The Hindu – September 07, 2018

//The Hindu – September 07, 2018

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The Hindu – September 07, 2018

Latest 17 Current Affairs in India

1. SC decriminalises homosexuality

Latest Current Affairs in India.

The Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, unanimously held that criminalisation of private consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was clearly unconstitutional. The court, however, held that the Section would apply to “unnatural” sexual acts like bestiality. Sexual act without consent continues to be a crime under Section 377.

In four concurring opinions, the Constitution Bench declared the 156-year-old “tyranny” of Section 377 “irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary.” Section 377 thus far punished homosexuality with 10 years of imprisonment.

2. KCR dissolves Telangana House

Bringing down the curtain on days of speculation over the fate of the Telangana Assembly in the wake of a spree of policy decisions by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti government, the Council of Ministers, headed by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, on Thursday recommended dissolution of the House. The recommendation was accepted by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.

Mr. Narasimhan advised Mr. Rao to head a caretaker government. Immediately thereafter, a notification in the name of the Governor was issued by the Legislature Secretariat dissolving the Assembly, which was published in the State gazette. (The Hindu- Current Affairs in India)

3. India signs landmark defence pact with U.S.

Current Affairs in India

India and the United States on Thursday sealed the landmark Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) that will lead to a new generation of bilateral military partnership.

Apart from the agreement that was signed at the end of the inaugural India-U.S. ‘2+2’ Ministerial Dialogue, both sides called on Pakistan to stop terrorist strikes on “other countries” and urged for maritime freedom in the Indo-Pacific region.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James N. Mattis led the American delegation, and the Indian team was headed by their counterparts Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman.

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Defence systems

“They welcomed the signing of a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement that will facilitate access to advanced defence systems and enable India to optimally utilise its existing U.S.-origin platforms,” a joint statement said.

4. Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

An Act to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

In India, the Mental Health Care Act 2017 was passed on 7 April 2017 and came into force from July 7, 2018.

Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha: The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013
Bill published on: 19 August 2013
Date passed by conference committee: 20 November 2013
Date commenced: 7 July 2018
Date assented to: 7 April 2017
Introduced by: Ghulam Nabi Azad

5. Odisha House nod for Legislative Council

Current Affairs in India

A resolution seeking creation of a Legislative Council in Odisha was passed in the State Assembly on Thursday.

The resolution moved by State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha was passed with as many as 104 of the total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour. The ruling Biju Janata Dal has 117 members in the House.

The resolution will be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament to facilitate creation of the Legislative Council.

A proposal for creation of the Legislative Council in Odisha was passed by the State Cabinet on August 24.

The proposed Council will have 49 members, which is one-third of the total members of the State Assembly.

The Odisha government had set up a committee in 2015 to study the Legislative Councils in other States and recommend for establishment of one in the State.

6. ‘Industry must lift PSLV output’

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) wants industry to raise its engagement with the country’s space programme by helping drive production of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLVs) that ISRO needs to meet its fast expanding launch schedule in the coming years, Chairman K.Sivan said.

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7. Govt. grants ‘trust’ status to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ initiative

The government has granted the status of a trust to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’, a private initiative promoted by actor Akshay Kumar, which aids families of paramilitary personnel killed in action. Contributions to Bharat Ke Veer have been exempted from Income Tax, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

Mr. Kumar and former national badminton champion Pullela Gopichand have been included as trustees. “Ministry of Finance @FinMinIndia has now given approval to @BharatKeVeer Trust under 80(G) which in effect means that all contributions to the trust will be exempted under the income tax. I thank the ministry and FM Sh. @ArunJaitley for the exemption to #BharatKeVeer Trust,” Mr. Singh tweeted.

The public can visit the ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ application and website, and contribute to support the families of jawans who die in the line of duty.

8. Vital role for CNES

French space agency CNES has taken a vital role in the first Indian human space mission and will provide prospective astronauts with critical life support systems.

