Current Affairs Current Affairs - 04 October 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 - 04 October 2018

General Affairs 

"Extremely Serious Issue": Top Court To Centre After 23 Lions Die At Gir
  • Twenty three lions have died in Gujarat's Gir forest in the last three weeks. A deadly combination of virus and protozoal infection killed at least 11 of them, the state government said today. The condition of three of over 36 lions currently under observation of Forest department is critical, officials said.
    Worried over the continuing deaths of lions in the Gir sanctuary, the Supreme Court has asked the centre about its plan of action and said, "What are you doing on the issue of lions? It is very serious."

    "Today, we are faced with a peculiar problem. Lions are dying. There seems to be some kind of virus. We do not know. It is coming in newspapers. You find it out," a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ANS Nadkarni, who was appearing for the centre.

    "If there is any kind of virus infection, all lions will be wiped out from the area," advocate Ritwick Dutta told the bench, which was hearing a matter related to the re-introduction of cheetahs in India from Namibia in Africa.

    Mr Dutta said the manner in which the lions have died, there was a fear of the epidemic spreading to other animals.

    But the forest department has been saying that injuries caused by infighting are behind the deaths of Asiatic lions.

    Meanwhile, state Forest and Environment Minister Ganpat Vasava told reporters that Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) was found in the samples of four of the eleven dead lions by Pune-based National Institute of Virology, and protozoa in the rest.

    Canine distemper affects a wide variety of animal species, including dogs, coyotes, foxes, pandas and wolves. It attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of animals.

    In the past, CDV had wiped out 30 per cent of total population of lions in Serengeti forest areas in East Africa.

    Additional Chief Secretary, state forest department, Rajiv Kumar Gupta said CDV didn't cause deaths but it affects immunity of infected lions.

    "Lions with CDV can be infected by protozoa infection which is spread by ticks. The presence of both of these causes death. We have found CDV in four and protozoa in seven out of eleven dead lions," Mr Gupta said.

    He said the government has taken a serious note of the presence of CDV though its spread is restricted to four lions so far.

    Mr Gupta said forest officials will collect random samples of blood and swabs of lions from other ranges of the Gir forest, as a measure to ascertain their health status.

    About 300 shots of vaccine have been imported from the US to protect the lions, they said.

    "In the next seven days, we will vaccinate all the cattle present in surrounding areas of the Gir forest," he said.

    "We have also sought national and international help to contain the issue. We are also seeking the help of experts of Royal Veterinary Society of London," he said.

    The Forest department had launched a screening operation in Dalkhaniya range of Gir sanctuary to identify sick lions following the death of 11 lions between September 12 and 19.

    A total of 12 sick lions, which were caught and shifted to a rescue centre, have died in the last three weeks, taking the toll to 23.

    According to a 2015 census, Gir is home to 523 lions, including 109 male, 201 female, 73 sub-adults and 140 cubs.

Government Hikes Wheat MSP By Rs. 105 Per Quintal
  • The government on Wednesday announced 6 per cent hike in support price of wheat at Rs. 1,840 per quintal, a move that will give farmers an additional income of Rs. 62,635 crore and help contain their simmering discontent over high input cost and low sales realisation.
    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved higher minimum support price (MSP) for winter-sown or Rabi crops.

    The decision will help farmers earn an additional income of Rs. 62,635 crore, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here after the meeting.

    The decision comes within months of announcing higher price for Kharif crops, when the government fulfilled its promise of giving farmers 50 per cent more price than their cost of production.

    The cabinet has approved a Rs. 105 per quintal hike in wheat MSP to Rs. 1,840 for 2018-19 season, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

    The MSP of wheat was Rs. 1,735 per quintal in the 2017-18 crop year.

    Mr Singh said the MSP for all Rabi crops is higher than the cost of production ranging from 50-112 per cent.

    As per the CCEA decision, the MSP of barley has been increased by Rs. 30 per quintal to Rs. 1,440 per quintal, while that of gram (Chana) by Rs. 220 per quintal to Rs. 4,620 per quintal.

    Masur's MSP has been raised by Rs. 225 to Rs. 4,275 per quintal, while the support price of rapeseed/mustard has been hiked by Rs. 200 to Rs. 4,200 per quintal. Safflower MSP has been increased by Rs. 845 per quintal to Rs. 4,945.

