Current Affairs Current Affairs - 20 May 2018 - 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 - 20 May 2018

General Affairs 

For Fight Against Maoists, CRPF To Get Team Raised In Their Heartland
  • India's fight against the Maoist insurgency in some of the worst-affected areas is about to get a shot in the arm. For the first time, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has raised a battalion from Maoist-affected tribal region in Bastar. The move aims to enhance combat capabilities in Maoist strongholds in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

    The paramilitary force will commission 540 tribal youth for the effort. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will attend the passing out parade of the 543 young recruits, including 189 women combatants at the CRPF training centre at Ambikapur on Monday.

    CRPF officials say that this powerful and localised battalion of these young combatants will be immediately deployed for anti-Maoist operations. "It will give us an edge as they are aware of topography of the land. They would be deputed in some of the worst Left Wing Extremism-hit areas like Sukma, Dantewada and Bijapur," a senior official told NDTV.

    According to him, the battalion is named "Bastariya" as its members are from the Bastar region that falls in the southern part of Chhattisgarh, bordering Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Telangana.

    One of the unique characters of the 241 Bastariya Battalion is representation of 33 per cent female candidates.

    To give a fair chance to the aspirants, the Home Ministry relaxed physical standards such as height and weight for both men and women.

    "The initial phase of training focused on increasing the physical fitness of the recruits to meet the rigours training in successive semesters," said an officer in-charge of training of the battalion.

    According to him, female trainees were given special training and all of them graduated to the level of fitness at par with their male counterparts.

    The troops are going to be deployed in Chhattisgarh to fight Maoists alongside the regular and Cobra battalions.

"Every Stone Picked By Misguided Youth Destabilises Kashmir," Says PM Modi
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his one-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, appealed to the Kashmiri youth to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream. PM Modi was speaking for the first time after the centre announced a unilateral "ceasefire" with terror groups during the month of Ramzan.

    "My appeal to these misguided youth is to return to the national mainstream, which is their own family, and participate in the development of Jammu and Kashmir," PM Modi said while inaugurating the 330-MW Kishanganga power project.

    "Every stone or weapon picked up by the youth of this state is only meant to destabilise their own state. We have to take the state out of instability for our future generations," news agency PTI quoted PM Modi as saying.

    PM Modi was on a one-day visit to Leh, Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state to inaugurate infrastructure projects. He laid foundation of a tunnel at Zojila in Ladakh, inaugurated a power project in Srinagar, laid foundation stones for ring roads in twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar and a power project in Jammu. The 42.1-km, four-lane Srinagar Ring Road will link Galandar in west Srinagar to Sumbal in Bandipora district and reduce traffic congestion.

    The prime minister did not talk about Pakistan but Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti blamed Pakistan for scuttling the peace process. "You (PM Modi) took great initiative by going to Pakistan but Pakistan did not give a suitable response. Pakistan also disregarded the ceasefire by killing a soldier and five civilians," Ms Mufti said. A Border Security Force (BSF) jawan and civilians were killed when Pakistan Rangers violated ceasefire along the International Border (IB) in Jammu's RS Pura and Arnia sectors.

Jammu And Kashmir Can Provide Electricity To Entire Country: PM Modi
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Jammu and Kashmir has the potential not only to generate electricity to meet its own needs, but also to provide power to other parts of the country.

    The government is making efforts to ensure that all households in the state are electrified, as the focus is to improve the existing power distribution system, the PM Modi said.

    "Jammu and Kashmir has many rivers that have potential for electricity generation. This state has the potential not only to meet its own requirements, but can also produce power for the rest of the country," the Prime Minister said.

    "Keeping this in mind, we have been working on several projects for the past four years," PM Modi said after inaugurating the 330-MW Kishanganga power project in Srinagar.

    He said that work on the 1,000-MW Pakal Dul power project in Kishtwar district will start soon.

    "We are also making efforts to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to every household in Jammu and Kashmir, and advanced technologies such as smart meters are being used, and street lights are being modernised," PM Modi said.

    "Rs. 4,000 crore is being spent on improving the power distribution network in J&K so that every village and town of the state is lit up," he said.

    The Prime Minister said that the government was not only working on providing electricity to households in villages of the state, but also to ensure power bills do not become a burden on these households.

    "Under the Ujala scheme, we have provided over 78 lakh LED bulbs and this has saved electricity to the tune of Rs. 400 crore every year. Electricity connections are being provided free of cost to households in the state that were hitherto not electrified," PM Modi said.

