Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC - 26th November 2023

National News 

1.Rejection by Governor does not mean death of Bill: Supreme Court 

  • The Supreme Court, in a 27-page judgement, has clarified that the rejection of a Bill by a Governor does not mean its death. 
  • Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, writing for a three-judge Bench, held that a law proposed by a State legislature is not extinguished merely because the Governor refuses to sign his assent. 
  • The Judgment explains that the substantive portion of Article 200 of the Constitution provides the Governor with three options when presented with a Bill-consent to the proposed law, withhold consent, or reserve the Bill for the consideration of the President. 
  • The first provision of Article 200 goes on to say that the Governor may send the withheld Bill, if it is not a Money Bill, back to the House as soon as possible with a message suggesting amendments or requesting the Assembly to reconsider the Bill or specific provisions of it. The Judgment holds that the first proviso does not offer the Governor a fourth contingency. 
  • The court clarified that the Governor cannot choose between Jetting a Bill after rejecting it and sending it back to the legislature. Once the House re-passes the returned Bill, with or without amendments, the Governor has no choice but to grant consent. "The Governor as the that a Governor should necessarily return a Bill to the House for re-legislation of ter deciding to withhold further consent. The court held that the procedure enumerated in the first provision was the mandatory follow-on up to the Governor's a choice of withholding consent. Thus, the court has Is Inextricably linked the withholding of consent bound with the return of the Bill al regime, the court held. to the House for reconsideration. 
  • The court had made it clear that the Bnal word unelected head of State would be in a position to virtually veto the functioning of the legislative domain by a duly elected legislature by Simply declaring that assent is withheld without any recourse. Such a course of action would be contrary to fundamental principles of a constitu democracy based on parliamentary pattern of governance, The Governor under Article 168 a part legislature and is by the constitution 
  • The judgement is based on a petition filed by the Punjab government against its Governor 

2.Women wield the wrench at this motorcycle workshop in Kasaragod 

  • In a significant stride towards gender inclusivity, the first women's two wheeler workshop in Kerala has been set up in Kasaragod district. The initiative by the Kudumbashree Mission at Kalikadav, in Kasaragod's West Eleri panchayat, is named Signora and is spearheaded by 32-year- old Bintu Dominique, along with Bincy Jijo, 43, and Mercy P44 all residents of West Eleri, It was launched on November 21 after a month-long training programme under the Re-build Kerala Initiative Entrepreneurship Development project. Ms. Dominique says 21 persons took part in the training programme, which bolstered their confidence to venture into the domain. The first to establish a two-wheeler workshop among the trained participants was Miss. Dominique, whose husband runs a tyre repair workshop. The workshop has already garnered positive response from people.
  • Rienced workers will assist them with engine-related issues till they receive further training. ○ Despite initial challenges, everything is now running smoothly, affirm the operators. The workshop also aims at training other members of Kudumbashree.
  • T.T. Surendran, Kudumbashree Kasaragod district mission coordinator, says this is the first-of-its-kind two-wheeler workshop managed by women in Kerala. 
  • All equipment in the workshop was provided for free by the Kudumbashree and the panchayat authorities. Additionally, a low-interest loan has been arranged to facilitate further development, he added.

