Reading Content - Current Affairs - 01-Oct 2018 - UPSC, IIMCAT, SSC, Banking, CSAT, CLAT

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Given below is the full content of the Current Affairs session conducted for above date. Relevant news clips can be opened here, relevant video can be opened from datewise listing here, and our Youtube channel playlist is here. Enjoy the learning, and do write us a Testimonial here!

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India chases away Pakistan copter breaching airspace


1.The incident : A chopper carrying the POK PM Raja Farooq Haider was shot at by Indian security forces on 30th Sept. as it violated the airspace agreement. However, the incident was not confirmed by Pakistani High Commission.


2.What the agreement says : As per the agreement, helicopters are barred from coming within 1 km on both sides of the LoC. This incident was a violation.

3.Exchange  of fire : On 29th Sept. forces on both sides exchanged fire along the Loc in Kupwara district. Indian forces foiled an infiltration attempt also.

4.  Not at the cost of self-respect : The Indian PM on 30th Sept had said that India is committed to taking the peace process forward but it cannot come at the cost of self respect and sovereignty of India.

5.  Largest contributor to Peace-Keeping : India  has never eyed someone’s territory maliciously. PM Modi said that India is one of the largest contributors to various United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPKF) in terms of personnel.




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New CEA to be appointed only after poll


1.Vacant post : After Arvind Subramanian left office in July 2018, the post of the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) is vacant.  It will be so till the 2019 elections are over!

2.Few applications :  Since the Govt. advertised the post in July, only a few applications have been received.

3.Long process :  After the approval of the selection committee, some more approvals are needed before the name reaches the Appointments Committee.

4.Work not affected : The Government says it is satisfied at the moment with the advisory role being fulfilled by the current officials.   (Which bodies? PM EAC. Any other?)

5.Current structure : The Finance Ministry has a Principal Economic Adviser (Sanjeev Sanyal) and the PM has an Economic Advisory Council, comprising economists such as
Bibek Debroy, Rathin Roy, and Surjit Bhalla.



Some CEAs to the GoI
Rakesh Mohan      - 2001 - 2002
Ashok K Lahiri      - 2002 - 2007
Arvind Virmani      - 2007 - 2009
Kaushik Basu      - Dec 2009 - July 2012
Raghuram Rajan      - August 2012 - Sept 2013
Arvind Subramanian - Oct 2014 - June 2018




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‘All help to raise HAL output’ – Raksha Mantri

1.MoD’s efforts : The Defence Minister said the GoI is helping HAL to increase production of LCA and remove any difference with its customer IAF.

2.Capacity increase : The production capacity of the LCAs will increase from eight to 16, per year.

3.More expensive : The Russian Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters that HAL makes for the IAF are more expensive than those made in Russia. More help is needed.

4.The deal with France : The minister said that the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement with France is a much better deal than the previous one.

5.HAL not a part of any deal with Rafale : HAL had not been part of any deal with Rafale’s original manufacturer Dassault Aviation, so hasn’t lost anything.







Terracotta artefacts unearthed on the banks of the Pampa river


1.Pampa valley civilisation? A few terracotta artefacts of architectural value were unearthed on the banks of the river Pampa. Perhaps a culturally rich Pampa valley civilisation may have existed.

2.Police protection provided :  Local police provided protection to these artefacts. This discovery is the first of its kind in the Pampa river basin. 

3.At par with the IVC : The broken terracotta pieces were of Naga images, a male bust, female face, ornaments, etc. and maybe 1000-2000 years old.  Speculation is that this civilisation may have been at par with the Indus Valley Civilisation.



The Pamba River (also called Pampa river) is the third longest river in Kerala after Periyar and Bharathappuzha, and the longest river in the princely state of Travancore. The river is also known as 'Dakshina Bhageerathi'.

The Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is located on the banks of the river Pamba. In Hindu Epics, Pampa was Lord Brahma's daughter, who was later married to Lord Shiva.





Supreme Court on a crusade for women’s rights

1.SC in past two years : The SC has aggressively questioned patriarchy in the Indian society and has not shied away from confronting age-old practices and rituals.

