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The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): August 2014


The Gist of Press Information Bureau: August 2014


Road Safety in India on Priority

The UN General Assembly has adopted 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety and set a goal for reducing fatalities from road accidents by 50 percent during the period recognizing the severe impact of road accidents on global health.  Every year about 1.2 million people die and 50 million get affected in road accidents globally losing 1.2 trillion US Dollars in these accidents, says Mr. K K Kapila, Chairman, International Road Federation. According to the World Health Organization unless concerted action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death in the world by 2030.

With the growing urbanization and vehicular traffic, the issue of safety on roads also keep growing in terms of concerns and solutions. The concern becomes all the more relevant in view of the fact that number of persons killed in road accidents in India is the highest in the world. More than 4.97 lakh road accidents in 2011 are reported to have claimed over 1.42 lakh lives.  These numbers translate into roughly one road accident per minute and one road accident death every four minutes for India. 

Though the data for the year 2012 shows a declining trend with over 4.90 lakh accidents claiming 1.38 lakh lives, still the number is too high to give reason to breathe easy. The analysis of road accidents in terms of causal factor’s reveals that drivers’ fault accounts for 78.7 per cent (3,85,934 accidents) of total road accidents. The reason behind fault may vary from alcohol/drugs to mobile addiction, overloading/overcrowding of vehicles, exceeding lawful speed and tiredness etc. Since drivers’ fault has been found responsible for about 80% road accidents, it is important to make them aware and realize that they are the killers on roads when they violate the laws/measures. The Ministry of RTH has taken steps to minimize road accidents in the country. The Government has approved a National Road Safety Policy. This Policy outlines various policy measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure including application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws etc. The Government has constituted National Road Safety Council as the apex body to take policy decisions in matters of road safety. The Ministry has requested all States/UTs for setting up of State Road Safety Council and District Road Safety Committees.

The Ministry has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue of road safety based on four E’s of Road Safety that is Education, Enforcement, Engineering (roads as well as vehicles) and Emergency care. Road safety has been made an integral part of road design at the planning stage.  Road Safety Audit of selected stretches of National Highways/Expressways adopted. Driving training institutes being established, Tightening of safety standards of vehicles like helmets, seat belts, power-steering, rear view mirror and Publicity campaigns on road safety awareness.

Text books of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus in Class VI to Class XII. State Governments have also been advised to include Road Safety education in the curriculum of the schools administered by the State Education Board.

Providing cashless treatment to road accident victims for 48 hours at expenditure up to a limit of Rs. 30,000/-a pilot project launched on Gurgaon-Jaipur section of NH 8.

Identification of top 25 black spots in 13 States which account for 90% of road accidents in India. The short term remedial measures have been completed for most of the black spots identified.

Finalisation of National Ambulance Code based on the recommendations of the Working Group on Emergency care.This ’Code’ puts in place minimum standards and guidelines regarding the constructional and functional requirements of road ambulances in India.

Notifying Consignments protruding beyond the body of goods carrier as illegal.

The States have been advised to prepare action plan on road safety for their States. The States’ annual action plan on road safety needs to set ambitious but realistic targets for at least five years. All the States/UTs have been asked to identify a lead agency in the State and also set up Road Safety Fund at the State level by earmarking 50% of the funds generated from fines on account of violation of traffic rules.

Though UN decade of action plan to reduce road fatalities by 50% started in 2011, after three years much needs to be done. In India, budget for Road Safety needs to be enhanced and proper road safety plans/ mechanism to be in place in all the States. It needs to be ensured that orders relating to Road Safety that exist are followed strictly and violation punished. 

