Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 1st February 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 1st February 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc.

 

Contents:

  1. General Budget 2020-21
  2. Fundamental Rights and OCI Cardholders
  3. Brexit
  4. Integrate ‘Assemble In India’ into Make In India
  5. First Revised Estimates of National Income
  6. The first shipment of high-quality bananas from Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai.
  7. World’s first conference on Childhood Pneumonia.
  8. 25 years of the adoption of Beijing Platform for Action, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD):.
  9. Other important current affairs

 

1. General Budget 2020-21:

Budget Highlights:

Tax:

  • A new tax regime has been announced. Those who want to be in the old regime with exemptions can continue to pay at the old rates.

Income Tax:

  • Between ₹5 lakh and ₹7.5 lakh, Reduced to 10% from the current 20%
  • Between ₹7.5 lakh to ₹10 lakh, Reduced to 15% from the current 20%
  • Between ₹10 lakh to ₹12.5 lakh, Reduced to 20% from the current 30%
  • Between ₹12.5 lakh to ₹15 lakh, Reduced to 25% from the current 30%
  • Above ₹15 lakh, Continue at 30%, but without exemptions
  • Over 70 deductions have been removed.
  • Companies will no longer be required to pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT).
  • Aadhaar-based verification for GST compliance to be introduced.
  • Aadhaar-based quick issuance of PAN announced.

Economy and Finance:

  • Bank deposit insurance cover had been increased from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh per depositor.
  • Government plans to amend the Companies Act to decriminalise civil offences.
  • Government to sell part of its stake in LIC via a public offering.

Agriculture:

  • A budget allocation of ₹2.83 lakh crore for the sector comprising agriculture and allied activities.
  • Doubling farmers incomes by 2022.
  • Agri-credit availability set at ₹15 lakh crore for 2020-21.
  • Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts.
  • Provide 20 lakh farmers to set up standalone solar pumps. Help another 15 lakh farmers to solarise their power grid.
  • Village storage scheme proposed to be run by women SHGs.
  • Indian Railways to have refrigerated coaches capability in ‘Kisan trains’ to carry perishables and milk.
  • Krishi UDAN on international and national routes.

Health and Sanitation:

  • An allocation of ₹69,000 crores for the health sector.
  • ₹12,300 crore for Swachh Bharat this year.
  • Proposal to set up hospitals in Tier-II and Tier-III cities with the private sector using PPP.
  • Expand the Jan Aushadhi scheme to provide for all hospitals under Ayushman Bharat by 2025.

Education:

  • ₹99,300 crore for the education sector in 2021 and about ₹3,000 crores for skill development.
  • Urban local bodies to provide internship to young engineers for a year.
  • Degree-level full-fledged online education programmes by institutions ranked in top 100 in NIRF rankings, especially to benefit underprivileged students.
  • A national police university and a national forensic science university is proposed to be setup.
  • IND SAT exam for students of Asia and Africa to promote “study in India” programme.

Infrastructure:

  • The budget proposes to provide ₹1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure in 2021
  • National Logistics Policy to be released soon.
  • Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway to be started.
  • Aim to achieve electrification of 27,000 km of lines.
  • Plan to have a large solar power capacity for Indian Railways.
  • The government also proposes a Bengaluru suburban rail project at a cost of ₹18,600 crores.
  • Govt to monetise 12 lots of national highways by 2024.
  • 100 more airports will be developed by 2024 to support UDAN.

 

2. Fundamental Rights and OCI Cardholders:

Recently, the Union government has told the Delhi High Court that Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders do not enjoy fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, including the right to freedom of speech and expression.

  • This response was to a plea seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • The plea also sought an exemption for overseas citizens from seeking permission under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) to make donations to religious and charitable institutions.
  • According to the plea, the right to make donations to religious institutions and the fundamental right to freedom of religion are guaranteed by the Constitution.

 

3. Brexit:

Britain has officially left the European Union (EU) and has become the first country to leave the 28-member bloc.

  • The UK faced a lot of challenges in materialising this move finally.
  • It is a notable change for the UK although nothing will change immediately because of the 11-month transition period negotiated as part of an EU-UK exit deal, 2019.
  • The UK will be able to work in and trade freely with EU nations and vice versa until December 31, 2020.
  • However, it will no longer be represented in the EU’s institutions.
  • From 2021, the UK and EU will enter a new relationship possibly underpinned by a free trade deal.

