• Current Affairs, 29thJanuary 2020

    • January 30, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. “Registration of Press and Periodicals (RPP)” Bill, 2019



    • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had sought the comments/views/suggestions of stakeholders and general public on a draft Bill titled “Registration of Press and Periodicals (RPP)” Bill, 2019” to replace the existing Press and Registration of Books Act,1867 vide Public Notice dated 25th November, 2019 within one month. The Public Notice alongwith the Draft Bill is available on this website.
    • The time limit for submission of comments/suggestions on the Draft RPP Bill, 2019 has been extended by upto 20th January, 2020. The suggestions/ comments/ inputs from the stakeholders may be submitted, preferably as per following format, on e-mail id: jspna-moib@nic.in.
    • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has prepared a draft Bill titled “Registration of Press and Periodicals (RPP)” Bill, 2019” to replace the existing PRB Act,1867
    • Salient features of the draft “Registration of Press and Periodicals Bill, 2019” (i) The Bill proposes to remove the existing provisions relating to registration of Books and matters connected thereto. (ii) The Bill proposes to do away with the existing procedure of furnishing of declaration by publishers/ printers before the District Magistrate and its subsequent authentication. (iii) The process of title and registration of periodicals including newspapers is proposed to be effected centrally by the Press Registrar General as a simultaneous process. (iv) The Bill enables the Central Government and the State Government to frame appropriate rules/ regulations to regulate the criteria/ conditions for issuing Government advertisements in newspapers, accreditation of newspapers and such other facilities for newspapers. (v) The Bill proposes to have a simple system of registration of e-papers. (vi) The Bill proposes to do away with the earlier provision under the PRB Act, 1867 of prosecution of publishers.


    1. 2022 New Delhi World Book Fair




    • France ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenain has announced that Francewill be the guest of honour at New Delhi World Book Fair for the year 2022 (NDWBF 2022) as part of the reciprocal invitation as New Delhi was the guest of honour for 2020 Livre Paris (Paris Book Fair).
    • Lenanin along with Leila Slimani, novelist and French President Emmanuel Macron’s Envoy for Francophone Affairs, conferred 2020 Romain Rolland Book Prize at Jaipur BookMark in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
    • The Romain Rolland Book prize is given annually to the best translation of a french title into any Indian language inclusive of english.
    • Prize winners: 1st 3 albums of the Asterix series (comic magazine series) – Asterix and the Golden Sickle, Asterix and the Goths, and Asterix the Gladiator, translated into Hindi by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta, and published by Om Books won the prize.


