• Current Affairs, 9 December 2019

    • December 9, 2019
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Prime Minister addresses the 54th DGsP/IGsP Conference
    2. RBI tightens norms for acquisition of financial assets by ARCs from sponsors and lenders
    3. NEFT transaction facility to be available 24×7 for customers from December, 16
    4. Overview of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf Folke and Queen Silvia Renate to India
    5. India’s top 10 Police Stations for 2019 announced: Andaman tops the list
    6. Universities are Great Hubs of Ideas, But they are Not Ivory Towers – They are Part of Society and thus Remain Engaged With Social Change
    7. Vice President calls upon the youth to work for ending social evils
    8. There can not be instant justice but there can not be constant delays either, says the Vice President
    9. Opening Ceremony joint Exercise Hand-In-Hand-2019
    • National Clean Air Programme
    1. Anti-govt protesters throng city streets in Hong Kong
    2. Netanyahu calls for direct PM election amidst deadlock
    3. Maldives Parliament speaker will be on 5-day visit to India next week
    4. South Asian Games: India maintains top spot with 248 medals
    5. Boxing: Joshua reclaims his world heavyweight crown from Andy Ruiz

     

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. Prime Minister addresses the 54th DGsP/IGsP Conference

     

    • The Prime Minister participated in the 54th DGsP/IGsP Conference in Pune on December 7-8, 2019. Apart from leading the discussions and giving valuable suggestions over the past two days, he addressed the valedictory session of the Conference this evening. The Prime Minister also awarded the President’s police medals for distinguished service to officers of the Intelligence Bureau.
    • With the guidance of the Prime Minister, in order to encourage meaningful exchange of views and experiences, the Conference, which earlier used to be a one day event, was changed to a three day affair starting from 2015. Moreover, the Conference was taken out of Delhi and organized in different parts of the country. The format of the Conference has also undergone significant changes in terms of the presence of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister. In the lead-up to the Conference, Committees of DGsP are established to formulate the contours of presentations, which are on contemporary security threats. Additionally, during the Conference, break-out sessions are held to further refine policy issues. This year, eleven core groups were formed for holding brain storming sessions on key aspects of internal and external security such as terrorism, naxalism, coastal security, cyber threats, combating radicalization and narco-terrorism etc.
    • Commending the Conference for generating good inputs for policy planning and implementation, Prime Minister laid emphasis on emergence of concrete outcomes from the finalized action points.
    • The Prime Minister, while appreciating the meticulous efforts made by the country’s police forces for maintaining general peace and tranquility in the country and ensuring normalcy, said that we must not forget the contribution of their families who stood firmly behind them. At all times, he said, they must strive to improve the image of the police force to inspire confidence amongst all sections of society including women and children. The Prime Minister emphasized the role of effective policing in making sure that women feel safe and secure.
    • Prime Minister urged the heads of police departments to carry forth the spirit of the Conference to the lowest level-from state to District to the police station (thana). After listening to the presentations given by different state police forces, Prime Minister mentioned that a comprehensive list of best practices could be prepared and adopted by all the states and UTs.
    • Prime Minister further commented that technology provides us with an effective weapon to ensure pro-active policing that factors-in the feedback of the common man.
    • PM expressed his special interest for the development of North Eastern States which is critical for Act East Policy of the government and urged the DGPs of these states to make extra efforts to create a conducive environment for the development programs.
    • Prime Minister concluded his remarks by recognizing the pulls and pressures confronting the police officer in the day to day discharge of duties. However, he said, that whenever they are in doubt they should remember the ideals and the spirit with which they appeared for the civil services exams and continue to work in national interest, keeping in mind the welfare of the weakest and poorest sections of society.

     

    2. RBI tightens norms for acquisition of financial assets by ARCs from sponsors and lenders

     

    • India’s central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)has tightened norms for Asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) by barring them to bilaterally buy assets from banks /financial institutions (FIs) which is its sponsor, lender or has subscribed to the fund raised by the ARC for its operations or an entity in the group to which the ARC belongs.
    • However, RBI allowed ARCs to participate in auctions of the financial assets, that should be conducted in a transparent manner, on arm’s length basis and the prices are set by market forces only.
    • In June 2019, The Reserve Bank has permitted allowed to acquire financial assets from other ARCs, in the view of amendment to the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002. However, RBI cleared that all such transactions have to be settled in cash basis only and price discovery for such transactions should not be prejudicial to the interest of Security Receipt holders.
    • It gives detailed provisions for the formation and activities of Asset Securitization Companies (SCs)and Reconstruction Companies (RCs) & give powers to banks and financial institutions to take over the immovable property that is hypothecated or charged to enforce the recovery of debt.
    • It is a specialized financial institution that buys the NPAs (Non Performing Assets) or bad loans from banks and financial institutions at a negotiable price and helps banks to clean up their balance sheets (by removing the NPAs).

