• Current Affairs ,30 December 2019

    • January 9, 2020
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    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. President of India Presents Dada Saheb Phalke Award

     

     

     

    1. Mandatory linkage of Aadhar for PMVVY

     

     

    • The Union Ministry of Finance(MoF) in its latest notification has made it mandatory to submit the proof of Aadhaar number of senior citizens who have invested in the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). This move was done to bring transparency to financial processes and to reduce the incidence of frauds.
    • PMVVY is a senior citizen pension  scheme launched by the govt. on May 4, 2017 as a way of providing additional investment to senior citizens.
    • Investment of upto Rs. 15 lakhs can be made in this scheme.
    • Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India is the sole operator of PMVVY.
    • The scheme was announced in 2 versions, i.e., in the Union Budget 2017-18 and 2018-19.
    • Interest rate:The assured rate of return in the range of 8-8.3% is offered by PMVVY.
    • March 31, 2020 is the last date to invest in this scheme to avail the benefits by senior citizens.
    • Avail of the PMVVY benefits:To avail the benefit, the senior citizens will have to submit the Aadhaar enrolment Identification Slip along with any one of the following: bank passbook, voter identity card, ration card, PAN(Permanent Account Number) card, driving license, passport, MGNREGA(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) card,  Kisan photo passbook, Certificate of identity having photo of such person issued by a gazetted person on an official letterhead etc.
    • Incase Aadhar authentication failed due to biometric issues, then the individual should opt for other alternative such as Aadhar one-time password (OTP),  time based password with limited validity, QR code verification, face authentication etc.

     

     

    1. India’s 1st transit oriented project

     

    • Shri Amit Shahlaid the foundation stone of India’s first transit-oriented development (TOD) project. Under this project state of the art infrastructure zone including Delhi’s tallest tower(161 m) will be built.
    • The tower will be built in eastern part of Delhi at Karkardooma and is named as ‘East Delhi Hub’.
    • The hub was approved by the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) in December 2014 to promote the use of public transport over private vehicles. The hub will be spread over 30 hectares, and will be built in the next three-and-a-half years.
    • Hub location: the hub will be built around existing 2 delhi metro railway stations at Karkardooma– on the Blue and Pink Lines.  It will also include  a green area, a 48 storey signature tower in the 1st phase of the project.
    • Land ownership: the land is owned by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and it has selected National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to implement the project’s 1st phase.
    • Land use: The project will have mixed-land use, 70% residential, 20% commercial and the remaining 10% for civic amenities. Housing facilities for the economically weaker section (EWS) will also be done.
    • As per NBCC data, 4,526 residential units would be built, and 1,108 in the 1st phase, besides 2,088 units for EWS (522 for EWS in phase-I).
    • Hub design: The hub has been designed byC P Kukreja Architects with an organic growth design in the area giving the appearance of lotus hub. The TOD project will have central massive green lung of about 10 acres, inside it.
    • Other features of the hub:Near the metro station, a huge plaza will be designed, schools, dispensaries, gymnasia, cultural centres and library etc will also be built inside the tower.

     

    1. Vice President calls for enlightened, meaningful and constructive debate on CAA, NRC and NPR

     

    • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has called for an enlightened and constructive debate on issues such as CAA, NRC and NPR and urged the people to study in-depth and fully understand the background before reacting to any issue.
    • Inaugurating the Birth Centenary Celebrations of the late Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Dr. M. Channa Reddy in Hyderabad, the Vice President said that violence and democracy do not go together and cautioned the people to not get carried away in this age of fake news.
    • As regards CAA, NRC and NPR, the people of the country should have an enlightened, meaningful and constructive discussion and not jump to hasty conclusions. Ours is a mature democracy and there is no place for violence in it, the Vice President stressed.
    • Stating that dissent or disagreement has to be expressed in a constructive, democratic and peaceful manner, he recalled that Mahatma Gandhi had eschewed violence in all its forms even in the face of most daunting challenges. “While protesting against the British rule, he remained civil even to his adversary. He called off Non Cooperation Movement after Chauri Chaura incident which had turned violent”, he pointed out.
    • The Vice President stressed the need for maintaining the dignity of Parliament and Legislatures and raising the standards of the debates. He said that personal attacks should not be made, while policies could be criticized.
    • Referring to the governance system, the Vice President called for reforming it constantly in tune with people’s aspirations. He emphasized that transparency, accountability and people-centric policies were essential to provide good governance.
    • He said that eliminating corruption, decentralizing administration, cutting down red tape, promoting online interface between government departments and the public and promptly addressing the grievances were important features of a responsive administration.
    • Paying rich tributes to Dr. Channa Reddy, he said the late Chief Minister was a grass-roots politician and a mass leader, who relentlessly strove to uplift the conditions of the common people. The fact that he had occupied so many high offices is a testimony to his administrative acumen and leadership qualities, he added.
    • The Vice President said that Dr. Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister was marked by many developmental initiatives as he steered the State on the path to industrialization. He toned up the administration by cutting on red tape and simplifying procedures.
    • Recalling that agriculture was close to Dr. Reddy’s heart, the Vice President said that he had accorded the highest priority to improving the lot of the farmers.
    • He also stated that the late Chief Minister was a relentless champion of social justice and had introduced reservations for BCs in government jobs and education in 1980. As a firm believer in strengthening democratic foundations, he reduced the voting age for local bodies from 21 years to 18 years, the Vice President added.
    • The Vice President also conferred Dr. M. Channa Reddy National Awardfor Sustainable Development posthumously on eminent irrigation expert Late Shri T Hanumantha Rao. The award is in recognition of his revolutionary innovation of Four Water Concept (FWC) for watershed development.
    • Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Honorable Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Dr. K. Rosaiah, honorable former Governor of Tamil Nadu and others were present on the occasion.

     

    1. PM condoles passing away of Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of the Sri Pejawara Matha

     

    • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamijiof the Sri Pejawara Matha, Udupi.
    • “Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of the Sri Pejawara Matha, Udupi will remain in the hearts and minds of lakhs of people for whom he was always a guiding light. A powerhouse of service and spirituality, he continuously worked for a more just and compassionate society. Om Shanti.
    • I consider myself blessed to have got many opportunities to learn from Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji. Our recent meeting, on the pious day of Guru Purnima was also a memorable one. His impeccable knowledge always stood out. My thoughts are with his countless followers”, the Prime Minister said.

     

    1. 7th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’

     

    • My dear countrymen, Namaskar. The moment to bid adieu to 2019 is round the corner knocking at our doors! In a matter of just 3 days, not only will 2019 wave good bye to us; we shall usher our selves  into a new year and a new decade; the third decade of the 21st century! I extend my heartiest greetings to all countrymen on the arrival of year 2020. One thing is certain about the decade to come.
    • And that is, it will witness the active contribution of those who were born in the 21st century, in the country’s progress; these are people who are growing up, understanding the significant issues pertaining to this century.
    • The young people such as these, are known by myriad terms. For some they are millennials; others call them generation Z or Gen Zee too; and broadly speaking, one thing that has captured the collective psyche is that this is the ‘Social Media Generation’.
    • All of us experience that this generation is extremely talented. It thrives on the dream to do something new, something different. It has its own set of opinions. And the best part is; especially in the case of India; according to me, they appreciate the system.
    • Not just that, they prefer to follow the system. And in the event of the system not responding properly, they get restless and even courageously question the system itself! I consider this attribute as a virtue. One can even say with certitude here, that the country’s youth detests anarchy of any sort. They despise any element of lack of governance and instability; abhorring any shades of nepotism, casteism, favouritism or gender discrimination.
    • There are times when we see them at an airport or a cinema theatre; if someone tries to break a queue, the first to react vociferously are these young people. And we have noticed; if such an incident takes place, the youth present around make a video of it on their mobile phones, which goes viral within no time! And the culprit instantly realizes the consequence.
    • Thus, our new generation is an embodiment, a reflection of a new system, a new order, a new age, a new thought. Today, India eagerly awaits this generation expectantly. These are the very people who have to elevate the country to greater heights. Swami Vivekanand ji had observed, “My faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation; out of them will come my workers”.
    • Referring to the youth, he had remarked, “The value of youth can neither be ascertained, nor described!” Youth is the most valuable phase, of one’s life. Your life & future entirely depends on the way your utilized your youth.
    • According to Vivekanand ji, young people are the one’s full of energy and dynamism, possessing the power to usher in change. I am of the firm belief that for India, this decade will be, not only about development & progress of the youth; it will also prove to be about the country’s progress, harnessing their collective might.
    • This generation will play a major role in modernizing India; I feel it beyond any doubt. On the birth anniversary of Vivekanand on the 12th of January, on the occasion of National Youth Day, every young person should give a thought to this responsibility, taking on resolve or the other for this decade.