    1. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019


    • The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, on December 11, 2019. The Bill seeks to provide for protection of personal data of individuals, and establishes a Data Protection Authority for the same.
    • Applicability: The Bill governs the processing of personal data by: (i) government, (ii) companies incorporated in India, and (iii) foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India. Personal data is data which pertains to characteristics, traits or attributes of identity, which can be used to identify an individual.  The Bill categorises certain personal data as sensitive personal data.  This includes financial data, biometric data, caste, religious or political beliefs, or any other category of data specified by the government, in consultation with the Authority and the concerned sectoral regulator.
    • Obligations of data fiduciary: A data fiduciary is an entity or individual who decides the means and purpose of processing personal data. Such processing will be subject to certain purpose, collection and storage limitations.  For instance, personal data can be processed only for specific, clear and lawful purpose.  Additionally, all data fiduciaries must undertake certain transparency and accountability measures such as: (i) implementing security safeguards (such as data encryption and preventing misuse of data), and (ii) instituting grievance redressal mechanisms to address complaints of individuals.  They must also institute mechanisms for age verification and parental consent when processing sensitive personal data of children.
    • Rights of the individual: The Bill sets out certain rights of the individual (or data principal). These include the right to: (i) obtain confirmation from the fiduciary on whether their personal data has been processed, (ii) seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date personal data, (iii) have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstances, and (iv) restrict continuing disclosure of their personal data by a fiduciary, if it is no longer necessary or consent is withdrawn.
    • Grounds for processing personal data: The Bill allows processing of data by fiduciaries only if consent is provided by the individual. However, in certain circumstances, personal data can be processed without consent.  These include: (i) if required by the State for providing benefits to the individual, (ii) legal proceedings, (iii) to respond to a medical emergency.
    • Social media intermediaries: The Bill defines these to include intermediaries which enable online interaction between users and allow for sharing of information. All such intermediaries which have users above a notified threshold, and whose actions can impact electoral democracy or public order, have certain obligations, which include providing a voluntary user verification mechanism for users in India.
    • Data Protection Authority: The Bill sets up a Data Protection Authority which may: (i) take steps to protect interests of individuals, (ii) prevent misuse of personal data, and (iii) ensure compliance with the Bill. It will consist of a chairperson and six members, with at least 10 years’ expertise in the field of data protection and information technology.  Orders of the Authority can be appealed to an Appellate Tribunal.  Appeals from the Tribunal will go to the Supreme Court.
    • Transfer of data outside India: Sensitive personal data may be transferred outside India for processing if explicitly consented to by the individual, and subject to certain additional conditions. However, such sensitive personal data should continue to be stored in India.  Certain personal data notified as critical personal data by the government can only be processed in India.
    • Exemptions: The central government can exempt any of its agencies from the provisions of the Act: (i) in interest of security of state, public order, sovereignty and integrity of India and friendly relations with foreign states, and (ii) for preventing incitement to commission of any cognisable offence (i.e. arrest without warrant) relating to the above matters. Processing of personal data is also exempted from provisions of the Bill for certain other purposes such as: (i) prevention, investigation, or prosecution of any offence, or (ii) personal, domestic, or (iii) journalistic purposes.  However, such processing must be for a specific, clear and lawful purpose, with certain security safeguards.
    • Offences: Offences under the Bill include: (i) processing or transferring personal data in violation of the Bill, punishable with a fine of Rs 15 crore or 4% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher, and (ii) failure to conduct a data audit, punishable with a fine of five crore rupees or 2% of the annual turnover of the fiduciary, whichever is higher.  Re-identification and processing of de-identified personal data without consent is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years, or fine, or both.
    • Sharing of non-personal data with government: The central government may direct data fiduciaries to provide it with any: (i) non-personal data and (ii) anonymised personal data (where it is not possible to identify data principal) for better targeting of services.
    • Amendments to other laws: The Bill amends the Information Technology Act, 2000 to delete the provisions related to compensation payable by companies for failure to protect personal data.
    1. The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019



    • The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Recognition of Property Rights of Residents in Unauthorised Colonies) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of State of Housing and Urban Affairs, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, on November 26, 2019. The Bill provides for recognising the property rights of residents of certain unauthorised colonies in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.  Key features of the Bill include:
    • Recognition of property rights: The Bill provides that the central government may regularise transactions of immovable properties held by residents of certain unauthorised colonies, through notification.  These transactions could be regularised based on documents including the latest power of attorney, agreement to sale, will, or possession letter.  Any resident of an unauthorised colony having these documents will be eligible to obtain the right of ownership through a conveyance deed or an authorisation slip.
    • Resident: The Bill defines a resident as a person with physical possession of property on the basis of a registered sale deed or certain other documents.  These documents include latest power of attorney, agreement to sale, will, possession letter, and any other document which provides evidence of payment for a property in unauthorised colonies.  The definition includes legal heirs of residents but does not include any tenant, licensee, or persons permitted to use the property.
    • Unauthorised colony: An unauthorised colony is defined as a colony or development comprising of an adjoining area, where no permission has been obtained for the approval of layout or building plans.  Further, the Delhi Development Authority must have had notified the colony for regularisation.
    • Payment of charges: The residents will be required to pay certain charges to obtain such ownership.  These charges may be notified by the central government.  Stamp duty and registration charges will also be payable on the amount mentioned in the conveyance deed or the authorisation slip.  No stamp duty and registration charges will be payable on any previous sale transactions related to the property.


    1. President approves 409 Gallantry and other defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel on Republic Day

    • The President has approved awards of 409Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of 71stRepublic Day celebrations.
    • These includes nineShaurya Chakras, 28 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 123 Vishisht Seva Medals, fourBar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 107 Sena Medals (Gallantry), fiveNao Sena Medals (Gallantry), fourVayu Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 36 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty).



