International relations: India remains in the best position to help us: Mohamed Nasheed(The Hindu) Gunboat diplomacy doesn’t mean an attack, it means a show of strength, says the former Maldivian President, who currently lives in exile. ‘China deploys warships in Indian Ocean’(The Hindu) A Chinese naval contingent has been deployed in the East Indian Ocean for more than a week at a time when the Maldives is undergoing a political crisis , a Chinese website has reported. ‘China quietly holding talks with Baloch militants for CPEC’(The Hindu) China has been quietly holding talks with Baloch militants in Pakistan’s restive Baluchistan province for over five years to protect its $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative, according to a media report. Maldives on a collision course with India(The Hindu) The Maldives on Tuesday looked set for a collision course with India, as a parliamentary committee voted to extend the state of emergency by 30 days, defying India’s expectation conveyed hours earlier. Ask Myanmar to take back Rohingya: Hasina(The Hindu) India should put pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Tuesday. Indian H-4 entrepreneurs in limbo as the U.S. rethinks visa rules(The Hindu) Nitin Venugopal is an Indian engineer who has an H-1B visa but has chosen to be on an H-4 visa, meant for dependents of H-1B visa-holders, to pursue his entrepreneurial dream. H-1B visa regulations require its holders to earn a salary. China outbids India for stake in DSE(The Hindu) Bangladesh has agreed to sell a large stake in its stock exchange to a Chinese consortium, an official said on Tuesday, rebuffing a rival bid from India that raised political sensitivities. Indian Constitution and Polity: Mahanadi tribunal gets Central nod(The Hindu) The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the setting up of a tribunal to settle a row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on sharing the waters of the Mahanadi river. SC: spell out stand on MPs’ salary revision(The Hindu) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Union government to take a “categorical stand” on establishing an independent body to review the salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament and, possibly, scrap their post-retirement benefits and perks. For cleaner, fairer elections(The Hindu) Electoral reforms in the hands of politicians is a classic example of a fox guarding the henhouse. While there are many policies that both major parties disagree with each other on, they form a remarkable tag team when it comes to electoral reforms.
Economy: Commercial coal mining opened for private sector(The Hindu) Opening up commercial coal mining for Indian and foreign companies in the private sector, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on February 20 approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/blocks for sale of the commodity. Cabinet committee clears several rail, road projects(The Hindu) The government on Tuesday approved several railways projects, including a 130 km-long Jeypore-Malkangiri project at a cost of ₹ 2,676 crore and another 425 km-long Jhansi-Manikpur and Bhimsen-Khairar line doubling-cum-electrification projects costing ₹ 4,956 crore. A Canadian project, inspired by India(The Hindu) Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on Tuesday spoke of his country’s Smart City Challenge, something that has been inspired by India, from where he migrated in 1981. A deeper malady: on PNB fraud case(The Hindu Editorial) Barely days after news of the ₹11,500 crore fraud at Punjab National Bank broke, another but very different scam of a ₹3,695 crore wilful loan default has surfaced. ED grapples with severe manpower crunch(The Hindu) The Enforcement Directorate, which has in the past few days carried out searches at more than 100 locations in connection with the Rs. 11,500-crore fraudulent transactions case involving the Punjab National Bank (PNB), is grappling with a severe manpower crunch. Science and Technology: Experts urge more funds to tackle Tuberculosis crisis(The Hindu) Stating that tuberculosis (TB) has become a national crisis in India, the Health Ministry assured the TB community that eliminating the disease by 2025 had the ‘highest level of commitment from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.’ The politics of AI(The Hindu Editorial) Public discourse around artificial intelligence (AI) is often hijacked by themes that belong in fantasy rather than the real world. Iconic AI from pop culture such as HAL 9000 and Agent Smith epitomise a Manichaean obsession with the idea of ‘superintelligence’ (‘the Singularity’) that could prove to be good or evil, vested as it is with the power to turn humans into either immortals or slaves oppressed by parasitic machines.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial: PNB fraud: Need for Banking Sector Reforms in India 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQs