• Current Affairs,15th February 2020

    • February 15, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. Prime Minister to visit Varanasi To Dedicate to the Nation the DeendayalUpadhyay Memorial& Unveil Statue



    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi would be visiting Varanasi, his Parliamentary Constituency on a day’s visit on the 16th of February 2020.
    • Prime Minister is scheduled to participate in the Closing Ceremony of the Centenary Celebrations of Shri Jagadguru Vishwaradhya Gurukul. Shri Modi shall also be releasing the translated version of the Shri Siddhant Shikhamani Granth in 19 languages.
    • Dr Chandrasekhar Shivacharya Mahaswami, Head of the Gurukul said the Prime Minister would also release a mobile app of the Granth.
    • Shri Narendra Modi later shall be dedicating to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre. At the event the Prime Minister shall also unveil the 63 feet Pancha Loha Statue of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya. This is the largest statue of the leader in the country. Over 200 artisans were working day & night for the last one year to complete the statue.
    • The Memorial Centre shall also have the engravings of the life and times of Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya. About 30 Odisha craftsmen and artists worked on the project during the last year.
    • Prime Minister later at a Public function shall be dedicating to the nation over 30 projects. This includes a 430 bed super speciality Government hospital at Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya (BHU), and a 74 bed psychiatry hospital at BHU.
    • Prime Minister shall also be flagging off the IRCTC’s Maha Kaal Express through video link. The train will connect the 3 Jyotirling Pilgrim Centres – Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar. This would be first overnight journey private train in the country.
    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall also inaugurate the two day ‘Kashi Ek Roop Anek’ exhibition at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Hastakala Sankul. Prime Minister will interact with buyers and artisans coming from different countries of the world including America, England and Australia. ‘Kashi Ek Roop anek’ will showcase products from over 100 artisans from all over Uttar Pradesh. Artists and weavers at the event will also be imparted skills for improving the quality and branding of their wares suitable to the larger national and international markets.



    1. Prime Minister Pays Tributes to Sushma Swaraj


    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi paid tributes to former External Affairs Minister Late Smt Sushma Swaraj on her birth anniversary .
    • In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, the late leader “epitomised dignity, decency and unwavering commitment to public service. Firmly rooted in Indian values and ethos, she had great dreams for our nation. She was an exceptional colleague and an outstanding Minister”.
    • She epitomised dignity, decency and unwavering commitment to public service. Firmly rooted in Indian values and ethos, she had great dreams for our nation. She was an exceptional colleague and an outstanding Minister.


    1. President of India Addresses the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of National Institute of Bank Management in Pune

    • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) in Pune Maharashtra.
    • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that banks are fulcrum of our economic system. Their efficiency in this role has earned trust and respect of people. Our Constitution promised economic justice for all citizens. Banks were considered the crucial vehicle to deliver this Constitutional commitment. He commended banks for charting out a mandate well beyond their traditional role as a financial intermediary. He said that our banks have done a commendable job in changing banking from an elitist pursuit to a service available to common man. Millions of lives have been touched through direct transfer of funds under various welfare schemes to bank account of poor and needy.
    • The President said that after independence banks were also considered part of a social contract of ensuring growth with equity. Considering importance of banks in the economic system of the country, Banking Regulation Act was implemented in 1949.  Founding fathers of our Nation were very conscious of the role banks have to play as holders of public trust. He urged all bankers to judge their actions by this touchstone given to us. He said that as custodian of public money, banks have significant fiduciary responsibility in the economy. They have to take all possible prudential measures to ensure that trust is not betrayed in any manner. Recent proposal to enhance Deposit Insurance Coverage from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh is a positive step in the direction of assuring savers.
    • The President said that India has become one of the largest economies in the world. Banks have been a constant part of India’s growth saga. As India aims to become a 5-trillion-dollar economy, the banking sector has to start preparing for the next big leap. This mainly involves “banking with the unbanked” and “securing the unsecured”. In this pursuit, he urged NIBM to take responsibility of creating a pool of trained human resource, which is skilled to serve banking institutions of global standards.
    • The President said that India’s future journey will be greatly helped if banks exhibit deeper reach and become more efficient. Given the growing size of our economy, we should aim to have more than just one name in the world’s top 100 banks.



