• Current Affairs, 6 November 2019

    • November 6, 2019
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. Principal Secretary to PM reviews measures to curb air pollution
    2. Electoral bonds worth232 crore were sold in October
    3. Prime Minister to participate in East Asia and RCEP Summit in Bangkok
    4. Role of Agriculture Scientists is vital in farmers’ welfare and country’s progress
    5. Commerce & Industry Minister to launch curtain raiser of GES 2019
    6. The Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Order
    7. Thirty young nursing cadets begin BSc (H) journey in Army Hospital (R&R)
    8. Ambassadors’ Round-table on DefExpo 2020
    9. India and Vietnam
    • Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari relieves all seven Governors
    1. Germany marks 30 years of Berlin Wall fall
    2. Sajith Premadasa not signed any covert or overt agreement with any party in north, says Sri Lankan PM
    3. Pakistan’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman threatens to lockdown entire country
    4. Boris Johnson criticises Trump for his comments over future Britain-US trade agreement
    5. SL: Presidential candidate Sajith again challenges Gotabaya for public debate










    1. Principal Secretary to PM reviews measures to curb air pollution




    • The Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr. P.K Mishra today reviewed once again, the measures taken by the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to tackleair pollution. Dr. Mishra sought to know the details of additional measures taken to check fresh cases of fire and stubble burning in these States during the last 24 hours.
    • The Chief Secretary, Punjab stated that he is personally monitoring the situation with Deputy Commissioners of various districts where hotspots have been identified. He added that FIRs are also being registered for violation of The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The State Government is taking strict action by enforcing the necessary fines for incidents of violation of the said Act.
    • The Chief Secretary, Haryana stated that the Chief Minister has directed all concerned to reduce the cases of stubble burning in the State at the earliest.  She mentioned that the teams are in the field round the clock to control the cases of air pollution.
    • The Chief Secretary, Delhi stated that water sprinkling has been intensified, and identified hotspots and corridors are being focussed upon to improve the situation. Open dumping of garbage in the city has been stopped and maximum fine is being imposed and collected from the violators of these norms.
    • The Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister Shri P. K. Sinha, Cabinet Secretary, Secretary, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Secretary, Agriculture, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, Director General of India Meteorological Department and Chief Secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi along with other senior officials, attended the meeting.




    1. Electoral bonds worth RS.232 crore were sold in October




    • Electoral bonds worth 232 crore were sold in October,taking the total number of bonds sold from March 2018 till October 2019 to 12,313 and the total value to ₹6,128 crore, according to data shared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
    • Mumbai had the highest amount of bonds at ₹1,880 crore, followed by Kolkata at ₹1,440 crore, Delhi at ₹919 crore and Hyderabad at ₹838 crore, while all other cities accounted for ₹1,051 crore from March 2018 till October 2019.
    • Electoral Bonds that allow donors to pay political parties using banks as an intermediary.
    • Although called a bond, the banking instrument resembling promissory notes will not carry any interest. It will be a bearer instrument. It will not carry the name of the payee. It can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore.




    3. Prime Minister to participate in East Asia and RCEP Summit in Bangkok



    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the East Asia and RCEP summits in Bangkok today. Besides he will also hold meetings with Japan Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Vietnam PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Australian PM Scott Morrison in Bangkok, before he returns to Delhi.
    • Prime Minister would be steering India’s negotiations at the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or the RCEP. RCEP is a comprehensive free trade agreement being negotiated between the 10 ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s free trade agreement partners Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to dispel the notion that India is as reluctant to join the RCEP trade deal. In a detailed interview to Bangkok Post he said, India remains committed to a comprehensive and balanced outcome from the ongoing RCEP negotiations but India would like a win-win outcome.
    • He added that addressing India’s concerns over unsustainable trade deficits is important.
    • Prime Minister expressed that a mutually beneficial RCEP, in which all sides gain reasonably, is in interests of India and of all partners in the negotiation.
    • RCEP negotiations which began in Cambodia in 2012 covers areas, including trade in goods and services, investment, market access, economic cooperation, intellectual property and e-commerce.