    The support price has been increased based on the recommendations of farm advisory body CACP (Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices) and is in line with the government's announcement to provide farmers a 50 per cent profit over the cost of production.

After Delhi March, Farmers Say Protest Will Continue Till Demands Are Met
  • The standoff between protesting farmers and police at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border ended last night after the protesters reached an agreement with the government and they were allowed to march to the Kisan Ghat, the memorial of farmer leader and former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

    The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), which spearheaded the 10-day "Kisan Kranti Yatra" from Haridwar to Delhi, said it has managed to convey its demands to the government and the agitation would be resumed if the demands are not accepted. 

    BKU leader Rakesh Tikait told IANS that the objective of the march was to make the government aware of the problems being faced by the farmers, which has been achieved.

    "We went to the Kisan Ghat in the night as the march was supposed to culminate there. We have succeeded in putting our views and demands before the government. Now, it is up to the government to take decisions," Mr Tikait said, adding protest will be held again if the government fails to fulfil their demands.

    "Farmers came and raised their voice. The work was was a big march," he said.

    On the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, the Central government allowed the protesting farmers to enter Delhi, ending the prolonged standoff between the police personnel and protesting farmers.

    The protesters had reached the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border on Monday. The protest turned violent on Tuesday as they tried to break barricades and run them over with tractors to enter the national capital, forcing police to use water cannons and tear gas.

    Led by BKU president Naresh Tikait, over 400 tractors carrying thousands of farmers reached Kisan Ghat at around 2 a.m. Tikait declared it as the "victory of farmers" and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has failed in its "motives".

    "The farmers remained unfazed despite all the hardships. We have been marching for 12 days now, farmers are also tired. We will continue to demand our rights but for now we are ending the march," Naresh Tikait told IANS at Kisan Ghat.

    At around 5.30 a.m, the farmers began dispersing from the Kisan Ghat.

    They also hailed Chaudhary Charan Singh, widely regarded as a hero of the country's peasants, and applauded the coming together of farmers. 

    The farmers had a charter of 15 demands including immediate loan waiver and fair prices for crops.

    Their other demands include revoking of the ban on 10-year-old tractors in the National Capital Region (NCR), reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears.

    With representatives of farmers holding discussions with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the government on Tuesday agreed to take "effective measures" to fulfil seven of their 15 demands.

    The government assurances included filing a review petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for revoking the ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles (tractors), bringing farm-related products under 5 per cent bracket of Goods and Services Tax (GST), extension of MSP providing 50 per cent profit over the production cost to all notified Rabi crops and boosting the procurement system. 

    The farmers said their prime demand for increasing the price of crops has been agreed to by the government.

    "A formal announcement in this regard will be made within six days by the government," said Rakesh Tikait, shortly before the farmers called off their march.

No Urgent Hearing Till Parameters Fixed, Says Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi
  • Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who became the 46th Chief Justice of India today, issued a new roster hours after taking oath, in which he kept most of the Public Interest Litigations with himself. Some of the cases will be heard by Justice Madan B Lokur.

    "No urgent mentioning of cases will be allowed" till certain "parameters" are fixed for it, the new Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. "We will work out the parameters then we will see as to how mentioning will be done... If somebody is going to be hanged tomorrow, then we can understand (urgency)", Chief Justice Gogoi said.

    President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath to the 63-year-old Justice Gogoi at a brief ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan's Darbar Hall this morning. Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who succeeds Justice Dipak Misra, will have a tenure of a little over 13 months and would retire on November 17, 2019.

    The issue of rostering of the Supreme Court judges had made headlines in January after four of the court's most senior judges held an unprecedented press conference to flag their concerns on the issue. Cases of national importance, they said, were being assigned to judges who are lower in the top court's hierarchy.

    After a petition was also filed on the issue, a two-judge bench of the top court upheld the verdict of two earlier benches, declaring that the Chief Justice of India was the "master of the roster".
    "The Chief Justice has the role of first among equals and is empowered to exercise leadership in administration of the court which includes assignment of cases," said Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan. Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who was the object of criticism, thereafter put up the roster in the website of the top court.

