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Current Affairs - 02 May 2017

General Affairs 

'Politics Of Nepotism, Casteism, Appeasement Will End': Yogi Adityanath
  • The Uttar Pradesh assembly poll results have caused a flutter across the country's political spectrum as the politics of casteism and appeasement will end while the agenda of development and nationalism will sustain, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today. 

    He added that the rival parties had tried to project the BJP as communal and therefore "untouchable" but the people realised that the party stood for their welfare. 

    Yogi Adityanath was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day BJP state executive meet here. "There is a flutter in the political spectrum after the UP poll results. Politics of nepotism, casteism and appeasement will now end and only politics of development and 'rashtra bhakti' (nationalism) will sustain," Yogi Adityanath said.

    He declared that the state government will come up with a new excise policy under which liquor shops will not be allowed along national and state highways, near educational institutions or religious places and in densely populated areas.

    The UP chief minister said that wherever he had gone during the assembly elections, concerns were raised about the security of women.

    We constituted anti-Romoeo squads within 24 hours of assuming office as was promised in our election manifesto, Yogi Adityanath said.

    He said that while some opposed the move, "our mothers and sisters have appreciated it and their comments came in media".

    Justifying his government's decision to close illegal abattoirs, the chief minister said that no action was taken in the earlier regime on the directions of the National Green

    Tribunal in 2014 and Supreme Court in 2017 to shut down such slaughter houses.

    "Police officers were stabbed and beaten when they went for the closure of such slaughter houses in the previous regime. I told them (police) that now government has changed...all knives have now vanished and all illegal slaughter houses were closed. Those functioning will also be taken care of," he said.

    Yogi Adityanath also highlighted the government's loan waiver scheme for small and marginalised farmers under which loans of Rs. 36,000 crore were waived.

    "We are going to revive four sugar mills and will start expansion work in one more mill," he said.

    Yogi Adityanath stressed that his government was working to end holliganism adding that people would realise it in the days to come.

    The Chief Minister also announced that from this academic session starting from July, children going to government primary schools will get new uniform, shoes and 'chappal' (slippers) matching those worn by kids going to convent schools.

    He said the state was prepared for implementation of GST. 

    Yogi Adityanath said that Deen Dayal Upadhyay poor welfare cards will be made to support those below poverty line.

EVM Tampering Issue: Uttarakhand High Court Sends Notices To Poll Body, Winning Candidates
  • Admitting six more petitions alleging tampering of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs in different constituencies, the Uttarakhand High Court today sent notices to the state election commission and winners of these seats among others.

    Hearing a similar petition alleging tampering of EVMs last week the high court had ordered sealing of the EVMs of Vikasnagar constituency in Dehradun district.

    After last week's order of the high court six more election petitions were filed there seeking the sealing and investigation of the EVMs of six more constituencies. 

    Raj Kumar, Ambrish Kumar, Prabhu Lal Bahuguna, Godavri Thapli, Vikram Singh Negi and Charan Singh filed the petition to seal the EVMs of Rajpur Road(Dehradun), Bhel Ranipur (Haridwar), Raipur, Mussoorie, Pratapnagar and Haridwar Rural constituencies respectively.

    The single bench of Justice Servesh Kumar Gupta issued notices to the winning candidates of these constituencies along with the state election commission. The matter is to be listed after six weeks.

    Apart from the winning candidates and the state election commission, the notices have also been issued to the Election Commission of India, the Centre and the returning officers concerned.

    Rejecting the plea of the petitioners to seal and keep the EVMs and voter details in the custody of the court, the court directed the judicial magistrates of the constituencies in question to put their additional seal upon the said EVMs.

    However, no directions were given regarding the seizing or sealing of the EVMs as the court was satisfied with the fact that the Election Commission seals the machines after the conclusion of any election.

Threat Of Terrorism A Shared Worry, Says PM Narendra Modi After Meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • India and Turkey termed the constantly evolving threat of terrorism "a shared worry", saying no reason or rationale can validate terrorism. The two countries pitched for strong action against those who provide shelter and support to such forces.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held bilateral talks in New Delhi during Mr Erdogan's two-day visit to India.

    "I held an extensive conversion with the Turkish President on this subject. We agreed that no intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism," PM Modi said at a joint press conference.

    PM Modi also pitched for the need for the two countries to work as one to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing and end to cross-border movement of terrorists.

    Mr Erdogan said, "His country will always be with India in its battle against terrorism... And terrorists will be drowned in the blood they shed."  
    Ahead of his visit to India, Mr Erdogan, in a television interview, suggested a "multi-lateral dialogue" on Kashmir, offering to mediate between the India and Pakistan.

