Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (January 17, 2019)
1. Justices Maheshwari and Khanna made SC judges
The government on Wednesday notified the appointment of
Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Delhi High Court judge
Sanjiv Khanna, as Supreme Court judges.
Their swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place by the
end of this week, even as controversy swirled around the Supreme Court
Collegium’s recommendation of Justice Khanna on January 10, 2019.
The Collegium, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi,
unanimously recommended Justice Khanna’s name along with Justice Maheshwari’s
on January 10, despite objections raised by sitting SC judge, Justice Sanjay
Justice Kaul had complained about how Justice Khanna’s elevation
would be at the cost of overlooking the seniority of other High Court Chief
Justices and judges. Justice Khanna was ranked 33 in the High Court judges’
2. Theresa May survives no-trust vote by a narrow margin
The British government led by Theresa May survived a vote of
no-confidence by a narrow margin of 19 on Wednesday evening.
The vote came at the end of a five-hour debate on a motion
tabled by Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who accused the government of
failing the country and turning a deal that had been touted as “the easiest in
history” into a “national embarrassment.” Prime Minister May had been expected
to win the vote as both her ally the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern
Ireland and party MPs promised to back her; 306 MPs voted with Mr. Corbyn and
325 voted against him.
The vote followed the huge defeat suffered by the government
on Tuesday night, when MPs rejected the government’s Brexit withdrawal deal by
a margin of 230.
The margin was considerably larger than the 166 votes by
which the minority government of Ramsay Macdonald lost a vote in 1924, which
Mr. Corbyn said would have led any other leader to do the “right thing” and
resign. Mr. Corbyn too is under pressure from within his own party with 71
signing a letter calling on him to back a second referendum.
3. 10% reservation in all admissions for 2019-20
The 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections in
the general category will be implemented in all colleges and universities,
including private institutions, from 2019-20, Human Resources Development
Minister Prakash Javadekar said. “The UGC and AICTE will be given the
operational mandate within a week to implement it.”
This quota will be over and above the existing quotas for
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes, which will also
be implemented in private institutions, the Minister said on Tuesday.
4. Panel to meet on Jan. 24 to pick new CBI chief
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection panel to
appoint a new CBI director is likely to meet on January 24, said a source
familiar with the development.
The move comes a day after Congress leader in the Lok Sabha,
Mallikarjun Kharge, wrote to the Prime Minister calling the appointment of
interim CBI Director M. Nageshwar Rao “illegal.”
In the letter dated January 14, he had said the government
should establish its bonafides in fighting corruption and ensuring the
integrity of the premier investigative agency by convening an immediate meeting
of the Selection Committee.
5. Engine failures in A320 Neos within acceptable limits: DGCA
Engine failures in Pratt and Whitney-powered Airbus A320
Neos are within acceptable limits, the aviation safety regulator said on Wednesday.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it
would issue another directive for airlines within a week.
The statement from DGCA follows a review of Pratt and
Whitney powered planes, with IndiGo and GoAir, conducted by it and the Ministry
of Civil Aviation.
“It was noted that the in-flight shut-down (IFSD) on account
of these Neo engines in India averaged 0.02 per 1,000 engine flight hours which
is considerably lower than the stringent global benchmark of 0.05 IFSD rates
per 1,000 engine flight hours,” it said in a press statement.
There have been 12 instances of in-flight shutdowns since
the Neo (new engine option) engines entered into service in 2016, DGCA said.
The review meeting was called by the Ministry of Civil
Aviation immediately after a mid-air engine failure of an IndiGo plane on
January 3, when there was a loud bang, smoke and heavy vibrations inside the
6. Odisha to frame new norms for SC/ST school hostels
The Chairperson of Odisha State Commission for Protection of
Child Rights, Sandhyabati Pradhan, said they are planning to propose new
guidelines for management of residential schools’ hostels managed by the State
Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) Development Department.
