Jatin Verma is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS 2nd Week of September 10th TO 16th September By Jatin Verma Educator Unacademy
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Page-1:7%extra cessonSUVsi small-cars exempt. 10th September 2017 Key decisions at GST Council: [1GST Council decided to extend the deadline for filing returns due to glitches on the GST Network. [i]lt decided to set up a ministerial group to assess and fix the IT challenges. [ii] The Council also decided to bring some relief to consumers by reducing the GST rate on about 30 items of common use including idli and dosa batter,oilcakes, raincoats, [iv]The Council also spared small cars from a cess hike in the range of 2% to 7% that has [v] A panel underRevenue Secretary has also been tasked to examine GST-related issues . In effect, while the price reduction in mid-size cars due to GST implementation will be of about 3% from pre-GST levels, whereas the benefit for luxury cars will be marginal. rubber bands, roasted peanuts,'dhoop agarbattis' and dried tamarind been imposed on mid-size, luxury and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) faced by exporters. almost nullified with the increase in cess, SUVs will be slightly better off with an advantage
Page-: Against the idea of issuing whip on every issue: Varun Gandhi MP Varun Gandhi said he was against the idea of issuing whip by parties on every issue and advocated that people's representatives should have the right to express their views freely inside Parliament. - He said whips are issued by parties on "90 per cent issues"restricting MPs from airing their own views. e-petition system . He also advocated for the e-petition system saying it is currently in place in countries like England,Australia and New Zealand. . People's participation in Parliament:This system should also be adopted in India to give space to common people instead of restricting the doors of Parliament for its members only. In this system, if 10,000 people sign an e-petition, the prime minister or the minister concerned will have to reply to it.When such a petition is signed by more than one lakh people, it has to be debated in the parliament. 1 0th September 2017
Scrutiny of policies: He said the time has come when the people should also have a say in the scrutiny of policies and schemes. MPs have increased their salaries four times in the past five years, he said, adding,"l am not against hike in salaries of MPs but I am certainly opposed to the system of parliamentarians themselves getting their pay hiked. Parliament had worked for 130 days a year during 1952-1972, but is working days have declined to 60 days a year in the past I5 years. UPSC Previous Year's Question 2013 Question. The role of individual MPs (Members of Parliament) has diminished over the years and as a result healthy constructive debates on policy issues are not usually witnessed How far can this be attributed to the anti-defection law, which was legislated but with a different intention? 10th September 2017
Page-10: U.S.policy shadows Afghanistan talks. 10th September 2017 India-Afghanistan Partnership Council: Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Salahuddirn Rabbani will arrive in Delhi to attend the India-Afghanistan Partnership Council meeting that has been delayed for years. The Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed in 20 No new decisions on defence supplies or security cooperation were likely during the talks which will end with a joint statement. U.S. role: All eyes will be on talks to discuss the way forward weeks after the U.S. President Trump unveiled his"new policy" for Afghanistan, where he proposed a larger role for India in development assistance to Afghanistan. -First India-U.S.-Afghanistan trade expo Later this month, Afghanistan Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and a senior U.S. trade or commerce official will travel to India for the first India-U.S.-Afghanistan trade expo, funded by USAID Small Development Projects: The emphasis of the Partnership Council talks would be on "capacity building" for Afghan security forces in training and enhancing existing cooperation as well as about 287 "Small Development Projects (SDPs)" that India is is committing funding for including small dams, road and highway construction, agriculture, education and health of the SDP-Phase Ill that were signed in 2012
Air corridor issues: The two sides will also discuss enhancing trade, especially the "air corridor" for freight that was inaugurated in June to circumvent Pakistan, and has faced teething troubles due to non-availability of cargo aircraft. However, the Afghan government has recently engaged private airline Kam Airways to carry freight, and Afghanistan would like to connect more Indian and Afghan cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Herat for trade in cotton, fruit and dry fruit from Afghanistan and medical and electrical equipment from India. In addition, two agreements will also be signed: [i]the Motor Vehicles agreement, announced in 2014, and [ii]an agreement on Orbit Frequency Coordination for the South Asia satellite launched in May . Medical Tourism: Mr. Rabbani will also raise the problems of Afghans travelling to India for medical care and students face in obtaining a visa as the process requires repeated visits to the Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRRO). The minister willrequest longer duration visas. .JWGs: Afghan Foreign Minister will be accompanied by 4 deputy ministers who head joint working groups on- -Trade and Economic Cooperation, -Capacity Development and Education, and Social, Cultural, Civil Society and people-to-people contacts. 10th September 2017
