International relations: India, U.K. resolve to lower trade barriers(The Hindu) India and the U.K. on Wednesday decided to build on the recommendations of a joint trade review to reduce barriers. At his meeting with his British counterpart Theresa May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that there would be no dilution in the importance of the U.K. to India post-Brexit. Still using chemical weapons(The Hindu Opinion) The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is a Hague-based intergovernmental body that works for the elimination of chemical weapons. It was formed after the Chemical Weapons Convention — an arms control treaty that bans the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons — entered into force in 1997. Modi and May resolve to reduce barriers(The Hindu) Britain and India agreed to forge a new India-U.K. Trade Partnership, building on the trade review carried out over the past year, focussing on life sciences, IT, food and drink. A U.K.-India Tech Partnership, and research partnership was also agreed upon. The soft power of India(The Hindu Opinion) There is a lot of talk these days, not so much among government circles as among the ‘strategic community’, about India being a major or even global power, with the capability, even responsibility, to play an ‘important role’ on the world stage as a balancing power between major powers and as a ‘security provider’ to others. China stresses on ties with Nepal, India(The Hindu) China on Wednesday proposed an understanding with India on Nepal, to help develop a trilateral partnership, which would include setting up a trans-Himalayan economic corridor. Indian Constitution and Polity: Make BCCI a public body: law panel(The Hindu) The 90-year-old Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should be declared a public body. The board and all its member cricket associations should be brought under the Right to Information law regime, the Law Commission of India recommended to the government on Wednesday. Minority institutions panel gets court relief(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) has original jurisdiction to determine which institution should be granted minority status.
Economy: More to cash crunch than supply issues(The Hindu) The unusual cash crunch situation in several States has thrown up a conundrum. Is this due to an unmet demand in cash supply or an unusual drop in the circulation of currency due to high withdrawals that have dried up ATMs? A look at data related to cash in circulation and GDP growth shows that there are both supply and demand issues that have resulted in the cash crunch in some States. People have lost trust in banks: Chidambaram(The Hindu) Commenting on the cash crunch reported from various parts of India, the former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday that it could be a sign of “loss of confidence” in the banking system because of the bank scams. He said the “ghosts of demonetisation has come back to haunt” the government and the RBI. Centre proposes relaxation of coastal regulation zone norms(The Hindu) The Centre has allowed India’s coasts to be made more accessible to tourism and industrial infrastructure and given individual States considerable leeway to decide how they should plan such development, according to a draft version of the proposed modification to India’s coastal regulation zone plan made public on the Environment Ministry website on Wednesday. Is the Indian economy really that strong?(The Hindu Opinion) The Indian economy is currently growing at about 7%, after dipping below 6% following demonetisation. It is projected to grow over 7% this year. That is faster than China’s growth rate and makes India effectively the fastest-growing economy in the world. Building trust among real estate buyers(The Hindu Opinion) The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, mandatorily requires promoters to register all real estate projects with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in their respective States. ‘Bank credit: can’t be business as usual’(The Hindu) The Reserve Bank of India’s latest norms for the resolution of stressed assets are aimed at warding off further risks to the banking sector from lending operations, according to RBI Deputy Governor N.S. Vishwanathan. Government Policies: National portal to share research facilities soon(The Hindu) The portal — Indian Science, Technology and Engineering Facilities Map (I-STEM) — will soon become operational. The government green signalled the project last month. Environment: No pollution-reduction targets in Central plan(The Hindu) In a strange move that is unlikely to impress anyone concerned over the worsening air quality in our cities, the government has refrained from specifying pollution-reduction targets in its draft National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Olive Ridleys return for rare mass nesting(The Hindu) In a rare occurrence, Olive Ridley turtles turned up for mass nesting for the second time at the Rushikulya rookery on the Odisha coast in the early hours of Wednesday, where mass hatching of eggs of these endangered marine turtles is still continuing.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial: Relevance of Non Aligned Movement 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQs: