9 PM Current Affairs Brief – July 9, 2019

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RBI board finalises ‘Utkarsh 2022’

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board has finalised a three year roadmap named as Utkarsh 2022.
  2. The objective of the policy is to improve regulation and supervision of the central bank.
  3. RBI has said that this strategy is in line with the global central banks decision to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory mechanism by formulating a long-term plan and a medium-term plan.
  4. The strategy will be that RBI will play a proactive role and takes preemptive action to avoid any crisis such as the IL&FS debt default issue and the crisis of confidence in the non-banking financial sector.
  5. Further,the board has also approved the RBI’s budget for the July 2019 to June 2020 period.Other matters discussed by the board included issues relating to currency management and payment systems.

SEBI gets teeth to probe new-age cases

  1. The Finance Bill,2019 has given the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) new powers to act against entities that tamper or destroy electronic databases or fail to furnish information.
  2. The bill has introduced section 15HAA in the SEBI Act.The section states that if a person tampers with information to obstruct or influence an investigation,destroys regulatory data or tries to access data in an unauthorised manner then the entity could be penalised up to ₹10 crore or three times the unlawful gains,whichever is higher.
  3. However,it is not yet clear whether ‘regulatory data’ and ‘database’ as mentioned in the section refers only to SEBI data or even those maintained by exchanges,depositories and clearing corporations.
  4. Further,the bill also provides SEBI to impose penalties of up to ₹1 crore on brokers if they fail to issue a contract note to clients in the format as laid down by the exchanges.
  5. These new powers assume significance as it is already probing the leak of sensitive data through WhatsApp and also recently passed fresh orders on the National Stock Exchange(NSE) co-location matter.
  6. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India.It was established in 1988 and given statutory powers in 1992 through the SEBI Act,1992.

DRDO carries out three successful Nag missile tests in one day in Pokhran

  1. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired the third generation guided missile ‘Nag’.
  2. The Nag missile is a third generation fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile.It is an all weather,top attack missile with a range of 3 to 7 km.
  3. The missile can seek and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night or under any adverse weather condition.
  4. The NAG is one of the five strategic missiles developed under the Integrated Missile Development Programme initiated.
  5. The other missiles developed under the project include the Agni,Prithvi and Akash.The Trishul project was shut down after being developed as a technology demonstrator.
  6. Nag is incorporated with many advanced technologies including the Imaging Infrared(IIR) Seeker with integrated avionics,a technology which is processed by a few nations in the world.

5.4 lakh police posts vacant in India, 1.3 lakh in UP alone

  1. The Bureau of Police Research and Development(BPR&D) has released a report on “vacancies in the police organization”.
  2. The report has revealed that there are 5.28 lakh police posts are lying vacant in the police organisation.
  3. The states with high shortage of police personnel included Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Telangana, and Maharashtra while Nagaland is the only state where actual strength exceeded the sanctioned strength.
  4. The wide difference between sanctioned and actual strength of vacancies can be attributed to reasons like (a)slow recruitment process (b)retirement and (c)untimely deaths.
  5. BPR&D was established in 1970 with the objective of the modernisation of police forces.It is nodal national police organisation to study,research and develop on subjects and issues related to policing.
  6. BPR&D functions under the aegis of Union Home Ministry.It is headquartered in New Delhi.Since its  formation,it has evolved as a multifaceted,consultancy organisation.
  7. At present it has 4 divisions which are (a)Research (b)Development, (c)Training and (d)Correctional Administration.

Telling Numbers: Road accidents kill 400/day, 1/4th of them in UP & Tamil Nadu

  1. According to the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways data,road accidents in India has killed around 1.5 lakh people every year between 2015 and 2017.
  2. This works out to a daily average of 400 or more deaths in each of the three years.
  3. The ministry has also presented state-wise data.Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of deaths in road accidents in each of the three years, followed by Tamil Nadu.
  4. Further,World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Global Status report on Road Safety has also stated that road accidents are the leading cause of death among people in the 5-29 age-group worldwide.
  5. According to the report,India might be losing 2,99,000 people each year due to road accidents.However,the government pegs the number of road accident deaths at nearly 1,50,000 people each year.

Goa NIT students win national award

  1. Two doctorate students from National Institute of Technology(NIT),Goa has been awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) appreciation award 2019.
  2. Gandhian Young Technological Innovation awards has been instituted by the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions(SRISTI).
  3. The award celebrates the creativity and innovation of young technological students by recognising their outstanding projects.
  4. The awards are given for the spirit of student innovation in all the fields of engineering, science, technology and design through extremely affordable/frugal solution or the ones pushing the technological edge.