Conservation of Biodiversity

Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity have been an integral part of Indian ethos. The varied eco-climatic conditions coupled with unique geological and cultural features have contributed to an astounding diversity of habitats, which harbor and sustain immense biological diversity at all levels. With only 2.4% of world’s land area, India accounts for 7-8% of recorded species of the world. In terms of species richness, India ranks seventh in mammals, ninth in birds and fifth in reptiles. In terms of endemism of vertebrate groups, India’s position is tenth in birds with 69 species, fifth in reptiles with 156 species and seventh in amphibians with 110 species. India’s share of crops is 44% as compared to the world average of 11%. India also has 23.39% of its geographical area under forest and tree cover. Of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots, India harbor 3 hotspots, i.e., Himalaya, Indo Burma, Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Western Ghats are recently included in World Heritage list. It is very rich in flora and fauna and serves as cradle of biodiversity. One of the most pressing environmental issues today is the conservation of biodiversity. Many factors threaten the world’s biological heritage. The challenge is for nations, government agencies, organisations and individuals to protect and enhance biological diversity, while continuing to meet people’s needs for natural resources. Efforts have been initiated to save biodiversity both by ex-situ and in-situ conservation. International Biodiversity day is celebrated across the globe on 22nd May every year. 

Biodiversity Act 2002

The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is a federal legislation enacted by the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party. The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act (2002). The NBA is a Statutory, Autonomous Body and it performs facilitative, regulatory and advisory function for the Government of India on issues of conservation, sustainable use of biological resources and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources. 

Biospheres and Biodiversity Reserves 

The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves in India, which protect larger areas of natural habitat and often include one or more National Parks and Reserves, along buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life. Animals are protected and saved here. 

Hotspots

(Official Answer Keys) UPSC: CISF (AC) Ltd. Deptl. Examination 2014

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Union Public Service Commission

(Official Answer Keys) CISF (AC) Ltd. Deptl. Examination 2014

Exam Name: CISF (AC) Ltd. Deptl. Examination

Year: 2014

(Official Answer Keys) UPSC: SCRA Examination 2014

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Union Public Service Commission

(Official Answer Keys) SCRA Examination 2014

Exam Name: SCRA

Year: 2014

(ALERT) IAS Exam (CSAT) 2015 DATES ANNOUNCED by UPSC

IAS EXAM

ALERT: IAS 2015 DATES NOTIFIED by UPSC in Exam Calendar

UPSC has announced dates for IAS PRE (CSAT) Exam 2015. it is tentative date but UPSC seldom changes dates; so these are almost confirmed dates.

Candidates should start their preparation accordingly.

Date of Notification: 16 May 2015

Last Date to Apply: 12 June 2015

Date of IAS PRE (CSAT) Exam: 23 AUGUST 2015


Click Here for IAS (Pre.) Notification 2014
 

you can download the UPSC Exams Calendar 2015 here.

UPSC NOTE: THE DATES OF NOTIFICATION, COMMENCEMENT AND DURATION OF EXAMINATIONS ARE LIABLE TO ALTERATION, IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES SO WARRANT.

Disclaimer: iasexamportal.com is not associated with Union Public Service Commission, For UPSC official website visit - www.upsc.gov.in

The Gist of Kurukshetra: August 2014


The Gist of Kurukshetra: August 2014


Employment Opportunities in Food Processing Industry for Rural Areas

Agriculture is gradually losing the attraction of a potential occupation with the rural youth due to lower profitability. If farming can be augmented with additional income generated from agri-based industries, it will help to retain the interest of the youth in farming. Such agri-based industries should be centred in the rural hubs so that rural youth is retained in the rural areas. We have to keep in mind that 68.9 per cent of the population in our country lives in 6.40 lakh villages.

Though share of agriculture to overall GDP in India has come down to 14 per cent, still 66.2 per cent of rural males and 81.6 per cent of rural females are engaged in agriculture as cultivators or labourers. Thus, agriculture based industries are very important for creating value addition in our agricultural produce and also for creating enormous job opportunities for the rural youth. This is one of the largest sectors in the global economy (USD 7 Trillion) and it is going through a transition phase in India. We produce greater than 600 million tons of food in all.

Processing of fruits and vegetables is only 2 per cent in India in comparison to 80 per cent in USA and Malaysia, 78 per cent in Philippines, 70 per cent in France and Brazil, 40 per cent in China and 30 per cent in Thailand. Food Processing Sector is an important segment of the economy, constituting a share of around 9.0 to 10.0 percent of GDP in agriculture. Food and food products are the biggest consumption category in India, with spending on food accounting for nearly 21 per cent of India’s GDP and with a market size of Rs. 9,050 billion.

The food and agro processing industry employed over 16 per cent of total workforce in the organized manufacturing sector whereas it is 32 per cent of the total workforce in the unorganized sector. In total numbers, the industry employs 13 million people directly and 35 million people indirect. For the project growth in the Food Processing Industry, it is expected that the requirement of human resources would be about 17.8 million in 2022.

(Current Affairs) Sports | August: 2014

Sports

Ceat Awards

  • India’s top batsman Virat Kohli has won the Ceat International Cricketer of the Year award while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the fastest player from the country to pick 100 Test wickets, bagged the Indian Player of the Year award for 2013-14.

  • Left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan was named the International Player of the Year while Robin Uthappa, who was part of the triumphant Karnataka Ranji Trophy team, clinched the Domestic Cricketer of the Year honour.

  • Kohli had won the best player award in 2011-12 too. India’s under-19 cricketer Vijay Zol got the Young Player of the Year award while yesteryear stumper Syed Kirmani, one of the finest behind the stumps who was also part of the 1983 World Cup winning team, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Kirmani played in 88 Tests and 49 ODIs.

  • Australian Mitchell Johnson, who was instrumental in his country winning the Ashes Series in overwhelming fashion against England at home, and compatriot Glenn Maxwell received the Test Player of the Year and Popular Choice awards respectively, while Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan got the T20 Player of the award.

(Current Affairs) Person in News | August: 2014

Person in News

Ratan Tata

  • Former TATA Group Chairman Ratan Tata on 21 June 2014 received an honorary doctor of laws degree from York University in Toronto, Canada. The award was given for his achievements in promoting innovations, exemplary leadership and corporate social responsibility.

  • The honour was conferred at the 2014 spring convocation of York University’s Schulich School of Business by Chancellor of the varsity Gregory Sorbara.Tata was among the 12 recipients of honorary doctorate from York University.

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UKPSC

Uttarakhand Public Service Commission

Exam Name: Uttarakhand PCS

Year: 2012

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 September 2014


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 15 September 2014


National

Data glitches stall rollout of Food Security Act

  • Technological and procedural delays in identifying the intended beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) has seen the agencies involved — the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), the nodal agency to provide enumeration devices and data entry operators, and state officials -- indulge in a blame game.

  • For the Socio-Economic Caste Census survey, proposed as the basis of the identification process, enumerators used scanned images of handwritten data from the National Population Register (NPR) to verify household members’ basic details.

  • They were accompanied by data entry operators (DEOs) who entered the responses into a tablet computer.

Uma promises clean Ganga in three years

  • Union Minister Uma Bharti reiterated her commitment to clean river Ganga and promised to do so in three years while asserting that she would not entertain any questions in this regard before the task was achieved.

  • She congratulated the teachers who were felicitated in the programme, and asked all teachers to become ‘real gurus’ and students to become better human beings rather than grow professionally. — PTI

Property law unfair to Christian women: report

  • The Law Commission of India has asked the Narendra Modi government to amend provisions in a pre-Independence law dealing with property succession in Christian families, saying the statute gives “preferential approach to men and is unfair and unjust to Christian women.”

  • Noting that Christianity is the third largest religion in India, the Law Commission headed by Justice A.P. Shah said Sections in the Indian Succession Act, 1925 “weave an archaic principle of giving superior status to man in access to and owning property.”

  • The 247th Law Commission report specifically focuses on the impact caused by Sections 42 to 46 of the 1925 Act on Christian women and mothers.

Educationist Kireet Joshi passes away

  • Eminent educationist and former education adviser to the Union government Kireet Joshi passed away after battling cancer. He was 83.

  • Mr. Joshi was selected for the Indian Administrative Services in 1955 and posted as Assistant Collector of Surat, Gujarat in 1956.

  • However, he resigned his job the same year in order to study and practise the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo at Puducherry. He was appointed as the Registrar of Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in 1958.

  • In 1976 the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi appointed him as the educational adviser to the Government of India.

  • He was instrumental in redesigning and redrafting of the Bill for Vishwa Bharati University, Shantiniketan.

  • He is also credited with seeding the idea of the Indira Gandhi National Open University as also of Pondicherry University.

  • In 1981 Mr. Joshi was appointed Secretary of Auroville International Advisory Council.

  • He served as the Educational Adviser to the Gujarat Chief Minister from 2008 to 2010.

National Board for Wildlife reconstituted (Register and Login to read Full News..)

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 September 2014


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 September 2014


National

Don’t celebrate my birthday, instead help J&K: Modi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to friends and well-wishers not to celebrate his birthday and instead dedicate time and resources towards relief work in this hour of need for flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Mr. Modi’s appeal came amid plans to celebrate his birthday on September 17, 2014 across the country, including in Gujarat where he will be present that day.

Sakshi Maharaj courts controversy, again

  • Days after he courted controversy with his remark that “love jihad” flourished through madrasas, BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, has set off another controversy, this time with a statement that religious learning institutions are giving “education of terrorism.”

  • The remark, made at Nademau in Kannauj district, is a repeat of what the MP said on September 7 at a programme in Etah, branding madrasas as “hubs of terror” where “love jihad” prospered.

  • “Love jihad” is a term used by right-wing Hindu outfits while referring to alleged conversion of Hindu girls through marriage.

Singrauli to be developed as energy city: Chouhan

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that Singrauli will be developed as ‘energy city’ of the State.

  • “Singrauli will be developed as energy city of the state,” Mr. Chouhan announced while launching development works worth Rs. 161 crore in the city during the Deendayal Anyodaya Mela.

  • Apart from other measures, an industrial area will also be developed for all-round development of the district.

  • He said Rs. 100 crore will be spent on infrastructure development in Singrauli during five years.

  • It will be connected with air and rail facilities. A Central School will also be established in the city for providing education facilities to the wards of those working in the energy city, he said.

  • He also provided benefits under various welfare schemes totalling Rs. one crore to 516 beneficiaries.

Leaders mourn Avaidyanath death

  • Avaidyanath, also a former MLA, was admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. He passed away at the Peeth hospital in Gorakhpur, where he was admitted after being brought from Gurgaon.

  • Avaidyanath, former chief priest of Gorakhpur’s famous Gorakhnath temple, was also the guru of Yogi Adityanath, current MP from the city and BJP’s firebrand leader who is in the news for his campaign against “love jihad”.

Over Rs. 5,000 cr. loss to J&K due to floods: Assocham

  • Devastating floods in Jammu and Kashmir have caused an immediate loss of Rs. 5,400-5,700 crore to the state’s economy, with heavy damages to trade, hotels, restaurants, horticulture and handicraft, according to initial estimates of industry body Assocham.

  • Jammu & Kashmir has been hit by the worst floods in over a century, throwing basic infrastructure like power, railways and communication in the state completely out of gear.

  • The initial estimated loss to hotels, trade, agriculture — horticulture, roads and bridges in the Jammu and Kashmir regions itself is Rs. 2,630 crore.

  • Besides, high-cost infrastructure like Railways, power and communication in the hilly terrains would have suffered a loss of about Rs. 2,700-3,000 crore, the industry body said.

Over 1.84 lakh people rescued in J&K (Register and Login to read Full News..)  

The Gist of Yojana: August 2014


The Gist of Yojana: August 2014


Aspects of Energy Security: Trends and Policy Framework

The conceptual basis of energy security is much wider than merely securing energy supplies. The existing energy system relies primarily on the use of fossil energy coal, oil and natural gas for meeting power and non-power demand of final energy. Given the skewed distribution of fossil fuels, securing their supply for meeting the demand for energy is an essential component of energy policy framework for an energy importing country. However, the important aspects of energy security can be broadly classified as availability, reliability, affordability and sustainability. The availability aspect would constitute measures aimed at increasing the endowment of primary energy resources through domestic exploration and production; imports of primary energy resources (and even final energy such as electricity, refined petroleum products as the case may be) from energy supplying countries. The reliability aspect captures measures targeted at increasing the resilience of the energy sector to the uncertainties of international energy markets owing to geo-politics, political instability in the energy exporting countries and threats to the energy supply chain from terrorist groups, natural calamities etc. The affordability aspect caters to the issues related to energy pricing (such as concerns for volatility) and equity considerations (such as removing energy poverty and universal access to modern energy services). The sustainability aspect focusses on the negative environmental externalities arising from the energy system and highlights the need for its transformation and adaptation for addressing vulnerability on account of expected climate changes and increase in the frequency of extreme weather events.

Energy System: Definition, Importance and the Indian case

Energy system comprises of not just the energy conversion technologies, rather consists of all primary energy resources, processes and technologies required for energy transformation/conversion, transportation, storage and end-use. It also covers the interactions with the environment as a source of primary energy and as a sink for the assimilation of the various forms of waste generated in all the phases and processes right from the stage of making primary energy available to the stage of final end-us.

(Current Affairs) Awards and Prizes | August: 2014

Awards and Prizes

Russian mathematician receives the 2014 Abel Prize

  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2014 to Yakov G. Sinai (78) of Princeton University, USA, and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences,”for his fundamental contributions to dynamical systems, ergodic theory, and mathematical physics”. The President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Nils Chr. Stenseth, announced the winner of the 2014 Abel Prize at the Academy in Oslo today, 26 March. Yakov G. Sinai will receive the Abel Prize from His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at an award ceremony in Oslo.

(Current Affairs) Science & Technology, Defence, Environment | August: 2014

Science & Technology, Defense, Environment

Sun-observing IRIS

  • Nasa’s sun-observing IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) spacecraft has captured its first stunning close-up of a colossal coronal mass ejection(CME) erupting from the sun.
  • The field of view for this imagery is about five times the width of earth and about seven-and-half times its length, a tremendous sheet of solar material can be seen erupting in a latest video released by Nasa.
  • The view is unprecedented for IRIS which was launched in June last year to observe the lowest levels of the sun’s atmosphere with better resolution than ever before.
  • IRIS must commit to pointing at certain areas of the sun at least a day in advance, so catching a CME in the act involves some educated guesses and a little bit of luck.

(Download) MPPSC : Political Science Solved Question Paper

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Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission


MP PCS POLITICAL SCIENCE SOLVED QUESTION PAPER


1. Which one is not the principle of Parliamentary government in a democracy ?

(A) Collective responsibility of Executive
(B) Fixed Tenure
(C) Prime Minister as Primes inter pares
(D) Judicial guarantee of Fundamental Rights

Ans : (B)

2. The Executive in Presidential form of government is powerful because—

(A) the Legislature is weak
(B) judges are appointed by the President
(C) it enjoys the fixity of tenure
(D) the procedure of impeachment is cumbersome

Ans : (C)

3. Presidential form of government is based on the principle of—

(A) accountability of Executive to Judiciary
(B) independence of the Executive
(C) separation of powers
(D) sovereignty of the Legislature

Ans : (B)

4. “Politics is struggle for power”, was said by—

(A) Morgenthau
(B) Quincy Wright
(C) Sprout
(D) Thomson

Ans : (A)

5. “Politics is concerned with the authoritative allocation of values for a society.” This definition of politics has been given by—

(A) David Easton
(B) Harold Lasswell
(C) Robert Dahl
(D) Charles Merriam

Ans : (A)

6. According to Structural-Functional approach which of the following does not constitute ‘input functions’ of a political system ?

(A) Political socialisation
(B) Political development
(C) Interest aggregation
(D) Political communication

Ans : (B)

7. Who of the following is regarded as an exponent of empty liberty ?

(A) Bentham
(B) J.S. Mill
(C) Hegel
(D) Green

Ans : (B)

8. Which one of the following books is not written by Machiavelli ?

(A) The Prince
(B) The Discourses
(C) The Art of War
(D) Behemoth

Ans : (D)

9. The view that “the State is a necessary evil”, is associated with—

(A) Individualists
(B) Anarchists
(C) Marxists
(D) Sophists

Ans : (A)

10. The philosophy that stands diametrically opposite to liberalism is—

(A) Individualism
(B) Capitalism
(C) Marxism
(D) Fascism

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 September 2014


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 September 2014


National

Deoband condemns ‘love jihad,’ says such marriages are illegal

  • Darul Uloom Deoband, one of the most influential Islamic seminaries in South Asia, condemned “love jihad,” a headline-grabbing name given by Sangh Parivar organisations for inter-religious marriages that are allegedly a ruse for conversion .

  • Without naming any political party, the seminary said the “bogey of ‘love jihad’” was being raised by people with vested interests.

  • The Islamic seminary termed “illegal” marriages with Hindu girls after their forcible conversion to Islam.