    4. Role of Agriculture Scientists is vital in farmers’ welfare and country’s progress



    • Laying the foundation stone for the new office building of Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) at the Pusa Campus in New Delhi today, Union Minister for Agriculture Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that the revamped ASRB shall play a greater role in ensuring availability of capable and qualified Agriculture Scientists through a transparent and streamlined process.
    • The Minister added that Agriculture is important to the country and Government’s aim is for the betterment of agricultural economy by ensuring increase in agricultural production, farmers’ income and agricultural exports. This aim requires hard working farmers, proper training of farmers, availability of high quality seeds, better equipments, awareness of farmers for judicious use of fertilizers etc. But along with all these, the valuable contribution by the agricultural scientist is also significant in fulfilling this aim.  To ensure this aim ASRB has its important role in providing ample, able, qualified agriculture scientists at proper time ensuring their proper recruitment process and promotion.
    • Shri Tomar said that Government’s understanding of the importance of ASRB has given an autonomous status to it through Union Cabinet decision under the able leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in August 2018. This brought in reorganization with updated recruitment rules and streamlined selection process of Scientists ensuring seamless intake of Scientists to various institutes across the country. In its 45 years after inception, the recruitment process of ASRB has been modified several times as and when required, intake has been increased , administrative changes has been made showing the importance given by Government to agricultural research. In order to ensure the transparency and quality of the selection process the Minister asked the officials not to hold back in utilizing necessary requirements like modern technology if required.  This shall ensure a better recruitment process which will further improve the research and pave the way for improvement of farming sector making a prosperous and strong nation.
    • Chairman ASRB, Shri A K Mishra said that the focus of recruitment shall be ensuring a 360° evaluation keeping in mind the two major objectives, scientific acumen and research aptitude. He also added that the digitization of recruitment process is being done effectively and already a system is in place for online application. Shri Mishra also added that it is decided that every recruitment process shall be completed within a period of 6 months which shall address the issue of delay in recruitment.
    • The proposed building will be in a land of 2.05 acres which shall have Ground plus three floors with a built-up area of 4900 sqm and a Green Area of 2730 sqm. Considering the stress on eco-friendly and energy saving measures stipulated for new constructions, the building shall comply with the GRIHA-5 star ratings for Green buildings. The building has been designed in such a way that maximum natural illumination is availed thereby reducing energy requirements. The energy requirements are to be met by solar panels and provision for rain-water harvesting and waste reduction has been made. The entire facade is to be insulated in such a way to reduce solar heat gain inside the building and AAC blocks are to be used instead of Generic clay bricks for optimum insulation. Low VOC paints and polish are to be used to improve indoor air quality. It is expected that the project shall be handed over within 18 months after formal award of the contract.
    • The Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) was initially set up with the approval of the Cabinet at its meeting held on 01.11.1973 as an independent recruiting agency for the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). It was established with the main objective of recruitment to all the scientific positions under the ICAR as the UPSC was reluctant to undertake recruitment to the posts of the ICAR on the ground that it was not a Government organization but a registered Society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.




    5. Commerce & Industry Minister to launch curtain raiser of GES 2019

    ·        Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, will launch the curtain raiser of 5th Global Exhibition on Services (GES) in New Delhi on 5th November 2019. The exhibition will be held in Bengaluru from 26th – 28th November 2019.

    ·        The curtain raiser will be a prelude to the main GES and showcase the planned activities over the span of three days of Global Exhibition on Services 2019 and the expected outcomes of the exhibition. The event is expected to be attended by the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in India, line ministries, Indian State Governments, associations and private service industry players from around 100 countries.

    ·        Four editions of GES have already been held. The event is organised by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Services Export Promotion Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

    This initiative will enhance the competitiveness of India’s service sectors through the implementation of focused and monitored Action Plans. These sectors include some of the largest and most critical sectors with the highest potential for global trade and investment, growth and employment. The objective is to give focused attention to the following 12 identified Champion Services Sectors for promoting their development and realizing their potential:


    1.   Accounting & Finance 7. Media & Entertainment
    2.   IT & ITES 8. Health & Wellness
    3.   Infra & Construction 9. Legal
    4.   Transport & Logistics 10.Banking, Financial & Insurance
    5.   Communications 11.Tourism & Hospitality
    6.   Education 12. Environment


    ·        GES 2019 will host focused knowledge sessions on key Champion Services Sectors and will cater to many B2B, B2G and B2C meetings.

