Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 December 2017
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 December 2017
Historical triple talaq bill passed by lower house
Amidst protests from a few political parties, including those close to
the BJP, the Lok Sabha passed by voice vote the Bill that makes instant
triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, with a jail term of up to
The proposed law would be applicable to the entire country, except in
Jammu and Kashmir. It would make instant talaq punishable and would be a
cognisable, non-bailable offence.
Calling it a historic step, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said
the Bill — The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017 —
will act as a deterrent since there have been 100 cases of triple talaq even
after the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court delivered in August this
He said that while 22 Islamic countries, including Pakistan and
Bangladesh, had regulated instant triple talaq, there was no effective law
The Minister turned down demands from the Leader of the Congress
Mallikarjun Kharge to refer the Bill to the Parliamentary Standing Committee
on Law and Justice.
Members from the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the CPI(M), the Samajwadi Party,
the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen and the All India Muslim League,
as also parties considered close to the BJP, such as the Biju Janata Dal and
the AIADMK, opposed the Bill, saying it was arbitrary and a faulty proposal
being passed in haste.
Not having BJD and AIADMK on board will impact the bill's smooth passage
in the Rajya Sabha as the Opposition has more numbers than the NDA.
Sushmita Dev, articulating the Congress’s support for the Bill, also
raised key questions such as who would pay the subsistence allowance
mentioned in the Bill to the wife if the husband was sent to jail. Ms. Dev
asked the Law Minister if the government would create a corpus to help the
Speaking on behalf of her party, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi made an
impassioned appeal in support of the Bill and attacked the Congress by
reminding the party that it had opposed the Shah Bano judgement of the
Supreme Court in 1986.
Despite being second largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Trinamool
Congress members didn’t take part in the debate despite being present.
India outpacing world in milk production
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said during the past three
years, India has outpaced the global milk production with an annual growth
rate of 5.53% compared with the 2.09% achieved globally.
Speaking at the Consultative Committee meeting on Dairy Development held
in New Delhi, Mr. Singh said India has been the largest producer of milk in
the world for the past 15 years.
163.7 million tonnes
“Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s,
has increased to 163.7 million tonnes in 2016-17. Particularly, it has
increased by 19% during 2016-17 in comparison to the year 2013-14.
Similarly, per capita availability of milk has increased from 307 grams
in 2013-14 to 351 grams in the year 2016-17. Similarly, the income of dairy
farmers increased by 23.77% in 2014-17 compared to 2011-14,” he said.
Mr. Singh said the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and
Fisheries (DAHDF) has initiated a number of schemes with the objective of
doubling the dairy farmers’ income.
“In this direction, dairy farmers’ income is being raised in two ways –
one by raising milk production and productivity and by increasing the price
of raw milk per kg,” he added.
He said to meet future challenges, it is necessary to gradually shift
towards a technology-driven environment.
“To achieve the same, DAHDF is working on a National Action Plan Vision
2022, where along with enhancing the outreach of dairy cooperatives to
additional villages and milk producers, suitable provisions are being made
to build additional milk processing infrastructure for processing additional
volume of milk expected on account of higher milk production and meeting the
increased demand for value-added products,” he said.
Govt gets support of all parties on Kulbhushan Jadhav issue
MPs, cutting across party lines voiced full support for the Union
government on the issue of the treatment meted out by Pakistan to the mother
and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former naval officer on death row in
Pakistan on espionage charge.
The support followed identical statements made by External Affairs
Minister Sushma Swaraj in both Houses. The Minister accused Pakistan of
turning an emotional moment into “an instrument to further its propaganda”.
Deputy High Commissioner to Pakistan J.P. Singh, who accompanied the two
women for the meeting, was present in Parliament. Ms. Swaraj said there was
“serious and gross violation of human rights of the family members of Jadhav”.
She pointed out that Mr. Jadhav’s mother and wife were forced to remove
theirmangalsutra , bindi and bangles and footwear, and even made to change
their attire on the pretext of security.
Mr. Jadhav’s mother and wife met him inside the Pakistan Foreign Office
building in Islamabad under unusual circumstances — he was separated from
the two women by a glass screen, and they conversed through an intercom.
Referring to Ms. Chetna’s footwear being confiscated, Ms. Swaraj said
Pakistani authorities were now talking of a chip, camera or a recorder being
installed in the shoes.
This is “absurdity beyond measure”, as the two women had cleared
security at airports in India, Dubai and Pakistan when nothing suspicious
was detected, she said.
Pakistan claims that Mr. Jadhav, an ex-Indian Navy officer, was arrested
in Balochistan in March 2016 with a fake passport, a charge denied by India,
which says he was kidnapped from Iran where he has legitimate business.
