News (Text)


When:
November 14, 2018 @ 11:30 am
2018-11-14T11:30:00+05:30
2018-11-14T11:45:00+05:30

NEWS

14 NOVEMBER 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

SC refuses to stay Sabarimala ruling

2.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Sri Lanka court stays dissolution, snap elections

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – MEDIA

Govt. asks Twitter to help track accounts

4.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Is govt. crop insurance scheme losing steam?

5.

GS: SPORTS

Countdown begins for F1 power boat racing

6.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Avni: ‘two chances to tranquillise missed’

7.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

8.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Plea to lift ban on govt. staff joining RSS activities

9.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – EUROPE

U.K., EU agree on Brexit agreement draft

10.

GS III: ECONOMY – SECTOR

Flipkart’s Binny Bansal resigns

11.

GS III: ECONOMY – SEBI

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

SC refuses to stay Sabarimala ruling

  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear in open court review petitions against its majority judgment which lifted a ban on women aged between 10 and 50 years from undertaking the pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
  • The review petitions will be heard by an “appropriate Bench” in open court on January 22, 2019.
  • The Review Bench of five judges, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, however, refused to stay the majority judgment by a Constitution Bench on September 28.
  • The refusal to stay the judgment would mean that worshippers, both men and women of all ages, can still undertake the pilgrimage when the temple re-opens on November 16 evening for Mandala Pooja.
  • The pilgrimage season would end on January 20 after the Makaravilakku festival.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Sri Lanka court stays dissolution, snap elections

  • Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court stayed President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament and restrained the Election Commission from preparing for snap elections on January 5..
  • Following the ruling, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya convened Parliament.
  • It remains unclear if the House will take up a floor test but its reconvening, nearly three weeks after it was prorogued, and subsequently dissolved — comes as good news to parties that deemed the President’s sudden actions unconstitutional.

GS II: SOCIAL – MEDIA

Govt. asks Twitter to help track accounts

  • The Centre has asked microblogging site Twitter to furnish telephone numbers and other identifiable sources that could help track suspicious accounts, as asked for by law enforcement agencies, a senior Home Ministry official said.
  • Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba pulled up Twitter representatives for being slow to act on the government’s requests to take down content and accounts that incite communal violence.
  • Home Ministry said Twitter had complied with the requests of the law enforcement agencies in taking down objectionable or hateful content only in 60% cases.
  • The Centre has stepped up interactions with social media platforms to arrest the spread of rumours inciting unrest and other activities detrimental to national security.
  • Twitter representatives told the Ministry officials that allowing only verified accounts would hit free speech.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Is govt. crop insurance scheme losing steam?

  • More than 84 lakh farmers, which is around 15% of the total farmers insured in the first year of the Centre’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in 2016-17, withdrew themselves from the scheme in 2017-18, a reply to an RTI application has revealed.
  • It includes 68.31 lakh farmers from the four Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharasthra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The crop insurance companies, including Reliance, ICICI, HDFC and IFFCO, among others, have registered a total profit of around Rs. 15,795 crore since the launch of the scheme, though the final profit margins could change since the insurance claims for 2017-18 Rabi crops are yet to be estimated.
  • The profits for 2016-17 are approximately Rs. 6,459 crore, said the RTI reply.
  • Panipat-based RTI activistP. Kapoor, who sought the information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, alleged that the crop insurance scheme was a “fiasco” as shown by the figures and aimed at benefiting the private insurance companies in the name of farmers.
  • He said the government would have done better to directly help the farmers than route it through the insurance companies.

GS: SPORTS

Countdown begins for F1 power boat racing

  • The F1H2O power boat race buzz is growing louder 48 hours ahead of the world championship set to make a splash in River Krishna in Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Nine teams comprising 19 Formula 1 drivers and nine Formula 4 drivers from 12 countries have arrived besides 21 large containers carrying 10 Formula 1 boats and 10 Formula 4 boats.
  • These boats have been imported from China.
  • The Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM), organiser of the F1H2O, a multiple Grand Prix series of eight events taking place in Europe and Asia in 2018, has included Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, in 2018 racing series.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Avni: ‘two chances to tranquillise missed’

  • Even as shooting of Avni, the tigress that is said to have killed 13 villagers, remains a subject of intense debate, a letter written by a forest department official to Maharashtra’s Chief Wildlife Warden reveals the disquiet over the manner in which the search for the elusive cat was being pursued.
  • “Two golden opportunities to execute the Chief Wildlife Warden’s (CWW) order to tranquillise Avni, the tigress, in a very prompt and scientific way was missed,” K.M Abharna, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DSF) Pandharkawada, wrote in a letter dated September 20.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

