Current Affairs Current Affairs - 2 March 2017 - Vikalp Education

Online Vikalp, Current Affairs, Current Awareness, General Awareness, Aptitude Classes, Daily News, General Knowledge, General Awareness For All Competitive Exam, current affairs quiz,current affairs in india, current affairs about sports, current affairs and gk, current affairs about india, current affairs daily quiz, current affairs dairy, current affairs education, Top News, Breaking News, Latest News

Current Affairs - 2 March 2017

General Affairs 

Indian Army planning to deploy hovercraft on Brahmaputra to strengthen ability to conduct counter-terrorist ops
  • Seeking to strengthen troops' ability to conduct counter-terrorist operations along the Brahmaputra in the Northeast, the Indian Army is planning to deploy hovercraft on the river to carry out strikes in marshy areas and shallow waters.
    The initiative is being taken by the army's eastern command in Assam, where terrorist groups such as National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) have been getting active and have traditionally had their camps in marshy lands and high grass areas along the river.
     "We are in the process of deploying hovercraft on the Brahmaputra as part of Inland Water Transport (IWT) units, which were on the verge of disbandment, and will now be provided with new equipments and assets to strengthen them," an army officer told MAIL TODAY.
    The army's IWT units have been in existence since the British era and were used extensively in operations in Burma and Bangladesh during WW2.
    Sources said the Brahmaputra passes through the heart of Assam and other Northeastern states and in the past, terrorists from various outfits such as ULFA and NDFB used islands on the river as bases. "The hovercraft can also be used for area domination and prevent terrorists from setting up base in areas around the river," an official said.
    The hovercraft, also known as air cushion vehicles, can swiftly chase terrorists out of their hideouts that operate under the cover of high grass found abundantly along the river, sources said.
    Of the 14,500-km of navigable waterways in India, a major chunk of navigable stretches is along the Brahmaputra, Ganga-Hooghly and Barak rivers in the eastern part of the country. These are manned by the army command based out of Fort Williams.
    With the hovercraft, the eastern command is also looking to help out soldiers who have to reach their deployment areas quickly. "IWT units ferried more than one lakh soldiers in that area," an official said. The availability of such vessels will also help forces carry out disaster relief operations in the Northeast where floods and landslides are common.
    The army has also deployed IWT units in Ladakh where they dominate the Pangong Tso Lake with its new hydrojet boats to meet the aggressive People's Liberation Army patrols, officials said.
    Sources said the army may also consider deploying swift boats in the Northern command where terrorists in J&K have used lakes such as Watlab and Manasbal to act against forces.

Tamil Nadu traders begin boycott of Coke, Pepsi; to meet CM for formal ban
  • Traders in Tamil Nadu are beginning their boycott of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The Tamil Nadu Traders Federation Union is one of the groups that has advocated for a ban on the sales of these aerated drinks, calling them foreign products that have caused a lot of health issues.
    However, many stores across Chennai are still selling the drinks, something which Vikram Raja, the president of the Traders Union, said is not a cause of worry.
    "In the Chennai city there may be places which sell this product but many places have already pasted written statement that they have stopped the sale of these aerated drinks, and also some people are selling because of the fear of losing their investment," Raja told India Today.
    Raja went on to say that some traders might be selling the drinks out of fear of losing money as they will only recoup their investment if they keep selling the products for the next nine months.
    "People have started realising [the realising the adverse health effects of these drinks] and acting in sync with the people of different age group, we have started our work towards stopping the sale of Coco cola and Pepsi," Raja said, adding that several shops already there is stop in the sale.
    Raja claimed that all traders in Tamil Nadu have supported the call to boycott the aerated drinks and that they will soon meet Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to demand a formal ban on the drinks.
    The issue of bringing of ban on Coca-Cola and Pepsi took off during the recent jallikattu protests. The MNCs were accused by many in Tamil Nadu of exploiting India and its resources. 
    Raja said they weren't able to approach the government before because of the uncertainty resulting from the VK Sasikala-O Panneerselvam fight and the divide in the ruling AIADMK.