Speaking to newsmen during her visit to MKCG Medical College
and Hospital to meet and interact with the Class VIII girl from Daringbadi area
of Kandhamal district, who had given birth to a child at her school hostel on
January 13, Ms. Pradhan said the SC and ST Department has been directed to
ensure safety and security of students at all hostels managed by it.
7. Vishnu Hari Dalmia passes away
The former president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vishnu Hari
Dalmia, passed away at his Delhi residence on Wednesday, said an official of a
trust here. “An exponent of Hindu culture, Mr. Dalmia, 91, played a crucial
role in the Ram Janambhumi agitation.”
8. Repugnant market
This refers to certain markets where transactions between
willing buyers and sellers are considered to be unethical. The market for human
organs, for instance, is considered by many to be a repugnant market. A section
of people believe that organ transplants should be facilitated through
voluntary donations rather than through the exchange of money. Many governments
have banned the functioning of these markets due to various moral concerns that
have been raised. Supporters of repugnant markets, however, believe that
allowing the exchange of money helps people in serious need to gain easier
access to supplies than they would otherwise.
9. States cannot pick police chiefs on their own: SC
The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the pleas made by
five States to implement their own local laws for selection and appointment of
their State police chiefs.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi dismissed
the applications filed by Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Haryana and Bihar for
modification in the Supreme Court orders in the procedure to be followed for
appointment of Director Generals of Police (DGP).
The court said its directions were issued in larger public
interest and to protect the police officials from political interference.
On December 12 last year, the Supreme Court extended till
January 31 the tenures of the present DGPs of Punjab and Haryana and agreed to
hear the States’ pleas seeking to implement their local laws for the
appointment of the police chief. DGPs Suresh Arora (Punjab) and B.S. Sandhu
(Haryana) were due to retire on December 31 last year and will now remain in
office till January 31 according to the earlier order of the Supreme Court.
In July 2018, the Supreme Court restrained State governments
from appointing DGPs without first consulting the Union Public Service
10. NREGA gets additional ₹6,084 cr.
After exhausting 99% of its annual allocation three months
ahead of time, the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) scheme has been
given an additional allocation of ₹6,084 crore to tide over the next three
This lifts the total allocation to MGNREGA for 2018-19 to
₹61,084 crore, which is the highest ever allocation, according to a statement
from the Ministry of Rural Development.
However, the fine print of the balance sheet paints a less
As on January 16, the scheme’s financial statement shows
that 15 States have a total negative net balance of ₹4,064 crore, which
includes payments due for unskilled wages for work that has already been done.
11. Facebook to tighten political ad rules for polls
Facebook said on Tuesday it would tighten rules for
political ads in countries uch as India where elections are scheduled in the
first half of the year, building on transparency efforts already under way in
the United States, Britain and Brazil after a series of scandals.
“As we prepare for major elections around the world this
year, we’re continuing our focus on preventing foreign interference and giving
people more information about the ads they see across our platforms,” the
social media giant said in a post.
In India, the network will launch an Ad Library and enforce
authorisations before spring elections, it said.
In the U.S., Britain and Brazil, political advertisers must
confirm their identity and location before they can run Facebook ads, which are
also housed in a public, searchable library for up to seven years. “By shining
a light on political ads, news organizations, regulators, watchdog groups and
people anywhere in the world can hold advertisers and us more accountable,” it
12. India in talks to recognise U.K. degrees
India and the United Kingdom are negotiating an agreement
that will lead to recognition of year-long Master’s degree courses offered by
British universities that are not considered legitimate here currently. The
discussion on the agreement figured in a high-level two-day meeting between
officials of both sides, diplomatic sources indicated on Wednesday.
“India does not recognise many U.K. Master’s degrees as they
are mostly of 12 months’ duration. Both sides are looking for mutual
recognition of these degrees,” said a source.
The Hindu was told that the issue featured during a
discussion on the future bilateral migration relationship which is expected to
provide greater U.K. opportunities for workers from India.
13. India will buy U.S. oil and gas, says envoy
India has committed to purchase $5 billion worth of oil and
gas from the U.S. annually, and $18 billion worth of defence equipment that are
under implementation, India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Vardhan Shringla
said, highlighting growing bilateral trade cooperation between the countries.
