Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (November 28, 2018)
1. Malviya’s grandson next BHU Chancellor
Former Allahabad High Court judge Giridhar Malviya was elected as the Chancellor of BHU, which was founded by his grandfather Madan Mohan Malviya, a varsity release said on Tuesday.
Justice (retd) Malaviya’s name was proposed by V-C Rakesh Bhatnagar at a BHU meeting on Monday, following which the proposal received unanimous support from members.
Justice (retd) Malaviya, a BHU alumnus, will succeed Karan Singh.
The former Allahabad High Court judge said he was proud to serve the institution founded by his grandfather and where his father, Govind Malaviya, served as the V-C.
2. Fire audit for markets to be mandatory: Hakim
West Bengal Fire Minister Firhad Hakim on Tuesday said the government will make fire audit mandatory for all markets in the State to ensure that all marketplaces and buildings have adequate fire safety measures. “We are preparing a major proposal for modernisation of our fire services department. It needs a lot of money, so we would do it in a step-by-step process,” he said.
3. ISRO’s imaging satellite HysIS is all set for Thursday launch
HysIS, the country’s first hyperspectral imaging satellite for advanced earth observation, is slated for launch on Thursday from Sriharikota.
About 30 small satellites of foreign customers will be ferried on the PSLV launcher, numbered C-43, the Indian Space Research Organisation has announced. They will go into an orbit different from that of HysIS. The launch from the first launch pad is set for 9.57 a.m.
A hyperspectral imaging camera in space can provide well-defined images that can help identify objects on earth far more clearly than regular optical or remote sensing cameras, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said earlier.
The technology will be an added advantage in watching over India from space across sectors including defence, agriculture, land use and mineral exploration. Sources said the new ‘eye in the sky’ can be used to even mark out a suspect object or person on the ground and separate it from the background with applications in transborder infiltration etc.
HysIS will be ISRO’s first full-scale working satellite with this capability. While the technology has been around, not many space agencies have working satellites with hyperspectral imaging cameras as yet.
The November 29 PSLV flight would last eight minutes short of two hours, making it the third longest, low-earth mission of ISRO.
The satellites would be ejected in two orbits by restarting the rocket’s fourth-stage engine twice.
The PSLV, flying in its core-alone format, will first release HysIS to an orbit at 636 km 17 minutes after launch. The engine of the rocket’s fourth stage will be restarted twice — once an hour from launch and again 47 minutes later.
4. Amaravati: MoEF ‘no’ to forest use
The Ministry of Environment’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has rejected eight proposals from the Andhra Pradesh government entailing the diversion of about 3,300 hectares of forest land for infrastructure projects in the State’s capital city of Amaravati.
According to the records of a meeting of the FAC held on November 15, the State government had sought permission to divert land in various forest divisions in Guntur district for projects including an ‘Adventure Eco Theme Park’ and a ‘Science City’.
‘Too little green cover’
The 6-member committee rejected all the eight “in-principle” proposals on the grounds that the “area under Reserve Forest (RF) was less than 5% of the entire area of the Capital Region, which in the opinion of the FAC is too less as a green cover in any capital city.”
5. A shot in the arm for defence IPRs
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday inaugurated an ambitious mission, “Raksha Gyan Shakti”, to promote self-reliance in Intellectual Property Rights in defence.
Under the mission, the target for the year 2017-18 is to train 10,000 personnel of Defence Public Sector Undertakings and Ordnance factory Board on IPR and facilitate filing of at least 1,000 new IPR applications.
Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, which is spearheading the mission, said the Director General of Quality Assurance is the lead agency and has already created a separate vertical for this under the rank of Additional DG. Stating that the country has made significant progress in indigenous manufacturing but design capabilities need to be improved further, Dr. Kumar said, “As long as we are reliant on Transfer of Technology, we cannot talk of self-reliance.”
6. Moralistic fallacy
This refers to the fallacy of assuming that only what is morally good can be a part of nature. In other words, whatever is considered to be morally wrong is assumed to be unnatural by people committing the moralistic fallacy. For instance, it may be assumed that since violence is morally wrong, it is not a part of human nature. The moralistic fallacy is often considered to be the opposite of the naturalistic fallacy where people assume that whatever is prevalent in the natural world is also morally good by default. It is said to affect the acceptability of politically incorrect scientific research.
