Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 6 September 2018
Centre approves continuation of IWDH scheme
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister
ShriNarendraModi has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored
Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH)beyond
the 12thPlan period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- Besides immense environmental benefits and effective implementation of
tiger conservation inputs in and around tiger reserves under Project Tiger,
wildlife conservation inputs in Protected Areas & nearby areas under
Development of Wildlife Habitats and Elephant conservation inputs in Project
Elephant areas, the schemes would result in overall strengthening/
consolidation of tiger, elephant and wildlife conservation in the country.
- The Scheme consists of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT),
Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH) and Project Elephant (CSS-PE).
- These schemes would generate employment opportunities resulting in
economic upliftment of people in and around tiger reserves/ Protected Areas
besides leading to reduction in natural resource dependency with
substitution by clean energy use.
- These schemes would result in resource generation through tourist
visits, thereby fostering in securing tiger source areas and other areas
important for wildlife conservation, besides being helpful in sustaining
life support systems as well as ensuring the food, water and livelihood
Supreme court denies NRC copy to centre
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to provide a copy of the full
report of Assam NRC Co-ordinator PrateekHajela to the Centre on what
excluded citizens could offer as proof of ancestry.
- To this, Justice RanjanGogoi replied, “You may be interested, but we
have to balance it. The court has called for the report, now it is the
discretion of the court to give it to you or not. First you respond to this
suggestion (of Mr.Hajela that excluded citizens be allowed to produce
additional documents to prove their legacy), then we will see about it.”
- Later, in the court’s order, Justice Gogoi recorded that “the Attorney
General has sought a copy of the co-ordinator’s report. We are of the view
that what has been set out in the order (of the court) would be sufficient
for the Union of India, stakeholders to indicate their views on it.”
- However, the previous hearing had also seen the Bench of Justices Gogoi
and RohintonNariman raise questions about the Centre’s willingness,
expressed in its draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for receiving
claims and objections, to allow claimants another chance to prove their
Indian ancestry by submitting fresh documents.
- The court’s questions had prompted AGMr.Venugopal to plead that the
government was only giving “another chance to people who risk losing all
their rights.” Finally, the Bench had ordered Mr.Hajela to file a report on
the ramifications of the Centre’s proposal.
Supreme court lifts ban on construction in uttarakhand& Maharashtra
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted its August 31 order staying
construction activities in landslide-hit Uttarakhand for not placing on
record in court its solid waste management policy.
- It had imposed a fine of Rs. 3 lakh each on Maharashtra and Uttarakhand,
along with Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, for not
complying with a July direction of the apex court to place on record their
respective policies under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.
- While Maharashtra lawyers blamed a “communication gap,” as the State had
already framed a policy in 2017, the Uttarakhand side submitted its policy
was awaiting Cabinet approval.
- Uttarakhand said it had been hit by calamity and the fine imposed on
them should be channelled for rescue operations in the State. It described
how landslides have caused the appearance of an artificial lake in
TehriGarhwal area and around 13 villages were in danger. The court allowed
- Towards the end of the hearing, the court questioned Maharashtra about
the utilisation of cess collected under the Building and Other Construction
Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996. It
sought a reply from Maharshtra by September 11 on what steps had been taken
to use the funds for the welfare of construction workers in Mumbai.
SEBI plans to review FPI circular after panel recommendations
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will soon review its
circular issued in April that barred Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), among
others, from managing funds they invest in India.
- The circular became contentious with an industry body estimating that it
could lead to outflows of $75 billion, though the regulator brushed aside
any such concerns.
- On Wednesday, the capital markets regulator said that a working group
constituted under H.R. Khan, former RBI deputy governor, met with industry
participants and would soon give its recommendations to SEBI, which would
then review the entire matter.
- On April 10, SEBI issued a circular stating that entities like NRIs,
Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cannot be
the beneficial owners of any foreign portfolio investor (FPI).
- It further stated that FPIs that did 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 till December 31.
INDIA-U.S trade talks in deadlock over trade issues
- India and the United States are in a deadlock over contentious trade
issues after the Donald Trump administration sought a formal commitment of
additional purchases of $10 billion annually for the next three years, as
part of a trade agreement under negotiation.
- As both countries seek to reiterate their strategic partnership at the
first 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on Wednesday, India is in the crosshairs of
economic nationalists in the Trump administration. India has a surplus of
$23 billion in trade with America, and the U.S. wants to wipe that off by
forcing more imports by New Delhi, as part of a proposed trade agreement.
