GS 2 India committed to boosting BIMSTEC connectivity: PM Making a strong pitch for enhanced regional connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that India was committed to working with the BIMSTEC member states in the critical sector and to combating the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking. High water discharge from China threatens Arunachal Hydrological experts said the “unusually high” discharge indicates sudden release of water from man-made barriers or a natural dam that was formed due to landslips caused by major earthquakes in the Tibetan region of China in November 2017. ‘Pan-India reservation rule applies to Delhi’ A five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi unanimously held that “a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste in one State cannot be deemed to be a Scheduled Caste person in relation to any other State to which he migrates for the purpose of employment or education.” Pride and foreign aid India’s refusal to take help in times of natural disasters is self-defeating and against the federal spirit The fear of a black flag It is a worrying sign when the state begins to display zero tolerance for political activism among students Speeding up the adoption process In the best interest of the child, it proposes to amend the Juvenile Justice Act to empower the District Magistrate, instead of the court, to issue adoption orders. This would ensure timely processing of adoption cases and provide orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children with familial care and protection. Law Commission calls for re-think on sedition clause The Commission, which is the Centre’s topmost advisory body on laws, headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.S. Chauhan, published a consultation paper recommending that it is time to re-think or even repeal the provision of sedition (Section 124A) from the Indian Penal Code. Panel’s draft bats for simultaneous polls The Commission, in draft recommendations, said simultaneous polls would help the government of the day focus on “developmental activities rather than in electioneering.” No troops to Afghanistan, says China The Chinese Defence Ministry on Thursday said it was neither setting up a military base in Afghanistan nor was sending troops to the strife-torn country. The Ministry, however, acknowledged that China was supporting Afghanistan to develop its defence and counterterrorism capacity. Russia, China set to launch joint military exercises The five-day Vostok 2018 exercises, to be held from September 11, will be bigger than Zapad 81 — the mammoth manoeuvres carried out in Eastern Europe by the former Soviet Union in 1981. Mongolia will be the third country participating in the drills. GS 3 Nilgiri tahr climb the population charts In a heartening development for conservationists, a recent census has revealed that the population of the Nilgiri tahr (an endangered mountain goat) at the Mukurthi National Park has grown by an impressive 18% in the last two years, from 480 to 568. The shale gas challenge We need a sector-specific environment impact assessment manual on exploration and production Money, money, money The Reserve Bank of India’s annual report for 2017-18 reveals that 99.3% of currency notes that were demonetised at midnight on November 8, 2016 have returned to the banking system. Shocking negligence An expert committee report on faulty hip prosthetics sold by a subsidiary of the U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson has revealed incriminating details about its negligence in dealing with Indian patients. Has India finally arrived on the sporting stage? Every time India does well at a multi-sport event, there is a chorus that we have arrived on the world stage. The Asian Games have been no exception. Heat trapped below Arctic surface could melt entire region’s ice: study Warmer water that originated hundreds of miles away has penetrated deep into its interior Pollution may affect thinking skills, says study A large study in China suggests a link between air pollution and negative effects on people’s language and math skills.