DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -21st January 2020- IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.-George Addair

 

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

PINK COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

Ramnath Goenka Awards

      HEADLINES:

President of India Presents 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards; Recalls Magical Touchstone of Five Ws and H (what, when, why, where, who and how) whose Answers were Essential for a Story to Qualify as a News Report

      WHY IN NEWS:

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:AWARDS

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS significance of this award is enough .

For MAINS concentrate on the keyfacts from the speech of our beloved President of India. We hope you fetch sufficient points for transparency of Media in the present context.

      ISSUE: 

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented the 14th Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards at a ceremony held in New Delhi

Holding their pen for truth: 

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards honour those journalists from print, broadcast and digital media who have maintained the highest standards of their profession and, despite immense challenges, produced work that sustains public trust in the media and impacts the lives of people.

The awards are meant to felicitate those who hold their pen for truth.

He congratulated all the award winners and urged them to never let go of their pursuit for truth which is the only compass for good journalism.

The President recalled magical touchstone of five Ws and H (what, when, why, where, who and how) whose answers were essential for a story to qualify as a news report.

He said that in the din of the “breaking news” syndrome that has consumed the media now, this fundamental principle of restraint and responsibility has been undermined substantially.

Fake news has emerged a new menace, whose purveyors proclaim themselves as journalists and taint this noble profession.

The President said that journalists tend to wear many hats in the line of their duty.

These days, they often assume the role of an investigator, a prosecutor and a judge – all rolled into one.

But that prompts him to ask if such a sweeping exercise of power is accompanied by genuine accountability.

The President urged all to ponder for a moment as to what Shri Ramnath Goenka would have done, had he encountered a crisis of credibility on account of paid news or fake news.

He would never have allowed the situation to go adrift and initiated measures for course correction for the whole media fraternity.

Ramnath Goenka (1904–1991) was an Indian newspaper publisher. He launched The Indian Express in 1932 and created the Indian Express Group with various English and regional language publications. In 2000, India Today magazine, named him amongst their list of “100 People Who Shaped India“.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

There is no doubt that journalism has been passing through a critical phase.

A democracy like ours deeply relies on the uncovering of facts and a willingness to debate them.

Democracy is meaningful only when the citizen is well informed. In that sense, excellence in journalism grants full meaning to democracy.

     SOURCES:PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge

      HEADLINES:

Atal Innovation Mission & UNDP hosts 3day Youth Co:Lab National Innovation Challenge

      WHY IN NEWS:

Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sunday hosted a three day long Youth Co:Lab -national innovation challenge here in Delhi after a series of successful challenges held in past two phases across the country.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Welfare Schemes:Niti Ayog

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS aim and features of such initiatives should be focused

For MAINS nothing much here.

      ISSUE: 

With efforts of AIM and UNDP to support young people by catalysing youth-led innovation, empowering them through Youth Co:Lab, four winning teams made it the list to represent India at the Youth Co:Lab Regional Innovation Challenge in Malaysia slated to be held in April this year.

AIM

Youth Co: Lab launched in collaboration by AIM and UNDP earlier, aims at fostering technology, promoting youth leadership and social entrepreneurship in India.

Focussed on equipping these young change makers with entrepreneurial and 21st century skills to refine their solutions, the final day, saw them present their innovative ideas in front of a jury comprising of key ecosystem enablers.

Young people are a central part of the endeavour in achieving the SDGs. Youth Co:Lab is unleashing youth’s creativity, potential and innovation.

Many of them will have the opportunity to avail themselves of world class incubators set up by the AIM as well as the UNDP accelerator program for them to realise their potential and convert their innovation into product that could be used by the millions.”

With presence in over 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Youth Co:Lab was launched in India last year in October, in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The event saw the participation of more than 60 teams from which top 15 winning teams contested in the National Innovation Challenge in Delhi.

Another 15 teams had been chosen via the nomination method from the pool of start-ups incubated at the Atal Incubation Centres.

By developing 21st century skills, catalysing and sustaining youth-led start-ups and social enterprises across the region, Youth Co:Lab is positioning young people front and centre in order to solve the region’s most pressing challenges.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

IMF outlook report

      HEADLINES:

India’s slow growth is a drag on the world

      WHY IN NEWS:

IMFIndia’s slow growth is a drag on the world: IMF outlook reportFund slashes India’s growth forecast to 4.8%, also trims global outlook

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:IMF:Growth

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS numbers here are not important ! Just go through the predictions.

For MAINS key facts for suggesting what a developing economy should perceive in a slowdown have been mentioned.

