Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 25- OCTOBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 25- OCTOBER - 2016
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 04:43

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

25- OCTOBER - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

PM AND CJI ADDRESS GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON ARBITRATION

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur shared the dais and mutually agreed that India is a “bright spot” in the global economy.
  • But the top judge, in a reality check, pointed out that India continues to be one of the lowest ranked in the ‘Ease in Doing Business’ list of countries.
  • He said foreign investors are still wary of India’s labyrinthine and delayed justice delivery mechanism.
  • “We have over 3,000 foreign companies with operations in India. In 2015-16, there has been a 29 percent increase in foreign direct investments.
  • We wish to overtake China and the United States by 2050... Yet we are ranked 130 among a total 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business,” Chief Justice Thakur said at a global conference on arbitration organised by NITI Aayog.

PRESIDENT STRESSED THE NEED TO DEVELOP WORLD-CLASS HEALTHCARE FACILITIES

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has stressed the need to develop world-class healthcare facilities accessible to all citizens.
  • “Merely having high GDP growth figures is not enough. We have to ensure access to modern and scientific healthcare facilities for all,” the President said.
  • “Without an able body, an able mind cannot work. This is absolutely necessary in order to ensure our rightful place in the comity of nations,” he said after inaugurating the Sardar Patel multi-specialty heart hospital.
  • Mr. Mukherjee also opened a public trust-run hospital, which was originally set up by Sevashram, a voluntary organisation run on Gandhian principles in 1926 as a general medicare unit in Bharuch.
  • During the famous Dandi March, Mahatma Gandhi and other participants stayed at Sevashram.
  • After Independence, the medical unit was converted into a full-fledged public hospital and was inaugurated by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, in 1952.
  • Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said one should always think from the point of view of the poorest of poor before taking a new step. “If we practise this, we can transform the country.”

INDIA’S SCHOOL EDUCATION SYSTEM IS UNDER-PERFORMING

  • Data from new research on female literacy show that India’s school education system is under-performing in terms of quality when compared to its neighbours, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • The proportion of women who completed five years of primary schooling in India and were literate was 48 per cent, much less than 92 percent in Nepal, 74 per cent in Pakistan and 54 per cent in Bangladesh.
  • The data also revealed that, female literacy rates went up by one to 15 per cent after completing two years of schooling. Corresponding numbers for Pakistan and Nepal were three to 31 per cent and 11 to 47 per cent respectively.
  • Around the world, female literacy rates are improving. However, it is not clear if that is because of improvement in school quality, the study says. India ranks low in global indices of female literacy as well.
  • If countries are ranked by the earliest grade at which at least half of the women are literate — a proxy for quality of learning — India ranks 38th among the 51 developing countries for which comparable data is available.
  • Indonesia, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania — all rank higher than India. Ghana is placed at the bottom. According to this study, just seven per cent of female students in Ghana can read after attaining their sixth grade.

GORKHA RIFLES BAGGED THE GOLD MEDAL IN THE CAMBRIAN PATROL COMPETITION

  • The team of 2/8 Gorkha Rifles of the Army bagged the gold medal in the Cambrian Patrol Competition in Wales, U.K.
  • The competition saw 121 teams, including 40 international teams, converging on the harsh mountains of Wales to square off over 72 hours, during which they are put through a challenging set of tactical problems.
  • “Not making the task any easy is the extreme climatic conditions that have to be endured,” says an Army statement.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

INDIA AND SRI LANKA LOOK TO IMPROVE TIES

  • Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar called on Sri Lankan President MaithripalaSirisena on Sunday morning and discussed potential India-Sri Lanka partnerships in areas such as transport, energy and infrastructure.
  • Visiting Indian delegation is to hold sector-wise meetings with their Sri Lankan counterparts. On the agenda, official sources said, are discussions on likely partnerships in the power sector — using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
  • Following Sri Lanka’s decision this September to scrap an NTPC-aided power project in the strategically-important Trincomalee, India has offered to partner the country in LNG and solar power initiatives.
  • The Foreign Secretary’s visit comes a week after Mr. Sirisena met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Goa, on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, where India offered to build a solar power plant in Trincomalee.
  • India and Sri Lanka are also negotiating a trade deal, the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA).

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

THE CENTRE IS PLANNING TO MONITOR FLIGHTS LANDING

  • The Centre is planning to monitor flights landing at regional airports remotely instead of constructing new traffic control towers near such airports in a bid to cut costs.
  • Flights landing at regional airports will receive instructions from an air traffic control officer who might be sitting miles away at an air traffic control room located at a major airport in the city.
  • Some aviation experts have said that building an ATC tower infrastructure could cost between Rs.100 crore and Rs.300 crore.
  • The remote monitoring of planes has been tested in several markets such as Norway, Ireland, Australia and the United States.
  • Many major British airports are also considering centralised monitoring of air traffic services from a larger airport.
  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which provides air navigation services across the country, also plans to hire retired air traffic controllers to further cut down costs on training and to recruit people quickly.
  • At present, 69 airports receive commercial flights and AAI’s manpower requirement is set to increase with the government’s plans to revive flight operations at another 50 airports in the next three to four years.
  • India has about 2,300 air traffic control officers (ATCOs) at present and another 400 ATCOs will get trained by next year.

