Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 7 NOVEMBER 2018


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 7 NOVEMBER 2018


::NATIONAL::

PM celebrates Diwali with soldiers near LAC

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Harsil near the India-China border in Uttarakhand to celebrate Diwali with Army and ITBP personnel on Wednesday.
  •  Greeting the jawans on the occasion, the Prime Minister said their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 125 crore Indians, a statement from his office said.
  •  He said that Diwali is the festival of lights, it spreads the light of goodness and dispels fear. He said that the jawans, through their commitment and discipline, are also helping to spread the sense of security and fearlessness among the people.
  •  Mr. Modi recalled that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He also spoke of his interactions with the jawans of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), years ago when he was part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
  •  The Prime Minister said India is taking great strides forward in the defence sector. He spoke of various measures being taken for the welfare of ex-servicemen, including implementation of ‘one rank, one pension’ (OROP).
  •  Responding to Diwali greeting from Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night, Mr. Modi had said, “Every year, I visit our border areas and surprise our troops. This year too, will spend Diwali with our brave troops. Spending time with them is special.

”Centre reiterates its commitment to clean ganga

  •  Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ms. Uma Bharati has said that maintaining sustainable behavior towards better sanitation is everyone’s responsibility.
  •  She was speaking in Ganga Gram Swachchhata Sammelan at Chyavan Rishi Ashram in Chousa Village of Buxar district in Bihar yesterday. About four thousands Swachhagrahis, Ganga volunteers, youth organization members, students, women groups and people from all walks of life attended the sammelan.
  •  Ganga Gram is a concept to transform the villages on the bank of river Ganga into ideal villages with emphasis on Open Defecation Free, Solid and Liquid Waste Management, Water Conservation, Ground Water Recharge, modern crematorium, tree plantation, organic and medicinal plants.
  •  After declaration of all 4465 Ganga Bank villages as ODF, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is working in the direction of sustaining the ODF status of this area. In this regard, Ms. Uma Bharati appreciated the efforts made by district team, Panchayat representatives towards making Buxar district ODF.
  •  She underlined that India has shown to the world the commitment of the Government and achieved national sanitation coverage from a lowly 39 per cent to over 95 per cent. She urged people to participate in SLWM activities, not to litter around and pollute water sources, take care of their waste management and promote organic farming.

::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry says excessive competition leads to stress in certain sectors

  •  Excessive competition in any sector can eventually lead to heightening the stress in that sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday. This was a problem that India would increasingly have to deal with as its economy grew, he said.
  •  “We wanted multiple players because they would ensure the largest consumer interest,” Mr. Jaitley said at the National Conference on Public Procurement & Competition Law.
  •  “But there can be several other impacts. Excessive competition, at times, can result in pricing of a nature that that sector of the economy can itself face stress. Because everybody then tends to follow the leader, and therefore what do you do in such a situation?” “And these are all challenges that will emerge as the economy moves further and expands further,” he said.
  •  “As I see the roadmap for the future, there are going to be emerging situations where we have to look at the global model,” Mr. Jaitley said. “And in those global models, visualise how we deal with emerging situations. We wanted effective market players, reasonably optimum in number so that the consumer interest could be protected.”
  •  That was the original objective of the competition law, Mr. Jaitley said, to deal with aberrations in a situation where the state withdraws from business activity and the economy trusts more in the market.
  •  Regarding public procurement, the Finance Minister said that if it is based on the principles of fairness, transparency, and public interest, it will protect the revenues of the State and ensure that they used optimally.

Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan moots autonomy of RBI should be sustained

  •  Amid mounting tension between the Reserve Bank and the Finance Ministry, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on November 6 said the central bank is like a seat belt in a car, without which accidents can happen.
  •  Pitching for respecting the institutional autonomy of the RBI, he said the central bank has the liberty to say no if the government pushes it to be lenient.
  •  Historically, the relationship between the RBI and the government has been precisely this the government wants to focus on improving growth and it does all it can within the limits set by the RBI which are based on financial stability.
  •  On the issue of the government citing Section 7 of the RBI Act that gives it powers to issue directions to RBI Governor on issues of public interest, Mr. Rajan said it would be best if each side respected each other’s motivation and thoughts.
  •  Besides, the current account deficit (CAD) is blowing out partly because of the relatively weak exports and partly because of the price of oil has gone up. “It has come down recently but it is a risk that we cannot ignore at this point,” Mr. Rajan said.
  •  In general, central banks, he said, avoid lending to direct entities. Lending to direct entities involves credit evaluation and central banks are not in fiscal function of bailing out entities.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India elected to ITU council for another term

  •  India has been elected as a Member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Councilfor another 4-year term (2019-2022). The elections to the Council were held during the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE.
  •  By securing 165 votes, India ranked third among the 13 countries elected to the Council from the Asia-Australasia region, and eighth among the 48 countries elected to the Councilglobally.The ITU has 193memberstates who elect representatives to the Council.
  •  India has been an active member of the ITU since 1869, earnestly supporting the development and propagation of telecom in the global community of nations. The country has been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952, and has played an important role in harmonizing the contributions of member States from the region, always respecting the principlesof equality andconsensus-building.
  •  “India shares the dream and vision of ITU to realize the world as one nation and knowledge society”, the Minister added,“Our strong partnership with the ITU is also demonstrated in the recent ITU decision to set up the ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre in New Delhi. We are on target to have this Centre operational by January, 2019”.

Vice president completes three nation visit to Africa

  •  Extending India’s continuous engagement with Africa, the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has successfully completed the three nations visit to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, today.
  •  During his visit, India made substantial commitment to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi on development partnership and assistance. US$ 350 million for projects in Zimbabwe, US $ 220 million of Lines of Credit for water supply projects in Malawi as well as setting up of Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Zimbabwe and Malawi as grant assistance were among those.
  •  India’s commitment to support Africa in its developmental process and its efforts in improving diplomatic, bilateral and people-to-people contacts have been unequivocally acknowledged by all the three Presidents, he said.
  •  The President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa spent more than an hour with Shri Naidu to discuss various issues of mutual interest and in Malawi, the President hosted luncheon in the honour of the Vice President where the first lady was also present.
  •  The Vice President was given the honour of launching the very first Jaipur Foot Camp in this series in Malawi in Africa as Mahatma Gandhi spent more than two decades and eventually led a non-violent movement that liberated India from colonialism and inspired African leaders to free their countries as well.
  •  Other important Agreements included Extradition treaty with Malawi and an agreement in Broadcasting by Prasar Bharati, another one in Arts, Culture, Heritage and an Action Plan on ICT with Zimbabwe.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

NASA’s hubble telescope spots new formation of galaxies

  •  The Hubble Space telescope has spotted a formation of galaxies that resembles a smiling face in the sky. The image, taken with the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), shows a patch of space filled with galaxies of all shapes, colours and sizes, many of which belong to the galaxy cluster SDSS J0952+3434.
  •  Just below centre is a formation of galaxies akin to a smiling face. Two yellow-hued blobs hang atop a sweeping arc of light, NASA said in a statement.
  •  The lower, arc-shaped galaxy has the characteristic shape of a galaxy that has been gravitationally lensed — its light has passed near a massive object en route to us, causing it to become distorted and stretched out of shape.
  •  Hubble captured the image in an effort to understand how new stars spring to life throughout the cosmos. WFC3 is able to view distant galaxies at an unprecedented resolution — high enough to locate and study regions of star formation within them.
  •  Stars are born within giant clouds of gas. These massive clouds, or stellar nurseries, grow unstable and begin to collapse under gravity, becoming the seeds that will grow into new stars. By analysing the luminosity, size and formation rate of different stellar nurseries, scientists hope to learn more about the processes that can lead to the formation of a newborn star.

::SPORTS::

Rohit Sharma becomes India’s highest run-scorer in T20 Internationals

  •  Rohit Sharma on Tuesday achieved twin milestones, first by surpassing regular captain Virat Kohli to become India’s highest run-scorer in T20 Internationals, followed by the most number of centuries - 4 - in the shortest format.
  •  Rohit hit an unbeaten 111 off 61 balls to complete his fourth ton in T20 Internationals. When he reached a personal score of 11, he surpassed Kohli’s India record of 2101 runs in 58 innings. After today’s innings, Rohit now has 2203 runs to jump to the second spot in the all-time list led by New Zealander Martin Guptill (2271).
  •  Rohit achieved his feat in style, clobbering a 149kph delivery off pacer Oshane Thomas over the mid-off boundary in the fifth over.

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