Sept. 30, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Amnesty International India said the government had frozen all its bank accounts, leading to all of its work in the country coming to a halt.

About:

  • Status: Amnesty International (AI) is a non-governmental organization with its headquarters in the United Kingdom focused on human rights.

  • Mission: Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards.

  • Background: Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson.

  • Awards: The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its "defence of human dignity against torture," and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978.

Source : Times of India
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

JAL JEEVAN MISSION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the new logo for the Jal Jeevan Mission. He also unveiled the ‘Margadarshika for Gram Panchayats and Paani Samitis under Jal Jeevan Mission’ (Guidelines for the Village Panchayats and Water Committees) on the occasion.

About:

  • The Jal Jeevan Mission aims at providing every rural household in the country with piped-water connection. The new logo of the Mission shall continue to inspire the need to save every drop of water.

  • Referring to the Margadarshika, the Prime Minister said that they are equally important for the Gram Panchayats, people living in rural areas as well as for the Government machinery.

  • Unlike the previous programmes, Jal Jeevan Mission adopts a bottom to top approach, where the users and Paani Samitis (Water Committees) in the villages envision the whole project from its implementation to maintenance and operation.

  • The mission has also ensured that at least 50% of the members of the water committee would be women.

  • The Mardarshika Guidelines released today will guide the members of the Water Committee and Gram Panchayats in taking the right decisions.

Important Info :
  • Prime Minister said a special 100-day campaign is being launched on 2nd Oct this year under Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure drinking water connection to every school and Anganwadi in the country.
Source : All India Radio
Environment

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

iDEX
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC 4) during the iDEX event, featuring the initiatives aimed at expanding the horizons of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) ecosystem in New Delhi.

About:

  • Mr Singh also launched the iDEX4Fauji initiative and Product Management Approach (PMA) guidelines during the event.

  • iDEX4Fauji is a first of its kind initiative, launched to support innovations identified by members of the Indian Armed Forces and will bolster frugal innovation ideas from soldiers and field formations.

  • The iDEX initiative stands out as one of the most effective and well-executed defence Startup ecosystem created in the country. 

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

CAT QUE VIRUS (CQV)
In a study published in July in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, scientists have noted the presence of antibodies against the Cat Que virus (CQV) in two human serum samples.

About:

  • The presence of the Cat Que virus has been largely reported in Culex mosquitoes in China and in pigs in Vietnam.

  • For CQV, domestic pigs are considered to be the primary mammalian hosts. Antibodies against the virus have been reported in swine reared locally in China, which indicates that the virus has formed a “natural cycle” in the local area and has the ability to spread in pigs and other animal populations through mosquitoes.

  • CQV belongs to the Simbu serogroup and infects both humans and economically important livestock species.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

BAN ON SALE OF LOOSE CIGARETTES, BEEDIS
The Maharashtra government has banned the sale of loose cigarettes and beedis, in a bid to reduce the consumption of tobacco and to comply with the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003.

About:

  • The government’s aim is to make sure that users are able to see the mandated warnings on cigarette packaging.

  • Under COTPA, tobacco products need to be sold with graphic health warnings on their packaging and loose cigarettes do not comply with this rule.

  • Further, India is a signatory to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, whose core tobacco demand reduction provisions include regulating the packaging and labelling of tobacco products and product disclosures. India ratified the WHO FCTC in 2004.

  • Before this, Chhattisgarh had banned the sale of loose cigarettes earlier this year, while Karnataka banned the sale of loose cigarettes, beedis and chewing tobacco in 2017.

  • As per the Tobacco Free Union, over 1 million people die from tobacco-related diseases in India every year.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

RITUCHARYA
The Vice President, Venkaiah Naidu emphasised the importance of a healthy body and healthy mind saying “we have to follow the concepts of “Dinacharya” - daily regimes and “Ritucharya” - seasonal regimes to maintain a healthy life.

About:

  • Ritu, the season, classified by different features expresses different effects on the body as well as the environment.

  • Ayurveda has depicted various rules and regimens (Charya), regarding diet and behaviour to acclimatize seasonal enforcement easily without altering body homeostasis.

  • The prime principle of Ayurvedic system of medicine is preventive aspect, can be achieved by the change in diet and practices in response to change in climatic condition.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

NAMAMI GANGE MISSION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 6 mega development projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission.

About:

  • He also inaugurated the Ganga Avalokan Museum, the first of its kind on the River Ganga at Haridwar.

  • He released a book “Rowing Down the Ganges”. It explains in details how the River Ganges stands as a glowing symbol of our Culture, Faith and Heritage.

  • He termed the Namami Gange Mission as the largest integrated river conservation mission which not only aims at the cleanliness of River Ganga but also focuses on comprehensive upkeep of the River. Government is following a four pronged strategy to achieve this objective:
    • First- started laying a network of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to prevent the waste water from flowing into the Ganges.

    • Second, The STPs were built by keeping in mind the demands for the next 10 - 15 years.

    • Third - By making around hundred big towns/cities and five thousand villages along the River Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF).

    • And Fourth - By making an all-out effort to stop the pollution in the tributaries of River Ganga.



Source : All India Radio
Environment

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

FILM AND TELEVISION INSTITUTE OF INDIA (FTII)
Noted Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has been named as the President of Film and Television Institute of India, FTII Society and Chairman of Governing Council of FTII. Mr Kapur has directed several films, including Masoom, Mr. India, Bandit Queen and Elizabeth.

About:

  • The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India.

  • It is situated on the premises of the erstwhile Prabhat Film Company in Pune.

  • it was established in 1960.

  • The Centre will set up a new Institute in Arunachal Pradesh as part of an initiative to tap the potential of the North Eastern region.

Source : All India Radio
Media

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY
International Translation Day is being celebrated on 30 September.

About:

  • International Translation Day is meant as an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding etc.

  • On 24 May 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 71/288 on the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development, and declared 30 September as International Translation Day.

  • 30 September celebrates the feats of St. Jerome, the Bible translator, who is considered the patron saint of translators.

  • Jerome was a priest from North-eastern Italy, who is known mostly for his endeavour of translating most of the Bible into Latin from the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Jerome died near Bethlehem on 30 September 420.

Important Info :
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document. It exists in more than 500 languages.
Source : United Nations
Culture

Current Affairs
Sept. 30, 2020

GUNNERS DAY
The Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army celebrate the 193rd Gunners Day on September 28.

About:

  • The Day marks the date in 1827 when the Five Bombay Mountain Battery, equipped with 2.5 inch guns, was raised in the British Indian Army.

  • The foundation of the Regiment of Artillery was laid on September 28 in 1827 when Bombay Artillery, later renamed 5 Bombay Mountain Battery, was raised. This day is celebrated by the Regiment of Artillery as Gunners Day.

  • In May 1857, the mutiny by Indian soldiers started in the artillery of the Army of the Bengal Presidency. The incident prompted a complete ban on Indian artillery units, except the mountain artillery batteries in select provinces.

  • The decision was reversed in the mid-1930s when the first of the field regiments — which support the other formations on the field — of the Indian Army were raised.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Sept. 29, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

ZOHRA SEHGAL
Google dedicated a doodle to Zohra Segal, one of the country’s first female actors to truly achieve recognition on the international stage.

About:

  • Zohra Sehgal (1912 – 2014) was an Indian actress, dancer, and choreographer.

  • Considered the doyenne of Indian theatre, she acted with the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and Prithviraj Kapoor's Prithvi Theatre for 14 years. Sehgal appeared in several British films, television shows, and Bollywood productions in a career that spanned over six decades.

  • Awards received:
    • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award; Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship;

    • Kalidas Samman;

    • Padma Shri; Padma Bhushan; and Padma Vibhushan



Source : Google
Culture

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS ON FOOD LOSS AND WASTE REDUCTION
The first ever observance of the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction is being celebrated on 29 September, 2020. It was designated in 2019 by the 74th United Nations General Assembly.

Why is it important to reduce food loss and waste?

  • Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tons and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day.

  • Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. Significant quantities are also wasted in retail and at the consumption level.

  • Food loss and waste also puts unnecessary pressure on the natural resource base and on the environment, depleting the natural resource base and generating greenhouse gases.

Important Info :
  • SDG Target 12.3 says "by 2030 halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains including post-harvest losses."
  • To monitor SDG Target 12.3, FAO has created the Food Loss Index (FLI). The focus of the indicator is on percentages of food removed from the supply chain. The FLI monitors changes in these percentages over time, relative to a base period currently set at 2015, in order to track progress against SDG Target 12.3.
Source : United Nations
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

H-CNG
In a major step toward adopting alternative clean fuel for transportation, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has allowed use of H-CNG (18% mix of hydrogen) in CNG engines.

