Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 8 August 2018

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 8 August 2018


Protest erupts in Tamilnadu over burial of former chief minister M.karunanidhi’s dead body

  • Soon after the Tamil Nadu government rejected the DravidaMunnetraKazhagam’s plea for space to bury the body of party president M. Karunanidhi on the premises of Anna Memorial at Marina Beach, armed police personnel took position at vital installations across the State.
  • As news spread, tension began to build among cadres gathered at the Kauvery Hospital where the body of the former Chief Minister was kept till late on Tuesday. Police had to resort to a lathicharge to disperse party workers who staged a dharma in front of the hospital.
  • While commercial establishments downed shutters after news of Karunanidhi’s death broke, transport services, including private cabs, withdrew operations. Buses cancelled trips in many districts. Long queues were seen at fuel stations that closed down later.
  • Police personnel were deployed at vantage points. Even recruits undergoing training at the Tamil Nadu Police Academy and Police Training College were roped in. Quick Reaction Teams and armed commandos were stationed at “vulnerable” places.

New reports keeps onus on breastfeeding within one hour of birth

  • As many as 6 out of 10 babies born in the country are not able to begin breastfeeding within one hour of birth despite an improvement in institutional deliveries due to a lack of supportive work environment, inadequate skills of health care providers as well as caesarean deliveries, according to a new report made public on Tuesday.
  • Mother’s breast milk within one hour of birth ensures that the infant receives the colostrum or first milk, which is rich in protective factors. The WHO and UNICEF also recommend exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to the age of six months and thereafter complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
  • The report has been prepared by a national consortium of public health groups and agencies including government departments, AIIMS and UNICEF, under the aegis of World Breastfeeeding Trends Initiative (WBTI).
  • India has made some progress over the years and between National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3 and NFHS-4, early initiation of breastfeeding has improved from 23.4% to 41.5% children breastfed within one hour of birth.

NitiAayog organises Government and Business Partnership Conclave

  • With a view to exploring the roles and contributions of the business sector in the implementation of SDGs in India, NITI Aayog, United Nations in India and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) are jointly organizing a Government and Business Partnership Conclave.
  • The conclave will focus on Facilitatinf deliberation on key thematic areas and issues around Water, Energy and Green Industry in the Indian context.
  • Generate clarity about the responsibilities and contributions of businesses and industries towards implementation of SDGs, particularly in the context of selected theme areas and sustainability issues involved.
  • Highlight best practices from businesses and industries, and explore strategies and ways forward to achieve the related SDG targets.
  • The Conclave will have three technical sessions covering sectors of Water, Energy and Green Industry chaired by Secretaries of Government of India.


Govt.brings in new GST amendment bills

  • The government on Tuesday introduced four Bills seeking to amend the Goods and Services Tax (GST) laws that will make return forms simpler and raise the turnover threshold for availing composition scheme to Rs. 1.5 crore.
  • The amendment Bills, the Central GST (Amendment) Bill, the Integrated GST (Amendment) Bill, the GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Bill and the Union Territory GST (Amendment) Bill were primarily aimed at helping the MSME sector and small traders.
  • Congress member Sunil Jakhar, however, charged the government with bringing these Bills “hurriedly” and said it would hurt the interests of the MSME sector.
  • Responding to Mr.Jakhar, finance minister Mr.Goyal said the government had held wide consultations with all stakeholders, including Punjab, and the changes were intended to help small traders.

ASCI reports Complaints of Misleading Advertisements Regarding Herbal Medicines

  • Ministry of AYUSH has been receiving written and online complaints of misleading advertisements of Ayush medicines including herbal medicines/products. Such complaints are also registered in the GAMA (Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements) portal maintained by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • The provisions of Rule 158-B of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945 provide for pilot studies for generating proof of safety and effectiveness for grant of license to manufacture for sale certain categories of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drugs.
  • Two incidents of death have come to the notice of Ministry of AYUSH after consuming herbal medicines/products, one in Tamil Nadu and one in Kerala.
  • Ministry of AYUSH signed MoU with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to undertake monitoring of the misleading AYUSH related advertisements appearing in print and TV media and bring the instances of improper advertisements to the notice of the State Regulatory Authorities for taking necessary action.

