Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (November 26, 2018)
1. Nariman Light House set to open
A rooftop memorial at Nariman House, the Jewish centre in Colaba, will be formally inaugurated on Monday, the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. The memorial is to be called the Nariman Light House.
2. RIMES terms Titli cyclone ‘rarest of rare’
The Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) for Africa and Asia, a 45-nation international organisation on disaster warning, has termed ‘Titli’, the severe cyclonic storm that devastated Odisha in October, as ‘rarest cyclone’.
The UN-registered organisation said: “Considering the history of cyclone tracks, no synthetic track projection captures the Titli type of cyclones. The forecast information available lacks actionable early warning information such as no indication of occurrence of secondary hazards, including landslides far away from the coasts.”
The severe cyclonic storm left more than 60 people dead, mainly due to land slide in interior Gajapati district. Odisha, which takes immense pride in disaster preparedness, was confounded in the wake of the damage to both life and property caused by Titli in interior districts.
Earlier, India Meteorological Department had called the formation of Titli as a ‘rarest of rare’ occurrence. The severe cyclone had changed its path after landfall.
According to RIMES, the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority faced challenges in anticipating and managing Titli’s impact due to lack of impact-based actionable early warning information and prior experience not only in India but also elsewhere.
3. HIV infected children likely to suffer cognitive impairment: study
Children infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have to endure a significant adverse impact on their neurodevelopment and cognitive functioning, a new study has revealed.
Analyzing resting state functional MRIs, the study, published recently in the online journal NeuroImage Clinical, reveals that HIV-infected children have lower neuropsychological test scores thus reflecting reduced memory span, attention deficit and decreased visual-motor coordination among other conditions.
Published on October 29, the study, carried out by a team of doctors at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram, King George Medical University in Lucknow and Sidra Medicine in Doha, Qatar, highlighted significant fluctuations in regions of the brain that are associated with auditory, language, sensory and motor functional networks of HIV infected children.
4. Theni may get an elephant corridor
Disturbed by frequent raids by wild elephants in the Thevaram range, the Forest Department has proposed that it would cost ₹1.75 crore to build elephant-proof fences and grow protective vegetation cover to keep the animals away from villages. The forest range has been in the news with wild elephants raiding the fields and damaging crops and even killing humans.
5. Rational choice theory
This refers to a model of human behaviour which states that people act the way they do because they believe that the benefits of their actions will be higher than the associated costs. Proponents of the theory believe that people act in such a way that they are able to maximise their benefits while minimising their costs. A person committing a crime, for instance, will likely weigh the benefits and costs of such action. Rational choice theory, since it tries to model the general behaviour of individuals within any particular society, can be used to explain wider phenomena across any society.
6. Kartarpur marks a fresh start
As Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh together unveil a foundation stone on Monday for a six-km route leading from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab to Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab on Monday, it will not just be the reopening of a route closed by Partition but would also mark the beginning of an unprecedented form of diplomacy, diplomats say.
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will be joined by two Indian Ministers to lay the foundation stone at the Pakistani side, where pilgrims from India will be able to visit their revered Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara by November 2019, to mark the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak. No Indian Minister has visited Pakistan since Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s SAARC visit in 2016, which were followed by the Uri attacks.
7. Russia chosen despite poor show: bidders
Allegations of procedural deviations continue to be levelled against the Army’s multi-billion dollar deal for Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) in which Russia was declared the lowest bidder last week. It has been learnt that two other contenders, MBDA of France and Sweden’s SAAB, protested as the announcement was made, alleging deviations to favour Russia.
“MBDA and SAAB lodged a protest after Igla-S from Rosoboronexport was selected,” an official source said. Both had alleged violations earlier too.
During the trials in 2014, the compliance requirement was that six missiles should be fired, of which at least four need to hit the target. The allegation is that Igla-S hit the target only once while the others had at least four hits. During re-trials in 2016, the compliance requirement was changed from shooting targets to only tracking and locking them. Another allegation is that Igla-S is no longer in production.
A defence official said on condition of anonymity that no procedure had been violated. When contacted, the Army and the companies declined comment.
8. EU leaders back May’s Brexit deal
A year and a half of negotiations on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU came to an end formally on Sunday, as leaders of the 27 EU nations agreed to the terms of the controversial agreement at a summit in Brussels.
The approval comes after Britain and Spain reached agreement on the status of Gibraltar, removing a last-minute dispute that threatened to jeopardise the deal. However, it is far from the end of the battle for Britain’s Conservative government, which faces stiff opposition within its own ranks and from other political parties, who could vote down the deal as it passes through the parliamentary approval process.
9. Cotton production estimated to decline
Cotton production this season might be less than that seen last year. According to provisional estimates made by the Cotton Advisory Board, which met on November 22, the production from October 2018 to September 2019 is estimated to be 361 lakh bales as against 370 lakh bales last season.
While the total area under cotton for last year was 124.29 lakh hectares, it was 122.38 lakh hectares for this season. The average yield (kg per hectare) has also reduced from 506.07 to 501.47.
Cotton demand by textile mills, including small-scale units, might be slightly higher this year at 305 lakh bales from 303 lakh bales last year.