     

    1. 49th border co-ordination conference between Director Generals of BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) 

     

    • Border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh held Directors General level talks from 25th Dec 2019 to 30th Dec 2019 in New Delhi.  Indian delegation was headed by DG BSF Shri Vivek Johri and BD delegation was headed by DG of BGB Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam, BGBM (BAR), ndc, psc.
    • The items for agenda items for talks related to all issues related to the border including but not limited to smuggling of drugs, gold, fake currency, cattle, action against remnant of Indian Insurgent Groups, construction of fence within 150 yards of IB, developmental works within 150 yards of IB, deaths and injuries to civilians and BSF personnel along the IB, death/injuries to Bangladesh  civilians, human trafficking and illegal immigration.  Discussions were held on each agenda point to make the border guarding more effective despite the difficulties posed by the topography.
    • After through discussion on the Agenda Points, both sides agreed to adhere to the conclusions reached. Highlights of the Joint Record of Discussions signed by both D’sG are: –
    • For injuries or loss of life of BSF personnel on borders while preventing criminal activities, both forces agreed to make all possible efforts to curb the menace of cattle smuggling or any other criminal activity and to ensure tranquility on the borders.
    • For the concerns of BGB for death of Bangladesh Nationals on borders, it was told that non-lethal weapon policy is strictly followed by BSF personnel on border.  Firing is resorted to only in self defence, when BSF patrols are gheraoed and attacked by Dahs etc. It was specified that BSF does not discriminate between criminals based on nationality.
    • For the camps of Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh the BGB had informed that Bangladesh does not allow its soil to be used by any entities or elements hostile to any country but agrees to take action against miscreant, if there are any.
    •   Both sides agreed to take strong measures for prevention of illegal border crossing and to intensify the simultaneous coordinated patrol in vulnerable areas.
    • For the concerns of BGB of smuggling of drugs, narcotics, arms etc, both sides reviewed the steps being taken for prevention and agreed for sharing of real time information, if any, including the relevant information of the apprehended criminals.
    • Sharing the importance of Coordinated Border Management plan in dealing with issues related to Border Security grid.  It was reiterated that joint vulnerable mapping of area to be carried out keeping in view the crime statistics and trends.

     

    1. President of India Visit to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari

     

    • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, visited  Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari .
    • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that we have gathered at a place which continuously emits to us highly positive vibes. It was this spiritual power of the rock at the very feet of Bharat Mata which drew Swami Vivekananda to Kanyakumari in his quest for inner peace. On this day 127 years ago, in 1892, Swamiji began deep meditation on this sacred spot. In three days and three nights, a simple monk transformed himself into an enlightened being and a global messenger of Bharatiya Sanatan Dharma Sanskriti. Swamiji attained enlightenment here and sparked a unique spiritual revolution. It was not for an individual’s own salvation; it was for the rejuvenation of the religious values of the motherland and service of its people.
    • In this context, let me recall letter by him written on 19th March, 1894, Swamiji wrote about his plans. He envisioned selfless sannyasins going from village to village, educating people and working to improve their condition. He wrote, “We, as a nation, have lost our individuality, and that is the cause of all mischief in India. We have to give back to the nation its lost individuality and raise the masses.”