MORE THAN RATE CUTS ARE REQUIRED FOR INDIAN ECONOMY

  • The policy repo rate is now 6.25 per cent – a six-year low. The RBI expects the transmission of this cut in lowering the costs of new borrowing in the economy will be more effective than the earlier cuts.
  • In one respect, the fourth bi-monthly policy review exercise this year is historic: it involved the maiden decision-making by RBI's first Monetary MPC, in pursuance of a primary mandate to keep consumer inflation between 2 per cent and 6 per cent.
  • That the adoption of a legally backed inflation-targeting discipline and the constitution of an MPC will enhance both the process and quality of monetary policy-making is widely acknowledged.
  • None of the documents compiled by the RBI in connection with this policy review, including the one on the post-policy conference call with media, clearly explains the rationale and necessity of the rate cut.
  • In fact, it is hard to reconcile some of the key points and facts contained in those documents with the decision.
  • It is hard to figure out how, under an inflation-targeting paradigm, a rate cut can be justified when the projected inflation over the next six months is close to the upper limit of 6 per cent and the projected GDP growth is close to 8 per cent.
  • The fact that the decision was unanimous will raise doubts whether all relevant issues were debated and discussed by the MPC. One wonders if the MPC felt a need to distance itself from the legacy of Dr. Rajan.
  • It is likely that the MPC will go through an initial phase of 'learning by doing' as it evolves and matures as a professional policy-setter.
  • But it is essential that it adopts a rule-based approach and methodology from the start itself and eschew too much discretion in order to find space for rate cuts for supporting growth.
  • As regards the impact of the rate cut, three issues loom large: credit growth, stressed assets/NPAs of banks and corporate investment.
  • Extremely sluggish credit growth on the part of PSU banks to sectors other than retail borrowers is going to last for quite some time.
  • And so long as the credit cost by way of provisioning for NPAs remains high, as is the case now, the likelihood of a reduction in borrowing cost in response to cuts in the policy rate will continue to be low.
  • Transmission of monetary policy will continue to remain sub-optimal till the estimated Rs.13.3 trillion (or Rs.13.3 lakh crore) of stressed assets/NPAs of banks are resolved.
  • While RBI has done a good job in pushing banks to recognise their NPAs, it has been quiet on the lack of progress in the resolution of stressed assets/NPAs.
  • Various schemes for debt resolution such as Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR), Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) and the recent Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) have not had any noticeable impact so far.
  • Finally, the government should enable PSU banks to devise a solution to the following asymmetric incentives faced by in relation to stressed assets/NPAs: the downside of a loan becoming an NPA and unrecoverable is much less compared to the downside of a vigilance enquiry in respect of genuine debt resolution.

THE CENTRE WILL PROVIDE HIGHER A SUBSIDY TO AIRLINES

  • The Centre will provide higher a subsidy to airlines that operate flights between two regional airports under the regional connectivity scheme.
  • It will also allow airlines to transfer its rights or contract to get the subsidy from the government and fly on regional routes to another airline operating a similar type of aircraft, according to the regional connectivity scheme document.
  • The subsidy amount given to airlines that operate between two unserved or underserved airports will be 10 per cent higher than the sum offered to airlines that connect only one regional airport.
  • There are 16 airports that have had no flights in the past one year and another 399 airports or airstrips that have not seen flight operations for more than three years.
  • Under the scheme, also known as UDAN, the Centre will provide a three-year subsidy to fund the losses of airlines to enable them to offer airfares at Rs.2,500 for an hour’s flight on half the seats.
  • The subsidy amount for airlines connecting to one regional airport will vary between Rs.2,350 and Rs.5,100 per seat depending upon the distance covered between two destinations.
  • In another move, the Union civil aviation ministry has scrapped its earlier proposal to reduce the subsidy amount based on improved passenger load factor.
  • The government has also reduced the bank guarantee to be provided by airlines to fly on each regional route. Airlines will be required to submit a bank guarantee equivalent to 5 per cent of the total subsidy amount.
  • An airline operating a 40-seater aircraft to fly thrice a week throughout the year on an 800-km distance flight will need to submit about Rs.8 lakh as bank guarantee, as against an earlier proposal of Rs.50 lakh for each regional route.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

ROBERT DE NIRO TO BE HONOURED WITH CHAPLIN AWARD BY FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Robert De Niro as the recipient of the 44th Chaplin Award.

De Niro will be presented with the award at an award gala on 8 May 2017.

About Robert De Niro

Robert Anthony De Niro is an Italian-American actor and producer.

He has starred in over 100 films.

He was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake La Motta in the 1980 film Raging Bull.

He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2003 and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2010.

About Film Society of Lincoln Center

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is one of the world's most prominent film presentation organizations.

It was founded in 1969 by three Lincoln Center executives: William F. May, Martin E. Segal and Schuyler G. Chapin.

The film society highlights American Independent cinema and World Cinema, and recognizes and supports new filmmakers.

