Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 September 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 September 2019


Centre denies rumours of tampering article 371 with respect to northeastern states

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asserted that the Article 371, which provides special provisions for North Eastern states, will not be tampered with.

  • Addressing the 68th Plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC) in Guwahati today, Mr. Shah allayed apprehensions of North Eastern people regarding Article 371, following the abrogation of Article 370.

  • He alleged that after the abrogation of Article 370, the opposition parties tried to carry out a campaign that the Article 371 will be abrogated. Mr. Shah announced that the NEC will earmark one- third of its funds for priority areas in North East. He said that not a single infiltration would be allowed in the region. He said that port connectivity with Bangladesh will boost GDP of the country.

  • He said that development of North East is the priority of the Prime Minister NarendraModi and the NDA government. He stressed to resolve the border disputes among the North Eastern states through dialogue .

  • He appealed all militants outfits to shun violence and assured to welcome them into mainstream but also cautioned that zero tolerance policy against terrorism will be continued .Mr. Shah however said that terrorism has been controlled in North East. He termed the North East as the storehouse of varied culture and several languages and dialects.

  • Addressing the session, Union DoNER Minister Dr.Jitendra Singh said, North Eastern Council has been given its highest budgetary allotment of 1476 crore rupees for the year 2019-20. Dr. Singh said that much emphasis has been given for the development of North East.

Legislative assembly of Jammu & Kashmir to make land policies

  • The Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir would decide its own land policy once its elected, a senior government official said on Sunday. The elected representatives could decide on the land use and categorise it as agricultural, commercial, educational and so on, he added. The new Union Territory will come into being on October 31.

  • After the special status of the State under Article 370 of the Constitution was revoked on August 6 by Parliament, residents from the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region expressed concern and demanded protection for their land, culture and tradition.

  • A senior government official said J&K had its own land acquisition Act enacted in 1935 and with the revocation of the special status, the Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, will be applicable to the Union Territory.

  • A representative of a trade body said laws were never a hindrance in investing in the State. “Most factories and industrial parks are in the Jammu region; companies do not want to invest in the Valley due to militancy and law and order problems there,” the representative said.

  • According to the J&K industrial policy of 2004, the government could “allot land on a long lease of 90 years in the industrial estates and developed areas on first come, first served basis.” “In case of large area requirements, land may be acquired in specific locations and allotted on lease,” the policy said.


Finance ministry assures no cuts in budgetary allocation to social sector schemes

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman said on Friday that while the government will look into any challenges being faced by the economy, it will not allow Budgetary allocations to the social sector to be affected.

  • She said this in response to a query on whether tax targets would be met in the wake of economic slowdown.The Minister also said the government was yet to take a call on the utilisation of surplus funds transferred by the Reserve Bank of India.

  • Ms.Sitharaman, who was accompanied by the Revenue Secretary and the CBDT Chairman, said as part of an initiative to improve transparency, any notice issued by the Income Tax Department for tax claims from October 1 will have a distinct document identification number (DIN). This will be issued through a centralised process and with approval.

  • She removed any apprehensions regarding the continuance of non-electric vehicles, saying they would be allowed to run for the entire validity of their registration period.

  • This is the seventh city being visited by the Finance Minister to meet local chambers and trade bodies to understand their pain points.

Study finds loss of fund raising capability through bond markets by NBFC’s and PSU’s

  • The loss of fund-raising capability through corporate debt bonds by NBFCs resulted in the gain for public sector financial institutions which increased their share in debt issues by 8 percentage points in 2018-19, said an Assocham-Crisil study.

  • Defaults by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) at the beginning of September 2018 created panic and led to a dip in investor confidence towards lending to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).

  • The debt market in India has seen notable growth over the years. However, the development has been skewed towards government securities, or G-secs, compared with corporate bonds. G-secs command a penetration ratio of nearly 30% of the GDP.

  • The study noted that investors tend to move towards the safety of the top-rated corporate bonds in the backdrop of certain events, affecting particularly the NBFC sector, it added.

