Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (October 12, 2018)
1. Land pooling policy gets Centre’s nod
The Centre has given its final nod to Delhi’s land pooling policy, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri said on Thursday. “I have signed the land pooling policy,” he said on the sidelines of an event. The policy has already been approved by the Delhi Development Authority. Senior officials of the Ministry said no major changes had been made to the policy.
2. 1 in 5 Indian children ‘wasted’, says GHI
At least one in five Indian children under the age of five are ‘wasted,’ which means they have extremely low weight for their height, reflecting acute under-nutrition, according to the Global Hunger Index 2018. The only country with a higher prevalence of child wasting is the war-torn nation of South Sudan, says the report, which was released on Thursday.
Overall, India has been ranked at 103 out of 119 countries in the Index, with hunger levels in the country categorised as “serious”. India’s ranking has dropped three places from last year, although the Index says its results are not accurately comparable from year to year and instead provides a few reference years for comparable data. The 2018 scores reflect data from 2013-2017.
3. 32 infected with Zika in Jaipur
With 32 persons having tested positive for the Zika virus infection in , the Rajasthan government is on an alert mode to check its spread.
While the child born to a Zika-infected woman here earlier this week was found normal, three new infections were detected among the students at the Rajput Hostel here on Thursday.
Isolation wardChief Secretary D.B. Gupta said infection cases were so far restricted to the State capital, where an isolation ward had been established in the government-run Kanwatia Hospital.
4. Rashomon effect
Also known as ‘Kurosawa effect’, this refers to a phenomenon wherein the same event is interpreted in vastly different ways by different people. The Rashomon effect is named after the popular 1950 Akira Kurosawa movie Rashomon in which a murder is described in four different ways by four different witnesses of the same crime. It is often used to emphasise the point that people’s perceptions about an event can differ considerably based on their individual personal experiences. Thus it is entirely possible that an event may be described in different ways by different people without any of the witnesses consciously lying.
5. Antibiotics to grow farm animals raise superbug risk
The world’s biggest animal drugs company has been accused of double standards and of exposing consumers in India to “higher levels of risk” by selling antibiotics for purposes now banned in Europe and the U.S.
Zoetis, the largest producer of veterinary medicines, is supplying Indian farmers with antibiotics to help their animals grow faster. The practice should be banned worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), because it increases the prevalence of resistant bacteria that can infect humans and cause deadly and untreatable infections.
6. Over 900 prisoners get freedom
More than 900 prisoners were released from prisons across India under an amnesty scheme announced as part of the year-long celebrations in the run-up to the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Home Ministry said on Thursday.
Women convicts aged 55 and above and male convicts of 60 years or more, who have served half of their sentence, and a few other categories of prisoners were eligible for the amnesty scheme announced by the Union Cabinet on July 18.
In the week-long first phase of special remission to prisoners, the States and Union Territories, after obtaining the approval of the competent authority in their jurisdictions, have released more than 900 prisoners, a Home Ministry statement said.
In the second and third phase, prisoners will be released on April 6, 2019 and October 2, 2019 respectively.
The following categories of prisoners are eligible for special remission: women convicts of 55 years of age and above, who have completed half of their actual sentence period, transgender convicts aged 55 and above, who have served half of their actual sentence period, and male convicts aged 60 and above, who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period.
Physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70% disability and more who have completed 50% of their actual sentence period, terminally-ill convicts, convicted prisoners who have completed two-third (66%) of their actual sentence period are also eligible.
Special remission scheme is not available to prisoners who have been convicted for an offence for which the sentence awarded is death or where death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment, and in cases of convicts involved in serious and heinous crimes.
7. Malaysia to abolish death penalty: Minister
Malaysia has decided to abolish the death penalty, a senior Minister said on Thursday, with more than 1,200 people on death row set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment.
The government decided to scrap capital punishment because the public had shown they were against it, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. “I hope the law will be amended soon”, he said. Executions are currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging.
8. Import duty hiked on communication items
The government on Thursday hiked the import duty on certain communication items, including base station and digital line systems, to 20%.
This is the second round of import duty hike after the government on September 26 increased import duty on 19 items, including household refrigerators and air conditioners, as it looks to cut non-essential imports to check the widening Current Account Deficit (CAD).
In a notification, the CBIC said the Central Government was satisfied that the import duty leviable on goods falling under Chapter 85 of the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, should be increased and that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.
Chapter 85 deals with electrical machinery and equipment, sound recorders, television image recorders and their parts.
