International relations: India, China hold talks ahead of SCO summit(The Hindu) Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale has held across-the-board talks with top Chinese officials on advancing ties between India and China, which have encountered several points of friction. ‘Paris accord was unfair to U.S.’(The Hindu) U.S. President Donald Trump has again blamed India and China for his decision last year to withdraw from the historic Paris climate accord, saying the agreement was unfair as it would have made the U.S. pay for nations which benefited the most from the deal. New H-1B policy memo is to protect workers: U.S. agency(The Hindu) The new H-1B policy memorandum is part of an effort by the Trump administration to protect the wages and working conditions of both American and non-immigrant workers and prevent any fraud or abuse, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said on Saturday. From Turkmenistan with natural gas(The Hindu) A two-member delegation from India, led by Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar, attended the ceremonies in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on Friday for the launch of a pivotal trans-border gas pipeline. The $22.5-billion project will transport natural gas from the resource-rich Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan, and seeks to promote regional integration and stability. No immigrants please, only robots(The Hindu) Japan is the world’s ‘oldest’ country — people aged 65 and above account for more than a quarter of the archipelago’s demographic. The number is likely to shoot up to 40% by 2065. Indian Constitution and Polity: Cauvery verdict may impact other disputes(The Hindu) On February 16, the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on the long-standing dispute among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry on how they ought to be sharing water from the Cauvery.
Economy: For the first time, peak power demand crosses 10,000 MW mark in Telangana(The Hindu) The power utilities of Telangana met a record peak demand of 10,000 MW power on Friday and Saturday for the first time since formation of the State. The increase in the demand has been attributed mainly to the uninterrupted power supply to the agriculture sector starting from January 1 this year. The lowdown on SWIFT and bank fraud(The Hindu) The Rs. 11,500 crore fraud in the Punjab National Bank where fund transfer through an inter-bank messaging system was not reported to the core banking solution, followed by the cyberattack on the City Union Bank, has put the spotlight once again on SWIFT or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Centre planning ‘war room’ to track investments: Prabhu(The Hindu) Taking a cue from Uttar Pradesh, the Centre plans to establish a war room to help monitor investments across the country, track progress of projects and ascertain issues faced in their implementation on a real-time basis. Science and Technology: Gene for rare form of diabetes found(The Hindu) A team led by researchers in Chennai has isolated a gene that causes a rare form of diabetes, called Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). This adds to the 14 known gene variants that cause MODY and could advance the emerging field of precision diabetes, by helping personalise diabetes care. Sustaining the momentum(The Hindu Opinion) There is a renewed sense of urgency the world over to tackle the TB epidemic. Last year, the Global Ministerial Conference (GMC) on Ending TB in the Sustainable Development Era brought together nearly 80 health ministers in support of TB elimination efforts. The momentum created there will be taken forward this year, in New York, at the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on TB. It will be attended by the heads of state. Environment and Ecology: Jumbo bond: Asian elephant society is full of ‘clans’(The Hindu) Asian elephants have a hierarchical social organisation and can be ‘clannish’. While males separate from the group when they are 10 or so years of age, the females move in an organised manner, a big study has found. The closest group consisting of two or three elephants is formed by a female and her calf or a female with her daughter and the daughter’s calf.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS
7 PM Editorial : Future of electric vehicles in India 9 PM Current affairs brief: 10 PM Current affairs MCQS