9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 20th, 2018


Download the compilation of all summaries of all the news articles here


GS: 1

26-week maternity leave for women contract employees

26-week maternity leave for women contract employees What has happened? In a significant verdict, the Kerala High Court has ruled that women contract employees working in government funded projects are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave as applicable to women employees under the service rules. Kerala’s view The State government contended that the petitioners … Continue reading “26-week maternity leave for women contract employees”

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GS: 2

Govt apathy towards construction workers puts Shakespearean tragedy to shame: SC

Govt apathy towards construction workers puts Shakespearean tragedy to shame: SC Context SC’s judgment on a public interest plea by the National Campaign Committee for Central Legislation on Construction Labour (NCC-CL) seeking the enforcement of the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 and the Building and Other Construction Workers … Continue reading “Govt apathy towards construction workers puts Shakespearean tragedy to shame: SC”

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Centre plans law on online hate speech

Centre plans law on online hate speech What has happened? Moving a step ahead towards framing a distinct law for online “hate speech,” the Home Ministry has written to the Law Commission to prepare a draft law The provisions will deal with offensive messages sent through social media and online messaging applications T.K Viswanathan Committee … Continue reading “Centre plans law on online hate speech”

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First step in a long journey

First step in a long journey Context The National Medical Commission Bill seeks to make structural changes in an exploitative health-care system Some Problems that NMC bill seeks to address India needs 3,00,000 more doctors in order to meet the World Health Organisation standard of the ideal doctor-population ratio. There is an 81% shortage of … Continue reading “First step in a long journey”

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Treaty that backfired?

Treaty that backfired? Context The Shimla Agreement of 1972 India’s objectives behind Shimla Agreement Alasting solution to the Kashmir issue Or, failing that, an agreement that would constrain Pakistan from involving third parties in discussions about the future of Kashmir New Beginnings It was hoped that the Agreement would allow for a new beginning in … Continue reading “Treaty that backfired?”

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U.S. wants India on board to ease Rohingya crisis

U.S. wants India on board to ease Rohingya crisis What has happened? Amid growing worries about the coming monsoon that could flood a third of the main Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, Washington has offered to partner with New Delhi on joint efforts to assist Bangladesh Background Recent visit to the region by Deputy Assistant … Continue reading “U.S. wants India on board to ease Rohingya crisis”

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Situation not ripe for pilgrimage, Pakistan told

Situation not ripe for pilgrimage, Pakistan told Context Row over denial of visas to pilgrims from Pakistan to Ajmer Reason given by India Prevailing circumstances are not suitable for pilgrimage between India and Pakistan Pakistan’s view: India violated the protocol The visit was to take place under the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious … Continue reading “Situation not ripe for pilgrimage, Pakistan told”

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A move to equivalence

A move to equivalence Context Recent agreement on “mutual recognition of educational qualifications” between India and France It provides an opportunity for India to refine its policy on higher education by inking such pacts with other countries, thereby seamlessly integrating the Indian student community across the world Current policy framework: Problem of Degree Recognition Dealt … Continue reading “A move to equivalence”

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GS: 3


Bending the rules — on nod for Neutrino project

Bending the rules — on nod for Neutrino project Context A year after the National Green Tribunal suspended the environmental clearance granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), the Expert Appraisal Committee (Infra 2) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has overturned the NGT verdict and granted environmental clearance for the project Location of the … Continue reading “Bending the rules — on nod for Neutrino project”

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To be fighting fit

To be fighting fit Context The government must order a comprehensive strategic review of the future threats to India. Author provides his suggestions in the backdrop of an allegedly insufficient defence budget The present situation According to a recent report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India was the largest arms importer in the last … Continue reading “To be fighting fit”

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‘PSB recap: open offer not needed’

‘PSB recap: open offer not needed’ Context Markets regulator SEBI exempted the central government from making an open offer for the shareholders of Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and four other state-owned lenders following capital infusion Under SEBI norms, an entity whose shareholding in a listed company goes beyond a particular threshold would have to … Continue reading “‘PSB recap: open offer not needed’”

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SEBI for phased roll-out of governance norms

SEBI for phased roll-out of governance norms Context The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) plans to introduce new corporate governance norms as proposed by the Kotak Committee, in a phased manner for listed entities, with only the bigger companies required to comply in the initial phase as opposed to all the listed companies … Continue reading “SEBI for phased roll-out of governance norms”

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Time to move beyond subsidies

Time to move beyond subsidies Context Challenge to India’s export promotion schemes by United States Trade Representative (USTR) in WTO What are the arguments given by USTR? The main argument of the USTR is that India’s five export promotion schemes violate Articles 3.1(a) and 2 of the SCM (Subsidies and Countervailing Measures) Agreement, since the two … Continue reading “Time to move beyond subsidies”

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