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Daily Current Events by Civils360 December 28, 2017

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Wetlands: Read Here

  • The Asian Waterbird Census 2018 in Delhi region will start from January 6. It is carried out simultaneously in 27 countries along with places in Delhi-NCR at sites including the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Surajpur Wetland and Najafgarh Drain.
  • AWC in India is carried out at a few hundred important wetlands and this helps in the identification and protection of new sites for birds. The findings of the AWC in 2017, for instance, had revealed that bird population had doubled in Okhla — with a total of 6,183 birds counted at the Okhla Bird Sanctuary in the first day of the census.
  • The result of the census and further information is also used to promote national waterbird and wetland conservation as well as international cooperation. Last year, six birds classified as threatened as per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list were also spotted.

Triple Talaq: Read Here

  • Muslim women’s organisations said on Wednesday that the proposed legislation would not be acceptable if not in consonance with the Quran or the Constitution. Muslim Women League’s president said that in the Family Court Act there is always a chance to save a family but the proposed bill does not give such a chance.
  • She also argues that a third party has also been given the right to complain in the bill which is not fair. She added that the bill should be stalled for now and discussions should be held as a law in haste will complicate matters. AIMPLB had earlier said the proposed legislation was against the provisions of the Constitution and violated the rights of women.
  • The Supreme Court by a majority of 3:2 ruled that the practice of divorce through triple talaq among Muslims is void, illegal and unconstitutional.The government then drafted the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill according to which giving instant divorce will be illegal and void and will attract a jail term of three years for the husband.

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India-Israel: Read Here

  • Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to India will focus on taking cooperation on the double-T’s of technology, with respect to agriculture and water conservation, and counter-terrorism as well. Israel’s unhappiness with India’s vote at the United Nations last week had been put behind both countries in a diplomatic manner.
  • The proposed visit of the PM of Israel visit comes at a time when India voted for a resolution that criticised the United States for its shift on the status of Jerusalem and urged Israel to keep its commitments on talks for the two-state solution. India’s vote at the UN had been seen as a move by the Indian government to affirm its traditional position on the Israel-Palestine peace process, as well as to strike a balance in ties between the two countries.
  • The delegation of Israeli PM will include a big business team of about 75-100 companies and they will engage with industrialists as well as the film industry in India for more business ventures. Israel PM is expected to give a keynote address in Raisina Dialogue as well.

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Fiscal Deficit: Read Here

  • The Centre has decided to borrow an additional Rs. 50,000 crore in the last three months of this financial year. This move could result in the government missing its budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP. Borrowing would be done through government bonds and it would be offset by trimming Treasury bills from Rs. 86,203 crore to Rs. 25,006 crore.
  • However, as per economists, fiscal deficit targets will be breached. Projections of the fiscal deficit for the current financial year could be 3.5% because of the uncertainties on the external front, GST collection, revenue collection etc, 3.5% fiscal deficit looks imminent.
  • Gross and net market borrowings estimated in FY18 till December 26, 2017, are Rs. 5,21,000 crore and Rs. 3,81,281 crore excluding buyback/switches, respectively. The budgeted net T-bills receipt of Rs. 2,002 crore in FY18, net collections till December 26, 2017, are Rs. 86,203 crore.

Exports: Read Here

  • India’s efforts to increase exports could face several external and domestic challenges in the coming year.Overseas political risks, weak growth in labour-intensive segments in India could hurt shipments.
  • A report from Standard Chartered bank noted that Asia is the region most open to trade and they cannot afford to count on the same degree of external support that it received in 2017. The bank listed multiple political event risks including in the Middle East and Europe like possible polls in Germany and the Brexit negotiation process which could knock the markets, and global growth, off track in 2018.
  • The Centre has earlier announced incentives to the tune of Rs. 8,450 crore in its mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy to help increase exports of goods and services particularly from labour-intensive segments and small firms as well as to boost job creation and value-addition in the country. Measures from the government including lower interest rates, incentives for small firms to take part in global exhibitions as well as reducing their tax burden would boost exports.