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Current Affairs 22 April 2017

 

NEWS

22 April 2017

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II :  POLITY-JUDICIARY

Why force people to get Aadhaar, SC asks Centre

2.

GS III:   SECURITY

Ensure safety of Kashmiris, Home Minister tells States

3.

GS II : GOVERNANCE

Govt. plans home delivery of petrol

4.

GS III:  ECONOMY-AVIATION

Flights from Shimla set to take of from April 27

5.

GS III:  DEFENCE

Navy test-fires land attack variant of BrahMos missile

6.

GS II :  GOVERNANCE-CIVIL SERVICES

Perform, Modi tells civil servants

7.

GS II :  BILATERAL -INDIA - SOUTH KOREA

India, South Korea ink pacts on artillery guns

8.

GS III :  DEFENCE

SC to hear plea alleging killings by BSF personnel

9.

GS II :   SOCIAL-WOMEN

Centre does not care for widows, says SC

10.

GS I :  ART & CULTURE

Kohinoor not in our jurisdiction: SC

11.

GS II :  BILATERAL -INDIA -NEPAL

Nepal President to address musk dearth at Puri temple

12.

GS II : GOVERNANCE 

Ease BHIM refund process, IT Minister Prasad tells NPCI

13.

GS III:  ECONOMY-AVIATION

Civil Aviation Ministry to check overbooking by airlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GS II :  GOVERNANCE AADHAAR

Why force people to get Aadhaar, SC asks Centre

  • The Supreme Court on 21 April 2017 questioned the Centre's logic to make Aadhaar card mandatory for filing income tax returns, asking whether this would act as a remedy to end the generation of fake Permanent Account Number (PAN) and ration cards.
  • Mr. Rohatgi replied that making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns under Section 139AA was a "legislative mandate."
  • The court was hearing petitions filed by Ramon Magsaysay award-winner Bezwada Wilson, former Kerala Minister Binoy Viswam and ex-Army officer S.G. Vombatkere, represented by senior advocates Arvind Datar and Shyam Divan and advocate Sriram Prakkat, challenging the constitutionality of Section 139AA inserted in the Income Tax Act by the Finance Act, 2017.
  • The provision makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a PAN.
  • Possession of Aadhaar card is necessary for the continuing validity of an existing PAN and for filing returns under the income tax law.
  • The Bench observed that the Supreme Court had asked the government to make Aadhaar optional until the very validity of the Aadhaar scheme on the basis of right to privacy was decided by the court.
  • The court was referring to the October 15, 2015 order of a Constitution Bench led by then Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, which said "the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other."
  • To this, the top law officer submitted that the October 15 Constitution Bench order had referred to the voluntary use of Aadhaar in welfare schemes and not non-welfare activities like filing returns.
  • Mr. Rohatgi said the Supreme Court itself had agreed to making Aadhaar mandatory in certain fields to protect identity and national security.
  • He argued that it is already a mandatory requirement under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act to allot PAN. Aadhaar is only being linked to it.
  • The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act of 2016 enacted as a Money Bill is itself under challenge in the Supreme Court on a petition filed by former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh.
  • "Going by the AG's logic about fake PANs, I get a PAN card on the basis of showing my Aadhaar as proof. By making Aadhaar mandatory under Section 139AA, my PAN becomes invalid. This has serious consequences," Mr. Datar for Mr. Viswam submitted.
  • He contended that the Aadhaar Act itself does not make obtaining Aadhaar mandatory. The court agreed to hear the petitions on April 26.

GS III:  SECURITY

Ensure safety of Kashmiris, Home Minister tells States

  • Sending out a strong message to those targeting Kashmiri students in other parts of the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on 21 April 2017 that "Kashmiris were respectable citizens of India" and States should ensure their safety at any cost.
  • His statement came in the wake of reports alleging that Kashmiri students were being targeted in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Home Minister said an advisory was being sent to all the States in this regard.

