Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 November 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs


Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 November 2018


::NATIONAL::

Supreme court in favour bringing in life time ban for convicted politicians in polls

  •  The Supreme Court on Thursday nodded in favour of considering a petition for a life-time ban from contesting elections for politicians convicted in criminal cases.The court is hearing a PIL petition filed by advocate AshwiniUpadhyay who has proposed the ban as a measure to rid politics of criminality and corruption.

  •  The Centre had in March this year informed the Supreme Court that 1,765 Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies have criminal cases against them.

  •  Of the total 3,816 cases against them, 3,045 criminal cases are still pending. Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 248 legislators with criminal cases against them, Tamil Nadu comes second with 178 and then Bihar with 144.

  •  In November 2017, the court had directed the setting up of Special Courts to exclusively try legislators within a deadline of one year.The Centre had undertaken to set up 12 Special Courts for this purpose.

  •  The affidavit informed that of the total Rs. 780 lakh allocated for setting up the courts in 11 States, it has already released a total of Rs. 65.04 lakh in 2017. The balance of Rs. 714.96 lakh will be released during the financial year 2018-19. Tamil Nadu has been allotted Rs. 65 lakh for a year for the purpose of establishing the court in the State.

India protests PoK bus route to Pakistan

  •  India on Thursday reiterated its opposition to a proposed luxury bus service between Pakistan and China that would pass through parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan territory that India claims terming it “a violation of India’s sovereignty”, a day after it had summoned a Chinese diplomat to South Block to lodge a strong protest against the initiative.

  •  A Director in the MEA had delivered a note verbale to a Counselor in the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday, urging the cancellation of the bus service that is due to start on November 3, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  •  While China asserted that the bus service from Lahore to Tashkurgan in Xinjiang timed to begin when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will be visiting Beijing did not alter the country’s stance on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan dismissed India’s objections as “frivolous”.

  •  Reacting to India’s statement, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “India’s repeated regurgitation of claims over Indian Occupied Kashmir can neither change the facts of history nor the legality of the Jammu & Kashmir dispute.”

  •  India has consistently opposed the 1963 “China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement” that recognises PoK as under “actual Pakistani control” without prejudicing a final dispute resolution with India, and India has protested the Karakoram Highway on which traffic has been plying regularly, as well as subsequent infrastructure projects built by China in the disputed area.

::ECONOMY::

Rupee slides & oil prices rise along with NRI deposits

  •  Non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits jumped to $5.7 billion in the first five months of this fiscal compared to $0.5 billion in the same period last year. The rise is attributed to the sliding rupee, which makes deposits in the currency attractive for NRIs, and to higher oil prices which have prompted inflows from NRIs in the Middle-east to increase.

  •  According to data published by RBI, during the April-August period of 2018-19, NRI deposit inflow was $5.7 billion. Non-Resident (External) Rupee Account was the main contributor at $4.1 billion compared to $1.7 billion during the same period of the previous year. These deposits are freely repatriable and tax free.

  •  “It is but natural for NRE deposits to accelerate when the currency depreciates as the value of deposits in rupee terms grows significantly during such episodes,” said RupaRegeNitsure, chief economist, L&T Finance Holdings. Rupee has depreciated about 12% against the dollar this financial year.

  •  The UAE is the top source of inward remittances into India, with Kerala receiving the maximum funds sent from abroad, according to the RBI’s survey of inward remittances for 2016-17.

  •  “The government and RBI have taken measures in the past to attract a higher quantum of NRI deposits. However, any sharp upsurge in such deposits over a short period may not be necessarily favourable over the longer term as these deposits are repatriable and can therefore lead to sudden currency outflows in future periods,” Acuité Ratings & research said.

India’s gold demand rises in 3rd quarter

  •  India’s gold demand was up 10% at 183.2 tonnes in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017 as a dip in the price in the early part of the quarter — the lowest level since January 2018 — spurred demand, according to a report by the World Gold Council (WGC).

