Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 October 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 28 October 2019


PM urges people to celebrate India’s Nari-Shakti

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi today urged countrymen to celebrate India’s Nari-Shakti, the power and achievement of women by felicitating the daughters.
  • Expressing happiness that Bharat Ki Laxmi initiative which was initiated to mark the festive occasion of Deepavali has got overwhelming response from all corners, Mr Modi urged people to seek inspiration from such examples.
  • In his Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio, Prime Minister said, after the announcement of Bharat kiLaxmi, many inspirational stories on social media followed. Mr Modi referred to the 17th century Kannada poetess SanchiHonnamma who penned a poem mentioning that the daughters are our pride.
  • Saying festivals are occasions that awaken a new consciousness in the lives of people, Mr Modi appealed to the people to buy local products during Diwali. He said, the more people buy the local things, it will be a befitting tribute to Gandhiji on his 150th birth anniversary.
  • Speaking about cleanliness, the Prime Minister said, if one story that rings from home to home, and rings far and wide, from every corner of India, it is the story of cleanliness and sanitation. He said, in Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world, Indian soldiers are not only protecting the borders but also running a SwacchSiachen campaign.

India takes up Pak denial of airspace to ICAO

  • India has taken up Pakistan's denial of use of its airspace to Prime Minister NarendraModi's flight with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, government sources said on Monday.
  • Modi is travelling to Saudi Arabia later in the day on a bilateral visit. India has sought overflight clearance from Pakistan for the prime minister's aircraft to go to Saudi Arabia.
  • Sources said India regrets Pakistan's decision to yet again deny overflight clearance for the VVIP special flight which is otherwise granted routinely by any normal country.
  • Citing alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan on Sunday denied India's request to allow Modi's aircraft to move in its airspace for his visit to Saudi Arabia.
  • In a statement on Sunday, Foreign Minister Shah MahmoodQureshi said Pakistan has decided to not allow Prime Minister Modi to use the country's airspace, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
  • He said the decision has been taken in context of the "black day" and in view of the alleged human rights violation in Kashmir, it added.


India to spend over $1trillion to develop infrastructure

  • India will spend about USD 1.4 trillion on its infrastructure development in the next five years, Union Steel Minister DharmendraPradhan said on Saturday.
  • Pradhan was speaking at the Global Forum on Excess Capacity (GFEC) Tokyo which was attended by representatives several other countries.
  • He said that the country is committed to spending about US USD 1.4 trillion on its infrastructure development in the next five years.All this, Pradhan said, augurs well for the steel demand in the country.
  • India is determined to raise the per capita consumption of steel from its current low of 72 kg per capita to 160 kg per capita by 2030, he informed.
  • The minister met senior management of Japanese steel majors JFE Steel Corporation, Nippon Steel and Daido Steel on Friday and invited them to invest in the growing Indian steel sector.

Land price skew puts hindrance to NHAI projects

  • High circle rates and varying norms for fixing the rate based on the size of land parcels have made it difficult for the National Highways Authority of India to acquire land for expansion of existing highways in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • While acquiring one hectare of land in these states could cost up to Rs 9.5 crore if the land parcels along the NHs are small, big parcels could cost just Rs 1 crore per hectare.
  • Citing these discrepancies which have pushed up the compensation amount, the road transport ministry has urged the two states to rationalise circle rates.
  • This is a big concern particularly in eastern UP in areas such as Ghazipur, Jaunpur and Varanasi where circle rates of small land parcels (less than 500 sq m) are close to Rs 2.4 crore. As per the land acquisition law, the NHAI needs to pay compensation which is four times of the circle rate in rural areas.
  • Besides the arbitrary increase in circle rates, the states are also charging huge amounts for shifting of utilities such as water and gas pipelines and electricity lines. Recently, last NHAI chairman N NSinha had flagged these issues in a meeting with state government representatives.
  • How high land costs and hefty charges for shifting utilities have hit the viability of projects is evident from the latest NHAI data.
  • According to an estimate, the NHAI will require about Rs 9.2 lakh crore for the 25,000-km Bharatmala scheme against the approved budget of Rs 5.5 lakh crore.

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Alberto Fernandez wins presidential elections in Argentina

  • Peronist candidate Alberto Fernandez won Argentina's presidential election in the first round on Sunday, official results showed, bringing to an end the crisis-plagued rule of market-friendly incumbent Mauricio Macri.
  • Fernandez, a 60-year-old law professor, had 47.36 percent of the votes crossing the threshold for outright victory - after 75 percent of the votes had been counted, with center-right incumbent Mauricio Macri trailing at 41.22 percent.
  • To win outright, Fernandez required 45 percent, or 40 percent with a 10 point margin over his nearest rival. His win also caps a remarkable political comeback for his running mate, ex-president Cristina Kirchner, who will be his vice-president.
  • "Macri is the president but Fernandez has the power. There has to be some signal that they are working together." Fernandez has insisted his government would not default but rather seek to renegotiate the terms of the loan, and sought to reassure voters that their bank deposits would be safe under his administration.
  • Chile ends state of emergency while protests continue
  • Chilean President Sebastian Pinera today ended a state of emergency that lasted more than a week amid mass protests. However the demonstrations continued even after the lifting of emergency. A message on the presidency's official Twitter account said the state of emergency would end in all the regions and towns where it was established.
  • The situation had seen 20,000 soldiers and police deployed on the streets. This measure came a day after Pinera said he had asked all ministers to resign in order to form a new government. The decision came two days after more than a million people took to the country's streets demanding economic and political changes.
  • Authorities imposed both the state of emergency and curfews last weekend after Chile was rocked by its worst civil unrest in decades. What originated as a student protest against a modest hike in metro fares quickly got out of control as demonstrations turned deadly.
  • The government has been struggling to craft an effective response to the protests and a growing list of economic and political demands that include Pinera's resignation. Demonstrators are angry at Chile's neo-liberal social model, low salaries and pensions, high health care and education costs, and a yawning gap between rich and poor.


Researchers develop bio bricks from agri wastes

  • The researchers from IIT Hyderabad and School of Architecture, Bhubaneswar have developed bio-bricks from agricultural waste. The product serves dual purposes of development of eco-friendly sustainable material and also waste management.
  • The bricks are made from agro-waste like wheat straw, paddy straw, sugarcane bagasse and cotton plant.
  • Bio-bricks are more sustainable than clay bricks.They also act as carbon sinks as they fix more carbon dioxide than they produce during their lifecycle.
  • The bricks also provide good insulation to heat and sound and they help in maintaining humidity of buildings and make the house more suitable for hot-humid climates.
  • The bricks will help in building climate change resilient homes. In India as 84 to 141 million tons of agricultural wastes are burnt causing severe air pollution, these steps help in reducing these incidents.


SatwiksairajRankireddy-ChiragShetty wins silver medal at French Open

  • In Badminton, India's top men's doubles pair of SatwiksairajRankireddy and ChiragShetty lost to world No.1 pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin SanjayaSukamuljo in the finals of the French Open in Paris last night. The Indian duo settled for silver after losing the final 18-21, 16-21.
  • Satwik and Chirag had won their maiden Super 500 title at the Thailand Open earlier in August this year. It was the first time that an Indian men's doubles pair reached a World Tour 750 final.

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