THE HINDU Section-ll World News: Qatar, Saudi spar after leaders talk Leaders in Qatar and Saudi Arabia spoke by telephone early on Saturday in their first high- level contact since an Arab diplomatic crisis engulfed Doha three months ago, but now even terms of what they discussed have created a new dispute After the call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, next in line to the kingdom's throne, and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said Crown Prince Mohammed would talk to Bahrain, Egypt and the U.A.E the other Arab nations boycotting Qatar and then release details. The state-run Qatar News Agency immediately published details of the call, saying that Riyadh and Doha had agreed to send two envoys to discuss the dispute. Qatar said that call came after Mr.Trump personally spoke with Sheikh Tamim.The White House earlier acknowledged Mr. Trump spoke with Sheikh Tamim and Crown Prince Mohammed. 10th September 2017
Middlo East TURKEY IRA Q IRA N EGYPT SAUDI. ARABIA SUDAN
Business: India seeks more Chinese investments, 10th September 2017 In a bid to reduce the huge bilateral trade deficit with China, which, in the last fiscal, was a whopping $51 billion, the Centre has now sought greater investments from Chinese firms including in India's export-focused Special Economic Zones (SEZ). In a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan on the sidelines of the ongoing ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Manila, Indian commerce minister Suresh Prabhu called for greater Chinese investments in India and offered facilitating measures including in SEZs . It was earlier informed in Rajya Sabha in July 2014 that trade deficit can be reduced to sustainable levels through more exports from India to China, as well as by China's investing in building manufacturing capacities in India. The aim was to then increase shipments from such manufacturing facilities in India to China by catering to specific demand in that country. However, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China in India between April 2000 and June 2017 was worth only $1.67 billion-or a minuscule 0.49% of the total FDI inflows of $342 billion during that period. China had agreed to send a high-level official team led by Mr. Zhong Shan by December-end to New Delhi to address the issue of trade imbalance with India.
. Bondas are considered to be one of most primitive tribes in the world. I Ith Sep . As per an official survey in 2015, around 8,000 Bonda tribals live in 32 villages of four panchayats under Khairaput block.Their villages are located in remote and isolated hilly region north-west of the Machhkund river.Their habitat in Khairaput block is called the Bonda valley. Salient Recommendations of Virginius Xaxa Committee: (I) Laws and policies enacted by the Parliament and State Legislatures should not be automatically applied in the Fifth Schedule areas (as was the case under colonial rule or as is presently the case in the Sixth Schedule areas). Its applicability should be made contingent on the discretion of the Governor who would determine its applicability or non-applicability or applicability with modifications/amendments on the advice of Tribes Advisory Council. (2) Actions taken by the Governor for safeguarding the interests of tribal communities should be clearly mentioned in the annual Governor's Reports submitted to the President. (3) There is a dire need to establish agro-based training institutions and related labour- intensive processing industry so a sto prevent mass-migration. Terms and quantum of micro-credit should be made reasonable for individuals, SHGs, cooperative institutions and Gram Sabhas in Scheduled Areas for the tribes to pursue these occupations. Contd...
Q. Consider the following pairs: 11th Sep State Tribe I. Limboo (Limbu): Sikkim 2. Karbi 3. Dongaria 4. Bonda Which of the above pairs are correctly matched? Himachal Pradesh Odisha Tamil Nadu The Bonda people currently live in the hills of Odisha's Malkangiri district in India. Two different Bonda tribes: the Upper Bondas the most isolated from mainstream Indian society, and the Lower Bonda with a population of 17,000 The unfree labour or Goti system in India is known as Gufam by the Bonda people. Remo is language of the Bonda trie.
Business Page 13: Global auditors may face tighter scrutiny, 1th Sep . Global auditing firms may come under greater scrutiny for any wrong-doing as regulators mull ways to make them more accountable, with the role of such auditors -- especially the Big Four - PwC, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG are generally referred to as the Big Four - coming under the lens in various corporate misdoings Prime Minister has also talked of the need for Indian audit firms growing to join the ranks of global giants. . PM's exhortation> Lets have Big 8- Knowledge Process Outsourcing: The move is expected to give a fillip to Indian audit firms and designed to fill the gaps the big four have allegedly misused, including with the help of their huge network and financial muscles. A big area of concern pertains to the big guns seeking to wash of their hands whenever their names crop up in any accounting wrong-doing while their delaying tactics in the name of jurisdiction have also beern noticed. They generally delay probe by appeals and jurisdiction related challenges at various forums and once there is a substantial time lapse, they tend to settle the probe by arguing the time-bar clauses. While the existing legal framework provides for stringent provisions for domestic auditing firms, there is no specific system in place when it comes to overseas audit firms.
