Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 6 NOVEMBER 2018

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 6 NOVEMBER 2018


India declares its nuclear triad operational as stated in its doctrine

• India on Monday declared that its nuclear triad, stated in its nuclear doctrine, is operational after indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarine INS Arihant achieved a milestone by conducting its first deterrence patrol.\

• This means that Arihant is now prowling the deep seas carrying ballistic missiles equipped with nuclear warheads. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi received today [Monday] the crew of ship submersible ballistic nuclear (SSBN) INS Arihant. The submarine recently returned from its first deterrence patrol, completing the establishment of the country’s survivable nuclear triad,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

• Noting that the indigenous development of the SSBN and its operationalisation attest to the country's technological prowess and the synergy and coordination among all concerned, the Prime Minister thanked them for their dedication and commitment in realising this pioneering accomplishment enhancing immensely the country's security.

• The Prime Minister commended the courage and commitment of India's brave soldiers and the talent and perseverance of its scientists, whose untiring efforts transformed the scientific achievement of nuclear tests into establishment of an immensely complex and credible nuclear triad, and dispelled all doubts and questions about India's capability and resolve in this regard.

• As a responsible nation, India has put in place a robust nuclear command and control structure, effective safety assurance architecture and strict political control, under its Nuclear Command Authority. It remains committed to the doctrine of Credible Minimum Deterrence and No First Use, as enshrined in the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security in its meeting chaired by the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Finance commission conducts crucial discussions with external affairs ministry

• As part of Finance Commission of India’s interactive process with major central ministries, discussions were held today with Minister of External Affairs Smt. SushmaSwaraj and other senior officials of the ministry.

• MEA is working on strategic connectivity, shaping choices and balancing interests & creating goodwill by various development projects, humanitarian assistance and aids to friendly countries, innovative diplomatic outreach and partnerships.

• The Commission was conscious that contours of foreign policy of an increasingly interdependent India entails multiple challenges and opportunities. The emergence of other major powers in this region and the need for timely completion of projects initiated in number of friendly countries, needed adequacy of resources.

• The opportunities in Africa and other developing countries also needed to be harnessed to the country’s advantage and predictability of finances was central in these endeavors. Enhancing the reach and quality of India’s diplomatic power needed further strengthening by both the ministry as well missions abroad.

• The need to open so many new embassies in different parts of the world in near future and improving the public service delivery by a network of Passport Centers across the country, both need finances for physical infrastructure and manpower.

• Overall, Commission was given an understanding of the challenges in matching India’s diplomatic power with India’s economic power as world’s fastest growing emerging economy in 21st Century – The Asian Century.


Centre to induct seaplanes also in UDAN 3 project

• Seaplanes may soon be operating commercial passenger flights in India with the Centre inviting bids for connecting selected destinations under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS).

• Included among the 10 destinations that the government proposes to connect through seaplanes are the recently unveiled Statue of Unity at Sardar Sarovar Dam, Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand and Nagarjuna Sagar in Telangana.

• Opening the third round of the RCS, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has invited proposals for air routes that include tourist destinations. The deadline for submitting applications is November 20.

• In the latest phase, the Centre is reoffering 34 airports that weren’t successfully connected, primarily because two airlines — Air Odisha and Air Deccan — were unable to operate routes they had bid for due to lack of funds. Some destinations have been put on the block again as helicopter operations failed to take off.

• The previous two rounds saw a total of 428 routes awarded to 17 airlines and helicopter operators. Air Odisha was granted rights to connect 54 routes and Air Deccan 30, but both have been able to only start 10 routes each, which too see erratic services.

• The Centre has also offered 23 tourist destinations including Bodh Gaya, Agra, Kanha, Varanasi, Hampi, Mysore and Kullu.

Centre issues guidelines for operation greens

• Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MoFPI) under Union Minister Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal has approved the operationalisation strategy for Operation Greens today.

• Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 with an outlay of Rs 500 crores to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato(TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

• Approving the measures, the Minister said “Price volatility of TOP crops wreaks havoc in the households of this country. This is a revolutionary scheme which has evolved after sustained dialogue with all stakeholders and we have decided the strategy to stabilize prices of TOP crops and to make sure that TOP crops reach all households in the country around the year.”

