Current Affairs: March 07, 2018

Current Affairs: March 07, 2018

1. Sharp decline in child marriages in India: UNICEF

The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) stated on March 6, 2018 that India has seen a sharp decline in child marriages over the last ten years with only 27 per cent of girls getting married before 18 years in comparison to 47 per cent a decade back.

The proportion of girls, who were married before turning 18 decreased by 15 per cent globally in the last decade, from 1 in 4 to approximately 1 in 5.

Around 25 million child marriages were prevented globally in the last 10 years (2005-06 and 2015-16) with the largest reduction seen in South Asia with India being at the forefront.

2. France to set 15 years as legal age of sexual consent

France has decided to make 15 years as the legal age of sexual consent following a public outcry over two cases of sex involving 11-year-old girls.

The information was shared by French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa on March 5, 2018. Schiappa stated that the decision was taken by the government after public consultations and the recommendation of a panel of experts.

The issue was brought up after critics and lawmakers criticised the French law for allowing two men to escape rape charges after being accused of sex with underage girls.

3. Forbes’ 32nd World’s Billionaires List released: Jeff Bezos tops list for first time

American magazine Forbes on March 6, 2018 released the 32nd annual World’s Billionaires List comprising names of a record 2208 billionaires.

2208 billionaires made it to the list this year, up from 2043 in 2017, with an average net worth of USD 4.1 billion, a record high of all times.

Jeff Bezos topped the World’s Billionaires List for the first time with a fortune of USD 112 billion, up from USD 39.2 billion in 2017, the biggest one-year gain ever. Bill Gates dropped to 2nd position this year with a fortune of USD 90 billion. This is the biggest gap between the top 2 spots since 2001.

Mukesh Ambani leads Indians in Forbes’ Billionaires List with net worth of USD 40.1 billion. He secured 19th global rank on the list of 2208 billionaires worldwide. In 2017, he ranked 33 with USD 23.2 billion wealth.

4. HN Nagamohan Das Committee suggests ‘Religious Minority’ status for Lingayats

HN Nagamohan Das Committee, a seven-member expert committee constituted by Karnataka Government to examine the demand for a separate religion tag for Lingayats, on March 2, 2018 submitted a report recommending “Religious Minority” status for Lingayat community.

However, the implementation of the recommendations of the committee depend on an ongoing case in the High Court of Karnataka related to Lingayat community.

The High Court of Karnataka had earlier put a condition on the process initiated by the State and the Karnataka State Minorities Commission (KSMC) on formation of the panel, saying that it will be subject to the final decision of the court.

Though the committee earlier sought six months time to submit the report, however, it submitted the report within two months of its formation to Karnataka State Minorities Commission.

5. Myanmar defers signing MoU with India to streamline free movement of people along border

Myanmar on March 4, 2018 indefinitely deferred signing a Memorandum of Understanding with India to streamline the free movement of people within 16 km along the border.

Citing ‘domestic compulsions’, Myanmar has asked more time before signing the agreement. This MoU has also been deferred twice in the past seven months.

Initially, it was scheduled to be signed in September 2017 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Myanmar for a bilateral visit. Later, India tried to push the agreement in January 2017 when Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi was in New Delhi with nine ASEAN leaders as chief guest for the Republic Day parade.

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