Jan. 31, 2021

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: BANKING SECTOR
According to Economic Survey 2020-21, Gross Non-Performing Assets ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks decreased from 8.21 per cent at the end of March 2020 to 7.49 per cent at the end of September 2020.

About:

  • This has to be seen in conjunction with the asset classification relief provided to borrowers on account of the pandemic, says the Economic Survey.

  • Further, the Survey notes that Capital to risk-weighted asset ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks increased from 14.7 per cent to 15.8 per cent between March 2020 and September 2020 with improvement in both Public and Private sector banks.

  • The recovery rate for the Scheduled Commercial Banks through Insolvency & Bankruptcy code-IBC (since its inception) has been over 45 per cent.

  • Due to the pandemic, initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) was suspended for any default. The suspension along with continued clearance has allowed a small decline in accumulated cases.

  • The financial flows to the real economy however remained constrained on account of subdued credit growth by both banks and Non-Banking Financial Corporations.

  • Credit growth of banks slowed down to 6.7 per cent as on January 1, 2021. The credit off take from banking sector also witnessed a broad-based slowdown in 2020-21.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: MONETARY POLICY TRANSMISSION
The monetary policy was significantly eased from March 2020 onwards owing to the unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic and remained accommodative in 2020, states the Economic Survey 2020-21.

About:

  • The repo rate has been cut by 115 bps since March 2020, with 75 bps cut in first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in March 2020 and 40 bps cut in second meeting in May 2020.

  • Also, Systemic liquidity in 2020-21 remained in surplus while RBI undertook various conventional and unconventional measures to manage liquidity situation in the economy.

  • This year saw improvement in transmission of policy repo rates to deposit and lending rates, as reflected in the decline of 94 bps and 67 bps in Weighted Average Lending Rate on fresh rupee loans and outstanding rupee loans respectively from March 2020 to November 2020.

  • Similarly, the Weighted Average Domestic Term Deposit Rate declined by 81 bps during the same period.

Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATINGS
The Economic Survey 2020-21 has called for sovereign credit ratings methodology to be made more transparent, less subjective and better attuned to reflect an economy’s fundamentals.

About:

  • Never in the history of sovereign credit ratings, has the fifth largest economy in the world been rated at the lowest rung of the investment grade (BBB-/Baa3) except in the case of China and India.

  • Reflecting on the economic size and thereby ability to repay debt, at all other times, the fifth largest economy has been predominantly rated AAA.

  • The Survey points out that the Sovereign Credit Ratings can be pro-cyclical and affect equity and debt FPI flows of developing countries, causing damage and worsening crisis. Hence, it has called for addressing the bias and subjectivity inherent in sovereign credit ratings methodology

  • India has already raised the issue of pro-cyclicality of credit ratings in G20.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: COMBINED SOCIAL SECTOR EXPENDITURE
The Economic Survey 2020-21 states that the combined (Centre and States) social sector expenditure as per cent of GDP has increased in 2020-21 compared to last year.

About:

  • The expenditure on social services (education, health and other social sectors) by Centre and States combined as a proportion of GDP increased from 7.5% in 2019-20 (RE) to 8.8% in 2020-21 (BE).

  • According to the Survey, India’s rank in HDI 2019 was recorded 131 compared to 129 in 2018, out of a total 189 countries.

  • By looking at the sub-component wise performance of HDI indicators, India's "GNI per capita (2017 PPP $)" has increased from US$ 6,427 in 2018 to US$ 6,681 in 2019, and "life expectancy at birth" has improved from 69.4 to 69.7 years respectively.

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ROJGAR YOJANA (ABRY)
The Economic Survey says that ABRY, a component of Aatmanirbhar Bharat package announced in November, 2020 has total estimated outlay of Rs 22,810 crore for the scheme period i.e., up to wage month 31st May, 2023.

The scheme proposes to pay:

  • Entire employees’ and employers’ contribution i.e. 24 per cent of wages towards EPF in respect of new employees in establishments employing up to 1000 employees during the period from October, 2020 to June, 2021 and also to re-employ who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

  • Only employees' share of EPF contribution (i.e. 12 per cent) of wages in respect of new employees in establishments employing more than 1000 employee during the period from October 2020 to June 2021, and also to re-employee who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Important Info :

Other measures

  • To provide relief to the organized sector employees, a notification issued on 28th March, 2020 by the Government provisioning non-refundable advance of 75 per cent of outstanding balance or 3 months’ wages whichever is lower, allowed to the members of EPFO.
  • Under Prime Minister’s Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) financial assistance was given to building & other construction workers (BOCW) which largely included migrant workers from the funds collected under BOCW’s cess.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: EMPLOYMENT
The Economic Survey 2020-21 states that the years 2019 and 2020 are landmark years in the history of labour reforms.

About:

  • The country saw the nearly 29 Central Labour laws being amalgamated, rationalized and simplified into four labour codes viz.:
    • the Code on Wages, 2019,

    • the Industrial Relations Code, 2020,

    • the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 and

    • the Code on Social Security, 2020.



  • COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerability of urban casual workers, who account for 11.2 per cent of urban workforce (All-India) as per Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), January-March, 2020.

  • The size of labour force in 2018-19 was estimated at about 51.8 crore persons: about 48.8 crore employed and 3.0 crore unemployed.

  • Industry-wise estimates on workforce shows that the largest, about 21.5 crore persons are employed in 'Agriculture', which is still the largest employer with 42.5 per cent of workforce.

  • Next important industry is ‘other services’ where about 6.4 crore persons (13.8 per cent) were engaged.

  • 'Manufacturing' and ‘Trade, hotel & restaurants’ each employed about 5.9 crore persons with the share of nearly 12.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent respectively, while ‘Construction’ sector employed about 5.7 crore persons in 2018-19 with share of 12.1 per cent.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: SAVING A LIFE THAT IS IN JEOPARDY IS THE ORIGIN OF DHARMA
“Saving a life that is in jeopardy is the origin of Dharma”, the Economic Survey quotes from the epic Mahabharat while explaining the India’s policy response to the pandemic wherein the trade-offs between lives and livelihood was inherent in the crisis triggered by COVID-19.

About:

  • COVID-19 pandemic engendered a once-in-a-century global crisis in 2020 where 90 per cent of countries are expected to experience a contraction in GDP per capita and India’s efforts focused on saving lives and livelihoods by its willingness to take short-term pain for long term gain.

  • The Economic Survey states the example of Spanish Flu to prove the point that the timing matters - early and extensive lockdowns leading to greater delays in reaching peak mortality, lower peak mortality rates and overall lower mortality burden.

  • 40 day lockdown period was used for scaling up the necessary medical and para-medical infrastructure for active surveillance, expanding testing, contact tracing, isolation and management of cases and educating citizens about social distancing and masks.

  • The Survey credits the flattening of curve and lives saved to the early lockdown imposed by the government.

  • While the lockdown resulted in a 23.9 per cent contraction in GDP in Q1, the recovery has been a V-shaped one as seen in the 7.5 per cent decline in Q2 and the recovery across all key economic indicators.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: PRADHAN MANTRI JAN AROGYA YOJANA (PMJAY)
Key Finding of Economic Survey 2020-21 Reveals Strong Positive Impact of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) on Health Outcomes.

The Survey observes that:

  • The proportion of households with any usual member covered under health insurance or financing scheme increased by 54 per cent from NFHS 4 to NFHS 5 in the states that adopted PMJAY, it decreased by 10 per cent in the states that did not adopt PMJAY, reflecting the success of PMJAY in enhancing health insurance coverage.

  • The reduction in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was 20 per cent vis-à-vis 12 per cent in PMJAY and non-PMJAY states respectively, an increment of 8 per cent for states that adopted PMJAY versus those that did not.

  • The proportion of people ensuring family planning rose across all the states between the two surveys, the increase is much more significant in the states that adopted PM-JAY indicating its effectiveness.

  • The proportion of women with total unmet family planning needs decreased by 31 per cent in the PMJAY states, the decline in the non-PMJAY states was merely 10 per cent.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

LOWER ARUN HYDRO ELECTRIC PROJECT
Government of Nepal has allotted 679 MW Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project in Nepal to SJVN through competitive bidding.

About:

  • The Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project is located in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur Districts of Nepal.

  • On completion 679 MW Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project will generate 3561 million units of electricity per annum.

  • The Projects being developed by SJVN in Nepal would result in overall development and boost mutual economic growth in India & Nepal.

  • SJVN is already constructing 900 MW Arun 3 HEP in Nepal and 217km 400 kV associated transmission system. With addition of Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project to its kitty, SJVN portfolio now stands at 8960.5 MW.

