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Home » THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 20 FEB 2018

THE HINDU, PIB CURRENT NEWS ANALYSIS 20 FEB 2018

Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination

 

News Analysis: 20-02-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability

General Studies-III : Indian Economy

Rotomac pens for ₹3,695 crore default

Details:

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked the Kanpur-based firm Rotomac Global Private Limited and its directors Vikram Kothari, his wife and son in an alleged ₹3,695 crorewilful” loan default case.
  • The Enforcement Directorate is also launching a money laundering probe into fund-diversion charges against the accused.
  • The FIR was registered days after alleged fraudulent transactions worth ₹11,500 crore were detected in the Punjab National Bank.
  • Since 2008-09, Rotomac and other associated companies had taken a loan of ₹2,919 crore from a consortium of banks led by the Bank of India.
  • However, it is alleged that the directors cheated the banks by siphoning off the funds, in conspiracy with certain bank officials.
  • The agency also alleged that the company had submitted forged and false documents to get the credit facilities from the banks.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

PM calls for reskilling existing workforce

Details:

  • The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2018) or the ‘Olympics of IT’ got under way here on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasising on reskilling of existing workforce in the backdrop of emergence of new technologies.
  • The event is being held for the first time in India.
  • Earlier, the Prime Minister unveiled FutureSkills platform, a Nasscom initiative to upskill 2 million technology professionals in India. Utilising the forum to highlight digital strides made by the country, he said India is the hotspot of digital innovation across all sectors.
  • The country not only had a growing number of innovative entrepreneurs, but also had a growing market for tech innovation.

Source-The Hindu

 

General Studies-II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

 

Vaccine can prevent TB infections in adolescents

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/article22800335.ece/alternates/FREE_730/19THRDTB1

Details:

  • A clinical trial has provided encouraging new evidence that TB vaccines can prevent sustained infections in high-risk adolescents. The results will be announced on Tuesday at the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines in New Delhi.
  • The study was conducted to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine regimens, as well as their ability to prevent initial and sustained TB infections among healthy adolescents in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, about one-third of the world’s population has latent TB infection, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.
  •  People infected with TB bacteria have a lifetime risk of falling ill with TB of 10%. People ill with TB can infect 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.
  • Without proper treatment, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB on average and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB will die.

Source-The Hindu

 

General Studies-III : Indian Economy

Bank bureau stares at uncertain future

http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/article22800080.ece/alternates/FREE_730/TH20VINODRAICAG

Details:

  • The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) is facing an uncertain future with the tenure of its members coming to an end on March 31, 2018.
  • The BBB was set up under the government’s Indradanush programme to reform public sector banks. It started operations in April 2016.
  • The BBB was conceived by the PJ Nayak committee and was seen as a step taken towards reforming the boards of public sector banks.
  • The committee, in its report, had recommended that the government should distance itself from the appointment process of top management and board members of PSBs — a function that could be performed by the BBB.
  • Headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, BBBhas representatives from government and RBI apart from independent banking professionals.
  • However, in practise it never happened. While the BBB was involved in shortlisting and interviewing candidates — the final appointment was always made by the government.
  • There were instances of delays in appointment by the government despite the BBB recommending it.
  • The issue of governance and role of the board in public sector banks came to the fore again after the ₹11,500 crore PNB scam broke out last week.

Source-The Hindu

 

 

 

 

General Studies-III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

How tree crickets use leaves to amplify mating calls

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/article22801051.ece/alternates/FREE_730/TH20LEAF

Details:

  • The tiny tree crickets amplify their mating calls using loudspeakers that they themselves build using leaves.
  •  Now, scientists have discovered that the loudspeakers they make are almost maximally optimised for the purpose at hand: transform any given leaf into the best ‘amplifier’ it could be.
  • When these ingenious insects rub their wings together to generate sound, they also engineer a biological contraption known as a ‘baffle,’ which increases its volume.
  • They do this by cutting a neat hole near the centre of a leaf, adjusting themselves within the hole, and flapping their wings against the leaf surface, thereby using it as a megaphone.
  • Brain size is often conflated with intelligence. We ought to look at insects a bit harder and even what we think is stereotyped may not be so.
  • Making baffles is almost certainly an inherited behaviour and not really studied that much. When given a choice of two leaves, they always pick the bigger. They exercise what we call material selectivity. When it’s hard to find large leaves, they don’t waste time on the small leaves that make poor baffles
  • The discovery that tree crickets can optimise acoustic baffles means we are just about beginning to tap into under-appreciated intelligence of insects.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Disaster and disaster management.

 

NGT seeks report on Ganga rejuvenation

Image result for NGT seeks report on Ganga rejuvenation

Details:

  • The National Green Tribunal has sought a compliance report on the steps taken by the Centre, U.P. and Uttarakhand governments to clean river Ganga in the stretch between Gomukh and Unnao.
  • A Bench, headed by Justice Jawad Rahim, directed the National Mission for Clean Ganga and the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam to submit a report on the number of drains joining river from Kanpur to the U.P. border.
  • The green panel, in a detailed judgement, had passed a slew of directions to rejuvenate Ganga, declaring as ‘No Development Zone’ an area of 100 metres from the edge of the river between Haridwar and Unnao and prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river.
  • The Tribunal had earlier, in a detailed judgement, said the government has spent over ₹7,000 crore in two years to clean the Ganga which still remains a “serious environmental issue”.
  • The order, running into 543 pages, said “till the demarcation of floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the State government of this judgement, we direct that 100 metres from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone between Haridwar to Unnao in U.P.”
  • No-development zones are areas where no construction, including commercial or residential buildings, can come up.
  • It also imposed a complete prohibition on disposal of municipal solid waste, e-waste or bio-medical waste on the floodplains or into the river and its tributaries.
  • The Tribunal reiterated its earlier order of ban on mechanical mining in Ganga and said “no in-stream mechanical mining is permitted and even the mining on the floodplain should be semi-mechanical and preferably more manual”.

 

Source-The Hindu,The Indian Express

International News:

General Studies-II : India and its neighborhood- relations.

 

Old friends

Rouhani's three-day trip was the first by an Iranian president in 10 years [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

  • In purely bilateral terms, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to India was pitch perfect in content and optics.
  • After his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India and Iran signed agreements and memorandums of understanding on a wide variety of issues.
  • Among the announcements was the decision to award India the contract to operate the Chabahar Shahid Beheshti port terminal after the project is completed.
  • While no announcement was made on the Farzad-B gas field that India has expressed an interest in, the joint statement indicates that positive deliberations may follow.
  • There were discussions on enhancing trade and investment and ease of doing business between India and Iran, including a double taxation avoidance agreement and an expert group to recommend “trade remedy measures”.
  • Just before Mr. Rouhani’s visit, India announced it would allow Indian investment in Iran to be done in rupee terms.
  • The concession, which has so far been extended only to Bhutan and Nepal, allows money lying in Indian banks as payment for imports from Iran, mostly oil, to be repatriated.
  • Till now these funds have been blocked because international banks and insurance companies refuse to facilitate trade to Iran fearing further U.S. sanctions on Iranian entities.
  • In turn, Iran is understood to have reversed last year’s decision to slash the credit period for oil payments from India, and issue more generous guidelines.
  • Mr. Rouhani endorsed India’s bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council with the veto, and praised India as a “living museum of religious diversity”.
  • The joint statement issued contained tough language on the “sanctuaries for terrorism”, an issue important to both countries.
  • But there is a broader global context to Mr. Rouhani’s visit and the red carpet rolled out by the Modi government.
  • The visit came amid uncertainty over the U.S.’s next move on Iran, given the Trump administration’s line on the Iran nuclear deal.
  • On the very day Mr. Modi and Mr. Rouhani met, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster asked countries to track their investments in Iran as these might be supporting terrorism and “murder across the Middle East”.

Way Forward:

  • It will be important to see what, if any, implications the Indian overtures would have on India’s ties with the U.S. and its recently upgraded relations with Israel.
  • However, it is crucial that India maintain a steady course on its strategic interests with Iran, a key source of energy, and as Mr. Modi put it, a “golden gateway” to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests

Khalistan casts shadow over Trudeau visit

Details:

  • The Khalistan issue, which kept India-Canada ties on ice through three decades from 1980, has resurfaced, taking away much of the warmth expected during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India.
  • Former diplomats say the seeds for the current tensions have been sown since Mr. Trudeau came to power in 2015, receiving widespread support from some of the most extreme Khalistani political groups.
  • The Canadian government has repeatedly failed to take into account the sensitivities in India over the past when Sikh terror groups received support from elements in that country.
  • Issues over the growth of Sikh extremist groups, especially those seeking a “Referendum 2020” for the worldwide Sikh diaspora to vote on an “independent Khalistan”, have been raised several times in the past few years
  • Mr. Modi is understood to have spoken to Mr. Trudeau on the issue when the leaders met at the G-20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, and in Manila on the sidelines of the East Asia summit.
  • To add to the tensions, 16 Canadian gurdwaras announced a “ban” last month on the entry of Indian elected officials, consular officials, RSS and Shiv Sena members.
  • The Trudeau government took no action in response to the decision. When asked, officials cited “freedom of expression” issues.
  • Another sore point on the current visit has been Mr. Trudeau’s insistence on including in his Cabinet those accused of sympathising with the Khalistan movement

 

 

Source-The Hindu

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