Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News Analysis from THE HINDU (January 09, 2019)
1. 10% quota for the poor gets LS approval
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill allowing 10% quota in employment and education for the general category candidates who belong to the economically weaker sections.
The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill, 2019, introduced by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, was cleared with a majority of the members (319) voting for it, and four against. The Rajya Sabha will take it up on Wednesday.
However, the Opposition questioned the haste with which the government introduced the Bill, on the last day of the winter session.
2. Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Bill amidst Congress walkout
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who introduced the Bill in the Lok Sabha, said the six communities — Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan — faced “discrimination and religious persecution” and they “have no place to go, except India.”
3. Parliamentary committee pulls up Defence Ministry
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has made serious observations on the limited budgetary allocations made by the Ministry of Defence for the armed forces, which do not even meet the requirements.
“… the amount allocated under the capital budget for 2018-19 does not even fulfil the Ministry of Defence’s obligations towards committed liabilities,” it said in the action taken report by the government on the recommendations/observations in the 41st report, which was presented in Parliament on Monday.
The Ministry of Defence projected a requirement of ₹1,72,203.30 crore, including ₹1,10,043.78 crore for committed liabilities and ₹31,434.88 crore for new schemes. However, only ₹93,982.13 crore was allocated by the Ministry of Finance.
4. Extreme male brain
Also known as the empathising-systemising theory, this refers to a theory of autism which states that the condition may be the result of overexposure of foetuses to testosterone from their mothers. Such overexposure to testosterone may cause the brains of people with autism to specifically adapt to analyse and construct systems while severely lacking in the ability to empathise with fellow human beings. The extreme male brain theory was proposed by British clinical psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. It derives its name from the fact that the male brain is typically suited for systemising purposes while the female brain is built for empathising.
5. Lok Sabha passes DNA technology Bill
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill that allows regulated use of DNA technology to establish the identity of certain defined categories of persons, including offenders, suspects, and undertrials.
The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill allows the use of the technology to establish the identity of persons in matters of crime, parentage dispute, emigration or immigration and transplantation of human organs.
The Bill provides for establishment of national and regional DNA data banks and each data will maintain the indices, including crime scene index, suspects’ or undertrials’ index and offenders’ index.
6. Trade union Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
Amid protests, the government on Tuesday introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Trade Unions Act, 1926.
The Bill, the government said, would grant recognition to trade unions, ensure representation of workers in tripartite bodies and check arbitrary nomination by the government.
7. Kim arrives in Beijing for talks with Xi
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in the Chinese capital in the early hours on Tuesday for consultations with ahead of a likely second round of talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The talks are taking place amid signs that the dialogue between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump could be held either in Hanoi, Bangkok or Hawaii. The two leaders had last met in Singapore for their first meeting last June.
8. Customers cannot be charged for availing tokenisation service: RBI
The Reserve of India (RBI) has allowed all card payment networks to offer tokenisation service. However, the central bank has made it clear that no charges should be recovered from the customer for availing this service.
Tokenisation involves a process in which a unique token masks sensitive card details. The token is then used to perform card transactions in contact-less mode at Point Of Sale (POS) terminals, Quick Response (QR) code payments, etc.
The RBI has allowed card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any token requestor, that is, a third party app provider. A card holder can avail of these services by registering the card on the token requestor’s app and after giving ‘explicit consent’.
“All extant instructions of Reserve Bank on safety and security of card transactions, including the mandate for additional factor of authentication (AFA) / PIN entry shall be applicable for tokenised card transactions also,” the RBI said in a release.
“This permission extends to all use cases/channels [e.g., Near-Field Communication (NFC) / Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST)-based contact-less transactions, in-app payments, QR code-based payments etc.] or token storage mechanisms (cloud, secure element, trusted execution environment etc.). For the present, this facility shall be offered through mobile phones/tablets only. Its extension to other devices will be examined later based on the experience gained,” the RBI said.
