Current Affairs for NDA CDS AFCAT Airforce X&Y Groups Dec 31, 2018

/Current Affairs for NDA CDS AFCAT Airforce X&Y Groups Dec 31, 2018
Current Affairs for NDA CDS AFCAT Airforce X&Y Groups Dec 31, 2018 2018-12-31T19:50:11+00:00

Current Affairs for NDA,
CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 31,
2018)

1. PM Sheikh Hasina set
for a landslide win in Bangladesh

Initial
trends in Bangladesh’s general election indicated a “landslide” for the ruling
coalition, the Grand Alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the Awami
League.

However,
the Opposition’s rainbow coalition, the Jatiyo Oikya Front (JOF), led by the
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has rejected the election and demanded a
re-election under a neutral government.

Counting
began soon after polling for 299 seats ended at 4 p.m. on Sunday. By late in
the evening, a local television station, Channel 24, reported that the Awami
League had easily crossed the 151 seats required to form a majority government.

The
Election Commission confirmed the complete result in one constituency in
southwestern Gopalganj, where Ms. Hasina bagged 2,29,539 votes while her
opponent from the BNP got only 123 votes.

2. Triple talaq Bill
likely to face stiff resistance in RS

The Centre
is likely to face stiff resistance in its second attempt to ensure passage of the
triple talaq Bill when it comes up on Monday in the Rajya Sabha, as the
Congress is all set to oppose the proposed law in coordination with other
Opposition parties.

The amended
Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha this past week, is listed in the business of the
Upper House for the day.

In the last
session, the earlier Bill could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha due to a
lack of consensus among political parties.

Although
the government expressed the hope that the Bill would find support in the Rajya
Sabha, this time too the Congress plans to oppose it.

3. Veteran filmmaker
Mrinal Sen dead

Mrinal Sen,
one of the towering figures of Indian cinema, passed away on Sunday at his
south residence. He was suffering from ailments related to old age. He was 95.

The last
rites are likely to be performed on January 2 after his son Kunal returns from
abroad.

The last of
the triumvirate of legendary filmmakers that included Satyajit Ray and Ritwick
Ghatak, Sen received various national and international awards, including the
Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2003.

Legendary
actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who worked in four of his films, described Sen’s
death as the “fall of a titan”, and said he was the last of the directors to
usher in the golden era in Bengali cinema.

Sen was
heavily influenced by parallel cinema and introduced a new kind of film-making
with his unusual camera movement, non-linear narrative, discontinuities and
freeze frames — something Indian cinema had never seen before.

4. Pradhan launches
sanitary pad-making initiative

The Ujjwala
Sanitary Napkins initiative by three oil marketing companies – IOCL, BPCL and
HPCL – was launched by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra
Pradhan here on Sunday.

The three
companies will set up 100 manufacturing units at the Common Service Centres
(CSC) covering 93 Blocks across 30 districts of Odisha at an estimated cost of
₹2.94 crore.

Mr. Pradhan
said the mission, which forms part of the CSR initiative of OMCs in Odisha, is
aimed to educate women on female hygiene and health, improve accessibility to
low cost eco-friendly sanitary pads and boost rural employment and economy.

At least 10
Ujjwala beneficiary women will get employment at each CSC. Each facility will
have a capacity to produce 1,200-2,000 pads per day and will have a
sterilisation room to ensure that the napkins are sterilised before they are
packed for use by rural women.

The CSCs
are also being provided with raw material, enough to make 45,000-50,000 pads.
These napkins will be priced at ₹40 per pack, each containing eight pads. The
Ujjwala pads will be made of virgin wood pulp sheet, non-woven white sheet and
a gel sheet which are all biodegradable in nature and will leave minimal carbon
footprint.

5. Diffusion of
responsibility

Sociology

This refers
to a social phenomenon wherein individuals who are members of a group refuse to
take personal responsibility for their actions. Instead, each individual
assumes that other members of the group are responsible for group outcomes.
Such diffusion of responsibility is often considered to be the result of lack
of ownership among individual members of a group. Since no single person is
held responsible for any group outcome, members of the group lack any
significant positive or negative incentive to take responsibility for their
actions. The concept has been used to explain the behaviour of mobs, crowds,
and groups of people in general.

6. CIC gets four
Information Commissioners

The
government has appointed four new Information Commissioners in the Central
Information Commission, which was functioning with just three of Commissioners
as against a sanctioned strength of 11, including the Chief Information
Commissioner.

President
Ram Nath Kovind has approved the appointment of former IFS officer Yashwardhan
Kumar Sinha, former IRS officer Vanaja N. Sarna, former IAS officer Neeraj
Kumar Gupta and former Law Secretary Suresh Chandra as Information
Commissioners in the CIC, a government order accessed by PTI said.

Mr. Sinha
is a 1981-batch IFS officer and former High Commissioner of India in the United
Kingdom. The only woman in the CIC, Ms. Sarna is a 1980-batch Indian Revenue
Service (Customs and Excise) officer, who was the Chief of the Central Board of
Excise and Customs (CBEC).

7. Hard lesson: funds not
enough to attract teachers to government schools

State
governments have increased their budgets for school education in the past three
years, but the allotment of funds has not been enough to attract permanent
qualified teaching staff to government schools, finds a recent study conducted
across six States.

The report,
prepared jointly by Child Rights and You (CRY) and the Centre for Budget and
Governance Accountability (CBGA), examines budgeting for school education in
six States — West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and
Maharashtra — during the 14th Finance Commission recommendation period, which
started in April 2015.

The study
finds that there has been an overall increase in revenue with the States
following the 14th Finance Commission recommendations. This was a result of an
increase in the share of the States in the divisible pool of Central taxes from
32% to 42%. At the same time, a reduction in the Union government’s
contribution to the States for Central schemes in social sectors forced the
States to improve their tax revenue collection. The study analyses whether the
availability of additional funds translated into prioritising of school education
in these six States.

