Current Affairs April 17, 2010

National Updates:
Amendment in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009
An amendment in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 is introduced in the Rajya Sabha on April 17, 2010. This encompasses explicitly covering Children with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism and multiple disabilities under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.

Andhra Pradesh: Prajapatham
Prajapatham is the new programme of the Andhra Pradesh government which envisages “taking the administration to the doorstep of the people”. Govt claims that People’s issues requiring immediate attention would be taken up for redressal under the programme.

On Cartosat-2B & STUDSAT
The ISO is undeterred by the GSLV-D3 failure and now makes announcement to launch CARTOSAT 2B (an Earth observation satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit) on May 9. The Cartosat-2B has been flagged off from ISRO’s facility at Bangalore to Sri harikota. It will be launched along with the 117 kg Algerian Satellite, one nano satellite each from Canada and Switzerland, and StudSat, a pico satellite. Cartosat 2B is the third in the Cartostat series and is a high-resolution satellite designed for an operational life of five years. With a single panchromatic camera on board, this cartographic satellite will identify and take pictures of a moving car.

STUDSAT or STUDent SATellite has been built by Engineering Colleges Students , Bangalore has been handed over to ISRO for launch along with Cartosat 2B from Sriharikota on May 9. The satellite has been developed by a consortium of seven Engineering Colleges from Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Andhra Pradesh: Hazmat
Hazmat is hazardous material handling vehicle capable of fighting nuclear, chemical and biological mishaps and effectively conducting search and rescue operations, has been launched by the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Gujarat : Governor Returns the Bill
Gujarat Local Authorities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2009 seeks to raise the reservation of seats for women in local self governance bodies from 33 to 50 per cent. The bill was passed on December 19, 2009 in the state assembly. As per this bill, if a voter fails to vote for reasons other than prescribed in the rules, he may be declared a ‘defaulter voter’ and would face consequences, for which rules will be framed and placed before the assembly for its approval later. In other words, the bill sought to make voting mandatory in the state. The bill was sent to Governor Kamla Beniwal for assent and has been returned back.

The objection of the governor are:
1. The bill violates the constitutional provision which does not allow voting to be made mandatory
2. No punishment can be meted out for not participating in the exercise of voting.
3. The state government has clubbed two bills together- the opposition was in favour of reservation for women bill but was opposed to the mandatory voting bill. The governor noted that the two bills should be separated.

Recommended: Next Chief Justice of India – Justice S H Kapadia
As per the Memorandum of Procedure which governs the appointment of members of the higher judiciary, “appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of India should be of the senior most Judge of the Supreme Court considered fit to hold the office. It stipulates that the law minister would, at the appropriate time, seek the recommendation of the outgoing Chief Justice of India for the appointment of the next CJI. Justice SH Kapadia is senior most Judge of supreme court after chief Justice KG Balakrishnan. In this context, Chief Justice has recommended name of justice S H Kapadia to be next CJI. Justice KG Balakrishnan will retire in May and final appointment by the President of India shall be made after that.

Volcano eruption in Eyjafjallajokull
Eyjafjallajökull which means island-mountain glacier is a smaller glacier of Iceland which covers a volcano, erupted relatively frequently since the last glacial period. it has erupted on 20 March and again on 14th April 2010. The April 2010 eruption was powerful and caused substantial disruption to air traffic across Europe. The volcano continues throw up plumes of grey ash as high as 10 kilometres across the Atlantic. Thousands of passengers are stranded at different airports in Europe and international flights to and from Europe have been affected. The entire airspace in the UK, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden is closed and air traffic in France and Finland have been partially affected. Flights have also been grounded in Ireland, Norway and Poland. The drifting ash clouds also paralysed all the airports in, Finland and Sweden. In Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok, more than 1,000 passengers are stranded.

Obituary : C K Prahalad
Dr C K Prahalad, world’s renowned management gurus,a corporate strategy specialist and well known figure passes away in United States at the age of 68. He was Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

An alumni of Loyola College, Chennai and IIM Ahmadabad, Dr. Prahlad’s work “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profit” was one of the best management books ever.
Some other works are:
The Core Competence of the Corporation (with Gary Hamel)
Competing for the Future (with Gary Hamel),
The Future of Competition (with Venkat Ramaswamy),
The New Age of Innovation. (with MS Krishanan)
CK Prahalad was co-founder and CEO of Praja Inc.