Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 FEBRUARY 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 FEBRUARY 2019


India protests against pakistan aggression

  •  New Delhi has lodged a strong protest with Islamabad at the unprovoked act of aggression, including violation of air space by the Pakistan Air Force and targeting of Indian military posts.
  •  The External Affairs Ministry, said in a statement, yesterday that the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned and a strong protest was lodged.
  •  It said Pakistan's act was in contrast to India's non-military anti-terror pre-emptive strike at a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp at Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  •  It was conveyed that India reserves the right to take firm and decisive action to protect its national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity against any act of aggression or cross-border terrorism.
  •  India said it is unfortunate that Pakistan has acted with aggression instead of fulfilling its international obligation and bilateral commitment to take credible action against terrorist entities and individuals operating from its soil. India demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorism.'
  •  New Delhi also demanded immediate and safe return of an Indian Air Force pilot who is in the custody of Pakistan following an aerial engagement by air forces of the two countries. It has been made clear to Pakistan that no harm comes to the Indian defence personnel.
  •  Earlier, India foiled Pakistan's attempt to target its military installations and shot down one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft. Briefing media in New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, after India's air strikes in Balakot, Pakistan responded this morning by using its Air Force but due to India's high state of readiness and ness, the attempts were foiled successfully.

International digital health symposium inaugurated

  •  Smt. AnupriyaPatel inaugurated the exhibition on Digital Health as part of the Symposium, where participant countries along with various Government Ministries, states and other stakeholders showcased key innovations, implementation experiences and innovative Digital Health Interventions.
  •  The Digital Health Symposium follows the two-day Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) summit and allows wide engagement with innovators, clinical leaders, academia, researchers, healthcare establishments, government representatives, international and national technical experts, entrepreneurs and the research community.
  •  SmtAnupriya Patel further stated that the Government’s policies have essentially included the affordability, accessibility and availability of healthcare services to all citizens as an action item.
  •  “We have successfully been able to provide healthcare to each citizen through various interventions. It is here we are leveraging digital health interventions to maximize impact,” she added.
  •  Dr. V K Paul, Member, NITI Aayog said that India is ready to take the big leap in digital health. “India shall soon be unveiling the India’s National Health stack and is focused on creating digital revolution encompassing national nutrition mission, telemedicine and other interventions with focus on aspirational districts.
  •  The Symposium provided a forum to learn from key global leaders in the field of digital health and innovation. This was an opportunity for countries to showcase key innovations and share experiences of implementing digital health interventions for health systems strengthening and Universal Health Coverage.


New RBI pay norms to bring in more accountability among private banks

  •  The norms proposed by the RBI for compensation of chief executives and board members of private sector banks has been viewed as an effort to improve transparency and accountability of the banking system.
  •  In a discussion paper, RBI had proposed that 50% of the compensation should be variable and that employee stock options (ESOPs) should be a part of the variable pay. The new norms propose variable pay to be capped at 200% of fixed pay, compared with the 70% now. Also, ESOPs are not a part of variable pay now.
  •  RBI had also proposed that if there is divergence in a bank’s asset classification or provisioning from the central bank’s norms that exceeds the prescribed threshold for public disclosure, the lender shall not pay the unvested portion of the variable compensation for the assessment year.
  •  There have been instances wherein some banks had reported significant divergence in disclosing bad loans and provisioning.
  •  Welcoming the proposed norms, bankers said these were part of a global trend where the banking regulator was imposing stringent norms for compensation of chief executives.
  •  “This makes the chief executives more accountable,” said the senior executive of a private bank. “It is part of a global trend. They have made the norms more specific,” said Rajiv Lall, non-executive chairman, IDFC First Bank.

