News Analysis from THE HINDU (September 22, 2018)
Current Affairs for NDA/CDS/AFCAT/Airforce X&Y Groups
1. India calls off New York meeting with Pakistan
India blamed ‘Pakistan-based entities’ for Friday’s killing of three special police officers in Kashmir and called off the planned meeting of Foreign Ministers in New York.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said talks in the current circumstances would be futile and also cited stamps issued by Pakistan in July in memory of Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani as reasons for the cancellation.
2. BSF opens new hotline
The Border Security Force (BSF) has opened a new hotline in Delhi to communicate with the Pakistan Rangers. It was set up last month after the BSF was unable to reach its counterpart through the existing hotline in Jammu on a June night when four BSF personnel were killed. This year, 12 BSF personnel had been killed along the 192-km International Border in Jammu, the highest death toll in five years.
After large-scale ceasefire violations in 2015, the BSF and Pakistan Rangers put in a system to resolve through effective communication any flare-up on the border. At least 14 hotlines were activated along the Pakistan border from Gujarat to Jammu. A hotline between the Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) also exists.
The hotline in Delhi is handled by a BSF officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector-General (DIG).
It was in the wake of this incident that the BSF asked the Pakistan Rangers to open another hotline between their headquarters in Delhi and Islamabad. There are other communication lines available at the sector commander-level also.
On June 13, the Army headquarters sent a revised communication to the BSF reiterating the 2003 ceasefire pact signed between India and Pakistan.
On May 29, the DGMOs agreed to fully implement the ceasefire pact in “letter and spirit” to stop border skirmishes in J&K.
3. ISRO setting up launch pad for Gaganyaan mission
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is setting up a third launch pad at Sriharikota to undertake the Gaganyaan manned space flight programme, an ISRO official said on Friday. In addition, ISRO is scouting for a location on the western sea coast near Gujarat to set up another launch pad for Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV).
Third launch pad
“We have two launch pads currently, which are already full. A third launch pad is being set up for the human space flight. It will be ready in time for the mission,” a senior ISRO official said.
In the Independence Day address this year from the Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that an Indian will go to space by 2022.
Following this, ISRO has announced an ambitious roadmap to put a three-man Indian crew in a low earth orbit for 5-7 days by the 75th Independence Day.
ISRO will use its GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, which can carry the heavier payload of the Gaganyaan, and this will take off from the new launch pad.
In addition to the third launch pad at Sriharikota, ISRO is also scouting for a new location near Gujarat for the SSLV.
ISRO is developing the SSLV to offer affordable launch options for smaller satellites through Antrix, the space agency’s commercial arm. ISRO currently piggybacks smaller satellites on the PSLV and GSLV along with bigger satellites.
The SSLV is expected to reduce the launch time as well as cost less to launch small satellites, which are much in demand.
4. Ban on adoption by live-in partners lifted
Individuals in a live-in relationship will once again be able to adopt children from and within India after the country’s nodal adoption agency decided to withdraw a circular issued earlier this year disallowing them from doing so.
The Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA), in a circular issued on May 31, barred applicants in a live-in relationship from adopting a child on the ground that “the Authority would like the children to be placed only with a stable family and individuals in a live-in relationship cannot be considered as stable family.”
The decision was taken at the last meeting of the steering committee of CARA, chaired by Mr. Shrivastava, in August, and will benefit both domestic and international applicants.
The eligibility criteria under Adoption Regulations, 2017, permit single women to adopt a child of any gender, while single men can adopt only boys. When a married couple seeks to adopt a child, it needs to give its consent for adoption and should be stable marriage for at least two years. Applicants have to be physically, mentally and financially stable to raise a child.
5. Reinstated staff can’t have back wages: SC
An employee has no right to back wages merely because the court has set aside his dismissal and returned his old job, the Supreme Court held in a judgment.
“A workman has no right to claim back wages from his employer as of right only because the court has set aside his dismissal order in his favour and directed his reinstatement in service,” a Bench of Justices A.M. Sapre and U.U. Lalit held in a judgment pronounced on Thursday.
