Daily Current Affairs-17th Nov 2018

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GS-II(Governance)

Centre to take necessary steps for amendment of 6th schedule of Constitution: Rajnath Singh

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre will take necessary steps for amendment of 6th schedule of the Constitution to give provision for direct funding to Autonomous District Councils.

SIXTH SCHEDULE

  • The Constitution of India makes special provisions for the administration of the tribal dominated areas in four states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • As per article 244 and 6th Schedule, these areas are called “Tribal Areas“, which are technically different from the Scheduled Areas under fifth Schedule.

Govt delegates powers to local bodies for giving environmental clearance for construction of buildings, Educational Institutions & Hospitals

  • The Government has delegated powers to local bodies to ensure compliance of environmental conditions for buildings, construction and area development projects measuring between 20,000 and 50,000 square metres.
  • Llocal bodies have also been given the powers to ensure environmental conditions are followed at industrial sheds, educational institutions, hospitals and hostels.
  • Local bodies such as Municipalities, Development Authorities and District Panchayats, shall stipulate environmental conditions while granting permission, for the Building or Construction projects.
  • The environmental conditions include natural drainage, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, water recharge, waste management, green cover and topsoil preservation, among others.

Govt approves setting up over 1000 fast-track courts to dispose off rape, POCSO cases

  • Women and Child Development Ministry has approved setting up over one thousand Fast Track Special Courts to dispose off pending cases of rape and POCSO Act across the country.
  • Law and Justice Ministry has sent a proposal in this regard to the Ministry.
  • The Empowered Committee of officers for the Nirbhaya Fund headed by Women and Child Development secretary approved it.
  • The project has a total financial implication of over 767 crore rupees. In the first phase, 777 fast track special court will be set up in nine states and in the second phase, 246 will be set up.
  • The Ministry has also approved the proposal of Home Ministry for procurement of forensic kits for sexual assault cases to kickstart usage of such kits in States and Union Territories. The project will cost over 107 crore rupees.
  • The Ministry also gave its nod to a proposal from Konkan Railway Corporation Limited for setting up a video surveillance system at 50 Railway Stations with a total Project cost of around 18 crore rupees.

GS-II(International Affairs)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un inspects testing of newly developed tactical weapon

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen the testing of a newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon. The Pyongyang’s state media reported that the test was successful but did not specify the type of device involved.
  • This is North Korea’s first official report of a weapons test since it began a diplomatic process with Washington over its nuclear and missile programme. Hours after the report, the US State Department said it was confident the process remained on track.
  • North Korea’s suspension of testing for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles has been key to this year’s rapid diplomatic developments and North Korean-US negotiations and has been repeatedly praised by President Donald Trump.
  • Trump and Kim met in a historic summit in Singapore in June, where they signed a vaguely worded document on denuclearisation of the peninsula, but a detailed plan was never set out. 

Oil rises on expected supply cuts from OPEC

  • Oil on Friday rose on hopes that supply cuts will be agreed at OPEC’s meeting on 6th of December, but failed to recoup recent losses on oversupply concerns that have shaved more than a fifth off the Brent crude benchmark since early October.
  • Brent crude prices, in intra day trade today, were trading around 67 dollars and 77 cents while WTI prices were at around 57 dollars and 56 cents when reports last came in.

GS-III(Economy)

105 million dollar loan signed to support hydropower transmission in Himachal

  • India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday signed a 105 million dollar loan agreement to continue financing the transmission system upgrades in Himachal Pradesh for increased supply of hydropower.
  • The third tranche loan is a part of the 350 million dollar multi-tranche financing facility for Himachal Pradesh Clean Energy Transmission Investment Programme.
  • The programme is aimed at developing and expanding the transmission network to evacuate clean and renewable power generated from the State’s hydropower sources.
  • The loan will help the State Government to benefit electricity consumers in the state and throughout northern India, by increasing the transmission system capacity.

Traffic Separation Scheme

  • The Directorate General of Shipping has proposed the establishment of a Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off the south-west coast of India to prevent collision incidents between merchant vessels and fishing vessels off the coast of Kerala
  • The proposal has been drawn taking into consideration past collision incidents off the Indian coast, traffic patterns of merchant vessels for past years, and optimum sea routes, in consonance with the current traffic flow, including simplification of traffic in converging areas off the coast of Kerala.
  • The proposal has also considered aspects pertaining to the safety of navigation, maritime security and the separation of opposing streams of traffic to reduce incidents of collision in Indian waters.
  • Stakeholder consultations are in progress for establishing the Traffic Separation Scheme – TSS in the south-west coast.
  • The proposed TSS lanes are currently under consideration, and will be located at a distance of about 90 nautical miles west of Mangalore in Karnataka, with the lanes leading in a south-easterly direction to the southernmost tip of India and ending about 40 nautical miles off south of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
  • The average distance from the coast is about 50 nautical miles.
  • The promulgation of TSS on the south-west coast of India is expected to shift the density of merchant traffic away from the coast and merchant ship traffic will become more concentrated in the established TSS.
  • This is expected to result in more sea room for fishing vessels to operate safely and will, therefore, be beneficial to the fishing industry.