    1. Prime Minister delivers Keynote Address at India Action Plan 2020 Summit


    • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at India Action Plan 2020 Summit hosted by theTV Channel Times Now Summit.
    • Shri Modi said the World’s youngest nation, India, is also charting out an Action Plan for the new decade and that the Young India is in no mood to go slow.
    • PrimeMinister said the Government has embraced this spirit and had hit a century in decision making in the last months.
    • He also said that these changes have infused new energy at every level of society, filling it with confidence.
    • The Prime Minister said that today the poor of the country are feeling confident that they can improve their standard of living, remove their poverty and farmers are confident of increasing their income in farming.
    • 5 Trillion Dollar Economy – Focus on Small Cities and Towns :
    • “India aims to expand its economy to 5 trillion dollars in the next five years. “It is better to set a target and strive towards it. This goal is not easy but not impossible to achieve”, he said.
    • He said that to achieve this goal, it is very important that the Manufacturing sector is strengthened in the country along with the increase in the country’s exports and that the Government has taken several initiatives towards this.
    • The Prime Minister said that amidst these efforts, India faces more challenges being an emerging economy along with the ups and downs in the Global economy.
    • He emphasized that for the first time, a government has focused on the economic growth of small cities as well making them new growth hubs.
    • Improving the Tax System:
    • The Prime Minister said, “Every government has been very hesitant to improve the tax system. There was no change in this for years. Now we are moving from a Process Centric Tax System to a Citizen Centric Tax System. India will join the select countries, where the taxpayers charter is implemented. The charter will clearly define the rights of taxpayers.”
    • The Prime Minister urged every Indian to introspect the issue of people evading taxes and the double whammy it is posing to the honest taxpayer. He urged all citizens to be responsible citizens and pay their taxes.
    • He urged the media to play a constructive role in building a prosperous India.
    • He said, “When everyone fulfils their duties then there would be no problem left to be solved. Then the country would get a new strength, new energy. This would take India to new heights in this decade”


    1. Cabinet approves proposal for capital infusion for OICL, NICL and UIICL

    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its in principle approval for capital infusion for three Public Sector General Insurance Companies, namely, Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL), National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) and United India Insurance Company Limited (UIICL).
    • In view of the above, Cabinet has allowed immediate release of Rs. 2500 Crore in the light of the critical financial position and breach of regulatory solvency requirements of 3 PSGICs viz. OICL, NICL and UIICL.


    1. Advisory Council of Fifteenth Finance Commission


    • The Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission will meet tomorrow in New Delhi.  This will be the first meeting of the Council after the submission of the Commission’s Report for the year 2020-2021.  The meeting will be chaired by the Chairman of the Commission, Shri N. K. Singh and will be attended by its Members – Shri A. N. Jha, Dr. Ashok Lahiri, Dr. Ramesh Chand, Shri Anoop Singh and Secretary,  Shri Arvind Mehta.  The Members of the Advisory Council who have confirmed their participation include – Dr.Govinda Rao, Dr. Indira Rajaraman, Dr. Surjit S Bhalla, Dr. Arvind Virmani, Dr.Prachi Mishra, Shri SudiptoMundle and Shri Krishnamurthy Subramaniam.
    • Special invitees to tomorrow’s meeting include – Dr. P. K. Mishra, Dr. Shankar Acharya, Dr.Ajit Mishra, Shri AnanthNageswaran, Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Shri Amitabh Kant, Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Dr.BibekDebroy, Shri T. N. Ninan, Shri SwaminathanAiyar, Dr. Manoj Panda and Dr.Abhijit Sen.
    • Subsequent to the presentation of the Report of the fifteenth Finance Commission for the year 2020-21 to the President of India, the Union Government has substantively implemented the recommendations contained therin and placed an Action Taken Report in the Parliament.  As per the Commission’s mandate, it is going ahead with the work relating to drafting the recommendations for the five years spanning 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    • In this context, the task ahead for the Commission needs careful consideration of the outlook for the ensuing five years, particularly in the light of the emerging economic situation.  To deliberate on this issues, the next meeting of the Commission’s Advisory Council has been convened.
    • The three issues which are specifically likely to be considered in the discussions relate to:
    • The  Report  of  the  Fifteen Finance Commission for the year 2020-21 including  feedback on the formula for horizontal devolution.
    • Outlook for nominal GDP growth for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.
    • Tax buoyancy and other macro-economic parameters relevant for the Commission for the aforesaid period.





    1. India and Iceland 


    • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Iceland in the field of Fisheries.
    • The salient features of the MoU are:
    • Creation of facilities for exchange of scientists and technical experts and their proper placement, especially in areas of estimating Total Allowable Catches in off shore and deep sea areas;
    • Provision of training to fisheries professionals from key fisheries institutions in the various management aspects on areas of modern fisheries management and fish processing
    • Exchange of scientific literature research findings and other information.
    • Exchange of experts / expertise to study the prospects of fishing.  Processing and marketing of products from high seas fisheries for entrepreneurship development.