    1. Harsh Vardhan reviews the preparedness regarding nCoV


    • Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare held a high level review meeting with senior officers of the Health Ministry, ICMR and NCDC, here today, to analyse the current situation, preparedness and steps being taken for prevention and management of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) in India. “The situation is being closely monitored at the highest level for adequate preparedness. All the officials of my Ministry, concerned departments and States/UTs have been put on high alert for Novel Coronavirus. We are taking all required possible precautions to manage all possible scenarios”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated.
    • The Union Health Minister is personally reviewing and monitoring the preparedness on a daily basis. He is also in regular contact with Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO SEARO for technical support and guidance in the matter.
    • Dr Harsh Vardhan has spoken to Chief Minister of Uttarakhand today and assured all support for screening at the border with Nepal, where a confirmed nCoV case has been reported.  He is also writing to the Chief Ministers of States requesting for their personal intervention to review the State preparedness for control and management of nCoV.
    • The Union Health Minister has directed for multidisciplinary central teams to be formed and sent to the seven states where thermal screening is being done at the seven designated airports (New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi). The central team shall consist of a public health expert, a clinician and a microbiologist. The teams shall reach the respective states tomorrow. They shall review the end-to-end preparedness for management and control of nCoV in the states including that at the airports, for thermal screening and transferring of patients to hospitals for isolation, and shall also visit the tertiary hospitals attached to the airports for reviewing the isolation wards and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and masks etc. They shall also review whether the infection control, surveillance and other guidelines are being followed. The teams shall coordinate with the State Health Secretaries to explore all avenues for further supporting and strengthening the states’ preparedness.
    • Under directions by Dr Harsh Vardhan, a 24×7 NCDC Call Centre (+91-11-23978046) has been made operational. The said Call Centre will monitor the list of contacts furnished by MEA; provide details of district and state surveillance officers to those who seek them; and in case of any clinical query, direct the concerned to the relevant Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officer. The Union Health Minister has urged the passengers who have a travel history to China since 1stJanuary 2020 to come forward for self-reporting to the nearest health facility if they experience any symptoms such as fever, cough, respiratory distress etc., and also inform their treating doctor.
    • Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that no nCoV case has been detected in the country so far. However, eleven (11) persons have been put under observation; out of samples taken from these 11 individuals, samples of four passengers have been confirmed to be negative for nCoV by the ICMR-NIV Pune lab. He added that timely measures and promptness of the officials of Union Health Ministry has resulted into vigilant actions. He also commended the media for creating awareness among the people.
    • Harsh Vardhan said that various steps have been taken up and continual efforts are being made by Health Ministry in close coordination with Ministry of Civil Aviation, MEA, State Governments and WHO. Close monitoring is being undertaken for all the passengers who are arriving from China and Hong Kong across 7 International Airports in India. All the passengers are undergoing thermal screening. Travel advisory/signages has been extended to 12 more airports in addition to the current seven. Advisory has also been issued to all States/UTs for Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) surveillance to pick up any travel related case reported in the community and follow up contacts of suspect/confirmed cases. He added that the Ministry has issued guidelines for Surveillance and Contact Tracing; Infection Control; Lab Sample Testing and Clinical Care.
    • Harsh Vardhan added that National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune is fully geared up to test samples of nCoV. Ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories (VRDL) network are also equipped to test such samples, if a need arises. Adequate stock of PPE is being maintained by Medical Stores Organization for airports, hospitals and laboratory use.



    1. RBI increased Investment Limits Under Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) to Rs 1.5lakh crore



    • based on the feedback received from the Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) scheme introduced by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) in 2009, the central bank(RBI) in consultation with the govt. made certain amendments in the scheme to increaseits operational flexibility.
    • As per the amendments, the investment limit under VRR has now been increased toRs 1,50,000 crores (1.5lakh crores) from earlier Rs.75,000 crores.
    • .Investment limit:For fresh allotment, the investment limit will be Rs. 90,630 crores and will be allotted under VRR- combined category.
    • The limits of investment will also be available ‘on tap’ and allotted on ‘first come, first served’ basis.
    • Until the limits are fully allotted, the tap will remain opened.
    • The minimum period of retention will be 3 years.
    • VRR was formed on March 01, 2019 for investments by FPI. Initially Rs.75,000 crores were offered for investment in 2 tranches with Rs 54,300 crores already been invested as on December 31, 2019. The scheme aimed at drawing in foreign investors willing to keep money in India for a minimum period of time


