Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Manufacturing Activity Registers Strongest Quarterly Performance Since Late 2012; Pension Payment To Victims Of Emergency Put On Hold By Congress Government In MP; And More

The assembly line of the Honda Amaze car at Tapukara in Alwar, India. (Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Good Morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Manufacturing Activity Registers Strongest Quarterly Performance Since Late 2012, Says Reuters Report

India’s manufacturing activity slowed down to 53.2 in December from the 11-month high of 54 in November, but still remained the second highest in 2018. This suggests that companies continued to see strong inflows of new business, which led to scaling up of production and generation of employment. December was the 17th consecutive month when the manufacturing PMI remained above the 50-point mark, which separates growth from contraction.

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According to Reuters, this marks the strongest quarterly performance since late 2012. The increase in input cost in December was the weakest in nearly three years, the portal’s report said. The manufacturing PMI “indicated that the sector ended 2018 on a high, with growth stronger than seen at the start of the year,” Reuters quoted Pollyanna De Lima, principal economist at IHS Markit, as saying.

MP Government Stops Pension Payment To Victims Of Emergency

The Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh has put on hold the further payment of a monthly pension to those detained during the Emergency under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act and Defence of India Rules. Around 2,000 people jailed during the Emergency get a monthly pension of Rs 25,000 under the Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Samman Nidhi Niyam. This number, the national head of the Loktantra Senani Sangh says, includes 300 widows who receive half the pension.

This move should not come as a surprise because Kamal Nath, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, was a part of Sanjay Gandhi’s inner circle, The Indian Express said. Pension payments have been put on hold citing a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, which has said that amounts more than the budgetary allocation have been spent under the scheme. The BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan introduced the scheme in 2008.

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India To Get S-400 Missile Defence System Starting October 2020

Russia will start delivering of S-400 surface-to-air missile system to the Indian Air Force starting October 2020, Times of India has reported. According to the daily, all the five squadrons that India has contracted for will have been delivered by April 2023, less than three years after the deliveries starts. India had inked a Rs 40,000 crore deal with Russia in October last year for S-400 missile systems.

The S-400 is the world’s most potent operationally deployed long-range surface-to-air missile system. It is capable of shooting down incoming aerial threats such as aircraft, drones, and cruise and ballistic missiles, using four different missiles – the very long range 40N6E-series (400 km range), the long range 48N6 (250 km range), the medium range 9m96e2 and the short range 9m96e.

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ISRO To Set Up Ground Stations In Five Neighbouring Countries

The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to build five large ground stations and around 500 small terminals in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal under the space diplomacy initiative. Apart from giving ISRO a presence on the ground in these countries, these stations will help in telephony and internet, disaster management and tele-medicine, the Times of India said.

The first of these stations, which is coming up in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, is likely to be complete by 9 January, the daily’s report says, adding that it may be inaugurated as early as 15 January. It is being seen as a counter to China’s satellite tracking infrastructure that has come up in Tibet.

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Consensual Sex Between Live-In Partners Not Rape, Says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that rape charges can’t be invoked against a man who fails to marry his live-in partner after having a consensual physical relationship. The judgement was given by a bench of justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer while dismissing a case lodged by a Maharashtra-based nurse against a doctor, who were in a live-in relationship "for quite some time".

If “the accused has not made the promise with the sole intention to seduce the prosecutrix (woman) to indulge in sexual acts, such an act would not amount to rape,” the bench said, noting that rape charges can be invoked if the man enters into a physical relationship with mala fide intentions.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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