HINDU NOTES-November 21 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 21 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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 ‘Leakage of Aadhaar data dangerous for country’

News:

  • Unique Identification Authority of India, in response to a report based on a RTI reply stating that 210 government websites had made Aadhaar data public, said that Aadhaar data was completely safe and secure.

Beyond News:

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee  criticised the Centre for the alleged leakage of data of some Aadhaar beneficiaries on more than 200 Central and State government websites and described it as “dangerous” for the individual, society and the country.

China condemns Kovind’s trip

News:

  • China on Monday strongly objected to President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying India should refrain from “complicating” the border dispute when bilateral relations are at a “crucial moment”.

Beyond News:

  • Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told that Chinese government never acknowledged the so-called Arunachal Pradesh and our position on the border issue is consistent and clear.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as Southern Tibet.
  • India has dismissed Beijing’s objections, maintaining that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and Indian leaders are as much free to visit the State as they are to any other part of the country.

Supreme Court gives the nod for audio, video recording of court proceedings

News:

  • Judges have no need for privacy inside the courtrooms they preside, Supreme Court judge Justice A.K. Goel said while giving the thumbs up to audio and video recording of court proceedings.

Beyond News:

  • Signalling a paradigm shift, a Supreme Court Bench , mooted the possibilities of having audio and video recordings of proceedings in the constitutional courts — the Supreme Court and High Courts.

The Bench had asked why the judiciary in India should be considered any different from the judges of other countries who do not consider recording of proceedings as a violation of privacy of court proceedings.

  • Supreme Court directed that at least “two districts in every State/Union Territory [with the exception of small States/Union Territories where it may be considered to be difficult to do so by the concerned High Courts) CCTV cameras [without audio recording] may be installed inside the courts and at such important locations of the court complexes as may be considered appropriate.”

India thanks U.N members for Judge Dalveer Bhandari’s re-election to ICJ

VBK-BHANDARI-UN Security CounciNews:

  • Judge Dalveer Bhandari received all 15 votes in the UN Security Council and 183 out of the 193 votes in the UN General Assembly. The extraordinary support from the UN membership is reflective of the respect for strong constitutional integrity of the Indian polity and independence of the judiciary in India.

Beyond News:

  • India said the election process reflects respect for its constitutional integrity and independent judiciary.
  • The Government of India also expressed appreciation for the United Kingdom that chose to withdraw its candidate at the last moment.

The UN Security Council and the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in support of India.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

ISRO opens doors to private sector

News:

  • In an attempt to increase the number of satellite launches and build the capacity of the private sector, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) issued a tender on Monday to the private industry for Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) of 30-35 satellites.

Beyond News:

  • ISRO currently launches 3-4 launches per year but the demand is for 16-18 satellites.
  • In the next step, the idea is to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise. The private sector already supplies majority of the sub-systems in satellite manufacturing.

The big fish that inspired a beach cleaning drive

 

News:

The image of plastic all twisted up in the belly of a dead shark that washed ashore has become a catalyst for a massive beach cleaning movement in the fishing villages of north Chennai.

Beyond News:

  • They have mobilised around 300 youngsters to clean up the shores and fishing hamlets every weekend. So far, they have removed two tonnes of plastics and thermocol, 5000 bottles and one tonne of old plastic-wired fishing nets.
  • Indian Fishermen Association’s M.D. Dayalan, who is helping the youngsters, says that most fishermen are not aware that the plastic in fish nets can be recycled.

 ‘Indian renewable energy firms among lowest rated’

News:

  • Indian renewable energy companies are among the most poorly rated investment grade companies in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report by ratings agency Fitch.

 Findings of Fitch’s 2018 Outlook on Asia-Pacific Utilities.

  1. Most of the issuers are owned by their respective sovereigns due to the strategic importance of energy supply.
  2. These entities also have strong standalone profiles given solid and stable cash flow generation.
  3. At the bottom end are the Indian renewable issuers with ratings that reflect lower plant utilisation, limited operating history, volume risk, weaker counterparties, and weak but improving financial profiles.

The agency expects renewable energy to make up a larger portion of India’s electricity generation, bolstered by untapped generation potential, strong policy support and lower tariffs.

  • Tariffs for both wind and solar electricity hit a new low of under Rs. 3.0/kWh in mid-2017, making the two the cheapest source of electricity in the country.
  • Renewable energy made up 58% — its biggest share yet — of the 25 GW of generation capacity added in India in FY17.

Small renewable players would remain protected from price risks due to long-term power purchase agreements, but production volumes would vary on the basis of climatic patterns.

Fitch said that India’s overall demand for petroleum products would grow at about 5% over the medium term, driven by strong GDP growth over the next two financial years and continued growth in auto sales.

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HINDU NOTES-November 20 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 20 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

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Diversity keeps us united: Kovind

News

  • Addressing the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on Sunday, President Ramnath Kovind said the people of India had different food habits, clothing styles, religious beliefs and traditions, and this diversity was the country’s strength.

Beyond News

  • Mr. Kovind said Arunachal Pradesh — where different tribes coexisted and also conserved their own traditions — expressed India’s unity in diversity beautifully.
  • He said the border State presented a unique opportunity for trade with neighbouring countries, and hoped that it would help extend business relations with ASEAN nations as per the Act East policy.
  • This was Mr. Kovind’s first visit to the State — which China claims is part of Tibet — after becoming President.
  • He commended the Centre for its “effective steps” to step up development in the State, making specific mention of a Shatabdi train being extended to Itanagar and the construction of the Trans-Arunachal highway.

He said that the State had immense potential for organic farming, horticulture and tourism.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

China offers to mediate dialogue between Bangladesh, Myanmar

News

  • China has expressed its willingness to facilitate a dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar to solve the Rohingya refugee crisis.

Beyond News

  • China does not want the Rohingya issue to overshadow or slow down the progress of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor initiative.

Mr. Wang’s visit came days after the UN revived a resolution on Myanmar that was dropped last year due to the country’s progress on human rights.

  • The UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, called on Myanmar to end operations that have “led to the systematic violation and abuse of human rights” of Rohingya Muslims.
  • A total of 135 countries voted in favour of the resolution and 10, including China, against it, while there were 26 abstentions.

Making caste slur on SC/STs over phone an offence, says SC

 News

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that using casteist remarks over phone in a public place against the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe category amounts to criminal offence, warranting a jail of a maximum five years.

Beyond News

  • The apex court refused to stay criminal proceedings and quash an FIR against a person, who allegedly used derogatory casteist remarks over phone to a woman from the the SC/ST category.
  • Also said that section 3(1)(s) of SC/ST Act relates to a person, who abuses any member of a SC or ST by caste name in any place “within public view“.

Many CBSE schools add another subject to accommodate Kannada

News

Many private schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) are finding themselves in fix over how to“accommodate” Kannada as a language in the curriculum. In October, months after the 2017–18 academic year started, the State government made it mandatory for all schools to teach Kannada.

What the rules state

  • The rules for the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015 were finalised on October 21, 2017
  • Schools will have to teach Kannada from this academic year
  • Teaching Kannada should be implemented in a phased manner. By the 2026–27 academic year, Kannada should be taught in all classes — 1 to 10
  • Students who come from other States and enrol in schools in Karnataka between classes two and eight will have to study class one syllabus of Kannada. They will later have to gradually study the next year’s texts as they move from one class to the other

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

New J&K surrender policy to target local militants

surrender policy

News

  • With a fresh surrender policy being framed by the government, the Army and the J&K Police, in a joint appeal , asked all local militants to give up arms and assured them “full cooperation” to join the mainstream.

Beyond News

  • Over 130 local militants are still active in the Valley.
  • J&K DGP S.P. Vaid said that, they are after foreign terrorists. They want to give the local boys a chance to surrender.
  • The return of Majid Khan (who had joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba) will start a new phase and he hope, mothers of other militants will follow suit [in making an appeal].
  • They said local militants could use the helpline if they want to come back. A police official said the government had taken inputs from all security agencies to frame the fresh policy.

India Inc: who’s growing, who’s slowing

Studying their sales growth patterns threw up these findings.

  • Aggregate sales growth for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies slumped from 6.5% in July-September 2016 to 2.9% in the demonetisation quarter.
  • Automobile sales shifted into first gear from 13.2% growth in July-September 2016 to 4.2% in the October-December quarter. Sales for retailers fell off a precipice from a 31% growth to a measly 1%. Consumer durable sales, already sluggish before demonetisation grew at just 3.5% in the note ban quarter.
  • Telecom services went from 7.1% growth in July-September 2016 to a 1.7% contraction in October-December 2016. Entertainment (multiplexes, cable TV providers) saw a halving of growth from 14% to 7% and media firms’ (newspapers, broadcasters, television channels) slowed sharply from 9.2% to 1.2%.

GST apart, sector-specific issues have also played villain to some export-oriented sectors.

  • For software services, the backlash against offshoring and changing business models have posed a challenge. For pharmaceutical exporters, pricing pressure on generics in the U.S. market and regulatory crackdowns have hit growth.

Findings

  • Overall, numbers from India Inc. suggest that, while the economy isn’t back to firing on all cylinders, the accelerating sectors outnumber the slowing ones.
  • Extrapolating sector-wise numbers to the economy as a whole should come with caveats. In India, only the largest and most established firms tend to list themselves in the public markets. Therefore, these numbers essentially capture the trends for the best and brightest of Indian businesses.

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HINDU NOTES-November 18 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 18 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE 

Centre defends Rafale deal, cites dire IAF needs

News

  • In the face of continued allegations about the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, Defence Minister defended the decision saying it was taken as an emergency measure to meet the urgent requirement of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Beyond News

  • Then Prime Minister understood the loss of time and took the government-to-government route for 36 aircraft, and given the limited numbers, transfer of technology made no sense.
  • The government had decided to procure 126 fighter jets in 2000, but even by 2014, the deal could not be concluded.

Moscow declaration: WHO seeks co-ordinated action on TB, end of HIV co-infection deaths by 2020

Moscow declaration

News

  • Health ministers, NGOs, and private sector representatives from 120 countries adopted the Moscow Declaration , committing themselves to eliminating additional deaths from HIV co-infection by 2020 and achieving synergy in coordinated action against TB and non-communicable diseases.

Beyond News

  • India is among the signatories to the declaration that WHO director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus described in his address as a “milestone in the history of TB”.
  • The Moscow declaration emphasised the need for fixing multisectoral responsibility towards ending TB by 2035, the global target.

India, France to boost ties in counter-terror, trade

INDO FRANSE anti terrorism pledge

News

  • Gravely concerned over growing terrorism, India and France decided to strengthen counter-terror cooperation, and asked the international community to oppose countries which are financing, sheltering and providing safe havens to terrorists.

Beyond News

  • As part of the 2008 nuclear cooperation agreement between India and France, Paris is to help build atomic power reactors for New Delhi.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Ganga of Manas National Park is first rhino to be grandmother tracked in the wild

News

  • This is the first time a rhino belonging to the wild in India has been officially recorded as having become a grandmother.

Beyond News

  • Way back in 2004 when a devastating flood had ravaged Kaziranga National Park, Ganga – then a two-month old rhino calf – was almost washed away, had it not been for volunteers of the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and. Conservation (CWRC) who rescued her and shifted her to safety and brought her up.
  • Thirteen years later, Ganga – the name given at CWRC – is a proud grandmother, the first grandmother rhino tracked in a wild habitat.

The rhino population in Manas was totally wiped out in the early 1990s with Unesco putting a “in-danger” prefix to its World Heritage Site tag in 1992.

  • With the government launching an ambitious programme under Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV) to raise the total rhino population across Assam to 3000, a number of rhinos were shifted to Manas from 2006 onwards.

‘PSLV built by domestic industry by 2020’

Isro partners with PPP for lauches

News

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is preparing to hand over the entire gamut of launch vehicle manufacture to domestic industry by 2020.

Beyond News

  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) Director said that ,until now, public and private industries have only supplied devices, components and sub-systems for ISRO’s launch vehicles, including the PSLV and the GSLV.
  • This effort is to give a push to industry for production of end-to-end systems. By 2020, we hope to have the first completely industry-built PSLV.

The theme of the seminar was ‘Aerospace Manufacturing in India-Vision 2030.’

  • ISRO already has a partnership with private industry to produce satellites.
  • The IRNSS-1H communication satellite aboard the ill-fated PSLV C-39 was the first to be produced by a consortium of six companies.

ISRO had a partnership with about 500 domestic industries for the supply of various components and devices. “About 80% of the cost of launch vehicles and 40% of satellites are handled by these industries”.

Economy gets Moody’s thumbs up

Moody survey results

News

  • Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Services raised India’s sovereign rating for the first time in 13 years early, citing the country’s high growth potential in the years to come.

Finding:

  • The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody’s expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India’s high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term

 Beyond News:

  • Upgrading the Indian government’s rating as a local and foreign currency issuer from Baa3 with a positive outlook to Baa2 with a stable outlook.
  • Obligations rated Baa2 are subject to moderate credit risk.

They are considered medium grade and as such may possess certain speculative characteristics. Baa3, by contrast, was the lowest investment grade rating.

  • Acknowledging that some steps such as the GST and demonetisation have ‘undermined’ growth in the near term as reflected by the slower GDP growth of 5.7% in the first quarter of 2017-18, Moody’s said it expects real GDP growth in India to moderate to 6.7% in this fiscal year.

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HINDU NOTES-November 17 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 17 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, The Hindu Notes, UPSC exam

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE 

Restrictions eased as pollution dips in Delhi

Delhi pollution solutions

News:

  • Delhi breathed relatively easy as air quality remained outside the ‘severe plus’ category for a third consecutive day , prompting authorities to withdraw strict emission-control measures enacted last week.

Beyond News:

  • The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was in the ‘very poor category’ at 363.
  • The ban on the entry of trucks carrying non-essential goods into Delhi as well as the enhancement of parking charges by four times were reversed by Lieutenant-Governor .
  • These were among the provisions of the Graded Response Action Plan that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority ordered.
  • The municipal corporations of Delhi, which are responsible for collecting, parking fees, had hiked charges by up to four times.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has banned garbage burning in urban areas in a bid to reduce the pollution.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

UN must list Azhar a global terrorist: France

News:

  • Emphasising the need to designate Pakistani terror mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist under the 1267 counter-terror committee of the UN Security Council, France sought international consensus on countering cross-border terrorism.

Beyond News:

  • Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France and India are successfully cooperating in areas like counter-terrorism and defence and highlighted France’s territorial interests in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Le Drian’s comment on terrorism came two days after France marked the first anniversary of the November 13, 2016 terror strike in Paris which left 130 dead and dozens wounded.

Centre doubles down on GST’s gains for consumers

News:

  • A day after the Centre notified the latest set of cuts in the rate of tax to be levied on a wide range of goods as part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Union Cabinet approved the creation of the National Anti-profiteering Authority to ensure that businesses pass on the benefits of GST to consumers.

Beyond News:

  • The decision to set up the enforcement body marks the government’s resolve to ensure that the latest tax rate reductions approved by the GST Council on more than 200 items are implemented immediately by businesses.
  • Crucially, the authority has been granted wide-ranging powers, including to cancel the registration of offending firms in extreme cases.

Chennai Customs department website hacked

Chennai customs website hacked

News

  • The official website of the Chennai Customs was allegedly hacked on November 17 and slogans demanding a “free Kashmir” and comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian Army were posted on it.

Beyond News

  • A group of hackers, which identified itself as “Team Pak Cyber Skullz”, targeted the website .
  • A few years ago, the Chennai Customs website was hacked by another group of hackers.

This highlights the lack of cyber security even in official websites.

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HINDU NOTES-November 16 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 16 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, IAS toppers, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE 

NASA tool predicts which cities will flood due to melting ice

News

  • NASA has developed a new forecasting tool that can predict which cities will be affected as different portions of ice sheets melt due to global warming.

Importance of NASA tool

  • The tool looks at the Earth’s spin and gravitational effects to predict how water will be “redistributed” globally.
  • The tool provided a way for governments to work out which ice sheets they should be most worried about.
  • It suggests that in London sea-level rise could be significantly affected by changes in the north-western part of the Greenland ice sheet.

For New York, the area of concern is the ice sheet’s entire northern and eastern portions, researchers said.

Beyond News

  • Three key processes influenced “the sea-level fingerprint,” the pattern of sea-level change around the world, according to the study published in the journal Science Advances.

These include gravity, “push-pull influence” of ice, and the rotation of the planet itself.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

France wants to work with India in Indo-Pacific

News:

  • Officials said that, France will like to deepen cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific bilaterally and not as a part of a multilateral arrangement like the recently convened “quadrilateral” between India, U.S., Japan and Australia.

 Beyond News:

  • This new cooperation would be discussed as part of the strategic partnership along with cooperation in counter-terrorism, defence hardware, nuclear energy, and space cooperation during the upcoming visit of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to India.
  • France and India have a “special and specific” interest in the Indian Ocean, and would prefer to conduct their exchanges across the Indo-Pacific bilaterally.
  • In addition, France is India’s oldest strategic partner, and has conducted India’s first international ‘Varuna’ joint naval exercises since 1983.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

BS-VI fuel in Delhi from 2018

News

  • In a bid to deal with the critical pollution situation in the national capital, the Ministry of Petroleum has brought forward the date for the rollout of BS-VI fuel for Delhi to April 1, 2018 instead of the original deadline of April 1, 2020.

