Current Affairs Current Affairs - 25 August 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 - 25 August 2017

General Affairs 

Foreign Media On Supreme Court Saying Privacy Is Intrinsic Right
  • In a blow to the Indian government's efforts to roll out the world's biggest biometric database on its billion citizens, India's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that privacy was a fundamental right for people.

    Over the past few years, the government has aggressively pushed to compile the database, known as Aadhaar, by sending officials out to remote villages to take iris scans and fingerprints. To ensure complete enrollment, the government this year put out several notices restricting access to essential government services for those not part of the system.

    The unanimous ruling by the nine-judge bench will have huge implications in a number of ongoing cases involving Aadhaar, which means base or foundation in Hindi.

    It could put an end to the government's efforts of making enrollment mandatory. It also guarantees privacy for Indian citizens as an intrinsic right - removing it could have had far reaching implications beyond biometric IDs for the daily lives of Indians.

    Though the full implications of the ruling will only be understood after further decisions from the court, activists say the court's message to the government is loud and clear: "This judgment says that the people of this country have rights, in case you've forgotten," said Usha Ramanathan, an independent law researcher and activist speaking over the phone.

    With the right to privacy now guaranteed, opponents of Aadhaar expect favorable rulings on petitions against the governments efforts to make enrollment mandatory.

    The government says that Aadhaar is crucial for better governance and can save Indian taxpayers billions of rupees by reducing welfare and tax fraud. In court, government lawyers argued that the right of all citizens to a dignified life was more important than the elitist preoccupation with privacy.

    But activists say that such an extensive collection of data is prone to leaks and misuse, endangering privacy for a sixth of the world's population.

    In extraordinary hearings, government lawyers dredged up old rulings to argue that Indians did not have a fundamental right to privacy. "It's a very dramatic thing when a government goes to court and says that," said Ramanathan. "It sets the government against the people."

    In recent months, government notices said that as part of the Aadhar program, Indians would have to use a 12-digit unique identification number (known as the UID) in order to participate in almost every aspect of civic life - filing income tax returns, applying for railway jobs or opening bank accounts.

    Government rules especially targeted the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society, Ramanathan said, by restricting access to services such as free midday meals and allowances for tuberculosis patients.

    Unlike social security numbers, UIDs would be accessible to various government agencies and private organizations. In recent months, government websites have mistakenly leaked thousands of UIDs.

    "They want a system where you'd have to enter that number to get basic things you were entitled to, where you'd have to give your thumbprint to get your rations, your wages which you'd worked for, or pensions for the elderly," Ramanathan said.

    Reetika Khera, an economist at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi said that the government could potentially use Aadhaar as a surveillance program. "They will be able to say for example that I went on the train from Delhi to Jharkhand, where I got off, withdrew so much cash, then went to forest of Mahuadanr and conclude that she must be funding Naxalites [an insurgent rebel group] whereas I've actually gone to supervise research in the forest." The government's plan if fully implemented, she said, would treat every Indian citizen as a potential criminal. "What is the origin of biometric IDs?" she said rhetorically. "It's for criminals."

    "Even during the Emergency we didn't have that," said Ramanathan, referring to a three-year period from 1975-1977 when the government ruled by decree. "During the Emergency, they took away citizens' ability to defend their right to privacy in court. Here they're trying to take away the right itself."

    A spokesman from the Unique Identification Authority of India, which oversees Aadhaar said that the agency would comment only after the full judgment had been released.

India, Nepal Sign 8 Pacts, Including In Countering Drug Trafficking
  • India and Nepal today inked eight pacts, including on cooperation in countering drug trafficking. The pacts were signed after comprehensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba on strategic bilateral and regional issues.

    "Had a positive meeting reviewing the gamut of our partnership," PM Modi said at a joint press event with Deuba and assured him of India's commitment towards overall growth and development of the Himalayan nation.

    Mr Deuba said Nepal would "never allow any anti-India activities from its soil".

    The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur cross border power transmission lines.