     

    3. NEFT transaction facility to be available 24×7 for customers from December, 16

    • With a view to promote digital transactions, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)has allowed the round-the-clock (24×7) transactions facility under the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system to customers on all days including weekends and holidays from December 16,2019.
    • This direction was issued by RBI under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).
    • Under the current system, funds can be transferred through NEFT from 8 am to 7 pm from Monday to Friday (except on Holidays). On the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, NEFT can be done from 8 am to 1 pm in the afternoon.
    • After normal period of functioning of banks, NEFT can be done in auto mode through ‘Straight Through Processing (STP)’ model. However, within 2 hours of the transaction, the system will remain continue for crediting the beneficiary’s account or returning the transaction to the original bank account.
    • All member banks are also asked to develop the necessary infrastructure for smooth NEFT transaction.
    • It is a payment system facilitating funds transfers from one bank account to another. One can access this service either by using Internet banking or by visiting the bank branch.
      There is no limit on the minimum or maximum amount you can transfer, however, individual banks may put restrictions on the per transaction amount.
    • As per the recommendation of Nandan Nilekani-led Committee on Digital Payments panel, RBI directed banks to withdraw the charges levied on the NEFT transactions.

     

    1. Overview of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf Folke and Queen Silvia Renate to India

     

     

    • King CarlXVI Gustaf Folke Hubertus and Queen Silvia Renate Sommerlath of Sweden paid a 5-day official visit to India from December 2-6,2019 at the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind. They were received by Member of Parliament(MP) Babul Supriyo at the New Delhi airport. This is the 3rd time they both have visited India. Earlier they visited in the year 1993 and 2005.
    • India signed 3 agreements with Sweden on Science and Technology, polar science, climate change and maritime issues.
    • Sewage plant at Haridwar’s Sarai village in Uttarakhand inaugurated.
    • India & Sweden to set up healthcare centre.
    • Sweden to help India in building climate neutral smart city in Haryana.
    • 1 lakh crore invest in infrastructure sector in five years planned

     

    1. India’s top 10 Police Stations for 2019 announced: Andaman tops the list

     

    • TheMinistry of Home Affairs (MOH) has released the list of best performing Police Stations across the country for the year 2019. Aberdeen police station from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Balasinor police station from Gujarat and Ajk Burhanpur from Madhya Pradesh take the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
    • The grading system of the police stations comes after the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the DsGP (State Police Chief) during the 2015 Conference held in Kutch, Gujarat.
    • The aim of the grading was to select the top 10 police stations out of 15,579 police stations across the country by CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems) database, direct observation and public feedback. The best police stations from each state was shortlisted on the basis of Property offence, Crime against women and Crime against weaker sections.
    • The police stations included in the initial selection were 3 from each state with more than 750 police stations, 2 from all the other states and Delhi and 1 from each Union Territory (UT), out of which 79 police stations were selected for the final stage of the process. The final stage includes 19 parameters from which the selection is being processed, these 19 parameters constitute 80% of the selection and the remaining 20% is from the infrastructure of police station, approachability of police officials and from public feedback.
    • Top 5 Police Stations from the list:
    Ranking Police Station  State
    1 Aberdeen Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    2 Balasinor Gujarat
    3 Ajk Burhanpur Madhya Pradesh
    4 AWPS Theni Tamil Nadu
    5 Anini Arunachal Pradesh

     

     

    1. Universities are Great Hubs of Ideas, But they are Not Ivory Towers – They are Part of Society and thus Remain Engaged With Social Change

     

     

    • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind said that universities are great hubs of ideas, but they are not ivory towers. They are part of society and thus remain engaged with social change. The academic community should be engaged in research in areas that create not only a new knowledge base but also a knowledge base that sustains human society. The President was speaking at the concluding ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Utkal University in Bhubaneswar today (December 8, 2019).
    • The President said that Students and teachers should be sensitive towards the themes of empowerment of the marginalised. Environment, health and education should be taken up vigorously. Universities like Utkal that are endowed with multi-disciplinary faculty are better equipped to undertake this task.
    • The President said that an occasion like platinum jubilee is a milestone. During a long journey, when we come across it, we pause; then we look back and gaze ahead. It is time to take stock of achievements as well as of areas where further improvements are possible. For the whole Utkal community, it is time to rededicate themselves to the vision of the founders. He expressed confidence that the University will remain committed to playing a significant role in higher education and research, nationally and globally.
    • Earlier in the day, the President visited Baruei Hill in Khurda District of Odisha and laid the foundation stone for the memorial of Paika Vidroh.
    • Addressing the gathering, the President said that familiarizing people with the glorious chapters of our history, especially to make aware of the younger generation about the sacrifices of our forefathers, is an important part of nation-building. He appreciated the efforts of Central Government as well as State Government in constructing the Paika Vidroh Memorial. He expressed confidence that this memorial will provide important information related to the Paika Vidroh to visitors, especially the youth.

     

    1. Vice President calls upon the youth to work for ending social evils

     

     

    • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the youth to take a vow to put an end to social evils such as discrimination based on gender, caste, and disrespect to women by leading the nation towards equality.
    • Expressing concern over the erosion of values in the society, especially in the context of the recent atrocities against women, the Vice President opined that mere a Bill or an Act was not sufficient to act as a deterrent to crimes against women. He stressed the need for a change of Mindset in people to arrest such tendencies and incidents.
    • Delivering the 16thConvocation address of the Symbiosis International (Deemed University) in Pune today, Shri Naidu urged educational institutions, teachers, and parents to teach children about Indian culture that propounds values such as respecting women, guru, elders.
    • Shri Naidu called for a cultural renaissance in the country to revive and restore India’s age-old ethos, morals, and values.  He said that it was the time that ‘we go back to our roots.’
    • Describing women’s empowerment as a force-multiplier in transforming families, economy and the society at large and that welfare of the nation was not possible unless the condition of women were empowered, the Vice President asked universities and higher educational institutions to pay special attention to women’s empowerment.
    • Shri Naidu wanted educational institutions that were emerging as a major hub for incubation, entrepreneurial-learning, and development in the times to come to accord priority to the empowerment of women.
    • Calling for sustainable solutions for the common man’s everyday challenges, the Vice President wanted students to come up with bold and out of the box ideas to find solutions.  He asked them to use advancements in science, technology, and innovation to fructify and improve the quality of human lives.
    • Asserting that education ecosystem must be sensitive and cater to the needs of the most underprivileged, Shri Naidu said that education alone has the power to transform communities and that nation looks towards educational institutions to guide the younger generation.
    • Shri Naidu wanted universities to improve standards, infrastructure and make good use of technology to improve teaching methodologies to prepare students to adjust and excel in the rapidly changing technological, economic and social scenario.
    • On the occasion, the Vice President paid tributes of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and – Baba Saheb Ambedkar who shared a special bonding with the city and advised students to learn about the contributions of these two stalwarts to the nation and the whole of humanity.
    • The Vice President congratulated Dr. Tessy Thomas, a distinguished scientist and Shri Javed Akhtar, a renowned poet, lyricist and screenwriter on receiving Doctorate of Literature (Honoris causa) from the University during the 16thConvocation today.
    • During the event, students from countries such as Bhutan, Malawi, Sudan, Japan, and others presented their respective country’s flag as a mark of respect to the Vice President of India.  Board of Directors, Department Heads, Faculty and more than 10,000 students from different institutions of Symbiosis from different parts of the country and around foreign students representing 85 countries were present at the convocation.

