Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 21 November 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 21 November 2017

::NATIONAL::

SC dismissed plea to stay the release of the controversial movie Padmavati

  • The Supreme Court dismissed another plea to stay the release of the controversial movie Padmavati and initiate criminal prosecution against its director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
  • It made it clear that it wants the Censor Board to come to an independent and considered decision on certifying the movie.
  • A three-judge Bench said the Supreme Court cannot stop a statutory body like the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) from doing its statutory duty of certifying a film by “prematurely” ordering a stay on its release.
  • “Can the Supreme Court intervene to stop a movie? The CBFC has a statutory duty. Can this court injunct a statutory board from doing its duty,” Chief Justice Misra asked the petitioner-advocate M.L. Sharma.
  • Referring to the repeated pleas filed before it for stay of the movie even before the CBFC has certified it, he said, “All this happens because people do not read the Cinematograph Act and rules.”
  • “Five members see a movie. Once they see it, they discuss it among themselves and suggest cuts. Before they do anything, they give the film-makers an opportunity to be heard to convince them not to cut the scenes in question,” the Chief Justice explained.
  • He said that in case of any grievance, there is the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal.

ISRO issued a tender to the private industry

  • In an attempt to increase the number of satellite launches and build the capacity of the private sector, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) issued a tender on Monday to the private industry for Assembly, Integration and Testing (AIT) of 30-35 satellites.
  • “ISRO has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) to the private industry to build 30-35 satellites over three years. Under this, 4-5 companies would be selected after evaluation and awarded parallel contracts. They would be responsible for the AIT of satellites at ISRO facilities,” said Director ISRO satellite centre.
  • He said ISRO currently launches 3-4 launches per year but the demand is for 16-18 satellites. ISRO expects to get the responses to the RFP by December 5, complete selection of the companies by January 5 and sign contracts by February5.
  • Alpha Design Technologies was allowed to build satellites at ISRO facilities. ISRO did the hand holding on the first one and tried their staff. The second satellite was completely built by them at our facility.
  • In the next step, the idea is to let the private industry build their own facilities after gaining enough expertise, the official added. The private sector already supplies majority of the sub-systems in satellite manufacturing.
  • Giving the reason for the push, he said in the next 3-4 years ISRO plans to launch 58 satellites. “Our in-house capacity is limited. So we are looking to offload 30-40% of the work to the private sector,”
  • To this end, ISRO has built a space technology park spread over 25 acres in Bengaluru where the entire range of facilities have been set up for use by the industry.

Shia waqf board submits the settlement for Ayodhya dispute

  • Shia Waqf Board chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi has moved SC for permission to place on record a “settlement” worked out by the Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board with a majority of non-Muslim stakeholders in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute.
  • The application comes ahead of the scheduled hearing of the dispute in the Supreme Court on December 5.
  • Under the settlement, the Ram temple could be built on the Ayodhya site while a mosque would be constructed in Lucknow.
  • The application filed by Mr. Rizvi said the Shia Board has mooted the proposal for a “long-term settlement of this dispute which has resulted in a feeling of acrimony among these communities”.
  • Mr. Rizvi, in the application filed through advocate M.C. Dhingra, said the settlement proposal was worked out after a series of meetings, discussions and deliberations with the concerned Hindu brothers and stakeholders,” including the various mahants.
  • The application reinforced the right of the Shias to take a decision on the fate of the Babri Masjid, which it claimed is a “Shia wakf”.
  • “The mutawallis of Babri Masjid have always been Shia Muslims and the last known/recorded mutawalli of the Babri Masjid was a Shia Muslim,” it said.
  • The Shia Board has “all the rights to take a prudent decision on the issue which in fact relate to larger national interest”, the application said.
  • It gave a list of mosques in Islamic countries which “have been removed”. In connection with “the sanctity of mosques being constructed by unjust people”, the application recounted an “incident recorded in the books of Islamic theology where a masjid named Masjid-al-Diirar was ordered to be demolished and burnt down by the Prophet of Islam”.

UIDAI denied breach or leak of Aadhaar data.

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday denied breach or leak of Aadhaar data.
  • It was responding to reports that over 200 government websites had displayed Aadhaar-related data of beneficiaries.
  • “The data on these websites were placed in the public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under the RTI Act by these government and institutional websites which included beneficiaries’ name, address, bank account, and other details, including Aadhaar number, and were collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes,” it said.
  • “It was this collected info which had been displayed in the public domain under the RTI Act. There was no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data from the UIDAI database or server as has been aired by the said report,” it added.
  • The UIDAI and the Ministry of Electronics & IT had directed the government departments and the Ministries to remove immediately the data from their websites, it said.
  • The UIDAI clarified that Aadhaar was not a secret number. It was to be shared with authorised agencies when an Aadhaar holder wishes to get a service or benefit of government schemes or services.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

China’s multi-nuclear war head ICBM to hit anywhere in the world

  • China’s next-generation multi-nuclear warhead intercontinental ballistic missile with a proclaimed ability to hit targets “anywhere in the world” may be inducted into the PLA early next year, a media report said on Monday.
  • The new missile — the Dongfeng-41 — also has a speed of more than Mach 10 and can use decoy devices and chaff to pierce its way through the enemy’s missile warning and defence systems.
  • The missile which underwent another test — the eighth since it was first announced in 2012 — could be in the People Liberation Army’s line-up as early as the first half of 2018.
  • It must have matured considerably if it is to start serving in the PLA, Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association said.
  • The Dongfeng-41 is a three-stage solid-fuel missile with a range of at least 12,000 km, meaning it could strike anywhere in the world from a mainland site, Mr. Xu told the Global Times , adding that, “it can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads, each of which can target separately”.
  • The South China Morning Post reported that China had possibly tested the ICBM in its western desert area in early November, but it did not give the exact location or date of the test.

