Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 21st September 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 21st September 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

Contents:

  1. INS Viraat:
  2. FinCEN:
  3. The recent versions of three labour codes namely Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020 have been introduced in Lok Sabha.:
  4. No-confidence resolution against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman:
  5. Kakatiya dynasty, in Dharanikota (Andhra Pradesh):
  6. Official Secrets Act (OSA). :
  7. Status of HIV/AIDS Patients in India.:
  8. Other important current affairs:

 

1.INS Viraat:

INS Viraat, the Aircraft Carrier with the longest service in the world, commenced its towed final journey from Mumbai, to be broken at Alang in Gujarat and sold as scrap.

  • The ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hermes in 1959.
  • She was part of the key formation of the British forces during the Falklands War against the Argentinian forces in 1982.
  • HMS Hermes was decommissioned within three years after the war.
  • The Indian Navy announced its purchase in 1985-86. The ship underwent a major refit and modernization before being commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1987 as INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat, which means enormous.
  • INS Viraat proved pivotal in Operation Jupiter in 1989 during the Sri Lankan Peacekeeping operation.
  • The ship was also deployed during 2001-02 Operation Parakram following the terror attack on the Indian Parliament. It was decommissioned in 2017.
  • Since 2017, India has been operating a single carrier — INS Vikramaditya — as against the minimum essential operational requirement of having two Carrier Battle Groups — which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers at the lead role.
  • India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-I) INS Vikrant which has a displacement comparable to Vikramaditya is under construction at Kochi Shipyard and is soon expected to undergo sea trials.

 

2.FinCEN:

Recently, over 2100 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) were filed by banks with the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

  • The FinCEN files identify at least USD 2 trillion in transactions between 1999 and 2017 flagged as possible evidence of money laundering or other criminal activity by compliance officers of banks and financial institutions.

FinCEN:

  • It was set up in 1990.
  • It serves as the leading global regulator in the battle against money laundering.
  • It collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

Suspicious Activity Report:

  • SAR is a document filed by banks and financial institutions to report suspicious activity to the USA FinCEN.
  • These are meant to a red flag, within 30 days of the transaction’s occurrence: criminal funds or any form of dirty money; insider trading; potential money laundering; terror financing; any transaction that raises suspicion.
  • These are used to detect crime but cannot be used as direct evidence to prove legal cases.
  • There are details of banking transactions that give a clear indication of round-tripping, money laundering, or dealings with shell-like entities.
  • FinCEN shares SARs with law-enforcement authorities including FBI, US Immigration, and Customs.

 

3. The recent versions of three labour codes namely Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020 have been introduced in Lok Sabha.:

Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020:

  • It has raised the threshold for the requirement of a standing order to over 300 workers which implies that industrial establishments with up to 300 workers will not be required to furnish a standing order.
  • Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946 makes it obligatory for employers of an industrial establishment where 100 or more workers are employed to clearly define the conditions of employment and rules of conduct for workmen, by way of standing orders/services rules and to make them known to the workmen employed.
  • The new provision for standing order will be applicable for every industrial establishment wherein 300 or more than 300 workers are employed or were employed on any day of the preceding twelve months.
  • It was earlier suggested by the Standing Committee on Labour which also suggested that the threshold be increased accordingly in the Code itself and the words ‘as may be notified by the Appropriate Government’ be removed because reform of labour laws through the executive route is undesirable and should be avoided to the extent possible.
  • After becoming a law, orders will not be dependent on whims and fancies of executives of state governments.
  • Without the need for a standing order in increased industrial establishments due to the raised threshold, the process of hiring and firing workers will be more flexible and faster for employers which would result in increased employment.
  • It also introduces new conditions for carrying out a legal strike. The time period for arbitration proceedings has been included in the conditions for workers before going on a legal strike as against only the time for conciliation at present.
  • No person employed in any industrial establishment shall go on strike without a 60-day notice and during the pendency of proceedings before a Tribunal or a National Industrial Tribunal and sixty days after the conclusion of such proceedings.
  • At present, a person employed in a public utility service cannot go on strike unless they give notice for a strike within six weeks before going on strike or within fourteen days of giving such notice, which the IR Code now proposes to apply for all the industrial establishments.
  • It has also proposed to set up a re-skilling fund for the training of retrenched workers with contribution from the employer, of an amount equal to 15 days last drawn by the worker.