7. Modi to meet Xi in Buenos Aires
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Argentine capital Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G20 summit this week.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale announced on Tuesday that the bilateral meeting between the two leaders will cover issues of mutual interest. “It was decided at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg that both the leaders will meet frequently and both the countries were quite happy in incorporating it in their schedules,” Mr. Gokhale said, elaborating the list of bilateral meetings that have been firmed up for Mr. Modi’s visit to Buenos Aires.
The announcement came in the backdrop of a letter from Congress MP Ninong Ering of Arunachal Pradesh, which urged the Prime Minister to discuss the issues relevant to the State with the Chinese President. In a letter to Mr. Modi, the Member of Parliament said that the issue of stapled visa and ecological issues should be on the agenda of the India-China leaders in Buenos Aires.
Foreign Secretary Gokhale, however, declined to give details of the agenda of the bilateral talks, which are expected to be significant as it comes days after the dialogue between the Special Representatives (SR) of both India and China that pledged to increase ‘strategic communication’ between the two countries.
Mr. Modi’s meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France is also under planning, Mr. Gokhale said, without elaborating further.
8. Wireless to connect all booths
Gearing up its entire machinery for Assembly polls in Mizoram, the authorities have decided to connect all polling booths through wireless communication for the first time leaving no “shadow areas” at all. Mizoram, having a difficult hilly terrain, is going for election on November 28. “For the first time in Mizoram, all polling booths will be covered by wireless communication. It will help in timely reporting of every development and progress of the polling,” Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police Joseph Lalchhuana said.
9. Ukraine declares martial law
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned Ukraine against any “reckless acts” after Kiev declared martial law in response to ’s seizure of three of its Navy vessels.
The Ukrainian Parliament late on Monday voted in favour of President Petro Poroshenko’s request for the introduction of martial law in border areas for 30 days.
Capture of ships
The move came after Russian forces fired on, boarded and captured three of Kiev’s ships on Sunday off the coast of Crimea, sparking the most dangerous crisis between the ex-Soviet neighbours in years.
The incident was the first major confrontation at sea in the long-running conflict pitting Ukraine against Moscow and Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.
It has raised fears of a wider escalation — in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014 — and prompted international calls for restraint.
Martial law gives Ukrainian authorities the power to mobilise citizens with military experience, regulate the media and restrict public rallies in affected areas.
10. Jack Ma is a CPC member, says daily
Jack Ma, founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, is among the world’s richest people but he has now emerged as a member of another club: China’s 89-million-strong Communist Party. This was revealed by the People’s Daily, the party’s official mouthpiece.
The party also counts property titan Xu Jiayin and Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin among its billionaire members.
Mr. Ma’s membership had not been widely known until now as he had previously suggested that he preferred to stay out of politics.
In Monday’s article, the People’s Daily said Mr. Ma was a party member who has played an important role in pushing China’s Belt and Road global trade infrastructure initiative.
11. Khaleda cannot contest upcoming election
In a major setback to ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, a top Bangladesh court on Tuesday ruled that a person jailed for more than two years cannot contest polls, effectively barring her from participating in the December 30 poll. Attorney-General Mahbubey Alam said that Ms. Zia, who is convicted in two graft cases, cannot contest the general election next month.
12. France to close 14 nuclear reactors by 2035
President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that France would shut down 14 of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors currently in operation by 2035, of which between four and six will be closed by 2030. France relies on nuclear power for nearly 72% of its electricity needs, though the government wants to reduce this to 50% by 2030 or 2035.
13. Reserve Bank to inject ₹40,000 crore in Dec.
The RBI will pump in more liquidity in December by infusing ₹40,000 crore into the system through open market operations (OMOs).
“Based on an assessment of the durable liquidity needs going forward, the RBI has decided to conduct purchase of government securities under open market operations (OMOs) for an aggregate amount of ₹400 billion in the month of December 2018,” the central bank said in a release on Tuesday.
The Reserve Bank will give details about the auction dates for the OMOs in due course.
However, it added that this OMO amount is indicative with the RBI retaining the flexibility to change it, depending on the evolving liquidity and market conditions.
The RBI had announced to inject ₹40,000 crore into the system in November. It has already infused ₹30,000 crore into the system while the balance ₹10,000 crore will be pumped in through auction on Thursday.
14. A glittering opening ceremony
A glittering ceremony, including live performances of Oscar winning music director A.R. Rahman, famous percussionist Sivamani and Bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit, on Tuesday marked the formal opening of the 14th Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium.
