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Daily Current Events by Civils360 November 16, 2017

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Regional Connectivity: Read Here

  • The government has identified 24 airports and helipads, including nine in Arunachal Pradesh which borders China, for the second phase of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
  • Under the second phase of RCS, which aims to provide air connectivity to the hinterland to provide an impetus to the economic growth of regional centres, including unconnected towns and cities, the government decided to keep the focus on ‘priority areas’ including the North-East, Jammu & Kashmir and other hilly regions of the country.
  • AAI chairman said the infrastructure expansion being undertaken at these strategic locations is primarily being done with the objective of improving connectivity. He played down the “defence” angle to the air connectivity ramp-up.

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UNHRC and Srilanka: Read Here

  • Associated Press report documented allegations against Srilanka with reports from men who gave the incidence of torture against them. Government envoys from Sri Lanka told the U.N.’s top human rights body Wednesday that their country is taking new steps to battle torture.
  • Men interviewed for the AP report, however, accuse the government of ethnic cleansing following the end to the 26-year civil war. Critics argue that the recent report highlights the increasing gap between the government’s commitments on rights and its lack of action.
  • Sri Lanka’s Cabinet had since agreed to accede to the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture. The 15-year-old accord allows for greater international scrutiny of countries’ detention facilities.

China: Read Here

  • China will remain assertive and strong on territorial issues, including incidents like the stand-off with India in Doklam according to a senior foreign policy expert.
  • China would safeguard territorial interests in an incremental way. This could have impacts on India’s western, eastern boundary with China.
  • The news becomes important in the wake of a pragmatic, strategic assertive nature of Indian foreign policy. India  has recently joined a quadrilateral meeting of the major democracies in Indo – Pacific Region

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Cybersecurity: Read Here

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will offer challenge grants of up to ₹5 crore to start-ups to spur research and development in the field of cybersecurity.
  • Coordination and work are maintained with help of Data Security Council of India to conduct challenge grant for cybersecurity. As part of the plan, India would invite cybersecurity scholars from the Asia Pacific region to do their research in premier universities of India.
  • India is currently also working on a data protection law and also in process of setting up a centre of excellence for blockchain technology. These are integral steps needed to achieve Digital India dream.

Agriculture: Read Here

  • Decline across farm product categories has caused unrest among farmers. Eg: procurement price of milk given by supply dairies to farmers in Karnataka, Maharashtra has dropped.
  • All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee calculated the losses incurred by growers on account of the drop in prices against the MSP this kharif at ₹35,968 crore.
  • The poor demand from traders and stockists, who are said to be facing liquidity issues due to demonetisation is a major issue. NITI Aayog has urged States to speed up implementation of market reforms to attract large buyers to resolve the situation. Also, CACP attributes some other reasons for the below par price like high harvest last year, export controls and stocking limits imposed by the government on private trade, and record imports.
  •  It will be hard for the government to live up to its promise of doubling farm incomes by 2022 unless it announces a stimulus package like the one announced for road/highways last month.