Current Affairs of 30-1 May


Masood Azhar Declared As Global Terrorist
Masood Azhar

Masood Azhar Declared As Global Terrorist

In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations  designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee. It is important to note that on the proposal of United Nations 1267 Ban Committee, China had made its technical objection by saying that there is no proper evidence on this issue and there is no general opinion on this. Four out of five members of the Security Council had supported the ban on Masood Azhar.

Chandrayaan-2
Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2

India’s much-delayed second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, has got yet another launch window. The mission is now set to be launched any time between July 5 and July 16 this year. The moon landing is likely to be around September 6, 2019, nearly two months after the launch, ISRO said. ISRO said the second lunar mission of ISRO will have three modulesthe Orbiter, Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan). The Orbiter and Lander will be interfaced mechanically and stacked together as an integrated module and accommodated inside the GSLV MK-III launch vehicle. The Rover will be housed inside the Lander. “After launch into earth bound orbit by GSLV MK-III, the integrated module will reach the Moon orbit using Orbiter propulsion module. Subsequently, Lander will separate from the Orbiter and soft land at the predetermined site close to lunar South Pole. Further, the Rover will roll out for carrying out scientific experiments on the lunar surface,” ISRO said. The Lander and Orbiter also carry instruments for carrying out scientific experiments and all the modules are getting ready for this launch window.

End of Heisei Era in Japan
End of Heisei Era in Japan

End of Heisei Era in Japan

Japanese Emperor of ‘Heisei’ era, Akihito began his abdication rituals on April 30, 2019, marking the end of his reign with hope for a new era. Japan on April 1, 2019 declared ‘Reiwa’ as the name of its new imperial era that will begin on May 1, 2019 once the new Crown Prince Naruhito, son of Akihito, ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne. In a separate ceremony, Naruhito will inherit the Imperial symbols of office - sword and jewel, as well as Imperial seals as proof of his succession as the nation’s 126th emperor. The new era will be the 248th in the history of Japan. Japan's emperor has no political power, but remains a highly symbolic figure. The era name ‘Reiwa’ is drawn from the 7th century poetry collection “Manyoshu”. The name is made up of the two characters ‘Rei’ and ‘Wa’ that stands for ‘order’ and ‘peace’, respectively.

US President Rejected UN Arms Trade Treaty
US Rejected UN Arms Trade Treaty

US President Rejected UN Arms Trade Treaty

US President Donald Trump on April 26, 2019 rejected the United Nations' 2013 Arms Trade Treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade. Trump announced to “unsign” the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), describing it as a misguided document and an intrusion on US sovereignty. Trump said that the US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty despite his predecessor Barack Obama having endorsed it.

What is Arms Trade Treaty

The 2013 Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) came into effect in December 2014 after over 65 countries of the world signed it on June 3, 2013. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on April 2, 2013. The treaty seeks to regulate the flow of weapons into conflicted zones. It requires member countries to keep records of international transfers of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that can be used in human rights violations or attacks on civilians. So far, while 130 countries have originally signed the treaty, only 101 ratified and joined it. The world's largest arms traders including the United States, China and Russia have not joined the treaty.

Objective of Arms Trade Treaty

Arms Trade Treaty is required for controlling the unrestrained flow of the arms as well as ammunition. The treaty creates requirements for all the countries to review the cross-border contracts in order to make sure that these weapons would not be used for the illegal purposes such as organised crimes, human rights abuses, violation of humanitarian law as well as terrorism. The Arms Trade Treaty covers light weapons, attack helicopters, battle tanks, missile launchers, warships, missiles, armoured combat vehicles, small arms and large-calibre artillery systems. The treaty additionally forbids export of these conventional arms in case these arms could be used in the attacks on civilian buildings or civilians.

The Conduct of Elections Rules
Conduct of Elections Rules

The Conduct of Elections Rules

The Supreme Court on April 29, 2019 sought a response from the Election Commission on a plea seeking abolition of a provision in election rules that provides for prosecution of an elector if a complaint alleging malfunctioning of EVMs and VVPATs turns out to be false. The Supreme Court bench alleged that Rule 49MA of 'The Conduct of Elections Rules' was unconstitutional as it criminalises reporting of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails.

What is Rule 49M

Under the rule, where printer for paper trail is used, if an elector after having recorded his vote under rule 49M alleges that the paper slip generated by the printer has shown the name or symbol of a candidate other than the one he voted for, the presiding officer shall obtain a written declaration from the elector as to the allegation, after warning the elector about the consequence of making a false declaration. The rules outline that if after investigation, the allegation of EVM malfunctioning is found to be false or incorrect, then the complainant can be prosecuted under Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code for "furnishing false information". In such a case, a jail term of six months or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both is guaranteed.

SCO Defence Ministers Meeting
SCO Defence Ministers Meeting

SCO Defence Ministers Meeting

The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' conclave was held at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan on April 29, 2019. India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who held bilateral meetings with her Chinese and Russian counterparts and Chief of General Staff of Kyrgyz Armed Forces. Key bilateral defence issues, including defence co-operation, were discussed. India became a full member of the SCO in 2017. India is keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

India’s Largest Crude Supplier
India’s Largest Crude Supplier

India’s Largest Crude Supplier

Iraq has become India’s top crude oil supplier for the second consecutive year, meeting more than one-fifth of the country’s oil needs in the 2018-19 fiscal year. According to data collected by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Iraq sold 46.61 million tonnes of crude oil to India during April 2018 and March 2019.

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching a British court order seven years ago, when he took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden. The Australian whistleblower arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up. Mr. Assange fled to Ecuador's embassy in 2012 after a British judge ordered his extradition to face Swedish allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strongly denied. He claimed the allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he feared prosecution over the release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents.

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
US Report Religious Freedom

US Commission on International Religious Freedom

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan, independent federal government commission has said that there is an overall deterioration of religious freedom conditions in 2018 in India. India continues to remain a Tier 2 country, a list it has been unable to get off of since 2009. Tier 2 countries are those in which “violations engaged in or tolerated by the government.

SEBI Imposed Penalty on NSE
SEBI Imposed Penalty on NSE

SEBI Imposed Penalty on NSE

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred the National Stock Exchange (NSE), which has the largest market share in equity segment and almost a monopoly in equity derivatives, from accessing the securities market for six months. The capital markets regulator has further ordered the exchange to disgorge around Rs 1,000 crore — that is, Rs 624.89 crore plus 12% interest from April 1, 2014 — for its alleged failure to exercise proper due diligence while offering co-location facility thereby affecting market fairness and integrity.

Co-location Facility

Co-location refers to the system wherein a broker’s server is kept in the exchange premises to reduce latency, or delay in computing terms, while executing trades. The roots of the matter go back to 2015 when SEBI received complaints against NSE where, among other things, it was alleged that the system that NSE used while disseminating data through co-location facilities allowed certain users to get information before others, thereby creating an information asymmetry.

Growth In Core Sectors
Growth In Core Sectors

Growth In Core Sectors

Growth in the core sectors of the economy surged in March to a five-month high of 4.7%, driven by a broad-based recovery in sectors such as cement, refinery products, steel, and coal. The March edition of the Index of Eight Core Industries also provides a full year (April-March) performance review, which shows that the core industries maintained their growth rate of 4.3% in 2018-19, the same as in the previous year.

India Fourth Biggest Military Spender
India Fourth Biggest Military Spender

India Fourth Biggest Military Spender

India was the world’s fourth biggest military spender in 2018 behind the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia, according to new data think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India was the fifth largest military spender in 2017. According to the SIPRI data, China was the second-largest military spender in 2018. India accounts for 3.7% of the global defence spending

Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Watercraft
Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Watercraft

Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Watercraft

The Defence Ministry has awarded a contract of worth Rs 6,311 crore to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE) to build eight anti-submarine warfare shallow watercraft (ASWSWC) for the Indian Navy. As per the agreement, the first ship is to be delivered within 42 months from the date of signing of the contract and subsequently, two ships are required to be delivered per year. 

Indonesia Plans to Shift Capital
Indonesia Plans to Shift Capital

Indonesia Plans to Shift Capital

Indonesia on April 29, 2019 announced its plans to move its capital away from Jakarta. President Joko Widodo’s government plans to establish a new Capital out of the crowded Java Island to ensure more equitable development of the country amid environmental concerns and overcrowding issues. The new location is yet unknown.

Labour Day
Labour Day

Labour Day

The Labour Day was observed across the world on May 1, 2019. The day is also known as International Worker's Day and May Day. Over 90 countries, including North Korea, celebrate Labour Day on May 1 as a national holiday. The theme of International Labour Day 2019 is “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners”.

Asian Wrestling Championships
Asian Wrestling Championships

Asian Wrestling Championships

India wrapped up their campaign at the Asian Wrestling Championships on a resounding note with 16 medals (1 Gold, 3 Silver & 4 Bronze). Only Bajrang Punia won the gold medal after defeating Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov by 12-7 in 65kg men’s freestyle. Asian Wrestling Championship 2019 was held at Xi’an, China. Iran topped the list with 11 gold medal.

Gaganjeet Bhullar
Gaganjeet Bhullar

Gaganjeet Bhullar

Arjuna awardee and star Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the outstanding achievement as a player award at the fourth edition of the annual India Golf Industry Association (GIA) awards at the Delhi Golf Club. The GIA awards were held along with the 8th India Golf & Turf Expo (IGTE), South Asia's largest golf trade show. 

Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia is set to become the first wrestler from India to fight at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York. The 25-year-old has recently won the gold medal in the 65-kg category at the ongoing Asian Wrestling Championships. He is the first Indian wrestler to be invited by the American governing body. Punia will take part in the "Grapple at the Garden - Beat the Streets" fight night. 

Record GST Collection

GST collection scaled all-time high of over Rs 1.13 lakh crore in April, up from Rs 1.06 lakh crore in the previous month.

Wipro Acquired Splash

Wipro Consumer Care announced that it is acquiring personal care company Splash, which is based in the Philippines. Splash, the largest personal care player in the Philippines, recorded revenues worth $80 million in 2018. 

Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling has been named the 2019 footballer of the year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA).