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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: 09-07-2018

National News


General Studies-III : Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security;

Centre plans stronger defences for key data

  • Worried about sensitive information making its way to the Internet, the Home Ministry is upgrading policy to secure government data and control access to it.

  • In 2013, cybersecurity, which was the sole preserve of the Home Ministry, was moved to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) under the Prime Minister’s Office.

  • The critical infrastructure was moved to the National Technical Research Organisation and the non-critical part to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

  • An official said the new policy would cover issues pertaining to the Official Secrets Act.

Source: The Hindu


General Studies-III : Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

Govt. taps RBI to track all transactions

  • In a move aimed at widening the crackdown on black money and following the money trail flowing in and out of thousands of shell companies, the Centre is planning to set up an information technology (IT)-based mechanism to keep a tab on all non-cash financial transactions in the country.

  • Currently, the idea is to make the RBI the sole repository of such information, which will not be made available to other agencies such as the income tax department and the enforcement directorate as a default.

  • Such agencies may be required to make specific requests to the central bank if they want information on a particular set of entities.

  • Under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, banks and financial institutions are already required to alert the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), under the Finance Ministry, to any suspicious transactions, cash or otherwise.

  • Cash transactions of more than ₹10 lakh (including a series of transactions integrally connected to each other and exceeding ₹10 lakh in a month), need to be reported to the FIU.

  • All suspicious transactions need to reported to the unit within seven days after it is concluded that those are suspicious in nature.

  • The move to track all financial transactions is the latest in a series to curb black money and identify shell companies

  • Following the 2016 demonetisation exercise that rendered more than 86% of the currency in circulation invalid, it was found there had been a significant spurt in the operations of shell firms that typically have no assets or active businesses.

  • The Centre has shut down more than two lakh such entities.

  • More than two lakh other firms that have not been carrying out operations have been sent notices. Depending on their responses, a decision would be taken on how many would be deregistered.

  • In FY17, the FIU had received more than 15.9 million Cash Transaction Reports and 4.73 lakh Suspicious Transaction Reports.

Source: The Hindu


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


Arunachal stares at water scarcity

  • ‘Situation could be as grim as Shimla’

  • Arunachal Pradesh is staring at scarcity of water, the very resource that is expected to make the frontier State India’s hydroelectric powerhouse.

  • On Saturday, the State’s Minister for Environment and Forests Nabam Rebia said more than 200 rivers and streams across Arunachal Pradesh have dried up. This, he felt, would soon make the State face shortage.

  • The State’s forest cover has decreased from 82% to 79% and catchment areas of many rivers are under threat because of jhum (slash-and-burn) cultivation and landslides

  • Large-scale hunting of animals, too, has been a factor in the depletion of the State’s natural resources

  • Many communities hunt birds and animals for food and adornment of traditional headgear. Wild animals such as Asiatic black bear, leaf deer and Mishmi takin are considered delicacies.

Source: The Hindu


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


Chuck that plastic for a bamboo sipper

  • A scientist from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has come out with a green alternative to use-and-throw plastic drinking straws, by tapping bamboo.

  • The bamboo species Schizostachyum andamanicum, endemic to the islands looks ideal for the purpose.

  • Discovered on the island about two decades ago, this bamboo is characterised by thin large hollow erect culm (stem) with long internodes.

  • Not only is a bamboo straw biodegradable, it can be reused for years. People can keep one in their homes and use it multiple times like tooth brushes, avoiding plastic straws.

  • Just 50 paise per piece. Its longevity makes it cheaper than plastic.


Source: The Hindu


International News:

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, Indian diaspora.


No one wins

  • The U.S.-China trade war is on; unless saner counsel prevails, it will affect others too

  • The trade wars have finally begun. After exchanging several threats over the last few months, both the United States and China implemented a tariff of 25% on imports worth $34 billion last Friday.

  • This marks the official beginning of what China dubs as “the biggest trade war in economic history”.

  • While this trade war is far from the biggest the world has seen, it has the potential to cause some significant damage to the world economy. U.S.

  • President Donald Trump, who began the year by imposing tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, has vowed to possibly tax all Chinese imports into the U.S., which last year added up to a little over $500 billion.

  • Mr. Trump’s tariffs against China will likely resonate with voters who believe in his “America First” campaign and perceive the trade deficit with China as a loss to the U.S. economy.

  • China, not surprisingly, has responded by targeting American exports like soybean and automobiles, a move that could cause job losses in American states that accommodate Mr. Trump’s voter base.

  • Other major U.S. trading partners such as the European Union, Mexico, and Canada have also slapped retaliatory tariffs on various U.S. goods.

  • In a globalised world, no country can hope to impose tariffs without affecting its own economic interests.

  • Apart from disadvantaging its consumers, who will have to pay higher prices for certain goods, tariffs will also disrupt the supply chain of producers who rely on foreign imports.

  • So both the U.S. and China, which have blamed each other for the ongoing trade war, are doing no good to their own economic fortunes by engaging in this tit-for-tat tariff battle.

  • The minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve June policy meeting show that economic uncertainty due to the trade war is already affecting private investment in the U.S., with many investors deciding to scale back or delay their investment plans.

  • China, which is fighting an economic slowdown, will be equally affected. The ongoing trade war also threatens the rules-based global trade order which has managed to amicably handle trade disputes between countries for decades.

  • It could also isolate the U.S., which has refused to settle differences through serious negotiations, as other global economies strike trade deals on their own.

  • In March, for instance, 11 Asia-Pacific countries went ahead to sign a trans-Pacific trade deal while leaving out the U.S., which had pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017.

  • If global trade tensions continue to simmer, however, it may not be too long before countries resort to other destructive measures such as devaluing their currencies to support domestic exporters.

  • The world economy, which is on a slow path to recovery, can do without such unnecessary shocks.

Source: The Hindu


Other Issues in News:

9 parties oppose proposal for simultaneous elections

  • Political parties were divided on the issue of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections during consultations with the Law Commission of India.

  • As many as nine parties expressed their reservations while four parties supported the move.

  • The two major national parties — the BJP and the Congress — stayed away from the Law Commission’s deliberations.

Source: The Hindu


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