Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (October 22, 2018)
1. U.P. sets up panel to modernise police force
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday announced constitution of a three-member commission to recommend steps for strengthening and modernising the State police force. He said the State government was taking necessary initiatives for the family of policemen who laid down their lives while performing their duties.
2. Saffron marigold is the colour of sacrifice
The ubiquitous marigold will be the symbol of India’s sacrifices when the world marks the centenary of the end of the First World War on November 11.
“It was felt that there was a strong need for India to have a uniquely Indian symbol that could allow citizens in India, as well as the international diaspora, to acknowledge the valour and sacrifice of the Indian armed forces in the service of the nation, including those who fell in the two world wars,” said Sqn. Ldr. Rana T.S. Chhina (retired), Secretary, Centre For Armed Forces Historical Research at the United Service Institution of India (USI).
In line with this, the ‘India Remembers’ project, initiated by the USI, proposed that the marigold flower join the poppy as a uniquely Indian symbol of remembrance.
Why was it chosen?
“The marigold was chosen because it is easily and widely available and also because saffron is often seen as a colour of sacrifice,” Sqn. Ldr. Chhina added.
The India Remembers project is a joint endeavour of the USI and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and a part of the ‘India and the Great War’ Centenary Commemoration project initiated by the USI in 2014 with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and in close association with the British High Commission.
The proposal was put up in 2016 and since then, the marigold has been widely promoted in all India-related commemorative events around the world. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laid a marigold wreath at India Gate during their visit in April 2016.
Since then, the marigold has also been used across the United Kingdom, along with the poppy, as part of community engagement projects to highlight India’s contribution in the First World War, a diplomatic source said. The Indian War Memorial, to be inaugurated at Villers-Guislain in France, has a bronze marigold wreath as an integral part of its design.
The First World War ended with the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918. Since then, poppy was adopted as the symbol of remembrance as it grew widely in the Flanders fields in Europe where some of the major battles were fought.
3. Nitish pays tribute to Bihar’s first CM
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and other leaders on Sunday paid floral tributes to the State’s first CM Sri Krishna Singh on his birth anniversary. The official function was organised near the statue of Sri Krishna Singh in the main secretariat premises here. They paid tributes by garlanding the former CM’s statue, an official release said.
4. Plan to finish 200 projects by March 2019: Gadkari
In a bid to actualise the dream of a “nirmal” and “aviral” Ganga, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Sunday that the government was looking to complete about 200 projects for ghats and crematoria by March 2019. The Centre was taking various measures to ensure ecological flow at different stretches of the Ganga, he said.
5. Malaysia looks all set for a remarkable transition from Mahathir Mohamad
The by-election victory of Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of Malaysia’s ruling coalition, marks another milestone in his dramatic comeback, putting him within touching distance of the prime ministership. During a chequered career, as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s deputy in the 1990s and later as leader of the People’s Justice Party (PKR), he served jail sentences on charges of corruption and sodomy. But he seems determined to put the past behind him. In the May general election, the man who has symbolised democratic resistance for years helped break the 60-year political monopoly of his former party, the United Malays National Organisation. The defeat in that election of the scandal-tainted Najib Razak, a UMNO veteran, was scripted by an unlikely alliance between the nonagenarian Mr. Mohamad and his former nemesis, Mr. Ibrahim. That collaboration came with an assurance of a handover of power by Mr. Mohamad to his protégé at an appropriate time. This was an extraordinary story of reconciliation: Mr. Ibrahim had been sacked in the 1990s by his mentor and imprisoned on allegedly trumped-up charges. In a first step, Mr. Ibrahim was granted a royal pardon and released from prison within days of the election victory of the Pakatan Harapan, the alliance formed by the two leaders.
6. Information cascade
This refers to a social phenomenon where people make decisions purely based on the choices made by others, thus in effect ignoring any personal information that they may possess about a certain situation. It is prevalent, for instance, in the world of business where firms may simply copy the actions of other firms instead of making decisions based on the independent evaluation of the facts. The news industry is also prone to information cascades when false information that is initially broadcast by a few channels is assumed to be true by others without any verification, thus leading to the widespread propagation of false information to the public.
7. PM inaugurates revamped National Police Memorial
Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened a revamped National Police Memorial and a museum at Chankayapuri on Sunday.
