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Current Events 14 March 2017

 

NEWS 

14 March 2017 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III : ENVIRONMENT

NGT to monitor coal dust pollution in Vizag port

2.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL  RELATIONS

Probe sought into death of Nigerian in Bengaluru

3.

GS II: POLITY

Congress knocks on SC’s door

4.

GS III :  ECONOMY

Curbs on withdrawal of cash lifted

5.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

India, Pak. in SCO will ensure security of region, says China

6.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Scotland seeks to exit U.K.

7.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

China planning five-fold increase in marine force

8.

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 

‘2016 was the worst year for Syrian children’

9.

GS II : INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

‘Pak. should be declared state sponsor of terror’

10.

GS III : ECONOMY SECTOR

Finances of 3 Coal India arms may be hit this fiscal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GS III : ENVIRONMENT  NGT

NGT to monitor coal dust pollution in Vizag port

  •  The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will monitor measures taken to prevent air pollution caused due to spread of coal dust to Old City and other areas of the city and directed AP Pollution Control Board and Visakhapatnam Port Trust to submit it status reports once in a quarter.
  •  The order was in response to a PIL filed by Chaitanya Sravanthi, an NGO.
  •  Stating that the authorities should stick to the deadline (December, 2018) set to control the pollution, it threatened to step in with serious action if the respondents failed to control pollution.
  •  NGT said: “We make it clear that if we find any slackness in implementing the plan and neglecting the pollution control measures (as per permissible limits) and if there is no perceptible reduction of dust emission and improvement of the air quality, we will be constrained to invoke ‘Polluter Pays’ principle and even restraining the respondent port trust from handling coal cargo.

 

GS III : SECURITY

Probe sought into death of Nigerian in Bengaluru

  •  Alleging police brutality, the African community in Bengaluru has demanded a probe into the death of a businessman who, according to the police, died in an accident while fleeing from them in Kothanur in the early hours of 13 March 2017.
  •  The Nigeria Community of Students’ Association, Bengaluru, has identified the deceased as Ife Anyi, a businessman in his late 30s who hailed from Nigeria.
  •  Various groups of people from nations in Africa living in the city have alleged police brutality.
  •  They say fears of discrimination, which had peaked after an attack on Tanzanian students last year, have resurfaced.

 

 

GS II: POLITY JUDICIARY

Congress knocks on SC’s door

  •  The Supreme Court agreed to hear an urgent petition filed by the Congress challenging the “blatantly unconstitutional action” of Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to invite Goa BJP Legislature Party leader Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister.
  •  Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar agreed to set up a Special Bench and hear the petition on 14 March 2017 at 10.30 a.m.
  •  Mr. Parrikar is scheduled to be sworn in as Chief Minister on the same morning.
  •  “The Governor of Goa could not have ignored the single largest party (INC) with 17 seats and invited the BJP, which is a smaller party with 13 seats, to form the government,” the petition said.
  •  The total strength of the Assembly is 40 seats.
  •  The petition contended that the BJP had no pre-poll alliance with any of the other parties which now tow their line.
  •  It was the central BJP leadership which used its political clout to rope in the smaller parties and Independents in Goa to cobble together the requisite majority in the State.
  •  The petition said the Supreme Court as the “sentinel” of constitutional norms and values should intervene and strike down the decisions taken by a Governor in her discretionary capacity if they were found to be arbitrary.

 

GS III :  ECONOMY

Curbs on withdrawal of cash lifted

  •  Restrictions on cash withdrawals, which came into effect from November 9, 2016, following the ban on high value currency notes, were lifted on 13 March 2017.
  •  According to RBI data, the currency in circulation till the week ended March 3 was Rs. 11,984.1 billion which is 67% of the currency in circulation, pre-demonetisation.
  •  The decision to withdraw high value notes was aimed at eliminating corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror funding.
  •  According to a recent study by the Reserve Bank of India staff in the monetary policy department, about 78% of all consumer payments in India are effected in cash.

GS II : MULTILATERAL  SCO

India, Pak. in SCO will ensure security of region, says China

  •  China hoped the admission of India and Pakistan into the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security grouping will contribute to security and stability in the region.
  •  Currently, all sides are going through relevant legal procedures in accordance with the Memorandum of Obligations signed at last year’s SCO summit at Tashkent to admit India and Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said here.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  •   The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  •  These countries, except for Uzbekistan had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation.
  •  On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members.
  •  India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations on 24 June 2016 at Tashkent, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as full members.
  •  The acceptance process will take some months, by which they are expected to become full members by the next meeting at Astana in 2017.


 

 

GS II : INTERNATIONAL U.K.

Scotland seeks to exit U.K.

