Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 15 April 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 15 April 2022
CJI stresses need to fill judicial vacancies
“I understand that your functioning is adversely affected due to lack of infrastructure and large number of judicial vacancies and I am giving my best to address these issues on priority,” CJI Ramana said at the inauguration of the two-day conference of judicial officers of Telangana, at Madhapur here.
“It has been my endeavour to fill up judicial vacancies at all levels. With cooperation from all stakeholders, we have made considerable progress on this front,” he added.
The CJI agreed that there has been a substantial increase in the number of pending cases due to various reasons. “Once you go to court, it is a big question mark as to how many years it will take to deliver justice. With the hierarchy of the appeal system in the country, it takes more time,” he said.
The Centre has continuously come under the criticism of the Supreme Court over massive vacancies in tribunals across the country. The “bureaucratic hurdle” has impeded filling vacancies in consumer courts and officers responsible for this must be penalised to get things moving, the top court said on February 23 when it imposed varying monetary fines up to ₹1.5 lakh on several states for not making appointments in these courts within the fixed timeline.
In October last year, the bench reproached the Union government for creating an “imbroglio” over the functioning of the tribunals and making “citizens suffer in the bargain”, observing that it should abolish all tribunals if the judiciary is compelled to make appointments in these bodies to keep them alive. The bench called it “very unfortunate” that the Supreme Court is being called on to fill vacancies in tribunals, which is the primary job of the government that has framed legislations and rules for these forums.
He also appreciated Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s efforts of sanctioning 4,320 posts in the judiciary, at a time when governments were doing away with government jobs and making appointments only on contract basis.
Russia hits Kyiv missile factory after flagship sunk
Russia pounded a Ukrainian rocket factory after losing an iconic warship in the Black Sea, as the Pentagon on Friday backed Kyiv's claim to have sunk the Moskva with cruise missiles.
The Vizar plant, near the capital's international airport, was seriously damaged in the overnight strikes, an AFP journalist saw.
Russia said it had used sea-based long-range missiles to hit the factory, which Ukraine's state weapons manufacturer says produced Neptune cruise missiles.
"There were five hits. My employee was in the office and got thrown off his feet by the blast," Andrei Sizov, a 47-year-old owner of a nearby wood workshop, told AFP.
"They are making us pay for destroying the Moskva," he said. It was the first major Russian strike around the Ukrainian capital in over two weeks.
A Pentagon official briefing reporters said Ukraine had hit the Moskva with two Neptunes -- contradicting Russia's claim that the ship lost balance in rough seas as it was towed to port after ammunition exploded.
The Pentagon official said survivors were observed being recovered by other Russian vessels, but Ukraine authorities said bad weather had made rescue operations impossible.
The Russian fleet in the Black Sea has been blockading the besieged port city of Mariupol, where Russian officials say they are in full control although Ukrainian fighters are still holed up in the city's fortress-like steelworks.
Burns said that Russia's battlefield setbacks raised the risk that President Vladimir Putin could deploy a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon to try to regain the initiative.
In their latest move, Russia on Friday alleged Ukraine was preparing a missile strike to hit its own refugees at a railway station in the town of Lozova in the eastern region of Kharkiv.
New York clears $4.5 billion plan to bring hydropower to big Apple
The 339-mile (546-kilometer) Champlain Hudson Power Express is expected to be complete in 2025, according to a statement Thursday from New York Governor Kathy Hochul. The Public Service Commission also approved Clean Path NY, a project comprising more than 20 wind and solar farms and a second transmission line.
The biggest U.S. city gets about 85% of its electricity from burning fossil fuels, and efforts to use more renewables have been hindered by a lack of transmission lines. The two projects, the largest approved in the state in 50 years, are expected to reduce that reliance by more than 50% in 2030.
“Today’s historic decision by the Public Service Commission is a game-changer for New York’s transition away from fossil fuels,” Doreen Harris, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said in the statement.
The Champlain Hudson line was approved despite the objections of environmental group Riverkeeper, which had once supported the project.
In a statement Thursday, Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown said the group was “disappointed” in the commission’s decision and would continue advocating that rivers “are not unnecessarily sacrificed in the essential rapid transition to clean energy.”
The Champlain Hudson line will carry 1,250 megawatts of electricity from hydropower facilities in Canada owned by Hydro-Quebec, enough for more than 1 million New York homes.
European gas prices plunge to lowest since start of Ukraine war
European natural gas prices slumped to the lowest since the start of the war in Ukraine, with the Easter holidays approaching and Russian President Vladimir Putin remaining largely silent on a potential halt to European gas supplies.
Benchmark Dutch front-month gas futures dropped as much as 17% to 87.19 euros per megawatt-hour, the lowest intraday level since Feb. 23 -- the day before Russia invaded Ukraine. Trading and demand also typically slide ahead of the holidays.
“Energy demand is down, with no seeming rush to bridge the Easter weekend quell of trading,” said Tim Partridge, head of energy trading at DB Group Europe.
Orders for gas transit via Ukraine increased for Thursday after declines earlier this week, while the end to some outages in Norway also boosted deliveries.
Still, the market remains intensely focused on supplies from Russia, with the war grinding on and Putin demanding payment for his country’s gas supplies in rubles. Russia is the European Union’s largest gas provider, and Moscow has previously threatened to halt shipments to buyers that don’t comply with the edict.
“A reasonable replacement for Europe simply does not exist,” Putin said in a televised speech Thursday, while opening a meeting on current challenges for Russia’s energy business. “There are simply no spare volumes in the global market, and deliveries from other countries, primarily the U.S., which may be sent to Europe, will cost the consumers many times more.”
At the meeting, Putin didn’t reiterate his warnings of any potential cutoffs, but he said his government sees “issues with payments for Russian export energy supplies, as banks from the unfriendly states delay money transfers.” He didn’t elaborate.
The EU has said Putin’s demand for payment in rubles would violate sanctions imposed on Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, has presented its analysis of the decree, finding that it would hand control over transactions to Russia, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Indian GM R. Pragyananand wins Reykjavik Open Chess Tournament in Iceland
Young Indian Grandmaster R Pragganandhaa on Tuesday won the prestigious Reykjavik Open chess tournament here with 7.5 points from nine rounds.
The 16-year-old Pragganandhaa defeated compatriot GM D Gukesh in the final round to emerge sole winner.
Praggnanandhaa turned things around in the all-Indian battle after his opponent blundered when he appeared to be losing.
He also posted four other wins, including the one over American Abhimanyu Mishra, who last year became the then youngest Grandmaster at the age of 12 years and four months.
Praggnanandhaa (ELO 2624) gained 13.2 ELO points from the triumph.