Beyond News

  • The decision to advance the launch, prompted by the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas,was taken in consultation with the Public Oil Marketing Companies.
  • OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of BS-VI auto fuel introduction in the whole of the National Capital Region (NCR) area with effect from April 1, 2019.

LIMITATIONS:

  • The step, though welcome, did not cover a large enough area. With the National Capital Region facing a smog crisis due to a combination of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana and high background pollution in Delhi last week, the need for region-wide action was once again highlighted.

Install rainwater harvesting system in two months, NGT tells Delhi schools, colleges

News:

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed all private and government schools and colleges in Delhi to install rainwater harvesting systems on the premises at their own costs. The institutions have been directed to install the systems within two months.

Beyond News:

  • A bench, headed by NGT chairperson , said that Any institution which does not comply, has to pay an environmental compensation of Rs. 5 lakh.
  • The Tribunal said the committee was required to carry out inspections of these institutions and issue a fitness certificate to make the rainwater harvesting systems operational.

 

Centre gives effect to GST rate changes

News

  • The Centre notified the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council’s latest decisions, giving effect to the revised tax rates on goods from November 15.

Beyond News

  • The government said all product prices must reflect the change.
  • A consumer shall be charged the revised reduced rates of 18% on these items with effect from the 15th November, 2017. On 178 items the GST rate has been brought down from 28% to 18%.
  • Accordingly, there would be a corresponding reduction in price/MRP on these goods. Consumers may take note of these reductions while making purchases.
  • At its meeting last week, the GST Council had pared the number of items in the highest tax slab of 28% to 50. It had also cut the rate on restaurants except for those in hotels having a room tariff of Rs. 7,500 or more to 5% and removed their eligibility to claim input tax credits.

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HINDU NOTES-November 15 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 15 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, Read Hindu, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-01

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE 

Indians add more years to their lives

News

  • A first-of-its kind report on the ‘India State-Level Disease Burden,’ released , has revealed severe inequalities in the disease burden in different States, suggesting the need for more specific health planning.

Beyond News:

  • The report was prepared under the Disease Burden Initiative, a joint project between the Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Important Findings:

  • Life expectancy at birth improved significantly during 1990 to 2016 — from 59.7 years and 58.3 years for females and males respectively in 1990 to 3 years for females and 66.9 years for males in 2016.
  • But in a measure of the continuing inequalities in public health, life expectancy for females in Uttar Pradesh was 66.8 years — below the national average and 12 years less than in Kerala, where it was 78.7 years.
  • The study found that the per person burden from many of the leading infectious and non-communicable diseases varies 5-10 times between different States and malnutrition continues to be the single largest risk for health loss in India, which is higher among females and is particularly severe in the empowered action group States and Assam.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Creamy layer case referred to Statute Bench

News:

  • Reopening the debate on the application of “creamy layer” for reservations for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in government jobs, the Supreme Court referred the question to a Constitution Bench.
  • A Bench said clarity is required on the “application of creamy layer in situations of completing claims within the same races, communities, groups or parts thereof of SC/ST communities notified by the President under Articles 341 and 342”.

Beyond News

  • This question on the application of creamy layer principle in SC/ST quotas comes 11 years after a five-judge Constitution Bench in the  Nagaraj judgment of 2006 had decided that creamy layer should be excluded from the reservations for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in government jobs.
  • The two-judge Bench’s order is based on a batch of petitions for clarity on Article 16 (4), which deals with the State’s powers for providing for appointments or posts for “any backward class of citizens”; on Article 16 (4A), which arms the State with power to make provisions for quota in promotion with consequential seniority to SC/ST communities; and finally Article 16 (4B) on unfilled reservation vacancies.

India, Russia chopper deal on right track

News

  • India and Russia are in the final stages of concluding the deal to build Kamov-226T utility helicopters in India.

Beyond News

  • A Russian team is in India for technical discussions on the JV with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).
  • India and Russia have concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 helicopters estimated to cost over $1 billion.
  • As per the deal, 60 helicopters will be imported from Russia and at least another 140 built in India by the HAL with technology transfer.
  • After the RFQ is issued to the JV, the final commercial deal should be concluded very quickly as there are fixed timelines on the process, the source added.

The Kamov-226T helicopters are meant to replace the ageing and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the Indian armed forces. The number is expected to go beyond 200 given the large requirement from the services.

Post-Doklam, India asserts itself in China’s backyard

News:
Displaying convergence of interests with the new quadrilateral grouping with U.S., Japan and Australia, India  reached out to China’s backyard, addressing an array of issues ranging from the tension in the Korean peninsula to freedom of navigation and sought a crackdown on chemical weapons during the ASEAN and the East Asia summits.

Beyond News:

A high-level Indian official told  that New Delhi has emerged as a more dependable partner for South-East Asia following the Doklam faceoff with China, and indicated that the South-East Asian countries expect New Delhi to be assertive with Beijing.

Ties with India going strong: U.S.

News

  • A senior White House official has said that India-U.S. relationship is going to get stronger and better under the Trump administration in a wide range of areas, including regional security issues, trade and economy, and terrorism.

Beyond News

  • India is a natural ally of the United States, because of the shared commitment to democracy and to counter-terrorism, and because the region is so vital to the U.S. security.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Wholesale inflation accelerates to 3.59%

News

  • Inflation at the wholesale level accelerated to 3.59% in October, a six-month high, on the back of quickening food price inflation and firming oil prices, according to official data released by the Ministry of Commerce.

Beyond News

  • The Wholesale Price Index had, in comparison, registered a growth of 2.6% in September.

This is due to adverse weather conditions and the situation should ease out in the coming months.

  • Within the Index, the primary articles segment saw inflation quickening to 3.33% in October from 0.15% in September.
  • This was mostly driven by food and fuel prices. The food articles segment saw inflation at 4.3% in October, climbing from 2.04% in the previous month. The fuel segment saw a much slower contraction in prices in October, of 2.1%, compared with a contraction of 11.55% in September.
  • The food index — which is a composite of the food segment within primary articles, and the manufactured food category — saw inflation accelerating to 3.23% in October from 2.99% in September.

The minerals segment also saw inflation quickening sharply to 14.8% compared with a contraction of 7.08% in September.

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HINDU NOTES-November 14 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 14 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, IAS EXAM, IAS toppers, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Editorials are covered separately. HINDU NOTES are available free date wise| CLICK HERE 

For India, peace is not a word; it is in our veins: Modi

News

  • Highlighting India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition of peace, a day after Indian officials joined the quadrilateral grouping that includes Australia, Japan and the United States.

Beyond News

  • In a meeting with the non-resident Indian community, PM said that India has sacrificed lives for the peace of the world even as he informed U.S. President Donald Trump that India will play a role for the welfare of humanity.
  • Modi indicated India’s growing ambition to emerge as a global peacekeeping and peace-enforcing power reminding that India recognizes the need for peace in the global order.

‘Indian firms in U.K. must be ready for Brexit effect’

News:

  • Indian businesses based in the U.K. and looking to do business in Europe must be prepared for additional tariffs, customs duties and product specification due to the repercussions of Brexit, according to a Belgian minister.

Beyond News:

  • The India-EU Free Trade Agreement finally being signed since the high-level negotiators are now meeting to hammer out the details.
  • Another sensitive issue was that of investment and arbitration. India-EU could model itself on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and Europe.
  • India could benefit from a technological transfer that would enable it to fully exploit its inland waterways without having to go through the expense and effort of dredging the rivers.

As Delhi withdraws review plea, NGT asks it to give “one scientific reason” to exempt two-wheelers from odd-even scheme

News:

  • The Delhi government on Tuesday withdrew the review petition that it had filed before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with respect to exempting two-wheelers and women drivers from the odd-even car rationing scheme.

Beyond News:

  • The NGT asked the government to provide “one scientific reason” as to why two-wheelers should be exempted from the scheme considering that both the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had submitted that two-wheelers contribute a major portion of the vehicular pollution.

Dismissing the petition, the NGT has given the ‘liberty to file a fresh application’ to the Aam Aadmi Party government.

  • The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Centre and the governments of Punjab, Delhi and Haryana on measures taken to counter the smog and pollution choking the national capital and surrounding areas.
  • The apex court’s green signal to the NGT came on a day the tribunal pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for not complying with its order to ban construction in the National Capital Region despite PM10 level being over 900. The tribunal described the State’s attitude as making a “mockery of the system.”

NAS to spot learning gaps in Ernakulam schools

News:

  • The National Achievement Survey (NAS) will identify learning gaps and quality interventions required in government and aided schools in Ernakulam district in kerala.

Beyond News:

  • NAS, aims at assessing the health of education system by weighing individual student performance.
  • Initiated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the assessment was done for classes III and V in languages, mathematics, and environmental science, and in languages, mathematics, science, and social science for Class VIII.
  • The findings will be used as inputs for policy, planning, and designing pedagogical interventions to improve students’ learning outcomes.
  • Experts will design and implement district-level pedagogical interventions to bridge identified learning gaps.

Philippines President Duterte accepts Modi’s invite

News:

  • The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to visit India for the 2018 ASEAN-India commemorative summit, along with other leaders of the ASEAN.

Beyond News:

  • The two sides sealed four agreements and agreed to cooperate on counter-terror. Both countries have been victims of terrorism for long.
  • The commemorative summit is likely to be a mega event that will mark India’s intensification of the ‘Act East policy’ aimed at the Indo-Pacific region.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

24×7 power supply to farms from New Year

News

  • The Telangana Government has advanced the implementation of round-the-clock power supply to agriculture sector and will launch it on January 1 instead of March-April next as planned earlier.

Beyond News

  • Stating that round-the-clock supply to farm sector would require another Rs. 617 crore in addition to Rs. 4,777 crore allocated for the current year, 5,394 crore would be allocated in the next budget for the purpose. Government, however, reiterated its appeal to the farming community to remove auto-starters not only to save wastage of energy but also to make best use of precious groundwater.
  • There were 23.6 lakh agriculture pump-sets in the State with an investment of about Rs. 35,000 crore by the farming community.

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HINDU NOTES-November 13 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 13 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

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Delhi’s pollution levels rise again

News:

  • Pollution levels in the national capital rose again on Sunday after a slight dip on Saturday, with visibility falling to below 100 meters at several places in the morning.

Beyond News:

  • Figures released by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) show the average of 15 monitoring stations over the past 24 hours had a score of 460 on the Air Quality Index (AQI), which falls in the ‘severe’ category.
  • The same figure yesterday was 403. The CPCB’s AQI scores for Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon were at 492, 498 and 460 respectively, which is also in the ‘severe’ zone.

Add On Notes:

The PM2.5 and PM10 reading of SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) was also in the severe category.

The Meteorological Department has forecast winds from the north and north-west, which are expected to blow away the fog and rain forecast for November 14 and November 15, and provide temporary relief from the smog.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

Navigation rights figure in first Quadrilateral talks

News:

  • Beginning a new diplomatic initiative, India on Sunday participated in the first formal official-level discussions conducted here under the recently mooted regional coalition known as the ‘Quad’, the quadrilateral formation that includes Japan, India, the United States and Australia.

Beyond News:

  • The quadrilateral talks were held even as our Prime Minister interacted with Prime Minister of Japan and U.S. President, who participated in the 31st ASEAN and the 12th East Asia summits.
  • Indicating the simmering regional tension with China and Beijing’s assertiveness over the South China Sea issue, a statement from the Australian Foreign Ministry informed that freedom of navigation figured at the ‘Quad.’
  • Official sources emphasised that the quadrilateral was not aimed at any other country, and said India was also involved in other similar groupings in the region to deal with security and political issues.

SC issues notice to Centre, 3 States on plea to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR

News:

  • The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Union government and the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab on a plea seeking to curb rising pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Beyond News:

  • The plea has claimed that rise in dust particles on roads and stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab have led to an alarming rise in pollution levels in the NCR and adjoining areas.
  • The plea sought directions to the Centre and these States to take steps to curb road dust and stubble burning. It also sought effective implementation of the odd-even car rationing scheme.

South China Sea, Rohingya on ASEAN map

News:

  • The maritime dispute over the South China Sea, exodus of the Rohingya citizens of Myanmar into Bangladesh and India, North Korean nuclear posturing and Islamic State-linked terrorism are likely to be the key talking points at the 31st ASEAN summit .

Beyond News:

    • The South China Sea has been at the centre of discussions on multilateral problems at the ASEAN-China level, which has been further complicated by China’s land reclamation projects aimed at building air surveillance and domination projects in the region.
    • ASEAN has been battling with the task of framing a Code of Conduct (CoC) for the common maritime future, which officials of the Philippines say is likely to get the green light during the ASEAN summit.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

GST: changes in the returns filing process

News:

  • The Goods and Services Tax Council took a slew of decisions during its 23rd meeting in Guwahati on Friday to benefit consumers and businesses alike.

