Today’s Current Affairs January 8

January 8, 2020

Front page

All four Nirbhaya accused to be executed on Jan 22

Decks have been cleared by Delhi High Court for hanging of the four Nirbhaya accused at 7am on January 22. Thus, curtains will come down on a crime and its trial that roiled the conscience of the nation for seven long years. The mother of the victim heaved a sigh of relief, where as that of one of the accused cried bitterly beseeching the former for pardoning her son. Anyway, it was vain and emotion-filled wail of a mother whose voice died down within the four walls of the court room soon after. There was no chance of any relief after all the judicial processes for a reprieve were exhausted by the defense.

Good words and phrases used .. Reprieve, Beseech, Curtain coming down, Clearing the deck, Roil

JNU incidents triggers wave of protests as Delhi Police fumble to arrest the perpetrators

As footages of lathi-wielding young men being allowed in and out of the JNU campus in full view of the police flashed in the social media and TV screens in India and abroad, flummoxed citizens from all over the world rubbed their eyes in disbelief trying to understand how an armed attack of this nature could go on for hours with total impunity in the national capital, Delhi. As if that was not enough to shock and awe the viewers, the photo of Aishi Ghosh, the president of the student union, bleeding profusely from her head with blood covering her face appeared in the TV screens. Aishi Ghosh, dogged and defiant, looked into the camera and screamed to say how the assailants had bludgeoned her. Her blood-smeared face and her loud shrieks impelled the conscience of the nation. A woman faculty member with her head bandaged after a stone hit her said she was too petrified to return to the campus.

Delhi Police, otherwise known for its caliber and character, emerged in very poor light as they tried to cover up their inaction inside the JNU campus with one lie after another.

Delhi Police is still trying to spot and arrest the goons who were behind the mayhem, although most of them have been identified in the social media. Quite disgracefully, Aishi Ghosh, who sustained grievous injuries in her head, was slapped with two FIRs by police even when she was being attended to in AIIMS.

Good words and phrase used ..Rub one’s eyes in disbelief, Mayhem, Flummoxed, Profusely,  Dogged, Impunity, Impelled, Bludgeoned, Assailants, Petrified, Emerge in poor light, Mayhem, Slap as verb,

Death toll in Soleimani’s funeral touches 50

In a deadly stampede that happened during the funeral of Soleimani, fifty people have died adding to the grief of the nation.

National

Center invites foreign envoys to Srinagar

To address growing international unease about prevailing stifling environment in the valley, the central government has decided to invite a group of about 20 envoys to Srinagar to see for themselves how the state is returning to normalcy fast. The visitors will be interacting with activists, business community members, journalists, and common folks in the streets.

However, the EU ambassadors have not yet made up their mind about accepting the government’s invitation. They are seeking a really un-fettered access to people in the valley, and not a guided one with government minders following them at every step.

JNU professor, Chandrasekhar drops out of government data panel

Piqued by the recent violent incidents in JNU engineered by certain political groups, and attempts to interfere in the data collection exercise,  Mr. Chandrasekhar has refused to attend government panel set up to review data

VC of JNU calls agitating students to bury the hatchet and make a fresh beginning

Mr. Jagdeesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JNU, has urged the students of the prestigious university to let bygones be bygones, and make a fresh beginning, so that academic activities resume bereft of any rancor.

Good words and phrases used .. Bury the hatchet, Let bygones be bygones, Pique, Rancor

Amit Shah claims government has fulfilled 90% of its poll promises

The Home Minister says the government implemented steps that the previous ones procrastinated upon for too long.

AASU plans protests against PM

The All Assam Student Union (AASU) has decided to stage protests against Prime Minister Modi when he visits Assam for inaugurating ‘Khelo India’ event.

NSUI and ABVP student groups clash in Ahmedabad

Confrontation between the two groups led to fisticuffs and unsavory scenes. The NSUI president sustained head injuries.

Good words used .. Fisticuffs, Unsavoury

High Court asks NHRC to submit a report on AMU disturbances

A two-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court has ordered the National Human Rights Commission to probe the recent disturbances in the AMU campus and submit its report within a month.

Akbar Padamsee passes away at 91

The celebrated artist, painter, sculptor, and  multi-faceted personality of international renown died at the age of 91 in the premises of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore.

Army to implement GOCO model for higher efficiency

The top brass of the Army has decided to switch to Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model in its workshops to reach higher efficiency in its working. These workshops service equipments like Tanks, Artillery pieces, trucks etc.

Amaravati protests escalate

Large groups of irate villagers blocked highways and pelted stones at passing cars to vent their frustration at the YSR government’s initiatives to change the venue of the capital of the state.

International

Dour threats from Iran against places the ‘U.S. likes’

Iran has doubled down on its threats to carry out punitive attacks on places that U.S. likes. This is a vague description that could include the Arab allies, Israel, and U.S. bases.

Good words and phrases used .. Dour, Double down on

TNA cautions Gotabaya against riding roughshod over Tamil feelings

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the largest Tamil political outfit in Sri Lanka has cautioned Gotabaya Rajapkshe against falling prey to majoritarian instincts, and t disregarding Tamil feelings while deciding on political issues.

Good words and phrases used .. Riding roughshod, Majoritarian

Austria’s Kurtz returns as the youngest political Head in the world

Sebastian Kurtz leads the country’s Conservative party. The 33-year-old statesman is an ultra-nationalist. He is leading a coalition with the Green Party.

Germany and NATO move out of Iraq

Sensing growing danger from Iran, Germany and NATO have swiftly taken back their forces from Iraq.

Facts to know … President Trump said Iran’s cultural heritage sites could be hit by America, if Iran chose to retaliate against U.S. interests. He said there is list of 52 such sites ready with him.

Trump’s threats sparked intense anger in Iran, and international dismay at heritage sites falling prey to wars. Although Secretary of State, Pompeo played down the danger, an un-repenting Trump reiterated his threat with added belligerence.

Iran prides itself upon its exquisite and immaculately preserved sites of ancient and medieval architecture, including the ruins of Persepolis and the Arg-e Bam citadel. UNESCO, the UN’s body tasked to preserve heritage sites around the world has selected 24 such landmarks in Iran. Curiously, the United States has the same number of World Heritage Sites. A site is awarded the status of ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO if the latter adjudges the location to be of invaluable importance to mankind.

Interestingly, India has 38 of such sites.

Finance

Current Financial Year’s growth projection lowered to 4.6%

The State Bank of India has lowered the growth projection for the current financial year to 4.6% from 5% forecast earlier. The gloomy outlook has cast its dark shadow on the economy.

Dismal revenue collection in 2019 could force government to prune spending

In order to meet the all-important fiscal deficit criteria, the government might cut spending across all its departments. The quantum of such cut could be a staggering Rs.2 trillion. Such cut coupled with tardy growth in bank loans could hurt growth prospects. 

Good words used .. Dismal, Prune, Tardy

RBI could recruit manpower from private sector for specialized functions

To meet the acute need for specialized manpower in the fields of supervision and regulation cadres, RBI could cast its nets wider into the private sector. Increasing incidence of frauds and soaring NPAs are forcing the central bank to adopt such measures.

Grim predictions by Mr. Tharman Shanmugam, Senior Minister from Singpore

The renowned economist met the Prime Minister to convey the urgency of increasing India’s GDP rate to 7 to 8% per annum if the country wants to become a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024. He also underlined the need to create 70 million new jobs for achieving such a target.

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