Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (October 06, 2018)
1. India, Russia sign S-400 missile deal after summit
India and Russia on Friday concluded the contract for five S-400 ‘Triumf’ missile systems, one of the biggest defence deals in recent times, after the annual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The announcement was made in a joint statement issued by both sides.
“The sides welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long range surface to air missile to India,” said the statement.
The U.S. Embassy issued a statement warning that any waiver for the S-400 deal would be considered on only a “transaction-by-transaction basis.”
Significantly, the agreement for the estimated $5.43 billion (₹40,300 crore) S-400 system was not referred to by either leader in their press statements.
It was also the only agreement not included, with eight others exchanged in the presence of Mr. Modi and Mr. Putin.
Deliveries of S-400 will begin in 24 months, at the end of 2020, a government source told The Hindu.
As per procedure, the source also said that India would pay about 15% in advance, likely through the rupee-rouble mechanism both countries use for trade in their own currencies.
The U.S. has warned the deal would invoke sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law, which penalises defence purchases from Russia, Iran and North Korea, as soon as the first payment is made, unless President Donald Trump grants a “waiver.”
A government source rejected the U.S. statement, saying that the S-400 missile system deal was done in the “national interest.”
2. Congolese doctor, Yazidi activist get Nobel Peace Prize
Denis Mukwege, a doctor who helps victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by the Islamic State, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018.
They were honoured for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. “Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others,” it said in its citation.
Dr. Mukwege heads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Congo city of Bukavu. The clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence.
Ms. Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women’s rights, in general. She was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014.
3. ICMR recommends vaccine for lions
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has confirmed that the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was responsible for lion deaths in the Gir forest of Gujarat and recommended that the remaining lions be vaccinated to prevent further outbreaks. This goes against recommendations by wildlife biologists that wild animals shouldn’t be vaccinated.
“The scientists of ICMR-NIV (ICMR-National Institute of Virology) have recommended the existing CDV vaccine, which should work as a protective intervention for Gir lions,” said a press statement on Friday from the institute.
Though 21 lions reportedly died between September and October, the Pune-based ICMR-NIV found CDV responsible for the death of five Asiatic lions in Gir. The genetic sequence of the virus was compared to available CDV sequences and it was found to be related to the East African strains.
4. India’s first methanol cooking fuel debuts
500 people were given a stove with two 1.2-litre canisters of methanol on Friday, as part of a pilot project by the Namrup-based Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL), India’s first public sector producer of methanol and formalin from natural gas as feedstock.
According to alternative fuel expert Prashanth Guru Srinivas, APL’s experience in producing methanol for 30 years gave NITI Ayog the confidence to okay the fuel project.
“There are 5.5 lakh people in Africa and 8 million in China who use methanol as cooking fuel. But India is the first country where the focus is on replacing LPG. Much of the world is looking at how our cooking fuel project is working out,” Mr. Srinivas said.
5. Vaccine against CDV infection arrives at Gir
The Gujarat Forest department has received from the United States 300 shots of a vaccine against Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) believed to have caused the death of lions at Gir Sanctuary. Since September 12, as many as 23 lions have died at the sanctuary, 11 of them due to CDV.
6. EC ad format awaits Law Ministry nod
The Election Commission has asked the Law Ministry to vet the format of an advertisement it wants candidates to issue to publicise cases lodged against them, a functionary said on Friday.
The Supreme Court had recently said that candidates contesting polls should repeatedly advertise their criminal antecedents in print and electronic media after filing nomination papers so that people can make an informed decision. The Legislative Department in the Law Ministry, which is the nodal agency for EC, will go through the format.
7. Bhatt, Vijayan on Yes Bank CEO search panel
Yes Bank has appointed former State Bank of India chairman O.P. Bhatt and former chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India chairman T.S. Vijayan as external members in the five-member search committee for the selection of the bank’s next managing director and chief executive officer.
