Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (November 13, 2018)
1. Union Minister Ananth Kumar dead
Senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, and Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar passed away at a private hospital here around 2 a.m. on Monday. He was 59.
According to the Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, where he was under treatment, Mr. Ananth Kumar was diagnosed in June with lung cancer, which was at an advanced stage.
He went to New York for treatment and returned 25 days ago.
2. In Oct., retail inflation cools to 3.31%
Consumer inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, eased in October to 3.31%, from 3.77% the previous month, owing to slowing price growth in the food, housing, and footwear segments.
Inflation in the food and beverages segment contracted 0.14% in October, compared with a growth of 1.01% in September.
Growth in industrial activity, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, slowed marginally in September to 4.5%, from 4.67% in August, owing to slowing growth in the manufacturing and capital goods sectors, official data released on Monday showed.
3. May Day meant for workers, not govt. officials: Tripura CM
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has dropped May Day from the list of holidays in the State as, according to him, “government employees do not need a holiday on International Labour Rights Day”.
He claimed that his government has done justice by granting holiday on May 1 only to workers in industrial sector as the day is “meant for workers and labourers and no one else”.
The Tripura government in a notification on November 3 said that government employees would be allowed to avail any four holidays chosen by them out of a list of restricted holidays during 2019. The list of restricted holidays includes 12 festivals and occasions in it — New Year’s Day, Pous Parban (Bengali harvest festival), Basanti Puja, Mahavir Jayanti, May Day, Rath Yatra, Jhulanjatra Samapan, Biswakarma Puja, Akheri-Chahar-Sumba, Bhratridwitiya, Guru Nanak’s birthday and the World Disabled Day.
4. Tamil Nadu braces for Cyclone Gaja
Cyclone Gaja is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore district and Pamban, in Ramanathapuram district, in the forenoon of Thursday
As on Monday evening, the cyclonic storm lay over the Bay of Bengal, about 720 km east-northeast of Chennai and 800 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam. Though it is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the open seas, it is set to weaken gradually, and cross the coast only as a cyclonic storm. It is likely to bring heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over seven districts in the state on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the India Meteorological Department. Weather models indicate moderate rainfall over Chennai during those days.
Named by Sri Lanka, it is the 55th tropical cyclone since the naming convention started in 2004. While rainfall is expected over most parts of north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, a few places in districts such as Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai may experience heavy to very heavy rainfall, scaling up to 24 cm on Wednesday and Thursday.
One or two places in these districts may also receive rainfall in excess of 24.4 cm, for which a red colour-coded warning has been issued. “Such colour-coded weather warnings are given for agencies involved in disaster management to be prepared even if extremely heavy rainfall is likely to occur in one or two places of the State. A red colour-coded warning for a State does not mean that the entire State is facing a threat of extremely heavy rainfall,” said S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai.
Gale-force winds reaching speeds of 80-90 km per hour may prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts.
5. Sanjay Mishra now eligible for 2-year term as ED chief
Sanjay Kumar Mishra, the 1984-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer who is holding the additional charge of Enforcement Directorate chief, has been empanelled as Additional Secretary and, therefore, is now eligible for a two-year term.
After the superannuation of senior IPS officer Karnal Singh last month, Mr. Mishra was appointed as Principal Special Director with the ED and given additional charge of the agency chief for three months.
Mr. Mishra was earlier posted as Chief Commissioner with the Income-Tax Department in Delhi. Over the years, he has investigated several politically sensitive cases and also has rich experience in the area of foreign taxation. He also had a stint with the Union Home Ministry.
The senior IRS officer was instrumental in getting access to the HSBC-Geneva list of Indian account holders who were subsequently probed by Indian agencies for allegedly parking undisclosed income abroad.
Under Mr. Mishra’s supervision, the Enforcement Directorate is currently probing several important cases of corruption and bank frauds, including the Punjab National Bank case involving Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
Having filed multiple charge sheets, the agency has already moved a request for extraditing Mr. Nirav Modi. The Indian High Commission in London has handed over the official request to extradite him to the U.K. authorities.
6. Tamil Nadu to import 3.5 million tonnes of coal
The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has decided to import 3.5 million more tonnes of coal to meet the demand for the fossil fuel. It is getting imported coal of 1.75 million tonnes through suppliers, who source it mostly from Indonesia.
7. Disguised unemployment
Also known as hidden unemployment, this refers to a situation where labour that is employed in a job is not actually utilised for the production of goods and services. In other words, such employment does not contribute to the output of an economy and is thus akin to a form of unemployment. Sometimes disguised unemployment could simply be a form of underemployment wherein the skills of a labour force are not utilised to their full capacity. In many other cases, however, such unemployment could simply be due to the lack of other alternative avenues of production where the surplus labour could be employed profitably.
8. World Pneumonia Day – What is the status in India
Every year, November 12 is observed as World Pneumonia Day to raise awareness and to advocate for global action to protect against, help prevent, and effectively treat this deadly illness.