 

GS II : GOVERNANCE POLICY

Govt. plans home delivery of petrol

  • Soon, tanking up the car or buying diesel to run the generator may no longer entail a trip to the nearest petrol pump.
  • The government is exploring the possibility of allowing all petroleum products - not just LPG cylinders - to be delivered at consumers' doorstep.
  • "Options [are] being explored where petro products may be door-delivered to consumers on pre-booking.
  • He also said the government was not in favour of petrol pumps being shut on Sundays.

 

GS III:  ECONOMY-AVIATION

Flights from Shimla set to take of from April 27

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is coming here on a one-day visit on April 27, will re-launch air services from Jubbarhatti airport in Shimla after a gap of about four years under the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme.
  • According to officials who successfully conducted the test flights this week, Indian Airlines' subsidiary Air Alliance will resume operations from next week.
  • The table-top Shimla airport is among the 70 airports short-listed by the Union Aviation Ministry under the UDAN project.
  • The subsidised Shimla- Delhi air fare would be Rs. 2,500 per ticket and the rest would be borne by the Union government.

GS III:  DEFENCE

Navy test-fires land attack variant of BrahMos missile

  • The Indian Navy on 21 April 2017 successfully carried out the maiden test-firing of the land attack variant of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Indian Naval Ship Teg, a stealth frigate in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The test firing is seen as a major capability addition as, so far, the Navy has inducted only the anti-ship variant in many of the frontline vessels.
  • Explaining the significance of the development, the statement said the land attack variant provides the naval ships the capability "to precisely neutralise selected targets deep inland, far away from coast, from stand-off ranges at sea."
  • BrahMos, derived from Russian P-800 Oniks or Yakhont missile, is a joint product of India and Russia.
  • The present range of the BrahMos is 290 km, which is now in the process of being extended up to 450 km following India's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime last year.

 

 

GS II :  GOVERNANCE-CIVIL SERVICES

Perform, Modi tells civil servants

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 April 2017 said anonymity was one of the greatest strengths of civil services, cautioning government officials that the use of social media should not lead to a decline in this strength, even as social media and mobile governance were leveraged for connecting people to benefits and government schemes.
  • At the Civil Service Day function, Mr. Modi also assured the civil servants that he would stand by them if they took decisions with an honest intention and in public interest.
  • He said that the sooner the attitude of the government would change from a regulator to an enabler, the faster the challenge of competition would turn into an opportunity.
  • He also urged senior officials to ensure that experience did not become a burden stifling the innovation of younger officials.
  • Mr. Modi said while "political will" was needed for reform, which he did not lack and may be had a bit extra, the "performance" part must come from civil servants and that "transformation" was enabled by people's participation.

Civil Services Day 

  • The Civil Services Day is organized on 21st April every year, when civil servants re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the citizens and renew their commitment to public service.
  • This day coincides with the date on which Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had addressed the first batch of probationers at the All India Administrative Service Training School at Metcalfe House, New Delhi in 1947.
  • The Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration are also given away on this day.

 

GS II :  BILATERAL -INDIA - SOUTH KOREA

India, South Korea ink pacts on artillery guns

  • India and South Korea on 21 April 2017 signed two agreements; one is a manufacturing agreement between two private companies to build artillery guns for the Army and other is an Inter-Governmental Agreement for collaboration in shipbuilding.
  • The MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership' between both sides.
  • Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Hanwa Techwin of South Korea signed a contract to manufacture the K9 Vajra-T tracked, self-propelled artillery guns for the Indian Army.
  • The deal estimated at around ?4,500 crore is for 100 guns.
  • The first of the guns should be delivered within this financial year.

GS II :  POLITY  JUDICIARY

SC to hear plea alleging killings by BSF personnel

  • The Supreme Court on 21 April 2017 agreed to hear a plea seeking probe into alleged torture, rape and extra-judicial killings by the BSF personnel in the border areas of West Bengal.
  • The plea has also challenged the constitutional validity of Section 46 of the BSF Act, which provides the situations in which a BSF personnel can be tried by a Security Force Court.

