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When:
November 16, 2017 @ 1:15 am
2017-11-16T01:15:00+05:30
2017-11-16T01:30:00+05:30

NEWS

16 NOVEMBER 2017 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – AFRICA

Zimbabwe Army seizes power, President Robert Mugabe ‘confined to his home’

2.

GS II: POLITY – BILL

Rajasthan conversion Bill returned by Centre

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – RESERVATION

Rajasthan’s Gujjar quota bid stalled

4.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Centre to launch BS-VI fuel in Delhi from 2018 to battle smog

5.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Parking lot a must to protect Taj: U.P. to SC

6.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Kejriwal, Khattar resolve to check Delhi pollution

7.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-FRANCE

France wants to work with India in Indo-Pacific

8.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

In Yemen, Saudi blockade ratchets up fears of famine

9.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

More banks may sign MoUs with govt.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – AFRICA

Zimbabwe Army seizes power, President Robert Mugabe ‘confined to his home’

  • Zimbabwe’s military said it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, who were causing social and economic suffering, but came out with an assurance that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.
  • The army said it has the President and his wife in custody and was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest.
  • Mr. Mugabe has led Zimbabwe for the last 37 years.
  • In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mr. Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.
  • Only a few months ago, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief nicknamed “The Crocodile”, was favourite to succeed his life-long political patron but was ousted a week ago to pave the way for Mr. Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife Grace to succeed him.
  • This represented a major escalation of the struggle to succeed Mr. Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.
  • The economic meltdown of 2007-2008 in Zimbabwe, saw inflation top out at 500,000,000,000%.
  • By some measures, inflation is now at 50% a month.
  • Mr. Mnangagwa has been planning to revitalise the economy by bringing back thousands of white farmers kicked off their land nearly two decades ago and patching up relations with the likes of the World Bank and the IMF.
  • Whatever the outcome, analysts said the military would want to present their move as something other than a full-blown coup to avoid criticism from an Africa keen to leave behind the Cold War continental stereotype of generals being the final arbiters of political power.

GS II: POLITY – BILL

Rajasthan conversion Bill returned by Centre

  • The Religious Freedom Bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008, aimed at banning forcible religious conversions, was returned by the Union government as it deviated from the national policy.
  • The Rajasthan government informed the High Court that the Bill was pending with the Centre.
  • According to the Union Home Ministry, the Bill was sent back for “further clarifications.”
  • The Bill defined “conversion” as “renouncing one’s own religion and adopting another” through “fraudulent means” or any other “fraudulent contrivance.”
  • The Bill has provision for prison terms of up to five years.
  • It also contains a clause for cancellation of registration of organisations held guilty of abetting conversions.
  • The Rajasthan government is making attempts to get the President’s nod for the Bill that has been pending since 2008, the year it was passed.
  • The MHA examines Bills passed by the Assemblies that are repugnant to Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law.
  • The State government recently filed an affidavit in the court in response to a notice on a habeas corpus writ petition seeking production of 22-year-old Aarifa, who has converted from her religion and married a Muslim man. The court had asked whether there was any law or procedure in force in Rajasthan that governed conversions.
  • BJP president Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have batted for “anti-conversion” laws at the national level, but the subject is on the State List of the Constitution and the Centre has no jurisdiction in the matter.
  • The Bill, which was sent for the President’s approval in 2006 too, was returned by Pratibha Patil.
  • A similar Bill of the Chhattisgarh government, Dharma Swatantraya Sanshodhan Vidheyak, 2006, has also been pending with the State.

GS II: SOCIAL – RESERVATION

Rajasthan’s Gujjar quota bid stalled

  • Effectively freezing the Rajasthan government’s bid to provide quotas for Gujjars in jobs and education, the Supreme Court has restrained the State from taking any action which will have the result of pushing the total reservation beyond the 50% ceiling limit set by the apex court.
  • The Bench ordered the Rajasthan government to maintain status quo till the High Court finally decides a pending case before it against the Rajasthan Backward Classes Bill which proposes to raise the reservation for OBC category from 21% to 26%.
  • If the Bill comes into effect, the total reservation quota in the State for government jobs and seats in educational institutions would have increased to 54%.
  • The Bill provides 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other communities.
  • The other five castes include Gujjar/Gurjar, Banjara/Baldia/Labana, Gadia-Lohar/Gadalia, Raika/Rebari and Gadaria.
  • In December 2016, the Rajasthan High Court had struck down the State’s proposal to include these five under the Special Backward Class Reservation Act, 2015.
  • The State government had moved the SC against a November 9 decision of the HC to stay the Bill.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Centre to launch BS-VI fuel in Delhi from 2018 to battle smog

