Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 NOVEMBER 2018

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 NOVEMBER 2018


Supreme court says long term cohabitation of couples is equivalent marriage

• The Supreme Court has upheld the “presumption” that a couple who live together as husband and wife are legally married and the woman can claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

• Citing past judgments of the apex court, the Bench quoted that “where a man, who lived with a woman for a long time and even though they may not have undergone legal necessities of a valid marriage, should be made liable to pay the woman maintenance if he deserts her”.

• “The man should not be allowed to benefit from the legal loopholes by enjoying the advantages of a de facto marriage without undertaking the duties and obligations. Any other interpretation would lead the woman to vagrancy and destitution, which the provision of maintenance in Section 125 is meant to prevent,” the court said in a recent judgment.

• The judgment was based on an appeal filed by a woman against a Karnataka High Court decision of June 2009. The High Court set aside a family court order, directing the man she lived with since 1998, and had two children by, to pay maintenance. Their relationship had been solemnised in a temple. He had later abandoned the family.

• The family court had ordered him to pay the woman Rs. 3000 and the children Rs. 2500 each on a monthly basis. The court said they were accepted as husband and wife by society. The man had, however, moved an appeal in the High Court, which pronounced that there was no proof that she was his legally-wedded wife.

Centre affirms to no direct talks with Taliban

• Facing a barrage of questions on its sudden shift in policy on attending talks with the Taliban, the Centre on Friday clarified that its delegation at the second 12-nation ‘Moscow format meeting of consultations on Afghanistan’ would not hold direct talks with the insurgent group there.

• The government said its policy on Afghanistan was “consistent”, despite its decision to send two former diplomats, Amar Sinha and TCA Raghavan, to the talks.

• It would mark the first time an Indian delegation would be at the table with a Taliban delegation from its political office in Doha.

• India had refused to recognise the Taliban government in Afghanistan (1996-2001) and had opposed talks with the Taliban at least until a few years ago, insisting thus far on an “Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and controlled” process.

• The Opposition parties sought to know why India had sent representatives to the talks when they weren’t being led by the Ghani government.

• Asked for the rationale behind the turnaround, the MEA spokesperson denied that the decision had been taken under pressure from either Moscow or Kabul.

• “There was no compulsion here. Whatever we think will take the process forward, consistent with our policy, we will participate in. And we made it very clear that our participation at the meeting will be at the non-official level,” Mr. Kumar said.


Centre denies allegations of seeking surplus reserves from RBI

• Dismissing reports of the government seeking ₹3.6 lakh crore from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as speculation, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Friday said that the only proposal under discussion is to fix an appropriate economic capital framework for the central bank.

• The government and the RBI have been at loggerheads on several issues, including a proposal for the central bank to transfer a portion of its surplus reserves to the government.

• The rift between the two became public last month after a speech by RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya in which he cautioned that “governments that do not respect central bank independence will sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets ignite economic fire, and come to rue the day they undermined an important regulatory institution”.

• He pointed out that the government’s fiscal deficit in FY 2013-14 was 5.1%. From 2014-15 onwards, the government has succeeded in bringing it down substantially.

• The Economic Capital Framework, as per an RBI annual report, was formulated to assess the RBI’s capital and internal reserves position in a structured and systematic manner.

• In its annual report for 2014-15, the central bank had said, “The exercise to put in place an economic capital framework is a challenging one as the Reserve Bank plans to cover not only the risks in its balance sheet but also its ‘contingent risks’ which arise from its public policy role in fostering monetary and financial stability.”

Indian will start raw sugar export to china next year

• In a boost to sugar mills sitting on surplus stocks, India will start raw sugar exports to China in early 2019, and is in talks to finalise exports to Indonesia and Malaysia as well.

• In a statement on Thursday, the Commerce Ministry said the first contract to export 50,000 tonnes of sugar had been entered into by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and Chinese public sector company COFCO.

• “Raw sugar is the second product after non-basmati rice that China will import from India,” said the Ministry. “It is a move to reduce the $60 billion trade deficit that China has with India. India’s exports to China in 2017-18 amounted to $33 billion while imports from China stood at $76.2 billion.”