    Earlier, Union Minister of State for Power, New and Renewable Energy RK Singh said commissioning of the Kishanganga power project was a special day for the country.

    "Now, we are using our rights (of power generation) under the Indus Water Treaty. It will also help us increase the generation capacity of the Uri-I and the Uri-II power projects," the minister said.

    Mr Singh congratulated the state government for ensuring electrification of all the 134 left out villages in Jammu and Kashmir.

    "We had to use helicopters at to deliver equipment at many places. We have set a deadline of electrifying all households in Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year. According to a briefing I have got, I am confident that the state government will accomplish it by November," he added.

"I'm A Fighter": What BS Yeddyurappa Said In His Resignation Speech
  • A 20-minute emotional speech by BJP's BS Yeddyurappa at the Karnataka assembly ended with him quitting as the chief minister, just two days after he was sworn in. The BJP, which won 104 of the 222 seats for which polling was held, were eight seats short of majority. The Congress and JDS combine claimed the support of 117 lawmakers. The Supreme Court had ordered BS Yeddyurappa to take a strength test today, overruling the governor's generous 15-day period. Minutes before the vote, Mr Yeddyurappa delivered a speech, calling himself a fighter and that his fight will continue.

    Here are the top quotes of BS Yeddyurappa's Resignation speech:

    Dear Kumaraswamy, I am a fighter and I will continue my fight until my last breath

    I will resign as the chief minister of Karnataka and won't go against the spirit of the democracy

    Whether I have power or not, my life is for the people

    I assure the people of the state, I will fight with all I have and win 28 of the 28 seats in the Lok Sabha elections

    Congress leaders did not have the confidence of their own leaders. They did not even let their families talk to them over the phone. I hope all of their family are in peace watching this

    I want to stand for the right things. I have been able to do this only with the love and support of people and of the farmers

    I want to serve the people of the state and save the farmers. For this, I will sacrifice my life. Until the farmers see a respectful day, I will fight

    People's mandate did not go to the Congress and neither did it go for the JDS. In-spite of this, both these parties acted like opportunists

    There is nothing that I don't have. I am content but I have the pain of not being able to serve in the position to take this state to great heights

    If we got 113 seats, the picture would have been extremely different

"PM Modi Is Corruption": Rahul Gandhi's Combative Pitch Over Karnataka
  • Minutes after BS Yeddyurappa stepped down as chief minister in Delhi, Congress Rahul Gandhi took the just-concluded battle for Karnataka right to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's door. An unusually combative Mr Gandhi, 47, said the BJP's failed effort to buy a majority in the assembly had been "directly authorised" by PM Modi and the idea that he was fighting corruption is a "blatant lie".

    "He (PM Modi) is corruption," Rahul Gandhi said, as he went ahead to thank his party leaders and people who had stood their ground. "I am proud to say that they have been shown that in India, power is not everything, money is not everything... the will of the people is everything," he said.

    "The PM's model of governance is not democracy but dictatorship," he said,

    Mr Gandhi's stinging attack drew an immediate counter from union minister Ananth Kumar. "This is the Prime Minister who has provided a scam less govt. If he levels such allegations, people will say he has lost his mind," Mr Kumar said.

    The BJP, with 104 seats, was eight short of the majority-mark - 111 but had controversially been invited by Karnataka governor to form the government on Wednesday. BS Yeddyurappa's party had tried to reach out to lawmakers from the Congress-Janata Dal Secular combine to seek support.

    The Congress-JDS alliance has accused the BJP of trying to bribe, abduct and threaten their lawmakers. It was this fear that had forced the opposition to keep their lawmakers on the move, and finally shifting them out of the state when Mr Yeddyurappa became Chief Minister.

    Over the last two days, the Congress also released three audio tapes that it alleges are recording of phone calls made by, or authorised by senior BJP leaders.

    These calls and other attempts to bribe opposition lawmakers in Karnataka, Mr Gandhi said, had been sanctioned by the BJP president and PM Modi.

    But this was in line with what, he alleged, PM Modi had been doing all this while. "He is doing everything to subvert the nation," Mr Gandhi said.

    "Did you notice that after the entire exercise in the assembly in Karnataka, the BJP legislators and Chief Minister chose to get up and leave the house before the National Anthem," Mr Gandhi said, calling it a reflection of what the Congress had been fighting.

    "The idea that you can rubbish every single institution .... Simply because you are in power," he said, hoping that the turn of events in Karnataka would hopefully have shown to the BJP that this wasn't right.