About:

  • The Ministry has been notifying various alternate fuels under Clean Fuels for transportation.

  • The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has also developed specifications (IS 17314:2019) of Hydrogen enriched Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) for automotive purposes, as a fuel.

  • A notification for amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989, for inclusion of H-CNG as an automotive fuel has been published dated 25th Sept 2020 by the Ministry.

Important Info :
  • The Hydrogen Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) is a mixture of compressed natural gas and 4-9 per cent hydrogen by energy. It can be used as a fuel in internal combustion engine and also for home appliances.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

DEFENCE ACQUISITION PROCEDURE – 2020
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020. DAP 2020 will be applicable with effect from 01 October 2020. The first Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was promulgated in the year 2002 and has since been revised periodically.

Salient features of DAP 2020:

  • The New Category of Buy (Global – Manufacture in India) incorporates ‘manufacture of either the entire/part of the equipment or spares/assemblies/sub-assemblies/Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the equipment, through its subsidiary in India.

  • The categories of Buy(Indian-IDDM), Make I, Make II, Production Agency in Design &Development, OFB/DPSU and SP model will be exclusively reserved for Indian Vendors meeting the criteria of Ownership and Control by resident Indian Citizens with FDI not more than 49%.

  • A simple and practical verification process has been instituted and Indigenous Content (IC) will now be calculated on ‘Base Contract Price’ e. Total Contract Price less taxes & duties.

  • Provision for exploring options for operating base applications like Fire Control  System,  Radars,  Encryption, Communications etc on indigenous software in Buy (Indian- IDDM) & Buy (Indian) cases has been included.

  • A separate dedicated chapter has been incorporated in the DAP 2020 for acquisition of systems Designed and Developed by DRDO/DPSUs/OFB.

  • The Offset guidelines have been revised, wherein preference will be given to manufacture of complete defence products over components and various multipliers have been added to give incentivisation in discharge of Offsets.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

USER DEPOT MODULE (UDM)
Indian Railway has rolled out User Depot Module (UDM) to completely digitize its supply chain.

About:

  • User Depot Module (UDM) developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) was rolled out digitally across all User Depots of Western Railway. This system will be implemented shortly across all Zones of Indian Railways.

  • Railway’s supply chain up to Stores Depots has already been digitized, however activities at user end are being done manually.

  • Implementation of this system will bring in transformational changes from manual working to digital working with real time transactions and online information exchange among all stakeholders. This will ensure digitization of complete supply chain, including user depots.

  • The system will facilitate economy, efficiency and transparency besides improved asset management. It will ensure improved service level and satisfaction to customers.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

SYEDA ANWARA TAIMUR
Syeda Anwara Taimur, the only woman to have become the Chief Minister of Assam till now, passed away. She was 84.

About:

  • Taimur, a Congress politician then, was the CM from December 1980 to June 1981. At that time, the anti-foreigner movement in the state (1979-85) was at its peak.

  • Taimur became an MLA in 1972, 1978, 1983 and 1991; was a minister in Assam twice; and a Rajya Sabha MP twice (nominated in 1988 and elected in 2004).

  • In 2011, Taimur joined the Badruddin Ajmal-led AIUDF, reportedly after being denied a ticket from Congress.

Source : Indian Express
Person in News

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

ISHER JUDGE AHLUWALIA
Renowned economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia passed away after a 10-month-long battle with brain cancer.

About:

  • Isher Judge Ahluwalia (1945 – 2020) was an Indian economist, public policy researcher, and professor.

  • Positions held:
    • She was Chairperson Emeritus, Board of Governors, at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

    • She was Chairperson, Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in Washington D.C. from 2003 to 2006.

    • She was the chairperson of the Government of India's High-Powered Committee on Urban Infrastructure Services.



  • Notable books authored;
    • Industrial growth in India: stagnation since the mid-sixties.

    • Productivity and growth in Indian manufacturing.

    • Urbanisation in India: challenges, opportunities and the way forward.

    • Breaking Through - A Memoir.



  • Awards: She was awarded India's third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan in 2009.

  • Personal life: She was married to fellow economist, and former deputy chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Source : Indian Express
Person in News

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

SAMVEDNA
The apex child rights body National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has launched a toll-free tele-counselling helpline number 1800-121-2830 for children affected during COVID-19 for providing counselling and psycho-social support.

About:

  • SAMVEDNA (Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance) is a Toll Free Tele counselling service -18001212830 (from Monday to Saturday 10 am - 1 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm).

  • The tele-counselling service will provide psychological first-aid and emotional support to children who are in quarantine or at COVID care centres and children who have COVID positive family members or children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19.

  • The tele-counselling support will cater to children all over India in various regional languages also.

  • Counsellors have been specially trained by the expert team of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) to address the needs of children in these difficult times.

Source : Outlook
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

NET NEUTRALITY
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended the creation of a multi-stakeholder body (MSB) by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to ensure that Internet access providers adhere to the provisions of net neutrality.

Recommendations:

  • The MSB, which could include telecom service providers, Internet service providers, content providers, researchers, academic and technical community, civil society organisations, and the government, should be set up as a non-profit entity.

  • The role of the MSB shall be to provide advice and support to DoT in the monitoring and enforcement of net neutrality principles.

  • The MSB may also be required to investigate complaints regarding the violation of net neutrality.

  • TRAI also suggested that the MSB help DoT in maintenance of a repository of reasonable traffic management practices.

  • The net neutrality principles adopted by DoT were technology neutral and would apply equally to 5G technology, the telecom regulator clarified.

Important Info :

Background:

  • TRAI had released its recommendations on net neutrality in November 2017 which barred discrimination in internet access based on content.
  • The discrimination of content includes practices like blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content.
  • The government had accepted most of the recommendations of TRAI, and on July 31, 2018, issued principle directives on net neutrality.
Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Sept. 29, 2020

SCRUB TYPHUS
The outbreak of scrub typhus, a bacterial disease, has claimed the lives of five people in Nagaland’s Noklak district bordering Myanmar. More than 600 others tested positive for the disease but recovered following treatment.

About:

  • Scrub typhus, also known as bush typhus, is a disease caused by a bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi.

  • Scrub typhus is spread to people through bites of infected chiggers (larval mites).

  • The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches, and sometimes rash. People with severe illness may develop organ failure and bleeding, which can be fatal if left untreated.

  • Most cases of scrub typhus occur in rural areas of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, and northern Australia.

  • Scrub typhus should be treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. Doxycycline can be used in persons of any age. People who are treated early with doxycycline usually recover quickly.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Sept. 28, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

NAGORNO-KARABAKH REGION
Clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region, reigniting concern about instability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines transporting oil and gas to world markets.

About:

  • Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians, declared martial law and mobilised their male populations.

  • Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh.

  • This is a decades-old conflict between majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan.

  • Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

  • Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, after thousands of people were killed and many more displaced, Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

SANDALWOOD SPIKE DISEASE (SSD)
India’s sandalwood trees, the country’s pride — particularly of Karnataka — are facing a serious threat with the return of the destructive Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD).

About:

  • The infection has resurfaced in the aromatic tree’s natural habitats in Karnataka and Kerala.

  • The natural population of sandalwood in Marayoor of Kerala and various reserve forests in Karnataka, including MM Hills, are heavily infected with SSD for which there is no cure as of now.

  • Presently, there is no option but to cut down and remove the infected tree to prevent the spread of the disease, caused by phytoplasma — bacterial parasites of plant tissues — which are transmitted by insect vectors.

  • With between 1 and 5% of sandalwood trees lost every year due to the disease, scientists warn that it could wipe out the entire natural population if measures are not taken to prevent its spread.

  • SSD has been one of the major causes for the decline in sandalwood production in the country for over a century. The disease was first reported in Kodagu in 1899.

  • The devastating impact in natural habitats resulted in sandalwood being classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1998.

Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

JASWANT SINGH
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of former Union Minister Shri Jaswant Singh.

About:

  • Major Jaswant Singh Jasol (1938 –2020) was an officer of the Indian Army and an Indian Cabinet Minister.

  • He was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2009, he was expelled from BJP after criticism over his remarks in his book - Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence - which allegedly praised the founder of Pakistan.

  • During the Vajpayee administration between 1998 and 2004, he held multiple cabinet portfolios including Finance, External Affairs and Defence.

  • He also served as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission between 1998 and 1999.

  • He served as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2004 to 2009.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

HEALTH IN INDIA
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the report of a survey titled ‘Health in India’, whose main objective was to gather basic quantitative information on India’s health sector.

