Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 10th October 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 10th October 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Contents:

  1. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):
  2. Nobel Prize for Peace 2020:
  3. Extension of its accommodative policy stance:
  4. Quad grouping
  5. ‘Tree Transplantation Policy
  6. Other important current affairs:

1.National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to its request to eight States to “produce” children living in care homes before the local child welfare committees for their “immediate repatriation” with their families.

  • The court is suo motu monitoring the welfare of children placed in care homes during the pandemic.
  • The NCPCR reportedly wrote to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Meghalaya in this regard.
  • These States together have 1.84 lakh children in care homes. This accounts for over 70% of the children in care homes.
  • The NCPCR explained the need for a child to grow up in a familial environment.
  • The Court asked the NCPCR to respond to why such repatriation of the children to their families should not be done on an individual basis.
  • The court also wondered whether the NCPCR could issue such general directions to the States without considering the education, health, the safety of the children, the consent of their parents, and their economical situation.

NCPCR:

  • Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
  • It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.

 

2.Nobel Prize for Peace 2020:

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations (UN) agency, for its efforts to combat hunger, bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and preventing the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

  • Other 2020 Nobel Prizes for Literature, Chemistry, Physics and Medicine have already been announced.

World Food Programme:

  • It was established in 1961 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and became a full-fledged UN programme in 1965.
  • Headquarter: Rome, Italy.
  • Eradicating hunger is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2: Zero Hunger) to be achieved by 2030 and WFP is the UN’s primary agency that works towards this goal.
  • Currently, it is the world’s largest humanitarian agency combating hunger.
  • In 2019, it assisted 97 million people, the largest number since 2012, in 88 countries.
  • The same year, it delivered about 4.4 million tonnes of food, purchased USD 1.7 billion worth of food from 91 countries, and USD 762 million worth of goods and services from 156 countries.
  • According to the WFP, there are 690 million hungry people around the world and around 60% of them live in countries affected by conflict.
  • It highlights that people living in countries with long-running crises are more than twice as likely to be undernourished than people elsewhere (2.5 times as much).
  • The number of hungry people is expected to increase further due to Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to earnings losses, made food more expensive and has disrupted supply chains.
  • The WFP estimates suggest that by 2030, nearly half of the global poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

 

3. Extension of its accommodative policy stance:

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the extension of its accommodative policy stance for the rest of this year as well as 2021-22 and forecasted a GDP revival in coming months.

  • RBI had previously introduced a number of measures in its Monetary Policy Report for dealing with the Covid-19 induced economic setback.
  • RBI has kept key policy rates unchanged to revive growth of the economy and mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Repo and reverse repo rate unchanged at 4% and 3.35% respectively because of high inflation.
  • Risk weights, i,e, the capital required to be set aside on individual home loans, have been relaxed and the loan limit for retail and small business borrowers have been raised.
  • This would give a boost to the job-intensive real estate sector that has been suffering in the pandemic.
  • Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) will be available round the clock.
  • Targeted Long Term Repo Operations (TLTRO) of Rs 1,00,000 crore for the revival of specific sectors, and Open Market Operations (OMOs) for State Development Loans (SDLs) have been announced.
  • This will assure market participants of access to liquidity and easy financial conditions.
  • Long Term Reverse Repo Operation (LTRO) is a mechanism to facilitate the transmission of monetary policy actions and the flow of credit to the economy. This helps in injecting liquidity in the banking system.
  • Open Market Operations (OMO) is one of the quantitative monetary policy tools which is employed by the central bank of a country to control the money supply in the economy.
  • OMOs are conducted by the RBI by way of sale or purchase of government securities (g-secs) to adjust money supply conditions.
  • The central bank sells g-secs to commercial banks to remove liquidity from the system and buys back g-secs to infuse liquidity into the system.

 

4.Quad grouping:

China has reiterated its criticism of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Quad (India, Australia, Japan and the US) in Tokyo, saying it is opposed to the formation of “exclusive cliques” harming third party’s interests.

  • The foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group – the US, Japan, India and Australia recently met in Tokyo in what is their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.
  • The meeting took place in the backdrop of China’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
  • Besides, the strategic community in China has already branded the quad as an emerging “Asian NATO”.