    In his last weeks, Chief Justice Misra, at the head of a five-judge constitution bench, had taken calls on a record number of cases that had a huge impact on the country's social fabric. From gay rights to adultery and entrance for woman in Kerala's famous Sabarimala temple, the bench had delivered a series of landmark verdicts.

Government To Deport 7 Rohingya, UN Says Violation Of International Law
  • Seven Rohingya Muslims, who have been in India since 2012 and served jail terms for illegal entry, will be sent back to Myanmar, where violence against the ethnic minority has spiked in the Rakhine region.  The move of the government -- which considers Rohingya Muslims illegal immigrants and a threat to national security -- has drawn criticism from the United Nations, which said their forcible return could mean a violation of international law.
    "Given the ethnic identity of the men, this is a flagrant denial of their right to protection and could amount to refoulement," said Tendayi Achiume, the UN Special Rapporteur on racism.

    The government, she said, has an "international legal obligation" to acknowledge the "institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection".  

    Sources said the Rohingya Muslims - who are from Kyauk Daw township in central Rakhine -- are being deported from a detention centre in Assam's Silchar. They would be handed over to the Myanmar authorities tomorrow.  Myanmar, sources said, is satisfied with all documentation and their identities.

    The deportations are based on a government order sent in August last year, which has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The court is considering a petition that has called the 2017 order "unconstitutional".

    There are around 40,000 people from the Rohingya community in India, 16,000 of whom are registered with the UN refugee agency.  In a submission to the Supreme Court, the government has said the Rohingya are a threat to national security, have links with terror groups and are likely to be used by the ISIS for terror attacks.

    Today, when activist Prashant Bhushan wanted urgent hearing for a petition against the deportation, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said, "No mentioning for urgent hearing... unless someone is hanged tomorrow, don't mention for urgent hearing."

    "We are working out a system.  If the case is urgent it will be listed... You file the petition.  We will read it. If it is urgent we will list it," he added.

    UN chief Antonio Guterres has said India should use its influence with Myanmar for reconciliation on Rohingya issue. "I believe that countries like India that have really good relations with Myanmar are in a good place to put all possible pressure, like China, like others, on Myanmar to do this kind of investments and to create the conditions for people to go back," he said at a programme in Delhi.

Business Affairs

IL&FS chairman Ravi Parthasarathy got 144% salary hike in FY18
  • The government has levelled charges of mis-management and mis-governance on the IL&FS board while justifying its move to remove the existing board and instate a new six-member board.

    One of its allegations against the earlier board was that "the company continued to pay dividends and huge managerial pay-outs regardless of looming liquidity crisis". The government said that this shows that the management had lost total credibility.

    A look at the annual report of the company suggests that the average percentage increase in the managerial remuneration was 66 per cent in 2017-18. While the average percentage increase in the salaries of employees other than managerial personnel during the year was 4.44 per cent.

    Ravi Parthasarathy, the Chairman, got a 144 per cent jump in remunerations last year, while Hari Sankaran, Vice-chairman and managing director, got a 3.86 per cent hike and Arun K Saha, Joint Managing Director & CEO, 10.43 per cent hike. Parthasarthy's total salary in 2017-18 was Rs 26.3 crore, while Sankaran's salary was Rs 7.7 crore.

    In the previous year, though, both Parthasarthy and Sankaran took a cut of 2 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively. The average percentage increase in the salaries of employees other than managerial personnel in 2016-17 was 1.76 per cent and the average percentage increase in the managerial remuneration was 0.22 per cent.

    As on March 31, 2018, the company had 131 permanent employees on its payroll other than three whole-time directors of the company.

    Meanwhile, the board of the company at its meeting held on August 29, 2018 had recommended a final dividend of 10 per cent on the paid up equity share capital of the company for 2017-18. In the previous year, the board had recommended a dividend of 42.5 per cent.

    The company paid dividend of Rs 65.70 crore in 2017-18 compared to Rs 169 crore in the previous year.

    The company posted a standalone profit of Rs 584 crore in 2017-18 compared to Rs 383 crore in the previous year. It has 24 direct subsidiaries, 135 indirect subsidiaries and 6 joint ventures.

