Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 July 2018

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 July 2018


Supreme court to take final decision about IPC 377

  • The government chose not to take sides on the question of the legality of Section 377 IPC, a provision which criminalises homosexuality, leaving the decision entirely to the Supreme Court.
  • The government’s decision to not contest writ petitions against Section 377 however came with a rider that the court should specify that the freedom to choose a partner does not extend to perversions like incest.
  • However the court was not confining its ambit merely to LGBTQ or sexual orientation. It is examining the aspect of two consenting adults who should not be liable for criminal action for their relationship.

Government approves net neutrality principles

  • In a move that will ensure open and free Internet in India, the government has approved the principle of net neutrality. This means that telecom and Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, site, platform, or application.
  • They cannot engage in practices such as blocking, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content.
  • The Telecom Commission (TC) — which is the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecom, on Wednesday approved the recommendation made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the subject eight months ago.
  • However the TC claimed that certain emerging & critical services will be kept out of the purview of these norms,which may include autonomous vehicles, digital healthcare services or disaster management.

Centre demands adultery to be a punishable offence

  • The government on Wednesday submitted that dropping of adultery as an offence from the Indian Penal Code (IPC) will erode the sanctity of marriage and be detrimental to the “intrinsic Indian ethos.”
  • The Centre said the provision punishing adultery — Section 497 of IPC — “supports, safeguards and protects the institution of marriage” considering the “unique structure and culture of Indian society
  • The government agreed to the thought that “stability of a marriage is not an ideal to be scorned” and striking down Section 497 would destroy the fabric of society itself.
  • The Constitution Bench was scheduled to decide on whether the pre-Independence provision of adultery in the IPC treats a married woman as her husband’s “subordinate” and violates the constitutional concepts of gender equality and sensitivity.

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U.S –China trade war worsens

  • The United States has escalated a trade war with China, threatening to impose fresh tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods as soon as September, sparking a furious reaction in Beijing.
  • The latest shot in a spiralling trade conflict between the world’s top two economies came just days after tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion in goods came into effect.
  • President Donald Trump has therefore ordered the trade department to “begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10% on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports”, Mr.Lighthizer said in a statement.
  • The eventual goal is to impose tariffs on 40% of Chinese imports, the same proportion of U.S. goods hit by Beijing’s retaliation, an official told reporters.

U.K to take action against facebook for data breach

  • Britain’s data regulator said on Wednesday that it will fine Facebook half a million pounds for failing to protect user data, as part of its investigation into whether personal information was misused ahead of the Brexit referendum.
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) began investigating the social media giant earlier this year when evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide.

INDIA –U.K sign MoU for cooperation in legal affairs

  • The two governments signed anMoU for enhancing bilateral cooperation in legal affairs which, inter alia, provides a framework for promoting greater co-operation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through exchange of expertise and training; exchanging information regarding current issues of international significance.
  • The MoU also provides for establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee to facilitate such exchange.
  • Indian IT minister alsoinformed his counterpart about the progress made in India in the field of ensuring access to justice for all, particularly using the power of technology through initiatives like Tele-Law, e-Court services and digitization of Courts in India.


Appointment of deloitte as the only auditor of banks irks bankers

  • The decision of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to appoint Deloitte as the only agency authorised to do mandatory audits of Information Security (IS) in banks, financial institutions and telcos using the Aadhaar-based authentication regime, has attracted flak from bankers.
  • In a missive to banks and other Aadhaar agencies on April 4 this year, the UIDAI had asked them to ‘enter a contract’ with Deloitte since the firm has been ‘empanelled’ by it.
  • As per the UIDAI, Deloitte would perform the assessment once a year and a fixed fee of Rs. 1,94,700 per unit is to be paid by ecosystem partners to Deloitte for conducting the mandatory IS audit. Banks will also need to pay for the travel, boarding and lodging of Deloitte officials.
  • According to bankers, not only are the specified costs too high, but the UIDAI’s move has created a monopoly situation for the firm that has been empanelled. The inclusion of more alternatives as empanelled auditors could allow individual user agencies of the Aadhaar ecosystem to negotiate better rates and services. Banks have conveyed these views to the UIDAI.

SEBI brings in guidelines for large corporates in raising funds via bond market

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will soon come out with a consultation paper on making it mandatory for large corporates to meet one-fourth of their financing needs through the bond market as envisioned by the FY19 Union Budget, according to its chairman Ajay Tyagi.
  • Noting that a lot needed to be done for increasing liquidity in the secondary market, he said that the SEBI would move towards that direction in consultation with the RBI and the government.
  • Secondary market products such as interest rate futures, credit default, swaps, repo and others had to be made more attractive to the participants for development of secondary market in corporate bond.


Nilgiritahr faces risk of climate change

  • The antics of the sure-footed Nilgiritahr are a treat to watch, but these endangered wild mountain goats – found only in high altitudes in India’s Western Ghats — could be losing their footing with increasing climate change.
  • Even under moderate scenarios of future climate change, tahrs could lose approximately 60% of their habitats from the 2030s on, predict scientists in their study in Ecological Engineering , an international journal that emphasises the need for ecological restoration.
  • There are only around 2,500 tahrs left in the wild and their population — “small and isolated, making them vulnerable to local extinction” — shows a “decreasing” trend, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


FIFA finalists ready for final match

  • Croatia beat England ( 2-1) in the semi finals of the 2018 FIFA world cup to reach the finals to face France in Moscow on july.15th.
  • Croatia is reaching the finals of the worldcup for the first time in history
  • The losers final will be played on 14thjuly between England and Belgium.

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