Each year the organization presents its annual Gala Tribute, known as Chaplin Award Gala, honouring legendary stars and industry leaders.

In 2016, the award was won by Morgan Freeman.

INDIA COMPLETES NUCLEAR TRIAD WITH INS ARIHANT

India completed its nuclear triad by inducting country's first indigenously-constructed nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service.

INS Arihant was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in August 2016.

About INS Arihant

INS Arihant is the lead ship of India's Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

The 6000 tonne vessel was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project at the Ship Building Centre in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

It was launched on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

After fitting out and extensive sea trials, on 23 February 2016, Arihant was confirmed as ready for operations, and was quietly commissioned in August 2016.

It first of the expected five in the class of submarines designed and constructed as a part of the Indian Navy's secretive ATV project.

What is nuclear triad?

A nuclear triad refers to the nuclear weapons delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal which consists of three components: strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

The purpose of having a three-branched nuclear capability is to significantly reduce the possibility that an enemy could destroy all of a nation's nuclear forces in a first-strike attack.

The triad also ensures a credible threat of a second strike, and thus increases a nation's nuclear deterrence.

SAINA NEHWAL APPOINTED MEMBER OF IOC'S ATHLETES' COMMISSION

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission. Saina received a letter to the effect from the IOC President Thomas Bach.

The letter read it is great pleasure to appoint you in consultation with the Chair, as Member of the Athletes’ Commission. This member can be termed as a rare honour for the Indian sportsperson.

The Athletes' Commission is chaired by Angela Ruggiero and it comprises nine vice presidents and 10 other members. Saina's appointment to the prestigious panel has come just when she is set to resume practice after recovering from a knee injury.

International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission

The IOC Athletes' Commission is a body maintained by the International Olympic Committee for the purpose of representing athletes. It was established in 1981 by the then-President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and its creation was subsequently codified by the IOC in Rule 21 of the Olympic Charter.

The Commission is a consultative body whose function is to act as "the link between active athletes and the IOC". It makes recommendations to the IOC's executive bodies, and its chair serves as a member of the IOC Executive Board.

The Commission meets once or twice a year, and organises an Athletes' Forum once every two years. It works in liaison with similar athletes' commissions of the Continental Associations, individual National Olympic Committees and the International Sports Federations.

KIGALI AGREEMENT TO PHASE OUT HFCS REACHED

Envoys of more than 170 countries in Kigali, Rwanda agreed to phase down use and production of potent greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2045. The agreement amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that depletes the Ozone Layer.

The Kigali Amendment is a timetable to phase-out production and consumption of the potent greenhouse gases of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2045. It was reached at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP28). It is a move to prevent a potential 0.5 C rise in global temperature by 2050.

Highlights of the Agreement

• The agreement adds HFCs into the list of gases that is responsible for global warming and results in destroying the ozone layer. These potent greenhouse gases are generally used in refrigerators and air-conditioners.

• Developed countries should reduce their use of HFCs by 10 percent by 2019 from 2011-2013 levels and then by 85 percent by 2036.

• Developing Countries were segmented and their targets are

a) Developing countries like China and African nations will have to launch the transition in 2024. These countries will have to reduce HFCs production by 10 percent by 2029 as compared to 2020-2022. It will have to extend the reduction of the same to 80 percent by 2045.

b) Developing countries like India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Arab Gulf states will have to begin the process of transition in 2028. They will have to reduce emissions by 10 percent by 2032 from 2024-2026 levels, and then by 85 percent by 2047.
Comment: Replacing HFCs, which is catastrophic for global warming, would prove a costly affair for developing nations because of lack of alternatives along with technology.

Earlier, India announced its decision to eliminate production and consumption of HCF-23, a potent greenhouse gas, with Global Warming Potential of 14800. The gas is produced during the manufacture of a common refrigerant gas, HCFC-22.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

• It is a family of gases that are largely used in refrigerants in home and car air-conditioners.

• They are the gases that substantially worsen global warming as they are 3830 times more potent than CO2 with a lifetime of 14 years.

• HFCs were the replacement of CFCs, which were replaced under the 1987 Montreal Protocol to protect Earth’s fragile protective Ozone layer and heal the ozone hole over the Antarctica.

• A study by the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development released in 2015 says that elimination of HFCs could reduce global warming by 0.5 degrees by 2100.

Montreal Protocol

Montreal Protocol was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer. The original Montreal Protocol was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989.

PM MODI INAUGURATES 3 HYDROPOWER PROJECTS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

Prime Minster Narendra Modi inaugurated three hydropower projects of 1752 MW capacities in Himachal Pradesh. Inauguration of new hydropower projects will change economic horizon of Himachal Pradesh. The three hydropower projects are

• 540 Megawatt generation capacity third phase of Parbati hydro power project of NHPC in Kullu district

• 412 Megawatt Rampur project of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd in Shimla

• 800 Megawatt Kol Dam power project in Bilaspur district

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Union Health Minister JP Nadda and Power Minister Piyush Goyal were present on the occasion.

This was Modi’s maiden visit to the hill state after becoming Prime Minister.

The foundation stone of NTPC's Koldam hydro project was laid on 5 June 2000, by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 03:36