  •  Further, while the jewellery demand was up 10%, the investment demand for coins and bars increased by 11% compared to the third quarter of last year.The July to September period saw jewellery demand pegged at 148.8 tonnes while coins and bars saw a collective demand of 34.4 tonnes.

  •  Incidentally, the growth in demand needs to be seen in the context of a low base following the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the third quarter of 2017.

  •  According to Somasundaram P.R., managing director, India, World Gold Council, while a dip in the gold price in the early part of the quarter lifted demand, factors such as rupee depreciation and floods in Kerala affected the demand negatively.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India expects U.S waiver in relations with Iran

  •  With about 72 hours to go for the United States deadline on sanctions on oil trade with Iran as well as dealing with ports and shipping, Indian officials were cautiously optimistic they will receive a waiver from Washington.

  •  The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said India has been in talks with the U.S. as well as with Iran to ensure uninterrupted energy supply.

  •  “The U.S. is well aware of our requirement for oil domestically, which is critical for sustaining our economic growth. We have taken note of the U.S. position that the intention of imposing sanctions on Iran is not to hurt India. We will continue to engage with the U.S. and other stakeholders so that our energy security is not compromised,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

  •  The U.S. had called for all countries to “zero out” their oil purchases from Iran, which India has not done. However, U.S. officials are compiling a list of those countries that have significantly reduced their oil imports from Tehran, who would qualify for waivers, and India expects to be on that list.

  •  The waivers “look likely but not yet formally decided”, a government official told The Hindu , indicating that the final word rests with U.S. President Donald Trump who must sign them before November 4.

U.S revokes duty free concession on import of Indian goods

  •  The U.S. on Thursday revoked duty-free concessions on the import of at least 50 Indian products, mostly from handloom and agriculture sectors, reflecting the Trump administration’s tough stand on trade-related issues with New Delhi.

  •  The Federal Register issued a notification, listing 90 products which were so far subject to duty-free provisions under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).

  •  As of November 1, these products “will no longer qualify for duty-free preferences under the GSP programme but may continue to be imported subject to regular Most Favoured Nation duty-rates,” an official of U.S. Trade Representative said.

  •  A review of the products indicates that the presidential proclamation is not country-specific, but product-specific. With India, being the largest beneficiary of the GSP, it has been hit the most by the latest U.S. decision.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

India to host key meetings ahead of Poland climate talks

  •  Ahead of the December climate talks in Katowice, Poland, India is hosting two key meetings in New Delhi with a group of countries called the LMDC, the ‘Like Minded Developing Countries’ (India, China, Venezuela and Iran) and BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China), which are networks that have been formed to lend weight to the concerns of the developing countries.

  •  The Conference of Parties (COP), a league of at least 190 countries signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), meets annually to discuss ways to address issues related to climate change.

  •  These meetings are important, said Union Environment Secretary C.K. Mishra, for countries to craft a common front to ensure that the rules, which will govern how the 2015 Paris climate pact that will come into force from 2020, are implemented fairly.

  •  India is having discussions with at least 40 countries, including China, to forge alliances and compel developed countries to make good on promises, made over the years, to provide enough finance and technology to stem global warming.

  •  Last month, Mr. Mishra chaired a session at a ‘Pre-COP’ meeting in Poland. “Ahead of the talks next month, we are aiming for transparency and in ensuring that matters related to finance and technology are all discussed together, instead of separating them under various heads, as seemed to happen previously,” Mr. Mishra told.

::SPORTS::

Rahul Dravid joins ICC hall of fame

  •  Sunil Gavaskar inducts Rahul Dravid into the ICC Hall of Fame where they were on the lush, green ground two of India’s most classically moulded batsmen of all time. One was rightly called The Wall. The other was the great Indian wall before him.

  •  In a short, but memorable ceremony, before the toss on the fifth ODI here on Thursday, Sunil Gavaskar presented the ICC cap to Rahul Dravid, following the latter’s induction to the ICC’s Hall of Fame.

  •  Last July, Dravid had become the the fifth Indian, after Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, KapilDev and Anil Kumble, to receive the honour. “It in an honour to receive this from a hero of mine,” he told Gavaskar at the function.

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