    1. Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2020 award




    • Sneha Pamneja, a well known Graphic designerbased in New Delhi, was awarded Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize 2020, a 1st of its kind award for brilliance in book design, at Jaipur BookMark of ongoing 13th edition of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) at Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
    • She was honoured for designing the cover of the book ‘Tiffin: Authentic Recipes Celebrating India’s Regional Cuisine’.
    • Pamneja was awarded a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh for designing an attractive cover. The award was presented to her by the jury comprising Jurors Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Namita Gokhale and Shobhaa De.
    • Penned by Sonal Ved & published by Roli books, the  book Tiffin’s cover attracts the theme and essence of the book attractively.
    • Apart from winning book cover, the jury committee also recognized 3 more designers with special jury awards appreciating their path-breaking contribution in designing the respective book covers.
    • These included designers Samya Arif & Amit Malhotra for Hijabistan (publisher-HarperCollins), Saurav Das for Hicky’s Bengal Gazette (publisher-Transquebar (Westland) & Gaurav Saini for Line on Fire: Ceasefire violations and India-Pakistan escalation dynamics (publisher-Oxford University Press).


    1. Reading preamble of constitution made mandatory in schools of Madhya Pradesh




    • The govt of Madhya Pradeshhas made it mandatory for schools to read the preamble of the constitution every Saturday under the name sovereignty of constitution. This has been done to make the students understand the basic principles of justice, equality, liberty & brotherhood. The order has been issued by the department of school education of Madhya Pradesh.
    • Earlier Maharashtra govt made the reading of the constitution’s preamble mandatory in all primary and secondary schools.




    1. New Zealand PM calls general election on September 19


    • In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today called a General Election on 19th of September, two months ahead of the last possible date for the ballot. Ms Ardern said that she will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support her leadership and the current direction of the government. She is seeking a second three-year term.
    • The 39-year-old’s first term won her international fame. She became a mother while in office and received praise for her sensitive handling of the Christchurch mosques killings and the White Island volcano tragedy.
    • But while she has been feted overseas, opinion polls show her standing at home has slipped. New Zealand economy has struggled under low growth, while the cost of living has risen.




    1. BAFTA award




    • Andrew Clement Serkis (55), an English actor and film director, will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award 2020, one of the British Academy’s top honours from British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)at the 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony,scheduled to be held on February 2, 2020 in London, UK (United Kingdom) .
    • Serkis got his credit with the creation of characters such as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, the titular gorilla in 2005’s King Kong.
    • Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award is presented annually in honour of Michael Balcon, the British film producer best known for his work with Ealing Studios. Previous recipients are Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, co-founders of Number 9 Films, Ridley and Tony Scott, Film4 Productions,etc.


    1. Qualcomm launches 3 new chipsets – Snapdragon 720G, 662 &460 with Indian GPS system NavIC  

    • In a major step to Made in India GPS (Global Positioning System) alternative, Qualcomm, an american multinational chipset manufacturer, has launched 3 chipsets in India – Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460, along with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). All 3 chipsets feature Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and Bluetooth 5.1 support &the most important thing is that these 3 chipsets of Qualcomm have been developed with support for ISRO’s Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), a technology considered an advanced location positioning and navigation system than the GPS technology currently in use.
    • Apart from NavIC, these chipsets will also support the widely used GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System).
    • While Qualcomm’s new chipsets, Chinese smartphone brands Xiaomi and Realme have confirmed that it will soon launch new smartphones with Snapdragon 720G chipset processor.
    • The navigation feature of ISRO with NavIC with which these chipsets have been launched is considered more accurate than with position accuracy of up to 5 meters. Along with this, NavIC comes with dual frequency S and L band whereas GPS used to come only with S band. The accuracy of the navigator will be 6 times higher in urban areas than with GPS.
    • NavIC is also engaged in aircraft of the Indian Air Force. At the same time, more than 30 Indian companies are making NavIC trackers for cars.
    • It is also known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) &is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system built by India to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and the region extending to 1,500 kilometres around India.
    • The NAVIC system consists of a constellation of 3 satellites in Geostationary orbit (GEO), 4 satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and 2 satellites on the ground as stand-by to give precise information on position, navigation and time (PNT) of objects or persons to users on ground, sea and air.



