18 September 2015

Orthodoxy defeats immunisation  –    (Health)

  • With the diphtheria debate now throwing up questions, Jama’at-e-Islami leader Shaikh Mohammed Karakunnu said that to immunise the children or not was a question of “personal choice and freedom’’ of the people, and claimed that his organisation has not issued an official call to boycott all immunisation efforts. “We have not issued any such directive,” he said.


795 low-capacity cellphone towers dot Red Corridor  –    (Security)

  • In the past three months, 795 mobile-phone towers have been set up in the Maoist-affected districts of the country, known as the Red Corridor.
  • The plan to provide a channel of communication in these remote areas has taken off after remaining on paper for the past five years.


The tiger finally reaches Kawal sanctuary  –    (Environment)

  • Kawal was declared a tiger reserve without the presence of even a single wild cat only because it had the potential of regaining its past glory.
  • It’s spread in an area of 893 sq km of dense tropical dry deciduous forest to which about 1,120 sq km of buffer area was added subsequently.


Now, bid to push back antiquity of Vedas   –     (Indian culture)

  • Any backward reassessment of Vedic chronology is useful for the Sangh, as it would imply that the Vedic and Harappan people were the same and there was no Aryan migration.
  • While accusing western, “Christian” scholars of distorting Sanskrit literature and disagreeing with the writings of eminent Indian Marxists, the university’s Sanskrit Department head, Ramesh Bhardwaj, denies any personal association with the Sangh Parivar.


Ahimsa cannot be forced, says SC  –    (Indian Polity)

  • Noting that meat bans cannot be “shoved down someone’s throat”, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused a Jain community organisation’s plea to set aside the Bombay High Court stay on a State government notification banning sale of meat and slaughter in Mumbai during the Jain Paryushan period of penance.
  • Submissions were made that a two-day ban on meat ban was an expression of compassion to animals and reverence to the principle of ahimsa practised by Mahatma Gandhi.


Saudi diplomat issue casts shadow on Indo-Nepal ties  –    (International Relation)

  • The departure of the Saudi Arabian diplomat Majed Hassan Ashoor, who has been accused of raping his Nepali housemaid and her daughter, has not ended the crisis over the brutal treatment of the two women.
  • Following Mr. Ashoor’s exit, the triangular crisis has acquired a bilateral shape involving India and Nepal, and has cast a shadow on India’s work in the last stages of the delicate process of making Nepal’s Constitution.


SC stays operation of new Haryana panchayat law  –    (Indian polity)

  • In a fillip to “grassroots democracy,” the Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the operation of a new panchayat law in Haryana prescribing minimum educational qualifications for contesting in local bodies’ elections.
  • The apex court’s decision to stay the function of the Haryana Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015, serves a blow to the State government which notified the changes in conditions of eligibility only on September 8, a day prior to the opening of nominations for the panchayat elections.


No country for the ill   –    (Health)

  • The inability to ensure long-term behavioural changes among both people and the health care sector is reflected in repeated outbreaks of epidemics.
  • Somebody has to be held accountable for the death of Avinash, and in reflected anguish, that of his parents.


The way out of the economic tailspin  –    (Economics)

  • As it stands at present, the Indian economy is headed for a crisis and a crash by early 2016. The government needs a Crisis Management Team of politicians and economists rooted in Indian ethos and not compliant to international finance institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.
  • It is necessary to implement a menu of measures: abolish income tax, lower the cost of capital by reducing prime lending rates of banks to below 10 per cent, shift to a fixed exchange rate of Rs.50 per dollar and abolish Participatory Notes.


Moving towards accountability  –    (International Relation)

  • Accountability for past excesses is not easily achieved in post-conflict societies, but its need and relevance cannot be brushed aside. Fostering peace and reconciliation among formerly feuding sections of society, and finding constitutional solutions to core political issues are often the final objectives.
  • However, transformative and substantive justice requires establishing the truth about past crimes perpetrated as part of a deliberate policy. The human rights investigation report on Sri Lanka, submitted to the UN Human Rights Council by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, seeks to address the crucial question of accountability in the island nation for the “horrific crimes” committed by all parties to the conflict that ended in 2009.


On the road to recovery  –   (Economics)

  •  McKinsey & Co. estimates an increase in infrastructure investment equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP would generate an additional 3.4 million jobs, directly and indirectly.
  • Conversely, the low global ranking of India’s infrastructure — the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index placed it in the bottom half among 144 countries — is one of the commonly cited impediments to attracting foreign direct investment.


Military confirms coup in Burkina Faso, dissolves govt.   –     (International relation)

  • While gunfire rang out in the streets, Burkina Faso’s military took to the airwaves Thursday to declare it now controls the West African country in a coup mounted weeks before elections.
  • A former aide to ex-President Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in a popular uprising last year, was named the new head of state. Demonstrators who opposed Compaore’s bid to prolong his 27-year rule forced him from office.


Fed leaves key interest rate unchanged, citing low inflation  –    (Economics)

The Federal Reserve is keeping US interest rates at record lows in the face of threats from a weak global economy, persistently low inflation and unstable financial markets.

Ending a highly anticipated meeting, Fed officials today said that while the US job market is solid, global pressures may “restrain economic activity” and further drag down already low inflation.

Sustained low inflation necessary for lower cost of funds: RBI   –    (Economics)


  • Ahead of the bi-monthly monetary policy review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Urjit Patel on Thursday said sustained low inflation over medium- to long-term is necessary to bring down the cost of fund.
  • “Sustained low inflation… at a low enough level is an important ingredient for making the cost apposite to that particular level of inflation and inflationary expectation.


Centre to hold mines auction on behalf of States  –    (Economics)

  • In a bid to fast-track mineral extraction, the Centre will conduct auction of mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite and limestone on behalf of States for the first phase starting November this year.
  • In phase-I, the 12 mineral-producing states have identified 80-90 blocks that will go under the hammer by November. This was made possible after the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, was passed in March this year, which stipulates auction as the only means to allow extraction of iron ore and other minerals.


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