Current Affairs for NDA, CDS, AFCAT, Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (December 6, 2018)
1. You may soon be able to opt out of Aadhaar
The government is in the last stages of finalising a proposal to amend the Aadhaar Act to give all citizens an option to withdraw their Aadhaar number, including biometrics and the data.
This follows the Supreme Court judgment in September that upheld the validity of Aadhaar, however, with certain riders.
A Constitution Bench had struck down Section 57 of the Act that allows private entities to use the unique number for verification. The Bench also declared that seeking to link it with bank accounts and SIM cards was unconstitutional.
Over 37.50 crore PANs have been issued till March 12, 2018. Of these, the number of PANs issued to individuals stood at more than 36.54 crore, of which about 16.84 crore PANs have been linked with Aadhaar.
The court had also struck down Section 33(2), which allowed disclosure of Aadhaar information for national security reasons on the orders of an officer not below Joint Secretary. It had said an officer above Joint Secretary should consult a judicial officer and together take a call.
2. Over 12,000 people got jobs in five years
Over 12,000 applicants of the 9.24 lakh registered unemployed were provided jobs in the last five years in Uttarakhand, Skill Development Minister Harak Singh Rawat informed the State Assembly on Wednesday.
3. ‘CO2 levels poised for record high’
Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high of 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project.
India, the third-highest contributor, is projected to see emissions rise by 6.3% from 2017.
The 2.7% projected global rise in 2018 has been driven by appreciable growth in coal use for the second year in a row, and sustained growth in oil and gas use, according to the study that was published simultaneously on Wednesday in several leading scientific journals.
This week, representatives from more than 190 countries have begun discussions at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice, Poland, on ways to equitably cut carbon emissions.
The 10 biggest emitters in 2018 are China, U.S., India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada. The EU as a region of countries ranks third. China’s emissions accounted for 27% of the global total, having grown an estimated 4.7% in 2018 and reaching a new all-time high. Emissions in the U.S., which has withdrawn from its commitment to the Paris Agreement, account for 15% of the global total, and look set to have grown about 2.5% in 2018 after several years of decline.
Lead researcher Corinne Le Quéré, Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at UEA, said in a statement: “We are seeing a strong growth of global CO2 emissions once again. Emissions need to peak and rapidly decrease to address climate change. With this year’s growth in emissions, it looks like the peak is not yet in sight.”
Limiting global warming to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature increase this century to well below 2°C, would need carbon dioxide emissions to decline by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by about 2050.
Though coal use contributed to the rise in 2018 from last year, it still remains below its historical high in 2013 but may exceed that if current growth continues, the study’s authors note.
4. GSAT-11, launched from Guiana, will take satellite-based Internet to remote areas
India’s first six-tonne-class ‘big bird’ in space, advanced communication satellite GSAT-11, was put into orbit in the early hours of Wednesday from the European spaceport in Guiana in South America.
Its mission is to enable high-speed satellite-based Internet services to users in rural and remote areas and to businesses down home over the next 15 years.
The heaviest ever to be built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the 5,854 kg satellite was launched from the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou at 2.07 a.m. IST on Wednesday, December 5. The local time at the launch centre was 5.37 p.m. on December 4.
The satellite and the launch fee have cost ISRO ₹1,200 crore.
The liftoff of GSAT-11 and a South Korean co-passenger satellite on European space vehicle Ariane 5 VA246 was watched and cheered by ISRO Chairman K. Sivan.
5. India gets first witness protection scheme
The Supreme Court on Wednesday put in place a witness protection regime in the country, noting that one of the main reasons for witnesses turning hostile was that they were not given security by the State.
A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer said the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018 would come into effect immediately across all States.
Under it, witness protection may be as simple as providing a police escort to the witness up to the courtroom or, in more complex cases involving an organised criminal group, taking extraordinary measures such as offering temporary residence in a safe house, giving a new identity, and relocation to an undisclosed place. The top court said the scheme, which aimed to enable a witness to depose fearlessly and truthfully, would be the law of the land till Parliament enacted suitable legislation.
6. Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil writer
Tamil writer, traveller, essayist and scriptwriter S. Ramakrishnan has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for 2018 for his novel Sancharam, which captures the lives of nagaswaram players in karisal bhoomi – the arid land – of Tamil Nadu.
7. Age-crime curve
This refers to the observation that the tendency to commit violent crime increases during early adolescence and peaks at late adolescence before it drops and flattens in the 20s and 30s. It is claimed that the age-crime curve applies to people across various cultures and can be explained by various evolutionary factors. This empirical phenomenon was first noted by American criminologists Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson in their influential 1983 paper “Age and the Explanation of Crime”. Some have even argued that age and intelligence are also related in a similar manner, with the intelligence of people peaking in their late 20s.
8. U.K. won’t revoke Article 50, says May
Britain won’t revoke Article 50 the triggering of which started the two-year Brexit process, Prime Minister Theresa May insisted on Wednesday, as Opposition parties rounded on the government over the full and final legal advice from the Attorney-General which it was forced to publish after becoming the first British government ever to be held in contempt of Parliament.
Ms. May defended her deal, insisting that the only way for MPs to avoid a disastrous no-deal crash out of the EU was to vote for her controversial withdrawal deal that was ratified by EU leaders on November 25.
9. Washington sets aside divisions for Bush state funeral
A divided led by the nation’s five living Presidents put on a show of unity on Wednesday at the poignant state funeral of George H.W. Bush, as America bade farewell to its 41st President.
Donald and Melania Trump shared a front row pew at Washington National Cathedral with past Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and their wives as an honour guard brought Bush’s flag-draped casket into the packed prayer hall.
George W. Bush delivered a rousing and deeply personal eulogy — at times punctuated by laughter — as he sang the praises of his father, who died on Friday at age 94. “He was born with just two settings — full throttle, then sleep,” Mr. Bush said. “To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light,” he added in reference to his father’s signature call to volunteerism.
10. ‘We will also develop banned N-weapons’
A defiant Vladimir Putin on Wednesday threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under a treaty with the U.S. after Washington gave a deadline to comply with the key arms control agreement.
This came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw from a major Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms within 60 days if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the U.S. claims breach the deal.
Mr. Putin dismissed Mr. Pompeo’s statement as a smokescreen, saying that Washington had already decided to ditch the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF).
11. ‘DGCA monitoring Boeing 737 MAX on daily basis’
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is monitoring the performance of Boeing 737 MAX planes on a daily basis ever since the aircraft variant of Lion Air crashed over a month ago off the coast of Jakarta, Indonesia.
A DGCA official said that the aviation watchdog had also prepared a standard operation procedure (SOP) in consultation with airlines, to be followed in case there was a problem with the device that generates an alert if there was an engine stall or a drop in speed.
A training module is also being developed for pilots operating the MAX planes. Indian carriers Jet Airways and SpiceJet have 10 Boeing 737 Max planes between them.
The airlines would have to report any problem related to the plane’s Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), the DGCA official said.
12. ‘Govt. to clear fertiliser subsidy arrears by Mar.’
Fertiliser subsidy arrears to the industry have come down by 75% to ₹10,000 crore in the last four years and the outstanding amount is expected to be cleared by the end of this fiscal year, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Sadananda Gowda said Wednesday. The Central government will also not raise the minimum retail price (MRP) of urea to protect farmers interest, the Minister said.
13. DDCA to name stand after Gautam Gambhir
In his 198th First Class match, Gautam Gambhir will carry the priceless wealth of cricket experience to the middle when Delhi plays Andhra in the Ranji Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla, the ground where he learnt to nurture his game from the time he turned out for Delhi in the National (under-14) tournament final against Punjab on December 10, 1994.
Before he takes strike, Gambhir, 37, can take immense pride in his First Class career statistics — 15041 runs, 42 centuries, average of 49.15. Awesome by any standards and exceptional considering that most of his runs came in winning causes.
Gambhir’s journey with Delhi began on February 6, 2000 against Rajasthan. A modest 33 initiated him into the big league. None of his partners is a player any more, but two of them are associated with the game closely — Amit Bhandari is a senior selector and Mithun Manhas, who hit an unbeaten 102 in that match, is the team’s coach.
The left-hander gave Delhi a memorable gift when he led the team to the Ranji Trophy title in January 2008, the last time the team won the National championship.
14. NFAI acquires its largest-ever collection of 16 mm films
The vault of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), India’s premier film preservation body, acquired its biggest-ever collection of 16 mm films in the form of 2,200 documentaries and short films on miscellaneous subjects, said its Director Prakash Magdum on Wednesday.
The films, which focus on a wide variety of subjects, from classical music to government planning to museums to shorts on renowned places and noted littérateurs, were acquired from the city-based State Institute for Audio-Visual Education.
One of the gems in this collection is a 30-minute short on the renowned Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum in Pune, estimated to be have been made sometime in the early 1950s.
Directed by author and poet Roy Kinikar, the film details the museum’s rich collection of rare objects, accompanied by a descriptive commentary on the soundtrack.
Delhi and District Cricket Associationn (DDCA)
National Film Archive of India (NFAI)
16. Things to Remember:
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan
Russian President Vladimir Putin
17. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – (of a person or small animal) move hurriedly with short quick steps.
Example – ‘pedestrians scurried for cover’
Synonyms – scamper, scuttle, bustle, skip, trot, hurry, hasten, make haste, rush, race, dash, run, sprint