    ·        Highlights of GES 2019

    • Focus on increasing ‘trade in services’
    • Showcasing 12 Champion Services Sectors
    • Over 500 participants from 100 countries
    • Knowledge Sessions focussed on Champion Services Sectors
    • States/Theme Pavilions
    • Huge participation of overseas delegates
    • Overseas delegations led by industry leaders
    • Release of Report on Services Sectors
    • Avenues for partnerships through B2B, B2G, G2G meetings
    • Studio Talks
    • Display of Culture & Cuisine
    • Food Festivals, Cultural Evenings, Networking Dinners

    ·        The ‘India Services’ brand was created by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to represent the services sector of India. The services sector having overtaken agriculture and manufacturing in terms of growth and size is a key driver of global trade and a very valuable source of employment.

    6.  The Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Order

    ·        Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC) Shr Prahlad Singh Patel met the Kung Fu Nuns today at New Delhi. The Kung Fu Nunsof the Drukpa Order, some of the Himalayas’ most prominent human rights advocates, recently received the Asia Society’s prestigious Game Changer Award in New York on 30th October 2019 for their path-breaking work to empower women and dismantle gender stereotypes in the Himalayas.

    ·        The Union Minister congratulated the Kung Fu Nuns for receiving Asia Society’s Game Changer Award for their heroic activism and called them true symbol of women empowerment. The Minister was very much impressed with their tagline ‘BE YOUR OWN HERO’. He said that the slogan is motivating and inspirational for all of us. While interacting with Kung Fu Nuns Shri Patel came to know about the meaning of their first name, The Nuns use Jigme as their first name and the meaning of Jigme is  ‘fearless’. The Minster lauded them as fearless daughters of India.

    ·        The Kung Fu Nuns represent a new generation of Buddhists who use their teachings to take real action and effect meaningful change in the world by promoting gender equality and environmentalism. With this recognition, the Kung Fu Nuns join the likes of iconic Indian leaders Indra Nooyi, Mukesh Ambani, and Dev Patel, who have also been honored by the Asia Society in previous years for breaking the glass ceiling with their courage and inspiring their fellow citizens.

    • About Asia Society Game Changer Awards
    • Founded in 1956, the Asia Society is a nonpartisan, non-profit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington, DC and Zurich. The society is dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Each year, the Asia Society honor individuals, organizations, or movements that have inspired, enlightened, and shown true leadership in areas that reflect Asia Society’s core pillars of policy and business, arts and culture, and education. This year’s Game Changer Awards along with its founding partner, Citi group is honoring women who are applying their unique vision and talent to make the world a better place.
    • About The Kung-Fu Nuns
    • The Kung Fu Nuns are the fearless daughters of India who represent a new generation of Buddhists using spirituality to inspire real-life action & impact. They are a strong community of 700 nuns and growing, with a thousand year-old Drukpa legacy. Harnessing the ancient martial art to build strength, promote equality, and improve communities, they are inspiring young girls to break stereotypes and be their own heroes. They belong to the Drukpa Lineage, a thousand-year-old Buddhist tradition that began in the Himalayas. The Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual leader and founder of the Drukpa order, encouraged his nuns to train in Kung Fu to build confidence as leaders. In doing so, he flouted centuries of Buddhist tradition that barred nuns from physical exercise. They are the only Buddhist nuns in the world to practice Kung Fu. The nuns use their martial arts expertise to challenge gender roles in India’s conservative culture.

    7. Thirty young nursing cadets begin BSc (H) journey in Army Hospital (R&R)

    ·        Thirty young cadets began the journey of BSc (H) in Nursing with the Lamp Lighting Ceremony in Army Hospital (Research & Referral), here today. The cadets adorned army nursing uniformas they entered this noble profession.

