Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 7 August 2018


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 7 August 2018


::NATIONAL::

Health ministry claims north eastern states are new HIV hotspots

  • Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,even though overall incidence of HIV cases in India have declined.
  • In response to a question in the LokSabha on Friday, the Ministry attributed the reason for the rise in the incidence of HIV in the three northeastern States to the high-risk behaviour of Injecting Drug Users (IDUs), and unsafe sexual practices.
  • HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher at four sites ,two in Tripura and one each in Mizoram and Meghlaya. At one site of Mizoram’s Aizwal district, the prevalence of HIV was as high as 24.68%, compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.
  • The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.
  • As per the report ,Interestingly, ART leads to effectively suppressing the virus and reducing the transmission of HIV from the infected person.

Centre to amend juvenile justice act 2015 to make amendments easier

  • The government introduced an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, in the LokSabha on Monday to empower District Magistrates with the authority to grant adoption orders. It will make the adoption procedure faster for prospective parents, by avoiding delays in courts.
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018, revises the provisions governing adoptions in the JJ Act by making changes to Section 56,58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65, where the word “court” has been replaced by “District Magistrate.”
  • The changes are applicable for both domestic and international applications.
  • The government has said all adoption cases in various courts should be transferred to the District Magistrates concerned. The amendment states the objective is to avoid pendency of cases.

::ECONOMY::

India among one of the highest growing tourist economies of the world

  • The Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism Shri K. J. Alphons informed the LokSabha today that India is among one of the highest growing tourist economies in the world in 2017.
  • While replying to a starred question, the Minister said that there was more than 14.0% growth in number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in 2017 over 2016 along with a 19.2% increase (in US dollar terms) in the Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism for the same period.
  • The Minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism under its schemes of SwadeshDarshan- Integrated development of theme based tourist circuits and PRASHAD- National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive provides central financial assistance to State Governments/UT Administrations/Central Agencies for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
  • Ministry of Tourism, as part of promotional activities has recently released 3 promotional videos through various Social Media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and You Tube under the ‘Incredible India 2.0’ brand-line and hopes that people will see these theme based videos on Yoga, Wildlife and more tourists shall travel to India.

Parliamentary panel says RBI must start issuing LC’s &LoU’s

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to discontinue the issuance of Letters of Undertaking (LoU) and Letters of Credit (LoC) for trade credit was a “knee-jerk reaction” to the Punjab National Bank fraud case and the facility should be restored at the earliest, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce said in a report tabled in the RajyaSabha on Monday.
  • The Committee also noted that all the stakeholders it consulted, representing trade and industry, unanimously said that the discontinuation of the LoU and LoC facility had resulted in a 2-2.5% increase in the cost of credit.
  • The panel noted that all the stakeholders, including banks, were of the opinion that LoUs and LoCs were accepted globally and their efficacy as a source of cost-effective short term credit of foreign currency for importers was “unmatched”.
  • The Committee notes that there is also unanimity that the ban of LoU/LoC has resulted in rise in the cost of credit by 2% to 2.5%,” the report added.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Bangladesh cabinet approves capital punishment for road deaths amid protests

  • Bangladesh on Monday promised to introduce the death penalty for deliberate road deaths in a bid to quell more than a week of demonstrations calling for better road safety, as new student-led protests were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.
  • Over the weekend, scores of people were hurt as police fired tear gas and mobs apparently loyal to the government attacked demonstrators, photographers and even the U.S. Ambassador’s car.
  • On Monday, Law and Justice Minister AnisulHuq said the Cabinet has approved a new law allowing for the death penalty “if an investigation finds that the death in a road accident has been caused deliberately”.
  • On Sunday, dozens of protesters were attacked by people alleged to be ruling party activists, some armed with machetes, leaving scores injured including half a dozen photographers.

Maldives announces poll dates for Presidential elections

  • Dismissing Opposition claims that the Maldivian presidential election might be postponed, the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has assured that the poll will be held in September as scheduled.
  • However, the Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Sunday expressed “serious concern” over what it called “President (Abdulla) Yameen’s groundwork” to postpone or cancel the elections.
  • The statement came in the wake of Defence Minister Adam Shareef Umar’s recent remarks that the police and military had learnt of “a plot to incite unrest and destabilise the nation” in the coming days.
  • The poll also assumes significance in a year of turbulence, after a shock Supreme Court ruling in February set off a series of events that led to political unrest in the Maldives.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

India –Thailand military exercise begins

  • Exercise Maitree is a joint military exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thai Army which will be conducted from 06 to 19 August 2018 in Thailand. It is a platoon level exercise which comprises of infantry component.
  • The opening ceremony started with familiarization of organisation and display of weapons & equipment of both armies.
  • The exercise will emphasize to hone the tactical and technical skills in joint counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in rural and urban scenario under UN mandate.
  • Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed tactical drills for neutralization of likely threats that may be encountered in urban warfare scenario. Experts from both sides will also hold detailed discussions to share their experience on varied topics for mutual benefit.

Centre exploring ways to block social media applications

  • The Centre has asked telecom service providers to explore possible ways to block mobile applications such as Facebook and WhatsApp “as per the provisions of the IT Act, 2000.”
  • Without clarifying the reason for the request, the DoT has said, “Issues have been raised by MeITY (Ministry of Electronics and IT) and LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) for blocking certain mobile apps like Instagram/ Facebook/ Whatsapp/ Telegram.”
  • According to an industry representative ,the curb was mainly on putting a stop to child abuse/pornography and to curb the spread of fake news.
  • An industry source said the discussions centred around blocking these applications in an emergency, rather than blocking access to the Internet as a whole. “For example, in Jammu & Kashmir, we have Internet blackout. So, there was a discussion on whether just some social media applications could be blocked instead.”

::SPORTS::

Indian U-20 football team creates history

  • India notched up one of its most memorable football triumphs when the country’s under-20 team stunned traditional giant Argentina 2-1 despite being reduced to 10 men in a pulsating contest at the COTIF Cup.
  • Deepak Tangri (4th minute) and Anwar Ali (68) were the stars for the Indian U-20 team last night as the Floyd Pinto-coached side scripted a historic result against the six-time U-20 World champion, coached by 2006 World Cupper Lionel Scaloni and former mid-field star Pablo Aimar.

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