On January 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkish forces alongside the Free Syrian Armyhad begun armed operations in the Syrian town of Afrin, to be followed by a push in Manbij. Turkish aircraft are bombing the city as Turkish and allied forces have moved across the border.
Connectivity projects can grow in the region only if there is a “political atmosphere” and “nationalist rhetoric” is reduced, says Thailand’s Ambassador to India and a key official convening the ASEAN-India summit this week here, referring to the challenges of free trade negotiations, border trade logistics and the infrastructure in India’s northeastern States.
Exiled Maldives Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on Monday accused Chinaof seizing land in the politically-troubled Indian Ocean archipelago and undermining its sovereignty.
Indian Constitution and Polity
The Supreme Court on Monday directed Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and amicus curiae Arvind Datar to discuss an interim arrangement for the committee appointing judicial members to key tribunals.
At a meeting of a parliamentary committee on Monday, lawmakers questioned the Election Commission about its recent statements endorsing simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, saying it does not have the mandate to decide the issue.
Justice J. Chelameswar, who had led three other senior judges against the Chief Justice of India on the issue of allotment of sensitive cases, on Monday called for an independent judiciary, saying it was necessary for a liberal democracy.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor recently questioned in Lok Sabha the purpose of making Hindi an official language at the United Nations. He said: “I understand the Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister can speak in Hindi, but what if a future External Affairs Minister comes from Tamil Nadu or West Bengal, who couldn’t speak in the language?”
India gave itself a great system but now does not seem to know how to keep it up to standard
Respondents in India felt that company CEOs should take an average 60% cut in their salaries, according to a new report on income inequality, which also showed that a common worker’s perception of a CEO’s salary was far lower than the actual amount.
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday called for greater trade and investment engagement between India and the ten-member ASEAN bloc, especially in agriculture as well as minerals and ocean resources, and suggested the creation of India- ASEAN regional value chains in these segments.
The International Monetary Fund on Monday revised up its forecast for world economic growth in 2018 and 2019, saying sweeping U.S. tax cuts were likely to boost investment in the world’s largest economy and help its main trading partners.
Science and Technology:
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, have for the first time studied the early stages of normal cells transforming into cancerous cells. Using breast epithelial cells (on the surface) grown in 3D cultures, a team led by Mayurika Lahiri also found a particular protein (DNA-dependent protein kinase, DNA-PK), which normally repairs any damage to cell DNA, playing a central role in the transformation process. The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Cell Science.
Fourth tiger estimation begins in AP (The Hindu)
Amid optimism over an increase in the number of big cats, the fourth All-India Tiger estimation began in the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) on Monday.
Yesterday’s current affairs material by Forum IAS