• Current Affairs, 21st January 2020

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. President of India Presents 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

     

     

    • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the 14thRamnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards at a ceremony held in New Delhi today (January 20, 2020).
    • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards honour those journalists from print, broadcast and digital media who have maintained the highest standards of their profession and, despite immense challenges, produced work that sustains public trust in the media and impacts the lives of people. The awards are meant to felicitate those who hold their pen for truth. He congratulated all the award winners and urged them to never let go of their pursuit for truth which is the only compass for good journalism.
    • The President recalled magical touchstone of five Wsand H (what, when, why, where, who and how) whose answers were essential for a story to qualify as a news report. He said that in the din of the “breaking news” syndrome that has consumed the media now, this fundamental principle of restraint and responsibility has been undermined substantially. Fake news has emerged a new menace, whose purveyors proclaim themselves as journalists and taint this noble profession.
    • The President said that journalists tend to wear many hats in the line of their duty. These days, they often assume the role of an investigator, a prosecutor and a judge – all rolled into one. It requires a great deal of inner strength and incredible passion for journalists to play so many roles at a time to arrive at truth. Their versatility is praiseworthy. But that prompts him to ask if such a sweeping exercise of power is accompanied by genuine accountability.
    • The President urged all to ponder for a moment as to what Shri Ramnath Goenka would have done, had he encountered a crisis of credibility on account of paid news or fake news. He would never have allowed the situation to go adrift and initiated measures for course correction for the whole media fraternity. There is no doubt that journalism has been passing through a critical phase.
    • The President said that the quest for truth is difficult and easier said than done. But it must be pursued. A democracy like ours deeply relies on the uncovering of facts and a willingness to debate them. Democracy is meaningful only when the citizen is well informed. In that sense, excellence in journalism grants full meaning to democracy.

     

    1. J&K to see a new sunshine of development, says Piyush Goyal

    • The Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries, Shri Piyush Goyal today said that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will see a new sunrise in the development post the abrogation of Article 370. During the second day of the Central Government’s special public outreach programme to disseminate information about the implementation of its policies and programmes for the overall development of Jammu and Kashmir and its people at Akhnoor, Shri Piyush Goyal said that a new wave of development has started in the union territory of J&K which they have been deprived of from the last seventy two years because of a stumble block called Article 370.
    • Calling the union territory of J&K as “Desh Ka Noor”, the Minister said that every stuck up project has now been cleared which will set a new crack of dawn in the UT of J&K. Giving an insight into the various centrally sponsored schemes and their implementation in the UT of J&K, the Minister said that there has been a great success in their implementation like the Saubhagya scheme under which 3,30000 households have been electrified and a 100 crore special award under this scheme has been awarded to the UT of J&K and reiterated that the govt. wants to electrify even the last household in the UT of J&K. With respect to other centrally sponsored schemes implemented in the UT of J&K, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the UT of J&K has done wonderfully well in Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), and Ujjwala Yojana etc. Giving statistics about the implementation of these schemes, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the UT of J&K stood first in the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Scheme, 18534 houses have been constructed under PMAY, 2.5 lac toilets were constructed under Swach Bharat and Ujjwala scheme has reached to its hundred percent target in Jammu and Kashmir. Reiterating that the benefit of schemes should reach its actual beneficiaries, the Minister said that as per the latest figures available, out of 9 lac 30 thousand beneficiaries, more than 7 lac beneficiaries have been benefited under these schemes. And, it is expected to reach 100 percent only in few months, he added.
    • Speaking about the various stuck up hydropower projects of the UT of J&K; the Minister said that Pakaldul Hydroelectric Power Project that was stuck up from the last 8 years has now been cleared. 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Power Project and 624 MW Kiru Hydroelectric Power Project have also been cleared, he added.
    • Related to the various development works done by the Government, the Minister said that the highest bridge in the world is being constructed on Chenab in J&K which is an architectural marvel. The minister also said that the work on Banihal-Katra project has been expedited by the govt. The real aim of the central govt. is now to connect India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari which is only possible under the leadership of the Prime Minister of India, he added. He further said that the completion of this important project will be a blessing for UT of J&K as it has a great scope to boost the economy, will support its various industries as well. Giving details, the Minister said that the Chenani Sud Mahadev project will be completed in May 2021, work on Ram Bag flyover has been completed, thousands of Kilometers of road have been constructed under PMGSY, construction of Ring road in Jammu will be completed upto the end of this year and the work on Jammu Akhnoor Road has started this year. Reiterating Prime Minister’s seriousness towards the development of UT of J&K, the Minister said that in the last 18 months, out of 54 projects taken, 14 projects have been completed, work on 32 projects is going on, 4 projects are in the DPR stage and only 1 project is under process. The Minister also said that the govt. has planned to organize an investment summit in the UT of J&K which will draw a new investment map for it on modern levels.
    • The important irrigation projects have also been taken seriously by the govt., he said. Giving details, the Minister said that the Shahpur Kandi Project that was stuck up from the last seventy years has now been cleared which will now irrigate 54000 hectares of land and will generate 770 MW of hydroelectricity and the Uj multipurpose project that was kept in the cold storage has now been cleared which will irrigate 31000 hectares of agricultural land and will generate 196 MW of hydroelectricity.
    • Talking about skill development projects in the UT of J&K, the Minister said that the Himayat Yojana is now doing wonders in J&K and as of now 12000 candidates have been trained under it and 7801 are under training now. In the health sector, the minister said that the work on two AIIMS has started; five new medical colleges have been established that added 500 new medical seats for the aspirants.
    • Giving details of Railway Development in the UT of J&K, the Minister said that Vande Bharat Express has started between Delhi and Katra and the work on Katra Banihal railway project has been expedited for the welfare of the people.
    • Earlier, during his visit, the Minister inaugurated the protection work of 300 meters at Gurki Dakki, Jia Porta, Akhnoor along the bank of river Chenab constructed at an estimated cost of 324.58 Lac rupees in presence of the Member of Parliament Shri Jugal Kishore. He also e-inaugurated an indoor sports hall near BHSS, Akhnoor constructed at an estimated cost of 195 Lac rupees.
    • As a part of this outreach programme, spanning over a week, 38 Union Ministers will undertake an extensive tour of different districts across 60 different locations in both the divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. The objective of the visit is to disseminate the information about the importance of the government policies with regard to the overall development of J&K and its people along with steps taken in this direction in the last five months. The outreach programme will cover five themes viz rapid development after President’s rule from June 2018 and after Reorganization in August 2019, hundred percent coverage of 55 beneficiary oriented schemes to all the residents of J&K, rapid infrastructural development including implementation of PMDP, flagship schemes and iconic projects, good governance and rule of law with equality of opportunity to all in rapid industrial and economic growth in all sectors with a focus on incomes and employment.

