Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 - SEPTEMBER - 2016
Thursday, 22 September 2016 05:01

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

19- SEPTEMBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

PM AND HOME MINISTER TERMS TERRORIST ATTACK IN URI AS COWARDLY

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed terrorist strike on the Army unit in Uri a “cowardly terror attack.”
  • “I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished,” he tweeted.
  • Hours after the attack, Home Minister Rajnath Singh blamed Pakistan and called it a “terrorist state” which should be “identified and isolated.”
  • Mr. Singh, who postponed his Russia and U.S. trips in the wake of the attack, also apprised the PM of the two-hour-long security review meeting at his residence.
  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the supreme sacrifice of 17 brave soldiers, who were martyred in the deadly Uri attack will not go in vain as he instructed the Army to take firm action against those responsible.
  • Mr Parrikar also visited the injured soldiers at the hospital in Srinagar and instructed the authorities to provide best possible treatment.
  • Defence sources said that 3-5 soldiers have also been airlifted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital.
  • Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the attack was aimed at “triggering fresh violence and creating a war-like situation in the region.”

EXPERTS SAY INDIA HAS WIDE RANGE OF OPTIONS AGAINST PAKISTAN

  • India has a wide range of options for a “measured and effective” response to the attack in Uri, veteran diplomats and experts said.
  • They said India was left with no option but to retaliate, heightening the possibility of an imminent escalation of violence.
  • “Pakistan is isolated within SAARC, as three members of the regional group have accused it of sponsoring terrorism.
  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India have accused Islamabad of sponsoring terrorism that ISI continues to generate, irrespective of the condition of the bilateral ties with India.
  • Such attacks take place irrespective of the ties being temporarily good or continuously bad. A response therefore has to be forcefully enunciated,” said G. Parthasarathy, former High Commissioner of India to Pakistan.
  • The attack in Uri, close to the Line of Control (LoC), revived memories of the Kaluchak attack of 2002 which claimed at least 31 lives. Mr. Parthasarathy said the government could consider a mix of diplomatic and multilateral response.
  • Diplomats said a major challenge in crafting a suitable response to Pakistan was its ability to use its nuclear umbrella as a shield for unconventional warfare with India.
  • Former Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal said the Indian defence establishment should introspect about how the militants succeeded in attacking the base eight months after the Pathankot air base attack.
  • India will, however, have to watch out, Dr. Stobdan said, for the presence of Chinese nationals in PoK who are employed to build the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The attack in Uri has come as Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for the annual meeting of the heads of governments at the U.N. General Assembly, where India and Pakistan are likely to counter each other on the terror issue.
  • During the 33rd session of the UNHRC, India had accused Pakistan of being the “global epicentre of terrorism.”

NITI AAYOG OPPOSE TO THE IDEA OF SPECIAL CATEGORY STATUS

  • The Centre was almost prepared to grant the Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh but two factors dissuaded it from going ahead — clamour from nine more States for the same tag and NITI Aayog ruling out the possibility.
  • Granting SCS to AP would have taken the sting out of Opposition criticism and earned the NDA, including TDP, a lot of goodwill from the people of the State.
  • The Minister asserted that the class of SCS would cease to exist going by the Commission report.
  • Quoting from its report, he said it took into account disabilities arising out of constraints unique to each state to arrive at expenditure needs and recommended filling of resource gaps mainly through increased tax devolution.
  • Where devolution was not able to cover the assessed gap, it had recommended post-devolution grants for revenue deficit and the Centre has agreed to take that responsibility in the case of AP spread over five years.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

ISLAMIC STATE (IS) LOSES TERRITORY IN IRAQ AND SYRIA

  • As the Islamic State (IS) loses territory in Iraq and Syria, U.S. and other Western officials say they are bracing for large numbers of battle-tested terrorist fighters to flee the conflict and prepare attacks after returning home.
  • Even top IS leaders acknowledge the inevitable collapse of their declared caliphate, and they appear to be shifting to a new strategy that threatens Europe on multiple fronts: with cells developed in Europe over the past two years, with returning fighters, and with followers who heed the IS’s call to carry out attacks.
  • Many of the attacks conducted in Western Europe and the U.S. over the past six months underline the reality that returning fighters would be just one element in the IS’s larger strategy to remain relevant after losing territorial control.
  • Battles to seize Raqqa and Mosul could be well under way within the next two or three months, flushing out thousands of foreign fighters and forcing them to make hard choices.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

