Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (December 27, 2018)
1.The old man and the mountain
Age is just a number for P. Chitran Namboodirippad, who
turned 99 on December 19. The former Additional Director of the Kerala
Education Department made his 29th trip to the Himalayas earlier this month. He
wants to make his 30th pilgrimage to the mountains in 2019, the year he
completes a century.
Mr. Namboodirippad’s relationship with the Himalayas started
in 1952, when he was in his thirties. “I was still in service then. However, my
first trip was a flop,” he recalls.
His next trip in 1956 was successful, and the snow-capped
peaks called to him again and again. “Travelling to the Himalayas back then was
really tough. Roads and other infrastructure were not developed like they are
now. We had to walk through forests for more than 90 km from Rudraprayag to
Mr. Namboodirippad is a former Communist baptised by none other
than K. Damodaran, one of the founders of the Kerala unit of the Communist
2. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana to have separate High Courts
Following a Supreme Court order to the Centre to notify the
bifurcation of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Courts by January 1,
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday ordered the separation of the “common”
Hyderabad High Court into the separate High Courts of Andhra Pradesh and
Both will function separately from January 1, 2019.
The principal seat of the Andhra Pradesh High Court is
Amaravati, the capital of the State. The High Court in Hyderabad will function
separately as the High Court of the State of Telangana.
16 judges for A.P.
Sixteen HC judges, including Justice Ramesh Ranganathan, who
is now the Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court, shall become judges of
the Andhra Pradesh High Court from January 1.
The new Telangana High Court will have a sanctioned strength
of 10 judges.
The presidential notification quoted Article 214 of the Constitution,
which provides for a High Court for each State.
3. Nara Lokesh discusses Amaravati in Singapore
Minister for IT and Panchayat Raj Nara Lokesh met a host of
dignitaries, including Gopinath Pillai, Ambassador-at-Large for the Government
of Singapore and special envoy for Andhra Pradesh, on day one of his three-day
visit to Singapore on Wednesday. He is in Singapore mainly to receive the S.R.
Nathan Fellowship from the Singapore government. Mr. Lokesh and Mr. Pillai
discussed the construction of the capital city, Amaravati, and creation of an
ecosystem for the development of start-ups and other joint initiatives.
4. 156 taluks in Karnataka declared drought-hit
As much as 88.6% of the area in Karnataka has now been
declared drought-hit. On Wednesday, a Cabinet sub-committee decided to declare
56 more taluks drought-hit, with the State recording a deficit of -49% rainfall
in the northeast monsoon. As many as 100 taluks that received deficit rain in
the southwest monsoon had already been declared drought-hit. Of the 156
officially drought-hit taluks, 95 are “severely hit” while the remaining 61 are
5. Another olive ridley nesting site soon
The Odisha forest department is all set to add another olive
ridley mass nesting site to its wildlife map.
It has started preparing the beach at the Bahuda river mouth
in Ganjam district to lure the endangered turtles to come over for mass nesting
Around 3-km stretch of the beach from Sunapur to Anantpur at
Bahuda rookery is being developed as a possible olive ridley mass nesting site.
The Bahuda rookery is located around 20 km to the south of Rushikulya rookery
coast, a major mass nesting site of olive ridleys on the Indian coastline.
Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Ashis Behera said the
Bahuda rookery coast has been cleaned up once already and it will be thoroughly
cleaned up again before the start of the mass nesting season in February.
“The forest department has decided to fence off around 2-km stretch of the
beach near Bahuda river mouth to protect the turtles during the nesting
season,” the DFO said.
This year, a few hundred olive ridleys had nested at Bahuda
river mouth in February. This encouraged the forest department to develop it as
a second mass nesting site for the turtles on the Ganjam coast. At present,
mating olive ridleys are being sighted near the Bahuda rookery. It is being
hoped that the turtles will find the beach conducive and their mass nesting
number at Bahuda will increase in 2019.
6. CM Rawat meets Israeli business delegation
An Israeli business delegation met Uttarakhand Chief Minister
Trivendra Singh Rawat here on Wednesday and discussed the setting up an algae
and a medicinal cannabis farms in the hill State, a government press release
7. Television services will not be affected, says TRAI
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on
Wednesday clarified that customers will not face any disruption of their TV
services due to implementation of its new regulatory framework for broadcasting
and cable services.
The new framework, which comes into force from December 29,
allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view, and
requires the TV broadcasters to disclose maximum retail price of channels
individually as well as of bouquets.
“The Authority has noticed that there are messages
circulating in the media that there may be a black-out of existing subscribed
channels on TV screens after December 29. The Authority is seized of the matter
and hereby advises that all Broadcasters/DPOs/LCOs will ensure that any channel
that a consumer is watching today is not discontinued on 29.12.2018,” a TRAI
8. T.N. may exempt paper cups from plastic ban
Tamil Nadu Minister for Environment K.C. Karuppannan on
Wednesday said that the State government was considering the possibility of
exempting paper cups from the plastic ban, which will come into effect from
9. Trivers-Willard hypothesis
This refers to the hypothesis that the sex of mammalian
offspring may be influenced by the condition of the mother during her
pregnancy. In particular, it states that more boys are born when the pregnant
mother lives in a favourable environment with ample access to resources. This
is because rich sons can achieve greater reproductive success than daughters
who can only produce a limited number of offspring during their reproductive
age. The Trivers-Willard hypothesis was proposed by American biologist Robert
Trivers and American mathematician Dan Willard in their 1973 paper “Natural
selection of parental ability to vary the sex ratio of offspring”.
10. Nepal caps expenditure of its citizens in India
Nepal on Tuesday imposed a monthly limit on the amount of
Indian currency its citizen can spend in India. A spokesperson of the Nepal
Rastra Bank (NRB) said a Nepali citizen would be unable to spend more than ₹1
lakh per month while paying for goods and services in India and that the
decision was taken to address the country’s current account deficit.
