Current Affairs – December 14, 2018

/Current Affairs – December 14, 2018
Current Affairs – December 14, 2018 2018-12-14T17:05:36+00:00

Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 14, 2018)


1. Dissolution of House by Sirisena illegal: SC

In a landmark case of the Sri Lankan judiciary ruling on the executive, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that President Maithripala Sirisena’s move last month, dissolving Parliament and calling for snap polls, was illegal.

The seven-member Bench unanimously deemed Mr. Sirisena’s action unconstitutional. Chief Justice Nalin Perera told a packed courtroom that the President’s November 9 proclamation — sacking Parliament — was null and void and had no effect in law.


2. Kamal Nath to take charge in M.P.

The Congress on Thursday announced that nine-term Member of Parliament from Chhindwara, 72-year-old Kamal Nath, will be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. The announcement on who will lead the government in Rajasthan will be made in Jaipur on Friday.


3. ‘No private airlines from Meghalaya’

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Meghalaya High Court order directing private airlines to commence operations immediately from the Umroi airport in the northeastern State.

The order was passed by a Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, on the basis of separate petitions filed by IndiGo and SpiceJet.

The petitions were heard on an urgent basis after IndiGo, represented by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, made an oral mention before the CJI court, saying the High Court passed the order despite the fact that there were no basic facilities like firefighting and landing available at the airport, located 30 km away from the State capital, Shillong. Moreover, Mr. Rohatgi added, IndiGo did not have the slots for operating flights from the Umroi airport.


4. Come June, groundwater extraction will invite a fee

In a bid to promote conservation of groundwater, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.

As per the notification, industries extracting groundwater, including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water, will need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. Individual households that draw groundwater using a delivery pipe of a greater than 1” diameter, too, will need to pay a WCF.

However, the agriculture sector — the largest consumer of groundwater in the country — will be exempt from the fees.

The guidelines will come into force with effect from June 2019, and will apply across the country.


5. DGCA test for pilots cancelled

Aviation regulatory body DGCA’s first-ever online test for pilots across 18 centres in the country had to be called off an hour into the examination following complaints of “incomplete and missing” questions.

A senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that the exam was cancelled due to a “technical problem”. He said that approximately 1,000 pilots may have been affected.

A decision on when the exam will be re-conducted is yet to be taken.

Meanwhile, tests scheduled for Friday will continue as planned, the official added.


6. B.P. Singh appointed FTII chairman

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Thursday nominated Brijendra Pal Singh, the current Vice-Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India’s (FTII) Governing Council, as the new president of the FTII Society and Chairman of the Governing Council. He succeeds actor Anupam Kher, who stepped down as Chairman in October, after completing barely a year of his tenure.


7. Perumthachan director Ajayan no more

Ajayan, 66, director of critically acclaimed Malayalam film Perumthachan, passed away in Thiruvananthapuram. Son of theatre icon Thoppil Bhasi, Ajayan’s sole feature film was released in 1991. Perumthachan was also nominated for the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1992.


8. Having survived a party challenge, the British PM should spell out London’s next steps

British Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a trust vote on her Conservative party stewardship. But there is little sign that the bitter infighting within the ruling party will abate. Nor is there any assurance that Parliament will back her government’s controversial Brexit deal with the European Union. The leadership challenge was suddenly triggered by a growing number of Tory rebels who felt emboldened by widespread opposition to the withdrawal agreement that has united Europhiles and Eurosceptics across parties. Their resistance gained momentum when Ms. May, deeply apprehensive about its approval by the Commons, decided to defer a vote on the deal. Following her victory in the party leadership battle, Ms. May hopes to secure more assurances from European leaders that Britain would not be permanently locked into a customs union with the EU. The customs union is the backstop arrangement meant to continue the open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, a lifeline of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. London has sought to sell the backstop as the best possible deal that could protect the U.K.’s territorial integrity. The EU insists the withdrawal agreement cannot be reopened for negotiations. The Remain and Leave camps want legal assurances that the customs union would at best be temporary, given the curbs it would impose regarding trade agreements with third countries.