  •  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will ask the Scottish Parliament for authority next week for a second referendum on Scottish independence.
  •  She citicised the “brick wall of intransigence” that her government had faced as it sought to find a deal that protected Scotland’s interests as Britain prepared to leave the EU.
  •  While the 2014 referendum on independence was pegged as a “once in a generation” vote, the issue of independence resurfaced in the wake of last June’s referendum, when Scotland voted overwhelmingly (62%) to remain in the EU.
  •  While 55.3% of Scottish voters opted to remain in the U.K. in the 2014 independence referendum, recent polls have suggested that gap has narrowed.
  •  In December, the Scottish government published a white paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe” calling for the U.K. to either remain in the single market or commit to an outcome that would enable Scotland to remain within it, which Ms. Sturgeon said represented a “significant compromise” on the part of her government.

 

 

GS II : INTERNATIONAL CHINA

China planning five-fold increase in marine force

  • China is set to rapidly expand its marine corps and the Navy in anticipation of the development of its Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which covers the Pakistani port of Gwadar, and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
  •  It is reported that China is planning a five-fold increase in its marine force — from 20,000 to 100,000 personnel.
  •  “Besides its original missions of a possible war with Taiwan, maritime defence in the East and South China seas, it’s also foreseeable that the PLA Navy’s mission will expand overseas, including protection of China’s national security in the Korean peninsula, the country’s maritime lifelines, as well as offshore supply deports like in Djibouti and Gwadar port in Pakistan,” it was reported.
  •  The SCMP write-up did not clarify whether China was considering a limited deployment of its marines, or had a larger plan of establishing a de facto naval base in Gwadar.

 

 

 

GS  II : INTERNATIONAL SYRIA 

‘2016 was the worst year for Syrian children’

  •  In Syria, last year was the worst yet for the country’s rising generation, with at least 652 children killed in 2016, the United Nations’ child relief agency said.
  •  UNICEF said at least 255 children were killed in or near schools last year and 1.7 million youngsters are out of school.
  •  One of every three schools in Syria is unusable, some because armed groups occupy them. An additional 2.3 million Syrian children are refugees elsewhere in the region.
  •  The figures came in a UNICEF report released ahead of the sixth anniversary later this week of the 2011 popular uprising against President Bashar Al- Assad’s rule.
  •  The UNICEF report warns that for Syria’s young generation, coping mechanisms and medical care are eroding quickly, driving children into child labour, early marriage and combat.
  •  Dozens of children are also dying from preventable diseases. A report released a week ago by the international charity Save the Children said Syrian youngsters are showing signs of “toxic stress” that can lead to lifelong health problems, struggles with addiction and mental disorders lasting into adulthood.

 

 

 

GS II : INTERNATIONAL USA

‘Pak. should be declared state sponsor of terror’

  •  U.S. Congressman Ted Poe has introduced a Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives seeking a review of U.S. ties with Pakistan, given its support for terrorism.
  •  “Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the U.S. for years. From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cosy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the war on terror. And it’s not America’s. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” Mr. Poe told reporters on a conference call
  •  Pakistan is taking money from the U.S. and at least part of that money is going to terrorists who seek to attack America,” the Congressman said.
  •  Mr. Poe had cosponsored a similar Bill in September 2016, which lapsed.
  •  According to a U.S. State Department document, there are four main categories of sanctions that will follow a state sponsor of terrorism designation — “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defence exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”
  •  Due to various certification requirements that have been mandated for Pakistan in recent years, U.S. civil and military aid to Pakistan has seen a sharp decline in recent years — from $3.5 billion in 2011 to less than $1 billion in 2016.

GS III: ECONOMY  SECTORS

Finances of 3 Coal India arms may be hit this fiscal

  • The finances of three of the seven coal-producing subsidiaries of listed Maharatna PSU Coal India Ltd. (CIL) may nosedive this fiscal due to poor production and sales.
  •  Available information suggested that the firms may either report a loss or a marginal profit this fiscal.
  •  The companies are the Nagpur-based Western Coalfields Ltd. (WCL), Asansol-based Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (ECL) and Dhanbad-based Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. (BCCL).
  •  Their financial trend became apparent during the third quarter when they reported losses.
  •  At least two of these companies — BCCL and ECL— came out of the BIFR fold about three years ago and while they still carry accumulated losses, they have been making operational profit for close to six years now and their net worth is positive after a financial recast by parent company CIL.
  •  Sources said that poor coal demand was the main reason for this. Moreover, the fortunes of CIL and its arms were affected by the close to 50% drop in the e-auction price in the last quarter. Lower demand by the power sector was the factor here, too.
  •  The government holds 79.1% of CIL’s equity. 
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