Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
News Analysis from THE HINDU (September 29, 2018)
1. All women may pray at Sabarimala
Supreme Court, in a majority opinion of 4:1 on Friday, lifted the centuries-old prohibition on women from the age of menarche to enter the famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The main opinion, shared by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, said the prohibition reduced the freedom of religion to a “dead letter,” and the ban was a smear on the individual dignity of women.
Indu Malhotra dissents
Judges should not impose their personal views in respect of the form of worship of a deity, Justice Indu Malhotra wrote in her judgment, dissenting with the majority to open up the Sabarimala temple for women. In a pluralistic society, the followers of various sects have the freedom to practise their faith in accordance with the tenets of their religion, she said. Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion by courts, she said.
2. Taj Mansingh hotel to remain with Tatas
IHCL bid wins in NDMC auction
The Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road in Lutyens’ Delhi will remain with the Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), which won the auction for a 33-year lease on Friday, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said.
The 33-year lease for the property had expired in 2011, but the auction had been pending due to litigation. In April, the NDMC was given the go-ahead for the auction by the Supreme Court.
The auction closed at 4.01 p.m., with IHCL’s bid for 32.5% of the gross turnover (GTO) winning. This would be an increase of 78% from the existing licence fee paid by IHCL, the NDMC said.
3. PM inaugurates Parakram Parv to celebrate anniversary of surgical strikes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the annual Combined Commanders Conference in the Air Force Station Jodhpur on Friday and stressed on the need for “jointness” among the three services. The stress was of the speech was on “jointness” and the need for the forces to “work together”, an official source said.
At his address earlier in January 2017 at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun also Mr. Modi had stressed on “jointmanship” among the services.
After much deliberation, the Government is keen to move ahead with a proposal to set up two of the three joint specialised commands to promote synergy and efficiency. The proposals for a Special Forces command and cyber command headed by two star generals are in an advanced stage, a defence source said.
Later at the Konark stadium, Mr. Modi inaugurated ‘Parakram Parv’ and witnessed an exhibition set up as part of the three-day celebrations to mark the second anniversary of the surgical strikes by the Army on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).
Inaugurating a huge exhibition on India Gate lawns in New Delhi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the event was being celebrated to tell the people of the valour of the Army.
The event is also being celebrated at 53 locations in 51 other cities, an official release said.
4. Green learning: language grows on trees in this plot
Global Language Park in Pune to promote linguistic diversity
In what is certainly the first such experiment in the country, and perhaps the world, the eminent linguist Ganesh Devy plans to set up a Global Language Park (bhasha van in Hindi) in Pune. It will be located on a one-acre plot on the premises of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
Conceptualised as part of the 84th PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) International Congress that is under way in the city, the park will have about 80 ‘language trees.’
5. Jayant Mammen Mathew elected president of INS
Jayant Mammen Mathew, Executive Editor of Malayala Manorama, was on Friday elected as the president of the prestigious Indian Newspaper Society, an apex body of the country’s print media industry.
He was elected to the top post for the year 2018-19 at the organisation’s general body meeting held here. He succeeds Akila Urankar of Business Standard, the INS said in a statement.
Lav Saksena will serve as the secretary general, while Shailesh Gupta of Mid Day newspaper will be the deputy president and L. Adimoolam of Health and The Antiseptic, the vice-president of the INS.
The 41-member executive committee of the society included Viveck Goenka of The Indian Express, Mahendra Mohan Gupta of the Dainik Jagran, Mohit Jain of Economic Times, Vijay Jawaharlal Darda of Lokmat, Vijay Kumar Chopra of Punjab Kesari, Rajiv Verma of Hindustan Times, Sumanta Pal of Amar Ujala and Atideb Sarkar of The Telegraph.
Indian Newspaper Society acts as a central organisation of the print media industry in India and promotes and safeguards the interests of the industry.
