Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 MAY 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 MAY 2019


::NATIONAL::

Govt.claims PMO merely monitored Rafaledeal with zero interference

  • The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was “monitoring” the progress of the deal to buy 36 Rafale jets but this could not be taken as “parallel negotiations” with the French side, the government told the Supreme Court on Saturday.
  • The submission follows the directive on Tuesday last that the government respond to the Rafale deal case review petitions by Saturday. The Centre had sought a whole month to respond.
  • The government said the newspaper reports were “selective” reports, based on “some incomplete internal file notings, procured unauthorisedly and illegally”, did not reflect the final decision of the competent authority. They could not form the basis for a review petition.
  • The two affidavits filed by the MoD said the action of the review petitioners, who include former Union Ministers YashwantSinha and ArunShourie and senior lawyer PrashantBhushan, was “tantamount to questioning the sovereign decision concerning national security and defence”.
  • The government dismissed allegations such as the “Reliance Group paid €1.48 million to former French President Francois Hollande’s partner’s venture.” It said these charges were “matters of individual perceptions” of the petitioners.
  • It said DPP-2013 was followed and approval of the Defence Acquisition Council was taken for the procurement of the Rafale aircraft. The Indian Negotiating Team conducted comprehensive negotiations with the French side for about a year, holding 48 internal and 26 external meetings with the French side. The approval of the CCS was taken before signing the IGA.

Centre reviews rescue operations in FANI hit areas

  • The Union Health Ministry on Saturday decided to postpone the NEET examination in Odisha, which was scheduled for May 5, following a request from the State government in view of the ongoing rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani.
  • The decision was conveyed to the National Crisis Management Committee that reviewed the ongoing operations in the cyclone hit areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Odisha officials said there was extensive damage to the telecommunications and power infrastructure in Puri, Bhubaneswar and other areas due to the cyclone. However, due to advance precautionary measures taken and large-scale evacuation, the loss of human lives was minimal.
  • West Bengal reported mild impact of the cyclone, while Andhra Pradesh recorded heavy rainfall and some damage to crops and roads in the Srikakulam district.
  • Meanwhile Indian Navy has launched a three-pronged rescue and rehabilitation effort centred around the worst affected Puri and its suburbs in coordination with the state government.
  • In Bangladesh, at least 14 people were killed and 63 others injured as cyclonic storm 'Fani' hit the country yesterday. Disaster Management and Relief State Minister EnamurRahman said dozens of villages on the Bangladesh coast have submerged.

::ECONOMY::

India recommends diversion of idle funds in advanced economies towards Asia

  • India on Saturday suggested that funds from the idle savings pools of advanced economies could be funnelled to developing countries in Asia, where consumption is rising.
  • Such funds lie in pensions and insurance pools and in sovereign wealth funds and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) could play a role in channelising the money to emerging markets, said Subash Chandra Garg, Alternate Governor, ADB.
  • Addressing the business session of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ADB, Mr.Garg, India’s Economic Affairs Secretary, said: “Advanced economies are seeing stagnant consumption and they have much larger savings pools… than their investment requirement. If we can, with ADB assisting, ensure flow of funds from advanced economies to the emerging market and developing economies, we would succeed in not only keeping global growth sustained high but also make significant dent on poverty and infrastructure services debt.”
  • Pointing out that private investment in infrastructure and human capital improvement will not flow unless projects are derisked with guarantees and structured support.He argued that multilateral development banks should be fully engaged and enhance their direct support. The ADB can help develop private sector initiatives by investing more through equity and infrastructure trusts, he said.
  • In what can be construed as a critique of the ADB over its strict environmental and social safeguards in assessing projects, Mr.Garg cautioned that the bank should ensure that its policy prescriptions “are rooted in ground realities and do not deter the developmental aspirations of the borrowing countries.”

ICRA downgrades major financial market players

  • Rating agency ICRA has downgraded the long-term rating of private sector lender Yes Bank with negative outlook after the lender reported significant increase in below investment grade advances, which could impact the bank’s profitability in the coming quarters.
  • Yes Bank reported its first-ever quarterly loss of Rs. 1,506 crore during the January-March period. ICRA said the increase in below investment grade advances was expected to translate into a moderation in the earnings profile in the near term.
  • ICRA has also downgraded the short term-rating for the Commercial Paper programme of Reliance Home Finance Limited to ‘D’, citing delay in servicing debt by the company. “The rating revision takes into account delays in debt servicing on some of its bank lines. The company, however, has confirmed, that there have been no delays in repayments in the commercial paper programme till date,” ICRA said.
  • Another group company Reliance Commercial Finance’s short term ratings were downgraded to ‘D’ for the same reason as RHF. Both commercial papers and bank lines of RCF were downgraded to ‘D’ by ICRA.
  • ICRA has downgraded some of Canara Bank’s debt instruments taking into account the lender’s earning profile, asset quality and capital requirements.
  • In a filing with the BSE, the bank said ratings on its additional Tier-I bonds worth Rs. 1,500 crore had been downgraded to ‘AA-’, with a stable outlook, from ‘AA’ with negative outlook.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