State of the Indian Startup Ecosystem-2018 report

  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, released the first State of the Indian Startup Ecosystem-2018 report by Inc 42 which is an Indian information platform known for its coverage of the Indian startup ecosystem.
  • According to the Inc42 ‘The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem 2018’, India currently has more than 49,000+ startups, 1500+ investors, 250+ incubators, and 26 unicorns. The country is among the three largest startup ecosystems in the world in terms of its size, reach, and impact.
  • The report is an analysis to help drive strategic decision-making in governance, investments, growth, and other core aspects of the ecosystem

Ganga Gram

  • Third Ganga Gram Swachhata Sammelan was held in Kannauj
  • Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharati calls upon villagers on Ganga bank to raise sanitation levels.
  • Ganga Gram is a concept to transform banks on the village of River Ganga into ideal villages with emphasis on ODF, Solid and Liquid Waste Management, Water Conservation, Ground Water Recharge, modern crematorium, tree plantation, organic and medicinal plant agriculture being the main components.
  • Rural habitation and villages situated in vicinity of River Ganga contribute a significant pollution load to the river on account of open defecation, dirty water and solid wastes from the individual households entering the river through village drains and nallahs.
  • Therefore, rural based pollution load in Ganga River is sought to be addressed through development of Ganga Grams.
  • Ganga Gram Namami Gange project has been launched under the Ministry for Water resources,River development and Ganga Rejuvenation for developing the state of the river Ganga.
  • To develop model village, that will exhibit itself as comprehensive and harmonious package of economic, historic, cultural and sanitized unit, on banks of Ganga, which is self –sustaining. Promoting brand “Ganga” in its handicraft, organic farm produce and tourism will be other spin offs.

Components of Ganga Grams:

  • Making village ODF
  • Proper management of village waste draining into river Ganga
  • Proper disposal of solid waste
  • Water conservation activities including rain water harvesting/ground water recharge/maintain of well and ponds, promotion of sprinkler irrigation
  • Encourage plantation of medicinal plants and promotion of organic farming
  • Construction of crematorium
  • Promotion of tourism
  • Coordination between various Central and State Governments sponsored schemes and their implementation on priority in Ganga Grams.

India may see fall in credit availability as NBFCs face credit squeeze: Moody’s

  • India faces a potential sharp slowdown in credit availability as non-bank financial institutions face a possible credit squeeze even as the asset quality is stabilising, Moody’s said in its 2019 Global Emerging Market Outlook.
  • While the asset quality cycle is stabilising following massive recognition of problem loans and their gradual resolution and provisioning, the recent default of IL&FS, a large infrastructure company, and the subsequent liquidity stress in the capital market, has created an emerging risk for banks in the country, it added.
  • While Moody’s has forecast that the Indian economy will grow by 7.3% in 2019, it believes that delinquency rates in Indian asset-backed securities (ABS) backed by loans against property to small and medium enterprises will increase in 2019.
  • The possible credit squeeze in capital markets caused by the default of IL&FS is unlikely to hurt the credit quality and performance of Indian structured finance deals, unless it escalates to the point where it results in significant weakness or even solvency concerns among non-bank financial institutions.
  • On an overall level, slower global growth, rising interest rates, trade protectionism and geopolitical tensions pose challenges for emerging markets in 2019.

SPORTS 

Pankaj Advani wins his third straight Billiards title taking his tally of World titles to 20

  • India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani  won his third straight IBSF billiards crown in the 150-up format, taking his overall tally of world titles to 20. Advani overcame Nay Thway Oo of Myanmar in the final.
  • This win also marks a hat-trick of wins for Advani in the shorter format. He had won in his hometown Bengaluru in 2016 before doing the same in Doha last year.

Manav Thakkar settles for bronze in Belarus

  • Representational PicIndia’s Manav Thakkar settled for a bronze medal in the Under-21 singles category while Harmeet Desai progressed to the pre-quarter finals of the men’s singles in the International Table Tennis Federation Challenge Belgosstrakh Belarus Open in Minsk, Belarus today.
  • Manav, who had an impressive run in the tournament, lost to Russia’s Denis Ivonin in the semifinals to miss out on the gold.
  • Harmeet too impressed in his outing, beating Russia’s Alexey Liventsov. He will take on China’s Zheng Sun in the pre-quarters.

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