Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 5 DECEMBER 2018
Supreme court to set up more specialised courts for cases involving
To ensure effective trial of pending criminal cases involving former
and sitting lawmakers in Bihar and Kerala, the Supreme Court Tuesday directed
setting up of special designated courts in each district of these two States to
try such cases.
Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, appointed as amicus curiae to assist
the court in the matter, said there were 4,122 criminal cases pending, some for
over three decades, against present and former Members of Parliament and
The top court fixed the sequence for cases to be tried in these courts
and said cases against sitting or former MPs or MLAs involving offences
punishable with life imprisonment or death sentence, shall be taken as a first
A Bench of Chief Justice RanjanGogoi and Justices Sanjay KishanKaul and
K. M. Joseph said creating designated courts in each districts would be a more
effective step than concentrating all such cases in one special court.
A report compiled by the amicus curiae revealed that 2,324 of the cases
were against sitting MPs and MLAs.The report was submitted in a case initiated
by lawyer and BJP leader AshwiniUpadhyay, who has sought a lifetime ban on
politicians convicted in criminal cases, besides setting up of special courts to
try such cases.
Study claims disabilities act implementation slow in states
A study conducted by the Disability Rights India Foundation (DRIF) on
the implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, across
24 States, has revealed that more than half have not notified the State rules,
despite a significant lapse of time.
Ten States including Bihar, Chandigarh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha,
Telengana, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have notified the State rules, the survey
The study, conducted in collaboration with the National Centre for
Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) and National Committee on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (NCRPD), said the Act, passed in
December 2016, should have been notified by all States within six months.
The study, which concentrated on the States’ administrative machinery
with respect to the Act, found that 79.2% of the States had not constituted the
funds for implementation of the RPWD Act. Among the five States to have
constituted the funds, Tamil Nadu has allocated Rs. 10 crore while Himachal
Pradesh has allocated Rs. 5 crore.
Though 62.5% of the States have appointed Commissioners for Persons
with Disabilities, “the progress has not been substantial. Only three States
have constituted Advisory Committees, comprising of experts, to assist the State
Commissioners” the study noted.
Out of the 24 States and Union Territories that responded to the study,
Madhya Pradesh was ranked the highest, followed by Odisha, Meghalaya and
While 58.3% of the States have not notified Special Courts in the
districts for trying offences under the Act, 87.5% have not appointed a Special
Public Prosecutors as mandated by the law, the study said.
Vice president claims India can become global aviation hub in future
- The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that
India has the potential to become global aviation hub for MRO (Maintenance
Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of
engineering talent and low labour costs.
- Calling aviation sector as the backbone of the global transport
system, Shri Naidu said that was indeed an important driver of the economy
and the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together
and promoting tourism worldwide. Growth in aviation sector would yield
positive results in promoting connectivity and creating jobs, he added.
- Shri Naidu said that the government has taken a series of measures
to improve infrastructure and regional air connectivity in the country and
added that schemes such as UDAN would develop regional connectivity and
promote economically viable flights on regional routes.
- The Vice President called upon State Governments to partner with
the Centre in a true ‘Team India’ spirit for building a new prosperous,
inclusive New India by creating the right ecosystem for the growth of
various sectors. The political differences between parties must end with
elections and focus should be given to governance after assuming power, he
- The Vice President said that increase in public investments in
infrastructure projects of aviation and other areas were contributing in
overall development of economy. Indian economy which is growing at a steady
pace and the systemic governance reforms are helping to create a more
inclusive society, he added.
- India also has the potential to become a global hub for MRO
(Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business,
huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs,he said.
Centre expects receipts to exceed budgeted target this year
- Demonetisation was beneficial in terms of increasing the tax base
as well as increasing direct tax collections, Central Board of Direct Taxes
Chairman Sushil Chandra said on Tuesday.
- The government expects to exceed the budgeted target for direct
tax collections this year, he added.
- “The gross rate of direct tax collections is 16.5% and net growth
is 14.5%, which in itself shows that demonetisaton has really helped in
widening the tax base, increasing the tax revenue, and also in deepening the
tax base, which means that people who filed returns of Rs. 10 lakh about two
years ago, are now reporting more now, and even the people filing returns of
more than Rs. 1 crore are filing much more this year,” Mr. Chandra told
reporters on the sidelines of a CII conference on tax.
- “We will definitely achieve the budget estimate for direct tax
collections for the year,” he added. “The target is Rs. 11.5 lakh crore and
we are very hopeful that we will achieve this target. We have already
covered 48% of the total budget estimate, and there will not be problem in
achieving the rest.”
- Mr. Chandra added that India had begun to receive information on
an automatic basis from 70 countries regarding foreign assets and bank
accounts held by Indians. “If anybody has not shown foreign assets or a
foreign bank account in their I-T returns, the department will take action
against them,” he said.
India-U.S to sort out sanctions waiver
- India and the U.S. are planning to “sort out” issues around a
U.S. sanctions waiver related to India’s purchase of the S-400 Triumf
missile defence system from Russia, U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis
told the press at the Pentagon on Monday.
- Asked if he expects India to get a waiver, Mr.Mattis said, “Yeah,
you know, India has spent many, many years in its non-aligned status. It’s
drawn a lot of weapons from Russia. We have a growing strategic confluence
of interests with our country and theirs and we’ll sort out all those issues
here today, and in the days ahead.”
- However, the President may make an exemption to CAATSA as per the
John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY19 —
Mr.Mattis was pivotal in pushing for this part of the legislation, citing
India and other countries as examples of those with historic ties to Russia
now wanting to purchase U.S. defence equipment.
- Ms.Sitharaman was given an extended honour cordon (guard) at the
Pentagon on Monday where she and other Indian officials visited for talks
with Mr.Mattis and his team. Ms.Sitharaman and Mr.Mattis spoke briefly on
bilateral ties and Mr.Mattis took a few questions from the press.
- Regarding the White House reaching out to Pakistan Prime Minister
Imran Khan about supporting the peace process in Afghanistan, Mr.Mattis
said, “It’s time for everyone to get onboard, support the United Nations,
support Prime Minister Modi, support President Ghani and all those who are
trying to maintain peace and make for a better world here.”
India – UAE sign currency swap deal worth Rs.3500cr.
- India and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed a currency
swap agreement to boost investment and enable direct trade without using
dollars or other international currencies.
- The swap is for 200 crore dirhams or Rs. 3,500 crore ($496
million), depending on which central bank requests the amount, an official
- "The bilateral currency swap agreement between India and the UAE
is expected to reduce the dependency on hard currencies like the U.S
dollar," the statement said, adding that the two central banks had agreed
- The agreement was signed after the 12th India-UAE joint commission
meeting co-chaired by External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj and the UAE's
Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
- Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at around $52
billion in 2017, according to figures from the Indian embassy in the UAE. In
2015, China's central bank extended a currency swap agreement with the UAE
Central bank worth $5.54 billion.
- Swaraj and Abdullah also jointly inaugurated a digital interactive
museum showcasing the life, works and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the
founder of modern UAE ShaikhZayed.
- The Gandhi-Zayed Digital Museum, which will promote peace,
tolerance and sustainability, is part of the celebrations by the two
countries to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and centenary
celebrations of the birth of ShaikhZayed.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Number of patents by India up in 2017 : WIPO
- The number of patents granted by India shot up by 50% in 2017,
keeping up a trend of steep increases, according to the UN’s World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
- The patents granted by India increased from 8,248 in 2016 to
12,387 last year, the WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018
report released in Geneva on Monday said.
- Last year’s number was more than double the 6,022 patents granted
in 2015, according to WIPO statistics.Of the patents granted last year,
1,712 went to entities and individuals based in India, and 10,675 to
foreigners, according to the WIPO report.
- The WIPO said that the steep increase in the number was driven by
patents granted to foreigners, which accounted for 85% of the total
- The number of patents given to domestic entities has also shown an
increasing trend: In 2016, 1,115 went to domestic individuals or entities
and 7,133 to foreigners, and in 2015, 822 were granted to applicants in
India and 5,200 to foreigners, the report said.
Luka Modric and Hegerberg wins BallonD’or award
- Luka Modric saw off competition from France’s World Cup stars as
the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder won the Ballon d’Or to end a 10-year
stranglehold on the award by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
- Modric, 33, was announced as the winner of the prestigious prize
in a glitzy ceremony here on Monday.
- Norway striker Ada Hegerberg was rewarded for her prolific form
with Champions League winner Lyon as she took the first ever women’s Ballon