• The Ministry official said government delegations were also travelling to Malaysia and Indonesia next week, for talks to finalise sugar exports to those countries as well.

• India is the world’s largest sugar producer with a production of 32 million tonnes in 2018. However, domestic consumption is only around 25 million tonnes.

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India –Singapore naval exercise to celebrate silver jubilee

• The 25th edition of SIMBEX, an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” is scheduled from 10th to 21st November 2018 off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.

• . What began as a modest endeavour to exchange best practices in the field of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), has in the recent years evolved into a complex high stakes exercise with both nations attaching premium in terms of time, complex advanced exercises and type of platforms involved.

• Complementing India’s ‘Act-East’ policy, there have been a number of agreements and high level visits in the recent past between the two countries. Indo-Singapore bilateral relations have been on an upswing in the recent past.

• Both countries have a full calendar of more than 20 bilateral mechanisms, dialogues and exercises, many of which take place annually. In November 2015, the robust relationship between the two countries was elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’.

• Both sides agreed to undertake continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional / ASEAN partners.

• SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity. The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 10 to 12 November followed by Sea Phase from 12 to 16 November in the Andaman Sea.

U.S tightens asylum policy for migrants

• President Donald Trump on Friday invoked extraordinary national security powers to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country illegally, tightening the border as caravans of Central Americans approach the U.S.

• Mr. Trump is using the same powers he used to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court. The proclamation puts into place regulations adopted on Thursday that circumvent laws stating that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how he or she enters the country.

• Administration officials say the measures, likely to face legal challenges, go into effect on Saturday for at least three months, but could be extended. They don’t affect people who are already in the country.

• The changes are meant to funnel asylum seekers through official border crossings for speedy rulings, officials said, instead of having them try to circumvent such crossings on the nearly 3,200-km border.

• But the busy ports of entry already have long lines and waits, forcing officials to tell some migrants to turn around and come back to make their claims. Even despite that, illegal crossings are historically low.

• The announcement was the latest push to enforce Mr. Trump’s hardline stance on immigration through regulatory changes and presidential orders, bypassing Congress which has not passed any immigration law reform. But those efforts have been largely thwarted by legal challenges and, in the case of family separations this year, stymied by a global outcry that prompted Mr. Trump to scrap them.


Army introduces first set of artillery guns in three decades

• Emerging from the shadow of the Bofors scandal, the Army on Friday inducted its first artillery gun systems in three decades. The M777 Ultra Light Howitzers from the U.S. and K9 Vajra-T self-propelled artillery gun from South Korea were inducted at the Devlali Field Firing Ranges in Maharashtra. The third equipment inducted is a common gun tower.

• The Army last inducted an artillery gun system — the Bofors guns procured from Sweden — in the early 1980s. Attempts to buy new guns did not make progress.

• Three guns of each type were inducted in the presence of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat. In all, the Army will get 10 K-9 guns this year.

• In April 2017, the Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin signed a contract to make the K9 Vajra-T guns. The gun was short-listed by the Army after extensive trial

• India signed a $737-million deal with the U.S. in November 2016 under the Foreign Military Sales Programme for 145 M777 Ultra Light Howitzers. Twenty-five guns will be imported and the rest will be assembled in India in partnership with Mahindra Group.


Indian women team wins over New Zealand in World T20 opener

• The hitting was incredible and the sixes unbelievably monstrous, making Harmanpreet Kaur the first Indian woman to record a century in the format and propelling her team to a 34-run win over New Zealand in the World T20 opener Friday.

• The 29-year-old smashed 103 off 51 balls and her carnage included eight sixes, some of them towering, and seven boundaries.

• Opting to bat at the Providence Stadium, Harmanpreet and Jemimah Rodrigues (59 off 45 balls) added 134 runs for the fourth wicket to guide India to an imposing 194 for five in the stipulated 20 overs.

• Having cleared the fence eight times, Kaur now has the most number of sixes for India in a T20 innings, beating her own record of, five set against Sri Lanka in September this year.

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