Today’s Current Affairs December 26

December 26, 2019

Front page

UP on the edge: PM wants people to introspect

With the inferno of violence sweeping through the towns and cities of UP, both the authorities and the citizenry seem to be getting tired of it. Death toll is mounting by the day, and public properties have been vandalized by miscreants. Prime Minister Modi has implored people to pause and introspect, and think themselves as the custodian of public assets, and protect them from the attack of anti-social elements. With intermittent shut-down of the internet, rumours are flying thick and fast inflaming passions. Hundreds have been arrested, and thousands detained. In normal times UP looks to be rather lawless. In troubled times like this, the anti-social elements have a field day.

Good words and phrases used … On the edge, Introspect, Inferno, Implore, Intermittent, Fly thick and fast, Have a field day

Locusts invade Gujarat

Swarms of locusts have flown in from the Pakistani side to wreck havoc on standing crops of cotton, castor, cumin, jatropa and fodder grass in Gujarat. These pests are voracious eaters and ravage the crops by devouring the leaves very rapidly. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the Locust Warning Organization had issued warnings, but none heeded them.

National

BSY keeps his compensation offer on hold

Yediurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka had announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh each to the two persons who died due to police firing. Now, it appears that he is dragging his feet over the matter saying the compensation would be released only if the inquiry under way now exonerates them of any charge of involvement in violence. Such reneging on promise has saddened the victims’ families, and spread discontent among the people.

Good words and phrases used … To keep something on hold, Dragging one’s feet, Exonerate, Renege

Urban India faces creeping Cancer menace

Study shows urban areas of India are set to see increasing incidence of this fatal affliction. According to Dr. Mallath, an eminent Oncologist working with the Tata Memorial Center, Kolkata, higher life expectancy of India’s population has brought its downside also. Cancer affects older people more, than the younger ones. Apart from this, cancer diagnosis centers are now available across the country making it possible to track the onset of the disease at the early stage. As more potent medicines, and radiological treatments have evolved in recent times, older cancer patients are either cured fully, or manage to survive longer. This adds to the head count of cancer patients and makes the cancer incidence statistics more harrowing. The type of cancer in India has also changed with time. Earlier, cancers traceable to infections were more prevalent. In modern times, cancer types attributable to nature of food intake, sedentary life style etc. have emerged as the main dangers.

IPC laws on suicide redundant, says expert

Article 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that makes suicides an offence is redundant, and needs to be annulled. According Dr. Lakshmi Vijaykumar, member of the WHO’s Network for Suicide Research and Prevention, the Article 309 continues to remain in place even after the enactment of Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA), 2017.

Maharashtra reviews security cover to eminent citizens

After the review, the cover provided to Anna Hazare has been upgraded and that of Sachin Tendulkar downgraded.

Modi launches Atal Bhujal scheme on ground water

Concerned at the inexorable fall in groundwater and its devastating impact on agriculture and drinking water availability, the government has worked out a scheme that will lay more stress on community participation in preserving rainwater. The scheme will also spread awareness about judicious crop pattern, and irrigation techniques that do not depend too heavily on ground water. The scheme will be implemented in 8350 grampanchayats in states like Gujarat, Haryana, Maharastra etc.

Ajit Pawar to be Dy. CM in Maharashtra

The coalition government headed by Udhav Thackeray will have Ajit Pwar of the NCP as the Dy. CM. He will have two portfolios under him.

Consternation and nation-wide anxiety shroud CA, NPR, & NRC

The JD(U)leader Prashant Kishore has alleged that there is an unmistakable link between the three, as it is becoming more and more apparent that the government has equivocated over the issue to push its dubious agenda.

Good words used .. Consternation, Shroud, Equivocate, Dubious

AMU bristles with anger as more accounts of police brutality surface

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) bore the brunt of rampaging policemen. Students and teachers scampered for safety as the police turned their fury on the inmates of the hostels. Harrowing accounts of policemen using banned ammunitions emerged when a fact-finding team led by Harsh Mandar made a survey of the battered campus.

Good words used .. Bristle as verb, Bear the brunt of, Scamper, Harrowing

Government employees warned against posting political messages

The Assam government has sternly warned its employees that anyone posting political messages will face the wrath of the law.

