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When:
October 18, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-10-18T01:00:00+05:30
2018-10-18T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

18 OCTOBER 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Sabarimala temple reopens amidst protests, violence

2.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Akbar quits a day ahead of hearing in defamation case

3.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Sirisena calls up Modi, denies blaming India’s RAW

4.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Students pan ‘profiling’ of Kashmiris at Punjab varsity

5.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU

6.

GS II: SOCIAL – INDICATORS

Beautiful Kulgod is the best village

7.

GS II: SOCIAL – INDICATORS

A.P. hamlets shine in rural survey

8.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Four jawans booked for rape

9.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Anti-stubble awareness duties rankle teachers

10.

GS III: ENERGY

Coal shortage hits power generation in Karnataka

11.

GS I: CULTURE

Bathukamma blooms at NSW Parliament

12.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

SC bars States from diverting money from CAMPA funds

13.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

India, China set to resume drill

14.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

‘Rajasthan’s Zika strain close to Brazilian one’

15.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Pakistan bid to apprehend two Indian boats foiled

16.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – CANADA

Canada legalises marijuana

17.

GS III: ECONOMY – STOCKS

Of 24 IPOs made this year, 17 trade below offer price

18.

GS: PERSONALITIES

Anna Burns wins Booker Prize

19.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Unusual weather in Japan impacts cherry blossoms

20.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Puerto Rico’s insects affected by climate change

21.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – EUROPE

Bulgaria urged to save giant monument

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Sabarimala temple reopens amidst protests, violence

  • The police cane-charged protesters as the Sabarimala temple opened for the first time since the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry to women of all ages to the hill shrine.
  • As many as 13 policemen and 200 protesters from Hindu fringe outfits were injured in the incidents.
  • Nilackal, the base camp situated 20 km from Pampa, witnessed unruly scenes as a mob, allegedly linked to Sangh Parivar outfits, tried to block entry of women of menstrual age and hurled stones at them.
  • From Nilackal, pilgrims have to take State-run buses to reach Pampa, from where it is a 5-km trek to the Ayyappa temple.
  • Till reports last came in, no woman devotee from the 10-50 age group had made it to the shrine.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Akbar quits a day ahead of hearing in defamation case

  • Nine days after a journalist first accused Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar of sexual harassment when he was newspaper editor, he resigned from office.
  • The accusation, which set off a series of similar allegations from former colleagues, led to Mr. Akbar filing a defamation case against Priya Ramani.
  • Mr. Akbar said he deemed it “appropriate” to resign before the case was to be taken up on Thursday in the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court in Delhi. “Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levelled against me, also in a personal capacity,” he said.
  • The President accepted his resignation with immediate effect on the advice of the Prime Minister.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Sirisena calls up Modi, denies blaming India’s RAW

  • Worried about the fallout of reports emanating from a Cabinet meet, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clear the air over the contention that he had blamed India’s intelligence agency R&AW for an alleged assassination plot targeting him.
  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s office “clarified” that he did not mention “any involvement of an Indian intelligence service” in an alleged plot to assassinate him, during a Cabinet meeting.
  • However, he admitted that discussions on the said plot had taken place.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Students pan ‘profiling’ of Kashmiris at Punjab varsity

  • Panjab University’s Campus Students’ Council and students’ union have panned the university’s move to collect details on students from Kashmir as “discriminatory” and demanded that the decision be rescinded.
  • In a recent e-mail sent to the heads of departments, the varsity’s Dean of University Instruction sought information about all the Kashmiri students enrolled with them.
  • The information sought included the candidate’s name, his/her father’s name, class, address and contact number.
  • The university’s move comes following a recent operation of the Punjab Police and the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police during which three Kashmiri youth studying at a private college in Jalandhar were arrested for alleged links with Kashmir-based terror outfit Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

Kashmiri students defer decision to leave AMU

  • Kashmiri students at the Aligarh Muslim University have deferred their decision to surrender their degrees and leave the campus en masse following revocation of the suspension order of the two students by the varsity.
  • The suspension order was revoked after a three-member inquiry panel set up by the varsity exonerated Waseem Ayyub Malik and Abdul Haseeb Mir, saying “no credible evidence” of their participation in any “unlawful assembly” on the campus was found.
  • They were suspended for allegedly participating in an aborted Namaaz-e-Janaza (prayer meeting) on the campus for slain Hizbul Mujahideen militant Manan Bashir Wani.
  • Malik and Mir, besides one unknown person, were also booked by the police on sedition charges for allegedly raising “anti-India” slogans.
  • According to AMU officials, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik is playing a key role in resolving the ongoing crisis at the AMU.
  • He is reported to be in close touch with the Uttar Pradesh government and the AMU authorities.

GS II: SOCIAL – INDICATORS

Beautiful Kulgod is the best village

  • Kulgod village in Karnataka’s Belgavi district is the most developed village in the country under the Antyodaya scheme of the Centre.
  • Its score: 94 out of 100.
  • There are signs of prosperity: a well-equipped gram panchayat office, branches of two nationalised banks, a co-op bank, a BSNL centre, a government primary school, three private high schools, an electricity customer care centre, a PHC, a veterinary hospital, and an ATM.
  • With a population of 7,000 people, it has 5,200 voters.
  • The economy is aided by agriculture, and nearly 90% of the area is irrigated by the Ghataprabha right bank canal and the Rameshwar lift irrigation project.
  • There is a frequent bus service.
  • Beyond Class X, girls take a bus to the government college at Koujalagi, 6 km away.

GS II: SOCIAL – INDICATORS

A.P. hamlets shine in rural survey

  • Kuligod in Karnataka’s Belagavi district is the country’s best developed village, but more than a third of the gram panchayats ranked in the top 10 are in Andhra Pradesh, according to the findings of an ongoing Rural Development Ministry survey.
  • With multiple panchayats assigned the same score – and thus tied at the same ranking – there are 97 panchayats in the top 10 ranks.
  • Of these, 37 panchayats are in Andhra Pradesh while 24 are in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Rural Development Ministry has done a gap analysis of more than 3.5 lakh villages, in more than 1.6 lakh panchayats under the Mission Antyodaya convergence scheme.
  • A team of officials surveyed and scored village level facilities and amenities using parameters related to infrastructure, economic development and livelihood, irrigation facilities, health, nutrition and sanitation, women’s empowerment, and financial inclusion.
  • While in October 2017, an initial baseline survey was carried out in 50,000 gram panchayats, this year, the exercise is expected to cover all of the country’s 2.5 lakh panchayats by the end of November.
  • The rankings will be updated as more panchayats are included, the Ministry said.
  • At the national level, the data shows progress in some areas and also spotlights discrepancies in respect of targets met under some other government schemes.
  • For example, the survey reveals that more than 95% of villages have electricity available for domestic use, while the government had earlier this year claimed that 100% of villages had power connections.
  • Similarly with regard to sanitation, the survey shows only 58% of villages — slightly more than 2 lakh of the 3.5 lakh surveyed villages — are open defecation free (ODF).
  • However, according to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-Gramin, 5.13 lakh of India’s 6 lakh villages are already ODF.
  • The survey also shows only 21% of villages having a community waste disposal system.
  •  About a quarter of all villages have more than 75% of households using clean energy, such as LPG or biogas. 

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Four jawans booked for rape

  • The Pune police booked four Army jawans for allegedly raping a speech and hearing-impaired woman for over four years at the Military Hospital in Khadki area.
  • A case under Sections 376 (rape) and 354 (molestation) of the IPC has been registered by the Khadki police on a complaint by the victim.
  • She has been working at the hospital for over four years.
  •  “One of the accused took advantage of her condition and committed sexual assault. When she reported the crime to her colleague, he too molested her. They were joined by two other jawans in the crime. Two of the accused made a clip of the act and blackmailed her,” said ACP Kalyanrao Vidhate.
  • A complaint has also been sent to the Defence Minister and the Chief of the Army Staff.
  • The Station Headquarters at Kirkee has initiated a court of inquiry against the jawans.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Anti-stubble awareness duties rankle teachers

  • The teaching fraternity of Punjab’s Gurdaspur district has demanded withdrawal of the order which has directed them to carry out anti-stubble burning awareness.
  • The Gurdaspur district administration has appointed 150 government teachers as nodal officers for creating awareness among farmers on the ill-effects of stubble burning, officials said, adding that each teacher had been assigned one village.
  • Some claim they have been assigned villages which are “located at far off areas” and that the duties were clashing with their teaching schedule.
  • Some teachers have expressed unwillingness to take part in the drive saying they may “face the wrath of farmers” on the issue.

GS III: ENERGY

Coal shortage hits power generation in Karnataka

  • Karnataka’s power sector is facing concerns after a severe shortage of coal.
  • The Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS), described as the “workhorse of the State power grid”, shut down three units owing to coal shortage.
  • The RTPS, which has a total installed capacity of 1,720 MW from its eight generating units, has also taken up another unit for annual maintenance.
  • With this, generation has reduced by about 600 MW from this station alone, according to sources.
  • Though the State-controlled Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) operates three thermal power stations, the RTPS is the worst-hit due to the coal shortage. There is no stock of coal in the RTPS stockyard, and the daily supply too has dropped.
  • The RTPS, which requires about 28,000 tonnes of coal daily to operate all its eight units at the maximum capacity, is presently getting only around 18,000 tonnes, sources in the KPCL said.
  • The RTPS sources coal from the Singareni coal mines in Telangana, the Mahanadi coal fields in Odisha, and theWestern coal fields in Maharashtra.
  • It is learnt that cyclone Titli hit coal production in Mahanadi and the Western coal fields, forcing the thermal station to depend only on Singareni for its requirements.