International News 

3.Kyiv hit by 'most massive' drone attack since the start of war, says Ukraine 

  • Ukraine said on Saturday it had downed 71 Russian attack drones overnight, in what Kyiv authorities said was the biggest attack on the capital since the start of the invasion.
  •  The Ukrainian Army said the majority of the Iranian-made Shahed drones were downed over the capital, Kyiv, causing power cuts in the centre of the city as temperatures dipped below freezing. 
  • The drone attack came as Ukraine marked Holo-domor Remembrance Day, commemorating the 1930s starvation of millions in Ukraine under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. 
  • Kyiv city authorities said the multiple attack "was the most massive since the beginning of the full-scale invasion" in February 2022. 
  • Five wounded Five persons were wounded in the capital. The youngest was 11 and the oldest 65. 
  • The air raid alert in the city lasted six hours, Kyiv Kyiv has warned of and Mayor Vitalis Klatsch said, adding that falling drone debris had sparked fires and damaged buildings across the city. "The enemy continues the terror," he said. 
  • Ukraine's Energy Ministry said the attack "cut off power to an overhead line", leaving "77 residential buildings and 120 facilities" without power. Repairs were underway, it said. 
  • Ukraine's Army said that while the "main target" of the attack was Kyiv, air defence had also been called into action across southern Ukraine and a guided missile had been destroyed over the central Dnipropetrovsk region. 
  • There were power cuts across the region, authorities said. prepared for a renewed Russian campaign targeting its energy grid as winter descends, fearing a repeat of events last year, when thousands were left without heat or light in freezing temperatures. 
  • More than 21 months into Moscow's offensive, fighting is most intense in the east of Ukraine and is now centred around the city of Avdiivka, which is nearly encircled by Russian forces. 
  • Kyiv authorities said it was "symbolic that the capitol had been the subject of such a large-scale attack on the day Ukraine marks Holodomor. 
  • Ukraine says Holo morph Ukrainian for "death by starvation" was caused deliberately by Soviet's agricultural policies.
  • Moscow denies this, and says it was part of a wider famine that also affected Russian parts of the Soviet Union.
  • "They tried to subdue us, to kill us, to exterminate us," Mr. Zelenskyy said on social media. "They failed.”

4.Israeli-owned ship hit in Iran drone attack 

  • An Israeli-owned cargo ship was damaged in a suspected drone attack by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Indian Ocean, a U.S. defence official said on Saturday. 
  • The official said that "the ship incurred minor damage" in Friday's attack and said there were "no injuries". 
  • Maritime security com- pany Ambrey said the Malta-flagged, French-operated container ship was reportedly damaged when the unmanned aerial vehicle exploded close to it. 
  • "The vessel was managed by an Israeli-affiliated company, which was assessed to be the reason why it was targeted," Ambrey said. 
  • The reported attack comes almost a week after Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized an Israel-linked cargo ship in the southern Red Sea. 

5.China complains of incursion by U.S. ship into territorial waters 

  • The Chinese military said on Saturday that the American naval destroyer USS Hopper entered China's territorial waters without the approval of the Chinese government. 
  • According to a post on the official WeChat account of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Southern Theatre Command, the Chinese military deployed its naval and air forces to "track, monitor and warn away" the vessel.
  • It went on to say that the incident "proves that the United States is an out-and-out 'security risk creator' in the South China Sea." 
  • This latest announcement comes days after China accused the Philippines of enlisting "foreign forces" to patrol the South China Sea, referring to joint patrols held since Tuesday by Philippine and U.S. forces. 
  • Earlier this month, the U.S. and China held "can did" talks on maritime issues, including on the contested South China Sea, and the U.S. underscored its concerns about "dangerous and unlawful" Chinese actions there, the U.S. State Department said. 

State News 

6.Rescue dangerous', may take a long time': NDMA 

  • Multiple hurdles are now delaying the rescue of 41 labourers, who have been trapped inside the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi of Uttarakhand for two weeks now. With no sign of rescue in the next one or two days, the kin of the trapped workers are getting restless, even as Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami promised the workers that their safe evacuation was the government's "top priority" 
  • For the past 48 hours, there has been no forward movement in the efforts to drill through the tunnel horizontally, as the auger drilling machine stopped working after it reached the 48-metre mark on Thursday, with its blades stuck in the debris, which is full of rocks and iron girders. A plasma cutter machine is being brought in from Hyderabad, likely by Sunday, to cut out the stuck auger. 
  • The rescue teams then plan to manually drill through the last 10 metres of debris to reach the trapped workers, a "dangerous" process, which is likely to take a "long time", 