Quad grouping:

  • The quadrilateral security dialogue includes Japan, India, United States and Australia.
  • All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.
  • The idea was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it.
  • Quad is an opportunity for like-minded countries to share notes and collaborate on projects of mutual interest.
  • Members share a vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific.
  • Each is involved in the development and economic projects as well as in promoting maritime domain awareness and maritime security.

 

5.‘Tree Transplantation Policy’.:

Delhi Cabinet has given its nod for ‘Tree Transplantation Policy’. With this, Delhi has become the first State in India to pass this policy.

Highlights of the policy:

  • Agencies concerned will have to transplant 80 per cent of the trees affected by their projects to a new location.
  • More importantly, 10 saplings will be planted in addition to the whole tree being dug up with the root intact and scientifically transplanted at another location instead of being felled.
  • A dedicated panel of government agencies with track record and experience of tree transplantation is being formed under the policy.
  • Payments for transplantation will be made after one year to ensure this, and if less than 80 per cent of the transplanted trees survive, payment will be deducted.
  • The government will also form local committees, which will include citizens, for checking, monitoring and certification of the tree transplantation exercise.
  • A dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell will also be formed by the Delhi government and local committees, which will include government officials, citizens to monitor the transplanted trees and to certify that the task has been done with due diligence.

 

Other important current affairs:

1.Protesters in Kyrgyzstan have captured key government buildings, including the Parliament House and the presidential office and the situation is like a coup.

  • Kyrgyzstan, often referred to as Central Asia’s only democracy had seen violent anti-government protests in the past.
  • In 2005 and 2010, sitting presidents were forced out of office in popular protests- ‘Tulip’ and ‘Melon’ revolutions.
  • The current protests began after early results of the parliamentary election were announced.
  • Political parties in Kyrgyzstan should win at least 7% of the popular vote to enter Parliament.
  • The results showed that only four parties managed to cross the threshold and of which, three were pro-government parties.
  • The only opposition party could cross the threshold.
  • Reason for the protest:
    • Even before the election, political fault lines were sharpening in Kyrgyzstan.
    • The country’s main political party, the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan (SDPK), stayed out of the election due to intra-party rift and split.
    • Several political leaders were detained and elections were perceived as rigged.
    • Consequently, after elections, protestors formed a Coordination Council to lead the “revolution”. The country’s Election Commission annulled the results, but the protesters continued.

2.Indo-Sri Lankan Accord::

  • Following India’s Prime Minister’s request to the Sri Lankan counterpart to address Tamil aspirations with the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the Tamil MPs of Sri Lanka have questioned the government’s commitment to the preceding Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987.
  • About the Accord:
    • Signed in 1987.
    • Popularly referred to as the Rajiv-Jayewardene Accord, after its architects Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayewardene.
    • It sought to collectively address all the three contentious issues between India and Sri Lanka: strategic interests, people of Indian origin in Sri Lanka and Tamil minority rights in Sri Lanka.
    • This accord saw the induction of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
    • According to the terms of the accord, Sri Lankan forces would withdraw from the north and the Tamil rebels would disarm.
    • The accord was expected to resolve the Sri Lankan Civil War by enabling the thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act of 1987.

3.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it will conduct on-tap targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO) for an amount of Rs 1 lakh crore to ensure comfortable liquidity conditions in the system.

  • Liquidity availed by banks under the scheme has to be deployed in corporate bonds, commercial papers, loans and non-convertible debentures issued by entities in specific sectors over and above the outstanding level of their investments in such instruments as on September 30, 2020.
  • The LTRO is a tool under which the central bank provides one-year to three-year money to banks at the prevailing repo rate, accepting government securities with matching or higher tenure as the collateral.

4.Rudram Anti-Radiation Missile:

  • Successfully test-fired recently from a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft.
  • The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It has a strike range of around 100 to 150 km.
  • It is the first indigenous air-to-ground missile developed by the DRDO, after the supersonic BrahMos, which has been developed jointly with Russia.
  • The missile has been designed for suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD).
  • The missile can be launched from a varying range of altitudes for destroying enemy surveillance radars, tracking and communication systems.