      ISSUE: 

IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said growth in India slowed sharply “owing to stress in the non-bank financial sector and weak rural income growth”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday slashed India’s growth forecast by 1.3 percentage points to 4.8% for 2019-20, prompting the agency to also trim its global growth estimates as a result.

World Economic Outlook Reports

A Survey by the IMF staff usually published twice a year. It presents IMF staff economists’ analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview as well as more detailed analysis of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.

PREDICTIONS

“IMF projected global growth to increase modestly from 2.9% in 2019 to 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021.

The slight downward revision of 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 2020, and 0.2 percentage point for 2021, is owed largely to downward revisions for India,” she said in IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) update.

While the Indian government’s statistics department and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have estimated growth in 2019-20 at 5%

Rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has projected growth at 4.9% for the fiscal.

SUGGESTED MEASURES

IMF in its Article IV consultation report on India released last month said the Indian government should avoid a fiscal stimulus to boost the economy and, instead, opt for an easier monetary policy.

“In the near term, given the cyclical weakness of the economy, monetary policy should maintain an easing bias, at least until the projected recovery takes hold.

Fiscal stimulus should be avoided, given (that the) fiscal space (is) at risk and revenue losses from the recent corporate income tax rate cut should be offset.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

In the event of a more severe economic slowdown than currently envisaged, any fiscal stimulus should be temporary, focusing on measures to boost near-term growth, such as immediate investment expensing or public infrastructure spending.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

“Time to care”:OXFAM report

      HEADLINES:

Richest 10% of Indians have three-fourths of nation’s wealth: Oxfam

      WHY IN NEWS:

Public Good or Private Wealth

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Report:NGO

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS remember this is a report from NGO . Go through the analysis .

For MAINS some worthy points have been taken from report which can surely take some edge for extra marks in mains exam.

      ISSUE: 

India’s richest 10% control more than 74% of the national wealth, while poor women and girls—the bottom of the economic heap—put in ₹19 trillion of unpaid care work every year, Oxfam India said in a report that highlights the need for Asia’s third-largest economy to plug a growing rich-poor gap.

REPORT  ANALYSIS

The report, “Time to care”, released in Davos, Switzerland, said the gap becomes even wider when considering the richest 1% of Indians: they hold 42.5% of the national wealth, while the bottom 50%, the majority of the population, has a mere 2.8% share of the national wealth.

The non-government organization (NGO) said the top 1% holds more than four times the wealth held by 953 million Indians, who make up the poorest 70% of the population.

The Oxfam report makes a strong case for raising taxes on corporations and rich individuals to tackle poverty and lift the responsibility of care from women.

It said successive governments are “massively under-taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations” and “underfunding vital public services and infrastructure” that could help reduce the workload of women and girls.

Women’s unpaid care work, it said, is taken for granted or perceived as an act of love, ignoring the physical, mental and emotional effort it requires.

Investments in water and sanitation, electricity, childcare and healthcare could free up women’s time and improve their quality of life.

“Governments must ensure corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax and increase investment in public services and infrastructure,”.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The gap between the rich and the poor cannot be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

RBI board meet

      HEADLINES:

Liquidity, credit flow figured at RBI board meet, minutes show

      WHY IN NEWS:

Central bank places minutes in public domain for first time

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:RBI

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS a new initiative is taken by RBI . We have addressed it below

      ISSUE: 

The board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) discussed issues such as the prevailing liquidity situation and flow of credit from banks and non-banking finance companies to the economy at its meeting held on October 21, the minutes showed.

TRANSPERANCY SOUGHT:

This is the first time the RBI has released the minutes of a board meeting in public domain in a bid to enhance transparency regarding its functioning.

The minutes were available under the Right to Information Act.

“In future, the minutes will be placed on the RBI’s website within two weeks from the date of its confirmation at the next meeting of the Central Board and on being signed by the chairman in the same meeting,”

During the October meeting, the board discussed issues relating to financial markets, impact of the monsoons on the agricultural sector and prices, agricultural infrastructure as also the external sector.

The board also deliberated on the executive director’s memorandum on revision of sitting fees of the directors of the central board and the members of the local board. It was decided that the present fee structure should continue.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The minutes said, “the specific case of PMC Bank [Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank] was also discussed.”

The central board does not discuss interest rates, which are set by the monetary policy committee.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Iran says it may pull out of NPT

      HEADLINES:

Iran says it may pull out of NPT

      WHY IN NEWS:

Iran said on Monday it will consider withdrawing from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if a dispute over its atomic programme goes before the UN Security Council.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Nuclear Energy

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand everything about NPT .

For MAINS you need to go through series of events happened in the past related to IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL.

      ISSUE: 

Britain, France and Germany launched a process last week charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, a move that could eventually see the Security Council reimpose international sanctions on the country.

Iran has accused the three EU member states of inaction over sanctions the U.S. reimposed on it after unilaterally withdrawing from the landmark accord in 2018.

The European move “has no legal basis” and if they take further measures, “Iran’s withdrawal from the NPT will be considered,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying by the Iranian parliament’s website.

The landmark 2015 deal reached with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

WHAT IS NPT

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States.

Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely.

A total of 191 States have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States.

More countries have ratified the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Since the U.S. pullout, Iran has progressively rolled back its commitments to the accord — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — in retaliation. It has hit out at the three European nations for failing to live up to their promises to ease the impact of U.S. sanctions.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

FATF grey list

      HEADLINES:

Pak. urges U.S. to get it off FATF grey list

      WHY IN NEWS:

Beijng meeting to scrutinise Islamabad’s efforts in fighting terror financing

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION(G7): money laundering

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand FATF aim , function etc and do not forget grey list consequences.

For MAINS nothing much here.

      ISSUE: 

Pakistan has urged the U.S. to support its bid to exit from the grey list of the FATF ahead of a key meeting of the international terror financing watchdog in Beijing, in which it will scrutinise Islamabad’s efforts to adopt stricter laws against terror financing and money laundering.

FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an independent inter-governmental body.

The FATF develops and promotes policies to protect the Global Financial System from terror funding and Money Laundering activities.

Countries which don’t support terror funding and money laundering are placed in the grey list.

ESTABLISHMENT

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in July 1989 by a Group of Seven (G-7) countries in a Summit held in Paris.

FUNCTIONS

The FATF develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system so that it could not be used by the terrorists and other anti-social elements.  

FATF has started dealing with the Virtual currency.

The FATF is an international policy-making body. It does not have any role in law enforcement matters, investigations or prosecution.

WHAT IS BLACK LIST?

Only those countries are included in this list that FATF considers as unco-operative tax havens for terror funding. These countries are known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs). In other words; countries which are supporting terror funding and money laundering activities are placed in the Black list.

WHAT IS GREY LIST?

Those countries which are not considered as the safe heaven for supporting terror funding and money laundering; included in this list.

The inclusion in this list is not as severe as black listed.

Now Grey list is a warning given to the country that it might come in Black list .

If a country is unable to curb mushrooming of terror funding and money laundering; it is shifted from grey list to black list by the FATF.

CONSEQUENCES:

  • Economic sanctions from international institutions (IMF, World Bank, ADB etc.) and countries
  • Problem in getting loans from international institutions (IMF, World Bank, ADB etc.) and countries
  • Overall Reduction in its international trade
  • International boycott

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Pakistan was included in the grey list for the first time in 2012 and remained in it till 2015. On 29 June, 2018 FATF Grey listed Pakistan for the second time.  The process began in February 2018 when FATF approved the nomination of Pakistan for monitoring under its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) commonly known as ‘grey list’.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Allahabad name change

      HEADLINES:

Notice to U.P. govt. on Allahabad name change

      WHY IN NEWS:

Plea in SC challenges the action

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:SCHEDULE SEVEN

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the process of name change!

      ISSUE: 

The Supreme Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to explain its decision to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj.

The government had claimed that Prayag was one of the 14 religious places in the ancient texts and the only one whose name was changed to Allahabad.

However, there is no material to support this claim, the appeal said.

SEVENTH SCHEDULE

The constitutional provisions in India on the subject of distribution of legislative powers between the Union and the States are defined under several articles; the most important in this regard being specifically under articles 245 & 246 of the Constitution of India.

The Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India defines and specifies allocation of powers and functions between Union & States.

It contains three lists; i.e. 1) Union List, 2) State List and 3) Concurrent List

CHANGING NAME OF A CITY

The detailed process for changing the name of a place was originally listed in a letter written by Sardar Fateh Singh, the then Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, on 11th September, 1953.

What are the broad principles based on which change in names is allowed?
The letter mentions that the State Governments should keep the following five broad principles in mind when making proposals for change in names.

