Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 MAY 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 MAY 2019


SC denies meeting of senior judges with Bobde committee

  • The Supreme Court today denied a media report that said justices RF Nariman and DY Chandrachud met Justice SA Bobde who is heading an in-house committee inquiring into the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice of India RanjanGogoi.
  • The apex court, in a statement, termed the report that the two judges met Justice Bobde on Friday evening as wholly incorrect. The statement, has been issued from the office of the Supreme Court's Secretary General.
  • The statement further said, the in-house committee which is deliberating on the issue concerning the CJI deliberates on its own without any input from any other judge of the apex court.
  • A newspaper report today claimed that justices Nariman and Chandrachud had met Justice Bobde and expressed their view that the three-member committee should not go ahead with the proceeding ex parte.
  • Besides Justice Bobde, other members in the committee are two women judges of the apex court, justices InduMalhotra and Indira Banerjee.

Cyclone FANI destroys portions of historic Puri temple

  • Parts of the 12th century Shree Jagannath temple in Puri were damaged as Cyclone Fani ripped through the holy town on Friday, officials said on Sunday.
  • “The main structure remains unaffected. We will request the ASI to inspect the shrine,” P.K. Mohapatra, the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), said.
  • The impact of the devastation was visible from the Lion’s Gate or as ‘Jay-Vijay Dwar’ — the main entrance of the temple.TheKalpa Bata — a huge banyan tree revered as a wish fulfilment tree within the temple premises — has also broken.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited Puri twice since the cyclone struck on May 3, on Sunday visited Penthakata, the fishermen’s colony along the coast.
  • Announcing a relief package, he said all families in Puri and in parts of Khurda that had been “extremely severely affected” in the storm will get 50 kg of rice, Rs. 2,000 in cash and polythene sheets, if covered under the Food Security Act (FSA).


Whatsapp payment only to be launched after complying with RBI guidelines

  • Instant messaging app WhatsApp on Friday told the Supreme Court that it is conducting a trial run of its payment service and will comply with RBI norms on data localisation before launching the full service.
  • A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and Vineet Saran was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), which has claimed that WhatsApp has not fully complied with RBI’s circular which prescribed data localisation norms.
  • Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that WhatsApp was not complying with data localisation norms which is evident from the affidavit filed by the RBI.
  • To this, the bench said that if norms laid down by RBI are not followed by Whatsapp, then it can be prosecuted.
  • WhatsApp reportedly has over 200 million users in India and almost one million people are “testing” its payments service. India is one of the largest bases for the Facebook-owned company that has over 1.5 billion users globally.
  • The petition also alleged that the social media giant does not comply with tax and other laws of India, but its reach was such that it is used by everyone, be it a commoner or even the judges of the apex court.

U.S, Canada are the most favoured tourist destinations this summer

  • The U.S., Canada and Australia are the most favoured destinations for educational and family-friendly vacations for Indian tourists this summer, according to a survey.
  • As per the data revealed by leading travel search engine KAYAK this year, Houston topped the list as the most trending international family-friendly destination, recording the highest year-on-year search growth of 151% on its platforms.
  • Boston bagged the second spot with a significant increase in year-on-year search growth at 103%, while Los Angeles was trending at third position with 87% year-on-year growth.
  • Melbourne was at fourth position with 51% year-on-year search growth and Toronto at fifth position with 44% rise
  • “This summer, KAYAK looked through its data and identified the top trending destinations that are family-friendly, such as Houston, Boston, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Toronto,” said Abhijit Mishra, regional director, APAC of KAYAK.
  • As a leading travel search engine, KAYAK searches other sites to show travellers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels, rental cars, and holiday packages. KAYAK is an independently managed subsidiary of Booking Holdings Inc.

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India-Australia expands counter terrorism cooperation

  • India and Australia have agreed to further deepen counter-terrorism co-operation through regular exchange of information and sharing of best practices on countering extremism and radicalization.
  • The two countries held the 11th Meeting of Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism at Canberra yesterday. In a release, the External Affairs Ministry said, the two sides discussed contemporary counter terrorism challenges such as financing of terrorism, the use of the internet for terror purposes, radicalization and Foreign Terrorist Fighters.
  • Both sides welcomed the listing of MasoodAzhar, leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, as a Global Terrorist by the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee.

U.S hikes tariffs on Chinese goods

  • President Donald Trump has announced that the United States would raise tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent, complaining of a lack of progress in trade talks.
  • In series of tweets Mr Trump today said trade deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. He said for 10 months, China has been paying tariffs to the USA of 25 percent on 50 billion dollars of high tech, and 10 percent on 200 billion dollars of other goods. He added that the 10 percent will go up to 25 percent.
  • The two sides have imposed tariffs on 360 billion dollars in two-way trade since last year but Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in December to refrain from further escalation.


Scientists identify reasons for drying up of north eastern part of India

  • Northeast India, one of the wettest places on the Earth has been experiencing rapid drying, especially in the last 30 years. Some places which used to get as high as 3,000 mm of rain during the monsoon season have seen a drop of about 25-30%.
  • A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, and Assam University set out to understand whether this decline is caused by anthropogenic activity or is it part of natural changes.
  • Just like El Nino/La Nina in the tropical Pacific, PDO has a signature for a longer time (on the decadal scale) in the sea surface temperatures and its interaction with the atmosphere, which in turn affects the northeast Indian summer monsoon.
  • The team used observed rainfall and sea surface temperature data for the period 1901-2014 for the study. The results show out that the reduction in rainfall during a major part of the last 114 years may be associated with global man-made factors, while the trend during the last 36 years is associated with natural phenomena.
  • “Only about 7% of the rainfall in this region is associated with local moisture recycling, which means that anthropogenic activities can affect only this small percentage. So we concluded that the recent rapid drying is a part of interdecadal variability of monsoonal rainfall which is strongly associated with the PDO,” says Subodh Kumar Saha from IITM, Pune.
  • The researchers note that this study can be used to predict the monsoon rainfall over the northeast region on a decadal time scale using Pacific Ocean region data.


Saurav and Joshnawins Asian individual squash titles

  • Ace Indian squash players SauravGhoshal and JoshnaChinappa won their respective Asian Individual Squash Championship titles in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today. SauravGhoshal defeated Leo Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong .
  • Ghoshal who had become the first Indian male player to reach top ten of the world rankings is the finalist of the previous edition.

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