Current Affairs in Short: 27 August 2018
Pakistan's new government has banned the discretionary use of state funds and first-class air travel by officials and leaders, including the president and the prime minister, as part of its austerity drive. The discretionary allocation of funds by the prime minister and the president and other officials was also stopped by the Cabinet.
Delhi court acquits two men in 1981 AI plane hijacking case
• A Delhi court on August 27, 2018 acquitted two men, accused of hijacking a New Delhi-Srinagar Air India flight and forcing it to land in Pakistan in 1981.
• The two allegedly hijacked an Air India plane from New Delhi en route to Srinagar via Amritsar and forced it to land in Lahore, Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
• Both were deported in 2000 from Pakistan after serving life-term for hijacking. They had later sought their discharge from the case but a session’s court had dismissed their plea.
• In 2011, the Delhi Police had charge-sheeted them under various sections of Indian Penal Code of waging war against the government of India, conspiring, sedition and criminal conspiracy.
Election Commission holds meeting of all recognised national and state political parties
• The Election Commission held a meeting of all recognised national and state political parties on various electoral reforms in New Delhi on August 27, 2018.
• The Commission has been periodically holding consultation meetings with all recognised political parties to elicit their views on various important issues.
• The main agenda for the meeting included discussion on the fidelity of electoral rolls.
• The ECI invited the views of all parties on measures to improve the accuracy, transparency and inclusivity of electoral rolls in view of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies.
US senator John McCain dies at 81
• US senator John McCain, a celebrated Vietnam War hero, passed away on August 25, 2018 after losing a battle to brain cancer. He was 81.
• The six-term senator, McCain was also a Republican presidential nominee in 2008. McCain had been battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer discovered in July 2017.
• A fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, he spent more than five years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down. While in the custody he suffered torture that left him with lasting disabilities.
Former Indian cricketer Gopal Bose passes away
• Former Bengal opener and captain Gopal Bose passed away at Birmingham on August 26, 2018. Bose passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at a Birmingham hospital. He was 71 and is survived by his wife and son Arijit.
• Bose represented Bengal for a decade and amassed 3757 runs in 78 first-class games with eight centuries and 17 fifties.
• He also took 72 wickets with his off spin. Known for playing long knocks, he was named in India's Tour to Sri Lanka and shared a 194-run opening stand with Sunil Gavaskar in a first-class game in which he scored 104.
• He was also included in India's squad for the tour of England in 1974 and played in one ODI his only appearance for India. He scored 13 runs in the match and took the wicket of David Lloyd at The Oval.
• Bose later served as a Bengal selector and also coached their junior team. He was also the manager of the Virat Kohli-led India U19 side that won the World Cup in 2008.
Ganga Prasad sworn in as Sikkim Governor
• Ganga Prasad was on August 26, 2018 sworn in as the 16th Governor of Sikkim at a function held at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok. He succeeds Shriniwas Patil as the 16th Governor of Sikkim.
• Justice Meenakshi M Rai, Acting Chief Justice of High Court of Sikkim, administered the oath of office to Prasad in the presence of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and his cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries.
• The swearing-in ceremony was followed by offering of traditional "khadas" to the governor by the chief minister and all the dignitaries present. The governor was then given the Guard of Honour.
• Ganga Prasad has served as a Member of Legislative Council of Bihar for 18 years, and also as the Leader of the Opposition (Bharatiya Janata Party) in the Bihar Legislative Council.
• He was also the Leader of the Bihar Legislative Council for the ruling party during the earlier NDA regime.
MP Government seeks revival of cheetah reintroduction project
• The Madhya Pradesh forest department has written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revive the plan to reintroduce cheetahs in the state's Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary.
• The ambitious project, conceived in 2009, had hit a roadblock due to the need of funds.
• The country's last spotted feline died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. Later, the cheetah, which is the fastest land animal, was declared extinct in India in 1952.
• The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at Dehradun had prepared a Rs 260 crore cheetah re-introduction project around six years ago.
• It was estimated that an amount of Rs 25 crore to Rs 30 crore would be needed to build an enclosure in an area of 150 sq km for the cheetahs in Nauradehi.
Pakistan bans discretionary use of state funds, first-class air travel by government officials
• Pakistan's new government has banned the discretionary use of state funds and first-class air travel by officials and leaders, including the president and the prime minister, as part of its austerity drive.
• The decisions were made at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 24, 2018.
• The discretionary allocation of funds by the prime minister and the president and other officials was also stopped by the Cabinet.
• The prime minister also decided to stop using special plane for foreign visits or domestic travelling and use business class.
• After his victory in the July 25 general election, Khan decided not to use palatial Prime Minister House and instead live in a small portion of it that was previously used as the residence by the military secretary to the prime minister.
• Khan also decided to use only two vehicles and keep two servants. He refused to use elaborate official protocol.