BSF launches massive exercise to fortify anti-infiltration grid along Pak border in Punjab,Jammu

  1. The Border Security Force(BSF) has launched a massive exercise code named ‘Sudarshan’ to fortify the ‘anti-infiltration grid’ along the Pakistan border in Punjab and Jammu.
  2. The operation will cover over 1,000-kms length of the India-Pakistan International Border.
  3. Further,BSF has also deployed heavy machinery,communication interceptors and mobile bulletproof bunkers at the borders.
  4. The Border Security Force(BSF) was established in 1965.It is the primary force guarding the borders of India.It is one of the five Central armed police forces.
  5. The force guards the land borders of India and helps prevent any kind of international and transnational aggression.The force functions under the Ministry of Home affairs and has its headquarters in New Delhi.

False, motivated: India slams UN report on Kashmir situation

  1. India has registered its protest against a new report by the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights(UNHCR) on Kashmir.
  2. UNHCR in its report has said that neither India nor Pakistan have taken any concrete steps to solve the concerns raised in its first report on Kashmir which was released in 2018.
  3. The report has claimed that the number of civilian casualties reported between May 2018 and April 2019 may be the highest in over a decade.
  4. The report also claimed that despite high civilian casualties,there were no fresh investigations conducted into the use of excessive force by security personnel.
  5. On Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,the report said that people are deprived of a number of fundamental human rights, particularly in relation to freedom of expression and opinion,peaceful assembly and association.
  6. The report has called on the UN Human Rights Council(UNHRC) to conduct an independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir.
  7. However,India has said that the report is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and ignore the core issue of cross-border terrorism.
  8. Further,India has said that report is in complete variance with UNSC position where UNSC had strongly condemned the Pulwama terror attack and subsequently proscribed Masood Azhar as a terrorist entity.
  9. UNHRC is an inter-governmental body headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.It is made up of 47 members states.The members are elected by the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) with 3-year terms,with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms.
  10. UNHRC meets 3 times a year to examine human rights violations worldwide.Its resolutions are not legally binding but carry moral authority.

Parliament passes Aadhaar amendment Bill

  1. The Parliament has passed“The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.
  2. The bill envisages strengthening of the Aadhaar Act as per the directions of the Supreme Court and recommendations of Justice B.N.Srikrishna.
  3. The bill says that no individual will be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament.
  4. For the convenience of the general public in the opening of bank accounts,the bill will allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on a voluntary basis as an acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act,1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2002.
  5. The bill also gives an option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years.
  6. The bill proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of Aadhaar by private entities.
  7. The bill prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication.It provides for the establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund.
  8. Further,the bill provides for stiff penalties upon violation of norms pertaining to Aadhaar and violation of privacy.It proposes civil penalty of up to ₹1 crore on entities that violate the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, with an additional fine of up to ₹10 lakh per day in case of continuous non compliance.

Antifa: why America is talking about group that uses violence with ‘fascists’

  1. Recently, the US witnessed a violence during a pro-Donald Trump demonstration by the Proud Boys and a counter-protest by Antifa members.
  2. Proud Boys are known as a white supremacist exclusively male group based in the US with a presence in a few other countries.On the other hand,Antifa has a more international background and gained prominence only recently in the US.
  3. Antifa has been around for several decades with some dating it as far back as Nazi Germany.Antifa is borrowed from German word which means anti-fascist.
  4. The movement has had a presence in several European countries and has now come into focus in the United States following the election of US President Trump in 2016.
  5. Antifa does not have a formal organisational structure.It draws its members from other movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement.
  6. Antifa members typically dress in black and often wear a mask at their demonstrations and follow far-left ideologies such as anti-capitalism. They take up causes such as LGBTQ and indigenous rights.

Saudi Arabia adopts Digital India, equality of women in this year’s Haj

  1. Indian Haj mission in Saudi Arabia has adopted digital technology to reach out to a large number of pilgrims as part of the Government of India’s initiative of Digital India.
  2. They have launched an app called as Haj app.This application was developed to receive feedback,a grievance from Hajis.
  3. The app also connects with the pilgrims to Haj service coordinators of their respective states.
  4. They have also launched another app called as e-MASIHA.This app will allow health status and medical history of visiting pilgrims to be stored online.
  5. The app would retrieve pilgrims health information to apply appropriate treatment whenever he or she visits Indian medical facilities during Hajj.
  6. The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca,Saudi Arabia.It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the pilgrimage.

Financial system has surplus liquidity

  1. Finance Minister and RBI Governor has met for the customary post-budget meeting.
  2. The RBI Governor has said that the system has sufficient liquidity and the Union Budget has made provisions to ease the NBFC crisis.
  3. In the Budget,the Government has announced a one-time six-month partial credit guarantee window to cover up 10% of losses that public sector banks(PSBs) may incur after buying high-rated pooled assets of NBFCs.
  4. The RBI governor has praised the recapitalisation of banks with Rs 70,000 crore.The banking system has been suffering from low liquidity and has been seeking recapitalisation from the government.
  5. RBI Governor has also said he expects a quicker transmission of the interest rate cuts by banks to consumers by way of cheaper home,auto and personal loans.
  6. Further,he also said that the issue of RBI dividend will be decided by the board.The government has budgeted a dividend from the Reserve Bank of India amounting to about ₹90,000 crore.
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