Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 may 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 may 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM Modi re-elected for another term in India

  • BJP led NDA is all set to form a new government at the Centre bagging 339 and leading in 12 in the 543 member LokSabha elections. BJP alone has won an absolute majority and heading for a landslide victory. It has secured 303 seats. The UPA has won 87 and leading in 3 while others got 87. The Congress alone has bagged 51 seats.

  • Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister NarendraModihas won from Varanasi by over 4 lakh 79 thousand votes. He has surpassed his previous margin of 3 lakh 71 thousand seven hundred and 84 votes in 2014 parliamentary elections.

  • The Union Cabinet will meet this evening to recommend the dissolution of the 16th LokSabha. The meet is being held a day after the counting of votes for the LokSabha elections in which the NDA is all set to retain power.

  • After the Cabinet's recommendation is passed in the form of a resolution, President Ram NathKovind will dissolve the present LokSabha.The term of the 16th LokSabha will end on the 3rd June and the 17th LokSabha has to be constituted before that date.

  • The process to form a new House will be initiated when the Chief Election Commissioner along with Election Commissioners will meet the President in the next few days to hand over the list of newly-elected members.

  • Official sources said, after the meeting of the Union Cabinet, the Council of Ministers, which also comprises Ministers of State will meet at the office of the Prime Minister.
    Collegium recommends 4 judges to the supreme court

  • The Centre has cleared four names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for elevation as judges of the apex court.With their appointment, the Supreme Court will reach its full sanctioned judicial strength of 31 judges.

  • The Centre has cleared the names of Jharkhand High Court and Gauhati High Court Chief Justices Aniruddha Bose and A.S. Bopanna. On May 8, the Collegium refused the government’s request to reconsider its April 12 recommendation to elevate the two judges.

  • The Collegium had reiterated its recommendation of Justices Bose and Bopanna in the face of the government’s initial reluctance. It re-sent the files of the two judges to the government saying there was nothing adverse found in their conduct, competence or integrity. This had made it binding on the government to clear their appointments.

  • The Collegium had explained its recommendation of Justices Gavai and Kant as an attempt to provide “due representation”, as far as possible, to all High Courts and to all sections of society including those belonging to the SC/ST/OBC categories, women and minorities.

  • Justice Kant had been the subject of controversy over a letter written by Justice (now retired) A.K. Goel to then Chief Justice of India DipakMisra. Justice Goel, then an apex court judge, had disagreed with the proposal to elevate Justice Kant as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. However, the Misra Collegium, in a notification dated October 3, went ahead with his elevation.

::ECONOMY::

Sensex beaches the 40000mark post electoral results

  • On Thursday, the stock market moved in line with the adage with the Sensex surging over 1,000 points in the morning session to breach the 40,000-mark for the first time ever as initial trends showed the BJP getting a strong majority.

  • However, as the day progressed, traders squared off their positions with the benchmarks erasing all the gains and ending the day in the red. With the uncertainty over election results over, markets would now focus on economic concerns related to growth slowdown, negative foreign flows, liquidity issues faced by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and global headwinds, say market participants.

  • Incidentally, the reversal of gains was primarily led by profit booking in most of the index heavyweights as the broader market breadth was almost balanced with 1,167 stocks gaining ground as against 1,347 declines.

  • The direction of the market would depend on the steps that the government takes to accelerate growth, he added.

  • Global financial major Morgan Stanley, which has a Sensex target of 45,000 by June 2020, believes that the focus of the market will now shift to the growth cycle and it expects the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to be more accommodative and the economy to come out of the soft patch of the past few months.

UNESCO study reveals low women participation in technology

  • Women remain considerably under-represented across STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and careers, says UNESCO. That’s because most young women do not identify with STEM and assume these subjects won’t align with their desire to be creative and make an impact in the world.

  • Experts call it a detrimental trend as it would further widen the gender gap in the technology world. Also, by shying away from STEM studies or careers, women will only be miss contributing to the next generation of technologies and innovations.

  • According to the UNESCO, 29% of those in science research and development are women, with a low 19% in south and west Asia and a high 48% in central Asia.

  • Microsoft has an initiative to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM and the technology major has been working to get students and young women excited about STEM subjects.

