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When:
October 26, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-10-26T01:00:00+05:30
2018-10-26T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

26 OCTOBER 2018 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: POLITY – LEGISLATURE

Disqualification of T.N. MLAs upheld

2.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

1,400 arrested for violence during Sabarimala protest

3.

GS II: POLITY – CBI

Four IB men held outside CBI chief Alok Verma’s house

4.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Muzaffarpur probe details scary, says Supreme Court

5.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Aim and shoot for a citizen-science repository of Indian mammals

6.

GS III: INFRASTRUCTURE

India set to be third largest aviation market

7.

GS III: DEFENCE

Army set to create new positions as part of overhaul

8.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

For second day, bombs target Democrats, critics of Trump

9.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

China, Japan to partner in building Asia infrastructure

10.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Ruias offer to pay up, want Essar Steel back

GS II: POLITY – LEGISLATURE

Disqualification of T.N. MLAs upheld

  • Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, the Supreme Court-appointed third judge of the Madras High Court, upheld the validity of an order passed by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal on September 18, 2017, disqualifying 18 AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to T.T.V. Dhinakaran under the anti-defection law.
  • Deciding the case afresh at the request of counsel for the litigants, following a split verdict on June 14, Justice Sathyanarayanan categorically held that the Speaker’s order did not suffer from any of the grounds of attack, be it breach of constitutional mandate, mala fide intentions, perversity or non-adherence to principles of natural justice.
  • In a split verdict, then Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee (now a Supreme Court judge) had upheld the Speaker’s order while her companion judge, Justice M. Sundar, had set it aside on multiple grounds, including mala fide, perversity and non-adherence to the principles of natural justice.
  • Justice Sathyanarayanan’s verdict upheld Justice Banerjee’s orders, saying the disqualified MLAs had failed to prove their allegations of the Speaker having passed the order with ulterior motives.
  • The Speaker had disqualified the MLAs because they had given a representation to the Governor, at the instance of Mr. Dhinakaran, on August 22, 2017 withdrawing their support to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
  • They had also urged the Governor to “initiate the Constitutional process.”
  • However, during their meeting, the then Governor had told them categorically that it was an “internal party dispute.”And the response of the Governor was perfectly in tune with the Supreme Court’s ruling, in the famous Nabam Rebia’s case, that Governors should stay away from the political thicket, the judge said.
  • The Governor’s reply clearly meant that he had no powers to replace the Chief Minister. Yet, the petitioners had “reiterated and pursued their stand.” Therefore, it could not be said that the Speaker had no materials at all to come to a conclusion that the petitioners had defected from their party and voluntarily given up membership, he added.
  • He added that the order of disqualification could not be set aside just because a dispute between two groups of the AIADMK was pending before the Election Commission of India during the relevant point of time.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

1,400 arrested for violence during Sabarimala protest

  • In a Statewide crackdown, the Kerala police have arrested 1,400 people in connection with the violent protests against the entry of young women into the Sabarimala temple.
  • Police have filed 440 cases and issued lookout circular for 210 persons allegedly involved in the protests at Nilackal, Pampa and Sabarimala.
  • Those arrested, including women, have been booked under various Sections from rioting to destruction of public property, attacking people and deterring public servants from discharging their duty.

GS II: POLITY – CBI

Four IB men held outside CBI chief Alok Verma’s house

  • High drama unfolded outside the bungalow of CBI Director Alok Verma at 2 Janpath, when his personal security officers caught four officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
  • A senior official said that Mr. Verma’s PSOs mistook the four IB personnel for being those from the CBI who had come at the behest of [Special Director] Rakesh Asthana to raid Mr. Verma’s bungalow.
  • Mr. Verma and Mr. Asthana were sent on leave on October 23 after claims and counter-claims of bribery and corruption.
  • Mr. Verma has challenged the government’s order in the Supreme Court.
  • A senior IB official said a team of the IB personnel patrols the high security Lutyens zone from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day. This has been the practice since 1980s.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Muzaffarpur probe details scary, says Supreme Court

  • A shocked Supreme Court said that details emerging from the CBI investigation into the sexual abuse of minor inmates at a Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar was scary.
  • A CBI report before a Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur said the main accused, Brajesh Thakur, had access to a mobile phone in jail and was in constant touch with the outside world.
  • The court asked him to respond why he should not be transferred to a facility outside Bihar.
  • The report said Thakur was known to be a “very influential person and people in the neighbourhood are scared of him.”
  • It said Thakur’s neighbours had often heard girls screaming inside the shelter home, but were too frightened to report it to the police.
  • The court has ordered an Income Tax investigation into the assets of Thakur.
  • The court’s primary focus was on the Rs. 4.5 crore he received from the Bihar government in the past 10 years to finance the “activities” of his NGO called Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti, which ran the shelter home.
  • The Bench questioned the Bihar government and the CBI about the whereabouts of Chandrashekhar Verma, husband of former Bihar Minister Manju Verma.
  • Ms. Verma had to resign as the State’s Social Welfare Minister after a report by a survey team from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) blew the lid off the horrors perpetrated upon the children in the shelter home.
  • The court reiterated its position of September 18 that the CBI team appointed by the then CBI Director Alok Verma would continue to probe the Muzaffarpur case.
  • The court had on September 18 stayed an August 29 order of the Patna High Court to hand over the case to CBI Special Director R.K. Asthana.
  • The High Court had given Mr. Asthana carte blanche to appoint a team.
  • The High Court had expressed unhappiness at the lack of urgency in the work done by the team formed by Mr. Verma.
  • In fact, the stay order from the Supreme Court had come just 24 hours after the CBI was pulled up, on September 17, by the High Court for not handing over the baton to Mr. Asthana.
  • Incidentally, both Mr. Verma and Mr. Asthana have been divested of their positions in the CBI after the CVC and the government decided that their bitter personal feud was harming the credibility of the country’s premier investigating agency.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Aim and shoot for a citizen-science repository of Indian mammals

