Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 08 October 2018

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 08 October 2018

::NATIONAL::

Government plans to widen pension cover

  •  The Union government launched an evaluation this week as part of measures to double the number of people covered by its pension scheme from the current 3.09 crore to more than six crore.

  •  The measure is in line with proposals made in the last budget, which, however, did not include additional financial allocation. Now, with an upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court on a petition demanding universal pension coverage and higher allocation, the government hopes its study will throw up some concrete proposals, in time for the next budget.

  •  According to the official, advertisements for agencies to conduct the evaluation were issued on Saturday, just days before the October 9 hearing of a Public Interest Litigation petition on care and assistance to the elderly.

  •  In its last order on September 12, the Supreme Court had said: “As far as the National Social Assistance Programme is concerned, even though it is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, the contribution made by the Central government is minuscule.” The Centre’s contribution to the monthly pension is ₹200, an amount that has remained unchanged for the last 11 years.

::ECONOMY::

Govt. plans to auction around 100 coal blocks soon

  •  Having secured Rs. 1.81 lakh crore in its kitty from e-auction of 50 mineral blocks, the government is looking to put on block another 100 mines in the next six months, according to the Ministry of Mines.

  •  The government, so far, has auctioned 50 mines, including 23 limestone, 17 iron ore, 4 gold, 2 each of manganese and graphite blocks and one bauxite and diamond block each.

  •  As per the report, Jharkhand will auction the highest 20 blocks followed by Rajasthan (16) and Madhya Pradesh (13) and Maharashtra (13). Of these 102, the government plans to auction two limestone blocks in October. Of the two blocks, one is in Andhra Pradesh and the other is in Gujarat.

  •  The Chintalayapalle-Abdullapuram-Korumanipalli (CAK) limestone block in Andhra Pradesh with reserves of 104.68 million tonnes (MT) will be auctioned on October 12. The Bhatvadiya block in Gujarat with reserves of 477.2 MT will go under the hammer on October 17.

  •  The Centre had earlier said it was considering granting all approvals, including environmental clearance, to the mineral blocks before putting them up for sale.

  •  From the 50 mineral blocks auctioned so far since 2015, the government will earn a revenue of Rs. 1.81 lakh crore over the lease period.

RBI maintains status quo on policy rates

  •  On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 percent.

  •  Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.25 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75 per cent.

  •  The decision of the MPC is consistent with the stance of calibrated tightening of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 percent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth.

  •  Although RBI has kept the key policy rates unchanged, now it is up to the banks on whether they will keep interest rates where they are or raise them. Many banks and lending institutions have been increasing their interest rates even before the RBI hiked repo rate for the first time in June 2018.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

President addresses Indian community in Tajikistan

  •  The President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind, landed in Tajikistan this afternoon (October 7, 2018) on a three day visit to the country.

  •  Later in the evening, he addressed members of Indian community at a reception hosted by Mr SomnathGhosh, Ambassador of India to Tajikistan, in Dushanbe.

  •  Addressing the gathering, the President said that a major change has been made in the Indian Government’s mechanism to connect with the overseas Indian community.

  •  Emotional, cultural, economic and institutional relations between India and its diaspora have become stronger in the past few years. Missions have been instructed to promptly respond to diaspora members in need of assistance.

  •  Addressing the “Friends of India in Tajikistan”, the President assured them that India will continue to give its cooperation to Tajikistan in capacity building and development. He appreciated the work of Tajikistan’s Indologists.

Brazilians vote for presidential elections

  •  Brazilians began casting ballots on Sunday in their most divisive presidential election in years, with a far-right politician promising an iron-fisted crackdown on crime, JairBolsonaro, the firm favorite in the first round.

  •  Surveys suggest that the 63-year-old former paratrooper, who wants to cut spiralling debt through sweeping privatisations and embrace the U.S. and Israel, could count on more than one in three voters in the vast Latin American nation.

  •  He is known for repeated offensive comments against women, gays and the poor, and for lauding the military dictatorship Brazil shucked off just three decades ago.

  •  If Mr.Bolsonaro gets more than 50% of the vote to lead the field of 13 candidates, he will win the presidency outright. Otherwise, a run-off will be held on October 28.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Scientist create tiny titanium dioxide particles that can destroy BPA

  •  Scientists have created tiny spheres that can catch and destroy bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used to make plastics that often contaminates water.

  •  BPA is commonly used to coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, and was once a component of baby bottles. While BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children and contributing to high blood pressure.

  •  Scientists at Rice University in the U.S. have developed something akin to the Venus’ flytrap of particles for water remediation.The micron-sized spheres resemble tiny flower-like collections of titanium dioxide petals.

  •  The supple petals provide plenty of surface area for researchers to anchor cyclodextrin a benign sugar-based molecule often used in food and drugs. It has a two-faced structure, with a hydrophobic (water-avoiding) cavity and a hydrophilic (water-attracting) outer surface.

::SPORTS::

India wins U-19 asia cup for seventh time

  •  The Indian colts emulated the senior squad by winning the U-19 Asia Cup, with a crushing 144-run win over Sri Lanka in the final at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Sunday.

  •  Runaway favourite India outplayed Sri Lanka in all departments by first scoring an imposing 304 for six after skipper PrabhSimran Singh elected to bat.

  •  The highlight of the Indian innings was AyushBadoni’s unbeaten 52 off 28 balls which included five sixes and two fours.

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