In a ceremony that lasted for more than two hours, HI felicitated the heroes of the India’s 1975 World Cup winning team.
The appearance of the captains of all 16 participating teams was another attraction.
15. Prithiviraj elected FMSCI president
Coimbatore Auto Sports Club’s J. Prithiviraj was unanimously elected as President of The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India here at its annual general meeting on Tuesday.
For the first time in recent history, the president and vice-president (Karnataka Motor Sports Club’s Shivu Shivappa) were elected unopposed.
The following governing council members were also elected during the AGM are Vicky Chandhok (MMSC), Farokh Commissariat (IARC), Ms. Sita Raina (CMSC), Akbar Ebrahim (Meco MS), Arindam Ghosh (RRPM), Farooq Ahmed (MSCC), B. Vijaykumar (Spitfire MS) and Sanjay Sharma (PCRT).
16. The Ironman comes to India
On October 20, 2019, the world’s 127th Ironman 70.3 race, and India’s first, will be held in Goa, in a culmination of discussions for two-and-a-half years. Licensed by Yoska, a Bengaluru-based fit-tech start-up founded by Deepak Raj and Rudraprasad Nanjundappa, the race includes an open-water swim of 1.9 km, a bike ride of 90 km, and a run of 21.1 km, totalling 113.1 km.
“It’s perfect timing,” said Singapore-based Geoff Meyer, managing director, IRONMAN Asia, on the decision to enter India. “There’s been an upswing in the health and lifestyle space. We had Ironman Malaysia last week. Three years ago, we had about six or eight athletes (from India). Last year, we crossed the 40 mark; this year was 79. So if you look at just that one event we’ve got a 100% improvement each year. And that’s happening across the Asian events.”
17. NASA’s InSight lands on Mars
Cheers and applause erupted at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory late on Monday night as its Mars rover InSight touched down on the Red planet, capping a nearly seven-year journey from design to launch to landing.
The dramatic arrival of the $993 million spacecraft — designed to unveil the Red Planet’s inner mysteries, how it formed billions of years ago and, by extension, how other rocky planets like the earth took shape — marked the eighth successful landing on Mars in NASA’s history.
“Touchdown confirmed,” a mission control operator at NASA said, as anxiety and excitement surged through the room, and dozens of scientists leapt from their seats to embrace each other.
“Ultimately, the day is coming when we land humans on Mars,” NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, adding that the goal is to do so by the mid 2030s.
The vehicle appeared to be in good shape. But as expected, the dust kicked up during the landing obscured the first picture InSight sent back, which was heavily flecked.
The spacecraft is NASA’s first to touch down on the earth’s neighbouring planet since the Curiosity rover arrived in 2012.
More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed.
NASA is the only space agency to have made it. “We never take Mars for granted. Mars is hard,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, an associate administrator with NASA.
18. Veteran playback singer Mohammed Aziz is dead
Singer Mohammed Aziz, who did playback for artistes such as Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda and Rishi Kapoor, passed away on Tuesday. He was 64.
Mr. Aziz, who has over 20,000 songs to his credit, has sung in the Bollywood, Bengali and Odia film industries.
He made his film debut with Bengali film Jyoti. Later, he got a break when music director Anu Malik asked him to sing the song Mard Taangewala for Mr. Bachchan’s Mard.
He has done playback singing for actors such as Mr. Bachchan, Mr. Govinda, Mr. Rishi Kapoor, Mr. Mithun Chakraborty and others.
Hyperspectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS)
Open Market Operations (OMOs)
20. Things to Remember:
Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan
Russian President Vladimir Putin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
21. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Prove more powerful or superior.
Example – ‘it is hard for logic to prevail over emotion’
Synonyms – win, win out, win through, triumph, be victorious, be the victor, gain the victory, carry the day, carry all before one, finish first, come out ahead, come out on top, succeed, prove superior, conquer, overcome, achieve mastery, gain mastery, gain ascendancy
Meaning 1.1 – Be widespread or current in a particular area or at a particular time.
Example – ‘a friendly atmosphere prevailed among the crowds’
Synonyms – exist, be in existence, be present, be the case, hold, obtain, occur, be prevalent, be current, be rife, be rampant, be the order of the day, be customary, be established, be common, be widespread, be in force, be in effect, current, existing, prevalent, usual, common, most usual, commonest, most frequent, general, mainstream