Conceptualised in 1984, the earlier memorial, a 150-foot structure of steel, was brought down on the order of the Delhi High Court in 2008 because it violated environmental norms.
The National Police Commemoration Day is observed on October 21 every year to pay homage to the 10 men of the Central Reserve Police Force killed in an ambush by Chinese troops in 1959 in Ladakh’s Hot Spring area.
Mr. Modi said the plan to have a National Police Memorial was conceptualised when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister .
Mr. Modi also announced a decoration in the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for police and paramilitary men engaged in disaster relief. At another function, he said: “I have announced that we will start a national award in the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. We will honour those policemen who risk their lives during natural disasters each year with this award.
8. PM to attend NITI Lecture Series on AI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday attend the fourth edition of the NITI Lecture Series focussed on “leveraging artificial intelligence for inclusive growth”, according to an official statement. The keynote address will be delivered by Jensen Huang, president and co-founder of U.S.-based technology firm NVIDIA Corporation.
9. Centre seeks data on vacant EWS seats
The Human Resource Development Ministry has asked the States to provide data about vacant seats under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category in entry-level classes in private schools. “We will analyse what can be done to ensure the candidates under the category can make best use of the available provisions,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
10. U.S. to pull out of Russia missile pact
U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that the U.S. would pull out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia, a crucial Cold War-era treaty banning the development, testing and possession of short and medium range ground-launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5,000 km. The treaty, signed in 1987, was central to ending the arms race between the two superpowers, and protected America’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks.
John Bolton, Mr Trump’s National Security Advisor, is in Moscow on a visit and is expected to convey the decision to the Russians. At issue is Russia’s alleged development and deployment of the Novator 9M729 missile, also known as the SSC-8, that could strike Europe at short notice, an allegation that Russia has repeatedly denied. “Russia has violated the agreement. They’ve been violating it for many years… so we’re going to terminate the agreement. We’re going to pull out,” Mr. Trump told reporters.
11. Govt. extends GSTR-3B return filing deadline to October 25
The government on Sunday extended the deadline for the filing of GST form 3B returns for September from October 20 to October 25.
“It has been brought to notice that there have been apprehensions by trade and industry relating to the last date for availment of ITC [input tax credit] for the period July 2017 to March 2018,” the government said in a statement. “In order to remove doubts, it was clarified that as per the law, the last date for availing ITC in relation to the period from July 2017 to March 2018 is the last date for the filing of return in the form GSTR-3B for the month of September 2018.”
“In view of the said apprehensions and with a view to give some more time to the trade and industry, the last date for furnishing return in the form GSTR-3B for the month of September 2018 is being extended up to October 25, 2018,” it added.
12. Ireland woos Indian companies
With just six months away for Brexit to become a reality, Ireland is wooing Indian companies, currently having United Kingdom (U.K.) as their EU headquarters, to shift base to the country.
“Indian companies in the U.K. and particularly, those using the U.K. as a gateway to the EU face some important strategic and operational decisions,” said Tanaz Buhariwalla, director, India, IDA Ireland.
Since IT, automobile and pharmaceutical industries may be among the most prominent sectors for which Brexit poses some special challenges, Ireland has stepped up efforts to attact them. Also, other industries such as garments, chemicals, polymers and consumer goods, which will have to review their strategies for a post-Brexit EU, are on the radar.
As per IDA’s estimates India’s trade with the EU — minus the U.K. — has more than trebled since 2000.
The EU, even without the U.K., is the third largest market for Indian companies. About 800 Indian companies use the U.K. as a gateway into the EU; over 1,10,000 people are employed with those companies. “An important segment of the automobile industry is also nervous about the post-Brexit world,” Ms. Buhariwalla said.
For Tata Motors Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Europe is an important market, accounting for 25% of the global sales.
As Brexit draws closer, she said Indian firms must also factor in several uncertainties that are lying ahead
13. ‘Follow BIS norms for buying medical devices’
Giving relief to domestic medical device makers, the Centre has asked the procurement agencies to follow the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for procuring devices and not to mandate the USFDA/CE certifications where the norms laid down by the national standard body exist. This issue of mandatory requirement of USFDA/CE certification in public procurement has been raised many times by medical device makers.
14. Sir Cecil smashes National record in Mysore Derby
Sir Cecil (Trevor up) won the Mysore Derby, the chief event of the races held here on Sunday (Oct 21), in a new National record timing of 1 minute, 59.05s for the 2000m, which bettered Castlebridge’s run of 1m, 59.62 in the same race last year. The winner is owned by Sarainaga Racing Pvt Ltd and trained by S. Padmanabhan.