     

     

     

    1. There can not be instant justice but there can not be constant delays either, says the Vice President

     

    • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for immediate and collective efforts by all stakeholders – the government, bar and the bench to reduce the heavy pendency of court cases in the country.
    • Delivering the Virendra Bhatia Memorial Lecture on Pillars of Democracy in New Delhi today, the Vice President said that “there can not be instant justice but there can not be constant delays either”. Otherwise people become restive and try to take law in their hands, he added.
    • To make judicial process more people friendly, Shri Naidu called for undertaking court proceedings in local languages so that people can understand it.
    • He also suggested that Supreme Court should have 2-3 benches across India. “No constitutional amendment is required for such a move”, he said, adding that currently people have to come to Delhi from all over India to file their cases. “They have to stay for many days in Delhi and it is expensive”, he added.
    • The Vice President also opined that there is a need to decide upon the certain category of cases in time-bound manner such as the election petitions and criminal cases against sitting MPs and MLAs.
    • He also called upon the presiding officers of legislative bodies to decide upon the disqualification proceedings under anti-defection law in a time-bound manner. “Judiciary should also give priority to such cases”, he stressed.
    • He expressed concerns that any delays in justice delivery in such cases erode public confidence in the judicial and legislative bodies.
    • Shri Naidu said that an efficient, the transparent, accessible and affordable judicial system is a key touchstone of good governance. It can improve ease of business as well as ease of living. It instills confidence in the government.
    • Commenting of the functioning of the legislature, the Vice President said that a general perception is building up that the quality of debates in the Parliament and the State legislature has been declining.
    • He appealed everyone in legislature to introspect to make constructive contributions for the welfare of society. “There is right to protest in democracy but not for obstructionism”, he added.
    • He asked the executive to give priority to the oppressed and to those living on the margins of society. People should be actively involved in not only drafting of various schemes and programs but also in their implementation, he emphasised.
    • Mentioning the four pillars of democracy- the Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and the Media, Shri Naidu said that each pillar must act within its domain but not lose sight of the larger picture.
    • “The strength of a democracy depends upon the strength of each pillar and the way pillars complement each other. Any shaky pillar weakens the democratic structure”, he said.
    • Shri M Venkaiah Naidu also stressed the need to bridge the many divides in our society by establishing an effective mechanism for every organ of the governance to perform to the best of abilities. Improving the quality of life of people and translating the Swarajya into Surajya must be our focus, he said.
    • Recalling Shri Virendra Bhatia’s contributions to nation as a practising lawyer, and as the member of Rajya Sabha, Shri Naidu said that Shri Bhatia had the rare distinction of holding all three important posts in the State of Uttar Pradesh namely- Advocate General of U.P., Chairman Bar Council of U.P. and the President of the High Court Oudh Bar Association on four occasions.

     

    1. Opening Ceremony joint Exercise Hand-In-Hand-2019

     

    • The Eighth Edition of India China joint training exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand-2019’ commenced at Joint Training Node, Umroi, Meghalaya on 07 December 2019. The People’s Liberations Army (PLA) contingent from the Tibet Military Command& Indian Army contingent comprising of one Infantry company alongwith supporting staff are participating in the 14 days long joint training exercise.
    • The exercise aims to enrich both the contingents from each other’s experience in counter – terrorism operations. Besides counter-terrorism operations, discussions on Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) operations will also be conducted as part of the exercise.
    • The exercise will send a strong signal to the world that both India and China well understand the emerging threat of terrorism and stand shoulder to shoulder in countering this menace plaguing the world.

     

     

    1. National Clean Air Programme

     

     

     

    • The Central Government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)as a long-term, time-bound, national-level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
    • The government is targeting to achieve 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduction in Particulate Matter PM10 and PM2.5 concentrationsby 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
    • Under NCAP, 102 non-attainment cities have been identified based on ambient air quality data for the period 2011 – 2015 and WHO report 2014 – 2018.

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. Anti-govt protesters throng city streets in Hong Kong

     

    • In Hong Kong, anti-government protesters thronged city streets today in a forceful display of support for the movement on its six-month anniversary.
    • Tens of thousands snaked their way through the financial hub’s main island after the police for the first time allowed a rally by the Civil Human Rights Front, one of the largest pro-democracy groups
    • Police said 11 people were arrested in raids ahead of the rally and that a handgun was seized. The protests started in June over a controversial extradition bill, and have now evolved into broader anti-government demonstrations. The rally comes two weeks after pro-establishment parties got a drubbing in local elections, shattering government claims that a silent majority opposed the protests.
    • The movement’s demands include an independent inquiry into the police’s handling of the protests, an amnesty for those arrested, and free elections.

