Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 February 2020


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 February 2020


::NATIONAL::

SC asserts reservation in promotion in public posts not part of fundamental rights

  • Reservation in promotion in public posts cannot be claimed as a fundamental right, the Supreme Court has reiterated in a judgment.

  • “There is no doubt that the State government is not bound to make reservation. There is no fundamental right which inheres in an individual to claim reservation in promotions. No mandamus can be issued by the court directing the State government to provide reservation,” the court observed.

  • Citing Constitution Bench precedents that had settled the law, the court said Articles 16 (4) and 16 (4-A) of the Constitution did not confer individuals with a fundamental right to claim reservation in promotion.

  • The Articles empower the State to make reservation in matters of appointment and promotion in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes only “if in the opinion of the State they are not adequately represented in the services of the State”.

  • “It is a settled law that the State government cannot be directed to provide reservation for appointment in public posts. Similarly, the State is not bound to make reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in matters of promotions,” the court explained.

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat program to start tomorrow

  • An 18 day long focused Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Campaign will get underway from tomorrow across the country. The campaign, being organised by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, will continue till February 28.

  • Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat promotes the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all Indian states and union territories.

  • At the launch of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat program in 2016, Prime Minister NarendraModi stated that the initiative can build bonds between the people of various states of the country.

  • AIR correspondent reports that Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is a unique program celebrating the Unity in Diversity of India. It also intends to strengthen the fabric of traditionally existing emotional bonds between the people of the country.

  • Showcasing and highlighting the rich heritage and culture, cuisines, crafts, customs and traditions of 36 states and union territories is the central idea behind Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. States and Union Territories have been paired with each other to encourage the sharing of culture.

  • Jammu and Kashmir has been paired with Tamil Nadu, Punjab with Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand with Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh with Kerala, Delhi with Sikkim, and Rajasthan with Assam in the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.

::ECONOMY::

Farmers group wants agri and dairy products out of U.S trade talks

  • Farmers groups and lobbies, which successfully protested the agricultural and dairy free trade provisions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leading to India pulling out of those talks, are now urging the Centre to ensure that agricultural products stay out of the ongoing Indo-U.S. trade negotiations as well.

  • Reports suggest that with U.S. President Donald Trump set to visit India later this month, Amercian negotiators are pushing hard for the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers to facilitate access to the Indian market for major crops including corn, cotton, soybean, wheat and nuts.

  • The U.S. is also keen on reaching a deal to open up the Indian dairy market, which had been hindered by the fact that the U.S. cattle feed often includes non-vegetarian elements.

  • Indian farm lobbies worry that this could have a disastrous impact on domestic farmers, already facing a struggle to get remunerative prices for their produce.

  • The import of genetically modified crops is also a thorny issue. “Most of the U.S. cotton, soy, corn is GM. While Indian farmers also grow GM cotton, India is yet to allow any GM food crop to be grown here. There are concerns about bio-safety,” said AfsarJafri, an expert on agricultural trade issues.

Centre imposes anti dumpingduty on Chinese products

  • Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) conducts anti-dumping investigations, under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 and the rules made thereunder, on the basis of a duly substantiated application filed by the domestic industry alleging dumping of goods into the country causing injury to the domestic industry.

  • The basic intent of anti-dumping measures is to eliminate injury caused to the domestic industry by the unfair trade practice of dumping and to create a level playing field for the domestic industry.

  • Currently,anti-dumping measures are in force on 90 products imported from the People’s Republic of China, including two pharmaceutical products.

  • Further, 24 anti-dumping investigations are presently in progress against the alleged dumping of imports from the People’s Republic of China.

  • This information was given by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, PiyushGoyal, in a written reply in the RajyaSabha today.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India hopes Srilanka will fullfil aspirations of Tamil people

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi today expressed hope that the Sri Lankan government will fulfill expectations of Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and respect in the island nation.

  • Delivering press statement after holding talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart MahindaRajapaksa in New Delhi, Mr.Modi said stability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka is not only in India's interest but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean Region. He said both countries have decided to deepen cooperation to combat terrorism.

  • In their talks, the two prime ministers deliberated on the entire expanse of bilateral ties and resolved to further deepen anti-terror cooperation and boost trade and investment ties. Prime Minister Modi said, India has been a trusted partner in Sri Lanka's development and will continue to assist the country in its journey for peace and development.

  • He added that new lines of credit announced last year will strengthen development cooperation between the two neighbours. Referring to the fishermen issue, he said, both sides have decided to adopt a humanitarian approach in dealing with it.

Bangladesh goes for disinvestment of government owned banks

  • The government of Bangladesh has decided to start the process of disinvestment in four State Owned Commercial Banks (SOCB) by October this year.

  • Announcing this in Dhaka today, Finance Minister of Bangladesh AHM Mustafa Kamal said that the Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL), Agrani Bank Ltd, Janata Bank Ltd and Sonali Bank Ltd would be listed on the stock market while the share of Rupali Bank limited offered to the public would be raised from current 9.91 percent to 25 percent.

  • Sonali Bank serves as the treasury of the government.He said the process could be completed in one go or two depending upon the market response for the bank shares.

  • The process will start first with bringing the Bangladesh Development Bank Limited (BDBL) into the capital market. It will be followed by the Agrani Bank Ltd, the Janata Bank Ltd and lastly the Sonali Bank Ltd.

  • The Minister said that a committee has been formed with representatives from each of the SOCBs to complete the process with Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) as the Coordinator.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

WestBengal develops arsenic resistant rice

  • Researchers have developed and commercialised a rice variety that is resistant to arsenic. Several studies have shown that arsenic from groundwater and the soil can enter the food chain through paddy.

  • West Bengal is among the States with the highest concentration of arsenic in groundwater, with 83 blocks across seven districts having higher arsenic levels than permissible limits.

  • The new rice variety, Muktoshri — also called IET 21845 — was developed jointly by the Rice Research Station at Chinsurah, coming under West Bengal’s Agriculture Department and the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, over several years. A gazette notification for the commercial use of Muktoshri was issued by West Bengal last year.

  • The work on developing the variety started in 2006 and by 2013 the scientists were successful. Pradip Kumar Das, a farmer at Birnagar in Nadia district who cultivated the variety on over four hectares (30 bighas), said that the yield was satisfactory, despite a dry spell.

  • According to the World Health Organization, long-term exposure to arsenic, mainly through drinking water and food, can lead to poisoning. Skin lesions and skin cancer are the most characteristic effects.

::SPORTS::

Bangladesh lifts maiden U-19 cricket worldcup title

  • Bangladesh beat India by three wickets to win maiden ICC U-19 World Cup title in Potchefstroom, South Africa tonight by the Duckworth-Lewis method. Batting first, India were all out for 177 in 47.2 overs. YashaswiJaiswal scored 88 runs off 121 balls.

  • Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Akbar Ali won the toss and elected to field. India are unbeaten in the tournament so far, winning their all five matches. In the semifinal on Tuesday, India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 10 wickets.

  • First time finalists Bangladesh, on the other hand emerged as the dark horse and beat South Africa and New Zealand in their journey to the finals. Bangladesh remained unbeaten in this tournament.

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