Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 FEBRUARY 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 FEBRUARY 2019


Supreme court orders leads to eviction of forest dwellers

  •  A recent Supreme Court order may lead to the eviction of lakhs of persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) categories across 21 States their claim as forest dwellers have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act of 2006.
  •  A three-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, NavinSinha and Indira Banerjee on February 13 had ordered the Chief Secretaries of many of these States to evict those whose claims as forest dwellers have been finally rejected under the law.
  •  The court ordered the Forest Survey of India (FSI) to make a satellite survey and place on record the “encroachment positions.” It directed FSI to also place on record the position “after the eviction as far as possible.”
  •  Section 6 of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006 shows a multi-layered and hierarchical procedure for recognition or rejection of forest-dweller claims starting at the gram sabha level with multiple appellate committees at the State level.
  •  The Act is intended to provide a framework to “recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.
  •  Once orders of eviction have been passed, the eviction ought to have taken place,” the Supreme Court said. Likewise in Assam, 22,398 claims of STs and 5,136 claims of OTFDs across 10,128 hectares and 561.4 hectares, respectively, were rejected.

Centre gives more powers to Assam rifles in the north east

  •  Assam Rifles, deployed along the Myanmar border, has been empowered by the Centre to arrest anyone and search a place without warrant in the border districts of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.
  •  According to a Home Ministry notification, “an officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of members of the Assam Rifles” has been given these powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  •  Earlier, Assam Rifles was making arrests only in areas where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act was in effect. “They were finding it difficult to make seizures and arrest in Mizoram, which doesn’t have AFSPA. This is to basically correct that anomaly.
  •  As per law, they have to hand over the suspects to the local police within 24 hours,” said a government official. The MHA had lifted AFSPA from some areas of Arunachal Pradesh last year.
  •  Section 41 of the CrPC states that any police officer may, without an order from a magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person. Section 47 gives powers for search of place entered by person sought to be arrested.
  •  Section 48 says a police officer may, for the purpose of arresting without warrant any person, pursue such person into any place in India. According to Section 49, the person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.


Banks to go for quicker passing of rate cuts to the public

  •  Banks are set to reduce interest rates, particularly on retail loans like home and automobiles, following an interaction with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) top brass on Thursday.
  •  Commercial banks have been reluctant to lower interest rates even after the central bank had reduced the key policy rate or the repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25% earlier this month. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das met the chief executives of banks on Thursday to discuss transmission of the monetary policy rates
  •  While banks have been reluctant to reduce the lending rate after RBI rate cut, during the rate hike cycle of 2018 when the RBI had hiked interest rates by 50 bps banks responded by increasing their benchmark lending rate by at least 60 bps.
  •  Bankers said while there is not much scope to reduce the benchmark rate that is marginal cost of fund based lending rate (MCLR) the spread between the benchmark rate and the actual lending rate could be narrowed.Banks typically add a spread over MCLR while pricing the interest rate for a particular loan.
  •  At the same time, the bank chiefs have expressed concern on the liquidity deficit in the system and said the lack of liquidity is not allowing them to reduce deposit rates. Deposit rates are an important component of the cost of funds of banks to which the benchmark rate is linked.
  •  Analysts said with the government announcing capital infusion of Rs. 48,200 crore in public sector banks, the move would also help the lenders to reduce interest rates.

Union minister addresses youth at Shisht Bharat campaign launch

  •  The Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said that the elders should set example in their conduct before the younger generation, so that the youth can inherit these values naturally by emulating their elder generations.He was speaking at the launch of ‘Shisht Bharat Abhiyan’ organised by an NGO.
  •  The Minister said that the younger generation gets lot of exposure to the world. They have the advantage of being more informed and aware due to the communication channels available today. We are learning to adapt to the global culture, he added.
  •  He said that India is an evolving democracy and evolution is happening at all levels and we need to learn to adapt to these changes to our best advantage.
  •  The Minister said that such kind of campaigns help in channelizing the masses in a positive direction. He said that ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ (cleanliness campaign) launched by the Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi has become a people's movement now.
  •  The campaign has led to the consciousness among the masses and has an inspiring influence on the citizens of the country.On the occasion, the Minister also interacted with the participants. He said that we need to be courteous in all aspects including our attitude towards people across various regions and religions.
  •  He said that the new generation has gained self-confidence as compared to previous generations due to the opportunities available to them.

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UNSC issues statement condemning Pulwama attack

  •  The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday issued a statement, which The Hindu had early access to, condemning the Pulwama attack and underlining the need to hold those responsible accountable. Significantly Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) has been named on the statement as having taken responsibility for the attack.
  •  Sources at the UN said the UNSC statement was released after prolonged Security Council negotiations. China had wanted additional time to think it through as it had some concerns, they said. France is also working, in parallel, to sanction JeM chief MasoodAzhar at the UNSC.
  •  Similar action against Azhar in 2017 was blocked by China (India had moved the 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar twice before in 2009 and 2016). On Tuesday, UN Secretary General AntónioGuterres had called on India and Pakistan to defuse tensions and for “meaningful mutual engagement.”
  •  Condemning terrorism in all its forms as one of the most serious threats to international peace, the UNSC offered its condolences to those impacted by the attack.
  •  “The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
  •  They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,” it said.

PM to hold talks with South Korean President

  •  Prime Minister NarendraModi will hold bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in Seoul today. Both the leaders are expected to discuss regional and global issues of mutual interest. A number of agreements are expected to be signed.
  •  Prime Minister Modi will also visit National Cemetry of Korea to pay tributes. Before returning to New Delhi, Mr.Modi will be conferred with Seoul Peace Prize for his contribution to international cooperation, global growth and human development.
  •  Yesterday, on the first day of his visit, the Prime Minister called upon Indian community to inspire and motivate at least five non Indian families to visit India. He said, it will be a great service to the nation and help in increasing tourism in India.
  •  Addressing a gathering of Indian community in Seoul last evening, Mr Modi lauded their efforts in development of Korea and strengthening cultural and religious ties between the two countries.
  •  Prime Minister Modi unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Seoul campus of Yonseiuniversity. On the occasion, Mr.Modi said, terrorism and climate change are two biggest threats to the mankind and Mahatma's life and principles provide a clear solution to these problems.


WHO prescribes weekly duration of physical activity to get rid of NCD’s

  •  Reiterating the need for physical activity to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCD), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has prescribed 150 minutes of weekly physical activity, and stating that physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
  •  The WHO warned that physical inactivity levels are rising in many countries with major implications for the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the general health of the population worldwide.
  •  Physical inactivity is estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21%-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischaemic heart disease burden.
  •  It said that, overall, there is strong evidence to demonstrates that adults between the ages of 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
  •  Doctors explain that physical activity has also been associated with psychological benefits in young people by improving their control over symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  •  The WHO noted that physical activity provides young people opportunities for self-expression, building self-confidence, social interaction and integration.


  • Justice DK JAIN appointed as BCCI ombudsman The Supreme Court has appointed former apex court judge Justice DK Jain as the first court-appointed ombudsman for the BCCI under the terms of newly approved constitution of the cricket board.
  •  The role of the ombudsman would be to resolve the disputes relating to the players within the state cricket associations as also financial issues.
  •  The apex court, while dealing with the issue related to importance and urgency in appointing an ombudsman, expressed its happiness that all the parties before it agreed on the name of Justice (retired) Jain.
  •  The apex court appointed Committee of Administrators, which has been monitoring the administrative issues of BCCI, had said there was a need for appointment of an ombudsman and an ethics officer at the earliest in BCCI.

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