News (Text)


When:
November 13, 2018 @ 11:30 am
2018-11-13T11:30:00+05:30
2018-11-13T11:45:00+05:30

NEWS

13 NOVEMBER 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III: DEFENCE

Rafale deal not done in a hurry, says Centre

2.

GS II: POLITY – CBI

SC frowns on tardy CVC submission

3.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

Over 60% polling recorded in Chhattisgarh first phase

4.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Fire torches not the way to drive away elephants: SC

5.

GS II: POLITICS

Congress opposes demand to rename Pune as ‘Jijapur’

6.

GS III: ECONOMY- DEMONETISATION

‘Demonetisation like Tughlaq’s currency change’

7.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Deny MSP to stubble burners: NGT

8.

GS II: SOCIAL – MEDIA

‘Have to outsmart those spreading fake news’

9.

GS II: SOCIAL – MEDIA

Centre pulls up Twitter for ‘slow action’

10.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Tamil Nadu braces for Cyclone Gaja

11.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

IIP growth falters as inflation eases

12.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI unlikely to open window for NBFCs

13.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

IL&FS places two subsidiaries on the block

14.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Back series GDP data to be released by end-December, says NITI Aayog

15.

GS III: ECONOMY – TELECOM

TRAI to analyse implications of over-the-top services’ growth

16.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

‘Odisha can be a $1 trillion economy’

17.

GS III: ENERGY

Abu Dhabi firm inks deal to store crude in India

18.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Report sees climate risk from rise in Indian AC units

GS III: DEFENCE

Rafale deal not done in a hurry, says Centre

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of the 36 Rafale jets well over a year after the Indo-French Joint Statement to acquire the aircraft “as quickly as possible” was issued, said a government note in the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal.
  • The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2013 mandates that acquisitions worth over Rs. 1,000 crore should be first cleared by the CCS.
  • Since 2002, over 1,100 contracts valued at Rs. 7.45 lakh crore were successfully concluded using the DPP structure, introduced after the Kargil War.
  • The note, submitted earlier to the court and made public as per a court order of October 31, claimed that DPP 2013 was “completely followed.”
  • The document showed that the CCS approved the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for procurement of the 36 jets only on August 24, 2016 — well over a year after the Indo-French statement of April 10, 2015, which the note said conveyed an “intent” to acquire the jets in a fly-away condition.
  • The approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the highest body for defence procurement, was taken on May 13, 2015. Again, a month after the Indo-French statement.
  • The government said the DAC approval was taken “as stipulated in the DPP.”
  • The note said the joint statement was issued after the Government of India conveyed to the French government about the “critical operational necessity” for Multi-role Combat Aircraft for the Air Force.
  • This necessity, it said, was triggered by the “extremely critical” combat potential of the Air Force caused by a three-year stalemate.
  • The situation was due to “unresolved issues” over man-hours and contractual obligations between HAL and Dassault Aviation over the production of 108 Rafale jets, of a total 126, to be inducted in the Air Force as part of an earlier proposal.
  • The government said the prolonged impasse over the 126-aircraft deal had caused an “urgent need” to acquire 36 Rafale jets or two squadrons in a fly-away condition.
  • On the question of an Indian offset partner, the government said, “There is no mention of any private Indian Business house in the IGA or the offset contract.”
  • The Centre said Dassault was yet to submit a formal proposal indicating details of Indian offset partners and products for offset discharge. This means that the government is unaware of who Dassault’s Indian offset partner is, if there is any at all.

GS II: POLITY – CBI

SC frowns on tardy CVC submission

  • After a 24-hour delay, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) filed its report on the inquiry against exiled CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma.
  • The court also took on record a separate report filed by acting CBI Director M. Nageshwar Rao detailing the decisions he took after assuming office on Mr. Verma’s removal.
  • The Supreme Court had clipped Mr. Rao’s wings on October 26, directing him not to take any major or policy decisions for now.
  • The court also agreed to hear A.K. Bassi, the former probe officer in the FIR against Mr. Asthana. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, for Mr. Bassi, said he had been transferred to Port Blair after Mr. Rao took over.
  • Mr Bassi has argued that his transfer was a ploy to de-rail the investigation against Mr. Asthana.

