Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 February 2019
Opposition parties discuss issue of EVM tampering with election commission
- Leaders of several Opposition parties approached the Election
Commission of India (ECI) on February 4 and sought redressal of the issue of
alleged tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
- They urged the poll panel ensure that 50% of EVM results are
matched and cross-checked with voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs)
before the declaration of results in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
- They told the ECI that people doubted the efficacy of EVMs and
this issue needed to be redressed.The Opposition delegation met the Chief
Election Commissioner and other members of the panel.
- Opposition parties had sought moving back to the ballot paper
system, but after the ECI made it clear that there is no possibility of
going back to the old system, they changed their strategy and are now
demanding matching of 50% EVMs with VVPATs.
- The Opposition leaders earlier met in Parliament and discussed
their strategy on the issue.
Home minister says constitutional breakdown has happened in west Bengal
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said there may be a
constitutional breakdown in West Bengal in the wake of the Kolkata
Police-CBI face-off and asserted that the Centre has power to take action.
- Amidst din in the Lok Sabha, he also termed as “unprecedented” the
move to stop the probe agency from performing its duty.
- An all-out war broke out between the Centre and the Mamata
Banerjee government on Sunday over the CBI’s attempt to question the Kolkata
Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams.
- Making a statement in Lok Sabha on the prevailing situation in
Kolkata, Mr. Singh described the action against the CBI probe team, which
went to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, as
“unprecedented” and a threat to the federal political system of the country.
- Earlier, opposition parties in Lok Sabha attacked the government
over the alleged misuse of central agencies against political rivals, saying
it was against democratic norms.
- Members from Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, NCP and
Samajwadi Party spoke against the CBI move to question the Kolkata police
chief. A CPI(M) member said both the Trinamool Congress and the Centre were
Awareness programme on agri export policy held
- Commerce Minister, Suresh Prabhu,in his address at the first state
level awareness programme on agriculture export policy said that in order to
achieve the purpose of the policy clusters have been identified across the
country for development of agriculture exports.
- Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO’s) and co-operatives should be
linked with the farmers and exporters. Required infrastructure needs to be
provided in these clusters and use of latest technology in agriculture has
to be adopted.
- He also stressed on attractive packaging in order to increase the
demand for the identified products. Indian Institute of Packaging has been
roped in for working on packaging standards for international markets.
- Government of India has recently released an Agriculture Export
Policy which aims at reinvigorating the entire value chain from export
oriented farm production and processing to transportation, infrastructure
and market access.
- The Agriculture Export Policy is framed with a focus on
agriculture export oriented production, export promotion, better farm
realization and synchronization with policies and programmes of Government
- It is required to have a “Farmers’ Centric Approach” for improved
income through value addition at source itself which will help minimize
losses across the value chain.
- Suresh Prabhu informed that the Agriculture Export Policy has been
prepared jointly with the state governments and will be implemented by the
concerned state agriculture and horticulture departments.
Coal ministry signs MOU with ministry of energy, Poland
- Ministry of Coal entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with
Ministry of Energy, Republic of Poland here today. The MoU has been signed
between Sh. Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, Hon'ble Minister of State for
Coal and Mines and Mr. Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Secretary of State, Ministry of
Energy, Republic of Poland.
- Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Coal and
Mines, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said that India and Poland
celebrated 60 years of vibrant diplomatic relations and also formalized
cooperation agreements in different areas and he expressed hope that the MoU
signed today would further strengthen these efforts.
- He also complimented the officials from Poland and India for
identification of areas of cooperation and the development of this MoU after
- He added that the MoU will greatly benefit in the field of clean
technologies and would provide opportunities to both our countries to
augment trade and investment in diverse areas in mining and energy sectors.
- He conveyed expectation that the joint working group created under
the MoU would work very closely to take the aims of the MoU further in a
time-bound manner. He further added that he also foresees a very strong
scope for cooperation in other areas of mining in India.
U.K government gives permission for extradition of Vijay Mallya
- British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the order for the
extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India. The businessman whose
legal team had previously indicated their intention to appeal the
extradition will now have two weeks to lodge an appeal.
- The signing of the order on February 3 came just a few days shy of
the two-month window from the date of judgement December 10, 2018 within
which a decision had to be made.
- Under Britain’s extradition rules, Mr. Javid had two months from
the date of the judgement to determine whether to order the extradition.
- In making extradition decisions, the Minister has to consider
issues including whether the death penalty would be involved or the person
be extradited to a third country (neither of which would apply in this
- Anand Doobay, lawyer for Vijay Mallya, who faces charges of money
laundering and fraud in India, had confirmed late last year that he intended
to appeal the extradition order once it was confirmed by the British
- Late last week, Mr. Mallya took to Twitter to criticise Indian
authorities and the banks, accusing the latter of pursing “multiple
frivolous litigations” against him. He accused the banks’ lawyers of
objecting to him paying “legitimate tax dues” in the U.K.
Major European powers accept Juan Guaido as Venezuelan Prezident
- France, Britain, Spain, Austria, Sweden and Denmark on Monday
recognised Opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela.
- The coordinated move from major European nations came after the
expiry of an eight-day deadline they set last weekend for President Nicolas
Maduro to call a new vote.
- Mr. Maduro said on Sunday that he would not give into ultimatums.
He has so far rejected calls by European countries to call an early
election. He has offered to call early parliamentary elections instead.
- The Venezuelan leader, accused of running the OPEC nation like a
dictatorship and wrecking its economy, has defied that, saying Europe's
ruling elite are sycophantically following U.S. President Donald Trump's
- Mr. Guaido, who leads the Opposition-controlled National Assembly,
declared himself temporary leader on January 23 in a move that has split
- Mr. Trump immediately recognised him and European Union nations
backed Mr. Guaido, though some have been nervous over the global precedent
of a self-declaration.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
IORA meeting on Disaster risk Management begins
- The Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of
External Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is
organising a meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Cluster Group on
Disaster Risk Management (DRM) on 5-6 February 2019 in New Delhi.
- Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organisation
and has many disaster-prone countries among its 22 members and nine dialogue
partners. DRM is one of its priority areas and its Action Plan (2017-2021)
has specific goals to improve resilience in IORA countries.
- The two-day meeting will feature interactive sessions and will
focus on development of a draft Work Plan for DRM in IORA. It will also
deliberate on the need for establishing a DRM Core Group to take forward the
agreed objectives under the Work Plan.
- It would strengthen cooperation in disaster response
interventions, including deployment of response teams and mobilization of
relief material to affected countries. Deliberations at the meeting would
also aid information exchange, establishment of disaster databases and
sharing of best practices.
West Indies reclaims Wisden trophy
- Kemar Roach and captain Jason Holder led another rout of the
England batting line-up as the West Indies completed a crushing
series-clinching 10-wicket victory after tea on the third day of the second
Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.
- Trailing by 119 runs at the start of the second innings after
Darren Bravo’s ultra-patient half-century extended the West Indies first
innings total to 306 in the morning, England was demolished for 132 with
Roach and Holder claiming four wickets each.