Norms related to credit rating agencies and mutual funds tightened by SEBI
SEBI has tightened the norms for credit rating agencies and mutual funds
(MFs) to reduce instances of conflict of interest. It also allowed complete
integration of stock and commodity exchanges to enable both asset classes to
be available for trading on a single platform.
The SEBI board, increased the net worth requirement for rating agencies
to Rs. 25 crore from the current Rs. 5 crore. It also decided that the
promoter entity would have to maintain at least 25% stake in the rating
agency for a period of three years.
CRAs have also been barred from holding more than 10% in a peer rating
agency. SEBI also said that CRAs would have to segregate their non-core
activities into a separate legal entity to avoid any conflict of interest.
In the case of MFs, SEBI said a sponsor of a particular MF cannot hold
more than 10% in any other MF entity. This assumes significance especially
for UTI Mutual Fund, which has State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, LIC and
Punjab National Bank as shareholders. All the four entities have their own
respective asset management companies.
While the SEBI statement said that “any existing non-conformity with the
aforesaid requirements may be aligned within a reasonable time”, SEBI
Chairman Ajay Tyagi said such entities would be given a year to resolve
Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies will see increasing use in India
Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies will see increasing use in India,
according to industry players, who say that, right now, the sector is too
small to be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or Finance
Bitcoin companies also say that volatility in the cryptocurrency’s price
is likely to continue since it is still attracting new investors with
inadequate knowledge about the market, with speculation separately fuelling
the price gyrations.
Some countries have legalised cryptocurrencies like Japan and Korea, and
in the U.S. they have announced that there will be bitcoin futures trading.
So, this not only gives a legal standing to it, it also opens the door to
The second thing is that people are seeing others put in Rs. 1 lakh and
making 10% the very next day, so that is also bringing a lot of laymen into
this, which may or may not be a good thing.
Another reason for the price volatility, something that will continue
for some time, is the disaggregated nature of the bitcoin market.
While the RBI has cautioned against its use, informing users, holders,
investors and traders dealing with virtual currencies that they are doing so
at their own risk, SEBI Chairman said the cryptocurrency had so far not
posed any systemic risk. He added that the government had formed a panel to
Regulators, both domestic and global, have been closely watching the
swift surge in the price of the virtual currency.
Looking ahead, Mr. Gaurav said any attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies
ought to first look at the exchanges, as that is where the transactions are
Insolvency and Bankruptcy bill tabled in Lok sabha
The government has introduced the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
(Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha.
The Bill, introduced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, aims, among other
things, to prohibit wilful defaulters and those associated with
non-performing assets (NPAs) from regaining control of the defaulting
company / stressed assets through the backdoor in the garb of a ‘resolution
The Bill seeks to repeal and replace the IBC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017
as well as proposes to make certain modifications to the Ordinance (that was
promulgated by the President Ram Nath Kovind last month).
::Science and Tech::
Dubbed a paradise on earth, the Indonesian island has become an embarrassing
Bali’s palm-fringed Kuta beach has long been a favourite with tourists
seeking sun and surf, but nowadays its golden shoreline is disappearing
under a mountain of garbage.
Plastic straws and food packaging are strewn between sunbathers, while
surfers bobbing behind the waves dodge waste flushed out from rivers or
brought in by swirling currents.
Often dubbed a paradise on earth, the Indonesian holiday island has
become an embarrassing poster child for the country’s trash problem.
The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is the world’s second
biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and a colossal 1.29
million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually by Indonesia.
The waves of plastic flooding into rivers and oceans have been causing
problems for years — clogging waterways in cities, increasing the risk of
floods, and injuring or killing marine animals who ingest or become trapped
by plastic packaging.
The problem has grown so bad that officials in Bali last month declared
a “garbage emergency” across a six-kilometre stretch of coast that included
popular beaches Jimbaran, Kuta and Seminyak.
Officials deployed 700 cleaners and 35 trucks to remove roughly 100 tons
of debris each day to a nearby landfill.
Bali’s rubbish problem is at its worst during the annual monsoon season,
when strong winds push marine flotsam onto the beach and swollen rivers wash
rubbish from riverbanks to the coast.
Indonesia is one of nearly 40 countries that are part of U.N.
Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, which aims to halt the tide of plastic
trash polluting the oceans.
As part of its commitment, the government has pledged to reduce marine
plastic waste by 70% by 2025. It plans to boost recycling services, curb the
use of plastic bags, launch clean-up campaigns and raise public awareness.
Still, the scale of the problem facing Indonesia is huge, due to its
population of more than 250 million and poor waste processing