Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 5 September 2018
Central & regional comittees to probe on faulty hip implant by pharma
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that State-level
committees consisting of two orthopaedic surgeons or physical medical
rehabilitation experts and one radiologist from government hospital, a
representative from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)
and drug controller of respective States should be formed to identify
patients who have received the faulty hip implant by pharmaceutical giant
Johnson & Johnson.
- The committee [of the Ministry which submitted its report recently] has
recommended, among other things, the constitution of [a] Central Expert
Committee and Regional Expert Committees for determining the exact quantum
of compensation after taking into account the minimum amount of Rs. 20 lakh,”
the notification stated.
- The onus of ensuring that the affected patients come forward for
compensation was on the government. But all the authorities have been
- Former FDA commissioner Mahesh Zagade who filed the FIR said the police
initially were very active in the investigation. “I made my staff available
for the investigating police officers as the case was not like other routine
police matters. The company had approached the court to quash the FIR but
they never got an order in their favour,” Mr.Zagade told The Hindu, adding
that he later pushed for a CBI inquiry as well.
GM mustard trials soon
- The environment ministry is set to convene this month a “special
meeting” of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to decide on
field-trial approvals for the controversial transgenic mustard developed by
the University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP),
according to a person familiar with the developments.
- The CGMCP had earlier applied to grow transgenic mustard (DMH-11) in
plots in Delhi and Punjab to test the plant’s effects on honeybees after the
GEAC, which had initially cleared the GM crop for “commercial cultivation”,
backtracked and demanded more tests and additional data on honeybees and
other pollinators and on soil microbial diversity.
- The GEAC, the apex regulator of transgenic products, had in July put a
decision on proposed field trials on hold after some members objected to the
use of “unapproved pesticides/herbicides” in the project proposal, according
to a record of the meeting made public this week.
- Environmentalists, farmer groups and some scientists argue that
transgenic mustard poses several environmental and health risks. Among these
is a contention that it contains a foreign gene from another species, that
tests so far have failed to show any appreciable gains in yield over
traditional varieties and that it could, if commercially approved, make
farmers growing the GM crop dependent on glyphosate — a weedicide that has
been linked to cancer.
SEBI Claims FPI outflow from market not a complex issue
- A day after an association of foreign funds warned of a potential
outflow of $75 billion from the Indian equity markets over a circular issued
by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in April, policymakers
brushed aside the concerns with the capital market watchdog terming the
claims “preposterous and highly irresponsible.”
- Later in the day, Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of
Economic Affairs, said that the issue was not so complex and that
non-resident Indians (NRIs) were allowed to invest directly in the Indian
- “NRIs are permitted to invest in Indian securities. There is a limit of
5% up to which NRIs can invest in a single security. When NRIs try to manage
funds from others through fund management and register as an FPI ... that is
where this issue [comes up]. So, if some NRI is a beneficial owner, then
that has been defined. If you have an economic interest as well as you
manage, that is not permissible,” explained Mr.Garg.
- It further stated that FPIs that do not comply with the framework would
be given six months to either change their structure or wind up their
positions in India. Last month, SEBI extended the deadline to December 31 to
comply with the new norms.
- The core issue is the definition of Beneficial Ownership and its use on
placing investment restrictions. If that issue is not resolved in a time
bound manner, the affected FPIs will have to take requisite actions that may
include liquidation and naturally it will have impact on the market and on
FPI flows into India
Centre affirms 100GW solar energy by 2022
- Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu
said that demand for energy will increase due to rapid development taking
place in India and fossil fuel is not going to last forever and therefore
there is need for renewable energy.
- Suresh Prabhu said that fossil fuel is not going to last for ever even
if its resources are managed in the best possible manner. He said that the
use of shale gas and oil is limited and it adversely impacts the
environment. The threat of climate change has become a reality and it has
affected bio-diversity of the planet.
- Imbalanced use of energy is the root cause of many environmental
problems in different parts of the world. It is causing unprecedented heat
wave conditions in Europe, intensity and frequency of typhoons have also
- Referring to variations in Monsoon rainfall in India, the Minister said
that India is in no way responsible for what is happening in the atmosphere
over Indian Ocean, but it has to bear the consequences of ocean warming. He
said that the time has come when we will have to switch over to the clean
form of energy like solar power.
- The Minister stated that the idea of solar alliance was conceived by
Prime Minister, NarendraModi, in 2015 as a treaty based international
intergovernmental organization. ISA stands for co-operation among 121 solar
rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropics in order to
promote massive deployment of solar energy and make solar energy affordable.
- He said many firms of Australia and Japan are keen to invest in India in
solar energy sector. The Minister emphasized on the need for sending market
signals so that more funds are invested in R&D in solar energy. India has
set a target to generate100 GW solar energy by 2022 for increasing share of
carbon free energy in the energy mix.
India-U.S 2+2 talks to discussIran & Russian issues
- New Delhi hopes the U.S. will consider the importance of its
relationship with India carefully, while considering any moves to sanction
defence purchases from Russia under the new CAATSA, or Countering America’s
Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, official sources said on Tuesday ahead of
the inaugural Indo-U.S. 2+2 dialogue.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James
Mattis will land here on Wednesday and meet External Affairs Minister
SushmaSwaraj and Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Thursday, which
officials said would be the “highest-level” dialogue between the two
countries this year.
- Our hope is that the U.S. will keep in mind the strategic relationships
it enjoys with each country in handling this matter,” an official said,
indicating that India would adopt a tough posture during the talks when the
CAATSA issue comes up.
- Another sticky issue remains the U.S. demand that India “zero out” its
oil imports from Iran by November, and whether the U.S. will give a waiver
to India’s development of the Chabahar port, when a separate set of
sanctions kick in.
- Officials pointed out that India had “independent relations” with all
the major powers and sought to dispel any apprehensions that the dialogue
would have a negative impact on relations with other countries.
Global survey finds youth more likely to protest than vote
- A growing number of younger adults, who say they are interested in
politics, are nevertheless rejecting formal political engagement in favour
of street protest, an Orb Media analysis of data from 9,79,000 people in 128
- Adults under 40 are between 9% and 17% more likely to take part in
demonstrations than those older than 40 — a marked increase from the early
2000s, when under-40s were only 3% more likely to protest.
- “Voting is a form of influencing something very formally,” said
DominikPuchala, 20, a left-wing Polish activist. “But sometimes, especially
in societies that are not civil societies, it is not enough.”
- Youth have always voted in lower numbers. But while surveys show that
democracy remains the most desired form of government, fewer young people
take part as volunteers or party members. Other modes of influence, from
street demonstrations to digital campaigns, are increasingly prominent.The
gap is widening. As more youth choose informal politics, more older adults
- Youth-led street movements have toppled leaders in Slovakia, Guatemala,
Tunisia and Egypt. In each, the establishment reasserted itself.
- “If young people only employ civil disobedience, they will inevitably be
left out of many decisions,” a report by the U.S.-based Consortium for
Elections and Political Process Strengthening noted.
- Two-thirds of non-voters in the 2016 U.S. election were younger than 50.
Only one-third of youth approve of Donald Trump as president. The gap is
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Japan to test space elevator
- A Japanese team has developed a “space elevator” and will conduct a
first trial this month, blasting off a miniature version on satellites to
test the technology.
- The test equipment, produced by researchers at Shizuoka University, will
hitch a ride on an H-2B rocket being launched by Japan’s space agency from
southern island of Tanegashima next week.
- The mini-elevator will travel along the cable from a container in one of
the satellites. “It’s going to be the world’s first experiment to test
elevator movement in space,” a university spokesman said on Tuesday.
- The movement of the motorised “elevator” box will be monitored with
cameras in the satellites.It is still a far cry from the ultimate beam-me-up
goals of the project, which builds on a long history of “space elevator”
dreams.The idea was first proposed in 1895 by Russian scientist Konstantin
Tsiolkovsky after he saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and was revisited nearly
a century later in a novel by Arthur C. Clarke.
- The company has said it could use carbon nanotube technology, which is
more than 20 times stronger than steel, to build a lift shaft about 96,000
km above the earth.
Argentina’s tennis player gets 5year ban
- Argentina’s PatricioHeras has been banned from tennis for five years and
fined $25,000 for match-fixing and other related offences.
- Heras was convicted of contriving the outcome of a match played at the
ATP Challenger tournament in Barranquilla, Colombia in September 2015.
- He is prohibited from competing in, or attending, any sanctioned events
organised or recognised by the governing bodies of the sport for the
duration of his suspension.The 29-year-old is ranked 307 in singles and has
a career-high of 269 achieved in September 2013.
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