The other members of the search committee are independent directors Brahm Dutt and Mukesh Sabharwal, and Subhash Chander Kalia, who is non-executive, non-independent director of the board.
In a statement, Yes Bank said it had invited proposals from global leadership advisory firms specialising in banking and financial services for assisting the search committee. “The first meeting of the search and selection committee is scheduled on October 11, 2018, for finalisation of the advisory firm,” it said.
8. GDP growth may exceed 7.4%: Garg
Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Friday said the GDP growth is expected to be higher than the RBI’s projection of 7.4% for the current fiscal.
“Government welcomes MPC statement and decision to keep the rates unchanged. Government’s assessment of inflation is in line with the MPC’s assessment. We believe growth should turn out to be higher than that projected by MPC [monetary policy committee],” he tweeted.
Later, the finance ministry said the status quo decision by the MPC was in consonance with the government’s assessment of inflation and growth going forward and for achieving the medium-term target for CPI inflation of 4% within a band of +/- 2%, while supporting growth.
9. Govt. appoints Rakesh Sharma as IDBI chief
The Centre on Friday appointed former Canara Bank MD Rakesh Sharma as head of IDBI Bank. He has been appointed as MD for a period of six months, sources said. The tenure of B. Sriram, who was appointed as chief executive of IDBI Bank for three months, ended in September 2018.
10. After Aramco, SABIC wants to expand presence in India
Saudi Arabian petrochemicals major SABIC is looking to expand its presence in India. This, after Saudi Aramco, a leading global energy firm, picked up stake in a proposed $44 billion refinery project in India.
SABIC has invested more than $100 million in its technology and innovation centre in Bengaluru, one of the largest investments in India by a Saudi company. The focus has been to build research competencies to support growing market needs in India and worldwide.
“India and Saudi Arabia are nations on the move. We both have economies with enormous potential. This potential is being unlocked by two new visions that represent the hopes and aspirations of the people in India and of Saudi Arabia – the Saudi Vision 2030 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘New India 2022’, he said at the India Chem 2018 — 10th Biennial International Exhibition & Conference in Mumbai.
11. Vijay Sankar takes over as president of ICC
Vijay Sankar, deputy chairman, The Sanmar Group, has taken over as president, Indian Chemical Council (ICC). He will hold this office for a two-year term. Mr. Sankar holds a Masters in Business Administration from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, USA. He is also a qualified chartered accountant.
12. Zydus Cadila gets US nod for breast cancer drug
Drug firm Zydus Cadila said it has received the final approval from the U.S. health regulator to market Exemestane tablets, used for treatment of breast cancer.
The company has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market the drug in the strength of 25 mg, Zydus Cadila said in a BSE filing on Friday. The company said it will manufacture the drug at its group’s formulations SEZ facility in Ahmedabad.
13. Indian men took the sixth spot and the women finished eighth in the Chess Olympiad
Indian men took the sixth spot and the women finished eighth in the Chess Olympiad that concluded here (BATUMI, GEORGIA)on Friday.
In the 11th and final round, seeded five in both sections, India was held 2-2 by Poland with draws on all four boards. In the women’s section, India struck late to beat Mongolia 3-1, with the victorious duo of Tania Sachdev and Padmini Rout providing the margin of triumph.
Even as the men topped a nine-team tie for the sixth place, the women were part of a nine-team tie for the fourth spot before the Russians finished at the top of the heap on better tie-break scores.
China, seeded three in both sections, made history by sweeping the titles due to its superior tie-break scores.
In the open section, China topped a three-way tie at 18 match-points with USA and Russia. The unbeaten Chinese women, too, aggregated 18 match-points, like Ukraine.
Final standings: 1. China, 2. USA, 3. Russia, 6. India.
Women: Mongolia (14) lost to India (16) 1-3 (Batkhuyang Munguntuul drew with D. Harika; Davaademberel Nomin-Erdene lost to Tania Sachdev; Turmunkh Munkhzul drew with Eesha Karavade; Dulamsuren Yanjindulam lost to Padmini Rout).
Final standings: 1. China, 2. Ukraine, 3. Georgia-1, 8. India.
14. PKL-6: trophy formally unveiled
With the sixth season of the ProKabaddi League (PKL) set to begin here on Sunday, the trophy was officially unveiled in the presence of the 12 captains here on Friday.
The 12 captains are Surjeet Singh (Bengal Warriors), Joginder Singh Narwal (Dabang Delhi), Sunil Kumar (Gujarat Fortunegiants), Surender Nada (Haryana Steelers), Anup Kumar (Jaipur Pink Panthers), Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates), Girish Ernak (Puneri Paltan), Vishal Bharadwaj (Telugu Titans), Rishank Devadiga (UP Yoddha), Dharmaraj Cheralathan (U Mumba).
15. Tvesa wins third title of the season
Tvesa Malik played a flawless second nine in the final round to win the 15th leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour here on Friday. The win also makes Tvesa one of the main Indian challengers for the Hero Women’s Indian Open to be held at the same venue in two weeks time.
16. Manipuri activist wins international award
A campaigner supporting women survivors of violence in northeastern India was named on Thursday as one of two winners of an annual award recognising women human rights workers.
Binalakshmi Nepram shared the Reach All Women in WAR (RAW in WAR) Anna Politkovskaya Award with Nobel literature laureate Svetlana Alexievich, an investigative journalist and writer from Belarus.
The award recognised the women’s bravery in speaking out and defying “injustice, violence and extremism … in ‘forgotten’ armed conflict in their regions”, said RAW in WAR, a U.K.-based charity supporting women human rights defenders and war victims.
17. Crewed SpaceX mission soon
NASA has announced the first crewed flight by a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to take place in June 2019.
It will be the first manned U.S. launch to the orbiting research laboratory since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, forcing U.S. astronauts to hitch costly rides aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. A flight on Boeing spacecraft is set to follow in August 2019.
Both missions are considered tests: the two astronauts transported in each flight will spend two weeks aboard the orbiting ISS before returning to the earth. Later missions could last about six months.
18. Oscars body launches fellowship for women
The organisers of the Oscars announced a string of new initiatives on Thursday aimed at encouraging women filmmakers. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences programme will include a one-year fellowship for women filmmakers and executives, a lunch that will bring together women across the industry, and a directory to boost networking and hiring opportunities.
National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) law
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)
20. Things to Remember:
CM of Goa – Shri Manohar Parrikar
Governor of Goa – Smt. Mridula Sinha
CM of Gujarat – Shri Vijaybhai R. Rupani
Governor of Gujarat – Shri Om Prakash Kohli
CM of Haryana – Shri Manohar Lal
Governor of Haryana – Shri Satyadev Narayan Arya
CM of Himachal Pradesh – Shri Jairam Thakur
Governor of Himachal Pradesh – Shri Acharya Dev Vrat
CM of Jammu & Kashmir – No CM (President Rule)
GOvernor of Jammu & Kashmir – Shri Satya Pal Malik
21. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – Comply with rules, standards, or laws.
Example – ‘the kitchen does not conform to hygiene regulations’
Synonyms – comply with, abide by, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, adhere to
Meaning 1.1 – (of a person) behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards.
Example – ‘the pressure to conform’
Synonyms – follow convention, be conventional, follow tradition, follow custom, fit in, adapt, adjust, follow the crowd, run with the pack, swim with the stream
Meaning 1.2 – Be similar in form or type; agree.
Example – ‘the countryside should conform to a certain idea of the picturesque’
Synonyms – match, fit, suit, answer, agree with, be like, be similar to, coincide with, correspond to, correlate to, be consistent with, be consonant with, be comparable with, measure up to, go with, tally with, square with, accord with, parallel, harmonize with