Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 August 2018
SC says town planning departments highly corrupted
- People are dying in building collapses and fires because corruption has
eaten into town planning and grant of building permits across the country,
the Supreme Court said in Friday.
- Referring to the recent fire which engulfed Crystal Tower in Parel,
Mumbai, JusticeMadan B. Lokur said thousands of buildings in Mumbai are
unsafe and innocent lives are lost in the mire of corruption.
- “In Mumbai, people are dying. We are talking about deaths here. Only
recently there was a huge fire at Kamala Mills, no lesson was learnt.. How
long will this situation continue? How many lives more?” Justice Lokur said.
- The 16-storey Crystal Tower had shops on the ground floor, parking on
the first three floors followed by three flats each on the upper floors.
Four people were killed and 23, including three firemen, suffered injuries
in the blaze. “We are monitoring Delhi, but what about the rest of the
country?” Justice Lokur asked Additional Solicitor General A.N.S Nadkarni,
for the Centre.
- “A person spends over Rs. 50 lakh and buys a home. Later, you tell him
his home is illegal and he cannot live there. What is that person supposed
to do now? The Centre cannot say it has no role and fold its hands,” Justice
Lokur addressed Mr.Nadkarni.
Justice claims supreme court must be open to all
- Technology has a flip-side but live-streaming of Supreme Court
proceedings is a true representation of the “open courtroom” system where
courts are accessible to one and all, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said on
- The remark countered arguments that live-streaming of court proceedings
would be misused, and verbal comments made by judges in the course of a
hearing would be twisted and converted to “fake news”.
- To this Justice Chandrachud countered that court proceedings are
live-tweeted even now and there is no authentic record of the hearing to
prove a tweet wrong. “At least when the hearing is live-streamed, we will
have an authentic record of what happened,” the judge responded.
- The CJI said that, now, verbal comments of judges are read in words.
“But people may want to see you speak, look into your eyes. Why should we
feel shy about that?” the CJI asked.
- The Chief Justice compared the situation to a poet who records himself
as he reads his own poem, and said, “Had it been recorded on video, we could
have seen him for ourselves and understood him better.”
States unite for ODF sustaianability under swachhbharat
- With over 4 lakh villages, 400 districts, and 19 States/UTs declared
Open Defecation Free (ODF) in rural India, the Swachh Bharat Mission today
organized a National Workshop on ODF Sustainability at Udaipur in Rajasthan.
- Principal Secretaries-in-Charge of Sanitation, Swachh Bharat Mission
Directors and other members of state teams from across the country came
together for the workshop, led by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and
- The Secretary particularly lauded the role played by Swachhagrahis in
achieving and sustaining this massive behavior change in the nation. He
launched the revised Swachhagrahi guidelines of the Swachh Bharat Mission,
which focus on the continued role of the Swachhagrahis in not just ODF
achievement but ODF sustainability as well.
- Several Swachhagrahis from the grassroots, representing various States,
also shared their experiences at the workshop. SmtSunita Devi, a master
trainer mason from Jharkhand, spoke about the State’s “Rani Mistris” who are
breaking gender norms and getting into the usually male-dominated domain of
working as masons for construction of toilets. She said that she has trained
many of these women masons in her district and it is not only improving
sanitation, but also empowering women.
Forex reserves gets low by $33.2mn
- India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $33.2 million to $400.84
billion in the week to August 17 mainly due to a fall in foreign currency
assets, according to RBI data.
- In the previous week, the forex reserves had witnessed a drop of $1.82
billion to $400.88 billion.
- The reserves have been declining in the past few weeks as the Reserve
Bank of India has been selling the U.S. dollar to contain depreciation in
the rupee, which is frequently testing the 70-level against the American
currency.The rupee opened on Thursday at 70.24 a dollar and closed at 69.91.
Scott Morrison becomes new Australian prime minister
- Scott Morrison was on Friday sworn in as Australia’s seventh Prime
Minister in 11 years, after a stunning party revolt against Malcolm
Turnbull, which the new leader admitted had left the government “bruised and
- Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, an ex-police officer and
right-winger, was the driving force behind the move to oust Mr. Turnbull
after a Liberal Party backlash against his more moderate policies.
- But after a torrid week of political maneuvring in Canberra, it was Mr.
Morrison, a Turnbull ally who served as Treasurer, who won a party vote
45-40. He was officially sworn in at a ceremony in the capital.
