Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 29, 2017

National Day

National Sports Day -29 August

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has congratulated all sportspersons and sports enthusiasts on the National Sports Day. Prime Minister also paid tributes to legendary Indian Hockey player Major Dhyan Chand.

National Sports Talent Search Portal -

  • The National Sports Talent Search Portal gives essential direction & support to youngsters to pursue their sporting aspirations and shine”, the Prime Minister said.

Defence

DRDO - Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) – signed 17000 crore deal

Why

  • For producing advanced medium —range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system for Indian Army by 2020

What

  • The deal envisages developing 40 ring units and around 200 missiles.
  • The MR-SAM, a land-based version of long range surface to air missile (LRSAM) of Indian Navy, has strike range of up 70 km
  • It is capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft.
  • The MRSAM for Indian Army’s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360 degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against wide variety of threats in combat zone
  • The current version of MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

Banking

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2017

  • The Parliament had approved the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which replaced an ordinance in this regard.
  • It amended the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by adding provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks.
  • The Act empowers the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specic stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The RBI can specify authorities or committees to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets.
  • The members on the committees will be appointed or approved by the RBI.
  • The Act also make these provisions applicable to the SBI and its subsidiaries and also Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).

THE NPA STORY -

  • The banking sector in India is saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) of over Rs.8 lakh crore, of which, Rs. 6 lakh crore are with public sector banks (PSBs).
  • The Union Government in May 2017 had promulgated an ordinance authorising the RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

International

Trump’s new Afghanistan policy

  • Welcomed by India
  • This move will help target “safe heavens” of terrorism in south asia
  • American President had urged India to play a larger role in providing economic and development assistance to the war-torn Afghanistan.

Enlighten about the new US policy on Afghanistan:

  • The Pentagon and NATO allies are redrawing their operational plans in America’s longest war that began in 2001, and an increase in troop levels is expected soon.
  • The new U.S. strategy for South Asia has many old elements, but in a departure from the past, it commits troops in Afghanistan for an open-ended period of time.
  • The policy also sets the stage for a new wave of U.S. offensive against Islamist forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

How this policy will be beneficial for India

Increased access:

  • A greater role of India in Afghanistan where it is already playing a big part in its reconstruction, will not only give India strategic advantage over its traditional rivals like Pakistan and China, but would also mean greater access to the oil and mineral rich Central Asian nations and opportunity for its industry to gain a larger share in the whole Afghanistan rebuilding business.

Strategic advantage:

  • A stable Afghanistan, which is fiercely against Pakistan, can in fact give India strategic advantage by providing a valuable military base in future, overlooking both Pakistan and China.

Gateway to central Asia:

  • In July 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic visit of five Central Asian nations, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and the main objective was ensuring India’s future energy security.
  • For India, Afghanistan is the gateway to Central Asia and a stable Afghanistan with greater access will go a long way in fulfilling India’s objective.

Against terrorism:

  • A wider presence in Afghanistan will give India greater leverage in dealing with the terror groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State which are trying to establish their Indian footprint.
  • There groups are currently using restive regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan as their gateway opportunity to the Indian Subcontinent.

Afghanistan in future can also emerge as a big push for Make in India initiative for India’s nascent defence industry as the country would need a sustained military supply to handle not only its internal terror threats but also to secure its contentious borders with Pakistan, a terror exporter that has been destabilising Afghanistan for the past four decades.

India and Afghanistan:

  • India has played an important role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction in post Taliban era spending around USD 2 Billion since 2002 on development projects including its parliament building and committed another USD 1 Billion last year.
  • The Indian aid has been mostly in infrastructure development, health services and military equipment like bullet proof jackets and convoy vehicles. But breaking the tradition of not giving lethal military equipment in aid, it gave Afghanistan four attack helicopters last year and is also training its soldiers.

Pin(Person In News)

Justice Dipak Misra (64) - sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India (CJI)

  • He was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • He succeeds Chief Justice J S Khehar.
  • He will have tenure of 14 months and will demit office in October 2018.
  • He is third person from Odisha to be appointed the CJI, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.

Know your CJI

  • Justice Dipak Misra was born on 3 October 1953 in Odhisha.
  • He is the nephew of Justice Ranganath Misra who was CJI from September 1990 – November 1991.
  • He began his career as an advocate in 1977 and has practised in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and Tribunals before was elevated to the High Court bench.
  • He was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in January 1996 and later was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in March, 1997 where he became a permanent judge.
  • In 2009, Justice Misra was elevated as Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and later as the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court
  • He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in October 2011.
  • In the apex court, he has already presided over several key cases and verdicts.
  • He had led the SC bench which rejected the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s appeal to stop his execution.
  • He also had led a three judge SC bench which had upheld the death sentence awarded to the four convicts of the Nirbhaya rape case in May, 2017.
  • He also has given significant judgment directing states and UTs to upload First Information Reports (FIRs) led with police on websites within 24 hours of their registration for enabling accused and others to le appropriate pleas in the courts for redress.

Ministry Of External Affairs

Country’s first Videsh Bhavan

  • Launched by – Ministry of external affairs
  • By assimilating all Regional Passport Offices and allied departments under a single roof

Where

  • At the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Enlighten about this Pilot Project

  • Under this first pilot project of Videsh Bhavan in Mumbai,
    Four offices of MEA
  • 1. Regional Passport Office (RPO)
    2. Protector of Emigrants (PoE) office
    3. Branch Secretariat and
    4. Regional Office of ICCR

    were integrated and brought to function under one roof at the state-of-art office in BKC.

  • Merging and integrating them into similar Videsh Bhavans in different state capitals is expected to cut costs besides ensuring improving efficiency and speeding up the delivery of various services.
  • The pilot project is part of Union Government’s policy to bring together different offices of the MEA under a single roof and work closely with states as more and more Indians are going abroad for education, employment, business and tourism