Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 MAY 2019
Vice President moots measuring public satisfaction to analyse performance of
- The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has said that
public satisfaction must be the yardstick to measure the performance of
- He wanted them to improve knowledge and acquire technical skills
and constantly learn from the global best governance practices to make the
Indian administrative system better, efficient and effective.
- Shri Naidu, while addressing Assistant Secretaries, Section
Officers, and employees of Andhra Pradesh Secretariat in New Delhi, asked
them to rise to the occasion and strive to fulfill the aspirations of
people, especially the youth.
- Emphasizing that responsive and efficient governance mechanism was
the need of the hour, Shri Naidu wanted officials to ensure time-bound
delivery of public services in a transparent manner.
- The Vice President advised them to review, reform and refine
working methods and procedures to ensure that the benefits of government
programs reach the last man in the line. “Everyone must perform his or her
duty with sincerity, honesty, integrity, and discipline”, he added.
- Suggesting that all administrative matters must be carried out in
the State’s official language, Shri Naidu urged them to be sympathetic to
the needs of people who come to them with their grievances.
- More than 30 officers from the finance department of Andhra
Pradesh have called on Vice President. They are undergoing a month-long
training program at National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM),
Faridabad in areas such as expenditure management, budget management, and
fiscal responsibility and taxation.
Supreme court reserves verdict on SC/SCT prevention of atrocities act
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved for judgment a batch of
petitions challenging the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes
(Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018 which nullified a
controversial March 20 Supreme Court judgment diluting the stringent
provisions of the Dalit protection law.
- A Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U.U. Lalit heard arguments
raised by the Centre that the amendments were necessary as the SCs and the
STs continue to face the same social stigma, poverty and humiliation which
they had been subjected to for centuries.
- The 2018 Act nullified the March 20 judgment which allowed
anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against the SCs
and the STs. The original 1989 Act bars anticipatory bail. The apex court
verdict saw a huge backlash across the country. Several died in ensuing
protests and crores worth of property was destroyed. The government reacted
by filing a review petition and subsequently amended the 1989 Act back to
its original form.
- Several petitions were filed last year challenging the amendments.
The lead petitioner, advocate Prithvi Raj Chauhan, even called the
amendments a “blunder” and a violation of the fundamental right to equality
and personal liberty. The Supreme Court however had refused to stay the
implementation of the amendments.
- The government had responded that there had been no decrease in
the atrocities committed on the SCs/STs despite the laws meant to protect
their civil rights.
- “The SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 is the least
which the country owes to this section who have been denied civil rights
since generations,” the Centre argued.
ADB to finance for metro rail projects in India
- Asian Development Bank (ADB), traditionally strong in funding
social sector projects in education, water and irrigation in India, is
moving into financing metro rail projects in the country in a big way.
- “Transport and energy are two of our biggest areas for funding.
We’re now moving into metro rail financing in a big way,” said Hun Kim,
Director General, South Asia Department, ADB. He was addressing journalists
from South Asia at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ADB.
- The bank is involved with the $1 billion Mumbai metro, and is in
talks with the respective State governments for funding the Bhopal Metro and
Bengaluru Metro. It is also engaged in discussions to extend assistance to
Chennai Metro Phase II possibly even subsequent phases and the new Indore
- Funding for the Mumbai project is the largest extended to India by
the ADB. ADB has financed the Jaipur Metro as well. The bank is also working
with the Centre to finance the newly-announced Delhi-Meerut Rapid Rail
project cleared by the Cabinet in February.
- Mr. Kim emphasised that financing logistics projects would also be
a priority area for the bank. “We want to be a bank for logistics,” he said,
pointing to the Vizag-Chennai and the Chennai-Kanyakumari industrial
corridors, where the ADB is involved in financing the preparation of the
- Tamil Nadu is emerging as a major ‘client’ of the bank. “We will
be lending $500 million each for energy projects, and urban projects, apart
from the Chennai Metro Phase II,” Mr. Kim said.
- He said that all these projects had been agreed to in-principle
with the Centre, the guarantor. “It depends on the client,” he said, adding
that delays often happened at the borrowers’ end.
- The ADB is working closely with the AIIB, which is “still in the
initial phase” of its operations, and has raised a lot of funds to on-lend.
GST gets record collection since its implementation in April
- The Goods and Services Tax, GST collection scaled all-time high of
over 1.13 lakh crore rupees last month, up from 1.06 lakh crore rupees in
the previous month.
- The Finance Ministry in a statement said, out of the total gross
GST revenue collected in April, Central GST is 21 thousand 163 crore rupees,
State GST is 28 thousand 801 crore rupees, Integrated GST is 54 thousand 733
crore and cess is 9 thousand 168 crore rupees.
