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UPSC Prelims 2019 daily current affairs | The Hindu broken into 4 liners | Dated 29th Oct 2018 | Mon


‘Extend Vishakha norms to religious institutions’

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a PIL petition to extend the Vishakha guidelines against sexual harassment in workplace to ashrams, madrasas and Catholic institutions.

WHAT ARE VISHAKA GUIDELINES ? The Vishakha guidelines introduced by the apex court in 1997 were evolved into a parliamentary law called the

“Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013”


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Elite China security team arriving

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? A delegation of a Chinese group that take care of the security of the top seven members of the nation’s leadership will visit India soon.


WHO ARE THOSE 7 MEMBERS ? The wing is in charge of the security of seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, headed by President Xi Jinping.

PURPOSE OF VISIT ? Visit to help both sides ( China vs India ) learn from each other on VVIP security.

Tackling cybercrime : The Indian side is especially keen on learning from Chinese experiences in tackling cybercrimes, as part of a broader security interaction with China.

Robot trucks to help airlines save on ATF


WHAT’S IN THE NEWS? TaxiBot India introduced two semi-robotic tow trucks to IGI - which have since undergone several trials.

WHEN IT WILL COME TO MARKET ? Once the live performance evaluation with passengers onboard the aircraft is successful, the firm will sign commercial contracts with SpiceJet and Jet Airways.

POINT TO NOTE : This can help airlines save jet fuel, one of the largest expenses for an airline, accounting for nearly 30% of total operational costs.

CURRENTLY: It is estimated that at the current ATF rates, cost of fuel burnt during taxiing is Rs. 1,600 per minute for a narrow-body plane and Rs. 3,500 per minute for a wide-body plane.

AS PER ANALYSIS : An average 15 minutes of taxiing at six of the busiest airports in the country is likely to cost airlines collectively Rs. 20 billion annually by 2021.


526 Pakistanis await Indian citizenship

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? Nearly half the applications pending for Indian citizenship are from Pakistanis, according to a Home Ministry database.

THE STATS : Out of the 1,084 applicants who applied for Indian citizenship before 2011, as many as 526 are from Pakistan.

LIST OF PENDING APPLICATIONS: 103 applications from Afghanistan,72 from Iran and 41 from Bangladesh, 30 from Malaysian, 24 British, 7 Tibetans, 13 Sri Lankans and 8 Chinese.

WHO HAS THE POWER TO GRANT CITIZENSHIP ? The power to grant citizenship lies with the Home Ministry.

In 2016!! The Home Ministry delegated powers to 16 District Collectors in seven States to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh living in India, and issued a notification last week to make the entire process online.




Bill under study : A parliamentary committee is examining the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Long-term visas : 30,000 Pakistanis have been granted long-term visas, a precursor for citizenship, and currently 1,500 such applications are pending.

Recently!!! The Home Ministry asking them to furnish the pending reports of all applicants by October.


Rs. 700-crore project to clean up courts

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? A Rs. 700-crore project has been proposed to have clean courts, right from the Supreme Court and the High Courts to the 3,388 lower courts.

THE SCHEME NAME : ‘Swachh Nyayalaya’


Eliminate child labour from mica mining in Jharkhand: Satyarthi

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi stressed the need to eliminate child labour from mica mining in Jharkhand, and urged all stakeholders to become “champions in change”.

“I earnestly call upon all stakeholders including national and international brands that use mica in their supply chains to become champions in change,” a statement quoted him as saying.



India helped Maldives restore democracy, says Gayoom

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? India played a “positive” role in restoration of democracy in Maldives by “exerting pressure” on the ruling regime, and the new government in the island nation would be “sensitive” towards New Delhi’s “concerns”, said former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Gayoom said: “India did play a positive role, and along with other international partners, did exert pressure towards restoration of democracy.



In the court of last resort

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ?The Supreme Court, stepped into the institutional crisis engineered by the “forcible transfer” of the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) earlier in the week.

Given the patent illegality of the “forcible leave” of CBI Director Alok Verma, and the need to maintain the Bureau’s legal independence guaranteed by law, the Supreme Court has chosen to attempt to sort out this mess.

The Supreme Court has said more cautiously that - All transfers, including of one officer to Port Blair, will be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The court’s administration : The CBI, in essence, is now under the Supreme Court’s administration. The investigations being undertaken by the Director, Special Director, and all the transferred officers will likely stand frozen.

All about the CVC : The sanction to investigate, required under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as amended in 2018 by the government, was designed to protect officials from perceived investigative harassment, but it is hardly the CVC’s job to tell the CBI that its investigation is without the sanction of the law.

Under the circumstances : The Supreme Court, thus, has chosen to act according to its ideas of fairness, or equity, rather than the strict confines of the law.



Depreciating rupee comes as no solace to exporters


A combination of higher input costs, tariff uncertainty, IGST refund woes leads to export contraction, the first time in six months

DURING SEPTEMBER : Exports contracted by 2.34%, the rupee averaging more than 72 a dollar during that month.

Over August and September : The rupee averaged 70.8 per dollar, India’s average export growth stood at 8.5%.

PREVIOUS YEAR : Compare this to the 16.8% export growth rate in the same period of the previous year, when the rupee averaged a much stronger 64.2 to the dollar.

However !!! Export bodies such as the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) have said that this benefit is not passing through to exporters.

THE GSP SYSTEM : The GSP is a system where the U.S. allows certain eligible countries to export about 3,500 commodities to the U.S. on a duty-free basis. Earlier this year, the U.S. said it would be reviewing India’s eligibility for this benefit.


WTO sets up dispute panel on India-US case on export subsidies

WHAT’S IN THE NEWS ? The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) dispute settlement body has set up a panel to examine the U.S.’ complaint against certain export-subsidy measures by India as both the sides failed to resolve the issue at consultation level.

THE ISSUE : In March, the U.S. dragged India to WTO over export subsidies, saying that these incentives were harming the American firms.



All about NASA

WHAT IS NASA ? NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA was started on October 1, 1958, as a part of the United States government. NASA is in charge of U.S. science and technology that has to do with airplanes or space


• It handles the nation’s ( USA ) space programmes.

• It is responsible for civilian and military aerospace research.

WHO LEADS NASA ? The Administrator of NASA is the seniormost official and also acts as a senior space science advisor to the President of the U.S. The Administrator has to be a team leader, and take the nation’s vision for space exploration further.


• Yuri Gagrin was the first human being to travel to space.

• Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to walk in space.

• Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in space.

• Dennis Tito was the first space tourist.


Apollo programme :The Apollo programme was designed to land human beings on the Moon and get them back to Earth safely.

Skylab : The first space station to be launched into orbit was the Skylab. It remained in the Earth’s orbit from 1973-1979. Crews visited it three times to conduct studies.


• NASA plans to collaborate with other nations and has set up a permanent base on the Moon.

• NASA also wants to make a man land on Mars by 2037.

DID YOU KNOW ? The NASA Distinguished Service Medal is given to any member of the federal government, including military astronauts and civilian employees.

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