    PM Modi identified defence and security as an important aspect of bilateral ties.

    Earlier, Mr Deuba was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, where he is staying as a state guest. Mr Deuba arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a four-day visit, his first foreign trip after assuming office in June this year.

Gorakhpur Deaths: FIR Against 9, Additional Chief Secretary Shunted
  • An FIR has been registered against nine persons, including the former principal of Gorakhpur based BRD Medical College, in connection with the deaths of over 60 children there due to alleged lack of oxygen supply, police said today.

    The proprietors of M/s Pushpa Sales, the company responsible for the supply of liquid oxygen, have also been named in the FIR.

    Besides, the state government has transferred Additional Chief Secretary (Medical Education) Anita Bhatnagar Jain in connection with the tragedy, an official spokesperson said.

    A probe committee, headed by the state chief secretary, had yesterday submitted its report on the deaths to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

    "An FIR has been filed against nine persons including former principal Dr Rajiv Mishra, his wife Dr Purnima Shukla, Dr Kafeel Khan and the proprietors of M/s Pushpa Sales," Additional Director General (Lucknow Zone) Abhay Prasad told PTI.

    The FIR was filed under various IPC sections relating to criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide and relevant provisions of the Anti Corruption Act by Director General, Medical Education, KK Gupta at the Hazratganj police sation here, the ADG said.

    The case has been transferred to Gorakhpur, he said.

    The probe committee had recommended initiating criminal action against the then principal of the medical college, HoD Anaesthesia Paediatric department Dr Satish, in-charge of 100 -bed AES ward Dr Kafeel Khan and M/s Pushpa Sales.

    The committee had also recommended action under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Dr Rajiv Mishra, Dr Poornima Shukla, staff of accounts department of the medical college and chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal.

    It had also called for a special CAG audit of the medicines and chemicals purchased by the medical college in the past three years.

    Recommendations were also made to initiate criminal action against Dr Khan for concealing facts and filing false affidavit and working against the rules of the Indian Medical Council.

    The chief minister, while accepting the report, had ordered immediate action against all the guilty officials and staff.

    Chief Minister Adityanath had formed the committee on August 12, a day after the deaths of children were reported at the hospital.

    The state government has also shunted out additional chief secretary medical education Anita Bhatnagar Jain.

    Rajneesh Dubey, who is presently principal secretary revenue, would be holding the additional charge of the medical education department.

Court Of Inquiry Ordered Into Death Of 2 Cadets At Indian Military Academy
  • A probe has been ordered into the death of two military cadets who collapsedduring training last week due to dehydration and exhaustion. Five more cadets had also fallen ill but their condition was stable.

    The cadets, who had recently joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, had gone to Saharanpur district's Badshahi Bagh for a training camp.

    During a 10-km run that aim to boost the cadets' stamina and endurance, seven cadets fell ill due to dehydration.

    One cadet, Deepak Sharma, was rushed to a local medical centre as his condition was critical, the rest were evacuated to the military hospital at Dehradun.

    Deepak Sharma, 22, from Punjab's Bhatinda died on Friday afternoon.

    A second cadet, Nabin Kumar Chhetri, also died a few hours later at the military hospital.

    A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the death of two Indian Military Academy (IMA) cadets in Dehradun, news agency Press Trust of India said on Wednesday.

    In a statement, the army had attributed the deaths to exhaustion and dehydration.

    The Court of Inquiry would go beyond the prima facie conclusion and conduct a deeper probe into the cause and circumstances of the death of the two cadets and illness of five others. It is also expected to evaluate the health record of the cadets as well.

    Given the risks involved during training, the army mandates that cadets have to get themselves insured for Rs. 50 lakh for death, and Rs. 20 lakhs for 100 percent disability. But cadets who end up with a severe disability and are boarded out do not get a pension but a monthly "ex-gratia" award.