Source : Outlook
International

Current Affairs
Jan. 31, 2021

PULSE POLIO PROGRAMME FOR 2021
President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio Programme for 2021 by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

About:

  • The drops were administered to children on the eve of the Polio National Immunization Day, which is observed on the 31st January 2021 (Sunday), also popularly known as Polio Ravivar.

  • Around 17 crore children of less than 5 years of age will be given polio drops as part of the drive of Government of India to sustain polio free status of the country.

  • The strategy of Pulse Polio Immunization Programme was conceived in December 1993 and it was rolled out from 2nd October, 1994 when the first child was immunized against Polio as part of this programme.

  • Before the start of the program, India had 60% caseload of Polio worldwide. With the last case of Polio reported in Howrah on 13th January, 2011, the country has been free of Polio for a decade now.

  • Polio-free certification’ of the entire South-East Asia Region of WHO including India on the 27th of March 2014 was a huge accomplishment in the history of India and Global Public Health.

Source : PIB
Health

Jan. 30, 2021

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: AGRICULTURE
The Agriculture and Allied activities clocked a growth of 3.4 per cent at constant prices during 2020-21 (first advance estimate) says the Economic Survey 2020-21.

About:

  • As per the Provisional Estimates of National Income released by CSO on 29th May, 2020, the share of Agriculture and Allied Sectors in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country at current prices is 17.8 per cent for the year 2019-20.

  • In the Agriculture year 2019-20 (as per Fourth Advance Estimates), total food grain production in the country is estimated at record 296.65 million tonnes which is higher by 11.44 million tonnes than the production of food grain of 285.21 million tonnes achieved during 2018-19.

  • In 2019-20, the major agricultural and allied export destinations were USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal and Bangladesh.

  • The top agriculture and related products exported from India were marine products, basmati rice, buffalo meat, spices, non-basmati rice, cotton raw, oil meals, sugar, castor oil and tea.

  • The contribution of livestock in total agriculture and allied sector GVA (at Constant Prices) has increased from 24.32 per cent (2014-15) to 28.63 per cent (2018-19). Livestock sector contributed 4.19 per cent of total GVA in 2018-19.

  • During the last 5 years ending 2018-19, Food Processing Industries (FPI) sector has been growing at an Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of around 9.99 per cent as compared to around 3.12 per cent in Agriculture and 8.25 per cent in Manufacturing at 2011-12 prices.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: BARE NECESSITIES
Economic Survey 2020-21 constructs a Bare Necessities Index (BNI) at the rural, urban and all India level.

About:

  • The BNI summarises 26 indicators on five dimensions viz., water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities.

  • The BNI has been created for all States for 2012 and 2018 using data from two NSO rounds viz., 69th and 76th on Drinking Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Housing Condition in India.

  • In most of the States the access to the Bare Necessities for the household in 2018 is significantly better compared to 2012.

  • Access to drinking water to households in most of the States has improved in 2018 compared to 2012 in rural as well as urban areas.

  • Regional disparity in access to sanitation has declined as the States having low access to sanitation in 2012 have gained more.

  • Survey observes improvement in Housing Index also indicating improvement in access to housing and reduction in inter-States disparities with disproportionate benefits for the lowest income group in 2018 vis-à-vis 2012.

  • The economic Survey also notes improvement in micro environment for all States in 2018 except for Assam in rural and Odisha and Assam in urban areas as compared to 2012.

  • Survey also points to a positive correlation between access to bare necessities and better health and education outcome. It observes improvement in child survival, decline in still births, malnutrition, and infant mortality with improved access to sanitation and clean drinking water.

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: SKILL DEVELOPMENT
The Economic Survey 2020-21 states that only 2.4 per cent of the workforce of age 15-59 years have received formal vocational / technical training and another 8.9 per cent of the workforce received training through informal sources.

About:

  • Out of the 8.9 per cent workforce who received non-formal training, the largest chunk is contributed by on-the-job training (3.3 per cent), followed by self-learning (2.5 per cent) and hereditary sources (2.1 per cent) and other sources (1 per cent).

  • Among those who received formal training, the most opted training course is IT-ITeS among both males and females.

  • The Unified Skill Regulator- National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) was operationalized recently.

  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0 was rolled out in 2020-21 with a tentative target to skill 8 lakh candidates including migrants.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: EDUCATION
The Economic Survey 2020-21 states that online schooling took off in a big way during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About:

  • The percentage of enrolled children from government and private schools owning a smartphone increased enormously from 36.5 per cent in 2018 to 61.8 per cent in 2020 in rural India.

  • PM eVIDYA which is a comprehensive initiative to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education to enable multi-mode and equitable access to education for students and teachers.

  • Around 92 courses have started and 1.5 crore students are enrolled under Swayam MOOCs which are online courses relating to NIOS.

  • PRAGYATA guidelines on digital education have been developed with a focus on online/blended/digital education for students who are presently at home due to closure of schools.

  • The MANODARPAN initiative for psychological support has been included in Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

  • India has attained a literacy level of almost 96 per cent at the elementary school level. As per National Sample Survey (NSS), the literacy rate of persons of age 7 years and above at the All India level stood at 77.7 per cent.

Source : PIB
Education

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2020-21: HEALTH
The Economic Survey 2020-21 has strongly recommended an increase in public spending on healthcare services from 1 percent to 2.5-3 percent of GDP, as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017.

About:

  • It notes that this can significantly reduce the Out-of-Pocket-Expenditure (OOPE) from 65 per cent to 35 per cent of the overall healthcare spend.

  • The Survey has recommended that the National Health mission (NHM) should be continued in conjunction to with Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

  • Drawing from the lessons learned during the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19, the Economic Survey makes a strong case for complete adoption of telemedicine for meeting the last-mile challenges of healthcare delivery in the country.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

JOY BANGLA
Ahead of the upcoming Legislative Assembly elections in West Bengal, the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) is engaged in Bengal sub-nationalism with its use of the slogan ‘Joy Bangla’.

About:

  • Joy Bangla is a salutation, slogan and war cry used by some Peoples in Bangladesh and Bengali dominated parts of India i.e. West Bengal, Tripura, Barak Valley and Manbhum District.

  • it is used to indicate nationalism towards the geopolitical, cultural and historical region of Bengal and Bangamata (or Mother Bengal).

  • It translates roughly to "Victory to Bengal" or "Hail Bengal". The name of the slogan Joy Bangla comes from a poem named "Purna Abhinandan" (1922) by Kazi Nazrul Islam.

  • Joy Bangla was the slogan and war cry of the Mukti Bahini that fought for the independence of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. In March 2020, the Bangladesh High Court declared ‘Joy Bangla’ as the national slogan of the country.

Source : Indian Express
History

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

STARS PROJECT
Agreement for the financial support of the implementation of Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project of Ministry of Education (MOE) was signed between Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and World Bank along with Ministry of Education.

About:

  • Earlier Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of STARS project in October 2020.

  • The Program envisions improving the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system through interventions in 6 States viz Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.

Implementation Mechanism:

  • STARS project would be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), MOE.

  • DoSEL, MoE is the main implementing agency at the national level. At the State level, the project will be implemented through the integrated State Implementation Society (SIS) for Samagra Shiksha.

Important Info :

Financing:

  • The total project cost of STARS project is Rs 5718 crore with the financial support of World Bank amounting to US $ 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore) and rest coming as State share from the participating States, over a period of 5 years.
  • The proposed World Bank support under STARS is primarily in the form of a results-based financing instrument called Program for Results (PforR). A State Incentive Grant (SIG) will be used to encourage States to meet desired project outcomes.
Source : PIB
Education

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

IN FAC T-81
Indian Naval Fast Attack Craft (IN FAC) T-81 of the Super Dvora MK II class, was decommissioned on 28 January 2021 at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai after having served the nation for more than 20 years.

About:

  • The 25 meters long vessel with 60 tonnes displacement was built at Goa Shipyard Ltd in collaboration with M/s Ramta of Israel. She was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1999.

  • The ship, specially designed for shallow waters, could achieve speeds up to 45 knots and had the capability of day/night surveillance and reconnaissance, Search & Rescue, beach insertion, extraction of Marine Commandoes and high speed interception of intruder craft.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

1st PPP RESEARCH REACTOR FOR PRODUCTION OF NUCLEAR MEDICINES
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the premier research organization of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has evolved a design for the first PPP Research Reactor for production of Nuclear Medicines.

About:

  • In the proposed partnership, the private entities will get exclusive rights to process and market the isotopes produced in the research reactor, in lieu of investing in the reactor and processing facilities.

  • Background: In May 2020, Union Finance Minister announced establishment of a Research Reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes as a part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat initiatives for DAE.

Important Info :

Significance:

  • This project will be a major step towards making India self-reliant in key radio isotopes used in medical and industrial applications.
  • Globally, nuclear medicine is a USD 6 Billion market and is expected to grow rapidly to reach USD 30 Billion by 2030. India produces all major isotopes in the country under the aegis of BARC.
Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 30, 2021

PRABUDDHA BHARATA
Prime Minister Modi will address the 125th anniversary celebrations of ‘Prabuddha Bharata’, on 31st January, 2021. The event is being organized by Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati.

About:

  • ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ is a monthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order, started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896.

  • The journal ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ has been an important medium for spreading the message of India’s ancient spiritual wisdom.

Important Info :

Background:

  • Its publication was started from Chennai (erstwhile Madras), where it continued to be published for two years, after which it was published from Almora.
  • Later, in April 1899, the place of publication of the Journal was shifted to Advaita Ashrama and it has been continuously published from there since then.
Source : PIB
Culture

Jan. 29, 2021

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

YERAWADA JAIL
On Republic Day, the Prison Department of Maharashtra launched its jail tourism initiative starting with more than 150-year-old Yerawada Central Prison in Pune.

About:

  • Constructed in 1866, Yerawada Central Prison is the largest jail in Maharashtra and one of the largest maximum security prisons in the country.

  • In Maharashtra, there are 16 functioning prisons that were built in the 19th century, the oldest being Byculla District Prison in Mumbai which started in 1840.

Important Info :

Historical significance

  • Many leaders of the Indian independence movement were incarcerated in this prison.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned at Yerawada jail three times — from March 1922 to February 1924, from January 1932 to May 1933, and for three days in August 1933.
  • The cell where Mahatma Gandhi was lodged is called the Gandhi Yard, which is also the place where the historic Poona Pact between Gandhi and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was signed.
Source : Indian Express
History

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

SHORT SQUEEZE
There are dozens of ways to pick stocks, but few have been as unconventional -- or as successful -- as the coordinated short-squeeze being deployed by Reddit’s army of day traders. Now, Wall Street is scanning the matter.

About:

  • Short squeeze is a term used by market participants to refer to a phenomenon where short sellers in a stock who have placed their bets on a stock’s fall, rush to hedge their positions or buy the stock in the event of an adverse price movement, in order to cover their losses.

  • This leads to a sharp rise in demand for the share, and huge rally in share prices.

  • In order to cover his loss, the trader who was initially short on the stock, starts buying the stock, which leads to a sharp rise in the share price of the stock.

  • This phenomenon, where the short seller is buying the stock to cover her loss, is referred to as short squeeze in market parlance.

  • It leads to a dramatic rise in share price, far beyond its fundamentals.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

AXIOM MISSION 1 (AX 1)
A former Israeli fighter pilot, an American technology entrepreneur and a Canadian investor will be part of the crew of the first entirely-private orbital space mission.

About:

  • The three men are paying $55 million each to fly aboard a SpaceX rocket for an eight-day visit to the International Space Station, organised by Houston-based spaceflight firm Axiom.

  • The Axiom Mission 1 (AX 1) flight is being arranged under a commercial agreement with NASA.

  • The mission will be led by former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who now works for Axiom space.

  • While private citizens have travelled to space before, the AX 1 mission will be the first to use a commercially built spacecraft, the SpaceX Dragon 2, best known for flying its first two crews to the ISS late last year.

Important Info :

Is this the first time civilians have been launched into space?

  • No, private civilians have travelled to the space station before.
  • Since 2001, Russia has been selling rides to the ISS to wealthy businessmen around the world. They travelled onboard the Russian Soyuz aircraft along with professional cosmonauts and NASA astronauts.
Source : Indian express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

PATHARUGHAT UPRISING
Twenty five years before the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, more than a hundred peasants fell to the bullets of the British on January 28, 1894 in Patharughat, a small village in Assam’s Darrang district.

About:

  • The unarmed peasants were protesting against the increase in land revenue levied by the colonial administration, when the military opened fire.

  • On January 28, 1894, many local peasants gathered in a protest meeting at Patharughat (also known as Patharighat), condemning the increasing land tax levied by the British.

  • As a result, a rebellion brewed in the hearts of the peasants against the British.

  • After much discussion amongst themselves, it was decided that no taxes would be paid to the British, until a proper solution was found to the problem. They were even willing to revolt against the British for the cause.

