Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 28 - NOVEMBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 28 - NOVEMBER - 2016
Saturday, 10 December 2016 05:44

 

 

 



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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

28- NOVEMBER - 2016

 

: NATIONAL ::

KHALISTANI LEADER ESCAPED PRISON

  • At least five armed men in police uniform stormed the high-security NabhaJail in Punjab and escaped with six prisoners, including Harminder Singh Mintoo, chief of Khalistan Liberation Force.
  • Punjab Director-General of Police said five men were suspected to be involved, but there could have been more. Mr. Arora said they gained entry pre-tending that they had cometo hand over a prisoner.
  • The incident comes at a time when maximum security is in force on the eve of the Heart of Asia Summit tobe held in Amritsar from December 3 to 5.
  • Mintoo, who formed a new outfit after breaking away from Babbar Khalsa International in 2009, was held in November 2014 after he was deported from Thailand. He waslinked to 10 terror cases.
  • However, hours later, the “mastermind” of the jail-break, Parminder Singh, was arrested from Kairana in Ut-tar Pradesh's Shamli district when his getaway vehicle was stopped at a police picket.

PM SAYS INDIA SHOULD MOVE TOWARDS CASHLESS SOCIETY

  • In his first monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broad-cast after his decision to de-monetise currency of de-nominations Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000, Prime Minister Modi called for a movement to turn India into a cashless society.
  • PM asked young people to teach mobile banking and other ecommerce technology to at least 10 families a day. Mr. Modi termed the decision to demonetise as tough but said he had been aware of the difficulties involved.
  • ‘Be soldiers of change' A major part of his address was to the youth of the country, whom he asked to be-come “soldiers of change” in turning India into a cashless economy or at least a “less cash” economy.
  • There are many people in your families or neighbourhoods who may not know how to use technologies such as e-wallets and payments through mobiles.
  • I urge you to spend some time, an hour or more,every single day, to teach this technology to at least 10 families who may not know it,” he said.

SUPREME COURT SAYS DYING DECLARATION CAN'T BE DISMISSED DUE TO EXTENSIVE INJURIES

  • In a significant ruling in criminal law, the Supreme Court held that the dying declaration of a burn victim against her attackers should not be dismissed simply because her burn in-juries are extensive, even a 100 per cent.
  • The Supreme Court said trial courts cannot brush aside the last words of a victim on the presumption that the burns are so grave that it would have affected the mind and consciousness.
  • Defence casts doubts A dying declaration has great sanctity in criminal law as it is believed that a dying person will not lie.
  • Justice Sikri, who wrote the judgment for the Bench, observed that “there is no hard and fast rule of universal application as to whether percentage of burns suffered is a determinative factor to affect credibility of dying declaration”.
  • SC was upholding the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to the husband and three in-laws on the basis of the last words of a woman who suffered 100 per cent burns after she was set on fire by them at Jhajjar district in Haryana in 1999.

DESPITE HIGHER DEVOLUTION EXPENDITURE BY STATES NOT INCREASED

  • Expenditure by the States on key social and economic sectors has not changed substantially following the implementation of the 14th FC recommendations in 2015-16, shows an analysis of the budgets of 17 States by PRS Legislative Research.
  • These States account for over 80 per cent of the total expenditure of all States. The “State of State Finances” report of PRS says that between 2014-15 and 2016-17, expenditure on education, health and rural development is expected to grow marginally.
  • Data from the study show that spending as a percent-age of total expenditure is expected to increase from 14.2 per cent to 14.6 per cent on education, from 3.9 per cent to 4 per cent on health and from 5.8 per cent to 6 per cent on rural development.
  • By the commission's recommendations, the share of Central taxes devolved to States, which they can spend as per their discretion (un-tied funds), was increased from 32 per cent to 42 per cent.
  • The increase was compensated by a decrease in Central spending on schemes, most of which are tied in nature.
  • This change was expected to increase thefiscal autonomy of the States, allowing them the flexibility of deciding the schemes they would wish to continue and allocating the additional funds accordingly.
  • Various studies have suggested that there has been an increase in Central transfers and social sector expenditures in a number of States in 2015-16.
  • However, the NIPFPworking paper argues that the magnitude of gains from Central transfers at the State level is likely to be much lower than the extent documented in those studies.
  • One problem is that only the last year of the 13th Finance Commission, 2014-15, has been used for com-parisons, which itself was a low-base year.
  • In 2014-15, data show that aggregate transfer to States as a proportion of gross tax revenue of the Union government was 55 per cent, down from 63 per cent in 2010-11.
  • In 2015-16 and 2016-17, the figure was 57 per cent — an increase of 2 percentage points from the 2014-15 figure, but likely to be lower than the average of the TFC period, the NIPFP study remarks.

