News (Text)


When:
July 26, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-07-26T01:00:00+05:30
2018-07-26T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

26 JULY 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Imran Khan’s party forges ahead in Pakistan polls

2.

GS III: SECURITY

Two to hang in Kerala for death of man in custody

3.

GS II : POLITY – INTER-STATE WATERS

Haryana moves SC seeking early hearing in SYL case

4.

GS I: CULTURE

‘Sabarimala ban not based on misogyny’

5.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

No discrimination in giving aid, says Centre

6.

GS I: GEOGRAPHY

Nilgiri mountain train gets a cool, new look

7.

GS I: HISTORY

India’s Magna Carta – marking the 100th year of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report

8.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

VVPATs will be ready for Lok Sabha polls, says EC

9.

GS II: POLITY – STATES -ASSAM

It’s not straight to detention centres for those not on NRC

10.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-AFRICA

India proud to be Africa’s partner: PM

11.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Underground lake detected on Mars

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Imran Khan’s party forges ahead in Pakistan polls

  • Pakistan’s flamboyant cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was leading in 105 seats, while its main rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was way behind with 71 seats in an election marred by a deadly suicide attack and allegations of manipulations by the powerful military.
  • Hours after polling began for the general elections, an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up outside a polling station in Bhosa Mandi area of Balochistan’s provincial capital, Quetta, killing 31 people, including policemen.
  • In separate incidents, four persons were killed in poll-related violence. Clashes erupted between rival parties outside several polling stations, reports said.
  • The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of former president Asif Ali Zardari was leading in 39 seats, a sign indicating that he could be a ‘kingmaker’ in case of a hung parliament, according to media reports.
  • According to the latest trends available for 267 of the National Assembly’s 272 seats, independents were leading in 23 seats.
  • Polling was postponed in two constituencies after the death of candidates in terror attacks.
  • Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb raised objections over the counting process and alleged that her party’s agents were being forced out from the polling stations in several constituencies.
  • The counting process is being carried out behind closed doors and changes are being made to Form-45,” she alleged while talking to reporters.
  • PPP’s Maula Bux Chandio also claimed that his party’s agents were not allowed inside polling stations in Badin while Pak Sarzameen Party leader Raza Haroon made the same claim about the treatment meted out to their agents at different polling stations across Karachi.

GS III: SECURITY

Two to hang in Kerela for death of man in custody

  • A CBI special court sentenced to death by hanging two police officers for torturing to death Udayakumar, 26, at the Fort police station in Thiruvananthapuram in 2005.
  • Special judge Nazar handed down the capital punishment to K. Jithukumar and S.V. Sreekumar, bothsenior civil police officers.
  • The judge said he found no mitigating circumstances to reduce the quantum of punishment. “Law enforcers are the protectors of life and property, and not death dealers.”
  • Here, he said, they had killed an innocent in their custody. “They deserve no clemency,” the judge said, ruling that the crime fell in the rarest of rare category that deserved death.
  • The court also sentenced two retired SPs, K. Haridas and E. K. Sabu, and one serving Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ajith Kumar, to three years in prison for having attempted to cover up the crime by registering a false case of theft against Udayakumar, suppressing evidence and falsifying station records.
  • The accused had apprehended Udayakumar from a nearby public park along with one Suresh Kumar, a history-sheeter, on September 27, 2005.

GS II : POLITY – INTER-STATE WATERS

Haryana moves SC seeking early hearing in SYL case

  • The Haryana government moved the Supreme Court seeking early hearing in the matter related to its row with Punjab over the Satluj-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal.
  • The matter was mentioned before a Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud.
  • The apex court had earlier granted the Centre time to explore the possibility of an amicable solution to the SYL canal row between Punjab and Haryana.
  • On July 11, the apex court said it was obligatory for Punjab and Haryana to respect and execute its orders on the SYL canal issue.
  • The controversial 1981 water-sharing agreement came into being after Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966.
  • For effective allocation of water, the SYL canal link was conceptualised and both States were required to construct their portions within their territories.
  • Haryana constructed the portion of SYL canal in its territory. However, Punjab, after the initial phase, stopped the work, leading to a spate of litigations.
  • In 2004, the Congress government in the State came out with the Punjab Termination of Agreement Act with the intention to terminate the 1981 agreement and all other pacts relating to sharing waters of the Ravi and Beas rivers.
  • The apex court had first decreed Haryana’s suit in 2002 asking Punjab to honour its commitments with regard to water sharing in the case.
  • Punjab had challenged the verdict by filing an original suit that was rejected in 2004 by the Supreme Court which asked the Centre to take over the remaining infrastructure work of the SYL canal project.

GS I: CULTURE

‘Sabarimala ban not based on misogyny’

  • The prohibition on the entry of women of a certain age into the Sabarimala temple is not based on misogyny, but the celibate nature of the deity, senior advocate K. Parasaran, appearing for the Nair Service Society, told the Supreme Court.
  • Article 25 (2) (b) of the Constitution holds that the freedom of conscience and religion will not stand in the way of any law mandating the “throwing open of Hindu religious institutions of a public character to all classes and sections of Hindus.”
  • Mr. Parasaran said that unlike what the court believes, this Article stood against the caste system. It was meant to allow Hindus of all castes into temples. It was a weapon against the yesteryear practice of denying “lower caste Hindus” entry into temples. The Article does not extend to women.
  • Interestingly, Mr. Parasaran pointed out how Article 15(2) of the Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, gender and religion, does not include religious institutions on its list of “public places.”
  • Urging the court to listen to the voices that want to protect tradition, Mr. Parasaran said the Lord Ayyappa at the Sabarimala temple is a “Naishtika Brahmachari” and devotees who come to offer him worship should appear to be brahmacharis.

  

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

No discrimination in giving aid, says Centre

  • The Centre denied any discrimination while allocating relief assistance to the States in dealing with natural disasters, and said that the amount allocated had seen a quantum jump under the present government.
  • Responding to a debate on the flood situation and other natural disasters, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that in the case of Kerala, the Centre could consider enhancing the assistance after the Central government team submitted its report.
  • The debate was initiated by P. Karunakaran of the CPI(M), who along with K.C. Venugopal of the Congress, demanded that the floods in Kerala be declared a natural calamity and that the Centre enhance the assistance over and above that stipulated by the State Disaster Relief Fund.

GS I: GEOGRAPHY

Nilgiri mountain train gets a cool, new look

  • When it comes to the Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) — which figures in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites — Southern Railway seems to prefer pride to profit.
  • And the latest in its efforts to add to the allure of the train service is the addition of a refurbished 25-year-old coach, which promises an uber cool ride for the passengers.
  • The coach (NMR-87) has themed vinyl wrappings, chairs with reclining facility, LED illumination, two-floor luggage racks and decorative vinyl stickers on the exteriors symbolising the charm of the NMR.
  • The NMR trains are operated by oil-fired X-Class steam locomotives between Mettupalayam and Coonoor.

GS I: HISTORY

India’s Magna Carta – marking the 100th year of the Montagu-Chelmsford Report

  • This month marks the 100th year of the publication of the ‘Report on Indian constitutional reforms’, commonly known as the Montagu-Chelmsford Report (MCR).
  • Edwin Montagu, then Secretary of State for India, had advocated for increased participation of Indians in the British Indian administration and had begun consultations nearly a year earlier.
  • After many meetings with Indian representatives, Montagu and the then Governor-General, Lord Chelmsford,published the MCR on July 8, 1918.
  • The MCR stands out for proposing some of the most radical administrative changes and for giving provincial legislatures the mantle of self-governance.
  • To this extent, the report advocated the need “to emancipate the local governments and legislatures from central control; and to advance, by successive stages, in the direction of conferring responsible government on the provinces.”
  • Another one of the most far-reaching objectives of the report was to elucidate the principle of accountable governance by directing that the “Government of India must remain wholly responsible to Parliament.”
  • Thus was laid the platform for the development of a responsible government.
  • However, in the 32nd session of the Indian National Congress, led by British theosophist Annie Besant, there was strong opposition to the Montagu declaration as something that “was unworthy of England to offer and India to accept.”
  • However, Besant later accepted the reforms as essential for the progress of British India.
  • The MCR would go on to become the basis for the Government of India Act, 1935, and, ultimately, the Constitution.
  • The key principles of responsible government, self-governance and federal structure grew out of these reforms.
  • The MCR on Indian constitutional reforms along with the Montagu Declaration are, thus, worthy claimants of the title of the Magna Carta of modern India.