9. Gopinath joins IMF as chief economist
Mysore-born Gita Gopinath has joined International Monetary Fund as its chief economist, becoming the first woman to occupy the top IMF post. Ms. Gopinath joined last week at a time, when she believes the world is experiencing a retreat from globalisation, posing challenges to multilateral institutions.
The John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University succeeds Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department.
Mr. Obstfeld retired on December 31.
10. RBI: Jalan panel holds first meeting
A high-level panel led by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan on Tuesday held its first meeting to decide on an appropriate size of reserves that the central bank should maintain and the dividend it should give to the government.
The six-member committee is likely to submit its report in April, sources said.
The panel has been entrusted with the task of reviewing the best practices followed by central banks worldwide in making assessments and provisions for risks to which a central bank’s balance sheet is subject to.
11. Çelebi Aviation lands Hyderabad airport deal
Çelebi Aviation Holding has won the ground handling licence for Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) for 10 years under a competitive bidding process.
Çelebi said it would be investing $5-6 million and partner RGIA to offer modern and technologically-backed services to over 20 million passengers.
The contract was won on the basis of a highly competitive bidding process that assessed the technical and financial qualifications of multiple global ground handling players who participated in the bid, Çelebi said in a release. This is the third win for Çelebi since last year — it has bagged the licence for Bengaluru and Kannur airports.
The year gone by marked the 10th anniversary of the Indian operations of Çelebi Aviation.
The CEO of Indian operations of Çelebi Aviation Holding Inc. Murali Ramachandran said, “India is a key market for us. The partnership with RGIA is an important benchmark in our decade-long journey as it sets another milestone towards our efforts to strengthenpresence in the India aviation market.”
In India, Çelebi is present across India’s top three airports — Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
12. IPL to stay in India this year
This year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in India from March 23.
The decision was taken here on Tuesday following a meeting of the Committee of Administrators with authorities concerned.
The BCCI confirmed that the IPL will be staged in India despite the general elections.
The two-member CoA — Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji — met government officials here and decided to advance the IPL dates on account of the ICC World Cup to be held in England from May 30.
The new BCCI constitution mandates a 15-day gap between the end of IPL and India’s international assignments.
In the past, IPL was twice staged out of India. The 2009 edition was played entirely in South Africa, while in 2014 some matches were held in the UAE.
13. USA Cricket becomes ICC’s 105th member
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced USA Cricket as its 105th member. The latter is now eligible to receive funding in accordance with the ICC Development Funding Policy and can sanction domestic and international cricket in USA.
14. NASA’s probe discovers a new planet
NASA’s latest planet-hunting probe has discovered a new world outside our solar system, orbiting a dwarf star 53 light years away.
This is the third new planet confirmed by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) since its launch in April last year.
The planet, named HD 21749b, orbits a bright, nearby dwarf star about 53 light years away, in the constellation Reticulum, and appears to have the longest orbital period of the three planets so far identified by TESS.
HD 21749b journeys around its star in a relatively leisurely 36 days, compared to the two other planets — Pi Mensae b, a “super-Earth” with a 6.3-day orbit, and LHS 3844b, a rocky world that speeds around its star in just 11 hours.
All three planets were discovered in the first three months of TESS observations. “It’s the coolest small planet that we know of around a star this bright,” said Diana Dragomir, a researcher in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who led the discovery.
15. Malala pens new book
Nobel Peace Prize winner and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has written a new book, charting her experiences travelling the world and visiting refugee camps. Titled We are Displaced, the book will hit the stands in India on Wednesday. It has eight pages of colour inserts.
Publishers Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Hachette India said that her travels through the refugee camps led her to reconsider her own displacement.
Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP)
Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
17. Things to Remember:
Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
18. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – (incumbent on/upon) Necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.
Example – ‘the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act’
Synonyms – binding, obligatory, mandatory, necessary, compulsory, required, requisite, essential, imperative
Meaning 2 – (of an official or regime) currently holding office.
Example – ‘the incumbent President was defeated’
Synonyms – current, existing, present, in office, in power