  • DaianaBeitler, philanthropies director for Microsoft Asia, said, “Our movement helps raise awareness of the issues that cause girls to drop out of or lose interest in STEM and aims to pique their excitement in how they can change the world if they stay engaged.”

  • Teachers and technologists have a responsibility to break the misperception among women that STEM does not relate to the world at large.“By designing computer science curricula around societal challenges and giving young women more exposure to female role models, the academia can make a huge difference in building a passion for STEM subjects among students,” Dr.Beitler added.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Leaders across the globe pour in wishes for PM’s victory

  • Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi received congratulatory telephone calls from leaders across the world including from Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Mr.JigmeKhesarNamgyelWangchuk, King of Bhutan; Dr.LotayShering, Prime Minister of Bhutan; Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal; Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of Maldives and many more.

  • Warmly felicitating the Prime Minister, the leaders expressed the view that the historic mandate reflected the abiding faith of the people of India in the leadership of the Prime Minister ShriNarendraModi.

  • Expressing his gratitude for their compliments and good wishes, the Prime Minister said that the general elections embodied the strength of Indian democracy, which is the world’s largest.

  • He thanked the global leaders for their cooperation in developing mutually beneficial bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation, and expressed his desire to continue to work further with them in fostering even stronger ties.

  • The Prime Minister has also expressed his gratitude to several other leaders who have extended their felicitations to him over social media and other means.

South Asian community complaint dalit abuse in U.S

  • A group of South Asia-focussed community organisations held a Congressional briefing on caste discrimination on Wednesday. The hearing’s objectives included educating Congressional staff about how caste operates in the U.S., highlighting the damage it does to U.S. institutions, and advocating data collection, monitoring and legislation.

  • Central to the discussion was a survey conducted by Equality Labs, which describes itself as a “South Asian Community Technology Organization” that seeks to end discrimination in various forms. Some 1,500 people in the diaspora who identified as “South Asian” were sent a self-administered online survey with 47 questions related to caste. Of the respondents, 33% identified as ‘Brahmins’, 24% as ‘Dalits’, 7% as ‘Adivasis’ and 18% as ‘Shudras’ .

  • Fifty two per cent of Dalit respondents feared their caste would be “outed” and 67% said they faced discrimination at the workplace. Forty one per cent of Dalits said they faced discrimination in educational establishments. Twenty six per cent of Dalits who responded said they had experienced physical assault based on their caste.

  • The briefing included testimony on caste discrimination and caste-based violence as well as a discussion of what is required in terms of sensitising American institutions to caste-based discrimination.

  • The briefing’s recommendations included a need for monitoring and reporting of caste-based discrimination at the workplace, including sensitisation to caste issues in diversity workshops.

  • A briefing is different from a Congressional hearing the latter has the power to make individuals testify or face penalties for not doing so. A briefing can occur when a group wants to highlight an issue and it requires a Congressional sponsor in this case, Congresswoman PramilaJayapal, a Washington State Democrat.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Study reveals sources of ozone depleting gas

  • Rogue emissions of a gas that harms the ozone layer are coming from eastern China, primarily from two heavily industrialised provinces, an international team of researchers said on Wednesday.

  • The findings confirm what many scientists, environmental groups and policymakers had suspected after an initial study a year ago reported new global emissions of the gas, CFC-11, but could only locate the source generally as East Asia.

  • CFC-11 is one of a class of compounds called chlorofluorocarbons that destroy atmospheric ozone. They are also potent greenhouse gases that contribute to atmospheric warming.

  • Chlorofluorocarbons were outlawed for almost all uses by the Montreal Protocol, an international pact negotiated decades ago to preserve the layer of ozone that blocks ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Excessive amounts of some types of UV radiation can cause skin cancer and eye damage in people and are harmful to crops and other vegetation.

  • After the initial study last year, China denied that there were serious violations of the ban on the chemical, but also promised to eradicate any illegal production.

::SPORTS::

Indian women beat South Korea in hockey

  • The Indian women's hockey team came from a goal down to eke out a close 2-1 win over hosts South Korea in the second game and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-march series in Jincheon today.

  • The Indians had earlier defeated Korea by identical margin in the opening game of the series.India will take on Korea in the inconsequential last match of the series on Friday.

  • In the match today, skipper Rani Rampal (37th minute) and NavjotKaur (50th) scored for India after Lee Seungju gave South Korea the lead in the 19th minute through a field strike.

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