2.Gender bias :  In the Sabarimala case the CJI commented that no philosophy has so far convinced the large population of this country to open up and accept women as equal partners in the journey of spirituality.

3.Sabaraimal-Haji Ali Dargah :  In 2016 Chief Justice Thakur had observed that exclusion is practised by both Hindus and Muslims. There was a similarity between not allowing women in the Sabarimala temple and the Haji-Ali-Dargah.

4.Triple Talaq : The Khehar court in August 2017 declared that triple talaq was against the baisc tenets of Holy Quran and violated the Sharia.

5.Dawoodi Bohra Sect : The Supreme Court the question whether the practice of female circumcision or khafz, prevalent in the Dawoodi Bohra sect, amounts to “female genital mutilation”.

6.However?  Experts find that in cases like the Ayodhya dispute and the arrest of five activists in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, the court continued to rely on technicalities while deciding.







1.Nodal officers : To curb the menace of stubble burning the Punjab Government will appoint nodal officers in 8,000 paddy growing villages.

2.Educate :  The administrators will depute the officials to each village to spread awareness on the dangers of stubble burning on health and environment.

3.MSP : A minimum support price (MSP) for paddy at Rs.1,770 per quintal for Grade A and Rs.1,750 per quintal for the common variety has been fixed by the Central Govt.

4.  Statistics : Paddy is grown on 65 lakh acres in Punjab. After harvesting, about 20 million tonnes of straw is left on the fields. Approx. 15 million tonnes of straw is burnt by farmers to clear the fields and make them ready for the next crop. This is a an environmental hazard.

5.  Procurement : The procurement commenced on 1st Oct, 2018. 1,834 purchase centres are set up in Punjab.









1.Jharkhand  initiative : The Jharkhand Govt. has  introduced electric vehicles for official use. While 20 vehicles are acquired for phase 1, another 30 are to be added soon.

2.Fuel prices and climate change : The prices of fuel have increased and climate change is a persisting threat. Switching to e-vehicles will reduce the expenditure of the exchequer.

3.Global Mobility summit :  Addressing the recently held Global Mobility summit, the Indian PM favoured  investments in electric vehicles and charging stations.

4.Stated goal : India’s stated goal  is to ensure that by 2030 all public transport  and 30% of the private vehicles should be electric. In Norway and France a substantial % of the vehicles run on electricity or alternate fuels.

5.Faster policy making needed : To achieve the stated goal  the government needs to speed up the formulation of rules for e-vehicles as a category.


S-400, Kamov on the agenda of Modi, Putin

1.   Inter-governmental deal : India and Russia have concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for 200 helicopters costing over $1 billion. 60 will be imported from Russia, and 140 will be built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with technology transfer.

2.  S-400 systems : During Mr. Putin’s visit to India, the focus would be on the proposed Rs.39,000-crore deal for five S-400 air defence systems.  (US has opposed the deal)

3.  US sanctions : US officials have warned India against the deal, threatening sanctions. In Sept. 2018 the Trump administration imposed sanctions on entities and individuals in China as it acquired Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 systems.
4.  India to go ahead? India would go ahead with the deal. The US will have to find a way around CAATSA to avoid sanctions.

5.  Advanced system : The state-of-the-art S-400 Triumf (NATO name SA-21 Growler) is considered one of the most advanced long-range defence systems in the world. It has a range of 400 km and can hit targets at a height of up to 30 km.







Pakistan’s terror charge outrageous : India

1.Pakistan’s statement : At the UNGA, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister blamed India for the terrorist strike that killed 149 people (mostly children), at the Army Public School, Peshawar.

2.India’s reply : The Indian envoy Eanam Gambhir said that “The despicable insinuation dishonours the memory of the innocent lives lost to terrorists on that day.”

3.Widely condoled in India : The Indian envoy said that there was an outpouring of grief from India after that attack and India’s Parliament had expressed solidarity with Pakistan after the attack.

4.Pakistan’s own creation? The attack was the result of monster of terror that Pakistan had created to destabilise India.

5.Back channel talks must continue :  Meanwhile Pakistani diplomats say that the back-channel talks between the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan from 2015 to 2018 were a good instrument and should continue.