Process till now:

Up to November 15, when the decisions take effect, the GST system requires businesses to submit at least three forms to file their returns. The GSTR-1 dealt with the invoice-wise details of supply, GSTR-2 dealt with the receipts of goods, and GSTR-3 was an overall summary derived from the two previous forms.

What is the change?

  • In order to ease the compliance burden on businesses, companies would be allowed to only file the GSTR-1 form, up to March 31, 2018.
  • The Council has set up a committee to look into how to make the GSTR-2 form easier, following which it will be brought back into the system.

The Council also decided to extend the usage of the summary GSTR-3B form, meant to make life easier for those unfamiliar with the filing process, till March 31 from the earlier December 31 deadline.

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HINDU NOTES-November 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

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Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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Govt. offers free bus rides during odd-even scheme

free bus rides during odd-even scheme

News:

  • The Aam Aadmi Party government announced free bus rides aboard its Delhi Transport Corporation fleet from November 13 to 17, the proposed dates of odd-even car rationing scheme.

Background:

  • This is to commuters in all DTC and cluster buses between November 13 and November 17, in a bid to promote the use of public transport.

Beyond News:

  • According to sources, the free rides are expected to cause a loss of around Rs. 9.5 crore to the cash-strapped public transporter.
  • As per the latest data from June this year, the DTC, which has a fleet of nearly 4,000 buses, carries about 2.8 million passengers daily and earns around Rs. 1.88 crore per day.

NGT’s Stand:

  • A Bench headed by NGT chairperson  asked the Delhi government to submit reports or studies on the basis of which it planned to enforce the scheme from November 13 to November 17.
  • The NGT also asked the government to provide reasons for exempting two-wheeler from the scheme.

  • The Tribunal has also asked for a detailed report on the emissions caused by cars in the National Capital Region (NCR) and what the other pollutant factors are.
  • It permitted the operation of industries which are providing essential services and goods like food items and medical facilities.

Centre approves creation of National Testing Agency

News:

  • The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.

Beyond News:

  • Its creation will relieve the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – which conducts exams like the National Eligibilty-cum-Entrance Test – and the All India Council for Technical Education of the burden of conducting entrance tests.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved the creation of a National Testing Agency (NTA) as a Society registered under the Indian Society Registration Act, 1860, and as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for higher educational institutions.
  • The NTA will begin by conducting exams managed by the CBSE and gradually conduct other examinations too.

The Centre will give an initial grant of Rs. 25-crore to the NTA to start its operations in the first year.

India, Canada may ‘trade off’ wish lists

News:

  • India and Canada will next week discuss ways to take forward talks on the proposed bilateral trade and investment pacts.

 Beyond News:

  • In the talks related to the proposed Canada-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA), officially known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, both sides are expected to exchange their respective services trade wish list, indicating the areas where they would like to gain from the trade pact.

One main area of interest for India is ensuring easier movement of Indian skilled workers to Canada for short-term work.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Gene therapy helps treat boy’s life-threatening skin disease — a first {Not much important}

News:

In a first, scientists have successfully treated a child suffering from extensive skin damage due to a genetic disease using transplants derived from genetically modified cells.

Background:

The boy suffered from Epidermolysis bullosa, a genetic skin disease that had destroyed about 80 per cent of the outermost layer of his skin.

Epidermolysis bullosa is the scientific name of a congenital skin disease that is currently considered to be incurable.

Its underlying mechanism is a defect in protein-forming genes that are essential for skin regeneration. Even minor stress can result in blisters, wounds, and skin loss with scar formation.

The disease significantly reduces the patients’ quality of life; often it is also life-threatening.

Beyond News:

  • The transplants were applied to the boy’s arms and legs, entire back, flanks, and partially to the stomach, neck and face as well.
  • The integration of the intact gene through retro viral gene transfer into the genome of the epidermal stem cells had been successful and was proven to be stable.

GST slashed on 178 items ahead of Gujarat elections

GST tax slabs

News:

  • The Goods and Services Tax Council on Friday sharply reduced to just 50 the number of items in the highest tax rate of 28%.

Beyond News:

  • The Council decided to reduce the tax rate on 178 of current 228 items from 28% to 18%, with effect from November 15.
  • Items with tax rates reduced to nil from 5% include guar meal, sweet potatoes, and dried or frozen fish.

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