EU-UK Exit Deal:

  • This agreement sets out the exact terms of the UK and EU relationship immediately after exit but it is not clear, on what terms the UK and EU’s future relationship will be.
  • A key part of the withdrawal agreement was, there would be a transition period, until the end of 2020.
  • The transitional arrangement is designed to make the separation process smoother and it covers subjects like trade, law, and immigration.
  • It will give them more time to iron out all the details of their future relationship including a possible free trade deal.
  • During the transition, the UK will be officially out of the EU and not be represented on EU bodies but would still have the same obligations as an EU member.
  • That includes remaining in the EU customs union and the single market, contributing to the EU’s budget and following EU law.

 

4. Integrate ‘Assemble In India’ into Make In India:

Giving a new dimension to ‘Make in India’, the Economic Survey 2019-20 suggested that the government should integrate ‘Assemble in India for the world’ into ‘Make in India’ to boost exports and generate jobs.

  • Survey says India has unprecedented opportunity to chart a China-like, labour-intensive, export trajectory.
  • By integrating “Assemble in India for the world” into Make in India, India can:
  • Raise its export market share to about 3.5 % by 2025 and 6 % by 2030.
  • Create 4 crore well-paid jobs by 2025 and 8 crores by 2030.
  • Exports of network products can provide one-quarter of the increase in value-added required for making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
  • Survey suggests a strategy similar to one used by China to grab this opportunity:
  • Specialization at large scale in labour-intensive sectors, especially network products.
  • Laser-like focus on enabling assembling operations at mammoth scale in network products.
  • Export primarily to markets in rich countries.
  • Trade policy must be an enabler.

 

5. First Revised Estimates of National Income:

The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for the financial year 2018-19 (with Base Year 2011-12) as per the revision policy.

Gross Domestic Product:

  • Nominal GDP or GDP at current prices for the year 2018-19 is estimated as ₹ 189.71 lakh crore against ₹ 170.98 lakh crore for the year 2017-18, showing a growth of 11.0 % during 2018-19 as compared to 11.1 % during 2017-18.
  • Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for the year 2018-19 stand at ₹ 139.81 lakh crore showing growth of 6.1 % during 2018-19.

Industry-wise analysis:

  • At the aggregate level, nominal GVA at basic prices has grown by 11.1 % during 2017-18 against 10.5 % during 2018-19.
  • In terms of real GVA i.e. GVA at constant (2011-12) basic prices, there has been a growth of 6.0 % in 2018-19, as against 6.6 % in 2017-18.
  • During 2018-19, at constant prices, the growth rates of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors have been estimated as 1.0 %, 6.0 % and 7.7 as against a growth of 5.8 %, 6.5 % and 6.9 %, respectively, in the previous year.
  • Nominal Net National Income (NNI) at current prices for the year 2018-19 stands at ₹ 167.89 lakh crore as against ₹ 151.50 lakh crore in 2017-18, showing growth of 10.8 % during 2018-19 as against 11.2 % in the previous year.

Gross National Disposable Income (GNDI) at current prices is estimated as ₹ 63 lakh crore for the year 2018-19 showing a growth of 11.2 % for the year 2018-19.

Gross Saving during 2018-19 is estimated at ₹ 57.13 lakh crore against ₹ 55.38 lakh crore during 2017-18. Rate of Gross Saving to GNDI for 2018-19 is estimated at 29.7 % against 32.0 % for 2017-18.

Gross Capital Formation (GCF) at current prices is estimated at ₹ 61.09 lakh crore for the year 2018-19 compared to ₹ 58.49 lakh crore during 2017-18. The rate of GCF to GDP is 34.2 % during 2017-18 as against 32.2 % in 2018-19.

 

6. The first shipment of high-quality bananas from Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai for exports to international markets.:

 

First Banana Container Train of India was sent from Tadipatri, Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai for export to international markets.

  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), along with State Government of Andhra Pradesh dispatched the first shipment of 890 MTs of high-quality bananas, loaded in 43 refrigerated containers, from Tadipatri, Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai for export to international markets.
  • Government of India under Agri Export Policy has notified banana cluster in Anantpur and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

 

7. World’s first conference on Childhood Pneumonia :

World’s first conference on Childhood Pneumonia was held in Barcelona (Spain) to make it part of the global health agenda.

  • Despite being the biggest infectious killer of children, pneumonia remains a neglected disease both nationally and globally.
  • Every 39 seconds, a child under-5 dies from it.
  • Global Forum on Childhood Pneumonia is an initiative of 9 leading health and children’s organisations including UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi among others.
  • The theme of the conference is ‘Fighting for Breath’.

