Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 08 June 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 08 June 2019


Centre seeks citizen inputs for budget 2019-2020

  • Central Government has sought inputs from citizens on the Union Budget 2019-20 with a view to making the Budget-making exercise more participative and inclusive. Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman will present the budget on 5th of July.

  • The comments have been sought on government's portal - by 20th of this month. According to the portal, the Ministry of Finance sought inputs from citizens saying that this has been a practice for the last several years. It said citizens from all walks of life are welcome to be a part of this democratic exercise.

  • The Ministry said government seeks people’s valuable ideas to continue the tradition of the Union Budget incorporating the citizens' aspirations. The first session of the newly elected 17th LokSabha will be held from 17th of June to 26th July.

  • The Economic Survey for 2019-20 will be tabled on 4th of July followed by the presentation of the budget on the next day.

Centre to consider admission to colleges via common entrance test

  • Admission to undergraduate courses in all government-funded universities and colleges will soon be through all-India entrance tests, if the draft National Education Policy is approved.

  • Private institutions will also be strongly encouraged to make use of the common admission tests, which would be available from 2020. Both aptitude and subject knowledge-based tests would be offered.

  • The system seems to have some similarities to the SAT, a standardised aptitude test widely used for admissions to colleges and universities in the United States. The SAT, however, is used as a criterion alongside school grades.

  • The NTA testing system would offer flexibility. “From 2020 onwards, the NTA will administer aptitude tests and tests in specific subjects that can be taken on multiple occasions during the year in order to reduce the intense and unnecessary pressures of the university entrance examinations system,” adds the draft.

  • “This will help to eliminate the intensity, stressfulness, and wasted time of the Grade 12 examination season faced by students every year as well as by so many higher educational institutions and employers,” it adds.

  • Private institutions could set their own criteria, but “most educational institutions and many employers will be encouraged to use these NTA tests.”The draft projects the NTA establishing test centres across the country, offering tests in multiple languages.


SEBI signs MoU with corporate ministry for data exchange

  • A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for data exchange between the two regulatory organizations here.

  • The MoU comes in the wake of increasing need for surveillance in the context of Corporate Frauds affecting important sectors of the economy. As the private sector plays an increasingly vital role in economic growth, the need for a robust Corporate Governance mechanism becomes the need of the hour.

  • The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between SEBI and MCA on an automatic and regular basis. It will enable sharing of specific information such as details of suspended companies, delisted companies, shareholding pattern from SEBI and financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports relating to corporates.

  • A Data Exchange Steering Group also has been constituted for the initiative, which will meet periodically to review the data exchange status and take steps to further improve the effectiveness of the data sharing mechanism.

RBI revises norms for stressed assets

  • After the Supreme Court struck down the controversial February 12, 2018 circular of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on stressed asset resolution, the banking regulator on Friday released revised set of norms which are substantially less stringent from the previous one.

  • In particular, neither there is a mandate to start resolution which results in higher provisioning if there is a single day default nor a mandate for initiating insolvency proceeding if resolution plan is not implemented for large accounts within a time frame.

  • However, the RBI has sought to nudge banks towards the insolvency courts by introducing a disincentive in the form of additional provisions for delayed resolution.

  • At the same time, the central bank said it would issue directions to banks for initiation of insolvency proceedings against borrowers for specific defaults ‘so that the momentum towards effective resolution remains uncompromised.’

  • The new circular asked lenders to undertake a prima facie review of the borrower account within 30 days from a default, which is termed as “review period.”

  • Debt recast tools like corporate debt restructuring scheme and strategic debt restructuring scheme are withdrawn. Apart from banks, these new norms are also applicable for non-banking financial companies, small finance banks and other financial institutions.

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India-Japan expands cooperation

  • Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu today said, India and Japan relations are growing in several areas.

  • Speaking at an event organised by FICCI in New Delhi, Mr.Hiramatsu said, the next five years are crucial for the relationship of both the sides.

  • The Japanese Ambassador said, Japan is looking for more business opportunities in India. He said, Japan is ready to support India in its infrastructure development growth.

  • He said, Japan is looking for more access to the Indian market. Mr Hiramatsu said, the two countries must now make efforts to take the bilateral relations to a newer level.

  • He hoped that New Delhi will provide more space to Tokyo in the field of investment and trade. He said, both the sides can also increase their cooperation in security and space area.

Gandhi peace rally held in Saudi Arabia

  • To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Embassy in Saudi today organized ‘Gandhi Cycle Rally for Peace’ in association with the Diplomatic Quarter Authority and Saudi Cycling Federation.

  • The rally was flagged off by Dr.AusafSayeed, Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi dignitaries, diplomats, members of Indian diaspora and Saudi nationals attended the rally.

  • Seven teams were deployed along the 6 km long route to assist the participants. A Saudi cycle acrobatic team performed before the start of the rally.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Dr.AusafSayeed stressed on the importance of mobility for leading a healthy lifestyle which Gandhi exemplified led by personal example throughout his life. All the participants were distributed t-shirts and certificates of participation.

  • The Cycle Rally was part of the series of events organized globally by the Government of India to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.


NASA claims space station to be open for public by next year

  • U.S. space agency NASA said on Friday that it would open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism — with stays priced at $35,000 a night — as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.

  • These travellers would be ferried to the orbiter exclusively by the two companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.

  • These companies would choose the clients and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58 million for a round trip ticket.

  • The space station does not belong to NASA. It was built along with Russia starting in 1998, and other countries participate in the mission and send up astronauts.

  • But the U.S. has paid for and controls most of the modules that make up the orbiter.The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first: U.S. businessman Dennis Tito had that honour in 2001. He paid Russia around $20 million for the trip.


Indian archers book places for Paralympics

  • Indian archers secured two quota places each in the recurve and compound sections for next year's Tokyo Paralympics after dishing out superb performances at the World Para Championships in the Netherlands today.

  • Punjabi University's Harvinder Singh and Uttar Pradesh's VivekChhikara finished joint ninth to bag the two available berths in the recurve men's open section.

  • In the compound men's open category, Jammu's Rakesh Kumar was first to qualify yesterday after making the bronze play-off where he will take on Matt Stutzman of the USA tomorrow. He was later joined by Rajasthan's ShyamSundar Swami after his joint ninth finish.

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