    "Indian products are using the same water and making their products, but (that) profit is brought for our country itself and hence we want to support our own products," Raja added.

Monster of terrorism is devouring its own creator: How India slammed Pakistan at UN forum
  • India today slammed Pakistan for abetting cross-border terrorism at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
    Ajit Kumar, India's ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, said, "The fundamental reason for disturbances in parts of Jammu and Kashmir is cross-border terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan".
    Kumar said that Pakistan built terror outfits to target India but the same are now "devouring their own creator".
    Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid was earlier quoted by Firstpost as saying that India's claim on the deteriorating human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir being an internal matter "is factually incorrect and legally untenable".
    "Equally false is the Indian narrative that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is about terrorism," the Pakistan minister said.
    1. Members will recognise the irony of a nation that has established a well-earned reputation of being a global epicentre of terrorism.
    2. Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights. For the last two decades, the most-wanted terrorists of the world have found succour and sustenance in Pakistan.
    3. The fundamental reason for disturbances in parts of Jammu and Kashmir is cross-border terrorism aided and abetted by Pakistan.
    4. For many years now, Pakistan carried out an intense campaign to destabilise the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir by promoting infiltration and cross-border terrorism; inciting, promoting and glorifying violence and unrest in the Indian state; and raking up the matter through baseless allegations.
    5. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the situation there is our internal matter. The Central government and democratically-elected state government have led a system-wide effort last year to restore normalcy in the state in the wake of Pakistan-supported violent unrest.
    6. The robust and mature Indian democracy proved once again that it has sufficiently strong and adequate mechanisms to redress any internal difficulties even if they are incited from outside. Normalcy has returned as 99 per cent of the students of Jammu and Kashmir have taken their high school examinations and schools have reopened.
    7. I would also like to point out that Pakistan's unwarranted references to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions are grossly misleading as Pakistan was required to vacate the parts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal and forced occupation.
    8. Pakistan has created terrorist outfits against India. This monster is now devouring its own creator.
    9. As the world's largest democracy with a high degree of diversity, India remains committed to the idea of a just and equitable society.
    10. Further exercising its right to reply to Pakistan's statement, Indian representative to Geneva said,"In Pakistan, we are dealing with a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft and provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists. The consequences of Pakistan's actions have spread beyond its immediate neighbors and the international community has finally begun to realize the dangers of Pakistan's dalliance with terror."
    11. My delegation wishes to exercise its right of reply in response to the statement made by Pakistan. We deeply regret Pakistan's continued misuse of the Council to make tendentious references about internal matters pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan has had territorial ambitions over Kashmir since 1947 that have found concrete expression in the aggression it embarked on in 1947, 1965 and 1999. As on date, Pakistan is in illegal and forcible occupation of approximately 78,000 sq kms of Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir.
    12. Terrorism is the grossest violation of human rights. It is unfortunate that Pakistan's trust in the methods of terror are so deep that it does not hesitate from using them on its own people in Baluchistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as the tribal areas in its northwest. While advocating restraint to others, it has no hesitation in using air power against its own people. This coupled with the utter disregard for the human rights of religious and sectarian minorities has turned Pakistan into the true epicenter of global terror.
    13. In Pakistan, we are dealing with a state that regards the use of terrorism as a legitimate instrument of statecraft and provides sanctuary to UN-designated terrorists. The consequences of Pakistan's actions have spread beyond its immediate neighbors and the international community has finally begun to realize the dangers of Pakistan's dalliance with terror.
    14. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will always remain so. We have a robust institutional framework to ensure adherence to rule of law and respect for fundamental rights of the people in Jammu & Kashmir. In contrast, the people of Pakistan as well as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir have become victims of sectarian conflict, terrorism and extreme economic hardship due to Pakistan's authoritarian and discriminatory policies in complete disregard of human rights.
    15. Pakistan will be well-advised to focus its energies on setting its own house in order and acting against the perpetrators of terrorist attacks on its neighbours instead of ritually raking up alleged human rights violations elsewhere. We, once again, ask Pakistan to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of India and refrain from meddling in our internal affairs in any manner. We also call upon the Council to urge Pakistan to fulfill its obligation under UN Security Council resolutions to vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
    16. We note with regret that the delegate from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has used this august Council to comment upon India's internal affairs. We condemn and reject this. Inherent in OIC's statements on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a complete inability to understand India's position. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and the OIC has no locus standi in matters concerning India's internal affairs.

