Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 September 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 September 2019


::NATIONAL::

Assam publishes final National register of citizens (NRC) list

  • More than 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were left out of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on Saturday to conclude a Supreme Court-monitored exercise that took five years and ₹1,220 crore.

  • According to rights groups, the exercise also made people in Assam — mostly Hindus and Muslims of Bengal origin under suspicion of being illegal immigrants spend more than ₹7,800 crore on hearings, besides claiming the lives of around 60 people.

  • Each excluded person will have 120 days to file an appeal at any of the existing 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals 200 more are to be established within a month which in turn will have to dispose of the cases within six months. The appellant then has the option of approaching the High Court and Supreme Court.

  • The process of receipt of NRC application forms started in May 2015 and ended on August 31, 2015. A total of 3,30,27,661 members applied through 68,37,660 applications. The particulars submitted by the applicants were taken up for scrutiny to determine the eligibility of their inclusion in the NRC.

  • Releasing the final data, the NRC authority headed by the apex court-appointed State Coordinator PrateekMr.Hajela said the updating exercise started in 2013 under the apex court’s watch.

  • “The process of NRC update in Assam differs from the rest of the country and is governed by Rule 4A and the corresponding Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. These rules were framed as per the cut-off date of the midnight of March 24, 1971, enshrined in the Assam Accord of 1985,” he said.

EC launches mega electoral verification programme

  • The Election Commission today launched new mega Electors Verification Programme (EVP) across the country. The programme, which seeks to electoral rolls through crowdsourcing, will go on till 15th of October.

  • Under the programme, a voter from each family will get a username and password, allowing a person to upload all documents related to electoral registration and tag similar details about his or her family members.

  • These details will then be verified by block-level officers. It will be done by 36 CEOs at the state headquarters level, by 740 district electoral officers at the district level and by BLOs and electoral registration officers in around one million polling stations.

  • The EVP programme can be effected both online and offline. On the occasion of the nationwide mega million launch of Electors Verification Programme, a special camp was held at Election Commission Headquarters in New Delhi.

  • Unveiling the initiative, Chief Election Commissioner SunilArora said the electoral roll is the foundation on which the entire superstructure of the Election Commission stands. He urged all the citizens to participate in the verification programmes so that the Commission can provide better electoral services in all forthcoming elections.

  • Reiterating the importance of a healthy electoral roll, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said, the participation of people is paramount to the success of the drive and urged all to come forward and ensure an error-free Electoral Roll.

::ECONOMY::

Switzerland to share data with Indian tax authorities

  • Banking details of Indians with accounts in Switzerland will be available to tax authorities here from Sunday as the automatic exchange of information regime kicks off between the two countries.

  • The move, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said, is a significant step in the government’s fight against black money and the era of “Swiss bank secrecy” will finally be over from September.

  • The first automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) under the provisions common reporting standard will start from September.

  • “India will receive information of the calendar year 2018 in respect of all financial accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland,” the CBDT said in a statement.

  • The information will include accounts that were closed during 2018.During the meeting, both sides discussed bilateral exchange of information matters to expedite execution of tax information sharing requests made by India in specific cases, it said.

RBI data says high denomination notes in circulation have declined

  • The ₹2,000 currency notes introduced during the demonetisation exercise of 2016 have dropped in circulation in the last one year ended in March 2019.

  • According to data in the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report, there were 3,363 million pieces of such notes in circulation as at end March 2018, which was 3.3% of the total currency in circulation, in terms of volume. In value terms, the ₹2,000 notes’ share in total currency circulation was 37.3%.

  • The number of pieces dropped to 3,291 million in the year ended March 2019, which was 3% in terms of volume and 31.2% in value of total circulation. At the same time, the number of ₹500 notes significantly increased to 21,518 million pieces from 15,469 million pieces during the period under review.

  • The ₹500 notes, as at end March 2019, was 19.8% of the total circulation in volume (as compared to 15.1%) and 51% in terms of value (as compared to 42.9% in end March 2018).

  • “In value terms, the share of ₹500 and ₹2,000 banknotes, which had together accounted for 80.2% of the total value of banknotes in circulation at end-March 2018, increased to 82.2% at end-March 2019.

  • There was a sharp increase in the value of ₹500 banknotes in circulation from 42.9% to 51.0% over the year,” the report said.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Israel PM pledges to annex settlements in west bank

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, he said on Sunday, reiterating an election promise made five months ago but again giving no timeframe.

  • Settlements are one of the most heated issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians have voiced fears that Mr. Netanyahu could defy international consensus and move ahead with annexation with possible backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, a close ally.

  • With publication of a U.S. peace plan still pending, Mr. Trump has already recognised Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

  • Palestinians seek to make the West Bank part of a future state that would include the Gaza Strip and have East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel captured those areas in 1967 and moved troops and settlers out of Gaza in 2005.

  • After decades of settlement-building, more than 400,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank, according to Israeli figures, among a Palestinian population put at about 2.9 million by the Palestinian Statistics Bureau.

China and U.S begins fresh tariff wars

  • China and the United States began imposing additional tariffs on each other’s goods on Sunday, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war, despite signs that talks would resume some time this month.

  • A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT, with Beijing’s levy of 5% on U.S. crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

  • The Trump administration will begin collecting 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

  • China has consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticising U.S. measures as protectionist.

  • China has also pressed the United States to cancel the tariff increase, but said last week that a September round of talks was being discussed between the two.

  • The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already overshadowed by U.S. freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed South China Sea, and U.S. support for self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Researchers develop fingerprint of earth’s atmosphere

  • Astronomers at Canada’s McGill University have made a “fingerprint” for the Earth, which could be used to identify a potentially life sustaining planet beyond the solar system.

  • Using over a decade of observations of the Earth’s atmosphere taken by the SCISAT satellite, McGill Physics student Evelyn Macdonald, and her supervisor Prof Nicolas Cowan have constructed a transit spectrum of Earth — a detail on the fingerprint-like unique composition of our planet’s atmosphere.

  • The fingerprint includes the simultaneous occurrence of both ozone and methane, which happens only when there is an organic source of these compounds on the planet, says the study.

  • For making this observation, the satellite’s instruments must wait for a planet to pass over the star. If the telescopes are sensitive enough, astronomers can potentially identify chemicals in such planets like carbon dioxide, oxygen, or water vapour which are molecules that improve the chances that a planet is habitable, or even inhabited, said Cowan.

  • The McGill University astronomers add that this system might be a promising place to search for a fingerprint similar to Earth’s since the planets here are orbiting a star which is smaller and colder than our Sun.

::SPORTS::

India beats Nepal in SAFF U-15 football

  • In football, India lifted the SAFF Under-15 title at Kalyanai, West Bengal with a 7-0 win over Nepal on Saturday.

  • The victory also meant that India are now the most successful team in the tournament's history. They won the title for a record third time after previous wins in 2013 and 2017, both of which came in Nepal.

  • In Saturday's match, striker SridarthNongmeikapam scored a hat-trick for India. MahesonSingh ,Amandeep , Sibajit Singh and HimanshuJangra scored one goal each.

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