::INTERNATIONAL::

North Korea test fires short range missiles

  • North Korea has fired several short range projectiles into the Sea of Japan. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the drill yesterday. State media confirmed that North Korean leader gave the order of firing to increase the combat ability of the country.
  • It said the purpose of the drill was to test the operating ability and accuracy of multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons by the defence units.
  • It could be Pyongang's first short range missile launch for more than a year as it seeks to up pressure on Washington with nuclear talks deadlocked.
  • Reacting to the development US President Donald Trump expressed confidence that the North Korean leader will not break his promise. In a tweet, Mr Trump said, he believes that Kim Jong-un fully realises the great economic potential of North Korea and will do nothing to jeopardise it.

Taliban claims gaps in U.S negotiation talks narrowing

  • The Taliban on Saturday said the gap is narrowing in talks with U.S.’s special peace envoy over a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The two sides are continuing to meet in Qatar.
  • In a voice message to , the Taliban spokesman in Doha, SohailShaheen, said both sides have offered new proposals for drawing down U.S. and NATO forces. This would be a significant initial step toward a deal to end nearly 18 years of war and America’s longest military engagement.
  • “There are proposals to lower the gap between the two sides, but (it) still needs negotiation to reach a final agreement,” he said in an English language statement.
  • Other Taliban officials familiar with the negotiations had earlier said that the U.S. was seeking a year and a half to withdraw its estimated 14,000 troops from Afghanistan, while the Taliban wanted it done in six months.
  • Talks between the U.S. and Taliban, which began last year with the appointment of Washington’s peace envoy, ZalmayKhalilzad, have focused on a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal as well as Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used as a staging arena for global terrorist attacks.
  • Taliban officials said the group has concerns about a ceasefire, Taliban commanders in the field are unlikely to accept a ceasefire while foreign troops are still in Afghanistan, and once a cease-fire is declared, it would be difficult to re-start the fighting if the U.S. reneges on its deal.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Researchers successfully bioprints 3D human skin models

  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have successfully 3D bioprinted human skin models that have certain anatomically relevant structural, mechanical and biochemical features similar to native human skin. The bioprinted skin produced in the lab by the team is already being used by ITC Ltd for experiments.
  • The bioprinted skin model will have wide applications in testing cosmetics. It can also reduce and probably even replace testing on animals.It can also be used for testing dermatology drugs on human skin and at a future date even help in testing drugs for personalised medicine.
  • The undulatory junction was designed using 3D CAD and 10 layers of dermis were constructed through bioprinting followed by eight layers of epidermis.
  • The bioprinted skin also retained the original dimension without any shrinkage for up to three weeks. Traditionally, collagen used for developing skin constructs start shrinking within a few weeks thus affecting the morphology. Testing on such skin constructs therefore cannot be carried out beyond one week.
  • Prof. Ghosh’s team has already developed a 3D construct for hair follicle structure in collaboration with ITC Ltd.

::SPORTS::

ICC release T20 rankings with India in 5th spot

  • The world body governing cricket, ICC on Friday unveiled an expanded men's Twenty20 International team rankings with 80 teams.
  • India with 260 points have dropped three places to fifth in the latest list. The ICC T20 World Cup champions of 2009, Pakistan have consolidated their top position with 286 points. The next three teams are South Africa (262), England (261) and Australia (261).
  • The launch of expanded ICC T20 team rankings coincides with the annual rankings in which series results from 2015-16 are removed and outcomes from 2016-17 and 2017-18 are weighted at 50 per cent.

Click Here For Today's Current Affairs MCQ's

Click Here for Old Current Affairs Archive

This is a Part of Online Coaching Programme for UPSC Exam

Buy Printed Study Material for UPSC PRELIMS EXAM

Join Test Series for IAS (Pre.) Exam

For Study Materials Call Us at +91 8800734161 (MON-SAT 11AM-7PM)