Today’s Current Affairs December 15

December 15, 2019

Front page

Bengal erupts as Assam pauses, as CAA protests sweep through the states

With anger against the CAB (Now CAA) not showing any sign of subsiding, Bengal bore the brunt of public fury, as buses and trains were set ablaze by vandals running amok in the streets and torching public property.  The Chief Minister, Mamata Banarjee applied for calm and restrained, but her calls went unheeded. Assam went through a day of relative peace, but internet services remained suspended as a precautionary measure.

Meghalaya C.M wants entry permit

Conard Sangma, the chief minister of the state has sent anordnance to the governor for signature. When promulgated, it will require every outsider to register before entering the state. Meghalay has also been rocked by violence.

Farooq to spend another three months in detention

The government has extended the detention of Farooq Abdullah, an ex-chief minister of the State by another three months.

Gujarat and Karnataka reel under Dengue epidemic

The incidence of the highly infectious Dengue has increased four-fold in both states. According to the data released by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), as many as 15,000 cases of this highly debilitating fever were reported between January and November.

Good words use … Reel under, Debilitating

Train 18 (Vande Bharat) will, finally be made in India

Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has succeeded in getting repeat orders for the 720 coaches. These will roll out by 2021-22. Thus the unseemly controversy about the coaches being too heavy, and consuming too much power has been put to rest. The idea of importing the coaches has been shelved.

Good words used .. Shelved, Unseemly

Data Protection bill, varies noticeably from the original draft

Justice (Retd) B. N. Srikrishna who led the panel to draft the Personal Data Protection bill has expressed serious misgivings about the way the final bill has been drafted making it too intrusive for comfort.

Good words used .. Misgivings, Intrusive

Motorists heave a sigh of relief as FASTag last date is extended

Only 40% of the users have registered under the scheme so far. This scheme, when implemented fully, will save billion of rupees in fuel cost, reducing waste of productive man power, and cutting longer travel time.

National

Rejuvenation of Bengaluru lakes may now get a boost

Lakes of Bengaluru are the fast-expanding city’s life line for water. Sadly, they have been slowly encroached upon by builders and have also been treated as dumping ground for the city’s waste. In a major step to bring the maintenance of 38 of the major lakes under one single authority, the government has transferred their ownership to BBMP. Earlier, BDA, and the Forest department used to look after the water bodies from their respective perspectives. It caused overlapping of responsibilities, and neglect. Only three other lakes –Bellandur, Varthur, and Veerasandra have been kept out of this plan.

India’s indigenous 70-seater passenger plane may fly in 4-5 years

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research is making quick strides developing India’s own 70-seater passenger plane. The National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) located in Bengaluru will spearhead the project. Besides linking smaller outlying air fields with bigger air ports, these planes will be used by the armed forces to ferry personnel, cargo, and for rescue and medical missions.

Good words used .. Indigenous, Spearhead

Mysore Jasmine(Mallige) will soon come under ‘Aroma mission’ of CSIR

Under this novel scheme, CSIR will lead a scientific effort to extract the aroma, and medicinal ingredients of the flower regarded as a hallmark of Kannada culture. CSIR has completed similar missions for other flowers of Odisha, Uttarakhand, Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.

Dalit families get to enter temple in Andhra Temple

In a major development towards social inclusion, a 200-year-old temple that had barred Dalits from entry for ages, has opened its doors to the Dalits. This step has brought cheers to the community, besides ending the discriminatory practice that had besmirched the social atmosphere in the area.  

Mission ‘Bhagirathi’ may fight drinking water woes

Ravi Kant, Chief Managing Director of HUDCO, inaugurated a novel drinking water scheme in Peda Adi Seralla Pally in Nalgonda district in A.P. The scheme named ‘Mission Bhagirathi’ envisages an outlay of Rs.4750 crores. It will supply safe drinking water to all households in two districts. Mr. Ravi Kant became nostalgic while reminiscing about his childhood days when he depended on a dirty village pond for his family’s drinking water needs.

Good words used .. Envisage, Nostalgic, Reminisce

Modi chairs first meet of Ganga Council

Prime Minister Modi went on cruise in the Ganges in Kanpur to hget a first-hand experience of the Nammami Ganga Project. The chief ministers of UTTAR Pradesh, and Uttarakhand along with some Union Ministers accompanied him. Later, he chaired the first meeting of the National Ganga Council.

Three lakh rural habitations lack clean drinking water supply

A study reveals that supply of clean drinking water has eluded as many as three lakh rural habitations. The laggard states are Rajasthan, Bengal, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. Ideally, 55 liters per capita per head (lpcd) of water needs to be made available to families, but the present supply level is abysmally lower than this. Such shortfall has long term ramifications in respect of health, and economy.

Good words used .. Laggard, Abysmal, Ramification

NPPA allows hike in ceiling price of 12 essential medicines

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Agency(NPPA) has allowed 50% hike the prices of 12 essential first-time use drugs. The pharma companies have long clamored for such hike citing increase in raw material prices.

Pulwama chargesheet yet to be filed by NIA

Even after nine months, NIA has failed to file the chargesheet. The delay has happened as all accomplices have since been killed by security forces.

NC to appeal against Farooq’s detention

The National Conference has decided to explore legal options to free their leader Farooq Abdullah whose detention has now been extended by three months.

International

Trepidation looms over Northern Ireland as a Tory victory makes Brexit certain

Political fault lines run deep in Northern Ireland, a province in the United Kingdom comprising of three other provinces — England, Wales and Scotland.

Northern Ireland has two main parties –the Irish Republican party and the British Unionist party. The former has loyalty towards Ireland, and the latter to Britain. The two parties fought long and violent wars with each other for years that resulted in 3500 deaths and scores of injured. Finally, a peace accord was signed that brought about an end to the strife and the bloodletting. The agreement known as the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 allowed, among other concessions, a customs-free gateway between the border of Northern Ireland and Ireland.  This concession was the cornerstone of the understanding between the restive Irish Republicans and the government in London. Since 1998, a tenuous peace has prevailed, and fratricidal violence has all but ended.

In the election just over, the Irish Republicans have trounced the Unionist party, and will enter parliament in large numbers. This, coupled with the prospects of a hard Brexit, might add to Boris Johnson’s worries greatly. If the U.K settles for hard Brexit option, the customs-free gates between Northern Island and Ireland will become history. So, movement between the two parts will be curbed. This restriction will annoy the people of Northern Ireland greatly. In the worst case scenario, they might choose to secede from Britain, and even could become a part of Ireland. The thought of such a disintegration of the United Kingdom send a chill down the spine of the average Briton. It would require extraordinary political acumen on the part of Boris Johnson to follow through on his Brexit plan, and not irk the people of Northern Island to the point of breaking away from the U.K.

Good words and phrases used .. Trepidation, Strife, Bloodletting, Fault line, Tenuous, Fratricidal, Cornerstone, Irk, Follow through, Send a chill down one’s spine, Secede, Trounce,

The Scottish imbroglio

Scotland has also elected the Scottish National Party(SNP) in large numbers. SNP has long championed the cause of freedom from Britain. They can force the government to hold a referendum on the issue of breaking away from the U.K to become an independent country. Boris Johnson will also have to contend with a strident Scotland pressing its separatist agenda. Thus, Boris Johnson’s victory might have removed the Brexit uncertainty, but it has also stoked secessionist fears from two of U.K’s main provinces.

Good words and phrases used .. Stoke, Contend with, Imbroglio

Boris Johnson’s victory rattles British Muslim community

Harun Khan, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain(MCB) has expressed anxiety among his community about the prospect of Johnson’s government directing its venom towards them.

Sudan’s dreaded despot Bashir gets two years R.I

Bashir, the deposed autocrat who had earlier ruled over Sudan with an iron hand for long years, finds himself in jail on charges of accepting 25 million from the Saudis as bribe.

Good words and phrases used .. Dreaded, Despot, With an iron hand, Deposed, Autocrat,

Hong Kong leader Lam visits Beijing

Lam, the beleaguered administrator of Hong Kong who has face the ire of the prodemocracy protestors for more than six months, has paid a visit to Beijing to apprise the authorities there about the daunting prospect of bringing peace to the region.

Good words used .. Beleaguered, Ire, Apprise, Daunting

Indian couple spying for RAW jailed in Germany

An Indian couple caught spying on the Kashmiri and Sikh community in Germany in exchange of cash given out by the intelligence agency RAW has been given prison terms by a German court.

Finance

Google asks U.S. Fed to emulate India’s UPI

Google has urged The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) of the United States to follow the Indian system of Unified Payment Interface(UPI). Google feels UPI is much more efficient and user-friendly.

Coffee Day trying to get back on its feet again

After the suicide of its promoter Siddharth, the debt-ridden Coffee Day empire has taken some important steps to reduce its debt burden by selling off some assets and closing down loss-making units. The Chairman has expressed hope that Coffee Day will see happy days again soon

Nippon India entices Indian customers with better returns

Nippon India has come out with Mutual Fund options for its existing and new customers that would give returns higher than the bank savings rates.

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