Page I+10: Parties call for Hybrid poll system. 12th September 2017 The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice is deliberating on electoral reforms in the aftermath of UP election results. The objective is to have a more direct relationship between vote % and seats% from the Party List system. The Congress, NCP, the CPI (Marxist) and CPI have told that the existing first-past-the-post- system needs to be replaced with a hybrid format where elections for a small number of seats are through Proportional representation What facts and figures say? In the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections held in March this year where the BjP which got 39 per cent of the vote share but won 312 seats, while the Samajwadi Party with 21.8 per cent votes got 47 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party with 22.2 per cent got 19 seats. In 2009 elections BIP had 18.1% vote but l 16 seats in the Lok Sabha, while, in the last general elections the Congress got 19.35% votes but only 44 seats. Parties together polling almost 50% of the votes are totally excluded An interesting fact is that no ruling party had ever got 51 per cent of the votes polled. "Minority democracy" has been ruling the country since independence
Four Systems of Elections being discussed by the Committee: 12th September 2017 i] FPTP [ii] Proportional Representation ii] Hybrid System [iv] Dual System Recommendations of the Law Commission's 170th and 255th report: A mix of both first-past-the-post and proportional representation should be tried. Both the reports have suggested that 25% or 136 more seats should be added to the present Lok Sabha and be filled by Proportional Representation Q. which one of the following countries are 75 per cent of seats in both Houses of Parliament filled oh the basis of first-past-the-post system and 25 per cent on the basis of Proportional Representation system? [UPSC-1997] A. Germany B. France C. Canada Russia
MoCA's version: 12th September 2017 i] As per International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines, aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, does not affect its status as an aircraft and the safety oversight is the responsibility of DGCA Ministry of Home Affairs version:The DGCA has the capacity to detect aircraft of a particular size and which fly at a certain altitude. It has radars to detect their presence.The unmanned objects, if they fly low, cannot be detected by any radar. It has security and privacy issues. What if a UAV is out of control and crashes into a police station or somebody's house. To address these issues we need to know who owns a UAV, of what make and in which areas it could be operated . In April 2016, the DGCA had proposed detailed guidelines for civilian use of drones. . The DGCA had proposed that drone users would have to obtain its permission and get a unique identification number for each drone. The user was also required to get security clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation and all drone operations over 200 feet would require the DGCA's nod . However, the MHA had raised some objections to DGCA's draft, saying anti-UAV technology to detect and neutralise the threats from a hostile drone is also required.
Page-l: 7 MPs under I-T lens for disproportionate assets 12th September 2017 [GSM-284: Probity in Public Life] . Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) informed the Supreme Court that ninety-eight MLAs and seven Lok Sabha members are under investigation for prima facie discrepancy between their assets and declared sources of income. The CBDT affidavit said the investigative arm of the Income Tax Department has found that the assets of these lawmakers are disproportionate to their known sources of income. Supreme Court's role in ensuring Probity in Public Life: The affidavit was filed after the court made stinging remarks about how the government machinery was not very forthcoming when it came to revealing details of the mercurial increase in the assets of politicians and lawmakers. NGO Lok Prahari. The NGO said the assets of the politicians in the list had seen a disproportionate growth, of up to 500%, from the time of nomination in the last election. The CBDT said it received responses from the Directors-General of Income Tax on the assets of 26 Lok Sabha members, 215 MLAs and two Rajya Sabha members in the list.
Page-10:Toilets first, temples later: PM 12h September 2017 Paying tributes to Swami Vivekananda on the anniversary of his speech at the World Congress of Religions in Chicago, Prime Minister juxtaposed it with the 9/11 terror attack in the U.S., saying the World Trade Center tragedy would not have taken place had the d of the speech been understood. The Prime Minister was speaking at a function attended by student groups in Vigyan Bhavan here to mark the anniversary of Vivekananda's speech in Chicago in 1893. GSM-1: World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Q. Critically analyse the functioning of SBM on the completion of Q. Is Indian cinema Reactive or Proactive?