    In 2015, a defence ministry committee had criticised the practice of disallowing officer cadets from getting pension if they are injured during their training. In contrast, it pointed out that army jawans and police officers who are boarded out under similar conditions are entitled for a pension. In the last three years, 26 National Defence Academy cadets were declared unfit and withdrawn from training due to their injuries.

SpaceX Unveils Peek At Sleek New Spacesuit
  • Spacex's chief executive Elon Musk gave a sneak peek Wednesday at the California-based company's futuristic new spacesuit.

    In an Instagram post, the sleek, white material appears lighter weight than the bulky spacesuits worn by NASA astronauts, and is accented with gray stitched seams and an American flag patch on the shoulder.

    The male model wearing it is seat-belted inside a spaceship, and also dons a white helmet with shaded face-shield. No details below the chest are visible.

    "First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow," Musk wrote.

    "Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup)," he added.

    "Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately."

    The suit could be worn by the first astronauts to ride to space on SpaceX's upcoming Dragon crew capsules, with flights scheduled as early as next year.

    SpaceX is working on a version of its Dragon cargo capsule that will be able to carry people to low-Earth orbit.

    Once it does, the United States will again have access via its own spaceships to the International Space Station.

    Ever since the US space shuttle program was retired in 2011 after 30 years, Americans have had to rely on Russia for rides to space aboard the Soyuz spacecraft.

Business Affairs

Unending worries in Tata Steel Europe-ThyssenKrupp merger
  • The Tata Steel-ThyssenKrupp merger plan in Europe is facing hurdles after hurdles ever since the both the companies announced about the negotiations about 14 months back. The latest is that the politicians and trade unions in Germany oppose the merger after fear of job losses. In addition, a German media reported about another merger of steelmakers there and ThyssenKrupp is rumoured to be in it. But the steel industry executive, who is reportedly involved in it, denied such a move. 

    According to a report, the German trade unions want the steel businesses to remain under their controls. Tata should go outside, a trade unionist was quoted. Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall, earlier said it was opposed to the tie-up and described it as "high risk" amid fears it would lead to thousands of job losses and the closure of plants in Germany.

    Thyssenkrupp has been in talks with Tata Steel for about a year and a half for merging their European steel operations to cut costs and fight overcapacity. But the negotiations have been hampered by Tata's large steel pension liabilities in Britain. The pension fund has 130,000 members and liabilities of GBP 15 billion. Thyssenkrupp showed the reluctance in taking over the financial burden. It led Tatas to talk to regulators about spinning off the old pension scheme and entering into a new one. 

    Tata Steel UK said about a few days back that it had signed the documentation for a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement (RAA) with the Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), offering more sustainable outcomes for pensioners, employees and the business. When the RAA comes into effect, the BSPS will be separated from Tata Steel UK and its affiliated companies. The Pensions Regulator will confirm the approval of RAA, which would take effect after Tata Steel UK makes a settlement payment of Euro 550 million to the BSPS. Also, shares in Tata Steel UK would be issued to the BSPS Trustee under the terms of a shareholders' agreement, which would lead to a 33 per cent economic equity stake in Tata Steel UK being held by the trustee. 

    The revenues of Tata Steel UK has grown 11 per cent in the first quarter to Rs 14,078 crore, while profits (before exceptional items, interest, tax and depreciation) increased to Rs 1,252.52 crore, compared to Rs 889.73 crore in the same period last year. The group (including India and South Asia business) has registered a profit of Rs 921 crore in the quarter as against losses of Rs 3200 crore. 

    Steel prices are improving globally giving hope to the distressed steel mills of Tata Steel in Europe. EU economy expected to grow by 2.2 per cent in 2017, while UK economy forecast to grow slower by 1.7 per cent, thanks to higher inflation weakens consumer spending. European steel demand, which is under pressure from imports, expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in this year in line with modest economic growth. 

    The proposed merger will secure the future of the Port Talbot steel works and a total of 8,000 UK jobs. Earlier this year the workers voted in favour of proposals to rescue the business. On Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Tata Steel's share price risen by 72 per cent in the last one year to Rs 638 on Thursday, on the back of ThyssenKrupp merger talks and recovering steel demand across the globe.

