Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 22 September 2017
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 22 September 2017
Durga idols can be immersed on all days- Calcutta HC
Observing that the West Bengal government “has failed to come up with
any reasonable basis for placing restrictions on the immersion of Durga
idols”, the Calcutta High Court allowed the immersion of idols on all days
following September 30 (Vijay Dashami).
The order by a Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Rakesh Tiwari and
Justice Harish Tandon was issued in connection with three public interest
It sets aside curbs on Durga idol immersions placed by the government on
account of Muharram after 10 p.m. on September 30 and for the entire day on
“There is not the slightest of doubt in our mind that the State can
regulate the procession or the religious ceremonies to be performed but it
does not vest them an absolute and/or inchoate power to prohibit the
performance of ceremony in the absence of any materials sufficient enough
for the formation of such opinion/decision,” the order stated.
While observing that the “maintenance of law and order is within the
domain of the State,” the division bench pointed out that and the decision
to prevent and protect any untoward incident should be founded on the
“cogent and convincing material and not merely on one’s perception”.
Government to source about Rs.1750crore
The State government will have to source about Rs. 1,750 crore by
October 1 to clear the second instalment of the enhanced salary and pension
arrears due to about five-lakh employees and 3.5 lakh service pensioners as
per the Tenth Pay Commission recommendations.
The additional burden comes at a time when a shortfall of about Rs. 500
crore has been recorded in the tax collection under the new Goods and
Service Tax (GST) regime.
As per official estimates, the State GST (SGST) collection on August 28
has been pegged at Rs. 251 crore and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST)
Rs. 451 crore.
Against the Rs. 1,232 crore mopped up under the new tax administration,
it would have at least touched Rs. 1,600 crore under the Value Added Tax
system during festival seasons such as Onam.
Concerted efforts to streamline the planning process in local
self-government institutions and other sectors had also started yielding the
desired results and the fund absorption rate had registered a remarkable
increase, compared to the previous years. This would add to the outgo from
the treasury in the coming months.
When the Pay Revision Commission submitted its recommendations, the
previous government had decided to space the disbursal of arrears into four
instalments and the onus thus came on the Left Democratic Front government.
As per the decision, the first instalment was due on April 1 and it has
been cleared. The third and fourth instalments fall on April 1 and October
On clearing the first component, the arrears due to service pensioners
were paid in cash and that of employees merged into their PF with interest.
But for the strain incurred by the introduction of GST, the current
fiscal situation did not leave any room for concern and channels had already
been identified for meeting the cash requirements next month.
Two minor rape survivors were allowed to abort foetuses by supreme court
The Supreme Court permitted two minor rape survivors to medically
terminate their pregnancies on the advice of the medical boards which
The victims, a 13-year-old girl from Delhi and a 17-year-old from
Bengaluru, had separately approached the apex court for permission to abort
their pregnancies. They had both passed the 20th week of pregnancy, until
which the law allows abortion.
The 13-year-old was examined by a board of doctors from AIIMS, while the
court ordered a medical team from the Bangalore Medical College and Research
Institute to examine the other victim.
Both medical teams had given opinions in favour of medical termination
of the pregnancies. The 13-year-old was in her 23rd week of pregnancy and
the Bengaluru-based victim in her 24th week.
The Bench, comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar, directed
preservation of the terminated foetuses for DNA sampling during the
investigation in both the cases.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971 does not allow abortion
if the pregnancy has crossed 20 weeks.
Under the 1971 law, an exception to the 20-week cap can be made if a
registered medical practitioner certifies to a court that the continued
pregnancy is life-threatening for either the mother or the baby. This was
meant to be a safeguard against female foeticide.
The court had recently denied permission to a 10-year-old rape survivor
from Chandigarh to abort her foetus. Shortly after the court’s denial, the
girl gave birth. The apex court awarded Rs. 10 lakh compensation to the
Senior advocate Indira Jaising who is intervening in the Supreme Court
in the issue, had argued that the delay in offering urgent medical help to
such abused women and children have led to untold suffering for them.
For a 10-year-old, pregnancy is indeed a ‘life-threatening’ situation
warranting immediate medical intervention under the Medical Termination of
Pregnancy Act of 1971, the senior advocate had argued.
Recently, the Centre had written to the States and the Union Territories
about the court’s suggestion to appoint permanent medical boards to provide
rape survivors urgent access to medical care and to consider their requests
The recent privacy judgment of a nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court
has observed that the right to reproductive choice of a woman is part of her
fundamental right to privacy.
