Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 8 November 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 8 November 2017

::NATIONAL::

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 bulb-shaped seeds.
  • 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 scientist.
  • 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 flower buds.

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 kambala.

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 administrative powers.
  • “The intervention [of the LG] does not mean he will have confrontation. It should be fact and issue-oriented on objective parameters,” Chief Justice Misra observed.
  • 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 ability.
  • 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 watery.
  • 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.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Indo-Pacific quad plan was dismissed by China

  • 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 great potential.
  • 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 reported.
  • 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 contamination.
  • 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 consumers”.
  • 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 incorrect”.
  • “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.

::ENVIRONMENT::

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 U.K.
  • 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 very easily.

::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.

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