Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 May 2019
VP stress role of social science research in policy formulation
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu
has called upon social science researchers to come up with innovative and
out-of-box solutions to address various problems confronting the world from
eradicating poverty to achieving sustainable development.
Speaking at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the
Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the Vice President said
the objective of every research outcome should be to better the lives of the
people. The upliftment of the poor should be the goal of social science
research. As such, any research would be incomplete if the researcher failed
to spend time in the field and with the people.
Urging social science researchers to find solutions to
societal problems, the Vice President he stressed the need for inclusive
development, reaching the unreached and funding the unfunded. Achieving
sustainable developmental goals, taking care of the health of the
population, alleviating poverty, mitigating the urban-rural divide and the
challenges faced by the agriculture require a fresh and practical approach,
Stating that tight boundaries between various
disciplines have almost disappeared, the Vice President said that today’s
researchers cannot confine themselves to compartmentalized silos and must
have a basic understanding of other related disciplines. For example,
health, education and environment cannot be confined to particular
disciplines, he added.
Referring to the emerging areas in bio-technology,
genetic engineering, biodiversity, new materials, micro-machines and others,
Shri Naidu said social science research should strengthen the data base of
policy makers and provide them with evidence-based inputs for policy
improvement and implementation.
Supreme Court suspends NGT order on illegal sand mining in
The Supreme Court has suspended the NGT order
directing the Andhra Pradesh government to deposit 100 crore rupees with the
Central Pollution Control Board for inaction to prevent illegal sand mining
In the interest of natural justice, the apex court
allowed the state government to place its perspective before the National
Green Tribunal, NGT with regard to illegal sand mining.
The Andhra Pradesh government has claimed that it was
not granted an opportunity to be heard by the green tribunal before the
order was passed.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta
in its recent order said that it is permitting Andhra Pradesh to move an
appropriate application before the NGT within two weeks.
On April 4th, the tribunal while asking the state to
deposit 100 crore rupees with the CPCB within a month, directed the chief
secretary to forthwith prohibit all unregulated sand mining.
WTO ministerial meeting begins in New delhi
Commerce Secretary, Dr.AnupWadhawan, welcomed senior
officials of participating delegations from Developing and Least Developed
Countries (LDCs) who are meeting in New Delhi over two days to discuss key
issues and challenges facing the multi-lateral trading system.
Speaking at the inaugural session, Commerce Secretary
said that the existential challenges to the multilateral rules based trading
system are manifestina spate of unilateral measures and counter measures,
deadlock in key areas of negotiations and the impasse in the Appellate Body.
The logjam in the Appellate Body is a serious threat
to the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO and the implementation
function of the Organization. The fundamentals of the system are being
tested through a tide of protectionism around the world vitiating the global
economic environment. The situation does not bode well for developing
countries, including the LDCs.
The harm that the institutional failure due to the
collapse of the Appellate Body will cause will be felt more in Developing
Countries including LDCs who need the protection of the rules based system
more than developed countries. There is an urgent need to engage
constructively to preserve the system and come up with constructive
solutions to the problem.
India believes that developing countries need to work
together to protect their interests in the WTO negotiations through
preservation of the core fundamental principles of the WTO. The two-day meet
gives an opportunity to the participating countries of developing a shared
WTO reform proposal on issues of priority and interest for developing
countries. This will help in building a common narrative on issues of
importance for Developing Countries including LDCs.
Growth in CPI index quickens in April
Retail inflation quickened to a six-month high of
2.92% in April, driven in large part by accelerating food and fuel
inflation, according to official data released on Monday.
Growth in the consumer price index (CPI) quickened in
April from 2.86% in March.
Within the index, growth in the food and beverages
segment accelerated to 1.38% in April compared with 0.66% in March.
Similarly, the fuel and light segment saw inflation quickening to 2.56% from
2.34% over the same period.
“Moreover, food inflation continued to rise with
sustained upward momentum in fruits and vegetables. We expect this trend to
continue over the summer months.”
Inflation in the pan, tobacco and intoxicants eased to
4.27% in April from 4.61% in March. Similarly, the clothing and footwear
segment saw inflation slowing to 2.01% from 2.52% over the same period.
The housing segment saw inflation slowing to 4.76% in
April from 4.93% in March.
“Based on this reading and the slowdown visible in
industrial production, we maintain our call of another rate cut in the
August policy, with the action being dependent on realised outcomes of
monsoons and trajectory of oil prices,” Mr. Prasanna added.
IMF advices Pakistan to stabilise its economic environment
The International Monetary Fund- IMF has warned that
Pakistan is facing a challenging economic environment and decisive policies
and reforms are needed to stabilise the economy.
IMF reached a deal on Sunday with the cash-strapped
government of Prime Minister Imran Khan on a USD 6 billion bailout to ward
off a financial crisis.
The funding, which still needs approval from the
International Monetary Fund's management, would be provided over three
- Pakistan is facing an economic crisis with short supplies of
foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth. In February, its central
bank had the only USD 8 billion left in foreign reserves.
Indian and Iran to discuss issue of U.S sanctions on oil
Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif will
hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi
Sources said, the talks will primarily focus on
the impact of the US ending waivers on import of Iranian oil and ways to
deal with it.
Both the leaders are expected to discuss the
latest developments pertaining to the Iran nuclear deal also known as
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Mr Zarif arrived in New Delhi
yesterday on a two-day visit to India.
Speaking to media at the airport, Mr Zarif said,
India is one of the most important partners of Iran and both countries
have regular consultations on various issues.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
DRDO test fires ABHYAS-high speed expandable target
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
conducted successful flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable
Aerial Target (HEAT) from Interim Test Range, Chandipur in Odisha today.
Theflight test was tracked by various RADARS &
Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way
point navigation mode.
The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an
in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS
based navigation system for its navigation and guidance.
The performance of the system was as per
simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to
meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT.
Jehan Daruvala wins FIA formula 3 championship
Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala, driving for
Prema Racing, won the inaugural round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship,
one of the support events to Formula One in Barcelona today.
The all-new FIA F3 Championship was created by
merging the erstwhile GP3 Championship and FIA F3 European Championship,
resulting in an ultra-competitive 30 car grid.
Jehan is the only Indian to win a Grand Prix when
he won the New Zealand Grand Prix and later went on to become the only
Indian to win a race in the erstwhile FIA F3 European Championship,
which used slower cars.
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