India has the highest burden of pneumonia and diarrhoea child deaths in the world with 158,176 pneumonia deaths in 2016.
A recent report from ‘Save the Children’ has warned that despite being easily treatable more than 1.7 million children are likely to die in India by 2030.
9. Country’s first container consignment to be sent on an inland waterways vessel after 1947.
In Varanasi, Mr. Modi received the country’s first container consignment to be sent on an inland waterways vessel after 1947.
He later inaugurated an inland waterways terminal on the Ganga, the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed as part of the Jal Marg Vikas project.
10. Bangladesh poll date pushed to December 30
Authorities in Bangladesh agreed on Monday to delay national elections by a week because of Opposition demands for more time to prepare.
Chief Election Commissioner K.M. Nurul Huda said officials decided to shift the date to December 30 in response to the proposals by the Opposition parties.
The new deadline for filing nominations is November 28.
The ruling Awami League party, its allies and some Opposition parties welcomed the decision, but a new major Opposition alliance was unhappy because it wants the elections deferred by a month.
The alliance, called the National Oikya Front, consists of the Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), among other parties and is headed by prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain. It could pose a major challenge to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s desire to win a third consecutive term.
The December 30 polls would be Bangladesh’s 11th general election since it gained independence in the 1971 war.
11. Iran is honouring the 2015 nuclear deal, says IAEA
Iran has continued to implement the main nuclear restrictions set by its 2015 deal with major powers even as the U.S. reimposed sanctions against Tehran, a UN atomic watchdog report showed on Monday.
Iran has kept its stock of low-enriched uranium as well as the level to which it refines uranium within the limits set by the deal, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.
Several of the main items curbed under the deal, designed to lengthen the time Iran would need to build a nuclear bomb, were verified shortly before U.S. sanctions were reimposed on November 5 as a follow-up to Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord announced in May.
A senior diplomat, however, later said that there was no sign Iranian behaviour had changed since that date. “There is nothing that indicates that Iranian cooperation or the Iranian attitude has changed since the 5th of November.”
Iran’s reserve of low-enriched uranium remained well below the deal’s 202.8 kg limit at 149.4 kg, the quarterly report by the Vienna-based IAEA showed. Its stock of heavy water was roughly unchanged at 122.8 tonnes. Iran continued production but 1.7 tonnes were shipped abroad while 1.5 tonnes were used to make medical compounds, the report said.
12. Ex-Minister to be Nepal’s envoy to India
The Nepal government on Monday nominated former Law Minister and senior politician Nilambar Acharya as Ambassador to India. The position was vacant since October last year.
13. Abu Dhabi firm inks deal to store crude in India
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) to explore the possibility of storing ADNOC crude oil at ISPRL’s underground oil storage facility at Padur in Karnataka, which has a 2.5 million-tonne (~17 million barrels) capacity.
The MoU with ISPRL, mandated to store crude oil for emergency needs, follows the arrival of the final shipment of the initial delivery of ADNOC crude on November 4, to be stored in another ISPRL underground facility in Mangaluru, which will store 5.86 million barrels. Under the MoU, ADNOC could store crude in two compartments at Padur.
The MoU was signed by Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, director of Marketing, Sales and Trading at ADNOC, and HPS Ahuja, CEO and MD at ISPRL, on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), ADNOC said in a statement.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, witnessed the signing of the MoU, the statement added.
14. Hamilton win gives Mercedes the title
New five-time World champion Lewis Hamilton steered his Mercedes to a nail-biting victory in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, a triumph that clinched the constructors’ championship for a fifth consecutive season for the team.
The 33-year-old Briton took advantage of a collision that cost Max Verstappen the lead in the closing stages to regain the initiative and then hung on with worn tyres as the Red Bull came home second.
Kimi Raikkonen finished third on his 150th start for Ferrari ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull, Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel who came home sixth for Ferrari.
15. IAAF drops qualification system for Worlds
A few weeks after announcing that the qualification system for next year’s World Championships in Doha would be based on world rankings, the IAAF has now gone back to its existing entry standards-based system.
This will be a big relief for Indian athletes.
Athletes can now qualify for the Doha Worlds by achieving the entry standard within the qualification period (Sept. 7, 2018 to Sept. 6, 2019 for most events) or by winning the area championship in all individual events (except marathon) or by wild card (reigning world champion, IAAF Diamond winner etc).
For relays, the 2019 IAAF World Relays (top 12 in mixed 4x400m and top eight in other relays) in Yokohama and the rest from top lists will be considered (total 16 teams).
The IAAF Council will approve the entry standards in Monaco on December 3 and 4.
Sebastian Coe, the IAAF president, said that though the world rankings are the best way to qualify for major championships, the athletes need to fully understand the complex system which takes time.
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
17. Things to Remember:
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla
18. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – Come face to face with (someone) with hostile or argumentative intent.
Example – ‘300 policemen confronted an equal number of union supporters’
Synonyms – challenge, square up to, oppose, resist, defy, beard, tackle, attack, assault