Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 11, 2018)
1. RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits citing personal reasons
In a surprising move, Reserve Bank of India’s Governor Urjit Patel resigned on Monday, citing personal reasons, amid tensions between the government and the central bank on various issues.
In a statement, Dr. Patel, who was appointed the Governor in September 2016, thanked RBI employees and the board of directors and wished them the best for the future.
According to sources, N.S. Vishwanathan, who is the seniormost among the four Deputy Governors, has been given charge till the government finds a successor. Mr. Vishwanathan was appointed as Deputy Governor in July 2016.
2. London court orders extradition of Mallya
Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot on Monday ordered businessman Vijay Mallya to be extradited to India, and referred the case to British Home Secretary Sajid Javid for signing the extradition order. Mr. Mallya will now have 14 days to lodge an appeal.
In ruling against Mr. Mallya, the judge at Westminster Magistrates Court pointed to factors such as numerous misrepresentations made by Kingfisher Airlines and the businessman during the course of obtaining loans from a consortium of banks, including IDBI.
3. No tax on withdrawals from NPS
The government on Monday announced a slew of changes to the National Pension Scheme (NPS), including increasing the government’s contribution, exempting withdrawals from tax, and also exempting up to ₹1.5 lakh of contributions to the scheme from tax.
Prior to Monday’s change, NPS subscribers could withdraw 60% of the corpus, with 40% mandatorily being deposited in annuity schemes.
Of the 60%, one-third was taxable and two-third tax exempt.
Following the changes, the entire 60% would be tax free.
4. Patel is fifth RBI Governor in free India to resign
Urjit Patel is the fifth RBI governor in independent India to have resigned from his post before his term, whether first or second, was over.
The first RBI Governor to do so was Benegal Rama Rau who was Governor from 1949 to 1957. Experts of the central bank’s history say that Rau resigned because of his differences with then Finance Minister TT Krishnamachari who allegedly upbraided Mr. Rau in front of the entire Cabinet.
The next such incident was KR Puri, who served as Governor for only a little more than a year and a half between 1975 and 1977. Puri was appointed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and subsequently removed when the Janata government took over.
RN Malhotra was appointed as Governor in 1985 and in 1988 was given a three- year extension. Under normal circumstances, his term would have ended in 1991, but he resigned in 1990 after it was conveyed to him that the government wanted him out.
Bimal Jalan, who was Governor from November 1997 to September 2003, also cut short his extended term as he took over a Rajya Sabha seat at the time.
However, the precedent for an RBI Governor resigning was set before Independence, when the first Governor, Sir Osborn Smith resigned in 1937 due to differences with the Finance Member of the Viceroy’s Council.
5. Advani invited for Delhi Assembly’s silver jubilee
To mark the 25th anniversary of the first sitting of the Delhi Assembly, the AAP-ruled legislature has invited BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani to be the chief guest at its silver jubilee event later this week.
6. Delhi Metro board gives nod to Phase IV proposal
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Board on Monday approved the ₹46,000-crore Phase IV proposal. It will now be sent to the Delhi Cabinet for clearance.
7. New software to curb cheating in U.P. exams
A new software has been designed and a four-step process initiated to check the menace of copying in the Uttar Pradesh Board exams, which will begin from February 7, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said.
Centres in the State, which reported maximum cases of cheating in the past, will be strictly monitored.
8. U.S. and India call for more joint air exercises
As ‘Cope India 2018’ — the 12-day joint exercise between the U.S. and Indian Air Force being held at the air station in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district — draws to a close, officials of both countries called for such joint exercises to be held more frequently.
More than 100 personnel of the U.S. Air Force, along with 400 personnel of the Indian Air Force, are participating in the exercise that will conclude on December 14. The exercise follows the Joint International Air Drill of Pakistan and China, which began at the Shaheen VII airbase in Pakistan earlier this month.
The U.S. Air Force has sent a dozen F-15 whereas the IAF is participating with a fleet of 10 Sukhoi 30, six Jaguars and four Mirage 2000. Along with the Kalaikunda Air Station, the exercise is being conducted from the adjoining Air Station Arjan Singh (located at Panagarh).
The joint air exercise between the two air forces is being held after 13 years. The last time too it was held at the Kalaikunda Air Station in 2005. Commanding officer of the Kalaikunda Air Station, Air Commodore Shaji Antony, also emphasised on the need of more such exercises and said, “We learn from each other during such exercises.”
The collaborative and cooperative exercise over the past eight days involved formation of teams, comprising pilots and aircraft of both the air forces, participating in war games over the air space of Kalaikunda.
9. Ballistic missile Agni-V test successful
India successfully carried out a test of its longest range ballistic missile, Agni-V, on Monday. The missile was launched from a canister on a road mobile launcher from Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha.