6. Bullet train: Japan lends ₹5,500 crore
Japan has granted a loan of ₹5,500 crore for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on Friday. Tokyo also boosted the metro train service in the Kolkata suburbs with a fresh cash infusion.
The Embassy of Japan here said in a press release that the amount was part of the tranche 1 of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (MAHSR). The Japan international Cooperation Agency (JICA), the funding body in charge of the bullet train project, simultaneously issued ₹1,600 crore for the metro rail system between Howrah Maidan to Salt Lake Sector V.
The total amount of loan in tranche 1 for the project is 25,903 million Japanese Yen, about ₹5,500 crore.
7. Bachendri Pal to lead clean Ganga expedition
A 40-member team, including 20 women, will undertake a month-long rafting expedition “Mission Ganga” in October, Bachendri Pal, chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) has said. The team would be led by Ms. Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest.
The objective of the “Mission Ganga” is to clean river Ganga and spread awareness on waste management, Ms. Pal said at a press conference here on Thursday. The team will assemble in Delhi on October 3.
8. Assam to introduce methanol as cooking fuel
Public sector Assam Petrochemicals Limited is set to introduce – in a first in India – methanol as cleaner, cheaper alternative to liquefied petroleum gas. The pilot project involving 500 burners and stoves, each fuelled by a 1.2-litre canister of methanol, will be launched on October 5.
9. ‘India can choose local partner to build Gripen’
If India chooses the Gripen fighter jet, then the choice of the private Indian company to partner with Sweden’s SAAB to build the aircraft should be the Indian Government’s and “nobody else’s”, Swedish Air Force chief Major General Mats Eric Helgesson said on Thursday.
“If the Indian Government chooses the Gripen, the Indian Government should also choose what kind of counterpart when it comes to industrial cooperation,” he said in an interview to The Hindu. He is on a visit to India on the invitation of his Indian counterpart Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa.
The offer of the Swedish Government, which SAAB is giving India, is based on the advantages and the strengths of the Gripen not on anything else, Major General Helgesson stated on the capability of the aircraft, 95 of which are flown by the Swedish Air Force.
The Gripen is powered by American GE-414 engine, a variant of which is on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. Asked if the U.S. may hinder the deal in any way if the Gripen is chosen, Major General Helgesson hoped that the Americans like everybody else with agreements would stick to them.
10. CMs’ conclave to be held in Delhi next month
The Finance Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry and Punjab have decided to organise a Chief Ministers’ conclave in Delhi in October to “evolve a consensus on financial issues concerning the States,” a statement from the office of Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.
11. DD, AIR to run warnings against mob lynching
Public broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio will run messages cautioning people that “mob lynching will invite serious consequences under the law”. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has also urged private channels to broadcast such messages.
12. Pichai to testify before U.S. House
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has agreed to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee later this year over Republican concerns that the company is biased against conservatives, a senior Republican said on Friday. Mr. Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday and the meeting was “very productive”, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
13. Indonesian city hit by tsunami after earthquake
A powerful earthquake hit central Indonesia on Friday, causing a tsunami that slammed into a city on Sulawesi island, with officials saying the tremor had levelled “many” buildings. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.
14. Centre cuts borrowing target by ₹72,000 cr.
The government has decided to reduce its borrowing requirement for the year by ₹72,000 crore, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Friday, adding that the borrowing target for the October to March period has been set at ₹2.47 lakh crore.
In H1, the borrowing programme was ₹ 2.88 lakh crore. The reduction of ₹72,000 crore will be managed by a mix of reducing buy-back as well as additional flows from small savings schemes,” he added.
The government will end this year’s borrowing programme on March 8, with borrowings of ₹11,000 crore per week until the beginning of November and then ₹12,000 crore per week until March 8.
15. Italy’s Bonfiglioli to double its investment in Chennai
The Indian subsidiary of Italy’s Bonfiglioli Riduttori is planning to double its investments in the Indian operations in the next three years, according to a top official.
