Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 09 December 2017

Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 09 December 2017


Wassenaar Arrangement admitted India as the 42nd member of the organisation

  • The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the decision of the Wassenaar Arrangement to admit India as the 42nd member of the organisation which aims to regulate trade and use of dual use technology.
  • Officials said that following admission into the club, India will get access to high technology, which will help address the demands of Indian space and defence sectors.It will also boost New Delhi’s chances of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • “The Plenary meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) held on 6 to 7 December 2017 in Vienna, Austria, has decided to admit India, which will become the Arrangement’s 42nd participating state. The necessary procedural arrangements for India’s admission will be completed shortly,”.
  • On the scope of the Arrangement, he said, “India’s membership is expected to facilitate high technology tie-ups with Indian industry and ease access to high-tech items for our defence and space programmes.”

Supreme Court to look into the legality of Sec 497 I.P.C.

  • The Supreme Court has said that the dusty Victorian provision of adultery in the Indian Penal Code treats a married woman as her husband’s “subordinate.” It admitted a petition to drop adultery as a criminal offence from the statute book.
  • “The time has come when the society must realise that a woman is equal to a man in every respect,” the Supreme Court recorded in its five-page written order.
  • Section 497 of the Code mandates that if a man has sexual intercourse with another’s wife without the husband’s “consent or connivance,” he is guilty of the offence of adultery and shall be punished.
  • The court will examine two aspects of the penal provision. One, why does Section 497 treat the man as the adulterer and the married woman as a victim? Two, the offence of adultery ceases the moment it is established that the husband connived or consented to the adulterous act.
  • So, is a married woman the “property” of her husband, a passive object without a mind of her own?
  • “The provision [Section 497] really creates a dent in the individual independent identity of a woman when the emphasis is laid on the connivance or consent of the husband,” the court said.
  • “This is tantamount to subordination of a woman where the Constitution confers equal status [on women],” the Supreme Court declared.

SC directed the U.P. government to prepare a comprehensive plan to save the Taj

  • Noting that temporary steps conceived in haste to conserve the Taj Mahal will only be counter-productive, the SC directed the Uttar Pradesh government to prepare a comprehensive plan which will secure the world heritage site for the next century or more.
  • A Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur frowned upon the State government's “haphazard” measures taken unilaterally and asked it to include experts in evolving a plan that will protect the Taj Trapezium Zone from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation.
  • The court asked the State government to consult historians, experts in planning and architecture and cultural studies, members of civil society and the noted PIL petitioner-advocate M.C. Mehta, who has been fighting in the Supreme Court for the cause of the Taj Mahal since 1985.
  • The court said the State should submit a vision document to preserve the Zone, spread over six districts of U.P. and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
  • Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to an affidavit filed by the TTZ Authority stating the measures taken so far to protect the zone.
  • “State Government is considering a separate micro level plan only limited to due protection and preservation of the monument of Taj Mahal.
  • The State Government is actively considering engaging expert / professional institutions in the field of environment protection and preservation like Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad or School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and/or other such similar reputed institution.

Centre will announce the next set of 10 cities for funding under the Smart Cities Mission

  • The Centre will announce the next set of 10 cities for funding under the Smart Cities Mission by January end.
  • The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has till now announced the names of 90 cities under the scheme and each city will get Rs. 500 crore as central assistance for implementing projects.The government aims to develop 100 smart cities under the scheme.
  • The Ministry has received proposals from 15 cities for the fifth and the final round of the mission, while five cities have not submitted their plans.
  • Some of the cities that have sent their proposals include Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Bihar Sharif (Bihar), Amravati (Maharashtra), Erode and Dindigal (Tamil Nadu), and Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad, Meerut, Saharanpur, Bareilly, Rampur, Rae Bareli and Ghaziabad.
  • Silvasa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Kavarati (Lakshdweep) and Diu (Daman and Diu) have also sent their proposals.
  • The official said that Bidhannagar, Durgapur and Haldia in West Bengal, Shillong in Meghalaya and Greater Mumbai in Maharashtra have not submitted their proposals under the scheme.
  • The West Bengal government has already announced that it would not participate in the Centre’s Smart City programme.