Textile industry saw an increase in FDI
The textile industry in the country is growing exponentially with the
foreign direct investment having tripled in the last three years.
Though FDI had touched 618.95 million U.S. dollars in 2016-17, there is
still a huge potential for further growth, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani
Inaugurating the sixth edition of the international textile and apparel
fair, “Vastra-2017”, at Sitapura industrial area here, Ms. Irani said
concerted efforts were being made for creating employment opportunities in
the textile sector.
The textile sector employs the second largest workforce in the country,
with 4.5 crore people directly getting livelihood from it and 2 crore people
being indirectly employed.
The Union Minister praised the Rajasthan government's efforts to create
a garment hub in the State. She said the Jaipur Designers Festival being
held in “Vastra-2017” for the first time would provide the younger
generation with an exposure to the world of fashion and designing.
Public-private partnership (PPP) for affordable housing
People purchasing a low-end house from a private developer will be
eligible for financial help under the ‘Housing For All’ policy of the
Narendra Modi government, Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri
Unveiling the new public-private partnership (PPP) for affordable
housing, Mr. Puri said that it will help in meeting the housing requirements
for all targets
“This policy seeks to assign risks among the government, developers, and
financial institutions, to those who can manage them the best, besides
leveraging under-utilised and unutilised private and public lands towards
meeting the Housing for All target by 2022,” he said.
Pradhan MantriAwas Yojana (PMAY) or Housing For All has been moving at a
rather sluggish pace. The government was to construct 12 lakh houses under
PMAY by 2017-18, but only 1.49 lakh houses have been constructed till last
The Centre now seeks to construct 26 lakh houses in 2018-19, 26 lakh in
2019-20, 30 lakh in 2020-21 and 29.80 lakh in the 2021-22 period.
Eligible buyers can get Central assistance of about Rs. 2.50 lakh per
house as interest subsidy on bank loans. And if they do not avail any loan,
they can get upto Rs. 1.50 lakh.
The policy gives eight PPP options for developers to invest in. “Out of
these eight, we are talking, six models will utilise government lands,” Mr.
Puri said. It is now time for private developers to seize the investment
opportunities, he added.
Pakistan was slammed over terror funding by Sushma Swaraj
In a veiled attack on Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj
said militants continue to find shelter in countries using terrorism as an
“instrument of state policy”.
The Minister called on her counterparts from BRICS to condemn efforts to
sponsor the menace. The statement comes ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s address at the UN General Assembly.
“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security.
Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Ms.
Swaraj said at the BRICS Ministerial Meetingon the sidelines of the UN
“Terrorists continue to find support and shelter in countries which use
terrorism as an instrument of state policy,” the minister said.
She did not name any country but the reference was clearly to Pakistan.
Ms. Swaraj also called for terrorists’ funding, their weapons supply,
training and political support to be systematically cut off.
She also called for early conclusion of the CCIT while urging all the
BRICS countries —— Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to condemn
efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and
sponsor terrorism against other countries.
The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) was
proposed by India in 1996 to enhance prosecution and extradition of
In her speech, Swaraj suggested an alliance between International Solar
Alliance and New Development Bank. “I hope we can work together to give this
ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” Swaraj added.
Meanwhile, India has announced it will take up 116 “high impact
community developmental projects” in 31 provinces of Afghanistan, weeks
after U.S. President Donald Trump sought New Delhi’s help in the economic
development of the country.
The decision was taken during a meeting between Ms. Swaraj and
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani here. “India and Afghanistan agreed to
take up 116 high impact community development projects ,” External Affairs
Ministry spokesperson told.
“Over and above these high impact projects, India has also offered
assistance for six new projects under granting aid assistance from India.
One of them is low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees, road
connectivity, national Park and economic development,” he said.
Ranil presented an interim report on drafting of a new Constitution
Sri Lankan Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghepresented an interim report
on the drafting of a new Constitution, underscoring that all parties had
agreed to an “indivisible state”.
Addressing the Constitutional Assembly, Mr. Wickremesinghe said that the
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had taken the unprecedented position that they
would agree with the contents of the interim report, if the country’s two
main parties — SLFP and UNP — accepted it.
The interim report follows an exercise undertaken by an all-party
steering committee that Mr. Wickremesinghe chairs. Since March 2016, it has
met as many as 74 times, discussing various aspects of the likely
While all parties have in principle agreed to an “indivisible state”,
they are yet to concur on some other aspects, such as devolution of police
powers to the Provinces. Political parties, including the TNA, have annexed
their observations to the interim report.
