Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 12 APRIL 2019
SC gives timeline to furnish details on electoral bonds
- The Supreme Court has directed all political parties to furnish
receipts of electoral bonds and details of identity of donors in a sealed
cover to the Election Commission.
- In an interim order, the apex court also directed all political
parties to provide details of the amount and bank accounts of donors by 30th
May to the poll panel.
- The order was pronounced today by a bench consisting of Chief
Justice of India RanjanGogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and SanjivKhanna.The
order was passed on a plea of an NGO which challenged the validity of the
scheme and sought that either the issuance of electoral bonds be stayed or
names of donors be made public to ensure transparency in the poll process.
- A person being an individual can buy electoral bonds, either
singly or jointly with other individuals. Only political parties registered
under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which
secured not less than one per cent of votes polled in the last general
election to the LokSabha or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be
eligible to receive electoral bonds.
- Electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party
only through a bank account with an authorized bank.
Study reveals threat of India’s solar waste pile up
- By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of
electronic waste, namely solar e-waste, says a study made public on
Thursday. Currently, India’s e-waste rules have no laws mandating solar cell
manufacturers to recycle or dispose waste from this sector.
- “India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to
200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050,” said the
study by Bridge To India (BTI), an energy consultancy firm.
- India is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world,
buoyed by the government’s commitment to install 100 GW of solar power by
2022. So far, India has installed solar cells for about 28 GW and this is
largely from imported solar PV cells.
- Solar cell modules are made by processing sand to make silicon,
casting silicon ingots, using wafers to create cells and then assembling
them to make modules.
- “India is poorly positioned to handle PV waste as it doesn’t yet
have policy guidelines on the same…a lack of a policy framework is coupled
with the fact that even basic recycling facilities for laminated glass and
e-waste are unavailable. Despite the e-waste regulation being in place for
over seven years, only less than 4% of estimated e-waste is recycled in the
organised sector as per the latest estimates from the Central Pollution
Control Board,” say the authors of the report.
Vice president stresses on banking sector reforms to ensure inclusive growth
- Vice President Venkaiah Naidu today said the rising Non Performing
Assets in the banking system is a cause for concern as mounting NPAs would
affect banks’ capacity to lend.
- Addressing the 125th foundation day function of Punjab National
Bank in New Delhi, Mr. Naidu said, the accumulation of bad loans happened
over a long period of time and now threatens to hamper economic growth by
weakening credit supply. He said banks must constantly strengthen their
internal processes to monitor funds and maintain strict discipline in
- The Vice President said that financial inclusion is at the heart
of transformation. The banks should work towards further improving their
services and work towards avoiding leakages. He said, India’s financial
institutions have been lauded for being resilient and withstanding
- He said, the banks are no longer just about strong lockers and
good interest rates. They have transcended their conventional mandates and
are now at forefront of India's development story. He said, systematic
reforms in the banking sector is the need of the hour to ensure inclusive
- He said, many positive trends like expansion of middle class and
digital revolution have transformed the Banking. The Vice President said,
digital revolution and latest technologies should be used in the banking
sector so that people can avail most of the banking services through online.
Third quarter witnesses decline in NPA and boost in commercial credit
- Total bank credit exposure stood at Rs. 111.1 lakh crore as of
December 2018 with the mid and large corporate segment accounting for the
largest share of 43% and an exposure of Rs. 47.5 lakh crore, said a
TransUnion CIBIL and SIDBI report.
- “Consumer lending [retail, agriculture and priority sector
lending] is the second biggest segment with a share of 35% and exposure of
Rs. 38.4 lakh crore,” it said.
- “The MSME segment [business lending to both corporate entities and
individuals] stands third with a share of 23% of the aggregate pie.”
- Commercial credit growth also grew robustly in the December 2018
quarter, with all segments large, micro and SME recording a growth of more
- “After a long period of stress, the banking sector seems to be on
the course to recovery as the NPA rates have started showing a gradual
decline,” the report added. “The NPA rate reached its peak between March
2018 to June 2018 for the mid and large segments.”
- Since then, however, NPA levels have fallen in both segments. The
NPA level for the large segment dropped marginally from 20% in June 2018 to
19% in December 2018. Similarly, the NPA level for the mid segment declined
from 18% to 16.5%.
Military coup in Sudan, ousts President
- Sudan's army ousted and arrested President Omar al-Bashir on
Thursday.Announcing this on state television, Defence Minister AwadIbnouf
said, the President has been removed from power and detained by the army. He
also said, a three-month state of emergency was being put in place.
- He said, Sudan's constitution was being suspended, border
crossings were being closed until further notice and airspace was being
closed for 24 hours.
- AwadIbnOuf said, the army had decided to oversee a two-year
transitional period followed by elections.
- Meanwhile, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)
service announced that it was freeing all the political detainees across the
- Protests against Mr Bashir, who has governed Sudan since 1989,
have been underway for several months.
- Mr Bashir is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued
by the International Criminal Court (ICC), which accuses him of organising
war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's western Darfur region.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists develop new genetic conservation method
- Scientists have been using genetics to study wild animals for
several years now. However, a new genetic method developed by a team,
including scientists from Bengaluru’s National Centre for Biological
Sciences (NCBS), hopes to make studying as well as and conserving wild
species quicker, easier and cost-effective by deriving information from
animal sources containing extremely low-quality DNA including animal faeces
and cooked wild meat.
- Their method, available for free and described in the study
published on April 10 in the international journal Methods in Ecology and
Evolution , relies on identifying multiple, short portions of DNA segments
in a single experiment (a ‘multiplex PCR’), followed by ‘next-generation
sequencing’, in which multiple fragments of DNA can be decoded
simultaneously, and several times, in an automated process.
- The team tested their method on Caribbean queen conches (that are
illegally harvested for meat in the Atlantic Ocean) and tigers, two
“extremely different species that had strong conservation needs,” to “show
how this approach could be used generally,” said co-author Dr. Stephen
Palumbi (Stanford University) in a press release.
- While the method can be implemented in labs with access to more or
less basic equipment, following a standard procedure would make it easy to
share and compare the data, making monitoring populations across states or
even countries easier, said lead author MeghanaNatesh (NCBS and Sastra
University) in a press release.