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Amid venezualancrisis,president holds to power

  • The portrait of vulnerability comes as Venezuela faces the biggest economic crisis in its modern history. And yet, Mr.Maduro has remained in power. Many are now wondering whether he has not only held on despite the disasters, but perhaps, by some measure, because of them.
  • Indeed, Mr.Maduro has weathered attempted rebellions, months of mass street protests, isolation from neighbouring countries, threats of military intervention from U.S. President Donald Trump, declining oil revenues, dissent within his own party, a mass exodus of his people and an election in May, widely described as rigged, that extended his term until 2025.
  • As the economy collapsed, leaving the country short of food and medicine and the currency worthless, Mr.Maduro has offered the military the lucrative prizes that remain.
  • While Mr.Maduro may not exactly fit the model of a military dictator, he has followed an example left by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro: he relied on the exodus of unhappy citizens as an escape valve.
  • Educated Venezuelans have sought refuge in Europe and the U.S., as well as some South American countries, like Peru and Chile, which have recruited professionals.

U.S threatens more sanctions for those dealing with IRAN

  • U.S. President Donald Trump warned countries against doing business with Iran on Tuesday as he hailed the “most biting sanctions ever imposed”, triggering a mix of anger, fear and defiance in Tehran.
  • Within hours of the sanctions taking effect, German automaker Daimler said it was halting its business activities in Iran.
  • Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement in May had already spooked investors and triggered a run on the Iranian rial long before nuclear-related sanctions went back into force.
  • Iran’s markets were actually relatively buoyant, with the rial strengthening by 20% since Sunday after the government relaxed foreign exchange rules and allowed unlimited, tax-free gold and currency imports.
  • But his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani dismissed the idea of talks while crippling sanctions were in effect. “If you’re an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife, and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,” he told state television.


India & Bhutan army begins joint expeditions

  • A joint Cycling cum Trekking Expedition of Indian Army and Royal Bhutan Army was conducted to commemorate “Fifty years of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between India and Bhutan”.
  • The expedition began on 31 July from HaaDzong in Bhutan and was flagged-in at Thimpu on 07 August 2018.
  • A total of seventeen personnel of both armies participated in the expedition which covered a total of 384 kms of distance across challenging mountainous terrain in both India and Bhutan.
  • The expedition team passed through Binnaguri in India during the final phase of expedition. The expedition has furthered the strong bonds of bonhomie between the two armies, adding yet another glorious moment in the relations between the two nations.

Centre eases access to Andaman & Nicobar islands

  • The Union Home Ministry decided on Tuesday to lift restrictions as the government intends to boost tourism.
  • The 29 inhabited islands have been excluded from the restricted area permit (RAP) notified under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions.
  • However, citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory, the official said.
  • To ensure preservation of natural and marine resources, including marine parks and environment, of the Union Territory without affecting tourism and business at large, it should be ensured by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration that the guidelines issued by the Environment and Forests Ministry are strictly adhered to, said an official.


Sports ministry summons officials days before Asian games

  • While the Sports Ministry is yet to officially clear the entire list of athletes and support staff presented by the IOA for the Games, there is more drama likely in store with the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) secretary general being summoned by the ministry seeking an explanation for ignoring pecking order of horse-rider combination.
  • The EFI has reportedly changed the horse-rider combination for Jitendra Singh, bypassing the original merit list. Jitender was initially named as riding Dalakhani Du Routy in the list announced on June 3.
  • The ministry is also seeking an explanation on the large number of French officials in the support staff for the equestrian contingent.

India A wins a thriller against south Africa

  • South Africa-A fought hard but stumbled at the last hurdle to lose the first ‘Test’ against India-A by an innings and 30 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.
  • Last man Duanne Olivier was dismissed with just seven balls to go for close of play. Mohammed Siraj got the batsman to nick behind, sparking celebrations in the home camp. The impressive Siraj registered match-figures of 10 for 129.
  • Rudi Second (94, 214b, 15x4) and Shaun Von Berg (50, 175b, 6x4) blunted the Indian attack for a brief period, but it was the hosts who had the final say.

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