  

GS II :  POLITY JUDICIARY

Centre does not care for widows, says SC

  • "You [the government] do not want to do it and when we say anything, you say that the court is trying to run the government," a Bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said, while castigating the government for not caring about the destitute widows in the country.
  • The SC also imposed a cost of ?1 lakh on the government for not coming out with the agreed directions to improve the condition of destitute widows, despite its direction and granted it four weeks to do so.
  • The SC had earlier asked the Centre to convene a meeting to consider suggestions mooted by the National Commission for Women and formulate directions to improve the condition of widows.

 

GS I :  CULTURE

Kohinoor not in our jurisdiction: SC

  • The Supreme Court on 21 April 2017 refused to further dwell on a petition seeking a judicial declaration to bring the Kohinoor diamond back from the United Kingdom, leaving the task to the wisdom and efforts of the government.
  • The court said it cannot direct the United Kingdom on what to do with the Kohinoor diamond.
  • The court was hearing a petition filed by the All India Human Rights and Social Front against the High Commissioner of the U.K.
  • In a recent affidavit, the Ministry said it was "continuing to explore ways for a satisfactory resolution" over the diamond with the U.K.
  • The affidavit had said the issue of the Kohinoor was "taken up time and again since the Independence".
  • The affidavit said the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act of 1972, which prevents the export of precious articles and treasures from the country, was toothless as the British East India Company confiscated the 108-carat Kohinoor diamond from the boy king Maharaja Duleep Singh in 1849 - "it is a known historical fact."
  • It was presented to the then British monarch, Queen Alexandra, in 1850 after the Anglo-Sikh wars, in which Britain gained control over the Sikh empire in the then undivided Punjab.
  • Though both India and the U.K. were signatories to the UNESCO Convention on Means of Prohibiting and Preventing Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, the restitution of Kohinoor would require a "special agreement" between both countries.

  

GS II :  BILATERAL -INDIA -NEPAL

Nepal President to address musk dearth at Puri temple

  • Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who visited Shri Jagannath Temple in Puri and offered prayers on 21 April 2017, assured the temple administration that she would take up the issue of musk (Kasturi) supply to the temple with her government.
  • Kasturi, the musk obtained from a stag's navel, is used in some special rituals in the Jagannath temple.
  • The temple administration had last received musk from the erstwhile King of Nepal in 2002, and the stock has almost got exhausted.

 

GS III : ECONOMY  DIGITAL 

Ease BHIM refund process, IT Minister Prasad tells NPCI

  • IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has instructed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to smoothen the refund mechanism for BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) application.
  • "This follows feedback highlighting that the process of getting a refund in BHIM application is more cumbersome compared to other applications," a senior IT ministry official said.
  • The issue was raised during the second review meeting on digital payments chaired by Mr. Prasad.
  • "In the meeting, it was pointed out that now 56 crore bank accounts have been linked to Aadhaar, of the total 97 crore back accounts," the official said, adding that the lag was due to some issues in states such as Assam and Meghalaya.
  • According to government data, as on December 2017, Assam and Meghalaya have the lowest Aadhaar penetration at 6% and 9%, respectively.
  • Further, the banks have been instructed to invest in and strengthen their IT infrastructure to deal with the rising number of digital payments and improve transaction success rates.
  • Additionally, every bank has been instructed to have at least 30 Aadhaar biometric machines at every branch, and that 50 lakh such devices be installed in the current year.

 

GS III:  ECONOMY-AVIATION

Civil Aviation Ministry to check overbooking by airlines

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry has swung into action to crack down on the incidence of overbooking on domestic flights which rose by more than 60% in the last eight months despite stiff compensation rules for airlines.
  • Such overbooking has resulted in thousands of passengers being denied boarding despite holding a ticket.
  • While an outright ban on the practice of airlines overbooking flights is not being considered yet, the Ministry may issue fresh guidelines for domestic airlines on overbooked flights.
  • Many airlines in India as well as abroad tend to issue confirmed bookings to more passengers than the number of seats available on a flight in anticipation of a few ticket cancellations and to reduce the possibility of departing with empty seats.
  • Passengers get compensation in form of cash, hotel accommodation or alternative flight for being denied boarding.
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