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Current Affairs 14 April 2017

 

NEWS 

14 April2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

U.S. hits Afghan IS base with ‘largest' bomb

2.

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

H1N1: 33 deaths in Pune; over 100 across the State

3.

GS II : SOCIAL- EDUCATION

Conduct NEET in Urdu in 2018-19: SC

4.

GS III : SECURITY- MONEY LAUNDERING

Court issues NBW against ZakirNaik

5.

GS II : POLITY- ELECTIONS

Why no paper trail in EVMs, SC asks Centre

6.

GS II:  POLITY-JUDICIARY

Karnan directs SC judges to appear before him.

7.

GS I: HISTORY

Modi to honour 16 Odishafamilies tied to 1817 revolt

8.

GS II : BILATERAL-INDIA- U.K.

Rolls-Royce, DRDO to tie up

9.

GS  III : DEFENCE

India plans to buy three more Scorpenes

10.

GS III :  SECURITY- MONEY LAUNDERING

CAs may be forced to share info

11.

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Trump lips on NATO, China

12.

GS III : ECONOMY  INDICATORS

March exports climb 27.6%

13.

GS III: ECONOMY SECTORS

Centre aims to auction coal blocks

14.

GS III: ECONOMY BANKING

RBI tightens norms on bank performance

15.

GS III : S&T - SPACE

First image of dark matter web captured

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

U.S. hits Afghan IS base with ‘largest' bomb

  • The U.S. dropped a massive GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, in eastern Afghanistan on 13 April 2017 evening on a series of caves used by Islamic State militants, the military said.
  • The ordnance was dropped from an MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.
  • Also known as the "mother of all bombs," the GBU-43 is a 21,600 pound (9,797 kg) GPS-guided munition, and was first tested in March 2003.
  • The strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the Achin area, close to the Pakistan border "while maximizing the destruction" of IS fighters and facilities.
  • IS has been using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to strengthen its defences.

1 kg = 2.2 pound

 

GS II : SOCIAL-HEALTH

H1N1: 33 deaths in Pune; over 100 across the State

  • The swine flu virus (H1N1) has claimed over 100 lives in Maharashtra due to volatile day and night temperatures, health authorities have said.
  • As many as 33 deaths have been recorded in Pune district and 18 patients are said to be in a critical condition.
  • Authorities said the death toll across the State, from January to April, has exceeded 100, and more than 190 cases tested positive for the virus.
  • This has marked a fourfold increase in H1N1 deaths as compared to those in the same period last year, when authorities recorded a little over 80 cases and 25 deaths.
  • The State had witnessed a rise in H1N1 virus cases in 2015 as well, with over 900 deaths and 8,240 cases.
  • Many cases were recorded even during summer, as several bouts of unseasonal showers negated the impact that high summer temperatures may have had in curbing the spread of the virus.

 

GS II :POLITY  JUDICIARY

Conduct NEET in Urdu in 2018-19: SC

  • In a big relief to Urdu medium students, the Supreme Court on 13 April 2017 directed the Centre and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to induct Urdu as a medium of language for NEET 2018-19.
  • However, the court agreed with the CBSE's stand that it was too late in the day to accommodate Urdu in the National Eligibility- cum-Entrance Test scheduled for May 2017.
  • The court was hearing a petition filed by the Students Islamic Organisation of India, which argued that Urdu should be made a medium of language for the NEET as courses like Unani medicine was studied in Urdu.
  • At present, NEET is being conducted in 10 languages - Hindi, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Odiya, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada.

GS III : SECURITY- MONEY LAUNDERING

Court issues NBW against Zakir Naik

  • The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on 13 April 2017 issued a non-bailable warrant against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in cases of money laundering.
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court that Mr. Naik,who is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had floated shell companies in India as well as abroad, wherein he had nominated directors who were not even aware of the activities of the entities.
  • Investigations have revealed that there were huge amount of cash transactions without leaving any trail about its origin or utilisation.
  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) registered an FIR against Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, the president of Islamic Research Foundation which has been declared unlawful by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The FIR reveals that Dr. Naik and his associates indulged in unlawful activities through provocative utterances, promoting enmity between different religious groups in India.
  • Last month, ED had also attached properties worth Rs. 18.37 crores under the PMLA.

 

 

GS II : POLITY- ELECTIONS

Why no paper trail in EVMs, SC asks Centre

  • The Supreme Court on 13 April 2017 asked the Centre and the Election Commission to respond by May 8 to a plea by the BahujanSamaj Party (BSP) to comply with a 2013 court directive to introduce paper trail in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
  • A Bench led by Justice J. Chelameswar issued notice to the Centre and the top poll body after senior advocate P. Chidambaram submitted that EVMs remain highly vulnerable and susceptible to hacking.
  • "What one man can invent another man can hack," Mr. Chidambaram submitted.
  • "I [voter] press a button on the EVM and I do not know what the machine has recorded," Mr. Chidambaram said.
  • He said if the EVM was fixed to a vote-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine, the voter could see whether the symbol the voter had pressed was the symbol the EVM had registered in the system.
  • The Supreme Court had in 2013, on a petition filed by now BJP RajyaSabha MP Subramanian Swamy, asked the Election Commission to introduce in a phased manner the paper trail in EVMs for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
  • "Nowhere in the world, except in South America, EVMs are used," senior advocate KapilSibal for the Congress submitted.

GS II:  POLITY-JUDICIARY

Karnan directs SC judges to appear before him

  • Calcutta High Court judge C.S. Karnan on 13 April 2017 passed an order directing seven judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, to appear before him on April 28 at 11.30 a.m. at his residence in Kolkata.
  • In the order, the judge said that on March 31, he had pronounced a judgment "wherein the 7 judges are accused under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act."
  • The order also said, "All the 7 judges should not be permitted to travel outside India."
  • A seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on February 8 issued suomotu contempt notice against Justice Karnan.
  • He had appeared before the Supreme Court on March 31 and the court had given him four weeks to respond to the contempt notice.

 

GS I: HISTORY

Modi to honour 16 Odisha families tied to 1817 revolt

  • Descendants of 16 families associated with a little known but bloody rebellion against British colonialism, called the Paika rebellion of 1817 will be felicitated by the Prime Minister.
  • The Paika rebellion had been flagged by the Modi government earlier as well, in Finance Minister ArunJaitley's budget speech this year where he said that "two hundred years ago in 1817, a valiant uprising of soldiers led by BuxiJagabandhu [BidyadharMohapatra] took place in Khurda of Odisha. We will commemorate the same appropriately."
  • The rebellion, by the landed militia of Khurda called Paiks, predates the first war of independence in 1857 but did not get similar recognition.

  

GS II : BILATERAL-INDIA- U.K.

Rolls-Royce, DRDO to tie up

  • India and the U.K. agreed to cooperate on developing advanced defence products such as high-end gas turbine engines and air defence missile systems and to cooperate on some aspects of aircraft carrier technology,said the visiting U.K. Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon.
  • Collaboration is under way between Rolls-Royce and the Defence Research and Development Organisation on the engine technology.
  • This decision comes within weeks of Rolls-Royce admitting in a London court to have illegally engaged middlemen to swing defence deals in India and settled the issue by paying a hefty fine.
  • "The next step is to have a technology demonstrator in 12 months, for the highest thrust gas turbine engine".
  • Engine cooperation is a significant development given India's troubled history in developing an aircraft engine.
  • The Kaveriengine project, which was shelved, is in the process of being revived with help from Safran of France.
  • India's first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant is in an advanced stage of construction and will be launched for sea trials by 2018-end.
  • A second indigenous carrier weighing about 65,000 tonnes is in the design stage.
  • India and the U.S. have joint working groups on jet engine technology and carrier technology under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

 

GS  III : DEFENCE

India plans to buy three more Scorpenes

  • India and France will step up negotiations to expand the Scorpene submarine contract after the presidential elections in France in May.
  • India will push for incorporating several upgrades in the proposed three new submarines that the two sides would be discussing, a senior defence official told.
  • Mazgaon Docks Ltd. (MDL), Mumbai, is manufacturing six Scorpene conventional submarines with technology transfer from DCNS under a $3.75-billion deal signed in October 2005.
  • After a series of delays, the first submarine Kalvari is now in advanced stages of sea trials and expected to be commissioned in a few months.
  • The second submarine Khanderi was launched in January.
  • Another official said that detailed discussions would be held at the India-France strategic dialogue expected around December.
  • As per plan, all submarines are expected to be launched from MDL by 2020 and both sides are on to firm up a deal before that to keep the production line running and preserve the expertise.
  • The upgrades will help address concerns of any compromise in the submarine's capability following the leak of its technical specifications in Australia last year.

  

GS III :  SECURITY- MONEY LAUNDERING

CAs may be forced to share info

  • Increasing instances of the role of chartered accountants, tax consultants and lawyers in financial frauds, particularly during the demonetisation exercise, has led the Central government to contemplate changes in existing laws, making it mandatory for them to report suspicious transactions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) regime.
  • If the required amendments are introduced, they could be in the form of an exception to the general rule of client confidentiality that intermediary professionals such as chartered accountants and lawyers currently enjoy.
  • Existing rules extend to them immunity from disclosing client information.
  • Section 14 of the PMLA also gives immunity to the reporting entities against civil and criminal proceedings for furnishing information as sought by the competent authority.
  • While Section 12 of the Act puts an obligation on banks, financial institutions and intermediaries to maintain records for 10 years, Section 13 empowers the Financial Intelligence Unit's (FIU) chief to call for such records.
  • The FIU findings do not have evidentiary value and has to be established by enforcement agencies.
  • Section 54 of the Act provides that officers and members of the ICAI are required to assist in the enforcement of the Act.

