News (Text)


When:
June 5, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-06-05T01:00:00+05:30
2018-06-05T01:15:00+05:30

 NEWS

5 JUNE 2018 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Rajasthan, A.P., Kerala record top performances in NEET

2.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Notice to MCI, CBSE on plea against NEET upper age limit

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Supreme Court backs MCI norms for medical colleges

4.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Nirav scam limited to one branch, PNB chief tells MPs

5.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Centre to start measuring ‘green GDP’ of States

6.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – MALABAR EXERCISE

War games to hone anti-submarine skills

7.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-RUSSIA

In S-400 deal, U.S. is the elephant in the room

8.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – BRICS

India seeks new security forum

9.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

I have absolute right to pardon myself, says Trump

10.

GS III: S&T – IT

FB gave phone-makers access to data

11.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

TRAI moots network to help in disaster relief

12.

GS III: ENERGY

Oil price falls as U.S. supply grows

13.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

A call to wage a war on plastic

14.

GS III: S&T – SPACE        

SpaceX launches communication satellite

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Rajasthan, A.P., Kerala record top performances in NEET

  • Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, among States with a high number of candidates, have performed well in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) examinations, the results for which were announced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
  • Rajasthan accounted for the highest qualification rate with 58,738 candidates from among 79,057 clearing it.
  • Candidates for admission to all medical programmes in private and government medical colleges, barring AIIMS and JIPMER, Puducherry, are selected through NEET.
  • While 79.96% of the candidates wrote the exam in English, 11.04% did so in Hindi, 4.31% in Gujarati, 3.02% in Bengali, 2.06% in Kannada, 1.86% in Tamil and 0.13% in Urdu.
  • The cut-off percentile – a method of knowing what percentage of candidates a particular candidate has done better than — for the general category is the 50th percentile and that for OBC, SC and ST candidates is the 40th percentile.
  • As for cutoff scores, the cut-off for general category is 691-119 and that for OBCs, SCs and STs is 118-96.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Notice to MCI, CBSE on plea against NEET upper age limit

  • The Supreme Court asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to respond to a challenge by students against an MCI norm laying down upper age limits for applying for NEET for MBBS and BDS courses.
  • The aspirants have challenged the Delhi High Court’s May 11 judgment, dismissing the pleas challenging the MCI notification of 22 January 2018, laying down the upper age limit of 25 years and 30 years for general and reserved categories respectively.
  • During a brief hearing, the counsel appearing for the students told the Supreme Court that the limitation of 25 years was “completely arbitrary”.
  • However, the High Court had earlier struck down a clause in the January 22 notification, which barred candidates who had studied in open school or students who have had Biology or Biotechnology as an additional subject or those who had taken more than two years to complete their 11th and 12th or those who had studied privately from appearing in the NEET.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Supreme Court backs MCI norms for medical colleges

  • Medical colleges need not be given a second chance to rectify their defects if they do not bother even to follow the “basic minimum standards of medical education,” the Supreme Court held.
  • In a recent judgment, a Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and M.M. Shantangoudar interpreted Regulation 8 (3) (1) (a) of the Establishment of Medical Colleges Regulations of 1999.
  • The regulation provides that a medical college, which failed the Medical Council of India (MCI) inspection, should be given an opportunity to redeem itself and seek a re-inspection.
  • But even to seek this re-inspection, the errant college should satisfy certain minimum standards. This means that the college cannot afford to have more than 30% deficiency in faculty or residents and the bed occupancy should not be less than 50%
  • The court held that this “prescription of standards for availing an opportunity to seek re-inspection is not ultra vires” of Regulation 8 or the Indian Medical Council Act.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Nirav scam limited to one branch, PNB chief tells MPs

  • Managing director of Punjab National Bank (PNB) Sunil Mehta told parliamentarians that there was no systemic failure in the Nirav Modi fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LOU) case, terming it as just ‘operational failure’ of a single branch of the bank in Mumbai.
  • Mr. Mehta and the Deputy Chairman of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and Chairman of State Bank of India Rajnish Kumar were questioned on the PNB scam and the issue of conflict of interest involving ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar at a three-hour meeting by members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance. The panel is chaired by Congress MP M. Veerappa Moily.
  • Nirav Modi, along with his uncle and co-accused Mehul Choksi, defrauded the PNB of over Rs. 13,500 crore. The fraud was committed at the Brady House branch of the bank in Mumbai.
  • Three PNB officials are among 19 persons arrested so far.
  • Ms Kochhar has been accused of favouring the Videocon Group which had business dealings with NuPower Renewables owned by her husband Deepak Kochhar. ICICI bank is a member of IBA.
  • Mr Roy questioned the Association’s silence on the conflict of interest issue and asked how such a violation of code of conduct went unnoticed. According to the sources, Mr. Rajnish Kumar of the IBA did not answer his questions.
  • The parliamentarians also grilled the IBA on the growing non-performing assets. Gross NPAs of state-owned banks had crossed Rs. 7.77 lakh crore at the end of December 2017.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Centre to start measuring ‘green GDP’ of States

  • India’s environmental diversity and riches are universally recognised but have never been quantified.
  • Starting this year, the government will begin a five-year exercise to compute district-level data of the country’s environmental wealth.
  • The numbers will eventually be used to calculate every State’s ‘green’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • The metric will help with a range of policy decisions, such as compensation to be paid during land acquisition, calculation of funds required for climate mitigation, and so on.
  • A pilot project is set to begin in September 2018 in 54 districts. Land will be demarcated into “grids” with about 15-20 grids per district. These will capture the diversity in the State’s geography, farmland, wildlife, and emissions pattern, and will be used to compute a value.
  • Much of the data required for the inventory would be sourced from datasets that already exist with other government ministries.
  • The government has also launched a ‘green skilling’ programme under which youth, particularly school dropouts, would be trained in a range of ‘green jobs’.
  • Some of the labour required for the survey would also be sourced from the green-skilled workforce.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – MALABAR EXERCISE

War games to hone anti-submarine skills

  • The Navies of India, Japan and the U.S. will enhance their anti-submarine warfare skills in this year’s Malabar naval war games to be held off the coast of Guam from June 7 to 16.
  • For the first time in a Malabar exerciseall three Navies are deploying their maritime reconnaissance (MR) aircraft to sharpen those skills.
  • The exercise contributes towards increasing the level of mutual understanding, interoperability and sharing of the best practices between the three navies.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-RUSSIA

In S-400 deal, U.S. is the elephant in the room

  • India’s ambitions to procure the Russian-developed S-400 Triumf long-range air-defence system has landed New Delhi right in the middle of global strategic complexities.
  • The S-400 is a complex military system comprising several radars, command post, different types of missiles and launchers that can track several dozen incoming objects simultaneously from hundreds of kilometres away, launch counter-missiles within seconds and shoot them down with great efficiency.
  • Given its advanced capabilities, the weapon system has added a new strategic angle to ongoing stand-offs around the world — in Syria, between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and in China and its neighbourhood.
  • As the Defence Ministry prepares to present the procurement proposal for the S-400 systems before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), officials are divided on whether New Delhi will push the deal through in the face of possible U.S. sanctions and warnings that it will adversely affect transfer of U.S. military technology.
  • Government sources said New Delhi and Moscow have concluded the negotiations and the CCS note for a $5.5-billion deal is being drafted.

GS II: MULTILATERAL – BRICS

India seeks new security forum

  • India urged for support from Russia, China, South Africa and Brazil to create a new security forum to counter terrorism and radicalisation.
  • Speaking at the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the forum could be realised through an understanding among the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of the member countries of the grouping.
  • The National Security Advisers of the BRICS member- states have a dialogue mechanism to counter radicalisation, terrorism, money laundering and other international crimes.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

I have absolute right to pardon myself, says Trump

  • U.S. President Donald Trump said that he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunise himself from the ongoing Russia investigation even as he asserted that he has “done nothing wrong”.
  • He insisted that “numerous legal scholars” have concluded that he has the absolute right to pardon himself, a claim that vastly overstates the legal thinking on the issue.
  • “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” he wrote. “In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!”

GS III: S&T – IT

FB gave phone-makers access to data

  • As Facebook sought to become the world’s dominant social media service, it struck agreements allowing phone and other device-makers access to vast amounts of its users’ personal information.
  • Facebook has reached data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device-makers — including Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Samsung — during the last decade, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, company officials said.
  • The deals, most of which remain in effect, allowed Facebook to expand its reach and let device-makers offer customers popular features of the social network, such as messaging, “like” buttons and address books.
  • But the partnerships raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Facebook allowed the companies access to the data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, even after declaring that it would no longer share such information with outsiders.
  • Some device-makers could retrieve personal information even from users’ friends who believed they had barred any sharing,
  • Facebook came under intensifying scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators after news reports in March that a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, misused the private information of tens of millions of Facebook users.
  • In the furor that followed, Facebook’s leaders said the kind of access exploited by Cambridge in 2014 was cut off by 2015, when Facebook prohibited developers from collecting information from users’ friends.
  • But the company officials did not disclose that Facebook had exempted the makers of cellphones, tablets and other hardware from such restrictions.
  • In interviews, Facebook officials defended the data sharing as consistent with its privacy policies, the FTC agreement and pledges to users.
  • They said its partnerships were governed by contracts that strictly limited use of the data, including any stored on partners’ servers. The officials added that they knew of no cases where the information had been misused.
  • The company views its device partners as extensions of Facebook, the officials said.
  • Some device partners can retrieve Facebook users’ relationship status, religion, political leaning and upcoming events, among other data.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

TRAI moots network to help in disaster relief

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended setting up of a pan-India broadband public protection disaster relief (PPDR) communications network based on 3GPP PS-LTE technology for an ‘advanced, reliable, robust and responsive communication networks’ to be used during disasters.
  • Existing PPDR networks in the country are analog and digital systems supporting narrowband voice and data communications,” the regulator said.
  • “Introduction of advanced broadband PPDR communication networks can be a great enabler in decision-making and handling of PPDR operations for personnel and organisations involved,” it added.
  • The regulator recommended creating a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Home Affairs to plan, coordinate and steer the nationwide network besides implementation and subsequent operation.
  • Operators, the TRAI said, should be mandated to provide mobile BTS and backpack devices in case of disasters when the terrestrial network gets damaged or becomes dysfunctional.

GS III: ENERGY

Oil price falls as U.S. supply grows

  • Oil prices fell as U.S. production hit a record high and OPEC members considered boosting supply.
  • The benchmark Brent crude oil lost $1.26 a barrel, or 1.6%, to a low of $75.53.
  • OPEC meets formally on June 22 to set oil policy. It is expected to agree to raise output to cool the market amid worries over Iranian and Venezuelan supply and after Washington raised concerns that the oil rally was going too far.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

A call to wage a war on plastic

  • India hosts UN World Environment Day on 5 June 2018.
  • This year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution.”

GS III: S&T – SPACE        

SpaceX launches communication satellite

  • SpaceX has launched a satellite for a Luxembourg communication company.
  • But it ditched the recycled booster in the Atlantic following liftoff.
  • The powerful SES satellite, weighing 5,400 kg, will provide TV and data coverage across Asia, the Pacific and the West Asia.

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