AROUND 5000 JUDGES VACANCIES IN LOWER COURTS

  • As CJI yet again accused the government of delay in filling the 442 judicial vacancies in the High Courts, Union Law Minister parried the thrust on Constitution Day by throwing the spot-light on the judiciary's “lapse” in appointing judges to the district and subordinate courts, which need 10 times more judges.
  • The government's counter to the Supreme Court's consistently sharp criticism is a pertinent question: why is the judiciary not filling the 4,937 judicial vacancies in the district and subordinate courts all over the country?
  • The total sanctioned strength of judicial officers in district and subordinate courts is 21,320 as on June 30, 2016. Of these, 16,383 have been filled, leaving 4,937 vacancies.
  • But even if the vacancies are all filled, the statistics of pendency in the subordinate courts continue to be staggering.
  • Annual reports on a survey conducted by the Rajasthan and Tripura HC show that a trial court takes any-thing between 94 and 822 days to dispose of criminal matters. A sessions case takes an average of one year and two months.
  • As per monthly pending cases statistics released by the Supreme Court, 61,436cases were pending in the apex court as on October 31.
  • Over 38 lakh cases were pending in the High Courts as on December 31, 2015 — of this 7,45,029 had been pending for over a decade.
  • The joint conference found that 33.5 per cent of cases were lying stagnant for five-plus years in subordinate courts compared with 43 per cent in the High Courts.
  • Judicial statistics show that 63 per cent of jail in-mates awaiting justice, or even a court hearing, are undertrial prisoners.
  • Further, 226 cases relating to under-trial prisoners have been pending for more than 10 years and 52 undertrial prisoners have been in jail for more than 10 years. Over 18,000 cases of undertrial prisoners have been pending for over three years.

:: INDIA AND WORLD ::

INDIA IS SCALING UP MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO AFGHANISTAN

  • After supplying four attack helicopters to Afghanistan, India is quietly moving to qualitatively scale up military assistance in terms of long-term spares and support. This involves a trilateral framework with Russia.
  • Two Indian Air Force technical teams visitedAfghanistan last month to assess the requirements for spares and maintenance to restore the Soviet-era helicopters and transport air-craft lying there.
  • The teams were tasked to assess the requirements and submit a report on what can be provided by India from its existing inventory and what needs to be procured from Russia which is the originalmanufacture of the hard-ware.
  • This effectively formalises the trilateral mechanism which was mooted in 2014 in the backdrop of withdrawal of troops by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but did not make progress at that time due to reluctance of the then UPA government.
  • Kabul had long been requesting India for offensivemilitary hardware and has several times presented a wish list of urgent military hardware.
  • Priority items on the list include utility and attack helicopters, tanks, artillery, ammunition and spares, in addition to help in reviving some of the Soviet-era equipment and factories in Afghanistan.
  • India has supplied three Cheetal utility helicopters, and in a major policy shift, agreed to transfer four Mi-25 attack helicopters from its inventory last year.
  • While In-dia seems to be open to sup-plying lethal hardware, in-volving Moscow is inevitable as most of the equipment is manufactured in Russia.
  • This was evident in the case of an Mi-25 helicopter that was grounded due to lack of spares which had to be procured from Russia.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

RBI GOVERNOR SAYS DEMONETISATION ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT

  • Terming demonetisation a “once in a lifetime event” that requires mam-moth logistics, Governor Urjit Patel said RBI is taking all necessary actions to “ease the genuine pain of citizens who are honest and who have been hurt”.
  • “Both RBI and government have been getting the printing presses to work at capacity to get the new notes available to meet demand. RBI is interacting with the banks daily. They are telling us that the situation is gradually easing.
  • The queues in branches and ATMs are shorter and the markets are starting to function, and there are no reported short-ages of daily items of consumption,” he said. “
  • Also, about 40-50,000 people were deployed to re-fit the ATMs. Currency is available and banks are working in a mission mode to lift currency and take them to their branches and ATMs.
  • Cash substitutes Dr. Patel said the RBI has announced an incremental CRR of 100 per cent “because of the large increase in deposits of banks on account of the return of Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 notes”.
  • Decision would be reviewed once the Centre issues adequate quantum of Market Stabilisation Scheme bonds which they have promised to do.
  • He urged people to start using cash substitutes like debit cards and digital wallets, saying it will make transactions cheaper and easier and in the long term and it will help India “leapfrog into a less cash-use economy at par with more developed nations.”

