Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 JANUARY 2018


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 JANUARY 2019


::NATIONAL::

Centre tells supreme court Lokpal search panel has been constituted

  •  The government informed the Supreme Court on Friday that a search committee had been constituted in September 2018 for zeroing in on eligible candidates for the Lokpal, and it will frame its own rules of functioning.
  •  The Department of Personnel and Training’s notification, issued on September 27, lists the names of the eight-member search committee, led by former Supreme Court judge RanjanaPrakash Desai.
  •  On July 24 last year, the Supreme Court had said the government’s stand on completing the appointment of Lokpal, an ombudsman to protect the common man from corruption in public service and power centres, was “wholly unsatisfactory.
  •  The court had then been reacting to an affidavit filed by the government, of which the stated aim was to specify the exact time frame by which it would appoint the Lokpal. Instead, the government had said the appointment was a “complicated” process.
  •  Though passed in 2014, the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act of 2013 was not implemented all these years because there was no Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the 16th LokSabha. The 2013 statute includes the LoP as a member of the selection committee.
  •  The Act intends the LoP to be the part of the selection committee of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Speaker, which has to first appoint an eminent jurist among their ranks.

Prime Minister assures zero exclusion in NRC

  •  The government will ensure that no Indian is left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Prime Minister NarendraModi has said on Friday.
  •  Addressing the Vijay SankalpSamavesh rally at Silchar in Assam, Prime Minister said that he is aware of the difficulties faced by the general public in the process of preparing NRC.
  •  Prime Minister expressed hope that the Citizenship Amendment Act will be passed by the Parliament soon. He said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill has been introduced after wide discussions and the government is moving forward with it firmly.
  •  PM Modi said his government is working on the policy of 'Act east and act fast in the east' for holistic development of northeast with developing infrastructure and conserving culture simultaneously.
  •  He said to promote culture and values of people of Assam, union cabinet has approved constitution of a high-level committee to implement clause 6 of Assam accord.
  •  Earlier, in Manipur, Prime Minister inaugurated eight development projects and laid the foundation stone for four development projects at HaptaKangjeibung in Imphal. He dedicated 400 KV Double Circuit Silchar-Imphalline to the nation.

::ECONOMY::

E-com companies may seek extension for implementation of new rules

  •  Large e-commerce marketplaces could approach the government seeking extension of the February 1 deadline as compliance with the recent changes would require at least 4-5 months at operational level, according to multiple sources.
  •  A senior executive at one of the big e-commerce companies said at least 4-5 months would be needed for players to rework the operational aspects and that the February 1 deadline does not provide adequate time.
  •  The rules were announced on December 26, giving firms just a month to execute these changes which, in many cases, would require reworking existing partnerships and even, overhauling business models, the executive added.
  •  Another official said companies are studying the recently announced amendments in detail and are likely to approach the government in the coming weeks. These representatives did not wish to be identified as the matter is sensitive.
  •  The government’s move to tighten norms has hit Amazon and Flipkart the hardest as the new regulations prohibit online marketplaces with foreign investment to sell products of companies in which they hold stake. Norms also ban exclusive marketing arrangements.

RBI to limit customer liability in fraud PPI transactions

  •  The Reserve Bank of India has decided to limit the liability of customers in case of unauthorised electronic payment transactions in Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) issued by non-banks.
  •  Under new norms on customer liability, the regulator said frauds due to third-party breach where neither the customer nor the PPI issuer is at fault, there cannot be any liability for the customer, in case the incident in reported within three days.
  •  If the fraud is reported between three and seven days, customer liability will amount to the transaction value or Rs. 10,000, whichever is lower.
  •  After the customer reports the fraud, the PPI issuer has to credit the amount involved in the unauthorised transaction to the customer’s PPI within 10 days.
  •  “The burden of proving customer liability in case of unauthorised electronic payment transactions shall lie on the PPI issuer,” RBI said. There will be no liability to the customer if fraud is due to negligence or deficiency of the PPI issuer, irrespective of whether or not the transaction is reported by the customer.
  •  “In cases where the loss is due to negligence by a customer, such as where he / she has shared the payment credentials, the customer will bear the entire loss until he / she reports the unauthorised transaction to the PPI issuer. Any loss occurring after the reporting of the unauthorised transaction shall be borne by the PPI issuer,” the RBI said.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Democrats sweep to power in US house of Representatives

  •  U.S. Democrats swept back to power on Thursday in the House of Representatives with veteran Nancy Pelosi at the helm, but they came face to face with what may be a new divided government normal in Washington: legislative gridlock.
  •  After a historic opening session of the 116th Congress in which Ms. Pelosi was elected as Speaker for the second time in her career, lawmakers took aim at a bipartisan priority of ending an embarrassing partial government shutdown that was stretching into its 13th day.
  •  The House passed two measures that would re-open government agencies whose funding had lapsed, but provide no money for a border wall demanded by Donald Trump. They are all but dead on arrival in the Senate, where the Republican leadership has vowed not to bring them up for a vote.
  •  Democrats’ new majority in the House of Representatives marked a dramatic power shift on Capitol Hill less than two years before Mr. Trump’s re-election bid.
  •  The first two Native American women and first two Muslim women were also elected. “It’s a new day in America,” tweeted Ilhan Omar, a former Somali refugee elected from Minnesota.

China tests its most powerful non-nuclear weapon

  •  China has tested its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed the “Mother of All Bombs” by official media in a reference to a U.S. munition used in Afghanistan.
  •  In a short video published on the website of state arms manufacturer Norinco, the massive bomb drops on to a plain and produces a gigantic ball of fire and black smoke.
  •  The bomb whose strength is only second to that of a nuclear weapon, according to the official Xinhua agency was dropped by a Chinese H-6K bomber.
  •  The bomb is five to six metres long (16 to 20 feet), but weighs less than the American version, according to military analyst Wei Dongxu, who was quoted by the semi-official Global Times daily on Friday.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Cyclone ‘PABUK’ to hit the Andaman Islands today

  •  The cyclonic storm “PABUK” over the South China Sea has moved west-northwestwards during past 24 hours.
  •  It lay centred over the Gulf of Thailand and adjoining Thailand, about 990 km east-southeast of Port Blair on Friday morning.
  •  Meteorological office in Port Blair said, it is very likely to move west-northwestwards and emerge into the Andaman Sea by Saturday forenoon.
  •  It may cross the Andaman Islands around Sunday night. The storm is likely to cause heavy to very heavy rainfall over the Andaman Islands from tomorrow evening till Sunday.
  •  Squally winds with speed reaching 60 kmph are likely to commence over the Andaman Sea and Thailand coast. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.

::SPORTS::

National Table Tennis championship to begin in Cuttack

  •  The 80th National Table Tennis Championship began at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Friday.

  •  As many as 35 teams, including 550 players from different parts of the country are participating in the mega championship.

  •  Medal winners at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games ManikaBatra, Senior players like Sharath Kamal, MadhuribaPatkar, OlympianAnkita Das are some of the key players who will be in the limelight during the event.

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