10. India wins its first maiden Test of a series in Australia, firing hopes of a larger turnaround
India’s 31-run victory over Australia in the gripping first Test of the four-match series is significant on two counts. So far on India’s much anticipated Test tours of Australia, maiden clashes have mostly been lost, with the occasional draw wrested by the visitors. The struggle dates back to India’s inaugural Test in Australia, played in 1947. Lala Amarnath led the squad, and in the first game at Brisbane the Indians were blown away by Don Bradman’s brilliance. The master scored 185 and the hosts won by an innings and 226 runs. That result set a debilitating pattern and subsequent visits ended up with two grim realities — the inability to crack the first Test jinx, and the larger failure to win a series Down Under. With this Adelaide Test firmly in their grip, Kohli and his talented squad have demolished one bogey. The larger goal now should be to rectify the other glaring anomaly: the failure to swing a Test series in Australia, a tour which inevitably demands the very best from visiting teams. The current visit is India’s 12th Test tour of Australia; during its previous sojourns, only in three series were draws secured. The rest were lost.
11. Natal homing
This refers to the phenomenon wherein various adult animals return to their place of birth for the purpose of reproduction. Sometimes animals may even prefer to live their entire lives at the site of their birth. Natal homing is most common among marine animals, like certain types of salmons and sea turtles, which are equipped to use olfactory and other cues to locate their birthplace. While it remains unknown why these animals prefer to breed in their own birthplace, some believe that it might be because their birthplace provides animals the assurance of safety. Natal homing, however, might lead to increased chances of inbreeding.
12. Mushirul Hasan no more
Eminent historian and former Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia Mushirul Hasan passed away on Monday, aged 71.
In 2002, Hasan was elected as the President of the Indian History Congress. He also served as the Director-General of the National Archives of India.
13. GoM to form sub-panel on harassment
The Group of Ministers (GoM) formed in the wake of the #MeToo campaign on social media decided at its first meeting on Monday to constitute a sub-committee that will suggest changes to the law on prevention of sexual harassment at workplace as well as ways to strengthen the National Commission for Women.
The sub-committee will comprise officials from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Women and Child Development and Law and Justice. It will be given 10 days to submit its report, according to a government source who requested anonymity.
14. Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (or POSH Act 2013)
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. It was passed by the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) on 3 September 2012.
15. President Kovind arrives in Myanmar
President Ram Nath Kovind arrived here on Monday on a five-day visit to Myanmar during which he will hold talks with his Myanmarese counterpart U. Win Myint and state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said President Kovind and First Lady Savita were welcomed by U. Kyaw Tin and other Ministers at the airport.
16. Indian diplomat walks out of SAARC meeting
An official of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan staged a walkout during a SAARC meeting in Islamabad over the presence of a Minister from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) at the event, according to sources here. Diplomat Shubham Singh left the meeting to register India’s protest over the presence of PoK Minister Chaudhary Muhammad Saeed on Sunday.
17. Vishwanathan may chair next meeting
The resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel, though not entirely unprecedented, came as a surprise, though the strained relationship between the Centre and the RBI was out in public domain in October after the board meeting. Here are some issues that will be monitored carefully in the next few days:
Who will be given the interim charge?
Section 7 of the RBI Act says in the absence of the Governor, the Deputy Governor nominated by the Governor shall have the powers of the governor. “Save as otherwise provided in regulations made by the Central Board, the Governor and in his absence the Deputy Governor nominated by him in his behalf, shall also have powers of general superintendence and direction of the affairs and the business of the Bank, and may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Bank.”
Who is the senior-most deputy governor?
N.S. Vishwanathan is the senior-most deputy governor of RBI who took charge on July 4, 2016. RBI sources indicated that Mr. Vishwanathan has been given the charge, though a formal communication is still awaited. He is likely to chair the next board meeting if the new governor is not appointed by then.
The next big event
The next big event is the RBI board meeting on December 14. Two contentious issues will be discussed — one, governance structure of RBI and the other, liquidity to NBFCs.
18. Ex-SBI chief is SWIFT India chairman
SWIFT India on Monday said it had appointed ex-SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new chairman of its board.
SWIFT India is a joint venture of top Indian public and private sector banks and SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).
Ms. Bhattacharya will succeed former banker M.V. Nair, who is stepping down after completing five years with the company, SWIFT India said in a statement.
The company was created to deliver high quality domestic financial messaging services to the Indian financial community.
Ms. Bhattacharya said the venture has a huge potential to contribute significantly to the financial community in many domains.
SWIFT India CEO Kiran Shetty hoped to work closely with the former SBI head.
19. Sameer Aggarwal is Walmart India’s CBO
U.S. retail major Walmart India on Monday appointed Sameer Aggarwal as its chief business officer and Anuj Singh as head – category merchandising. The announcement follows the resignation of executive vice-president (EVP) and chief operating officer (COO) Devendra Chawla. Mr. Chawla had joined Walmart India in July last year from Future Consumer — a part of Kishore Biyani-led Future Group.
Establishment Inspection Report (EIR)
Decision Review System (DRS)
21. Things to Remember:
President of India – Shri Ram Nath Kovind
U.K. PM – Theresa May
U.S. President Donald Trump
22. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Stated or appearing to be true, but not necessarily so.
Example – ‘the real dispute which lay behind the ostensible complaint’
Synonyms – apparent, seeming, outward, surface, superficial, professed, supposed, avowed, presumed, so-called, alleged, declared, claimed, purported, pretended, feigned, specious