Pneumonia:

  • Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection of the lungs.
  • Cause: It doesn’t have one single cause – it can develop from either bacteria, viruses or fungi in the air.
  • Vaccine: Pneumonia caused by bacteria is easily preventable with vaccines. 3 doses of the primary vaccine (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) to prevent it are recommended.
  • A new vaccine for one of the main viral causes of pneumonia is under development.
  • India is planning for the nationwide rollout of PCV under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).

 

8. 25 years of the adoption of Beijing Platform for Action, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD):

To mark 25 years of the adoption of Beijing Platform for Action, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD), organized a National Consultation on the Review of Beijing+25.

  • The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, was one of the largest ever gatherings of the United Nations, and a critical turning point in the world’s focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • The Beijing Declaration was a resolution adopted by the UN at the end of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The resolution adopted to promulgate a set of principles concerning the equality of men and women.
  • 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), (Beijing + 25).

 

Other important current affairs:

1. For the first time, in the history of DefExpo, India and Africa are to discuss their defence relations.

  • The India-Africa Defence Conclave is to be held on February 6, 2020. Around 24 Defence Ministers are to participate in the conclave.
  • India’s largest Defence Exhibition is to be held in Lucknow between February 5, 2020, and February 8, 2020.
  • During the exhibition, India showcases its existing and new defence technologies in the world.
  • As a part of the event, the India-Africa Defence Conclave is to be held.
  • This year more than 1000 companies have registered at the Defexpo. Last year, when the Defexpo was held in Chennai, around 702 companies had registered.

2. Corona Virus: India bans respiratory masks export as Indians evacuated from China:

  • On January 31, 2020, the Government of India banned the export of respiratory masks, clothing used to protect from airborne particles and other personal protection equipment.
  • The move has been implemented as a precautionary step assuming there could be a spurt in demand of these products due to Corona Virus.
  • A 423-seater plane has been sent to China to evacuate Indians from China.
  • The move is being done due to the outbreak of novel Corona Virus in China. At this scenario, India is to bring around 400 Indians from China.
  • The death toll in China due to the Corona Virus has increased to 213 and the number of confirmed cases has increased to 9,000. In order to screen them, the Indian Army has set a quarantine facility in Manesar.
  • There are more than 300 Indian students in the Chinese province of Hubei, which is the epicentre of the virus outbreak. The Manesar quarantine is being created exclusively for these students. They are to be monitored for 2 weeks.

3. 1st February: Indian Coast Guard Day:

  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG) celebrated its raising day on February 1.
  • ICG protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
  • It operates under the Ministry of Defence.

4. The cultural extravaganza Surajkund International Crafts Mela (34th) has been inaugurated at Faridabad (Haryana).

  • This year Himachal Pradesh is the theme state.
  • Artistes will showcase the art, culture, heritage, handicrafts, and cuisine of the state.
  • Surajkund is located near the Surajkund village between the villages of Baharpur and Lakkarpur in Faridabad district of Haryana

5. ‘Rubigula’, Flame-Throated Bulbul, has been unveiled as the official mascot for the Goa 2020 National Games in Panaji, Goa from 20th October to 4th November 2020.

  • The event will see participation by 36 states and union territories, 12,000 athletes, officials and will host 37 sports disciplines across 24 venues in Goa.
  • The Flame-Throated Bulbul is the state bird of Goa.

6. Pharmacy worker (60-years) has become the first deaf person on record to row an ocean by finishing a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic.

  • Mo O’Brien and her fellow crew members, including her daughter, landed on the Caribbean island of Antigua 49 days after setting out from the Canary Island of La Gomera in December.
  • Ms O’Brien rowed almost 3,000 miles (4,800km) of the Atlantic Ocean with her daughter and their friend Claire Allinson.

7. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that it is preparing low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing around 30-35 crores rupees each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing 500 kgs.

  • The first such launch is expected to take place in the next four months from the country.
  • ISRO has earmarked 1,600 million Dollars for launch vehicles of which 870 million Dollars will be for PSLV and the remaining for GSLV.

8. Sofia Kenin wins Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title 2020

  • American Sofia Kenin (21-years) has won the Australian Open Grand Slam Singles title 2020 (108th edition) at Melbourne, Australia.
  • She defeated Garbiñe Muguruza in the final 4–6, 6–2, 6–2.
  • Kenin was the youngest Australian Open finalist since Ana Ivanovic, and the youngest champion since Maria Sharapova, both in 2008.

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