Daily Current Affairs (20th October - 2016)
Compulsory voting is not practical in India, says Zaidi
- Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi the idea of compulsory voting has not been found so practical in India, but comparative benefits of compulsory voting and education-led mobilisation of voters will be worth examining again.
- In response to a private member’s Bill on compulsory voting, introduced in the Lok Sabha, the government had also said it would not be possible to bring in such a law that punishes those who do not vote.
- The jewel in the crown was the 66.4 per cent voter turnout in an electorate of 834 million in the national elections held in 2014, which is the highest voter participation in the last six decades.
- Women’s participation was at a record high of 65.6 per cent.
JNU students confine VC to Admin block
- Students protesting against the Jawaharlal Nehru University Administration’s lack of initiative and effort towards finding student Najeeb Ahmad confined the Vice Chancellor M. Jagdeesh Kumar and other top university officials to their offices all through the night.
- Najeeb has been missing since 11 a.m. on October 15 after an altercation with students belonging to the ABVP at the Mahi-Mandavi Hostel.
- Students are demanding that the administration file a fresh FIR.
- The university administration has said that when they went to file an FIR on October 15 they were told that Najeeb’s family had already filed an FIR and another one cannot be filed on the same case. Rector Chintamani Mahapatra had said that they are in constant touch with the police to find the missing student and there was not much they could do as nobody knew of his whereabouts.
Coming soon: Smarter railway stations
- Smart city not make smart without a smart railway station. Keeping that in mind, more than 500 railway stations in the country will ‘smarten up’ with better passenger amenities, easy access and integrated public transport hubs.
- To begin with, 100 railway stations and an adjoining area of 300-800 acres would be redeveloped in the Smart Cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Cities plans.
Hillary criticises Trump for call to defund Planned Parenthood
- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton slammed her Republican rival Donald Trump over his calls for defunding America’s largest abortion provider ‘Planned Parenthood.
- We have come too far to have that turned back now. And, indeed, he said women should be punished, that there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions.And I could just not be more opposed to that kind of thinking,” she alleged.
- “Now, you can say that is OK and Hillary can say that is OK. But it is not OK with me, because based on what she is saying and based on where she is going and where she has been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that is not acceptable.
Kashmir integral part of India: Algeria
- Algeria has unequivocally conveyed that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and terrorism in all forms have to be eradicated.
- During the bilateral talks, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told the Vice President that his country fully supports India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Vice President said that in his discussions with Hungary and Algerian leaderships, menace of terrorism was discussed and their view was that it is a disease for the entire world and it has to be eradicated in all forms and manifestations.
Essar-Rosneft deal not violative of sanctions: U.S.
- The United States does not see violation of any U.S.-EU sanctions in the recent deal between India’s Essar Oil and the Russian oil giant Rosneft,
- I don’t think we see any violation of any U.S.-EU sanctions stemming from this deal,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said on Wednesday. “We’ve seen the reports in general about this oil deal. I’d refer you to the governments of India and Russia.
- A Rosneft-led consortium agreed to acquire Essar Oil in a $12.9 billion transaction announced last week.
No decision yet on GST rates as States oppose cess
- The GST Council’s third round of deliberations ended here on Wednesday without a decision on the rates structure after most States objected to a proposal to levy an additional cess on demerit goods.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a media conference that the GST Council — comprising Ministers from all the States and headed by him — will meet next on November 3-4 to decide on the GST rates structure. He said the dissenting States demanded that the Centre fund the compensations out of the Consolidated Fund of India instead of tax revenue mopped up from the GST system. “Just like compensation to States were paid for losses arising out of the shift to the VAT (Value Added Tax),”
- If instead of the proposed cess on GST, simply the rate of the GST on demerit goods is raised, as suggested by some States, then, the GST rate structure would end up with a multitude of tax slabs, Mr. Adhia explained.