 

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

Over 60% polling recorded in Chhattisgarh first phase

  • Chhattisgarh voters ignored the Maoist call to boycott the election and turned up in large numbers for the first phase of polling in 18 constituencies.
  • Chief Electoral Officer Subrat Sahoo said 49% polling was recorded in the partly extremist-dominated seats.
  • While this was about 5% lower than the last Assembly election, the percentage may go up when the final figures come in, he said.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Fire torches not the way to drive away elephants: SC

  • The Supreme Court questioned the West Bengal government over the use of fire torches to drive away elephants and directed the State to place before it the names and designations of the Forest officials who would be held responsible for any accident due to this.
  • The apex court observed that the use of fire or fire torches “cannot be the only answer” for driving away elephants in West Bengal and directed that the tender floated by the State government for procuring burnt mobil oil for distribution among villagers not be processed in the meanwhile.
  • The counsel appearing for the petitioner, who had raised the issue of the use of spikes and fireballs in some States to drive away elephants, told the apex court that instead of fire torches, the West Bengal government should provide high-beam lights to villagers.
  • On October 22, the court had observed that human-animal conflicts, especially involving elephants, were a “problem” and the Centre should consider setting up a task force to ensure adherence to the guidelines in this regard.

 

GS II: POLITICS

Congress opposes demand to rename Pune as ‘Jijapur’

  • The Congress has opposed the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade’s demand to rename Pune as ‘Jijapur’.
  • The Sambhaji Brigade submitted a memorandum to the District Collector to change the city’s named in the memory of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s mother, Jijabai.
  • The Brigade has also expressed support for the Shiv Sena’s demand to change the names of Aurangabad and Osmanabad to Sambhaji Nagar and Dharashiv respectively.

 

GS III: ECONOMY- DEMONETISATION

‘Demonetisation like Tughlaq’s currency change’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s disregard towards democratic principles has brought the country to the brink of an economic abyss, said senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
  • Chavan compared the schism between the Centre and the RBI to the economic crisis in Argentina in 2010, when differences with the President forced the Argentine central bank’s governor to step down.
  • The former Chief Minister likened Mr. Modi’s demonetisation decision to Muhammad bin Tughlaq’s infamous ‘currency change’ move in the 14th
  • The BJP government has steadily undermined every institution in the country, be it the RBI or the CBI, he said.
  • He further said that the move to replace former CBI Director Alok Verma was nothing less than “a coup” engineered by the Prime Minister to cover up the Rafale scam.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Deny MSP to stubble burners: NGT

  • Stating that State governments had failed to curb stubble burning, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) summoned the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Officers have been directed to draw up a plan to provide economic incentives and disincentives to farmers.
  • Observing that stubble burning is adversely affecting environment and public health, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “We make it clear that the existing Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme must be so interpreted as to enable the States concerned to wholly or partly deny the benefit of MSP to those who continue to burn the crop residue.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – MEDIA

‘Have to outsmart those spreading fake news’

  • CEO and co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey said there was no perfect solution to deal with the problem of “fake news” and “misinformation” on social media in the context of the upcoming general election.
  • Dorsey was speaking at a town hall in IIT Delhi, organised to launch an initiative of Twitter, #PowerOf18, aimed at getting the youth to vote in the next general election.
  • Calling it a multi-variable problem, Mr. Dorsey said: “We need to be 10 steps ahead of those trying to spread misinformation and need to ensure that people reading misinformation do not take action based on the information. Twitter can step in to ensure that a reported tweet that is spreading misinformation is contained and does not spread more than the impressions it has already reached.”
  • He likened the problem to that of security and said that even the best lock can be broken and the challenge was to keep building better locks.
  • Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba pulled up representatives of Twitter for acting slow on the government’s requests to pull down content and accounts that incite communal violence.
  • The Home Ministry told Twitter that legal provisions will need to be invoked in case the social media platform did not comply with the request to promptly remove objectionable content.

 

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Tamil Nadu braces for Cyclone Gaja

  • Cyclone Gaja, over the Bay of Bengal, is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore district and Pamban, in Ramanathapuram district, in the forenoon of Thursday
  • Though it is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the open seas, it is set to weaken gradually, and cross the coast only as a cyclonic storm.
  • Named by Sri Lanka, it is the 55th tropical cyclone since the naming convention started in 2004.
  • While rainfall is expected over most parts of north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, a few places in districts such as Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai may experience heavy to very heavy rainfall.
  • Gale-force winds reaching speeds of 80-90 km per hour may prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

IIP growth falters as inflation eases

  • Growth in industrial activity as measured by the Index of Industrial Production slowed marginally in September to 4.5% from 4.67% in August due to slowing growth in the manufacturing and capital goods sectors, official data released showed.
  • A separate data release also showed that consumer inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, eased in October 2018 to 3.31% from 3.7% in September, due to slowing price growth in the food, housing, and footwear segments.
  • “Benign inflation and a strong footing in industrial development are expected to boost investor sentiment and increased FDI and FII inflows in the coming months,” Rajeev Talwar, president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
  • Stability in inflation would strengthen the macroeconomic environment and pave the way for soft monetary policy regime, going forward.”

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI unlikely to open window for NBFCs

  • Amid growing demand for liquidity support for non-banking finance companies, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is unlikely to provide any special support to the sector, though it will continue to provide funds to the banking system as liquidity deficit in the system is a concern.
  • According to sources, the RBI is of the view that bigger NBFCs that have high ratings from rating agencies are not facing any liquidity issues.
  • It is the mid-sized and smaller NBFCs, mostly housing finance firms, that will face some issues.
  • According to market estimates, about Rs. 1.5 lakh crore of commercial paper face redemption this month, a bulk of which are issued by NBFCs.
  • That better-rated NBFCs aren’t handicapped for funds was evident when Dewan Housing Finance — for example — repaid commercial paper worth Rs. 1,775 crore on November 5.
  • Another large housing finance company, PNB Housing Finance repaid Rs. 4,225 crore of CP in October 2018.
  • “RBI is the lender of last resort. When all other avenues fail, then only such an option could be explored,” the source said, indicating NBFCs are yet to explore all other options that may have turned expensive for them.
  • NBFCs can avail refinance facility from SIDBI or National Housing Bank and can also sell loans to banks.
  • The liquidity issue for NBFCs, along with other issues like capital requirement for banks and more dividend from RBI to the government, has been a bone of contention between the central bank and the Finance Ministry.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

IL&FS places two subsidiaries on the block

  • Troubled financial conglomerate Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) has kick-started the asset monetisation exercise as it has decided to sell its stake in two of its subsidiaries — IL&FS Securities Services and ISSL Settlement and Transactions Services Ltd., — both engaged in the securities services business.
  • The asset sale is a part of the broader plan for the resolution of the company.
  • In its report submitted to the Ministry of Corporate of Affairs, which in turn was submitted to National Company Law Tribunal, the board of IL&FS has outlined a resolution plan that included asset sale, among other measures.
  • The board said it expected the resolution process to be completed in six to nine months, subject to economic and market conditions.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Back series GDP data to be released by end-December, says NITI Aayog

  • The government will miss its internal deadline for the release of the back series of GDP data, according to NITI Aayog, which said the data would be released by the end of December 2018.
  • The government had earlier indicated that the data would be released in November 2018.
  • NITI Aayog said that during the consultation process on the issue, experts had asked for analytical data sets that were not readily available.
  • The methodology for computing GDP data was revamped in 2015 and the base year was shifted to 2011.
  • This, however, meant that the current data could not be compared to historical data.
  • Efforts to provide back series data using the new methodology and base year have been going on since then.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – TELECOM

TRAI to analyse implications of over-the-top services’ growth

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) re-started the discussion on “regulatory issues and economic concerns” with regard to over-the-top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp and Skype, with its consultation paper on ‘Regulatory Framework for OTT Communication Services’.
  • “This consultation paper seeks to analyse and discuss the implications of the growth of OTT services… the relationship between TSPs and OTT players, whether any change is required in the current regulatory framework and the manner in which such changes should be effected,” the regulatory body said in the consultation paper.
  • Among other things, TRAI has sought comments from stakeholders on whether regulatory or licensing imbalance is impacting investments in the telecom networks, if there is any issue of non-level playing field between OTT providers and TSPs, and any issues related to lawful interception of OTT communication that are required to be resolved in the interest of national security.
  • TRAI has also sought to know which OTT services could be regarded the same or similar to the services provided by TSPs.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

