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Top 5 Current Affairs: 12 August

Aug 12, 2017 10:49 IST

NASA's Cassini spacecraft set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to begin its final five ultra-close orbits around Saturn before the probe plunges into the atmosphere of the ringed planet and ends its epic 20-year-long journey.

The spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, making the first of the five passes over Saturn on August 13. The spacecraft's point of closest approach to Saturn during these passes will be between about 1,630 and 1,710 kilometres above Saturn's cloud tops.

15th Ministerial Meeting of BIMSTEC concludes at Kathmandu

The 15th Ministerial Meeting of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was concluded at Kathmandu on 11 August 2017.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the members agreed to intensify their collaborative efforts to realise the aims and purposes of the group embodied therein and pledged to make BIMSTEC stronger, more effective and result oriented.
The members also reaffirmed commitment to intensify their efforts to realise the directives outlined and the Agenda of Action as agreed by the Leaders during the Goa Retreat in 2016.

Article 35A of Indian Constitution: Understanding the Debate

Ever since a 2-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on 17 July 2017 referred a Public Interest Litigation to decide upon the validity of the Article 35A of the Indian Constitution to a larger Bench and set a deadline of six weeks to it, there has been a debate across the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, over the provisions of the Article 35A and the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

It is against this backdrop, it is pertinent to understand the provisions of the Article 35A and the arguments in favour and against the Article, which are provided below.

International Youth Day observed on 12 August

The International Youth Day was observed across the world on 12 August 2017 with the theme 'Youth Building Peace. The UNSC on 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August should be declared as International Youth Day.
Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution S/RES/2250 (2015) in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.

Economic Survey Volume two for the year 2016-17 presented

The second volume of Economic Survey 2016-17 which was tabled in the Parliament on 11 August 2017 noticed a rekindled optimism on structural reforms in Indian economy riding on various factors such as

a) Positive impacts of demonetization

b) Launch of the GST

c) Decision in principle to privatize Air India

d) Rationalization of energy subsidies

e) Actions to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge

The document also added that a growing confidence that macroeconomic stability has become entrenched is evident because of a series of government and RBI actions and because of structural changes in the oil market have reduced the risk of sustained price increases.

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