Kashmir: All schools reopen today after 8 months
  • All schools in Kashmir reopened today after an on and off break for eight months, due to the unrest the Valley found itself in after Burhan Wani's encounter.
    Schools had to be shut, following protests by locals and clashes with security forces in retaliation to Hizbul commander's killing on July 8.

    Midway the protests, over 19 schools were torched by assailants, after which a complete clampdown was ordered by the state government.
    Some schools in snow-covered areas will reopen around March 12.

Army recruitment exam leak: 350 students caught cheating to be made witnesses
  • The Thane Crime branch in Maharashtra, which is investigating the recent Army recruitment paper leak case, is likely to make 350 students, who were caught cheating, witness in their case against Army personnel and tutors of coaching classes.
    The paper leak came to light on Sunday, when the examination was held, and led to the Army countermanding the exam at several centres.   
    Police officials recorded statements of the 350 candidates, who were caught with the leaked papers but were allowed to sit for the exam, on Tuesday at the Crime Branch premises.
    Until now, 21 people have been arrested in the case. Sources told India Today a few more arrests of officials on the lower rung staff of the recruitment board are likely.
    • Investigations have revealed that it was a nationwide recruitment scheme targeted at around 53 centres.
    • Password coded CDs containing question papers were sent to the centres a few days before the examination.
    • A day before the exams, the password to open the CDs was shared with the exam centres so that papers could be printed.
    • Question papers were printed at the respective centres.
    • Once the papers were printed, a lower rung official at the Nagpur centre, identified as Ravikumar, leaked the paper and circulated it to an Army personnel posted in Nagaland identified as Dhaklu Patil.
    • Patil then passed it on to people entrusted with the task of luring in students to pay for the leaked papers.
    • Thane Police received a tip off about the racket from a person who runs a coaching class to prepare candidates for these exams.
    • The coaching class owner received the information from his students, who told him they were paying money to appear from other centres and that they would be given the question paper in advance.
    • Few hours before the exam separate teams of Thane Police reached Nagpur, Pune and Goa where they raided the lodges at the same time.
    • The teams coordinated for the raid to the last second. The teams made a conference call and entered the rooms on the count of three so that nobody could get away.
    • As the officials entered the rooms, they found the accused dictating questions and answers to the students. After procuring the question papers as evidence police started taking names and contact details of the candidates.
    "We have arrested four people who have Army background. We don't have details of since how long the racket was operational, but we are in process of investigating the matter," said DCP Parag Manere, Thane Police.
    Four defense personnel, including Lance Naik Mahendra Sonawne, BSF constable Ranjeet Jadhav and retired officials, have been arrested. Ravikumar, the clerk who leaked the paper from Nagpur, has also been arrested.
    Other accused - including one defence personnel identified as Pande - are yet to be nabbed.

