27,December,18 Daily newspaper article’s summary

27,December,18 Daily newspaper article’s summary

Summary of newspaper articles from ‘The Hindu’, ‘Economic Times’ and PIB
ARISE IAS: Demystifying UPSC IAS exams

Winter bear hug: on weakening stocks:
1.American stocks suffered their worst Christmas-eve loss in market history with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing a massive 650 points on Monday, a drop of almost 3% within a single trading session.
2.It is no surprise that stocks in the U.S. and around the world have shown signs of weakness just around the time the Federal Reserve and other major Western central banks have been keen on ending the era of easy money by tightening monetary policy.
3.Historically, politicians have generally favoured easy money policies represented by low interest rates while central bankers have insisted on sticking to their primary mandate of controlling price inflation.

No lessons learnt: on Meghalaya mining disaster:
1.Clearly, the administration did not act to stop unscrupulous operators of the illegal mine from exploiting desperate workers, some of them from Assam, who were willing to work the rat hole tunnels because that is the most remunerative employment available to them.
2.Two years ago, a landslip at an open cast mine in Goda, Jharkhand, killed 23 people, raising questions about the rigour of the technical assessment done prior to expansion of extraction activity.
3.A study on three big flooding accidents published in 2016 by the IIT-Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, concluded that the official approach of fixing responsibility on human error was flawed, since it did not try to identify the root cause.

Abandoned on the battlefield:
1.U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull American troops out of Syria is a body blow to the Syrian Kurds, the unsung heroes of the war against the Islamic State (IS).
2.After these initial victories, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian militias and led by the YPG, was formed in 2015 with the blessings of the U.S.
3.The YPG (the main component of the SDF) has close ties with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Kurdish militant group on the Turkish side which is seen as a terrorist organisation by both Ankara and Washington.

Many miles to Mecca:
1.Given this speed, the journey between Mumbai and Jeddah (2,400 nautical miles) would require at least five days if weather conditions are favourable, which is not always the case.
2.There were also instances of poor women being lured by persons posing as their mehram (blood relative or guardian for the journey) who instead trapped them in domestic servitude work in West Asia.
3.In Malaysia and Indonesia, Haj Boards mobilise savings, invest them in profitable ventures, constantly add dividends to deposits, and charter flights through open bidding.

Being a good neighbour:
1.But almost immediately, it seemed to lose a sense of diplomatic balance, for instance, when it tried to interfere with the Constitution-making process in Nepal and was accused of trying to influence electoral outcomes in Sri Lanka.
2.The arrival of an India-friendly Ibrahim Mohamed Solih regime in Male has brought much cheer, and the return of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lankan Prime Minister is to India’s advantage too.
3.Finally, while reimagining its neighbourhood policy, New Delhi must also look for convergence of interests with China in the Southern Asian region spanning from Afghanistan to Nepal to Sri Lanka.

All vehicles to come fitted with high security number plates from April 1:
1.NEW DELHI: All motor vehicles will come fitted with tamper-proof high security registration plates (HSRPs) from April 1 to protect against counterfeiting, Parliament was informed Thursday.
2.Manufacturers or suppliers of HSRPs, if so authorised by the state concerned, may also supply the HSRP for old vehicles after placing the registration mark, he said.
3.Manufacturers or suppliers of HSRPs, if so authorised by the state concerned, may also supply the HSRP for old vehicles after placing the registration mark.

GST: Focus shifts to enforcement actions, returns, refund simplification:
1.It faced a huge political backlash and became the butt of jokes with opponents calling it ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, but weathered all of it in 2018 and its proponents are confident the GST is fast emerging as a strong tax-compliance tool and may eventually evolve into a single-slab taxation rate.
2.Throughout 2018, a broad rationalisation of rates was carried out and after the last round last week only about two dozen goods were left in the top 28 per cent bracket, with officials saying essential and daily use items of commoners have been put in the lowest slabs.
3.Talking to PTI, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the man now overseeing the GST after retirement of its main architect Hasmukh Adhia, said the focus now is on enforcement action and streamlining returns and refund process.

Year End Review: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.:
1.Advisories were issued to Nodal agencies implementing the Eco-club programme to celebrate environmental-friendly Diwali include cleaning of houses, renovating and decorating homes with diyas, lighting up candles, lamps; donating clothes/books to needy; making colourful rangoli etc.
2.During the year 2018, many important bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations on climate change were held in the run up to the 24 th Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC (COP-24), in which Hon’ble Minister, EF&CC and senior officials of the Ministry participated.
3.The theme of pavilion this year was ‘One World One Sun One Grid’ based on an ambitious target set by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance on October 2018 that 40 percent of its installed power capacity will be from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

More than 68.5 Lakh Houses Sanctioned Under PMAY- (U)–Huge Job Opportunities in Construction & Allied Sectors:
1.It provides central assistance to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs for in-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource with private participation; Credit Linked Subsidy; Affordable Housing in Partnership and Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
2.60,000 crores has been set up for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) in phases for the rapid implementation of PMAY (U).
3.60,000 crore national urban housing fund set up for raising extra budgetary resources for rapid implementation 24 New Technologies Identified to Fast Track Construction

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