National Current Affairs
December 1st week 2015 current affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) India among top 10 countries affected by HIV

  • India, China and Pakistan are among the 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific that account for almost 98 per cent of adolescents aged 10 to 19 living with HIV, according to a UN report that reported the region is facing a ‘hidden epidemic’ of HIV among youngsters.
  • The report ‘Adolescents: Under the Radar in the Asia-Pacific AIDS Response’, published by the Asia-Pacific Inter-Agency Task Team on Young Key Populations, which includes UNICEF and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS warned that the AIDS epidemic cannot be ended as a public health threat by 2030 without tackling the issue of adolescents. In 2014, 220,000 adolescents aged 10-19 were estimated to be living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. 
  • The other countries are Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Prevalence is particularly high in large cities like Mumbai, Hanoi, Jakarta, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and other urban areas.
  •  In general, female sex workers in Asia and the Pacific are 29 times more likely to be living with HIV compared with all women of reproductive age. “The Asia-Pacific region is facing a hidden epidemic of HIV among adolescents, with an estimated 50,000 new infections in 2014 among those aged 15 to 19,” the report said. 
  • Those at highest risk include gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, injecting drug users, and people who buy and sell sex. In India, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is 3.5% for those younger than 25 years while it is 4.9% for men older than 25. HIV prevalence among sex workers under 25 years of age in India was 1.7 %for the 2007-2014 period.
2) Women’s presence increased in politics
  • Current Affirs Of the 45 ministers in the central council of ministers in 2015, eight are women. This amounted to roughly 17 per cent of the strength of the central council of ministers, said a report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). 
  • In 2004, women comprised only 10 per cent of the council of ministers. The difference in absolute terms was marginal. But in percentage terms it reflected a sharp increase. 
  • Of the eight ministers in 2015, six are Cabinet ministers and two are ministers of state. In all, 62 women were elected in the 2014 General Elections — roughly 11 per cent of the strength of the Lok Sabha. 
  • Of these 62 members of Parliament (MPs), 34 per cent were social and political workers and 18 per cent were farmers, according to the report, Women and Men in India. 
  • As many as 44 per cent of these MPs were postgraduates and 29 per cent were graduates. Only 29 per cent of the male members were postgraduates, while 44 per cent were graduates. 
  • Among state Assemblies, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan have the highest women participation. Mizoram, Nagaland and Puduchery have no women representation in the Assembly. 
  • In the judiciary, though, women’s participation continued to be limited. There was only one woman judge out of 28 in the Supreme Court. 
  • At the high courts, there were only 65 women judges out of 546 judges. In percentage terms, the highest women participation was seen in Sikkim (33 per cent), followed by Delhi (23 per cent), Punjab and Haryana (17 per cent) and Mumbai (16 per cent). Surprisingly, there were no women judges in the High Courts in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Uttarakhand.
  • In the Indian Administrative Service, only 14 per cent were women in 2012. In comparison, the Indian Economic Service saw 30 per cent in 2014. The Indian Foreign Service, at 19 per cent, had higher women participation than the Indian Administrative Service.

3) States cannot remit sentences of convicts without centre`s consent: SC

  • Supreme Court held on 2nd November that States cannot exercise statutory power to remit sentences of convicts, tried under central laws and probed by central agencies like CBI without consulting the Union government. 
  • Settling the constitutional issues that had arisen out of the Tamil Nadu government`s decision to set free the convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the apex court said that though the states have power to grant remission, they cannot exercise it suo motu. 
  • A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, who is demitting office today, also said that the Centre will have primacy in granting remission to convicts in cases registered under central law and probed by central agencies like CBI. The bench referred to a three-judge bench the factual and legal aspects of grant of remission to convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. 
  • The apex court had on February 20, last year stayed Tamil Nadu government`s decision to release three convicts -- Murugan, Santhan and Arivu, whose death sentence had been commuted to life term by it. The court had later also stayed the release of four other convicts saying there were procedural lapses on part of the state government.
4) PM announces additional relief of Rs.1,000 crore more for flood-hit Tamil Nadu
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced additional Rs 1000-crore financial package to the flood-hit Tamil Nadu to undertake immediate relief efforts in the affected areas. The fund is in addition to the sum of Rs 940 crore released from the National Disaster Relief Fund immediately after the submission of the report by the state government on 23rd last month. 
  • After taking aerial view by helicopter, the Prime Minister reviewed the situation with the state chief minister J.Jayalalithaa and Governor K.Rosiah at the regional naval headquarters INS Adyar in which the chief minister explained the grim situation. 
  • Meanwhile, flood situation continues to be grim in Chennai and its deluged suburbs, though rain has come down. Surplus water being released in huge quantities from major reservoirs in the adjoining districts continue to cause heavy flooding in many Chennai residential areas. Vehicular traffic is affected in the city and roads are in battered condition. 
  • The NDRF has pressed into service 100 boats for rescue missions and has deployed three more teams into service. With this, the NDRF has doubled its strength to 1200. Four additional columns of the Army has arrived Chennai for rescue and relief operations. The Indian Air Force is utilizing its Tambaram base for evacuation and relief works.On the other hand, the death toll due to flood in Chennai has gone up to 269.

5) Navy has deployed ships, tankers for Operation Madad

  • The navy has deployed a number of ships and tankers besides opening up its base as an alternative airport as part of `Operation Madad` to help the rain-ravaged city of Chennai. It has also deployed unmanned aerial vehicles ( UAV) to identity the worst-hit areas in flooded Chennai to help civilian authorities.
6) Govt releases postage stamp to mark centenary year of Zoological Survey of India
  • The center has released a commemorative postage stamp to mark the Centenary year of Zoological Survey of India. The stamp was released by Communication and IT Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad.
7) Delhi Assembly passes Jan Lokpal bill
  • The Delhi Assembly on 4th December passed the anti-corruption ombudsman Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill-2015. It provides for an ombudsman with powers to act against any government functionary, including those of the Centre, in the national capital through its own investigation wing. 
  • According to the Bill, the Lokpal will have to complete the investigation within a period of six months and assets accumulated through corrupt means will be confiscated. 
  • The Bill provides for imprisonment upto ten years which may extend to life term. It also has a provision to punish those who file false cases against public functionaries.