The policy applicable to prepaid, credit and debit cards of
Nepali banks came into effect on Tuesday.
However, leading economists of Kathmandu are saying that the
unprecedented step was prompted by Nepal’s recent experience with the Indian
currency that included the demonetisation process launched by Prime Minister
Central bank spokesperson Narayan Prasad Paudel said the
decision was taken to deal with the growing problem of current account deficit
and the balance of payment crisis.
10. Mekedatu dam: Centre to talk to Karnataka, T.N
The Centre has decided to call a meeting of Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers soon to resolve the issue regarding the proposed
construction of Mekedatu dam across river Cauvery. The issue was discussed in
detail by Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in a meeting with Union
Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, a Karnataka government
11. Russia successfully tests hypersonic missile
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday hailed final
tests of a hypersonic missile, which he had earlier said would render existing
missile systems obsolete.
“On my instructions, the Ministry of Defence prepared and
conducted a final test of this system. This has just been completed with
absolute success,” Mr. Putin said, during a televised meeting with members of
“Russia has a new type of strategic weapon,” he said, adding
that the intercontinental “Avangard” system would be ready for use from 2019.
The Kremlin told Russian news agencies that the test had taken place in far
eastern Kamchatka. Mr. Putin had unveiled features of the Avangard during his
annual address in March, which he said would be part of a new generation of
The hypersonic missile could fly at 20 times the speed of
sound and manoeuvre up and down, meaning that it could breach defence systems,
he had said at the time.
12. Afghanistan postpones 2019 presidential election
Afghanistan’s presidential election, initially scheduled for
April, will be postponed to allow time to fix technical problems that surfaced
during October’s parliamentary elections, officials said on Wednesday.
More time is needed to verify voter lists and train staff on
a biometric identification system designed to reduce fraud, said Abdul Aziz
Ibrahimi, deputy spokesman for the Independent Election Commission.
The parliamentary elections were fraught with delays after
the few staff trained on the biometric system did not show up at the polling
booths and countless registered voters could not find their names on voter
Polling had to continue for a second day after hundreds of
polling stations opened late. Legal complaints were later filed to challenge
13. Koreas launch project to reconnect rail links
The two Koreas on Wednesday launched a project to reconnect
rail and road links severed since the 1950-53 Korean War, but actual
construction cannot start while sanctions remain in place against North Korea,
officials said. The two sides agreed in October to work on reconnecting
railways and roads as part of a thaw in relations.
14. Centre tightens rules for selling online
The government on Wednesday said beginning February 1,
e-commerce companies would be barred from selling products sourced from firms
in which they have stake in or control over.
This is a clarification issued by the Ministry of Commerce
regarding the Consolidated FDI Policy Circular 2017. “100% FDI under automatic
route is permitted in marketplace model of e-commerce,” the Commerce Ministry
said. “FDI is not permitted in inventory-based model of e-commerce.”
Definition of control
The inventory-based model of e-commerce is when the
inventory of goods and services is owned by the e-commerce entity and sold to
consumers directly. The marketplace model is when an e-commerce company simply
provides an information technology platform in order to act as a facilitator
between the buyer and the seller. “E-commerce entity providing a marketplace
will not exercise ownership or control over… goods purported to be sold,” the
Ministry added. “Such an ownership or control over the inventory will render
the business into inventory-based model. Inventory of a vendor will be deemed
to be controlled by e-commerce marketplace entity if more than 25% of purchases
of such vendor are from the marketplace entity or its group companies.”
From the point of view of the vendor too, the clarification
said that an entity with equity stake owned by an e-commerce marketplace entity
or its group companies, or having control on its inventory by e-commerce
marketplace entity or its group companies, will not be permitted to sell its
products on the platform run by such marketplace entity.
15. Adani Ports delivers GE locomotives to Railways
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone said it had concluded
the import and delivery of 50 U.S.- made GE locomotives to the Railways. They
were manufactured by GE Electromotive Division in the U.S. and imported to
Mundra Port. The final locomotive was handed over to the Railways at the Roza
Loco Shed (U.P.) on November 23. The port said it had handled consignments
critical for the development of the nation.
16. Heena equals world record
Heena Sidhu shot a world record equalling 587 in women’s 10m
air pistol qualification in the shooting National selection trials at the Dr.
Karni Singh Range on Wednesday.
Anna Korakaki of Greece had earlier shot the record in the
World Cup in Fort Benning, US, in May this year.
Two-time Olympian Heena’s qualification score put her in the
lead in the race for team spots for the forthcoming international circuit.
17. B. Prakash no more
Champion jockey-turned-trainer B. Prakash passed away on
Wednesday morning in Mumbai due to a massive heart attack.
Prakash, who started his career as a jockey in 1995, was
recognised for his riding skills and was first retained by Mr. K.N. Dhunjibhoy
and then late racing baron M.A.M. Ramaswamy.
He rode more than 2000 winners (over 100 classic races) in
his career as a jockey. Later, after quitting M.A.M.’s team, he also rode
trainer P. Shroff’s horses for Mr. Vijay Shirke.
He hung his riding boots in 2012 and took trainers’ licence
at RWITC, Mumbai.
18. Israel to allow medical marijuana exports
Israel has approved a law to permit export of medical
marijuana. It becomes the third country to do so.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
20. Things to Remember:
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat
21. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – A direct or natural consequence or result.
Example – ‘the huge increases in unemployment were the
corollary of expenditure cuts’
Synonyms – consequence, result, upshot, outcome, out-turn,
effect, repercussion, reverberations, sequel, product, by-product, spin-off,
conclusion, end, end result