Swacchh Bharat Mission: 12th September 2017 [Source: HT] Construction Stats: Since 2014, 40 million household toilets have been constructed. Between May I and May 21, 2017, 489,710 individual household latrines were constructed across the country.That's an average of nearly 25,000 toilets constructed per day. Usually, an ODF village, declaration is made by the village or gram panchayat. The state government is supposed to carry out a first verification within three months, and a second verification around six months after the self-declaration. Gap b/w Declaration & Verification : Gram panchayats have self-declared 193,081 villages to be ODE but 53.9% of these have not been verified, according to the Ministry of DrinkingWater and Sanitation, which is responsible for Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, which accounts for 85% of SBM's budget. Villages are considered 'open defecation-free' when no faeces are openly visible and every household and public/community institution uses safe technology to dispose of faeces in such a way that there is no contamination of surface soil, groundwater or surface water; excreta is inaccessible to flies or animals, with no manual handling of excreta;and there are no odour and unsightly conditions
Solution-whatis alreadybeingdone needs to be done in a better way: Information, education and communication needed:12th September 2017 Since the focus of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin is on behaviour change, the guidelines require that 8% of the funds be allocated for information, education and communication (IEC) activities. During the 2016-17 financial year, 1% of the total expenditure had been made on IEC up to January 2017, according to Accountability Initiative's budget brief. In contrast, 98% of the funds had been spent on construction of toilets in individual households. Duplicate entries, ghost beneficiaries and missing households were the first stumbling block that researchers from the Accountability Initiative of the Centre for Policy Research faced while tracking beneficiaries of the government's sanitation interventions across 7,500 households in 10 districts and five states in a December 2015 study. [Solution: Aadhar, GPS technology being used-Geo Tagging is already being done] Social Audit: Eventually, they studied 1,500 households that they could identify from the list. They found that a third of the households that government records showed as having achieved "sanitation status" actually had toilets, while 36% that had constructed toilets said these were unusable . Of the households with a toilet which had at least one member of the family defecating in the open, the most common reasons cited were absence of water and the pit being too small
World News Page 12:A textbook example of ethnic cleansing: UN rights head. The situation in Myanmar is a"textbook example of ethnic cleansing", the United Nations rights chief said, as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the country for Bangladesh topped 3,00,000. diansing the as the number of Rongya hlusimy Dalai Lama's appeal: Dalai Lama had joined fellow Nobel peace laureates Malala Yousafzai and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in urging Ms. Suu Kyi to intervene. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit the Myanmar-Bangladesh border to express her concern at the situation. Dhaka has also urged the international community to come up with urgent humanitarian assistance and put pressure on Myanmar to solve the crisis. 2th September 2017
Business Page 13: Jio wants TRAl to act against Bharti Airtel, 12th September 2017 The term 'interconnection' refers to an arrangement under which telecom players connect their equipment, networks and services with other Telecom Services Providers. The regulator,TRAI, addresses the various issues related to interconnection arrangements. It also regulates the IUC. This is a charge payable by a service provider, whose subscriber originates the call, to the service provider in whose network the call terminates. In a calling-party pays regime (CPP), if you originate a call, you pay your access provider, who in turn pays termination charges to the network you placed the call.This is paid to cover the network usage costs as the operator, on whose network the call terminates, carries the call on its network to the customers. This requires infrastructure investment. Thus, IUC ensures operators make appropriate investments to carry voice calls without terminations Why is it important? The incumbent players such as Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodfone would prefer a hike in IUC or a status quo because a significant part of their network is still on 2G for which network costs are higher.Also most of the calls terminate on these companies' networks. But the new entrant, Jio, would prefer lower or even nil termination charges as the number of calls originated by it are more than the calls terminated TRAI is considering bringing down termination charges due to cost efficiency due to the adoption of 4G technology
Page-l:6-month 'cooling off period for granting divorce can be waived: SC Section 13B(2) of the Hindu Marriage Act says that if both parties do not change their pleas for divorce in a time period not less that six months and not later that 18 months, then the court shall pass a decree declaring the marriage to be dissolved The object of the cooling off period was to safeguard against a hurried decision if there was otherwise possibility of differences being reconciled Now, a Hindu married couple may not need to wait six months for a separation order in the case of mutual consent and the marriage can be legally terminated in just a week as the Supreme Court held that the "cooling off" period in not mandatory and can be waived off, provided:  all efforts for mediation and conciliation intended to reunite the parties had failed. [l] the parties had already lived separately for at least a year [Ill] parties have genuinely settled differences relating to alimony, custody of child or any other pending issues between them In such situations, the court could take a view that delay in proceedings will only prolong subsequent resettlement. The amendment was inspired by the thought that forcible perpetuation of status of matrimony between unwilling partners did not serve any purpose. 13th September 2017
Page-6: Odisha: Progress on UN target on AIDS tardy 13th September 2017 Experiences in Ganjam, the most HIV-infection prone district in Odisha, have hinted that progress on the '90-90- 90' target set by the United Nations Programme on HIV and AlDS (UNAIDS) has been tardy in the State. UNAIDS has envisioned to achieve the '90-90-90' target by 2020, which would result in controlling HIV infection to sustainable limits by 2030 As per the '90-90-90' target: 90% of all HIV infected persons should get diagnosed and know their HIV positive status. 90% of these diagnosed HIV positive persons are to be provided regular Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), and 90% of people taking ART should show signs of viral suppression, which reduces their scope of infection. As per a study, at any time of the year over five lakh rural males of reproductive age from Ganjam stay away from their families as migrant labourers outside Odisha But the total number of persons tested in Ganjam in a year is around 90,000
