Current Affairs in Short: 12 November 2018
The Supreme Court has declined early hearing of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said it had already listed the appeals before the appropriate bench in January.
SC declines early hearing of pleas in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case
• The Supreme Court on November 12, 2018 declined early hearing of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
• A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul said it had already listed the appeals before the appropriate bench in January.
• The bench said, "We have already passed the order. The appeals are coming up in January. Permission declined," while rejecting the request of early hearing of lawyer Barun Kumar Sinha, appearing for the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
• The top court had earlier fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for the first week of January before an "appropriate bench", which will decide the schedule of hearing.
• The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing on behalf of the UP government and deity Ramlala respectively, had sought early listing of the appeals in the case after referring to their long pendency.
Goa government bans fish imports for 6 months
• The Goa government on November 10, 2018 announced a ban on import of fish into the state for six months.
• The move comes against the backdrop of a scare in the coastal state that formalin, a potential cancer-causing chemical, was being used to preserved fish.
• Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane announced the ban and said that its duration could be extended by another six months, if needed, till measures to check the quality of fish are in place in the state.
• The state government is banning fish imports for the second time this year, the earlier one, for fifteen days, having been announced by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in July.
• The ban at the time was lifted after the government introduced border checks for trucks bringing fish into Goa.
Army dedicates 2018 to welfare of Disabled Soldiers
• Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat said on November 12, 2018 that the Indian Army has dedicated the Year 2018 to the welfare of Disabled Soldiers who have been disabled in the line of duty, while serving the Nation.
• The Army Chief was speaking at a function organised by Indian Army to observe year 2018 as the Year of the Disabled Soldier, at Mammon Cantt in Pathankot.
• Rawat said that most of the disabled soldiers have come from Northern Command, which he said is doing a challenging task of countering ceasefire violations and tackling terrorism emanating from across the border.
• Further, the Army Chief said that the Army is proud of its soldiers and assured that it will take proper care of its disabled solders who have got disabled while fighting and serving the nation.
India, Morocco sign Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
• India and Morocco on November 12, 2018 signed an Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in Delhi.
• The agreement was signed by Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home on behalf of the Union Government and Mohamed Aujjar, Minister of Justice on behalf of the Moroccan Government.
• The Agreement will strengthen bilateral cooperation with Morocco and enhance effectiveness and provide a broad legal framework for prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes, as well as in tracing, restraint and confiscation of funds meant to finance terrorist acts.
• During the signing, both the nations reiterated their resolve to jointly counter the threats posed by organised crime and terrorism.
Largest apparel manufacturing unit of Meghalaya becomes operational
• Meghalaya's largest apparel manufacturing unit near Ampati has started production after remaining idle for nearly two years.
• Located at Hatisil in South West Garo Hills and covering an area of 45,000 sq feet, the apparel factory was originally set up at a cost of Rs 14.26 crore by the Union Ministry of Textiles.
• However, the unit remained idle for nearly two years as the agencies that the unit was allocated to failed to meet their commitment to start production.
• The centre was made operational after the School of Livelihood and Rural Development (SLRD) took over the centre in September 2018.
• The SLRD is a development agency with operations across four regions of the country and has expertise in skill development, market integration and rural development.
• The production work has finally begun and will be ramped up in stages to meet the market demand in India and Bangladesh.
Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi passes away
• Veteran sports journalist Roshan Lal Sethi passed away on November 11, 2018 after a prolonged illness. He was 81. He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.
• Sethi started his sports journalism career in 1964 with 'Motherland' newspaper and remained associated with it till 1975 as sports editor.
• He also worked with the Indian Express, Hindustan Times, National Herald and Navbharat Times. For the last few years, he was associated with Sandhya Times.
Over 600 vehicles denied entry into Delhi
• Over 600 vehicles were denied entry into the national capital on November 11, 2018, a day after the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) extended the ban on entry of trucks till November 12 due to high pollution levels in Delhi.
• According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar, 1,283 vehicles were checked and 609 vehicles were denied entry.
• Around 734 vehicles carrying essential goods were allowed inside the national capital from 11 pm on November 10 till 5 am on November 11.
• The ban was extended by the Supreme Court-appointed agency on the recommendations of a Central Pollution Control Board-led task force, which reviews the national capital's air quality.
• Delhi-NCR recorded its worst air quality a day after Diwali. The air quality index was 642 and in the 'severe' category.
Delhi forensic laboratory to soon get 3D imaging scanner
• Soon, the work of forensic crime teams will become easier and precise as the Forensic Science Laboratory in New Delhi is set to procure a 3D imaging scanner, a technology used by the US law enforcement agency FBI.
• A 3D imaging scanner can capture even the minuscule details of a crime scene. The scanner analyses a real-world object and the data collected can then be used to create digital models of the object.
• The development will help in understanding the environment of a crime scene with much more accuracy.
• The scanner is a rotating camera that will capture the images of the crime scene and even the measurements of the room, the distance of the body from the various points in the room.
• If someone claims they did not hear any suspicious sound when a crime say a murder was committed since they were in the other room, the 3D scanner would even help investigators ascertain if the person was lying or not. The scanner can capture the distance between two walls of adjacent rooms.
Marshall Islands leader survives no-confidence motion
• Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine narrowly survived a vote of no confidence on November 12, 2018, seeing off a challenge that she alleges was orchestrated by Chinese-backed business interests intent on undermining the Pacific nation's sovereignty.
• The vote to topple Heine, the first and only elected female leader of a Pacific island nation, split parliament 16-16, one short of the 17 her opponents required.
• Once the vote was confirmed, Speaker Kenneth Kedi -- who had backed the no-confidence move -- congratulated Heine and declared parliament was in recess.
• According to Heine, the no-confidence motion was actually prompted by her government's refusal to back plans for an independently administered tax haven on an atoll within the Marshalls.
• The idea is that the territory would be self governing and completely tax free, making it an attractive option for hi-tech firms.
• Heine's government rejected the proposal over concerns it could be vulnerable to money laundering and passport-for-sale scams.
Digital payment transactions jump to 244 cr in Aug 2018
• The number of digital payment transactions in India touched 244.81 crore in August 2018, more than three-fold rise from October 2016, underlining the massive adoption of digital payment modes over the last two years.
• The statement by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology read that new payment modes such as BHIM-UPI, AePS and NETC have transformed digital payment ecosystem by increasing Person to Person (P2P) as well as Person to Merchant (P2M) payments.
• It said the number of digital payment transactions rose by 207 per cent to 244.81 crore in August 2018 as compared to 79.67 crore in October 2016.
• The total value of such transactions, which stood at Rs 108.7 lakh crore in October 2016, increased 88 per cent to Rs 204.86 lakh crore in August 2018.
• The statement read that existing payment modes such as debit cards, credit cards, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) and Pre Paid Instruments(PPI) have registered substantial growth as well.