    This is something that the BJP, and the RSS have been doing to one institution after another.

    "There is no institution which is worthy of the respect of PM Modi and Amit Shah. They believe every single institution can be stepped on," Mr Gandhi said, suggesting that Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala had carried out orders from Delhi when he invited Mr Yeddyurappa to form a minority government.

Business Affairs

PM Modi inaugurates work on Asia's longest Zojila pass tunnel
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone to kick-start the work on Asia's longest bi-directional tunnel. To be built at a cost of Rs 6,809 crore, the 14.2km long tunnel will provide the all-weather land connectivity to Ladakh region, which remains cut off from the rest of the country during winters.  

    The tunnel, which will come up at an altitude of 3,528 metres high Zojila pass, is expected to bring down the travel time from 3.5 hours to 15 minutes. Once ready, the tunnel will become a lifeline for the people of Kargil and Leh. The normal life in both the towns comes to a standstill during winters as all the necessary goods and medicines are flown in via aircrafts.

    Besides ensuring that land transportation is not thrown out of gear after snowfall, the tunnel will also be of strategic importance for country's defence forces, which have stock up the supplies for several months.

    "Zojila project will be completed in five years, but I have asked the concerned ministry to look into ways to reduce the time for completion of this project," Modi said. "It (tunnel) will lead to all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions. It also has immense strategic importance," he added.

    Addressing a large congregation gathered in Leh ground for the closing ceremony for birth centenary celebrations of the 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, Modi said the Zojila tunnel would help in connecting the region with the rest of the country, a dream of the Buddhist spiritual guru.

    The Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578 feet on the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National highway and remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall, cutting off Ladakh region from Kashmir.

    Modi arrived here on Saturday morning on a day-long visit to the state, his first after the Centre announced suspension of operations against terror groups during the holy month of Ramzan.

    Modi paid tributes to Kushok Bakula Rinpoche at the closing ceremony and unveiled his plaque. He ws accompanied by J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Jitendra Singh, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office.

    Unveiling a plaque for commencing the work for the tunnel, Modi said, "Zojila tunnel is not a mere tunnel but a modern day marvel." He said the carbon dioxide would be removed from the tunnel through a tower, seven times higher than the Qutub Minar.

    Modi said it would provide connectivity to the region besides employment to the local youths. "Jammu and Kashmir is going to get development projects worth Rs 25,000 crore. These projects will have a positive impact on the people of the state," he said.

    "Today projects worth Rs 25,000 crore will either be dedicated to the nation or the foundation stone will be laid. This shows that New Delhi is completely dedicated to all-round development of state," he said.

    He said the region had a great scope for agricultural growth. The state could play a key role to help further holistic healthcare, he said, adding that they could have aromatic industry and products could be marketed the world over.

    The prime minister, while unveiling plaque for commencement of work for Zojila tunnel, said the project aims at construction of 14.15-kilometre-long two-lane bi-directional single-tube tunnel.

    The construction of this tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity among Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and would lead to all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions, he said.

    Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadakri in his address, said 90 per cent of employment would be provided to local youths in the construction of the tunnel. He said that it would help the armed forces for round-the-clock supplies.

    Welcoming the prime minister, Mufti thanked the prime minister for participating in the closing ceremony of Kushak Bakula. The chief minister said the Zojila tunnel would be instrumental in increasing tourism traffic to Ladakh region.

    Mufti also requested sanctioning of an international-level indoor stadium in Leh and Kargil as the youth here were good in sports such as ice skating and ice hockey.

    About the Zojila tunnel, she recalled that Gadkari had given a time of seven years for completion of the tunnel but the prime minister asked him to ensure that it be completed in next five years. "I'm confident that it will be completed during your tenure as prime minister," she said.

US lawmakers mull Aadhaar-like biometric ID to replace Social Security Number
  • Amid reports of massive breach of social security numbers along with identity theft, US lawmakers, encouraged by India's Aadhaar, explored the possibility of biometrics as an option, but privacy issues prevented experts from arriving at a consensus.

    In the US, a Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued to American citizens, permanent residents and temporary working residents.

    "Congress must not replace the SSN with a national biometric identifier. This would be a very bad idea," Samuel Lester, Consumer Privacy Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on future of social security numbers.

    This approach, he said, would pose serious privacy and security risks.

    "These risks would only be compounded if the US were to move towards a national biometric identifier," Lester said.

