The Hindu NOTES – 16th Nov 2017(Daily News Paper Analysis)
📰 THE HINDU NEWSPAPER– DAILY Hindu Current Affairs Analysis 16th Nov 2017
Date:- 16-NOV, 2017
📰 Zimbabwe Army seizes power, President Robert Mugabe ‘confined to his home’
- Zimbabwe’s military said it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, who were causing social and economic suffering, but came out with an assurance that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.
- The army said today it has the President and his wife in custody and was securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest.
Turmoil in Zimbabwe:
- Mugabe has led Zimbabwe for the last 37 years.
- In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mr. Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.
- In the last year, a chronic absence of dollars has led to long queues outside banks and an economic and financial collapse that many fear will rival the meltdown of 2007-2008, when inflation topped out at 500,000,000,000%.
- Imported goods are running out and economists say that, by some measures, inflation is now at 50% a month.
📰 Rajasthan conversion Bill returned by Centre
- The Religious Freedom Bill passed by the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008, aimed at banning forcible religious conversions, was returned by the Union government as it deviated from the national policy.
- The Rajasthan government informed the High Court that the Bill was pending with the Centre.
- According to the Union Home Ministry, the Bill was sent back for “further clarifications.”
- The Bill defined “conversion” as “renouncing one’s own religion and adopting another” through “fraudulent means” or any other “fraudulent contrivance.”
- The Bill has provision for prison terms of up to five years.
- It also contains a clause for cancellation of registration of organisations held guilty of abetting conversions.
- The Rajasthan government is making attempts to get the President’s nod for the Bill that has been pending since 2008, the year it was passed.
- The MHA examines Bills passed by the Assemblies that are repugnant to Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law.
- The State government recently filed an affidavit in the court in response to a notice on a habeas corpus writ petition seeking production of 22-year-old Aarifa, who has converted from her religion and married a Muslim man. The court had asked whether there was any law or procedure in force in Rajasthan that governed conversions.
- BJP president Amit Shah and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat have batted for “anti-conversion” laws at the national level, but the subject is on the State List of the Constitution and the Centre has no jurisdiction in the matter.
- The Bill, which was sent for the President’s approval in 2006 too, was returned by Pratibha Patil.
- A similar Bill of the Chhattisgarh government, Dharma Swatantraya Sanshodhan Vidheyak, 2006, has also been pending with the State.
📰 Centre to launch BS-VI fuel in Delhi from 2018 to battle smog
The world’s cleanest fuel will be introduced in the national capital two years earlier than planned, the Union government said on Wednesday as it seeks to reduce vehicular pollution.
Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) fuel will now be available with effect from 1 April 2018 in Delhi, the petroleum ministry said, and added that it is examining the possibility of introducing BS-VI fuel across the national capital region by 1 April 2019.
Taking into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas .
A BS-VI engine can only operate on BS-VI fuel. If you allow BS-VI engine to operate on BS-IV fuel then the engine will get damaged. If you allow a BS-IV engine to operate on BS-VI fuel, the benefit of reduced pollution will largely be lost.
What are Bharat Stage Emission Standards?
- Bharat Stage emission standards, introduced in 2000, are emission standards that have been set up by the Central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
- The different norms are brought into force in accordance with the timeline and standards set up by the Central Pollution Control Board which comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change.
What is the benefit of these norms?
Why BS is in news?
- Government is aiming to implement introduction of the cleaner Bharat Stage- VI fuel in the country by 2020. It intends to skip BS-V.
- The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has set a deadline of 2017 by which time all the vehicles in the country must be BS-IV-compliant and 2020 for the rollout of BS-VI fuel.
BS VI fuel specifications
BS-VI standards will limit the level of sulphur in fuels. It was 100 ppm (parts per million) under BS-III, halved to 50 ppm under BS-IV and with BS-VI it will be 10 ppm.
📰 Parking lot a must to protect Taj: U.P. to SC
- The U.P. State government, which fell afoul of the Supreme Court for building a multi-level parking lot within 1 km of the Taj, quoted a NEERI concept paper submitted on November 7 suggesting adequate parking facilities and an orientation centre at both the sides (East and West) of Taj Mahal as “immediate priority” for the environmental protection of the monument.
- On October 24, a Supreme Court Bench had ordered the demolition of the multilevel parking at a site which is at a distance of 1000 m. from the Taj Mahal.
- Justifying the project, the State government termed it a “necessary sustainable developmental activity” undertaken to avoid vehicular movement in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal even beyond the prohibitory limit of 500 m.
- It said the necessary permission/clearance of the Taj Trapezium Zone Authority and the Agra Development Authority had been obtained for the project.
- The Archaeological Survey of India had also not objected.
- For the 11 trees which would be felled, the government said it would plant 330 trees.
- The construction work on parking was started on June 18, 2016 and stopped on May 20, 2017, it said.
📰 France wants to work with India in Indo-Pacific
- France will like to deepen cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific bilaterally and not as a part of a multilateral arrangement like the recently convened “quadrilateral” between India, U.S., Japan and Australia.
- France’s Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler announcement:
- “We have a growing cooperation in the Indian Ocean, where both India and France have focal positions, and we are in the process of forming a defence and security partnership in the Indo-Pacific,”
- This new cooperation would be discussed as part of the strategic partnership along with cooperation in counter-terrorism, defence hardware, nuclear energy, and space cooperation during the upcoming visit of Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to India.
- France is the only western country with large territory in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) including the Reunion Islands, that spans about two million square kilometres of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and it has a population of one million French Citizens in the region, including about 30% of Indian origin.
- The French navy maintains bases in the UAE, Djibouti as well as in Reunion, with a total of 20,000 forces permanently based in the IOR.
- France is India’s oldest strategic partner, and has conducted India’s first international ‘Varuna’ joint naval exercises since 1983.
📰 In Yemen, Saudi blockade ratchets up fears of famine
- After years of war that has seen a Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed Houthi rebels impose a blockade on the country, the UN has already warned that seven million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation.
- But now a decision by Riyadh and its allies to tighten the screws on all land, sea and air borders in response to a Houthi missile attack has sent prices spiralling further — and ratcheted up fears of a looming famine.
- Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s conflict in March 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back the Iran-backed Houthis and restoring the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
- More than two and a half years later, thousands have died in the conflict and the rebels still control Sana’a and much of northern Yemen.
- UN aid chief Mark Lowcock has told the Security Council that unless the Saudi-led blockade is lifted, Yemen will face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.
📰 More banks may sign MoUs with govt.
- The government is planning to ask more public sector banks to enter into an agreement with it if they want more capital, provided banks improve their performance.
- Earlier, the government had entered into an agreement with 11 banks, and had asked them to submit a turnaround plan and had linked capital infusion with the pace of turnaround.
- In the earlier round of MoUs, banks were asked to achieve several parameters such as reduction in gross non-performing assets, increase in recovery, restriction of slippages, among others. In other words, capital infusion in these laggard banks were to be linked to their performance.
- Recently, the government had announced a capital infusion of Rs.11 lakh crore in public sector banks over two financial years, starting from the current fiscal.
- Of the amount, the government plans to issue recapitalisation bonds worth Rs.35 lakh crore and the remaining would come from budgetary provisions and fund raising by banks from the market.