    1. Meghalaya, Arunachal, UP paired under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme


    • Meghalaya is paired with the State of Uttar Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh under the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme for the year 2019-2020. As part of the unifying campaign the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Shillong in association with the India Tourism organized the Uttar Pradesh cuisine festival at IHM campus, Mawdiangdiang, Shillong.
    • The Uttar Pradesh cuisine festival showcased the indigenous dishes, where the dishes were prepared and offered to the tourists and guest for tasting and promotion.
    • The festival provided information about the simple preparation and the use of fruits and vegetables in every dish that was prepared. The festival presented the Awadhi Cuisine and a total of 13 indigenous dishes were displayed.


    1. National Workshop on Disaster Risk Financing, Insurance and Risk Transfer



    • A one-day National Workshop on Disaster Risk Financing, Insurance and Risk Transfer is being held in Mumbai on February 13, 2020. The workshop is being organized by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), in partnership with Insurance Institute of India.
    • Natural disasters generate significant fiscal risks, severely impacting developing countries. Given this, the workshop will focus on the importance of financing resilience in areas frequently hit by natural disasters. The workshop will concentrate on the second point in the Prime Minister’s ten-point agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction, namely “Work towards risk coverage for all – starting from poor households to SMEs to multi-national corporations to nation states” and on the third priority in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, namely “Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Resilience”. The workshop will also discuss the issues and challenges faced by different stakeholders in assessment of insurance, along with the capacity gap in undertaking such initiatives.
    • The Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P.K. Mishra, a recipient of UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, will be the Chief Guest on the occasion. This is a precursor to the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction(NPDRR), being held in May 2020.
    • All nodal officers from for Disaster Management from relevant Central Ministries / Departments including Ministry of Finance, Home Affairs, NDMA and Principal Secretaries of Disaster Management and Resident Commissioners of all states and union territories have been invited to deliberate on the subject. Chairpersons of national insurance companies, general insurance companies, CEOs of private insurance companies, Members of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, professionals and academia are participating in this workshop. Representatives from UNDP, World Bank, ADB, and multilateral organizations will also contribute to the workshop.
    1. 20th International Seminar on “Comprehends the Evolving Contours of  Terrorism & IED Threat-Wayahead for the Security Community

    • The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the  20th International Seminar on “Comprehends the Evolving Contours of  Terrorism & IED Threat-Wayahead for the Security Community”, organised by the NSG, at Manesar, Haryana .
    • Addressing the seminar, Shri G. Kishan Reddy said that Global community  need to come together and put a united front against terrorism as it is a common enemy and nation across the world are facing the menace, suffering  both economic and social losses.
    • He said that under the able leadership of Prime Minister, Shri  Narendra Modi  India has displayed the resolve and commitment  to the policy of “ Zero tolerance towards Terrorism”  and this assertive policy has indeed led to results with drop in left wing extremism and dismantling  of several terror modules across the country.
    • The Minister suggested that  we need to equip ourselves  for the next generation  warfare, latest technology and advanced weaponry as the terror modules are also evolving to survive  through collaborations and adapting to changing dynamics. We need to focus on “ Asymmetrical threats” posed by such non-state actors, he added.
    • Shri G. Kishan Reddy further said that  importance of  improving IED detection and prevention has gained significant  importance  for the security forces these days, we need strategy and develop capabilities to prevent such attacks.
    • He also emphasized for adopting a twofold strategy- firstly, combating  terrorism must be a proactive and preemptive strategy and not a post facto response and secondly, reaching a global agreement to isolate terrorism and to choke all its lifelines.
    • While appreciating the Start-up India partnership by NSG to produce counter IED equipment and technologies , he said that once put on production line it will benefit the entire nation.
    • The Minister hoped that it will bridge the gap in our equipment profile and improve Counter-IED and Counter terrorism strategies  for future.
    • MoS for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy also  presented    the Counter-IED Innovators  awards and released the 30thvolume of “ The Bomshell”  during the inaugural session of the seminar.
    • DG, NSG, Shri  Anup Kumar  Singh while addressing the seminar said that terrorist activities in India  and other parts of the world are added and abetted not only by extremist outfits but  they are fueled by trans-national organizations. In this seminar the international community will share their ideas and formulate a road map to deal with the menace of terrorism, he added.
    • The two-day seminar will cover a wide spectrum of Counter Terrorism and Counter-IED issues in panel discussions. Delegates from various countries and senior Police and  security officers from various states and other stake holders   are participating in the Conference.


