Sept. 24, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

ARATI SAHA
Google dedicated its doodle to swimmer Arati Saha on her 80th birth anniversary.

About:

  • Arati Saha (1940 – 1994) was an Indian long distance swimmer, best known for becoming the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel on 29 September 1959.

  • At the age of 12, Saha joined India’s first team to participate in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. She was one of the only four women to make the team.

  • In 1960, she became the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded the Padma Shri.

Source : Indian Express
Sports

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

SHINKUN LA TUNNEL
To augment border infrastructure, the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), under Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH), has expedited making detailed project report for the world's longest high-altitude Shinkun La Tunnel.

About:

  • The tunnel (13.5 Km long) is proposed to be built on the border between Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. Once it is complete, the Manali-Kargil highway will remain open throughout the year.

  • The tunnel will provide all-weather road connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in Zanskar valley.

  • With the construction of the tunnel, inhabitants of around 15-odd villages of Zanskar Valley in Jammu and Kashmir will be relieved since the valley remains cut off due to heavy snowfall during the winter. 

Source : Outlook
Geography

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

ELECTRIFICATION OF RAILWAYS
Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023. This was stated by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

About:

  • The Minister informed that around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63,631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. A total of 23,765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country.

  • Several steps have been taken to expedite electrification of railway lines in the country and they include, award of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, better project monitoring mechanism etc.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

BILATERAL NETTING OF QUALIFIED FINANCIAL CONTRACTS BILL
Parliament has passed the Bilateral Netting of Qualified Financial Contracts Bill, 2020 with Rajya Sabha approving it.

About:

  • The bill provides a legal framework for bilateral netting of qualified financial contracts.

  • Netting refers to offsetting of all claims arising from dealings between two parties to determine a net amount payable or receivable from one party to another.

  • The bill allows for enforcement of netting for qualified financial contracts.

  • The provisions of the bill will apply to Qualified Financial Contracts between two qualified financial market participants where at least one party is an entity regulated by the specified authorities RBI, SEBI, IRDAI, PFRDA or the IFSCA.

  • The bill is critical for financial stability in the country and will provide legal basis for bilateral netting between two parties. This bill will also ensure liquidity in the market.

Source : Economic Times
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

STATE DISASTER RESPONSE FUND (SDRF)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the limit of using the State Disaster Response Fund for COVID specific infrastructure has been increased from 35 per cent to 50 per cent. The decision will help States have more finances at their disposal to fight the virus.

About:

  • The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), constituted under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, is the primary fund available with State Governments for responses to notified disasters.

  • The Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF allocation for general category States/UTs and 90% for special category States/UTs (NE States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir). 

Source : LiveMint
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

PASSEX
The Indian and the Australian navies are undertaking Passage Exercise or PASSEX exercises on September 23-24 in the Indian Ocean.

About:

  • From the Indian side, Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri and Karmuk will be present and Australia will be represented by HMAS Hobart.

  • PASSEXs are regularly conducted by the Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies.

  • Australia is the third country, since June, with which India will conduct the exercises. The first was with US Navy's USS Nimitz and the second was the Russian Navy.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

LASER GUIDED ATGM
Laser Guided Anti Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) was successfully test fired from MBT Arjun Tank at KK Ranges, Ahmednagar on 22nd Sep 2020.

About:

  • In these tests, the ATGM successfully defeated a target located at 3 km. Laser guided ATGMs lock and track the targets with the help of laser designation to ensure precision hit accuracy.

  • The missile employs a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles. It has been developed with multiple-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from gun of MBT Arjun.

  • Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) Pune in association with High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) Pune, and Instruments Research & Development Establishment (IRDE) Dehradun have developed the missile.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

KRITAGYA
In order to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women friendly equipment’s, a hackathon named “KRITAGYA” has been planned by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).

About:

  • Students, faculties and innovators/entrepreneurs from any university / technical institution across the country can apply and participate in the event in the form of a group.

  • In one group maximum 4 participants can compete, with not more than one faculty and / or more than one innovator or entrepreneur. Participating students can collaborate with local start-ups, students from technology institutes, and can win Rs. 5 lakhs, Rs 3 lakhs and Rs. 1 lakh as first, second and third prize.

Important Info :

Background:

  • The ICAR commenced NAHEP, a Government of India and World Bank project, in 2017 with the overall objective to support the National Agricultural Research and Education System in providing more relevant and better quality education to the students.
  • In this regard, ICAR is organizing KRITAGYA- Ag-Tech Hackathon to promote innovation in farm mechanization- A joint initiative by NAHEP and Agricultural Engineering Division.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

MAJOR PORT AUTHORITIES BILL, 2020
Lok Sabha passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020.

About:

  • The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in the country and provide greater autonomy to these ports. It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

  • The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port. These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

  • The bill will help the ports develop world class infrastructure and will also enhance transparency in their functioning.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 24, 2020

RAMDHARI SINGH DINKAR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tributes to Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar on his birth anniversary.

About:

  • Ramdhari Singh (1908 –1974), known by his nom de plume Dinkar, is considered as one of the most important modern Hindi poets.

  • His poetry exuded veer rasa, and he has been hailed as a Rashtrakavi ("national poet") on account of his inspiring patriotic compositions in the days before Indian independence.

  • However, he used to call himself a "Bad Gandhian" because he supported the feelings of indignation and revenge among the youth.

  • Dinkar was elected three times to the Rajya Sabha, and he was the member of this house from 3 April 1952 to 26 January 1964, and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959.

  • He was also the Vice-Chancellor of Bhagalpur University (Bhagalpur, Bihar) in the early 1960s.

  • During The Emergency, Jayaprakash Narayan had attracted a gathering of one lakh people at the Ramlila grounds and recited Dinkar's famous poem: Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai ("Vacate the throne, for the people are coming").

Source : All India Radio
Culture

Sept. 23, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

ABHYAS
The successful flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO from the Interim Test Range, Balasore in Odisha.

About:

  • During the trials, two demonstrator vehicles were successfully test flown. The vehicle can be used as target for evaluation of various missile systems.

  • Abhyas is designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment of

  • The air vehicle is launched using twin underslung booster. It is powered by a small gas turbine engine and has MEMS based Inertial Navigation System for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer for guidance and control.

  • The vehicle is programmed for fully autonomous flight. The check-out of air vehicle is done using laptop based Ground Control Station.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

NATIONAL SERVICE SCHEME (NSS) AWARDS
The President of India Ram Nath Kovind will confer the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2018-19 on 24th September, 2020.

About:

  • The National Service Scheme (NSS) Award for the year 2018-19 will be given to 42 awardees in 3 different categories like University/ +2 Council, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers.

  • Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports confers every year the National Service Scheme Award to recognize contributions towards voluntary community service made by the Universities/ Colleges, (+2) Councils, Senior Secondary, NSS Units/ Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers, with a view to further promote NSS in the country.

  • NSS is a Centrally Sector Scheme which was launched in the year 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service.

  • The NSS volunteers work on issues of social relevance including (i) literacy and education, (ii) health, (iii) environment conservation, (iv) social service programmes, (v) programmes for empowerment of women, (vi) programmes connected with economic development activities, (vii) rescue and relief during calamities, etc.

  • At present, NSS has about 40 lakh volunteers on its rolls spread over the country.

Source : All India Radio
Awards and Recognitions

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

NATIONAL FORENSIC SCIENCES UNIVERSITY BILL 2020
Parliament has passed the National Forensic Sciences University Bill 2020 with the Rajya Sabha clearing it. The Lok Sabha has already approved the Bill.

About:

  • The Bill is to establish the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar and the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences, New Delhi, as a National Forensic Sciences University, Gujarat.

  • The Bill declares the University to be an Institution Of National Importance.

  • This university will work for the capacity building in the field of forensic science and promote research.