Business Affairs 

Sensex soars 225 pts, Nifty holds above 8,900-mark on 7% Q3 GDP growth
  • The benchmark indices opened on a strong foot in early morning trade after India defied expectations on Tuesday to retain the title of the world's fastest growing economy even after the shock of the demonetisation drive.
    At 9.45 AM, the S&P BSE Sensex was ruling 28,968, surging 225.16 points and the Nifty50 was trading 8,942, rising 63.30 points.
    "We reiterate that our directional view remains unchanged (bullish) and we expect the index to hit new all time high soon," said an Angel Broking report.
    Axis bank, HDFC, Hero Moto Corp and Sun Pharma were leading the markets gains on the BSE.
    Tata Motors was the biggest laggard down 0.50 per cent.
    "For the coming session, 8850 - 8840 would act as a strong support and we expect buying emerging from this strong support zone of '89 EMA' on hourly chart. Hence, any dip would be a buying opportunity and meanwhile as witnessed in today's session, one should keep concentrating on individual stocks which are likely to fetch higher returns," added the report.

    Q3 GDP report
    India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter ending Decemeber 2016 grew at 7 per cent defying all fears and warnings that of any effect from demonetisation.
    However, this figure still remainded the lowest expansion in four years.
    But the Q3 numbers have put India back on the spot as the fastest growing major economy and is higher than China's 6.8 percent growth for the last three months of 2016.

    Fiscal deficit
    India's fiscal deficit touched Rs 5.64 lakh crore as on January 31st, 105.7 per cent of the full-year target, mainly due to lower realisation of non-tax revenue.

    The government had budgeted a fiscal deficit of Rs 5,33,904 crore for the current financial year ending March.
    Global Markets
    Asian markets were upbeat on Wednesday as attention turned to US President Donald Trump's speech to Congress for clues on what might be ahead for trade, regulations and taxes.
    At 10 AM (IST), China's Shanghai Composite was trading 0.38 per cent higher and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was ruling 0.20 per cent.
    Japan's Nikkei gained 1.27 per cent to trade 242.28 points up.

Four reasons why it is too early to celebrate Q3 GDP data
  • The second advanced estimate of the gross domestic product (GDP), released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) yesterday, has thrilled the government and supporters of demonetisation. CSO retains its earlier GDP growth rate of 7.1 per cent for the year, thus proving doomsayers, who predicted the GDP growth rate to fall by 100-150 basis points post demonetisation, wrong.
    The third quarter GDP growth number has also been pegged at 7 per cent against much lower industry estimates. For example, Care Rating had estimated GDP growth to drop to 5.4 per cent, while the consensus view was around 6 per cent growth in third quarter.
    However, economists are advising caution before we start celebrating the 'good' numbers yet. And there are  reasons for them being less optimistic than what the advance estimate suggests.
    These are only advance estimates: These are only advance estimates and there would be a series of changes and revisions before we get the real picture. The revisions happen because you get more information about the year. This is an advance estimate based on first set of numbers that was available with the CSO.
    Informal sectors are not captured yet: Economists suggest that much of the informal and unorganised sectors may not have been captured in the advance estimates and as and when these numbers come and these sectors are captured well, there could be a downward revision.
    Lag effect of demonetisation to be visible in fourth quarter:  According to some experts, the third quarter number may not have factored in the entire short term impact of demonetisation. The impact of demonetisation is likely to be more visible in fourth quarter when the lag effect of November and December become more pronounced.
    Agriculture only saving grace:  The industry wise growth data suggests the better than expected numbers is mostly because of sharp improvement in the agriculture output due to a good monsoon. However, most other sectors have shown significant drop in growth rate. For example, mining and quarrying droped from 13.3 per cent in third quarter of 2015/16 to 7.5 per cent in the corresponding period in this financial year. Similarly, manufacturing sector growth dropped from12.8 per cent to 8.3 per cent.
    While the advance GDP estimates have given the government some relief, economists are not fully convinced by the numbers put out. It is to be seen if these numbers remain unchanged when the revised estimates come. 