Supreme Court clarifies on liquor ban; stocks rally up to 12%
  • The Supreme Court on Thursday clarified that liquor ban on highways does not extend to municipal areas. Shares of liquor companies have rallied by up to 12 per cent on BSE today.
    The stock of United Spirits climbed by 3.89 per cent to settle at Rs 2,567.65 on the BSE. In the intra-day trade, the scrip had risen 5.51 per cent to Rs 2,607.90.
    GM Breweries' scrip swelled by 5.03 per cent to close at Rs 421.75. During the trading session, the stock had touched a high of Rs 444 and a low of Rs 412.35.
    Among other liquor stocks, Globus Spirits witnessed a maximum gain of 12.10 per cent to close at Rs 72.70, while Pincon Spirit advanced 9.99 per cent to Rs 47.90.
    Besides, Empee Distilleries rose 3.68 per cent higher followed by Som Distilleries & Breweries (3.39 per cent), Pioneer Distilleries (2.68 per cent), Winsome Breweries (2.44 per cent), Khoday India (2.24 per cent), Tilaknagar Industries (1.93 per cent) and Radico Khaitan (1.85 per cent).
    According to media reports, the Supreme court on Wednesday clarified that the liquor ban on highways did not apply to licensed establishments falling within municipal areas.
    The order to ban liquor outlets within 500 metres of national and state highways from April 1 was first issued on December 15, 2016.

Sensex, Nifty close marginally higher; pharma stocks rally
  • The Sensex closed marginally higher on Thursday aided by pharma sector stocks and Infosys which rose on reports Nandan Nilekani is likely to return to the firm's board.
    While the Sensex rose 0.09 percent or 28.05 points to 31,596 level, the NSE Nifty ended 0.05 percent or 4.55 points higher at 9857.05 level.
    Pharma stocks led the gains on the 30-stock Sensex.
    Lupin (3.87 percent), Sun Pharma (3.10 percent), Dr Reddy's (2.88 percent) and Cipla (2.50 percent) were the top gainers on the index.
    The BSE healthcare index rose 2.53 percent or 326 points to 13,226 level..
    Infosys closed 2.01 percent or 18 points higher at 912.50 level amid reports that co-founder Nandan Nilekani is set to rejoin the board after former CEO and MD Vishal Sikka put in his papers on August 18, 2017.
    Infosys was also the second-most traded stock in terms of total turnover with Rs 11886 crore worth shares traded on the BSE.
    Top volume grosser on the BSE was Kajaria Ceramics with shares worth Rs 13,615 lakh traded on the BSE.
    The stock was also the top gainer logging 8.16 percent or 53.10 points rise on the BSE.
    Stock of market heavyweight Reliance Industries closed 0.88 percent or 14 points lower at 1,567 level few hours ahead of the bookings of Jio Phone was about to commence.
    Shares of liquor stocks surged after the Supreme Court clarified that the liquor ban on highways did not apply to licensed establishments falling within municipal areas.
    Globus Spirits (11.26 percent ),  Pincon Spirit (10 percent),  Tilaknagar Industries (1.93 percent) and  United Spirits (3.89 percent) gained on the court's clarification.
    Market breadth was positive with 1432 stocks closing higher against 1126 falling on the BSE. 149 stocks remained unchanged.
    Global markets
    In early trading, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent to 7,408.39. France's CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 5,133.54 and Germany's DAX advanced 0.3 percent to 12,214.81. Futures augured a lukewarm start on Wall Street. S&P futures added less than 0.1 percent while Dow futures advanced 0.1 percent.
    ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4 percent to 19,353.77 but South Korea's Kospi rose 0.4 percent to 2,375.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 0.4 percent to 27,518.60 while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,271.51. Australia's S&P ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,745.50. Stocks in Southeast Asia were mixed. 

RBI's new Rs 200 note another example why social media should not be trusted
  • Reserve Bank of India has announced that Rs 200 notes will be issued tomorrow. The new note had been making headlines for a few months now. Rs 200 note caught the limelight first when it appeared on social media websites and WhatApp. And interestingly, it does not look anything similar to the actual note that the central bank issued today.
    The images that surfaced back in April earlier this year showed the Rs 200 notes with blue as base colour. On the other hand, the official images released by RBI earlier this morning shows base colour of new Rs 200 to be bright yellow. The leaked images missed a few features seen on the obverse of the note, too. The raised identification mark, meant for visually impaired, in the shape of 'H' with Rs 200 written in micro-text seen on the lower right side in the official samples of the new currency notes are not present on the images seen earlier. The leaked images show a hyphen with Rs 200 written on it instead.
    The four angular bleed lines with two circles between them, seen on both ends, were also depicted differently in the leaked images of Rs 200 notes. The designs and geometric shapes seen on new notes too are different from what was seen in the leaked images. The leaked images did not show the reverse of the note, either.
    RBI's plan to bring Rs 200 denomination note into circulation is expected to facilitate cash transaction, which is usually troublesome due to lack of smaller denomination notes. Currently, there is no denomination between Rs 100 and Rs 500, the introduction of Rs 200 note is likely to make cash transactions smoother.
    The new notes will be available from tomorrow on select RBI branches and bank offices.

Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal vows to work with 'missionary zeal'
  • Senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal today took charge as the interim CMD of Air India, saying that he is committed to working on the airline's profitability with a "missionary zeal".
    The state-owned airline, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore, has been in the red for long but managed to eke out operational profit for the first time in a decade in 2015-16.
    "We will plan to work on profitability with a missionary zeal, improve our on time performance and ensure customer satisfaction," Bansal said in a statement soon after assuming charge as Air India's Chairman and Managing Director.
    "I seek the support of all fellow Indians to fly Air India our national carrier - Air India - Truly Indian," he said.
    Bansal replaced Ashwani Lohani, who has assumed office as Railway Board Chairman.
    "I feel happy and proud to be given this opportunity to lead the national carrier. The company has been growing from strength to strength - inducting new aircraft and introducing new routes," Bansal said after formally taking office from Lohani.
    Bansal, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser at the petroleum ministry, was appointed Air India's interim CMD on Wednesday.
    According to the release, Bansal had served as a director in the civil aviation ministry and played a crucial role as a board member of the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) during the formative years of the merged national carrier.
    He has also served as the board member of the Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, the release said.
    A Nagaland cadre IAS officer, Bansal had been a joint secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) where he had handled the areas of digital payments, IT Act, Aadhaar, and internet governance.
    A civil engineer by profession, Bansal graduated from IIT Delhi in 1986. He also has a Diploma in Finance from ICFAI, Hyderabad and an Executive Masters in International Business from IIFT, Delhi.

General Awareness

TRAI signs deal with Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission

  • On August 22,2017 The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)  has signed an agreement with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to strengthen the cooperation in the fields of broadcasting and telecommunications regulation.
    The two telecom regulators signed a letter of intent (LoI) which helps to exchange information and regulatory best practices.
    Trai chairman RS Sharma and MCMC chairman Halim Shafie were signatories to the agreement which will enhance cooperation and bilateral ties between the two entities.
    About TRAI
    The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is the supervisory body of the telecommunications sector in India. It was established on 20 February 1997 under an Act of Parliament to regulate telecom services and tariffs in India.
    TRAI issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service, Direct To Home (DTH) services and mobile number portability on a regular basis.
    Headquarters            –              Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhawan, New Delhi
    Regulatory executives   –              R. S. Sharma(Chairman), Sudhir Gupta( Secretary)
    About The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission 
    MCMC is a regulatory body of the communications and multimedia industry based on the powers provided for in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998), the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998),and the Strategic Trade Act (2010).
    It is also used to implement and promote the Government’s national policy objectives for the communications and multimedia sector.
    Formed on          –              1 November 1998
    Headquarters    –              Cyberjaya , Selangor

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