  • Criminal justice plays an important role in the justice delivery system, hence, the establishment of this University will promote research in the field of forensic science.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

CODE ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, HEALTH & WORKING CONDITIONS CODE, 2020
Lok Sabha passed the Code on Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020.

Salient Features:

  • Free health check-up once a year by the employer for workers which are more than a certain age.

  • Legal right for getting Appointment Letter given to workers for the first time.

  • Cine Workers have been designated as Audio Visual Worker, so that more and more workers get covered under the OSH code. Earlier, this security was being given to artists working in films only.

Source : Times of India
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CODE, 2020
Lok Sabha passed the Industrial Relations Code, 2020.

Efforts made by the Government under the code for quickly resolving disputes of the workers are:

  • Provision for two members instead of one member in the Industrial Tribunal. In case of absence of one member, work can still be undertaken smoothly.

  • Provision for taking the matter straight to the Tribunal in case the dispute is not resolved at conciliation stage. At present, the case is referred to the Tribunal by the appropriate Government.

  • Implementation of award in 30 days after Tribunal award.

  • After recognition of Fixed Term Employment, workers will get the option of Fixed Term Employment instead of contract labour. Under this, they would get benefits of hours of work, salary, social security and other welfare benefits like a Regular Employee.

  • With the objective of better and effective participation of Trade Unions, a provision for “Negotiating Union” and “Negotiating Council” has been made for undertaking negotiation on any dispute.

  • Provision has been made for giving recognition to Trade Unions at Central and State level. This recognition has been given in the labour laws for the first time and after this recognition, Trade Unions would be able to contribute more affirmatively and more effectively at the Central and State level.

  • Provision for RE-Skilling fund has been made in the law for the first time. Its aim would be to re-skill those workers who have been fired from their jobs, so that they are easily able to get employment again.

Source : Times of India
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

RASHTRIYA RAKSHA UNIVERSITY BILL 2020
Parliament has passed the Rashtriya Raksha University Bill 2020. The Rajya Sabha cleared this Bill on September 22, while the Lok Sabha had passed it earlier.

About:

  • The Bill establishes the Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat (established under the Raksha Shakti University Act, 2009) as a University called the Rashtriya Raksha University in Gujarat.

  • The Bill declares the University to be an institution of national importance. The Bill also repeals the 2009 Act. 

  • The Bill provides for several authorities under the University. These include: (i) the Governing Body, to frame the broad policies and programmes of the University, (ii) the Executive Council, which will be the principal executive body, and (iii) the Academic Council, which will specify the academic policies of the University.

  • The functions of the University include: (i) providing instructions and research in police sciences, including coastal policing and cyber security, (ii) establishing and maintaining colleges, and (iii) prescribing courses, holding exams, and granting degrees and other distinctions.

Source : Times of India
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

INDIAN INSTITUTES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in New Delhi today. it has been already passed by Lok Sabha.

About:

  • The Bill seeks to declare five IIITs set up under the PPP mode in Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur as institutions of national importance.

  • Currently, these institutes are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas. On being declared institutions of national importance, the five institutes will be granted the power to grant degrees.

  • The Bill seeks amendment to the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Act, 2014 and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (Public-private Partnership) Act, 2017.

  • The central government will contribute fifty percent towards the expenses of institutes functioning under the PPP mode. 35 per cent will be borne by the states and fifteen per cent by the industries.

  • As a special impetus to north eastern states, central government will bear over fifty seven per cent of the expenses whereas industries will contribute around seven percent to the Institutes there.

Source : Indian Express
Education

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

SOCIAL SECURITY CODE, 2020
Lok Sabha passed the Social Security Code, 2020.

Salient Features:

  • Extending the reach of Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC): Effort have been made to provide right to health security under ESIC to maximum possible workers:-
    • The facility of ESIC would now be provided in all 740 districts. At present, this facility is being given in 566 districts only.

    • Establishments working in hazardous sectors would mandatorily be linked with ESIC, even if there is only one worker working in it.

    • Provision for making scheme for linking unorganised sector and Gig workers with ESIC.

    • Option to link workers working in Plantations is being given to Plantation owners.

