News (Text)


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

NEWS

30 NOVEMBER 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: INTERNATONAL – ASIA

Imran looks for fresh start

2.

GS II: POLITY – CBI

Taking Verma off his duties not a transfer, says Centre

3.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Fuel prices fall on oil slip, rupee gain

4.

GS II: POLITY – INTER-STATE WATERS

SC orders public hearing on Polavaram

5.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Employees protest PSU tag on J&K Bank, seek rollback

6.

GS III: S&T- SPACE

ISRO puts ‘Sharp Eye’ into orbit

7.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

#MeToo: GoM may review law

8.

GS II: SOCIAL – RESERVATION

Assembly approves 16% reservation for Marathas

9.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Nothing secret about Taj vision document: SC

10.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Jaitley moots new federal bodies

11.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Crimean crisis

12.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI moves to ease liquidity for non-banking finance firms

13.

GS I: CULTURE

Reggae gets into heritage list

14.

GS III: S&T- BIOTECHNOLOGY

China halts gene-editing activities on babies

15.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Electric vehicles send data to Chinese govt.

GS II: INTERNATONAL – ASIA

Imran looks for fresh start

  • Making another pitch for talks, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan called for India to make a fresh start during his term to revive the dialogue process between the two countries.
  • The talks have been stalled on the issue of terrorism for more than a decade.
  • “It is not in Pakistan’s interest that our soil be used for terrorism against others,” Mr. Khan said
  • “I can’t be held responsible for the past. Hold me to account if I break my promises,” he said, when asked about the pending investigations into the 1993 and 2008 Mumbai attacks and the case against Dawood Ibrahim and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
  • To a question on the status of the ban against Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistani Prime Minister clarified that the United Nations Security Council’s ban on him remained operational despite the Pakistan government’s ordinance lapsing in June.
  • Significantly, the Pakistani Prime Minister referred to the “4-step formula” for the resolution of Kashmir that was devised during the tenures of President Musharraf and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, more than a decade after it had been shelved as a possible way forward to consider.
  • General Musharraf’s 4-step formula involves the following:
  1. Demilitarization or phased withdrawal of troops
  2. There will be no change of borders of Kashmir. However, people of Jammu & Kashmir will be allowed to move freely across the Line of Control.
  3. Self-governance without independence
  4. A joint supervision mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir.
  • To a question whether he might consider extending the initiative from the Kartarpur shrine to other shrines that Indian pilgrims are keen to visit, Mr. Khan said that his government hoped to promote religious tourism in the country, and could consider other proposals for shrines such as the Sharada Peeth in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Katasraj temple in Sindh as well as a recently discovered Buddha statue near Islamabad.

 

GS II: POLITY – CBI

Taking Verma off his duties not a transfer, says Centre

  • The government argued that the mid-tenure divestment of Alok Kumar Verma from the functions and duties of CBI Director on October 23 does not amount to a “transfer.”
  • Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal countered arguments raised by Mr. Verma that the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, required the government to get prior approval of the selection committee led by the Prime Minister before “transferring” or withdrawing work from the CBI Director.
  • Senior advocate Fali Nariman, for Mr. Verma, said his divestment was “far worse” than a transfer. He contended that the “deprivation of all his powers” as CBI Director and the appointment of M. Nageshwar Rao as acting CBI chief could not have been done by the CVC and the government without first obtaining the recommendation of the committee.
  • He said the term ‘transfer’ meant the “making over a right or responsibility to another”, and that was what exactly happened on the intervening night of October 23-24, which senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan described as the “night of the long knives.”
  • The AG argued that the government was the ‘final authority’ in appointing a CBI chief. The high-power committee led by the Prime Minister became functus officio (lapsed) after recommending his name and there was no question of going back to it.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Fuel prices fall on oil slip, rupee gain

  • Fuel prices hit new lows, with petrol falling to an eight-month low and diesel to a nearly four-month low on the back of falling global oil prices.
  • Fuel prices are a function of crude oil prices and the rupee-dollar parity.
  • Lower crude oil prices will help contain the current account gap as well as inflation, as India imports 80% of its crude requirements.
  • The rupee exchange rate has also eased recently, in tandem with the fall in oil prices.
  • A weak dollar helped emerging market currencies to gain, with the rupee turning out to be among the best performing ones, appreciating 1.1% against the dollar.

GS II: POLITY – INTER-STATE WATERS

SC orders public hearing on Polavaram

  • The Supreme Court ordered the Centre to hold a public hearing with the people affected by the Polavaram dam project in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, saying in a democracy the citizens had “a right to know what is happening”.
  • A Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur categorically said the dam project could not be taken forward without first holding the public hearing.
  • The hearing would have the affected people voice their grievances about the submergence of their land, compensation, and rehabilitation among other issues. It is a ground-level enquiry.
  • The court directed the Centre to file an affidavit detailing the conduct of the public hearing, including which government agency would hold it. The court said it would pass orders on Monday.
  • Primary among the questions being considered by the Bench is whether the dam project and its design, as approved by the Central Water Commission, is in consonance with the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) award of 1980.
  • A series of 13 questions were framed by the Bench in a suit filed by Odisha against Andhra Pradesh in 2007.
  • Among the 13 queries, the court had also decided to look into the back water effect of the project.
  • Crucially, the court has to examine whether the change in the design of Polavaram project, especially in so far as it raises the spill-way discharge capacity from 36 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs, is so fundamental that it amounts to violation of the GWDT Award, and, therefore, requires fresh statutory clearances to be obtained.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

Employees protest PSU tag on J&K Bank, seek rollback

  • Employees of J&K Bank held a demonstration in Srinagar and demanded a rollback of Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to declare the bank a public sector undertaking, one that fuelled fears over the bank’s autonomy.
  • The Governor-headed SAC decided to convert the bank into a PSU on November 21, evoking widespread condemnation from regional parties, the civil society and the traders’ bodies.
  • In a joint statement, the opposition leaders welcomed the decision to bring the bank under the purview of the Right to Information Act, the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines and the State Legislature.
  • “However, the decision of the State Administrative Council to turn the bank into a public sector undertaking is unwarranted and must be reconsidered” they said in a joint statement.

GS III: S&T- SPACE

ISRO puts ‘Sharp Eye’ into orbit

  • PSLV C-43, carrying 31 satellites on board soared in a trajectory crossing the path of the Sun and sped to inject India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS), being dubbed ‘Sharp Eye’, towards the launcher’s intended first orbit.
  • The 30 small satellites on board as co-passengers, were part of a commercial launch comprising one satellite each from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain, and 23 satellites from the U.S.
  • The HysIS is an Earth Observation satellite primarily to assist in a wide range of applications in agriculture, forestry, geological environments, coastal zones, among others.
  • The heart of the system required for the HysIS satellite is an optical imaging detector chip. This chip has been indigenously designed by Space Application Centre of ISRO and fabricated at ISRO’s semi-conductor lab at Chandigarh.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

#MeToo: GoM may review law

  • The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine sexual harassment at the workplace may consider amending the law to ensure workplace safety, according to government sources.
  • The GoM headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to meet soon.
  • The GoM includes Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi.
  • The Vishaka Guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in 1997 lays the onus on the employer to prevent or deter acts of sexual harassment, apart from “providing resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts of sexual harassment.”
  • The Sexual Harassment of Women and Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, lays down the duties of an employer: ensuring a safe working place, displaying penal consequences of sexual harassment, creating awareness, as well as facilitating an internal probe.
  • The Justice J. S. Verma panel had recommended an employment tribunal instead of an internal committee to probe complaints.