    Paul Rosenzweig, senior fellow, R Street Institute tended to disagree.

    "It really is a difference between a centralised database in a distributed database. Biometrics as a localised identifier is actually something that the President (Barack) Obama's White House supported as a substitute for passwords because they are a more readily usable by most citizens than the password system," Rosenzweig said responding to questions on biometrics from Congressman John Larson.

    According to Steve Grobman, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, McAfee, said India opted for the biometric system because they needed to ensure that an individual only registered a single time for benefits.

    "So, by using biometrics, it prevented an individual from registering in one town and then walking down the road to another town and registering again. In that case, bio-metrics was a practical technology in order to solve that specific problem," he said.

    The US does not has that problem at India's scale, he said.

    "Therefore, we should look for other less privacy intrusive mechanisms as a first step. Things such as smart cards can be a much more rapid practical option that could be distributed without requiring every citizen to have biometric," Grobman said.

    But if a key requirement is that an individual's identity is not transferable, or that an individual can't have multiple IDs, then biometrics may be worth considering, he said.

    "India has moved to a national biometric identity programme, allowing 1.3 billion citizens to prove their identities through fingerprints, facial recognition and eye iris scans. The country faced an even more difficult problem than compromised SSNs because there was no single starting database of citizens.

    "Because benefits came with being a citizen, there were concerns that an individual might attempt to register in one town under one name and then register in another town under another name. The Indian government addressed this issue by creating a biometrics database to register its population," Grobman said.

    "If your biometrics were already in the database, the government would know that you were a duplicate person. It also provided a mechanism that let you walk into any government office and reprove that you were you," he said.

    Lester said when Congress passed the Privacy Act in 1974, they were explicitly responding to and rejecting calls for a national identification system.

    There are national identification systems that rely on biometrics and other countries that raise really grave civil liberties and privacy concerns, Lester said while responding to a question during the hearing.

    "For example, in India their new biometric system Aadhaar was recently breached, compromising the biometric data on its 1.2 billion citizens," he said, adding that any problems with a biometric system are demonstrated by the recent breach of the US Office of Personnel management.

    Paul Rosenzweig said that the idea of a Smart card is a good interim solution.

    "But the smart card, a security system is not itself a terribly robust. We've all experienced a credit card fraud as well," he cautioned.

India drags US to WTO over steel, aluminium duties
  • India has dragged the US to the World Trade Organisation's dispute settlement mechanism over the imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium, an official said.

    India has stated that the decision will impact exports of these products to the US and it is not in compliance with global trade norms.

    "India has filed a dispute under the aegis of the WTO on the issue of imposing import duties by the US on certain steel and aluminium products," the official said.

    The country has sought consultations with the US under the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism.

    Seeking consultation is the first step of dispute settlement process. If the two nations are not able to reach a mutually agreed solution through consultation, India may request for a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.

    On March 9, US President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war.

    Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico.

    India too has sought exemptions from the hefty tariffs.

    Biswajit Dhar, the professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said the US decision would not only impact India's export of these goods but would also affect global trade.

    India's exports of steel and aluminium products to America stood at about USD 1.5 billion every year.

    Some experts, however, opined that dragging the US in the dispute over the issue is not in favour of India as New Delhi has a trade surplus with America.

    India's exports to the US in 2016-17 stood at USD 42.21 billion, while imports were USD 22.3 billion.

    Both the countries are already involved in disputes at the global trade body. The disputes are in the areas of poultry, solar and steel.

    The US recently filed a dispute against India on export incentives alleging these support measures harm its workers by creating an uneven playing field.

Bhushan Steel takeover: Jindal congratulates Ratan Tata, Tata Group officials
  • Steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal today congratulated Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Rata Tata and senior officials on the successful acquisition of bankrupt Bhushan Steel.

    He also exuded confidence that the Tata Group will "nurture" the good quality asset.

    Tata Steel Ltd has won the bid to acquire debt-laden Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) in an insolvency auction. The bankrupt firm was among the 12 stressed assets the RBI had referred to NCLT proceedings last year.

    "Congratulations to #TVNarendran #NChandra @RNTata2000 and @TataCompanies for the successful acquisition of #BhushanSteel. It's always gratifying when a good quality asset goes into the hands of an institution which will nurture it and build it further," Jindal said in a tweet.

    Yesterday Tata Steel said it has successfully completed the acquisition of controlling stake of 72.65 per cent in Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) through its wholly-owner subsidiary Bamnipal Steel Ltd (BNPL).

