Current Affairs in Short: 13 December 2018
The Supreme Court stayed the Meghalaya High Court order that had directed commercial airlines like Indigo and Spicejet to immediately begin flight operations from Umroi airport in the northeast state.
Bharat Bhushan Vyas took oath as Member of UPSC
• Bharat Bhushan Vyas took the Oath of Office and Secrecy as Member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
• The Oath was administered by Arvind Saxena, Chairman of UPSC.
• Vyas is a retired Indian Administrative Service officer of Jammu & Kashmir cadre.
• Vyas joined Indian Administrative Service in 1986.
• He served in State & Centre in various capacities and retired as Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir.
• Before assuming charge as Member of UPSC, he was serving as Adviser to the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir.
Kamal Nath to be named new Madhya Pradesh CM
• One of the oldest leaders of the Grand Old Party, Kamal Nath is set to be named as the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, a state where he along with Jyotiraditya Scindia worked hard to unseat incumbent BJP, which was in position for 3 consecutive terms.
• The decision brings to close the tussle for the top post in at least one of the three Hindi heartland states that Congress won from BJP on December 11.
• The 2019 national election has a huge bearing on the decision. The Congress wants its experienced hands to play a big role in the heartland states but without upsetting the younger leaders or risking any rebellion.
• The decision of nominating Nath for the position has apparently been accepted by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who played an equal role in Congress's grand comeback in the state.
• The race in Rajasthan, however, remains open, as Ashok Gehlot is the leadership's favourite but the state Congress chief Sachin Pilot, who played a huge role in helping the party regain its lost ground in the state, is fighting equally hard for the top post.
Japan chooses Chinese character for ‘disaster’ to define year 2018
• Japan selected the Chinese character for ‘disaster’ as its defining symbol for 2018, a year that saw the country hit by deadly floods, earthquakes and storms.
• At the end of every year, the people of Japan vote for the Chinese character they think embodies the key events of the previous 12 months. 20858 people out of 193,214 chose the character ‘disaster’.
• Floods across Japan in July 2018 caused more than 200 deaths and nearly evacuation of 9 million people.
• In the same month, 150 people died due to heat wave and 80000 people were hospitalized.
• The series of disasters had hit the GDP, with the country's economy shrinking in 3 months.
CBIC notifes ‘Korean Won’, ‘Turkish Lira’ in List of Currencies for Exchange Rate
• The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) included two currencies - Korean Won and Turkish Lira in the list of currencies for which it notifies the exchange rate.
• Currently, the CBIC notifies exchange rates for 20 currencies for the purpose of valuation of imported and exported goods and now with the inclusion of Lira and Won, the total number is now 22.
• Bilateral trade between India-South Korea grew to USD 16.36 billion during 2017-18 from USD 12.59 billion in 2016-17, while, the bilateral trade between India and Turkey stood at USD 7.2 billion during 2017-18.
• The move will facilitate trade and business by easing the process of conversion of these currencies into INR and vice versa.
SC Collegium recommends Justice Ravindra Bhat as Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court
• The Supreme Court collegium recommended the appointment of Justice Ravindra Bhat as the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.
• Justice Bhat is currently a judge of the Delhi High Court.
• The present Chief Justice of Rajasthan HC, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, has been recommended to be elevated as SC judge.
• Justice Bhat was appointed as an additional judge of Delhi HC in 2004 and was made a permanent judge in 2006.
• He had started practise in Delhi after his enrollment in 1982.
Flight operations from Umroi airport: SC stays Meghalaya HC order
• The Supreme Court stayed the Meghalaya High Court order that had directed commercial airlines like Indigo and Spicejet to immediately begin flight operations from Umroi airport in the northeast state.
• A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submissions of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Indigo airlines that there were no fire fighting and other facilities available at Umroi airport and flight operations cannot be started immediately.
• The apex court had earlier agreed to hear the plea of private airlines challenging the high court order asking it to start flight operations form the Umroi Airport, 30 km from the Meghalaya capital Shillong.
181 pilots tested positive for alcohol during 2015-2018: Aviation Ministry
• The Civil Aviation Ministry informed in the Parliament that 181 pilots of scheduled and non-scheduled operators tested positive for alcohol during 2015-2018.
• Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that in 2015, as many as 43 pilots tested positive for alcohol, followed by 44 in 2016.
• In 2017, 49 such cases have come to the fore till November 2018.
• In November 2018, Air India Captain Arvind Kathpalia, in charge of Director Operations, was sacked a day after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended his license for three years for failing the breath analyser test.