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Current Affairs - 07 August 2018


CJI raises Justice Joseph issue with Attorney-General
  • Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Monday met Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal on the issue of the government altering the seniority of Justice K.M. Joseph.
  • “All the available senior Supreme Court judges” met the Chief Justice in the morning to convey their dissatisfaction over the government’s unilateral decision. 
  • Justices Banerjee, Saran and Joseph are scheduled to be sworn in at the CJI’s courtroom.       
Three-judge SC Bench to hear Article 35A issue
  • Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra orally observed that the Supreme Court will consider whether Article 35A, giving special status to the State and people of Jammu and Kashmir, is violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Basic structure is a collective term coined by a 13-judge Bench in the historic Keshavananda Bharati case to include a catena of fundamental rights, including right to equality, non-discrimination, liberty, life and dignity, enshrined and preserved in the Constitution.
  • The Centre, represented by Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal, persisted that the case should be adjourned as an interlocutor is carrying on a dialogue with the State’s stakeholders.
  • The State of Jammu & Kashmir, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, sought an adjournment, citing the “preparations for the upcoming panchayat/urban local body and municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir”.
Indra Nooyi to step down as PepsiCo CEO after 12 years
  • Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi will step down as the CEO of PepsiCo after 12 years in the position.
  • Taking over the reins of the global giant in 2006, Ms. Nooyi steered the company through the 2008 financial crisis and was in the spotlight as one of the most powerful women in the world.
  • Ms. Nooyi, 62, grew up in Chennai, where she studied at the Madras Christian College. She went to the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, before leaving for the U.S. in 1980 for a second master’s degree at the Yale School of Management.
Miyon ka Bara becomes Mahesh Nagar
  • In Rajasthan, the name of a village called ‘Miyon ka Bara’ was officially changed to ‘Mahesh Nagar’ after residents complained that they were not getting matrimonial matches as the name gave an impression that the village was inhabited by Muslims.
  • The village in Barmer district has a population of around 1,400. 
Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates ‘Festival on Democracy
  • Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates ‘Festival on Democracy’ a series of national-level conclaves organised to mark the diamond jubilee of the Kerala Legislative Assembly 
  • Mr. Kovind hailed the role of leaders from Kerala such as E.M.S. Namboodiripad, R. Sankar, C. Achutha Menon, V.R. Krishna Iyer, K. Karunakaran, E.K. Nayanar, V.S. Achuthanandan, K.R. Gouri and others who played a pivotal role in strengthening the House through their contributions and rare calibre.
Three northeastern States emerge as new HIV hotspots
  • Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura have emerged as the new hotspots for HIV, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Health Ministry attributes rise of incidence in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura to injecting drug users and unsafe sexual practices
  • In four sites in Mizoram and one in Tripura, HIV prevalence was higher among IDUs, which for the rest of the country is 6.3%. At least in three places at Aizwal, Champhai and Kolasib, the prevalence of HIV in IDUs was 37.44%, 33.06% and 38.14% respectively.
  • HIV prevalence among female sex workers was higher at four sites — two in Tripura and one each in Mizoram and Meghlaya. At one site of Mizoram’s Aizwal district, the prevalence of HIV was as high as 24.68%, compared with 1.6% for other sites in the country.
  • In the case of pregnant women visiting ante-natal clinics (ANC), six centres in Mizoram, two in Meghalaya and one in Tripura recorded HIV prevalence of more than 1%, compared with HIV prevalence of 0.28% among pregnant women visiting ANCs in other places in India 
  • The HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS), a biennial study conducted by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), is one of the largest regular studies in the world dealing with HIV in high risk groups of the population.
  • The HSS had referred that HIV prevalence in the context of ANCs in the northeastern States of Mizoram (1.19%), Nagaland (0.82%), Meghalaya (0.73%), Tripura (0.56%) and Manipur (0.47%) were among the highest.
  • In terms of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) who are on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), almost 12.28 lakh people are covered under ART. The target is to bring 90% of the 21 lakh people living with the HIV infection in India under ART.
  • In terms of PLHIV who are on ART, Maharashtra has the highest number (with 2.03 lakh persons) followed by A.P.(1.78 lakh ) and Karnataka (1.58 lakh persons).
The LS passes SC/ST amendment Bill
  • The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018, to bypass the recent ruling of the Supreme Court laying down procedures for arrests under the Act.
  • The Bill inserts section 18A (1) (a) in the 1989 Act, that says a “preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person.” 
  • The Bill also inserts Section 18A (1) (b), which says “the investigating officer shall not require approval for the arrest, if necessary, of any person against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under this Act has been made and no procedure, other than that provided under this Act or the Code, shall apply.”
  • The Bill’s Statement of Objects and Reasons says that under the CrPC, the decision to arrest a person is taken by the investigating officer and there was no requirement for approval. The Bill also goes back to the original SC/ST (PoA) Bill, doing away with the provision of anticipatory bail the Supreme Court ruling had permitted.
Bill for death in rape cases cleared
  • A Bill awarding a maximum sentence of death to those convicted for raping girls below 12 years of age was passed by Parliament.
  • It replaces the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated on April 21, following a public outrage over the rape and murder of a minor girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua and the rape of a minor from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Accordingly, the minimum sentence in cases of rape of women has been increased from seven to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
  • In cases involving girls below 16 years, the minimum punishment has gone up from 10 to 20 years, which is extendable to life imprisonment.
  • The law also provides for speedy investigations and trial. The probe has to be completed within two months.
  • The deadline for completion of trial in all rape cases will also be two months, while a six-month limit has been set for disposal of appeals.
  • There will be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang-rape of an under-16 girl.
An amendment to the Juvenile Justice ( JJ) Act, 2015
  • The government introduced an amendment to the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, in the Lok Sabha on Monday to empower District Magistrates with the authority to grant adoption orders. It will make the adoption procedure faster for prospective parents, by avoiding delays in courts.
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018, revises the provisions governing adoptions in the JJ Act by making changes to Section 56,58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 and 65, where the word “court” has been replaced by “District Magistrate.”
  • The changes are applicable for both domestic and international applications.
  • The Union Cabinet had approved amendments proposed by the Women and Child Development Ministry last month.

Auto parts sector grew 18.3% despite hurdles
  • India’s auto component industry grew to ₹3.45 lakh crore in the 2017-18 financial year, a growth of 18.3% year on year, data released by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) shows.
  • Exports grew by 23.9% to ₹90,571 crore ($13.5 billion) from ₹73,128 crore ($10.9 billion) in 2016-17. 
  • Europe accounted for a maximum of 34% of exports, followed by North America and Asia, which accounted for 28% and 25% respectively.
One-third of PSBs remain headless

  • One-third of public sector banks remain headless as a Prime Minister-headed panel is yet to clear the CEO appointments. 
  • The chief executive officer post at three PSBs remain vacant for more than seven months.
  • These top posts, along with several executive directors’ post in public sector banks continue to remain vacant even as Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told the media on June 8 that the posts would be ‘filled up in a month’.
  • The Banks’ Board Bureau (BBB) too had recommended names of 14 candidates to the Union government by June end. These candidates were to be appointed for vacancies arising in the current financial year. The Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister, makes the appointments.
HUL to acquire ‘Adityaa Milk’ brand, distribution network
  • FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has signed an agreement with Vijaykant Dairy and Food Products Limited (VDFPL) and its group company to acquire its ice cream and frozen desserts business for an undisclosed sum.
  • HUL will acquire VDFPL’s flagship brand Adityaa Milk and its front-end distribution network across geographies.

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