    • Option for becoming member of ESIC is also being given to establishments with less than 10 workers.



  • Extending the reach of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):
    • EPFO’s coverage would be applicable on all establishments having 20 workers. At present, it was applicable only on establishments included in the Schedule.

    • Option to join EPFO is also being given to establishments having less than 20 workers.

    • Schemes would be formulated for bringing workers coming under the category of ‘Self-employed’ or falling under any other category under the aegis of EPFO.



  • Provision has been made to formulate various schemes for providing comprehensive social security to workers in unorganised sector. A “Social Security Fund” will be created on the financial side in order to implement these schemes.

  • Work to bring newer forms of employment created with the changing technology like “platform worker or gig worker” into the ambit of social security has been done in the Social Security Code.

  • Provision for Gratuity has been made for Fixed Term Employee and there would not be any condition for minimum service period for this.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

WORLD RHINO DAY
World Rhino Day was celebrated on September 22 with the objective of generating awareness about the threats faced by Rhinoceroses all over the world.

About:

  • World Rhino Day was first announced by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-South Africa in 2010. Since then, September 22nd has been celebrated annually by governments, animal rights organizations and animal enthusiasts as World Rhino Day.

  • It celebrates all five species of rhino (Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos) and generates awareness of issues regarding their well-being.

  • In recent years, rhinos have been threatened by poaching, urbanization and pollution, which have made several rhino species endangered and critically endangered.

Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Sept. 23, 2020

GREATER ONE-HORNED RHINOCEROS
In his message on the occasion of World Rhino Day, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that India is home to the largest number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world with population in the range of 3000 animals in Assam, West Bengal and UP.

About:

  • Environment Ministry launched the National Rhino Conservation Strategy last year to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.

  • This is a first of its kind for the species in India which aims to work for the conservation of the species under five objectives. The objectives include strengthening protection, expanding the distribution range, research and monitoring, and adequate and sustained funding.

  • One horned rhino was close to extinction with a population of less than 200 in the beginning of the 20th century.

  • It is the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered to vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN Red list in 2008.

Source : All India Radio
Environment

Sept. 22, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

SPECIAL REPORT ON SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY
Against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, International Energy Agency (IEA), in collaboration with NITI Aayog, presented a ‘Special Report on Sustainable Recovery’ on 18 September 2020.

About:

  • Part of IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook series, the report proposes a number of actions that could be taken over the next three years to revitalize economies and boost employment while making energy systems cleaner and more resilient.

  • According to report, Post the 2008–09 financial crisis, green measures accounted for around 16% of the total stimulus measures. To recover from the pandemic, we must be even more ambitious and decisive towards clean investments.

  • The report mentions key sectors for creating jobs: electricity, transportation, buildings, industry and sustainable biofuels and innovations.

Important Info :
  • The International Energy Agency is an intergovernmental organisation established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. It is Headquartered in Paris, France.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICES
Union Government has announced increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all mandated Rabi crops. The decision was taken in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs held under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

About:

  • The MSP of six Rabi crops including Wheat, Chana, Masoor, Mustard, Jowar and Safflower has been hiked in the range of 50 to 300 rupees.

  • The MSP of wheat has been increased by 50 rupees and now stands at one thousand 975 rupees per quintal whereas the MSP for Masoor has been hiked by 300 rupees. MSP for Mustard and Chana has been increased by 225 rupees. Increase in Jowar's MSP is by 75 rupees while for Safflower the hike is by 112 rupees per quintal.

  • The hike is in consonance with the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission's report reflects the current government’s commitment towards Minimum Support Price and procurement of agri products in the country.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

SUSPENSION OF MPs
Eight Rajya Sabha MPs were suspended for unruly behaviour in the House. The suspension of the eight members comes a day after the Upper House witnessed massive unruly scenes by protesting Opposition members during the passage of two farm Bills.

About:

  • Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business says: “The Speaker, if is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of the day’s sitting.”

  • Rule 374 says:
    • The Speaker may name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.

    • If a Member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session.

    • Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.



  • Rule 374A: It is invoked by Speaker for automatic suspension of member of the House – for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a Member (coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise).

Important Info :

What happens in Rajya Sabha?

  • Like the Speaker in Lok Sabha, the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha is empowered under Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book to “direct any Member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House for remainder of the day.
  • Unlike the Speaker, however, the Rajya Sabha Chairman does not have the power to suspend a Member.
Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

WOMEN IN ARMED FORCES
In a first, two women officers have been selected to join as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the Indian Navy’s helicopter stream that would ultimately pave the way for women being posted in frontline warships.

About:

  • Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh would, in effect, be the first set of women airborne tacticians in India who would operate from the deck of warships.

  • Earlier, entry of women was restricted to the fixed wing aircraft that took off and landed ashore.

Source : Hindustan Times
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

DIRECT CARGO FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN INDIA & MALDIVES
Shipping Minister of India Mansukh Mandaviya and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Maldives jointly e- launched a direct cargo ferry service between India and Maldives.

About:

  • During its maiden voyage, a vessel with a capacity of 200 TEU and 3000 MT of break bulk cargo sailed from Tuticorin to Kochi on September 21, 2020, from where it will proceed to Kulhudhuffushi port in North Maldives and then to Male port.

  • This ferry service being operated by the Shipping Corporation of India will run twice a month and will provide a cost effective direct and alternate means of transportation of goods between India and Maldives.

  • This direct cargo service will further cement the close ties between India and Maldives by enhancing people-to-people contact and boosting bilateral trade.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

INDIAN MEDICINE CENTRAL COUNCIL (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Rajya Sabha had passed it on 18th of this month.

About:

  • The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill amends the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.

  • The Act provides for the constitution of a Central Council which regulates the education and practice of the Indian medicine system including Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy.

  • The bill replaces the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated in April this year.

  • It provides that the Central Council will stand superseded from April this year and the council will be reconstituted within one year from the date of its supersession.

  • In the interim period, the Central Government will constitute a Board of Governors, which will exercise the powers of the Central Council. The board will consist of up to ten members.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

HOMOEOPATHY CENTRAL COUNCIL (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
The Lok Sabha passed the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020. Rajya Sabha had passed it on 18th of this month.

About:

  • Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. The bill replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated in April this year.

  • The Act sets up the Central Council of Homoeopathy which regulates homoeopathic education and practice.

  • The legislation amends the 1973 Act to increase the period for the supersession of the Central Council from two years to three years.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

IFSCA COMMITTEE REPORT ON DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RETAIL BUSINESS
The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) Expert Committee on international retail business development in the IFSC has submitted its interim report to the Chairperson of the IFSCA.

About:

  • The Expert Committee has been constituted by the IFSCA with an aim to suggest how to develop international retail business in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).

  • The committee suggests that the IFSC can aim at:
    • Becoming a gateway to India growth story for international investors and business

    • Providing Indian diaspora and individuals from Asia and Africa with a comprehensive range of financial services from the IFSC.

    • Serving domestic residents availing liberalized remittance scheme.



  • The Government of India had constituted the IFSCA with Shri I Srinivas as its Chairperson earlier this year to develop and regulate the financial services market in the IFSC in India.

  • Apart from channelizing India's offshore business to the IFSC located at GIFT City and making it the gateway for India centric international financial services, the objective is to make it a global hub for international financial services on the lines of London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.

Important Info :
  • Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City located on the banks of the Sabarmati River is India's first operational smart city and international financial services centre. It was promoted by the Government of Gujarat as a greenfield project.
Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF ROAD TRAFFIC
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has advised the States and Union Territory administrations to stamp International Convention of Road Traffic of 19th September 1949 on the first page of International Driving Permit, IDP issued by them.

About:

  • Many countries are not accepting the International Driving Permit issued to Indian citizens and that officials there ask for the validation of IDP in accordance with International Convention of Road Traffic of 19th September 1949. Hence the direction.