RBI ALLOWED CURRENCY CHESTS TO KEEP OLD NOTES

  • To decongest storage facility of banks for old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, the RBI on Sunday allowed lenders to park such currencies at currency chests at the district-level in view of mounting deposits due to demonetisation.
  • In a notification, the RBI said a currency chest operating at the point to be called Designated Chest (DC) will be required to operate a separate vault — to be named Chest Guarantee Vault (CGV) — as an extended arm of it.
  • Banks, preferably those not having any currency chest, will deposit such notes in sealed boxes and will get the value of the notes to the credit of their current account with the chest branch, it said.
  • The facility will also be available at post offices if they maintain a current ac-count with the chest branchmanaging CGV , it said.
  • Expenses relating to round-the-clock guarding will be borne by the RBI, if necessary. Also, expenses relating to remittance of old currency notes to RBI will be borne by the central bank.
  • The regional office of the RBI will arrange evacuation of notes from the district chest on priority basis.
  • Thereafter, the notes will be subjected to detailed examination and the detection of deficiencies namely shortage, counterfeit notes and mutilated notes during processing will be re-covered from the chest which in turn will recover the same from the tendering bank.

CHINESE ECONOMY FACES SEVERAL CHALLENGES

  • China's economic achievements are unparalleled in economic his-tory. The country has achieved a 10 per cent annual growth rate over the last 35 years, quadrupled per capita real GDP and lifted more than 600 million people from poverty.
  • The per capita income currently is $8,300 and in purchasing power parity terms, it is close to $14,200.
  • The one lingering issue is whether growth has been driven by ever-rising inputs of cheap labour and capital or by that elixir of growth, which economists term as “total factor productivity growth.”
  • China's productivity growth has been falling, especially post the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, when the government had em-barked on a massive stimulus and avoided structural reform.
  • The eight dragons identified in the accompanying chart are potential triggers for a crisis in China. The first dragon is over-investment.
  • The world has been impressed with the infrastructure investments and the rapid transformation of physical infrastructure in China during the last two decades.
  • The second dragon is total debt to GDP. It is worth noting that between 2006 and 2015, the corporate debt has zoomed from $3.4 trillion to $17.8 trillion - a five-fold increase in 9 years.
  • While state-owned enter-prises (SOEs) in China have accounted for bulk of the debt taken, private property developers have also borrowed heavily.
  • The third dragon is the inefficiency of the SOEs. There are about 150,000 SOEs with aggregate assets of about RMB 100 trillion ($15 trillion), whose return on assets was only 2.4 per cent compared to 6.4 per cent in the U.S. More importantly.
  • The fourth dragon is represented by the non-performing loans of the banking sector.
  • The fifth dragon is the shadow credit products estimated at RMB 40 trillion ($6 trillion). These are high risk products that offer yields of 11-14 per cent compared to 6 per cent on loans and 3-4 per cent on bonds.
  • Almost 50 per cent of the shadow credit products are of low quality and are risky. The shadow credit products ac-count for 8 per cent of banks' assets concentrated in listed banks (out-side of the big four) and unlisted banks and the aggregate exposure is several times their capital.
  • The sixth dragon is the overvalued currency and net capital out-flows. In the post global financial crisis period, the current account surplus of China has significantly declined, the overvalued currency led to fears of abrupt devaluation prompting capital outflows.
  • The seventh dragon is rebalancing. When Premier Wen Jiabao made the comment in 2010, investment and private consumption as a share of GDP were 40 per cent and 38.3 per cent respectively.
  • By 2015, investment increased to 45 per cent of GDP and private consumption was 38.2 per cent of GDP. So rebalancing is still awaited.
  • The eighth dragon is demographics, the old age dependency which is measured as the ratio of the population that is 65 years or above to the working age population (15-64 years) will increase from 0.13 currently to 0.47 by 2050.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

MANOJ BAJPAYEE WINS 10TH ASIA PACIFIC SCREEN AWARD IN BEST ACTOR CATEGORY

Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee won the Best Actor Award at the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, beating Nawazuddin Siddiqui who was awarded a special mention in the same category.

Manoj won the Best Performance award for his role as Professor Siras in "Aligarh", a powerful and personal drama based on true events.

While, Nawazuddin received a Special Mention in the Best Performance category for his role in Anurag Kashyap's "Raman Raghav 2.0".