- Mr. Morrison admitted that the extraordinary scenes in the nation’s
capital had taken a heavy toll on Parliament and the Liberal Party. “Our
job... is to ensure that we not only bring our party back together, which
has been bruised and battered this week, but to ensure we bring Parliament
back together, that we can continue to work to ensure that our country stays
- Mr. Turnbull’s departure from politics will spark a byelection for his
Sydney seat, threatening the government’s wafer-thin one-seat Parliamentary
Experts say china should play major role to counter Indo-Pacific agenda
backed by U.S
- In countering the Indo-Pacific strategy led by the U.S, China should
forge closer ties with India, Japan and Australia, says an official media
- The article run on the website of China Global Television Network (CGTN)
— the state-run broadcaster — argues that instead of staying aloof, China
should positively intervene in shaping the Indo-Pacific agenda.
- It is advisable for China to participate in the construction of an
Indo-Pacific discourse system selectively, and join the discussions about
some concepts that are in China’s national interests, such as
‘(Indo-Pacific) community of shared future for mankind’ and ‘the
Indo-Pacific and the Belt and Road Initiative’,”
- In the process, “China may deconstruct some concepts put forward by the
U.S. and other countries that are not in China’s interests, and replace them
with new concepts that are beneficial to China by means of discourse
substitution strategies,” he observes.
- The author spotlights the necessity of China’s firmer connect with
India, Japan and Australia — the three countries that are part of the
U.S.-led Indo-Pacific quad. The Chinese initiative should focus on shared
interests with these countries to “weaken their motivation to join
Indo-Pacific countries to contain China”.
- It also has an economic dimension of developing exclusive economic and
trade arrangements. Besides, “sowing discord between China and other
countries,” is part of Indo-Pacific diplomacy, which opens the gates for
joint military exercises and arms sales.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
India’s First ISTS connected Wind Power Project Commissioned
- Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) conducted India’s first
auction of wind power projects in February 2017 in which tariff of Rs. 3.46
was discovered, which was much lower than feed in tariffs in vogue those
- This was a 1000 MW bid for projects to be connected on ISTS (Inter State
Transmission System) wherein power generated from one state (renewable
resource rich state) could be transmitted to other renewable deficient
states. Mytrah, Inox, Ostro, Green Infa and Adani were winners of the bid.
- The first auction also signified a major shift from the earlier regime
of state-specific feed-in-Tariff (FiT) model to a Pan-India, market-driven
mechanism. Beginning with this tender, SECI has brought out five tenders for
wind power projects of cumulative capacity of 7250 MW, of which 6050 MW
capacity has been awarded.
- Besides SECI and NTPC being central agencies, the State agencies of
Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat have brought out bids and awarded
projects based on tendering.
- This 126 MW ISTS project marks the beginning of capacity additions in
wind power based on market discovered tariffs, in line with the Government’s
plan of 175 GW RE by the year 2022.
NAVY terminates operation madad
- The Southern Naval Command terminated #Operation Madad on 24 Aug 18 on
successful completion of rescue and relief operations. This was the largest
ever HADR operation undertaken by the SNC that lasted close to sixteen days,
with a total of 16,843 persons having been rescued, of which 15670 were by
boat, while 1173 had to be airlifted.
- The Western and Eastern Naval Commands also pitched in with helicopters,
divers, Gemini boats and other HADR material, sent both by IAF aircraft as
well as naval ships.
- Rescue camps were organised at two places, Naval Armament Depot, Aluva
and the T2 Hangar, Naval Base for the displaced persons. Ladies of the Navy
Wives Welfare Association also were involved whole heartedly in the relief
camps in distribution of food, clothes, other essentials to the needy and
making them feel at home.
- With flooding at CIAL causing suspension of commercial operations, SNC
in liaison with DGCA, AAI and to facilitate use of INS Garuda for limited
flying ops by converting one the School for Naval Airmen (SFNA) to a make
shift terminal. Commercial flying commenced on 20 Aug 18 and is still
continuing as on date.
- this operation had showcased the capability of the Indian Navy and SNC
to rise to the occasion, in taking on an unprecedented disaster of this
magnitude and was confident that the Command would grow from strength to
strength and be ever ready to meet even bigger challenges in future.
PM congratulates Indian Rowing Team on winning Gold at Asian Games- 2018
- The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi has congratulated the team of
Sawarn Singh, DattuBabanBhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh on winning
Gold in Rowing Men's Quadruple Sculls event at the 18th Asian Games 2018 in
Jakarta - Palembang, Indonesia.
- Great rowing by our team. They have enhanced India’s pride by winning
the Gold in the Rowing Men's Quadruple Sculls event. Congratulations to the
team of Sawarn Singh, DattuBabanBhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh”,
the Prime Minister said.
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