www.iasinsights.in; www.iasgyaan.com posts UPSC Daily current Affairs -14th July 2018. This info is taken from News papers, PIB, AIR News and Summarized for your easy understanding.
Daily Current Affairs -14th July 2018
Solar Eclipse 2018 India
- A partial solar eclipse took place on July 13 in 44 years.
- The eclipse will last for about an hour and 13 minutes. It starts at 07:18:23 AM IST and will go on till 08:31:05 AM.
- The phenomenon will be visible to those who live in south-eastern coast of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand’s Stewart Island and the northern coast of Antarctica. The event will also be live streamed. The next partial solar eclipse will take place on August 11 this year.
How solar eclipse occurs?
- A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes in the orbit between the Sun and the Earth and appears to cast a shadow on the Sun.
- In a partial solar eclipse, some part of the moon casts a shadow on the sun’s surface. During the partial solar eclipse today, the Sun would appear crescent-shaped over Australia and Antarctica, while the August 11 event will play over the North Pole, northern Europe, and parts of northern and eastern Asia.
Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi urges the States to ensure effective implementation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005
- To provide immediate protection and relief to women facing violence within families, Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, wrote to all Chief Ministers to ensure that the provisions of the ‘Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005’ are effectively implemented.
- She particularly urged the States that sufficient number of Protection Officers (POs) be appointed with independent charge of the Act and that their details be made available in public domain so that they were accessible to any aggrieved woman.
- She has further mentioned that for the convenience of women, Form IV of the Act, which enumerates the rights of the women, be translated into local languages.
- She has also requested that a separate budget be allocated for the smooth functioning of POs, providing support to survivors, capacity building for staff and for generating awareness.
Survey launched to rank States on rural cleanliness
- The Centre has launched the Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 2018, a nationwide survey of rural India to rank the cleanest and dirtiest States and districts on the basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
- This is the first comprehensive survey for rural India, which has been launched after three successful editions of a similar survey in urban India.
- It is launched by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
- As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 6,980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.
- Total 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages will be visited for survey. Citizens’ feedback will be collected from over 50 lakh citizens on SBM related issues through direct interaction as well as online feedback.
Parameters of survey:
During the process, 65% weightage has been assigned to the findings and outcome from the survey and 35% to the service level parameters to be obtained from the IMIS of the MDWS. The weights to different elements of the SSG would be as below:
- Direct Observation of sanitation in public places: 30%
- Citizen’s Feedback on sanitation parameters: 35%
- Service Level Progress on sanitation progress in the country as per SBMG- MIS: 35%
India’s Trade Deficit Widens to Five-Year-High in June
- India’s monthly merchandise trade deficit widened to over five year high of $16.60 billion in June on the back of a surge in crude import bill, stoking fear of a rise in current account deficit (CAD).
- A trade deficit is the gap between a country’s exports and imports.
|FY||Trade deficit ($bn)|
Significance of CAD:
- CAD, a key barometer of macroeconomic stability for foreign investors, is especially vulnerable to oil price shock.
- The government needs permanent currency flows to cushion a potentially widening CAD.
Reasons for trade deficit:
- petroleum and crude products continued
- higher incoming shipments of coal
- High imports of engineering machinery.
Consequences of high trade deficit:
- panic among foreign investors, triggering capital outflows.
- Depreciation of rupee.
EU cuts growth forecast, cites trade wars
- European Commission cut its forecasts for the eurozone’s economic growth this year,
- The slowdown of the eurozone economy is set to affect all major economies of the bloc.
- Germany’s GDP expansion will slow to 1.9% this year and in 2019. It grew 2.2% last year. France’s economy will grow 1.7% this year and next, much below the 2.2% growth it experienced last year.
- The bloc’s slowest-growing economy will remain Italy which is expected to grow only 1.3% this year, less than the 1.5% estimated in May. Only Britain is expected to match Italy’s sluggish growth. It will grow 1.3 % this year, a big drop from the 1.7 GDP rise recorded last year.
- It is estimated that 19-country eurozone will grow by 2.1% this year, lower than the 2.3% gross domestic product (GDP) increase it had forecast in its previous estimates released in May, and well below last year’s 2.4% growth.
- In 2019 the bloc’s growth should further slow to 2.0%, unchanged from the previous forecast.
Reasons for downward revision:
- unfavorable external environment, such as growing trade tensions with the U.S.
- negative impact of trade disputes on the European and global economy are expected to be more.
- Rising oil prices have also contributed to the slowdown
Proposal for construction of break water harbor in Konkan
- The Nivati-Medha break water harbor in the Konkan region of Maharashtra is being considered under “12 Champion Sectors initiative” of the Ministry of Commerce.
- Suresh Prabhu directed concerned officials to expedite the construction of the breakwater harbor once the Maharashtra Maritime Board approves the proposal.
- In the absence of such a harbor the financial condition of fishermen in the area is deteriorating as they are totally dependent on the vagaries of the sea.
- Building of the breakwater harbor will help the fishermen to haul a better catch even in adverse conditions and also give a boost to the tourism industry by allowing cruise ships to dock at the harbor. Other tourism activities will also get a fillip. This will raise the living standards of local people in the area noted the Minister.
GS-II (International Affairs)
India going ahead with purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia
- India is going ahead with the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia despite American concerns, and has told the U.S. that it is for them to address concerns over its recent Russia sanctions.
- India’s decision about purchasing defense from Russia may affect Indo-US relations and consensus is yet to arrive regarding matters like COMCASA.
What is Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)?
- It will enable Indian military to obtain encrypted communication systems from the U.S., Ms. Sitharaman indicated that no agreement has been reached yet.
What is CAATSA?
- The U.S. has passed the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act) that proposes to impose sanctions on nations that have significant defense relations with Russia.
- While the U.S. Administration has said waivers will be incorporated in it to protect friends and allies, it is yet to be done.
- This has generated significant concern in India which is heavily dependent on Russia for military hardware.
India’s first ‘2+2’ dialogue with US to take place in September
- India’s first 2+2 dialogue with the US, which was postponed this month, would now take place in the first week of September
- In the last week of June, the United States of America postponed its first ‘2+2’ dialogue with India, which is a meeting between the ministers for External Affairs and Defense and the US secretaries of state and defense, citing “unavoidable reasons”.
- The “2+2” dialogue is meant to replace the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue between the foreign and commerce ministers of the two countries that was held during the previous Obama administration.
- The delay had led to several speculations doing the rounds that US was apparently not happy with India going ahead with its plan to buy S-400 missiles from Russia, which falls under the category of equipment targeted under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Australia govt releases report to boost economic ties with India
Australia has released a report titled ‘An India Economic Strategy to 2035’ — authored by former Australian high commissioner to India Peter Varghese.
Highlights of the report:
- Australian exports to India grow from 14.9 billion dollars in 2017 to around 45 billion dollars in the next 20 year.
- Outward Australian investment to India rise from 10.3 billion dollars to over the 100-billion mark.
- It will also require an approach to the investment relationship with India that markedly differs from the trajectory of Australian investment in most other Asian markets.
- The report has identified ten sectors where Australia’s competitive advantages match India’s needs, and ten states in India where Australia should focus efforts.
- The report said no single market over the next 20 years would offer more growth opportunities for Australia than India.
- By 2035, India will overtake China as the world’s most-populous country. It is poised to become the third largest economy, after China and the United States
Govt gives nod to Iran bank in Mumbai before US sanctions
- The Finance Ministry has conveyed to the RBI that it has no objection to allowing the Tehran-based Bank Pasargad to open its branch in India.
- The clearance to the Iranian bank comes amidst the US announcing sanctions and asking other countries to minimize oil purchases from Iran
- The Federation of Indian Export Organisations had earlier approached the RBI suggesting that they should allow the entry of Iranian banks into India to facilitate bilateral trade. Apart from the Iranian Bank, branch licence proposals of two South Korean banks, KEB Hana Bank and Kookmin Bank, have also been approved by the Centre.
- The RBI gives its first internal clearance to a foreign bank branch proposal, it is vetted by a committee comprising senior officials of the ministries of Finance, Commerce, External Affairs and Home Affairs. Clearance from each ministry is required before the RBI issues a license to a foreign bank.