     

    1. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu calls for preservation & promotion of classical languages

    • Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for preservation and promotion of classical languages saying that they provide the window to our past and the civilizational values of ancient India.  Mr Venkaiah Naidu, who arrived at Venkatachalam in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh by a Special train on a two-day visit to Sri Potti Shriramulu, interacted with the scholars, writers and experts in Telugu Language.
    • The Vice President said that our classical languages represent the knowledge and wisdom of our ancient thinkers, scientists, poets, sages, doctors, philosophers and rulers. He stressed the need to preserve and promote classical languages. Mr Naidu’s discussions with scholars centered around the promotion of classical Telugu language and the development of the Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu (CESCT).
    • While referring to some reports, Mr Naidu expressed concern over the fact that more than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them.
    • Following a demand to shift the Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Telugu from Mysuru, Mr Naiudu had suggested shifting the CESCT to the then unified AP, some years ago.  The Central Government wrote to the combined Andhra Pradesh Government in this regard. After the bifurcation of the AP State, Mr Naidu again took the initiative and urged the Central Government to shift CESCT to either of the Telugu speaking states. Later the Union Government decided to locate CESCT in Nellore. The CESCT in Classical Telugu, among others, propagates and preserves the classical language inside and outside its speech territories.

     

    1. JP Nadda elected as National President of Bharatiya Janata Party

     

     

     

    • BJP Working President J P Nadda was elected unopposed as the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party today. Party’s election in-charge of organization, Radha Mohan Singh gave him the certificate of his election on the occasion.
    • the nomination process for the top party post was held at party headquarters in the national capital. Party leaders including Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states filed nomination papers in support of Mr Nadda’s candidature. Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated Mr Nadda at party headquarters.
    • Nadda, who is from Himachal Pradesh, was appointed as the party’s working president in July last year. He has long been a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, its highest decision-making body. He was also the Cabinet Minister in the first tenure of the Narendra Modi Government. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he was in charge of the BJP’s election campaign in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

     

     

     

    1. 14th Foundation Day of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) celebrated

    • The 14th Foundation Day of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) was celebrated at a function in New Delhi on 18th January 2020. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Shri PiyushGoyal congratulated team DFCCIL for completing 500 km of Dedicated Freight Corridor and exhorted the team to achieve the goal of 991 km by March 2020. He said that DFC has the impact to transform the railways sector. It is necessary to have separate tracks for freight and for passengers to ensure faster movement of both. Shri PiyushGoyal said that Indian Railways should run freight trains in convoys for maximum utilisation of the path and increasing the average speed of freight trains. Just like IRCTC which pays compensation for delays in its Tejas trains, Railways freight customers should be compensated for late arrival of goods trains and emphasized for time-tabled goods train run on DFCCIL.
    • Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav Chairman, Railway Board and Chairman DFCCIL, enunciated that consolidation, growth and reforms are the three crucial areas which Indian Railways are working on. He said that Dedicated Freight Corridors are ushering in a paradigm change in Indian Railways and asserted that DFCCIL will play a significant role in shaping the Indian economy. He said that IR is upgrading the Railway network, especially the Delhi – Mumbai and Delhi – Howrah sectors for running faster and modern trains. He further emphasized that by having acquired 98.5 % land, DFCCIL is on the fast track for project completion.
    • Shri AnuragSachan, MD, DFCCIL, while addressing the gathering on this occasion profusely recognised the dynamic leadership and continuous support of Shri PiyushGoyal. He also assured that team DFCCIL will work hard to complete the project on time.
    • Other dignitaries present in the function were Smt. ManjulaRangarajan, Financial Commissioner, Railway Board, Shri Pradeep Kumar, Member S&T, Railway Board, Ms PinkyAnand, Additional Solicitor General. An array of senior officers from Railway Board, DFCCIL, PSUs, World Bank & JICA, and other stakeholders attended the event.
    • In the awards ceremony 28 individual awards and 4 Group awards were given. The running shield for the Western Corridor was given to Ajmer & Ahmedabad units jointly and for Eastern Corridor, it was given to PtDeendayalUpadhayaya (Mughalsarai) unit.
    • Timelines:
    • EDFC
    SectionLengthTime of Completion
    Khurja – Bhaupur351 kmPartly trial runs have started on Bhadan. By FY 2019-20, the total 351 km will be commissioned
    Bhaupur – Mughalsarai402 kmDec-2020
    Sonnagar – Mughalsarai137 kmDec-2020
    Khurja – Dadri46 kmDec-2020
    Khurja – Ludhiana401 kmDec -2021
    • WDFC
    SectionLengthTime of Completion
    Rewari – Palanpur641 kmMar-2020
    Rewari – Dadri127 kmMar-2021
    Palanpur – Makarpura308 kmSep-2021
    Makarpura – JNPT430 km

     

     

    1. Dr Jitendra Singh visits Udhampur as part of Special Outreach Programme of Central Government

     

    • The Union Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that 1000acre (8,000 kanal) land has been identified in Udhampurand allotted for industrial development.
    • He said that this will attract lot of investors to the UT of J&K and promote Udhampur as an industrial hub and which will in turn generate employment opportunities for the local youth. He was speaking during his visit to Udhampur district today as a part of Special Outreach Program of the Central Government. The Minister further said that J&K Investor Summit is being planned to be held in Jammu and Srinagar in the month of April this year.The function was attended by large gathering including newly constituted Block Development Council Chairpersons besides various Sarpanch/Panch of the area. He visited Jammu yesterday as a part of this initiative.
    • During his visit to Udhampur, Dr Jitendra Singh reviewed the Devika River Rejuvenation and Beautification Project worth Rs 190 crore, on the lines of Clean Ganga Project which was sanctioned in the year 2017, but took off only recently. Various development schemes of the district were also reviewed, which included ‘Jeevika’ and ‘Sukoon’, among others. The Jeevika scheme aims at benefiting the farmers by income generation through farming techniques such as water conservation, drip irrigation, polyhouseand organic farming. He also visited ChakRakhwala and formally dedicated the scheme to farmers. He appreciated the Sukoon online payment platform created by District Administration to pay the relief amount to the victims of natural disasters. The Minister emphasised that these good governance schemes should be replicated nationwide so that the citizens across country can be benefitted. The Minister also announced that a new Bus Stand will be built soon for the people of Udhampur. The Ministersanctioned Rs 40 lakhfrom MPLADS for the development of Udhampur. The project of Centrally funded medical college in Udhampur was also discussed. The project was sanctioned last year, but the land could be acquired only during the last months.
    • Dr Jitendra Singh visited various stalls educating people about the Central Government schemes such as BetiBachao, BetiPadhao, Aayushman Bharat and schemes related to agriculture, horticulture, disability pension and other social welfare schemes. On the occasion, the Minister also interacted with the beneficiaries and presented them with the cheques related to welfare schemes. The Minister said that Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to the development of UTs of J&K and Ladakh. He added that the benefits of Central Government schemes should reach the last man in the queue. The Minister also emphasised upon strengthening of grass root level democracy.
    • As a part of this outreach programme, 38Union Ministers will undertake an extensive tour of different districts across 60 different locations in both the divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. The objective of the visit is to disseminate the information about the importance of the government policies with regard to the overall development of J&K and its people along with steps taken in this direction in the last five months. The outreach programme will cover five themes viz rapid development after President’s rule from June 2018 and after Reorganization in August 2019, hundred percent coverage of 55 beneficiary oriented schemes to all the residents of J&K, rapid infrastructural development including implementation of PMDP, flagship schemes and iconic projects, good governance and rule of law with equality of opportunity to all in rapid industrial and economic growth in all sectors with a focus on incomes and employment.

     

    1. Conducting Block Development Council Elections in J&K a historical step: Anurag Thakur

     

    • The Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri. Anurag Singh Thakur today said that Jammu and Kashmir has suffered immensely due to the historical mistakes, and this has had a detrimental impact on its political, social and economic development.  He said this while inaugurating various developmental projects at Nagrota, Jammu during the second day of the Central Government’s special public outreach programme to disseminate information about the implementation of its policies and programmes for the overall development of Jammu and Kashmir and its people.
    • While addressing a large gathering, Shri Thakur said that the BDC elections in J&K was a historical step that made the local self government a part of the decision making authority of which they have been deprived of from the last seventy two years. He further said that the govt. wants grass root level participation to become an integral part of democracy which can then empower people socially, economically and politically. He also urged the Block Development Council members to implement the basic centrally sponsored schemes up to the gross root level to which they have been deprived of from many decades.
    • With respect to the implementation of the GoI schemes and programmes, Shri Thakur said that the UT of J&K has done wonderful in Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Ujjwala Yojana and Swach Bharat etc. The Minister appreciated the role of J&K Administration on achieving target under Swach Bharat Mission and Saubhagya Yojana. He reiterated that the Prime Minister of India has taken the UT of J&K on top priority in terms of development. Giving details regarding centrally sponsored schemes, the Minister said that the UT of J&K stood first in the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Scheme, 18534 houses have been constructed under PMAY, 2.5 lac toilets were constructed under Swach Bharat and Ujjwala has reached to its hundred percent target in Jammu and Kashmir. He also urged the concerned authorities to speed up the execution of these centrally sponsored schemes for the benefit of the grass root level population and also emphasised to spread awareness about the various schemes of the Govt. like PM Jan Dhan Yojna, MGNREGA, PM Gram Sadak Yojna, PM Awas Yojna, National Health Mission, Ladli Beti, Old Age Pension and others.
    • The minister also said that DBT is a huge game changer in developmental and welfare paradigm of India as it has changed the way in which benefits and welfare of citizens is secured in India and ensured a great transparency. Talking about the sports talent in J&K, the Minister said that sports infrastructure in J&K will be upgraded as there is a huge potential among the youngsters and they were being held back in the past from achieving their dreams and glory by the lack of facilities.
    • The Minister also emphasised the people of the UT of J&K to leave their past and urged to give efforts to make a New India.
    • Earlier, during his visit, the Minister dedicated a permanent ambulance to the PHC Nagrota and promised to provide a mobile van health service on trial basis for three months only to provide basic health care facilities to the people at their doorsteps.

     

    1. Prime Minister to interact with students for another exciting edition of “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020” tomorrow

     

     

     

    • The third edition of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s Town Hall interaction programme Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 with students from India and abroad to beat exam stress will be held tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. Around 2000 students are participating from all over India in Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020.
    • A lot of excitement and enthusiasm is being seen among the students to not only participate in the unique event but also to receive valuable tips from the Prime Minister who is keen to ensure that the students take exams in a relaxed atmosphere and do not come under stress, to ensure better results in the long run.
    • The HRD Ministry in partnership with MyGov launched a ‘short essay’ competition on five different themes for students of classes 9 to 12 for the third edition of Prime Ministers Interaction Programme “ParikshaPeCharcha 2020”.The entries for the competition were invited online from 2nd December, 2019 to 23rd December, 2019 through mygov.inMore than 3 lakh children registered themselves out of which over 2.6 lakh students participated in the competition.1.03 lakhs students  had participated in the competition in 2019. Selected winners stand a chance to attend Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 and interact with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. This year 50 Divyang students will also take part in the interaction programme at Talkatora Stadium
    • A painting and poster making competition has been held on exam related issues for CBSE & KVS school students, out of which selected painting/posters will form a part of exhibition before the Prime Minister during the Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020. Around 725 posters and paintings have been received, out of that around50 selected paintings/postersare being displayed at the venue of the programme Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. The Prime Minister will view this exhibition before the start of the programme.
    • To make this programme more student centric first time students will moderate the one hour long program of Prime Minister. This year, four Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) schools students will compere the programme. These four students of KVS were shortlisted from the EK BHARAT SHRESTHA BHARAT Parv debate competition organised by the KVS last year. Among these four students two are girls and two are boys.
    • Format for this year : PPC2020 will have the same Town Hall’ format as in previous two events, which is unique in itself wherein the Prime Minister interacts with school students at the Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi. This format was a huge success during the last 2 years. About 2000 school students will be participating in the programme PPC2020.
    • For the above mentioned online competitions, students participated through
      mygov.inwebsite on the following themes:
    • Gratitude is great: A short write-up on the people who a student thinks has played an important role in his/her academic journey so far mentioning why he/she is grateful to them.
    • Your future depends on your Aspirations: A short write-up on the goals and career aspirationsa student sets for himself/herself.
    • Examining Exams: Opinion of students on prevailing examination system and suggestions on ideal examination system.
    • Our Duties, Your Take: Write-up on duties of citizens and how one can inspire everyone to become more dutiful citizens.
    • Balance is Beneficial: Write-up on balanced activities of students apart from studies.
    • Students from all over the country from class VI to XII are being requested to see/hear the broadcast on Doordarshan (DD National, DD News, DD India)/on radio channels (All India Radio Medium Wave, All India Radio FM Channel).
    • The First edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school and college students “ParikshaPeCharcha 1.0” was held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 16th February, 2018. The second edition of the said Interaction Programme with school and college students “ParikshaPeCharcha 2.0” was also held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 29th January, 2019. Last year more than 8.5 Crore students from across the country viewed or heard the programme on DD/TV Channels/ Radio Channels. It was widely covered by print and electronic media. As per media reports, the interaction programme, became a raging hit on social media, and was the No. 1 trend conversation on “Pariksha Pe Charcha” which got more than 2.5 million impressions on twitter. It was widely viewed on youtube, Facebook Live, through webcasting, among others. Participation of Indian community abroad will also be encouraged, as done last year.
    1. J&K Investor Summit

    • The Union Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that 1000acre (8,000 kanal) land has been identified in Udhampurand allotted for industrial development.
    • He said that this will attract lot of investors to the UT of J&K and promote Udhampur as an industrial hub and which will in turn generate employment opportunities for the local youth. He was speaking during his visit to Udhampur district today as a part of Special Outreach Program of the Central Government.
    • The Minister further said that J&K Investor Summit is being planned to be held in Jammu and Srinagar in the month of April this year.The function was attended by large gathering including newly constituted Block Development Council Chairpersons besides various Sarpanch/Panch of the area. He visited Jammu yesterday as a part of this initiative.
    • During his visit to Udhampur, Dr Jitendra Singh reviewed the Devika River Rejuvenation and Beautification Project worth Rs 190 crore, on the lines of Clean Ganga Project which was sanctioned in the year 2017, but took off only recently. Various development schemes of the district were also reviewed, which included ‘Jeevika’ and ‘Sukoon’, among others.
    • The Jeevika scheme aims at benefiting the farmers by income generation through farming techniques such as water conservation, drip irrigation, polyhouseand organic farming. He also visited ChakRakhwala and formally dedicated the scheme to farmers. He appreciated the Sukoon online payment platform created by District Administration to pay the relief amount to the victims of natural disasters. The Minister emphasised that these good governance schemes should be replicated nationwide so that the citizens across country can be benefitted. The Minister also announced that a new Bus Stand will be built soon for the people of Udhampur. The Ministersanctioned Rs 40 lakhfrom MPLADS for the development of Udhampur. The project of Centrally funded medical college in Udhampur was also discussed. The project was sanctioned last year, but the land could be acquired only during the last months.
    • Dr Jitendra Singh visited various stalls educating people about the Central Government schemes such as BetiBachao, BetiPadhao, Aayushman Bharat and schemes related to agriculture, horticulture, disability pension and other social welfare schemes. On the occasion, the Minister also interacted with the beneficiaries and presented them with the cheques related to welfare schemes. The Minister said that Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to the development of UTs of J&K and Ladakh. He added that the benefits of Central Government schemes should reach the last man in the queue. The Minister also emphasised upon strengthening of grass root level democracy.
    • As a part of this outreach programme, 38Union Ministers will undertake an extensive tour of different districts across 60 different locations in both the divisions of Jammu and Kashmir. The objective of the visit is to disseminate the information about the importance of the government policies with regard to the overall development of J&K and its people along with steps taken in this direction in the last five months. The outreach programme will cover five themes viz rapid development after President’s rule from June 2018 and after Reorganization in August 2019, hundred percent coverage of 55 beneficiary oriented schemes to all the residents of J&K, rapid infrastructural development including implementation of PMDP, flagship schemes and iconic projects, good governance and rule of law with equality of opportunity to all in rapid industrial and economic growth in all sectors with a focus on incomes and employment.

     

    1. Launch of Paperless Licensing for Petroleum Service Stations

     

    • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has launched paperless licensing process through Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for petroleum service stations (retail outlets storing and dispensing petrol/diesel for motor conveyances) under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.
    • Paperless application and grant of license process for road tankers for transportation of petroleum under the Petroleum Rules has been launched on 7thJanuary, 2020. After the launch of paperless process, more than 300 licences have been issued.
      Taken together, licences for petroleum service stations and road tankers for transportation of petroleum account for more than 85% of total licences under the Petroleum Rules, 2002.
    • This initiative for petroleum pump licensing is directly going to benefit more than 70,000 petroleum pump owners and oil marketing companies under the Petroleum Rules, 2002. An added advantage of this move is that the authenticity of the license may be verified on PESO’s website https://peso.gov.in/index.aspx. This automation will greatly benefit the petroleum and gas industry.
    • This initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s Digital India and Ease of Doing Business towards paperless and green India that will provide simpler mechanism, ease of living and business to the petroleum road tanker owners.The process will include filing the applications online, online payment of fees which will go directly to the concerned officer’s ID without any manual interface. Applicants, at each stage of processing of the application, will be intimated via SMS and email, in case of discrepancy or grant of license or approval. These details will also be reflected in the applicant’s profile. The entire process will not require any printing and physical dispatch of license. The license will be dispatched electronically.

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. PM Modi, Nepali PM KP Sharma Oli to inaugurate ICP Biratnagar

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart K P Sharma Oli will inaugurate Integrated Check Post (ICP) Biratnagar tomorrow morning. The two Prime Ministers will jointly inaugurate the prestigious project through video conferencing at 11 A.M. ICP Biratnagar has been built on 260 acres of land at a cost of around 140 crore rupees. It has the facilities for immigration clearance of foreign passengers, export and import cargo handling.
    • ICP Biratnagar is equipped with all modern facilities like warehousing facilities including refrigerated cargo, electronic weighing bridges, 100% power backup, fire safety, dedicated communication network and 24×7 monitoring through CCTV and public announcement systems. It is designed to handle around 500 trucks per day. Adequate facilities for quarantine, amenities for drivers, passengers and security personnel have also been created, along with a wastewater treatment plant. A large scale landscaping and tree plantation has also been carried out to conserve and enhance the environment.
    • India and Nepal share over 1,850 kilometre- long border which is characterized by a unique and long tradition of free movement of people. Jobgani-Biratnagar international trade point is one of the important trade points between the two countries. Biratnagar is also the third-largest Revenue Collecting Customs Office of Nepal. India has traditionally been Nepal’s largest trading partner. Presently, over 65 percent of Nepal’s trade is with India and also over 65 percent of Nepal’s exports are to India.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will also witness the progress of the Government of India supported the post-earthquake reconstruction housing project. India is providing financial assistance for the reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal. Around 91 percent of houses have been reconstructed so far and Govt. of India has reimbursed 696.3 crore Nepali rupees from grant and 310.9 crore from Line of Credit (LoC) to Govt. of Nepal for the beneficiaries of Gorkha and Nuwakot districts. India had committed one billion US dollars (US$ 250 million as grant and US$ 750 million as Concessional LoC) for the post-earthquake reconstruction of Nepal during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction (ICNR) held in Kathmandu on 25 June 2015.

     

    1. Myanmar Commission finds war crime and human rights violation by armed forces in Rakhine, no evidence of genocidal intent

     

    • The Myanmar government appointed Independent Commission of Enquiry (ICOE) has observed that the security operations conducted between Aug. 25 and Sept. 5, 2017, in the Rakhine state did involve war crimes, serious human rights violations and violations of domestic laws. However, it did not find any evidence of ‘genocidal intent’ in the operations.
    • the ICOE said that it found no evidence to conclude that the armed forces of Myanmar conducted the operations in the Rakhine state against any national, ethnic, racial or religious group to commit genocide.
      The 461 page report submitted by the ICOE to the Myanmar President U Win Myint on Monday contradicts the report of the UN investigators which concluded that the Myanmar armed forces indulged in acts of genocide in the operations conducted against Rohingyas.
    • The ICOE report says that the clearance operations by the Myanmar’s Defence Services and Police Force were provoked by the initial attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on police outposts in the area on August 25, 2017.
    • Myanmar government set up the ICOE in 2018 to investigate allegations of human rights violations and related issues following the terrorist attacks by ARSA in Rakhine State. It was tasked to fix accountability and recommend steps to ensure peace and stability in the Arakan region. The ICOE was Chaired by Rosario Manalo, a former deputy foreign minister of the Philippines. It also included  Kenzo Oshima, a former permanent representative of Japan to the UN, and two Myanmar nationals.
    1. Thirteen anti-government protesters wounded in Baghdad

      

    • In Iraq, security forces fired tear gas and live rounds during clashes with anti-government protesters overnight and this morning in Baghdad. Thirteen demonstrators have been wounded during the clashes.
    • The tear gas and live rounds were fired near the city’s Sinak Bridge and nearby Tayaran Square, which have been the scene of violence in recent days.
    • The security official said, nine arrests have been made so far after the National Security Council authorized security forces to arrest demonstrators.
    • In the southern city of Nasiriyah, protesters blocked the highway linking the city to the southern oil-rich province of Basra.
    • The uprising began in October when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to decry rampant government corruption, poor public services and a scarcity of jobs. Protesters are demanding an end to Iraq’s sectarian political system, alongside early elections and the stepping aside of its ruling elite. More than 500 people have died under fire from security forces since the protests first erupted.

     

    1. Chinese President says coronavirus outbreak must be taken seriously

     

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping today said that it’s extremely crucial to take every possible measure to combat a new coronavirus that has infected more than 200 people in the country.
    • The President’s remarks came the same day that the country reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected by the novel form of viral pneumonia, including the first cases in the capital. The outbreak comes as the country enters its busiest travel period when millions of board trains and planes for the Lunar New Year holidays.
    • Health authorities in the central city of Wuhan, said an additional 136 cases have been confirmed in the city, which now has a total of 198 infected patients. As of the weekend, a third patient had died, bringing the death toll to three.
    • Authorities in Thailand and in Japan have already identified at least three cases, all involving recent travel from China. At least a half-dozen countries in Asia and three US airports have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China.

     

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

    1. Khelo India: West Bengal, Karnataka win four gold medals each in Swimming

    • In the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati, West Bengal and Karnataka dominated the swimming pool today by winning four gold medals each.
    • In Hockey,  Under- 17 boys, Chandigarh clinched the gold by defeating UP. Rajasthan boys got the gold in boys Under-17 basketball while Tamil Nadu won the girl’s title.
    • Assam entered into the final in boys Under-21 football by defeating Maharashtra by three goals to nil.
    • Assam boys won two golds today in weightlifting. Karnataka’s Srihari Nataraj and West Bengal’s Soubrity Mondol won two golds each in swimming.
    • Delhi boy Anurag Singh, Maharashtra’s Kenisha Gupta and Vedant Bafna and Karnataka’s Suvana Bhaskar also got gold medals in swimming today. Maharastra is leading the medal tally with 63 gold medals on the eleventh day today.

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