Today’s Current Affairs December 3

December 3, 2019

Front page

Union government urges Supreme Court to review its SC/ST order

The Union government has approached the Apex Court to reconsider its earlier order wherein it had refused curtail the SC/ST quota for promotion to higher levels in bureaucracy. If the Court agrees, it will send the plea to a 7-member bench.

Tipu will not be effaced from Karnataka text books

The hue and cry raised over removing the chapters relating to the legacy of Tipu Sultan seems to be dying down. A draft report of government has decided to keep the issue in the back-burner, at least for the time being. The vilification of this Karnataka icon had riled Muslims and Hindus alike, because he is much adored for his valor in the battle against the British, and his pioneering work in rocketry. 

In Shivamogaga Museum, 13 of the artillery pieces of Tipu’s armory have been kept for display. These arms were retrieved from a well in Hosanagar Taluk.

* What are the other good deeds of Tipu for which he is remembered?

Good words used .. Efface, Back-burner, Vilification, Rile

National

Tiger population is clawing up

Latest census says tiger numbers have increased by 450 to reach 2976 in the last four years. Despite the killing by poachers, tiger conservation efforts in India are bearing fruit.

** How are tiger numbers counted?

*** Why is China infamous for harboring illegal import of tiger remains?

Good words used .. Claw as verb, Harbor as verb,

Onion traders go for the kill as growers look on and consumers fret

Onion prices have shot through the roof in markets all over India, but the producers of the crop have not been able to reap the benefits. Instead, the cunning traders have managed to keep the prices high as supplies dwindled due to unfavorable weather conditions.

**** How did hot climatic conditions exacerbate India’s onion woes?

Good words and phrases used .. Go for the kill, Fret, Shoot through the roof, Reap the benefit, Dwindle

International 

U.N Chief Antonio Guterres opens Climate Summit

Mr. Guterres opened the two-week long Climate Summit in Madrid amid worldwide angst over growing signs of global warming and erratic weather patterns that have become common sight.  Leaders converging in Madrid will delve into ways to arrest the increase in global warming, and see how the good work done in the last Climate Summit cud be followed through.

Good words and phrases used … Angst, Delve into, Follow through

Gotabaya seeks Pak help for fighting Islamic terror and drug trade

Sri Lanka, the idyllic tourist destination was rocked by deadly bomb blasts that killed and maimed scores. Police investigation after the blast revealed that the masterminds behind the attack were Islamic terrorists with IS leanings. The terror modules draw succor from their networks in India and Pakistan. Flow of narcotics from Afghanistan via Pakistan is also another threat Sri Lanka faces. Gotabaya wants to enlist the support of Pakistan in curbing these twin threats.

Good words used .. Idyllic, Maim, Mastermind, Succor

Siberian pipeline energizes Russia –China ties

The fast-expanding industrial base in China is hungry for energy, and the cash-starved Russia sits over trillions of cubic meters of natural gas. So, a trade in gas benefits both countries. Now, a 8000-kilometer long pipeline has been laid to connect Russian gas fields with energy-hungry towns and industrial centers in China. The newly-laid pipeline will carry gas from the Atmanskaya Compressor station in Russian Siberia to destinations in China. Shanghai and many municipalities along the 5100 stretch of the pipeline falling in Chinese territory will draw gas from the pipe system. China will buy gas worth of 400 billion USD from Russia over a 30-year period. The supply has just started. The project, built by the Russian oil giant Gazprom, was remotely inaugurated by Mr. Putin, and Mr. Xi Jinping.

China hits back at the U.S over Hong Kong bill

China, irked by U.S. activism over Hong Kong, has taken some retaliatory steps to convey its displeasure over President Trump signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.  Permission for an American warship’s friendly visit to Hong Kong port has been withdrawn, and a few American NGOs have been put under sanction that would curtail their activities in China.

Good words used .. Irked, Retaliatory, Curtail

Pakistan’s Balooch conundrum

Pakistan has a major headache in its restive province of Balochistan which has 40% of the whole country’s land mass. In contrast, it has just 5% share in the country’s population. The thinly populated province is also rich in minerals of all kinds. Politically, Balochistan never felt itself as an integral part of Pakistan. The alienation has worsened over the years. At times, some Baloch groups have openly voiced their desire to secede from Pakistan, only to be met by brutal crackdown by Pakistan army. Understandably, such confrontation has fueled insurgency in the region. The federal government is mostly manned by Punjabis – a factor that causes much chagrin among the Baloch and Sindhi populations of the country.

Good words used .. Conundrum, Secede, Chagrin, Alienation

NATO’s 70th Anniversary

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO)  was born 70 years ago to contend with the perceived threat from a resurgent Soviet Union. NATO is, in essence, a military alliance of 29 European countries and the United States. The members are entitled to ask for NATO intervention to counter any military aggression they face. NATO’s headquarters are in Europe, and normally has an American general as its head.  Because of its formidable military arsenal, and also the economic might of its members, it acts as a deterrent against hostile military moves by enemy forces.

The United States is the effective underwriter of the financial and military needs of the organization., although all members contribute to its cost.

President Trump has long felt aggrieved by the fact that the U.S. is bearing a disproportionately high cost of the whole organization. He has demanded his European allies to contribute more. President Trump has often spoken about the need to station its troops with the borders of the U.S, and avoid getting involved in military operations abroad. His ideas strike at the very root of NATO’s ideas of collective defence.

The 70th NATO will be held in London. Political observers expect to see a sulking President Trump behaving as if his heart lies elsewhere. He is bound to create a controversy by his acerbic and hurtful comments.

Good words used.. Resurgent, Formidable, Sulking, Deterrent, Acerbic, Arsenal

Finance

Manufacturing PMI improves

The Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index(PMI) has rosen to 51.2 IN November compared to 50.6 in October. The PMI is a good indicator of groos manufacturing activities in the country.

Two-wheeler sales nose-dive

Continuing the trauma in the auto sector, two-wheeler sales have fallen by 15.8% to 50. 05 lakh units. Similar bad news is also coming from the car sales sector.

Tariff hike brings cheer to Telcos

Jio will gain the most, and Airtel will return to profit. Vodafone-Idea will reap the benefits, but its cash flow worries will linger

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