A joint working group will finalise other areas of collaboration, CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall said here on Thursday. ISRO is set to launch the spaceflight programme around 2022.

9. South Africa still struggles with the post-apartheid promise of redistribution

As South Africa debates contentious legislative proposals on land redistribution, few see any risk of Zimbabwe-style violent farm seizures of the 1990s in Africa’s most industrialised country. But President Cyril Ramaphosa, a former business tycoon and trade union leader, faces the delicate task of making good on the constitutional principle of land “expropriation without compensation”, not undermining the right to private property. Land ownership patterns remain skewed against the black majority, 24 years since the end of apartheid.

Amendments to the Constitution that are under consideration aim to make land expropriation provisions more explicit. The proposals target unutilised land, derelict buildings and land used for speculative purposes. The implications of these changes for the mining sector could be significant. His business acumen and trade union experience should equip Mr. Ramaphosa to balance competing and conflicting interests. It remains to be seen whether the amendments will satisfy the Economic Freedom Fighters, the radical breakaway party of the ANC. But for Mr. Ramaphosa, the moves are about instilling public confidence in his leadership and that of the ANC ahead of the 2019 general election. His bold initiatives as President have seen the return of competent Ministers sacked by his predecessor, manoeuvres to revive investor confidence and restoration of an independent prosecutor’s office. The land reforms he has started are potentially the most transformative yet for South Africa, and also the most difficult as they are politically contentious. (Current Affairs in India)

10. The Punjab Cabinet has decided to introduce in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) a new Section (295AA) which states, “Whoever causes injury, damage or sacrilege to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Srimad Bhagwad Gita, Holy Quran and Holy Bible with the intention to hurt the religious feelings of the people, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.”

11. Ending TB

After decades spent battling the scourge of tuberculosis (TB) in developing countries, 2018 might be the year that it is finally accorded the gravitas it deserves. On September 26, the UN General Assembly will, for the first time, address TB in a High-Level Meeting and likely release a Political Declaration, endorsed by all member nations, to galvanise investment and action to meet the global target of eliminating TB worldwide by 2035.

India has fought to retain its status as a maker and distributor of generic medicines, thereby protecting the right to health of people in developing countries. Indian patent law contains important provisions that help protect and promote public health goals — for example, by overcoming bids by big pharma to evergreen patents of old drugs, through compulsorily licensing for certain drugs, and by permitting pre- and post-grant opposition to patents to challenge unfair patenting practices by big pharma.

TB is, by and large, easily diagnosable and curable. It is unacceptable that it nevertheless remains the leading causes of death from any single infectious agent worldwide. Each day, thousands of people with TB die, often because of inequitable access to quality diagnosis and treatment. In addition, the rapid emergence of drug-resistant forms of TB (DR-TB) in many countries brings a fresh set of needs including new and comprehensive diagnostic tests and second-line TB drugs, and health systems trained anew to manage DR-TB. India not only accounts for a fifth of the world’s TB burden, it also has the largest number of people living with multidrug-resistant TB. In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would eliminate TB by 2025, ahead of the global targets. These targets cannot be achieved without access to affordable, quality diagnostics/ drugs. Unless India assumes a leadership role to restore every possible option to protect universal access to TB drugs in the Political Declaration, 2018 may end up being just another brick in the wall. (Current Affairs in India- The Hindu)

12. On the Chemical Weapons Convention Act of 2000

The Chemical Weapons Convention Act was enacted in 2000 to give effect to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction signed by the government on January 14, 1993. The Act defines chemical weapons and empowers the Centre to set up a National Authority to act as the “national focal point” for effective liaison with organisations and other state parties on matters relating to the Convention and for fulfilling the obligations of the country.

The Authority’s functions include regulation and monitoring the development, production, processing, consumption, transfer or use of toxic chemicals or precursors as specified in the Convention, among others. The Authority is also empowered to issue directions and even close down facilities which violate the Convention. It can liaise with other countries to seek or give assistance and protection against the use of chemical weapons.

The Act defines chemical weapons as toxic chemicals, including munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm. The definition includes in its ambit “any equipment” specifically designed for employing chemical weapons.

Section 19 of the Act gives full power of inspection of any person who is engaged in the production, processing, acquisition, consumption, transfer, import, export or use of any toxic chemical or discrete organic chemical. Inspections extend to any place where any chemical weapon, old chemical weapon, or abandoned chemical weapon is located, or where a chemical weapon production facility exists. The Act allows inspections teams to conduct “challenge inspections” of chemical facilities in the company of an Observer. An enforcement officer under the Act shall also accompany the team.

In 2010, the Act was amended to widen the scope of Section 9 to give the Centre power to appoint any of its own officers, other than those of the National Authority, as enforcement officers.

Section 16 of the original Act contains provisions for restriction on transfer of any toxic chemical or precursor. It provides that no person shall, three years after April 29, 1997, transfer to or receive from any person, who is not a citizen of a state party, toxic chemicals. This has been amended to provide that no person shall transfer to, or receive from, a state which is not a party to the Convention any toxic chemicals.

13. Nature deficit disorder

Parenting

This refers to the various problems affecting the behaviour of children as they spend less time outdoors. The disorder has been attributed to the exaggerated fears of overprotective parents who want to keep their children safe from dangers in the natural world. The availability of electronic devices, which discourage children from going out, has also been seen as a major reason for the problem. This causes children to suffer from various forms of anxiety, depression, obesity, and other medical problems. The term was coined by American writer Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods.

14. India’s interests secured in new pact: Officials

With Thursday’s Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), India has concluded three of the four foundational agreements with the U.S. that had been planned for years.

India has already signed two of them — General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016.

The COMCASA will allow the U.S. to transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for U.S.-origin platforms like C-17, C-130 and P-8I aircraft. It comes into force immediately and is valid for 10 years. Sources said a person-in-charge will be specially designated in the U.S. Central Command for coordination between India and the U.S. on this.

India and the U.S. will also hold a first-ever tri-service joint exercise on the east coast of India in 2019, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced.

The GSOMIA allows sharing of classified information from the U.S. government and American companies with the Indian government and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) but not with Indian private companies.

To further defence innovation, a Memorandum of Intent was signed between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Indian Defence Innovation Organization – Innovation for Defence Excellence (DIO-iDEX), which will look into joint projects for co-production and co-development projects through the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

15. EVs, CNG vehicles don’t need permits

Automobiles running on alternative fuel exempted, says Gadkari; no such concession for hybrids

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that no permits would be required for vehicles running on alternative fuel, including CNG, ethanol and EVs, a move that is expected to boost the demand for such vehicles in the country.

Mr. Gadkari, however, added that this would not extend to mild hybrids or hybrid vehicles.

The Minister added that with the GST on EVs at 12%, there was’nt any further need for subsidy. “In our country, we can’t subsidise individual vehicles. We need to think innovatively to induct environment friendly vehicles. My ministry has prepared a detailed report to promote EVs through non-fiscal initiatives to have at least 15% EVs in the next five years.” He, however, clarified that this was not mandatory. (Current Affairs in India)

16. Francesca Schiavone retires

Francesca Schiavone, who became the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title when she captured the 2010 French Open, has announced her retirement from professional tennis. “For me, it’s a very important moment of my life,” an emotional Schiavone said on Wednesday at a press conference here. “I arrived at this decision to say goodbye to tennis with my heart. Because my head, when I arrived here, said ‘Please go to the court, to fight’.”

17. Abbreviations:

Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)
General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)
Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)
United Planters Association of South India (UPASI)

18. Things to Remember:

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of Defence James N. Mattis
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit
Chief Minister Of Odisha – Naveen Patnaik

19. Improve your Vocabulary:

confidant

Meaing – A person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others.

Example – ‘a close confidante of the princess’
Synonyms: close friend, bosom friend, best friend, close associate, companion, crony, intimate, familiar, second self

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