GS 2 Centre amends rules for minorities from three nations The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is pending in Parliament, but the Union Home Ministry has notified amendments to the Citizenship Rules, 2009, to include a separate column in the citizenship form for applicants belonging to six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. JICA norms flouted in bullet train project Officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, have apparently found violations of the agency’s guidelines in the process of land acquisition. Navy on a major capability upgrade In the backdrop of increasing responsibilities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and increased Chinese presence increasing the tempo of overseas deployments and exercises to an all-time high, Indian Navy has embarked on a major capability upgrade. Bahrain criticises Qatar Emir for not attending GCC summit Bahrain’s Foreign Minister criticised Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Sunday for not attending a Gulf Arab summit in Saudi Arabia, an absence that suggests a rift between Doha and three Gulf Arab states is unlikely to be resolved soon. GS 3 After launch, GSAT-11 awaits ₹200 crore ground system Now that GSAT-11, the third and latest Internet-boosting communication satellite, is up in space, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) says it is in the process of readying a ₹150-200-crore ground infrastructure across cities to use it. Death in the air The deadly results of official apathy are outlined in the Global Burden of Disease 2017 report on the impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden, and life expectancy across the states of India, published by The Lancet Current account woes Proper structural reforms are needed to boost exports, reduce dependence on imported oil Urjit Patel makes a statement with his CRR remark At the press conference post the fifth monetary policy review on December 5, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel brushed aside a question on reduction in cash reserve ratio (CRR) saying that it is not in the ambit of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). ‘Challenge for the panel is we don’t know what the resources are’ GST collections are yet to show a stable trend which means projections for 2020-25 are difficult, says the Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission The world may turn flat for Indian companies, thanks to SEBI panel The panel recommended that unlisted Indian companies should be allowed to do direct equity listing in select overseas markets and that companies from such jurisdictions should also be allowed to list their shares on Indian bourses. To be sure, this is just a recommendation. ‘Bioplastics may not be a viable alternative to plastic’ With the ban on single-use plastics looming, various alternatives and innovations are being mooted. One of the substitutes that has been researched over the past many years is biodegradable and compostable plastic materials, also known as bioplastic.