Between
2015-16 and 2017-18, there was a net decline in the share of school education
budget in the total State Budget for three of the six States, according to the
detailed demand for Grants and State Budget documents. Bihar saw a dip of 3.1%,
Maharashtra a drop of 1% and West Bengal 0.9%. On the other hand, Chhattisgarh,
Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh saw an increase in the size of school education
budget by 0.4%, 2.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

The report
examines whether the increase in the size of school education budget was more
than the rise in size of the total budget, indicating a higher priority for the
sector. It concluded that between 2014-15 and 2017-18, Uttar Pradesh saw a
98.8% increase in budget for schools, whereas its total budget increased by
63.3%. West Bengal’s budget for school education increased by 49.4% while its
total budget increased by 48.2% and in Tamil Nadu, the former increased by
38.7% but the total budget increased by 38.5%, indicating that school education
was a priority for these three States.

At the same
time, all the six States showed an increase in the magnitude of per-child and
per-student spending for education between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

8. Better patrolling,
technology helped foresters nab golfer

Braving the
chilly winter morning of December 26, a team of five or six Forest Department
staffers who were on patrol duty intercepted a SUV approaching a buffer area in
a corner of the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Despite the
dense fog, the glowing headlights of the vehicle gave away its position.

It was
around 5.30 a.m. that the SUV was seized, more than an hour-and-a-half after it
probably entered the sanctuary in Bahraich.

A dead
fowl, which was allegedly hunted, hide of sambhar deer and boar and a .22
rifle, binoculars, range finders and other equipment were recovered from the
vehicle, which had a Haryana number plate.

9. Ross Island is now
Netaji Dweep

Prime
Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced renaming of three islands of the
Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

The Ross
Island was renamed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, the Neil Island as Shaheed
Dweep and the Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, Mr. Modi said to thunderous
applause from the audience here.

The three
islands are major tourist spots.

Donning the
Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, he addressed a public meeting at the
Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the
Tricolour by Bose here. “When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we
take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first Prime
Minister of the Azad Hind government, Subhas Babu had made India’s Independence
resolution on the soil of Andaman,” he said.

On this day
in 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed Shahid
and Swaraj Dweep. Mr. Modi released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover
and a ₹75 coin. He announced the setting up of a deemed university named after
Bose.

10. CAIT flags ‘undue
pressure by lobbies’ against e-com rules

The
Confederation of All India Traders has hit out at the U.S.-India Strategic
Partnership Forum’s statement terming the recent changes in the e-commerce
rules “regressive”, saying that such a statement was an attempt by companies
such as Amazon and Walmart to try to pressurise the Indian government into
relaxing the rules.

The
government last week issued a clarification to the e-commerce rules that
tightened the operational leeway for e-commerce firms with foreign direct
investment in them, and which exerted direct or indirect control over vendors
selling on their portals.

11. Centre launches global
search for AI top slots

The Centre
plans to hire professionals for top positions in Air India through a global
search process, as part of efforts to revive the national carrier, Civil
Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

Against
this backdrop, the Centre is considering the proposal to professionalise AI
management. The carrier is estimated to have a debt of over ₹55,000 crore and
about ₹29,000 crore is to be transferred into an special purpose vehicle.

 

12. Kohli & his merry
men keep date with destiny

You can
freeze the frame. A joyous Virat Kohli defying gravity, leaping as high as his
ambition, even as teammates swarm around him.

Ishant
Sharma bounced at Nathan Lyon, the batsman attempted a hook, and a gleeful
’keeper Rishabh Pant held the top-edge. The Test had been won.

With an
unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-Test series, the visitors will now attempt to
accomplish what no Indian team has ever done — triumph in a Test series in
Australia — when the Sydney Test begins on January 3.

India’s
last Test victory at the iconic MCG came way back in 1981 when Sunil Gavaskar’s
team, inspired by Kapil Dev, overcame Australia by 59 runs.

13. Space probe nears dark
side of moon

A Chinese
space probe is moving into position to land on the dark side of the moon for
the first time, the official Xinhua agency reported on Sunday.

The probe,
the Chang’e-4, entered a planned orbit on Sunday “to prepare for the first-ever
soft landing on the far side of the moon”, the news agency said, citing the
China National Space Administration. It didn’t say when the landing would
occur.

The moon is
tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet,
so the far side — or the “dark side” — is never visible from Earth.

Xinhua said
the probe had entered an elliptical lunar orbit at 08.55 Beijing time, which
brought it at its closest point just 15 km away from the surface of the moon.
The Chang’e-4 first entered a lunar orbit on December 12.

14. China to mark Year of
the Pig with ‘Peppa Pig’ film

China is
set to mark the Year of the Pig with a film starring ‘Peppa Pig’. A government
document listing upcoming movie projects shows a new film in the works titled
‘Peppa Pig Celebrates Chinese New Year” to be released in February 2019 during
the Lunar New Year holiday.

 

15. Abbreviations:

Central
Information Commission (CIC)

Public
Information Officer (PIO)

Central
Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)

Confederation
of All India Traders (CAIT)

16. Improve your
Vocabulary:

augury

Meaning 1 –
A sign of what will happen in the future; an omen.

Example –
‘they heard the sound as an augury of death’

Synonyms –
omen, sign, indication, presage, warning, forewarning, harbinger, signal,
promise, threat, menace, ill omen, forecast, prediction, prognostication,
prophecy, straw in the wind, writing on the wall, hint, auspice

Meaning 1.1
– The interpretation of omens.

Synonyms –
fortune telling, divining, foretelling the future, forecasting the future,
prophecy, prediction, soothsaying

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.

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