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL USA

Trump lips on NATO, China

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the military alliance of the U.S., Canada, 25 European countries and Turkey, is the "the bulwark of international peace and security", President Donald Trump said.
  • "I said it's obsolete. Now it's no longer obsolete," Mr. Trump said, overturning a campaign position that drew intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
  • Mr. Trump has also reversed his positions on China, Syria and Russia in recent days, aligning his thinking closer to U.S. orthodoxy.
  • Member countries have also expressed willingness to increase defence spending.
  • Only five of the 28 members now meet the target of 2% of GDP on defence expenditure.
  • Pushing trade disputes with China to the backburner, the President said he would be willing to give concessions to China if it helped defuse the North Korean nuclear crisis.

NATO

  • It is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • It consists of 28 independent member countries across North America and Europe, the newest of which, Albania and Croatia, joined in April 2009.
  • The organization constitutes a system of collective defencewhereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
  • Three NATO members (the United States, France and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and are officially nuclear-weapon states.
  • NATO's headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium.
  • The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.
  • Members' defence spending is supposed to amount to at least 2% of GDP.

 

GS III : ECONOMY  INDICATORS

March exports climb 27.6%

  • The country's goods exports rose for the seventh consecutive month, recording a 27.6% year-on-year growth in March to $29.2 billion thanks to a low base as well as a robust performance by major sectors including petroleum products, engineering goods and gems and jewellery, according to commerce ministry data.
  • Meanwhile, goods imports in March also recorded 45.25% growth to $39.6 billion resulting in trade deficit widening to $10.4 billion - the highest since November 2016 when it was $12.6 billion.
  • Oil imports also rose 101.4% to $9.7 billion in the period.
  • The World Trade Organisation said it was forecasting a 2.4% growth in global trade in 2017.
  • For 2018, the WTO is forecasting global trade growth between 2.1% and 4%.

 

GS III: ECONOMY  SECTORS

Centre aims to auction coal blocks

  • India aims to auction coal blocks for commercial mining by end- December, a move that would end the monopoly of state-run firms in coal mining.
  • The move could help the country to meet its target and produce 1 billion tonnes by 2020.
  • Coal accounts for about 70% of India's power generation, and the government wants to boost domestic output to cut imports.

 

GS III: ECONOMY BANKING

RBI tightens norms on bank performance

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come out with a revised Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework for banks, spelling out certain thresholds, the breach of which could invite resolutions such as a merger with another bank or even shutting down of the bank.
  • The revised norms have set out three thresholds. The breach of the third one on capital "would identify a bank as a likely candidate for resolution through tools like amalgamation, reconstruction, winding up etc.," the RBI said.
  • The provisions of the revised PCA framework will be effective from April 1, 2017 based on the financials of the banks for the year ended March 31, 2017.
  • The framework would be reviewed after three years, the RBI said.
  • The thresholds are based on :

1.     capital,

2.     net non-performing assets,

3.     profitability

4.     leverage ratio.

First threshold

  • This will get triggered if

(i)                capital adequacy ratio (including capital conservation buffer) falls below 10.25% or common equity tier-I (CET1) capital ratio falls below 6.75%.

(ii)             trigger for net NPA is 6% and 4% for leverage ratio

(iii)           two consecutive years of negative return on assets (RoA) will also be classified in threshold one.

  • The breach of the first threshold will invite restriction on dividend distribution or require parents of foreign banks to bring in more capital.

Second threshold

  • The breach of the second threshold will occur if:

(i)                capital adequacy ratio falls below 7.75% or CET1 goes below 5.125%.

(ii)             The net NPA threshold is breach of 12% and leverage ratio below 3.5%.

(iii)           Three consecutive years of negative ROA will also trigger threshold two.

  • Breach of threshold two will result in restrictions on expansion of branches and higher provisions.

Third (last) threshold

  • The breach of the last threshold happens if:

(i)                CET1 falls below 3.625% and net NPA goes above 12%.

(ii)             Negative ROA for four consecutive years will also be considered as a breach of the third threshold vis-a-vis the profitability parameter.

  • Restrictions, in addition to that of threshold one and two, will be put on management compensation and directors' fees if the third level is breached.
  • Corrective action that can be imposed on banks includes special audit, restructuring operations and activation of recovery plan.
  • The RBI has said that promoters of banks can be asked to bring in new management, or even can supersede the bank's board, as a part of corrective action.

 

GS III : S&T - SPACE

First image of dark matter web captured

  • Scientists have captured the first composite image of a dark matter bridge - a weblike superstructure connecting galaxies together - which has been predicted for decades.
  • "This image moves us beyond predictions to something we can see and measure," said Mike Hudson, astronomy professor at the University of Waterloo
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