- The total number of summary sales return GSTR-3B filed for the
month of March up to 30th April stood at 72.13 lakh. The collection in the
first month of current fiscal has been the highest since the introduction of
GST and also reflects 10.05 per cent growth over April last year.
- The total revenue earned by the central government and state
governments after regular and provisional settlement in April 2019 is 47
thousand 533 crore rupees for CGST and 50 thousand 776 crore rupees for SGST.
- For 2019-20, the government proposes to collect 6.10 lakh crore
rupees from CGST and 1.01 lakh crore rupees as compensation cess. The IGST
balance has been pegged at 50 thousand crore rupees.
- The CGST collection in 2018-19 was 4.25 lakh crore rupees, while
compensation cess was over 97 thousand crore rupees.
- The Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue last month is 16.05 per
cent higher than the monthly average of 98 thousand 114 crore GST revenue in
UNSC lists Mazood Azhar in 1267 committee as global terrorist
- Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated
terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on Wednesday.
Significantly, the reasons for listing did not mention the Pulwama attack of
February 14, for which the JeM had claimed responsibility, and which found
mention in the latest (February 27) listing request for Azhar.
- Nevertheless, the listing is a victory for India in a decade-old
diplomatic battle waged primarily by it and supported by its friends at the
UNSC, as it would mean a travel ban, arms embargo and asset freeze on Azhar.
- However, China placed a hold on the request which normally lasts
for three months on March 13. This was the fourth such attempt to designate
Azhar, over a decade, that had gone awry.
- At the end of March, the U.S. circulated a draft resolution (to
sanction Azhar) among the UNSC members, i.e., outside the 1267 Committee,
presumably to pressure China into either supporting the listing or having to
take a stand in open proceedings and risk being seen as supporting terror.
- The international community has welcomed the United Nations'
decision to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar as a global
terrorist and sought sustained action from Pakistan against terrorism
emanating from its soil.
- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed hope that all
member states abide by the decisions of the Sanctions Committee that has
subject Azhar to an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban.
U.S-Taliban talks underway in Qatar
- A new round of peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S. got
under way in Qatar on Wednesday.
- The latest negotiations between the two sides come as pressure
builds for some sort of breakthrough in Afghanistan’s gruelling conflict,
with Washington jostling for a resolution.
- Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the “sixth round of talks
between (the Taliban) and the U.S. will start in Doha today”. The U.S.
Embassy in Kabul confirmed the talks “are occurring”.
- U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, a former U.S. Ambassador to
Afghanistan, tweeted that he was in Doha and had met with the Indonesian
Foreign Minister, who offered support for the talks.
- On Sunday, Mr. Khalilzad said Washington was “a bit impatient” to
end the war, given its $45 billion annual cost to the U.S. taxpayer and the
continued toll on U.S. forces, some 2,400 of whom have been killed since the
- Separately, thousands of Afghan politicians and representatives
from various groups are meeting in Kabul this week at a ‘loya jirga’ peace
- Mohammad Omar Daudzai, Mr. Ghani’s special envoy for peace,
welcomed the fresh U.S.-Taliban talks and described how the jirga could feed
into overall peace talks. “The jirga sets a logical beginning for the peace
process,” Mr. Daudzai told reporters. “The people in the jirga will decide
and set boundaries and the framework of talks.”
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Researchers develop antidote for the dangerous box jelly fish
- Australian researchers believe they have found an antidote to a
sting from the world’s most venomous creature, the much-feared box
- Researchers at the University of Sydney had been investigating how
the venom is so deadly that one box jellyfish can kill 60 people. The team
noticed the venom needs cholesterol to kill human cells and decided to test
whether existing drugs could stop it.
- “Since there are lots of drugs available that target cholesterol”
the team tried one out, said lead author Raymond Lau. “It worked,” he said.
“It’s a molecular antidote.”
- Running tests using human cells and mice, the team found it could
stop tissue scarring and pain associated with the sting as long as the
medicine was injected within 15 minutes.
- Stings from box jellyfish which can be smaller than a fingernail
or up to three metres long depending on the species can cause acute muscular
pain, violent vomiting, feelings of “impending doom”, hair that stands on
end, strokes, heart failure and death within minutes.
Apurvi Chandela becomes world no:1 in women’s 10m shooting
- Indian shooting ace Apurvi Chandela today attained the world
number one position in the women's 10 metres air rifle event while
compatriot Anjum Moudgil rose to number two after consistent performances in
- The rifle ace from Jaipur is among the five Indian shooters to
have already secured 2020 Olympics quotas for the country.
- Meanwhile, Moudgil attained the world number two rank in 10 metres
Air Rifle after her mixed team gold at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing. Manu
Bhaker is the world number 10 in 25 metres pistol women category.
For Study Materials Call Us at +91 8800734161 (MON-SAT 11AM-7PM)