  • While the protest meeting was going on, Deputy Commissioner of Darrang district, JD Anderson, Mr Barrington, SP and Mr Remington, SDO, arrived at the venue along with full police force.

  • On the orders of Barrington, the police opened fire on the gathering present there. hundreds of people were injured and around 140 of them were killed on spot.

  • Every year on January 28, the government and local people pay respects to the martyrs of the incident (Krishak Swahid Diwas).

Source : Indian Express
History

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

DOPING
Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports launched a breakthrough Reference Material for use in chemical testing in the field of anti-doping synthesized by collaborative efforts of National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Guwahati.

About:

  • This Reference Material (RM), has been identified by NDTL as one of the rarely available RMs globally and would be used to strengthen anti-doping measures in all World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratories.

  • The MoU between NDTL and NIPER Guwahati was signed in August 2020 which proposes to synthesize 20 rarely available Reference Materials (RMs) during a period of 3 years.

  • The availability of these RMs would help the anti-doping laboratories to strengthen their testing capacity. This will help in the greater cause of promoting fair play in sports.

Important Info :
  • National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. It is based in Delhi.
  • It is the only laboratory in the country responsible for human sports dope testing.
Source : The Hindu
Sports

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

COMMON TRUST NETWORK
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare addressed the event on Restoring Cross Border Mobility by World Economic Forum’s Common Trust Network through Video Conference.

About:

  • Background: As countries around the world work to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and restart their economies, they all face the challenge of how to reopen their borders and allow travel and commerce to resume while protecting their populations’ health.

  • To address this challenge, The Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum have launched the Common Trust Network in collaboration with a broad voluntary network of public and private stakeholders.

  • The Common Trust Network is designed to
    • empower individuals with digital access to their health information,

    • make it easier for individuals to understand and comply with each destination’s requirements, and

    • help ensure that only verifiable lab results and vaccination records from trusted sources are presented for the purposes of cross-border travel and commerce.



  • The Common Trust Registry: The Common Trust Network is enabled by a global registry of trusted laboratory and vaccination data sources, standard formats for lab results and vaccination records, and standard tools to make those results and records digitally accessible.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

WORLD NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES (NTD) DAY
January 30, 2021 will mark the second annual World Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Day, highlighting the global community’s commitment to ending Neglected Tropical Diseases.

About:

  • On World NTD Day, on 30th January 2021, more than 50 landmarks representing 25 nations across the world will be lit up to celebrate how far we have come together in beating NTDs. India too will proudly join these countries, by illuminating UNESCO world heritage site Qutub Minar.

  • Background: Originally announced by the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi at the 2019 Reaching the Last Mile Forum, hundreds of partners signed up to mark World NTD Day and demand action to Face NTDs and End The Neglect.

Important Info :
  • Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of tropical infections which are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms (helminths).
  • They include dengue, rabies, blinding trachoma, Buruli ulcer, endemic treponematoses (yaws), leprosy (Hansen disease) etc.
  • These diseases are contrasted with the big three infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), which generally receive greater treatment and research funding.
  • 1 in 5 people around the world are affected by NTDs. India is home to the world’s largest absolute burden of at least 11 of these major neglected tropical diseases.
Source : Outlook
Health

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

2021: YEAR OF INDO-FRENCH ALLIANCE TOWARDS A GREENER PLANET
Union Minister for Environment and French Minister for Ecological Transition launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

About:

  • The basic objective is to strengthen Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favour of global environment protection and give them greater visibility.

  • The Indo-French Year of the Environment over the period 2021-2022 would be based on five main themes: environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and the development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

  • It is also a platform for engaging in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to environment and allied areas.

  • From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations.

  • A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalise the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

Important Info :
  • India-France alliance is the main pillar of the International Solar Alliance launched by PM Narendra Modi.
Source : PIB
Environment & Ecology

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

NATIONAL MARINE TURTLE ACTION PLAN
The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released ‘Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines’ and ‘National Marine Turtle Action Plan’.

About:

  • The documents contains ways and means to guide improved coordination amongst the government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders on the response to cases of stranding, entanglement, injury or mortality of marine mammals and also conservation of marine turtles.

