SAARC Satellite set for lift-off
a) The ‘South Asia Satellite,’ which India has built for use by countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will be launched on May 5. All SAARC countries, except Pakistan, have joined it.
b) “Natural resources mapping, telemedicine, education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people-to-people contact — this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region. It is an important step by India to enhance co-operation with the entire South Asia… It is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment to South Asia,” the PM said.
2. EC may change recounting rules
a) The Election Commission is actively considering revision of its recount rules so that slips generated by the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) devices can be matched with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) count.
3. 58 new medical colleges in India by 2018, says Union Health Minister
a) Stressing the need for rapid expansion of medical infrastructure in the country to cater to the growing demand, J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, said that 58 new medical colleges will be established across the country by 2018 at a cost of Rs. 11,000 crore.
b) He also said that the process of establishing 11 new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences was under way to provide thrust to tertiary health sector.
4. EC for 5 year ban for those bribing voters
a) This move which comes after EC found that “innovative ways” were used for luring electors in a Tamil Nadu byelection. It can use its constitutional powers under Article 324 to countermand a poll over use of money power, but it wants the power to be vested to it under law. The logic is that it does not want to use its constitutional powers too frequently.
b) Many complaints were received by the panel on possibilities of inducement of electors by distributing cash and gifts in innovative forms like tokens, prepaid phone recharge coupons, newspaper subscription, milk tokens, money transfer in no-frill accounts in banks and even mobile wallet payment to mobile numbers.
5. Future tech could jeopardise ‘freedom of mind’: experts
a) Future ‘mind reading’ technology could allow hackers to steal or even delete data from our brains, unless new human rights laws are prepared to protect against exploitation and loss of privacy.
b) To prevent this, researchers suggest four new laws — right to cognitive liberty, right to mental privacy, right to mental integrity and the right to psychological continuity.
c) Brain imaging technology has already reached a point where there is discussion over its legitimacy in criminal court, for example as a tool for assessing criminal responsibility or even the risk of re—offending.
6. AAP Govt. asks schools to install air purifiers
a) Concerned over the quality of air in the national capital, the Aam Aadmi Party government has directed city schools to install air purifiers so as to ensure students don’t face health hazards due to air pollution. The Director of Education (DoE) has also asked schools to create awareness among students about adverse impact of indiscriminate burning of firecrackers on public health.
b) The schools have been asked to submit a compliance report within 15 days. The Delhi government had last year announced a three-tier air treatment system which includes setting up of wind purification units, mist fountains and virtual chimney at five major traffic intersections on trial basis to deal with rising air pollution level.