9. Returning soldier effect


This refers to the social phenomenon wherein soldiers who return from wars are more likely to father sons rather than daughters when compared to other men. The returning soldier effect was first observed in 1954 among American soldiers who were returning home after the Second World War and also among the soldiers of other nations that took part in the war. Various theories have been proposed by social scientists to explain this phenomenon. Some evolutionary psychologists believe that wars may favour the survival chances of men who are more likely to have sons, thus leading to the birth of more sons in the years after the end of a major war.


10. India, Russia to boost joint production in defence

India and Russia have agreed on ways to simplify export clearances to take forward joint manufacturing in defence. This was among the various issues discussed during the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu on Thursday.

India is keen on moving from licence manufacturing of defence equipment to joint production under Make in India. This includes allowing Indian companies, both Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) and private sector, to manufacture spares for Russian systems in India. “We have worked out some formats for end-use clearances,” the official stated.


11. How do you appoint CIC officials, asks SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to disclose the process for appointment of Central Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners, including the names of candidates who applied and who were shortlisted.

The government informed a Bench led by Justice A.K. Sikri that it had so far received 65 applications for the post of the Central Information Commissioner and 280 for the post of Information Commissioners.

Currently, there are four vacancies in the Central Information Commission and over 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending.


12. India ups ante over SAARC meet spat

Taking its protest over the presence of a minister from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) at a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting to the next level, India has now demanded that the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) be “derecognised” by the South Asian grouping.

In a letter addressed to the SAARC secretariat, which is based in Kathmandu, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accused the SCCI of having “violated” the SAARC charter and principles by inviting the Minister from PoK Chaudhury Muhammad Saeed to its event in Islamabad on December 8. An Indian diplomat attending the event had walked out in protest against Mr. Saeed’s presence.

Founded in 1992, the SCCI is formed from local chambers of commerce from all nine members of SAARC including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The group led by SCCI president Ruwan Edrisinghe meets regularly and is one of the SAARC’s most active bodies.


13. Lawmakers to vote on Brexit Bill in January

British lawmakers will vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in January, according to a schedule published on Thursday by the leader of the lower house, Andrea Leadsom. The next week has been filled by other draft legislation, with Parliament then breaking until January 7. Ms. May has promised to hold the vote by January 21. She pulled a vote on the draft scheduled for last Tuesday because of a near-certain defeat.


14. Apple to build new $1 billion campus

Apple Inc. said on Thursday it would spend $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas that will house as many as 15,000 workers, amid a broader push by many U.S. companies to create more jobs at home.

The iPhone maker had announced at the start of the year it would invest $30 billion in the United States, taking advantage of a tax windfall stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump’s sweeping tax reforms.

The 133-acre campus in Austin will employ workers across various functions, including engineering, R&D, operations and finance.

The city is already home to the second largest number of Apple employees outside its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple will also set up sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California and hire over 1,000 employees each in these locations, while also expanding operations in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado over the next three years.


15. India, China join hands to promote tea globally

Two apex industry organisations, Indian Tea Association (ITA) and China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA), have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets in Europe , the U.S., Russia and West Asia, besides India and China. The pact could also involve organisation of joint events.

The MoU was signed here between Vivek Goenka, ITA chairman, and Wang Qing, president, CTMA, who led a 14-member team.


16. Abbreviations:

Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI)
Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)


17. Things to Remember:

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi
Chief Minister of madhya Pradesh – Kamal Nath
FTII chairman – B.P. Singh
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das


18. Improve your Vocabulary:


Meaning – A shaft or inclined passage leading from one level to another, but not rising to the surface.
Example – ‘a winze 50 feet deep’
Synonyms – mineshaft, tunnel, passage, pit, adit, downcast, upcast


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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