Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 DECEMBER 2018
Consumer protection bill passed in Loksabha
- LokSabha on Thursday passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018
that seeks to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- The Bill enforces consumer rights and provides a mechanism for
redressal of complaints regarding deficiencies in goods and services. It
seeks to establish Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions at District,
State and National levels.
- The district Commissions are authorised to look into complaints
involving claims worth one crore rupees, which was 20 lakh rupees earlier.
- The State Commissions’ limit is to be increased from one crore
rupees to 15 crore rupees. Complaints over and above that limit would be
handled by the National Commission. The Bill also seeks to impose stringent
punishment for food adulterations.
- In his reply, Mr.Paswan denied the apprehensions of some members
that it would encroach upon the powers of the states in making appointments
to the Consumer Commissions. The Bill was passed later by a voice vote.
- Talking to media outside the Parliament, the Minister said, the
bill was necessary keeping in mind the rising awareness among consumers
about their rights.
India denies Pak claim over Jinnah’s house
- India on Thursday strongly rejected Pakistan’s claim of ownership
of the Jinnah House in Mumbai and said the property belongs to it.
- “Pakistan has no locus standi as far as this property is
concerned. It is government of India’s property and we are in the process of
renovating it,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
- The Jinnah House on Malabar Hill in Mumbai was designed by
architect Claude Batley in European style and Pakistan’s founder Mohammad
Ali Jinnah lived there in the late 1930s.
- Pakistan has been demanding that the property be handed over to it
for housing its Mumbai consulate.
- The MEA spokesperson’s comments came on a day Pakistan asserted
that the Jinnah House belonged to it and any attempt by India to take the
building under its control will not be accepted.
- The property would be used to host government events, the Ministry
of External Affairs announced on Thursday.
- External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj had communicated earlier to
Maharashtra BJP leader MangalPrabhatLodha that the plan to convert the
property into a venue for government events has been sanctioned by the Prime
Centre seeks more fund for banks
- The government had announced a Rs. 2.11 lakh crore capitalisation
plan in October 2017, of which Rs. 1.35 lakh was to be raised through
recapitalisation bonds and the remaining was to be raised by the banks
either through the market or the sale of non-core assets. So far, the banks
have raised Rs. 24,400 crore and have received all approvals to raise more
from the market.
- The enhanced provision the government has asked for is aimed at
four broad categories. The first is to help banks meet the regulatory
- The second is aimed at helping banks currently under the Prompt
Corrective Action (PCA) framework to come out of it by improving their
capital to risk-weighted asset ratios (CRAR) to 9%, their capital
conservation buffers to 1.875% and reduce their net NPAs to 6%.
- Three banks are close to the PCA threshold, and so they will be
provided capital to strengthen their base,” Financial Services Secretary
Rajiv Kumar said at the briefing. “Whichever PCA banks have shown
performance in terms of reduction of net NPAs to 6% and improvement in
return on assets will be given capital.
Expert panel to look into tax matters of start ups& angel investors
- The government has decided to set up an expert committee to look
into all the taxation issues being faced by start-ups and angel investors,
the CBDT said on Thursday.
- It added that “no coercive action or measures to recover the
demands of completed assessment under income tax would be taken” against
- It has been decided that the issue of recognition of these
start-ups, including the issue of premium among others, will be decided on
the basis of recommendations of a committee of eminent experts drawn from
institutions like IITs, IIMs which will soon be set up by the DIPP on grant
of tax exemptions and other connected matters,” the CBDT said in a
- The committee of experts, it said, will make recommendations on
individual cases of recognised start-ups. “In this regard, a notification by
the DIPP will be issued shortly,” it said.
The CBDT said it is “committed to promotion of start-ups in India and it
recognises that start-ups are going to bring lot of innovation to the
country and therefore, have to be supported in every possible manner.”
UNGA adopts global framework on international migration
- The UN General Assembly has adopted the Global Compact for Safe,
Orderly and Regular Migration, the first-ever negotiated global framework on
a common approach to international migration in all its dimensions.
- It is meant to address issues that concern the world's 258 million
people on the move and countries of origin, transit and destination.
- The compact was adopted by the General Assembly with 152 votes in
favour in Marrakesh, Morocco, on December 10.India voted in favour of the
resolution while, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Poland, and US voted
- After the vote, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that
the document reaffirms the foundational principles of global community,
including national sovereignty and universal human rights.
- He said that through this, the UN stands ready to support Member
States and all partners to make migration work for all.
- Though non-legally binding, the Compact is the outcome of a long
negotiation process and provides a strong platform for cooperation on
migration, drawing on best practices and international law.
Pak – China expand military cooperation
- Just two weeks later, the Pakistani Air Force and Chinese
officials were putting the final touches on a secret proposal to expand
Pakistan’s building of Chinese military jets, weaponry and other hardware.
- The confidential plan, reviewed by The New York Times , would also
deepen the cooperation between China and Pakistan in space, a frontier the
Pentagon recently said Beijing was trying to militarise after decades of
- All those military projects were designated as part of China’s
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a chain of infrastructure development
programmes stretching across some 70 countries, built and financed by
- Chinese officials have repeatedly said the Belt and Road is purely
an economic project with peaceful intent. But with its plan for Pakistan,
China is for the first time explicitly tying a Belt and Road proposal to its
- Since the beginning of the BRI in 2013, Pakistan has been the
programme’s flagship site, with some $62 billion in projects planned in the
so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). In the process, China has
lent more and more money to Pakistan at a time of economic desperation
there, binding the two countries ever closer.
- For the most part, Pakistan has eagerly turned more toward China
as the chill with the U.S. has deepened. Some Pakistani officials are
growing concerned about losing sovereignty to their deep-pocketed Asian
ally, but the host of ways the two countries are now bound together may
leave Pakistan with little choice but to go along.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Government Launches Asiatic Lion Conservation Project
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government
of India has launched the “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” with an aim to
protect and conserve the world’s last ranging free population of Asiatic
Lion and its associated ecosystem.
- At a review meeting Union Environment Minister said that “The
Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” will strengthen the ongoing measures for
conservation and recovery of Asiatic Lion with the help of state-of-the –art
techniques/ instruments, regular scientific research studies, disease
management, Modern surveillance/ patrolling techniques
- The conservation of Asiatic Lions has always been a priority of
Government of India. The Ministry in the past has supported Asiatic Lion in
Gujarat by including it in list of 21 critically endangered species for
recovery programme and financial assistance under the species recovery
component of CSS-DWH.
- The project activities is envisaged in a manner to cause habitat
improvement, scientific interventions, disease control and veterinary care
supplemented with adequate eco development works for the fringe population
in order to ensure a stable and viable Lion population in the Country.
WV Raman to be national women cricket team coach
- W.V. Raman, the former India opening batsman who is at present a
key member of the BCCI’s player-development programme, has been announced as
the Indian women’s cricket team head coach despite the two CoA members
continuing to be at loggerheads over the process adopted for the
- Late on Thursday night, after 10 candidates were interviewed by a
three-member ad-hoc committee comprising former India captain and coach
KapilDev, former India opener and coach AunshumanGaekwad and former India
women’s team captain ShanthaRangaswamy, the BCCI named Raman since Gary
Kirsten, the most high-profile name in the list of 28 applicants, refused to
give up his obligations with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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