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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 15, 2017

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Aadhaar: Read Here

  • Supreme Court refuses to be moved by the persuasive talks against Aadhaar linking while observing that the Supreme Court had passed interim orders making Aadhaar voluntary before the Aadhaar Act came into existence in 2016.
  • Petitioners argued that despite these orders by SC, the various agencies and government Ministries have  issued 139 circulars making Aadhaar mandatory for nursery admissions to welfare subsidies to student scholarships to CBSE and NEET exams
  • The petitioners demanded that fundamental rights of the citizen cannot be abrogated by the Aadhaar Act or any kind of legislation. It is against the rule of law and sanctity of judicial orders. The circulars issuing Aadhaar as mandatory is even violating the right to privacy upheld by S.C.

Legislations: Read Here

  • Union Cabinet will take up for approval o a slew of bills including the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill which makes instant triple talaq a penal offense with a three-year imprisonment for the guilty.
  • A change in the Negotiable Instruments Act is also listed for Cabinet approval which tightens the screws on bouncing of cheques and other promissory notes.
  • The Cabinet will consider the National Medical Commission Bill to replace the controversial Medical Council of India with a new commission to steer medical education in the country as well as the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill which treats a trafficked person who gets into prostitution as a victim rather than offender

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NPA: Read Here

  • The government has now asked banks to disclose the variations between the non-performing asset levels in their balance sheet and the levels arrived at following the asset quality review.
  •  Identification of NPAs and clean-up of the banking system have been going on since the government came to power. NPA grew uncontrolled because these accounts were not shown, ever-greening was done and NPAs were hidden by restructuring mechanisms such as corporate debt restructuring.
  • The government is working to ensure transparent proceedings against defaulters. In June 2017, the RBI had identified 12 of the biggest loan defaulters. Their collective borrowings amounted to ₹1.75 lakh crore or one-fourth of total NPAs. Legal processes have been initiated and the cases have been referred to the National Company Law Tribunal.

Defence: Read Here

  • Prime Minister formally commissioned the first of six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines into the Navy.This is the Navy’s first modern conventional submarine in almost two decades since the INS Sindhushastra.
  • PM lauded the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) for undertaking the project to construct the six submarines with technology transfer from the Naval Group (Formerly DCNS) of France.
  • Scorpene submarines can undertake different missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. Other Scorpenes namely Khanderi, Karanj etc. are being readied for launch.

WTO: Read Here

  • Member countries of WTO were unable to reach a consensus on substantive issues such as the food security right of developing countries and the centrality of development in multilateral trade negotiations.Ministerial Conference managed to salvage a commitment from member nations to secure a deal by 2019 on banning certain forms of fisheries’ subsidies.

  • The U.S. blocked the demands of more than a 100 developing nations, including India and China, to implement their food security programmes without onerous conditions. Since all major decisions in the WTO need to be taken by ‘the membership as a whole’, even a single country can end up being the deal-breaker.

  • The only way to get an outcome in these very difficult issues is when every side shows flexibility. All the member countries should thus show a flexibility to each of the issues so that trade barriers are removed swiftly.