Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 29 October 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 29 October 2019


Parliamentary panel to examine administration and welfare of people in UT’s

  •  A parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma will examine the functioning of administration, development and people's welfare in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  •  The parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs will also look into the rising crime in Delhi-NCR.The panel, which had met thrice before, was briefed by top officials of Delhi Police on the worsening traffic situation in the national capital.
  •  According to a Lok Sabha bulletin, the panel has also decided to examine the issues of national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam, national security, intelligence coordination and counter terrorism.
  •  "The committee will examine administration, development and people's welfare in the Union Territories of: (i) Andaman & Nicobar Islands; (ii) Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh," according to the bulletin.
  •  The standing committee will also deliberate on left wing extremism, coastal security, and security of vital installations in the country.
  •  It is likely to be briefed by top officials on these subjects.The role of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in mitigating recent floods will also be discussed by the panel.

Election commission to bring in postal vote for octogenarians

  •  The people over 80 years of age and Persons with Disability can now cast their votes through postal ballot. However, such voters will have both the choices available either voting through postal ballot by following due procedure or going to the polling station on polling day for voting.
  •  On the recommendations of the Election Commission, the Ministry of Law and Justice has amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, allowing senior citizens and person with disabilities in the absentee voter list.
  •  As per the amended Rule, the person will make an application in a new Form 12 D, which will reach the Returning Officer within 5 days following the date of notification of election.
  •  After the receipt of such application, the elector will be issued a postal ballot paper, which will be deposited in the specified centre after the recording of vote.
  •  The Commission said, it is committed to ensure the ease of voting to all such categories of electors.


RBI imposes penalty on TMC bank

  •  The Reserve Bank has imposed a penalty of ₹35 lakh on Tamilnad Mercantile Bank for violating norms on frauds classification and notification.
  •  The central bank imposed the fine via an order dated 24 October, 2019.The bank has been penalised for "non-compliance with certain provisions of directions issued by RBI on frauds classification and reporting by commercial banks and select FIs directions 2016," the RBI said in a release on October 25.
  •  "This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers," the central bank said.
  •  The RBI had conducted a statutory inspection of Tamilnad Mercantile Bank on its financial position as on 31 March, 2017, based on which a show cause notice was issued to the bank as to why penalty should not be imposed for non-compliance with the directions.
  •  After considering the bank's reply to the notice and oral submissions made in the personal hearing, the RBI concluded that the non-compliance warranted imposition of monetary penalty, it said further.

WTO to consider Indian retaliatory import tariffs

  •  The World Trade Organization agreed on Monday to establish a panel to settle a disagreement over India’s decision to impose retaliatory import tariffs on 28 US products.
  •  This comes almost a month after India blocked the first request by the US to set up a panel to decide on New Delhi’s decision to impose additional duties on products including apples, walnuts, chickpeas, lentils, boric acid and diagnostic reagents.
  •  The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body agreed to the second request by the US for establishment of the panel, a Geneva-based official said.
  •  The decision of the panel will have an important bearing on duties levied by other countries on US goods following protectionist measures by the Trump administration.
  •  “This development means there will be a decision by the WTO and it could be a moral victory if we win because it would have been resolved at the multilateral level,” said a New Delhi-based expert on WTO issues.
  •  The US, in its request, claimed the additional duties with an annual value of trade worth $1.1 billion are inconsistent with the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade by unfairly discriminating against US imports vis-à-vis those from other members.

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India urges EU MP’s to expand international cooperation to fight terror

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told a delegation of the members of the European Union Parliament that close international cooperation is essential to fight terror. He also said that urgent action is needed against those supporting and sponsoring terrorism. Twenty-eight MPs called on the Prime Minister in New Delhi today.
  •  Mr Modi asserted that there should be zero tolerance for terrorism. The delegation will visit Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Modi said the visit should give the MPs a better understanding of the cultural and religious diversity of the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Mr Modi expressed hope that it will give them a clear view of the development and governance priorities of the region.
  •  Referring to India's relations with the EU, the Prime Minister said New Delhi attaches the highest importance to its relations with the bloc.
  •  Pointing out that the EU is India's largest trade partner and source of foreign direct investment, Mr Modi said the early conclusion of a fair and balanced Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) is a priority for his government.

EU agrees to extend Brexit till end of January

  •  The European Union has agreed to extend Brexit until 31st January next year. European Council president, Donald Tusk made the announcement through a tweet today. He said the bloc would allow for a so-called flextension, meaning the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal was approved by Parliament.
  •  The UK was due to leave the EU on Thursday, but Mr Johnson was required to request an extension from the bloc after Parliament failed to agree on a Brexit deal. He had repeatedly said the UK would leave on 31 October deadline do or die, but the law known as the Benn Act also requires him to accept the offer.
  •  Donald Tusk's announcement came after a very short meeting of EU diplomats in Brussels to sign off on the Brexit new delay.
  •  EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier while leaving the envoys said that it was a very short, efficient and constructive meeting. He said he is happy the decision has been taken.
  •  The draft text of the agreement for the 27 EU member States also includes a commitment that the Withdrawal Agreement on the UK's exit from the EU cannot be renegotiated in future.


Indo-French joint exercise begins in Rajasthan

  •  Series of 'Exercise SHAKTI' between India and France commenced in year 2011. Its a biennial exercise and is conducted alternately in India and France. As part of Exercise SHAKTI – 2019, French Army troops arrived in India on 26 October 2019 for training with Indian Troops.
  •  The bilateral training exercise will be conducted at Foreign Training Node at Mahajan Field Firing Ranges, Rajasthan. A contingent of the Sikh Regiment of Sapta Shakti Command will represent Indian Army in this exercise.
  •  The joint exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism operations in backdrop of semi-desert terrain under United Nations Mandate. The training will focus primarily on high degree of physical fitness, sharing of drill at tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.
  •  The exercise aims at enhancing understanding, cooperation and interoperability between the two Armies. The exercise will culminate in a 36 hrs long validation exercise which will involve neutralization of terrorists in a village hideout.


Tiger Woods sets world record on PGA tour titles

  •  Tiger Woods made history today when he won the Zozo Championship in Japan for his 82nd US PGA Tour victory, equalling Sam Snead's 54-year-old record.
  •  The 15-time major winner held off the challenge of home favourite Hideki Matsuyama to win by three shots at the tournament. It was his first outing since a left knee surgery in August.
  •  Woods resumed his final round, suspended due to bad light yesterday, on the long par-12th but saw his overnight three-shot cushion over Matsuyama immediately cut to two.

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