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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[Free] ALL IMPORTANT EDITORIAL COMPILATIONS- November 21

[Free] ALL IMPORTANT EDITORIAL COMPILATIONS- November 21

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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 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 11 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

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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HINDU NOTES-November 10 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 10 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

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

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

Odd-even rule back in Delhi from Monday

delhi-odd-even-ration

 News

  • The odd-even vehicle rationing scheme will be enforced in the capital for a five-day period, beginning Monday, as part of a graded response plan to tackle pollution in Delhi.

Beyond News

  • Women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniform, in addition to VVIPs, would be exempted from its provisions.
  • The policy mandates that private vehicles ply on the basis of the last number of their license plates — odd numbered cars on odd dates and even-numbered ones on even dates — and has been enforced in Delhi twice earlier: from January 1 to 15 and April 15 to 30.
  • Motorists will have to pay 2,000 if they violate provisions of the scheme, which will be enforced by teams of the Delhi police, the transport department and SDMs. Around 5,000 civil defence volunteers will be deployed to manage the vehicles in addition to around 400 ex-servicemen.

Constitution Bench to hear plea on bid to sway SC judge

bid to sway SC judge

 News

  • A Constitution Bench of the “first five judges of the Supreme Court in the order of seniority” will hear on November 13 a petition seeking an independent investigation by a special team, supervised by a former Chief Justice of India (CJI), into a corruption case involving a former Orissa High Court judge.

Beyond News

  • The judge allegedly conspired with a “hawala dealer” to influence the outcome of a case pending in the Supreme Court in favour of a debarred private medical college.

Supreme Court refuses to stay release of film ‘Padmavati’

 News

  • The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the release of Bollywood movie ‘Padmavati’, saying the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) considers all aspects before granting certificate to any film.

Beyond News

  • A Bench said there were enough guidelines to be followed by the censor board to grant certification to a film before its release.
  • The plea, filed by Siddharajsinh M Chudasama and 11 others, also sought the setting up of a committee of eminent historians to check the veracity of the script to prevent any inaccuracy in the portrayal of Rani Padmavati.
  • The petitioners sought a stay on the release of the film till such time the alleged historical inaccuracies in the film are corrected by the producer and the director.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

FEMA norms eased to spur investment from overseas

 News

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has simplified the Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of Security by a Person Resident outside India) Regulations, by putting all the 93 amendments under one notification, a move that will significantly make it easier for foreign investors to invest in the country.

Beyond News

  • The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), introduced in 1999, was amended 93 times.
  • Another significant change is the introduction of a late submission fee that could allow an investor to regularise any contravention due to non-reporting, by paying the fee.
  • In addition, any transfer of investment from non-resident Indians to any non-residents has been brought under the automatic route, subject to reporting.

Many areas may go without stormwater drain projects

Chennai disaster management

 News

  • The Chennai Corporation may leave some neighbourhoods out of the project to develop stormwater drains, giving priority to a few areas.

Beyond News

  • The civic body is unable to implement the project as funding agencies such as JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) have refused to be involved, claiming that they have focussed on other major projects such as Chennai Metrorail.
  • Officials claimed that funding by JICA of ₹10,000 crore for Metrorail and ₹3,200 crore for Intelligent Transport System in the city have caused a delay in funding for stormwater drains.

The Corporation requires ₹1,800 crore for developing stormwatwer drains in Tiruvottiyur, Manali and Madhavaram.

GST Council to tighten norms for Composition Scheme

 News

  • The twenty-third meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in Guwahati on Friday is set to tighten the noose on players who have started splitting their business operations into smaller entities to avoid higher tax liabilities.

Beyond News

  • The Council is also set to cut tax rates on a large number of product lines.
  • The Council is expected to further liberalise the Composition Scheme for small businesses and traders to pay a flat and low tax on their turnover.
  • The annual turnover eligibility threshold is likely to be raised to Rs. 1.5 crore from the Rs. 1 crore limit, imposed at the Council’s October meeting.

Tax rates are also likely to be rationalised from 5% for restaurants and 2% for manufacturers, to 1% of turnover.

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HINDU NOTES-November 7 and 8 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 7 and 8 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

Current affairs, Daily Capsule, Daily challenge, Daily hindu notes, Editorial analysis, hindu notes, IAS EXAM, MAINS 2018, PIB notes, The Hindu Notes

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

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

Kambala: SC refuses to stay Ordinance

kambala race facts and analysis

News:

  • Kambala, the traditional buffalo slush track race, is set to begin in the coastal belt in Karnataka from November 11, with the Supreme Court refusing to pass an interim stay on the Ordinance allowing kambala.

Beyond  News:

  • The ordinance is valid till January 20, 2018.
  • The apex court has agreed to examine the Constitutional validity of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance 2017 on November 13.

Highlights

  • Kambala is an ancient folklore and cultural game of coastal Karnataka since centuries.
  • The farmers don’t use the Kambala bulls for agricultural purposes and special feed and proper training is given to the bulls throughout the year.
10 things you should know about the buffalo race 
  1. It is an annual buffalo race going on for early 8 centuries. The tradition is followed in the area of Dakshin Kannada and Udupi districts of coastal Karnataka.
  2. Kambala is a contest where two pairs of buffaloes tied ploughs are made to race on slush-filled tracks with a jockey guiding them while they run.
  3. The buffaloes are made to run at a speed that they time close to 12 to 13 seconds while covering a distance of 140 to 160 metres.
  4. The farmers use a whip to nudge the buffalo ahead and try and make them a medal winner.
  5. The kambala season generally starts in November and lasts till March l the following year.
  6. The winning pair of buffaloes were awarded coconuts as part of this centuries-old tradition but these days the race is for a gold medal or a trophy. Kambala races are nowadays conducted day and night under floodlights.
  7. Animal rights activists have opposed the sport saying that tying the noses of the buffaloes with a rope and using a whip amounts to cruelty.
  8. Supreme Court in 2014 had banned kambala and jallikattu based on a petition filed by various animal rights organisations.
  9. Kamabala supporters have been protesting since the ordinance on jallikattu was moved by the Tamil Nadu government lifting the ban.
  10. Massive protests and processions are being taken around with buffaloes to put pressure on the Karnataka government to move a similar ordinance.

China dismisses Indo-Pacific quad plan as ‘speculation’

News:

China  dismissed the proposed Indo-Pacific security arrangement among the United States, Japan, India and Australia to contain China’s rise as “media speculation” and timed its remarks a day ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s arrival in Beijing.

Beyond News:

  • The Indo-Pacific – an area in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean on either side of the Malacca straits – was a “dynamic region” with the biggest potential in the world.
  • Mr. abe first unveiled his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” in 2016.
  • According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Japanese premier’s approach involving the U.S, India and Australia as the other partners, “is partly intended to keep in check China’s growing presence in the region under its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, aimed at extending its reach beyond its borders”.

‘India, Russia stand united against terror’

News:

  • Russia’s relation with India is “privileged and strategic” and Moscow shares New Delhi’s counter-terrorism concerns, said the newly appointed envoy of Russia to India.

Beyond News:

  • They also supported the China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative which ties Pakistan and China through the CPEC corridor that India opposes as the corridor passes through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

‘LG cannot differ with govt. on trivial issues’

News:

The Supreme Court on Thursday reminded the Delhi government that there were limitations to its powers under the Constitution, but added that in matters where the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) had differences with it, he could not sit on files.

Beyond News:

 

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

Probe ordered into Paradise Papers

News:

The government reconstituted a Multi-Agency Group led by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman on Monday to investigate cases relating to the ‘Paradise Papers’ data disclosure.

Beyond News:

  • The Paradise Papersinclude about seven million loan agreements, financial statements, emails, trust deeds and other paperwork over nearly 50 years from Appleby, a prominent offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and also from Asiacity, a Singapore-based family-owned trust company.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), late on Sunday night released data on offshore entities involving people and companies from 180 countries.

India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names that feature in the papers.

  • The disclosure comes 18 months after a similar ‘Panama Papers’ disclosure, which named several prominent Indian politicians, actors, and businessmen as having offshore undisclosed bank accounts.

Andaman’s new taste is sweet-and-sour

News:

Botanists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands discovered Edible wild banana species , the second such on the island in two years.

Beyond News:

  • Species of wild banana named Musa paramjitiana , in honour of Paramjit Singh, who happens to be the director of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
  • The plant grows to a height of nine metres and bears an edible, sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous bulb-shaped seeds.
  • Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as it has so far been spotted in only two locations on the islands, each with 6 to 18 plants in a clump.

Rain brings back winged visitors

News:

  • Migratory birds from thousands of miles away began arriving at the Nelapattu bird sanctuary in Sullurupeta area in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh during the past couple of weeks.

Beyond News:

  • It is felt that the recent copious rain would fill up the local pond as well as the nearby Pulicat lake, providing enough water and food for the winged visitors for this season.
  • Grey Pelicans were seen settling down on the barringtonia trees in the sprawling Nelapattu pond. They are said to have arrived from Central and South East Asian countries like Kazakhstan.
  • A number of other migratory birds like night herons and open billed storks have also arrived at the sanctuary.