    The government in a press release has said that IL&FS Group has infrastructure and financial assets exceeding Rs 11,5000 crore and is struggling to service around Rs 91,000 crore in debt "which is the outcome of its mismanaged borrowings in the past."

    The statement further said that "the financial mismanagement of the IL&FS is apparent from its rapid debt built up and misrepresentation of true state of financial fragility, which is being reflected in unprecedented rating downgrade from highly rated to a default category."

Why rupee may breach 75 mark against US dollar anytime soon
  • With volatility in the market taking a toll on indices and individual stocks this year, the Indian rupee came under severe pressure and hit its all-time low of 73.41 against the US dollar today.

    Of late, the fall in Indian currency can be attributed to global and domestic cues. Brokerages have become cautious setting lower targets for rupee due to deteriorating conditions for the currency at home and abroad.

    In fact, DBS Bank forecast says that the currency will slide to as weak as 75 per dollar. UBS Securities India too cut its year-end forecast to 73 from 66, while Scotiabank saw the rupee nearing 74 in the run up to the Federal Reserve meeting.  

    Here's a look at factors why the currency could hit the 75 level against the US dollar anytime soon:

    High crude oil price: Of late, crude oil prices have been on a boil. Brent crude oil prices breached the $85 per barrel for the first time in over four years yesterday on the back of tightening oil market and OPEC leaders signalling they won't be immediately raising the output.

    Currently, brent crude price is trading at $84.92 per barrel. The brent crude oil price has risen 27.68 per cent from 66.57 level since the beginning of this year.

    India imports 81 per cent of its crude oil needs and is the third-largest importer of oil after US and China.

    Since payment of crude oil prices is done in dollars, a higher crude rate leads to more amount of rupee being converted to dollar, thereby strengthening the US currency.

    Rupee dollar rate is a function of demand and supply. When demand for dollar is high, rupee becomes weak and when dollar demand is low, the Indian currency gains.

    Worse, forecasts see oil at $100 per barrel within an year.

    Oil prices could rise towards $100 per barrel by 2019 as US sanctions against Iran tighten markets, commodity merchants Trafigura and Mercuria said.

    This will be bad news for the Indian currency since high crude oil prices will lead to a rise in high current account deficit.

    Current account deficit

    A burgeoning current account deficit (CAD) has become a big worry for the home currency. CAD in the first quarter of this fiscal widened to $15.8 billion, which is around 2.4 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as compared with $15 billion in the corresponding quarter a year before.

    In the January-March quarter, the trade shortfall stood at 1.9 per cent of the GDP.

    A rise in the current account deficit leads to depreciation in the value of rupee since more quantity of local currency needs to be utilised for payment of higher imports.

    Meanwhile, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has widened its current account deficit (CAD) estimate by 0.20 per cent to 2.8 per cent of GDP for fiscal year 2018-19 citing high crude oil prices which the brokerage said can reach up to $95 by June 2019.

    It also raised its forecast by 0.10 per cent to 2.9 per cent in FY'20 with oil strategists hiking Brent forecasts, the brokerage said.

    Economists expect the CAD to rise to 2.7-2.8 per cent of the GDP this year year on higher imports of electronic goods and rising oil prices.

    FPI withdrawals:

    Overseas investors pulled out a massive Rs 21,000 crore ($3 billion) from the capital markets in September, making it the steepest outflow in four months, on widening current account deficit amid global trade tensions.

    The latest withdrawal comes following a net infusion of close to Rs 5,200 crore in the capital markets (both equity and debt) last month and Rs 2,300 crore in July.

    Since the beginning of this year, FPIs have withdrawn Rs 63,864 crore from Indian markets, putting pressure on the Indian currency which is down over 13 per cent during the same period.

    Outflow of funds from the Indian market leads to a fall in the value of rupee since there is more demand for dollars from foreign investors after exiting the Indian market.

    High REER

    The Real effective exchange rate (REER) signals the competitiveness of a country's currency in comparison to a basket of currencies, adjusted for inflation effects.

    It calculates the purchasing power of a currency by adjusting the nominal exchange rate for inflation effects.

    When the currency is overvalued, domestic prices are higher by international standards and domestic producers are not competitive.

