Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 8 November 2017
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 8 November 2017
Andaman is host to different species
Botanists in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been quietly going
bananas. And it is not their fault, for the islands are a biodiversity
hotspot that hosts seven different species of wild banana that we know of,
not to mention numerous, as yet undocumented, others.
The latest discovery, published in the Nordic Journal of Botany , is of
a species of wild banana named Musaparamjitiana , in honour of Paramjit
Singh, who happens to be the director of the Botanical Survey of India
(BSI). The species was found in North Andaman’s Krishnapuri forest, six
kilometres from any human habitation
The plant grows to a height of nine metres and bears an edible,
sweet-and-sour tasting fruit that is boat-shaped and has numerous
Its conservation status has been declared as ‘Critically Endangered’ as
it has so far been spotted in only two locations on the islands, each with 6
to 18 plants in a clump.
“No population has been located in the other regions of Andaman Islands,
and the drastic disappearance of its mixed forest habitat indicates that the
species should be considered Critically Endangered (CR), based on IUCN Red
List categories and criteria,” observed the article by Lal Ji Singh, a BSI
According to Mr. Singh, the fruit is part of the diet of local tribes.
“The fruits and seeds have ethno-medicinal importance. Pseudo-stem and
leaves of these species are also used during religious and cultural
ceremonies,” he added.
These discoveries present a great opportunity for plant breeders and
horticulture experts to improve the existing banana crop. The germplasm of
all the wild banana species needs to be conserved on an urgent basis, since
most of these are found in very small habitats and at risk of extinction.
In 2014,Musaindandamanensis , another wild banana, in a remote tropical
rain forest on the Little Andaman island. It has dark green cylindrical
SC impleads Chhattisgarh, Telangana in Polavaram irrigation project
The Supreme Court impleaded the States of Telangana and Chhattisgarh as
parties in an original suit filed by the State of Odisha against Andhra
Pradesh’s ambitious Polavaram irrigation project, which was declared a
‘national project’ by the Centre.
A Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur also took exception to the Union
government not filing a counter and imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000. It
directed the Centre to file its affidavit in the next two weeks.
Andhra Pradesh objected to the impleadment of Telangana, arguing that it
had earlier conceded to the project.
The court however did not entertain the submissions for the present,
observing that Andhra could raise its objections at the stage of arguments.
In an earlier hearing, the court had impleaded the States of Maharashtra and
Karnataka as defendants in the case after Odisha raised no objections.
The project is constructed in Andhra Pradesh to irrigate over three lakh
hectares and generate 960MW power.
Lawyers contended the project would displace lives in Andhra Pradesh,
Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
A separate writ petition had been submitted in the Supreme Court that
centuries’ old tribal sects such as Konda Dora, Koya and Reddiraju
communities would vanish due to the unscientific execution of the project in
violation of Article 21 and Schedule V of the Constitution.
Kambala season to kick off
Kambala, the slush track race, is set to begin in the coastal belt.
with the SC refusing to pass an interim stay on the Ordinance allowing
Lt. Governor can’t differ for trivial issues
The Lieutenant Governor (LG) cannot differ with each and every
administrative decision of the Delhi government. Though having every
authority to differ, his disagreement with the Delhi government should not
be “trivial or contrived, but substantive,” Chief Justice of India Dipak
Misra orally observed.
Aid and advice (of the Delhi government) should be accepted and
respected unless there is an abuse of authority, Chief Justice Misra
observed on the second day of a full length hearing by a Constitution Bench
on the power tussle between the Centre and the AAP government over the LG’s
“The intervention [of the LG] does not mean he will have confrontation.
It should be fact and issue-oriented on objective parameters,” Chief Justice
He said the LG should conduct his constitutional duties, keeping in mind
factors like he is an “august head, keeping in mind the special status of
Delhi as the National Capital, what was intended by Parliament in the 69th
Constitutional Amendment, not act in a way to defeat the intent of the
constitutional provision of Article 239AA of harmonious governance and, most
importantly, citizenry’s trust.”
