News (Text)


When:
October 20, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-10-20T01:00:00+05:30
2018-10-20T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

20 OCTOBER 2018 

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

61 dead as train mows down Dussehra crowd in Amritsar

2.

GS II: SOCIAL -WOMEN & CHILDREN

Chaos reigns at Sabarimala as protesters block women

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

Prepare for a Ram temple, says Adityanath

4.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

Bring law to build temple: Bhagwat

5.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

New skin gel protects from some pesticides

6.

GS III: DEFENCE

HAL faces grim scenario as it has no new orders

7.

GS III: SECURITY

Five militants, woman killed in J&K

8.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Fines fail to deter stubble burning

9.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Arunachal, Assam on alert after barrier breaches

10.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Trump says it looks like Khashoggi is dead

11.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI steps in to ease NBFC woes

12.

GS III: ECONOMY – SECTORS

Textile production picks up

13.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-USA

Exporters in a spot over U.S. move on GSP

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

61 dead as train mows down Dussehra crowd in Amritsar

  • At least 61 people were killed and 72 injured at Joda Phatak in Amritsar, when a train mowed down a crowd of Dussehra revellers that had spilled on to the railway track while watching the burning of a Ravana effigy.
  • The police said Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) 74943 was coming from Jalandhar to Amritsar when the incident occurred.
  • Over 500 people were watching ‘Ravana dahan’ at a ground near the track.
  • As the effigy was set on fire amid bursting of firecrackers, people reportedly could not hear the sound of the oncoming train.

GS II: SOCIAL -WOMEN & CHILDREN

Chaos reigns at Sabarimala as protesters block women

  • On a day of high drama, two young women, a journalist and an activist, were forced to abandon their attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple after protesting devotees blocked their path and the Tantri (chief priest) threatened to lock the doors to the sanctum sanctorum if the women were allowed to enter the shrine.
  • Tension gripped Sabarimala around 7 a.m. when Kavitha, a television reporter from Hyderabad, and Rehana Fatima from Kochi reached Pampa to undertake the arduous trek to the hilltop shrine.
  • The police finally persuaded both women to abandon their trip and they were escorted back to Pampa under tight security by 12.50 p.m.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

Prepare for a Ram temple, says Adityanath

  • Stirring the Ram Mandir pot once again, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath exhorted his supporters to start preparing for the construction of a temple in Ayodhya with the same zeal with which they celebrated Ram Leela.
  • The CM said without Lord Ram, the path of public welfare would not be complete and hoped that his “grand ideal character” would inspire everyone.
  • Mr. Adityanath, who is also the head priest of the Gorakhnath temple, participated in the customary Vijay Shobha Yatra from the temple.

GS II: SOCIAL – UNREST

Bring law to build temple: Bhagwat

  • Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said that the government should clear the path for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya through an appropriate law.
  • He said the temple was necessary from the point of view of self-esteem, and would also pave the way for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

New skin gel protects from some pesticides

  • Indian researchers have developed a gel which, when applied on the skin, can inhibit some pesticides from getting absorbed into the body, thus averting serious adverse effects and even death.
  • Organophosphate-based pesticides, which are commonly used by farmers in India, are toxic to the nervous system and heart, and can cause cognitive dysfunction.
  • When esters present in organophosphate-based pesticides enter the body they bind and inhibit an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase or AChE) critical for nerve and muscle function.
  • This causes neurological disorders, suffocation, paralysis, and even death.
  • Studies on rats found that the gel was effective in a range of temperatures (20°-40° C) and a single application could protect the animals for four continuous days of pesticide exposure.
  • The gel does not act like a physical barrier but chemically deactivates the pesticides thereby limiting the inhibition of the enzyme.
  • The process of setting up a start-up and plans to carry out trials on humans are on.

GS III: DEFENCE

HAL faces grim scenario as it has no new orders

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.’s new CMD recently mentioned an order book of over Rs. 61,000 crore.
  • The production scene, however, looks grim beyond 2020 unless the government-owned military aircraft maker lands new orders for aircraft mainly for the Indian Air Force, according to information gathered from multiple sources in the company.
  • Such a scenario has not been seen since 1990, said an old-timer familiar with the ground situation.
  • The lack of new orders means that 25% of workers across HAL’s fixed-wing factories do not have work.
  • Älso, orders should be placed soon as it takes five years from sourcing components to building a full aircraft.
  • For the year ended March 2018, HAL posted a turnover of Rs. 18,284 crore – which is not much higher than the previous year’s turnover of Rs. 17,604 crore.
  • In recent weeks, the PSU has found itself in unwanted limelight in the contract for outright purchase of 36 Rafale fighters from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
  • If the government had not revised in 2015 an earlier, bigger and decade-old aircraft purchase plan, HAL says it would have produced 108 of the 126 Rafale fighter jets under licence.
  • Now HAL is handling two prime fixed-wing plane orders: the Bengaluru complex is producing the first batch of 20 LCA fighters (Light Combat Aircraft) for the Air Force.
  • The MiG Complex at Nashik is wrapping up an order for another fighter aircraft, the Sukhoi-30 MKI.
  • The MiG Complex at Nashik has been manufacturing most of the 272 Russian-origin Su-30MKIs under licence.
  • However, by 2019-20, the last 20-plus would be delivered to the IAF and the Nashik unit “has nothing after them,” the then HAL CMD had said in 2017, raising fears about HAL’s future.
  • The helicopter unit in Bengaluru is busy with Advanced Light Helicopters, which, too, will be completed around 2020.
  • HAL now banks on getting the first order for 15 Light Combat Helicopters which the DAC cleared last December.