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Britain and the European Union reached a historic deal on Brexit divorce terms

  • Britain and the European Union reached a historic deal on Brexit divorce terms on Friday that allows them to open up talks on a future relationship after the split.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May rushed to Brussels for early morning talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to reach the breakthrough.
  • The European Commission announced that it “recommends sufficient progress” had been made by Britain on separation issues, including the Irish border, Britain’s divorce bill, and citizens’ rights.
  • But EU President Donald Tusk — who will recommend to leaders at a summit next week to open trade and transition talks — warned that the toughest task was to come. “Let us remember that the most difficult challenge is still ahead.
  • We all know that breaking up is hard but breaking up and building a new relation is much harder,” Mr. Tusk said.
  • Northern Irish unionists who prop up Ms. May’s minority Conservative government scuppered a possible deal on Monday with their fierce opposition to wording they felt would divide the North from the rest of the U.K.
  • The deal commits both sides to respect the 1998 Good Friday agreement, which ended decades of violence between nationalists who want a united Ireland and Northern Ireland unionists loyal to Britain.
  • Under the agreement, London will find a way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland “through the overall EU-U.K. relationship” but if this cannot be achieved, Britain will keep “full alignment” with the EU single market and customs union rules that are crucial to the Good Friday Agreement.
  • On its divorce bill, previously the most contentious issue, Britain agreed to pay a settlement amounting to between €45-55 billion.
  • Concerning the welfare and social rights of some three million European citizens living in the U.K. after Brexit, as part of the deal, Britain agreed to protect them with a mechanism to give EU citizens recourse to the EU’s top court if they feel they are being treated unfairly.
  • The former Polish premier, who deals with EU leaders, released nine draft guidelines on future relations so member states could approve them for next week’s summit.

::Business and Economy::

NCLT permit the governments to appoint its nominees on the board of Unitech

  • A two-member bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) declined to keep in abeyance its order to suspend 10 directors of Unitech Ltd. and permit the governments to appoint its nominees on the board of the troubled firm.
  • The tribunal said that the new directors of Unitech would comply with all the orders of the Supreme Court.
  • The bench also directed the government to give 10 names by December 20, the date of the next hearing. “This order, already passed, shall be subject to compliance of all orders of Supreme court,” said the NCLT bench headed by Chairman Justice M.M. Kumar.
  • The tribunal also directed Unitech managing directors Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra to file their replies. Unitech suffered a jolt when its 10 directors were suspended by the tribunal, which allowed the government to appoint their replacements.
  • Hours after NCLT debarred its 10 directors, Unitech approached the tribunal contending that the government had not informed the forum of Supreme Court bar on any coercive action against the company.
  • Earlier in the day, Unitech was dragged to the tribunal by the government seeking to take over the functioning of the firm alleging mismanagement and siphoning of funds by the management.
  • Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the government, said: “We want to avoid insolvency of this company, otherwise 19,000 home-buyers will be left high and dry.”
  • Moreover, there are about 51,000 depositors of Unitech. Nobody had appeared for Unitech in the morning hearing.
  • In April, the Economic Offences Wing arrested Unitech’s MD Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra for allegedly not developing a project despite receiving funds from investors. The firm has over Rs. 6,000 crore debt with more than 16,000 undelivered units from almost 70 projects.

Tax exemptions must go completely in a bid to improve tax-GDP ratio

  • Tax exemptions must go completely in a bid to improve tax-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio and reduce compliance cost, according to Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and Member, NITI Aayog.
  • He, however, clarified a consensus on the issue was yet to evolve and such an announcement in the next year’s Budget was unlikely.
  • “If those exemptions are not going to be there, [in] the tax-GDP ratio today, Union and State governments’ combine, would have been 22%,” Mr.Debroy said. The amount of the revenue loss due to tax exemption was a little more than 5% of GDP, he observed.
  • “There is tax evasion, but what happens more often is not tax evasion but tax avoidance. Tax evasion is illegal, but tax avoidance is perfectly legitimate because of the array of exemptions that are allowed,” he said.
  • He said the six-member task force which was set up to review the more than 50-year-old Income Tax Act will look into the issue of exemptions. The government had set up task force last month with Arbind Modi, CBDT Member (Legislation) as the Convener.
  • The task force will submit its report to the government within six months. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian will be a permanent special invitee in the task force.

Pharma sector stressed on the need to achieve high quality standards

  • The captains of the Indian pharmaceutical industry have stressed on the need to achieve high quality standards to enable India partake a large part of the global pharmaceutical market.
  • The emphasis comes in the wake of multiple negative actions taken by the USFDA against products and facilities of Indian drugmakers in the recent times.
  • Addressing the CPhI & P-MEC India 2017, an industry event in Mumbai, they said India should build on its strengths to improvise exports and both the Union and State governments must develop a proactive approach in building better quality compliance.
  • The approach towards quality compliance should be a priority and treated with utmost importance with a bottom-up strategy. A distinction should be made between adherence and compliance, with a focus on the former when it comes to on-ground implementation, they said.
  • “The MSME sector contributes to about 70% of manufacturing volume but the lack of quality management has caused hindrance in their development, and all industry players are aware that the cost of failure is astounding.”
  • According to a latest India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) report, the Indian pharma industry, which is expected to grow by more than 15% per annum between 2015 and 2020, will outperform the global pharma industry, which is set to grow at an annual rate of 5% between the same periods.
  • India’s pharmaceutical exports stood at $16.4 billion in 2016-17 and were expected to grow by 30% over the next three years to touch $20 billion by 2020, according to the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India.

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