Despite the perceived delay, many consider it a significant step in the
process of drafting Sri Lanka’s new Constitution.
Observing that no Constitution in Sri Lanka has thus far been framed on
the basis of consensus amongst its different people and the two main
parties, he said the current exercise was the first such opportunity.
While public debate is expected to commence based on the interim report,
a parliamentary debate is “very likely” to begin by the end of October,
JayampathyWickramaratne, a government MP who co-chairs a committee
overseeing the exercise.
Following such a debate, the government has said it would table the
draft Constitution in Parliament and, if it is passed by a two-thirds
majority, hold a country-wide referendum.
Strategy to revive investment
The Centre will ‘very soon’ disclose its strategy to revive moribund
private investment, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. Mr. Jaitley has held
several discussions with top officials and ministers on tackling the
slowdown in the economy.
The Finance Minister, who is expected to brief Prime Minister Narendra
Modi soon on the options available for revitalising the economy’s growth
momentum, conceded that ‘there is a problem’ of private investment.
“The government is seized of the issue and very soon, you will hear from
us. From day one, this is a proactive government,” Mr. Jaitley said
addressing the India Investor Summit 2017 organised by J.P.Morgan in the
Stressing that the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on
inflation had been contained so far, Mr. Jaitley said among the sectors
currently excluded from GST, real estate could be brought under the new
indirect tax regime ‘most easily’.
The Minister’s comment suggests that the inclusion of other products
currently outside GST’s purview, such as petroleum and alcohol, would take
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had recently said his Ministry had
proposed bringing petroleum products under the purview of GST in ‘consumer
interest’ to ensure a uniform tax mechanism, instead of the current
dispensation where States levy a value-added tax (VAT) and the Centre levies
Claiming that corruption had become ‘a thing of the past’ in the Union
government, Mr. Jaitley said the same was happening in States as well. “The
government has taken quick decisions, whether it is implementing GST or
The Minister said the government ‘never had any reservations about
privatisation’ and had an ambitious target for disinvestment this year. The
ministerial group on ailing national carrier Air India’s sale had held a
meeting on Thursday, Mr. Jaitley informed investors.
“In last few years, market was quite volatile at times, so the
government has to wait for the right time for the disinvestment,” he said.
Mr. Jaitley said while he was ‘personally in favour of’ a Universal
Basic Income, the only reservation he had about implementing such a
programme was ‘the level of political maturity’ in India.
$5 bnworth Exhibition cum convention convention centre project
The Union Cabinet will soon take up the proposal for a “$5 billion-worth
world-class and state-of-the-art” Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (ECC) in
the national capital — billed as the largest such facility in Asia when
completed by 2021.
By this month-end, the Cabinet will consider for discussion a “note on
approval of the project and formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to
implement the same.
Part of the $100 billion Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
project, it would be developed on Public-Private Partnership model using
viability gap funding of the Centre, if required.
The SPV will be given the rights to activities, including sub-leasing of
land parcels, sub-contracting project components, granting long term
concessions to private developers as well as fixing lease rentals.
The project became necessary as “India lacked an integrated world class
facility that can meet the requirements of global ECC operators in terms of
space, project facilities and transportation linkages,” the Centre had said.
Though the size of the global Meetings, Incentives, Conferences,
Exhibitions (MICE) market is about $280 billion and that of Asian MICE
market about $60 billion, India did not benefit due to lack of world class
ECCs, it said.
Rupee weakened amid fiscal stimulus speculation
The rupee weakened by more than 50 paise, or 0.8%, against the dollar
amid growing speculation that the Centre was considering a fiscal stimulus
package to rekindle economic growth a move that could widen the fiscal
deficit and possibly risk fanning inflation.
The rupee ended at a two-and-a-half month low, at 64.81 a dollar. The
yield on the 10-year benchmark government bond rose 10 basis points to
6.68%, its highest close since May 24.
The Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday to start unwinding its
balance sheet starting October and signals that it would raise U.S. interest
rates one more time this year also lifted the dollar globally.
“There was some speculation that government is considering stimulus
package, for which the fiscal deficit could miss its target,” said Anindya
Banerjee, currency analyst at Kotak Securities. “Rupee weakened against all
major global currencies,” he added.
Currency dealers said a fiscal stimulus could result in the government
likely missing this year’s fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP.