Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 November 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 November 2019


India decides to opt out from RCEP agreement

  • India has decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal as negotiations failed to address New Delhi's outstanding issues and concerns.

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi made the announcement during his speech at the RCEP Summit in Bangkok yesterday, which was attended by several world leaders. Mr Modi said, the present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles.

  • He said the agreement also did not satisfactorily address India's outstanding issues and concerns, hence it was not possible for New Delhi to sign it. The Prime Minister said India stands for greater regional integration as well as for more free trade and adherence to a rule-based international order.

  • Later, speaking at a press conference in Bangkok, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Vijay Thakur Singh said India's core issues would not be compromised and the latest decision has been taken in the interest of the nation.

  • Ms Thakur said the RCEP agreement with China and ASEAN countries does not reflect its original intent, and the outcome is not balanced.

  • Leaders have hailed the Central government's decision of not joining the RCEP. In a tweet, Home Minister AmitSha said India's decision not to sign RCEP agreement reflects Prime Minister NarendraModi's strong leadership and unflinching resolve to protect the national interest in all circumstances.

Principal secretary to review measures taken to curb air pollution

  • The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. P K Mishra today reviewed, the measures taken by the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to tackle air pollution.

  • Dr. Mishra sought to know the details of additional measures taken to check fresh cases of fire and stubble burning in these States during the last 24 hours.

  • The Chief Secretary, Punjab stated that he is personally monitoring the situation with Deputy Commissioners of various districts where hotspots have been identified.

  • He added that FIRs are also being registered for violation and taking strict action by enforcing the necessary fines for incidents of the violation.

  • The Chief Secretary, Haryana informed the Chief Minister has directed all concerned to reduce the cases of stubble burning in the State at the earliest.\


RBI issues compensation guidelines for foreign, private banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India has issued compensation guidelines for whole-time directors and chief executives of foreign, private, small finance, payments banks and local area banks, mandating the cash component of variable pay at 67 per cent.

  • The RBI said if the variable pay is up to 200 per cent of the fixed pay, at least 50 percent of it should be in non-cash. If the variable pay is above 200 per cent, 67 per cent of it should be paid via non-cash instruments.

  • In a notification, the RBI said that banks should continue to formulate and adopt a comprehensive compensation policy covering all their employees and conduct annual reviews. It added that the new guidelines will be effective from April next year.

  • The RBI also said that it wants banks to claw-back the non-variable pay components if there is divergence in provisioning for NPAs or asset classification exceeds the prescribed threshold for public disclosure.

  • Foreign banks operating under the branch mode will have to continue to submit a declaration to RBI annually from their head offices confirming that the compensation structure of those working in the country are in conformity with principles and standards set by the Financial Stability Board.

South Asia to become centre of global growth,claims IMF

  • A latest research by the International Monetary Fund has said that South Asia, led by India, is moving towards becoming centre of global growth and could contribute about one-third of the world's growth by 2040.

  • Notably, under the IMF's geographical division of the world, South Asia does not include Afghanistan and Pakistan. For IMF, South Asia includes India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

  • The IMF paper titled 'Is South Asia Ready for take Off? A sustainable and inclusive growth agenda,' will be released in New Delhi tomorrow.

  • The report said that under a substantial liberalisation scenario, supported by stepped-up efforts to improve infrastructure and successfully harness South Asia's young and large workforce, the region could contribute about one-third of global growth by 2040.

  • Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, Deputy Director, Asia and Pacific Department, IMF, noted that based on demographic trends, more than 150 million people in the region are expected to enter the labour market by 2030.

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PM outlines global challenges at East Asia Summit

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi is now attending the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit in Bangkok.
  • Earlier, Mr Modi speaking at the 14th East Asia Summit, outlined global challenges facing the world today. He also highlighted the need for working together to find out common solutions.
  • East Asia Summit is a leaders-led platform, where discussions are held on various developments in the region. The agenda for this edition of the summit was to review the future direction of East Asia Summit co-operation and exchange views on regional and international issues.
  • Mr Modi also met Prime Minister of Vitenman on the sidelines of the summit. Minister Narendra also met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.
  • Both the leaders reviewed the evolving security scenario in the Indo-Pacific and agreed to further bolster bilateral cooperation in third countries for peace, prosperity and development in the region.
  • In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar wrote, Prime minister said that he eagerly looked forward to welcoming the Japanese prime minister in India next month for the annual India-Japan summit.

U.S formally notifies withdrawal from Paris climate deal

  • The US has formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the withdrawal, saying the agreement had imposed what he called an unfair economic burden on the US.

  • The notification begins a one-year process of exiting the global climate change accord, culminating the day after the 2020 US election.

  • The agreement brought together 188 nations to combat climate change. It committed them to keeping rising global temperatures below 2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels and attempting to limit them even more, to a 1.5 Celsius rise. The US contributes about 15 per cent of global emissions of carbon.

  • Last year, announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, President Trump said he would exit or re-negotiate any deal which fails to serve America's interests.


Red Atlas action plan map unveiled for flood mitigation

  • Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the ‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and the ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’ for flood mitigation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

  • Both the atlas and the CFLOWS-Chennai are intended as decision support systems covering aspects, including preparedness and prevention. Such initiatives to effectively tackle urban flooding are likely to be replicated in other Indian cities including Mumbai, Maharashtra.

  • The atlas is aimed at flood mitigation, preparedness, operations and management aspects. The manual besides showcasing the probable scenarios for different rainfall periods also provides information on corporation wards that are likely to be affected due to flooding, and the areas that may need evacuation in Chennai by taking into account all historical datasets.

  • The over 200-page atlas was prepared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in association with TN State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and Greater Chennai Corporation.

  • Also, the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Centre government, IIT-Bombay, IIT Madras and Institute of Remote Sensing of Anna University participated from the academia.


Rafael Nadal secures No:1 spot in ATP rankings

  • Rafael Nadal is back to the world No. 1 for the eighth time in his career in the ATP rankings released today. The Spaniard goes up one place to overtake Novak Djokovic even though the Serb sealed his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

  • Nadal, whose last stint at the top ended a year ago on November 4, 2018, withdrew from his semifinal against Shapovalov in Paris. Djokovic slips down the rankings because he loses the points that he won a year ago in London when Nadal was absent.

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