Today’s Current Affairs January 2

January 2, 2020

Front page

Gangayan and Chandrayan-3 work proceeding apace
Gangayan is India’s first manned space flight mission slated for launch in 2022. The total cost will be around Rs.10,000 crores.
The Chandrayan-3 mission will be a replay of the earlier Chandrayan-2 mission that failed in the last stage when the lunar lander crash-landed on the moon surface. ISRO would try to remove the glitch that led to the failure. The Chandrayan-3 mission will cost Rs.600 crores.
Four Indian Air Force pilots will soon leave for Russia for intensive training as astronauts to man the Gangayan mission. Dr. Sivam, and his team are leaving no stones unturned to ensure the success of both missions.

ISRO building its second launch pad
Plans are afoot to have a second launch pad at Toothukudi in Tamil Nadu. The government is acquiring 2300 acres of land for this purpose. Toothukudi was chosen because the location offers geophysical advantages for space flights.
Good words and phrases used .. Apace, Afoot, Leave no stones unturned.

Peace in LAC will pave the way for success of border talks with China
The new army chief General M. M. Naravane has said that a quiet, incident-free Line of Actual Control (LAC) will create conducive atmospheres for both sides to conclude border talks and demarcate the international border once and for all. He also assured the nation that infrastructure building close to the border is getting the priority it deserves.
The contested border with Pakistan in J&K is called Line of Control(LoC), whereas that with China is called Line of Actual Control(LAC).

Bhima-Koregaon celebrations end peacefully
Nearly eight lakh people converged on the celebration site to mark the occasion. For the police watching the proceedings with frayed nerves, no untoward incident happened, and the commemoration drew to a close in a happy note.
Good words used .. Converge, Frayed, Untoward

Banks can attach fugitive Mallaya’s assets
A London court has ruled that Indian banks who had lent money to the business tycoon Mallaya can attach his properties in Britain.
Good words used .. Fugitive, Tycoon

No automatic conviction in suicide abetment cases
The Supreme Court has annulled the conviction of an accused in a suicide abetment case. The Court, however, upheld the charges of dowry harassment against the accused.

Dr. Sivam assures design defects of Chandrayan-2 identified
The Vikram lander was not designed to withstand the sudden spike in speed that caused its failure. He said that this has been identified, and corrective action will be taken for the Chandrayan -3 mission.

Massive plan to rebuild the heart of Delhi’s seat of government
The new parliament building will be triangular, and there swill b eight more massive buildings in the area. Many critics say it’s a hugely expensive exercise to undertake in this era of acute cash crunch. However, architects are working in furtive pace to draw up the new lay-out.
Good words used .. Cash crunch, Furtive

National

No documents needed for NPR registration
In order to allay the concerns of the citizens, the government has clarified that enumerators will not ask for documents during house visits. However, as the top leaders of The government continue to speak in different tones on NRC and NPR, the people suspect that the intent of the government might be sinister.
Good words used .. Allay, Sinister

GST revenue go past Rs.one lakh core again
In the midst of all round gloom, there is some heartening news for the Finance Minister. The GST collection has again crossed one lakh crorewell short of the target o. However, the collection is well short of the target of Rs.1,10,000.

Delhi agitators defy record cold to continue their protest
Women protesters in Shaheena Bag, and the Jamia venue ushered in their New Year with singing the National anthem, and listening to fiery speeches from youth leaders. The tenacity of the women protesters and the spontaneous show of solidarity among the crowd have caught the attention of the world media.
Good words used .. Usher in, Fiery,

PM Modi calls up South Asian leaders
Prime Minster Modi rang up his counterparts in the neighbouring countries to greet them on the New Year. He, however, did not call Imran Khan.

Assam, de-spirited by anti-CAA sentiments observes New Year in subdued mood
In Assam, the usual ebullience and energy of the New Year were missing as people felt unsure about the likely turn of events in the coming days. Anti-CAA sentiments had cast a deadly spell over the masses.
Good words and phrases used .. Cast a spell, Ebullience, De-spirited, Subdued

Government jobs in J&K to remain exclusively for locals
Reversing its earlier order, the high court has recalled its order, and acceded to the demands of the Stat’s citizens to not allow outsiders to apply for state government jobs.

