Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 25, 2018)
1. Centre wants fake news traced
The government has sought public comments on the proposed amendments to the Information Technology (IT) Act that seek to make it mandatory for platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to trace “originator” of “unlawful” information, while also removing such content within 24 hours after being notified.
It pointed out that a number of lynching incidents were reported in 2018 mostly owing to fake news being circulated through WhatsApp and other social media sites.
As per the draft ‘The Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules] 2018’ released on Monday, the intermediary after being notified by the appropriate authority should remove or disable access to unlawful content within 24 hours in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, on its computer resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner…”
The intermediary is also expected to preserve such information and associated records for at least 180 days for investigation purposes as against 90 days now.
2. India to host newly elected Bhutan PM
India will host the newly elected Prime Minister of Bhutan from December 27-29, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.
A press release issued by the Ministry said that the visit by Dr. Lotay Tshering, 50, will take place to mark the golden jubilee of the diplomatic relations between Delhi and Thimphu.
“The upcoming visit of PM Tshering will provide an opportunity to the two sides to review the progress in our multifaceted partnership and to discuss ways and means to expand the enduring ties of friendship and cooperation,” an MEA press release stated, announcing the visit of the PM who was sworn to office on November 7.
Dr. Tshering’s visit is expected to further firm up India-Bhutan ties as it is likely to witness sealing of important power projects to be implemented by both sides. Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji during his visit earlier this month told The Hindu that Thimphu will continue to have special ties with India and avoid establishing diplomatic ties with any of the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
3. Bengal Cabinet nod for mutation of property
The West Bengal Cabinet has decided to introduce an online system to ease the process of property mutation and check illegal practices, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday. The move will benefit people who complain of harassment by block land reform officers, she said.
4. Bogibeel: from ‘small’ to big
India’s longest rail-road bridge that took ₹5,920 crore to build was born “small” on paper – a scribbled note in Parliament after a dramatic display of anger – 22 years ago.
The 4.94 km Bogibeel, the fourth bridge across river Brahmaputra to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, was one of eight spans pursued in 1973 to ease the pressure on the 4,258-ft Saraighat Bridge on the western edge of Guwahati.
Until the Saraighat was built in 1962, the Brahmaputra was the only river in India that had not been bridged along its entire length from delta to foothills either for road or railway.
The first push for the bridge was from a citizen’s forum in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh. In June 1977, members of the forum submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Morarji Desai demanding the construction of the bridge at Bogibeel, about 17 km downstream of the town.
5. Chennai set to make iPhones from next year
The iconic iPhone will be made in Chennai from next year. The Foxconn unit in Sriperumbudur will start manufacturing all the models of the mobile phone depending on its demand.
This was informed at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday. Foxconn had been manufacturing cellphones for various companies for the last one-and-half years here and iPhones will be a feather in its cap, as it has a niche market.
6. Spacing effect
According to the spacing effect, learning benefits are greater when an individual spreads her studies over a period of time instead of cramming all of it into a single session. It is believed that spreading study sessions over time can help a person recollect information better and facilitate greater understanding of a subject. Some experts argue that spacing works because the human brain prioritises information that is repeated to it on a number of occasions over a significant period of time. The spacing effect was first identified by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in his 1885 book Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology.
7. ₹100 commemorative coin on Vajpayee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a ₹100 coin in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the eve of his 94th birth anniversary. Mr. Modi said Vajpayee spent most of his political life in the Opposition but always thought of the country. “Today’s landscape is such that if someone is out of power even for two or five years, he or she becomes restless,” he said.
8. Indian firm takes over Chabahar operations
An Indian company has taken charge of operating the Iranian port of Chabahar on Monday. The crucial handover took place during the first meeting of the follow-up committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement of India, Afghanistan and Iran. The External Affairs Ministry informed that India Ports Global Ltd. had taken over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar.
9. Order signed for U.S. withdrawal from Syria
The U.S. military has confirmed that the order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria had been signed, after President Donald Trump held talks with his Turkish counterpart to negotiate a pull-out that has stunned ’s allies.
Mr. Trump announced on Wednesday that the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops would leave civil war-racked Syria, where they have been deployed to assist in a multinational fight against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
10. Digging deep: Singapore plans an underground future
From its towering “supertree” vertical gardens to a Formula 1 night race, is known for many attractions; underground space is not one of them.
But that may soon change, as the city-state prepares to unveil an Underground Master Plan in 2019.
With some 5.6 million people in an area three-fifths the size of New York City — and with the population estimated to grow to 6.9 million by 2030 — the island nation is fast running out of space.
Singapore has been reclaiming land for decades, but that is increasingly unsustainable due to the rising sea levels and other impacts of climate change. So the city is going underground.
Singapore has already moved some infrastructure and utilities below ground, including train lines, retail, pedestrian walkways, a five-lane highway and air-conditioning cooling pipes. It also stores fuel and ammunition underground.
Now, the city wants to go further. “Given Singapore’s limited land, we need to make better use of our surface land and systematically consider how to tap our underground space for future needs,” said Ler Seng Ann, a group director at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
11. Scientists ‘sew’ with just sound waves
Scientists have successfully used sound waves to levitate and manipulate multiple objects simultaneously for the first time, using the system to “sew” a thread into a piece of fabric.
The system could be use to acoustically stitch up internal injuries or deliver drugs to target organs.
Sound exerts a small acoustic force and by turning up the volume of ultrasonic waves, too high pitched for humans to hear, scientists create a sound field strong enough to move small objects.
Scientists from University of Bristol in the U.K. and Universidad Publica De Navarra in Spain attached two millimetric polystyrene spheres to a piece of thread and used the acoustic tweezers to “sew” the thread into a piece of fabric. The system can also simultaneously control the 3D movement of up to 25 of these spheres in air.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
13. Things to Remember:
Bhutan PM – Dr. Lotay Tshering
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
14. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Encourage or assist (someone) to do something wrong, in particular to commit a crime.
Example – ‘he was not guilty of murder but was guilty of aiding and abetting others’
Synonyms – assist, aid, help, lend a hand, support, back, encourage
Current Affairs is an important GK topic for UPSC, NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Air force X & Y Groups, SSC, and other competitive exams. Every year in UPSC, SSC and Bank there are few questions from Current Affairs.