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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 11, 2017

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Smart Cities: Read Here

  • Project Smart Cities is a visionary project of the Government of India for sustainable, high quality of life in terms of infrastructure, mobility and connectivity, technology, environment etc.It is an urban renewal and retrofitting programme to develop 100 such cities in the country. The move envisages a major facelift of the existing inadequate infrastructure.
  • To develop adequate infrastructure with a long life cycle, steel is the ideal product.It ensures zero wastage and maintenance.  If roads are laid with concrete strengthened with steel, it translates to lesser damage over a period. Buildings across the globe are steel intensive.
  • Steel is also 100% recyclable, and thus, environment-friendly. Also, the use of steel has a major bearing on the life of the project.It ensures durability to the product. The thoughts that steel is expensive is not right because, in the long run, it will reduce life-cycle costs.

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Education: Read Here

  • According to a 2011 survey by Nasscom, only 17.5 percent engineering graduates were deemed employable. Over 50 percent of seats are going empty amid abandoned lecture halls and ghost campuses.

  • The paradox raises a set of questions about the state of technology education in the country. The profession of engineering has been devalued due to the out of date curriculum and substandard teaching and lack of employability.

  • The problem of underemployment or lack of employability has often been attributed to an outdated syllabus that’s not in sync with the industry and undergraduates training on obsolete equipment. The recent decision of AICTE to revise syllabus once a year is a welcome step.

Privacy: Read Here

  • Recently, Supreme Court gave a verdict that right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution.However, the judgement did not give any clarity on fundamental rights of an individual after death.
  • The Supreme Court has now thrown open the floor for debate on whether or not an individual’s fundamental right to privacy subsists after death.The question arose when the Madras High Court ordered to produce the Aadhaar data records of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for verification of her fingerprints.
  • The case raises the issue whether or not courts and authorities can order to see an individual’s personal data without consent after his or her death.

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Terrorism: Read Here

  • Vice-President of India said that giving value to human rights is part of the DNA of India, which has no history of aggression against any country in the world.
  • He opined that terror has no religion and it poses a serious threat to humanity. He also urged United Nations to conclude with the process of defining terror and to act against it by taking stringent action.
  • In terms of human rights, he argued that despite multiple challenges, the Constitution and democratic polity has ensured inclusivity and a respect for human rights in India.

WTO: Read Here

  • The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Buenos Aires meeting commenced amid concerns on support for anti-globalisation, protectionism and bilateralism. India, China, South Africa lead developing nations in seeking commitment to multilateralism, rules-based trading system and development agenda.
  • Due to the divergent views of the WTO members on several issues including the outstanding ones in the ongoing Doha Round negotiations it is expected that the current ministerial conference will not lead to any breakthrough.
  • Developed countries want to bypass the Doha Development agenda and want to concentrate on issues such as e-commerce, investment facilitation, matters relating to small firms and gender equality. These are not much important to developing nations.
  • Developing countries have taken a stand it is important to first resolve outstanding issues such as the ones relating to food security and protection of poor farmers before taking up new topics.