• Smt Badal added “Our government has laid down special measures and grants-in-aid under the scheme to ensure enhanced production of TOP crops and to augment value chain”.

• Eligible Organisation would include State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), cooperatives, companies, Self-help groups, food processors, logistic operators, service providers, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and central and state governments and their entities/organizations will be eligible to participate in the programme and to avail financial assistance.

• In the budget speech of 2018-19, a new Scheme “Operation Greens” was announced on the line of “Operation Flood”, with an outlay of Rs.500 crore to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.

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India and China gets relief in Iran oil deal

• India is one of eight countries to receive temporary exemptions from U.S. sanctions on Iran that came into effect on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

• China and India, in that order, are the top two importers of Iranian oil. All payments for Iranian oil will be held in Foreign Accounts, Mr Pompeo said. Tehran can use the money to purchase non-sanctioned goods and for humanitarian purposes, including food, medicines and medical devices.

• In the last fiscal year, India, which imports over 80% of its oil, sourced some 10% of its oil imports, or just over 22 million tons from Iran. The Indian Oil Corporation is the biggest Indian customer for Iranian oil.

• More than 20 countries have decreased their imports of Iranian crude, the Secretary of State said, cutting Iran’s oil revenues by more than $2.5 billion since May this year, when Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or “ Iran Deal” .

• The European Union, which has stayed in the deal, has been frustrated by the America’s efforts to stifle European business’s activities with Iran.

• “We have decided to grant narrow and temp waivers to permit the continuation of three non-proliferation projects, currently underway, allowing these activities to continue for the time being,” Mr. Pompeo said. He confirmed that the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant would be one of the three sites.

India signs crucial agreements with Republic of Korea

• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea on sports cooperation here today.

• The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to establish a framework to facilitate and promote cooperation between the two countries on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.

• The cooperation under this MoU may include areas like (a) Exchange of coaches, athletes, experts;(b) Exchange of scientific and methodical materials (c) Joint training for athletes and officials;(d) Participation in sports event, seminars, symposia and conferences organized by either country etc.

• Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism H.E. DO JONGHWAN said that his country always looks forward to working with India in Sports. Relationship with India is priority for their leadership and they would be happy to provide assistance to India in areas of common interest. The Korean side invited Hon’ble Minister to visit their country.

• The Ministry of Tourism signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Government for the Republic of Korea for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.

• The MoU was signed by two parties desiring to strengthen and further develop the established relationship for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.


Study proves skin cancer deaths higher among men

• Skin cancer deaths among men have soared in wealthy nations since 1985, with mortality rates among women rising more slowly or even declining, researchers told a medical conference in Glasgow on Sunday.

• Reasons for the discrepancy between sexes are unclear but evidence suggests men are “less likely to protect themselves from the sun” or heed public health warnings, lead researcher Dorothy Yang, a doctor at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust in London, said.

• More than 90% of melanoma cancers are caused by skin cell damage from exposure to the sun or other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation such as tanning beds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

• In eight of 18 countries examined, men’s skin cancer death rates increased over three decades by at least 50%.

• Sharp jumps were witnessed in Spain and Britain (70%), The Netherlands (60%), as well as France and Belgium (50%).In the U.S., which was not included in the study, male melanoma mortality went up by about 25%, according to CDC statistics.

• But the countries with the biggest increase in skin cancer deaths were often not with the most elevated mortality rates, the new research showed.

• Scientists are investigating whether biological or genetic factors might also play a role in skin cancer, but findings so far are inconclusive, Ms. Yang said.


Subhankar Dey wins SaarLorLux Open badminton championship

• Unseeded Subhankar Dey upset fifth seed Rajeev Ouseph 21-11, 21-14 in just 34 minutes to win the SaarLorLux Open badminton championship Super 100 badminton tournament here on Sunday.Subhankar, who was meeting Ouseph for the first time, had no trouble in the first game.

• He won seven consecutive points and wrapped the game 21-11. In the second game, however, Ouesph, ranked 37, came back stronger but the 64th ranked Indian won five consecutive points to end the competition. “It is the biggest achievement of my life,” Subhankar said.

• Subhankar, who had got the better of the legendary Lin Dan in the second round, had to battle it out in the semifinal against Ren Pengbo of China before winning 21-18, 11-21, 24-22.

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