 

4.No-confidence resolution against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman:

Rajya Sabha members of 12 opposition parties moved a no-confidence resolution against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman over the passage of two controversial farm Bills by the voice vote.

Resolution:

  • The Deputy Chairman has violated all the canons of law, procedure, parliamentary procedures, practices and fair play.
  • The Deputy Chairman did not allow points of order to be raised and did not allow large numbers of members of Rajya Sabha, from diverse political parties, to even speak against farm bills.
  • This no-confidence resolution is for the removal of the Deputy Chairman. It is not the same as the No-Confidence Motion specified in Rule 198 of the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Lok Sabha, which can lead to the resignation of the Council of Ministers.
  • Article 75 of the Constitution specifies that the Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of People.
  • Earlier resolutions moved against the first Lok Sabha Speaker G V Mavalankar in 1951, Speaker Sardar Hukam Singh in 1966, and Speaker Balram Jakhar in 1987.
  • All of these resolutions were negated by the House.
  • In a counter move, the government is likely to seek the suspension of Opposition MPs who were involved in the unruly scenes witnessed in the House.
  • The government can invoke Rule 256, which deals with the suspension of a member.
  • The final decision of suspension rests with the Chairman.
  • The ruling party can also move a privilege motion against some of the Opposition MPs.
  • A privilege motion is invoked when there is a breach of parliamentary privileges by a member.

 

5. Kakatiya dynasty, in Dharanikota (Andhra Pradesh):

A temple constructed by emperor Ganapati Deva, a mighty ruler of Kakatiya dynasty, in Dharanikota (Andhra Pradesh) has been converted into an abode of local goddess Balusulamma (Goddess Durga).

  • The presiding deity at this 13th-century temple was Kakati Devi, the tutelary deity of Kakatiya rulers.
  • Due to ravages of time and for no upkeep, the presiding deity got damaged. The villagers of Dharanikota, who had no knowledge about the past of the temple, installed Balusulamma idol and started worshipping.
  • Kakatiyas is an Andhra dynasty that flourished in the 12th century CE. The Kakatiya dynasty ruled from Warangal (Telangana) from CE 1083-1323.
  • They were known for the construction of a network of tanks for irrigation and drinking water and thereby gave a big boost to the overall development of the region.
  • Telangana has launched a massive rejuvenation movement in the form of “Mission Kakatiya” which involves the restoration of irrigation tanks and lakes/minor irrigation sources built by the Kakatiya dynasty.
  • There are hundreds of Hindu temples built under the patronage of Kakatiya kings like Ganapati Deva, Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra of Kakatiya dynasty.

 

6.Official Secrets Act (OSA). :

The Delhi police have arrested Rajeev Sharma, a journalist, under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). The police claimed that he had passed on information such as the deployment of Indian troops on the border to Chinese intelligence officers.

  • Official Secrets Act has its roots in the British colonial era. The original version was The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act XIV), 1889.
  • It was amended and made more stringent in the form of The Indian Official Secrets Act, 1904, during Lord Curzon’s tenure as Viceroy of India.
  • In 1923, a newer version was notified. The Indian Official Secrets Act (Act No XIX of 1923) was extended to all matters of secrecy and confidentiality in governance in the country.
  • It broadly deals with two aspects — spying or espionage, covered under Section 3, and disclosure of other secret information of the government, under Section 5.
  • Secret information can be any official code, password, sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information.
  • Under Section 5, both the person communicating the information and the person receiving the information can be punished.

 

7.Status of HIV/AIDS Patients in India.:

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare informed Rajya Sabha about the status of HIV/AIDS Patients in India.

  • As per the latest HIV estimates report (2019) of the Government, India is estimated to have around 23.49 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in 2019.
  • The HIV epidemic has an overall decreasing trend in the country with estimated annual New HIV infections declining by 37% between 2010 and 2019.
  • HIV infection in India is mainly caused by engagement in high-risk behaviours.
  • The main high-risk behaviours identified for HIV infection in India includes unprotected heterosexual behaviour, unprotected homosexual behaviour, and unsafe injecting drug use behaviour.
  • There are no dedicated hospitals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
  • However, under the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) of the Government, as in July 2020, there are 570 Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) Centres and 1264 Link ART Centres.

 

Other important current affairs:

1.US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to set up a “national commission to promote patriotic education” in the US.