GDP data belies exaggerated claims of note ban impact: Arun Jaitley
  • Buoyed by higher-than-expected GDP growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said a 7 per cent expansion in third quarter belies exaggerated claims of note ban impact on rural economy.
    Jaitley, who returned from his UK visit on Wednesday morning, seemed to agree with RBI Governor Urjit Patel's assertion of a sharp V-shaped recovery as remonetisation picks up.
    The October-December quarter of 2016 was "substantially impacted by demonetisation (of higher denomination currency)," the Finance Minister said.
    "Demonetisation, admittedly, had led to the squeeze of currency because this was the period during which the replacement of high denomination currencies was taking place and many people were apprehensive to what its impact on overall growth would be," he said.
    But, with a 7 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) the worst fears for the economy have been put behind, Jaitley added.
    "I had consistently maintained that the revenue (tax collection) figures, which actually show the real level of growth, indicated that the growth was there, and some areas could be adversely impacted, particularly those which were cash dominated and also a part of the shadow economy and even constituted parts of the informal economy," he said.
    But demonetisation has helped integration of informal with the formal economy, he said, adding the money that was deposited in the banks is now being spent through a system which is being recorded.
    "And I think, the GDP data for Q3 really reflects that position," he said. "First of all it belies exaggerated claims made by many that the rural sector was heavily in distress."
    Agriculture growth, he said, this year is at a record high.
    "Obviously, high rate of agriculture growth has contributed to Q3 GDP. Also, manufacturing increase has contributed to the Q3 GDP and this was already reflected in the VAT data of the states and also the excise data of the Central revenue collection," he said.
    The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) on Tuesday projected a 7.1 per cent economic growth in the year ending March 31, the slowest since 2014 but still the fastest among major economies.
    "Now that we are in the month of March, remonetisation has picked up substantially. I think a combination of remonetisation, resilience of Indian economy and some signs of growth returning back to the world, are evident and therefore I do expect in the future quarters this figure itself will grow further," he said.
    "With remonetisation at an advanced stage, today money is in the market, demand is also increasing, economic activity is picking up... Economic reforms undertaken by the government will help propel GDP growth in coming quarters," he added.
    Jaitley further said during his recent visit to the UK he held detailed discussions with different groups of investors.
    "Now, the UK investors, whom I interacted, are extremely buoyant and positive about India. They see India as a bright spot in today's global economy and are extremely appreciative of the fact that even in the present global situation, India is one of the few economies which has consistently in one direction been able to bring about reforms and maintain a reasonably higher rate of growth as far as economy is concerned," he said.
    The finance minister said he also had a series of meetings with members of the British government at highest level.
    "They are extremely keen, particularly post Brexit, to expand their relationship with India. They have attached very high importance to the relationship with India and they already are major investors in India and they want to expand this and also expand mutual investments in both countries.
    "Overall, I would say both the government and the private sector investors in the UK are extremely buoyant as far as India is concerned," he said.

    Govt asks all banks to have m-banking facility by Mar 31
    • The government has asked all banks to provide mobile banking facility to all customers by March 31 in a bid to push digital transactions. 
      "What we have asked the banks to do is to enable all customers who have mobiles for mobile banking... We are asking banks to run a nationwide campaign up to March 31 to ensure that every customer who has a mobile phone is enabled for mobile banking," Electronics and IT Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here. She added this is part of the government's efforts to boost the digital payment system.
      "The reason is earlier mobile banking wasn't such a priority. And therefore, many customers may not have said they want mobile banking services. But today, they want it... This is to ensure that whoever wants to do mobile banking but has not been enabled, should be enabled by March 31," she said. Sundararajan said customers who are using UPI or BHIM app should automatically be enabled for mobile banking. "We have said that any customer who accesses UPI or BHIM they should automatically be enabled for mobile banking because it means they want mobile banking," she said, adding the banks have been asked to enable this.
      The government has been aggressively pushing payments through digital platforms, especially after announcing its demonetisation exercise on November 8.