  • In a bid to deal with the critical pollution situation in the national capital, the Ministry of Petroleum has brought forward the date for the rollout of Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) fuel for Delhi to April 1, 2018 instead of the original deadline of April 1, 2020.
  • OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of NCR area with effect from April 1, 2019,” a ministry statement said.
  • Industry players, however, have said that the rollout of the higher standard fuel in Delhi does not mean that BS-VI compliant vehicles will enter the Indian market before the stipulated deadline of 2020.
  • Launching of BS-VI vehicles only for Delhi is not feasible as the fuel will not be available outside the capital and BS-VI vehicles cannot run on BSIV fuel.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Parking lot a must to protect Taj: U.P. to SC

  • The U.P. State government, which fell afoul of the Supreme Court for building a multi-level parking lot within 1 km of the Taj, quoted a NEERI concept paper submitted on November 7 suggesting adequate parking facilities and an orientation centre at both the sides (East and West) of Taj Mahal as “immediate priority” for the environmental protection of the monument.
  • On October 24, a Supreme Court Bench had ordered the demolition of the multilevel parking at a site which is at a distance of 1000 m. from the Taj Mahal.
  • Justifying the project, the State government termed it a “necessary sustainable developmental activity” undertaken to avoid vehicular movement in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal even beyond the prohibitory limit of 500 m.
  • It said the necessary permission/clearance of the Taj Trapezium Zone Authority and the Agra Development Authority had been obtained for the project.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India had also not objected.
  • For the 11 trees which would be felled, the government said it would plant 330 trees.
  • The construction work on parking was started on June 18, 2016 and stopped on May 20, 2017, it said.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Kejriwal, Khattar resolve to check Delhi pollution

  • As many parts of northern States battled smog and air pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar met and agreed upon measures to prevent re-occurrence of smog in the winter of 2018.
  • “We discussed the issues of crop-residue burning and vehicular pollution and resolved to make sustained efforts in pursuance of thejointly identified action points in coming days, weeks and months,” the statement said.
  • The meeting also decided that both States continue talks on other sources of air and water pollution in the near future.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-FRANCE

France wants to work with India in Indo-Pacific

  • France will like to deepen cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific bilaterally and not as a part of a multilateral arrangement like the recently convened “quadrilateral” between India, U.S., Japan and Australia, officials said.
  • Both India and France have a geographical presence as well as a traditional connection of trust in the Indian Ocean.
  • France is the only western country with large territory in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) including the Reunion Islands, that spans about two million square kilometres of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and it has a population of one million French Citizens in the regionincluding about 30% of Indian origin.
  • The French navy maintains bases in the UAE, Djibouti as well as in Reunion, with a total of 20,000 forces permanently based in the IOR.
  • In addition, said the official, France is India’s oldest strategic partner, and has conducted India’s first international ‘‘Varuna’ joint naval exercises since 1983.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

In Yemen, Saudi blockade ratchets up fears of famine

  • After years of war that has seen a Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed Houthi rebels impose a blockade on the country, the UN has already warned that seven million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation.
  • But now a decision by Riyadh and its allies to tighten the screws on all land, sea and air borders in response to a Houthi missile attack has sent prices spiralling further — and ratcheted up fears of a looming famine.
  • Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s conflict in March 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back the Iran-backed Houthis and restoring the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
  • More than two and a half years later, thousands have died in the conflict and the rebels still control Sana’a and much of northern Yemen.
  • UN aid chief Mark Lowcock has told the Security Council that unless the Saudi-led blockade is lifted, Yemen will face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

More banks may sign MoUs with govt.

  • The government is planning to ask more public sector banks to enter into an agreement with it if they want more capital, provided banks improve their performance.
  • Earlier, the government had entered into an agreement with 11 banks, and had asked them to submit a turnaround plan and had linked capital infusion with the pace of turnaround.
  • In the earlier round of MoUs, banks were asked to achieve several parameters such as reduction in gross non-performing assets, increase in recovery, restriction of slippages, among others.
  • Recently, the government had announced a capital infusion of Rs. 2.11 lakh crore in public sector banks over two financial years, starting from the current fiscal.
  • Of the amount, the government plans to issue recapitalisation bonds worth Rs. 1.35 lakh crore and the remaining would come from budgetary provisions and fund raising by banks from the market.
  • While there are some signs that asset quality is stabilising, as indicated in the July-Sept. earnings, banks are still facing higher provisioning requirements for cases filed for bankruptcy.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has mandated 50% provision for cases admitted in the National Company Law Tribunal
  • Initially, the RBI had handed over a list of 12 companies for insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. It added a second list comprising 28 companies, bad loans to which were to be resolved by December, failing which they too were to be referred for bankruptcy proceedings.

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