Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups – News
Analysis from THE HINDU (January 25, 2019)
1. TRAI firm on rolling out new DTH tariffs from February 1
Even though only 40% customers have registered their channel
choices under the new tariff guidelines that kick in from February 1, Telecom
Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma on Thursday expressed
confidence that service providers would be able get options from all their
subscribers within a week.
“We are monitoring the customer choice collection progress
on a day-to-day basis. We are very confident… While initially the take-off was
slow, it has now picked up, and trends indicate that we will reach the target
by January 31,” he told The Hindu.
He added that the regulator was unlikely to extend the
February 1, 2019 deadline, as there had been no request from stakeholders. “We
have been regularly meeting the stakeholders and everybody is on the same page.
In fact, some of the organisations — the News Broadcasters Association (NBA),
the Indian broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and the All India Digital Cable
Federation (AIDCF) — have given us in writing that we should not extend the
deadline,” he said.
2. Final NRC list must be out by July 31: SC
The Supreme Court on Thursday set July 31, 2019, as the
deadline for publishing the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list for
“Under no circumstances should the publication of the final
NRC be stretched beyond July 31,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.
NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela informed the Special
Bench, which includes Justice Rohinton Nariman, that 36.2 lakh people had filed
claims by December 31, 2018. Objections were received from over two lakh
people. They are part of the about 40 lakh people who were excluded from the
final draft published on July 30, 2018.
The public hearings for verification of the 36.2 lakh
claimants will begin on February 15. The claimants would be issued notice 15
days ahead of their scheduled hearing. These hearings are expected to span over
100 days, possibly till June 30. That would be well past the Lok Sabha
election, which is expected to be completed by May-end.
A top government official in the Supreme Court, who is part
of the legal proceedings, said those who had filed claims and objections were
eligible to cast their vote in the Lok Sabha election, provided their names
were on the voters’ list. A call would be taken only after the final NRC list
was published, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, clarified.
Meanwhile, the court made it clear that the NRC verification
process should not stop for the elections.
3. IAF resumes operation at Arunachal ALG
The IAF on Thursday started its normal operation at
Vijaynagar Advance Landing Ground l after its helicopter was prevented by
locals from landing on Wednesday. They were protesting against the IAF chopper
not carrying cardamom produced by them to Miao.
4. ISRO tastes first success of 2019
Under a starry night and a waning gibbous moon, ISRO’s PSLV
C-44 broke the silence over a brimming Pulicat lake as it lifted off from
Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, to successfully place into orbit a military
The mission with the modified PSLV with just two strap-on
motors, dubbed the PSLV-DL (dual strap-ons), marked another first for ISRO as
it provided an alternative to its normal six strap-on motors. This will enable
it to carry slightly higher payloads than its Core-Alone version.
Towards the end of the first stage, the rocket’s plumes were
white with its tail end burning bright red even as a large flock of birds
passed on the horizon. A second later, as the rocket soared further into the
night sky, the second stage ignition burned a bright orange propelling the
Microsat-R, placed into orbit 13 and a half minutes after
lift-off, is a defence application satellite. It is the first time an Indian
satellite was being placed by ISRO in a low orbit at an altitude of 274 km ISRO
also used this launch as an opportunity to demonstrate the usability of the
fourth stage of the rocket after the satellites are ejected into orbit.
Till Thursday night, the fourth stage used to just become
yet another piece of space debris. However, ISRO has found a way to make use of
this stage with a student satellite, Kalamsat, made by Space Kidz India,
weighing just 1.26kg, attached to it.
5. Pulse polio programme postponed
Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has postponed
its Polio National Immunisation Day programme scheduled for February 3 without
releasing a new date amid allegations of shortage of vaccines and funds.
Pulse Polio initiative was started with an objective of
achieving 100% coverage and aimed to immunise children under the age of five.
In a letter dated January 18, written to all States and UTs — barring Bihar,
Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, where the stocks are said to be sufficient – the
Ministry noted: “Due to unavoidable circumstances, it has been decided to postpone
the programme, the rescheduled date for the said activity will be communicated
in due course.”
6. Naval base commissioned in North Andamans
Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Thursday commissioned the
Naval Air Station Shibpur in the North Andamans into a full-fledged base as the
INS Kohassa. The base is in close proximity to Coco Islands (of Myanmar) and
the wide expanse of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone .
7. 304 agreements signed at GIM 2019
Surpassing the “success” of the first edition of the Global
Investors Meet in 2015, the T.N. government signed 304 Memoranda of
Understanding and agreements entailing investments to the tune of over
?3,00,431 crore at GIM-2, according to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.
8. Uncanny valley
This refers to the feeling of revulsion that many human
beings feel when they interact with humanoid robots that are designed to
closely resemble them. The feeling of unease is linked to the unrealistic
nature of such robots which fail to perfectly ape the physical and behavioural
characteristics of human beings. It is believed that the revulsion may be a
natural reaction of the human brain in order to avoid unsuitable mates. Robots
that can look and behave perfectly like human beings, however, may not cause
unsettling feelings in human beings that interact with them. The idea was
proposed in a 1970 article by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori.
9. SC refuses to stay amendments to SC/ST Act
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018,
that nullified a judgment that diluted the stringent provisions of the law to
The government brought in the amendments, arguing that the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes still faced social stigma, poverty
The 2018 Act nullified a March 20 judgment of the court,
which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities
against members of these communities.