U.S. export to India has gone up by at least 30%, Mr.
Shringla told the American business community in his first major public
engagement on Tuesday.
14. 650 acres of land reclaimed for China-backed port city in Colombo
Over 650 acres of land off ’s seafront, where a China-backed
$1.4 billion port city is currently being built, has been reclaimed, Sri Lankan
authorities said on Wednesday.
Beijing attaches great importance to the port city, Chinese
Ambassador to Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan said at a ceremony held to mark what the
Sri Lankan government termed “another milestone” in the mega project.
The total investment is expected to go up to $15 billion
when the project is completed.
Executed by CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the port city,
according to government estimates, is likely to draw about $15 billion in
investment, when completed.
CHEC is a subsidiary of China Communication Construction
Company, in which the Chinese government is a major stakeholder.
15. Malaysia not to host any event involving Israel
Malaysia has imposed a blanket ban on all Israelis
participating in events hosted by the nation, as the government maintains its
decision to ban Israeli athletes from taking part in the World Para Swimming
Championships in July.
Malaysia’s Cabinet decided last week that Israelis will not
be allowed to enter the country, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on
Wednesday. “Even if we have already committed to hosting an event, they will
not be allowed (into the country),” he said. “Secondly, Malaysia will not host
any event that has representation from or participation of Israel.”
16. Govt. to infuse ₹6,000 crore in Exim Bank
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved an infusion of ₹6,000
crore of capital in the Exim Bank of India, the government said.
The financing will be done through the issuance of
recapitalisation bonds worth ₹6,000 crore by the Centre. “The equity will be
infused in two tranches of ₹4,500 crore in FY 2018-19 and ₹1,500 crore in FY
2019-20,” it said in a release. “The Cabinet also approved an increase in the
authorised capital of Exim Bank from ₹10,000 crore to ₹20,000 crore. The
recapitalisation bonds will be on the lines issued to public sector banks.”
The capital infusion would enable the bank to augment its
capital adequacy and support Indian exports, the Centre added.
17. Gukesh is youngest Indian GM
After running out of time in his desperate bid to break the
long-standing record of Sergey Karjakin of being the world’s youngest chess
Grandmaster, D. Gukesh completed the formalities to be the sport’s youngest GM,
On the auspicious day of Pongal, the 12-year-old defeated
Dinesh Sharma in the ninth round of the Delhi International Open GMs chess
tournament for his third and final GM norm.
The country’s 59th GM is also the youngest after breaking
the record of state-mate R. Praggnanandhaa set in June last year.
Gukesh reached the landmark at the age of 12 years, seven
months and 17 days while Praggnanandhaa did it in 12 years, 10 months and 13
days. Karjakin’s record, set in 2002, stays intact at 12 years and seven
On the all-time list of youngest GMs, Gukesh now holds the
second place. Parimarjan Negi, in 2006, and Praggnanandhaa last year, also held
18. Visakh becomes GM
N.R. Visakh joined the country’s list of Grandmasters by
completing his final GM-norm in the ninth round here on Tuesday. Visakh
completed the stipulation to become country’s 59th GM following a draw with
Visakh, who will turn 20 in April, made his maiden GM norm
in the Czech Open in 2016 and got his second in the Turkish League last year.
He met the rating regulation of 2500 earlier this month in Mumbai. Four other
players — Neelash Saha, Aditya Mittal, Saurabh Anand and Bharat Kumar Reddy —
made International Master norms while B. Mounika Akshaya made her maiden Woman
International Master norm on Wednesday.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)
National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA)
20. Things to Remember:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
21. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Done or existing alone.
Example – ‘tigers are essentially solitary’
Synonyms – lonely, companionless, unaccompanied, by itself,
by oneself, on its own, on one’s own, alone, all alone, friendless
Meaning 2 – Single; only
Example – ‘we have not a solitary shred of evidence to go on’
Synonyms – single, lone, sole, unique, only, one, individual