  • These two documents highlight
    • actions to be taken for handling stranded animals on shore, stranded or entangled animals in the sea or on a boat,

    • management actions for improved coordination,

    • reducing threats to marine species and their habitats,

    • rehabilitation of degraded habitats,

    • enhancing people’s participation,

    • advance scientific research and exchange of information on marine mammals and marine turtles and their habitats.



Source : DD News
Environment

Current Affairs
Jan. 29, 2021

KALA UTSAV
Union Education Minister addressed the Valedictory Function of Kala Utsav 2020.

About:

  • Background: Kala Utsav National Competition was launched in 2015.

  • Objective: To promote arts in education by nurturing and show casing the artistic talents of school students. Children with special needs too will have the opportunity to display their talents.

  • Agencies involved: Kala Utsav is an initiative of the Department of School Education and Literacy of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

  • Kala Utsav 2020 was launched online on 10 January 2021 through a digital platform. The Indigenous Toys and Games segment was introduced in Kala Utsav 2020.

Source : PIB
Education

Jan. 28, 2021

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

DNA TECHNOLOGY (USE AND APPLICATION) REGULATION BILL, 2019
Asaddudin Owaisi, president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), and CPI leader Binoy Viswam have filed dissent notes to the parliamentary standing committee’s report on the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019 on the grounds that it does not take into account their concerns over privacy violations.

About:

  • The Bill proposes DNA sampling and profiling of citizens accused of crime or reported missing, and storing their unique genetic information for administrative purposes.

  • The objective of the Bill is limited to the establishment of a regulatory board to regulate the use of DNA technology in consonance with international standards.

Important Info :

Arguments against

  • They say if enacted, the Bill will target Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis by way of DNA sample collection and indefinite storage.
  • The fear is that the law could be used for caste or community-based profiling.
  • The Bill ran afoul with the standards set in the Puttaswamy and Subramanian Swamy judgments of the Supreme Court.
  • In the absence of a statutory framework protecting the right to privacy, this Bill will cause irreversible damage to individuals’ right to privacy as well as the criminal justice system.
Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

SIGUR PLATEAU
The Supreme Court appointed conservationist Nandita Hazarika as Member of a Technical Committee constituted by it on October 14 last year to hear complaints by land owners against the action taken by the Nilgris Collector, which included “arbitrary variance in acreage of the elephant corridor.”

About:

  • On October 14, the top court upheld the Tamil Nadu government’s authority to notify an ‘elephant corridor’ and protect the migratory path of the animals through the Nilgiri biosphere reserve, the largest protected forest area in India, spanning across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

  • The corridor is situated in the ecologically fragile Sigur plateau.

Important Info :
  • Sigur Plateau is a plateau in the north and east of Nilgiri District in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu.
  • It connects the Western and the Eastern Ghats and sustains elephant populations and their genetic diversity.
  • It has the Nilgiri Hills on its southwestern side and the Moyar River Valley on its north-eastern side. The elephants cross the plateau in search of food and water.
Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

BELAGAVI DISPUTE
Maharashtra Chief Minister said the disputed border area between Maharashtra and Karnataka should be made an Union Territory until the matter is heard by the Supreme Court. This sparked off a strong reaction in Karnataka.

About:

  • Maharashtra has been claiming that Belagavi, Karwar and Nipani should be the part of that State as they are Marathi-speaking areas.

  • The erstwhile Bombay Presidency, a multilingual province, included the present-day Karnataka districts of Bijapur, Belgaum, Dharwar and Uttara-Kannada (previously North Kanara).

  • The Belagavi/Belgaum region at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka comprises both Kannada and Marathi speakers.

  • In 1948, the Belgaum municipality requested that the district, having a predominantly Marathi-speaking population, be incorporated into the proposed Maharashtra state.

  • However, the States Reorganisation Act of 1956, which divided states on linguistic and administrative lines, made Belgaum a part of the then Mysore State (which was renamed Karnataka in 1973).

  • The area has been under dispute since then. The Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, formed in 1948, has been fighting for a merger of 800-odd villages in Karnataka with Maharashtra.

  • In 2014, the Karnataka government renamed Belgaum as Belagavi.

Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

TEXTILES COMMITTEE
A formal MoU signing ceremony was held between Textiles Committee, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and M/s. Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre Japan.

About:

  • The objective of the MoU is to provide required support to textile’s trade and industry for ensuring quality as per the requirement of Japanese buyers  through Testing, Inspection & Conformity Assessment.

  • It is expected that the MoU will strengthen the bilateral trade by enhancing India’s export of Textile and Apparels (T&A) to Japan, which is the third largest export destination of the world.