     

    1. ECI reviews poll preparedness for Delhi Legislative Assembly Election 2020

     

    • Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Sh. Ashok Lavasa and Sh. Sushil Chandra reviewed poll preparedness for Delhi Assembly Elections at ECI Headquarters, Delhi  .
    • DEOs, DCPs, Joint CPs ,Chairman NDMC, MCD Commissioner &CEO of Delhi Cantonment Board and nodal officers of various enforcement agencies attended the meeting. The Commission also held a separate meeting with  ChiefSecretary and Police Commissioner of Delhi.
    • Speaking  to the officers. the Chief Election Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Arora said that Constitution of India has given the mandate to Election Commission of India under Article 324 to conduct free, fair and credible elections.  CEC called upon election officials to conduct flawless election in the NCT of Delhi.
    • Election Commissioner, Shri Ashok Lavasa speaking on the occasion directed election officials to respond promptly on the complaints received through c-Vigil app and pay attention on the EVM/VVPAT trainings.
    • During the meeting, a brief presentation was made by Dr. Ranbir Singh, CEO, Delhi highlighting status of preparedness.  He gave the status with regard to electoral rolls, manpower availability, EVMs/VVPATs, training of all election officials, and SVEEP activities focusing and targeting low turnout areas for increasing the number of voter turnout. During the review Dr. Ranbir Singh, CEO informed the Commission regarding special measures taken for facilitating PwD and Sr. Citizens voters including Pick and Drop facility.  He also informed the Commission about the facilities being created at all Polling Station locations like provision of crèche facility, ramp, water facility, mobile locker, selfie point, waiting area, wheel chairs etc.
    • Praveer Ranjan, Spl. Commissioner, Delhi Police who is State Police Nodal Officer made a presentation about the general law and order situation prevailing in Delhi and action being planned by Delhi Police to enforce all the measures as mandated by the Commission.
    • The Commission directed all the DEOs and DCPs to ensure immediate assessment of vulnerable areas so as to prevent any intimidation. The Commission further directed all the DEOs to ensure provision of assured minimum facilities including ramp of gradient of 1:10 or lower and adequate facility of mobile toilets on locations having more than 6 polling booths.  The Commission directed all the local bodies to ensure that all facilities must be available at all polling locations strictly in line with the AMF standards prescribed by the Commission.  DEOs were further directed to properly coordinate with local bodies to remove any noticed deficiency.  The Commission emphasized the need for detailed hands-on training on EVM/VVPAT and directed the DEOs to personally monitor this.  The Commission  emphasized rigorous training for all MCC/Expenditure Monitoring Teams on cVigil to take immediate effective action against any complaints lodged by the citizen on this app. Commission further directed DEOs to ensure the proper and timely distribution of Photo Voters Slips.  Commission directed Transport Department to ensure sufficient number of smaller size vehicles for easy movement polling parties and machines in the narrow lanes.
    • CEC directed all DEOs and DCPs and all other departments to henceforth give utmost priority to the election work so as to ensure successful conduct of election.
    • During the meeting with Chief Secretary, Pr. Secretary (Home) and Commissioner of Police Delhi , the Commission asked them to ensure overall supervision and coordination with all Delhi Government Departments for smooth and peaceful conduct of Election.

     

    1. Dedicate the next decade to make India healthier – Vice President

     

     

    • The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today stressed the need to dedicate the next decade, from 2020 – 2030 to make India healthier by promoting healthy lifestyle, improving healthcare facilities, making healthcare affordable and accessible to all.
    • Inaugurating Delta Hospitals in Rajahmundry today, he expressed concern over the rising incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases owing to the change in lifestyle and dietary habits and stressed the need for following healthy lifestyle practices.
    • Quoting WHO report, he said that around 61 percent of deaths in India were attributed to non-communicable diseases, including heart disorders, cancer, and diabetes.
    • He suggested launching a national movement against the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases and wanted hospitals, the Indian Medical Association and the medical fraternity to take the lead in creating awareness among people, especially the youth.
    • Highlighting the importance of creating awareness among children and the youth of the hazards caused by unhealthy dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles, the Vice President said that students in schools must be encouraged to take part in at least one physical activity or yoga every day to stay fit and healthy.
    • Pointing out that achieving universal healthcare has many challenges including bridging the urban-rural divide in providing quality healthcare facilities, Shri Naidu urged the private sector to expand its footprint to the villages and remote rural areas and reach out to people with affordable healthcare.
    • “It is important for the private sector to complement the efforts of the government in reaching modern healthcare facilities to people living in rural areas,” he added.
    • Stating that the Government of India has launched several initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat to increase citizens’ access to good quality, affordable healthcare with an aim to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, the Vice President called upon the Private sector to supplement government’s efforts in achieving the 2030 target.
    • Shri Naidu urged doctors to show empathy and compassion towards the patients and treat their profession as a mission to serve the people and not as a commercial vocation.
    • ​Shri Naidu while referring to the high stature given to professionals such as Doctors and Teachers in Indian culture asked them to keep service as their motto. He urged them to show emp​​athy and compassion towards the patients and treat their profession as a mission to serve the people and not as a commercial vocation.
    • He stressed the need to innovate and adopt the best practices from world over to improve healthcare services and treatment protocols.
    • Shri Bharat Ram, Member of Parliament, Dr R.B.P.R Chowdary, Chairman & Managing Director of Delta Hospitals, Shri B. Sreenivas, Director, Delta Hospitals were among the dignitaries who graced the event.