15. Marquez completes hat-trick
Honda’s Marc Marquez stormed to victory in a nail-biting Japan race on Sunday to capture his third straight MotoGP world title.
The Spaniard has now won five championships in motorcycling’s premier class, putting him level with Australian legend Mick Doohan.
16. Youth Olympics medallists feted
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on Sunday felicitated the 29 medallists of the 2018 Youth Olympics at a glittering function here.
This was India’s best performance in the Games as it finished with a tally of 13 medals — 3 gold, 9 silver and 1 bronze.
Praising the athletes, Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, “These young athletes, who are just 15-16 years old, are winning medals for the country.
“This shows the potential among the youth of our country. We, at all levels, school, home, colonies, colleges, districts and State, must provide opportunities to play and excel. I am confident India can be a superpower in sports in the next 10 years.”
The medallists were awarded ₹25 lakh, 16.7 lakh and 10 lakh for gold, silver and bronze.
Kiren Rijuju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, was also present at the function and congratulated the medallists for bringing glory to the country.
17. Hamilton takes pole
AUSTIN: Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the United States Grand Prix by just 0.061 seconds on Saturday with another record-breaking performance for Mercedes in a tense qualifying session. The championship leading Briton topped the times with a late flying lap that kept him narrowly ahead of Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. AFP
18. Immunotherapy promising in combating breast cancer
Women with an aggressive type of breast cancer lived longer if they received immunotherapy plus chemotherapy, rather than chemo alone, a major study has found.
The results are expected to change the standard of care for women like those in the clinical trial, who had advanced cases of “triple-negative” breast cancer. That form of the disease often resists standard therapies, and survival rates are poor. It is twice as common in African-American women as in white women, and more likely to occur in younger women.
Researchers said the new study was a long-awaited breakthrough for immunotherapy in breast cancer. These findings may lead to the first approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an immunotherapy drug to treat breast cancer. But the approval would likely be limited to a certain type of aggressive cancer.
Although triple-negative tumours occur in only about 15% of patients with invasive breast cancer in the U.S. (or nearly 40,000 each year), they account for a disproportionate share of deaths, as many as 30 to 40%.
The term triple-negative refers to the tumours’ lack of sensitivity to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and their lack of a protein called HER2, which is a target of treatment.
The immunotherapy in the study was atezolizumab (brand name Tecentriq), which belongs to a class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors; the chemotherapy was nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane). The findings were published on Saturday in The New England Journal of Medicine, and were to be presented at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology, in Munich.
The study included 902 patients treated at 246 medical centres in 41 countries. Genentech, which is part of Roche, has already submitted the data to the FDA for approval.
19. Climate fund allots $1bn for poor nations
Officials overseeing a U.N.-backed fund to help poor countries tackle climate change have approved more than $1 billion in new investments after a four-day meeting in Bahrain.
The Green Climate Fund said on Sunday that the meeting approved 19 new projects, including a programme to protect freshwater resources in Bahrain. Environmentalists had argued the Gulf nation should pay for the project itself using money it made from its vast reserves of oil and gas.
Officials also agreed to start seeking new money for the fund next year. President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold $2 billion of the $3 billion pledged by predecessor Barack Obama has contributed to a fund shortfall. The South Korea-based fund is considered a key vehicle for climate-related development programmes.
Service Institution of India (USI)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
Economically Weaker Section (EWS)
Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF)
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
21. Things to Remember:
CM of Jharkhand – Shri Raghubar Das
Governor of Jharkhand – Shrimati Droupadi Murmu
CM of Karnataka – Sri H.D. Kumaraswamy
Governor of Karnataka – Shri Vajubhai Vala
CM of Kerala – Shri Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor of Kerala – Shri Justice (Retd.) Palaniswamy Sathasivam
CM of Madhya Pradesh – Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Governor of Madhya Pradesh – Smt. Anandiben Patel
CM of Maharashtra – Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Governor of Maharashtra – Shri Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao
22. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – The dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland.
Example – ‘the diaspora of boat people from Asia’
Synonyms – relocation, resettling, population movement, transhumance, moving, moving abroad, emigration, expatriation, posting, exodus, departure, hegira, defection, trek