Findings of the report:

  • Around 7.5 % of Indians reported that they were suffering from ailments.

  • While in rural India only 6.8 % said that they were suffering from an ailment, this number in urban India was 9.1 %.

  • Religion based classification:
    • The Zoroastrian community remains the most susceptible to ailments. Results from the National Sample Survey (NSS)’s 75th Round released in July show that 31.1 % of Zoroastrians reported that they were suffering from an ailment at the time the survey was conducted.

    • This number for other communities is: Jains, 11.2 %; Sikhs 11 %; Christians 10.5 %; Muslims 8.1 %; Buddhists 8 %; and Hindus 7.2 %.



  • Sex based classification:
    • The survey shows that women remain more susceptible to suffering from ailments than men.

    • In rural India 6.1 % of males said that they were suffering from ailments, while 7.6 % of rural women said the same.

    • While 8.2 % of urban males said that they were sick, 10 % urban females said the same.



Important Info :

How does the survey define ‘ailment’?

  • The survey defines ailment as any deviation from a person’s state of physical and mental well-being. The ‘Proportion of Persons who Responded as Ailing’, or PPRA, in a 15-day period when they were approached by the surveyors, were registered as those suffering from ailments.
Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

HEALTH FINANCE
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that government is committed to increase the public healthcare spending from the existing 1.15 % of the GDP to 2.5 % by 2025.

About:

  • He added that the 15th Finance Commission’s high-level group on health has concurred that healthcare spending must be raised substantially in the next five years in view of the present pandemic.

  • Harsh Vardhan was answering questions posed by his social media interactors on the third episode of Sunday Samvaad.

  • Besides the present COVID crisis, these questions covered a multitude of queries concerning the medical infrastructure, the future of Public Health in India, India’s contribution to Climate Change Research and advancements in Meteorology.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (NCDC)
National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has sanctioned as first instalment, funds amounting to Rs 19444 crores to the states of Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Telangana for Kharif paddy procurement under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations.

About:

  • National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is the apex financing organization of Union Agriculture Ministry.

  • It was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.

  • The objectives of NCDC are planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, livestock etc. on cooperative principles.

Source : LiveMint
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

DESTINATION NORTH EAST-2020
Union Home Minister inaugurated the "Destination North East -2020". The Union Home Minister is also the Chairman of the North-East Council.

About:

  • Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. It has been conceptualized with the objective of taking the North East Region to other parts of the country.

  • “The ‘Destination North East-2020', which runs till 30 September, aims to introduce various cultures of the country to each other along with the tourist destinations of the North East.

  • For Destination North East 2020, the theme is “The Emerging Delightful Destinations” which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the Sector picks up momentum.

Source : Hindustan Times
Culture

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO INFORMATION (IDUAI)
International Day for Universal Access to Information 2020 is being observed on 28 September.

About:

  • On 17 November 2015, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 28 September as International Day for Universal Access to Information.

  • Considering that several civil society organizations and government bodies in the world have adopted and currently celebrate this observance, the UN General Assembly also adopted 28 September 2019 as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.

  • IDUAI 2020 will be focus on to the right to information in times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies through and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

Source : United Nations
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

WORLD TOURISM DAY
World Tourism Day 2020 was observed on 27 September.

About:

  • Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27.

  • This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism.

  • The 2020 edition of World Tourism Day, with the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”, will celebrate the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world.

Important Info :

The impact of COVID-19 on tourism?

  • Data from the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs are at risk.
  • The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) forecasts a loss of 1.5 to 2.8 % of global GDP.
Source : United Nations
Culture

Current Affairs
Sept. 28, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS
International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 2020 was observed on 26 September.

About:

  • The UN General Assembly commemorates 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a priority.

  • The Day has been observed annually since 2014.

  • This was the latest in a series of efforts by the General Assembly to raise public awareness and to seek deeper engagement on nuclear disarmament matters. In 2009, the General Assembly had declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Important Info :
  • On 7 July, 2017 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted. It is the first multilateral legally binding instrument for nuclear disarmament to have been negotiated in 20 years.
Source : United Nations
Defence & Security

Sept. 27, 2020

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

INDIA-SRI LANKA VIRTUAL BILATERAL SUMMIT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa held the first-ever India-Sri Lanka Virtual Bilateral Summit.

About:

  • PM Modi announced a grant assistance of 15 million dollars to Sri Lanka for the promotion of Buddhist ties between India and Sri Lanka. The grant will assist in deepening people-to-people linkages between the two countries in the sphere of Buddhism.