Important Info :

About Textiles Committee:

  • The Textiles Committee was established in the year 1963 by an Act of Parliament.
  • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Textiles to ensure quality of all textiles and textile products for domestic and export markets.
  • The Textiles Committee is the only body providing for all the quality related needs of the entire Textiles Value Chain (TVC) in an integrated format on a pan-India basis.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY (IEA)
The Framework for Strategic Partnership between the International Energy Agency (IEA) members and the Government of India was signed.

About:

  • It aims to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation & enhance global energy security, stability and sustainability. This partnership will lead to an extensive exchange of knowledge and would be a stepping stone towards India becoming a full member of the IEA.

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation.

  • It was established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

  • The IEA is made up of 30 member countries.

  • In addition, the IEA family also includes eight association countries which includes Brazil, China and India.

  • Three countries are seeking accession to full membership, Chile, Israel and Lithuania.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

FUTURE INVESTMENT INITIATIVE FORUM
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare addressed the 4th edition of the Future Investment Initiative Forum, through Video Conference.

About:

  • The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment.

  • It is hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

  • The first event was in October 2017.

  • The purpose of this year’s forum was to find solutions on how business and government can expand access to healthcare, train healthcare workers, remove regulatory barriers and encourage investment in advanced health technologies.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMS DAY
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) observed the International Customs Day, 2021.

About:

  • The theme for this year as given by World Customs Organisation (WCO) is “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain”.

  • January 26 is celebrated as the International Customs Day (ICD). It is the day designated to honour the custom officials and agencies for their function in taking care of the flow of goods across the world borders.

Important Info :

Background: World Customs Organization (WCO)

  • It was on January 26, 1953 that the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) had held its inaugural session in Brussels which was attended by representatives from 17 European countries.
  • International Customs Day was created by CCC in 1983. In 1994, CCC was renamed as World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • WCO is the only international body looking after international customs and matters concerning border control.
  • WCO has head-quarter in Brussels, Belgium.
  • WCO currently has custom organizations from 182 countries as its members.
  • More than 98% of world trade is administered by WCO.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

NATIONAL INFORMATICS CENTRE SERVICES INCORPORATED (NICSI)
National Informatics Centre services Incorporated (NICSI) will celebrate 25 years of its establishment here on 28 January 2021.

About:

  • National Informatics Centre services Incorporated (NICSI) is a Public Sector Enterprise under National Informatics Centre(NIC), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

  • NICSI started its journey in the ICT service industry on 29th August 1995.

  • Providing end-to-end IT solutions for e-governance projects for Central and State Governments and other PSUs across India, NICSI extends its services to the International level too in certain projects.

Important Info :

On the occasion, The Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology will launch:

  • Tejas – a Virtual Intelligence tool (NIC&NICSI-CEDA) that extracts critical information from data to make its meaningful information for policy decisions and improving efficiency in government services and citizen delivery;
  • e-Auction India – to cater to electronic forward and reverse auction requirements of the Govt. organisations serving online 24x7;
  • Work from Anywhere Portal – a virtual environment, provisioned shall empower employees access routine applications like eoffice, calendar, mail, and other departmental applications and communicate across through Video Conferencing;
  • NIC Products Portfolio for International Offering to augment Digital India branding through promotion of productized software applications at global level.
Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

COPRA
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of copra for 2021 season.

About:

  • Copra is the dried meat or kernel of the coconut, which is the fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Coconut oil is extracted from copra, making it an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries.

  • The MSP for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of milling copra has been increased, by Rs.375/-, to Rs. 10335/- per quintal for 2021 season from Rs. 9960/- per quintal in 2020.

  • The approval is based on recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).

  • The increase in MSP for copra for 2021 season is in line with the principle of fixing the MSP at a level of at least 1.5 times the all India weighted average cost of production which was announced by the Government in the Budget 2018-19.

  • The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Limited (NCCF) will continue to act as Central Nodal Agencies to undertake price support operations at the MSP in the coconut growing States.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Jan. 28, 2021

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S DAVOS DIALOGUE
Prime Minister Modi will address the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue on 28th January, 2021 via video conferencing.

About:

  • The Davos Dialogues agenda marks the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative in the post COVID world.

  • The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, is an NGO, founded in 1971. The WEF hosts an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland.

Source : PIB
International
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