Axe 72 obsolete laws urgently: Law Commission

  • Even as the Union government prepares to bring in a comprehensive law during the winter session of Parliament to weed out obsolete laws, the Law Commission identified 72 outdated laws which required urgent repealing.

  • The oldest among them is the Bengal District Act, 1836, which relates to the administration and development of local areas.

  • Second in line is the Bengal Bonded Warehouse Association Act, 1838, which mandates that only “residents of the presidency of Fort William in Bengal can be directors of the Bengal Bonded Warehouse Association and that the association can sell property only to the East India Company.”

  • The Sheriffs Fees Act, 1852, is another antique law which needs to be axed. The Act deals with payment to the sheriffs of the “presidency towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.”

  • The 72 laws are part of the 261 statutes that “prima facie require repeal as they are inconsistent with modern times” as recommended in an interim report handed over by the Law Commission to the government.

  • Other laws identified have been enacted from 1838 to 1898.

  • The commission said it found during its research that 34 repealed laws still remained on the government website.

Gist of The Hindu: August 2014


Gist of The Hindu: August 2014


Telangana birth-pangs

By getting a resolution rejecting the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill for creating Telangana passed by the State Assembly just before the deadline set by President Pranab Mukherjee to consider the Bill ended on Thursday, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy did what little he could to protect what he saw as his political constituency: those standing for a united Andhra Pradesh in the Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra regions. Neither the delay nor the ultimate rejection of the Telangana Bill by the Assembly will have any bearing on the creation of the new State if the Centre stands firm on its decision on Telangana. The Chief Minister, in raising legal and technical objections to the Bill, might have managed to convey the opposition of large sections of the people in Seemandhra to the division of Andhra Pradesh, but the manner in which the proceedings of the House were conducted from the day the Bill was introduced till the day it was rejected reflects badly on his government and the democratic traditions of the legislature. Speaker Nadendla Manohar, who too is politically opposed to Telangana, put the Chief Minister’s contentious resolution to a voice vote amid noisy scenes, and declared the motion carried in a matter of two minutes. It was obvious from the regional representation in the House that those opposed to the Bill constituted a majority. The Bill presented a chance to address the concerns raised by the proposal to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Instead, the time was used for political posturing and the reiteration of known positions by both sides. Pro-Telangana members, on their part, did not press for a division amid the din, perhaps because they did not want to expose their lack of numbers. The voice vote was, in effect, the only mode of expression of the views of the legislature. Now that the onus is on the Centre to shepherd the Bill through Parliament, the Congress must eschew any temptation to use this issue as part of any electoral strategy before the Lok Sabha polls. With the national leadership of the party backing the creation of Telangana, and the State unit divided on geographical lines, making this a campaign issue is anyway fraught with risks. No political consensus on the Bill is possible at this late stage, but the Centre can bring in amendments to the Bill to incorporate the concerns of other parties and representatives of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra. As the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party is necessary in the Rajya Sabha, the Congress will have to keep the Bill open for amendments. The State legislature was robbed of a free, reasoned debate on the issue, but hopefully Parliament will consider all aspects of the Bill before bringing Telangana into being.

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 September 2014


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 September 2014


National

‘3 p.c. quota for disabled covers all employees’

  • The Supreme Court clarified that the three per cent reservation for disabled persons in government jobs covered all classes of employees, including appointments and promotions to the Indian Administrative Services.

  • Although 19 years had passed since the passage of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995, the disabled were struggling for their rights, a Bench headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha said.

Himachal student makes bullet train model

  • A Himachal Pradesh student has created a bullet train model that has been selected for a national—level exhibition, a school official said.

  • Shilpa, a class 10 student in Government Senior Secondary School at Sudhial near Nadaun in Hamirpur district, has prepared the bullet train model that is based on the magnetic repulsion effect of similar poles of magnets.

  • The model, declared the best in the state—level science exhibition, will now be displayed at the national—level Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) exhibition to be held in New Delhi Oct 6—8, school principal Om Prakash said.

  • INSPIRE is a programme of the department of science and technology of the Union Government to sharpen young minds in science.

