Today’s Current Affairs December 17

December 17, 2019

Front page

Students’ protests across the country against CAA

Spontaneous protests by students across campuses erupted catching the authorities by surprise. Police are alleged to have used excessive force against students in Aligarh Muslim University(AMU), Jamia Millia Islamia, as their crackdown left scores of agitating students scurrying for cover against the lathi charge and the tear gas shells that rained down on them. Protests swept through the entire country as students and common people from Kerala to Kolkata to Mumbai vented their disapproval of the CAA. It appeared as though anger in campuses simmering for so long has finally surfaced.
Good words and phrases used .. Scurry for cover, Simmer

P.M. Modi advises people to stay calm and shun rumors
Mr. Modi, concerned at the turn of events, have advised people to stay calm, and ignore the swirling rumors that appear to be inflaming more violence. He has asked the citizens to stop vested interests from dividing the country.
Good words used .. Shun, Inflame, Vested

National

Union government releases Rs.35,298 crores towards pending GST dues

The Finance Ministry has released the amount after protracted and noisy protests by State governments.
The infamous Unnao rape accused Shengar will hear his jail sentence today
The rape case that shook the nation’s conscience will see its conclusion today as the judge pronounces his verdict today. In his order, the judge has drawn attention to the uphill battle the hapless victim waged against a system that weighed too heavily against her. The judge has castigated the political class, the police and even the CBI for the lackadaisical manner in which they handled the case.
Good words used .. Hapless, Weigh heavily on, Castigate, Lackadaisical

SC forms 2-judge bench to expedite rape trials
Sensing public frustration at the snail’s pace of rape trials, the Supreme Court has formed a 2-judge panel to monitor the trial of rape cases that have piled up in different States underscoring the judicial system’s perceived apathy towards the victims who suffer lifelong stigma and scars.
Good words and phrases used .. Expedite, Snail’s pace, Underscore, Apathy, Stigma, Scar

Lt. General Manoj Mukund Naravane to be next Army Chief
General Rawat will hand over the baton to Lt. General Navarane who will become the 28th Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Ex-President Pranab Mukhejee suggests India has 1000 M.Ps
Pranab Mukherjee has suggested that the number of M.Ps should be commensurate with the number of voters of the country. Since the latter has gone up sharply since the 1971 census, the number of M.Ps could be increased to 1000, instead of the present 540.

Follow-up on CAA continues apace
Unfazed by the raging student protests and challenges before the Apex Court, the bureaucracy has gone ahead with the framing of the rules that will be followed to implement the CAA.
Good words used .. Apace, Unfazed

Bengal stops NPR work

In a show of defiance, the government of West Bengal has ordered suspension of all on-going work relating to National Population Register. The civil society activists put their weight behind this move that is sure to rile the central government.
Good words used .. Defiance, Put one’s weight behind, Rile

Jammu leaders accuse the central government of going back on Article 371 assurances
Jammu leaders have been peeved by two separate statements by the central government, and the J&K governments belying their hopes that the center would, as promised, extend Art 371 to Jammu protecting their land and jobs from those outside the state. In the wake of the abrogation of Article 370, and 35A, the people of Jammu had expressed their vociferous support to the central authorities. Now, they feel, the center has reneged on its promises. They are a disgruntled lot now.
Good words and phrases used .. Disgruntled, Vociferous, Renege, Belie. Peeved

Asia’s biggest ‘surge (open to sky) pool’ to go on stream soon
The unique bulk water transportation project is an engineering marvel. The waters from the Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project will be lifted to the Anantagiri Reservoir, and later transported to Mallannasagara in Siddipet district of Telengana.

SC to hear plea for judicial probe into Jamia disturbances today
The Chief Justice of India has decided to hear the pleas of some lawyers and civil rights organizations demanding a judicial investigation into the Jamia disturbances that led to arson, vandalism, and unleashing of heavy police force.
Good words used .. Arson, Vandalism, Unleash

Mamata marches on Kolkata streets
Mamata Banarjee took to the streets in Kolkata to demonstrate her extreme abhorrence of the CAA. Large sections of her supporters and eminent intelligentsia joined the march in solidarity.
Good words used .. Abhorrence, Solidarity

International

Xi stands solidly behind Lang despite the continuing unrest
President Xi Jinping came out strongly behind Ms. Lang and asked her to enforce law in Hong Kong with tact and firmness. This support came as a shot in the arm of Ms. Lang who had appeared to waver in her stand after the overwhelming support the pro-democracy groups got in the local elections. It is expected that media freedom that has historically been the hallmark of Hong Kong society will be increasingly curbed in the coming days.
Good words and phrases used …..Shot in the arm, Waver, Hallmark, Curb

Sri Lanka and Switzerland heading towards a bitter diplomatic wrangle
It all started when a police officer probing charges against the present Predident Gotabaya Rajapakshe, sought asylum in Switzerland fearing the President would punish him for the investigation. This upset Colombo greatly. Possibly, as a tit-for-tat move, the Sri Lankan government turned on a staff of the Swiss embassy in Colombo. The victim is a woman of Sri Lankan origin and works in the visa section of the embassy. It is alleged that she was abducted and later sexually harassed by the police in Colombo. This action infuriated Bern (capital of Switzerland) further. The Swiss government has voiced its condemnation of such harassment in strong terms. In the meanwhile, the staff has been produced in local court. The row appears to be worsening dangerously casting a shadow on Sri Lankan reputation as a law-abiding country.
Good words and phrases used .. Wrangle, Asylum, Turn on, Infuriate, Row, Casting a shadow

Democrats tighten the impeachment noose around President Trump
The Democrats have gone on an overdrive to marshal all facts and evidences to corner President Trump. As a PR exercise a House panel has released a document detailing the rationale behind this unusual constitutional move. President Trump, as expected, has poured scorn on these charges terming them as frivolous, and petty.
Good words used .. Frivolous, Pour scorn on, Corner as verb, Rationale, Go on an overdrive, Tighten the noose around

Imran Khan says he will assert his authority to keep militants away
Perhaps reacting to increasing international pressure to rein in the militants, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has affirmed his determination to keep the militants at arms length, and not allow them to meddle in governance matters.
Good words and phrases used .. Assert, Rein in, Affirm, Keep someone at arm’s length

Qatar hopes to bury the hatchet with Saudi Arabia
After a long period of fruitless animosity, Qatar has expressed desire to mend fences with its estranged neighbor, Saudi Arabia. Arabs in the region will be greatly relieved if the two countries bury the hatchet.
Good words used .. Estranged, Mend fences with, Animosity,

Finance

Economic slowdown not entirely due to global factors, concedes RBI governor
Shaktikanta Dash, the Governor of RBI said that the economic slowdown was long time in coming, and the central bank had cut lending rates repeatedly to counter the inexorable growth deceleration.

Finance Panel derides States’ complacency over revenue mobilization
N.K. Singh, the head of the Finance Panel has observed with dismay how the prospect of getting some assured funds from the center as the share of GST collection had robbed the states of their usual eagerness to increase collection. He felt the GST council has to evolve as a more trade-friendly, and States-friendly body to increase awareness about increasing tax collection.

ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel form 60:40 joint venture
The purpose is to maximize the newly acquired Essar Steel’s capacity utilization.

Shenzhen-based BYD to make India its hub for South Asia operations
BYD has formidable expertise in electric driven cars and buses. It makes it batteries in-house to save costs. It wants to make India its hub to make its electric vehicles. It aims to export its products to multiple countries.
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