National News Page-11: Stung India slams 'inaccurate' UN reports 13th September Angered by criticism from the UN's Human Rights Council on the issue of Kashmir, cow vigilante violence and Rohingya refugees, India accused the High Commissioner of passing "tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. A more informed view would have not only recognised this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection. Incidents extrapolated": Exceptions cannot be examples. The Govt. said UNHRC's reference to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and other references to people displaced in the Sardar Sarovar-Narmada Bachao Andolan, and "mob attacks against people under the pretext of protecting the lives of cows" and other instances of "rising intolerance" in India, were "individual incidents extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation While giving his update to the Council's reports on 40 countries, Mr. Hussein had "deplored" the government's recent decision to deport approximately 40,000 Myanmarese Rohingya refugees
Page-1l:Chakmas to be made citizens 13th September 2017 Govt. is all set to give citizenship to over one lakh Chakma-Hajongs, Buddhists and Hindus who fled to India in the 1960s to escape religious persecution in the Chittagong Hill area of Bangladesh (undivided Pakistan then). . Home Minister will chair a meeting where a final decision to grant citizenship to the Chakma- Hajongs will be taken. They would be granted citizenship but will not have any land ownership rights in Arunachal Pradesh, a predominantly tribal State They would be free to buy land anywhere else in India but not in Arunachal Pradesh.They could continue to live in the transit camps where they have been housed since 1964-65. The Arunachalis have opposed giving any rights to Chakma-Hajongs. Basic Text: Ch-Citizenship
An Educational Institute will be eligible for a credit limit of 5 times the annual inflow of the student fee from the institution. The institute can then draw interest-free funds against an approved capital or research project and repay the amount over 5-10 years through the escrowed student fee. Each institute will have to prepare a detailed master plan on infrastructure gaps that will be assessed by an independent group before releasing amount sought. Uchatar Avishkar Yojna: HRD ministry earmarked Rs.250 crore per annum for fostering"very high quality" research in the IITs under the scheme which will have industry partners with the institutions of excellence. The move is to give research relevant to the industry and the campaign to 'Make in India' a leg up, the proposal has been received with scepticism in the academic and research circles, given the implications of allowing private players to collaborate with institutions that have been set up with public money The objective is to make IITs to help in the Make in India campaign, by investing in research and link innovation to the industry to make the latter competitive in the global markets. The Rs.250-crore purse will be used to fund several projects for up to Rs.5 crore, provided they meet the standards stipulated. 13th September 2017
Page-12: World News: Pressure piles on Myanmar over refugee exodus: 13th Sept U.S. intervenes: Pressure mounted on Myanmar to end violence that has sent more than 300,000 Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, with the United States calling for the protection of civilians and Bangladesh seeking international help to handle the crisis. The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar says its security forces are fighting "terrorists" behind the latest wave of attacks, which began on Aug. 25, and they are doing all they can to avoid harming civilians. [Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army] The United States said the violent displacement of Rohingya Muslims showed Myanmar's security forces were not protecting civilians. U.S. has been a staunch supporter of Myanmar's transition from decades of harsh military rule that is being led by Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmars government regards the approximately I million Rohingya as illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and denies them citizenship, even though many Rohingya families have lived there for generations.
. Business Page: 'Stringent action to prevent data misuse'. 13th September 2017 . Pitching for use of big data analytics for inclusive growth, IT Minister said any unauthorised use of data would be dealt with an "iron-hand to ensure that nothing comes in the way of making data analytics a national movement. Precision Governance:The government is committed to making the best use of big data in establishing rule of precision governance.While doing so, every care would be taken to strictly ensure that privacy rights of individuals are protected," Information, Education and Communication: A 24-hour Hackathon, wherein participants will use government data platform to make applications and infographics on themes such as Drinking Water and Sanitation, Transport, Education and Crime and Health. The Hackathon, that will take place in seven cities, is being conducted by NIC and IAMAl as part of the Startup Eco-system Development programme.The applications developed will be evaluated by jury and winners will receive support, including mentorship and funding. Data Availability Vs. Data utilisation:IT Secretary said, there is big gap between data being available and data being utilized. . In this context, Open Government Data Platform was set up in 2012 to provide access to government- owned shareable data.
Transmission & Distribution losses: Hying off Unbundling of Power sector
Page-l: Shinzo Abe promises peace in Indo-Pacific region, 14th September 2017 Highlighting common 'strategic interests,' Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said India-Japan ties will shape the Asia-Pacific region. India-Japan annual summit: Mr:Abe will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the India-Japan annual summit, when both sides will firm up military and strategic ties. Universal values: Both India and Japan place importance on the universal values and strategic interests that we commonly share. Both countries are major Asian democracies and global powers The visit of Mr.Abe is significant in view of two recent developments: [i] Doklam issue: standoff between India and China at the Doklam plateau of Bhutan; [ii] Dual threat:Japan would seek ballistic and cruise missiles to deal with the dual threat of 'expansionist' China and a nuclear armed North Korea.
Page-7: Bank got commission out of money laundering unwittingly! India. Marzi Ltd. Hong Kong Farzi Ltd. $99000 Marzi Co. [No Real Work] -Hong Kong Taiwan UAE pumab national bank
Page-7: India has narrow pool of mustard varieties, say agricultural scientists Background: In June, a 230-member quorum of the NAAS had passed a resolution unanimously supporting the commercial release of Dhara Mustard Hybrid II (DMH-1 1),a transgenic food crop that had been cleared by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) for commercial release. Then, a valid point was made that when India has 9000 mustard seed varities, what is the need to bring Genetically modified varities of mustard: It was among the key arguments made in the Supreme Court, as part of a petition by activist Aruna Rodrigues Earlier a Supreme Court-appointed Technical Advisory Committee had also recommended a stay on GM mustard citing the breadth of India's genetic diversity in mustard and that introducing it would lead to "irreversible" contamination. But Now, A report by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), a 600- member body of agricultural scientists, says- Contrary to GM basher's propaganda - that very high diversity is available in Indian mustard scientific analysis has shown that the Indian gene pool of mustard is very narrow. As a consequence, in spite of extensive efforts by our plant breeders - there is very little impact of pure-line breeding on mustard yields in recent years. 14th September 2017
Economic Backwardness OR Backwardness in Public Employment. 14th September Article16. Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment (I) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State (2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State (3) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment. (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State
Page-11: India-Japan: Over 8 km, Japan and India come closer. 14th September 2017 UPSC PRELIMS 2011: Question. Mahatma Gandhi said that some of his deepest convictions were reflected in a book titled, "Unto this Last" and the book transformed his life.What was the message from the book that transformed Mahatma Gandhi? (a.) Uplifting the oppressed and poor is the moral responsibility of an educated man (b.) The good of individual is contained in the good of all (c.) The life of celibacy and spiritual pursuit are essential for a noble life (d.) All the statements (a), (b) and (c) are correct in this context. Q. Mahatma Gandhi's biography was originally written in which language?
Page-l1:A push for cooperation in S&T and medical research. 14th September 2017 In the light of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India, the two countries have signed a host of agreements to further cooperation in science and technology [i] Regenerative medicine: Research into stem-cells for making bone-marrow transplants more accessible The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) already has an India-Japan cooperative Programme that has Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, and Kyoto University, Japan, as participants. Though the DBT and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have been collaborating in these areas, they renewed the agreement for five more years The aim of the Programme is to develop infrastructure and expertise for India to be a competitive force in regenerative medicine and induced pluripotent stem cell biology. The focus of the collaboration is on developing treatments for sickle-cell anaemia, Beta thalassemia and brain disorders, and creating a haplobank relevant to Indian populations.
Page-11: Indo-Russian war games in Oct, 14th September 2017 Background: In April, the two countries decided to upgrade Indra from an individual service exercise into an integrated tri-service. India and Russia have begun discussions to work out the modalities for their first tri-service military exercise to be held in October Speciality: It will also be India's first bilateral military exercise with any country involving all three services. The Indra exercise is scheduled from October 19 to 29.The Final Planning Conference (FPC) will be held from September 12 to 15 in Russia. All logistical issues and modalities will be finalised. The aim of the exercise is to carry out joint exercises for suppression of international terrorist activities under the United Nations mandate. The Army: The Army will send about 350 soldiers from the infantry, artillery and armoured streams.While the soldiers will take with them infantry weapons, ammunition, radio sets and related equipment, the issue of taking T-72 tanks and other heavy equipment will be decided in the FPC.
South Asia. 14th September 2017 SOLUTHEAST ASIA CHIN A Kachin Sagaing Phitippine Sea Shan South China PHIL P Chin Mandalay Magwo. Rakhaing Bago Ya Kayin Ayeyanwady Mon I D O N I n dian Ocean Tanintharyi Scale AUSTRALIA
4. Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?  I. Jordan. 2. Lebanon 3. Syria. 4. Iraq Q. River Euphrates passes through which countries? Iran, Iraq,Syria, Turkey SO TURKEY Aleppo 36 Ar Raqqah takia niyas Hims Tadmur LEB IRAG DAMASCU Q'unay tirah AS Sunvavda Goan tsJORDAN 30 3AU.AR
Business page 13: RBl is not comfortable with bitcoins, says Sen. 14th September 2017 The Reserve Bank is uncomfortable with "non-fiat" cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. As regards non-fiat cryptocurrencies, I think we are not comfortable," Mr. Sen said, addressing the India Fintech Day conference here. The fiat cryptocurrency was a digital currency which would be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBlI) in place of the physical one at present, he said, adding that the central bank was studying this aspect at present. Right now, we have a group of people who are looking at fiat cryptocurrencies, something that is an alternative to the Indian rupee, so to speak. The RBl has been repeatedly cautioning everyone about the usage of cryptocurrencies, flagging a slew of concerns. It had stated that Bitoins posed potential risks.
