Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam - VOL. - 136 (10th July 2016 TO 16th July 2016)

Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam

VOL. - 136 (10th July 2016 TO 16th July 2016)

Issue : VOL. - 136 (10th July 2016 TO 16th July 2016)


Click Here to Download Sample Material

Click Here to Buy 1 Year Subscription - "Only PDF"

Join Online Coaching for IAS (Pre.) Exam

Covered Topics:


Tension across the Kashmir valley

  • Eleven protesters were killed and over 120 persons, including 96 security personnel, were injured, as violent street protests erupted across the Kashmir valley.
  • The Government clamped curfew in large parts of Kashmir and the Amarnath yatra has been suspended.
  • The State has also requested for 30 paramilitary companies from the Centre to control the situation.
  • While phone services were snapped in large parts of south Kashmir, internet services remained suspended across the Kashmir Valley. All examinations and interviews have been cancelled and railway services suspended.
  • As Wani was laid to rest in his native Tral, violent mobs attacked police and paramilitary installations at various places in the Valley and set ablaze several buildings including three police stations.

Kerala says it is serious about IS

  • Kerala state has taken a serious note of the reports about a group of Muslims, including women from Kasaragod and Palakkad districts, joining the IS and investigate the issue with due seriousness.
  • CM said the reports in this regard were needed to be investigated further. State Police Chief said no confirmation with regard to these missing persons joining the Islamic State were available thus far.
  • A detailed investigation is on and more details could be known only after this, the DGP said.

Defence Ministry is considering a full review

  • Faced with an acute shortage of personnel in the Barracks and Store (B&S) cadre and a massive shortfall in the collection of dues, the Defence Ministry is considering a full review of this crucial arm of the Military Engineer Services.
  • The B&S cadre refers to the Defence Ministry’s civilian staff under the MES and are instrumental in recovering dues for utilities like rent, electricity, water and other allied charges.
  • In response to the query Mr. Parrikar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha acknowledged the shortage of subordinate staff in the cadre.

Centre is likely to announce Rs 25,000 crore capital infusion for public sector banks

  • Centre is likely to announce the first tranche of the Rs 25,000 crore capital infusion for public sector banks (PSBs), planned for this financial year (2016-17).
  • The recapitalisation is aimed at shoring up the PSBs lending capacities that are restricted by poor asset quality and weak capitalisation.
  • Gross bad loans, as a proportion of the total advances by these banks, rose to 7.6 per cent, a 12-year high in March 2016, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s latest financial stability report released on June 28.
  • On the rise since 2012, impaired assets in the banking system are negatively affecting credit supply and are a factor dampening India’s growth outlook, global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service recently said.
  • PSBs account for about 70 per cent of the total banking system assets. The banks requisitioned infusions after the finalisation of their fourth quarter results, in which, cumulatively, they had reported losses of Rs 18,000 crore in 2015-16.
  • The allocation is in line with the recapitalisation plan outlined in the Centre’s seven-pronged plan, ‘Indradhanush’, launched in August 2015 for reforming PSBs.
  • The Finance Ministry had estimated that the PSBs would need Rs 1.80 lakh crore by March 2019 to meet Basel III norms.
  • Of this, it proposes to provide Rs 70,000 crore as equity over four years and expects the banks to raise the rest from the markets or through internal profits.

:: International Issues ::

NATO agreed to maintain troop numbers in Afghanistan

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreed to maintain troop numbers in Afghanistan and reiterated a funding pledge for local security forces through 2020,
  • About 13,000 NATO troops, of which nearly 10,000 are American, are currently stationed in Afghanistan under Operation Resolute Support, to train and assist Afghan security forces.
  • The 28-nation U.S.-led alliance would look at the situation again next year before deciding future force commitments.
  • The development comes on the heels of an announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama, who said he was slowing a planned drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
  • Mr. Obama had previously vowed to slash troop numbers from the current 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of this year, but on Wednesday said the U.S. would now keep 8,400 in the country.
  • The NATO mission in Afghanistan costs about $5 billion a year, with approximately $3.5 billion coming from the U.S.

US President calms situation after shooting

  • U.S. President Barack Obama tried to unify a fractured nation, insisting the shock shootings in Dallas and simmering racial tensions would not derail a common sense of purpose.
  • Mr. Obama lamented a “painful” week but he rejected comparisons with the civil unrest of the 1960s.
  • While acknowledging the need to heal divisions, Mr. Obama played down talk of wider unrest.
  • Mr. Obama said Dallas shooter Micah Johnson was “demented” and did not represent African-Americans.

Bangladesh bans controversial preachers TV

  • The government of Bangladesh has banned broadcast of Peace TV, a channel run by controversial Indian preacher Dr. Zakir Naik on allegations that it inspired terrorism.
  • The announcement came at his meeting with the owners of private television stations, hours after the official decision to ban the channel.
  • Home Minister had earlier said that intelligence agencies were investigating Dr. Naik as his activities appeared provocative.
  • Dr. Naik is the founding president of Mumbai-based charity, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which owns Peace TV.
  • Dr. Naik, in a video response after the deadly Dhaka cafe attack, had said that he was not surprised that one of the gunmen knew him since he “inspires millions across the world”.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition on track for a decisive victory

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition was on track for a decisive victory in parliamentary elections, media projections showed.
  • Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Buddhist-backed Komeito would take at least 63 of the 121 seats in Parliament’s upper house available in the election — half the chamber’s total — up from 59 previously.
  • The two parties control 77 seats from the other half of the chamber meaning that they are set to increase their majority in the 242-seat body.

:: Economy ::

Survey says that website should be proactive with content

  • Amid debates on the role of social media networks in censoring inflammatory content on their platforms, a new survey has found that nearly 90 per cent of citizens want these firms proactively removing offensive content.
  • Over 14,000 people participated in the survey by online community network LocalCircles.
  • Recently, the European Commission, together with IT companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, announced a code of conduct to combat the spread of illegal hate speech online in Europe.
  • Among other things, these companies have committed to proactively monitor social media and remove any hate or offensive content within 24 hours of posting.
  • On the question if social media companies in India should follow a similar code of conduct, 89 per cent answered in the affirmative.
  • Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi held meeting with a team from Twitter India to iron out details of how harassment & hateful conduct on social media platform can be handled.
  • Ms Maneka Gandhi also announced that women being harassed on Twitter can reach out to her by using the hashtag which was #IamTrolledHelp.
  • It was also suggested that a Central Government ministry should become the owner of the subject and should keep a close watch on different groups and forums in social media.
  • Currently, online content is usually taken off by companies such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter in India after law enforcement agencies flag something off as “anti-religious and hate speech” that could cause unrest and disharmony within India.
  • LocalCircles enables citizens to connect and engage with communities for most aspects of urban daily life like government, causes, interests and needs, neighbourhood etc.

U.S. Bill may block IT firms from hiring H-1B employees

  • A bipartisan group of two U.S. lawmakers has introduced in the House of Representatives a legislation, which if passed by the Congress would prevent Indian companies from hiring IT professionals on H-1B and L1 work visas.
  • Since the revenue model of majority of big Indian IT companies is heavily dependent on H-1B and L1 visas in the U.S., such a bill is likely to have a major impact, if not sound a death knell, on their businesses.
  • The lawmakers said the H-1B and L1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 would close loopholes in the H-1B and L1 visa programs, reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, require more transparency.
  • It would provide more authority to the Departments of Homeland Security and Labour to investigate fraud and abuse in the H—1B and L—1 programs.

:: India and World ::

Govt made arrangements for the evacuation of Indians from South Sudan

  • The Union government has made arrangements for the evacuation of Indians from South Sudan and set up a task force to monitor developments in the war-torn country, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
  • The Minister said there were 600 Indians in South Sudan, 450 of them in the capital city of Juba.
  • On Monday, a Ministry advisory said Indian nationals desirous of departing for South Sudan may register themselves on the e-mail ID controlroomjuba(at)gmail. com.