      Factory output expands for second straight month: PMI survey
      • Manufacturing sector grew for the second straight month in February, though growth rate remained "well below-par" and rising inflationary pressure pushed firms to hike prices for consumers, a monthly survey showed.
        The increase in prices, which was fastest in nearly three and half years and was triggered by higher raw material costs, also spoiled the case for any immediate interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank and supported the recent shift in its monetary policy stance from 'accommodative' to 'neutral'.
        The modest expansion in factory output was largely driven by a rebound in export demand and the job scenario turned sluggish and the business confidence among manufacturers was subdued, the survey showed.
        The Nikkei Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI)-a monthly indicator of manufacturing activity-increased to 50.7 in February, up from 50.4 in January, as output and order books grew at a faster pace. A reading above 50 indicates expansion while any score below the mark means contraction.
        February is the second straight month of expansion for the manufacturing sector after the demonetisation-induced contraction at the end of 2016. "Indian manufacturers benefited from recovering demand and raised production volumes in response to another expansion in inflows of new work," said Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report.
        On the prices front, the survey said input and output price inflation quickened in February. "Of concern, higher commodity prices resulted in increased cost burden facing manufacturers. The sharp rate of inflation seen in February was the most pronounced in two-and-a-half years and led factory charges to be raised at the quickest pace in 40 months," Lima said. The rate of inflation was strongest since October 2013.
        However, the latest PMI reading was much weaker than the long-run series average (54.2), largely reflecting sub-par growth for output and new business. "However, with growth rates well below-par, the sector still has many areas to develop before it can fire on all cylinders," Lima said. Despite the uptrend in the sector, employment scenario turned sluggish, though the rate of job losses was marginal.
        "Businesses don't yet seem convinced as to the sustainability of the rebound as highlighted by cuts to payroll numbers and destocking initiatives," Lima added. As per the survey, confidence among Indian manufacturers was relatively subdued in February. The surge in inflation is likely to cause demand from price-sensitive consumers to fall and potentially jeopardise the economic recovery, Lima added.
        The Reserve Bank in its policy review meet on February 8 kept key interest rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent and said it is awaiting more clarity on the inflation trend and impact of demonetisation on growth. The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled for April 5-6, 2017.

      General Awareness

      List of Some Important Gardens in India

      • Dear Readers & Aspirants
        We have collected some important Gardens/Botanical Gardens in India. Now-a-days GA questions are asking from various section in different views. We hope, it will help you in Competitive exams.
        Name of the GardenName of the location
        Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic GardenKolkata, West Bengal
        Auroville Botanical Gardens,Auroville, Tamil Nadu
        Brindhavan GardenMysore, Karanataka
        Chambal GardenKota, Rajasthan
        Chashme ShahiSrinagar, J & K
        Company gardenAllahabad , Uttar Pradesh
        Hanging GardenMumbai , Maharashtra
        Jallianwala BaghAmristar, Punjab
        Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical GardenGangtok, Sikkim
        Jhansi Botanical GardenJhansi, Uttar Pradesh
        Kalindi KunjNew Delhi
        Lal BaghBangalore, Karnataka
         Law gardenAhmedabad, Gujarat
        Lloyd’s Botanical GardenDarjeeling, West Bengal
        Lodi GardenNew Delhi
        Malampuzha GardenPalakkad, Kerala
        Mughal gardenNew Delhi
        Nishat BaghSrinagar , J & K
        Pilikula Botanical GardenMangalore, Karnataka
        Pinjore GardenPanchkula , Haryana
        Rock GardenDarjeeling
        Rock Garden of ChandigarhChandigarh
        Saharanpur Botanical Garden,Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
        Sajjan Niwas Garden(Gulab Bagh)Udaipur, Rajasthan
        Sarita UdyanGandhinagar, Gujarat
        Shalimar BaghSrinagar, J & K
        Sim’s ParkCoonoor, Tamil nadu
        The Royal Botanical GardenHowrah, West Bengal
        Tulip GardenSrinagar, J & K

      No comments:

      Featured post

      Current Affairs - 16 December 2018

      General Affairs   Cyclone Phethai Gathers Over Bay Of Bengal, May Hit Andhra On Monday ...

      Copyright © 2016. Vikalp Education