Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 May 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 May 2019


BIMSTEC leaders to attend PM’s swearing in ceremony

  • India has invited the leaders of the BIMSTEC Member States for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister NarendraModi on Thursday evening.

  • Ministry of External Affairs, MEA said that invitations have also been sent to the President of Kyrgyzstan SooronbayJeenbekov who is the current Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Mauritius Prime Minister PravindJugnauth, the Chief Guest at this year's PravasiBhartiya Divas.

  • MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a media query, this is in line with the Government's focus on its 'Neighbourhood First' policy.

  • The BIMSTEC, or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, member states are: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan including India.

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi will take oath for the second term on Thursday evening. President Ram NathKovind will administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to Mr Modi and other members of Union Council of Ministers at a function in RashtrapatiBhavan.

WHO study claims majority Indian women facing violence from partners

  • Global estimates published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

  • Worldwide as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner. What makes this worse for countries like India is the fact that intimate partner violence is the highest at 37.7% in the WHO South-East Asia region.

  • As per figures released by WHO, the violence ranges from 23.2% in high-income countries and 24.6% in the WHO Western Pacific region to 37% in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region.

  • Meanwhile, healthcare professionals cautioned that violence can negatively affect a woman’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.

  • Warning that intimate partner violence cause serious short-and long-term problems for women and adversely affect their children besides leading to high social and economic costs for women, their families and societies, WHO said: “There is now evidence that advocacy and empowerment counselling interventions, as well as home visitation are promising in preventing or reducing intimate partner violence against women.’’


New draft export policy unveiled

  • The Commerce Ministry has come out with a comprehensive draft of the export policy which includes product- specific rules with a view to provide a ready reckoner for exporters.

  • The draft policy aims at consolidating the export norms for each product as applicable at different government agencies.ITC-HS Codes are Indian Trade Clarification based on Harmonised System of Coding. It was adopted by India for import-export operations.

  • Every product has been accorded eight digit HS codes. The compendium will help an exporter know all the applicable norms pertaining to a particular product, helping him/her understand policy conditions for that item.

  • This exercise is for consolidating the norms and not for making any changes in the existing export policy of the country. The DGFT said that the updated draft had been prepared by including all existing policy conditions, all notifications and public notices issued after January 2018. Besides, it also includes non-tariff regulations imposed by different government agencies.

  • Commenting on the move, exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that it would provide a “ready reckoner” for traders and help in digitisation.

CIC asks RBI to release list of large defaulters

  • The Central Information Commission (CIC) has again directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to disclose the list of large loan defaulters to activist Nutan Thakur. However, Central Information Commissioner Suresh Chandra said the RBI need not provide copies of files related to the list.

  • In November 2018, the CIC had issued a show cause notice to RBI Governor Urjit Patel, holding him responsible for not disclosing the same information, in a different case. The recent CIC order comes a month after the Supreme Court backed the transparency watchdog against the central bank in an April 26 ruling.

  • The SC gave the RBI “a last opportunity” to withdraw a November 2016 Disclosure Policy which stonewalls the disclosure of many types of information under the Right to Information Act, including the list of wilful defaulters and annual inspection reports. The policy was directly contrary to the court’s December 2015 judgement that the RBI could not withhold information sought under the RTI Act, said an SC Bench.

  • In the wake of the SC ruling, the CIC has again directed the RBI to partially disclose the details requested by Ms. Thakur. She had initially filed her RTI request in September 2017, on the basis of a lecture by RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya who said the RBI had directed banks to file insolvency applications against 12 large accounts comprising about 25% of the total non-performing assets.

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U.S to sort out trade imbalances with Japan

  • The U.S. President Donald Trump today pressed upon Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to even out a trade imbalance with the United States and said he is happy with how things are going with North Korea but in no rush to reach a peace deal.

  • Speaking at a press conference with Abe after their summit, Trump said that his goal is to remove trade barriers to put U.S. exports on a fair footing in Japan. He said he hoped to have more to announce on trade very soon and said he and Abe had agreed to expand cooperation in human space exploration.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his address stressed upon the closeness of ties. He said the visit of President Trump is a golden opportunity to clearly show the unshakable bond to the whole world and inside Japan as well. Earlier, Trump was greeted by Emperor Naruhito at the imperial palace in Tokyo in a formal welcome ceremony.

Austrian chancellor ousted in no confidence vote

  • Austrian Parliament has removed Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from office as he lost the no confidence in a special Parliamentary session.His previous coalition ally, the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the opposition Social Democrats (SPÖ) backed the no-confidence motions.

  • The FPÖ had become embroiled in a political scandal caused by a secret video, which ended the coalition.

  • Opposition parties brought forward the two no-confidence votes - one against Kurz and the other against his government.

  • Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen named Vice Chancellor HartwigLöger as the interim leader. Löger will serve until a new transitional government can be appointed ahead of elections expected in September.

  • Kurz, head of the conservative Austrian People's Party, is the first Chancellor in post-war Austrian history to lose a confidence vote. He was the world's youngest state leader when elected in 2017, at 31.Kurz's surprise strong showing in recent European Union elections - with a projected 35% of the vote - was not enough to save him.


DRDO test fires Akash missile system

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile from ITR ,Chandipur, Odhisa on 25 and 27 May 2019. Akash Mk1S is an upgrade of existing AKASH missile with indigenous Seeker.

  • AKASH Mk1S is a surface to air missile which can neutralize advanced aerial targets. The Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.

  • Seeker and guidance performance have been consistently established in both the missions. All the mission objectives have been met.


Surabhchaudhary breaks world record in ISSF

  • In ISSF shooting World Cup, in Munich Germany, India's SaurabhChaudhary has won 10m Air Pistol Gold beating his own World Record.

  • The 17-year old Chaudhary scored 246.3 bettering his previous best of 245 points that was set in New Delhi World Cup Shooting in February this year.

  • Chaudhury has already secured a berth for the Tokyo Olympics. This is India's second Gold in the championship.

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