Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 22nd February 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 22nd February 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Contents:

  1. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act.
  2. Herath festival.
  3. Interim order on Mahadayi tribunal’s award.
  4. Global Health Security (GHS) Index, 2019.
  5. ASKDISHA Chatbot.
  6. Bharat-Bangla Paryatan Utsav-Tourism festival.
  7. Kiliki language.
  8. Other important current affairs:

 

1. Proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015:

Recently, a Group of Ministers (GoM) chaired by the Home Minister met to discuss proposed amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) (JJ) Act, 2015.

  • The GoM meeting was convened to create greater synergy between ministries on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

Improvement Over the Act of 2000:

  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 replaced the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 to comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  • Change in Nomenclature:
    • The Act changes the nomenclature from ‘juvenile’ to ‘child’ or ‘child in conflict with law’. Also, it removes the negative connotation associated with the word “juvenile”.
    • It also includes several new and clear definitions such as orphaned, abandoned and surrendered children; and petty, serious and heinous offenses committed by children
  • Special Provisions for Age 16-18 years:
    • Included special provisions to tackle child offenders committing heinous offenses in the age group of 16-18 years.
  • Mandatory Constitution of the JJ Board:
    • It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one woman member each.
  • Adoption Related Clauses:
    • A separate new chapter on Adoption to streamline adoption procedures for an orphan abandoned and surrendered children,
    • Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
    • The Act states that the adoption of a child is final on the issuance of an adoption order by the court. Currently, there are 629 adoption cases pending in various courts.
  • Inclusion of New Offences:
    • The Act included several new offenses committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offenses against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.
  • Child Care Institutions (CCI):
    • All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organizations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018

  • The Bill provides that instead of the court, the district magistrate will issue adoption orders to address the high pendency of adoption cases.
  • The Bill also seeks to transfer all pending matters related to adoption before any court to the district magistrate having jurisdiction over the area.

 

2.Herath festival:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today greeted people on the occasion of the Herath festival.

  • Herath festival is one of the biggest festivals of Kashmiri Pandits.
  • The festival is marked by a night of praying followed by a day of feasting.
  • Some say Herath means the night of the Lord Shiva

 

3.The volume of plastic packaging:

A new report by the World Wide Fund (WWF) analyses the volume of plastic packaging placed on the market in six rapidly growing Asian economies: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  • Single-use plastics and packaging for consumer goods, particularly, increase plastic pollution.
  • Globally, 36% of plastic usage is for packaging and over a third of it lands up into the environment.
  • Of the six countries analyzed in the report, Malaysia’s per capita plastic packaging consumption is the highest, at 16.78 kg.
  • China’s annual household packaging consumption is the highest, at 19,765 million tonnes.
  • In China, plastic films and bags are the most used type of packaged plastic, followed by PET bottles and plastic cups and other containers.
  • Around 60% of marine plastic pollution originates in these countries and 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year. It has projected a 300% increase in plastic packaging between 2010 and 2050.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF):

  • It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
  • It is an international non-governmental organization, working in the field of wilderness preservation.
  • Founded in: 1961.
  • Headquarters: Switzerland.

 

3.Interim order on Mahadayi tribunal’s award:

The Supreme Court has passed an interim order allowing an application by the State of Karnataka to notify the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal’s award.

  • Court said: The implementation of the award would be subject to the final judgment of the Supreme Court in the civil appeals filed by Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra, challenging the allocation of water from the Mahadayi river among them.
  • Tribunal award: August 2018 tribunal award had allocated 13.42 TMC water from the Mahadayi river basin to Karnataka. Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC water while Goa was given 24 TMC in the final decision of the tribunal. The Karnataka government had petitioned the tribunal seeking the release of 7.56 TMC of water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.
  • Kalasa-Banduri Nala project: Undertaken by the Government of Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the Districts of Belagavi, Dharwad, and Gadag. It involves building across Kalasa and Banduri, two tributaries of the Mahadayi river to divert 7.56 TMC of water to the Malaprabha river.
  • The disputes: Goa raised objection to the Kalasa-Banduri project planned in 1989. Goa filed a complaint seeking setting up of a tribunal in July 2002. Goa moved the Supreme Court in 2006 seeking the constitution of a tribunal.
  • The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up in November 2010.

 

4.Global Health Security (GHS) Index, 2019:

According to the Global Health Security (GHS) Index, 2019, national health security is “fundamentally weak” around the world. The report gains significance in the context of the recent Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak.

About the Index:

  • The Global Health Security (GHS) Index, a report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Economist Intelligence Unit, was released in October 2019.
  • The GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195 countries that make up the States Parties to the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).
  • The IHR, 2005 represents an agreement between 196 countries including all the World Health Organization (WHO) the Member States to work together for global health security.
  • The GHS Index assesses countries’ health security and capabilities across six categories, 34 indicators, and 85 sub-indicators.

Key Findings

  • The GHS Index analysis finds that no country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics.
  • Collectively, international preparedness is weak.
  • The average overall GHS Index score among all 195 countries assessed is 40.2 of a possible score of 100.
  • Overall, the GHS Index finds severe weaknesses in-country abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies; severe gaps in health systems; vulnerabilities to political, socioeconomic, and environmental risks that can hamper outbreak preparedness and response; and a lack of adherence to international norms.