  • The share lost by NBFCs/HFCs in overall issuances (of corporate bonds) was captured by PSU financial institutions, who grew their share by 8 percentage points, said the joint Assocham-Crisil on ‘Deepening the debt market’ which has dwelt issues and imperatives of the Indian debt market.

  • It further said that the share of AAA-rated issuances increased 12 percentage points as investors moved towards safer investments amid the intensifying credit crisis.

  • In India, institutions are the key investors in the debt markets as there is limited appetite on the retail side given the complexity and ticket size of the product.

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World energy congress to commence in Abu dhabi

  • The 24th World Energy Congress will commence today in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.

  • The four-day World Energy Congress aims to bring together international energy stakeholders, including governments, private and state corporations, academia and media.

  • With over 15,000 participants expected, the Congress is set to welcome over 250 high-level speakers, 72 Ministers, 500 CEOs, 1000 media persons with 40,000 square-metre exhibition space that will cover the entire energy spectrum.

  • Speaking at the opening press conference held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al Mazrouei said, the UAE is honoured to be hosting the Congress, which builds on and reflects the ambitious energy transformation that the country is going through at present.

  • The Minister added that the theme of this World Energy Congress is Energy for Prosperity which also represents the ambitious and dynamic energy transition of the country.

Saudi reiterates commitment to become India’s hydrocarbon supplier

  • Saudi Arabia has reiterated its commitment to remain a reliable and sustainable partner in hydrocarbon supplies and also on Saudi investments in India.

  • Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, DharmendraPradhan who is on his first leg of his tour to Saudi Arabia shared this on his twitter handle after his meeting with the newly appointed Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman in Jeddah today.

  • In an attempt to further the energy ties with the oil producing countries , Union Minister Pradhan accompanied by an official and business delegation, is on a visit to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar from 7-12 September 2019 to engage with his counterparts in oil and gas as well as steel sectors in three countries.

  • On the sidelines of the AMER Meet , the Union Minister is also expected to meet his counterparts from Asian region and Heads of international energy organisations, who are attending the Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable and the World Energy Congress.

  • In the UAE, Pradhan is scheduled to meet his counterparts Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry and Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO and discuss issues of bilateral hydrocarbon as well as steel sector engagement within the overall framework of India-UAE Strategic Partnership.


Population of NilgiriTahr increases in South India

  • In more good news for the State animal, the Nilgiritahr, its sightings in the Mukurthi National Park have risen from 568 in 2018 to 612 this year.

  • Officials said this was the second consecutive year that an increase in the population of the animal had been recorded in the park, meaning the population of the Nilgiritahr, also known as the Nilgiri ibex, has risen by 132 since 2016.

  • According to officials, the almost 8% increase in the population of the iconic animal in 2019 follows a similarly significant increase in its population in 2018. Officials said the upward trend was good news, as the new data reinforced last year’s findings.

  • K.K. Kaushal, Field Director of the Mukurthi National Park, said the almost 27% increase in the population of the tahr in the Nilgiris over the last three years showed that current conservation policies keeping the national park closed to tourists and free from poaching, while fighting the spread of invasive flora were bringing the desired results in terms of maintaining a healthy population of the tahr.

  • “We don’t see any chance of the population reaching a saturation point in the near future, as the habitat is contiguous with the Silent Valley National Park and the Mannarrkad forest division in Kerala, meaning they have a large habitat they can keep expanding into,” Mr.Kaushal said.


BCCI appoints committee to run Bihar cricket association

  • The Committee of Administrators (CoA) of BCCI has appointed a three-member Independent Supervisory Committee to run the cricketing affairs of Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) and also conduct fresh elections.

  • The CoA, chaired by VinodRai, took the decision after deliberating on the issue during a meeting in Mumbai yesterday.

  • The Committee will have the power to supervise, regulate and suspend the powers, duties and functioning of all post holders in the BCA, appoint or replace electoral officer, ombudsman and ethics officer.

  • It will also have the power to appoint selectors, team officials and match officials and also assign auditors to investigate utilization of funds granted by the BCCI.

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