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PRELIMS FACTS 02-07-2018

FACT # 1

Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)


Why in news? The world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog has granted itself new powers to assign blame for attacks, despite protests by Russia.


Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):

  • The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(OPCW) is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997.
  • The OPCW, with its 193 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • It oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.
  • The organisation promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weaponsand requires their destruction.
  • Verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by member states and onsite inspections.
  • The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize”for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”.
  • Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjørn Jaglandsaid, “The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law”.
  • The principal body is the Conference of the States Parties (CSP), which normally is convened yearly, and in which all countries participate and have equal voting rights.
  • The OPCW has the power to say whether chemical weapons were used in an attack it has investigated. In June 2018, it granted itself new powers to assign blame for attacks.
  • The organisation has its headquarters next to the World Forum Convention Centre (where it holds its yearly Conference of States Parties) and an equipment store and laboratory facility in Rijswijk.
  • All 193 parties to the Chemical Weapons convention are automatically members of the OPCW.
  • Other states which are eligible to become members are UN member states Israel, which is a signatory state that has not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, and Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan, which have neither signed nor acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
  • Palestine was the most recent state to submit its instrument of accession to the treaty.

FACT # 2

Statistics Day

Why in news? On Statistics Day, new Rs 125 commemorative coin has been released by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Statistics Day:

  • Government of India in 2007 designated 29thJune as the “Statistics Day” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level.
  • It was done in recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning,
  • The objective of celebration of this Day is to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation, to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. Mahalanobis, and to pay homage to him.
  • Every year, one particular theme of current national importance is selected for focused discussions and efforts throughout the year aimed at bringing about improvements in the selected area.
  • The theme selected for the Statistics Day this year is ‘‘Quality Assurance in Official Statistics’.
  • The theme has been chosen to underscore the importance of compliance with essential parameters of quality in statistical systems and products.
  • The Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) at Kolkata was set up by Prof. Mahalanobis in 1931.
  • It was declared an autonomous “Institute of National Importance” through an act of Parliament in 1959, celebrates 29thJune as the “Worker Day”.

FACT # 3

Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal

Why in news? The Government has recently approved the institution of “Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal” and three more Medals.

Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal:

  • Police Officers of States & Union Territories, Central Police Organisations (CPOs), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Security Organisation involved in Special Operations will be eligible.

Antarik Suraksha Medal:

  • The Antarik Suraksha Medal will be bestowed upon Police personnel of States/UTs/ CPOs/CAPFs/Security Organisation in recognition of Operation Duty rendered by them for a tenure of every two years in Internal Security in J&K State/LWE region/NE region.

Asadharan Aashuchan Padak:

  • The Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be given to officials of Intelligence organization of Central Government and Intelligence Dept./wings/Special Branches/Units of all State/UT Police, CPOs, CAPFs, Assam Rifles (AR) and National Security Guard (NSG) for acts of exceptional courage and skill in intelligence gathering.

Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal:

  • The Utkrisht and Ati Utkrisht Seva Medal will be awarded to permanent Police personnel and other permanent support staff working in CAPFs, State/UTs Police Forces, CPOs, AR, NSG, Home Guard (HG) and Intelligence organization of Central Govt/State Govt./CAPFs in recognition of Long Service of 15 and 25 year and good service records.
  • The HM’s Special Operation Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be awarded on 15thAugust coinciding with the Independence Day.
  • The Antarik Suraksha Medal and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal will be announced on 26thJanuary to mark the Republic Day.
  • There will be no limit/quota for awarding the HM’s Special Operation Medal, Antarik Suraksha Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak.
  • But there will be a cap of 1% and 0.5% of the sanctioned strength rank wise (Constable/HC/ASI/Sl/lnsp./Dy. SP/SP & above) subject to the eligibility conditions for the Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal respectively.
  • The medal may be withdrawn if the holder is found guilty of disloyalty or brings the Force to disrepute such as removal, major penalty, criminal offence etc.

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