Sakshi education logo


January 5th, 2018 Current Affairs - Bitwise

North Korea reopens cross-border hotline with South Korea

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopened a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea for the first time in nearly two years on 3rd January as the rivals explored the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of acrimony and fears of war.
  • The sudden signs of easing hostilities, however, came as President Donald Trump threatened Kim with nuclear war in response to his threat.
  • In his New Year's address, Kim said he was willing to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea.
  • But he also said he has a "nuclear button" on his desk and that all U.S. territory is within striking distance of his nuclear weapons, comments Trump latched onto when he boasted of a bigger and more powerful "nuclear button" than Kim's.
  • The two leaders exchanged crude insults last year, as the North received new U.N. sanctions over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test explosion and a series of intercontinental ballistic missile launches.


Central government ministries join hands for a technology mission for railways
  • Three central ministries have come together to drive a technology mission for Indian Railways, which would be beneficial for both the national transporter and academic and research institutions.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Technology Mission for Indian Railways (TMIR) was signed on 4th January by the ministries of railways, human resource development (HRD), and science and technology.
  • The agreement will “facilitate collaboration and cooperation” between the ministries.
  • While the Indian Railways would get the world class technologies, academic and research institutions would get involved in numerous applied research projects which would help them in reorienting research towards national objectives.
  • “This MoU will facilitate the co-financing of Technology Mission for Indian Railways by investment sharing for identified railway projects for applied research.
  • The funding component of the railways ministry is 30 percent, the HRD ministry is 25 per cent and the department of science and technology (DST) 25 per cent.
  • The indigenous technologies would successfully be developed with “win-win scenario” to all the consortium members.
  • The Technology Mission will take up research and development projects in the areas of heavy haul, safety, energy, environment and urban railways.


Central Cabinet approves Indo-Myanmar agreement on land border crossing
Current Affairs
  • Cabinet has approved the Agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing.
  • The Agreement will facilitate regulation and harmonization of already existing free movement rights for people ordinarily residing in the border areas of both countries. 
  • It will also facilitate movement of people on the basis of valid passports and visas which will enhance economic and social interaction between the two countries.
  • The Agreement is an enabling arrangement for movement of people across India-Myanmar border.
  • It is expected to provide connectivity and enhance interaction of the people of North Eastern States of India with the people of Myanmar. 
  • It would give a boost to the economy of the North East and allow us to leverage our geographical connections with Myanmar to boost trade and people to people ties.
  • The Agreement will safeguard the traditional rights of the largely tribal communities residing along the border which are accustomed to free movement across the land border.


Cabinet sanctions extension of Jute packing mandatory norms
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in the jute material for the Jute Year 2017-18.
  • The decision, the Committee claimed, would sustain the core demand for the jute sector and support the livelihood of the workers and farmers dependent on the sector.
  • The CCEA has extended the mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987.
  • The approval mandates that 90 percent of the food grains and 20 percent of the sugar products shall be mandatorily packed in jute bags.
  • The decision also mandates, in the first instance, the entire requirement for packing of foodgrains would be placed in jute bags thus, making a provision for 100 percent packing of food grains in jute bags subject to the ability of the jute industry to meet the requirement.
  • The decision is expected to benefit farmers and workers located in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country particularly in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Tripura.

Finance Ministry clears FDI proposals worth Rs 532 crore of Metaffinity Private Limited
  • The Finance Ministry has approved FDI proposals worth 532 crore rupees of Metaffinity Private Limited. 
    The company had sought approval for foreign investment of up to 49 percent by two foreign investors - M/S Canada pension plan investment board and Pantheon - HK project universe.
  • It will make downstream investment in Religare Health Insurance company, an Indian company engaged in health insurance business.
  • The ministry also approved FDI proposal of M/s - SMAS auto leasing India Pvt Ltd to undertake financial lease business in addition to the existing operating lease business.

Persons in news:

Vijay Mallya:
  • A Delhi court on 4th January declared liquor businessman Vijay Mallya a proclaimed offender for evading summons in a FERA violation case. 
  • Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Shehrawat passed the order after noting that Mallya failed to appear before it despite repeated summonses.
  • The court said, Mallya failed to appear before it within 30 days, and no representation was made on his behalf, therefore his is declared to be a proclaimed offender.
  • The court had in April last year issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant against the liquor baron. 
  • In November 2016, the court had observed that Mallya had no inclination to return and had scant regard for the law of the land. 
Published on 1/5/2018 4:39:00 PM