GS I: CULTURE

Bathukamma blooms at NSW Parliament

  • Women in resplendent clothes danced around ‘floral deities’ singing Bathukamma songs for the first time, at the New South Wales Parliament in Sydney, Australia, in a celebration of Telangana’s famed festival.
  • “We are celebrating our commitment to Telangana community’s 900-year-old heritage in continuation of what was floated in September 2006 as ‘Sydney Bathukamma Ethnic Festival’ at the Parliament House of New South Wales,” Mr. Vinod said.
  • At the celebration, the contribution of Pochampally handloom weavers to the textile history of the State, and their struggle to save the famed handloom sector was highlighted to the guests.
  • The participants were requested to patronise, which embodied traditional design, vibrant colour and creativity.
  • Bathukamma is floral festival celebrated predominantly by the Hindu women of Telangana.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – BIODIVERSITY

SC bars States from diverting money from CAMPA funds

  • The Supreme Court has barred State governments from diverting money from their Compensatory Afforestation and Management Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds meant for environmental protection, rehabilitation of displaced persons due to issues like depletion of forest, mining, etc.
  • The apex court’s order came in a suo moto case after realising that the Punjab government took Rs. 1.11 crore from CAMPA funds and to pay its lawyers and other legal expenses.
  • A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta, on October 1, ordered the Punjab government to reimburse Rs. 1,11,01,420 to its CAMPA funds within a fortnight.
  • This is part of a major effort by the Supreme Court since 1995 to prevent and monitor environmental degradation.
  • The idea of having CAMPA funds and authority was introduced by the apex court.
  • The periodic orders of the court in this litigation finally led to the birth of The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act of 2016.
  • In a March 2018 order, the Supreme Court recorded that the total amount in CAMPA funds is “tentatively put in the region of Rs. 70,000-75,000 crore approximately” and likely to go even higher.
  • The apex court had observed that this was a “huge amount” which can be used for the benefit of environmental protection and rehabilitation of persons displaced by environmental causes.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

India, China set to resume drill

  • India and China will resume the annual joint Army exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in December 2018 in China’s Chengdu region, an Army official said.
  • The drill was cancelled in 2017 due to tense relations in the aftermath of the Doklam standoff.
  • Following the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April 2018, the two countries have initiated several measures to normalise relations.
  • The scope of the exercise is to understand transnational terrorism and evolve joint drills for the conduct of counter terrorism operations, in addition to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations.
  • The exercise will be held in three phases — familiarisation, basic training and the joint exercise.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

‘Rajasthan’s Zika strain close to Brazilian one’

  • The Zika virus behind the ongoing outbreak in Rajasthan is closely related to the virus that caused the Brazilian outbreak.
  • The National Institute of Virology (NIV) had fully sequenced the Rajasthan virus’ genome, and this is the first time a Brazilian-like strain has been detected in India.
  • Before this, a strain from a patient in Gujarat, sequenced partially by the NIV, was found to be close to a Malaysian Zika strain, isolated in 1966.
  • The Rajasthan outbreak is different from the Gujarat cases in several important ways. Firstly, this is the largest in India, having affected 72 people.
  • Before this, only four Zika cases were detected by the NIV in 2016-17, despite widespread surveillance. These included three cases in Gujarat and one in Tamil Nadu.
  • “The current outbreak seems to be triggered due to uncontrolled mosquito breeding. Vector control is the key to prevention of outbreaks in future,” he said.
  • Though the virus is spreading quickly, most Zika cases have been mild, with 60 out of 72 patients healthy after treatment.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Pakistan bid to apprehend two Indian boats foiled

  • Indian Coast Guard vessels have prevented apprehension of two Indian fishing boats by the Pakistani agencies.
  • The Coast Guard’s patrol vessel, Rajratan, was alerted after intercepting a VHF communication regarding a “Pakistani warship chasing two fishing boats, reportedly operating in Pakistan waters.”

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – CANADA

Canada legalises marijuana

  • Canada became the first industrialised nation to legalise recreational cannabis after nearly a century-long ban.
  • Despite the dearth of stores in Canada’s biggest cities, consumers can buy legal marijuana online, from provincial governments or licensed retailers.
  • The move is a political win for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who vowed to legalise cannabis in his 2015 election campaign.
  • That pledge was aimed at taking profits away from organised crime and regulating the production, distribution and consumption of a product that millions of Canadians had been consuming illegally.