  • Other option: Efforts being made to take the vertical drilling machine atop the mountain in Silkyara on Saturday, Narrow roads affected the machine's movement to the drilling site. SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 
  • Vertical drilling 'risky' Efforts to drill vertically through 86 metres of mountain have also been stalled, as the approach road to the drilling site is too narrow for the movement of the gigantic vertical drilling machine; the Border Roads Organisation is now working to widen the road. 
  • However, officials also warn that vertical drilling is risky as it can cause vibrations in the already fragile mountain; they are mulling ways to do it cautiously. NDMA member Lieutenant General Syed Ata Has nain told journalists that there has been some breakage in the auger machine. "Advanced machinery is required to cut and remove the broken parts of the auger stuck inside the tunnel, and the assistance of the Indian Air Force is being sought to airlift this machinery," he said. After these stuck parts are cleared, the auger machine will be used only to push forward the 900 mm rescue pipe and not for the actual drilling, which means that the process will be slower than earlier, Mr. Hasnain said. 
  • Workers at the rescue site warn that manual drilling is a herculean task, as the drilling will have to be done from within the cramped 900 mm pipe, with very little oxygen or space, and too much dust and debris. 

Defence News 

7.CBI to probe mid-day meal irregularities in Bengal, says Centre 

  • The Union Ministry of Education has approached the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to start a probe into alleged irregularities in the mid-day meal scheme in West Bengal. 
  • "There are a lot of irregularities relating to the mid-day meal scheme. The Central teams have visited the State a number of times. The Ministry has written to CBI in this regard," Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State for Education, said on Saturday. 
  • Mr. Sarkar, a BJP MP, was referring to the visit of Central teams in April this year. Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari recalled that he had written to "Hon'ble Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Shri Dharmendra Pradhan Ji on 5th January, 2023, highlighting that the biggest ongoing Financial Scam in WB is the systematic misappropriation & diversion of PM POSHAN funds by the State government's Administrative machinery". 

8.Govt. invites civil society leaders from Leh and Kargil for dialogue 

  • The Home Ministry has invited civil so clety leaders from Leh and Kargil for discussions on December 4.
  • The Initiative by the government comes amid fre quent protests in Ladakh seeking statehood, consti- rutional safeguards for the Union Territory, and other demands. 
  • Earlier, the Ministry constituted a high-powered committee chaired by Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai to "ensure protection of land and employment" for the people of Ladakh, but leaders from Leh and Kargil rejected the initiative. 
  • Possible 'deadlock This time, the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) have chosen seven members each from their respective regions to present their demands before the by the government. It was not acceptable to us. The agenda of the December 4 meeting is clear, we will not climb down on our four demands. If they do not agree, there may be a deadlock." 
  • A protester from Ladakh holds a placard demanding statehood during a protest in New Delhi on February 16 Centre. 
  • Chering Dorjay Lakrook, one of the members of the LAB who resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) In 2020, said they would press for their four demands at the meeting statehood for Ladakh, the inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, reservation in jobs for local people, and one Lok Sabha seat each for Leh and Kargil. 
  • Mr. Lakrook said, "Earlier, the members of the committee were selected Sallad Kargil of the KDA said the last meeting with the Ministry was held in June. 
  • For the next meeting, the Chief Executive Councillor of Leb and Kargil would also be present, He said no agenda had been shared with them yet. 
  • "We welcome and [are] ready for dialogue with an open heart and mind. On December 4, the people of Ladakh will reiterate four crucial demands: statehood, Sixth Schedule, Job reservations and PSC, and representation in Parliament for both #Kargil and #Leh," Mr. Kargill posted on X (formerly Twitter). 
  • On August 5, 2019, the former State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into the Union Territories of JAK and Ladakh, the latter without Legislative Assembly 
  • Since the removal of its special status, several pollt- kal groups have been demanding that land, employment, and the cultural identity of Ladakh be protected under the Sixth Schedule, an Article of the Constitution that protects tribal populations through 
  • Creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health, agriculture. As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The Parliamentary 
  • Standing Committee on Home Affairs tabled a report in the the Rajya Sabha in 2022 which said that as per the 2011 Census, the tribal population in Ladakh was 2,18,355, which is 79.61% of the total population of 

9.Army finalises ammunition requirement for 10 years, banks on indigenous manufacturing 