    "We live in times where our societies face new threats and challenges every day. The context and contours of some of the exiting and emerging security challenges globally are our common concern," PM Modi said at the briefing.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended a business event with PM Modi in New Delhi. He arrived in India yesterday. 

Pakistan Kills, Mutilates 2 Indian Soldiers, Army Vows Revenge
  • As India vowed revenge for the mutilation of its two soldiers killed in firing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir today, the Pakistan Army put out a denial.

    Calling India's allegation "false", the Inter-Services Public Relation said in a statement, "Pakistan Army is a highly professional force and shall never disrespect a soldier, even Indian."

    Pakistan also denied violating ceasefire.

    At around 8.30 am, an army jawan and a constable of the Border Security Force were on patrol between two forward posts when Pakistan fired rockets and mortar bombs. Sources said that Pakistan's Border Action Team crossed the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two countries, and ambushed the patrol team. It did not breach the wire fence that India uses as a boundary. The Pakistan army also kept up heavy firing at the Line of Control. When the patrol team took cover, Head Constable Prem Sagar of the Border Security Force and Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh of the army were left behind. They were killed and their bodies were mutilated.

    "In an unsoldierly act by the Pak Army, the bodies of two of our soldiers in the patrol were mutilated. Such despicable act of Pakistan Army will be appropriately responded," said the Indian army's Northern Command.

    Union Minister Arun Jaitley described the killings as "reprehensible and inhuman" and said such acts "do not take place even during war". The incident is set to worsen ties between the two countries, which have been deeply strained after repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and the death sentence handed to Indian man Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Pakistan last year.

Supreme Court Orders Medical Examination Of Calcutta High Court Judge Justice CS Karnan, Accused Of Contempt
  • Justice CS Karnan will be medically examined by government doctors, the Supreme Court has said in the latest development on the controversial judge who has challenged the country's seniormost judges after being accused of contempt. The top court today also directed courts and tribunals across the country to ignore any orders passed by Justice Karnan, who did not show up for a hearing.

    The medical examination will take place at the government hospital in Kolkata on Thursday, the Court said, and the report has to be submitted in a week. The West Bengal police chief has been asked to set up a team to help with the medical assessment.

    Justice Karnan faces contempt after he named 20 "corrupt judges" of the country earlier this year and sought an investigation alleging corruption in the judiciary.

    When he appeared in the Supreme Court in March, Justice Karnan refused to respond to the contempt notice and later went on to "summon" all seven judges in a "hearing" that he held at his Kolkata home.

    Since then, the 61-year-old judge has matched every Supreme Court order on him with his own, announced during what he calls are "residential" court hearings.

    Last month, Justice Karnan 'ordered' the Chief Justice of India and six judges to appear before him to face proceedings for "wantonly and deliberately" insulting him during the previous Supreme Court hearing.

    At a hearing on March 31, Chief Justice JS Khehar had raised questions about the judge's mental health.

    Last week, Justice Karnan asked that the chief justice and seven Supreme Court judges not be allowed to travel outside the country. The order, he said, would not be cancelled until the cases against him were scrapped.

Business Affairs 

Tata Motors sales decline 21% to 30,972 units in April
  • Tata Motors today reported a 21 per cent decline in total sales in April at 30,972 units as compared to 39,389 units in the same month last year.
    Domestic sales of Tata Motors' commercial and passenger vehicles declined by 19 per cent to 28,844 units in April, as compared to 35,604 units in the same month of the previous year.
    Sales of passenger vehicles in the domestic market grew 23 per cent to 12,827 units last month.
    "While the industry faced short-term headwinds further to the BS III verdict, Tata Motors continued its robust sales performance with a growth of 23 per cent in April led by a strong pipeline for Tiago and a positive response for our new lifestyle UV - Tata HEXA," Tata Motors President Passenger Vehicles Business Unit Mayank Pareek said in a statement.
    The company has completed the launch of Tata Tigor across the country and is delighted that it has been well received by customers, he added.
    In the commercial vehicles segment, the company's domestic sales were down 36 per cent at 16,017 units, the auto major said.
    The company said its commercial vehicles were affected by the Supreme Court judgement on March 29, banning sales of BS- III vehicles, leading to the need for a higher quantity of BS-IV stock for April sales.
    "The higher demand at short notice, was not met in production, as vendors struggled to meet with the higher demand, especially in the MHCV segments," it added.
    Moreover, after the strong pre-buying of BS-III vehicles in March, and the price increase of BS-IV vehicles especially in the MHCV and buses, demand for BS-IV vehicles was also weak, the company said.
    "This is an unusual decline, in exceptional circumstances," Tata Motors said.
    The company expects production, wholesales and retails to pick up in May and June, it added.

LPG price hiked by Rs 2, kerosene by 26 paisa
  • Subsidised cooking gas (LPG) price was on Monday hiked by about Rs 2 per cylinder and kerosene rate by 26 paisa a litre as government looks to eliminate subsidy on the fuel through small hikes.
    LPG price in Delhi was hiked by Rs 1.87 per 14.2-kg cylinder to Rs 442.77 per bottle, according to state-owned oil firms.
    Oil firms had last raised price of subsidised cooking gas by Rs 5.57 to Rs 440.90 per 14.2-kg cylinder on April 1. This hike came as the state-owned oil firms on previous two occasions -- February 1 and March 1 -- did not effect any significant raise in prices in view of assembly elections in states like Uttar Pradesh.
    Prior to that, they had raised rates by nearly Rs 2 per cylinder for eight months in line with government decision to cut subsidises through calibrated increases every month.
    Also, the rate of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was cut by Rs 92 per cylinder in line with international trends.
    The reduction comes on back of a Rs 14.50 per cylinder cut on April 1.
    Non-subsidised LPG is bought by consumers who have either given up their subsidies or exhausted the quota of 12 bottles of 14.2-kg in a year at below market price.
    Subsidised kerosene rate was hiked by Rs 0.26 per litre.
    A litre of kerosene now costs Rs 19.55 in Mumbai.
    The government is looking at eliminating subsidy on kerosene through small 25 paisa increase every month.
    Also, the price of jet fuel or ATF was cut by a marginal 0.4 per cent to Rs 51,696 per kilolitre. This reduction comes on back of a 5.1 per cent cut effected from April 1, oil companies said.
    Oil firms revise rates of ATF and cooking fuel on 1st of every month based on oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding month.

Government orders inspection, surprise checks after oil raids
  • Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today ordered inspection of all petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh and random checks elsewhere to detect short-selling of petrol and diesel by tampering with the system in dispensing units.
    The move follows Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) raids on 11 petrol pumps that found out alleged stealing of 50 ml of fuel in every litre dispensed to customers.
    Pradhan said that though the responsibility of right quantity of product dispensed lies with state governments as their weights and measures department installs seals on dispensing units, two officials of state-owned fuel retailers have been suspended following the raids.
    "We have initiated action against respective field officers. The strictest possible action will be taken against guilty petrol pumps, including termination of licence," he told reporters here.
    His ministry issued an order for inspection of all petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh and random checks in other states to check tampering in dispensing units.
    Oil marketing company representatives will accompany the UP police STF and officials of the state's weights and measures department, the food and civil supply department for inspection of all petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
    "Responsibility to ensure proper measurement lies with the state's weights and measure department, but as owners, oil marketing companies also have to share the blame," he made it clear. "Surprise checks on fuel stations are to be conducted across the country."
    The raids that unearthed a racket involving short delivery of fuel at petrol stations in Lucknow were carried at 11 petrol pumps based on specific information about tampering with fuel calibration by use of electronic chips.
    Of these, electronic chips were found at nine fuel stations, three of which belong to Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the remaining Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd BPCL).
    The minister has spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as well as the state chief secretary and the DGP on the issue.
    The central and state governments have decided to hold a meeting in Lucknow in light of the raids, which will be chaired by the state chief secretary and will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and fuel retailers.
    All petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh will be re-assessed by a team comprising representatives from the state government's weights and measures department, the civil supplies department, the special task force and OMCs.
    Pradhan hoped that the state will extend full cooperation as the annual supervision-cum-certification of fuel delivery units at fuel stations is carried out by the local government concerned.
    Consumer interest, he said, is paramount and strict action will be taken against those found guilty.
    Those dealers violating the Marketing Discipline Guidelines (MDG) will also face action amounting to even termination of licences, he warned.

    GST bill tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly
    • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill was tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly today during a special two-day session of the House convened for the purpose of passing the proposed legislation.
      Introducing the bill in the Assembly, state Finance Minister Prakash Pant said its passage by the House was necessary in view of a uniform tax regime coming into force across the country from July 1.
      As per the recommendation of the GST council, all state assemblies are required to pass the bill before July 1, when the GST comes into effect throughout the country.
      GST, which will replace a plethora of central and state taxes, is a consumption based tax levied on sale, manufacture and consumption on goods and services at a national level.
      Under it, C-GST will be levied by the Centre, S-GST by states and I-GST on inter-state supply of goods and services
      Different indirect taxes of central excise duty, central sales tax CST and service tax are to be merged with C-GST while S-GST will subsume state sales tax, VAT, luxury tax and entertainment tax.