New index to check ease of doing agri-business

  • States may soon start receiving extra funding for the Agriculture Ministry’s flagship schemes on the basis of their performance in encouraging agri-business, especially with regard to marketing, land and governance reforms.
  • The Centre expects to roll out a new Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index in 2019, which will rank the States on the basis of such reforms, as well as their investment in agriculture, increased productivity, reduction of input costs, and risk mitigation measures.
  • NITI Aayog already brings out a Agricultural Marketing and Farm Friendly Reforms Index, rating States on their implementation of such reforms.
  • In the initial edition of that Index in 2016, Maharashtra stood first in the rankings, followed by Gujarat.
  • The proposed index has a wider ambit, but the focus is still on reforms, with marketing reforms (25%) and governance and land reforms (20%) carrying almost half of the weight of the parameters in its scoring system.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Plea to lift ban on govt. staff joining RSS activities

  • The Government Employees National Confederation, a body affiliated to the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi follow the example of the Keshubhai Patel-led BJP government in Gujarat who in 2000 lifted the ban on participation of State government employees in RSS
  • The Confederation wrote to Mr. Modi on October 20 seeking an amendment to the Central Civil Services (Conduct) rules.
  • “The RSS is a social service organisation, and many government employees may be interested in joining social activities,” Sadhu Singh, secretary-general of the confederation, said.
  • The ban on Central government employees from associating with the RSS was first imposed by an order on November 30, 1966.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – EUROPE

U.K., EU agree on Brexit agreement draft

  • The British Cabinet is set to have a crucial meeting, after U.K. and EU negotiators agreed on the text of a draft withdrawal agreement in Brussels.
  • The development will put the spotlight firmly on the internal battles within the U.K. government over the terms under which Britain will leave the EU.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has provoked much division within her own government.
  • Among the biggest obstacles in reaching agreement has been the length of time over which the Irish backstop — to prevent the development of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — would apply.
  • While some are eager for a near and definite end to the backstop, others have been concerned about the risk that inadequate back-up mechanisms could have on peace on the island.
  • March 29, 2019 is when Britain is set to leave the EU formally.
  • However, many obstacles remain: there are questions around whether the terms in the document will be agreed on by individual EU member states and by a majority within the U.K. Parliament.

GS III: ECONOMY – SECTOR

Flipkart’s Binny Bansal resigns

  • Binny Bansal has announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately, following an independent investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct,” said Walmart Inc. in a statement.
  • The world’s largest retailer said that recent events risked becoming a distraction and Mr. Bansal, who is a co-founder of Flipkart, had made a decision to step down.
  • His decision follows an independent investigation done on behalf of Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of ‘serious personal misconduct.’
  • “He strongly denies the allegation. Nevertheless, we had a responsibility to ensure the investigation was deliberate and thorough,” said Walmart.
  • While the investigation did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Binny, it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign.”
  • S. retail giant Walmart’s $16-billion investment in Flipkart for about 77% stake in May 2018 not only provided blockbuster exits to the investors but also made the founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal billionaires.
  • The deal valued the homegrown e-commerce company at more than $20 billion.
  • Sachin Bansal had made his exit alongside the acquisition by Walmart following reported differences with the acquiring team, while Mr. Binny Bansal continued with the firm.
  • Myntra and Jabong continue to operate as separate platforms within the Flipkart business.
  • Flipkart was founded by IIT-Delhi alumni and former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal [not related] in September 2007.
  • Like Amazon, they started with selling books and initially had just three servers and 20 shipments.

GS III: ECONOMY – SEBI

After IL&FS, SEBI tightens norms for raters

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has tightened the disclosure norms for credit rating agencies (CRAs) that will now have to take into account various factors, including asset-liability mismatch, liquid investments, cash flows and capital infusion from parent or group entities while performing any rating action.
  • In a circular issued, the capital markets regulator enhanced the quantum of disclosures by introducing additional norms that are largely based on the learnings from the IL&FS episode, which has affected the overall liquidity scenario, especially in the non-banking financial company (NBFC) segment.
  • Based on the learnings from the IL&FS episode, the regulator has also made it mandatory for rating agencies to disclose full list of subsidiaries or group companies if such entities form part of the consolidated ratings.
  • SEBI also mandated CRAs to include a specific section on “liquidity” to highlight parameters like cash balances for servicing maturing debt obligation.

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