 

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

VVPATs will be ready for Lok Sabha polls, says EC

  • The Election Commission said all VVPATs would be delivered well within the time required for preparations ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.
  • The manufacture and supply of machines are being monitored daily, said the electoral body.
  • In May 2017, the Commission placed an order of 16.15 lakh VVPATs to the Public Sector Unit (PSU) manufacturers Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, to meet the requirements for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • “Till date, 5.88 lakh units have been produced by the PSUs, which is 36% of the total quantity to be supplied,” said the Commission.

GS II: POLITY – STATES -ASSAM

It’s not straight to detention centres for those not on NRC

  • The Home Ministry has advised Assam that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on July 30.
  •  “There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the draft NRC to the Foreigners Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication. The question of referring any person to a detention centre based on the NRC exercise also does not arise. The State government has been asked to issue clear instructions in this regard to all administrative and police functionaries,” the Home Ministry said.
  • On Supreme Court directions, the Registrar-General of India (RGI) will publish the final list on July 30 to segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971.
  • The first draft containing the names of 1.9 crore out of 3.29 crore applicants was published on December 31, 2017.
  • The second and final draft is scheduled to be published on July 30.
  • Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju informed Parliament that 52 Bangladeshis currently in detention centres in Assam would be deported on July 30.
  • In the past two years, 39 Bangladesh nationals were deported from Assam. The total number deported in 2013 was 5,234; the figure was 989 in 2014; 474 in 2015 and 308 in 2016.
  • An official said the persons being deported were not part of the NRC, which certifies the citizens of India and not foreigners.
  • Those being deported are not at all connected with the NRC. They are already declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals and are in detention camps. Their nationality verification has been done by Bangladesh which has issued transit documents for them. They entered India with legal documents and might have overstayed, some as recent as three years back,” said the official.
  • The Ministry has asked the Assam government and neighbouring States to ensure maintenance of law and order in the run-up to, and after publication of, the draft NRC.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-AFRICA

India proud to be Africa’s partner: PM

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined 10 guiding principles for deepening India’s engagement with Africa to help in its economic growth and tackle challenges such as terrorism and climate change.
  • Mr. Modi addressed the Parliament of Uganda, the first by an Indian Prime Minister.
  • He said Uganda, also known as the “Pearl of Africa”, was a land of immense beauty, great wealth of resources and rich heritage.
  • He said the two nations were connected to each other by ancient maritime links, the dark ages of colonial rule, the shared struggle for freedom and the uncertain paths as independent countries in a divided world.
  • He said India’s engagement with Africa would be guided by 10 principles and described them in detail.
  • Some areas of co-operation include:

o   combating terrorism and extremism;

o   keeping our cyberspace safe and secure;

o   supporting the UN in advancing and keeping peace

o   keep the oceans open and free for the benefit of all nations.

o    India will harness its experience with digital revolution to support Africa’s development;

o   improve delivery of public services;

o   extend education and health;

o   spread digital literacy;

o   expand financial inclusion; and

o   mainstream the marginalised.

o   support our industry to invest in Africa.

o   work together to improve Africa’s agriculture.

  • “The world needs cooperation and not competition in the eastern shores of Africa and the eastern Indian Ocean. That is why India’s vision of Indian Ocean security is cooperative and inclusive, rooted in security and growth for all in the region,” he said, apparently referring to China’s manoeuvres in the Horn of Africa, including opening its first so-called support base on the continent in Djibouti in 2017.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Underground lake detected on Mars

  • Using a radar instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft an, scientists have spotted what they said appears to be a sizeable salt-laden lake under ice on the southern polar plain of Mars, a body of water they called a possible habitat for microbial life.
  • The reservoir they detected — roughly 20 km in diameter, shaped like a rounded triangle and located about 1.5 km beneath the ice surface — represents the first stable body of liquid water ever found on Mars.
  • There are terrestrial organisms that can survive and thrive, in fact, in similar environments. There are microorganisms on the earth that are capable of surviving even in ice.
  • Water in the Martian lake was below the normal freezing point but remained liquid thanks in large part to high levels of salts.
  • The detection was made using data collected between May 2012 and December 2015.
  • Mars long ago was warmer and wetter, possessing significant bodies of water, as evidenced by dry lake beds and river valleys on its surface.
  • There had been some signs of liquid water currently on Mars, including disputed evidence of water activity on Martian slopes, but not stable bodies of water.

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