(Current Affairs) India and The World | August: 2014

India & The World

Evacuation of Indian nationals from Lugansk

  • India has made arrangements to evacuate all its nationals, mainly students, from violence-hit Ukrainian city of Lugansk to Kyiv.
  • The evacuation arrangements were made in cooperation with the Ukrainian government.
  • Indian authorities have arranged 500 train tickets to evacuate the Indian nationals.
  • India few days back issued an advisory asking its nationals to leave Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine which is witnessing frequent violent clashes between pro—Russian separatists and government forces.
  • In the advisory, it also asked citizens in the other parts of eastern and southern Ukraine to remain vigilant about their personal safety and security.
  • Eastern Ukraine is witnessing a fierce escalation of violence between the two sides over the past few days.
  • The violence started after Russia annexed Crimea — an autonomous peninsula within Ukraine with a Russian ethnic majority — in March following which the pro—Russian rebels seized control of parts of eastern Ukraine and demanded its independence.

(Current Affairs) Economy & Energy | August: 2014

Economy

Balancing act of RBI

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s credit policy review, will be the first after the new government has taken charge. It is also the second bi-monthly policy for the current year (2014-15). The RBI has switched to the system of reviewing credit policy once in two months from the earlier once in 45 days or so following the recommendation recommendation of the Urjit Patel committee.

  • Fortunately, very few expect the government to interfere, certainly not so soon after taking office. Moreover, there has been a positive message from the meeting RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had with new Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on May26. In this very first meeting with a senior government official, Mr. Jaitley has listed out his priorities — price stability, stimulate growth and fiscal consolidation — and said he is keenly aware of the need to do a tough balancing act in reconciling the several policy oblectives.

  • India’s inflation problems are structural in nature. The RBI cannot influence supply-side factors, which are responsible for food inflation. Supply side pressures on prices will be felt when investment picks up consequent on the new government’s initiatives.

  • Balance sheet problems of public sector banks are another reason standing in the way of lower interest rates. The combination of bad and restructured loans means little room for banks to lower interest rates.

  • The policy document will stress the obvious point that inflation is a problem for the government and the RBI.

Restrictions on foreign exchange proprietary trades

  • A stronger rupee has paved the way for high-street banks to have a greater play in the currency market, with last year’s unnerving choppiness suddenly looking like a thing of the past.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently told several large lenders that they are free to carry out foreign exchange proprietary trades in which bank treasuries bet on the dollar-rupee movement.
  • The move will deepen the currency market and offer finer foreign exchange rates to customers, particularly large corporates with regular exports, imports and dollar borrowings.
  • The RBI allows each bank a certain net open position (NOP) limit for prop (or, proprietary) trades; the limit varies from $20 million to $100 million, depending on a bank’s size and level of treasury activity.
  • In 2013, when the rupee buckled under speculators’ attack, the limits were whittled down by banks to $5 million and even zero at the RBI’s instruction.

Key policy rates unchanged by RBI

  • Despite intense pressure and widespread anticipation, the Raghuram Rajan-led Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged.
  • In doing so, it has indicated that it is prepared for a wait-and-watch approach.
  • Perhaps, it has chosen to await the maiden budget of the Narendra Modi Government at the Centre so as to get a sense of direction of the new fiscal managers.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.0 per cent. It has also decided to keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).
  • However, it has reduced the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks by 50 basis points from 23.0 per cent to 22.5 per cent.
  • The apex bank has also decided to continue to provide liquidity under 7-day and 14-day term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 per cent.

(Current Affairs) International Events | August: 2014

International Events

China provoked

  • A top Chinese Army General slammed the United States and Japan for “provoking” China, a day after U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel had accused Beijing of “destabilising” the region.
  • At the conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also hit out at China over the disputes, pledging support to Vietnam and the Philippines. Mr. Abe said Japan would supply naval patrol vessels to both countries and boost its security presence in the region.
  • People’s Liberation Army Deputy Chief of General Staff Wang Guanzhong blasted Mr. Hagel and Mr. Abe, saying they were “singing notes in chorus”.
  • The PLA official was particularly aggrieved by the Japanese leader’s speech, which did not directly mention China but warned of “elements that spawn instability” in the region.

Release of captured US soldier

  • President Barack Obama is welcoming the release of the lone U.S. solider held in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
  • Sgt. Bergdahl was turned over by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees who were held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Mr. Obama says the U.S. “does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”
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