     

    1. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates 87th Sivagiri pilgrimage meeting in Kerala

     

    • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the 87th Sivagiri pilgrimage meeting in Sivagiri Theerthadana Mutt in Varkala in Kerala today.
    • In the function, the Vice President said that Sree Narayana guru is a great visionary and humanist whose teachings are very much relevant now and in future.
    • He urged everyone to follow and practice the teachings of a guru that emphasised on ending all discriminations based on caste and class. Mr Naidu further said that irrespective of any religion, caste or class, India is one and everyone must strive to practice and propagate Indian culture.
    • Later in the day, the Vice President will be inaugurating the silver jubilee celebration of Sree Satyasai Orphanage Trust,  Saigramam in Thiruvananthapuram.
    • In the evening, Mr Naidu will also be attending the valedictory function of National Children’s Science Congress in Nalanchira.

     

    1. PM Modi appeals people to show their support to CAA

     

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appealed people to show their support to the Citizenship Amendment Act using #IndiaSupportsCAA.
    • In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, the CAA is about giving citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking anyone’s citizenship away.
    • In another tweet, the Prime Minister shared a video link of Sadhguru explaining aspects related to the CAA. Mr Modi said, the video provides historical context and brilliantly highlights our culture of brotherhood. He said, It also calls out the misinformation by vested interest groups

     

    1. NITI Aayog to launch second edition of Sustainable Development Goals India Index

     

    • NITI Aayog will launch the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index in New Delhi today. The Index documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets.
    • NITI Aayog will also launch the Dashboard 2019-20. The SDG India Index and Dashboard track the progress of States and rank all States and Union Territories on 100 indicators drawn from Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators.
    • It indicates where the country and its States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation. It also charts the distance to be travelled to reach the SDG targets.
    • The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17.
    • This marks an improvement over the 2018 SDG Index, which covered only 13 goals.

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Sri Lankan govt says Batticaloa airport to be developed as an international airport

     

    • Sri Lankan government has said that it will develop Batticaloa airport in eastern province as an international airport with Indian assistance. Minister of Tourism and aviation Prasanna Ranatunga said, the Indian government has extended its fullest cooperation to develop the domestic airport and it has been discussed with the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu recently.
    • He said that the Government of India would like to extend its air services to Batticaloa airport as well. Currently, airline services to India are available to Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo and Jaffna international Airport in Tamil-majority north.
    • Jaffna airport got operationalized in August after the landing of the inaugural flight from Chennai. Eastern province also has a majority of Tamil population along with other communities.
    • Batticaloa Airport was established in 1958  but due to the war situation, the Sri Lanka Air Force took over the airport in 1983 and operated as a base for the Sri Lanka Air Force.
    • The current services from Chennai to Jaffna is proposed to be extended to Batticalao when the airport is operationalized.

     

    1. US airstrikes against Al-Shabaab kill four militants in Somalia

     

    • US military launched airstrikes against the Al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia killing four terrorists. US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said, in coordination with the federal government of Somalia, US Africa Command yesterday conducted three airstrikes in two locations targeting al-Shabaab militants in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow and Caliyoow Barrow, Somalia.
    • It said, two airstrikes killed two militants and destroyed two vehicles in Qunyo Barrow, while a separate strike killed another two in Caliyoow Barrow.

     

     

     

     

     

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