News (Text)


When:
October 17, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-10-17T01:00:00+05:30
2018-10-17T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

17 OCTOBER 2018 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Eight protesters held in late night crackdown at Nilackal

2.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Zika cases touch 80 in Rajasthan

4.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

#MeToo: founder of Kwan agency Anirban Blah fired

5.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

POCSO Act: no time bar to report crimes

6.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

J&K fourth phase sees just 4.2% polling

7.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Korean war memorial to be built in Delhi

8.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL -ASIA

‘Preparing a statement on Khashoggi’

9.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

UPI to facilitate interoperability among prepaid payment instruments

10.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Ancient rocks in India give clues to early life

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Eight protesters held in late night crackdown at Nilackal

  • The police cracked down on protesters at Nilackal, the entry point to the Sabarimala hill temple, arresting eight persons, ahead of the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season, beginning on November 18.
  • The temple is scheduled to open for its monthly rituals on 17 October 2018.
  • The police have declared Sabarimala a security zone under Section 53 of the Police Act.
  • The police action came at the end of a tense day at Nilackal as women protesters — many from the local tribal community — stopped and screened all Pampa-bound vehicles amid growing protests against the Supreme Court’s verdict permitting entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50.
  • Tensions rose during the day when talks between the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and representatives of institutions linked to the Sabarimala temple failed to arrive at a compromise formula that would facilitate a smooth pilgrim season.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination

  • In a move that might seriously impair India-Sri Lanka relations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena accused India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination.
  • At the weekly Cabinet meeting, Mr. Sirisena told Ministers that the Indian intelligence agency was “trying to kill” him, but “Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be aware of the plan.”
  • Mr. Sirisena reportedly said “the Indian national must be a RAW agent trying to kill me. The Indian PM may not be aware. That is often the case. Trump may not be aware of CIA’s similar moves.”
  • The meeting also saw a heated argument between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, when a Cabinet paper on developing the Colombo Port came up for discussion
  • Mr. Sirisena’s claim comes days before Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s scheduled visit to New Delhi, where he will meet Mr. Modi to discuss bilateral matters, including key India-assisted projects on the island.
  • Sources said Mr. Sirisena vehemently objected to any Indian involvement in upgrading its east container terminal – a project that New Delhi has been keen to take up.
  • However, Mr. Wickremesinghe is said to have countered by saying Colombo had already promised New Delhi on collaborating on the project, and it was important to rope in India at the terminal, given that about 80% of the cargo handled at the transhipment hub was meant for India. He reportedly sought a week’s time to sort out the issue, since he would be meeting Mr. Modi soon.
  • However, this is not the first time a Sri Lankan leader has accused the Indian agency of interference. After his election defeat in 2015, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa held the RAW among those responsible for the change in regime.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Zika cases touch 80 in Rajasthan

  • As the number of people infected with the Zika virus rose to 80 in Rajasthan, the Union Health Ministry directed the National Centre for Disease Control to monitor cases on a daily basis while urging people not to panic.
  • Chairing a high-level meeting to review measures for prevention and control of the virus and of seasonal influenza, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda reassured the States of all support from the Centre.
  • Health workers have undertaken on-the-spot source reduction and treated containers with temiphose during a survey besides carrying out focal spray and fogging in the affected areas, a statement said.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

#MeToo: founder of Kwan agency Anirban Blah fired

  • After four women anonymously accused Anirban Blah, the founder of Kwan Entertainment, one of the biggest celebrity management agencies in India, of seeking sexual favours from aspiring actors, he has been sacked with immediate effect.
  • The agency issued a statement saying, “We fully support the #MeToo movement and deprecate and condemn those who have exploited women in any form or manner.”
  • Mr. Blah also resigned from the Board of Trustees of Deepika Padukone’s The Live Love Laugh Foundation.
  • Meanwhile, a young writer wrote to the Screenwriters Association (SWA) accusing Ajit Thakur, head of the content studio of the media and entertainment business of Reliance Industries, of sexual harassment during a job interview and forcing her to take cocaine.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

POCSO Act: no time bar to report crimes

  • Survivors of child sexual abuse can file a police complaint after they become adults. The government clarified that there is no time bar on reporting such crimes.
  • The Law Ministry concurred with the opinion of the Ministry of Women and Child Development that unlike the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, does not lay down a time limit for reporting crimes covered under it
  • Section 19 of the POCSO Act, which deals with sexual crimes against children, lays down the procedure for reporting a crime but doesn’t specify a time limit or statute of limitation for reporting it.
  • Whereas the CrPC lays down different time-limits for crimes which carry punishment of up to three years, there is no time bar for crimes that would attract a jail term of more than three years.
  • This is an important step for survivors of child abuse, who may try to file a complaint as adults but are turned away at police stations.