“So far, we have invested ₹50 crore in expanding our Thirumudivakkam plant in Chennai,” said Kennady V. Kaippally, country manager, Bonfiglioli Transmissions Pvt. Ltd. India.
“Over the next three years, another ₹100 crore will be invested in machineries in either of our plants at Thirumudivakkam and Mannur.” It also has an assembly plant in Pune.
Mr. Kaippally said the funds would be invested in developing transmission drives for e-mobility for the international market, off-highway, power and exports.
Bonfiglioli Transmission manufactures gear boxes and gear motors for mobile machinery, wind turbines and industrial processes.
After the expansion at Thirumudivakkam, the total production capacity had increased to 1.25 lakh units per year from 50,000 units. The expanded facility would enable Bonfiglioli to serve existing and new markets and customers in off-highway, construction, mining, agriculture and material handling applications.
16. Govt. unveils centre for data analytics
With a view to fast-tracking the adoption of data analytics in the government to improve delivery of services to citizens, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday unveiled a Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA).
The centre would help build analytic solutions that are specific to a particular problem which may relate to a single or a combination of departments, an official statement said.
It added that the centre would also provide data profiling tools and techniques along with necessary expertise to analyse the data for quality issues.
17. Mahindra Powerol to make marine engines
Mahindra Powerol, a business unit of the $20.7 billion Mahindra Group, has forayed into the marine engines segment with the roll-out of ‘Seahawk’ series. These engines, ranging from 24 hp to 300 hp, include 11 variants of marine engines and marine generators. Last year, on a trial basis, M&M sold about 150 engines and the target for the current year is about 500 engines. Customers can also avail a maintenance scheme named Seahawk Care as an option.
18. India holds nerve in a thriller to remain champion in Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 UAE
19. Inside Edge nominated for International Emmy Award
Indian cricket-themed series Inside Edge has been nominated for best drama in the International Emmy Awards.
The show will go up against Spanish series Money Heist, Brazil’s One Against All and U.K.’s Urban Myths, according to the list of nominations released by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on Thursday.
Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, Inside Edge came as Amazon’s original web series from India in July 2017.
The story revolves around cricket and its dark side, which involves the worlds of business, glamour and politics.
It was told through characters essayed by Richa Chadha, Vivek Oberoi, Tanuj Virwani, Sidhhant Chaturvedi, Sanjay Suri, Sarah Jane Dias, Sayoni Gupta and Angad Bedi.
Ms, Chadha tweeted: “Despite detractors, was always proud to be part of India’s first original series! It’s now nominated for the International Emmys! Congratulations team, especially to our team of writers, and again Excel Entertainment for having and keeping the faith!”
20. First human case of rat virus found
A man has developed the world’s first ever human case of the rat version of the hepatitis E virus, according to new research from one of the city’s leading universities.
There had previously been no evidence the disease could jump from rats to humans, the University of Hong Kong said on Friday, warning the discovery had “major public health significance”.
Rat hepatitis E virus is very distantly related to human hepatitis E virus variants, researchers said.
The disease was found in a 56-year-old man who persistently produced abnormal liver function tests following a liver transplant.
Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU)
PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) International Congress
UN General Assembly (UNGA)
Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA)
22. Things to Remember:
Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Yes Bank MD and CEO Rana Kapoor
23. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning 1 – A natural liking for and understanding of someone or something.
Example – ‘he had a special affinity with horses’
Synonyms: empathy, rapport, sympathy, accord, harmony, like-mindedness
relationship, bond, connection, propinquity
Meaning 1.1 – A similarity of characteristics suggesting a relationship, especially a resemblance in structure between animals, plants, or languages.
Example – ‘a semantic affinity between two words’
Synonyms: similarity, resemblance, likeness, kinship
Meaning 1.2 – Relationship, especially by marriage as opposed to blood ties.
Example – ‘the distinction between kinship and affinity is not always clear-cut’