Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 October 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 October 2019


::NATIONAL::

President to address golden jubilee celebration of Vishwa Shanti stupa

  • President Ram NathKovind will visit Rajgir in Bihar today. Mr.Kovind will inaugurate day long golden jubilee celebrations of Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) in Rajgir.

  • More than 300 Buddhist monks, devotees and eminent personalities from Japan, Thailand, Srilanka, Bhutan, Nepal, US and other countries have arrived to take part in the function. During his brief visit, the President will participate in prayers and also address the gathering at the venue.

  • AIR Correspondent reports, the Vishwa Shanti Stupa has completed 50 years of its establishment. To mark this occasion Buddhist monks will today chant traditional mantras in unison for peace, fraternity, humanity and compassion.

  • Situated on Ratnagiri hillock, this iconic structure was constructed by Japanese Buddhist monk popularly known as FujiiGuruji in 1969. Legend says Ratnagiri hillock of Rajgir attaches important relation with Lord Buddha because after getting the enlightenment he spent a monastic life and preached his disciples at nearby GridhakutParvat.

SC asks centre to furnish roadmap of curbs in Jammu

  • The Supreme Court today asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration as to how long they intend to continue the restrictions, including internet blockade, imposed in the Valley following the abrogation of provision of Article 370.

  • The Supreme Court today asked the Jammu and Kashmir administration as to how long they intend to continue the restrictions, including internet blockade, imposed in the Valley following the abrogation of provision of Article 370.

  • A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana told Attorney General K KVenugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who were appearing for the Centre and the J&K administration respectively, to come out with “clear” reply and find out other methods to deal with the issue.

  • Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai, that “the restrictions are being reviewed daily. In around 99 per cent area, no restrictions are there”.

  • The top court had on October 16 asked the J&K administration to place before it the administrative orders imposing communication and other restrictions in the State following the abrogation of provisions of Article 370.

  • However, the J&K administration had said those orders and notifications would be placed before the top court but those cannot be shared with the petitioners.

::ECONOMY::

India improves rank in World Bank EODB

  • In the latest ranking for countries in ease of doing business, the World Bank has placed India 63rd out of190 countries — an improvement of 14 places from its77th position last year. The country’s score improved from 67.3 last year to 71.0this year, as per The Doing Business 2020 study, released on Thursday.

  • The indicator measures the performance of countries across 10 different dimensions in the 12­monthperiod ending May 1, 2019.

  • The 10 areas of study are:starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

  • Additionally, the report noted that the ‘Make in India’ programme and the government’s attention to the Ease of Doing Business indicator were a means to demonstrate ‘tangible progress’. The report also noted the government’s goal of making it to the top 50 list by 2020.

  • “Governments can foster market­oriented development and broad­based growth by creating rules that help businesses launch, hire,and expand,” World BankGroup President David Malpass said in a statement released on Wednesday.

SC allows centre’s plea to recover AGR from telecom companies

  • The Supreme Court today allowed the Centre's plea to recover Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of about 92,000 crore rupees from telecom service providers.

  • A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, upholded the definition of adjusted gross revenue formulated by Department of Telecom (DoT). The apex court said it had rejected all other submissions of the telecom companies.

  • It added that the service providers would have to pay penalties and interests to the DoT. The bench made it clear that there would no further litigation on the issue and it would fix a time frame for calculation and payment of dues by the telecom companies.

  • The Supreme Court ruled that adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for telcos should include all revenue accrued to carriers, including that from noncore activities, backing the telecom department’s stance in a 16-year-old case.

  • But it left the authorities in a bind over how to recover more than Rs 1.3 lakh crore in dues, penalties and interest from a sector already under financial stress without causing further damage.

  • Operators have thus far calculated AGR on the basis of a telecom tribunal judgement in 2015, which includes some noncore elements. Accordingly, operators had paid up only what they estimated was due as licence fees and spectrum charges, but DoT continued to demand the remainder.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

U.S asks Bangladesh to postpone Rohingyan relocations

  • The US has urged Bangladesh to postpone relocation of Rohingyas to the uninhabited island Bhashan Char. In a statement given at the House Foreign Affairs Sub Committee, acting assistant secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asia Alice G Wells urged Bangladesh to postpone any refugee relocation to Bhashan Char until independent experts can determine it a suitable location.

  • Appreciating Bangladesh for allowing Rohingya refugees to take shelter in the country she said that opening its border for 700,000 Rohingyarefugees since August 2017 deserves recognition from international partners, including the United States.

  • She further said that Myanmar must create conditions for the Rohingya’s voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable repatriation and guarantee their rights as recommended by the Annan Commission.

  • Government of Bangladesh has been keen to relocate the Rohingya refugees to the Bhashan char island where arrangements for relocating 1 lakh people have been made at a cost of 23,000 crores Taka.

  • It has built houses, cyclone shelters, a three-metre high and 13-km long flood-defence embankment, food warehouses and other basic facilities on the island.

NATO members slam Turkey for its military operations

  • NATO defence ministers have slammed Turkey for its military operation in Syria. The first day of a two-day meeting of the ministers in Brussels was dominated by the issue, with Turkey isolated among the 29 member states.

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the ministers agreed on the need to maintain our unity in the fight against ISIS.

  • Germany presented an idea to deploy international troops to create a security zone in northeast Syria. The top commander of Syria's Kurdish force, MazloumAbdi, welcomed the proposal. Stoltenberg said, instead of this plan, they stressed their broad support for ways to engage the international community to find a political situation in northern Syria.

  • Meanwhile, the US Defence Department has said that it is planning to beef up its presence in the northeast corner of Syria to protect oil fields there from being retaken by the Islamic State terror group.

  • A defence official said, the US is committed to reinforcing its position, in coordination with its SDF partners, in northeast Syria with additional military assets to prevent those oil fields from falling back to into the hands of ISIS or other destabilizing actors.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

WHO inches towards target of global polio eradication

  • The World Health Organization welcomed an "historic step" towards a polio-free world on Thursday as an expert panel certified that the second of three types of the crippling virus has been eradicated globally.

  • The announcement by the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication means that only wild polio virus type 1 is still circulating, after type 2 was declared eradicated in 2015, and type 3 this week.

  • Global polio cases have been cut by more than 99 per cent since 1988, but type 1 polio virus is still endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it has infected a total of 88 people this year. That is a resurgence from a record low global annual figure of 22 cases in 2017.

  • In unvaccinated populations, however, polio viruses can re-emerge and spread swiftly. Cases of vaccine-derived polio can also occur in places where immunity is low and sanitation is poor, as vaccinated people can excrete the virus, putting the unvaccinated at risk.

  • The Philippines last month said it was planning an emergency vaccination campaign after polio re-surfaced and caused the first two recorded polio cases there for 20 years.

  • Moeti urged governments to be vigilant: "Countries must strengthen routine immunization to protect communities, ramp up routine surveillance so that we are able to detect even the slightest risk of polio re-emerging," she said in a statement.

::SPORTS::

Bangladeshi cricketers call of strike

  • In Bangladesh, cricketers led by star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, have called off their strike over pay and benefits after getting assurance from the country's Board that all their demands will be met.

  • The deadlock between the players and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) ended after a two-hour-long meeting yesterday.

  • The truce means that the team's T20 and Test tour of India, beginning November 3rd, will go on as per schedule and players will be joining the preparatory camp on Friday.

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