Current Affairs 14th Oct 2017

 

1 . TRADE   DEFICIT   NARROWS   IN   SEPTEMBER

SOURCE – ECONOMIC   TIMES

RELEVANCE – GS MAINS III

  • India’s merchandise exports rose sharply in September, belying fears of a slump due to disruption and working capital issues brought on by the introduction of the goods and services tax.
  • Exports climbed 25.67 per cent in September, exceeding an 18.1 per cent increase in imports, helping to narrow the trade deficit to $8.98 billion from $9.07 billion in September 2016.
  •  In absolute terms, India’s exports were pegged at $28.6 billion dollars in September against $22.8 billion a year ago.
  • Imports were up at $37.6 billion from $31.8 billion.
  •  There were apprehensions that exports would take a hit because of GST, which was rolled out on July 1, with refunds getting blocked. The government has already eased GST rules for exporters to reduce transition pains and speed up refunds. Exports climb 25.67 per cent in Sept, imports up 18 per cent
  • In rupee terms, both exports and imports grew at a slower pace – 21.3 per cent and 14 per cent respectively – from a year ago, showing the impact of the sharp appreciation of the rupee over this period.
  • The increase in exports was driven by a broad-based performance, with 26 of 30 categories posting positive growth.

 

 

2 . GOVERNMENT   PROPOSES   TO   DISINVEST   IN   PAWAN   HANS   LTD

SOURCE – ECONOMIC   TIMES

RELEVANCE – GS MAINS III

  • The government has invited bids from private companies, including foreign ones, to buy out its entire 51 per cent stake along with management control in helicopter service operator Pawan Hans Ltd.
  •  The Miniratna PSU is under the administrative control of the civil aviation ministry and the remaining 49 per cent stake is held by oil behemoth ONGC.
  •  The government proposes to disinvest its entire equity shareholding of 51 per cent in Pawan Hans Ltd by way of strategic disinvestment to investors, along with transfer Of management control.
  • Of the lot in question, the government plans to sell its entire stake in Hospital Service Consultancy Corporation (HSCC), Engineering Projects (India) Ltd (EPI) and National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) to a similarly-placed CPSE.
  •  Besides, Bridge and Roof Co will be sold to a private player .
  • The government plans to raise Rs 15,000 crore via strategic sale in the current fiscal out of its total disinvestment target of Rs 72,509 crore.
  •  Besides, takeover of HPCL by ONGC in an about Rs 30,000 -crore deal is in progress.

 

 

3 . FIRECRACKER   BAN  –  A   STEP   IN   RIGHT   DIRECTION

RELEVANCE – GS MAINS III

  •  The ban on Diwali crackers does not ruin the festival of lights.
  • Experts say that on the contrary, the ban will actually spare citizens from lethal doses of toxic substances that are not measured in routine pollution checks such as mercury, lead, and aluminium.
  •  As for those who value clean air—the apex court order is just a good first step. It is an intervention that makes much more sense than steps such as the temporary ban on new diesel vehicles, the odd-even scheme.
  •  This will play a crucial role in regulating air pollution in the region and reduce the impact on human health.
  •  The order, restores the pristine glory of Diwali, when people celebrated the festival with earthen lamps and a few sparklers .Air pollution: Firecracker ban puts lid on toxic brew, a step in right direction

    Data recorded by monitoring stations shows that the levels of toxins that can accumulate in humans, animals and plants, jumps three to four times the average levels of October and November.

    Air pollution: Firecracker ban puts lid on toxic brew, a step in right direction
     Those arguing that the ban will diminish festive fervour would benefit from a quick glance at the toxic brew that goes into a seemingly innocuous firecracker.
  • Every firecracker from the simple phuljhari to the more elaborate rocket requires oxidising agents to produce the oxygen required to burn the mixture, a reducing agent to burn the oxygen, a regulator to determine the speed of the reaction and colouring, and binders to hold the mixture together. Air pollution: Firecracker ban puts lid on toxic brew, a step in right direction
  • The Supreme Court judgment, Krishna explains “is a first and important step in a broad swathe of actions required to address the air pollution issue in Delhi and the region.” To effectively control of air pollution in the city, stringent measures are required for other major sources, which emit toxic pollutants all-round the year.