  • Unless there is some very special reason, it is not desirable to change the name of a place which people have got used to.
  • Names of Villages etc. having a historical connection should not be changed as far as possible.
  • A change should not be made merely on grounds of local patriotism or for linguistic reasons, e.g., villages etc. should not be renamed after national leaders merely to show respect to them or for satisfying local sentiment in the matter of language etc.
  • In selecting new names, care should be taken to see that there is no village or town etc. of the same name in the state and neighbourhood, which might lead to confusion.
  • While recommending any change, the State Government should furnish detailed reasons for proposing change in the name and also for selecting the new name.

Is this process followed for all places?
As per the government’s guidelines, this process has to be followed for change in names of villages, towns, cities etc.

This process has to be followed even for the change in name of Railway Stations.

In the case of a change in the name of a road in a city, the municipal authority is authorized to do it.

The change in the name of a state requires a legislation in parliament.

Once the proposals for renaming a town/ city/ village/ railway station are submitted by the State Governments to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry considers the proposals in consultation with other agencies and issues a ‘no objection’ in case where the proposal is approved.

Once the approval is received, a Gazette Notification is issued by the relevant state government.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The petition stated that the State only had power of administration and revenue over land areas under Schedule VII of the Constitution. It could not change the names of the areas for “non-administrative reasons”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Poll bond scheme

      HEADLINES:

Supreme Court declines to stay poll bond scheme

      WHY IN NEWS:

It is being used to fill the coffers of ruling party: petitioners

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:transparency in electoral funding

      LEARNING: 

For MAINS understand the loopholes of electoral bond scheme.

      ISSUE: 

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde on Monday orally made it clear that if the Supreme Court had found it unnecessary to stay the electoral bonds scheme earlier, it might not stay the scheme even now.

CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS

On April 12 :the court passed an interim order directing political parties to provide complete information to the EC in sealed covers on every single donor and contribution received by them till date through electoral bonds.

The court then ordered political parties to provide the EC with “detailed particulars of the donors as against the each bond; the amount of each such bond and the full particulars of the credit received against each bond.”

The government has justified the scheme as an experiment to eradicate black money. It claimed that the impact of the EBS would be known only after the 2019 Lok Sabha poll.

Instead of opening the scheme exclusively for the Lok Sabha election, as envisaged, it had become a mechanism to funnel benami funds to fuel political parties.

Both the Election Commission (EC) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had strongly objected to the scheme and raised the red flag against it.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The government’s position is in stark contrast to the ECI’s stand. The ECI has expressed reservations about the transparency in political funding.

It submitted to the court that the electoral bonds legalised anonymity of donors and the parties receiving contributions. It maintained that the right to vote also meant the right to make an informed choice. It said that knowing the candidate was only “half the exercise”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Gender disparity

      HEADLINES:

Collected from The Hindu Editorial page

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Social Issues

      LEARNING: 

Observe carefully how the indices are rolling !

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Thanjavur gets a Sukhoi squadron

      HEADLINES:

Thanjavur gets a Sukhoi squadron

      WHY IN NEWS:

Six jets fitted with BrahMos stationed at base

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:AIR FORCE

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS have a clear concept about the fighter jets and their specifications.

      ISSUE: 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inducted a squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets armed with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, at its Thanjavur Air Force Station on Monday.

Soaring high: A Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet, modified to carry BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles

This is also the first Sukhoi squadron of the IAF with BrahMos missiles.

MORE AIR POWER 

With this induction, the IAF would get more air power to strike from long stand-off ranges on any target at sea or on land with accuracy by day or night and in all weather conditions.

The deployment is significant given the increased focus on the Indo-Pacific and also the increase in forays by the Chinese Navy into the Indian Ocean over which the Navy has already stated it was keeping a close watch on.

The 222 Squadron, also known as Tigersharks, was raised in September 1969 at Ambala, and was moved to Halwara in 1971.It was deployed in active combat operations in the 1971 war.

Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet

A total of 42 Su-30 MKIs are slated to be upgraded to carry the 2.5-ton supersonic cruise missile.

The BrahMos-A has an estimated operational range of around 400 kilometers and can be dropped from 500 to 14,000 meters (1,640 to 46,000 feet) by a Su-30MKI.

The BrahMos-As of 222 Squadron have reportedly been designated for anti-surface warfare missions. 

The cruise missile, named after the Brahmaputra River in India and the Moskva River in Russia, is an upgraded variant of the Russian-made P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship cruise missile.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat called upon the Squadron to operate in close coordination with the Navy and Army as the Su-30MKI fighter planes with BrahMos missiles were going to be a game changer for the Indian armed forces.

It is considered to be one of the world’s fastest cruise missiles.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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