27th December 2019 Daily Current Affairs:
- Union Territory of Ladakh is celebrating Losar Festival on 27 December 2019, to mark the Ladakhi or Tibetan New Year.
- Until 2018, Losar gathering use to have ‘UT Status for Ladakh’ as a resolution for New Year.
- This year, it will be joyous Losar festival celebrations in newly born Union Territory Ladakh. Losar festival, which has its origin in 15th century, is also observed in all Himalayan states of country but in different times.
About Losar Festival
- People of various parts of Ladakh region, annually celebrate Losar Festival on 1st Day of Eleventh Month of Tibetan Calendar correlating to a date in Gregorian calendar.
- The celebrations continue for 3-9 days in different parts of Ladakh.
- The festival is regarded as the most important socio-religious event of Ladakh.
- It is also one of the major attractions for tourists in winter season, as the festival coupled with several ritual performances and traditional events.
- It includes making symbolic meals and offerings to God and Goddess.
- The houses are decorated with good luck signs for prosperous New Year and bounty of crops. People keep Dough Models of Sun, Moon, Goats, Sheep,Ibex and Antelope in kitchen shelves for good omen.
- To mark the beginning of New Year, prayer flags will be hoisted at important religious places in the UT.
- Ladakh Buddhist Association in collaboration with Union Territory Administration is also organizing a grand celebration at Chokanga Vihara in Leh, which will be attended by Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur as chief guest.
NPR: house-to-house verification planned
- The Narendra Modi government proposes to update the National Population Register (NPR), which already has an electronic database of more than 119 crore residents, by verifying the details of all respondents through house-to-house enumeration,according to an official manual for conducting the fresh NPR exercise.
- The NPR exercise has become controversial because the Citizenship Rules, 2003, link the Population Register to the creation of a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) or National Register of Citizens.
- Coupled with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which excludes Muslims, fears about an NPR-NRC have brought lakhs of people on to the streets in protest.
- More than 20 people have been killed during the protests, most of them in Uttar Pradesh.
- Data for the NPR was first collected in 2010 and updated in 2015.
- According to the government manual, the enumerators, all government officials, will “modify and correct the demographic data items”.
- The manual states that in cases where the date of birth or age was not known, the enumerator could help the respondent by “stimulating her/his memory” with reference to historical events well known in the area such as a “war, flood, earthquake, change in political regime, etc.”
- The manual says that if the respondent does not know the age of any member of the household and probing also does not help in determining the age of that person, “you will have to estimate her/his age by using your best judgment.”
Recycling of Ships act:
- The Recycling of Ships Act has come into force with President Ram Nath Kovind giving assent to the law which provides for safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.
- The government has also decided to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for safe and environmentally sound recycling of Ships, 2009.
- The Union Cabinet had approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and accession to the Hong Kong International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.
- It restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not.
- For new ships, such restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material will be immediate,that is, from the date the legislation comes into force, while existing ships shall have a period of five years for compliance.
- Restriction or prohibition on use of hazardous material would not be applied to warships and non-commercial ships operated by Government.
- Ships shall be surveyed and certified on the inventory of hazardous material used in ships.
- Under the Bill, ship recycling facilities are required to be authorized and ships shall be recycled only in such authorized ship recycling facilities.
- It also provides that ships shall be recycled in accordance with a ship-specific recycling plan.
- Ships to be recycled in India shall be required to obtain a Ready for Recycling Certificate in accordance with the HKC- Hong Kong International Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.
- DRDO has successfully test-fired indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) from a test range off the Odisha coast.
- It has been developed to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system, and has 360-degree coverage.
- It uses solid fuel propellant and has a strike range of 25-30 km with capability of hitting multiple targets.
- It is capable of hitting the low flying objects.