Current Affairs – October, 2014

Latest Current Affairs October, 2014 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of October, 2014 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Nigeria and Boko Haram agree to ceasefire and girls’ release

Nigeria’s military has issued a statement saying that the Nigerian government and Boko Haram had reached a ceasefire that will lead to the release of around 200 girls that Boko Haram had kidnapped.

Negotiations leading to the ceasefire

Boko Haram and Nigerians have been engaging in negotiations for over a month now. The talks were held in Chad with the active involvement of Chad’s President, Idriss Deby, and senior officials from Cameroon.


Though the Nigerian military and presidential aides to the Nigerian President have spoken of the ceasefire, Boko Haram has not made any comment yet. The terms of the ceasefire, include Boko Haram agreeing in principle to free the kidnapped girls.

The ceasefire will mark the end of a five year long insurgency.

Kidnapping of the girls

In April 2014, Boko Haram militants attacked a school in the remote north-eastern village of Chibok in Borno state and kidnapped approximately 270 girls. Of the 270, 57 girls managed to escape, but over 200 of the girls are still being held.

Boko Haram

The terrorist organization was founded in 2002. The group is mostly active in Nigeria, but tends to cross over into Cameroon too. Its initial focus was on opposing Western education. However, by 2009, it has launched military operations with the objective of creating an Islamic state.

Till date, thousands have been killed and millions displaced because of the violence caused by the Boko Haram. It has also attacked police and UN headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja

Boko Haram was declared a terrorist group by USA in 2013.

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EC rules out possibility of NRI E-voting

The Election Commission (EC) submitted before the SC that providing NRIs with the option of e-voting will not be possible due to threats such as viruses, spyware, and malware.

Case before the SC

An NRI had filed a PIL before the SC alleging that the provision requiring NRIs to be physically present in the constituency to exercise their vote was discriminatory and violative of their fundamental rights. It is in regard to this case that the EC made representation before the SC.

The ruling will affect 12,000 NRIs who are registered as voters.

Appointment of a Committee

The EC submitted before the SC that it had appointed a committee to explore possibilities of allowing NRIs to cast their votes from abroad, and also examine other options to make the process of casting their votes much less cumbersome.

Voting through Proxy

The EC said that even though directly voting online or at diplomatic missions was not an option, voting through proxy could definitely be considered for NRIs. The NRI can designate another person from his own constituency to act as his proxy and cast the vote on his behalf. Voting through proxy is currently available to persons in the armed forces and paramilitary forces. This mode of voting can be efficacious and convenient for all parties concerned. Matters of time constraint and logistics will not be a hurdle

 E-postal ballot

E-postal ballot is also an option that the EC is considered. Under this system, a blank postal ballot paper is transferred electronically to the NRIs, which can then be filled and returned by them. This system has almost no risk of manipulation, rigging or violation of secrecy.

The EC proposed trying the system on a pilot basis in one or two constituencies during elections to the Legislative Assemblies. If successful, the ballot system could then be expanded to cover Parliamentary elections and eventually to all constituencies.

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