INDIA'S CURRENT ACCOUNT MOVED IN TO SURPLUS IN THE APRIL-JUNE QUARTER

  • India's current account moved in to surplus in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal year, after a gap of 9 years, a senior Finance Ministry official confirmed.
  • Slow growth in imports, reflecting the persisting weakness in investment sentiment, tipped the account, he explained. The current account was in surplus last in the January-March quarter in the year 2007.
  • The official data for the current account position during the April-June quarter is scheduled for release by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) later this month.
  • A surplus is expected to bolster the rupee, which could render India's already subdued exports less competitive.
  • Exports to the U.S., India's largest export destination, fell 1.1 per cent in April-July 2016 against the corresponding quarter in the previous year. In the same period, imports from China, the largest exporter to India, fell 7.4 per cent.
  • The report projected a broadly balanced current account in the July-September quarter. The forecast follows the release of the August trade data.
  • Remaining almost unchanged in the last three months, India's trade deficit reached $7.7 billion in August, significantly lower than the average monthly trade deficit of $9.9 billion seen in the last fiscal year.
  • A current account in deficit reflects that the imports of goods, services and investment incomes into the economy outstripped the value of its exports.

THE FACTORY INSPECTION SYSTEM NEEDS A COMPLETE OVERHAUL SAYS CII

  • The factory inspection system needs a complete overhaul to bring India among the top 50 countries in terms of ‘ease of doing business’ in the next two years, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • India is currently placed at 130 out of 189 countries in the ‘ease of doing business’ rankings.
  • The white paper noted that a manufacturing company in India has to comply with around 70 laws and regulations. Most of the inspections conducted are related to environment or labour law compliances.
  • Apart from multiple inspections, a company has to file around 100 returns every year, it said.
  • CII has also observed variations in inspections conducted on small factories across the country.
  • CII called for an integrated inspection system and highlighted the “need for inculcating a risk-based approach in the inspection system which will rationalise the number of inspections and weed out the redundancy and duplicity.”
  • It said a portal could be created for automatically updating invoices related to excise, sales tax, customs and the like by SMEs and that this could be used by regulators and inspectors in lieu of physically visiting the factory premises.
  • It also urged the central government to encourage the states to pursue a process for simplification of labour laws and compliance.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

ASEAN SUMMIT 2016 CONCLUDES IN VIENTIANE, LAOS

The 28th and the 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit concluded at Vientiane, Laos. The theme for the 2016 summit was Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community.

H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, was the Chairperson of the summit that was held from 6 September 2016 to 8 September 2016.

The Summit was attended by the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. They are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Highlights of the Summit

ASEAN leaders discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhancing cooperation with ASEAN’s external partners.

The leaders adopted the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which form an integral part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

They also signed the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region.

They adopted several outcome documents aimed at realizing the 8 priorities for ASEAN Chairmanship 2016 and implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

They agreed to intensify ASEAN’s cooperation with Dialogue Partners and External Parties through ASEAN-led mechanisms namely ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus, and East Asia Summit.

Besides, the ASEAN Leaders had a candid exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concerns, including traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, natural disasters, climate change, irregular migration, human trafficking, etc.

A diplomatic row between the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. President Barack Obama hung over part of the ASEAN meetings. During the summit, Duterte used foul language in relation to a planned meeting between them.

India's participation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India at the ASEAN summit. He addressed the14th ASEAN-India summit.

He expressed deep concern over the rising export of terror, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. He said that it is a common security threat to the region and there was need for a coordinated response from the ASEAN member nations to combat the menace.

About ASEAN Summits and Themes

ASEAN was established in 1967 by the five founding members namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia joined later.

The Summit is ASEAN's highest policy-making body.

The chair of the ASEAN Summit rotates annually in alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.

By virtue of holding the chair of the ASEAN for a particular year, the concerned member state also chairs the ASEAN Summit and related summits. Further, ASEAN Summits are held bi-annually but with a common theme.

The 26th ASEAN Summit was held at Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia between 26 and 28 April 2015 with the theme Our People, Our Community, Our Vision. The 27th ASEAN Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur between 18 and 22 November 2015 with the same theme.

ANJUM CHOPRA BECOMES FIRST INDIAN WOMAN TO BE HONOURED WITH MCC LIFE MEMBERSHIP

Former Indian women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra was awarded an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Chopra is presented with the honour along with former men’s team stalwarts Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag.

With this, Chopra became the first Indian woman cricketer to get the prestigious life membership of MCC.

About Anjum Chopra

Anjum Chopra is a left-handed batswoman who bowls right-arm medium-fast.

She has played in 12 Tests and 116 ODIs.

She played her first friendly match with college girls team at the inter college level scoring 20 runs and taking 2 wickets. Later the same year, she was selected to play for New Delhi in the under−15 tournament.

On 12 February 1995, she made her debut in One-day Internationals in the early age of 17 against New Zealand at Christchurch, New Zealand.

She made her debut in Test cricket a few months later, against England at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on 17 November 1995.

NOVEL ON APATANI TRIBE OF ARUNACHAL, INTO THE HIDDEN VALLEY, WINS MM BENNETTS AWARD

Novel, Into the Hidden Valley authored by Stuart Blackburn won the 2016 MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction in the UK. The author was presented the award at the HNS Conference in Oxford.

The book published by Speaking Tiger narrates the story of the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh during British India. It also looks into a little-known episode in the colonial history of British India.

Into the Hidden Valley explores and portrays the impacts of the forces of colonialism on both sides when this settled civilisation forcibly collides with British Empire.

Into the Hidden Valley was chosen for the award ahead of Helena Page Schrader's Defender of Jerusalem and Allegiance by Kermit Roosevelt.

Stuart Blackburn

• Stuart Blackburn was born in Providence, Rhode Island.

• He completed his doctorate in Tamil language and international folklore from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980.

• He had served the Peace Corps (one of the few remaining alternatives to serving in the military in Vietnam).

• He is the author or editor of 16 books on Indian culture and folklore, mainly in south India (where his first novel, Murder in Melur, is set) and northeast India.

• One book, a study of shadow puppet theatre in Kerala, won the runner-up prize for the UK Folklore Book of the Year, while a translation of an early Tamil novel won the AK Ramanujan Prize in the United States.

• He was also the director of a five-year, multi-disciplinary grant to study Tibeto-Burman tribal cultures in northeast India, which provided him with the inspiration for Into the Hidden Valley.

MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction

The award is named in memory of writer-historian MM Bennetts who was a specialist in early 19th century British history and the Napoleonic wars as well as a keen cross country and dressage rider.

Before turning to writing novels full-time, Bennetts was a French translator and a longstanding book critic for the Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper, 'The Christian Science Monitor'.

SWACHH SURVEKSHAN FOR RURAL AREAS RELEASED, MANDI AND SINDHUDURG TOPPED THE CHARTS

The results of the 2016 ‘Swachh Survekshan’ (Cleanliness Index) for rural India was released. Mandi (Himachal Pradesh) and Sindhudurg (Maharashtra) were declared as the cleanest districts in India.

Mandi was judged as the cleanest district in “Hills” category and Sindhudurg as the cleanest in the “Plains” category.

Overall Ranking - Swachh Survekshan Gramin

Category

Rank

District & state

Score

Hills

1

Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

98.4

2

West Sikkim, Sikkim

96.4

3

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

94.1

Plains

1

Sindhudurg, Maharashtra

96.8

2

Nadia, West Bengal

95.0

3

Satara, Maharashtra

92.9

The results were declared by the Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

A total of 22 hill districts and 53 plain areas were assessed under the Gramin Swachh Survekshan launched in May 2016.

State wise, Sikkim and Kerala were ranked as top performing states in a Swachhta (cleanliness) survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), while Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were placed among the last on the table.

Assessment

The Ministry had commissioned Quality Council of India (QCI) to carry out the assessment. Each district has been judged on four distinct parameters. Maximum weightage was places on accessibility to safe toilets and water. The parameters to judge sanitation status include:

• Households having access to safe toilets and using them (toilet usage, water accessibility, safe disposal of waste) (40%)

• Households having no litter around (30%)

• Public places with no litter in the surrounding (10%)

• Households having no stagnant wastewater around (20%)

The assessors appointed by QCI individually visited all districts covered under the Survekshan to make a comprehensive analysis of the on-ground situation & progress.

 

 

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