GS II: POLITY – ELECTIONS

J&K fourth phase sees just 4.2% polling

  • In the lowest turnout recorded in the urban local bodies polls in Jammu and Kashmir, just 4.2% of the electorate voted in the fourth and last phasefurther lowering the cumulative percentage of all the phases to 35.1% in the elections held after a gap of 10 years.
  • The impact of the decision to stay away from the polls by two main regional parties, National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the boycott call by separatists was visible.
  • Of 244 uncontested wards, the BJP won over 70 and the Congress over 30 in the Kashmir Valley.
  • The Kashmir Valley, in all the phases, registered less than 8.3% polling. This is a huge dip from the turnout of 80% in the panchayat polls in 2011 and 66% in Assembly polls in 2014.
  • However, elections to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in 2017 saw just 7% polling.
  • In contrast with the Valley, the Jammu region, including the Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal, and Kashmir region’s Leh and Kargil consistently registered above 60% polling in all four phases, with Reasi touching the highest 84% turnout.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Korean war memorial to be built in Delhi

  • A Korean War memorial will be built in to commemorate India’s role in the war which ended in an armistice in 1953.
  • India and South Korea have agreed on building the war memorial, South Korean Ambassador in India Shin Bongkil said.
  • There were 21 countries which participated in the Korean War of 1950-53 of which 16 countries had sent combat troops.
  • India sent medical teams and a custodian force to deal with the Prisoners of War (PoW).
  • “India played a neutral role in the war. They contributed in a peaceful manner to end the Korean War,” Mr. Shin observed.
  • As of now, there are Korean War memorials in about 20 countries around the world which had played a role in the war.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL -ASIA

‘Preparing a statement on Khashoggi’

  • Saudi Arabia is preparing an alternative explanation of the fate of a dissident journalist, saying he died at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago in an interrogation gone wrong, according to a person familiar with the Kingdom’s plans.
  • In Washington, President Donald Trump echoed the possibility that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of “rogue killers”.
  • Mr. Trump spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia in a 20-minute phone call.
  • The President said the King denied any knowledge of what had happened to Mr. Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who had been critical of the Crown Prince.
  • The new story could defuse some criticism of the Trump administration, which has refused to back down from billions of dollars in weapons sales to the Kingdom and was still planning to attend a glittering Saudi investment forum next week.
  • And it could help Turkey, where a shaky economy would benefit from a financial infusion that low-interest loans from Riyadh could provide.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

UPI to facilitate interoperability among prepaid payment instruments

  • The Reserve Bank of India has released the guidelines for interoperability between prepaid payment instruments(PPIs) such as wallets and cards that will effectively allow users of popular payment wallets such as Paytm, Freecharge, Mobikwik, PhonePe and PayZapp, among others, to transfer money from one wallet to another.
  • RBI said that wallets could implement interoperability through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
  • Further, the RBI also allowed PPIs to issue cards using authorised card networks such as Mastercard, Visa or RuPay.
  • “Where PPIs are issued in the form of wallets, interoperability across PPIs shall be enabled through UPI… Where PPIs are issued in the form of cards, the cards shall be affiliated to the authorised card networks,” RBI said in the circular.
  • “PPI issuers shall adhere to all the requirements of card networks/UPI, including membership type and criteria, merchant on-boarding, adherence to various standards, rules and regulations applicable to the specific payment system such as technical requirements, certifications and audit requirements, governance, etc,” it added.
  • Experts said that it was a progressive move for non-bank players and would lay the foundation to reach the under-banked and unbanked segment with a powerful payment product.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

Ancient rocks in India give clues to early life

  • Researchers have found the oldest clue yet to the mystery of animal life in ancient rocks and oils, including those from India, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils.
  • The “Cambrian Explosion” refers to the sudden appearance in the fossil record of complex animals with mineralised skeletal remains 541 million years ago.
  • Single-celled organisms that dominated the earth for billions of years before the dawn of complex, multicellular life.
  • Researchers at the University of California, Riverside in the U.S. tracked molecular signs of animal life, calledbiomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic era.
  • In ancient rocks and oils from India, Oman, Siberia, they found a steroid compound produced only by sponges, which are among the earliest forms of animal life.
  • The biomarker they identified, a steroid compound named 26-methylstigmastane (26-mes), has a unique structure that is currently only known to be synthesised by certain species of modern sponges called demosponges.

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