The winners in the 10th Asia Pacific Screen Awards were announced at an award ceremony in Brisbane. The event was hosted by Australian actor David Wenham and presenter Anjali Rao.

The 2016 edition of the awards marked the 10th year of the awards in recognising and promoting cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world's fastest growing film region comprising of 70 countries.

About Asia Pacific Screen Awards

• The Asia Pacific Screen Awards are the region's highest accolade in film.

• The awards are the international cultural initiative of the Brisbane City Council, Australia to honor films, actors, directors, and cultures of the Asia-Pacific region.

• Winners of the awards are determined by an international jury and films are judged on cinematic excellence.

• The awards were staged for the first time in 2007.

COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT AND FARC REBELS SIGN REVISED PEACE AGREEMENT

Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, and Rodrigo Londono, the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), signed a new peace agreement.

The revised agreement will be submitted to Colombian Congress for approval. It will not be put to a country-wide vote, and would also not form a part of the Colombia’s constitution.

It is Colombian Government’s second attempt to end Latin America’s longest-running conflict, which has killed around 220000 people.

The previous deal, which was signed in September 2016, was rejected narrowly by the citizens of Colombia in a popular vote held in October 2016.

President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Key facts of the revised deal

The new accord introduces around 50 changes, which are intended to temper critics led by still-powerful former President Alvaro Uribe.

The modifications range from a prohibition on foreign magistrates judging crimes by the FARC or government to a commitment from the insurgents to forfeit assets.

Under the revised accord, the rebels will have to declare their assets. The money will be used for reparation payments to victims of the conflict.

Background

The Colombian Government and the FARC had signed the historic peace accord on 24 August 2016. However, the deal was rejected by the Colombian voters in a referendum.

The peace agreement was reached after the two sides earlier in June 2016 signed the bilateral ceasefire agreement.

Over the past four years, peace negotiators have managed to reach agreement on six areas and they are land reform, political participation for ex-rebels, justice for victims of the conflict, fighting drug trafficking, disarmament and the implementation and monitoring of the accord.

MARY KOM TO RECEIVE LEGENDS AWARD ON DECEMBER 20

MC Mary Kom, the Olympic bronze-medal winning boxer from India, will receive the 'Legends Award' . She will receive the award from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) on its 70th anniversary.

At present, the Olympian and a five-time world champion is a Rajya Sabha MP. President Pranab Mukherjee nominated her as a member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament in April 2016.

Mary Kom is also a multiple-time Asian champion and was named an AIBA brand ambassador during the 2016 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom

• Nicknamed "Magnificent Mary", Kom belongs to Kom-Kuki tribe of Manipur, India.

• She is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in almost each one of the six world championships.

• She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion.

• She is the only woman boxer from India who qualified for the 2012 Olympics for competing in the flyweight 51kilogram category, where she won the bronze medal.

• She is also the first woman boxer from India to get a Gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014. The 2014 Asian Games were held in Incheon, South Korea.

• Awards conferred on Mary Kom includes

a) Padma Bhushan

b) Arjuna Award (Boxing

c) Padma Shree (Sports)

d) Contender for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

e) People of the Year- Limca Book of Records

f) Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award

• Book: Unbreakable is her biography.

Film: Mary Kom is a biographical film about her life. Priyanka Chopra has played the lead role in the film.

MARIAMMA KOSHY IS NEW HOCKEY INDIA PRESIDENT

Former Hockey player Mariamma Koshy took charge of Hockey India as its president with immediate effect. Hockey India, during its 41st Hockey India Executive Board meet, announced that Koshy will head the national body.

Koshy, 63, succeeds Narinder Dhruv Batra, who in recent past was elected as the first ever non-European chief of the sport's governing body International Hockey Federation (FIH). Earlier in November 2016, Batra made history by becoming the first Indian and fifteenth president of FIH.

Batra served Hockey India as its secretary general from 2010 to 2014. He was serving the organsiation as its President since 2014.

In addition, Secretary General of Hockey India, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad took over as the chairman of the Hockey India League Governing Board.

The two decisions will require ratification in the Hockey India Congress, which will be held soon.

The decisions of these two changes came in the light after Batra stepped down from his position due to his election in the FIH. As per rules, Batra cannot hold both the posts, Hockey India and FIH, at the same time. Apart from this, he also resigned from his post as chairman of the Hockey India League incepted in 2013. The league was the brainchild of Batra.

Narinder Dhruv Batra also resigned from his role as the Chairman of Coal India Hockey India League, his branchild which was incepted in 2013.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 07:51