The original 1989 Act bars anticipatory bail. After the
verdict, protests broke out, in which several died and property worth crores
was destroyed. The government filed a review petition and then amended the 1989
A Bench, led by Justice A.K. Sikri, declined the petition to
stay the operation of the amendments and ordered that it be tagged with the
10. TRAI issues show-cause notice to Tata Sky
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday
issued a show-cause notice to DTH operator Tata Sky for allegedly failing to
provide its customers the options to choose channels in compliance with the new
tariff norms that kick in from February 1.
In a press release, TRAI said it received “hundreds of
complaints” that one of the DTH service providers was not providing options to
its subscribers to exercise their choices and giving misleading information
about the implementation of the new framework.
While the TRAI did not name the operator, a source said a
show-cause notice was sent to Tata Sky, and the operator had given it in
writing that it would comply with the new framework and make options available.
11. India, South Africa to revise 22-year-old Strategic Partnership
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is R-Day chief guest
India and South Africa will update their Strategic
Partnership by agreeing on a comprehensive “roadmap” on the way ahead, as well
as relaxing visa restrictions, when South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, officials said here.
Mr. Ramaphosa will be in India as the chief guest at the
Republic Day parade on January 26, and and will be accompanied by nine
Ministers and a 50-member business delegation.
The Strategic Partnership between India and South Africa,
called the Red Fort Declaration, was signed in March 1997 by the then South
African President Nelson Mandela and former PM H.D. Deve Gowda.
Officials said all aspects the partnership would be reviewed
and updated with a three-year plan of action on security cooperation, trade and
investment, tourism, harnessing the ‘blue economy’, maritime cooperation,
agriculture, science and technology projects.
12. Ashok Chakra for Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani
Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani has been posthumously awarded
‘Ashok Chakra’, India’s highest peace time gallantry award for his role in a
counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir last year. He is Kashmir’s first Ashok
Chakra awardee and was also awarded Sena Medal for gallantry twice in 2007 and
2018 for his acts of valour.
The award will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind to
Lance Naik Wani’s wife Mahajabeen at the Republic Day parade on Saturday.
On November 25, 2018 Lance Naik Wani was taking part in a
counter terrorist operation against six terrorists in Hirapur village near
Batgund in Kashmir. Under intense hail of bullets from the terrorists he
eliminated the district commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and one foreign
terrorist in an act of raw courage.
A resident of Cheki Ashmuji of Kulgam district Jammu and
Kashmir, he joined the Army’s 162 Infantry Battalion (Territorial Army) in
Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry in 2004. His courage got recognition with the
Sena Medal for Gallantry in 2007. The 2018 Sena Medal was given for eliminating
one terrorist from a very close distance, the Army stated.
13. 10% quota in Central govt. posts from February
Beginning next month, all Central government posts will be
filled after factoring in the recently approved 10% reservation for
economically weaker sections, says an order. The Ministry of Personnel said
instructions on the EWS quota would be issued separately. Instructions
regarding reservation in admission to educational institutions would be issued
by the HRD Ministry, it said.
14. Malaysian royals elect Pahang monarch as King
Members of Malaysia’s royal families on Thursday elected
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as the new King, following the unexpected
abdication of the previous monarch. Sultan Abdullah, 59, ruler of the central
State of Pahang, will formally take over the throne on January 31 for a
five-year term, the keeper of the rulers’ seal said in a statement.
15. Tata Motors to bid adieu to Nano from April 2020
Tata Motors has no plans to invest and upgrade Nano to meet
BS-VI standards, Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicle business unit,
said, indicating that its production and sales would be stopped from April
2020. “Nano is produced at Sanad plant .. BS-VI is going to happen from April 1
2020, so all products may not meet [BS-VI norms] and we may not invest in
upgrading all … and Nano is one of them.”
16. Strong field in search of 16 Olympic quota places
Shooting World Cup to be staged in Delhi from February 23
China will send a strong contingent of 36 for the shooting
World Cup to be staged at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, here from
February 23 to 27.
The five-day competition, offering 16 Olympic quota places
for the Tokyo 2020 Games in rifle and pistol, will feature 495 shooters in all
from 58 countries. The Indian team, in comparison, will only be 34.
China has already won 10 Olympic quota places, as compared
to two by India.
Japan, which is assured of 12 quota places, as the Olympic
host, will have a team of 18, while Germany and Korea will have 21 shooters
The last time India had hosted an event offering Olympic
quota places was in January 2016, when 35 spots were up for grabs for the Rio
The value of winning the Olympic quota places in shooting
can be gleaned from the fact that there are only 360 spots for the sport in
Tokyo. There will be 45 medals in shooting in 15 events, which mathematically
works to an interesting average of one medal for every eight shooters.
Only the individual events in air pistol, air rifle, rapid
fire pistol, sports pistol, rifle 3-position for men and women will have two
Olympic quota places each.
The Olympic quota places for mixed events in air rifle, air
pistol and trap were offered only in the World Championship. The rest of the
teams in the Olympics will be made from the shooters assembled for competition
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF)
Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)
18. Things to Remember:
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan
19. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Say or pronounce clearly
Example – ‘she enunciated each word slowly’
Synonyms – pronounce, articulate
Meaning 1.1 – Express (a proposition, theory, etc.) in clear
or definite terms.
Example – ‘a written document enunciating this policy’
Synonyms – express, utter, state, give expression to, give
voice to, put into words, give utterance to, declare, profess, set forth,