SEBI to bring in norms to amend corporate debt restructuring procedures

  •  Regulator SEBI plans to put in place a stricter framework for providing exemption from open offer requirements with respect to corporate debt restructuring activities, a senior official said.
  •  The markets watchdog has proposed that relaxation might not be given to entities other than lenders in certain conditions, as well as do away with the reference to ‘competent authority’ in the context of exemptions provided under its takeover regulations.
  •  The proposals are expected to be taken up by the SEBI board at its meeting scheduled to be held on March 1, the official said.
  •  Under SEBI norms, an entity has to make an open offer in case its shareholding goes beyond a certain threshold. The open offer exemptions under Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR) regulations as well as under takeover norms could be continued for allotment of shares to lenders pursuant to debt conversion in accordance with RBI norms, the official said.
  •  Another proposal is that the open offer exemption might not be made available to persons (other than lenders), the official added.
  •  Since the reference of ‘competent authority’ has not been defined, the watchdog is planning to delete it with respect to open offer exemption under takeover regulations.

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More international communities rope in to act against terror

  •  In a significant gain for India in its push to isolate Pakistan internationally on the issue of terrorism post-Pulwama attack, China and Russia on Wednesday agreed for a closer policy coordination to eradicate the breeding grounds of terrorism.
  •  Their commitment came at the conclusion of the Russia, India and China Foreign Ministers' meeting at Wuzhen in the east Chinese city.In a joint communique, the three nations said, extremist groups cannot be supported and used in political and geopolitical goals.
  •  They said, those backing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice. The three nations strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
  •  The United States has again asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny terrorists safe haven and block their access to funds. A State Department spokesperson told reporters in Washington that cross-border terrorism, such as the recent Pulwama attack, poses a grave threat to the security of the region.
  •  The statement came after New Delhi handed over to Islamabad a dossier on specific details of involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammed in the Pulwama attack and also the presence of camps of the UN-proscribed terror outfit in that country.

Muhammadubuhari re-elected as Nigerian President

  •  MuhammaduBuhari was on Wednesday re-elected Nigeria’s President after a delayed poll that angered voters and raised political temperatures, but the Opposition immediately vowed to challenge the “sham” result in court.
  •  It was the second victory at the ballot box for Mr.Buhari, a one-time military ruler who was first elected in 2015 to lead Africa’s most-populous nation and top oil producer.
  •  With ballots counted in all of Nigeria’s 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr.Buhari triumphed with some 15.2 million votes over his nearest rival AtikuAbubakar, who trailed by nearly four million votes.
  •  However, Mr.Abubakar rejected the result of the vote, which has been marred by claims of rigging and corruption.
  •  “I hereby reject the result of the February 23, 2019 sham election and will be challenging it in court.”A total of 72.7 million people were eligible to vote in the presidential poll as well as parliamentary elections held at the same time.
  •  Low voter turnout at 35% across the country was blamed on a combination of voter apathy because of the delay, organisational and logistical problems, as well as unrest.


Workshop on Heat wave begins in Nagpur

  •  National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra is conducting a two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave in Nagpur beginning today.
  •  The workshop aims to sensitising States to the need of preparing and implementing specific Heat Action Plans in line with NDMA’s national guidelines on Heat Wave. It will also discuss emerging issues for the summer season this year and the way forward.
  •  Climate change is driving temperatures higher as well as increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves. A recent report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that in the Indian subcontinent, global warming impacts have come sooner and hit harder than predicted.
  •  The first technical session aptly focused on Climate Change and Heat wave Risk Reduction.It discussed the roadmap for India’s Heat Wave Management planning in the broader global context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  •  The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has indicated the probability of above-normal summer temperatures this year. As the temperatures will tend to rise, leading to stronger and longer heat waves, it will pay to be prepared.
  •  Also, timely and accurate warnings and their dissemination to vulnerable populations will ensure effective mitigation of heat related risks. These issues were discussed during the session on Early warning, Forecasting and Preparedness.


Saurabhchaudhary and Manu Bhaker wins gold in ISSF

  •  In shooting, the duo of SaurabhChaudhary and Manu Bhaker claimed a gold medal for India in 10-metre air pistol mixed team event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on the last day of the competition on Wednesday.
  •  They shot a total of 483.5 points to finish on top of the podium at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.Saurabh and Manu had entered the final after equalling the qualification world record.
  •  India jointly topped the standings with Hungary in the ISSF World Cup claiming three gold medals, but managed to secure only one Olympic quota. The tournament offered 14 quota places for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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