  • They agreed that the Indian side would facilitate the visit of a delegation of Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka in the first inaugural flight to Sacred City of Kushinagar. Kushinagar Airport was designated as an international airport recently recognizing its importance as a Buddhist site.

  • Both sides also agreed to explore opportunities in the areas of Ayurveda and Yoga.

  • India and Sri Lanka have reached an understanding to extend the MoU on High Impact Community Development Projects for a five-year period beginning 2020.

  • Both leaders agreed to continue the successful Indian housing project and gave instructions to the relevant officials to fast-track the construction of 10,000 houses in the plantation sector.

  • Prime Minister Modi emphasized that implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution is essential for carrying forward the process of peace and reconciliation and realizing the expectations of Tamils for equality.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

IARI, GOGAMUKH
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the new Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Gogamukh, Assam campus. IARI, Assam will be named after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

About:

  • The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is India's national Institute for agricultural research, education and extension. The institute based in Delhi is financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

  • The IARI was responsible for the research leading to the "Green Revolution in India" of the 1970s.

  • It has been realized that this is an opportune time to replicate the success of IARI in the Eastern Part of the country. In view of this, the Union Finance Minister in his maiden budget speech had announced the establishment of IARI like institutes in Jharkhand and Assam on July 10, 2014.

  • Accordingly Government of Assam provided land for establishing this Institution at Dirpai Chapori, Gogamukh circle, Dhemaji district of Assam covering an area of about 585 acres of land.

  • The selected site is located at about 430 km from the state capital Dispur, 45 km from Dhemaji town (District Headquarter) and 100 km from Dibrugarh, the second largest town of Assam.

Source : Hindustan Times
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

INDIAN RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY LTD. (IREDA)
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) has opened its third branch office in the country in Mumbai for facilitation of its customer, borrowers and other stakeholders.

About:

  • IREDA is a Public Limited Government Company established as a Non-Banking Financial Institution in 1987.

  • IREDA’s corporate and registered office housed in New Delhi.

  • The Agency, a Mini Ratna (Category– I) Government of India Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) already has two branch offices in Chennai and Hyderabad.

  • It is engaged in promoting, developing and extending financial assistance for setting up projects relating to new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency/conservation with the motto: “ENERGY FOR EVER”.

Source : PIB
Environment

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

PENSION REFORMS
Minister for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh has said that rules have been relaxed for divorced daughters to receive Family Pension.

About:

  • Now a daughter will be entitled to receive the Family Pension even if the divorce had not finally taken place, but the divorce petition had been filed by her during the lifetime of her deceased parent employee or pensioner.

  • The earlier rule provided for payment of Family Pension to a divorced daughter only if the divorce had taken place during the lifetime of the deceased parent pensioner or his spouse.

  • The new circular will not only bring ease in the life of pension receiving individuals but also ensure respectable and equitable rights for the divorced daughters in the society.

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  • Orders have also been issued for grant of Family Pension to a Divyang child or sibling even if the Disability Certificate is produced after the death of the pensioner parent but the disability had occurred before the death of the parents.
  • Similarly, to bring ease of living for the Divyang pensioners, the Attendant Allowance for the helper has been increased from 4,500 rupees per month to 6,700 rupees per month.
Source : All India Radio
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

ELECTRONIC ENFORCEMENT & MAINTENANCE OF VEHICULAR DOCUMENTS
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified amendments in Central Motor Vehicle Rules facilitating implementation of Electronic enforcement, Maintenance of Vehicular Documents through Information Technology portal with effect from 1st of next month.

About:

  • Use of IT services and electronic monitoring will result in better enforcement of Traffic Rules in the country and will lead to removing harassment of drivers and would facilitate the citizens.

  • The amendment provides for the definition for Challan, Portal inserted as requirement for  providing the services through IT and further the enforcement of electronic monitoring and enforcement.

  • Details of driving licences disqualified or revoked by the licensing authority shall be recorded chronologically in the portal and such record shall be reflected on a regular basis on the portal has been provided for.

  • Provisions have been made for the procedure for Production and Obtaining Certificates in physical as well as electronic form, the validity, issuance of such documents and further the date and time stamping of inspection and identity of the Officer to be recorded.