    When the currency is undervalued, domestic prices are lower by international standards and domestic producers are more competitive than their foreign counterparts.

    In July this year, trade-based weights data for REER stood at 115.32.

    In terms of export-based weights, REER value stood at 117.1 pointing to 17.1 per cent overvaluation for the Indian currency. It closed at 68.45 level on July 31 compared to 68.54 in the beginning of that month.

    A level above 100 signals the rupee is overvalued while a level below 100 shows that the currency is undervalued.

    Since, the currency is still overvalued after falling nearly 13 per cent on an year-to-date basis, chances are high that rupee may fall further in order to become fairly valued.

    Strong dollar

    The dollar is hovering near 10-week high level ahead of the 95.27 after the US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate to between 2-2.25 per cent on Wednesday in its ninth increase since late 2015.

    Before the Federal Reserve raised rates, the dollar was trading at 94.14 level.

    The US dollar index has risen over 2 per cent since the beginning of this year.

    The American currency which dominates the global currency market rose further post interest rate hike compared with emerging market currencies

    such as rupee which are sensitive to the Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwinding.

    Another hike is expected later this year, with more to come in 2019.

    A stronger dollar is not good news for the Indian currency which is down over 13 per cent since the beginning of this year. This might accelerate its fall to the 75 level in the near future.

    Federal Reserve rate hike

    The Federal Reserve raised a key interest rate for the third time this year in response to a strong US economy and signaled that it expects to maintain a pace of gradual rate hikes.

    The Fed on September 26 lifted its short-term rate - a benchmark for many consumer and business loans - by a quarter-point to a range of 2 percent to 2.25 per cent.

    It was the eighth hike since late 2015. A rate hike by Federal Reserve will lead to a rise in US treasuries yield and act as an incentive for foreign funds to park their money into the US markets since they will get higher returns for their investment.

    This will lead to foreign fund outflows from the Indian market as rate hike will lower investment returns for foreign investors and prompt them to sell. That will be bad news for rupee since the dollar will become stronger in the global currency market.

Sensex closes 550 points lower, Nifty below 10,900; auto, banking stocks lead losses
  • The Sensex and Nifty saw heavy selloff in late afternoon trade amid pressure on Indian currency and brent crude oil prices hitting record high signalling macro worries for the Indian economy.

    While the Sensex closed  550 points lower at  35,975 level, the Nifty fell 150 points or 1.36%  to 10,858 level.

    Midcaps stocks led to the fall with the BSE midcap index closing 164 points or 1.11% lower to 14,642 level.

    Auto and banking stocks were the top losers with the BSE auto and bankex losing 626 and 434 points, respectively.

    Of 19 BSE sectoral indices, 16 closed lower.

    YES Bank (5.79%), Vedanta (3.09%) and Coal India (1.60%)  were the top Sensex gainers.

    M&M (6.66%) , TCS (4.14%) and Axis Bank (3.91%) were the top Sensex losers

    Of 30 Sensex stocks, 26 closed in the red.

    Mustafa Nadeem CEO at Epic Research said, "Volatility continues to expand as Nifty pares its previous gain to end at 10858, its lowest level in recent fall from 11750 levels.

    There are multiple reasons that were behind today's fall and sentiments that turned negative over a holiday. Negative global cues is the first reason that aided to today's sell-off.

    Secondly, continuous rise in the oil prices with Brent hitting $85 mark rose some eyebrows and worries. Crude was above $75 mark and worries over CAD

    and its impact of widening. Rupee depreciated to multi-year lows as it hit above 73 mark fueled the sentiment.  

    Nifty is in a very tight consolidation between the levels of 11050 to 10800.

    And we are seeing the lows and close on the lower side being expanded along with the rise in volatility.

    With today's close and build up in PE of 10900 - 11000 we expect Nifty to test lower levels of 10700 in coming days while resistance is now reframed at 11000 levels."

    Bank Nifty fell 297 points or 1.17% to 25,069 level.

    The rupee plunged below the 73 level against the dollar for the first time ever in early trade amid rising global crude oil prices and strong demand for the American currency from the importers.

    Investors remained concerned over sustained foreign capital outflows and soaring crude oil prices that crossed the $85 per barrel.

    Brent crude oil prices breached the $85 per barrel mark yesterday for the first time in four years on the back of tightening oil market and OPEC leaders signalling they won't be immediately raising the output.

    However,  market breadth was positive with 1453 stocks closing higher compared to 1212 stocks ending lower on the BSE.

    Global markets

    Global shares were mixed on Wednesday after reports suggested Italy will rein in spending after 2019, following heavy criticism of its budget plans.

    The CAC 40 in France edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,472.12 and Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent to 7,482.23. Italy's FTSE MIB gained 0.3 percent to 20,623.32, after a string of losses. German markets were closed for a national holiday. U.S. indexes were poised to open higher.

    Dow futures gained 0.2 percent to 26,865.00. The broader S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent to 2,935.50.

    In Asia, traders were spooked by rising oil prices and lackluster Japanese data.

    The jitters were particularly evident in emerging markets that import oil.

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 24,110.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.1 percent to 27,091.26.

    Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent to 6,146.10.

    Stocks fell in Taiwan but rebounded in Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.  Markets in South Korea and the Chinese mainland were closed.

PIN codes made mandatory for generating e-way bill on GSTN
  • Tightening the norms for issuance of e-way bill, the GST Network has made it mandatory for businesses and transporters to mention PIN codes of places of loading and unloading of consignments.

    Quoting of PIN codes, according to officials, will help in calculating the correct distance and determine the validity of the electronic way or e-way bill, which is used by businesses to transport goods worth over Rs 50,000 both within and outside a state.

    So far, businesses and transporters are required to broadly mention the distance and place of loading and unloading of consignments for generating e-way bill.

    As the validity of the e-way bill depends upon the distance mentioned by the businesses, it was feared that this could lead to tax evasion by transporters making multiple trips on the basis of same e-way bill.

    The validity of the e-way bill is one day if the distance to be covered is less than 100 km. For every additional 100 kms or part thereof, the validity of the bill goes up by one day.

    Under the revised procedures for obtaining e-way bill, the GSTN has introduced the facility of auto population of state name based on the PIN code entered at consignor or consignee addresses, an official statement said Wednesday.

    The move would further smoothen the experience of users generating e- way bill, the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) said.

    Another new feature now available on the e-way bill portal now alerts the generator of the e-way bill through a pop up and SMS message, in case the total invoice value entered by them is very high, to avoid making mistake, GSTN said.

    "The new features are part of GSTN's continuous efforts to improve user experience and make the e-way bill generating process easy and convenient for users. These new features have been developed and introduced in response to feedback from both users as well as tax authorities to make generating of e-way bill easier," GSTN said.

    Between April 1 when the system came into force and September 30, a total of 25.32 crore e-way bills have been generated. Of this, the inter-state transport of goods have accounted for 12.14 crore of the bills while the intra state transport has contributed to 13.12 crore.

    As many as 24.53 lakh taxpayers and 31,232 transporters have registered with the e-way bill system so far.

Aviation stocks fall after hike in jet fuel price
  • Aviation stocks came under selling pressure after Indian Oil Corp raised the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by 7.25% with effect from today. While the Jet Airways stock fell up to 9.67% in afternoon trade, the SpiceJet stock fell 6.08% on the BSE. Another carrier InterGlobe Aviation's stock fell 6.94% in trade today.

    The rise in the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) can be attributed to a surgle in crude oil prices in international market. The Brent crude oil price rose above $83 per barrel on Monday, its highest level since November 2014 ahead of the US sanctions against Iran, which kickstarts from November. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading at $83.24 per barrel at 0228 GMT, up 51 cents, or 0.3 percent, their highest level since November 2014.

    Brent crude prices have been hovering around $80 for sometime now, raising oil costs for India, which relies more than 80 per cent on imports to meet its oil needs. Every dollar per barrel change in crude oil prices impacts the import bill by Rs 823 crore ($0.13 billion). The same is also the impact when currency exchange rate fluctuates by Re 1 per US dollar.

    With the rupee too making new lows this year, oil import costs for the oil marketing companies have surged leading to passing on the hike to the aviation sector companies. At 3:13 pm on Monday, the Jet Airways stock was trading 4.96% or 8.95 points lower on the BSE. While the operator of IndiGo, InterGlobe Aviation, was trading 2.03% lower, the SpiceJet stock was down 4.33% on the BSE.

    On Sunday, Indian Oil announced that the prices of jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel would be raised by Rs 5,016 per kilolitre or 7.25% from October 1 (today). "Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) domestic prices in pan-India have been revised upward effective 1st October 2018 on account of higher jet fuel prices in the international market coupled with weakening of Indian rupee as against US Dollar (exchange fluctuation).

    For Mumbai, the increase of about Rs 2650/KL is on account of higher jet fuel prices in the international market and increase of about Rs 2250/KL is on account of weakening of Indian rupee during the last month and Rs116/KL is on account of freight etc. The increase in domestic selling prices of ATF (Rs 5016/KL at Mumbai) is therefore purely on account of the above factors.

    The government has levied 5% customs duty on ATF from September 27, 2018, which however, is not being passed on to the airlines," Indian Oil said in a press release. Jet fuel prices are revised every month.

General Awareness

    UNESCO site status
    • What to study?

      For Prelims and Mains: UNESCO Global Geopark Network status- key facts, criteria for selection and sites in India.

      Context: Geological Survey of India has chosen heritage locations in Maharashtra and Karnataka for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status. The Geopark tag is akin to that of a ‘World Heritage Site’ for historical monuments that can bring India’s famed geological features to the global stage.

      The sites chosen are- Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and St. Mary’s Island and Malpe beach in coastal Karnataka are the GSI’s candidates for UNESCO Global Geopark Network status.

      Global Geopark:

      UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.
      Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries.
      An aspiring Global Geopark must have a dedicated website, a corporate identity, comprehensive management plan, protection plans, finance, and partnerships for it to be accepted.

      Once a UNESCO Global Geopark, always a UNESCO Global Geopark?

      No, a UNESCO Global Geopark is given this designation for a period of four years after which the functioning and quality of each UNESCO Global Geopark is thoroughly re-examined during a revalidation process.

      As part of the revalidation process, the UNESCO Global Geopark under review has to prepare a progress report and a field mission will be undertaken by two evaluators to revalidate the quality of the UNESCO Global Geopark. If, on the basis of the field evaluation report, the UNESCO Global Geopark continues to fulfil the criteria the area will continue as a UNESCO Global Geopark for a further four-year period (so-called “green card”).
      If the area no longer fulfils the criteria, the management body will be informed to take appropriate steps within a two-year period (so-called “yellow card”). Should the UNESCO Global Geopark not fulfil the criteria within two years after receiving a “yellow card”, the area will lose its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark (so-called “red card”).

      What is the Global Geoparks Network?

      The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), of which membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global Geoparks, is a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation with an annual membership fee. The GGN was founded in 2004 and is a dynamic network where members are committed to work together and exchange ideas of best practise and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practises of a UNESCO Global Geopark. While the GGN as a whole comes together every two years, it functions through the operation of regional networks, such as the European Geoparks Network that meets twice a year to develop and promote joint activities.

      Difference between UNESCO Global Geoparks, Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites:

      UNESCO Global Geoparks, together with the other two UNESCO site designations Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites, give a complete picture of celebrating our heritage while at the same time conserving the world’s cultural, biological and geological diversity, and promoting sustainable economic development.

      While Biosphere Reserves focus on the harmonised management of biological and cultural diversity and World Heritage Sites promote the conservation of natural and cultural sites of outstanding universal value, UNESCO Global Geoparks give international recognition for sites that promote the importance and significance of protecting the Earth’s geodiversity through actively engaging with the local communities.
      In case an aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark includes a World Heritage Site or Biosphere Reserve, a clear justification and evidence has to be provided on how UNESCO Global Geopark status will add value by being both independently branded and in synergy with the other designations.

      Key facts:

      Lonar lake is an ancient circular lake created by a meteorite strike in Maharashtra. It is the only known meteorite crater in basaltic rock. Lonar crater became a geo-heritage site in 1979. It is relatively young geologically, at just 50,000 years old.
      Mary’s Island, declared a national geo-heritage site in 1975, is estimated to be an 88-million-year-old formation that goes back to a time when Greater India broke away from Madagascar.

    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