    1. WHO increases global risk degree of novel coronavirus from moderate to high


    • The World Health Organization (WHO) has increased the global risk degree of the novel coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV from moderate to high, citing an error in its previous report. According to the report, the total number of 2019-nCoV confirmed cases globally till Sunday reached 2,014, including 1,985 in China.
    • Beijing reports that World Health Organisation Chief has arrived in Beijing yesterday to discuss ways of containing the spread of the new coronavirus, as the death toll has reached 106 with around 4000 people infected so far.
    • In Canada, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer and the Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu confirmed during a press briefing last evening that a Toronto resident has tested positive for being infected with the novel coronavirus. Another Medical officer of Ontario has confirmed that a second individual had been presumptively confirmed as having contracted the virus. After this, the Global Affairs Canada issued a travel advisory cautioning against all travel to Hubei province in China.
    • In Sri Lanka, first case of a person infected with the new virus from China came up yesterday. Health authorities yesterday said the patient is a Chinese woman in her 40s who arrived in Sri Lanka last week as a tourist from China’s Hubei province.
    • In UK, health Minister said yesterday that around 1,500 people who came to Britain from the Chinese epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in the past two weeks must put themselves in isolation. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said authorities cannot be 100 percent sure that the virus cannot spread from a person who exhibits no flu-like symptoms.
    • In Germany, magazine Spiegel has reported that country’s air force will fly planes to Wuhan this week to fetch stranded citizens. Amidst the mounting crisis, Embassy of India is in talks with China for further steps regarding Indians in Wuhan.
    • Indian Embassy is considering all options which includes evacuation of Indians in Wuhan. It has been urging the Indians in Wuhan to provide all their details so that all the formalities with  Chinese authorities may be completed. Hubei has suspended the services for the application of ordinary passports and exit-entry permits for Chinese persons. However, Special channels will be opened for individuals who have to leave the mainland for urgent reasons. China govt says it is considering requests from the countries in this regard. Chinese officils say that Wuhan residents have sufficient daily necessities supply including meat, eggs, vegetables and local govt has allocated 6,000 taxis and car-hailing services to make sure each community has in average 3 vehicles for urgent trips.






    1. Tennis player Joao Souza of Brazil banned for life due to match-fixing



    • According to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), which is responsible for investigating match fixing in tennis, Joao Olavo Soares de Souza(31), a former Brazilian professional tennis player has been banned for life due to match fixing and corruption. It also fined Souza with $200,000.
    • As per the investigation of TIU, Joao Souza did match fixing in tennis at the ATP(Association of Tennis Professionals) Challenger and ITF (International Tennis Federation ) Futures tournaments in Brazil, Mexico, the United States(US) and Czech Republic between 2015 and 2019.
    • Souza was temporarily suspended from tennis until the completion of the investigation in March 2019. The case was heard in London on 14 January,2020. After this, his participation and attendance at any official tennis event has been banned.
    • He currently has a world ranking of 742 & he reached the 69thposition in the year 2015. In 2013, he reached the 70th rank in the doubles category. He also won the International Tennis Tournament of Cortina in 2016 by defeating Laslo Đere.


    1. Gibraltar Chess Festival: R. Praggnanandhaa beats former world champion Veselin Topalov

    • Young Indian Grand Master R. Praggnanandhaa pulled off a huge upset, beating former world champion Veselin Topalov in the sixth round of the 18th Gibraltar Chess Festival to record his fifth straight win.
    • The 14-year old Chennai lad needed just 33 moves to put it across the Bulgarian. He had started with a loss against compatriot P V Nandhidhaa but since then he has been on a winning spree.
    • Praggnanandhaa is in second spot on five points with six other players and will take on Chinese GM Wang Hao in the seventh round.



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