  • It has been provided that the use of handheld communications devices while driving shall solely be used for route navigation in such a manner that shall not disturb the concentration of the driver while driving.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

CYANOBACTERIA
Toxins in water produced by cyanobacteria killed more than 300 elephants in Botswana this year, officials said while announcing the result of an investigation into the deaths which had baffled conservationists.

About:

  • Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms common in water and sometimes found in soil.

  • Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic bacteria, some of which are nitrogen-fixing, that live either freely or in a symbiotic relationship with plants or lichen-forming fungi.

  • Not all produce toxins but scientists say toxic ones are occurring more frequently as climate change drives up global temperatures.

  • Some cyanobacterial blooms can harm people and animals and scientists are concerned about their potential impact as climate change leads to warmer water temperatures, which many cyanobacteria prefer.

  • The number of dead elephants had risen to 330, from 281 reported in July.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

INDIAN MUSEUM
Renovation works at the Indian Museum in Kolkata were carried out without following the necessary conservation process, leading to priceless artefacts being damaged, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has found.

About:

  • Indian museum is the earliest and the largest multipurpose Museum not only in the Indian subcontinent but also in the Asia-Pacific region of the world.

  • Background: It was established in 1814 under the guidance of Dr. Nathaniel Wallich at the Asiatic Society.

  • Location: Kolkata.

  • Administration: It is under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

  • Name: The museum which was known in the beginning as the "Asiatic Society Museum" subsequently came to be known as the "Imperial Museum" later familiarized as the "Indian Museum". The museum is more familiar by the name Jadughar or Ajabghar among the visitors.

Source : The Hindu
Culture

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

EXTERNAL DEBT
India’s total external debt increased by 2.8% to $558.5 billion at the end of March mainly on account of a rise in commercial borrowings, a Finance Ministry report showed. External debt was $543 billion a year earlier.

About:

  • The ratio of foreign currency reserves to external debt stood at 85.5% as at end-March, compared to 76% in 2019 March.

  • External debt as a ratio to GDP rose marginally to 20.6%, from 19.8 %, ‘India’s External Debt: A Status Report: 2019-2020’ showed.

  • Sovereign debt shrank 3% to $100.9 billion. This decrease was primarily due to a fall in FII investment in G-Secs — the second-largest constituent — by 23.3% to $21.6 billion, from $28.3 billion in 2019.

  • Loans from multilateral and bilateral sources under external assistance — the largest constituent of sovereign debt — grew 4.9% to $87.2 billion.

  • Non-sovereign debt, on the other hand, rose 4.2% to $457.7 billion mainly due to an increase in commercial borrowings — the largest constituent — by 6.7% to $220.3 billion.

  • Outstanding NRI deposits — the second-largest constituent — at $130.6 billion was almost equal to the level a year earlier.

  • Non-financial corporations accounted for 42% of total debt.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

SWACHH VIDYALAYA ABHIYAN
Public sector units claimed to have constructed 1.4 lakh toilets in government schools as part of a Right to Education project, but almost 40% of those surveyed by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) were found to be non-existent, partially constructed, or unused.

About:

  • In an audit report presented in Parliament, the CAG said over 70% did not have running water facilities in the toilets, while 75% were not being maintained hygienically.

  • The Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan was launched by the Human Resource Development Ministry in September 2014 to meet the Right to Education Act’s mandate that all schools must have separate toilets for boys and girls.

  • Lack of dedicated funds, poor maintenance and poor water availability in toilets were identified as major challenges, and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) were roped in to bridge the gap over a one-year period.

  • There are 10.8 lakh government schools in the country. Overall, more than 1.4 lakh toilets were built by 53 CPSEs, with significant support coming from power, coal and oil companies.

Source : The Hindu
Education

Current Affairs
Sept. 27, 2020

JNANPITH AWARD
The 55th Jnanpith award announced in November 2019 was handed over to poet Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri. Akkitham became the sixth writer to bring Jnanpith to Malayalam literature. The COVID-19 lockdown delayed the award ceremony.

About:

  • Jnanpith Award is given by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a literary and research organization based in Delhi.

  • It is given annually to an author for their "outstanding contribution towards literature".

  • It is bestowed only on Indian writers writing in Indian languages included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and English.

  • Instituted in:

  • There are no posthumous conferral. Also only works published during the preceding twenty years is considered for the award.

  • The award consists of cash prize is ₹11 lakh and a Bronze replica of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom.

Source : The Hindu
Awards
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