Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 03 MAY 2019
Vice President commemorates birth anniversary of Vedanta Desikan
- The Vice President, Shri. M. Venkaiah Naidu released a postage
stamp to commemorate the 750th birth anniversary of Sri Vedanta Desikan in
New Delhi today. He said that our textbooks must throw light on the lives of
great saints and spiritual icons such as Sri Vedanta Desikan so that our
children internalize and practice the lofty ideals of humanism, peace and
compassion propagated by them.
- The Vice President termed Sri Vedanta Desikan’s scholarship as
truly outstanding and said that he had authored brilliant poems, prose,
drama, epics, commentaries, scientific texts and philosophical treatises in
Sanskrit, Tamil, Prakrit and Manipravalam.
- Shri Naidu emphasized that Vedanta Desikan was much more than a
spiritual teacher and said that he was a multi-faceted personality-- a
scientist, a logician, a mathematician, a literary genius, a linguist, a
military strategist and much more.
- Referring to Sri Vedanta Desikan’s humility and non-attachment to
worldly honors and his affinity to a life of simplicity and service, the
Vice President said Sri Desikan considered the grace of the Lord he
worshipped and served as his greatest treasure.
- The Vice President expressed hope that organizations like Sri
Vedanta Desikan Manipaduka Indraprastha Trust would propagate Sri Vedant
Desikan’s timeless message to the younger generation. ‘It is only through
such understanding that the true greatness of our illustrious land can be
fully appreciated’, he said.
- The Vice President also stressed that massive public awareness and
education campaigns must be undertaken to bring to the fore luminaries such
as Sri Vedant Desikan who have shaped our Bharat into a “Jnana Bhoomi”.
External affairs ministry claims pulwama attack effected designation of
Azhar Masood in UN list
- India on Thursday reiterated that it would not negotiate with any
country on terrorism and national security, saying the listing of Masood
Azhar as a global terrorist was the result of a sustained process started a
decade ago during the UPA government.
- “Our objective has been all along the naming of Azhar. The process
started in 2009, in 2016 and 2017 it was continued. Designation was not on
the basis of a single incident, but [was] on the basis of evidence we have
shared linking Azhar to several acts of terrorism,” said Raveesh Kumar,
spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry. He said India would maintain
the international campaign against cross-border terrorists.
- However, the May 1 announcement from the 1267 Sanctions Committee
of the UN Security Council did not refer to the terror attack in its
statement giving rise to speculation on whether the UN appreciated India’s
immediate concerns about the role played by the JeM in cross-border acts of
terrorism from Pakistan.
- In compliance with the UN listing, Pakistan issued a Statutory
Regulatory Order on Wednesday ordering freezing of financial assets
belonging to Azhar. It also ordered travel ban and arms embargo on him.
- India said Pakistan would be held responsible by the international
community on the follow up actions it is expected to take after the U.N.
Pepsico withdraws case against farmers based on government assurance
- In a victory for Gujarat potato farmers dragged to court by
PepsiCo for alleged rights infringement, the food and beverages giant says
it has agreed to withdraw the cases.
- “After discussions with the Government, the Company has agreed to
withdraw cases against farmers. We are relying on the said discussions to
find a long term and an amicable resolution of all issues around seed
protection,” said a PepsiCo spokesperson on Thursday.
- This decision applies to the nine farmers PepsiCo has sued over
the last two years for allegedly growing its registered potato variety which
is used for Lays chips.
- Anand Yagnik, the lawyer representing four farmers from
Sabarkantha district who were sued for ₹1.05 crore each, said “an
unconditional withdrawal of litigation would be a great victory for the
downtrodden and small farmers against a major corporate power”, but noted
that the company is yet to communicate its decision to the court or to the
farmers and their lawyer.
- “It is not stated when it will implement its decision,” he said.
“It is important that no wrong precedent is set, given that this is a test
case which could affect other farmers across the country.”
- The PepsiCo decision follows criticism from political parties and
farmers rights groups, as well as boycott calls on global social media.
