Current Affairs in Short: 23 October 2018
The Supreme Court referred a plea seeking collegium-like selection process the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) to a 5-judge Constitution Bench. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and SK Kaul considered submissions raised by lawyer Prashant Bhushan and said the issue of appointment of CEC and ECs will be taken up by a larger Constitution Bench.
SC to hear Sabarimala review petitions on November 13
• The Supreme Court fixed the date for hearing the review petitions on November 13, 2018 against its September 28 majority judgment allowing women of all ages entry into the hill shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala.
• Earlier, CJI Ranjan Gogoi said the date would be fixed for a hearing on a mentioning made by the National Ayyappa Devotees Association.
• The court had declined to stay the judgment.
• It had also refused to hear them before it closed for Dussehra holidays on October 12.
• The petitions, including the one filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president of the National Ayyappa Devotees Association, argued that ‘reform’ does not mean rendering a religious practice out of existence on the basis of a PIL petition filed by “third parties” who do not believe in the Sabarimala deity.
SC refers plea seeking collegium-like selection process for appointing CEC, ECs to 5-judge Constitution Bench
• The Supreme Court referred a plea seeking collegium-like selection process the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) to a 5-judge Constitution Bench.
• A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and SK Kaul considered submissions raised by lawyer Prashant Bhushan and said the issue of appointment of CEC and ECs will be taken up by a larger Constitution Bench.
• The Bench was hearing a PIL filed by one Anoop Baranwal, seeking a transparent selection process for appointment of Election Commissioners in the poll panel.
• The Centre, represented by Attorney General KK Venugopal, however, opposed the petition saying so far no case of abuse of official position by the CEC had come forward and referred to T.N. Seshan and other persons who have graced the office of the CEC.
UP Governor Ram Naik approved renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj
• Ram Naik, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, approved the renaming of Allahabad as Prayagraj on October 20, 2018.
• The name of the district was approved by the Governor under section 6, subdivision 2 of the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code, 2006.
• The proposal to rename the historic city of Allahabad as Prayagraj was approved by the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on October 16, 2018.
India’s first cruise service launched between Mumbai & Goa
• India’s first luxury cruise ship service was launched between Mumbai and Goa on October 21, 2018.
• This first ever passenger cruise ship service is a joint venture between Mumbai Port Trust and Angriya Sea Eagle Pvt Ltd.
• The cruise ship Angriya has been named after the first Maratha Navy Admiral Kanhoji Angre.
• The Cruise can accommodate 400 passengers along with 70 crew members.
Four Himalayan peaks named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee
• Four Himalayan peaks near Gangotri glacier have been named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
• The peaks are located at 6557m, 6566m, 6160m and 6100m on the right flank of Gangotri glacier.
• Located near Sudarshan and Saifi peaks in Raktvan valley, the peaks have been named Atal-1, Atal-2, Atal-3 and Atal-4.
• The Gangotri Group of mountains is a subdivision of the Garhwal Himalaya in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.
• Gangotri glacier is one of the primary sources of Ganges.
Fourth annual Carnot Prize awarded to Piyush Goyal
• The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design awarded its fourth annual Carnot Prize to Union Minister Piyush Goyal.
• Piyush Goyal is the Union Minister of Railways & Coal and former Union Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines.
• The Carnot Prize recognised India’s climate conscious and development driven energy governance under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
• Carnot Prize is the most prestigious award in the energy sector and is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot.
China and ASEAN to hold joint naval exercises
• China and ASEAN nations will hold their first joint maritime exercises in October 2018 in a move aimed at easing tensions in the region.
• The navies of China and the 10-member ASEAN will hold the exercise in the South China Sea.
• The decision was made at a gathering of ASEAN defense ministers in Singapore, which also saw the participation of Defence Minister from the US.
• The exercise is aimed at reducing the likelihood that a chance encounter could spiral into conflict in the case of a miscalculation.
• ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Jamal Khashoggi case: Saudi Saudi Arabia admits killing the journalist
• Saudi Arabia on October 20, 2018 admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
• King Salman also ordered creation of a commission to review and modernise the Kingdom's intelligence operations and report back within a month.
• Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (MBS) rise to power, went missing on October 2, 2018 after entering the consulate in Istanbul.
World’s longest sea bridge to open between China and Hong Kong
• The world’s longest sea bridge ‘Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’ will be open for traffic on October 24, 2018.
• The 55-kilometer-long bridge is situated in the Lingdingyang waters of the Pearl River Estuary.
• It will reduce the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes, further integrating the cities in the Pearl River Delta.
• The construction of the multibillion-dollar bridge had begun in December 2009.
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