9 PM Current Affairs Brief – May 1, 2019


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


Muslim Brotherhood may be put on terror list

  1. USA President has advocated to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. The designation would impose sanctions on the group and those who do business with it.
  2. The Muslim Brotherhood is a missionary movement founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, a schoolteacher. He argued that an Islamic religious revival would enable the Muslim world to catch up to the West and combat colonial rule.
  3. The organization gained support through many Islamic countries and various Islamist political movements including missionary, charitable and advocacy organizations as well as political parties in many countries trace their roots to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
  4. The current Egyptian government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has classified the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and repeatedly accuses it of being behind terrorist attacks. However, the Muslim Brotherhood has consistently denied any involvement.
  5. During his visit to USA in April 2019, the Egyptian president had urged US President to designate Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
  6. Recently, the United States had designated Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. This has been the first time that the U.S. designated an entity of another government as a terrorist organization.

Sri Lanka lifts social media ban imposed after Easter blasts

  1. The Sri Lankan government has lifted a nationwide blanket ban on social media which it had put after the recent devastating Easter Sunday bombings.
  2. The government has also the public to share content on social media sites with “utmost responsibility” while bearing in mind the current situation of Sri Lanka
  3. The ban on social media was put to curb the spread of misinformation among public in the wake of the Easter bombings.
  4. The Islamic State has claimed the attacks which had killed more than 250 people in Sri Lanka. However, the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) for the bombings.
  5. Recently, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has issued a travel advisory asking Indian nationals not to undertake non-essential travel to Sri Lanka.

China defends crackdown in Xinjiang

  1. China has in its internal affairs after UN chief Antonio Guterres raised the plight of ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjiang province during a visit to China.
  2. Xinjiang is an administrative region in north-western China. The population in Xinjiang is predominantly Uighurs who are ethnically Turkic Muslims.
  3. In response to large-scale ethnic rioting and attacks in Xinjiang since 2009, China has enhanced security in the region to combat terrorism, extremism and separatism.
  4. Recently, China been alleged of preparing a DNA database for surveillance against Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. Further, it was alleged that China has been using a system of facial recognition cameras to track Uighur Muslim minority.
  5. China has been repeatedly accused of detaining Uighur Muslims and other Muslim groups in the western Xinjiang region. However, China has always maintained that there are no internment camps. China has advocated that people in Xinjiang are receiving “vocational training” in “re-education camps”

68 painted stork carcasses buried

  1. Carcasses of 68 Painted Storks have been buried at the Koonthankulam Birds’ sanctuary. The birds had died after heavy winds uprooted trees in the sanctuary.
  2. The Painted Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family. Their distinctive pink tertial (flight) feathers of the wing are pink and give them their name.
  3. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in South Asia and extending into Southeast Asia. They are listed as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red list.
  4. Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary is a protected area declared as a Bird sanctuary in 1994. It is located in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

Assam deportation figure given to Supreme Court doesn’t add up

  1. A Bangladeshi diplomat has said that its government is puzzled over Assam government’s claim that only four Bangladeshi nationals have been deported to the country since 2014. Bangladesh claims that it had taken back 52 nationals in 2018 and 21 in January 2019.
  2. Earlier in the case related to detention camps for foreigners in Assam, the state government had said to the Supreme Court that the government had 1.12 lakh foreigners and deported four of them in the past six years.
  3. The Supreme had rebuked the state government over its lackadaisical approach to trace illegal foreigners and deport them. The Assam government had then proposed to release foreigners who have completed five years in detention centres subject to furnishing a security of Rs. 5 lakh, verification of address and collection of their biometrics.
  4. However, the apex court sharply criticised the Assam government for its proposal to conditionally release and monitor declared foreigners and had called for deportation of foreigners at earliest.
  5. An illegal foreigner is declared so by Foreigners Tribunals of Assam. Foreigners Tribunal (FT) was set up in Assam in 1964 through the Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964. The tribunals have been mandated with identifying the legal status of suspected foreigners in Assam.

Army claims to have sighted footprints of Yeti

  1. The Indian Army has claimed that one of its mountaineering teams had sighted the footprints of Yeti close to the Makalu Base Camp in Nepal.
  2. In Nepali folklore, Yeti is a mythical ape-like creature taller than an average human.  It is said to inhabit the Himalayas, Siberia, Central and East Asia.
  3. This is not the first time that large footprints have been observed and claimed to be of Yeti’s. However, given the lack of evidence of its existence, the scientific community has generally regarded the Yeti as a legend.
  4. Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,485 metres. It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas. It is located on the border between Nepal and Tibet, China.