GS III: ECONOMY – STOCKS

Of 24 IPOs made this year, 17 trade below offer price

  • The ongoing volatility in the secondary markets has taken a toll on new listings too with more than 70% of the issues that listed in the current calendar year trading below their issue prices.
  • Since the start of 2018, a total of 24 companies made their debut on the bourses and shares of 17 such entities have fallen below their issue price.
  • Further, companies like Apollo Micro Systems and ICICI Securities have seen their share prices halve since listing on the bourses.
  • Among the few IPO (initial public offer) listings that gained are HDFC AMC, Bandhan Bank, Mishra Dhatu Nigam and RITES.
  • According to experts, while the markets have been quite volatile with a negative bias in the recent past, the fact that so many public issues have lost ground much more than the benchmark indices shows that pricing was done aggressively by the merchant bankers and promoters.
  • Interestingly, some issues, that have fared badly on the bourses, saw huge oversubscription, especially in the segment reserved for high net worth individuals (HNIs) bringing to the fore the age-old issue of IPOs getting subscribed primarily on account of leveraged financing.
  • HNIs, who borrow money and invest in IPOs, typically do it for the listing gains and hence, sell the shares immediately after listing.
  • Apollo Micro Systems, which is the worst performer among all companies listed in 2018, saw the HNI portion of its public issue subscribed a whopping 958 times.
  • “It is high time that an issue which has been debated so often and is still pending with the regulator should be resolved. Until this unrealistic demand is not nipped in the bud, you will have such instances time and again,” said an expert.

GS: PERSONALITIES

Anna Burns wins Booker Prize

  • Anna Burns has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction for Milkman, a vibrant, violent story about men, women, conflict and power set during Northern Ireland’s years of Catholic-Protestant violence.
  • Ms. Burns is the first writer from Northern Ireland to win the £50,000 (Rs. 48 lakh) prize, which is open to English-language authors from around the world.
  • Milkman is narrated by a bookish young woman dealing with an older man who uses family ties, social pressure and political loyalties as weapons of sexual coercion and harassment.
  • It is set in the 1970s, but was published amid the global eruption of sexual misconduct allegations that sparked the “Me Too” movement.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Unusual weather in Japan impacts cherry blossoms

  • The delicate blossoms of the cherry tree might be synonymous with the onset of spring in Japan — except this year they’re also blooming in autumn, a weather forecasting company said.
  • Experts told local media that the rare late blooms could be the result of this year’s unusual weather, including a particularly active typhoon season.
  • A series of unusually warm days after typhoons could also have confused the plants into flowering, said a tree specialist.
  • Japan has been battered by a series of typhoons this year, including Jebi, which claimed 11 lives and shut down Kansai airport in September 2018.
  • It is expected that the freak flowering will not affect the hugely popular cherry blossom season, which draws tourists from around the world. Japanese flock to hold ‘hanami’ picnics under the trees.

 

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – CLIMATE CHANGE

Puerto Rico’s insects affected by climate change

  • After bees and birds, insects and other arthropods have also suffered massive losses, a study from a Puerto Rico forest published showed, citing the impact of climate change.
  • Measuring the population of arthropods, which includes insects, caterpillars, and spiders, is not simple but one method is to place sticky traps on the ground and in the forest canopy.
  • Biologist Bradford Lister, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York used this method in 1976-77 in El Yunque National Forest in the U.S. Caribbean commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • He returned there with another biologist in 2011 and 2012 to use the same methods.
  • They found that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined by four to eight times, and by 30 to 60 times in sticky traps.
  • This decline was accompanied by parallel reductions in insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds, according to observations by the researchers.
  • According to the model used by the researchers, the blame lies principally with global warming. They reach this conclusion by noting Puerto Rico’s rising temperature over about 40 years.
  • The mean maximum temperatures, recorded by a forest weather station, increased 2°C between 1978 and 2015.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – EUROPE

Bulgaria urged to save giant monument

  • Perched like a vast flying saucer on a central Bulgarian mountainside, Buzludzha is a brutalist concrete monument that was built to glorify communism nearly 40 years ago.
  • The striking circular building has been left to fall victim to vandalism and decay, as Bulgaria has been eager to forget its communist past, but now Western experts want to preserve it as a heritage site.
  • They call it “a masterpiece of architecture, engineering and art”.
  • The 230-foot-high structure — inaugurated in 1981, it fell into disrepair following the collapse of the ‘Iron Curtain’ in 1989 and now lies empty and crumbling.

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