Kerala CM brushes aside criticism on anti-CAA resolution
The Chief Minster has said the state assembly draws its powers from the Constitution, and all criticism about the recent anti-CAA resolution stood on thin ice.
Good phrases used .. Brush aide, Stand on thin ice

International

Iraqi protesters end siege of U.S. embassy in Baghdad
To diffuse the crisis that was drawing in the U.S., the acting Prime Minister of Iraq, Abel Abel Mahdi, called upon the angry crowd to back off. They were warned that they will face the Iraqi police and later, the wrath of the U.S., if they refused. Sensing the ramifications of putting the U.S. embassy under siege for long, the pro-Iranian protestors retreated from its vicinity, thus averting a retaliatory American action. The root of the tension lies in the continuing tension between Iran and the U.S.
Good words used .. Wrath, Ramification, Avert

Why is Iraq in such turmoil in recent weeks? Iraq is a Shia-dominated country, although the Sunnis are also there in great numbers. Iran, an overwhelmingly Shia country, is Iraq’s neighbor. Most Shia shrines are in Iraq. Iranian pilgrims come to see these shrines in great numbers each year. Such religious bond cements the relation between Iraq and Iran. Iran has a very visible influence on Iran’s internal politics. Pro-Iranian factions dominate Iraq’s parliament. The students and the angry unemployed youth of Iraq, who are in the streets now, resent Iranian influence over their country, and have been demonstrating in the capital Baghdad’s streets for weeks seeking jobs and an end to corruption and nepotism. Thus, Iraq has so many groups constantly fighting with one another. These are the government security forces, the pro-Iranian militias, and the student demonstrators. In the present case, the pro-Iranian militias laid siege to the U.S. embassy to avenge American crippling sanctions on Iran.

Iran’s spiritual head Khamenei condemns U.S air raid against a pro-Iran militia
Mr. Khamenei bristled against the U.S. for the latter’s malice towards his country. In an angry twitter spat against President Trump, he showed defiance and contempt towards America.
Good words used .. Bristle, Spat, Malice

Kim promises a new addition to his nuclear arsenal
Kim says he has a nasty surprise for his foes, among whom he counts the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and other western powers. He has said that he will soon unveil a deadly weapon that could shock its adversaries.
Good words used .. Unveil, Adversary, Foe

Pope regrets slapping a devotee’s hand
During an audience with devotees from around the world, a woman devotee pulled the Pope towards her. He nearly fell due to the sudden force. The Pope, possibly annoyed at the unseemly conduct of the woman, slapped her hand as if reprimanding her. Later, the Pope regretted his own conduct.
Good words used .. Unseemly, Reprimand

Hong Kong protests continue unabated
Police fired tear gas shells into the crowd of irate students to force them to back off, but the latter fought pitched battles with the forces. The stand-off between agitating students and the police has become part of daily life in Hong Kong.

Finance

Auto sector barely shows recovery signs
Car and commercial vehicle sales remained sluggish in December. Only Maruti and M&M reported mildly positive growth in sales, but Tata Motors, and Hyundai posted negative growth.

Pump sets manufacturers face difficulty in meeting ‘Star’ rating requirements
Pump manufacturers have been prodded by government to produce pumps with high efficiency, so that their power consumption is less. However, the deadline for completing the certification formalities appears to be short. Thus, the much-coveted ‘Star’ rating appears to elude them. They allege that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) takes unduly long to certify the energy efficiency of the pumps, and the whole process of getting a ‘Star’ rating is too cumbersome. They have urged the government to streamline the process.
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Some economics facts: Why so much emphasis is given to infrastructure development?
The reasons are as below.
a. Infrastructure projects generally mean building roads, sea ports, airports, hospitals, bridges etc. All such construction projects require trucks, dumpers, bull dozers, cranes, road rollers etc. When a new infrastructure project starts, it instantly gives a boost to the manufacturers of such capital equipments.
b. Almost 60 to 80% of the cost of these projects comprises of material cost such as sand, cement, steel, bricks, stones etc. All these industries experience a good flow of orders when a new project starts.
c. The rest amount is spent for wages and salaries of staff. So, unskilled to skilled labourers, technicians, and engineers find employment when a new project starts.
d. Infrastructure projects spur industrial growth that contributes to GDP growth. In a country like India the main impediments to industrialization is the poor state of our infrastructure. Infrastructure projects, therefore, spur industrial growth that contributes to GDP growth.
For all the above reasons, so much emphasis is given to Infrastructure projects.
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