‘Odisha can be a $1 trillion economy’

  • Fast economic growth, business potential and industry-friendly policy can make Odisha a $1 trillion economy by 2030, Sajjan Jindal, chairman and managing director, JSW Group, said.
  • Addressing the second ‘Make in Odisha Conclave 2018’ in Bhubhaneshwar, Mr. Jindal said: “If India will become a $10 trillion economy by 2035, Odisha has to play a vital role. After Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu by then, Odisha could be the third State to be a $1 trillion economy.”
  • He said JSW would set up a modern steel plant in Odisha.
  • Reliance Industries Ltd., which has already invested Rs. 6,000 crore, has committed to invest an additional Rs. 3,000 crore in the next three years in Odisha.
  • “Today, Odisha has been growing at 8% per annum, higher than the national average, and the State is fast becoming an ideal investment destination,” Mukesh Ambani, CMD, RIL, said.
  • Tatas having had an over-a-century-old association with Odisha, Tata Steel had announced a Rs. 23,500-crore expansion plan at Kalinganagar, and with this, the Tata Group’s total investment in the State would exceed Rs. 1,00,000 crore, he said.
  • Aditya Birla Group, which has invested in textile business in the State, has committed to invest additional $2 billion in Odisha.
  • Sanjiv Puri, MD, ITC, said: “Investment-friendly policies, good governance, robust infrastructure, mineral resources and agriculture resources and access to the market has made Odisha a complete investment destination.”
  • While SAIL has announced an investment plan of Rs. 41,000 crore, Vedanta Resources said it would invest Rs. 6,483 crore in capacity enhancement of its aluminium smelter.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the first edition of the conclave in 2016 had invited investment of Rs. 2,00,000 crore.

 

GS III: ENERGY

Abu Dhabi firm inks deal to store crude in India

  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) to explore the possibility of storing ADNOC crude oil at ISPRL’s underground oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka, which has a 2.5 million-tonne (~17 million barrels) capacity.
  • The MoU with ISPRL, mandated to store crude oil for emergency needs, follows the arrival of the final shipment of the initial delivery of ADNOC crude on November 4, to be stored in another ISPRL underground facility in Mangaluru, which will store 5.86 million barrels.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Report sees climate risk from rise in Indian AC units

  • By 2022, India is expected to have a fourth of the world’s air conditioning units, and the risks to climate from this could be immense, according to a report.
  • The refrigerants used for cooling are the major contributors to global warming, and if left unchecked, they could cause global temperatures to rise by 0.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Under a business-as-usual growth trajectory, about 4.5 billion room air-conditioners are estimated to be installed by 2050 — a nearly four-fold jump from today’s installed base, with emerging economies observing a five-fold increase, the report says.
  • In 2016, India was a signatory to a compact of 107 countries to “substantially phase” out a potent greenhouse gas, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), by 2045 and move to prevent a potential 0.5 C rise in global temperature by 2050.
  • HFCs are a family of gases that are largely used in refrigerants at home and in car air-conditioners.
  • However, they substantially worsen global warming.
  • India, China, the United States and Europe have committed themselves to reducing the use of HFC by 85% by 2045.
  • The Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Power among others, announced a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a U.S.-based institute, and Conservation X Labs, a technology solutions company, to institute a Global Cooling Prize to motivate research laboratories across the world to develop highly efficient cooling technologies.
  • A technology solution that could help to reduce the impact by one-fifth and ensure that air conditioning units use 75% less electricity would be needed, says Solving the Global Cooling Challenge, a report written by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
  • A technology solution would not only significantly reduce the burden on electricity grids but also save Rs. 109 trillion ($ 1.5 trillion).
  • Over Rs. 21 crore ($3 million) will be awarded over the course of the two-year competition. Up to 10 short-listed competing technologies will be awarded up to Rs. 1.4 crore ($200,000) each in intermediate prizes to support the design and prototype development of their innovative residential cooling technology designs.
  • The winning technology will be awarded at least Rs. 7 crore ($1 million) to support its incubation and early-stage commercialisation, according to a press statement.

 

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