“He [LG] cannot supplant the administration,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
observed from the Bench.
Justice Ashok Bhushan remarked that it was not constitutionally
contemplated that one man’s concurrence would be required for each and
everything that an entire ministry does.
Chief Justice Misra said the LG however need not concur with everything.
Referring to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act
of 1991, the Chief Justice said the Delhi government is bound to intimate
the LG on taking a policy decision. “You are bound to intimate the LG, but
you cannot say that the LG has to concur,” Chief Justice Misra said.
“He can intervene and disagree if policies of the Delhi government
amount to manifest transgression. For example, the use of entire monuments
for some social occasions. In such cases the LG can step in. He is the
parens patriae,” Mr. Subramanium submitted.
But in the present case, Mr. Subramanium submitted, the LG has been
intervening in the day-to-day functioning of the government.
“From functioning of mohalla clinics to appointment of lawyers for the
Delhi government, he has intervened. In some cases, the files have been
pending for over a year,” Mr. Subramanium submitted.
Justice Chandrachud pointed out from the Conduct of Business Rules of
the Delhi government that there were some proposals which had to be
“essentially submitted” to the LG for his concurrence, whereas some could be
enforced the moment they are communicated to the LG.
Mr. Subramanium made the position of the Delhi government clear, saying
that while the overarching supremacy of Parliament to make laws for the
National Capital Territory is acknowledged, the executive functions of the
democratically-elected government of Delhi cannot be “eclipsed.” The Delhi
government has its own legislative sovereignty and concurrent executive
Barring the LG’s discretion in certain fields, the aid and advice of the
Council of Ministers is binding on him, Mr. Subramanium submitted.
He termed Article 239AA a “provision extraordinaire” which has abrogated
the President’s power to delegate powers under Article 239 (1) to the
Governor as far as the National Capital is concerned.
“Except in the subjects of police, public order and land for which the
LG administers as a delegate of the Centre, the rest is participatory
governance,” Mr. Subramanium submitted.
At one point, Justice A.K. Sikri asked about the actual role of the
President when the LG refers to him an issue on which the latter has a
difference of opinion with the Delhi government.
Smog brings Delhi to stand still
Air pollution in the Capital reached severe level, forcing the
implementation of stringent emission control measures and health
precautions, including closure of primary schools on Wednesday.
A combination of smoke from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and
moisture turned Delhi into a “gas chamber”, prompting the authorities to
announce a series of preventive measures, including a four-fold hike in
parking fees and slashing of metro fares.
The smog brought down visibility levels, affecting flight and train
operations. The heavy air permeated living rooms and even the underground
metro stations in the city, making it difficult to breathe, turning eyes
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality index
(AQI) for Delhi was 448 as of 4 p.m., making it ‘severe’ — the worst
category and one that comes with the warning that healthy people are also
affected at this level. The AQI, calculated using data from 15 monitoring
stations, also showed that particulate matter — both the smaller PM2.5 and
the coarse PM10 — were the prominent pollutants in Delhi.
Across the National Capital Region, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Noida also
had severe pollution, while Gurugram fell in the “very poor” category.
In Delhi, the level of the harmful PM2.5, which is small enough to get
embedded in the lungs causing serious respiratory illness, was several times
over the standard of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.
At the Delhi Pollution Control Committee station at Anand Vihar, the
concentration of PM2.5 at 7.10 p.m. was a whopping 732 micrograms per cubic
metre or more than 12 times the safe level.
Concentrations of PM10 were also well above the standard of 100
micrograms per cubic metre, with the R.K. Puram station recording 835
micrograms per cubic metre at 7.20 p.m.
China dismissed the proposed Indo-Pacific security arrangement among the
U.S., Japan, India and Australia to contain China’s rise as “media
speculation” and timed its remarks ahead of the arrival in Beijing of U.S.
President Donald Trump.
In response to a question, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson
HuaChunying signalled that the Indo-Pacific region was part of the global
commons. She said the Indo-Pacific — an area in the Pacific and the Indian
Ocean on either side of the Malacca straits — was a “dynamic region” with
Ms. Hua’s observations follow the remarks made by Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe . At a joint Tokyo press conference with President
Trump, Mr. Abe said Tokyo and Washington “concurred” that they should beef
up cooperation to realise “a free and open Indo-Pacific”, Japanese media
Mr. Abe unveiled his ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ last year.
According to Nikkei Asian Review , the Premier’s approach involving the
U.S., India and Australia as the other partners “is partly intended to keep
in check China’s growing presence in the region”.
But China is confident that Beijing and Washington will be able to
establish a special relationship, based on mutual interests. “The U.S. is
still using a 2010 strategic White Paper which indicated that the way to
contain China was to use India, in alliance with the Philippines, Australia,
Japan, Taiwan and South Korea as part of a containment strategy,” said Einar
Tangen, a Beijing-based political commentator.
IOC subsidiary blamed for fuel shortage
Sri Lankan politicians have blamed Indian Oil Corporation subsidiary
LIOC for a sudden fuel shortage that has gripped the country since Friday.
The problem arose after authorities rejected a recent 35,000 million
tonnes shipment of petrol procured by LIOC from a French oil company, citing
The Petroleum Ministry said in a statement that Lanka IOC had requested
it to accept the cargo — that was initially turned away — after filtration
but authorities had refused to, “in the interest of the Sri Lankan
LIOC has denied the allegation and said it sought replacement of the
shipment from the French company soon after officials rejected the
supplier’s offer to filter the consignment.
The state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and LIOC handle Sri Lanka’s
retail oil distribution. Following the shortage, some politicians and a
section of the media voiced strong criticism against India for “being
responsible” for the crisis.
LIOC rejected the charges, terming them “mischievous and factually
“It may be noted that LIOC caters to only 16% of the Sri Lankan market,
while the remaining 84% relies on CPC supplies. Thus, large shortages across
the country can only be caused by disruption in supplies of CPC,” LIOC said
in a statement, that in turn held the CPC responsible for the shortage.
Over the past few days thousands of motorists waited for hours in long
queues near fuel stations across the island.
Fossils of tiny rat like creature believed to oldest mammal ancestor
discovered in U.K.
Scientists have discovered the remains of humankind’s oldest mammal
ancestor — a tiny rat-like creature that lived 145 million years ago.
The fossils of the nocturnal mammal were discovered on the Jurassic
Coast of Dorset, by palaeontologists from the University of Portsmouth in
The animal is the earliest in the line that evolved into humans, and
branched off into creatures as diverse as blue whales and pigmy shrews,
according to a study published in the journal ActaPalaeontologicaPolonica .
The new species has been named Durlstotherimnewmani — after an amateur
palaeontologist and pub owner Charlie Newman, who helped scientists collect
the new specimens.
“The teeth are of a type so highly evolved that I realised straight away
I was looking at remains of Early Cretaceous mammals that more closely
resembled those that lived during the latest Cretaceous — some 60 million
years later in geological history,” said
Steve Sweetman, research fellow at Portsmouth University.
Mammal teeth evolved over time, from very simple ones that were not very
efficient, to molar-like ridged teeth which could tear, chew and grind food
::BUSINESS AND ECONOMY::
Insolvency resolution amended
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has amended the
corporate insolvency resolution process regulations to ensure that
applicants, including promoters, are put to a stringent test with respect to
their credit worthiness and credibility.
The amendment also imposes greater responsibility on the resolution
professional and the Committee of Creditors in discharging their duties.
The amendments will ensure that as part of due diligence prior to
approval of a resolution plan, the antecedents, credit worthiness and
credibility of a resolution applicant, including promoters, are taken into
account by the Committee of Creditors, an official statement said
To ensure that the corporate insolvency resolution process results in a
credible and viable resolution plan, the IBBI has carried out amendments to
the IBBI (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Resolution
Process, 2016 (CIRP Regulations), it said.