NCLAT allows IL & FS default accounts to be declared as NPA’s
- The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday
allowed the banks to declare as non-performing assets (NPAs) the accounts of
IL&FS and its group companies that have defaulted on payments.
- A bench headed by Chairman Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya lifted the
embargo on the banks to declare the accounts of the debt-ridden IL&FS and
its 300 group entities, which are unable to pay their debt.
- However, the appellate tribunal has also clarified that although
the banks would declare the IL&FS accounts as NPAs, they cannot initiate
recovery process and debit money.
- The bench has observed that lenders must not withdraw support
until a resolution is found for the IL&FS and its group companies.
- Presently, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS)
Group companies, with a collective debt of over Rs. 90,000 crore, are going
through a resolution process. The NCLAT had, in February, prohibited banks
from recognising any IL&FS group accounts as non-performing assets without
first seeking approval from the tribunal.
- The RBI had moved the NCLAT to modify the order allowing the banks
to declare the defaulting accounts of IL&FS as NPAs, as per banking
- It contended that banks had an obligation to mark bad loans as NPA
in cases of non-payment, after the default of 90 days.
International Press Institute claims global journalism under severe pressure
- Governments across the world are increasingly clamping down on
press freedom by enacting new laws, according to a global network of
journalists. Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) said in its
latest report that as many as 55 journalists have been killed since May last
- IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi, on the occasion of World
Press Freedom Day 2019, said Press freedom globally is under intense and
growing pressure, as illiberal-minded governments seek to shut down critical
voices and, in many cases, deliberately erode the credibility of independent
- While on the one hand governments are attempting to curtail press
freedom, on the other journalists around the world are being killed with
impunity, the IPI added.
Venezuela to get help of armed corps to forbid coup
- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro today called on the armed
forces to oppose any coup plotter after a failed military uprising by forces
supporting opposition leader Juan Guaido.
- Maduro's call comes after an uprising on Tuesday by a group of
military personnel under the leadership of Guaido. But the military
leadership ratified their support for the Maduro Government and 25 rebel
soldiers sought asylum at the Brazilian Embassy.
- Tensions in Venezuela have soared since Guaido, who heads the
National Assembly legislature, invoked the constitution to declare himself
acting President on January 23, claiming Maduro's re-election last year was
illegitimate. Juan Guaido has been recognized by more than 50 countries as
Venezuela's interim President.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO to land rover in Moon’s south pole during Chandrayaan 2
- India’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2, will be historic for
the scientific community as the country’s space agency, the Indian Space
Research Organisation (ISRO), attempts to land a rover on the lunar South
Pole, a region on the moon to which no one has gone till now, ISRO Chairman
- On Wednesday, ISRO said it had fixed a launch window between July
5 and July 16 to launch the moon mission on board a GSLV-MkIII, with an aim
to land on the moon around September 6. If ISRO manages to successfully
execute this, India will be the first country to land a rover on the moon’s
- ISRO Chairman K. Sivan, said this was a region where nobody had
gone before. “All the [ISRO] missions, whatever we have had till now [to the
moon], have all landed near the moon’s equator. This is a place where nobody
has gone,” he said.
- After missing multiple launch deadlines, Mr. Sivan said the new
launch window was almost final and that ISRO would launch the mission in
- “When nobody has gone near that area, some new science might be
there. Some new information, new science, we may get access to,” he said.
ISRO will reveal further details of its plans and goals for the
Chandrayaan-2 mission in June, he said.
- The South Pole of the moon has generated a lot of interest in the
recent past, with countries aiming to reach the region in what could spark
another race to the moon.
- China is reportedly aiming to construct a moon research station on
the lunar south pole, while the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) is working to send astronauts there by 2024.
Bajrang punia wins Ali Aliyev wrestling tournament
- World number one Bajrang Punia won the gold medal as he defeated
Viktor Rassadin in the finals of men's 65kg freestyle in the Ali Aliyev
wrestling tournament in Kaspiisk, Russia on Thursday.
- Bajrang got the better of the local favourite 13-8 in his final
bout after being down 0-5 at one stage.
- The 25-year-old Indian grappler had won a gold medal last week at
the Asian Championships in Xi'an, China.
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