GS II: SOCIAL – RESERVATION

Assembly approves 16% reservation for Marathas

  • The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed a Bill proposing 16% reservation for Marathas in government jobs and education.
  • With this, 85% of the State’s population will be entitled to constitutional benefits under Article 15(4), 16 (4) of the Constitution.
  • The approval of the Bill will also see the reservation limit go up from the current 52% to 68%, thus siginificantly crossing the 50% ceiling set by Supreme Court.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tabled the Bill in both Houses along with a report on the recommendations by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Nothing secret about Taj vision document: SC

  • The Supreme Court told the Uttar Pradesh government that the vision document on protecting Taj Mahal, being prepared by School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi, should be made public once finalised as there was “nothing secret” about it.
  • The Bench also dealt with the issue of declaring Agra as a heritage city and the Centre told the court that it had written to the Uttar Pradesh government about it.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

Jaitley moots new federal bodies

  • Indian healthcare and agriculture sectors need a federal institution similar to the GST Council to coordinate State and Central policies and schemes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
  • Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Health Summit, Mr. Jaitley said the GST Council, which comprised the Union and State Finance Ministers, was a successful experiment in practical federalism.
  • While both health and agriculture are State subjects under the Constitution, Centrally sponsored schemes are carried out in both sectors.
  • “We are doing Ayushman Bharat, they also have parallel schemes. All this needs to be merged, so that the benefit of these merged resources now starts falling to the benefit of the patient population of the country,” he said.
  • Implementation would be the responsibility of the States, with the Centre responsible for coordination, he said, insisting that this was not a turf issue.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Crimean crisis

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI moves to ease liquidity for non-banking finance firms

  • In a move to make more liquidity available to non-banking finance firms, the Reserve Bank of India has relaxed the securitisation norms by relaxing the Minimum Holding Period (MHP) requirement for originating NBFCs.
  • They are now allowed to securitise loans with maturity of more than five years after holding them for six months on their books, as compared to one year earlier.
  • The move follows a demand from the government for a special window for NBFCs, to provide them liquidity support.
  • The NBFC sector is facing liquidity shortage after Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services, a core investment company, started defaulting on loans which resulted in the government dismantling the existing board of IL&FS and installing a new one.
  • The cost of funds has gone up for the non-banking finance firms putting pressure on profitability.
  • In a separate move aimed at boosting MSME sector exports, the RBI said the interest subsidy on post and pre-shipment export credit has been increased to 5% from 3%.
  • The increased subsidy is applicable effective November 2.
  • Exporters get the subsidy under the ‘Interest Equalisation Scheme on Pre and Post Shipment Rupee Export Credit’

GS I: CULTURE

Reggae gets into heritage list

  • Reggae music, whose chill, lilting grooves won international fame thanks to artists like Bob Marley, secured a coveted spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures.
  • UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of “intangible cultural heritage deemed worthy of protection and promotion.
  • UNESCO noted that while reggae started out as “the voice of the marginalised” it was “now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups.”
  • Its “contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual,” Paris-based UNESCO added in a statement.

GS III: S&T- BIOTECHNOLOGY

China halts gene-editing activities on babies

  • A Chinese scientist who stoked criticism over his claim that he had created the world’s first genetically-edited babies faced mounting pressure as China ordered a halt to his scientific activities and warned he may have broken the law.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Electric vehicles send data to Chinese govt.

  • China has called upon all electric vehicle manufacturers in China to constantly send information about the precise location of the car to the Chinese government.
  • This potentially adds to the rich kit of surveillance tools available to the Chinese government as President Xi Jinping steps up the use of technology to track Chinese citizens.
  • More than 200 manufacturers, including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and U.S.-listed electric vehicle start-up NIO, transmit positional information and dozens of other data points to government-backed monitoring centres.
  • Generally, it happens without car owners’ knowledge.
  • The automakers say they are merely complying with local laws, which apply only to alternative energy vehicles.
  • Chinese officials say the data is used for analytics to improve public safety, facilitate industrial development and infrastructure planning, and to prevent fraud in subsidy programmes.

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