Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 JANUARY 2019
Supreme court questions absence of experts in RTI panel
- Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why Right to Information bodies,
especially apex forum of Central Information Commission (CIC), were
almost completely manned by bureaucrats.
- Justice A.K. Sikri, who led a Bench comprising Justice S. Abdul
Nazeer, pointed out that Right to Information Act of 2005 mandates
that people with a range of experience and from various fields should serve
as information commissioners.
- Justice Sikri pointed out that out of 280 applications received
for post of information commissioners at CIC recently, 14 were
shortlisted, and y were almost all bureaucrats.
- Justice Sikri said may be even search committee shortlisting
eligible candidates was made up of bureaucrats. “ psyche is that y feel
only class eligible for such posts is this one (bureaucrats),” judge
- Ms.Bhardwaj alleged that Centre and State governments
“have attempted to stifle functioning of Right to Information
Act by failing to do ir statutory duty of ensuring appointment of
commissioners in Central Information Commission and State Information
Commissions in a timely manner”.
- Due to non-appointment of information commissioners, several
information commissions take many months, and in some cases even years, to
decide appeals and complaints due to accumulation of pending
appeals/complaints, thus defeating entire object of RTI Act,”
Centre releases draught relief packages for disaster hit states
- Home Ministry on Tuesday approved release of Rs. 7,214
crore to six States and a Union Territory for damage caused by natural
calamities during kharif season 2018-19.
- A statement by Ministry of Home Affairs said a high-level
committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, sanctioned
additional assistance of Rs. 7,214.03 crore from National Disaster
- fund allocation is a part of relief package worth Rs. 6,680
crore earmarked for Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka.
- Maharashtra has got lion’s share of total package,
with an allocation of Rs. 4700 crore, while Karnataka will get Rs. 950 crore
and Gujarat Rs. 130 crore.
- Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan
Singh, on Tuesday, announced this through Twitter handle that Central
government had approved Rs. 900 crore to Andhra Pradesh for 2018-19
RBI to infuse nearly 40000 crores into economy next month
- Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said that it will inject Rs
37,500 crore into system through purchase of government securities in
February to increase liquidity.
- RBI said it has been monitoring evolving liquidity
conditions and durable liquidity requirements of system.
- In a release issued on Tuesday from Mumbai RBI stated that it has
decided to conduct purchase of government securities under Open Market
Operations (OMOs) for an aggregate amount of Rs 375 billion in month
of February 2019 through three auctions of Rs 125 billion each during
2nd, 3rd and 4th week.
- release stated that re will be no auction during first week
due to scheduled MPC meeting.
- apex bank said that it would inform about auction dates in
Consumer goods sector aims double digit growt
- fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry is expected to clock
double digit growth in current year, though growth is likely to
be lower than that of previous year, which saw sector benefit
from overall health of economy and lower inflation.
- According to latest study by market research firm Nielsen,
FMCG industry is expected to grow between 11% and 12% in 2019, which is a
tad lower than 13.8% growth in 2018. Incidentally, FMCG industry
growth in fourth quarter of 2018 was quite buoyant at 15.9%
- While GDP is expected to be buoyant at 7.5% in 2019, Consumer
Price Inflation (CPI) estimates for year suggest that it will
gradually increase. However, it will be within 5%, it added.
- Indian rural consumption story is projected to be continuing in
2019. Various farm level initiatives by government including agri
credit and direct subsidy transfer, along with orientation on minimum
support prices for crops, are expected to boost farm income furr.
- Consumption growth in 2018 was led by favourable macros like
growth in GDP, lower inflation and manufacturers passing on benefits
of margin expansion from GST regime.
U.S imposes sanctions on venezuelan oil company
- Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on
state-owned oil company of Venezuela, a potentially critical economic move
aimed at increasing pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to cede power to
- National security adviser John Bolton and Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin announced measures against company.
- y are also aimed at boosting Mr.Maduro’s rival, opposition leader
Juan Guaido, whom administration recognized last week as Venezuela’s
- sanctions will include a freeze on any assets firm may have
in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with it.
- sanctions will not likely affect consumer prices at gas
pump but will hit oil refiners, particularly those on U.S. Gulf Coast.
- Venezuelan oil exports to U.S. have declined steadily over
years, falling particularly sharply over past decade as its production
plummeted amid its long economic and political crisis.
- Critically, U.S. refiners are among few customers that pay
cash to Venezuela for its oil. That’s because Venezuela’s oil shipments to
China and Russia are usually taken as repayment for billions of dollars in
Syria signs economic pact agreement with Iraq
- Syria and Iran signed 11 agreements and memoranda of understanding
late Monday, including a "long-term strategic economic cooperation" deal
aimed at strengning cooperation between Damascus and one of its key allies
in civil war that has torn country apart.
- agreements covered a range of fields including economy, culture,
education, infrastructure, investment and housing, official Sana news
- Syrian Prime Minister ImadKhamis said it was "a message to
world on reality of Syrian-Iranian cooperation", citing "legal and
administrative facilities" to benefit Iranian companies wishing to invest in
Syria and contribute "effectively to reconstruction".
- agreements included two memos of understanding between
railway authorities of two countries as well as between ir respective
investment promotion authorities.
- In relation to infrastructure, re was also rehabilitation of
ports of Tartus and Latakia as well as construction of a 540 megawatt energy
plant, according to Khamis. In addition re were "dozens of projects in
oil sector and agriculture", he added.
- civil war has taken an enormous toll on Syrian economy and
infrastructure, with cost of war-related destruction estimated by
UN at about $400 billion. Iran will stand "alongside Syria during next
phase that will be marked by reconstruction", Jahangiri promised.
- new agreements come against backdrop of fresh US sanctions
against Iran, while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and several
Syrian businesspeople and companies are already on US and European
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Study reveals alcohol consumption may lead to DNA alteration
- Researchers found that people who drink heavily may be changing ir
DNA in a way that makes m crave alcohol even more,” said Dipak K. Sarkar,
professor at Rutgers University in U.S.
- This may help explain why alcoholism is such a powerful addiction,
and may one day contribute to new ways to treat alcoholism or help prevent
at-risk people from becoming addicted,” said Mr.Sarkar.
- For study, researchers focused on two genes implicated in
control of drinking behaviour: PER2, which influences body’s
biological clock, and POMC, which regulates our stress-response system.
- findings may help in identifying biomarkers that could predict an
individual’s risk for binge or heavy drinking.
- In addition, binge and heavy drinkers also showed reductions
in gene expression, or rate at which se genes create proteins. se
changes increased with greater alcohol intake.
ICC Men’s T20 worldcup fixtures announced
- International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced fixtures for
ICC T20 World Cup 2020 to be held in Australia. This edition marks
first occasion when men and women tournaments will be held as
standalone events in same year and in same country.
- women's T20 World Cup will take place from February 21 to March 8
next year, culminating with final on International Women’s Day
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