UPSC Previous years Questions(CDS/CAPF/IAS) on topics discussed today: Ql.Which of the following is a function of stem cells? a) To fight against infections b) To produce all the cell types in the body c) It is a specialized cell d) To make copies of itself Q2. Which part of body can stem cells be obtained from? a) Embryo or tissues in body b) Tissues in body c) Heart d) Brain
Page-ll: 'Fly' on train from Mumbai by 2022. 15th September A Strong India is in Japan's interest and a strong Japan is India's interest Our PM and his Japanese counterpart laid the foundation stone in Ahmedabad for the country's first Rs. 1,10,000 crore, 508 km high-speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Financialaspect:The ambitious project is being implemented with nearly 90% financial support and technology from Japan. Technical Aspect: To be built on elevated corridor with a seven-km undersea tunnel in Mumbai, the project will be based on the famed Japanese Shinkansen high-speed railway system with a record of zero casualties in its 50 years of operation. Ambitious deadline to complete the project on August 15, 2022 when India marks 75 years of Independence.The project will be executed through a special purpose vehicle, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd.
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Page 12 International News:'China endorses crackdown on Rohingya' 15th Sept China endorses Myanmar's offensive against Rohingya Muslim insurgents. The Myanmar military offensive in the western State of Rakhine was triggered by a series of guerilla attacks on security posts and an Army camp in which about a dozen people were killed. . The stance of China regarding the terrorist attacks in Rakhine is clear, it is just an internal affair. The counter-attacks of Myanmar security forces against extremist terrorists and the government's undertakings to provide assistance to the people are strongly welcomed. But at the UN in New York, China set a different tone, joining a UN Security Council expression of concern about reports of excessive violence and calling for immediate steps to end it.
1 5th S Most countries are concerned about immigration placing pressure on public services. In 17 of the 25 countries surveyed at least half said they agreed immigration is placing too much pressure on national public services. The higher the proportion of immigrants, the better the natives' view about them eptember Bigger the better The higher the proportion of immigrants, the better the natives' view about them. Some nations with a low opinion about migrants also have a meagre immigrant population 50 - India U.K 40 Saudi Arabia Mexico Canada Australia 30 Turkey taly U.S Sweden | India is an outlier. Though immigrants form a small component of the populace, natives' opinion of them is relatively high 20 Germany Belgium Hungary Russia 0 10 15 20 25 30 35 % of foreign born population
Business Page-13: Suzuki to invest 3,900 crore in Gujarat for third car plant Car Production facility: Japanese auto giant Suzuki Motor Corp.announced fresh investments of about 3,900 crore in Gujarat to add a third car production plant at the Hansalpur facility. This will take the Japanese firm's total investment in the facility to about 3,400 crore,An investment of 9,600 crore was committed earlier for setting up two plants besides an engine and transmission production unit. Employment Potential: It expects to generate employment for I0,000 people, including suppliers, with the new investment. It will also construct a hospital and school near the Hansalpur facility. The Hansalpur-based plant is Suzuki Motor Corp's first wholly-owned car plant in India Lithium ion Battery unit for Hybrid vehicles: The company, along with its partners Toshiba and Denso, will also invest $180 million (about 1,150 crore) in a separate unit to manufacture lithium ion batteries. . The lithium ion batteries plant is expected to go operational by 2020 The batteries will be used for "hybrid vehicles manufactured in India and the company would export these genuinely manufactured-in-India vehicles to international market. 15th Sept
Business Page 14: Govt.committee to review exporters' '$10 bn.-problem. 15th Sept A government panel headed by the Revenue Secretary will meet on September 19 to resolve a $10 billion-problem, troubling India's exporters and its potential adverse impact on jobs. . 'Committee on Exports'- set up on September 12 to address exporters' concerns over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime would, among other things, take up the issue of "inordinate delay in refund of GST to exporters" and the consequent blockage of working capital that is severely affecting exporters' liquidity and enhancing their tax burden. Tax credit refund: Exporters were expecting that the Integrated GST (IGST) refund or refund of input tax credit (ITC) would be available to them in August, 2017 for the exports made during July However, since the filing of (GST returns) GSTR-1,2 and 3 for July has been extended till October 10, October 31 and November 10, respectively, exporters will not be able to get the refund by November Since exporters would have to wait till around December (considering 15 days for issuance of acknowledgement and another seven days for getting provisional refund of 90% of the total refund claim) for availing refund of the GST on exports, it would mean that they would have to arrange funds from their own sources to pay GST for the July-October period. The blocked amount for the four months time is estimated to be about $10 billion.
Business Pagel3-Rupee, gold widen current account gap A stronger rupee, in addition to gold imports before the Goods and Services Tax regime kicked in, has led to a sharp widening of the current account deficit (CAD) to $14.3 billion in the April June period, which was 2.4% of the GDP. In the year earlier period, the CAD was $0.4 billion, which was 0.1% of GDP. ion or 0.6% of GDP in the January-March period. The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily on account of: -A higher trade deficit ($41.2 billion) brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports. -The rise in CAD was due to a spike in gold imports before the GST kicked in from July I. -The stronger rupee had encouraged imports.
. An inter-country comparison based on 'International Debt Statistics 2017" of the World Bank, which presents the debt data for 2015, shows that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries with its external debt indicators comparing well with other indebted developing countries The ratio of India's external debt stock to gross national income at 23.4% was the fifth lowest and in terms of the cover provided by foreign exchange reserves to external debt, India's position was sixth highest at 69.7% in 2015. . Question: There has been a persistent deficit budget year after year.Which action/actions of the following can be taken by the government to reduce the deficit? [Prelims 2016] I.Reducing Revenue Expenditure 2.Introducing new welfare scheme 3.Rationalizing subsidies 4.Reducing import duties
PAGE-5: 'Recurving' cyclones reduced rain in August. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted normal monsoon rains in August, typically the second most bountiful monsoon month after July . A strange pattern of tropical cyclones (TC) in the Western Pacific appear to be the reason for the drying up of monsoon rains in August across India. During the monsoon months, cyclones in the Western Pacific move westwards towards India and aid rain-bearing systems over the sub-continent. But during some years they 'recurve',or start to swing north-east, and do not give as much of a push to the rains as they do in the good monsoon years. . This re-curving frequently happens during the El Nino years but this time it inexplicably occurred when an El Nino hasn't yet taken shape. El Nino years are those when sea surface temperatures in the east equatorial Pacific rise, and often dampen the monsoon. While several international meteorological agencies had raised concerns about a likely El Nino forming in August or September this year, it didn't happen.
Western Pacific: 120 180 THE PACIFIC USSR AND ADJACENT THEATERSUNION OF SOVIET 1942 SOCIALIST REPUBLICS Japanese Limit of Advance EUTIAN AN ISLANDS USSR MONGOLIA MANCHURIA NORTILN PACIPIC AREA CENTKAL PACIFI CHIN A TIBET NEPAL ''attle of Midway OCEA N INDIA Pearl Harbor Strike 201 AREA SEA CAROLINE BORNEOCELERES INDIA N ETHERLANDS INDI SOUTH PACIFIC RE^ OCEA N 11ttle SOUTHEAST ASIA COMMAND Coral 20 AUSTRALIA 201 80* 120 140 60 160"
Deportation row Adding to the complications for the MEA is the Ministry of Home Affairs's move to deport 40,000 Rohingyas who fled to India during violence in 2012. The UNHRC has criticised the move and the Supreme Court will deliberate on it on September 18. . The MHA's move has been particularly perplexing, as it has been unable to explain where the Rohingyas would be deported to, given that Myanmar has reportedly mined its borders to ensure they cannot return, and Bangladesh is filled to capacity with more than 800,000 refugees already. Myanmar refuses to accept around 1.3 million Rohingya that lived in its Rakhine state, b Bangladesh, as Myanmar citizens, and consequently, has refused to allow about 5,00,000 that fled earlier and 4,00,000 more that have fled in the last few weeks, to return. Question: Consider the following pair: [Prelims-2016] Community sometimes mentioned in the news In the affairs of I.Kurd Bangladesh 2.Madhesi - Nepal 3.Rohingya - Myanma
Page-9: Indigenous artillery gun sets new record in range. [Balancing CAG criticism] . An indigenous artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the private sector has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km. surpassing the maximum ranges of 35-40 kms fired by any artillery gun system in this category. Developed by DRDO as a part of the Army's artillery modernisation Programme. During trial firings at Pokhran ranges, ATAGS registered the longest ever distance of 48.074 kms, . Technical Details: ATAGS is a l 55mm, 52 calibre towed artillery gun. The gun has several significant features including an all-electric drive, high mobility, quick deployability, auxiliary d and control system. It has a six round magazine instead of a standard three round magazine. Also, the gun weighs slightly more than normal due to the larger chamber. The record was achieved with special ammunition, "high explosive - base bleed" (HE - BB) by the ATAGS variant developed by Kalyani Group.
The Army has not inducted any new artillery gun since the Bofors in the 1980's. After decades of failed attempts, the service is gearing up to induct the Dhanush artillery gun which is an indigenously upgraded variant of the Bofors gun. In addition, last November India signed a contract for 145 M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US. Page-9: Astra missile completes development trials The indigenously developed BeyondVisual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM)-Astra underwent a series of successful trials marking completion of its development phase. It makes India the country sixth nation in the world to have such capability. It could be the mainstay of the nation's territorial air defence in its category. Technical details: It is an all weather and all terrain Astra missile It is capable of being fired in the night Astra weapon system has a strike range of 20 km to 100 km.