News (Text)


When:
December 18, 2018 @ 11:30 am
2018-12-18T11:30:00+05:30
2018-12-18T11:45:00+05:30

NEWS

18 DECEMBER 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS I: HISTORY

Cong. leader Sajjan Kumar gets life term in anti-Sikh riots case

2.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Delhi offers $1.4 bn aid package to Male to tackle financial crisis

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

SC seeks explanation from Rajasthan government

4.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Cyclone Phethai crosses the coast near Kakinada in A.P.

5.

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Transgender pilgrims allowed into Sabarimala

6

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

5 days on, no trace of trapped miners

7.

GS II: SOCIAL – SCHEMES

LPG scheme to cover poor people

8.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Madras HC bans online sale of drugs

9.

GS III: ENERGY

IAF plane takes to the air on blended bio-fuel

10.

GS II: POLITY – STATES – J&K

Centre suggests President’s rule in J&K

11.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

IL&FS to monetise road assets

12.

GS III: ECONOMY – STOCKS

SEBI eyes Nasdaq model for platform

13.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Israeli spacecraft gets a special rider

GS I: HISTORY

Cong. leader Sajjan Kumar gets life term in anti-Sikh riots case

  • Thirty-four years after the mass killing of Sikhs in the aftermath of the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the Delhi High Court convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for the murder of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar area in Delhi and sent him to imprisonment for the rest of his natural life.
  • It termed the killing of nearly 3,350 Sikhs during November 1-4, 1984, in Delhi and the rest of the country, as “crimes against humanity,” which were “engineered by political actors with the assistance of the law enforcement agencies.”
  • Over 2,700 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone.
  • The Bench overturned the April 2013 judgment of a trial court that acquitted Mr. Kumar.

 

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ASIA

Delhi offers $1.4 bn aid package to Male to tackle financial crisis

  • India declared a financial package of $1.4 billion for the Maldives.
  • The package comes as Maldives is facing a debt of $3.2 billion with China. It is expected to boost Male’s global financial standing.
  • A Joint Statement issued during the visit of Maldives President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, announced that the financial assistance will be in the form of budgetary support, currency swap and concessional lines of credit for development programmes.
  • Both sides also agreed to coordinate maritime policing activities in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Both sides signed four agreements, including one easing visa procedures for Maldivian citizens.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

SC seeks explanation from Rajasthan government

  • The Supreme Court has asked the Rajasthan government to explain how some videos of hate speech were uploaded on the Internet from Jodhpur jail premises by Shambhu Lal Raigar, who is accused of hacking and burning alive a Muslim labourer from West Bengal.

 

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Cyclone Phethai crosses the coast near Kakinada in A.P.

  • Severe cyclonic storm Phethai, which kept the Andhra Pradesh government on the tenterhooks in the last couple of days, crossed the coast between Kakinada and Yanam.
  • It triggered a spell of heavy rain in East and West Godavari districts and moderate rain down south.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – WOMEN & CHILDREN

Transgender pilgrims allowed into Sabarimala

  • The Kerala police allowed four transgender pilgrims to travel to Sabarimala.
  • Their controversial detention by law enforcers at Erumely had played out in real-time on Facebook live and grabbed significant attention on social media.
  • In their widely-circulated online narrative, the transgender pilgrims said the police shamed them and asked them why they could not go to Sabarimala dressed as men.
  • Sabarimala had witnessed violent protests against the entry of women since the temple opened for Mandala puja on November 15.
  • The police were unsure whether the Supreme Court judgment on September 28 allowing the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50 to Sabarimala applied to transgenders.

 

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

5 days on, no trace of trapped miners

  • Five days since 13 miners were reportedly trapped in a rat-hole coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, all efforts to locate them have turned futile.
  • The trapped miners are now feared dead as water from a nearby river has been gushing into the 370-foot-deep pit.
  • Over 100 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force, along with police teams, are waiting for the water level to subside to begin rescue operations.
  • In 2014, the National Green Tribunal had imposed a ban in Meghalaya on rat-hole coal mining — a technique that entails digging small vertical pits to reach the mineral.

 

GS II: SOCIAL – SCHEMES

LPG scheme to cover poor people

  • The Union Cabinet approved the expansion of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which aims to provide deposit-free LPG connections to all poor households.
  • So far, the scheme targeted the poor and underprivileged so listed in the Socio-Economic and Caste Census, 2011.
  • Following the Cabinet decision, poor people will be able to opt for the scheme even if they so far were not eligible, after furnishing the required identification documents and an affidavit saying that they do not have an existing LPG connection.
  • “The mandate of the scheme was to provide LPG connections to eight crore households,” said Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • “Of that, we would have achieved six crore by 2018. So we have the funds to provide connections to the remaining two crore as well.”

 

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

Madras HC bans online sale of drugs

  • The Madras High Court held that drugs and cosmetics could not be sold online until the Centre notified the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Rules, 2018, intended for permitting sale of drugs through e-pharmacies, in the government gazette.
  • However, the court allowed time for the pharmaceutical companies to go on appeal.
  • The judge pointed out that the statutory rules for regulating online sales continued to remain at the draft stage despite the process for framing them having begun in 2011.
  • Earlier, the Delhi High Court had also banned the sale of drugs online.
  • It is the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, that regulates the import, manufacture and distribution of medicines in the country.
  • While it regulates sales of drugs, it was not clear, as the online pharmacy trade emerged, whether the existing rules under the Act would be applicable to the portals selling medicines.
  • It was in order to address this specific issue, that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published draft rules in September 2018, seeking to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics rules regarding the distribution or sale, stock, exhibit or offer for sale of drugs through e-pharmacies.
  • While currently no provisions exist for the registration of any of these online pharmacies, the new rules mandate all e-pharmacy holders be registered with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), and the State drug regulator.
  • Periodic inspection of the premises too will be on the cards.

