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Home » CURRENT AFFAIRS NEWS ANALYSIS 22 FEB 2018

CURRENT AFFAIRS NEWS ANALYSIS 22 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: 22-02-2018

 

National News

General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

‘New law cannot cure past breach’

Details:

  • Mere absence of a law can be cured by subsequently enacting one with a retroactive effect, but this new law cannot cure “breaches” that occurred prior to it, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed orally during a Constitution Bench hearing in the Aadhaar challenge.
  • The judge, who is a part of the Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was referring to the mass collection of personal data from citizens during the pre-Aadhaar Act years from 2009 to 2016. The Aadhaar law came into existence in 2016.
  • The judge was responding to submissions made by senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, for petitioners, that the subsequent enactment of Aadhaar Act in 2016 cannot cure the “complete invasion of privacy” which occurred in the pre-statute years of the Aadhaar scheme.
  • There was no voluntariness on the part of the citizen in its true sense, all the purposes for the collection and use of the personal information was not conveyed to him, the information was open to be shared among other entities, including private parties. All this made the collection of data unlawful
  • “The enactment of 2016 cannot cure the breaches that happened prior to it,” Justice Chandrachud observed.

 

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary

Centre opposes PIL plea in PNB case, says probe on

Details:

  • The Centre on Wednesday opposed a PIL petition in the Supreme Court for an investigation into the alleged ₹11,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) banking fraud, saying cases had already been registered and the probe has begun.
  • The petition asked the court to also direct the government to bring back diamond merchant Nirav Modi, at the centre of the fraud, in two months.
  • Justice Chandrachud observed that petitions were filed to play to the gallery.
  • The court could not pre-empt the government’s investigation.
  • The petitioner called for guidelines to be framed by the Finance Ministry for loans of over ₹10 crore. Mr. Dhanda also sought a list of borrowers whose bank loans are worth over ₹500 crore.

 

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-II : Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.

 

Power games

Image result for AAP

  • The Delhi government under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has had a history of conflict and confrontation with the police and the bureaucracy.
  • The shocking incident, which is said to have occurred when Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash was summoned to Mr. Kejriwal’s residence at midnight, has led to the arrest of one AAP MLA and a display of solidarity within the bureaucracy, which has refused to attend any meeting called by the CM until he apologises and takes action against the MLAs.
  • Versions of what transpired radically differ, including the reason why Mr. Prakash was called late in the night.
  • The timing of the meeting and the presence of a large number of MLAs at the residence give rise to the suspicion that it may have been called to intimidate the Chief Secretary.
  • It is well known that Mr. Kejriwal’s discomfiture with the bureaucracy is a result of having to deal with officers who report directly to the Lt. Governor, who is not bound to act on the aid and advice of his council of ministers.
  • To feel that this is a restrictive administrative environment and seek greater powers for Delhi under the Constitution is one thing.
  • But until Delhi is a full State, Mr. Kejriwal and his party would do well to understand that they have to work within the existing institutional arrangement.
  • The AAP has for long complained that the Centre is paralysing its executive functions through the Lt. Governor and that the bureaucracy is refusing to obey government orders.
  • But the proper response to this is to keep pushing for the constitutional changes that will give Delhi full statehood rather than targeting police officers and civil servants.

Way Forward:

  • In the three years it has been in power in Delhi, the AAP government has positives to show in terms of governance, including ushering in greater accountability and transparency in its welfare programmes.
  • In the long run, the party’s political future will depend more on how it governs Delhi and less on how aggressively it protests about its lack of administrative power.
  • Both the Centre and the Delhi government must work together to see that the administration is not brought to a halt in the Union Territory.
  • While the Centre should refrain from politically exploiting the issue, the AAP government must take a step back and assure the bureaucracy it will let officials work without fear of intimidation.

Centre studying Lt. Governor’s report

Details:

  • The Home Ministry said on Wednesday that it had received a report from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash
  • On Tuesday, a delegation of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Delhi Andaman & Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) and subordinate services of the Delhi government had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who later said civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear.

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

 

RBI: inflation could spur shift in stance

Details:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) could shift from its current ‘neutral’ policy stance to a ‘withdrawal of accommodation’ stance if headline inflation projection for the year ahead remained well above the target, the minutes of the central bank’s interest rate setting panel’s last meeting show.
  • RBI, which has a mandate with keep retail inflation between 2% and 6%, decided at its sixth bimonthly policy review on February 7 to keep interest rates unchanged, while maintaining a neutral stance.
  • While five MPC members voted to preserve the status quo, one of them recommended a 25 basis points rate increase.
  • RBI Governor Urjit Patel observed that consumer price inflation — the main yardstick to determine policy rates — had accelerated for a six consecutive month in December and said inflation was getting generalised with rising input prices.
  • Dr. Patel also said that since the economic recovery was at a nascent stage, a cautious approach was needed at this juncture.

 

Source-The Hindu

General Studies-III : Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

Blockchain tech could help prevent frauds like at PNB

http://www.thehindu.com/business/article22818843.ece/alternates/FREE_660/th22%20blockchain

Details:

  • The adoption of blockchain by India’s banks could help avert frauds such as the one at Punjab National Bank as the disaggregated and transparent nature of the technology, which updates information across all users simultaneously, would have ensured that various officials would have instantly been alerted to the creation of the letters of undertaking (LoUs), according to bankers and blockchain specialists.
  • Transaction reconciliation systems at present do not result in immediate notification.
  • Using blockchain, all parties on the chain will be immediately notified about a transaction
  • Blockchain, a distributed ledger technology originally developed as an accounting system for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is being researched across the banking and financial services industries for the potential benefits it may offer in an increasingly digitised business environment.
  • Central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Reserve Bank of India have been examining the technology to understand the regulatory challenges it may pose.
  • Simply depending on technology to prevent frauds is fraught, since they take place at the human level, where an official with the correct authentication can misuse the system.
  • Still, blockchain’s technology is such that even human error can be greatly mitigated

 

Source-The Hindu

International News:

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

 

Bangladesh fears exodus of Bengalis from Assam

Details:

  • The ongoing process of compiling the National Register of Citizens in Assam may trigger an exodus of Bengalis and create one more Rohingya-like refugee crisis for Bangladesh, senior officials of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government said here on Wednesday.
  • Addressing visiting Indian journalists, she said that the process in Assam is threatening India-Bangladesh ties and will be exploited by anti-India elements and Islamic fundamentalists who are challenging the Awami League rule.
  • Citizenship issue will be another disappointment after the setback on the sharing of water of the river Teesta.
  • We believe India should think of its friendship with Bangladesh before going ahead with the full implementation of the citizens register in Assam.
  • These observations have gained significance as a section of the ruling Awami League believes that India has not reciprocated Ms. Hasina’s support on counterinsurgency in the northeastern States.

 

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

Canada will not support separatists, says Trudeau

Details:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday asserted that his country believed in a united India and assured the Punjab government that it would not support any separatist movement in India.
  • Mr. Trudeau assured Capt. Singh that “his country did not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere.”
  • An official spokesperson said that while citing the separatist movement in Quebec, Mr. Trudeau said he had dealt with such threats all his life and was fully aware of the dangers of violence, which he had always pushed back with all his might.

 

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

NIA to chargesheet former Pak. Diplomat

Details:

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to chargesheet former Pakistan diplomat Amir Zubair Siddiqui, Counsellor (Visa) at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, in a case of conspiracy to attack vital establishments in India.
  • Among the installations planned to be targeted were the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru, Eastern Naval Command HQ in Visakhapatnam and ports across the country.
  • Zakir Hussain’s task was to cause explosion at the foreign consulates, defence and nuclear establishments among others. Incriminating documents and fake Indian currency were seized from his possession.
  • He admitted to interrogators that he was acting at the behest of Mr. Siddiqui, an official of the Pakistan Consulate in Colombo.
  • NIA investigations revealed that Hussain had met Mr. Siddiqui in Colombo on a few occasions and was instructed to collect information about defence establishments, movement of arms and ammunition to the Indian Army and arrange fake passport/visa for two Pakistan nationals to enter India.

 

Source-The Hindu

Other Issues in News:

Centre reboots eNAM to draw more farmers

Details:

  • In a bid to engage more farmers on the electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) platform, the government on Wednesday unveiled mobile payment facility BHIM, and other features in regional languages as well.
  • The eNAM website is now available in Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Odia besides Hindi and English, while the eNAM trading facility is available in six languages.
  • The eNAM has been strengthened with features like MIS dashboard, BHIM and other mobile payment facilities, enhanced features on mobile app such as gate entry and payment via mobiles.

 

Source-The Hindu

Mass nesting of olive ridleys begins in Odisha

  • Starting the mass nesting this year, more than 3,100 female olive ridley turtles came out of the sea to the sandy beach of the Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district of Odisha on Tuesday night.
  • The Rushikulya coast is considered to be a major nesting site in the world and lakhs of olive ridleys come here every year to lay eggs.

Source-The Hindu

India dismayed at Male’s move

Expressing its disappointment over the Maldives government’s decision to extend the state of Emergency for another month despite India’s objections, New Delhi issued another statement on Wednesday, calling the move unconstitutional, words that could lead to a face-off with the Yameen government.

 

Source-The Hindu

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