Action stayed against 27 judges in land case – (International Relations)
· The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the orders passed by the Gujarat High Court to proceed against 27 sitting and retired judges of the apex court and High Courts in connection with the allotment of residential plots to them in 2008.
· A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, said the High Court Bench was in a “mortal hurry”. “Seems HC Bench was in a mortal hurry … this kind of hurry was not needed,” Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu, who headed the Bench, said.
India steels itself to face impact of yuan devaluation – (Economics)
· With China’s central bank following up on Tuesday’s devaluation of its tightly controlled currency, yuan, by 1.9 per cent with another 1 per cent cut on Wednesday, India increased the import duty on certain steel products by 2.5 per cent.
· This is the second increase in two month.
French fighter talks deadlocked over cost, offset stipulation – (Defence)
· India and France stuck over until price of aircrafts and that Dassault should invest more
· Top military officials have warned of a major capability gap setting in with rivals China and Pakistan with-out new-age, uber Western warplanes
· Both the Indian Prime Minister and the French President had on April 10 announced the deal for the sale of off-the-shelf Rafale fighters to the Indian Air Force.
Needless escalation – (International Relations)
· In an unwarranted escalation, Italy has now moved the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, at a time when the judicial process in India has been hampered by a petition from the accused marines questioning the jurisdiction of the National Investigation Agency to prosecute them.
· Italy’s request for provisional measures against India taking “any judicial or administrative measures” against Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone seems to be an attempt to stymie the pending prosecution and cite the interminable delay itself as a reason for the international forum to intervene.
Circumventing the Rajya Sabha – (Indian polity)
· The Rajya Sabha should not be deprived of its legitimate right to legislative disapproval through strategems such as certifying any bill as a money bill
· The Constitution clearly defines the money bill and the Speaker cannot circumvent it. The word “only” used in article 110 (1)strictly limits the scope of a money bill and rules out any liberal or politically convenient interpretation.
Emulating Singapore’s success – (Governance)
· At least in two areas — public sector pay and industrial policy — the tiny but prosperous Singapore holds lessons for India as it celebrates the 68th anniversary of its independence
· TheSingapore government embarked on a campaign to encourage women to join the workforce and publicly discussed the benefits of a dual-income family.
Union govt. staff can expect good news – (Economics)
· The implementation of the 7th Pay Commission award would result in a 15.79 per cent rise in the salary outgo for 2016-17. A look at how it will affect the exchequer in the coming years.
· Budget estimate for tax receipts of the Centre for 2015-16 Rs 9,19,842 crore.
Rural job scheme empowered women: NCAER – (Social Issues)
· Demand for MGNREGS peaks during lean season
· No evidence MGNREGS on its own is diverting labour or raising rural wages
· MGNREGS reduced distress migration especially among women
· MGNREGS raised calorific and protein intake.
Govt. defends curbs on journalists – (Governnce)
· As many as 113 cases were registered and 30 people arrested for attacks on journalists in the country in 2014, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
· In reply to another question, the government defended the gag order on mediapersons issued last month by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The order had sought to restrict the movement of journalists in North Block and bar them from meeting bureaucrats directly.
Africa takes a giant step towards polio eradication – (International Relations)
· August 11, 2015 marked one year since the last wild polio case in Africa was detected in central Somalia.
· On July 24, Africa’s last polio-endemic country, Nigeria, reached 1 year without a reported case.
· In the only two other polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, there have been 28 and six cases, respectively, this year.
China devalues yuan again – (Economics)
· Following Tuesday’s 1.9 percent devaluation of its currency, China lowered its “daily fix” of the yuan to 6.3306 per US dollar, a further decline of 1.6%. The yuan is allowed to trade at plus or minus 2 percent around this midpoint.
· Wednesday’s move pushed the yuan down by another 1.4 percent to 6.4151 in onshore markets. Markets have been rife with rumours about China wanting to exacerbate a currency war.
Natural gas supply growing much faster than demand – (Economics)
· The shortfall of natural gas in the country is set to widen over the next couple of years and then stabilise by 2017-18, according to data presented by the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan to Parliament during the ongoing session.
· According to the Minister, India’s natural gas production would touch 46.3 billion cubic metres (BCM) in 2017-18, up from the 33.6 BCM achieved in 2014-15. However, the improvement over this year is to be minimal, with the Ministry projecting only 33.86 BCM to be produced in 2015-16, a 0.6 per cent improvement over the previous year.
Choice, identity and privacy – (Indian Polity)
· The Supreme Court has once again made it clear that the government cannot insist on the possession of an ‘Aadhaar’ card or number as a precondition for citizens to avail of specified benefits and services.
· The court has been forced to reiterate its earlier order to this effect as more and more entities are trying to link their services with Aadhaar.