Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 July 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

SC seeks response from centre on Aadhar ordinance

  • A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde ordered the Central government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to respond to a writ petition challenging the new Aadhaar Ordinance and Regulations passed by the LokSabha, saying they will create a “surveillance State” and enable the database to be exploited by private players for commercial gain.

  • The Bench issued notice on the petition filed by activists S.G. Vombatkere and Bezwada Wilson, who said the UIDAI intended to use the ordinance to commercialise and gain financially through the large-scale collection of personal data of citizens and use of Aadhaar database by private entities.

  • “People’s data collected for Aadhaar database is their private property and permitting this to be commercially explored is a violation of their fundamental right to dignity,” the petition, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan and advocate Vipin Nair, submitted.

  • It said a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in September last specifically struck down provisions, including Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act 2016 that led to commercial exploitation of the database.

  • The court had found that the architecture and design of the Aadhaar project did not enable mass surveillance of persons under the Aadhaar Act.

  • The petition said the Ordinance allowed the Aadhaar database to be linked to existing databases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Indian Telegraph Act. This posed a grave threat to national security.

Centre claims its schemes have brought in women led development

  • Two mega initiatives of UjjwalaYojana and SaubhagyaYojana- have transformed the lives of women in every rural family and dramatically improved their ease of living. This was stated by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. NirmalaSitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.

  • Household access to clean cooking gas has seen an unprecedented expansion, through provision of more than 7 crore LPG connections. All villages, and almost 100% households across the country have been provided with electricity.

  • A combination of efficient implementation and enthusiastic adoption has significantly improved access to energy for rural households, the Finance Minister added.

  • By 2022, the 75th year of India’s independence, every rural family, except those who are unwilling to take the connection will have an electricity and a clean cooking facility, informed Finance Minister..

  • The Government has supported and encouraged women entrepreneurship through various schemes such as MUDRA, Stand up India and the Self Help Group (SHG) movement. In order to further encourage women enterprise, the budget has a proposal to expand the Women SHG interest subvention programme to all districts. Seventy per cent of beneficiaries under MUDRA scheme are women.

::ECONOMY::

Budget focuses on infrastructure investment and job creation

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman presented the first General Budget of NarendraModi Government’s second term today. Infrastructure development; vision for making India a five trillion-dollar economy; Farmers’ welfare and water security are some of the key features of Mrs.Sitharaman’s first budget as Finance Minister.

  • She said that the NDA government had set the ball rolling for a new India and showed that the principle of Reform, Perform and Transform can succeed. The Finance Minister exuded confidence that India will become a five-trillion-dollar economy in the next few years.

  • Asserting, that connectivity is the life-blood of an economy, the Finance Minister said the government has given a massive push to all forms of physical connectivity through PradhanMantri Gram SadakYojana, industrial corridors, dedicated freight corridors, Bharatmala and Sagarmala projects, JalMargVikas and UDAN Schemes.

  • The Finance Minister said, Public sector banks will be provided with 70 thousand crore rupees to boost capital and improve credit. She said, for purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound Non Banking Finance Companies amounting to 1 lakh crore rupees during 2019-20, one-time six-month partial credit guarantee will be given to Public Sector Banks. She proposed strengthening of regulatory authority of RBI over NBFCs.

  • There is no change proposed for personal income tax rate below 2 crores. However, Surcharge on individuals having taxable income from 2 crore - 5 crore and 5 crore and above to be enhanced, so that effective tax rate will increase by around 3% and 7% respectively.

Delhi HC asks response to plea alleging illegal operation of Pay Pal

  • The Delhi High Court today asked Reserve Bank of India and Enforcement Directorate to respond to a plea alleging that online payment platform PayPal was operating illegally without the central bank's authorization.

  • Abhijit Mishra, a financial economist, has claimed in his plea that Paypal is operating as a payment and settlements system in blatant violation of the Payments and Settlements Systems Act. He said, Paypal does not figure in the list of authorized payment system operators published by RBI on 27th May 2019.

  • According to the PIL, filed through advocate PayalBahl, PayPal's services are being used by various online travel, clothing and food websites or apps, including Yatra, Makemytrip, Bookmyshow, Dominos Pizza and Myntra.

  • The petition has alleged that PayPal was also operating as a foreign exchange dealer in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

  • Claiming that the company has unmonitored and unauthorized access to the personal information such as Aadhaar, PAN, etc of the public. Such access to the personal information of the public was a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the plea contended and sought directions to PayPal to immediately stop its allegedly illegal and unauthorized operations.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

IAEA to hold special session to address Iran’s nuclear issue

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will hold a special session to address concerns of Iran's nuclear activity, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a statement issued yesterday.

  • Earlier, US Ambassador to International Organizations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott requested the IAEA board convene to discuss concerning reports about Iran's nuclear program.

  • On last Monday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano confirmed that Iran exceeded the limit for enriched uranium stockpiles of 300 kilograms (661 pounds).

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran intends to start enriching its uranium beyond the 3.67 per cent level on July 7, outlined the nuclear agreement and it will maintain enrichment at a level that it considers necessary.

  • On May 8, Tehran announced the decision to suspend some of its obligations under the nuclear deal, giving the other signatories - France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the European Union - 60 days to save the accord by facilitating oil exports and trade with Iran amid US sanctions.

  • Amid escalating tensions with Washington, Iran has threatened to exceed the limit on the uranium supply permitted under the 2015 Nuclear Pact.

China to pursue Myanmar for Rohingyan repatriation

  • China has assured Bangladesh that it will pursue Myanmar to create a safe environment for Rohingya repatriation to their homeland.

  • The assurance came at the bilateral talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing on Thursday.

  • During the talks, Prime Minister Hasina told her Chinese counterpart that peace and stability are being affected in the region due to the Rohingya problem and the challenge will be bigger with the passage of time. Speedy repatriation of the Rohingyas to their homeland is the only solution.

  • The Chinese premier agreed with Hasina on resolving the crisis quickly. He, however, stressed the need for solving the crisis bilaterally and promised to help end the standoff.

::SCIENCE & TEHCNOLOGY::

NSIL incorporated as commercial arm of Dept.of Space

  • Presenting the General Budget 2019-20 in the Parliament today, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. NirmalaSitharaman said that a Public Sector Enterprise viz. New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated as a new commercial arm of Department of Space to tap the benefits of the Research & Development carried out by ISRO.

  • The Company will spearhead commercialization of various space products including production of launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products.

  • The Minister said that, “India has emerged as a major space power with the technology and ability to launch satellites and other space products at globally low cost. Time has come to harness this ability commercially”.

  • The Budget Estimates for Department of Space for FY 2019-20 is Rs 12,473.26 crore as compared to the RE of Rs 11,200 crore in FY 2018-19.

::SPORTS::

Indian cricketer Ambatirayudu retires from all forms of cricket

  • Indian middle-order batsman AmbatiRayudu retired from all forms of cricket today. He did not specify reasons for calling it quits.

  • The 33-year-old Andhra Pradesh batsman was in India's official standbys list for the on-going World Cup but was omitted twice.

  • In his mail to the BCCI, he thanked the national body and state associations which he represented in the game.

  • He said it was an honour and privilege for him to have represented the country. Rayudu played 55 ODIs for India, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05. He, however, did not play any Test.

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