1 March 2019 Daily Current Affairs Analysis


Zuzana Caputova becomes Slovakia's first female president:

  • Zuzana Caputova, who has almost no political experience, defeated high-profile diplomat Maros Sefcovic, nominated by the governing party, in a second-round run-off vote by scoring 58 per cent vote, while Maros Sefcovic scored 48 per cent.
  • Not just the first female president in Slovakia, she is also the youngest president in the history of Slovakia.
  • She won 58% of the vote, with Mr Sefcovic trailing on 42%.
  • In a country where same-sex marriage and adoption is not yet legal, her liberal views have seen her promote LGBTQ+ rights.
  • The opponent she defeated, Mr Sefcovic, is vice president of the European Commission.


Some other female Presidents around the world in recent time:

President Kersti Kaljulai, Estonia (2016):

  • Kaljulai is the first female President of the country who has proudly joined the association of men who have served as the President of the Nordic country since 1938. She has before worked as the Economic advisor to the Prime Minister from 1999-2002.

2. Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan President (2016)

  • Tsai Ing-Wen has several first to her name. She took oath as the President of the Republic of China in 2016 and is serving the country with extraordinary dedication since then.
  • She is not only the first female President of the country but has made her name shine forever by becoming the second President from DPP (democratic Progressive Party).

3. Hilda Heine, the Marshall Islands, President (2016):

  • She is the first female President of the Marshall Island.

4. Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Nepal (2015):

  • Bidhya Devi Bhandari, a women’s right campaigner became the first female President of Nepal in 2015.

5. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Mauritius (2015):

  • Gurib is the third woman to serve as the head of the country and is the first female elected President of the country.
  • Before her, Elizabeth II and Monique Ohsan Bellepeau have served as the head of the state.

6. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croatia (2015):

  • Kolinda is the fourth President of the country who has been there in office since February 2015.
  • With her inception in office she has become the first female and the youngest (age 46) President of the country.

7. Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland (2015):

  • Simonetta has served as the Vice President of the country in 2014 upon which she succeeded to the position of the President of the country in 2015.

8. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Malta (2014):

  • Coleiro is the ninth President of the country and has been serving the country since 2014.

9. Park Geun-hye, South Korea (2013)

  • Park is the first female President of South Korea.

10. Michelle Bachelet, Chile (2006, 2014):

  • Chile’s first female president is one of the earliest female Latin American politicians to launch a political career without the help of her husband’s name.

11. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina (2007 to 2015):

  • Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchneris is an Argentine lawyer and politician, who served as President of Argentina from 2007 to 2015.
  • She was the second woman to serve as President of Argentina, after Isabela Peron, the first directly elected female president, and the first woman re-elected to the office.

12. Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica (2010):

  • She was the eighth woman president of a Latin American country and the first woman to become President of Costa Rica.
  • She was sworn in as President of Costa Rica on May 8, 2010



India imposes anti-dumping duty on import of solar cell component:

  • India has levied anti-dumping duty worth up to USD 1,559 per tonne on imports of a certain type of sheet used in solar cell making from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand for five years to safeguard domestic players against cheap shipments. 
  • The information was shared by the Department of Revenue through a notification. The anti-dumping duty has been imposed after considering the recommendations of the commerce ministry's investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR).
  • The duty, which is in the range of USD 537 to USD 1,559 per tonne, will be imposed on the imports of "Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sheet for solar module" from the select four nations. 
  • It shall be effective for a period of five years unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier.
  • The Directorate General of Trade Remedies had initiated the probe in April 2018 following a complaint by a domestic company.
  • In its probe, the directorate had concluded that imposition of the duty is required to offset dumping and injury caused by dumped imports from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. 
  • The product is a polymer based component used in the manufacturing of solar PV (Photo Voltaic) modules. 



UNSC resolution on terror financing:

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a French-drafted resolution which ordered countries worldwide to step up the fight against terrorism financing by ensuring they have laws that make it a serious crime to fund terrorist acts.

UNSC Resolution:

  • This resolution is the first stand-alone measure dedicated specifically to counter the financing of terrorism.
  • The resolution asks the states to ensure that their domestic laws and regulations establish serious criminal offences to prosecute those who collect funds or provide economic resources to terrorist organizations.
  • The resolution urges countries to establish financial intelligence units to strengthen efforts to counter terrorism financing and to share information on their investigations.
  • The resolution will help the FATF to mount pressure on more than 50 countries to pass new legislation on countering terror financing.
  • The UNSC has adopted resolution for sanctions to choking off the revenue to the Islamic State jihadist group and Al-Qaeda-linked fighter. The resolution encompasses in one text various initiatives contained in a range of resolutions.

How the resolution will aid in curbing terror activities?

  • Since the binding resolution was drafted under chapter 7 of the UN Charter it can be enforced with sanctions. This will force the nations to act.
  • The recent attacks like the Pulwama Terror Attack has shown that terror groups have access to financial flows through legal and illegal means. The resolution takes a step in curbing the inflows to the terrorist groups.
  • FATF notes that less than a fifth of countries were applying laws that prosecute suspected terror financiers as criminals. The resolution aims to change that.
  • The resolution would also contribute to halting ransom payments for kidnappings by terror groups, which have become a major source of funding.



ISRO launches EMISAT:

  • India's PSLV-C45 successfully injected EMISAT and 28 international customer satellites into their designated orbits.
  • The PSLV-C45 lifted off from the second launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota in its 47th flight.
  • This flight marked the first mission of PSLV-QL, a new variant of PSLV with four strap-on motors.
  • About 17 minutes and 12 seconds after lift-off, EMISAT was successfully injected into intended sun-synchronous polar orbit of 748 km height.
  • After the separation of EMISAT, the vehicle’s fourth stage engines were restarted twice to place the 28 international customer satellites precisely into a sun-synchronous orbit of 504 km height. The last customer satellite was placed in its designated orbit 1 hour and 55 minutes after lift-off.




Why India needs an independent fiscal council

  • Countries with independent fiscal councils tend to produce relatively more accurate budget forecasts and stick better to fiscal rules, research suggests
  • Historically, interim budgets in India have consistently overestimated revenue growth and underestimated expenditure growth
  • Various cesses and surcharges are becoming disproportionate proportion of overall divisible revenue. There should be some mechanism to ensure that the basic spirit of the devolution process should not be undercut by clever financial engineering or taking recourse to traditions.
  • There is a need for coordination between the finance commission as well as the GST Council. GST Council has no clue of what the Finance Commission is doing and Finance Commission has even lesser clue of what the GST Council is doing.
  • Also, for state government liabilities, Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings. But there is no such restriction on the Centre.
  • Therefore, it is time to have an alternative institutional mechanism like Fiscal Council to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.