• Current Affairs , 7th JANUARY 2020

     

     

     

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. PM Modi assures industry of providing transparent atmosphere to grow

     

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that action against a few corrupt entities should not be seen as the government crackdown on the corporate sector.
    • Speaking at Centenary Celebrations of Kirloskar Brothers in New Delhi, the Prime Minister said, the endeavour of this government has always been to provide a transparent atmosphere in which the Indian industries can move ahead without fear and obstacles. He also said, it has always been the effort of the government to ease the laws to help the industries.
    • Modi said, a new system is being created to bring transparency in the tax system, enhance efficiency, accountability and eliminate human interface between taxpayer and tax departments. He noted that currently, the corporate tax rates in the country are as low as ever before. He said, the target to nearly double the size of the economy to five trillion dollar is just a phase and the targets are bigger and higher.
    • The Prime Minister asked the industries to shun pessimism, saying that the government will stand shoulder to shoulder with Indian industries in its attempt to expand business in any nook and corner of the country. He said, the true strength of the citizens of the country can come to fore when the government stands not as a hindrance, but stands as their partner. He said, the country has followed the same path in a few years in this direction. He also said, during the last five years, there has been an environment in the country to work with integrity, honesty and transparency which has encouraged the country to set big goals and achieve them on time.

     

    1. Innovation Awards

     

    • Innovation Awards Presentation Ceremony will be held on the 8th of January. These awards will be conferred at the 12th edition of Global Intellectual Property Convention in New Delhi.
    • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and former Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu will be the chief guests at the event. More than 500 delegates from about 25 countries will participate in this three-day conference.

     

    1. Prez Kovind arrives at Kochi as part of his Lakshadweep visit

    • President Ram Nath Kovind arrived at Kochi today as part of his visit to Lakshadweep.
    • The President was accorded a rousing official reception at Kochi airport on his arrival.
    • President Kovind will stay at Kochi today and proceed to Agatti, Lakshadweep tomorrow morning.
    • The President will lay the foundation stone for the first Super Speciality Hospital at Kavaratti.
    • He will also visit Bangaram Island. He will then return to Kochi on Thursday and leave for New Delhi on the same day.

     

    1. LS Speaker refers Senior Citizens Amendment Bill to standing committee

     

    • The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment by the Lok Sabha Speaker. Member of Parliament Rama Devi will head the committee. The committee will examine the bill and submit the report.
    • The committee has decided to invite memoranda containing suggestions, comments and views from the public and various stakeholders. The procedure can be seen at the Lok Sabha website.

     

    1. Cold wave conditions continue unabated in most parts of north India

    • Cold wave conditions continued in most parts of north India. Weatherman has forecast fresh snowfall and rain in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir over the next three days due to western disturbance.
    • In Himachal Pradesh, the meteorological department issued orange and yellow weather warning for heavy rain and snowfall for the next two days. Light rain, snowfall occurred at isolated places in the state yesterday. Minimum temperatures decreased by 2-3 degrees Celsius with Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Dalhousie, Keylong and Kalpa shivering at sub-zero temperatures.
    • In Jammu and Kashmir, overcast conditions brightened the prospects of fresh snowfall. Light to moderate snowfall is expected in most parts of Kashmir over the next 48 hours.
    • The mercury in Leh, in the Ladakh Union territory, settled at a low of minus 16.4 degrees Celsius.
      Ladakh continues to reel under severe cold weather conditions. Leh Region is receiving fresh spell of snow today. Weathermen have predicted more snowfall and rain during the next 48 hours due to Western disturbance. AIR correspondent reports that as no relief from the day temperatures, Ladakh is in a frozen state.
      Since early hours today, Leh region is under snowfall.  Met office warned further dip in temperatures in the region. This would further disturb daily life in Ladakh. Air traffic and surface transport may get disturbed. On the other hand, hundreds of tourists are embarking on Chadar trek from today.
      In the national capital is likely to experience light rain during the next three days due to a fresh western disturbance.
    • In Punjab and Haryana, intense cold wave conditions persisted with the mercury plunging several degrees below the normal and fog engulfing few areas. Karnal was the coldest place in Haryana with a low of 1.8 degrees Celsius, five notches below the normal yesterday. Bathinda and Adampur were the coldest in Punjab at 3.3 degrees Celsius each. Union Territory Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 5.6 degrees Celsius.
    • Cold weather prevailed in Rajasthan also with Erinpura Road in Pali district recording the coldest minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius. Mount Abu, the state’s sole hill station, recorded a night temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius. Met department has forecast light rains at a few places in the state during the next 48 hours.

     

    1. Paradigm shift from production & nutrition security aspects to doubling farmers’ income by 2022: ICAR DG

    • At the ongoing Science Congress in Bengaluru, ICAR, Director General Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra told audience at the Farmers Science Congress that there is a paradigm shift from production and nutrition security to doubling of farmers’ income by 2022. Speaking after inaugurating Farmers Science Congress, he said that this shift in thinking was result of a call given by Prime Minister.
    • Mr Mohapatra said ICAR has developed 56 models of integrated farming in this direction, which will be promoted with NABARD by linking them to the Rural Development programmes. He added that these models are right now being tested on the fields.
    • Mohapatra informed that Farmers Innovation Fund and Innovation Centres will be set up to encourage innovations made by progressive farmers. To encourage organic farming, 45 types of Organic Farming systems are developed in niche areas.
    • In another such decision on Prime Minister’s direction, country has now witnessed a revolution in pulses production. He informed that in the last three years pulses production has increased from five million tonnes to about nine million tonnes substituting imports worth 10,000 crore rupees.
    • In response to another call of Prime Minister, ICAR is making efforts to reduce the use of fertilizers by introducing Microbial Consortium that promotes microbes in soil, thereby reducing use of fertilisers. In this direction Nano fertilisers and nano pesticides are also being developed.
    • AIR correspondent reports that ICAR DG Dr. Mohapatra spoke about the post production scenario about the value addition and linkage to the market. In an effort to improve rural bio-economy and attract youth to agriculture a programme named Arya is being implemented. Till now over 5000 youth are brought into this programme in which they are trained to be entrepreneurs and begin a start up.
    • He informed that 104 such start ups are successfully marketing small millet products and other processed food items. He also said that 215 Agro processing centres were established and linked with Farmers Production Organisation.
    • The Chairman of Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission Hanumanagouda Belagurki spoke about the need to introduce economy and social sciences as part of agricultural science in the agriculture universities. He also felt that mechanisation must gain more prominence in India. Around 120 innovative farmers from across the country are participating in Farmers Science Congress.

     

    1. 3-day National Traders Convention in Delhi

    • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said NDA government is committed to protect the interests of traders and to promote ease of doing business.
    • He said this while inaugurating the three-day National Traders Convention at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. The convention has been organised by Confederation of All India Traders and will deliberate upon various issues concerning traders.

     

    1. 2155 cadets take part in NCC Republic Day camp

    • A total of 2155 NCC cadets including 710 girl cadets from all the states and Union territories are participating in the Republic Day camp this year.
    • The one month long camp commenced on 1st of January at the Cariappa Parade ground in Delhi Cantt, portraying the reflection of Mini India. The main aim of the Republic day camp is to provide an exposure to the rich culture and tradition of the country.
    • Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, Director General of National Cadet Crops, NCC Lieutenant General Rajeev Chopra said, cadets from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and North Eastern region are also participating in the camp.
    • He said, strength of the girl cadets will be enhanced to 33 per cent by 2022. The DG said, dignitaries including Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Minister of State for Defence, Delhi Chief Minister, Chief of Defence Staff, Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force will visit the camp.

     

    1. AI & machine learning will contribute Usd 1 trillion to Indian economy by 2035

    • Commerce and Industry & Railways Minister Piyush Goyal today inaugurated the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Knowledge Hub in New Delhi, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered learning ecosystem that will assist the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector. Speaking on this occasion Commerce & Industry Minister said that although India has developed as the second largest fintech hub in the world, a lot of work still needs to be done in the BFSI sector. He hoped that the Knowledge Hub created by NSE will fill in these gaps and help the financial sector to move into the future.
    • The NSE Knowledge Hub will enhance skills and help academic institutions in preparing future-ready talent for the financial service industry. It is also available on mobile and attempts to bring together world class content and learners through this state- of- the- art and future- ready platform.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister said that this industry driven learning eco systemwill help India in building next generation skills and capabilities in the BFSI sector. The use of AI will ensure that the skill upgradation is affordable and accessible and helps in the creation of a workforce that is adequate for the requirements of the sector said Piyush Goyal. AI and Machine Learning will contribute USD 1 trillion by 2035 and this is a good beginning by NSE to tap the potential of AI and use it as a tool to create a workforce in the BFSI sector in India added the Minister.
    • Commerce and Industry Minister assured continued Government support to investors and startups and said that India is a safe investment destination today for investors, even the smallest of investors and this Knowledge Hub by NSE will strengthen and empower those working in the BFSI sector and will benefit investors and the financial services to give world class services through knowledge, innovation and value- addition.

     

     

    1. NCC committed to groom youth into responsible citizens, says DG NCC Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra

    • Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC) Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra has emphasised that the NCC is committed to grooming the youth into responsible citizens who contribute immensely in nation building. Addressing the annual press conference during the NCC Republic Day Camp (RDC) here today, the DG NCC highlighted the major role of NCC in empowering the youth in nation building, creating social awareness, community development, environment protection, sports and adventure among them.
    • Lt Gen Chopra said, the training philosophy of the NCC cadets has been refined to accommodate the changing aspirations of the youth and expectations of the society. “The focus is now on personality development, leadership traits and improving soft skills of the cadets, so as to equip them for future challenges,” he added.
    • The DG NCC highlighted that Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with 10 countries for Youth Exchange Programme (YEP). However, to give the cadets a wider exposure, YEP with seven more countries is in an advanced stage of approval, he said.
    • The RDC 2020 commenced at the Cariappa Parade Ground on January 01, 2020. Lt Gen Chopra addressed the cadets & officials and asked the cadets to participate wholeheartedly and derive maximum benefits from each activity during the camp.
    • The aim of the RDC is to provide an exposure to the rich culture and traditions of the country through important events that take place in the national capital during the run up to the Republic Day as well as to enhance the personal traits of the cadets by strengthening their value system. Cadets attending the camp participate in a number of activities like cultural competitions, national integration awareness programme and various institutional training competitions.
    • A total of 2,155 cadets, including 710 girls, drawn from all 28 states and nine Union Territories (UTs), are participating in this month-long camp. They include cadets from UTs of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and 120 cadets from the North Eastern Region. Portraying a reflection of ‘Mini India’, the camp will be visited by a number of dignitaries, including Raksha Mantri, Raksha Rajya Mantri, Chief of Defence Staff, the Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the Chief Minister of Delhi. The camp will culminate with the customary Prime Minister’s rally on January 28.
    • A number of competitions will take place during the camp, wherein all 17 directorates compete for the coveted Prime Minister’s Banner which is presented by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during the PM rally. A large number of selected cadets will get an opportunity to participate in the prestigious Republic Day Parade on January 26 at Rajpath.
    1. High Level Committee chaired by Union Home Minister approves over Rs. 5,908 crore of additional Central assistance to 7 States

    • The High Level Committee (HLC), chaired by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Shri Amit Shah, met in New Delhi today to consider additional central assistance to seven states, which were affected by floods/ landslides/cloudburst during south west monsoon 2019.
    • HLC approved additional central assistance of Rs. 5908.56 crore to seven States from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) – Rs. 616.63 crore to Assam, Rs. 284.93 crore to Himachal Pradesh, Rs. 1869.85 crore to Karnataka, Rs. 1749.73 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs. 956.93 crore to Maharashtra, Rs. 63.32 to Tripura and Rs 367.17 crore to Uttar Pradesh for floods/ landslides/cloudburst during south west monsoon 2019.
    • Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, was present in the meeting, along with senior officers of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Finance, Agriculture and NITI Aayog.
    • Earlier, the Central Government has released an interim financial assistance of Rs. 3,200 crore  to 4 States – Rs 1200 crore to Karnataka, Rs 1000 crore to Madhya Pradesh, Rs 600 crore to Maharashtra and Rs 400 crore to Bihar. In addition, during 2019-20, till date, Centre Government has released Rs 8068.33 crore to 27 States as Central share from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
    • Central Government under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been providing full support to the State Governments by providing timely logistics and financial resources to supplement efforts of the State Governments to deal with the situation effectively in the wake of natural calamities.

     

     

     

     

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

     

    1. India – Singapore

     

    • Senior Singaporean Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
    • During the meeting, Mr Modi and Mr Shanmugaratnam expressed satisfaction at the rapid pace of bilateral relations. They discussed several matters of mutual interest in the sphere of economic cooperation, including infrastructure, skills, India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement and digital economy.
    • Shanmugaratnam lauded Prime Minister Modi’s leadership in the social transformation of India and in encouraging digital economy.
    • Mr Modi also expressed his desire to strengthen further cooperation between India and Singapore in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, digital payment systems, innovation and governance. Mr Modi also extended his warm wishes on the occasion of New Year to Mr  Shanmugaratnam and through him to Prime Minister of Singapore  Lee Hsien Loong.

     

    1. NATO Ambassadors to meet in Brussels amid ongoing Middle East tensions

    • North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ambassadors will meet in Brussels today amid ongoing Middle East tensions, three days after the US killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. A NATO official said, the North Atlantic Council will address the situation in the region.
    • Meanwhile, Germany, France and the UK called for a de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East as Iranian officials threatened US troops from the country and the Iraqi Parliament voted to remove US troops from Iraq.

     

    1. Trump threatens severe sanctions against Iraq after Parliament votes to expel US troops

    • United States President Donald Trump has threatened severe sanctions against Iraq after its Parliament called on US troops to leave the country. Yesterday, the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel the US troops from its territory.
    • Iraq’s move comes in response to the killing of Maj Gen Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite al-Quds force in a US drone attack on Friday. The strike also killed the Deputy Chief of Iraq’s powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force.
    • Soleimani’s killing was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, already hit by serious differences over Tehran’s ambitious nuclear programme.

     

    1. Turkey begins deploying soldiers to Libya after Parliamentary approval, says Erdogan

    • In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkish soldiers had begun deploying to Libya after receiving approval from Parliament last week. Mr Erdogan said, Turkey was not sending its own combat forces, but that different teams would take on coordination tasks.
    • He said, senior Turkish military personnel will coordinate the fighting force in Libya and provide training on the ground. Mr Erdogan said, their mission was to ensure stability for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
    • Meanwhile, the Turkish Government has given no details about the scale of the military deployment. The Libyan Government is fighting an insurgency by rebel forces under Gen Khalifa Haftar, based in eastern Libya.
    • General Haftar is backed by Egypt and the UAE, while the UN-backed Government is supported by Turkey and its ally Qatar.

     

     

     

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