5.The Prime Minister will launch the distribution of Property Cards under the SVAMITVA Scheme on 11th October, via video conferencing.

  • The launch will enable around one lakh property holders to download their Property Cards through the SMS link delivered on their mobile phones.
  • This would be followed by physical distribution of the Property Cards by the respective State governments.
  • SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) is a Central Sector Scheme launched on National Panchayati Raj Day, 24th April 2020.
  • Aims: To provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India.
  • To provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issue Property Cards.
  • The demarcation of rural areas would be done using Drone Surveying technology.
  • Implementation: In a phased manner over a period of four years (2020-2024).
  • Implementing Agency:
    • Ministry of Panchayati Raj at National Level
    • Revenue Department/Land Records Department in States
    • Survey of India is a technology partner for implementation
  • Coverage: Around 6.62 lakh villages in six states i.e. Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Karnataka (along with a few border villages of Punjab & Rajasthan)

6.Department of Science and Technology (DST) and International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) India have announced collaborations to scale up the initiatives, Vigyan Jyoti and Engage with Science.

  • Both DST and IBM India aim to create a robust STEM ecosystem that nurtures critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and next-generation innovators.
  • DST and IBM India will work together to further integrate and develop science and technology in the education ecosystem with short term courses, workshops, mentoring, and online science content communication for teachers and students in India.
  • Vigyan Jyoti: It was launched by the DST in 2019.
  • Aims: To promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning among girl students and build confidence and excitement towards these streams.
  • STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in 4 specific disciplines, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.
  • To create a level-playing field for meritorious girls from grades 9 to 12, especially from the top colleges in the areas where girls are hugely underrepresented.
  • To solve the multidimensional problems associated with the meagre representation of women.

7.Real-Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), used for large value transactions, will be made available round-the-clock from December 2020.

  • RTGS:
    • It enables the real-time transfer of funds to a beneficiary’s account and is primarily meant for large-value transactions.
    • Real-time means the processing of instructions at the time they are received and gross settlement implies that settlement of funds transfer instructions occurs individually.
  • Current Scenario: RTGS is available for customers from 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all working days of a week, except the second and fourth Saturdays of every month.
  • 24x7x365 RTGS Decision: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to make available the RTGS system round the clock on all days from December 2020 in order to facilitate swift and seamless payments in real-time for domestic businesses and institutions.
  • In December 2019, the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system was made available on a 24x7x365 basis.
  • From July 2019, RBI stopped levying charges on transactions through NEFT and RTGS, with an aim to promote digital transactions in the country.

8.Election Commission of India (ECI) has relaxed Public Notice Time Period for Registration of Political Parties. It has given relaxation and has reduced the notice period from 30 days to 7 days for the parties who have published their public notice on or before 07.10.2020.

  • Registration of Political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • A party seeking registration under the said Section with the ECI has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by it in the exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India.
  • As per existing guidelines, the applicant association is, inter-alia asked to publish proposed Name of the party in two national daily newspapers and two local daily newspapers, on two days for submitting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within 30 days from such publication.

9.The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has bowed to Bhai Taru Singh Ji, on the occasion of his 300th birth anniversary.

  • Bhai Taru Singh (1720 – 1745) was a prominent Sikh martyr known for sacrificing his life, in the name of protecting Sikh values, by having had his head scalped rather than cutting his hair and converting to Islam.
  • Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh or Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan Bhai Taru Singh ji is a Sikh Gurdwara at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan, which commemorates the spot where Bhai Taru Singh was martyred.
  • He was born in Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Empire.

10.Films Division is showcasing select animation and documentary films to mark the International Day of the Girl on 11th October 2020. The films being screened too amplify the voice of girls and those who are in the forefront of saving girl child from all kinds of exploitation.

  • Every year on 11th October, the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF launches an annual campaign with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights.
  • This year’s theme is “My voice, our equal future”, seizing the opportunity to re-imagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.
  • October 11, 2012, was the first day of the Girl Child.
  • In 2020, the world is commemorating 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.
  • In 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The Beijing Declaration is the first to specifically call out girls’ rights.

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