Current News National

New Rules For Postal Ballot

To make the procedure to opt for postal ballot more convenient for those above 80 years of age and people with disabilities, the Election Commission has come out with a set of new instructions.

  • If he/she opts for postal ballot, then the booth level officer will deliver the form required to opt for the postal ballot at the residence of all those aged above 80 and people with disabilities under his polling station. He will collect the filled-in form 12-D from the house of the elector within five days of the notification and deposit it with the returning officer forthwith.
  • The returning officer would deploy polling teams, which will deliver and collect the postal ballot on pre-informed dates and then deposit it with the returning officer.
  • It would be up to these two categories of voters to opt for postal ballot.
  • The voting will bevideographed to ensure transparency.

Postal Ballot Facility Entitled to Others

  • Members of the armed forces like the Army, Navy and Air Force, members of the armed police force of a state (serving outside the state), government employees posted outside India and their spouses are entitled to vote only by post. In other words, they can’t vote in person. Voters under preventive detention can also vote only by post.
  • Special voters such as the President of India, Vice President, Governors, Union Cabinet ministers, Speaker of the House and government officers on poll duty have the option to vote by post. But they have to apply through a prescribed form to avail this facility.
  • Recently, the Law Ministry, at the Election Commission’s behest, introduced a new category of ‘absentee voters’, who can now also opt for postal voting. These are voters employed in essential services and unable to cast their vote due to their service conditions. Currently, officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Northern Railway (Passenger and Freight) Services and media persons are notified as absentee voters.

Note:Recently, senior citizens above the age of 65 and voters who test positive for COVID19 or are suspected to be COVID-affected were allowed to cast their vote by post.

News Crux Awards In News

Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020 was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter (USA), Michael Houghton (UK) and Charles M. Rice (USA) "for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus."

  • Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute gives away the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • About Hepatitis C:Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus and causes Hepatitis C disease which affects the liver.
  • Types of Hepatitis:There are five types (mainly) - A, B, C, D and E

What vaccines are available?

  • Vaccines are available for A, B, D and E but not for C

How does the virus spread?

  • Hepatitis A and E: Lack of food hygiene, contaminated water and sub-standard sanitary facilities.
  • Hepatitis B, C and D:Through blood, sperm and other body fluids.

News Crux Awards In News

Nobel Prize In Physics

  • Three scientists have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics for their work on blackhole formation and the discovery of a supermassive blackhole at the centre of our galaxy.
  • Roger Penrose (UK): A British mathematical physicist based at the University of Oxford, won his share (1/2) of the prize for using ingenious mathematical tools to prove that the formation of black holes are predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.
  • Reinhard Genzel (Germany) and Andrea Ghez (America):For their work in which they turned telescopes on our own galaxy and discovered there is a supermassive blackhole in the centre of the Milky Way.
  • Andrea Ghez is the fourth woman to win Nobel Prize in Physics.Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded in 1903.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry is presented by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

State In News Gujarat

Digital Seva Setu Programme

  • Gujarat Government has announced Digital Seva Setu Programme for the rural areas.
  • The Digital Seva Setu has been initiated under the Bharat Net Project- an initiative to connect the Village Panchayats through 100 MBPS optical fibre network.
  • Under this programme, the citizens will be able to get benefit of about 20 types of pro-people services which will be provided at the village panchayat level by paying a nominal fee of Rs. 20.
  • The citizens can get various documents like duplicate ration card, income certificate, senior citizen certificate, caste certificate at their doorstep under this programme.
  • The government will also provide powers of affidavit to the TalatiMantri at the Village Panchayat level so that people in rural areas do not have to visit the notary offices in towns and cities.

PIB News National Ecology & Environment

National Wildlife Week 2020

Wildlife Week is celebrated all over the country in the month of October from 2nd to 8th October every year to protect animal life. It was first started in the year 1952.

Initiatives/ Events This Year

  • The government is working towards the upgradation and development of 160 Zoos in Public Private Partnership (PPP) across the country to encourage interaction between wildlife and humans, and help people observe and understand wildlife behaviour more closely.
  • A report of the Central Zoo Authority and The Energy and Resources Institute (CZA-TERI) titled “Economic valuation of ecosystem services, National Zoological Park, New Delhi” was released.The report highlights the importance of habitats such as zoos to human wellbeing and the need of replication across India.
  • The study first of its kind in India and perhaps the entire World, pegs the total annual economic value of the ecosystem services (biodiversity conservation, employment generation, carbon sequestration, education and research, recreational and cultural) at around 423 crore (2019-20) whereas, the total value of the one-time cost of services such as carbon storage and land value provided by the zoo is estimated to be around 55,000 crore.
  • The CZA-PraniMitra awards were given to encourage the zoo officers and staff towards working for captive animal management and welfare.
  • CZA which was established to oversee the functioning of Indian zoos and complement the wildlife conservation strategies through ex-situ measures, as on today recognizes around 160 zoo and rescue centers that enforce global standards in animal housing and welfare. Over 567 captive animal species (with 114 species under endangered category) with overall 56481 individual animals are currently housed in Indian zoos.

PIB News National Defence

Successful Flight Test Of SMART

  • Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART) has been successfully flight tested on 5th Oct 2020 from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha.
  • SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight Anti-Submarine Torpedo System for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations far beyond Torpedo range.
  • This launch and demonstration is significant in establishing Anti-Submarine warfare capabilities.