Iraq govt warns India of IS threats

  • The Islamic State may have set up sleeper cells in India owing to the influence of foreign-funded Islamic seminaries and preachers who teach an exclusivist version of Islam, says the new Iraqi Ambassador to India.
  • Highlighting growing radicalisation in South Asia, Fakhri Hassan Al Issa told The Hindu that India should watch the Islamic seminaries and preachers more closely to understand “what kind of Islam” they were preaching.
  • This new brand of schools was divesting Islam of its humanitarian and tolerant traditions.

India asks China to respect tribul verdict

  • Japan and India “urged all parties to show utmost respect” to the ruling of a tribunal earlier this week in The Hague on South China Sea dispute.
  • A joint statement to this effect was issued after the annual defence ministerial meeting between the two countries.
  • The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague had ruled that China had no historic rights over the South China Sea and its claims were in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • “The ministers recognised that the security and stability of the seas connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans are indispensable for peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region,” said the statement.

:: Science & Technology ::

Better diagnosis of disease-causing mitochondrial genetic mutations is possible

  • Fast and accurate diagnosis of disease-causing mitochondrial genetic mutations is now possible thanks to automation of the entire process of data analysis and interpretation by a team of researchers at the Delhi-based CSIR Institute.
  • Mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, are unique in several ways. A cell can have multiple mitochondriae, with each mitochondriae differing from one another by a few variations. This phenomenon is known as heteroplasmy.
  • Heteroplasmy can vary between cells of the same tissue, organ, individual or even between individuals of the same family.
  • Though heteroplasmic mutations implicated in mitochondrial diseases are seen even in healthy individuals, the reason why they do not manifest as disease is due to low frequency of heteroplasmy.
  • A person does not manifest the disease when the heteroplasmy frequencies are low, usually less than 10 per cent.
  • The mutations could also be acquired during cell division. While all cells will carry the mutations associated with disease when it is inherited, cells in different tissues may have different mutations when it is acquired.

The Indian summer monsoon rainfall is influenced by Indian ocean dipole

  • The Indian summer monsoon rainfall is influenced by a system of oscillating sea surface temperatures known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean.
  • While the existence of three types of IOD is well known, a recent study published in the journal Natural Hazards attempts to determine the effects on monsoon rainfall of each of the three types.
  • A positive IOD occurs when the sea surface temperatures are greater than normal in the Arabian Sea and less than normal in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean.
  • A positive IOD leads to greater monsoon rainfall and more active (above normal rainfall) monsoon days while negative IOD leads to less rainfall and more monsoon break days (no rainfall).

Hubble Telescope has imaged the supernova Crab Nebula’s ‘beating heart’

  • NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the supernova Crab Nebula’s ‘beating heart’, an inner region that sends out pulses of radiation and tsunamis of charged particles.
  • Crab Nebula is the most historic and intensively studied remnants of a supernova, an exploding star.k
  • The neutron star at the very centre of the Crab Nebula has about the same mass as the Sun but compressed into an incredibly dense sphere that is only a few miles across.
  • Spinning 30 times a second, the neutron star shoots out detectable beams of energy that make it look like it’s pulsating.
  • Hubble’s sharp view captures the intricate details of glowing gas, shown in red, that forms a swirling medley of cavities and filaments.
  • Inside this shell is a ghostly blue glow that is radiation given off by electrons spiralling at nearly the speed of light in the powerful magnetic field around the crushed stellar core.
  • The neutron star is a showcase for extreme physical processes and unimaginable cosmic violence.

:: MCQ ::

Q- Which of the following is power house of the cell?

C. Tissue
D. Mitochondria

Q- Which of the following is correct regarding Hubble telescope?

1. It is the first space telescope
2. It is in low Earth orbit

A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q- Which of the is largest moon of the saturn?

A. Ganymede
B. Enceladus
C. Titan
D. Io

Click Here to Download Sample Material

Click Here to Buy 1 Year Subscription - "Only PDF"

Join Online Coaching for IAS (Pre.) Exam

<< Go Back to Main Page