    "BNPL has successfully completed the acquisition of controlling stake of 72.65 per cent in BSL in accordance with the approved resolution plan under the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC) which has been managed by Vijaykumar V lyer, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, in his capacity as the resolution professional," Tata Steel said in a statement.

Nirav Modi may be hiding in London on Singaporean passport: report
  • After months of speculation, the whereabouts of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi may finally have been ascertained by the security agencies. Following in the footsteps of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Modi is believed to be hiding in London on a Singapore passport.

    A report in IANS, citing Enforcement Directorate (ED) sources said, Modi is currently in London while his brother Nishal Modi is in Antwerp on a Belgian passport. Nirav's sister Purvi Mehta also holds a Belgian passport and is said to be in Hong Kong at present, it added.

    The report said that Purvi's husband, Mayank Mehta (of Rosy Blue Diamond) has got a British passport and is shuttling between Hong Kong and New York. The ED has also issued summons to Nirav Modi's father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta. "They were sent the summons through mail," an ED official told IANS.

    The ED is all set to file its first prosecution complaint (PC) known as chargesheet in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case next week. The first chargesheet to be filed would consist of investigation details and documentary evidences against diamantaire Nirav Modi and others with charges of money laundering, round-tripping and siphoning of bank loans, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

    Nirav Modi's relatives were summoned in the first week of this month and were given 15 days to appear before it in the ongoing money laundering probe of over Rs. 13,000 crore.

    Business Today was the first to report that Nirav Modi's sister is likely to be named in the ED charge sheet. Purvi Mehta is an accused of round-tripping of the laundered money back to India.

    Last month, there were reports that the absconding celebrity jeweller may have fled to New York from Hong Kong. The government had submitted a request to Hong Kong authorities for provisional arrest of Nirav Modi indicating that the diamantaire may be holed up in Hong Kong.

    However, India Today TV had earlier reported that the fugitive businessman may have fled Hong Kong as there was too much heat on him after the Indian authorities had confirmed his presence in China's Special Administrative Region. 

    After three months of investigation, the CBI on May 14 filed its first chargesheet in the Rs 13,700-crore Punjab National Bank fraud at a special court in Mumbai, naming former PNB chief Usha Ananthasubramanian, currently serving as Allahabad Bank CEO and MD, and 23 others in the chargesheet.

    The New York court where three of Nirav Modi's companies filed for bankruptcy has also called for an investigation into the role of the bank's employees in the alleged fraud before deciding on proceedings.

    General Awareness

    Cauvery Management Scheme
    • Context: The Supreme Court has ordered the Central government to implement its draft Cauvery Management Scheme after finding it in consonance with its February 16 judgment. The court also found the draft scheme in conformity with Section 6A of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act.


      The apex court, in its verdict delivered on February 16, had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, including creation of the Cauvery Managament Board, for release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

      Modifications made by the Court:

      The top court had modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending the time for this on any ground.
      It had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

      About the Cauvery Management Scheme:

      The Cauvery water management scheme will deal with the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
      It will be implemented by the Cauvery Management Authority (CMA). CMA will be the sole body to implement the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award as modified by the apex court. The Centre would have no say in it except for issuing administrative advisories to it.

      What’s the dispute?

      The dispute began with Karnataka’s demand of ‘equitable sharing of the waters’ after it expanded farming activities in the Cauvery basin. It claimed that the previous agreements, which happened between erstwhile Madras Presidency and Kingdom of Mysore in 1924, were highly skewed to what is present day Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu used to get about 602 TMC of the total water, leaving only about 138 TMC for Karnataka.

      Facts for Prelims:

      Cauvery River rises on Brahmagiri Hill of the Western Ghats in south-western Karnataka state. It flows in a south-easterly direction for 475 miles through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
      Before emptying into the Bay of Bengal south of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, the river breaks into a large number of distributaries forming a wide delta called the “garden of southern India.” The river is important for its irrigation canal projects.
      In the upper course, at the Krishnaraja Sagara, the Kaveri is joined by two tributaries, the Hemavati and Lakshmantirtha, where a dam was constructed for irrigation.
      Upon entering Tamil Nadu, the Kaveri continues through a series of twisted wild gorges until it reaches Hogenakal Falls. There the Mettur Dam was construted for irrigation and hydel power.
      The Kaveri’s main tributaries are the Kabani (Kabbani), Amaravati, Noyil, and Bhavani rivers.

    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