  • Against the backdrop of the Ladakh stand-off and the war in Ukraine, a clear road map is in place for ammunition procurement and the requirement for 10 years has been finalised, defence sources have said on the efforts to secure supply chains and avoid any impact on operational preparedness. 
  • Already, about 85% of the ammunition requirement has been indigenised, from both the public and private sectors, sources said.
  •  "The aim is to build up ammunition stocks to desired levels, minimise imports and achieve self-sufficiency in the country, have multiple sources of supply, and possess indigenous manufacturing capability," a defence source in the know said. "First step is to indigenise all import-dependent ammunition major platforms with long On the broad term requirement." 
  • As part of this, indigenisation of more than 30 variants, amounting to about 16,000 crores, is under way and five or six variants of ammunition have been identified for production through the Indian industry, which will expand the indigenous vendor base, the source said. "Subsequently, next-generation high-tech ammunition based on research and development is being identified for development." in-house break-up 
  • The armed forces of ammunition procurement between domestic production and imports, sources said that about 85% of the ammunition has been indigenised, with a bulk of it being met by the Defence Public Sector Undertakings and the rest by the Indian industry. Less than 10% is met purely through direct imports and there is also some amount east of legacy platforms in small numbers that are in process of being phased out, a second source said. 
  • Curement and stocking of spares and ammunition under the three rounds of emergency financial powers granted by the Defence Ministry the first time after the 2016 Uri terror attack in 2016, followed by the 2019 Balakot air strikes, and the 2020 stand-off with China in Ladakh. The fourth round of emergency procurement was completed recently. This has ensured enough stocks of critical ammunition and helped offset delays to undertake major prosome extent in deliveries of february 2022, as reported by The Hindu earlier. For the Army, most of its armoured fleet is of Russian-origin and the air defence has several legacy systems. Ten to 12 ammunition categories in over 30 variants are being indigenised on priority, with a particular emphasis on air defence, mechanised infantry, armoured and artillery, the first source stated, adding that these cases were currently undergoing field trials. While earlier efforts to open up ammunition manufacturing to the private sector had not made progress, several Indian private companies are now in the race to manufacture ammunition in the country. 
  • Ammunition stocking is generally done in terms of requirements for intense wars and normal wars and broadly factors in 30 days of intense fighting and 30 days of normal fighting. 

10.Indian, Italian firms to set up joint venture in, T.N.defence corridor 

  • Indian firm Merlinhawk Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. signed a joint venture agreement with Italy's Vega Composites S.r.l. to establish a manufacturing and design facility in the Tamil Nadu defence corridor for advanced composite material-based products. 
  • The new entity will be called Merlinhawk Composites and Engineering Private Limited. An agreement was signed in the presence of the Indian Ambassador to Italy and San Marino, Neena Malhotra. 
  • The strategic joint venture is aimed at tapping the growing market of India while developing design Pasquali. expertise and transferring manufacturing know-how to India, according to a press release. 
  • Target areas It will target the growing" demand for composites- based products in the aerospace, marine, land, and railway sectors.
  • Additionally, it will target the upcoming hydro storage and fuel cell markets. The joint venture was the first such agreement signed between an Italian and Indian company, post signing of the defence cooperation agreement between Italy and India, Neena Malhotra pointout. Vega Composites is a group company of Gruppo 

11.IAF flies Modi on a Tejas aircraft over Bengaluru for 30 minutes 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a first-hand feel of the indigenous light com: bat aircraft (LCA) Tejas as he flew in a trainer version of the aircraft for 30 minutes here on Saturday. Attired in a G-suit, Mr. Modi was aboard an aircraft flown by Group Captain Debanjan Mandal. 
  • The sortie was carried out from the Aircraft Systems Testing Establishment, Bengaluru. During the sortie, capabilities of the fighter aircraft were demonstrated to the Prime Minister. "Successfully completed a sortie on the Tejas. The experience was incredibly enriching, significantly bolstered my confidence in our country's indigenous capabilities, and leaving me with a renewed sense of pride and optimism about our national potential, Mr. Modi posted on X (formerly Twitter). "A flight to a member! Tejas is India's pride, a manifestation of the strength and skills of 140 crore Indians," he posted. 
  • The Tejas, designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and the HAL, has been part of the LAF fleet for over seven years. The IAF now operates two squadrons which are No. 45 Squadron, the 'Flying Daggers' and No. 18 Squadron, the 'Flying Bulles'. 

