Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 March 2020


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 19 March 2020


::NATIONAL::

SC removes Manipur minister from assembly

  • In an extraordinary display of its constitutional powers, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stripped Manipur Cabinet Minister T. Shyamkumar, who is facing disqualification proceedings for defection, of his office and banned him from entering the Assembly with immediate effect.
  • “Given the extraordinary facts in the present case, we are constrained to use our powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. Respondent No. 3 [Mr. Shyamkumar] is restrained from entering the Legislative Assembly till further orders of this Court. Needless to add, he will cease to be a Minister of the Cabinet immediately,” a Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman ordered.
  • On January 21, the Bench had given the Speaker a month’s time to decide on the disqualification of Mr. Shyamkumar under the anti-defection law for switching sides to the BJP after contesting on Congress ticket.
  • However, despite the judgment, the Speaker had returned to the apex court seeking eight weeks to take a decision.
  • On March 18, the Speaker asked for 10 days’ time and said the decision on the disqualification would come on March 28. However, the apex court refused the plea and issued the order.

Rajya Sabha passes bill on Indian system of medicines

  • Rajya Sabha passed both the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill 2019 and the National Commission for Homoeopathy Medicine Bill 2019 today. Both the bills were passed by voice vote.
  • Speaking over the bills, Union minister for ...............................................

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::ECONOMY::

RBI set to infuse money via Open Market Operations

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to infuse ₹10,000 crore liquidity in the banking system by buying government securities through open market operations (OMO).
  • The central bank will conduct open market operations on March 20, 2020 to purchase ₹10,000 crore of government securities through a multi-security auction using the multiple price method.
  • “With the heightening of COVID-19 pandemic risks, certain financial market segments have been experiencing a tightening of financial conditions as reflected in the hardening of yields and widening of spreads,” the RBI said.
  • “It is important to ensure that all market segments remain liquid and stable, and function normally,” the Reserve Bank said, amid heightened volatility in the financial markets due to the spread of the COVID-19.

Supreme court quizzes centre over AGR issue

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday slammed the government and the telecom majors for doing “self-assessment or reassessment” of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues worth lakhs of crores of rupees as ........................................

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::INTERNATIONAL::

China to extend financial assistance to Srilanka for fighting COVID-19

  • China will extend financial assistance amounting to $500 million to Sri Lanka to help the island nation combat COVID19 that has affected 50 persons so far. One patient has recovered, authorities said.
  • According to a press statement from the Chinese Embassy here, the Finance Ministry of Sri Lanka and the China Development Bank (CDB) on Wednesday signed the agreement, with “big concessional terms on both interest and tenure”, at Temple Trees, the official residence of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
  • “The facility was urgently requested by the Sri Lankan government and supported by the Chinese side, under current financial situation in Sri Lanka and the background of fighting COVID-19 pandemic with all-out efforts,” the Chinese Embassy’s statement said.
  • The maturity period of 10 years, the statement said, is the “longest tenure” of financing facility for Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka and China enjoy strong ties, including development cooperation in key infrastructure projects in the island.
  • In February, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa gifted a consignment of Ceylon Tea to the Chinese Embassy, to be sent to those affected by COVID-19 in China.

Virtual G20 leader’s summit to be held in Saudi

  • Saudi Arabia, which is presently in chair, has proposed to convene an extraordinary virtual G-20 Leaders’ Summit next week to advance a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications.
  • The Saudi Press Agency reported ...................................

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::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

DAC approves procurement of Tejas fighter aircraft for IAF

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today gave approval for procurement of 83 indigenous Tejas fighter aircraft for Indian Air Force.
  • The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas indigenously-designed by Aircraft Development Agency (ADA) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is going to be the backbone of Indian Air Force in future.
  • While orders of 40 Tejas aircraft had been placed with HAL in initial configurations, today DAC paved the way for procurement of another 83 of the more advanced version of the aircraft from HAL.
  • AIR correspondent reports, this procurement will be a major boost to Make in India as the aircraft is indigenously designed.
  • The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous Defence equipment for about 1,300 crore rupees.

::SPORTS::

Olympic flame handover to take place without spectators

  • The Greek Olympic committee has said, the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The committee said the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday's ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid. The body's headquarters will also remain closed until further notice.
  • The committee cancelled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler.

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