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Current Affairs - 03 August 2018


Constitution (123rd amendment) Bill related to NCBC passed in Lok Sabha
  • In a rare show of consensus, BJP-led NDA and opposition parties came together to pass the legislation to unanimously pass the 123rd Constitutional Amendment bill, 2018 that provides constitutional status to the commission for other backward classes (OBCs).
  • The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill: It seeks to grant the National Commission on Backward Classes (NCBC) constitutional status, at par with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
  • National Commission for Backward Classes: The NCBC is a body set up under the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.  It has the power to examine complaints regarding inclusion or exclusion of groups within the list of backward classes, and advise the central government in this regard. 
  • The Bill seeks to establish the NCBC under the Constitution, and provide it the authority to examine complaints and welfare measures regarding socially and educationally backward classes.
Ban on oxytocin likely to be lifted
  • Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) has recommended to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that the ban on the retail sale of the life-saving drug, oxytocin, may be lifted and that its sale and distribution for human use, under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945, be continued.
  • The ban had been imposed citing the serious misuse of oxytocin in the dairy sector.
  • Why is Oxytocin banned ?: 
  • it was banned  to stop its misuse in the livestock industry, where activists say it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals.
  • Often called the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding.
Changes made, transgender Bill set for reintroduction
  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill is set to be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament after incorporating all but two crucial recommendations made by the Standing Committee report of July 2017.
  • The issues that have been kept off the Bill’s purview are reservations in education and jobs for transgender persons, and recognising their right to partnership and marriage.
Valley traders protest ‘interference’ in Article 35-A
  • Even as the hearing in the Supreme Court on Article 35-A draws closer, trade bodies in the Valley have begun a protest against “interference” in the Article that gives special rights to the people of J&K.
  • Article 35A of the Constitution empowers J&K legislature to define permanent residents (PR) of state. It was added through Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 issued under Article 370 of Constitution by the President of India and not by amending constitution under Article 368.

Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe’s ruling party declared winner of first post-Mugabe elections
  • Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe’s ruling party was declared the winner early Friday morning of the country’s first elections since the fall of authoritarian leader Robert Mugabe.
  • According to the election commission, Mnangagwa narrowly avoided a runoff, winning 50.8 percent of the vote. His opponent, Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), outperformed Mnangagwa in urban areas, particularly the capital Harare where he won 71 percent.
  • The opposition, which has accused the ruling party of vote rigging, has vowed to protest the result.
    US Congress seeks to strengthen defence partnership with India
    • The US Congress has overwhelmingly passed the USD 716 billion defence spending bill which ramps up military spending and among other provisions seeks to bolster America’s defence partnership with India.
    • India was designated a Major Defence Partner in 2016, towards the end of the Obama administration’s tenure. Trump administration is moving ahead with its plans to implement the unique designation for India, the US Congress through its John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019 fiscal, passed by 87 to 10 votes yesterday, seeks to give it a legislative cover.
    • The House and the Senate said the US should strengthen and enhance its major defence partnership with India, and such a partnership should enable “strategic, operational and tactical coordination between our militaries, and be jointly developed between the countries”
    U.S. trade war won’t work, says China
    • China's top envoy called on the U.S. to remain “cool-headed” on Thursday as Washington threatened to raise the tariff rate on the next $200 billion of Chinese imports.
    • Slapping additional tariffs on Chinese imports — 60% of which are made by foreign firms, including American companies — will only raise costs for domestic U.S. consumers, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

    Reliance Jio join hands with SBI to boost digital transactions
    • Reliance Jio has joined hands with country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) to bring next-generation banking experience for their customers.
    • SBI said Yono would now be preloaded on Reliance Jio handsets and SBI customers would benefit from Jio Prime, a consumer engagement and commerce platform with exclusive deals from Reliance Retail, Jio and partner brands. 
    • Existing Jio customers will get the benefits either by downloading Yono on their handsets or at the time of replacement cycle 
    • YONO's digital banking features and solutions will be enabled through the MyJio platform.

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