• Current Affairs , 17 December 2019

     

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. PM’s important message on Citizenship Amendment Act 2019
    2. National Safety Awards (Mines) for the years 2015 & 2016
    3. Vijay Diwas
    4. Ministry of coal to establish SDC to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining
    5. FASTags becomes mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December 2019
    6. 29th National Energy Conservation Awards
    7. Poland leaves European Union’s 2050 climate neutrality agreement
    8. 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue & Delhi Dialogue XI
    9. Nuad Thai massage included in UNESCO heritage list
    • Former PM Abdelmadjid Tebboune elected as the President of Algeria
    1. 3 days “International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems” for BIMSTEC
    2. First batch of 21 officers of CIAA of Nepal begin training on ‘Prevention of Fraud, Bribery and Corruption’
    3. India to take on Thailand in U-17 women’s football tournament
    4. West Indies players fined for slow over-rate in first ODI against India
    5. Virat Kohli retains top spot in ICC Test rankings

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. PM’s important message on Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

     

    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi assured fellow Indians that Citizenship Amendment Act does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. In a series of tweets he said.
    • “Violent protests on the Citizenship Amendment Act are unfortunate and deeply distressing.
    • Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos.
    • The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by both Houses of Parliament with overwhelming support. Large number of political parties and MPs supported its passage. This Act illustrates India’s centuries old culture of acceptance, harmony, compassion and brotherhood.
    • I want to unequivocally assure my fellow Indians that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. No Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act. This Act is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go except India.
    • The need of the hour is for all of us to work together for the development of India and the empowerment of every Indian, especially the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.
    • We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance.
    • This is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood. It is my appeal to everyone to stay away from any sort of rumour mongering and falsehoods.”

     

    1. National Safety Awards (Mines) for the years 2015 & 2016

    • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that Mining Industry must accord top priority to the safety, health and life of all the workers by developing the ‘culture of prevention’ across the industry.
    • Addressing the gathering after presenting National Safety Awards for the years 2015 and 2016, he suggested making the mining sector a secure workplace as well as a powerful driver of the growth of the Indian economy by upholding all safety and welfare standards.
    • “The concepts of ‘Self-supervision’ and ‘duty of care’ should become the keyword for the mining industry in place of the present system of External Supervision,” he said.
    • The Vice President asked the industry to make good use of technological tools and e-governance for continuous surveillance of workplace hazards in addition to the present system of using the naked eye and experience. He called for exploring options to achieve the goal of ‘zero harm’, by eliminating human and skill-based errors in the mining area.
    • On matters pertaining to effective regulation and monitoring, the Vice President advised synchronizing legislative measures with the emerging technologies.
    • Observing that keeping the environment free from pollution was essential for the sustainability of mining industry, the Vice President said that there was an urgent need to provide a better environment to workmen and to local inhabitants in mining areas by improving the ecological conditions.
    • “It’s my firm belief that mine safety should not remain confined to human-beings, rather it should encompass all living beings and natural ecosystems. It is our duty to protect our environment,” he added.
    • Stating the Mining sector has contributed greatly towards the development of the Nation, the Vice President said that the mining sector counted for 2.6 percent of our national GDP and provided direct and indirect employment to over 10 million people. (2 million in coal and major metals and 8 million in minor minerals).
    • Shri Naidu said that India must aspire to further expand the value chains of its key minerals to leverage these resources for faster economic development and at the same time focus more on aspects such as safety, sustainability, and impact on the environment.
    • Stressing the need to strengthen emergency preparedness of all mines to reduce the damage due to disasters and other incidents, the Vice President asked the mining industry and the government to frequently check the disaster preparedness of district administration, rescue services, State Disaster Response Force and others by conducting mock rehearsals at mines.
    • The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Secretary (L&E), Shri Heera Lal Samariya, Joint Secretary (L&E), Ms Kalpana Rajsinghot, the Director General (officiating), DGMS, Shri R. Subramanian were in attendance at the venue where more than 90 people received National Safety Awards.

     

     

    1. Vijay Diwas

     

     

    • It is commemorated every 16 December in India, to Indian military’s victory over Pakistanin Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 for the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan. The end of the war also resulted in the unilateral and unconditional surrender of the Pakistan Army and subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.
    • On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendered to the allied forces consists of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini, led by General Jagjit Singh Aurora, of India in the Ramna Race Course, now Suhrawardy Udyan, in Dhaka after their defeat in the war.
    • Same day and event is commemorated in Bangladesh as Bijoy Dibos(lang-bn|বিজয় দিবস}}).This day and event is also in Bangladesh as the Bijoy Dibos
    • On 16 December every year, Citizens, senior officials, students & war veterans lay wreaths and remember the sacrifices of the soldiers. Member of Parliament Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has continued to support the ex servicemen and the armed forces and pursued One Rank One Pension, says, “Don’t let down our heroes, as we commemorate Vijay Diwas.The anniversary of Vijay Divas is observed across India by paying tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the nation. In the nation’s capital New Delhi, the Indian Minister of Defenceand heads of all three wings of the Indian armed forces pay homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi as well as in the National Military Memorial, Bangalore.

     

     

    4. Ministry of coal to establish SDC to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining

     

    • The Ministry of Coalhas decided to create Sustainable Development Cell (SDC) with the aim to promote coal mining in an environmentally sustainable manner in India & to address environmental concerns during the decommissioning/closure of mines.
    • In a scenario where private players are expected to play an increasingly significant role,this move gains significance in future.
    • The mitigation measures that are taken by the coal companies will be monitored by the cell & it will  mentor the companies regarding the ways to maximize the utilization of available resources in a sustainable way.
    • Functioning as a ministry-level nodal point, SDC will work on beautification and creation of eco parks in the reclaimed areas that will promote tourism for recreational purposes. At present, India’s coal mining areas spread over 2,550 sq kms and plans are to extend these areas further.
    • It will also create the future policy framework for the environmental mitigation measures (water sprinkling, dust suppression methods, noise barriers etc.) including the Mine closure Fund.
    • The cell mandates to Collect the data regarding present quantity, quality, surface runoff, drainage of mine water, future availability of water collected in UG(Underground) coal mines etc, and should analyse it on a GIS (geographic information system )based system to prepare model Coal Mine Water Management Plans (CMWMP).

     

    1. FASTags becomes mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December 2019

     

     

     

    • FASTagsor prepaid rechargeable tags for toll collection have become mandatory for all vehicles from 15th December 2019.
    • The FASTags or prepaid rechargeable tags allows automatic payment of toll. The government launched the National Electronic Toll Collection Systemwhich provides for the collection of user fee through FASTag to save fuel and time, curb pollution and ensure seamless movement of traffic.
    • National Highways Authority of India has equipped all fee plazas with Electronic Toll Collection System.
    • With the help of a FASTag, drivers will not have to stop their vehicles at toll plazas to pay tax.
    • A FASTag uses radio frequency identification technology to enable direct toll payments from a moving vehicle.

     

     

    1. 29th National Energy Conservation Awards

     

    • Bureau of Energy Efficiencyhas organised the “29th National Energy Conservation Awards” under the guidance of Ministry of Power, Government of India.
    • India celebrates the National Energy Conservation Dayevery year on 14th December to recognise and celebrate the efforts towards energy conservation.
    • The day highlights the importance of energy conservation in Country’s sustainable development approach.
    • During the event, a Handbook for Implementation of Provisions of Energy Conservation Act 2001 was also released.

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    7. Poland leaves European Union’s 2050 climate neutrality agreement

     

     

    • Poland, a country located in Central Europe, has left European Union’s (EU) 2050 Climate Neutrality Agreementas it demanded more funds for economic transition and support for nuclear power.
    • The Czech Republic and Hungary agree with a course of action after winning a guarantee that nuclear energy recognized for greenhouse gas emission reduction.
    • Poland’s economy relies heavily on coal for some 80 % of its energy needs. It resisted the plan & asked for an extension of the period to 2070 to cut emissions. The other countries refused to to go along with the terms of Poland.
      So, the Poland is expected to reach climate neutrality at its own path.
    • The 2050 goal is a key commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement of the Europe Union on climate change. To achieve the goal, the EU countries (comprises of 28 countries ) will have to slash carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels and find ways to offset remaining emissions.
      It is a 100 billion -euro ($110 billion) plan for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is also called European Green Deal / Europe’s man on the moon moment.
      In 2014, the EU agreed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and 85%-90% by 2050.

     

    1. 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue & Delhi Dialogue XI

     

    • The Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) hosted the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and the 11th edition of the Delhi dialogue i.e., Delhi Dialogue XI in New Delhifrom December 13-14, 2019.
    • It was for the 1st time these two Track 1.5 dialogue (discussion involving officials and non-officials, business leaders, business organisations and all possible non diplomats of two states/countries)were held consecutively and on similar Indo-Pacific themes.
    • The 2019 theme for 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue was “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”.
    • The 2019 theme for the 11th Delhi Dialogue was “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”.
    • Organisers:
      • 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue: The dialogue was organised in assistance with Indian Council for World Affairs(ICWA).
      • Delhi Dialogue XI:The dialogue was organized with the assistance of the Research and Information System (RIS) for developing Countries.
    • Themes:The themes were intended to build upon the growing recognition of the Indo-Pacific concept in strategic and academic circles within this region. These two dialogues were key elements of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and the India-ASEAN calendars respectively
    • High level delegates Participation:Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia; AK Abdul Momin, Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar India’s MEA, senior officials from various countries as well as the Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) at the Delhi Dialogue as well as the Foreign Secretaries; IORA Secretary General Nomvuyo Nokwe and others were present during both the events.
    • Participated Countries: Academicians and scholars from policy institutes, universities and international institutions in Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Sri Lanka, Russia, South Africa, Bangladesh, UAE(United Arab Emirates), Oman, Iran, Mauritius, US(United States), Kenya and India participated.
    1. Nuad Thai massage included in UNESCO heritage list

     

    • Thailand’s famous 2000-year-old massage, Nuad Thaiwas added to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) prestigious heritage list.
    • Nuad Thai is an intense form of massage in which the body is pulled and rotated well with the help of the thumb, elbow, knees and feet.
    • Thai massage originated in India and brought it to Thailand about 2,500 years ago by doctors and monks who carried its secrets for generations.

     

    1. Former PM Abdelmadjid Tebboune elected as the President of Algeria

     

    • Abdelmadjid Tebboune, former Prime Minister (PM) of Algeria was elected as the President of Algeriasucceeding Abdelkader Bensalah.
    • He served as the PM from May 2017 to August 2017, under the governance of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

     

    1. 3 days “International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems” for BIMSTEC

     

    • A three day ‘International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems’for BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries began at the National Agricultural Science Centre (NASM) complex, in New Delhi.
    • The seminar was organized by the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MAFW) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
    • Participants of the seminar:7 BIMSTEC Countries, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, and BIMSTEC Secretariat

     

     

     

     

    1. First batch of 21 officers of CIAA of Nepal begin training on ‘Prevention of Fraud, Bribery and Corruption’

    • The first batch of 21 officers of Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) of Nepal started their 6-day training on ‘Prevention of Fraud, Bribery and Corruption’ at Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar from today. This is a tailor-made course specially designed at the request of Government of Nepal. The course will strengthen the institutional capacity of CIAA to curb corrupt practices and enhance good governance in Nepal.
    • The course mainly focuses on identifying factors for corruption, its impact on the economy and methodology for its detection and prevention. The training would also enhance skills of CIAA Officers for IT-based investigations, sharpen their analytical capabilities and help them learn new methodologies which would empower them to detect, prevent and prosecute corrupt and fraudulent individuals.
    • The course is fully supported by the Government of India under Ministry of External Affairs’ Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. The training reaffirms India’s continuing commitment for capacity building of Nepali officers.
    • The second batch of 21 CIAA officers is scheduled to undergo training from January 11 to 16, 2020. The prestigious Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar trains forensic experts in the area of Forensic Science, Crime Investigation, Security, Behavioral Science and Criminology.

     

     

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

    1. India to take on Thailand in U-17 women’s football tournament

     

    • India will take on Thailand in a must-win match of the U-17 women’s football tournament in Mumbai today. In the third and final league-stage match, the hosts will need a victory to seal a place in the final against Sweden which is slated for the 19th of this month.
    • India coach Thomas Dennerby said that the team is looking forward to the challenge and the girls have a good chance of earning the win. Both India and Thailand enter the match on the backs of losses against Sweden. While India went down 0-3 in the tournament opener, Thailand lost 1-3 to Sweden.

     

    1. West Indies players fined for slow over-rate in first ODI against India

     

    • West Indies players have been docked 80 per cent of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate in the first ODI against India in Chennai.
    • ICC match referee David Boon imposed the fine after Kieron Pollard’s side was ruled to be four overs short of its target yesterday after time allowances were taken into consideration.
    • There was no need for a formal hearing as West Indies skipper Pollard pleaded guilty to the offence after the end of the match and accepted the proposed sanction.
    • On-field umpires Nitin Menon and Shaun George, third umpire Rodney Tucker and fourth umpire Anil Chaudhary levelled the charge.
    • West Indies won the match by eight wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

     

    1. Virat Kohli retains top spot in ICC Test rankings

     

    • Indian skipper Virat Kohli retained his top spot among batsmen in the latest ICC Test rankings issued today. With 928 points, Kohli is 17 points clear of Australia’s Steve Smith who scored 43 and 16 in the first Test against New Zealand which Australia won by 296 runs.
    • Cheteshwar Pujara with 791 and Ajinkya Rahane 759 held on to their fourth and sixth spots respectively.
    • Among the bowlers, Bumrah slipped to the sixth spot in the list headed by Australia’s Pat Cummins.
    • India’s Ravindra Jadeja, meanwhile, remained at number two, behind Jason Holder of the West Indies among Test all-rounders.
    • In the ICC World Test Championship, India stand on top with 360 points, way ahead of Australia 216, Sri Lanka 80, New Zealand 60 and England 56.

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