Daily Current Affairs - 12th Oct 2017

Sexual intercourse with minor wife is rape, says SC

  • The Supreme Court held that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, who is below 18 years of age, is rape. Section 375 of IPC mandated that sex with a girl below 18 years of age, with or without her consent, was statutory rape. Here an unmarried girl child can prosecute her rapist, but a married girl child aged between 15 and 18 could not even do that, Justice Lokur said, pointing out the injustice.

225 firms pulled up for e-waste rules violations

  • Nearly 225 companies that manufacture electronic goods -from smartphones to laptops have been served notice by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPC) for not complying with electronic-waste procurement norms.
  • These norms require companies to ensure that a portion of e-waste, or electronic goods manufactured by them that were past their use-by-date, was collected and scientifically recycled.
  • As per the new rules, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was given the overall responsibility of ensuring that firms complied with the power to levy fines for non compliance.
  • The new rules specified that producers would have to ensure collection of 30% of e-waste — the percentage on self-determined basis on their projected sales by 2018 and 70% by 2023. Nearly 1.7 million tonnes of e-waste reportedly produced in India in 2014.

Anupam Kher to head FTII

  • Bollywood actor Anupam Kher was appointed the new chairperson of the premier Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) replacing Gajendra Chauhan. He will succeed the controversial Gajendra Chauhan under whose chairmanship, the FTII for the first time saw a 139-day strike with one of the major demands of the students being his removal.
  • Mr Kher, an alumnus of National School of Drama, has acted in over 500 films, many of them critically acclaimed projects.

Cabinet nod for natural gas cargo-swap deal with Japan

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a cargo-swapping arrangement with Japan as part of a broader bilateral pact to create a gas exchange that could reduce India’s logistical costs for natural gas import. As the world’s largest importer of gas, Japan has pacts for supply with Qatar.
  • As part of the gas exchange, India have a provision which will allow the swapping of these gas contracts and save on transport costs. This allows us to get gas from Qatar instead of Japan and they can source our quantum from Australia.

Direct tax collections rise 15.8% in H1 FY’18

  • According to official data, net direct tax collections for the first half of the financial year, at Rs. 3.86 lakh crore, were 15.8% higher than the collections in the same period of the previous year.
  • Net Direct Tax collections represent 39.4% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for financial year 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore). Refunds worth Rs. 79,660 crore have been issued during that period.
  • An amount of Rs. 1.77 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to September 30, 2017 reflecting a growth of 11.5% over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year.
  • The growth in Corporate Income Tax Advance Tax is 8.1% and in Personal Income Tax Advance Tax is 30.1%.

EAC-PM wants govt to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map

  • The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) wants the government to stick to its fiscal consolidation road map and has suggested that stimulus to the industry should not be at the cost of fiscal prudence.
  • There is a consensus among the members that the fiscal consolidation exercise should not be deviated. But the industry is seeking fiscal stimulus to tide over the economic slowdown.
  • The council's chairman Bibek Debroy told reporters after the meeting that they will come out with implementable solutions for economic problems and present them to the Prime Minister.
  • Fiscal Consolidation refers to the policies undertaken by Governments (national and sub-national levels) to reduce their deficits and accumulation of debt stock. Improved tax revenue realization and better aligned expenditure are the components of fiscal consolidation as the fiscal deficit reaches at a manageable level.

India qualifies for 2019 AFC Asian Cup

  • India has qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after they pumped in four goals for a convincing 4-1 win over Macau in a qualifying round. With this victory, Indian will make its fourth appearance in the continental event. India competed in the tournament for the first time in 1964, when they finished runners-up. Then they crashed out in the group stage in 1984 and 2011.

Japan launches fourth satellite for high-precision GPS

  • Japan successfully launched the fourth and final satellite that makes up its terrestrial positioning network system, which will improve the current GPS services and help create a better communications system during a disaster.
  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched a Japanese H-IIA rocket with the Michibiki-4 communications satellite from the space centre on Tanegashima Island.
  • This is the second system that Japan launches as part of its Quasi-Zenith Satellite Systems, which operate at an altitude of between 33,000 and 39,000 km above the earth and whose function is to correct the global navigation satellite system signals for complementary use of the global positioning system (GPS).

NHRC registers nearly 17 lakh cases from inception till September 2017

  • The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has registered nearly 17 lakh cases from its inception till September end this year, with Uttar Pradesh recording the maximum of 39 thousand cases in the last one year.
  • NHRC has registered 84,527 complaints, which included 77 cases registered suo motu, mainly on the basis of media reports, between October 2016 and September 2017.
  • The NHRC was established on 12th of October 1993 under the Protection of the Human Rights Act, 1993.

Ola gets $1.1 billion funding

  • Ride-hailing company Ola has raised $1.1 billion in a funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors, also participated.
  • Ola is also in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round. The investment is expected to help Ola build its war chest in the battle against Uber.

Portugal & France book spots at 2018 World Cup finals

  • Portugal and France booked spots at the 2018 World Cup finals while the Netherlands crashed out. Portugal defeated Switzerland 2-0 in Lisbon while France's booked the spot by defeating Bulgaria and Belarus in their final two qualifiers which means they avoid the playoffs having had to go through that route for the last two finals.

SpaceX launches rocket, landed successfully on ocean platform

  • US aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company SpaceX launched a rocket that had already flown to space and landed it successfully on an ocean platform, as part of its ongoing effort to recycle costly rocket components.
  • The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Echostar 105/SES-11 satellite which aims to provide television coverage and communications capabilities to North America, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. The launch was its third successful mission with a flight-proven orbital class rocket.

Trump to nominate John Kelly aide as Homeland Security Secretary

  • President Donald Trump reportedly plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen, a Department of Homeland Security veteran to run the office with nearly 2 lakh 30 thousand employees. John Kelly, a former marine general, vacated the job when Mr Trump chose him in July as his chief of staff in a bid to bring discipline to the White House.

U.S. bombers fly over Korean peninsula

  • The U.S. has flown two supersonic heavy bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force against North Korea, staging the first night-time joint aviation exercises with Japan and South Korea. Two B-1B Lancers based in Guam flew a mission in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan.
  • South Korean defence authorities said the bombers staged a simulated air-to-ground missile firing drill with two South Korean fighters over the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

World Bank downgrades India's growth forecast

  • The World Bank said India's GDP may slow from 8.6 per cent in 2015 to 7.0 per cent in 2017. It said India's economic momentum has been affected by disruptions from the withdrawal of banknotes and uncertainties around the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The World Bank has further warned that subdued private investment due to internal bottlenecks could put downside pressures on the country's potential growth.
  • Earlier, the International Monetary Fund also lowered India's growth projection to 6.7 per cent in 2017.
  • World Bank President: Jim Yong Kim
  • IMF Managing Director: Christine Lagarde