News (Text)


When:
May 23, 2018 @ 1:30 am
2018-05-23T01:30:00+05:30
2018-05-23T01:45:00+05:30

NEWS 

23 MAY 2018 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III: SECURITY

Police firing claims 10 lives in T.N.

2.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

App will help voters to share malpractice proof

3.

GS III: INFRASTRUCTURE

Book today, cancel tomorrow, for free

4.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Habitat loss may have triggered Nipah outbreak

5.

GS III: ENERGY

Shah promises relief from fuel price heat

6.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Model law for contract farming

7.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Small farmers get a raw deal

8.

GS III: ECONOMY -STOCKS

NSE seeks injunction against SGX

GS III: SECURITY

Police firing claims 10 lives in T.N.

  • At least 10 persons, including a 17-year-old girl, were killed in police firing at a massive rally taken out demanding the closure of Sterlite Copper, a Vedanta group copper smelter unit, in the port town of Thoothukudi in south Tamil Nadu.
  • The rally in which thousands of local people participated under the banner of ‘Anti Sterlite Movement’, turned violent with sections of protesters allegedly setting fire to vehicles, including those belonging to the police.
  • Around 60 persons, including police personnel, suffered injuries in stone-throwing.
  • Police had clamped prohibitory orders in Thoothukudi after the Movement, along with opposition parties and traders’ and fishermen bodies, called for a march to the Collectorate demanding closure of Sterlite Copper, marking the 100th day of the latest round of protests against the company, which has been accused of being responsible for air and water pollution leading to health hazards.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

App will help voters to share malpractice proof

  • The Election Commission will launch a multi-lingual mobile application empowering people across the country to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates and activists ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, directly with the electoral body.
  • Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat said that such an application, called Model Code of Conduct Violation Reporting Appwas made available for the first time in Bengaluru in the run-up to the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls.
  • The application, part of the steps taken by the Commission to prevent abuse of money and muscle power, allows for sharing of photos and short audio and video clips from the spot itself.
  • Geo-location of the reported incidents will also get recorded and the officials concerned will immediately receive the alerts. This will ensure an effective response,” said Mr. Rawat.
  • As part of the implementation, the application will also be made operational in the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
  • The growing abuse of social media bots for influencing public opinion has emerged as another major challenge for the Election Commission and plans are on to devise a counter mechanism.
  • A social media cell is already functional.
  • “There are empirical studies establishing that bots have been used for manipulating public discourses,” Mr. Rawat said.
  • These bots are automated accounts often active on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which use Artificial Intelligence to trigger and influence political debates with an objective to shape public opinion.
  • Research work in several international institutions over the past two years, including the Oxford University, have recognised the influence of such bots in the Brexit referendum and also in the United States (2014) and the French (2017) presidential elections.
  • Experts have found evidence that bots are also programmed for spreading fake news on the Internet.

GS III: INFRASTRUCTURE

Book today, cancel tomorrow, for free

  • The draft passenger charter made public by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, allows air travellers to cancel tickets free within 24 hours of booking, and four days (or 96 hours) before the scheduled departure.
  • The draft charter will be open for stakeholders’ consultation for 30 days.
  • The Ministry aims to notify the final version within two months, after which domestic airlines will have to comply.
  • The draft charter lays down compensation norms for passengers.
  • It recommends that in case a passenger is informed about a flight cancellation between two weeks and 24 hours before the flight, the airline must either offer an alternative flight that departs within two hours of the scheduled departure of the flight booked originally, or refund the ticket cost.
  • If the airline doesn’t inform passengers about a cancelled flight up to 24 hours ahead, it will have to refund the full ticket value, with compensation.
  • Similarly, for delays communicated more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure, the airline must offer an option of full refund of the ticket cost if the delay is for more than four hours.
  • If the delay results in the flight departing the next day, then the airline will have to offer free hotel stay.
  • These norms will be applicable only if the delay is due to the fault of the airline, and not if it is caused by bad weather.
  • If a delay results in a passenger missing a connecting flight, then the airline will have to pay ?5,000 to ?20,000.
  • In case of lost baggage, the minimum compensation proposed is ?3,000 per kg. If baggage is delayed or damaged, the airline is liable to pay ?1,000 per kg.
  • If the passenger doesn’t receive the due compensation, grievances can be filed on the Ministry’s AirSewa app or at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation portal.
  • “Some of the proposed changes would be difficult, impractical, or cost-prohibitive,” said a Vistara spokesperson.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Habitat loss may have triggered Nipah outbreak

  • Can human-triggered factors like habitat loss and climate change set off infectious outbreaks such as the recent Nipah cases in Kerala? Existing literature does hint at this possibility.
  • According to a report by the World Health Organisation, there is “strong evidence” that the emergence of bat-related viral infections can be attributed to the loss of the animal’s natural habitats.
  • As the flying fox [fruit bat] habitat is destroyed by human activity, the bats get stressed and hungry, their immune system gets weaker, their virus load goes up and a lot of virus spills out in their urine and saliva,” the report adds.
  • There are studies on Hendra [the Nipah equivalent in Australia] and Nipah viruses that hint at reproductive and nutritional stress as potential role players in virus spillover.
  • Nutritional stress through the loss of food resources — a direct consequence of habitat loss and climate change — brings bats closer to urban areas.
  • According to a study in Malaysia, rapid urbanisation of bat-rich rainforests contributed to the emergence of Nipah virus there.
  • Conservationists fear the outbreaks could spark a knee-jerk reaction of calls for bat culling. Culling may seem an easy solution but studies warn that instead of reducing the outbreak of such diseases, it could cause even more ecological damage.

GS III: ENERGY

Shah promises relief from fuel price heat

  • BJP president Amit Shah said the government was seized of the issue of rising fuel prices and consumers.
  • The government is seriously looking into the issue.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Model law for contract farming

  • After two drafts that received wide criticism from industry and farmers groups, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Sharma released the model law.
  • It is aimed at reducing farmers’ risks by creating an assured market for their produce at a pre-agreed price, while encouraging investment from agribusiness and food processing industries by enhancing productivity and cost efficiency.
  • It provides for State-level boards to be set-up to promote and facilitate — rather than regulate — contract farming, and sets out a framework for registering and recording agreements.
  • It also provides for a dispute settlement authority.
  • The model law stipulates that the sponsor will not be allowed to build any permanent structure on the farmers’ land.
  • In India, 86% of farmers fall into the small and marginal category.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Small farmers get a raw deal

  • The small and marginal farmers are missing out on the bulk of agricultural credit, as per information provided by the Reserve Bank of India, which showed they are receiving only 30-40% of loans meant for the sector.
  • As per a report submitted by the RBI to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture in response to its queries,only 42.2% of agricultural credit disbursed in 2016-17 went to small and marginal farmers.
  • The RBI’s rules are that 18% of a bank’s Adjusted Net Bank Credit must go to the agricultural sector and within this, 8% must go to small and marginal farmers.
  • While the banking sector has overall met this limit, there is still an inherent targeting problem arising out of the costs of lending to the sector.
  • The RBI data shows that only 34.5% of agricultural credit outstanding as of 2017 has gone to rural farmers.
  • The remaining has gone to semi-urban, urban, and metropolitan farmers.
  • The data also shows that the onus of providing agricultural credit is falling on the public sector banks, with 12 out of 23 of the private sector banks for which data is available having failed to meet the 18% lending target for the agricultural sector in 2017.

GS III: ECONOMY -STOCKS

NSE seeks injunction against SGX

  • The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has dragged the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to court over the latter’s plans to unveil derivative products based on Indian stocks and indices.
  • “SGX has been notified by the National Stock Exchange of India of an application made in the Bombay High Court for an interim injunction on our new products,” SGX said in a statement.
  • Justice S.J. Kathawalla restrained SGX from launching the new products.
  • The arbitration petition by NSE has been filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  • In April 2018, SGX unveiled three derivative products based on the Indian market: SGX India Futures, SGX Options on SGX India Futures and SGX India Bank Futures.
  • A separate circular issued by SGX at that time said the settlement price of the SGX India futures will be based on a “broad-based India equity index covering 50 stocks listed on National Stock Exchange of India” without mentioning the Nifty index.
  • In February 2018, the BSE, NSE and the Metropolitan Stock Exchange had said they would not share market data with any foreign bourse where derivative contracts based on Indian indices were offered.

Leave a comment