• Current Affairs, 28thJanuary 2020

    • January 30, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. JPC on Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 invites suggestions



    • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 as introduced in Lok Sabha has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both Houses headed by Lok Sabha Member Meenakashi Lekhi for examination and report.
    • The committee has decided to seek views and suggestions on the bill from individuals and association or bodies concerned. The bill has been uploaded on the Lok Sabha website.
    • Those desirous of submitting their views or suggestions to the committee can send two copies of their memoranda or suggestions either in English or Hindi to Director, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 014, Ground Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi – 110001. Views or suggestions can be sent on e-mail at jpc-datalaw@sansad.nic.inor at lekhi@sansad.nic.in. Further details can be taken from the Lok Sabha website.
    • The memoranda submitted to the committee would form part of the records of the committee and would be treated as confidential and would enjoy privilege of the committee.
    • Those who wish to appear before the committee, besides submitting memoranda have been requested to specifically indicate it. However, the committee’s decision in this regard will be final.
    1. The 3rd Global Potato Conclave



    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall be addressing the 3rdGlobal Potato Conclave at Gandhinagar, Gujarat through remote video conferencing i.e 28th of January 2020.
    • Prime Minister is expected to take an overall view of the achievements and opportunities in the area of potato research, trade and industry, and value chain management and set a roadmap for the decade.
    • The present conclave is the third in the series. In a gap of every ten years it is necessary to work out the achievements in potato sector and set a roadmap for forthcoming decade. In this direction, during last two decades two Global Potato Conferences were organized during 1999, and 2008.
    • The Conclave will provide an opportunity to bring all stakeholders at one common platform so that all the issues are discussed and future plans are made involving everyone related to the potato sector. This will be a unique event to expose different stakeholders of the country to the frontiers of knowledge and innovations in potato research.
    • Gujarat is one of the leading producers of Potato in the country.  In the last eleven years alone, while the area under potato in India, has increased by 19%, it has increased by about 170% in Gujarat (49.7 thousand ha in 2006-07 to 133 thousand ha in 2017-18). With a productivity of more than 30t/ha, Gujarat is holding the No. 1 position in India for last one decade. The State uses modern methods of agriculture like sprinkler and drip irrigation for cultivation.
    • The State also has the best of the cold storage facilities and linkages and is a hub for major potato processing industries in the country.
    • In addition most of the potato exporters are also based in Gujarat. These have led to emergence of the state as a major potato hub in the country.
    • In the light of this the 3rdGlobal Conclave is being held in Gujarat.
    • The Conclave is being organized by Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, and ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla and International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru.
    • This mega event has three major components; (i) The Potato Conference, (ii) The Agri Expo and (iii) Potato Field Day.
    • The Potato Conference will be held for 3 days during 28-30 January, 2020. It will have 10 themes out of which 8 themes are based on basic and applied research. The remaining two themes will have special emphasis on potato trade, value chain management and policy issues.
    • AgriExpo will be organized during 28 to 30 January, 2020, to showcase the status of potato-based industries and trade, processing, seed potato production, biotechnology, public-private partnership in technology transfer and farmers related products etc.
    • Potato Field Day will be organized on January 31, 2020. This will include demonstration of advancements in potato mechanization, potato varieties and latest technologies.
    • Major issues that are to crop up are Shortage of Planting Material, Supply Chains, Post-Harvest Losses, needs for enhanced processing, export and diversified utilisation and necessary policy support – viz for production and use of certified seed, for long distance transport and export promotion.


    1. ‘Vigyan Samagam’, India’s 1st global Mega Science Exhibition



    • the Union Minister of State Independent Charge (I/C) Ministry of Development Of North Eastern Region, Minister of State (Mos) Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pension, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy and Space,  Jitendra Singh inaugurated India’s first global Mega Science Exhibition “Vigyan Samagam”at National Science Centre, New Delhi.The exhibition is organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) & will be held from January 21, 2020, to March 20, 2020.
    • The exhibition aims to focus the career path in the field of fundamental science and research among the students, academia and industries.
    • The exhibition details are available on the website vigyansamagam.inand also on the mobile app Vigyan Samagam.
    • The Projects in the exhibition are showcased by The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Indian National Olympiad (INO), International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), MACE, SKA and TMT.
    • Participants: R. Chidambaram, Former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India (GoI), Former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Dr. Paul Ho, a world-renowned Astrophysicist and Director General of East Asian Observatory, Shri K. N. Vyas, Chairman, AEC and Secretary, DAE, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST).
      v.Vigyan Samagam was held from May 8, 2019, to July 7th 2019 in  Mumbai ,Maharashtra, from July 29, 2019 to September 28,2019 it was held Bengaluru, Karnataka and from November 4, 2019 to December 31, 2019 it was held  Kolkata, West Bengal.




    1. PM hails the Historic Bodo Accord


    • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi hailed the historic Bodo Accord signed today and said the Accord will lead to transformative results for the Bodo people.
    • In a tweet Prime Minister said, “Ushering in a new dawn of peace, harmony and togetherness! Today is a very special day for India. The Accord with Bodo groups, which has been inked today will lead to transformative results for the Bodo people.
    • Bodo Accord inked today stands out for many reasons. It successfully brings together the leading stakeholders under one framework. Those who were previously associated with armed resistance groups will now be entering the mainstream and contributing to our nation’s progress.
    • The Accord with Bodo groups will further protect and popularise the unique culture of the Bodo people. They will get access to a wide range of development oriented initiatives. We are committed to doing everything possible to help the Bodo people realise their aspirations”.
    1. 1st Waste to energy plant at Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop



    • Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agarwal inaugurated the East Coast Railway’s (ECoR) waste to energy plant at Carriage Repair Workshop, Mancheswar(CRW/MCS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is the fourth waste to energy plant in the country and first plant commissioned by Government sector and Indian Railways (IR).
    • Total cost of the plant is Rs 1.79 crore and it can convert 500kg waste to light diesel oil which can be used in light furnaces.
    • Polycrack, a patented heterogeneous catalytic process used in this plant convents multiple feed stocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water. The closed loop process is used in the plant does not affect the environment.
    • In this plant, the feeder materials are the Waste collected from the Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop, coaching depot and Bhubaneswar railway station.
    • In 2011 India’s first waste to energy plant was set up by Infosys in Bangalore, Karnataka, the second plant is located at Moti Bagh in Delhi and it has been in operation since 2014, and in 2019 the third one was set up by Hindalco Limited.


    1. India’s 1st War Memorial for Animals 

    • The govt has announced to set up country’s 1stwar memorial for service animals such as dogs, horses, mules in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh(UP). This war memorial will come at army’s specialized breeding, rearing training centre for animals in the Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Centre and College in Meerut.
    • Names of 300 dogs, 350 handlers, few horses and mules that had dedicated their life in various military operations like Kargil war etc will be inscribed in the granite tablets in the memorial.
    • Mansi, a labrador breed dog who was awarded the highest honour of animalswill top the list of animals to be remembered.
    • The Indian army currently has more than 100 dogs, 5000 mules and 1500 horses.


    1. 13th Jaipur Literature Festival began in Jaipur, Rajasthan



    • The 13thedition of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) began at Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan on January 23, 2020, and will be conducted till January 27, 2020. The 5-day long festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Rajasthan Shri Ashok Gehlot. Author Ashwin Sanghi launched his book ‘The Vault of Vishnu’ through Sonali Bendre Behl at the fest. The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems edited by poet-diplomat Abhay K was also launched. It includes 200 poems.
    • Renowned poet and literary critic Arvind Krishna Mehrotrawas awarded 5th edition of the Mahakavi Sethia Award for poetry during JLF 2020. The award is given in memory of Rajasthani and Hindi poet Kanhaiyalal Sethia and carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 Lakh.
    • Rajasthan State Energy Minister Bulaki Das Kalla and other officials were present in the event. Nearly 500 speakers will be participating in the festival.
    • JLF in Jaipur (known as the pink city) was first founded in the year 2016 and is described as the largest literary show in the world. The festival directors are the writers Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple and it is produced by Sanjoy Roy of Teamwork Arts.


    1. 3 high-level steering committees to dispose of enemy properties



    • The Union government has decided to form 3 high-levelsteering committees to handle the disposal of enemy properties present in the country and to raise money from them. The 3- committees in detail are as follows:
    • Group of Ministers (GoM)
      It will be headed by Union Home Minister(HM) Amit Shah, to oversee the disposal of more than 9,400 enemy properties in India, which are expected to bring in revenue of about Rs.1 lakh crore rupees to the exchequer.
      2 other high-level committees will also be set up for disposal of immovable enemy properties vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India under the Enemy Property Act,1968. These 2 committee includes:
    • Inter-Ministerial Group:
      It will be co-chaired by the Union Home Secretary -Ajay Bhalla and Shri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, the secretary of the department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM).
    • Core Group of Secretaries on Asset Monetisation (CGAM):
      It will be constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
    • This property is left by those who have taken citizenship of Pakistan or China.
      There are 9,280 properties of citizens of Pakistan and 126 properties of citizens of China. The highest numbers of 4,991 properties of Pakistan’s citizen are in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It is followed by West Bengal, which has 2735 such properties &487 in Delhi. Meghalaya has the highest number of properties (57) left by Chinese citizens. Apart from these, there are 29 in West Bengal and 7 in Assam.


    1. MoRD inks MoU with BMGF under DAY-NRLM to strengthen grassroots institutions of the rural poor 



    • The Ministry of Rural Development(MoRD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation(BMGF) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). The MoU is to further strengthengrassroots of institutions for rural poor.
    • The MoU was signed by Smt Alka Upadhyaya, Additional Secretary and Mission Director of NRLM on behalf of MoRD while it was signed by Shri AlkeshWadhwanion on behalf of BMGF in presence of MoRD secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan.
    • The MoU aims to reduce poverty of India’s poor people through institutions of marginalized rural women as it will lead to self-employment as well as creating skilled wage employment opportunities.
    • BMGF will provide support such as assistance in improving implementation quality, documenting best practices, and designing of monitoring learning and evaluation.






    1. High-level roundtable of UNAIDS (The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS)



    • The Union Minister of State for Shipping Independent Charge (I/C) and Union Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviyaparticipated in the High- level roundtable of the joint United Nations Programme on HIV//AIDS (UNAIDS) on his four-day official visit to attend the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) held at  Davos, Switzerland. The theme of the programme was “Access for all Leveraging Innovations, Investments, and Partnership for Health”.
    • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) and Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).
    • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is health insurance scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 18, 2018 in Ranchi, Jharkhand. It covers the health insurance cover of Rs.5 lakhs per family which has covered over 50 crore beneficiaries in the country.
    • Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) is a scheme is launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals which aims to provide medicines at affordable prices. Under this the PMBJP stores have been opened across the country to provide quality medicines to all the people in the country.
    • The joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) is formed on July 26,1994, which aims to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.


    1. Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez asks ministers to resign


    • In Bolivia, Interim President Jeanine Anez has asked all Ministers to resign a little more than three months before a general election. The Presidential office said in a statement, Mr Anez would seek to fill the positions as fast as possible to maintain continuity ahead of the elections.
    • The decision came just hours after Communication Minister Roxana Lizarraga resigned in protest at Anez’s decision to stand as a Presidential candidate in the upcoming May election.
    • Mr Anez assumed the Presidency in November, two days after Mr Evo Morales resigned following three weeks of protests against his controversial re-election in a poll. Meanwhile, at that time, Mr Anez had said, he had no intention of standing for the full-time job.


    1. Sri Lankan govt thanks India for conferring Padma Shri award on two of their citizens


    • Sri Lankan government has thanked India for conferring Padma Shri award on two of their citizens, Dr. Vajira Chitrasena and late Prof. Indra Dassanayake.
    • Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a message that it is an honour to have two daughters of Sri Lanka, pioneers in their fields, being awarded with one of the highest civilian awards in India. He congratulated Dr. Chitrasena for being awarded on the occasion of 71st republic day of India.
    • Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena also mentioned it in his address at the reception held at Indian house in Colombo last evening to mark Republic day celebrations.
    • Vajira Chitrasena is considered a living legend of Sri Lankan dance at the age of 87. She has contributed to enriching India-Sri Lanka relations through the promotion of dance and blending the art forms of both countries especially the Kandyan and Odissi dance forms.
    • Late Professor Indra Dassanayake was one of the pioneers to introduce and promote Hindi language in educational institutions of Sri Lanka. Because of her efforts, Hindi is taught in more than 80 institutions and schools of Sri Lanka apart from six major universities at present.


    1. US: Democrats call for John Bolton to testify in President’s impeachment trial


    • In United States, Democrats have renewed their demand for John Bolton to be called to testify in the President’s impeachment trial.
    • The call comes following reports that President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Bolton made claims in an unpublished book that Mr Trump wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine unless it investigated his political rival, Democrat Joe Biden.
    • Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team said the President had the authority to hold up aid to Ukraine, the freeze had nothing to do with any investigations.
    • They say the president was concerned about corruption in Ukraine and wanted European nations to pitch in more to help Ukraine fight against separatists.
    • Mr Trump told reporters last week that he did not want Mr Bolton to testify. President Trump has repeatedly branded the impeachment proceedings a “witch hunt.”





    1. ATF unanimously nominates Anil Khanna as life President


    • Senior Sports Administrator Anil Khanna, who recently decided not to contest the President’s post of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF), was today nominated Life President of the continental body. Mr Khanna had served as ATF President from 2005 to 2019 and also ITF Vice President from 2015-19.
    • The ATF held the meeting of its Board of Directors in Melbourne and unanimously nominated Mr Khanna as Life President. He was also appointed Chairman of the ATF Finance Committee.


    1. Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna among 9 killed in helicopter crash in California


    • In the US, Kobe Bryant, 41-year-old National Basketball Association (NBA) legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna died yesterday in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.
    • Nine people were on board, with no survivors left. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016. He was twice the NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.

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