  • The 1776 Commission is an education commission proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump to support “patriotic education”.
  • The initiative is an apparent counter to The 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of essays on African American history of the past four centuries, which explores the Black community’s contribution to nation-building since the era of slavery to modern times.
  • Trump announced the move at a history conference celebrating the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution (on September 17, 1787); the document is written in the decade after the original 13 colonies declared independence from the British Empire in 1776.
  • Trump said students in US universities are ‘inundated with critical race theory, a Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation’, and the new project would teach the youth to ‘love America.’

2.The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to include its ethical code in the Programme Code of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994.

  • The ethical code is against airing malicious, biased and regressive content.
  • NBA represents the collective voice of the news and current affairs broadcasters in India. It is an organisation funded entirely by its members.
  • A plea was made to stop the telecast of a programme ‘Bindas Bol’ on Sudarshan TV containing objectionable content against the Muslim entries into the civil services.
  • The SC held that the content was prima facie “plainly hurtful” to the community and asked the NBA to suggest measures to strengthen the self-regulatory mechanism to prevent or penalise airing of communal or derogatory content in the electronic media.
  • All news channels, whether they are NBA members or not, will have to follow the Programme Code containing the proposed amendments.
  • The News Broadcasters Services Authority (NBSA) should be granted recognition as an independent self-regulatory mechanism to receive and deal with complaints which would strengthen News Broadcasting Standards Regulations of NBSA.
  • NBSA is an independent body set up by the NBA. Its task is to consider and adjudicate upon complaints about broadcasts.
  • Submission to the NBSA regulatory mechanism should be made mandatory for granting/renewal of uplinking/downlinking permissions by the government.
  • The orders passed by the NBSA should be made binding and enforceable on the channels and the penalties should be made stringent.

3.The Government passed two agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha. However, the Opposition protested against the fact that neither Bill had been scrutinised by a Parliamentary Committee.

  • Parliamentary Committee: Parliament scrutinises legislative proposals (Bills) in two ways:
  • The first way is by discussing it on the floor of the two Houses. This is a legislative requirement; all Bills have to be taken up for debate.
  • The second way is by referring a Bill to a Parliamentary Committee.
  • A Parliamentary Committee means a committee that:
    • Is appointed or elected by the House or nominated by the Speaker/Chairman.
    • Works under the direction of the Speaker/Chairman.
    • Presents its report to the House or to the Speaker/Chairman.
    • Has a secretariat provided by the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha?

4.Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September.

  • The theme for 2020: Shaping Peace Together.
  • The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
  • The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • In 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire..

5.The Care 4 Chendamangalam (C4C) initiative is supporting the 2018 Kerala flood-affected weavers.

  • Kerala Kasavu Sarees: The term kasavu refers to the zari (gold thread) used in the border of the Kerala saree.
  • The identity of the saree comes from the geographical cluster they are associated with.
  • The Indian government has identified three clusters in Kerala – Balaramapuram, Chendamangalam and Kuthampully – that have been given a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • Chendamangalam Saree:
    • It is recognisable by its puliyilakara border, a thin black line that runs side by side with the sari’s selvedge.
    • It has extra-weft chuttikara and stripes and checks of varying width.

6.The Election Commission of India is going to organize an International Webinar on 21st September 2020, on the Theme ‘‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ on its completion of one year of Chairmanship of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).

  • The Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) is the largest association of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) worldwide.
  • At present A-WEB has 115 EMBs as Members & 16 Regional Associations/Organisations as Associate Members.ECI has been very closely associated with the process of formation of A-WEB since 2011.
  • ECI hosted the 4th General Assembly of A-WEB on 03 Sep 2019 at Bengaluru and took over as Chair of A-WEB for 2019-2021 term.
  • An India A-WEB Centre has been established at New Delhi, for documentation, research and training for sharing the best practices and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members.
  • This is the first Webinar being held by the India A-WEB Centre.

7.The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 :

  • The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill seeks to streamline the provisions of the FCRA by strengthening the compliance mechanism, enhancing transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution worth thousands of crores of rupees every year.
  • The proposed amendments seek to bar public servants from receiving foreign funding.
  • The amendments seek to make Aadhar mandatory for all office bearers of NGOs and other organisations which are seeking foreign contributions.
  • Need of bill: There are some NGOs which do not inform the government about the foreign contributions they receive. Some NGOs have been found to be violating norms by deviating from their objectives.

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