Schemes and Committee News 

12.Urban Affairs Ministry starts data portal on cities for policy making 

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is making raw data from Indian cities available on a single platform for academics, researchers, and stakeholders to help data driven policymaking. The Amplifi 2.0 (Assessment and Monitoring Platform for Liveable, Inclusive and Future-ready urban India) portal was launched by the Ministry three weeks ago. 
  • Currently, 258 urban local bodies have been on- boarded, and data for 150 cities is available on the portal. "While onboarding the cities, we found that there is a lack of data maturity in cities, and thus only 150 civic bodies were able to share their data. Following this, we sent data quality parameters to every city," a senior official in the Ministry said. 
  • It is hoped that data from all 3,739 municipal corporations will eventually be made available on the portal. The website provides data on a range of information for several cities, including total consumption; number of samples tested for water quality; average annual expenditure on healthcare; number of slum dwellers; and road accident fatalities. 
  • Earlier, the Ministry used data provided by the civic bodies to rank cities based on four indices: the ease-of-living and municipal performance indices and climate smart cities assessment and data maturity assessment frameworks. The government is planning to bring out different reports on subsets of the four indices.
  • The Urban Outcomes Framework, 2022, which has been developed for the Ministry by the National Institute of Urban Affairs and PwC India, shifts the focus. 
  • With this, data across 14 sectors are streamlined to increase focus on data collection, and disaggregated data can be analysed by experts.
  • The initiative also provides the opportunity to create new frameworks based on open data. The 14 sectors are demography, economy, education, energy, environment, finance, governance, health, housing, mobility, planning, safety and security, solid waste management, and water and sanitation. 
  • India has been witnessing rapid urbanisation over the past few years. By 2030, India is projected to have 60 crore (40%) of the population living in urban areas compared with 37.7 crore (31%) in 2011. 
  • The 2011 Census shows that urban India contributed 63% to the country's GDP, and this is projected to increase to 75% by 2030. 

Polity News 

13.Centre convenes all-party meeting on December 2 

  • The Union government is convening an all-party meeting on December 2, ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, according to government sources. 
  • The report of the Ethics Committee on the "cash-for-query" allegations against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra will be tabled in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the session, December 4. The House will have to adopt the report before her expulsion, which the panel has recommended, comes into effect. 
  • The all-party meeting, at which the government presents its agenda and the Opposition presents its wish-list of issues to be debated, is usually convened a day before a Parliament session begins. This time, it has been advanced by a day, reportedly because of the counting of votes in five States on December 3. 
  • The Winter Session will start on December 4. 
  • Three key Bills that seek to replace the Indian penal Code (IPC), the Core of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC), and the Evidence Act are likely to be taken up for consideration during the session as the Standing Committee on Home recently adopted the three reports. At most 10 members have fileddis sent notes. Another key Bill pending in Parliament is the appointment of the Chief Election Comnissioner, and Election Commissioners. 

14.Queries in Lok Sabha: CBI studying Lokpal plaint against Mahua

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking into a complaint forwarded by the Lokpal regarding an allegation against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra related to certain questions raised by her in the Lok Sabha, according to sources. 
  • Clarifying that no preliminary inquiry has been instituted against Ms. Moitra so far, a source said the agency is examining the Lokpal reference. 
  • Last month, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had lodged a complaint with the Lokpal alleging that bribes were taken in exchange for raising questions. She has been accused of sharing her Lok Sabha login credentials and password with Dubai-based industrialist Darshan Hiranandani. 
  • Mr. Dubey had also filed a complaint with Speaker Om Birla, which was referred to the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha. 
  • Ms. Moitra has denied the bribery charge.

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