Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 July 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

Centre constitutes CM panel for agri reforms

  • Centre has constituted a high powered committee of Chief Ministers of several states for the transformation of Indian Agriculture.

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister DevendraFadnavis will be the convenor of the committee, while the chief ministers of Karnataka, Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been included as members.

  • Union Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister will also be a member of the committee. Besides, NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand has been named the Member Secretary.

  • The Committee will discuss measures for the transformation of agriculture and raising farmers' income. It will suggest the modalities for adoption and time-bound implementation of agriculture sector reforms.

  • The Committee has been asked to submit its report in two months. It has been tasked to suggest changes in the Essential Commodity Act to attract private investments in agricultural marketing and infrastructure.

Home ministry considers providing citizenship to Hindu refugees

  • Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that the government would bring a Bill in Parliament to provide citizenship to “Hindus refugees” left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

  • Mr. Shah made the remark in hteRajyaSabha after Trinamool member Derek O’Brien raised the issue of the probability of 23 lakh Bengali Hindus losing citizenship when the final NRC is published by July 31 in Assam.

  • Nearly 41 lakh people have been excluded from the final draft NRC, of which 36 lakh have filed claims against the exclusion.

  • In its 2019 election manifesto, the BJP said it would compile NRCs across the country. President Ram NathKovind’s speech this month also mentioned that NRC would be implemented on “priority basis in areas affected by infiltration”.

  • At present, on Supreme Court directions, the Registrar-General of India (RGI) published the final draft of the NRC on July 30 last year to exclude those who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971.

  • The RGI on Monday a month’s extension to complete the enumeration process for updating the NRC in Assam.

  • Meanwhile The Centre has alsodeclared the entire State of Nagaland a “disturbed area” for six more months under the controversial AFSPA, which empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without notice.

::ECONOMY::

Growth in core industries sector slows down in May

  • Growth in the core sectors of the economy slowed to 5.1% in May 2019 led by slowing growth in the coal and refinery products sector, according to official data released on Monday.

  • The Index of Eight Core Industries saw growth slowing in May from the nine-month high of 6.3% registered in April. Nevertheless, the growth in May is the highest since July 2018, not counting April.

  • The slowdown in May was led by the refinery sector, which saw a contraction of 1.5% compared with a growth of 4.3% in the previous month. The coal sector also saw growth slowing to 1.8% from 3.2% over the same period.

  • The crude oil sector witnessed a continued contraction for the eighteenth consecutive month in May, with growth contracting 6.96% in that month compared with a contraction of 6.75% in April.

  • The natural gas sector remained flat in May, registering zero growth, compared with a contraction of 0.75% in April. The strongest performer of the eight sectors under consideration was the steel sector.

  • The sector grew 19.8% in May, up from a growth of 18.97% in the previous month. The fertilizer sector contracted again in May, by 1.03%, compared with a contraction of 4.4% in April.

Centre reiterates commitment towards job creation

  • The unemployment rate in the past five years; cut in interest rates on small savings; illegal means adopted by banks to recover loans; attacks on doctors these were among the prominent issues raised in the LokSabha on Monday.

  • During Question Hour, Union Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that reports on the high unemployment rate were misleading, and said job creation was a priority for the government. He said the overwhelming mandate to the government indicated that people did not believe such “misleading reports”.

  • Employment generation coupled with improving the employability of the youth is the priority concern of the Government.

  • Various steps for generating employment like encouraging private sector of the economy, fast-tracking various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been undertaken,he said.

  • Apart from employment data, the issue of slashing interest rates on fixed deposits and other small savings instruments was raised by the Congress leader in the LokSabhaAdhirRanjanChowdhury, who said nearly two percentage points have been slashed over the past two years.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

IAEA confirms Iran exceeded Uranium stock pile set by nuke deal

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif has said that the country has exceeded the 300-kilogramme limit on its enriched uranium reserves set by the 2015 nuclear deal. This was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors.

  • The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that Iran still planned to suspend other commitments under the deal in 10 days unless European powers took practical and tangible steps to implement their new mechanism for facilitating trade.

  • The mechanism, known as Instex, essentially allows goods to be bartered between Iranian and foreign companies without direct financial transactions. It became operational on Saturday, but Mr Zarif said it did not meet Iran's needs.

  • Under the nuclear deal, Iran had agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of sanctions.

  • Iran can stockpile no more than 300kg of low-enriched uranium. It is only permitted (until 2031) to produce low-enriched uranium, which has a 3-4 per cent concentration of U-235, and can fuel a power plant.

China wants India to include Huawei in its 5g trials

  • Calling for India to include Huawei in its 5G trials despite the U.S. government’s opposition to the Chinese telecommunications major, a senior Chinese official said New Delhi must not be “exclusive” in its choice.

  • “Huawei enjoys cutting edge technologies and I think it will best facilitate India’s realisation of its dream of building a digital economy,” said Yang Yanyi, former diplomat and a current Committee Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 13th CPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) National Committee.

  • “We need to guard against the attempt of forces in the west to keep control of science [and] technology, and they cannot stomach the fact that developing countries can also excel in technology,” Ms. Yang said.

  • Pointing out that Huawei already employs more than 8,000 Indians at its plant and R&D facilities in India, Zhu Feng, an academic accompanying Ms. Yang, said Indians “must not over react” to reports on security threats to India.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Japan resumes commercial whaling amid protests

  • Japan began its first commercial whale hunts in more than three decades on Monday, brushing aside outrage over its resumption of a practice that conservationists call cruel and outdated.

  • Five vessels from whaling communities left port in northern Japan’s Kushiro and by afternoon, a first whale had been caught.The country’s Fisheries Agency said it had set a cap for a total catch of 227 whales through the season until late December.

  • The hunts come after Japan’s withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission, a move slammed by anti-whaling activists but welcomed by Japanese whaling communities.

  • Whaling has long proved a diplomatic flashpoint for Tokyo, which says the practice is a Japanese tradition that should not be subject to international interference.

::SPORTS::

VaibhavYadav wins WBC Asian title

  • Indian pro boxer VaibhavYadav became the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia silver welterweight champion after defeating Thailand's FahpetchSingmanassak in the title bout held in Pattaya, Thailand.

  • Yadav, a cousin of Commonwealth Games gold-medallist VikasKrishan who has also turned pro now, clinched a third-round knockout over Singmanassak.

  • The fight, which took place last night, was conducted by the Asian Boxing Council and approved by the WBC.

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