21 October Current Affairs
October 21, 2019
23 October Current Affairs
October 23, 2019
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22 October Current Affairs

Col. Chewang Rinchen Setu in Ladakh

In News:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Col. Chewang Rinchen Setu in Ladakh.

About:

Chewang Rinchen Setu which has been constructed at an altitude of 14650 feet in the forward area of Ladakh region.

This bridge has been built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Colonel Chewang Rinchen (1931 – 1997) was a highly decorated officer in the Indian Army from the Ladakh region. He was one of only six Indian service personnel to have twice won the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), the second highest Indian gallantry decoration.

IMNEX-2019

In News:

The opening ceremony of the second edition of ‘India Myanmar Naval Exercise’ (IMNEX-2019) was conducted onboard INS Ranvijay in Visakhapatnam.

About:

Myanmar Naval Ships UMS Sin Phyu Shin (F-14) and UMS Tabinshweti (773) arrived in the city to engage in professional interactions with Indian Navy personnel for sharing expertise on maritime issues between both the navies.

The joint exercise will encompass a variety of operations including anti-air and surface firing exercises, flying exercises using integral helicopter and seamanship evolutions at sea.

India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

In News:

The ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting is scheduled to happen in New Delhi this week.

About:

While DTTI is not a treaty or law, it is a flexible mechanism to make sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen the opportunities in the field of defence.

Its central aims include strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S.-India business ties.

The DTTI initiative is led by Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from the United States and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.

DTTI came about to expedite the scope of cooperation on defence technology that become narrow due to the presence of differing bureaucratic processes and legal requirements.

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

In News:

The Home Ministry has constituted two committees comprising legal luminaries to overhaul the Indian Penal Code (IPC) introduced by the British in 1860.

About:

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the official criminal code of India. It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law.

History: The code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 under the Chairmanship of Lord Macaulay. It was passed into law in 1860. The Code came into operation in 1862.

Need of reforms:

Rebooting the code introduced by the British in 1860 was necessary as it is primarily based on the spirit of “master and servant”.

After it was framed, the IPC has never been amended in totality. Some additions and deletions have been made.

There are uneven punishment for crimes of grievous nature. E.g. snatching of chains could be life-threatening in some cases but the punishment is not commensurate with the gravity of the crime. Depending on the whims of the police, it is booked under robbery or theft.

Anthrax

In News:

Veterinarians have confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of two Asiatic water buffaloes in central Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

About:

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis which can be found naturally in soil.

It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection.

It is characterised by blisters around swellings on the skin, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

It commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer can become infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.

People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals.

Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it like the cold or flu.

Azad Hind Government

In News:

76th anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government on 21st October, 2019.

About Azad Hind Government:

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had announced the establishment of the provisional government of Azad Hind in occupied Singapore in 1943.

Known as Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind, it was supported by the Axis powers of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Italian Social Republic, and their allies.

With this, Bose had launched a struggle to free India from British rule under the banner of the provisional government-in exile during the latter part of the Second World War.

Why was it set up?

Bose was convinced that armed struggle was the only way to achieve independence for India. Under his provisional government, the Indians living abroad had been united.

The Indian National Army drew ex- prisoners and thousands of civilian volunteers from the Indian expatriate population in Malaya (present-day Malaysia) and Burma (now Myanmar).

The formation:

October 21, 1943: Announced the setting up of the provisional government on the battlefield of Singapore which was once the bulwark of the British Empire.

Under the provisional government:

Bose was the head of the state, the prime minister and the minister for war and foreign affairs.

Captain Lakshmi headed the women’s organisation.

S A Ayer headed the publicity and propaganda wing.

Rash Behari Bose was designated as the supreme advisor.

The provisional government was also formed in the Japanese-occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The islands were reoccupied by the British in 1945.

How it came to an end?

Bose’s death was seen as the end to the Azad Hind movement. The Second World War, also ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers.

Removal of State Chief Information Commissioner

In News:

Nine Karnataka information commissioners ask Governor to suspend their chief.

Details:

Nine commissioners have charged chief information commissioner N C Srinivasa with high-handedness and taking decisions unilaterally.

Removal of State Chief Information Commissioner or State Information Commissioner:

Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner shall be removed from his office only by order of the Governor on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity after the Supreme Court, on a reference made to it by the Governor, has on inquiry, reported that the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner, as the case may be, ought on such ground be removed.

The Governor may suspend from office, and if deem necessary prohibit also from attending the office during inquiry, the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Supreme Court under sub-section (1) until the Governor has passed orders on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court on such reference.

Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Governor may by order remove from office the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner if a State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner, as the case may be:

  • is adjudged an insolvent; or
  • has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Governor, involves moral turpitude; or
  • engages during his term of office in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or
  • is, in the opinion of the Governor, unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or
  • has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.

If the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner in any way, concerned or interested in any contract or agreement made by or on behalf of the Government of the State or participates in any way in the profit thereof or in any benefit or emoluments arising therefrom otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company, he shall, for the purposes of sub-section (1), be deemed to be guilty of misbehaviour.

IMF Quotas

In News:

As per the latest deal, Members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to maintain its funding at $ 1 trillion but postponed changes to its voting structure.

Outcomes of the recent meet:

The deal is a compromise with the U.S., the Fund’s largest shareholder, which has resisted changes to the organisation’s voting structure as well as increases in its permanent resource base.

It will allow an extension of non-permanent, supplementary sources of funds – such as the New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB), a renewable funding mechanism that has existed since 1998, and bilateral borrowings from countries – the IMF had entered into these after the 2008 financial crisis to increase its lending ability.

The agreement extended the bilateral borrowing facility by a year – to the end of 2020 and a potential doubling of the NAB.

Impact:

Specifically, the agreed package will leave IMF quotas (the primary source of IMF funds), which determine voting shares, unchanged. Instead, these will be reviewed before the end of 2023.

What are IMF Quotas?

The IMF is a quota-based institution. Quotas are the building blocks of the IMF’s financial and governance structure.

An individual member country’s quota broadly reflects its relative position in the world economy. Quotas are denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF’s unit of account.

How is it determined?

IMF quotas are distributed according to a four pronged formula that considers a member country’s GDP, its economic openness, its “economic variability” and international reserves.

Multiple roles of quotas:

Resource Contributions: Quotas determine the maximum amount of financial resources a member is obliged to provide to the IMF.

Voting Power: Quotas are a key determinant of the voting power in IMF decisions. Votes comprise one vote per SDR100,000 of quota plus basic votes (same for all members).

Access to Financing: The maximum amount of financing a member can obtain from the IMF under normal access is based on its quota.

SDR Allocations: Quotas determine a member’s share in a general allocation of SDRs.

Quota reviews:

The IMF’s Board of Governors conducts general quota reviews at regular intervals.

Any changes in quotas must be approved by an 85% majority of the total voting power, and a member’s own quota cannot be changed without its consent.

Need for reforms:

Some IMF members have become frustrated with the pace of governance reforms, as the balance of economic and geopolitical power has shifted, becoming more dispersed across the world, particularly with the emergence of China and India – among the world’s largest and fastest growing economies.

India’s quota is 2.76% and China’s is 6.41%, while the U.S.’s quota is 17.46 % (translates to a vote share of 16.52%) giving it a unique veto power over crucial decisions at the IMF, many of which require a supermajority of 85%.

The U.S. has resisted diluting its share, wary that it will benefit countries such as China.

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