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Centre asks SC to review creamy layer quota policy
The Centre has asked the Supreme Court to refer to a seven-judge bench a petition seeking to exclude the creamy layer of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes from the benefits of reservation.
The plea sought substantive equality among the SC and ST communities under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, to enable proper distribution of benefits of affirmative actions to the genuinely needy SC/ST candidates after removing those who longer remain identified with the term “backward classes”, specifically to SCs/STs.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant said it will decide on whether it can be referred to a larger bench after two weeks.
Chief of Defence Staff to come under RTI Act; NSA-led panel submits report
A high-level committee headed by NSA Ajit Doval to finalize responsibilities and enabling framework for the proposed chief of defence staff (CDS) has submitted its report to the government.
The government is likely make an announcement within next two weeks to appoint the CDS who will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in the Rajya Sabha that the CDS would come under the the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
CDS will be a four-star general and will be the first among equals among the service chiefs. However, in the list of protocol, the CDS will be higher up than the service chiefs.
The main task of the CDS will be to ensure jointmanship among the three services which will include powers to work on setting up of few theatre commands as well as to allocate military assets among the services to synergise their operations.
The CDS will also act as a single-point military adviser to the prime minister and defence minister on key defence and strategic issues.
China slaps first sanctions on US over Hong Kong bill
China said that it would suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several United States-based nongovernmental groups, in a mostly symbolic retaliation for tough human rights legislation President Trump signed last week.
China has responded to the new legislation with strong rhetoric, but the measures announced Monday suggested that Beijing was unwilling to let the dispute spill over into its trade negotiations with the United States.
DHFL admitted for bankruptcy
The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has admitted troubled mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL) for bankruptcy proceedings following an application filed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Thus DHFL became the first financial sector player being sent for bankruptcy.
Admitting the petition, the NCLT said the petition deserved admission.
The third largest pure-play mortgage player has been in liquidity crisis for long and on November 20 the RBI had superseded its board and placed under an administrator.
EPFO’s investment in ETFs at Rs Rs 86,966 cr till September
Retirement fund body EPFO has invested Rs 86,966 crore in exchange traded funds (ETFs) till September 2019. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is investing in ETFs based on Nifty 50, Sensex, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and Bharat 22 Indices.
The EPFO has been investing in ETFs since August 2015. Initially, the body decided to invest 5 per cent of its investible deposits into stock markets. Later, the proportion was increased to 10 per cent in 2016-17 and 15 per cent in 2017-18 and onwards.
EU Commission begins new term under von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen is the first woman to hold the EU’s top job as President of the European Commission, which has officially begun its new five-year term. Ursula, a former German defence minister, has succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker.
She has already made the issue of climate change one of her top priorities – describing it as an existential crisis.
Global Migration Film Festival organised in Dhaka
The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) was organised in Dhaka on December 2. The day-long festival screened 15 films on the theme of migration and its various aspects. The GMFF started in 2016 and this year it is being organized across many cities in the world between 28 November to 18 December.
The Global Migration Film Festival is a global initiative simultaneously being run in many countries of the world to draw attention to the issues of internal migration, forced migration and climate change-related migration to engage people in a conversation on the issue of migration.
The festival was organised by the International Organisation of Migrants (IOM) and Dhaka University Film Society with the support of the European Union.
IOM is the UN migration agency established in 1951. It works to ensure orderly and humane management of the migration issue.
Malta PM Joseph Muscat to resign
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he will resign next month amid growing calls for his departure over the scandal surrounding the murder of prominent anti-corruption journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
Muscat said he informed the president he would resign as leader of the governing Labour Party on January 12.
Calls for Muscat to quit grew after a probe into the killing of Caruana Galizia led to charges on Saturday against a prominent businessman with alleged ties to government ministers and senior officials.
Namibia’s President secures second term despite recession, corruption scandal
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob has won the country’s Presidential elections securing a second term despite a recession and a corruption scandal that has fuelled popular discontent. President Geingob has received 56 percent of the vote while opposition challenger Panduleni Itula had 29 percent.
The results showed a sharp decrease in support for Geingob, down from 87 percent in the previous election in 2014.
The longtime ruling party South West Africa People’s Organisation’s (SWAPO) has lost its powerful two-thirds majority in its most challenging election since independence nearly 30 years ago.
NATO leaders to meet today to mark 70th birthday of alliance
The leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, will meet on December 3 to mark the 70th birthday of the organization in London. The twenty-nine-member alliance is the world’s biggest military alliance.
NATO was founded in 1949 for the collective defence of its members, linking the security of the United States with its European allies against the Soviet Union. It witnessed the end of communism, defeating the Soviet Bloc without firing a shot.
NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
NHRC seeks report from Centre, States on sexual harassment cases
The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Centre, all States and Union Territories seeking reports on the Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs to deal with cases related to sexual violence against women and use of the Nirbhaya Fund.
Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports on cases of sexual assault, the rights panel issued notices to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories seeking reports within six weeks about the status of Nirbhaya Fund.
It has also asked the details about the availability of the fund and the money spent during the last three years.
The commission has also issued notices to the Directors General of Police of all States and UTs calling for their response about the SOPs and the best practices adopted by them to deal with matters relating to sexual abuse and atrocities against women.
November factory activity improves but firms shed jobs for the first time in 20 months
Business conditions in the India’s manufacturing sector improved in November but firms shed jobs for the first time in 20 months, a private survey showed.
The IHS Markit India Manufacturing PMI rose to 51.2 in November from 50.6 in October when it had fallen to a two-year low. It remained above the 50-mark threshold that separates contraction from expansion.
As per the survey, subdued sales prevented hiring in November, with payroll numbers declining for the first time in 20 months. A number of companies indicated that workloads had been managed by existing staff, while others cited the non-replacement of retirees and non-renewal of temporary contracts.
NSE, BSE suspend Karvy’s trading license
The National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE) has suspended Karvy Stock Broking Ltd’s trading licence for all segments due to non-compliance with exchange and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) norms, the exchange said in a circular.
Besides NSE, the BSE, Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and MSEI have also suspended the licence of the brokerage firm.
This action follows the 22 November Sebi order which had in its preliminary findings held that the brokerage firm had misused client securities and used it for other purposes. Karvy had sold clients securities and the proceeds were transferred to related party businesses, such as Karvy Realty Ltd.
Philippines: Typhoon Kammuri makes landfall at Luzon
Typhoon Kammuri has made landfall at Luzon, the Philippines largest and most populous island.
Around two lakh residents have been evacuated from coastal and mountainous areas over fears of flooding, storm surges and landslides.
Priyam Garg to lead India at ICC U-19 World Cup 2020
Uttar Pradesh batsman Priyam Garg will lead defending champions India in next year’s Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in South Africa.
The 13th edition of the U-19 World Cup will be played among 16 teams, split into four groups. The tournament to be held from 17th January to 9th February next year.
India are placed in Group ‘A’ with first-time qualifier Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super League stage.
Sri Lankan President prorogues Parliament
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has prorogued the Session of Parliament which was scheduled to begin from December 3. The session has been prorogued for a month and the new session will begin in January.
The notification was issued following taking over of new President and government under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. President is likely to address the new session when it convenes next month.
Starc opts out; 971 register for IPL auction
Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has opted out of the Indian Premier League for a second successive year even as his teammates Glenn Maxwell and Chris Lynn are among seven players who have listed their names in the player’s auction to be held on December 19 in Kolkata.
Apart from Maxwell and Lynn, the others to list their base price at Rs 2 crore are Australia fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh, South Africa quick Dale Steyn, and Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews.
As many as 971 cricketers, including 713 Indians, have registered for the IPL auction.
Ujjivan SFB IPO fully subscribed on Day 1
The initial public offer of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, which opened for subscription on Monday, was subscribed 1.62 times on the first day of the issue. As per NSE data, bids were received for 20.14 crore equity shares as against 12.4 crore equity shares on offer in the price band of Rs. 36 to Rs. 37.
While the portion reserved for retail investors was subscribed nearly nine times on Monday, the remaining segments were not fully subscribed on the first day of bidding.