    BS-III vehicles ban: Two-wheeler industry took Rs 600 crore hit

    • The two-wheeler industry is estimated to have incurred a loss of Rs 600 crore due to the three-day discount offered to customers after the Supreme Court ordered a ban on sale of BS-III vehicles, a report said.
      The major chunk of the loss is expected to be borne by the Original Equipment Makers (OEMS) even as retro-fitment of the unsold vehicles to make them BS IV-compliant is also an alternative, the report by ratings firm Icra said today.
      The apex court on March 29 banned the sale and registration of BS-III category vehicles or those not compliant with Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emission norms from April 1. The step was taken due to concerns on vehicular emission.
      The BS norms are emission standards imposed on automobile manufacturers which specify the maximum permissible limits for pollutants in the exhaust fumes of automobiles.
      "The total loss for the two-wheeler industry on account of the discounts offered during March 30-31, 2017 is estimated to be around Rs 600 crore, sizeable share of which would be borne by the OEMs," Senior Group Vice-President at ICRA Subrata Ray said in the report.
      BS IV emission norms, while tightening the emission limits on existing pollutants, also introduced limits on additional pollutants like nitrogen oxides.
      The SC ban triggered heavy discounts across the country as auto dealers, including those selling two-wheelers, looked to clear stocks.
      As many as 6.71 lakh two-wheelers, out of over 8 lakh BS-III vehicles, were impacted by the ban. The dealers tried to clear the BS-III inventory as fast as possible by offering massive discounts.
      "The resultant discount-induced fire-sales are likely to suppress the fourth-quarter earnings of automobile OEMs, and in particular two-wheeler OEMs," Icra said.
      ICRA also estimates that the costs associated with the heavy discounting during the March 30-31 period would have a 150-165 bps impact on the operating profitability of two- wheeler OEMs during the fourth quarter of the last fiscal.
      India, which had been following the BS III emission regime from 2010, shifted to BS IV norms for all new two- wheelers from April 1, 2016 and was required to do so for all existing vehicles from April 1, 2017.
      The major change in a two-wheeler on migration to BS IV norms would be the inclusion of carbon canisters to control evaporative emissions, the report said.
      The other changes like tightening on limits of different pollutants would be met through optimisation of the combustion process and increasing the volume and surface area of catalyst used in the catalytic converter, it added.

    General Awareness

    International Labour Day – May 1 2017

    • International labour Day is being observed on 1st of May. It is celebrated to pay tribute to workers’ sacrifices in achieving economic and social rights all over the world.
      • Theme of Labour Day is “Celebrating the International Labour Movement”.
      Key facts:
      • On this day, labour unions throughout the world celebrate and organize seminars, rallies and parades.
      • International Labour Day is also known as May day.In India, this day is celebrated as a national holiday since 1923.
      • People enjoy celebrating the May Day or Labour Day by arranging the big party and lots of programmes.
      • They decorate the banners and flags using colors just like an Independence Day celebration.
      • It is being celebrated to promote the requirement of eight-hour work day.
      • It is being celebrated because in earlier times, the working conditions of the labourers were very severe and working hours lasted 10 to 16 hour a day even in the unsafe conditions which resulted in death, injuries of workers.
      • In 1886, workers in Chicago (US) started demanding that the working period of eight hours a week and have one day off.
      • They also raised their voice for the safety of the working group.
      • After the workers struggle, eight-hours was declared as the legal time for the workers in the national convention at Chicago by the American Federation of Labour in 1886.
      • In 1889, the second meeting of the General Assembly of the International Worker held in Paris.They passed a resolution that 1st May should be celebrated as International Workers Day.
      Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Launches “One IP- Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar Based Online Claim Submission” Schemes on International Labour Day
      Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Launches “One IP- Two Dispensaries” and “Aadhaar Based Online Claim Submission” Schemes on International Labour Day.
      Key points:
      • According to Shri Bandaru Dattatrey the Government is Committed for Job Security, Wage Security and Social Security of the Workers.
      • The government has recognised the importance of labour and the contribution of workers and dedication towards their work.
      • By introducing the concept of ‘One IP- Two Dispensaries’, IP as well as their family members would now be able to get treatment from either of the dispensaries.
      • Under One IP-Two Dispensaries scheme, ESIC has given an option to an Insured Person (IP) to choose two dispensaries, one for self and another for family through an employer.
      • This will benefit all IPs, especially migrant workers who are working in other than home state, while their families are living in their native states.
      • Around 3 crore IPs are covered under ESIC and the total number of beneficiaries, i.e. IPs and their family members, is over 12 crore.

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