    1. Draft New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) Rules issued for public consultation



    • The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC), Act 2019 was enacted with a view to provide for the establishment and incorporation of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration and to make it a hub for institutional arbitration and to declare the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre to be an institution of national importance. The Act replaced the ordinance on the subject which had come into force on 2nd March, 2019.

    As per section 5 of the Act, NDIAC will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, law or management, to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Besides, it will also have two Full-time or Part-time Members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international. In addition, one representative of a recognized body of commerce and industry shall be nominated on rotational basis as a Part-time Member. The Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice; Financial Adviser nominated by Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC will be ex-officio Members.

    Section 23 of the Act provides for the Secretariat to the Centre inter-alia comprising Registrar, Counsel and other officers & employees etc.

    In this regard, the Department of Legal Affairs has prepared the following draft Rules:


    1. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the terms and conditions and the salary and allowances payable to the Chairperson and Full-time Members) Rules 2020.
    2. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the travelling and other allowances payable to Part-time Members) Rules 2020.
    • The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the number of officers and employees of the Secretariat of the Centre) Rules 2020.
    1. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (the qualifications, experience, method of selection and the functions of the Registrar, Counsel and other officers and employees of the Centre) Rules 2020.


    The Government intends to consult all stakeholders in the process. A copy of the aforesaid draft Rules have been uploaded on the website of the department of Legal Affairs (http://legalaffairs.gov.in/). Accordingly, DoLA has commenced public consultation on the draft rules with the timeline of submission of comments by 14th March, 2020.



    1. US Senate votes to restrain President Trump from attacking Iran



    • The US Senate last night voted to restrain President Donald Trump from attacking Iran. The resolution, which requires Trump to seek explicit authorization from Congress before further hostilities with Iran, passed in similar form in the Democratic-led House of Representatives. But it faces a near-certain veto from Trump after it goes back through the House.
    • The resolution passed 55-45, with eight Republicans joining the Democrats. The resolution asks the president to go to Congress for explicit authorization to attack Iran, but makes an exception for defending against an imminent threat.



    1. China reports 63,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19




    • China has reported 63,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 while 505 cases have been reported from 24 other countries. Deaths toll in China stands at 1,487 while 2 deaths have been reported abroad. Japan and Philippines have 1 death cases each.
    • Main push behind surging numbers remain Central China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the escalating coronavirus outbreak, which reported 116 more deaths were reported in Hubei taking the total death toll in the province to 1,426. The province and its capital Wuhan, where the infection now known as COVID-19 is thought to have originated in late December, also reported a further 4,823 new confirmed cases (including 3,095 clinically confirmed cases) on Thursday, bringing the total number in the province to 51,986 (including 15,384 clinically confirmed cases).
    • The number has seen a sharp surge since Thursday with the new calculation as authorities put clinically diagnosed cases in the confirmed cases category. These were suspected cases and were diagnosed with expanded testing methods including CT scans.  National Health Commission at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday that number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in China outside of Hubei Province has declined for nine consecutive days since February 3.
    • Meanwhile, 44 more coronavirus cases have been confirmed on Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess taking the total to 218. The Japanese government has said it will earmark 140 million USD for emergency measures, including ones to bolster testing and medical treatment capacity, to double mask production to more than 600 million a month, and credits for small and medium-sized businesses hurt by the outbreak, according to the prime minister’s office. Prime minister Shinzo Abe’s office said that it will also approve a measure calling for 1,800 beds to be readied for patients and for virus research results to be shared internationally.




    1. Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh named Player of the Year 2019 by IHF


    • The Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh was today named Player of the Year for 2019 by the International Hockey Federation.
    • Manpreet, a midfielder, became the first Indian to win the accolade since the awards were introduced in 1999.
    • He beat competition from Belgium’s Arthur van Dorren and Lucas Villa of Argentina, who came second and third.


    1. Rohan Bopanna, Denis Shapovalov enter semi-finals of Men’s Doubles at ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament


    • In Tennis, Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov have entered the semi-finals of Men’s Doubles event at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament last night.
    • The duo defeated fourth seeds and 2015 champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 in the Netherlands.
      Bopanna and Shapovalov will now meet the winners of Henri Kontinen and Jan-Lennard Struff versus Jamie Murray and Ken Skupski in the semi-finals.




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