1. HIGH LEVEL COMMITTEE TO PROBE YAVATMAL DEATHS
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS PRELIMS
- A high-level committee was formed by the Maharashtra State government on Tuesday to probe the death of 18 farmers in Vidarbha’s Yavatmal district.
- The farmers lost their lives due to improper spraying of ‘Profex Super’ insecticide on cotton plantations.
- Over 600 cases of insecticide infection had been reported in the district.
- Indiscriminate use of wrong combinations of insecticides and direct and continuous exposure to toxic substances owing to lack of protective gear were the reasons for the death of the farmers and farm workers over the past one week.
WHAT IS PROFEX SUPER ?
- Stomach & Contact Action Insecticide
- Meant for Cotton, Groundnut, Brinjal, Bhindi, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Tomato , Gram, Sunflower, Soyabean, Sugarcane, Mango etc. crops
- CONTROLS – Cotton Bollworms, Leaf Roller, Stem Borer, Fruit Borer,Hispa, Bihar hairy Caterpillar, Shoot Borer, Shoot Fly, Diamond Black Moth & other caterpillar insects.
2 . SUBMARINE KHANDERI BEGINS SEA TRIALS
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS PRELIMS & GS MAINS PAPER III
- Slowly but steadily, the Scorpene submarine programme is making progress.
- While the first submarine awaits commissioning, the second one has just begun sea trials, and Mazagon Docks Ltd. (MDL) is gearing up to launch the third vessel.
- After the monsoon, the second Scorpene Khanderi began sea trials last week. As per schedule, it is expected to be commissioned within this year.
- The third submarine, Karanj, is on track to be launched by the year-end .
- Khanderi, named after an island fort of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, was launched in January and had undergone some testing. Trials were held up by the rough sea.
- The Kalvari is the first of six Scorpene-class submarines being built under the much-delayed Project-75.
- The Kalvari class is a class of submarines based on the Scorpène-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy.
- It is a class of diesel-electric attack submarine which is designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
3 . CORE SECTOR GROWTH CLIMBS TO FIVE MONTH HIGH AT 4.9% IN AUG
SOURCE – HINDU
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS PAPER III & GS PRELIMS
- Core sector registered a year-on-year growth of 4.9% in August – the highest since the 5.2% reading in March this year — thanks to a low base and good performance by coal and electricity, according to data released on Tuesday by the commerce and industry ministry.
- The performance of eight core industries – which comprise 40.27 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) – in August 2017, was higher than 3.1% in August 2016 and 2.6% in July 2017. Its cumulative growth during April to August, 2017-18 was 3%.
- Coal production recorded 15.3% in August 2017, up from a low base of (-) 9.7% contraction in growth in August 2016.
- Electricity output grew by 10.3% in August from a low base of 2.2% growth in August 2016.
- Steel production registered a 3% growth in August, down from 16.7% in August 2016, while cement sector growth fell to (-)1.3% in August from 3.1% growth in August 2016.
- Fertilizer output also contracted by (-) 0.7% in August as against 2.5% growth in the same month a year ago.
- Natural gas registered a 4.2% growth in August this year from a low base of (-) 5.9% fall in August 2016, while refinery products output stayed almost at the same level with 2.4% growth this August as against 2.5% growth in August last year. Crude oil production shrunk by (-)1.6% in August from negative growth of (-)3.9% in 2016.
4. US RESUMES PREMIUM PROCESSING OF ALL H-1B VISA CATEGORIES
SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS
RELEVANCE – GS MAINS PAPER II & GS PRELIMS
- The US has resumed premium processing of H-1B work visas in all categories, months after it was suspended temporarily to handle the huge rush of applications for the work visas popular among Indian IT professionals.
- Premium processing of H-1B visa was suspended in April to handle huge rush of new petitions.
- In September, the country opened up some categories of the H-1B visas for the fast processing.
WHAT IS H-1B VISA ?
- The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
- The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.
- As mandated by the Congress every year USCIS can issues a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 to those who have earned higher education in STEM subjects from a US higher educational institution.
- H-1B visas to several categories like those in academic and research institutes is exempted from the Congressional mandated limit.
- The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H-1B visa policy as it thinks that the visa is being misused by companies to replace American workers.