Adilabad, and Kuthagudem emerge as top sites for airport development

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has zeroed in on these to Andhra towns to build new airports. A total of six sites were considered out of which these two locations were shortlisted.

Sick thermal assets of India

A study by Institute of Energy Economics & Financial Analysis(IEEFA) has revealed incipient sickness in the coal-fired power-generation plant sector in India. Some of these plants can’t produce power at competitive rates. Some others are still in the drawing board and not likely to be built at all. Curiously, renewable power has emerged as the fiercest competitor to thermal power. Renewable sources can be built with one third the capital cost and one third the time compared that needed by thermal power plants. Because of this factor, as many as 12 thermal power plants are just not viable economically. A deeper study is sure to reveal a worse picture.

Epigraphic evidence of Saptamatrikas discovered

It appears to be the oldest Sanskrit inscription to have been found anywhere in South India. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) authorities are thrilled by this discovery

Saptamatrikas are a group of seven female deities worshipped in Hinduism. They personify the energies in their respective consorts.

The inscription in Sanskrit and Brahmini date back to 207BC, and were issued by Satavahan king Vijaya.

International

Typhoon Phanfone batters Philippines

Typhoon Phanfone tore through the Philippines wrecking havoc on the population. Thousands have been rendered shelter-less as their homes gave way under the brute winds. The terrain has been inundated and people have to wade through knee-deep water to reach other places.

Good words and phrases used … Give way, Inundated, Terrain, Wade through

Christmas fails to lull protesters in Hong Kong

Students continued to vent their anger against the government shouting slogans and exhibiting rare belligerence despite the Christmas. They are angry because the government has chosen to turn a deaf ear to their protests, so far.

Good words and phrases used .. Turn deaf ear, Vent, Belligerence

Pope Francis calls for peace

On the occasion of Christmas, Pope Francis, the spiritual head of millions of Catholics pleaded for peace in areas around the world where violence and hatred have robbed the people of a chance to live in peace and harmony.

Iraq street protests show no sign of cooling

Iraq continues to be roiled by ceaseless student protests. The protesters seem to get more frustrated and angry with each passing day. The unrest has pushed the government and the politicians to the back-foot, but they seem to be determined not to give in to the agitators.

Good words used .. Give in, Roil

Burkina Faso suffers terror strike that kills 35 women

In a suspected Jihadi attack, more than 35 women have been killed in this land-locked West African country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré declared two days of national mourning after the incident. Jihadist groups have stepped up attacks in Burkina Faso and other West African countries, in recent years.

Peace activists abducted by Taliban in Afghanistan

A convoy of six cars carrying 27 peace activists belonging to the People’s Peace Movement was stopped on the highway, and the occupants were kidnapped by Taliban fighters. The group was on its way to Farah from Heart. The abduction underscores the lawlessness of the country and the bumpy path ahead for the Afghan government after the exit of the U.S. forces.

Finance

Two GST slabs a good idea, says NITI Aayog member, Rakesh Chand

Rakesh Chand feels that frequent tweaking of the rates should be avoided to reduce confusion. He feels just two slabs to cover all the goods and services can eliminate some of the difficulties associated with the GST regime, but the problem is too complex to be resolved easily.

NTPC to enter Solar power generation in big way

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has decided to invest Rs.50,000 crores to generate 10 giga watts of Solar power. In the coming months, NTPC will progressively stop buying and selling solar power from smaller companies.

Center promises free Wi Fi to 48000 villages by the end of 2020

In a major push for digitization of the economy, the Union government has decided to make Wi Fi accessible to rural folks, by making the services freely available to 48,000 villages. The work will be completed by March, 2020.

Ship-breaking industry: India is gearing up to corner 60% of the market

Ship-breaking is a tedious and labor intensive job. The industry generates a lot of employment for skilled, semi-skilled, and even unskilled categories. In Along in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, there is cluster of such yards. In this highly profitable and employment-generating industry, China and Bangladesh are big players who compete with India. India is gearing up to increase its share to 60% in the world market.

J&J fined Rs.230 crores

The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) has levied a fine of Rs.230 crores on J&J for not passing the GST benefits to the customers.

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