Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 19 August 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Shri. Ashok Lavasa quits Election Commission and set to join ADB.
  2. Railways deploy ‘Ninja drones’ for surveillance.

1.Shri. Ashok Lavasa quits Election Commission and set to join ADB.

News Summary

Election Commissioner Shri. Ashok Lavasa submitted his resignation from the Election Commission of India to the President of India. He will be joining as the Vice President for the private sector and public-private partnerships of the Asian Development Bank soon.

Prelims  GS – Polity

Election Commission of India:(ECI)
  • The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • The Constitution of India has vested in the Election Commission of India the superintendence, direction, and control of the entire process for conduct of elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India as per Article 324 of the Constitution.
  • Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
Appointment and Tenure of Election Commissioners:
  • The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
  • They have tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through impeachment by Parliament.

Click here to view the official website.

Prelims GS – International Relations

Asian Development Bank(ADB):

Refer to the prelims content of ADB on 19th June 2020.

2. Railways deploy Ninja drones for surveillance

News Summary

The Indian Railways has introduced a drone-based surveillance system to enhance security at railway stations, tracks, and workshops by procuring “Ninja Unmanned Aerial Vehicles”(UAV). 19 RPF personnel has been trained for operating and maintaining drones.

Prelims GS -Governance/Science and Technology

Digital Sky Platform and Drone Regulations:
  • Nano drones in India can start flying legally and they don’t require registration with Digital Sky Portal.
  • For micro and above categories drones, operators and pilots are required to register on the Digital Sky Portal.
  • Digital Sky Platform is an online IT platform developed for handling Unique Identification Number(UIN), Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) applications, permission to fly Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems(RPAs) in India.
  • UIN is a unique identification number issued by DGCA for a particular RPA (except Nano).
  • NPNT or ‘No Permission – No Take-off” is a software program that enables every RPA (except NanoRPAs) to obtain valid permission through the Digital sky platform before operating in India.

Click here to view the official Digital Sky Platform portal.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Internal Security

Uses of Ninja Drones in Railways:
  • The Ninja drones will help in inspecting the safety of railway assets, yards, workshops, and car sheds.
  • It can be used to launch surveillance on criminal and anti-social activities like gambling, throwing garbage, hawking, etc in Railway premises.
  • It may be deployed for analysis of data collected which may prove to be extremely useful in vulnerable sections for safe operations of trains
  • The drone may be utilized in service at disaster sites for helping in rescue, recovery, and restoration and coordinating of efforts of various agencies
  • During large-scale crowd management efforts, it may give vital inputs like crowd magnitude, probable time of arrival, and dispersal based on which crowd regulation efforts may be planned and executed.
  • Thus, the Drone acts as an “EYE IN THE SKY” and monitors the whole area.


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