- Nominations for Padma Awards-2021
- Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020)
- Dharma Chakra Day on July 4
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
Online nominations/recommendations for the Padma Awards to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2021 have started.
The Padma Awards
- The Padma Awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day (26th January).
- There are 3 Padma Awards:
- Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
- Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and
- Padma Shri (distinguished service).
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
Is it a title?
- The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.
- Article 18 clause 1- Abolishes titles and makes four provisions in that regard: It prohibits the state from conferring any title (except a military or academic distinction) on anybody, whether a citizen or a foreigner.
Prelims Bit: Is the Padma Vibhushan the highest civilian award?
NO: Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country.
Bharat Ratna is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
- Recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
- Only 3 Bharat Ratna Awards can be given in a year.
- Bharat Ratna- 1st degree of honour
- Padma Vibhushan- 2nd degree of honour
- Padma Bhushan- 3rd degree of honour
- Padma Shri- 4th degree of honour
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
The Union Government launched Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020).
Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 (DDH2020)
- The Drug Discovery Hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD’s Innovation Cell (MIC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and supported by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), MyGov as well as private players.
- This Hackathon is first of its kind National initiative for supporting drug discovery process.
- The objective is to identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by in-silico drug discovery through the hackathon and follow up by chemical synthesis and biological testing.
- This initiative is open for researchers/faculty across the globe to attract international talent.
- There is a need to establish the culture of computational drug discovery in our country.
Hackathon will primarily focus on computational aspects of drug discovery and will have three Tracks.
- Track-1 will deal with computational modelling for drug design or identifying ‘lead’ compounds from existing databases that may have the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2.
- Track-2 will encourage participants to develop new tools and algorithms using data analytics and AI/ML approach for predicting drug-like compounds with minimal toxicity and maximal specificity and selectivity.
- Track 3 is a Moon-shot approach which will only deal with novel and out-of-the-box ideas in this field.
Focus: GS-I Art and Culture
Why in news?
International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in partnership with Ministry of Culture, Government of India, is celebrating the upcoming Asadha Poornima on July 4, 2020 as Dhamma Chakra Day.
Dhamma Chakra day
- This dhamma Chakra day celebration aims to keep with the historical legacy of India being the land of Buddha’s enlightenment and awakening, his turning of the wheels of Dhamma, and Mahaparinirvana.
- Asadha Poornima is the second most sacred day for Buddhists after the Buddha Poornima or Vesak.
- The day marks Buddha’s first teaching after attaining Enlightenment to the first five ascetic disciples (pañcavargika) on the full-moon day of Asadha at ‘Deer Park’,Ṛiṣipatana in the current day Sarnath, near Varanasi, India.
- This teaching of Dhamma Cakka- PavattanaSutta (Pali) or Dharma chakra Pravartana Sutra (Sanskrit) is also known as the First Turning of Wheels of Dharma and comprised of the Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.
- The day is also observed as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus.
Four noble truths:
- Suffering (dukkha) is the essence of the world.
- Every suffering has a cause – Samudya.
- Suffering could be extinguished – Nirodha.
- It can be achieved by following the Atthanga Magga (Eight Fold Path).
- Right view
- Right intention
- Right speech
- Right action
- Right livelihood
- Right mindfulness
- Right effort
- Right concentration
Focus: GS-III Internal Security
Why in news?
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces.
- Focused on indigenous design and development these approvals include acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore.
- The equipments are going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors.
- The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost.
- A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry.
Defence Acquisition Council (DAC)
- As an overarching structure, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), under the Defence Minister is constituted for overall guidance of the defence procurement planning process.
- DAC is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard.
- The objective of the Defence Acquisition Council is to ensure expeditious procurement of the approved requirements of the Armed Forces in terms of capabilities sought, and time frame prescribed, by optimally utilizing the allocated budgetary resources.
- It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on ‘Reforming the National Security System’, in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).
Composition of Defence Acquisition Council
- Defence Minister: Chairman
- Minister of State for Defence: Member
- Chief of Army Staff: Member
- Chief of Naval Staff: Member
- Chief of Air Staff: Member
- Defence Secretary: Member
- Secretary Defence Research & Development: Member
- Secretary Defence Production: Member
- Chief of Integrated Staff Committees HQ IDS: Member
- Director General (Acquisition): Member
- Dy. Chief of Integrated Defence: Staff Member Secretary
What is Defence Procurement Process (DPP)?
DPP is a national policy to purchase defence equipment.
The Defence Procurement Procedure mainly contains processes that needs to be followed to streamline and simplify defence procurement procedures and ultimately achieve the objective of self-reliance in meeting all the security needs of the Indian Armed Forces by promoting indigenous design, development and manufacture of Defence weapon systems and, platforms in a time-bound manner without any delays.