International relations: Tit for tat: China imposes fresh tariffs on U.S. goods(The Hindu) China’s Commerce Ministry on Wednesday listed 106 U.S. products, which will be subjected to a 25% tariff, in retaliation to Washington’s intent to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese products worth $50 billion. The items include soya beans, cars, chemicals and aircraft, triggering fears that the world’s top two economies maybe locking horns in a major and escalating trade war. India, Japan, U.S. stress keeping sea lanes open(The Hindu) Senior diplomats of India, Japan and the U.S. held the 9th trilateral meeting here on Wednesday, focussing on connectivity, counter-terrorism and other regional and global issues of common concern, a joint press release issued after the meeting, said. Heeding the lines on the map(The Hindu Opinion) At the heart of South Asia’s poor integration is India-Pakistan rivalry, further complicated by China-Pakistan proximity and India-China hostility. A new dimension has been added with souring of Pakistan-Bangladesh relations and the India-China tug of war over Bangladesh. Time has come to make a paradigm shift in South Asia’s regional integration strategy. Looming U.S.-China trade war?(The Hindu Opinion) In the latest round of tit-for-tat, China, on Wednesday, announced plans to hike tariffs by 25% on 106 imports from the U.S. The Chinese move was in response to a U.S. announcement on Tuesday, of a 25% tariff on 1,333 Chinese imports. The proposed U.S. tariffs are the result of the administration’s investigation into whether China has been indulging in unfair intellectual property and technology transfer practices under a “Made in China 2025” industrial promotion policy. Indian Constitution and Polity: SC invalidates domicile rule for PG medical seats(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared invalid a Karnataka government condition restricting postgraduate admissions for medical and dental government quota seats to students with minimum 10 years domicile in the State. House unites to pass Bill on medical colleges(The Hindu) The Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a Bill regularising the controversial admission of 180 students to the Karuna and Kannur self-financing private medical colleges in 2016-17. ‘EC backs one seat, one candidate policy’(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to respond to an affidavit filed by the Election Commission (EC) of India to amend the law to prevent candidates contesting from multiple constituencies. Centre is not a party to SC/ST case, says Prasad(The Hindu) A day after the Congress accused Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad of making a “misleading statement” that the Centre was not a party to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act case in the Supreme Court, Mr. Prasad reiterated his stand. Confidence in the House(The Hindu Opinion) The Speaker has enough powers to restore order in the Lok Sabha and act upon a notice for a no-trust vote The violent aftermath(The Hindu Opinion) The court must re-examine the SC/ST Act verdict, but in an atmosphere of calm
Economy: Anti-forest, anti-forest dweller(The Hindu Opinion) Last month, Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Mahesh Sharma informed Parliament that his Ministry has collected over Rs. 50,000 crore in a Central compensatory afforestation fund (CAF). This money is to be used though the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016 or CAF, a purported mechanism to offset forest loss. Before issuing forest clearances to a mine, dam or industry, the Ministry fixes a monetary value for the forest that is to be destroyed and collects this as “compensation”. India pips Japan, becomes second largest manufacturer of crude steel(The Hindu) In a major achievement, India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February, according to the Steel Users Federation of India (SUFI). At present, China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50% of the production. Internal security: ‘India third most vulnerable country to cyber threats(The Hindu) India emerged as the third most vulnerable country in terms of risk of cyber threats, such as malware, spam and ransomware, in 2017, moving up one place over previous year, according to a report by security solutions provider Symantec. Science and Technology: NASA hires Lockheed Martin to build supersonic plane(The Hindu) NASA has inked a deal with Lockheed Martin to develop a supersonic “X-plane” that could break the sound barrier without a sonic boom.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial: GST e-way bill system: all you need to know 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQs: