Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 may 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 may 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM assures commitment to protect tribal rights

  • Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister NarendraModi has said that his government has ensured protections of rights of the tribals, and enhanced welfare measures for them.

  • Speaking at Deoghar in Jharkhand today, he said that minimum support price for forest products were increased from ten to fifty different types of products, and a fixed share has been allotted in the forest produce, in addition to compulsory spending of profits from minerals on tribal welfare.

  • He enumerated various projects -like upcoming new AIIMS, Airport in Deoghar and new road and rail lines in Santhal region of the Jharkhand. He also said that BJP governments at both Centre and Jharkhand are giving special incentives to farmers.

  • He charged the opposition parties like Congress and JMM of abetting illegal immigrations of Bangladeshis in the region and country.

Indian joins global initiative to counter terrorism

  • India has joined a major global initiative to combat terrorism and extremism online and secure the internet.

  • The initiative 'Christchurch call to action' has been named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in an attack on mosques.

  • It was launched in Paris yesterday by India, France, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries.

  • The declaration on Christchurch call to action said a free, open and secure internet is a powerful tool by which to promote connectivity, enhance social inclusiveness and foster economic growth.

  • It said the internet is, however, not immune from abuse by terrorist and violent extremist actors, and there is a need for collective efforts globally to secure the internet from terror groups. This was tragically highlighted by the terrorist attacks in Christchurch which were designed to go viral, it said.

  • The declaration said the Christchurch attack highlighted the urgent need for action and enhanced cooperation among the wide range of actors with influence over this issue, including governments, civil society, and online service providers, such as social media companies, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

  • The initiative outlines collective, voluntary commitments from governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet.

::ECONOMY::

RBI releases vision document for safe and secure e-payment

  • Reserve Bank of India has released a vision document for ensuring a safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable e-payment system.

  • According to RBI release on Wednesday the 'Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 - 2021', with its core theme of 'Empowering Exceptional E-payment Experience', envisages to achieve "a highly digital and cash-lite society" through the goal posts of competition, cost-effectiveness, convenience and confidence (4Cs).

  • The RBI said the payment systems landscape will continue to change with further innovation and entry of more players which is expected to ensure the optimal cost to the customers and freer access to multiple payment system options.

  • It said that the bank will implement the approach outlined in this Vision during the period 2019 - 2021. It further said that the approach of the RBI will continue to be of minimal intervention in the pricing of charges to customers for digital payments, all efforts will be made towards facilitating the operation of payment systems which are efficient and price-attractive.

  • The RBI said that the document talks about creating customer awareness, setting up a 24X7 helpline and self-regulatory organisation for system operators and service providers, among others. It added that the 'no-compromise' approach towards safety and security of payment systems remains a hallmark of the vision.

Government to prepare working plan to eneable farmers to grow new crops

  • Union Minister NitinGadkari today said the government is working on a plan that will enable farmers to grow new crops instead of the conventional ones.

  • Addressing an election rally at Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, he said that national security is paramount for BJP. He said that India needs a Prime Minister like NarendraModi who can firmly deal with the issue of terrorism.

  • Referring to various public welfare schemes of the central government, Mr Gadkari said that in the last five years, there has been many development works in the country like the cleaning of Ganga and building of waterways in rivers.

  • Mr Gadkari also addressed a public rally in Alirajpur in the state. Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh also addressed a public meeting in Dhar district today.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Saudi says attack on oil ships threatening global supplies

  • Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, has said that attacks on two of its tankers and a major pipeline targeted the security of global oil supplies.

  • The Saudi cabinet affirmed yesterday evening that such acts of terrorism and sabotage do not only target the kingdom but also the global economy.

  • Yesterday, Drone attacks shut down one of the kingdom's main oil pipelines. It further increased Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of four ships, two of them Saudi tankers, recently.

  • The drone strikes hit two pumping stations on the kingdom's east-west pipeline, which can carry five million barrels of crude per day and provides a strategic alternative route for Saudi exports.

  • Yemen's Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strikes and said they were a response to "crimes" committed by Saudi Arabia and its allies during more than four years of war in support of the government.

US declares national emergency over IT threat

  • US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to protect American computer networks from foreign adversaries.

  • Mr. Trump signed an executive order which effectively bars US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose a security risk to the country.

  • Mr Trump does not name any company specifically in the order. However, analysts suggest it is mainly directed at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

  • A number of countries - including the US - have raised concerns that the company's products could be used by China for surveillance. Huawei has said its work does not pose any
    threat. The US is also embroiled in an escalating trade war with China.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Study claims moon shrinking due to interior cooling

  • The Moon is shrinking as its interior cools ,getting over 50 metres skinnier through the last several hundred million years and causing quakes on the lunar surface, a study has found. Just as a grape wrinkles as it shrinks down to a raisin, the Moon gets wrinkles as it shrinks, researchers said.

  • Unlike the flexible skin on a grape, the Moon’s surface crust is brittle, so it breaks as the Moon shrinks, forming “thrust faults” where one section of crust is pushed up over a neighbouring part.

  • These fault scarps resemble small stair-step shaped cliffs when seen from the lunar surface, typically tens of metres high and extending for several kilometres.

  • The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, analysed data from four seismometers placed on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts using an algorithm, or mathematical programme, developed to pinpoint quake locations detected by a sparse seismic network.

  • Weathering from solar and space radiation gradually darkens material on the lunar surface, so brighter areas indicate regions that are freshly exposed to space, as expected if a recent moonquake sent material sliding down a cliff.

::SPORTS::

Igor Stimac appointed Indian football team coach

  • Croatian World Cupper Igor Stimac has been appointed Indian football team head coach for a two-year term.

  • The national team has been without a coach since the departure of Stephen Constantine in January, following the creditable show at the AFC Asian Cup.

  • The appointment was made by the All India Football Federation's Executive Committee today. The 51-year-old Stimac, who was part of Croatia's 1998 World Cup squad that finished third in France, has over 18 years of coaching experience.

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