- Officials of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office also aggregated
all existing market access issues with India in the negotiations that were
initially planned on questions related to the American review of India’s
Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status and the steel and aluminium
tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
- Thursday’s discussion is expected to take a comprehensive look at
strategic ties between India and the U.S. On top of the discussion is the
likely US plans to have a landmark agreement on communication and
coordination on security issues – COMCASA and sale of high tech military
items. The Hindu had reported on Monday that both sides are likely to fall
short of formally signing the COMCASA document.
- The other major U.S. concern is the S400 missile defence shield worth $6
billion that India plans to acquire from Russia. U.S. media sources have
reported that both the issues would feature prominently in Thursday’s talks.
India and Bulgaria sign important agreements
- The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, reached Bulgaria on the
second leg of his state visit to three European nations – Cyprus, Bulgaria
and the Czech Republic & signed agreements on tourism,civil nuclear research
& co-operation,Science& technology cooperation and an agreement between the
Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Sofia University to promote Hindi
- Speaking on the occasion, the President paid tributes to India’s
teachers, scholars and academics. He said they have drawn from India’s
age-old traditions of learning and wisdom - and they have contributed to
India’s reputation as a knowledge power. Across continents, Indian
scholarship and academic excellence is recognised. It adds to the global
economy and knowledge structures – and it earns India goodwill.
- The President said that the technology and digital revolution is being
led by young people from campuses. The university campuses of the 21st
century are not just providers of degrees but also hubs of innovation and
entrepreneurship and incubators of start-ups and small businesses driven by
technology – and by creative minds buzzing with ideas and designing
- Addressing the gathering, the President said the Indian diaspora in
Bulgaria constitutes a living bridge between the two countries. Their
numbers may be small but they have made appreciable contributions to
fostering bilateral ties.
- The President appreciated Friends of India for creating a network of
cultural and academic institutions, yoga schools and ayurveda centres in
Bulgaria. He noted that the Indology Department of Sofia University has been
doing stellar work for the past 35 years. Its scholars have translated eight
of the principal Upanishads from Sanskrit into Bulgarian.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Army selects Spy lite for air surveillance
- The Army has selected SpyLite mini-UAV for high-altitude aerial
surveillance. The mini-UAV is built by Cyient Solutions & Systems (CSS), a
joint venture between Cyient Ltd of India and BlueBird Aero Systems of
- “The CSS offered, and successfully demonstrated, its flagship mini-UAV
system, SpyLite, which was the only one that met end-user requirements,” the
CSS said in a statement. The system delivered high-quality day and night
videos,” it added.
- According to the company website, SpyLite has an endurance of 4-5 hours
and a maximum flight ceiling of 30,000 feet making it ideal for operations
along the border with China as well as on the Siachen glacier.
Experts claim cimate change action strategies could add $26m to the economy
- Ambitious action on climate change could contribute an extra $26
trillion to the world economy by 2030, international experts said on
Wednesday, urging nations and businesses to step up their engagement.
- The economic benefits offered by a shift to a low-carbon economy have
been “grossly” underestimated, according to the Global Commission on the
Economy and Climate, a think tank grouping former heads of government and
top economic and business leaders.
- Dynamic action on climate could also generate “over 65 million new
low-carbon jobs” by 2030 and avoid over 7,00,000 premature deaths due to air
pollution, it said.
- But policymakers were “not taking sufficiently bold action to escape the
legacy economic systems,” the study found. The shift would involve change in
five key areas: the development of clean energy systems, improved urban
planning, a shift towards more sustainable agriculture, smart water
management and decarbonising industry.
- It called on governments to put a price on carbonof at least $40-80 by
2020, and to move towards mandatory climate risk disclosure for major
investors and companies.
Home minister calls asiad medal winners national pride
- The Asian Games medal winners, some as young as sailor HarshitaTomar,
and as old as 67-year-old bridge exponents KiranNadar and HemaDeora, were
felicitated by the Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore here on
- The 69-medal haul by India made history at the Asian Games. The 15 gold
medals equalled the feat of the first Asian Games in 1951 but what stood out
was the positivity and energy that prevailed in the Indian contingent even
if it surrendered traditional gold medals in hockey and kabaddi but claimed
the inaugural bridge and the first in women’s wrestling.
- India finished with 24 silver and 30 bronze medals in its best Asian
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