Social media giants to help EC clean up poll campaign

1.Assurances : The CEC O.P. Rawat says social media giants Twitter and Facebook have assured the EC to not allow their platforms to be used for anything affecting sanctity of polls during campaign period.

2.Pilot Testing : A beginning was made in the Karnataka elections. These assurances will now be tested elections in the four States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram before the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

3.Local heads contacted : The EC met the regional and local heads of Google, Facebook and Twitter and asked them on how to prevent the adverse impact of fake news and targeted communication to voters. However, Youtube and WhatsApp are not in the loop.

4.Whatsapp? Since Whatsapp is owned now by Facebook, these rules might apply to Whatsapp also. But the experience before Karnataka elections may not support this conclusion. Youtube is owned by Google.





Musk out as Tesla chair, stays CEO in $40 mn SEC deal

1.The tweet : In August 2018, Elon Musk had tweeted that he was considering taking electronic car maker Tesla off the stock market and he had "funding secured" for the proposal, which would value Tesla at $420 per share.

2.The Lawsuit : After this, the Securities Exchanges Commission (SEC)  filed a lawsuit alleging Musk of duping investors with misleading statements.

3.Settlement : Tesla and its CEO Musk agreed to pay a total of $40 million and make a series of concessions to settle this lawsuit. The settlement lets Musk remain the CEO but he has to relinquish his role as chairman for at least three years.

4.Stocks plummeted : Tesla’s stock plummeted 14% on 28th Sept, after the SEC filed its lawsuit, erasing more than $7 billion in shareholder wealth.

5.Lesson learnt : No matter how big a corporate star you are, the law catches up ultimately!


Headwinds build up for the economy

1.The last three weeks : In the last three weeks defaults by IFL&S and rising oil prices have cast a shadow on Indian economy’s growth prospects.

2.Pressure on the Government : As domestic prices of fuels race towards the Rs.100 mark, tremendous pressure will be on the Centre to cut taxes to reduce prices.

3.Horrible choices : If the Government cuts the excise duty, the revenues will be hit, increasing the fiscal deficit. If not, then prices of a range of commodities will increase.

4.Inelastic demand? Petrol consumption has grown by 8.2% in the April-August period. Reducing the excise duty  would increase the CAD. However, there will come a time when the higher prices would result in lower consumption.

5.Debt crisis : The IL&FS situation has to be managed carefully and confidence restored in the markets. The upcoming monetary policy statement from RBI is crucial in this context.




For the first time, South African lion cubs conceived artificially

1.Trials at the University of Pretoria : After 18 months of trial in artificial insemination in the University of Pretoria, two cubs (male and female) were born on August 25. They are in a healthy state.
2.The process : The sperm of a healthy lion was collected and  when the lioness’ hormone levels were found to be viable, she was inseminated artificially. Scientists hope that the technique can be used to save endangered big cats.
3.Worrisome status : According to the IUCN, lions are extinct in 26 African countries and numbers in the wild have plummeted 43% over the last two decades, with roughly only 20,000 left.

4.Welfare organisations : Animal welfare organisations are of the opinion that the captive lion breeding industry is exploitative and profit-driven.





Lucknow shooting case highlights the problems with an encounter culture

Congress demands smart city status for Jodhpur

AMUL is an alternative economic model, says the PM

Law University students at Raipur go on hunger strike, VC resigns

Indonesian earthquake and tsunami disaster toll keeps mounting

“We fell in love”, says Trump about Kim Jong-un of North Korea



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EDITORIALS & OP-ED

1.TRICKY CALL AHEAD
How the RBI will look at policy rates in next MPC

2.CUP OF SURPRISES
The interesting outcome of Asia Cup Cricket 2018

3.AN ONGOING QUEST FOR EQUALITY
Supreme Court’s Sabarimala verdict and the many questions

4.IN PARLIAMENT’S COURT
  How the S.C. lose the opportunity to decriminalise politics!

5.  GANDHI : A FOX OR A HEDGEHOG
The remarkable legacy of Mahatma Gandhi




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AROUND THE MEDIA – 10 IMPORTANT NEWS









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