     

    1. Netanyahu calls for direct PM election amidst deadlock

     

     

    • Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has said the people should elect the next government leader directly if lawmakers fail to end the country’s political impasse. He called for a head-to-head runoff vote between him and his main rival Benny Gantz, as a political stalemate threatens to dissolve the parliament.
    • The Israeli parliament or Knesset will be dissolved and the country will go for its third round of elections in less than a year if lawmakers fail to agree on a coalition government in the next three days. Both Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party has been unable to form a coalition.
    • Blue and White party dismissed the proposal, saying in a statement that the party is engaged in efforts to avoid costly and unnecessary elections. Israel has an electoral system with elections based on votes for parties, not for specific candidates. The party that wins the largest number of votes gets to form a government.
    • However, in the last two rounds of elections which were held in April and September, no party gained enough votes to establish a governing coalition.

     

    1. Maldives Parliament speaker will be on 5-day visit to India next week

    • Maldives Parliament speaker Mohamed Nasheed is leading a 14-member parliamentary delegation on a five-day visit to India next week to seek cooperation between legislatures of the two countries.
    • The delegation consists of 15 members with equal representation for all political parties and is being accompanied by the parliament’s secretary-general and counsellor-general.
    • Mr Nasheed, who also served as former President, said the objective of this visit is to encourage both parliaments to improve their democratic systems and boost the long-standing relationship between the two countries. During the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the 19th parliament of Maldives and Lok Sabha.
    • Mr Nasheed stated that the MoU will focus on establishing an official guideline to promote avenues for improvement in the parliament and its administration. It includes information-sharing and providing and promoting democratic support on international platforms. The Maldives has enjoyed close relations with India since the taking over of new government under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

     

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

    1. South Asian Games: India maintains top spot with 248 medals

     

    • Indian athletes are continuing their outstanding performance at 13th South Asian Games in Nepal. On the eight day of the games, India clinched 248 medals, comprising 131 gold, 74 silver and 40 bronze, to consolidate its top position.
    • Indian Judoka made a brilliant start to their campaign and won five gold, one silver and one bronze today. Sushila Devi brought the first gold in women’s 48 kg. Later, Vijay Kumar Yadav won gold in men’s 60 kg and Jasleen Singh Saini clinched gold in 66 kg. In 73 kg, Vishal Ruhil bagged bronze. Suchika Tariyal won gold in women’s 57 kg, while L. Nirupama Devi brought gold in 63 kg. Gayatri Tokas bagged silver in 52 kg category.
    • Indian swimmers continued their winning streak on the fourth day of the events and grabbed 6 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals. In Squash, India bagged one gold, two silver and one bronze. In the women’s individual event India won gold and silver. In the final, Tanvi Khanna defeated Sunayana S Kuruvilla by 3-1. In men’s individual, India got silver and bronze. India’s Harinder Pal Singh lost to Tayyab Aslam of Pakistan by 1-3 in men’s final. Harinder won silver and Abhay Singh got bronze.
    • In shooting, India won 2 gold and one bronze. In men’s 10-meter air pistol team event, Shravan Kumar, Ravinder Singh and Sumit Raman clinched gold. In individual event, Shravan Kumar grabbed gold and Ravinder Singh brought bronze.
    • In Fencing, India clinched 3 gold by winning men’s and women’s team events. India also bagged silver in Handball.
    • In Kabaddi, Indian men’s and women’s teams reached the finals. The men’s team will take on Sri Lanka while women’s team will clash with the hosts Nepal in the finals tomorrow. The Indian women’s football team will also face Nepal in the title clash tomorrow.

     

    1. Boxing: Joshua reclaims his world heavyweight crown from Andy Ruiz

     

     

    • Britain’s Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight crown from Andy Ruiz, outclassing the Mexican-American to score a unanimous points victory. Joshua, who suffered a stunning knockout defeat to Ruiz in New York in June, produced a masterclass performance to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles in emphatic fashion at Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia last night. Dominating from the outset, Joshua won by margins of 118-110 on two scorecards with the third judge making it 119-109.
    • Billed as the Clash on the Dunes, the eagerly anticipated rematch marked the first time a world heavyweight title fight has been staged in Saudi Arabia. And, after entering the purpose built open-air arena at Diriyah, on the outskirts of the Saudi capital, just after midnight, it was Joshua who rose to the occasion with a stylish victory.

     

     

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