- In the wake of US sanctions, India may explore the possibility of reviving the rupee-rial arrangement to import oil from Iran that it has used in the past.
- The presence of an Iranian bank in India will open up a significant financial channel that will ensure the smooth flow of funds between the two countries.
- India imports a large quantity of oil from Iran and has committed an investment of $500 million for the development of the crucial Chabahar port.
- The rupee-rial arrangement was used to buy oil from Iran before US sanctions were lifted against it three years ago. U
- Under this mechanism, India paid in Euros to clear 55 per cent of its dues, while the remaining 45 per cent payment was remitted in rupees into accounts Iranian oil companies had with UCO Bank.
U.S. steel tariff may impact India indirectly: Minister
- The U.S. decision to impose 25% tariff on steel imports will have negligible direct impact on India’s export as India’s share of U.S. steel imports is very small as compared to other countries but there might be an indirect impact.
- Countries which are exporting to the U.S. will be forced to look at other major steel consuming markets like India to sell their surplus produce and can slightly distort Indian domestic market considerably due to dumping.
Cows kill leopard in Maharashtra
- Cows attacked a leopard for killing their calf, died yesterday.
- This incident happened in Gautala wildlife sanctuary in Aurangabad.
Gautala wildlife sanctuary
- Gautala Autramghat Sanctuary is a protected area of Maharashtra state, India.
- It lies in the Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges of the Western Ghats, and administratively is in Aurangabad District and Jalgaon District.
- The wildlife sanctuary was established in 1986 in an existing reserved forest area
PETA moves court seeking ban on elephant ‘joy rides’ at Jaipur
- Jaipur – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has filed a petition before the Jaipur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court seeking to end illegal elephant rides at Amer Fort and Elephant Village (Hathigaon) in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Why to ban?
- In the petition, PETA India pointed out that these rides are illegal because none of the elephants used are registered with the AWBI, in apparent violation of The Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, framed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the 2010 order of the Rajasthan government which mandates that any use of elephants in any film, serial, advertisement, function, sport, event, exhibition, mela, or other type of performance – including rides – requires permission from the AWBI.
- The 2018 AWBI inspection report reveals that the elephants at Amer Fort are being forced to carry loads heavier than 200 kilograms, which is the legal maximum for these animals on hilly terrain, as per the 2008 “Guidelines for Care and Management of Captive Elephants” issued by the central government.
- The petition further explained that the weight of a howdah – a seat used for riding on the back of an elephant – combined with the safety gear and one mahout alone is around 200 kilograms, so it’s unlikely that the total load weight including tourists could ever be reduced enough to fall below the legal maximum on the hilly terrain of Amer Fort.
- Located in Rajasthan with an area of 4 square kilometers (1.5 sq mi) located 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.
- Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attraction in Jaipur.
- The town of Amer was originally built by Meenas, and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh I (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614).
- It is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake,which is the main source of water for the Amer Palace.
- Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard.
- It consists of the Diwan-i-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-i-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace
Hima Das won Gold in 400m of World U20 Championships
- No athlete from the nation of India has ever won a gold medal in track and field at the Summer Olympics.
- No female athlete from the nation of 1.3 billion has ever medaled in any track event at the games, period.
- Hima Das fledgling sprinter took home the nation’s first gold medal in major track event using a furious kick down the final straightaway to handily win the 400 meters under-20 world title.
- She’s the first runner in India’s history to medal in the IAAF’s junior championship and hails from Assam.
Indian students bag three silver and two bronze medals in 59th International Mathematical Olympiad
- A team of Indian students bagged three silver and two bronze medals at the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad, held in Cluj Napoca, Romania from July 4 – 14, 2018.
- Three of the six Indian students bagged Silver medals, two got Bronze medals and one received honorable mention.
- Pranjal Srivastava, Pulkit Sinha and Anant Mudgal secured silver medals; Spandan Ghosh and Sutanay Bhattacharya won Bronze Medals, and Amit Kumar Mallik received Honorable mention in this International Mathematical Olympiad 2018.
- Among the above six, Pranjal Srivastava (Age 14) is the youngest Indian student to secure a silver medal in IMO 2018