  • The Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty promoting the development and safety of international road traffic by establishing certain uniform rules among the contracting parties.

  • The convention addresses minimum mechanical and safety equipment needed to be on board and defines an identification mark to identify the origin of the vehicle.

  • The Convention was prepared and opened for signature by the United Nations Conference on Road and Motor Transport held at Geneva from 23 August to 19 September 1949. It came into force on 26 March 1952.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 22, 2020

EPIDEMIC DISEASES (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020
Parliament passed the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

About:

  • The bill amends the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to include protections for health care service personnel combating epidemic diseases and expands the powers of the Central Government to prevent the spread of such diseases.

  • The bill repeals the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated in April this year.

  • The legislation makes harm, injury, hurt or danger to the life of health care service personnel as a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

  • It has provisions of imprisonment from three months to five years and a fine between 50 thousand rupees to two lakh rupees.

  • Persons convicted of offences under the bill will also be liable to pay compensation to the health care service personnel whom they have hurt.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Sept. 21, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

1776 COMMISSION
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to set up a “national commission to promote patriotic education” in the US.

About:

  • The 1776 Commission is an education commission proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump to support "patriotic education".

  • The initiative is an apparent counter to The 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of essays on African American history of the past four centuries, which explores the Black community’s contribution in nation-building since the era of slavery to modern times.

  • Trump announced the move at a history conference celebrating the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution (on September 17, 1787); the document being written in the decade after the original 13 colonies declared independence from the British Empire in 1776.

  • Trump said students in US universities are ‘inundated with critical race theory, a Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation’, and the new project would teach the youth to ‘love America.’

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

INS VIRAAT
INS Viraat, the Aircraft Carrier with the longest service in the world, commenced its towed final journey from Mumbai, to be broken at Alang in Gujarat and sold as scrap.

About:

  • The ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hermes in 1959.

  • She was part of the key formation of the British forces during the Falklands War against the Argentinian forces in 1982. HMS Hermes was decommissioned within three years after the war.

  • The Indian Navy announced its purchase in 1985-86. The ship underwent a major refit and modernisation before being commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987 as INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat, which means enormous.

  • INS Viraat proved pivotal in Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation.

  • The ship was also deployed during 2001-02 Operation Parakram following the terror attack on the Indian Parliament. It was decommissioned in 2017.

Important Info :
  • Since 2017, India has been operating a single carrier — INS Vikramaditya — as against the minimum essential operational requirement of having two Carrier Battle Groups — which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers at the lead role.
  • India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-I) INS Vikrant which has a displacement comparable to Vikramaditya is under construction at Kochi Shipyard and is soon expected to undergo sea trials.
Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT
The Delhi police has arrested Rajeev Sharma, a journalist, under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). The police claimed that he had passed on information such as the deployment of Indian troops on the border to Chinese intelligence officers.

About:

  • Official Secrets Act has its roots in the British colonial era. The original version was The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act XIV), 1889.

  • It was amended and made more stringent in the form of The Indian Official Secrets Act, 1904, during Lord Curzon’s tenure as Viceroy of India.

  • In 1923, a newer version was notified. The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act No XIX of 1923) was extended to all matters of secrecy and confidentiality in governance in the country.

  • It broadly deals with two aspects — spying or espionage, covered under Section 3, and disclosure of other secret information of the government, under Section 5.

  • Secret information can be any official code, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information.

  • Under Section 5, both the person communicating the information and the person receiving the information can be punished.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

INDIA’S BIGGEST FILM CITY (PROPOSED)
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that his government will establish the country’s ‘biggest’ film city in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

About:

  • Though a proposal for the film city is yet to be prepared, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Authority (YEIDA) is in the process of looking for appropriate land for the project.

  • As per the UP Film Policy, 2018, the state government will “support establishment of film cities by providing land at industrial rates” and also assist in developing the right infrastructure for it.

  • Film Bandhu, a nodal agency of the state government, overlooks the implementation of the Film Policy.

  • With several films and web series now being shot in the state, the dedicated film city is likely to bring employment while providing a haven for filmmakers.

