Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 01 MAY 2019
NCMC meets to review preparedness as FANI intensifies to severe cyclonic
- The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the
chairmanship of Sh. P. K. Sinha, Cabinet Secretary,met here today for the
second time in as many days and reviewed the preparedness with the States
and concerned Departments of Government of India, to deal with the situation
arising out of the Cyclonic Storm ‘Fani’.
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the Severe
Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ lay centred this afternoon at about 800 kmsSouth of
Puri. As per IMD, it is very likely to intensify further into an Extremely
Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and move north westwards till
01st May evening and thereafter recurve north-north eastwards and reach
Odisha Coast by afternoon of 3rd May.
- He also advised all concerned to make adequate preparations to
ensure maintenance of essential services such as power, telecommunications
in the event of damages caused to them. During the meeting, officers of all
concerned State Governments confirmed their preparedness to deal with any
emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
- Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and
helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in
the three states have also been put on standby.
- States have issued advisories and are ensuring that fishermen do not
venture into the sea. IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins with
latest forecast to all the concerned States. MHA is also in continuous touch
with the State Governments and the Central Agencies concerned.
High growth witnessed in core sectors in March
- Growth in the core sectors of the economy surged in March to a
five-month high of 4.7%, driven by a broad-based recovery in sectors such as
cement, refinery products, steel, and coal.
- The March edition of the Index of Eight Core Industries also
provides a full year (April-March) performance review, which shows that the
core industries maintained their growth rate of 4.3% in 2018-19, the same as
in the previous year.
- The cement sector saw the strongest rebound in March 2019, growing
15.7% compared with 8% in February 2019. The steel sector saw growth
accelerating to 6.7% from 4.9% over the same period. The cement sector grew
13.3% over the full year 2018-19, up from the 6.3% growth it recorded in the
- The steel sector, on the other hand, saw growth for the full year
come in at a slower 4.7% in 2018-19 compared with 5.6% in 2017-18.
- Growth in the coal sector also accelerated in March, to 9.1% from
7.4% in February. Over the full year, the sector grew 7.3% in 2018-19
compared to 2.6% in the previous year. The crude oil sector continued its
contraction in March, contracting 6.2% compared with a contraction of 6.1%
in the previous month. Over 2018-19, the sector contracted 4.1% compared
with a contraction of 0.9% in the previous year.
- Refinery products, however, saw growth picking up in March to 4.3%
compared with a contraction of 0.8% in February. The sector’s full-year
growth nevertheless came in lower, at 3.1%, than the previous year’s 4.6%.
GSTN signs MoU with IT department allowing access to information to each
- The Income Tax Department and the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)
are all set to sign an MoU that will allow the two to match their data
regarding company financials so as to pin down any anomalies.
- The department order provides for the Principal Director General
or Director General of Income Tax (Systems) to sign an MoU with the GSTN
allowing them to send information on assessees to the nodal officer in the
- The order, dated April 30, states that the GSTN can ask for and be
provided data relating to an assessee’s status of filing income tax returns,
turnover, gross total income, financial ratios, and any other data with the
I-T Department to be decided at a later date. The order also provides for
the automatic exchange of such data, and not just based on requests, the
modalities of which will be decided.
- “While furnishing the information, the specified Income Tax
authority shall form an opinion that sharing of such information is
necessary for the purposes of enabling the specified authority in GSTN to
perform its functions under the Goods and Services Tax,” the order said.
- The MoU will also include the rules pertaining to the modalities
of the exchange, the confidentiality of the data, and the “weeding out after
- “Facilitation of exchange of data between authorities under
income-tax and GST is indicative of the government’s intention not to spare
taxpayers from escaping tax payable under any of the laws,” Rakesh Nangia,
managing partner, Nangia Advisors, said.
France supports India’s ASAT programme
- Stating that defence and offensive space technologies are being
developed with various aims of spying, gaining control, deactivating service
and destroying, French Envoy in India Alexandre Ziegler has supported
India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test as a response to these growing
- He also observed that outer space has become an “arena of rivalry
between major powers.”
- At the same time, he said there was common concern on space
debris. Satellites today have to avoid almost 6,00,000 debris of over 1cm
travelling at speed faster than a bullet, he stated.
- On March 27, India shot down a live satellite in the Low Earth
Orbit (LEO) of 300 km using a modified interceptor of the Ballistic Missile
Defence (BMD) system. Officials had stated that the LEO was particularly
chosen to minimise space debris.
- India and France, which have been cooperating in the area of space
for several decades, had announced the setting up of a constellation of
satellites for maritime surveillance of the Indian Ocean. Mr. Ziegler said
as part of this, the two countries are co-developing a constellation 10-15
satellites that could help “monitor the maritime traffic in the Indian
- As space gets increasingly crowded, Mr. Ziegler also called for
the need to regulate space traffic on the lines of air traffic or railways.
He said France shares India’s view on the use of outer space for peaceful
purposes and said, “We therefore refuse any destabilising arms race, which
would be detrimental to all of us.”
Japan’s new emperor sworn in
- Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down on Tuesday, the
first abdication for 200 years in the world's oldest monarchy, as his son
Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new
- In the “Room of Pine” in Tokyo's Imperial Palace, the popular
85-year-old performed the abdication ritual in the presence of the imperial
regalia an ancient sword and the sacred jewel.
- Dressed in a Western-style morning coat, Mr. Akihito stood on a
small stage before an invited audience and members of the royal family and
offered his “deepest heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan”.
- He said he would “pray for the peace and happiness of all the
people in Japan and around the world”. Empress Michiko stood by his side in
a white and silver gown and the outgoing emperor paused briefly after
exiting the stage, to help his wife, 60, down the steps.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the royal couple had offered
“courage and hope” to the Japanese people in times of suffering.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
UN releases recommendations on physical activity for under five children
- The United Nations on Wednesday released its first-ever
recommendations on physical activity for children under five, with disputed
advice on subjects ranging from screen time to “tummy time”.
- The guidelines from the World Health Organization may read to some
parents like common-sense practices, including not exposing babies under
one-year-old to screens.
- Despite acknowledging that its “strong recommendations” were based
on “very low quality evidence,” the UN health agency said its advice could
apply to all young children, regardless of gender, cultural background or
- With obesity posing a rising public health threat and 80 percent
of adolescents “not sufficiently physically active,” WHO said it was time to
outline best practices for children under five a crucial period for
- WHO’s “glossary says that it excludes ‘active screen-based games
where physical activity or movement is required’, but that’s not very clear
in my view.”
- It said the screen time guidelines do not pertain to “an
interactive tablet based game or a TV programme where children are
encouraged to move, to copy movements to dance to interact with the media.
Raheem Sterling is FWA’s footballer of the year
- Raheem Sterling has been named the 2019 footballer of the year by
the Football Writers' Association (FWA). The Manchester City and England
forward topped the poll of the 400-strong FWA membership as a clear winner,
with 62 percent of the votes.
- It was more than 100 votes ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil Van
Dijk. Hours earlier, Sterling lost out to Van Dijk in the race for the
Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) award, but was announced PFA
young player of the year.