and chairperson of HCL, Shiv Nadar Foundation, launched HCL Avitas — multi-speciality clinics — in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
  • The two HCL Avitas clinics in the national capital, which will become functional soon will provide “unmatched patient experience and outcomes by adopting global best practices for medical quality and training, using evidence-based systems and integrating advanced technology”. HCL Avitas will offer the best of patient-centric care aimed at providing long-term care needs.
  • The clinics will be networked, giving patients access to their medical history and to the best specialists available in the systems.

U K Sinha: two more years as Sebi chief

  • Sebi chairman U K Sinha has got a two-year extension till 2016 as Finance Ministry has issued a notification to this effect.
  • The extension will be with effect from February 18 this year till 2016.
  • Under the stewardship of Sinha, who has been at the helm at Sebi for almost three years, key reform measures were initiated in the capital market.
  • These include stringent disclosure norms, strict regulations for merchant bankers and the introduction of a new category of foreign investors.

Sochi Olympics and India

  • The names adorning just about every available spot on Indian luger Shiva Keshavan's speedsuit are written in faint gray letters, barely visible to those even nearby.
  • They are not insignificant. For the Sochi Olympics, those names are essentially Keshavan's flag.
  • India is not officially at the Sochi Games, the nation suspended by the International Olympic Committee after it refused to ban corruption-tainted officials from running for elections. The suspension is expected to be lifted after new elections in the coming days, but likely not come in time for Keshavan and two other athletes from India - both skiers - to actually represent their country.
  • So instead, they will all race under the Olympic flag in Sochi. And in an effort to find a way to represent his country without a flag, Keshavan offered donors a chance to be listed on his uniform. Some of those who backed his quest for the Sochi Games have their names on the white suit that he will wear on race days.
Source : upscportal
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