No gainful employment
Justice Sapre, for the Bench, held that it was necessary for the workman in such cases to plead and prove with the aid of evidence that after his dismissal from the service, he was not gainfully employed anywhere and had no earning to maintain himself or his family.
“The employer is also entitled to prove that the employee was gainfully employed during the relevant period and hence not entitled to claim any back wages. The court can deny back wages in its entirety or award it partially depending on the facts of each case.”
The court laid down the law while pronouncing judgment in the case of Phool Chand, who is now represented by his legal representatives, against the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation.
6. Olympiad for teachers on December 8
The fourth edition of the CENTA Teaching Professionals Olympiad (TPO) 2018, a national competition to recognise and reward teachers, will be held on December 8 in 45 cities across the country.
Presented by The Hindu, the TPO is an initiative of the Centre for Teacher Accreditation (CENTA), which aims at identifying outstanding teachers and teacher candidates, and also create a range of career opportunities. The multiple choice test will be held in two international centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well this year.
TPO now has more subjects tracks and language mediums. The test is available in 20 subject tracks across different school levels from the Primary to Senior Secondary level in English medium. Teachers could take up test in four regional languages — Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu — in the Primary level.
Besides providing a national platform for teachers to test their skills, the TPO has more than 100 cash awards varying from ₹5,000 to ₹1 lakh.
7. Agencies to do eco-impact checks
The Union Environment Ministry proposes to allow research organisations and accredited agencies to monitor if companies are complying with environmental conditions.
India’s environmental laws require project developers to submit themselves to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), under which an independent agency, commissioned by the project developer, ascertains the likely environmental impact of a proposed project. The preparation of an environment impact assessment report and an environment management plan ensures that the adverse environmental impact of projects and activities are assessed and studied and mitigation measures are taken in the implementation of the project to avoid or minimise the adverse environmental impact. Currently, depending on the size of projects, they are cleared or rejected — with accompanying caveats that must be adhered to — by the expert appraisal committees of the Central government and the States and the district environment impact assessment authorities.
8. ED files case in National Games scam
The Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case for alleged corruption in the preparations for the 34th National Games organised in Ranchi in 2011. Those under the scanner are the then organising committee secretary S.M. Hashmi, former Sports Director P.C. Mishra and then treasurer Madhukant Pathak, said an official.
9. Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang dead at 61
Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang, known as a tough politician and committed communist with little tolerance for dissent, died on Friday after a serious illness, the state media reported. He was 61.
10. ‘No deal with Saudi Arabiafor release of Sharif’
There was no “deal” between the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for the release of jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members after a court suspended their sentences in a corruption case, Pakistan Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said. “Nawaz Sharif is not so important for Saudi Arabia that they will talk about him.”
11. SEBI revises KYC norms for foreign portfolio investors
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has announced the revised guidelines for know your client (KYC) requirement for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) allowing non-resident Indians (NRIs), resident Indians (RIs) and overseas citizens of India (OCIs) to be part of such FPIs investing in India.
Such NRIs, OCIs and RIs can be part of a FPI if their aggregate holding in such an overseas fund is less than 50% of the corpus of the fund. Further, the individual share of such entities cannot exceed 25% in an FPI.
“Contributions by NRI/ OCI/ RI, including those of NRI/ OCI/ RI controlled investment manager, should be below 25% from a single NRI/ OCI/ RI and in aggregate should be below 50% to corpus of FPI,” SEBI said in a circular issued on Friday.
More importantly, the regulator has also laid down that FPIs can be controlled by investment managers that are owned or controlled by NRIs, OCIs or RIs. Such, investment managers, however, need to be properly regulated in their home jurisdiction and also registered with the SEBI.
12. Floor CPA cover for motor insurance hiked to ₹15 lakh
The minimum Compulsory Personal Accident (CPA) cover for owner-drivers under the motor insurance policy has been increased to ₹15 lakh.
The enhanced, mandatory cover that came into force with immediate effect will lead to a higher annual premium of ₹750 and follows a directive from insurance regulator IRDAI.
At present, the minimum cover for two-wheelers is ₹1 lakh for which annual premium is ₹50 while for private cars/commercial vehicles the minimum cover is ₹2 lakh for ₹100. “A minimum capital sum insured (CSI) of ₹15 lakh shall be provided under CPA cover for owner-driver under liability only, under Section III of Package Policies to all classes of vehicles and bundled covers wherever applicable at the premium rate of ₹750 per annum for annual policy. This rate will be valid until further notice,” IRDAI said.
13. Jio inks pact with Star India
Reliance Jio has signed a five-year partnership agreement with Star India to make all televised India cricket matches available to users of JioTV and Hotstar in India. RIL signed an agreement in this regard with Star India Pvt. Ltd.
“With this partnership, we intend to address both these objectives of providing the best sporting content with the best digital infrastructure to the Jio users. Jio promises to and will continue to bring a superlative customer experience in the areas of sports,” said Mr. Akash Ambani, director, Jio.
The partnership would cover T20s, ODIs, international test cricket and premier domestic competitions of the BCCI.
14. Srihari, Sajan make a splash
A record is always on the cards whenever Srihari Nataraj competes in the backstroke events. On the third day of the Glenmark 72nd National swimming championship here on Friday, the teenager blitzed the pool to come up with the best Indian performance in the 200m backstroke.
Srihari, who finished sixth in Asian Games in the same event with the best Indian performance of 2:03.83, hardly faced any competition here.
Srihari also met the B standard qualification norm for the Worlds.
Sajan Prakash came up with a sterling performance in 400m freestyle to set the best Indian performance for the event.
Richa’s third gold
Richa Mishra comfortably won the 1500m race finishing at least 25 metres ahead of Bhavika Dugar. But Richa, who won her third gold medal, narrowly failed to break the meet record.
Maana Patel ruled supreme in 200m backstroke, finishing 10m ahead of her rivals but also failed to break the meet record.
15. Fisher cards first 59 in European Tour history
Unheralded Englishman Oliver Fisher fired a first round of 59 in the European Tour’s 46-year history on a remarkable second day of the Portugal Masters on Friday. The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle, after his long birdie putt for a 58 grazed the edge of the hole.
16. Double delight for Udit Gogoi
Udit Gogoi bagged a double crown in the Asian under-14 tennis championship on Friday.
He beat sixth seed Mitsuki Wei Kang Leong of Malaysia 6-2, 6-4 in the singles final and joined hands with Aman Dahiya to shock the second-seeded Malaysian duo for the loss of just four games in the doubles summit clash.
17. Purav Raja makes doubles final
Purav Raja and Rameez Junaid of Australia made the doubles final with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Pedro Cachin and Marco Trungelliti of Argentina in the Challenger tennis here on Friday.
In St. Petersburg, Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico were beaten by the Italians Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini.
18. Women’s world boxing in India
The World Women’s Boxing Championships, to be hosted by India after more than a decade, will be held from November 15 in the national capital, a top official of the international body said on Friday.
The teams will have to be here by November 13, with the competition starting a couple of days later.
The marquee tournament was last held in India in 2006 and remains the best for the country in terms of performance.
India had topped the medal tally with four gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
19. Rock band Wolf Alice wins Mercury Prize
Rock band Wolf Alice has won Britain’s Mercury Prize for its album Visions of a Life, beating off competition from the likes of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and the Arctic Monkeys. The four-member band from , which first began as a duo in 2010, took home £25,000 and a trophy.
Small Satellite Launch Vehicles (SSLV)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Child Adoption Regulatory Authority (CARA)
Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs)
Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)
University Grants Commission (UGC)
NCC (National Cadet Corps)
21. Things to Remember:
Speaker of Goa – Pramod Sawant
Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar
French President Emmanuel Macron
British Prime Minister Theresa May
22. Improve your Vocabulary:
Meaning – A quarrel about an unimportant matter.
Example: ‘when we had our little spats, he had only to smile to get back on the right side of me’
Synonyms: disturbance, quarrel, scuffle, brawl, affray, tussle, melee, free-for-all, fight, clash, skirmish, brouhaha, riot, uproar, commotion