India’s ASAT test a response to growing space threats:France

  1. French Envoy to India has supported India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test. The French envoy has said that India’s ASAT missile test is a response to the growing threat posed by the defence and offensive space technologies which are being developed with various aims of spying, gaining control, deactivating service and destroying.
  2. However, he also emphasised on regulation of space traffic in view of the overlapping trajectories of satellites. He said that outer space has become an arena of rivalry between major powers and there was a common concern on space debris.
  3. Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional. According to the Report of Second U.N. Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space 1982, space debris consists of dead satellites, spent rocket motors, nuts and bolts etc. Examples: China’s Tiangong-1,Fengyun-1C weather satellite of China.
  4. India had recently completed Mission Shakti. Mission Shakti is an anti-Satellite(ASAT) missile test. ASAT are missile-based systems to attack moving satellites. The mission has been carried out by bringing down one of the Indian satellites in the low earth orbit. The test was aimed at strengthening the capability to safeguard space assets and India’s overall security.
  5. Mission Shakti has been particularly significant as the acquisition and demonstration of ASAT technology has made India a member of an elite group of countries that claim to have anti-satellite weapons. Only the United States, Russia and China have had demonstrated this capability

Assam Rifles, NSCN(IM) agree to withdraw from Manipur villages

  1. Assam Rifles and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has agreed to withdraw from two remote villages of Ukhrul in Manipur. The decision towards de-escalating the tension was taken by Nagaland based Ceasefire Monitoring Group(CFMG) and a delegation of NSCN-IM leaders.
  2. Recently, Assam Rifles had issued warning against the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah faction (NSCN-IM) for allegedly setting up unauthorized camps in Ukhrul district near the India-Myanmar border.
  3. Assam Rifles had accused the NSCN-IM of gross violation of existing ceasefire ground rules. The NSCN-IM had signed a peace accord with the Centre in 1997.According to the ceasefire, the NSCN-IM cannot move outside their designated camps located in Nagaland.
  4. The NSCN-IM is an insurgent group of Nagas operating in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. Its objective is to establish Greater Nagaland (Nagalim) consisting of all Naga inhabited areas in Northeast India and it has spearheaded a rebellion for the same.
  5. The Naga Peace Accord was signed between the Government of India and the Naga armed groups headed by the NSCN-IM in 2015.The accord seeks to end the Naga insurgency.
  6. The Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India. Assam Rifles operates in the North Eastern part of India and complements the Indian Army in countering the insurgency and guarding the borders.

Progress’ in U.N. listing of Masood Azhar, says China

  1. China has said that some progress has been achieved on designating Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
  2. Earlier, China had blocked India’s bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist under the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee. It had placed a technical hold on the resolution.
  3. The proposal to designate Masood Azhar was moved by France, UK and the US. It was moved after the Pulwama terror attack that was claimed by JeM. This was the fourth attempt by countries at the UNSC and India to bring Azhar under UN sanctions.
  4. China had vetoed each of the previous proposals citing it had not received enough evidence against Masood Azhar, who was released by India in 1999 during the IC-814 hijacking in exchange for hostages.
  5. The UNSC 1267 Committee was established as a result of resolution 1267 (1999).If an individual or an organisation is included in the list, it leads to(a)countries to freeze the targeted group’s or individual’s assets (b)ban designated individuals from travelling and (c)prevent the supply of weapons, technology and other aid.
  6. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
  7. The UN Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms.

Core sector growth at a 5 month high in March

  1. According to the Government data, India’s growth in eight core industries has reached a five-month high of 4.7% in March, 2019. It has improved due to a broad-based recovery in sectors such as cement, refinery products, steel and coal.
  2. Core industry can be defined as the main industry which has a multiplier effect on the economy. The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  3. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mining, electricity, manufacturing among others.
  4. IIP is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends. The base year of the IIP has been revised from the year 2004-05 to 2011-12 from April, 2017.
  5. The eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage are(a) Refinery Products (b)Electricity (c)Steel (d)Coal (e)Crude Oil (f)Natural Gas (g)Cement and (h)Fertilizers.

I-T Dept.,GSTN to sign MoU for sharing data to prevent anomalies

  1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to enter into a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with GST Network(GSTN).
  2. The MoU will allow income tax department to share details including sales and profits that businesses have reported in their income tax returns with GSTN to scale up scrutiny and check tax evasion.
  3. This move will allow direct and indirect tax authorities to zero in on discrepancies in the information that business have disclosed in their respective tax return forms and arrest tax evaders. Further, the MoU will also include modalities of exchange of data, maintenance of confidentiality and mechanism for safe preservation of data.
  4. CBDT is a statutory authority that functions under the Central Board of Revenue Act,1963. It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. It provides inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.
  5. The GST Network(GSTN) is a non-profit organization. It has been established to manage the entire IT system of the GST portal. This portal is used by the government to track every financial transaction and it also provides taxpayers with all services from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.
  6. The GSTN was initially held by Central Government with 24.5% of shares while the state government held 24.5%. The remaining 51% were held by non-Government financial institutions. However, later it was made a wholly owned government company having equal shares of state and central government.

NSE fined ₹1,000 crore in co-location case

  1. Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) has barred National Stock Exchange(NSE) from raising money on securities markets for six months and has also fined NSE Rs 1000 crore under NSE co-location
  2. Under the NSE co-location facility, trading members can place their servers in the exchange’s data centre, where they get faster access to the price feed, helping in swift execution of trades. The NSE’s co-location facility provides access to brokers for a cost. Greater access means brokers can execute trades faster.
  3. The NSE co-location scam relates to possible market manipulation at the National Stock Exchange by some members of the exchange by front running other members by getting access to market price information earlier than others.
  4. Front-running is when a broker or any other entity enters into a trade because they have the foreknowledge of a big non-publicized transaction that will influence the price of the asset, resulting in a likely financial gain for the broker.
  5. The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading stock exchange of India, located in Mumbai. The NSE was established in 1992 as the first demutualized electronic exchange in the country.
  6. NSE was the first exchange in the country to provide a modern, fully automated screen-based electronic trading system which offered easy trading facility to the investors spread across the length and breadth of the country.

India’s ASAT test a response to growing space threats: France

  1. French Envoy to India has supported India’s Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile test. The French envoy has said that India’s ASAT missile test is a response to the growing threat posed by the defence and offensive space technologies which are being developed with various aims of spying, gaining control, deactivating service and destroying.
  2. However, he also emphasised on regulation of space traffic in view of the overlapping trajectories of satellites. He said that outer space has become an arena of rivalry between major powers and there was a common concern on space debris.
  3. Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional. According to the Report of Second U.N. Conference on Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space 1982, space debris consists of dead satellites, spent rocket motors, nuts and bolts etc. Examples: China’s Tiangong-1, Fengyun-1C weather satellite of China.
  4. India had recently completed Mission Shakti. Mission Shakti is an anti-Satellite(ASAT) missile test. ASAT are missile-based systems to attack moving satellites. The mission has been carried out by bringing down one of the Indian satellites in the low earth orbit. The test was aimed at strengthening the capability to safeguard space assets and India’s overall security.
  5. Mission Shakti has been particularly significant as the acquisition and demonstration of ASAT technology has made India a member of an elite group of countries that claim to have anti-satellite weapons. Only the United States, Russia and China have had demonstrated this capability

Assam Rifles, NSCN(IM) agree to withdraw from Manipur villages

  1. Assam Rifles and National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) has agreed to withdraw from two remote villages of Ukhrul in Manipur. The decision towards de-escalating the tension was taken by Nagaland based Ceasefire Monitoring Group(CFMG) and a delegation of NSCN-IM leaders.
  2. Recently, Assam Rifles had issued warning against the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak- Muivah faction (NSCN-IM) for allegedly setting up unauthorized camps in Ukhrul district near the India-Myanmar border.
  3. Assam Rifles had accused the NSCN-IM of gross violation of existing ceasefire ground rules. The NSCN-IM had signed a peace accord with the Centre in 1997.According to the ceasefire, the NSCN-IM cannot move outside their designated camps located in Nagaland.
  4. The NSCN-IM is an insurgent group of Nagas operating in Nagaland, Assam, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh. Its objective is to establish Greater Nagaland (Nagalim) consisting of all Naga inhabited areas in Northeast India and it has spearheaded a rebellion for the same.
  5. The Naga Peace Accord was signed between the Government of India and the Naga armed groups headed by the NSCN-IM in 2015.The accord seeks to end the Naga insurgency.
  6. The Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India. Assam Rifles operates in the North Eastern part of India and complements the Indian Army in countering the insurgency and guarding the borders.

