The government is in the last stages of finalising a proposal to
amend the Aadhaar Act to give all citizens an option to withdraw their
Aadhaar number, including biometrics and the data.
This follows the Supreme Court judgment in September that upheld
the validity of Aadhaar, however, with certain riders.
A Constitution Bench had struck down Section 57 of the Act that
allows private entities to use the unique number for verification. The Bench
also declared that seeking to link it with bank accounts and SIM cards was
“The initial proposal was prepared by the Unique Identification
Authority of India (UIDAI). It submitted that once a child turns 18, he/she
will be given six months to decide if he/she wants to withdraw,” a senior
Over 37.50 crore PANs have been issued till March 12, 2018. Of
these, the number of PANs issued to individuals stood at more than 36.54
crore, of which about 16.84 crore PANs have been linked with Aadhaar.
In line with the court order, the proposal seeks to appoint an
adjudicating officer to decide whether a person’s Aadhaar-related data need
to be disclosed in the interest of national security.
The court had also struck down Section 33(2), which allowed
disclosure of Aadhaar information for national security reasons on the
orders of an officer not below Joint Secretary. It had said an officer above
Joint Secretary should consult a judicial officer and together take a call.
Centre to bring back restrictions in Andaman Islands
The Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Nand
Kumar Sai, has said the Centre may like to revisit its decision to lift the
Restricted Area Permit (RAP) system from 29 islands of Andaman and Nicobar,
after the death of U.S. citizen John Allen Chau.
Mr.Sai, who is leading a delegation of the Commission to the
islands, told that the lifting of the regime proved problematic and the
decision had “many pros and cons that needed to be re-looked”.
To develop tourism, the RAP regime, in place since 1963, was
lifted around August this year from 29 islands, including the North Sentinel
(where Chau was reportedly killed). Though the regime was withdrawn, a
tourist is required to take permission from the Forest Department and the
local administration as it is protected under two other Acts.
Mr.Sai said there might have been some carelessness in tracking
the movements of Chau. “We have spoken to senior members of the
administration, including Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Admiral (retired) D.K. Joshi,” he said.
“Our visits to the Nicobar islands have revealed that there has
been much conversion activity by Christian missionaries, and our view is
that further contact with tribal groups that have various degrees of
exposure to other societies should be on their own terms, and nothing should
be forced upon them,” he said.
RBI governor says bank is ready to stand as lender of last resort in case of
Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Viral Acharya assured that
the central bank was ready to stand as the lender of last resort in the
context of liquidity needs of the non-banking finance sector.
At the same time, Mr.Acharya said the present situation did not
warrant any drastic steps given the health of the Indian economy.The Deputy
Governor’s comments come in the wake of sector facing a crisis of
As the Governor explained in detail, we are at a level of
aggregate credit growth which is in excess of nominal GDP (gross domestic
product)growth with a fairly robust distribution across various sectors,” he
The Reserve Bank said it had been watching the market developments
on the issue since end August and was in ‘regular touch’ with Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to access the fallout of mutual fund
redemption and the resulting rollover risks for NBFCs and housing finance
NBFCs started facing liquidity crunch since August after
Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) started defaulting on
loans. The rates at which NBFC borrowed funds rose sharply following this.
Highlighting several steps that were taken by the central bank,
Mr.Acharya said the measures had collectively eased the funding stress in a
steady manner in the past two months.
India becomes third highest contributor to carbon emissions
Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high of 37.1
billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018, according to researchers at the University of
East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project.
India, the third-highest contributor, is projected to see
emissions rise by 6.3% from 2017. The 2.7% projected global rise in 2018 has
been driven by appreciable growth in coal use for the second year in a row,
and sustained growth in oil and gas use, according to the study that was
published simultaneously Wednesday in several leading scientific journals.
This week, representatives from more than 190 countries have begun
discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) in Katowice,
Poland, on ways to equitably cut carbon emissions.
CO2 emissions have now risen for a second year, the study’s
authors say, after three years of little to no growth from 2014 to 2016. The
rise in 2017 was 1.6%.
The 10 biggest emitters in 2018 are China, U.S., India, Russia,
Japan, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada. The EU as a
region of countries ranks third. China’s emissions accounted for 27% of the
global total, having grown an estimated 4.7% in 2018 and reaching a new
Emissions in the U.S., which has withdrawn from its commitment to
the Paris Agreement, account for 15% of the global total, and look set to
have grown about 2.5% in 2018 after several years of decline.
Though coal use contributed to the rise in 2018 from last year, it
still remains below its historical high in 2013 but may exceed that if
current growth continues, the study’s authors.
An Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and
the Government of the Republic of Peru on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance
in Customs Matters was signed today in Mumbai, on the side-lines of the 80th
Session of the Policy Commission Meeting of the World Customs Organisations
The three day 80th Session of the Policy Commission Meeting of the
WCO is being organised by the Central Board of Customs and Indirect Taxes (CBIC),
Government of India in Mumbai, India, from 3rd to 5th December 2018.
The Agreement was signed by Mr. S. Ramesh, Chairman, CBIC on
behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Rafael Garcia, as the National
Superintendent of Customs on behalf of the Government of the Republic of
The Agreement provides a legal framework for sharing of
information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two
countries and will help in the proper application of Customs laws,
prevention and investigation of Customs offences.
The Agreement will also help in the availability of relevant
information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The
Agreement is expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of
goods traded between the two countries.
Iran president gives defiant speech on U.S sanctions
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani struck a defiant stance against
U.S. sanctions on Tuesday, renewing his threat to cut off international oil
sales from the Gulf.
Since the 1980s, Iran has said repeatedly that it would blockade
the Gulf in response to international pressure but has never carried out the
Washington has reimposed sanctions, including an oil embargo,
since withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May. It has vowed to
reduce Iran’s oil sales to zero, but has granted temporary waivers to eight
Mr.Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he
warned that the U.S. “should not play with the lion’s tail”. He downplayed
the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the
“No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us.
People should stop saying such things in the papers,” he told the crowd.
The latest inflation report from Iran’s central bank says food
prices rose 56% year-on-year in October. Mr.Rouhani acknowledged that there
were “some problems”, but said these would be addressed in the new budget
plan to be presented on December 16.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Baby born in uterus of a dead donor
In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from
a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported on
The breakthrough operation, performed in September 2016 in Sao
Paulo, Brazil, shows that such transplants are feasible and could help
thousands of women unable to have children due to uterine problems,
according to a study published.
Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called
uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.The
first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor
took place in 2014 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.
But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are
potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could
work using the uterus of a woman who had died.Ten attempts were made — in
the U.S., the Czech Republic, and Turkey — before the success reported.
“The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon
their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much
wider potential donor population,” an expert doctor said.
Former Indian opener GautamGambhir retires from all forms of cricket
Indian batsman GautamGambhir has announced his retirement from
cricket on Tuesday (December 4). The Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and
Andhra starting Thursday at the Feroz Shah Kotla will be his last game.
Gambhir, 37, has played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is for India
scoring more than 10000 runs combined. He made his debut in 2003 and last
played for India in a Test against England in Rajkot in 2016. He retires
with nine Test centuries and 11 ODI centuries to his name.
He played key roles in India's title victories in the 2007 World
T20 and the 2011 World Cup, top-scoring for India with 75 and 97 in the
Gambhir said in his video statement that he has been
contemplating, and dreading, retirement for years, pointing to his failures
in the 2014 IPL and being dropped from the Test side in 2016. The poor
performance in IPL 2018, when he returned to Delhi Daredevils, made him
decide that his time was up.