The duty on base station and digital line systems has been doubled to 20% from 10%. The duty hikes would be effective from Friday.
9. Sundram Fasteners bags Deming Prize
Sundram Fasteners Limited (SFL) has bagged the Deming Prize for all its seventeen plants located in India. The award is in recognition of the total quality management initiative at SFL, driven by its managing director Arathi Krishna. Ms. Krishna is the first woman managing director to receive the award. SFL has already won global acclaim in total quality management. The prize will be given away on November 14 in Tokyo.
10. USFDA gives nod for Aurobindo’s drug
Aurobindo Pharma will introduce Azithromycin oral suspension, a generic version of Pfizer’s Zithromax oral suspension, in the U.S. next month. Aurobindo said this while announcing the receipt of final approval from US Food and Drug Administration to make and market Azithromycin Oral Suspension 100 mg/5 ml and 200 mg/5 ml. The product is indicated for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate infections.
11. Kumble launches Power Bat
V.V.S. Laxman, Abhinav Mukund, Robin Uthappa and Ian Bishop spoke about the benefits of Power Bat, a tool that provides players, coaches, commentators, fans and viewers a completely new and unique way to engage with cricket and improve their game.
Spektacom Technologies, start-up by former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble, Microsoft Corp and broadcast partner Star India introduced the product at the Star India studio on Thursday.
The Power Bat is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat.
As soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed, twist, and quality of the shot) are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks.
Mukund said he had used Power Bat in the TNPL and Star India used it in a recent series to provide real-time statistics and insights straight off the ground.
12. Sharad Kumar smashes record
India won all the medals in the men’s high jump T42/63 category with defending champion Sharad Kumar snaring a second successive gold in the Asian Para Games here on Thursday.
The 26-year-old bettered the Asian Games record with a jump of 1.90m. The T42/63 covers lower limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power and impaired range of movement.
Silver was claimed by Rio Paralympic bronze-medallist Varun Bhati (1.82m) and bronze by Rio gold-medallist Thangavelu Mariyappan (1.67m).
Earlier, javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar won silver — 61.33m in his fifth attempt — in the men’s F46 category where two-time Paralympic gold-medallist Devendra Jhajharia finished fourth. Rinku picked up the bronze with a personal best of 60.92 to make it an India-dominated podium.
The F46 category of disability covers upper limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.
India also logged a bronze in the men’s 400m T13 category with Avnil Kumar who clocked 52sec. The T13 classification deals with visual impairment.
Anandan Gunasekram claimed the men’s 400m silver in the T44, 62/64 classification, while Vinay Kumar settled for bronze.
In the T45/46/47 classification for men’s 400m, Sandeep Maan won the bronze, while Jayanti Behera clinched the women’s 400m silver in the T45/46/47.
In the women’s 400m classification that deals with visual impairment (T12), Radha Venkatesh took the bronze. In swimming, Swapnil Patil finished third in the men’s 400m freestyle S10 (visual impairment).
13. Three apps to check practice
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday launched three mobile apps aimed at checking crop residue burning and creating awareness about its effects on the environment and human health.
The three Android mobile applications have been developed by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre.
These are i-Khet Machine for facilitating farmers to have access to the agriculture machinery or equipment for in-situ management of crop residue; e-PEHaL for monitoring tree plantation; and e-Prevent to have prompt and accurate information about incidents of crop residue burning, according to an official statement released in Chandigarh.
14. Assam Chief Minister launches RoRo service
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday launched the Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) service which will ferry people and goods vehicles to provide much needed connectivity to Majuli river island.
15. SC collegium names 5 new judges for Kerala High Court
The Supreme Court collegium has recommended three advocates practising in the Kerala High Court and two judicial officers of the State as judges of the Kerala High Court.
“The collegium resolves to recommend that V.G. Arun, N. Nagaresh, and P.V. Kunhikrishnan, advocates, be appointed as judges of the Kerala High Court,” an order by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi along with two top senior judges said.
On March 7, the then Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, in consultation with two seniormost judges, recommended names of seven advocates to be appointed as judges of the High Court. The seven names also had the approval of the Kerala government.
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC)
Current Account Deficit (CAD)
17. Things to Remember:
CM of Jharkhand – Shri Raghubar Das
Governor of Jharkhand – Shrimati Droupadi Murmu
CM of Karnataka – Shri 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
18. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – usually in singular A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.
Example – ‘a rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism’
Synonyms – division, separation, divorce, split, gulf, chasm