Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 November 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 November 2019


::NATIONAL::

SC says CJI office falls under the RTI act

  • In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court has held that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

  • The court, however, said that judicial independence has to be kept in mind while disclosing information in public interest.

  • A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi yesterday dismissed the appeal filed by the Central Public Information Officer and the Secretary-General of the apex court against the Delhi High Court's 2010 judgement.

  • Writing the judgement on behalf of the CJI, Justice Deepak Gupta and himself, Justice Sanjiv Khanna referred to several decisions and viewpoints to highlight the contentious nature of the issue of transparency, accountability and judicial independence.

  • He said it is necessary that the question of judicial independence is accounted for in the balancing exercise.

  • The judgement, which has been concurred by Justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud in separate verdicts, said that in some cases, judicial independence may demand openness and transparency by furnishing the information and in some cases, disclosure may not be needed.

PM calls on BRICS nations to invest in India

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon business leaders from the BRICS nations to invest in India, particularly in infrastructure development.

  • Mr Modi said, India is the world's most open and investment-friendly economy due to political stability, predictable policy and business-friendly reforms.

  • Mr Modi was addressing the closing ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, last night. Mr Modi said, the BRICS has led to economic development despite the global economic slowdown.

  • Prime Minister said, BRICS accounts for 50 per cent of the world's economic growth. Mr Modi called upon BRICS business leaders to exploit the opportunities among member countries.

  • The meeting of working groups of BRICS Business Council concluded on the first day of BRICS 2019. In this meeting, leaders of working groups have agreed on 30 important proposals related to different areas.

  • Out of which, 10 proposals have been placed on priority and all these proposals will be submitted to BRICS leaders tomorrow. Secretary-General of FICCI Dilip Chinoy told AIR that working groups have come up with the proposals to remove regulatory difficulties in bilateral trade, normalise phytosanitary measures for agriculture exports and to increase mutual cooperation in digital literacy.

::ECONOMY::

India-Switzerland to expand cooperation to curb tax evasion

  • India and Switzerland held Secretary-level bilateral meeting today in New Delhi and discussed enhanced cooperation in the fight against tax evasion.

  • An official release said, the Secretaries expressed satisfaction over the progress made over the past few years in the area of administrative assistance in tax matters, particularly the efforts made by Switzerland in providing assistance in HSBC cases.

  • Welcoming the first transmission of financial account information on automatic basis between the two countries in September 2019, the Secretaries reiterated their countries’ commitment to global tax transparency for tackling offshore tax evasion.

  • This automatic exchange of financial account information will usher a new era of financial transparency as Indian tax administration will now know the details of all bank accounts held by Indians in Switzerland.

  • The Secretaries encouraged the competent authorities of both countries to further collaborate and share experiences with the aim of continuously enhancing the quality of the exchanged data.

Govt. to seek NABARD’s help for farm produce procurement in Jammu

  • To ensure better price to the farmers of newly created union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will seek help of NABARD in procuring farm produce like saffron, peaches and walnuts from them.

  • Also, she said, the government wants to promote solar energy generation in the union territory (UT) of Ladakh, which is also carved out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The government has recently procured apples from the farmers of UT of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED

  • NABARD will speak to farmers of Jammu and Kashmir and understand their issues, he said, adding that efforts will be made to provide help farmers of saffron, peaches and walnuts.

  • "NABARD can focus on marketing of local nutrients in the coastal areas. It can work with the farmer producer organisations (FPOs) and self help groups (SHGs) in these areas to help increase nutritional input of the area, which could be well received in the wellness industry,"finance minister said.

  • Pointing out that the government has taken various measures to promote financial inclusion and insuring un-insured and funding the un-funded, additional secretary in the finance ministry Debasish Panda said the effort is to ensure that the banking services are available within 5 km of every villages in the country.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India-Bangladesh connectivity to become game changer,claims high commissioner

  • Connectivity between India and Bangladesh is a game changer and it is a win win situation for both the countries. Speaking at the Global Dhaka Dialogue on the second day of the event on Tuesday India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that 80 percent of the 8 billion dollar Line of Credit given by India to Bangladesh is earmarked for connectivity linked projects.

  • She said that projects in road, railways, inland waterways and ports between the two countries create a win win situation for both the countries. She also talked about the digital connectivity as an exciting area for connectivity in the future.

  • On the issue of the Indo-Pacific region Riva Ganguly Das said that India believes in an inclusive Indo-Pacific which is safe, secure and stable. She said India believes in freedom of navigation and respect for sovereignty of all in the region.

  • Former Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said that the 21st century is the Asian Century and South Asia is its economic driver.

  • State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Md. Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh believes the Indo-Pacific strategy and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are not conflicting but complementary to each. Prof. Minwang Lin of Fudan University said that for China the focus is on Asia especially East Asian countries.

Iran claims to have found 50billion barrels of oil in its territory

  • Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country's south with over 50 billion barrels of crude, its president said Sunday, a find that could boost the country's proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over U.S. sanctions.

  • The announcement by Hassan Rouhani comes as Iran faces crushing American sanctions after the U.S. pulled out of its nuclear deal with world powers last year.

  • Rouhani made the announcement in a speech in the desert city of Yazd. He said the field was located in Iran's southern Khuzestan province, home to its crucial oil industry.

  • Iran currently has the world's fourth-largest proven deposits of crude oil and the world's second-largest deposits of natural gas. It shares a massive offshore field in the Persian Gulf with Qatar.

  • The new oil field could become Iran's second-largest field after one containing 65 billion barrels in Ahvaz. The field is 2,400 square kilometers (925 square miles), with the deposit some 80 meters (260 feet) deep, Rouhani said.

  • Any company or government that buys Iran's oil faces harsh U.S. sanctions, the threat of which also stopped billions of dollars in business deals and sharply depreciated Iran's currency, the rial.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Centre to consider hydrogen based technology as solution to air pollution

  • The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to explore the feasibility of a hydrogen-based Japanese technology as a permanent solution to the air pollution in the NCR region and other parts of north India.

  • The court directed the Centre to expedite the deliberations on the issue and come before the court with its findings on 3rd of next month.

  • The development comes as Delhi's air quality neared the emergency zone for the second time in a fortnight today due to raging farm fires in neighbouring states and unfavourable weather conditions.

  • A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and CJI designate S A Bobde said, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has brought to the court's notice a technology which is the outcome of research by a university in Japan.

  • The bench said, Centre will explore the feasibility of using it in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of north India.

::SPORTS::

Indian players maintains top position in ICC rankings

  • In Cricket, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have maintained their top spots in the latest ICC ODI Player Rankings. Kohli is at the top of the rankings for batsmen, followed by his deputy Rohit Sharma.

  • In the bowlers' rankings, Bumrah maintained his top spot followed by New Zealand's pacer Trent Boult. Hardik Pandya is the only Indian to feature in the top 10 among all-rounders. He is at number 10. England's World Cup hero Ben Stokes tops the chart followed by Mohammad Nabi of Afghanistan.

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