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HINDU NOTES-November 6 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

HINDU NOTES-November 6 2017 [UPSC Current affairs]

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‘2017 will be among top 3 hottest years on record’

hottest year 2017

News: 

  • Year 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events, including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heat waves and drought, says a provisional statement on the State of the Climate released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Beyond News:

  • The average global temperature from January to September 2017 was approximately 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era.
  • As a result of a powerful El Niño, 2016 is likely to remain the warmest year on record, with 2017 and 2015 being second or third.
  • The WMO statement, which uses 1981-2010 as the baseline, was released on Monday at the opening day of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Bonn.
  • Extreme events due to climate change have affected the food security of millions of people, with agriculture accounting for 26% of all the damage and loss associated with medium to large scale storms, floods and drought, says the statement, citing an FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) assessment.

Climate change talks in Bonn, other day’s news in pictures

News:

  • Governments will try to bolster a 2015 pact to combat climate change at annual talks in Germany from Monday strained by President Donald Trump’s plan to pull out and instead promote the U.S. coal and oil industries.

Beyond News:

  • Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who will preside over the Nov. 6-17 talks of almost 200 nations in Bonn, says he wants more urgent action to cut greenhouse gases as part of the 195-nation Paris Agreement.
  • Delegates will work on a detailed “rule book” to help guide the 2015 Paris climate accord, which set a goal of ending the fossil fuel era this century by shifting to renewable energies such as wind and solar power.
  • But Mr. Trump doubts that human activities are the main cause of climate change – a finding endorsed most recently by U.S. scientists in a report on Friday – and said in June that he will quit the Paris pact.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-02

China objects to Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh

china blocks nirmala

News:

  • China on Monday objected to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying her tour of the “disputed area” is not conducive to the peace and tranquillity of the region.

Beyond News:

  • Ms. Sitharaman visited forward Army posts in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China to take stock of the defence preparedness.
  • China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of south Tibet and routinely objects to top Indian officials’ visit to the area.
  • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China stretches to 3,488 km. Both sides have held 19 rounds of talks by the Special Representatives to resolve the dispute.
  • Last month, Ms. Sitharaman visited Nathu La area on the India-China border in Sikkim and greeted the People’s Liberation Army soldiers across the border

Reduce crop wastage, urges Kovind

News:

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday called for a time-bound plan to reduce, if not eliminate, crop wastage in India.

Beyond News:

  • President was speaking at the concluding function of the World Food India (WFI) 2017.
  • President said that close to 16% of India’s guava crop is wasted, as are 10% of our mango and apple crops, the deliberations at this conference will take closer to preventing such regrettable wastage.
  • Delegates from over 60 countries, including CEOs of 60 global companies, attended the WFI event, which, according to Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur, saw 50 MoUs worth $11.4 billion being signed.
  • Mr. Kovind called the event “the Kumbh Mela of Indian food,” as it “helped showcase the vast and near limitless opportunities in the food industry and in food processing in India.”

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

‘Surging data volume in India to spur insights’

News:

  • As chief technology officer of Teradata, Stephen Brobst’s role is to ensure the data and analytics company develops cutting-edge technologies.

Beyond News:

  • This includes helping the Dayton, Ohio-based company find new customers and deploy products and services across the world faster and at a large scale.
  • Indeed, the government and the Central Bank are on a mission to rapidly formalise and financialise the Indian economy, according to a report by global financial services firm Morgan Stanley.
  • It said India had ‘introduced a universal biometric identification system [Aadhaar], initiated measures to boost financial inclusion [Jan Dhan], moved to a new fully online value-added goods and services tax system and implemented real-time payment systems [Unified Payments Interface and Bharat QR].
  • Coupled with rising smartphone penetration, likely doubling from 300 million to almost 700 million by 2020, these changes were driving India’s digitisation, said the report.
  • It said the combination of digital payments and GST would create significant big-data opportunity.

‘Note ban: firms put, drew ₹17,000 cr.’

  • More than ₹17,000 crore was deposited and withdrawn post-demonetisation, by 35,000 companies, the government said on Sunday.
  • 2.24 lakh companies had been struck-off till date from the Registrar of Companies for remaining inactive for a period of two years or more.
  • The Corporate Affairs Ministry said in a statement that to address the criminal angle, the Director, Additional Director or Assistant Director of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had been authorized to arrest any person believed to be guilty of any fraud punishable under the Act.

Trial run of 24×7 power to farm sector in Telangana from tonight

News: 

  • The Telangana government has decided to supply 24×7 free power to agriculture sector across the State on an experimental basis from Monday night, for about five-six days to study the impact on the transmission and distribution systems and also to assess the demand since the farming operations for the ‘Yasangi or Rabi’ season have already commenced.

Why its important: 

  • Although there are some States along with Telangana that are giving free power to farm sector, nowhere in the country it is being supplied 24×7, and the State’s effort is a record in itself.

Beyond News:

  • Round-the-clock power supply to the agriculture sector is being given in the three erstwhile districts of Karimnagar, Medak and Nalgonda, which have now become Medak, Sangareddy, Siddipet, Karimnagar, Rajanna-Sircilla, Jagityal, Peddapalli, Nalgonda, Suryapet and Yadadri-Bhongir districts, also on experimental basis from June this year as part of the government plans to give 24×7 supply to farm sector across the State from March-April next.
  • Working in tune with Chief Minister’s decision, the power utilities have been working on strengthening the transmission and distribution network by spending about ₹12,000 crore since the last year.
  • Follow-up action would be taken based on the feedback after supplying 24×7 power on experimental basis.

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HINDU NOTES-November 4 2017 [UPSC Current affairs DAILY CAPSULE]

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‘Article 35A is not part of the Constitution of India’

News:

  • Jammu and Kashmir Advocate-General Jehangir Iqbal Ganai on Friday said Article 35A, which is being contested in the Supreme Court through a number of petitions, “is not part of the Indian Constitution”.

Beyond News:

  • There is an argument projected that the President has no powers to amend the Constitution.
  • Every Article has been made applicable to J&K through Article 370. In Article 370, the President has been given powers to amend, alter or modify any article viz-a-viz J&K, with exceptions and modifications.

Referring to the 1954 presidential order on Article 35A, which grants special rights to citizens of J&K over property and jobs, Mr. Ganai said the Article related to fundamental rights was in “desirable” and not “essential” list.

Read more detail: ARTICLE 35A- Constitutional or Not? | CLICK HERE

Judiciary knows best: SC Collegium

News:

  • Let judiciary, and not the Intelligence Bureau (IB), be the best judge of professional competence of candidates considered for judicial appointments, the Supreme Court Collegium said.

Background:

  • The IB does a background check on the candidates once their names are considered for elevation by the High Court Collegium concerned.

Beyond News:

  • The Collegium of Chief Justice of India, made it clear that the IB should not delve into the professional competence of persons shortlisted for the judiciary.
  • The Chief Justice and his two senior-most colleagues met on November 1 to decide on the recommendations for appointments to Tripura and Jharkhand High Courts and also to consider the case of three Additional Judges in the Gauhati High Court who were to be made permanent judges.

The Supreme Court Collegium further laid down that only factually proven information supplied by the IB on candidates should be taken cognisance of by the Collegium.

SC wants norms fixed for distance education courses

News:

  • Questioning the role of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in checking the commercialisation of education, the Supreme Court restrained deemed-to-be universities from conducting distance education in any course unless all the courses were approved by the statutory authorities.

Background:

  • A Bench found that these institutions conducted distance education, including in technical disciplines, without proper inspection or checks.

The court directed that permission for distance education courses should be given only after off-campus centres or study centres of the institutions were individually inspected and found adequate by the statutory authorities.

  • The court found that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had been “illegally kept out” and their study centres had never been inspected.

Beyond News:

  • The Supreme Court ordered the direct suspension of degrees for students enrolled during academic sessions 2001-2005 in these institutions. It ordered the annulment of degrees of students admitted in these universities after academic sessions of 2001- 2005.

The apex court has also ordered a CBI probe.

Specify Aadhaar link deadlines, says SC

News:

  • The Supreme Court sent a clear message to the public to not panic, when it directed mobile service providers and banks to specify the last dates of linking mobile numbers and bank accounts to Aadhaar in the SMSes and e-mails they send to millions of subscribers.

Beyond News:

  • A Bench ordered that mobile service providers and banks should specify that February 6, 2018 and December 31, 2017 are the last dates for Aadhaar linking.

Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules of 2017 requires Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts and for verification of existing bank accounts by December 31, 2017, failing which the “bank accounts will cease to be operational.”

Pak. faces flak over terror funding

News:

  • India scored a major victory at the Financial Action Task Force that looks into terror financing that held its plenary in Buenos Aires , Even as it faced a Chinese veto on designating Masood Azhar a terrorist at the United Nations Security Council.

Beyond News:

  • Pakistan has failed to penalise or curb the activities of any of the terror groups [designated by the UNSC].
  • India raised the issue at the International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) in Argentina. Other countries supported India and now Pakistan has to submit a compliance report during the next session in February 2018.
  • The win for Indian negotiators was significant as it came even as China vetoed the latest bid to have Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar designated at the UNSC.
  • Pakistan has been asked to report again in February on action taken against designated terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its off-shoots Jamaat-ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniyat.
  • China tried hard to defend Pakistan during the FATF proceedings,But unlike at the UN, two speaking countries are needed to block consensus, and China was isolated there.

Hindu Notes from General Studies-03

DRDO successfully tests guided bomb

News:

  • The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has successfully tested an indigenously developed light weight glide bomb.

Beyond News:

Guided bomb

  • Its called , Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW), which can target large enemy infrastructure, like airfields.
  • The guided bomb released from an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft and guided through precision navigation system, reached the targets at greater than 70 km range with high accuracies,
  • The tests were conducted at Chandipur in Odisha.

 

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