India and U.K. fight for election to the International Court of Justice

  • As the UN General Assembly and the Security Council assemble for separate meetings in New York to hold the 12th round of voting to break the stalemate between India’s Dalveer Bhandari and Britain’s Christopher Greenwood for re-election to ICJ.
  • It is the first time in UN history that the candidacy of a permanent member of the Security Council is challenged in the way it has been by India, and all five permanent members, the P5, appear to have rallied behind Mr. Greenwood, though actual voting choices will remain secret.
  • In the last round of voting at the Security Council, the U.K. got nine votes against five for India, with one abstention.
  • Japan, which appeared to be at the forefront of a move to counter Chinese designs in Asia recently, is also said to have joined hands with China, the U.S. and Russia in support of the U.K., sources familiar with the developments at the UN told.
  • U.S. diplomatic sources refused to disclose their preference in discussions over the weekend, but a long-time observer of UN politics in New York said: “P-1 is the U.S. and P-2 is the U.K. They are always together.”
  • The U.K. has already indicated to members of the Security Council that it plans to invoke a clause that has never been used to suspend voting and move to a conference mechanism of the General Assembly and the Security Council if the first round of voting does not yield a clear outcome.
  • The conference mechanism involves three members of the General Assembly and three of the Security Council jointly selecting the winner. India has told member countries that this would amount to bypassing the desire of an overwhelming majority.
  • But if the U.K. wants to suspend voting after the first round on Monday and invokes the conference option, there is no way to stop it, as per rules. India is gearing up for a three-pronged battle at the UN, according to sources familiar with the developments.
  • The first is the headcount in the General Assembly. India has ended up at 121 in the last round and is trying to push it up. If India gets two-thirds, at 128, “morally no judge can continue in the fray”, a source said.
  • The second battle line is in the Security Council, which will vote simultaneously. India hopes that its votes will increase from five.
  • More than six members of the Security Council have been assuring India their votes, but the count indicates that not all of them are keeping their promise. India’s Permanent Mission in New York worked through the weekend, reaching out to Security Council members.
  • The 10 non-permanent members are Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.

::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::

Centre has granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector

  • The Centre has granted infrastructure status to the logistics sector, allowing it to avail loans at competitive terms that come along with the status.
    “The need for integrated logistics sector development has been felt for quite some time in view of the fact that the logistics cost in India is very high compared to developed countries,” the government said in a statement.
  • “High logistics cost reduces the competitiveness of Indian goods both in domestic as well as export markets. Development of logistics would give a boost to both domestic and external demand thereby encouraging manufacturing and ‘job creation.’
  • “The cost of logistics is extremely high in India with some estimates putting it at about 13% of GDP, which is higher than the U.S. (9) and Germany (8),” said Pirojshaw Sarkari, CEO, Mahindra Logistics, in a statement.
  • “Hence, the logistics sector needs improvement in efficiency. We believe that the infrastructure status will reduce the cost of capital in transportation and warehousing, thereby reducing the cost of logistics.”
  • The inclusion of the logistics sector in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Sub-sectors was discussed at the 14th Institutional Mechanism (IM) Meeting held on November 10, 2017, where it was approved by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Centre has raised Rs. 14,500 crore through the Bharat-22 ETF

  • The Centre has raised Rs. 14,500 crore through the Bharat-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), comprising 22 companies.
  • “We have decided to retain Rs. 14,500 crore of the total subscription that has come in for Bharat-22 ETF,” Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Neeraj Gupta said.
  • The ETF saw bids of nearly Rs. 32,000 crore coming in, with FIIs bidding for one-third of the money. The portion reserved for retail investors was subscribed 1.45 times; retirement funds —1.50 times and NIIs and QIBs — 7 times.
  • With this, the Centre has raised Rs. 52,500 crore through disinvestment in the current fiscal.

Govt has asked all FMCG’s to pass on benefits of GST rate cut

  • The government has written to all major fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies urging them to immediately revise the maximum retail price on all their products that have seen a reduction in tax rates as decided by the Goods and Services Tax Council.
  • The letter comes a couple of days after Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, speaking on Doordarshan, warned FMCG companies that they could attract anti-profiteering action if their retailers failed to pass on the newer prices to consumers.
  • The Cabinet, also approved the creation of the National Anti-profiteering Authority, which is tasked with ensuring that the benefits of GST, where applicable, are passed on to the consumers.
  • The GST Council, in its 23rd Meeting held on November 10, had slashed the tax rates on about 200 goods, including 178 that fell in the highest tax bracket of 28%. A large number of other goods saw their tax rates reduced from 18%, 12%, and even 5%.
  • “All these changes are effective from the midnight of November 14, 2017,” the statement added.

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