K. Selvaraju, secretary general of Southern India Mills’ Association, who took part in the Board’s meeting, said that while there is not much change in area, parts of cotton growing areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra experienced shortfall in rains.
This might hit cotton production.
However, crop estimates are provisional and can change in the coming months. With a better domestic market, the performance of textile mills has improved after March. So, cotton demand by the mills is projected to be higher. It is likely to be a comfortable year for both farmers and the industry, he said.
10. Harmanpreet is World team captain
Harmanpreet Kaur was named skipper of the team of the tournament of the ICC women’s World T20 2018 based on performances during the 16-day event held in the West Indies.
The selection panel comprisedIan Bishop, Anjum Chopra, Ebony Rainford-Brent, journalist Melinda Farrell and Geoff Allardice, ICC’s General Manager — Cricket.
The team of the tournament (in batting order): Alyssa Healy (Aus, 225 runs), Smriti Mandhana (Ind, 178), Amy Jones (Eng, wk, 107, five dismissals), Harmanpreet Kaur (Ind, Capt., 183), Deandra Dottin (WI, 121 runs, 10 wkts), Javeria Khan (Pak, 136), Ellyse Perry (Aus, 60 runs, 9 wkts), Leigh Kasperek (NZ, 8 wkts), Anya Shrubsole (Eng, 7), Kirstie Gordon (Eng, 8), and Poonam Yadav (Ind, 8); 12th player: Jahanara Alam (Ban, 6 wkts).
11. Lewis Hamilton signs off in style
New five-time champion Lewis Hamilton claimed his 11th win of the season on Sunday when he drove his Mercedes to a well-judged triumph in an incident-filled season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 33-year-old Briton, who started from his 83rd pole, came home 2.5 seconds ahead of his main title rival four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
The win came after a race that began with an horrific opening lap crash from which Nico Hulkenberg escaped unhurt, his blazing Renault car having barrel-rolled into the barriers.
Dutchman Max Verstappen finished third ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, in his 100th race for Red Bull and 150th overall before moving to Renault, and Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.
Alonso bids farewell
Retirement-bound two-time champion Fernando Alonso finished 11th for McLaren in his 311th and farewell appearance.
Hamilton’s victory completed a season of total dominance for the Englishman. “I am so happy right now,” he said, before praising Vettel. “I know next year he’s going to come back stronger. Whatever people say, we always do our best.”
Vettel responded generously. “He deserves to be champion,” Vettel said. “It’s been a tough year and I tried until the last lap.
12. Sameer wins a pulsating final
A gritty Sameer Verma produced a sensational performance to defend his men’s singles title, making up for the failure of his compatriots in the other finals at the $150,000 Syed Modi Super 3000 international badminton here on Sunday.
World No. 16 Sameer defeated China’s Lu Guangzu 16-21, 21-19, 21-14 in a pulsating summit clash even as Saina Nehwal, the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and the women’s doubles combination of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy bit the dust.
Former champion Saina failed to produce her best, losing 21-18, 21-8 to China’s Han Yue, while Satwiksairaj and Chirag went down 21-11, 22-20 to second seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia.
Ashwini and Sikki also couldn’t live up to expectations, losing 21-15, 21-13 to the third-seeded Malaysian pair of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean. The Indian pair had lost in the final in the last edition as well.
The results (finals):
Men: Sameer Verma bt Lu Guangzu (Chn) 16-21, 21-19, 21-14.
Doubles: Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Ina) bt Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 21-11, 22-20.
Women: Han Yue (Chn) bt Saina Nehwal 21-18, 21-8. Doubles: Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean (Mas) bt Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy 21-15, 21-13.
13. Gandhi’s letter to British peer up for auction
A signed letter, penned by Mahatma Gandhi a year before India’s independence, thanking a British lord for wishes on his birthday is expected to fetch over $20,000 at an online auction.
Signed ‘M.K. Gandhi’, the one-page letter to Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Secretary of State for India and Burma, was written from New Delhi on October 10, 1946.
“Dear friend, It was good of you to send me your wishes for my birthday which is synonymous with the rebirth of the spinning wheel in 1918,” the letter reads.
Mahatma Gandhi’s reference to the spinning wheel is exceptionally important, as he had adopted it as a symbol of economic independence very early on in his movement, U.S.-based RR Auction said in a statement.
Shortly after the First World War, he developed a broad base of support from Indians for peaceful non-cooperation.
After December 1921, Gandhi expanded his nonviolence programme to include the swadeshi policy — the boycott of British goods.
From this originated his spinning wheel, as he encouraged all Indians to wear khadi instead of British-made textiles.
The bidding for the online auction ends on December 5.
14. Don’t Look Now director Nicolas Roeg dies at 90
British director Nicolas Roeg, a director of provocative and otherworldly films who gave Mick Jagger and David Bowie enduring screen roles, has died. He was 90. He directed films such as Don’t Look Now, Performance.
Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
16. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.
Example – ‘an excellent aircraft for low-level reconnaissance’
Synonyms – preliminary survey, survey, exploration, observation, investigation, examination, inspection, probe, scrutiny, scan
Meaning 1.1 – Preliminary surveying or research.
Example – ‘conducting client reconnaissance’