Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 November 2017
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 29 November 2017
Need for an early resumption of negotiations between Israel and the
India reiterated the need for an early resumption of negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinians.
PM Modi presented his government’s position and said that India will
continue to support nation building activities by the Palestinians, and
urged for the creation of a Palestinian state that will co-exist
‘peacefully’ with Israel.
“We hope for early realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and
viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel,” said the Prime
The special day marks Resolution 181 of the United Nations which called for
creation of independent Israeli and Palestinian states and was adopted on
this day in 1947.
The two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is based on
this resolution. The day is being marked in the backdrop of the ongoing
diplomacy to bring the two sides to the negotiation table.
The statement was sent to the United Nations a few days ago through the
Permanent Mission of India at the UN.
Mr. Modi’s statement adds India’s support to the global push for a
negotiated settlement of the longstanding demand for a Palestinian state
next to Israel.
The statement is the first occasion that the Prime Minister has spoken
about the need for a viable Palestinian state since his visit to Israel last
However, the India-Israel Joint Statement issued during his visit this
year did not mention the need to create a Palestinian state but had
mentioned the need for ‘mutual recognition’ and ‘security arrangements’ as
the basis for a peaceful solution to the issue.
First phase of the Chabahar port development project to be inaugurated
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will inaugurate the first phase of the
Chabahar port development project, with senior Afghan and Indian Ministers
travelling for the event.
“The building of Phase 1 of the Chabahar port has been completed by the
Iranian side,” an official said. “President Rouhani will inaugurate the port
with all regional beneficiaries and neighbouring countries.”
Iranian media quoted President Rouhani as saying that the port “will
enhance trade in the region”, with a final aim to connect not just to
Afghanistan via rail but also to the 7,200-km International North-South
Transport Corridor to Russia.
Iran’s parliament, or Majlis , recently ratified the trilateral trade
agreement signed by Prime Minister Narenda Modi, President Rouhani and
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in May 2016, officials said.
The inauguration of the port will effectively pave the way for India to
carry forward the next phase of construction and development of two berths
for its use, particularly for trade with Afghanistan.
Next, the government, which has committed $500 million to the port
project, will develop a free-trade area around the port, and finally will
complete the loop with a $1.6-billion railway line to Zahedan.
India has already completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan,
which would facilitate the trade to Kabul and eventually beyond to Central
Asia. Mr. Gadkari, who visited Iran in August, said the first part of
India’s construction would be finished in 2018.
At present, India is using the port’s existing commercial route to
transport more than 1.1 million tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, of which the
first consignment of 15,000 tonnes from the Kandla port came to Zaranj, via
Chabahar, on November 11.
level playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government understands that an
environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level
playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.
He said this calling upon entrepreneurs from across the globe to “come
make in India, invest in India, for India and for the world.”
“I invite each one of you to become a partner in India's growth story...
assure you of wholehearted support,” he told the gathering of participants
from nearly 150 countries, a good chunk from India and the US.
Describing young entrepreneurs from India as vehicles of change and
instruments of the country's transformation, he said each of them have
something valuable to contribute towards creating a new India by 2022.
The three-day GES, co-hosted by the US and Indian governments is the
first in the annual series to be travelling to South Asia, has ‘Women First,
Prosperity for All’ as the theme. More than 50% delegates are women.
The Prime Minister also highlighted how the government was focused on
reducing the regulatory burden and providing support to start-ups.
“Our 1,200 redundant laws have been scrapped. 87% rules for foreign
direct investment have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government
procedures have been taken online. The process is yet not complete”.
Listing various other programmes of his government, he said “we are
working on development of a national gas grid. A comprehensive national
energy policy is also in the pipeline,”he added.
TRAI came out in strong support of Net neutrality
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) came out in strong
support of Net neutrality in a series of recommendations following a long
process of consultations.
“The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit
restrictions on any sort of discrimination in Internet access based on the
content being accessed, the protocols being used or the user equipment being
deployed,” TRAI said in the recommendations.
The content mentioned includes all content, applications, services and
any other data, including its end-point information, that can be accessed or
transmitted over the Internet.
Warning against any “discriminatory treatment” including blocking,
degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content.
The recommendations are based on the pre-consultation paper issued in
May 2016 and a detailed consultation paper in January 2017.
In February 2016, TRAI had barred telecom providers from charging
differential rates for data services in its Prohibition of Discriminatory
Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016, effectively blocking such
attempts by Facebook and Airtel.
Facebook had earlier rolled out its Free Basics service in partnership
with Reliance Communications as a “differential service” and lobbied hard
for it on social media which put it at loggerheads with the telecom
TRAI has recommended a multi-stakeholder body which would be responsible
for developing technical standards for monitoring and enforcement of the
India will not compromise on protecting low income group at WTO
At WTO's highest decision-making body, India will not compromise on its
interests including ensuring food security as well as protecting its
resource-poor and low-income farmers and fisher-folk.
India — at the December 10-13 (WTO’s) Ministerial Conference in Buenos
Aires, Argentina — will hold firm on its position against the inclusion of
new issues such as ‘e-commerce’ and ‘investment facilitation’ into the
ongoing round of multilateral trade negotiations, without first resolving
the outstanding ones including food security.
Besides, he said India will make sure that the ‘development agenda’ (to
improve the developing countries’ trading prospects) of the talks, which
began in Doha in 2001, is not subverted.
Mr. Prabhu said the highest priority for India was to ensure that a
‘permanent solution’ on the issue of public stockholding for food security
purposes is a part of the Buenos Aires meeting outcomes.
Currently, an interim mechanism called the ‘Peace Clause’ is available
for developing nations including India, according to which they cannot be
challenged at the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) even if they breach
the cap of the product-specific domestic support (10% of the value of
Since a country that wants to invoke the Peace Clause has to comply with
several stringent conditions (on notification and transparency and
commitment on prohibition of exports from public stockholding), India is
keen that a ‘permanent solution’ does not have onerous riders.
On talks to eliminate ‘harmful’ fisheries subsidies, the minister said
“India will protect its small and subsistence fisherfolk, and we want
sustainable fishing. We want subsidies for small fisherfolk to continue.”
In addition, at the WTO talks, India will also “very aggressively” push
its proposal for Trade Facilitation in Services, Mr. Prabhu said.
ADB says India must do more to integrate with the global value chain
The manufacturing sector’s share in India’s GDP has remained stagnant
despite the government’s efforts to increase it, ADB said, who added that
India must do more to integrate with the global value chain in which it
currently only plays a small part.
Mr. Yokoyama also highlighted problems with the inequality between
Indian states, the inadequate investment in the infrastructure sector and
the poor planning behind urban development.
Mr. Yokoyama said “The heart of the global value chain resides in
southeast Asia at the moment, and India plays only a small part in that.
We are working with the government to increase this. And, despite
increasing per capita GDP growth, the challenge still remains of bridging
the wide gap between the Indian states,” he added.
“We expect GDP growth this year to be 7%,” Sabyasachi Mitra, Deputy
Country Director, ADB, said. “Next year, we expect it to increase to 7.4%.
There is an upturn in the global economy, trade is picking up, and the
capital expenditure has been front-loaded.”
Even lead indicators such as the index of industrial production, sale of
commercial vehicles and indirect tax collections all point to higher GDP
growth looking ahead, said Abhijit Sen Gupta, Economist at ADB.
B.N. Sharma is the first Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering
The government said that it had appointed B.N. Sharma as the first
Chairman of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA), which is tasked
with ensuring the benefits of the Goods and Services Tax are passed on to
The Union Cabinet had last week approved the creation of the posts of
Chairman and technical members of the NAA under GST. Mr. Sharma, an IAS
officer of 1985 batch of the Rajasthan cadre, is currently posted as
Additional Secretary in the Department of Revenue.
The technical members of the NAA include J.C. Chauhan, Chairman, Tax
Tribunal, Himachal Pradesh, Bijay Kumar, Principal Commissioner, GST,
Kolkata, C.L. Mahar, Principal Commissioner, GST, Meerut, and R. Bhagyadevi,
ADG, Systems, Chennai.
The appointments help reassure “consumers of Government’s commitment
that GST would result in lower prices of goods and services,” a statements
“Once the Authority confirms there is justification to apply
anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the business
concerned to reduce prices or return undue benefit availed, with interest at
the rate of 18% to consumers .”