Source : Indian Express
Media

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September.

About:

  • The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.

  • Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

  • The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

  • The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

  • The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.”

Source : United Nations
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

HIV/AIDS PATIENTS IN INDIA
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare informed Rajya Sabha about the status of HIV/AIDS Patients in India.

About:

  • As per the latest HIV estimates report (2019) of the Government, India is estimated to have around 23.49 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in 2019.

  • The HIV epidemic has an overall decreasing trend in country with estimated annual New HIV infections declining by 37% between 2010 and 2019.

  • HIV infection in India is mainly caused by engagement in high risk behaviours. The main high-risk behaviours identified for HIV infection in India includes unprotected heterosexual behaviour, unprotected homosexual behaviour, and unsafe injecting drug use behaviour.

  • There are no dedicated hospitals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. However, under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) of the Government, as on July 2020, there are 570 Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) Centres and 1264 Link ART Centres.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

ASSOCIATION OF WORLD ELECTION BODIES (A-WEB)
The Election Commission of India is going to organize an International Webinar on 21st September 2020, on the Theme ‘‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ on its completion of one year of Chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).

About:

  • The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.

  • At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.

  • ECI has been very closely associated with the process of formation of A-WEB since 2011. ECI hosted the 4th General Assembly of A-WEB on 03 Sep 2019 at Bengaluru and took over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term.

  • An India A-WEB Centre has been established at New Delhi, for documentation, research and training for sharing the best practices and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members.

  • This is the first Webinar being held by the India A-WEB Centre.

Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

POSHAN ABHIYAAN
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

About:

  • POSHAN Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is Government of India’s flagship programme under Ministry of Women & Child Development to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

  • The specific areas identified under the MoU for co-operation include:
    • Integration of AYUSH into POSHAN Abhiyaan and

    • Control of malnutrition through the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga and other Ayush systems.



  • The Anganwadi worker who is providing the Ayurveda nutrition message to the community at ground level may be designated as ‘DHATRI’ - Dedicated Health Activist to Replenish the Innutrition.

  • The two Ministries have also decided to launch the hashtag #Ayush4Anganwadi for generating awareness about the activities on the digital media.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION (REGULATION) AMENDMENT BILL, 2020
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha.

About:

  • The Bill seeks to streamline the provisions of the FCRA by strengthening the compliance mechanism, enhancing transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution worth thousands of crores of rupees every year.

  • The proposed amendments seek to bar public servants from receiving foreign funding.

  • The amendments seek to make Aadhar mandatory for all office bearers of NGOs and other organisations which are seeking foreign contributions.

  • Need of bill: There are some NGOs which do not inform the government about the foreign contributions they receive. Some NGOs have been found to be violating norms by deviating from their objectives.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 21, 2020

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE
The government pushed through two crucial agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha, rejecting Opposition demands that they be referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.

About:

  • Parliament scrutinises legislative proposals (Bills) in two ways. The first is by discussing it on the floor of the two Houses.

  • The second mechanism is by referring a Bill to a parliamentary committee. But referring of Bills to parliamentary committees is not mandatory.

  • India’s Parliament has multiple types of committees. They can be differentiated on the basis of their work, their membership and the length of their tenure.

  • First are committees that examine bills, budgets and policies of ministries. These are called departmentally related Standing Committees.
    • There are 24 such committees.

    • Departmentally related Standing Committees have a tenure of one year, then they are reconstituted and their work continues throughout the term of a Lok Sabha.



  • Then there are committees constituted for a specific purpose, with MPs from both Houses. The specific purpose could be detailed scrutiny of a subject matter or a Bill. These are Joint Parliamentary Committees (JPC).

  • And finally, there is a Select Committee on a Bill. This is formed for examining a particular Bill and its membership is limited to MPs from one House.

  • Since both the JPCs and Select Committees are constituted for a specific purpose, they are disbanded after their report. Both these types of committees are chaired by MPs from the ruling party.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance
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