Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 18 June 2017
Centre will announce a new metro policy featuring innovative financing
The Centre will announce a new metro policy featuring innovative financing,
and will add a list of new cities to the Smart Cities Mission on June 23, said
Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu.
President Pranab Mukherjee flagged off the last stretch of Namma Metro’s
Green Line in the presence of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Governor Vajubhai R.
Vala, and a host of Union and State Ministers.
The new metro policy is to enable greater private participation and
innovative financing — through Value Capture Financing — and to ensure
conformity to comprehensive mobility plans.
More cities would be added to the Smart Cities Mission and names of the new
cities would be announced on June 23, Mr. Naidu added.
With the commissioning of the 11.3-km line between Mantri Square Sampige Road
and Yelachenahalli, metro network of 42.3 km — with 40 stations in East-West
and North-South corridors for Phase I — has been completed at a cost of Rs.
With the opening of the line, the total metro length operational in the country
is 370 km (including 13.4 km inaugurated by Prime Minister in Kochi) in the
Delhi and NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, and Mumbai.
Around 517 km is under construction in various cities, including Delhi and NCR,
Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and
Lucknow and another around 522 km is under consideration, Mr. Naidu said.
ISRO has progressed to the testing of subsystems of a semi-cryogenic engine
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has progressed to the
testing of subsystems in the development of a semi-cryogenic engine for
rockets with heavier payload capacity.
- The testing facilities at the ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri, are
being augmented for the engine being developed by the Liquid Propulsion
Systems Centre here under a project codenamed SCE 200.
- Three of the four turbo pumps of the new engine have been tested and the
pre-burner and thrust chamber are being readied for testing.
- The semi-cryogenic engine uses a combination of liquid oxygen (LOX) and
refined kerosene (Isrosene) as propellants.
- One of the options before ISRO is to replace the liquid core (L110)
engine of the GSLV Mark 3 with the SCE-200 to boost the payload capacity of
the rocket from four to six tonnes.
- Mindful of the fact that the standard size of satellites is expected to
go up in the near future, ISRO is already looking much ahead.
- On the cards is a proposal to develop a bigger semi cryogenic engine
with a cluster of four or five engines that could generate a lift of eight
to 10 tonnes.
- A clustered semi cryogenic booster with a more powerful cryogenic upper
stage is another possibility. ‘
- But before that, ISRO needs to ensure that critical technologies such as
special materials and coatings, brazing process, kerosene refinement,
combustion instability and control components are mastered and key
infrastructure is in place.
Challenges of linking Aadhaar with Pan car
- The simple act of paying your income tax to the government — an article
of citizens’ faith that is not exercised by enough Indians with incomes over
Rs. 2.5 lakh a year if you go by India’s low direct tax base — will never be
the same again.
- Having a PAN (permanent account number) card from the Income Tax
department will no longer be enough to file your returns.
- Starting July 1, the government has made it mandatory for taxpayers to
link their Aadhaar number to their PAN cards in order to be able to file
returns. Aadhaar numbers have also been made mandatory for all those
applying for a new PAN card after July 1.
- Among several changes appended to this year’s Finance Bill that did not
figure in the budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced a new
Section, 139 AA, in the Income Tax Act of 1961.
- This new Section stipulates that all PAN cardholders share their Aadhar
number with the tax authorities so that the two documents can be linked, and
makes quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for all PAN card applications and to file
income tax returns.
- The new provision also states that the existing PAN cardholders who fail
to link their Aadhaar numbers will have the legal status of their PAN card
revoked and those cards will be held invalid for all other purposes.
- However, petitions were filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the move
with the argument that it runs foul of the court’s earlier decision on
Aadhaar-related petitions that the unique ID number cannot be made
- PAN cards are mandatory not just for filing income tax returns, but also
for deposits above Rs. 50,000 into bank accounts as well as purchasing
property, among other things. The universe of taxpayers in India is smaller
than the number of PAN cardholders.
- The Supreme Court may have offered limited relief to taxpayers, but the
bigger battle over the Aadhaar programme will continue in its corridors as
and when a Constitutional Bench is formed to examine Aadhaar-related
concerns about right to privacy and human dignity as limbs of Article 21 of
Trump wants to change the deal with Cuba
- U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to overhaul Barack Obama’s deal to
restore ties with Cuba, promising to instead support the Cuban people
against Raul Castro’s government.
- Mr. Trump flew to Miami’s Little Havana, spiritual home of the
Cuban-American community, to denounce his predecessor’s “one-sided”
settlement and pledge to work for Cuba’s freedom.
- In practical terms, Mr. Trump’s review of the deal was limited. He will
not break the diplomatic ties Mr. Obama worked so carefully to restore, nor
does he plan to impose new trade sanctions.
- But he did tighten rules for Americans travelling to Cuba, ban ties with
a military-run tourism firm and reaffirm the existing U.S. trade embargo,
which will be firmly enforced.
- The Cuban government response was restrained. In a statement on state
television it denounced the measures, but said Havana “reiterates its
willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation.”
- That may have been overstating his case. Mr. Trump’s new measures mainly
relate to stricter enforcement of existing laws that had begun to loosen as
Mr. Obama sought a rapprochement.
Business and Economy
- Russia is looking at India as an export market for its IT solutions
- Russia is looking at India as an export market for its IT solutions. It
is also eyeing partnerships with Indian IT companies to implement its
home-grown technologies, according to a top official at a Russian
- Currently, IT exports for Russia stand at $7 billion. “The goal is to
double this by 2025 through development of software, modern hardware and of
specialists,” Mr. Brovko said.
- Healthcare and crime-control solutions are among offerings that Rostec
aims to take to markets such as India, other countries in South-East Asia,
South Asia, West Asia, North America and Latin America.
- At five regional perinatal hospitals, Rostec has built capabilities
combining IT, big data, customer relationship management and network
distribution, aiming to reduce mortality rates among newborns and mothers.
- Working as tech hubs, these main hospitals are connected to others
within their respective regions.All data on pregnancies is fed into the
Cases considered medically difficult and needing attention are continuously
monitored at the hub level and treated.
- The NCIT has also set about an integrated healthcare database, which
aims to collate and store all medical records of a citizen.
- The Bright City project is about regulated lighting based on need,
across a city. It is sensor-based and shuts off or comes on depending on
- The Smart City concept in Russia is a consolidated ecosystem project
that includes Bright City, Safe City, an ecological monitoring system and a
smart transport system.
Science and Tech
- lightning can be much more powerful over the ocean than land
Research from Florida Institute of Technology in the US, published in
Geophysical Research Letters shows that lightning can be much more powerful
over the ocean than land.
- The new study validates for the first time through independent
measurement previously formed beliefs that strikes over sea water tend to be
- It could inform how off-shore infrastructure and vessels are to be built
to minimise the risk of super-powerful lightning bolts.
- In their study, which measured peak currents of various cloud-to-ground
lightning strikes over land and ocean from 2013 to 2015, researchers
calculated the duration of the “negative stepped leader” — the electrical
channel that moves down towards ground from a thundercloud.
- When the leader touches ground, a surge of current, typically with a
peak value of around 30 kilo amperes, flows upward to the cloud.
The durations of negative stepped leaders over the ocean were significantly
shorter than those over land, indicating they carry more charge in them.