GS III: SECURITY

Five militants, woman killed in J&K

  • Five militants and a pregnant woman were killed in three incidents in Kashmir, while seven soldiers were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on 19 October 2018.
  • Pulwama remained on edge after seven Army men were injured and a vehicle damaged in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the Lassipora area.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

Fines fail to deter stubble burning

  • Between September 27 and October 14, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) imposed Rs. 8,92,500 as fines – or “environmental compensation cess” as it is officially called – on farmers burning paddy stubble.
  • However, they collected only Rs. 3,05,000, according to figures from the organisation.
  • Officials said satellite images alert them to fields set afire by farmers but actually confronting a guilty farmer is a complex process.
  • The Centre and the States – Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – have in several meetings through the year declared a “zero tolerance” policy on the burning of stubble for farmers, which, according to various studies, contributes anywhere from 17% to 78% to the particulate matter-emission load in the city during winter.
  • To discourage farmers in Punjab and Haryana – who are responsible for the bulk of such fires – the government has also disbursed Rs. 591 crore to these States to sell subsidised farm implements that can do away with stubble without having to burn them.
  • Despite a vigorous focus by governments on making mechanised farm implements – combine harvesters-cum-straw management system, seed drillers, rotary harvesters – available to farmers, it’s still inaccessible to many farmers with landholdings less than 5 acres or those not rich enough to invest in such machines.
  • “In many cases there is no option but to burn because it’s quick and cheapAlso diesel has seen a spike in prices” a farmer said.

GS III: DISASTER MANAGEMENT

Arunachal, Assam on alert after barrier breaches

  • The Arunachal Pradesh and Assam governments readied National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF teams in districts along the Siang and Brahmaputra rivers following a report from China via the Central Water Commission that the barrier formed on the Tsangpo upstream due to a landslide has breached about 5 p.m., discharging water at a speed of 18,000 cubic metres per second.
  • The Chinese side will closely monitor the situation, and continue to notify the Indian side the follow-up developments through bilaterally agreed channels timely.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

Trump says it looks like Khashoggi is dead

  • U.S. President Donald Trump has acknowledged it “certainly looks” as though missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he threatened “very severe” consequences if the Saudis are found to have murdered him.
  • USA pulled out of a major upcoming Saudi investment conference and a U.S. official said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned the Saudi Crown Prince that his credibility as a future leader is at stake.
  • The journalist was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
  • Increasingly upset U.S. lawmakers are condemning the Saudis and questioning the seriousness with which Mr. Trump and his top aides are taking the matter, while Mr. Trump has emphasised the billions of dollars in weapons the Saudis purchase from the U.S.
  • Turkish reports say Mr. Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of the Saudi government for The Washington Post over the past year while he lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S., was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by members of an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but are yet to explain what happened to the writer.

GS III: ECONOMY – BANKING

RBI steps in to ease NBFC woes

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to increase the single-borrower exposure limit of banks for non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) which do not finance infrastructure, to 15% from the existing 10% of their capital funds.
  • This would be effective till December 31, the RBI said in a statement.
  • The move must be read in the context of the IL&FS imbroglio-induced liquidity crisis in the system.
  • The central bank has been taking several initiatives, including intermittent open market purchase of government securities, ever since the occurrence of a series of payment defaults by IL&FS and its arms which had culminated in the Centre disbanding the entire board of the infrastructure company and appointing a new one in its place under the leadership of Uday Kotak.
  • The Reserve Bank has also permitted banks to use government securities, equal to their incremental outstanding credit to NBFCs, over and above their outstanding credit to them as on October 19, to meet the liquidity coverage ratio requirement.
  • Liquidity coverage ratio refers to highly liquid assets that financial institutions need to hold in order to meet short-term obligations.

GS III: ECONOMY – SECTORS

Textile production picks up

  • The monthly Index of Industrial Production for textiles increased 7.8% in August 2018 compared with the same month in 2017.
  • In August 2017, implementation of GST was underway and it had affected production, he said.
  • Production has risen mainly because of domestic market demand.
  • The industry is now expected to attract fresh investments, having seen a slowdown on this front for two years.
  • The government needs to clear the technology upgradation fund scheme (TUFS) arrears.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-USA

Exporters in a spot over U.S. move on GSP

  • Are Indian exports to the U.S. eligible for duty-free entry into the U.S. under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)? Exporters appear to be confused on this.
  • Some say the policy uncertainty and the resultant confusion are leading to a diversion of orders meant for India to neighbouring countries.
  • Under the GSP, the U.S. grants eligible countries duty-free entry into the country for about 4,800 products.
  • The U.S. is now reviewing whether India is still eligible for GSP benefits, even as the Indian government is maintaining that exporters can still receive the benefits.
  • The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) held the first hearing on the issue on June 19. The review process is still on.
  • The USTR notice said the India review would “focus on whether it is meeting the eligibility criterion that requires a GSP beneficiary-country to assure the [U.S.] that it will provide equitable and reasonable access to its market.”
  • The USTR is “accepting two petitions asserting that India is not meeting this criterion: one from the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and the other from the Advanced Medical Technology Association.”

 

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