  • Now, you can contribute to the cause of science by sharing the picture of the animal on a specific website, providing the location of spotting.
  • Scientists and researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore have come up with a new citizen-science repository on Indian mammals, called Mammals of India (MaOI), which is an online, peer-reviewed, freely-accessible portal that was launched late September 2018.
  • By October 25, as many as 768 images of 161 species of mammals were uploaded.
  • As per current estimates, 426 species of mammals are found in India; of them 47 species are endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
  • In one month, this citizen-science initiative has seen photographs of rare species – such as Red Serow from Manipur, Asian Golden Cat from Arunachal Pradesh and Binturong, also known as bear cat, from East Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh – being shared for the benefit of researchers and public alike.

GS III: INFRASTRUCTURE

India set to be third largest aviation market

  • India will be the third largest aviation market globally a year sooner than was earlier predicted.
  • It is now expected to be among the top three countries by 2024 from its current seventh position, according to global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its latest 20-year forecast.
  • It says that air passenger numbers worldwide could double to 8.2 billion in 2037.
  • While China will climb up one spot to displace US as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s, India will take the third place by surpassing the U.K. around 2024, according to the IATA forecast.

GS III: DEFENCE

Army set to create new positions as part of overhaul

  • The Army’s biggest reform exercise since independence to rightsize the force and reduce mounting revenue expenditure is likely to see creation of new positions of a third Deputy Chief of Army Staff and a Director General of Strategic Communications, among other measures.
  • The Army currently has two Deputy Chiefs, one for information systems and training and another for planning and systems.
  • The force is undertaking four studies for its overhaul.
  • “The focus of the studies is holistic integration to enhance the operational and functional efficiency, optimise budget expenditure, facilitate force modernisation and address aspirations,” the Army had said earlier.
  • The four studies are for restructuring of Army Headquarters (HQ), restructuring which includes cutting down the strength, cadre review of officers and review of terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Other Ranks (OR).
  • Apart from the new vacancies, other big changes in the offing include having Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs); shifting the Director General Military Training in the Army HQ to the Army’s Training Command at Shimla; reorganising several overlapping divisions at the Army HQ and rightsizing the force over the next 6-8 years.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

For second day, bombs target Democrats, critics of Trump

  • Authorities discovered suspicious packages sent to former Vice-President Joe Biden and actor Robert de Niro, a day after several high-profile Democrats and critics of U.S. President Donald Trump were targeted with similar devices.
  • None of the nine confirmed devices exploded but authorities stepped up their manhunt for the would-be serial bomber, with crucial congressional elections less than two weeks away in what has become a contentious campaign season.
  • All the people who were targeted, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Mr. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, are frequently maligned by right-wing critics.
  • The bomb packages were sent as the nation prepared for the November 6 elections that will decide whether Democrats will take control of one or both Houses of Congress from Republicans.
  • There has been no claim of responsibility.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

China, Japan to partner in building Asia infrastructure

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived in China on a reset visit that is expected to trigger significant collaboration between Tokyo and Beijing in developing infrastructure in Asia.
  • A function was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the China-Japan treaty of friendship.
  • The leaders are expected to seek areas of convergence between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Japan’s concept of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  • Analysts say that they are expected to discuss joint development of infrastructure in Asia and Africa during the talks.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Ruias offer to pay up, want Essar Steel back

  • In a setback to ArcelorMittal, the promoters of Essar Steel submitted a proposal to the Committee of Creditors (CoC) for full settlement of the entire admitted claims of the financial creditors, operational creditors, and workmen and employees of Essar Steel India Ltd (ESIL), aggregating Rs. 54,389 crore.
  • The offer includes an upfront cash payment of Rs. 47,507 crore to all creditors, including Rs. 45,559 crore to the senior secured financial creditors, i.e. 100% recovery, thereby offering 8.7% premium to ArcelorMittal’s upfront offer of Rs. 41,909.
  • ‘CoC is empowered’
  • “The CoC is empowered to consider and approve this settlement plan with the requisite voting share, on the basis of which the corporate insolvency resolution process against ESIL may be withdrawn,” said an Essar statement.
  • It added that while the resolution plan currently under the CoC’s consideration takes care of only secured creditors (i.e. the banks), the new offer from ESIL promoters will lead to not only maximum recovery for lenders, but also for all other classes of creditors.
  • This would take the firm out of the insolvency process under Section 12A of the IBC, which was introduced in June 2018 as an amendment.
  • The offer comes at a time when Essar Steel’s lenders were about to vote on ArcelorMittal’s offer of Rs. 41,909 crore. If the CoC were to accept the resolution plan currently under consideration, it will have to settle for a haircut.
  • Section 12A of the IBC provides for withdrawal of on-going CIRP applications with 90% approval of CoC after amendments were made to the code. This was done to provide a second chance to corporate debtors to make good on defaults, even after admission by NCLT.
  • A source close to ArcelorMittal said, “This desperate attempt [by the promoters] only serves to… demonstrate they are wilful defaulters as, presumably, if they can pay now, they could have paid before. [They believed] they could get the company back at a significant haircut. If the law is followed, this offer should be given short shrift.”

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