 

GS III: ENERGY

IAF plane takes to the air on blended bio-fuel

  • For the first time, an An-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew with 10% bio-jet blended Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) produced from Jatropha oil, unlocking the possibility of gradually expanding it to the entire service at some point.
  • This has the dual benefit of reducing the carbon footprint as well as usage of fossil fuels.
  • India has thus joined a league of select nations to have “developed, tested and certified” a single step Hydro-processed Renewable Jet (HRJ) process to convert non-edible oil into biofuel for use on military aircraft..
  • This bio-jet fuel technology was developed by the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in 2009 and tested between 2011 and 2013.

 

GS II: POLITY – STATES – J&K

Centre suggests President’s rule in J&K

  • The Centre is learnt to have recommended imposition of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir after the expiry of six months of Governor’s rule on December 19, 2018.
  • The decision has been taken after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik sent a report to the central government recommending imposition of President’s rule in the State.
  • Now, President Ram Nath Kovind will issue a proclamation declaring that the powers of the Legislature of the State shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament, an official said.
  • The State plunged into a political crisis in June 2018 after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to minority following withdrawal of support by the 25-member BJP in the State.
  • The Governor had on November 21 dissolved the 87-member assembly after the PDP, supported by the Congress and their arch rivals National Conference, had staked claim to form the government.
  • Since the State has a separate Constitution, in such cases, six months of Governor’s rule is compulsory under Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, under which all the legislature powers are vested with the Governor.
  • The Governor has to dissolve the Legislative Assembly after the tenure of six months is over and the State will directly come under the President’s rule for following six months during which elections have to be declared in State.
  • In case the elections are not declared, President’s rule can be extended by another six months.
  • No Presidential proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years except for the intervention of the Election Commission of India, which has to certify that the continuance in force of the Proclamation is necessary on account of difficulties in holding elections to the Legislative Assembly.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

IL&FS to monetise road assets

  • In what could probably be the biggest sale of road projects in the country, troubled infrastructure developer and financier, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) has decided to monetise 10,092 km of road projects as it sought expression of interest from potential investors.
  • The sale of the assets by the new board of IL&FS is a part of plan for a resolution of the cash-strapped firm.
  • The projects on the block are seven operating annuity-based road projects in various parts of the country totalling 1,774 km, eight operating toll-based road projects of 6,572 km, four under-construction road projects of 1,736 km upon completion, and three other assets and businesses, which are EPC and O&M businesses of IL&FS Transportation Networks, and a sports complex in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • It added that any binding transaction for the sale of assets, as well as the resulting resolution plans, will be subject to requisite approvals (including the NCLT or where necessary, the High Courts) before transactions are implemented.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – STOCKS

SEBI eyes Nasdaq model for platform

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is trying to create a platform like Nasdaq for technology start-up firms in India by tweaking the norms for the Institutional Trading Platform (ITP), which now — apart from a new name — boasts of a framework largely based on the feedback received from industry participants, including early stage companies and investors in the start-up community.
  • The watchdog has decided that the start-up platform, which will now be known as Innovators Growth Platform (IGP), will also act as the main board for such firms thereby creating a separate and dedicated platform for sectors like technology, intellectual property, data analytics, biotech or nanotech.
  • The SEBI board approved a host of amendments in the old rules, including lowering the number of investors in a public issue and the minimum application size while removing the 25% cap on holding.
  • This is on the lines of the Nasdaq in the U.S., which boasts of technology and new-age firms such as Google, Netflix, Alibaba, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
  • Some of the changes that SEBI has mandated for the segment include lowering the lot size from the earlier Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh and including qualified institutional buyers and Category III foreign portfolio investors in the list of eligible entities holding pre-issue capital.
  • The regulator has also done away with the 25% cap on post-issue holding by any person individually or collectively with persons acting in concert while lowering the minimum number of allottees from 200 to 50.

 

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Israeli spacecraft gets a special rider

  • Israeli scientists making final preparations to launch the country’s first spacecraft to the moon added a special passenger.
  • A time capsule of three digital discs containing thousands of files was ceremoniously placed within the space pod.
  • They included drawings by children, pictures of Israeli symbols like the flag, Israeli songs and a booklet written by a Jewish man of his personal account of the Holocaust.
  • The spacecraft, called Beresheet, or Genesis in Hebrew, and weighing some 585 kg, is expected to be launched in February 2019.
  • It will be sent via a Falcon 9 rocket from American entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm and will take around a month and a half to arrive.
  • The cost of the project is some $95 million, with private philanthropists providing funding.
  • It has also partnered with state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, among the country’s largest defence firms.
  • Organisers say if successful it will not only be Israel’s first spacecraft to land on the moon, but also the first private one.
  • Israel would be the fourth country to land on the moon.

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