    ·        Deputy Commandant, Army Hospital (R&R) Major General Prashant Bharadwajwas the chief guest who gave away the prizes to meritorious nursing cadets in the third, second and first years of BSc Nursing (H) final examination, conducted by Delhi University in 2019. Addressing the function, Lt Gen Datta asked the cadets to not only enhance their knowledge, skills and competence but also learn the techniques of soft skills.

    ·        As per the tradition, the lit lamp was relayed from Additional Director General, Military Nursing Service, Maj Gen Joyce Roach to Principal Matron AH (R&R) Maj Gen Sonali Ghosal and then to Principal, College of Nursing AH (R&R) Col Rekha Bhattacharya who in turn passed it to the teachers. The teachers then transferred the light to the students denoting the transfer of knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next.

    8. Ambassadors’ Round-table on DefExpo 2020

    ·        In a major outreach to the defence manufacturing industries of the world, Ministry of Defence organised Ambassadors’ Round Table conference on DefExpo 2020, chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh here today. The Round Table was aimed to brief the representatives of foreign missions based in New Delhi about the arrangements being made for DefEpo and elicit suggestions from them to further improve the experience. Heads of Missions and Defence Attaches of over 80 countries participated in the conference indicating the growing stature of the 11th mega biennial event, to be held in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow from February 5-8, 2020.

    ·        Addressing the conference, Raksha Mantri said, the DefExpo will not only provide countries with the opportunity to showcase their equipment and platforms, but also be able to explore the strengths and capabilities of India’s defence industry for meeting operational goals.

    ·        “DefExpo is an opportunity to foster partnerships and be part of shared prosperity. These strong ties can boost investment, expand manufacturing, raise the level of technology and accelerate economic growth of our respective countries,” Shri Rajnath Singh added. He said, India’s defence sector has matured and is exploring mutually beneficial partnerships with friendly countries to set up industries in India and abroad.

    ·        Shri Rajnath Singh said, DefExpo will showcase Government’s intent to achieve a turnover of USD 26 billion in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025. He added the event will showcase India’s plans for Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where investment commitments of about USD 1 billion have already been received. More than 100 business events and seminars are being planned with over 1,000 exhibitors expected at the mega event.

    ·        Raksha Mantri also urged the Ambassadors to impress upon the captains of their respective defence industries to participate in DefExpo 2020 in a big way so as to “dive deep into the strategic and business opportunities available and to establish strategic partnerships”.

    ·        Impressing upon the Expo’s sub-theme ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’, Shri Rajnath Singh said, digitalisation is the key to future security scenario as the spectrum of warfare is transiting from land, air & sea to cyber & space. He said, DefExpo will demonstrate India’s ability in cyberspace and define its needs in the sector. “The challenge is not just to prepare for contingencies but also to repel threats from multiple sources and at the same time possess the ability to respond proactively if needed,” he added.





    9. India and Vietnam




    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met H.E. Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the sidelines of India-ASEAN and East Asia Summit 2019 at Bangkok on 04 November 2019.
    • The Leaders reaffirmed the historical and traditional friendly relations between the two countries and emphasized that India-Vietnam relations have been built on a firm foundation of cultural and civilisational links and are marked by mutual trust and understanding as well as strong cooperation in regional and international fora.
    • It was highlighted during the meeting that recent high-level exchanges between both countries have resulted in robust cooperation in several areas, expansion of defence and security ties, forging of closer economic and commercial linkages and deepening of people-to-people engagement.
    • Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime domain. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely to tackle this menace.
    • The two sides reiterated their desire to promote peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Both leaders committed to the maintenance of a rules-based order that is based on respect for international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This will promote independence of navigation, overflight and rules-based trade in South China Sea.
    • Prime Minister Modi conveyed India’s readiness to work closely with Vietnam as the incoming Chairman of ASEAN for 2020, and during its tenure as non-permanent member of UNSC for2020-2021


    10.       Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari relieves all seven Governors


    • Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari has relieved Governors of all seven provinces of the country.
    • According to a press statement issued by the President’s Office, the Governors have been relieved as per the constitutional provisions on the recommendation of cabinet.
    • The Governors were appointed in January 2018 after first-ever provincial elections in the Himalayan nation.
    • Nepal adopted federalism after the promulgation of new constitution in September 2015.
    • First time in the history of the country elections for seven provincial assemblies were held in two phases on 26 November and 7 December 2017.



    11.       Germany marks 30 years of Berlin Wall fall

    ·     Germany marks three decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Wall was built in 1961 to stop an exodus from the eastern, communist part of divided Germany to the more prosperous West.

    ·     After decades the wall was built, rising political protest in 1989 put pressure on the East German government to relax travel rules. It was on 11th November 1989,  that the first pieces of the wall were pulled down.

    ·     The border installations were around 163 kilometres. Around 100km of this was covered by an actual wall, with another 50 or more kilometres made up of heavy wire mesh. Mines were sown in the ground or strung along certain sections of fencing, not removed until the 1980s.

    ·     According to reports, at least 140 people were killed trying to cross the wall during the era.

    ·     When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down 30 years ago, many hoped its demise portended an end to barriers between borders and isolationism.

    12.       Sajith Premadasa not signed any covert or overt agreement with any party in north, says Sri Lankan PM

    ·     Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the alliance led by Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa has not signed any covert or overt agreement with any party in the north.

    ·     Addressing an election meeting in Tamil-majority northern province last evening, he said a future government of Mr. Premadasa will only devolve power as it is stated in his election manifesto and that there is nothing to hide. His statement came as one of the main Tamil party Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) announced its decision to support Mr. Premadasa at elections scheduled for 16th of this month.

    ·     The Opposition led by Gotabaya Rajapaksa has alleged that there is some secret agreement between Tamil parties and Mr. Premadasa. The Prime Minister said their government could not enact a new constitution because they did not have a majority and called upon people to give a sufficient mandate to the parties which is in favour of a new constitution at the next general election.

    ·     Meanwhile, Sajith Premadasa said the lands which belong to the individuals in the north will be handed over to them within the first two years of his government. He said the government had already begun work on a special rehabilitation hospital in the North for the benefit of those who have become differently-abled as a result of the war.

    13.       Pakistan’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman threatens to lockdown entire country

    ·     In Pakistan, cleric-cum-politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman threatened to lockdown the entire country as a deadline set by him calling for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation expired last night.

    ·     Mr Rehman, the leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), addressed a mammoth protest rally in Islamabad at the end of the two-day deadline. He had led a caravan of supporters, dubbed the ‘Azadi’ March, to Islamabad last week in an attempt to pressure Imran Khan to step down.

    ·     Mr Rehman stressed that the protest would continue until the objective was achieved. He said that the ongoing protest was part of plan A and he had a plan B and C and would take a decision about continuing the sit-in in Islamabad or expand it. He announced that he was planning to meet other Opposition leaders today to take a consensus decision about any future course of action.


    14.       Boris Johnson criticises Trump for his comments over future Britain-US trade agreement

    ·     British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday criticised US President Donald Trump for his statement in which he has said the prime minister’s deal with European Union would prevent a future Britain-US trade agreement.

    ·      Mr Johnson said that he doesn’t wish to cast any aspersions on the president but in that respect, he is patently in error.

    ·     Boris Johnson claimed that anybody who looks at it can see it is a great deal as it allows Britain to have full unfettered control of its tariff schedule.

    ·     Mr Johnson also apologised for not taking Britain out of EU by October 31, saying he was deeply disappointed.

    15.       SL: Presidential candidate Sajith again challenges Gotabaya for public debate

    ·     In Sri Lanka, Presidential candidate and minister Sajith Premadasa has written to his main opponent Gotabaya Rajapaksa, renewing his challenge for a live public debate.

    ·     Mr. Premadasa pointed out that it was the democratic right of the citizens to be well informed about their choice of Presidential candidates. There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Gotabaya side on the matter but they had earlier called for written communication to consider the issue.

    ·     There is no tradition of live debates among Presidential candidates in the country but Mr. Premadasa wrote presidential candidates fearlessly debate their policies at impartially moderated debates in modern democracies around the world.

    ·        A total of 35 candidates are in fray for elections scheduled on 16th of this month.


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