Ranking of Different Countries

  • The US is the “most prepared” nation (scoring 83.5), with the UK (77.9), the Netherlands (75.6), Australia (75.5) and Canada (75.3) behind it.
  • Thailand is ranked sixth in the Index the highest ranking for an Asian country.
  • Much of Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Asia, and Central and South America are described as “more prepared,” with scores between 66 and 34.3, while the majority of countries ranked “least prepared” are in Africa.
  • India is ranked 57th with a score of 46.5, falling in the middle tier.
  • North Korea (17.5), Somalia (16.6) and Equatorial Guinea (16.2) are listed in the index’s bottom three.
  • China which is at the center of the recent coronavirus outbreak is at the 51st place, scoring 48.2.

 

5. ASKDISHA Chatbot:

The Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has powered voice-enabled ASKDISHA Chatbot to converse with customers in the Hindi language.

  • The customers can now ask queries to ASKDISHA in Hindi by voice as well as text.
  • IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future.

ASKDISHA Chatbot

  • It is an Artificial Intelligence-based chatbot that was initially launched in the English language in October 2018.
  • It is a first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC which aims to benefit the users of the ticketing and tourism websites of IRCTC to resolve queries of railway passengers over the internet pertaining to various services offered.
  • Since its initial launch, passengers seeking help on the reservation of tickets, cancellation, inquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, inquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products have been benefited.

 

6.Bharat-Bangla Paryatan Utsav-Tourism festival :

First-ever Bharat-Bangla Paryatan Utsav-Tourism festival is being held in Agartala, Tripura.

  • The Tripura State Tourism Department has organized the festival in memories of the contribution of Tripura in 1971 Bangladesh liberation war as well as giving a fillip to the Tripura tourism sector.
  • Seminars, discussions, cultural events, visit the important tourist spots, historical and archeological sites are the main parts of the two-day friendship festival.

 

7.Kiliki language:

Kiliki language:

  • The new speech was invented for the terrifying warrior tribe called Kalakeya in the two-part Baahubali franchise.
  • It now has evolved into a language with script grammar and more than 3000 words for everyday communication.
  • It is considered as the world’s easiest language. This fictional language was created by popular lyricist and screenwriter Madhan Karky.

 

Other important current affairs:

1. Chitra Bharati Film Festival (CBFF) is being organized by Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad.

  • Around 140 films falling under four categories will be screened at the three-day festival.
  • The categories are short film, documentary, animation and campus film.
  • This is the third edition of the festival – the first was held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, in 2016, and the second at Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium in 2018.
  • The aim of this film festival is to establish a ‘Bharatiya’ narrative in Indian cinema.
  • The themes for the festival include Bharatiya culture and values, constructive work, Bharatiya family, social harmony, folk art, water, trees and cleanliness, women, national security, valor, nationhood and education for nation-building.

2. The National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy, Tamil Nadu in coordination with the Union Department of Science and Technology has developed Thirumathikart.

  • Thirumathikart is a mobile app for SHG (Self Help Group) products.
  • The main objective of the app is to empower women and help them access market opportunities in a seamless manner.
  • The platform will also enable Self Help Groups to showcase their products to a wider audience.

3. Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurates National Organic Food Festival

  • Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Food Processing Industries Minister) & Smriti Irani (Women and Child Development Minister) jointly inaugurated National Organic Food Festival in New Delhi.
  • The three-day festival aims at strengthening the organic market and encouraging women entrepreneurs engaged in the manufacturing of organic produce.
  • ‘Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential’ is the theme of the festival.

4. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched the ‘5G Hackathon’ in association with government, academia, and industry stakeholders.

  • The 5G Hackathon is open to developers, students, start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and registered companies in India and NRIs.
  • Winners of the various phases will share a total prize pool of 2.5 crore rupees.
  • The 5G technology provides quantum leap over 4G in terms of speed, spectrum efficiency, and connection density.

5. Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor (35-year) has become the first player in the world to play 100 matches in all three formats of cricket.

  • The right-handed batsman Ross Taylor is already his country’s leading run-scorer in Test, and ODI with 7174 (100-test) and 8570 runs (231 ODIs) respectively.
  • He also scored 1909 runs in the T20 match.

6. GSI discovers gold deposits of over 3,000 tonnes in Sonbhadra district of UP

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered gold deposits to the tune of around 3,000 tonnes (5 times of India’s reserves) in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • According to District Mining Officer K.K. Rai, the gold deposits were found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas.
  • The deposits in Son Pahadi is estimated to be around 2,943.26 tonnes, while that at Hardi block is around 646.16 kilograms.
  • But Recently GSI said that No discovery of over 3,000 tonnes of Goldmine Reserves in Sonbhadra
  • Geological Survey of India recently clarified that the media reports regarding the discovery of over 3000 tonnes of Gold Reserves in Sonbhadra are false. The GSI has not estimated such vast reserves in Sonbhadra, UP.

 

7.PM Modi inaugurates International Judicial Conference 2020 in New Delhi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a two-day International Judicial Conference 2020 organized by Supreme Court in New Delhi.
  • The theme of the International Judicial Conference 2020 is “Judiciary and the changing world”.
  • Chief Justice Robert Reed of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will deliver a keynote address at the conference.
  • The conference will witness the participation of numerous other international legal luminaries from across the world.

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