Progress’ in U.N. listing of Masood Azhar, says China

  1. China has said that some progress has been achieved on designating Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
  2. Earlier, China had blocked India’s bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist under the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee.It had placed a technical hold on the resolution.
  3. The proposal to designate Masood Azhar was moved by France, UK and the US. It was moved after the Pulwama terror attack that was claimed by JeM. This was the fourth attempt by countries at the UNSC and India to bring Azhar under UN sanctions .
  4. China had vetoed each of the previous proposals citing it had not received enough evidence against Masood Azhar, who was released by India in 1999 during the IC-814 hijacking in exchange for hostages.
  5. The UNSC 1267 Committee was established as a result of resolution 1267 (1999).If an individual or an organisation is included in the list, it leads to(a)countries to freeze the targeted group’s or individual’s assets (b)ban designated individuals from travelling and (c)prevent the supply of weapons, technology and other aid.
  6. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
  7. The UN Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms.

Core sector growth at a 5 month high in March

  1. According to the Government data, India’s growth in eight core industries has reached a five-month high of 4.7% in March, 2019. It has improved due to a broad-based recovery in sectors such as cement, refinery products, steel and coal.
  2. Core industry can be defined as the main industry which has a multiplier effect on the economy. The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
  3. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mining, electricity, manufacturing among others.
  4. IIP is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends. The base year of the IIP has been revised from the year 2004-05 to 2011-12 from April, 2017.
  5. The eight Core Industries in decreasing order of their weightage are(a) Refinery Products (b)Electricity (c)Steel (d)Coal (e)Crude Oil (f)Natural Gas (g)Cement and (h)Fertilizers.

I-T Dept., GSTN to sign MoU for sharing data to prevent anomalies

  1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to enter into a memorandum of understanding(MoU) with GST Network(GSTN).
  2. The MoU will allow income tax department to share details including sales and profits that businesses have reported in their income tax returns with GSTN to scale up scrutiny and check tax evasion.
  3. This move will allow direct and indirect tax authorities to zero in on discrepancies in the information that business have disclosed in their respective tax return forms and arrest tax evaders. Further, the MoU will also include modalities of exchange of data, maintenance of confidentiality and mechanism for safe preservation of data.
  4. CBDT is a statutory authority that functions under the Central Board of Revenue Act,1963. It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. It provides inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.
  5. The GST Network(GSTN) is a non-profit organization. It has been established to manage the entire IT system of the GST portal. This portal is used by the government to track every financial transaction and it also provides taxpayers with all services from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.
  6. The GSTN was initially held by Central Government with 24.5% of shares while the state government held 24.5%. The remaining 51% were held by non-Government financial institutions. However, later it was made a wholly owned government company having equal shares of state and central government.

Fani is India’s strongest April cyclone in 43 years, say meteorologists

  1. According to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclonic storm Fani is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976.
  2. Severe cyclones generate maximum wind speeds of 89-117 kmph. They generally are concentrated in November, after the monsoon or around May, when the monsoon prepares to arrive in Kerala in June.
  3. Tropical cyclones in the Indian neighbourhood begin as ‘depressions’ i.e. intense low pressure systems. About 35% of such formations intensify to ‘cyclones’ and only 7% intensify to ‘very severe cyclones’
  4. Meteorologists have suggested that the development of severe cyclonic storm in April is may be a consequence of global warming. They have also highlighted that Fani has a protracted gestation which could lead to its gaining strength. On an average tropical cyclones form and make landfall in less than a week; however Fani would be making a landfall after 10 days of its formation.
  5. The IMD ranks cyclones on a 5-point scale- a) Cyclonic storm, b) Severe cyclonic storm, c) Very severe cyclonic storm, d) Extremely Severe cyclonic storm and e) Super cyclonic storm.
  6. If a Deep Depression develops gale force wind speeds of between 62–88 km/h, it is called a Cyclonic storm. Severe Cyclonic Storms have storm force wind speeds of between 89–117 km/h.
  7. Very Severe Cyclonic Storms have hurricane-force winds of 118–166 km/h. Super Cyclonic Storms have hurricane-force winds of above 222 km/h.
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