Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 2nd January 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs: 2nd January 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc.

Contents:

  1. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).
  2. Chandrayaan – 3 and Gaganyaan.
  3. TOBACCO USE PREVALENCE.
  4. 2020 as Year of the Nurse and Midwife: WHO
  5. MANI App by RBI.
  6. Guru Gobind Singh.
  7. Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS)
  8. Sangita Kalanidhi Award.
  9. Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities.
  10. Dhanu Jatra
  11. INDO-PAK PRISONERS LIST.
  12. THOOTHUKODI LAUNCH PORT.
  13. Nepal’s President launches the ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign.
  14. Other important current affairs.

 

1. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY):

According to the Ministry of Rural Development, only 252 Members of Parliament (MPs) have adopted gram panchayats under phase-4 of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY).

  • At present, the total strength of both Houses is about 790 which includes elected as well as nominated members.

Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 11th October 2014 on the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan.

  • Under the Yojana, Members of Parliament (MPs) are responsible for developing the socio-economic and physical infrastructure of three villages each by 2019, and a total of eight villages each by 2024. The first Adarsh Gram (Model Village) was to be developed by 2016, and two more by 2019.
  • From 2019 to 2024, five more Adarsh Grams must be developed by each MP, one each year. This implies that a total of 6,433 Adarsh Grams, of the 2,65,000 gram panchayats, will be created by 2024.

 

2. Chandrayaan- 3 and Gaganyaan:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working simultaneously on the Chandrayaan-3 and Gaganyaan.

Chandrayaan – 3

  • The Chandrayaan-3 is the successor to the Chandrayaan-2 mission and it will likely attempt another soft-landing on the lunar surface.
  • It will be almost a repetition of the July 2019 Chandrayaan-2 mission in the configuration of spacecraft, the landing spot on the moon and the experiments to be conducted on the lunar surface.
  • Although scores of landers sent by Russia, the U.S. and the Chinese have explored the moon’s surface, so far, no other agency has landed in the southern hemisphere of the moon. ISRO hopes to be the first to do so.
  • As per ISRO, the total cost of the Chandrayaan-3 mission will be over Rs 600 crores. In comparison, the total cost of the Chandrayaan-2 mission was Rs 960 crores.

Gaganyaan

  • Gaganyaan, announced by the Prime Minister in August 2018, is the ₹10,000-crore Indian human space flight scheduled for 2022.
  • It is designed to have 3-7 crew members spend 3-7 days in space in a 400-km orbit.
  • The first of the two pre-Gaganyaan flights with a humanoid will be launched in 2020-end along with some of the six shortlisted microgravity experiments.
  • ISRO has already constituted an advisory committee for the Gaganyaan. ISRO has also identified four astronauts whose training will commence in Russia from January in 2020.

 

3. TOBACCO USE PREVALENCE:

A recent report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) projected what it calls “a powerful shift in the global tobacco epidemic”.

Global scenario:

  • Overall global tobacco use fell from 1.397 billion in 2000 to 1.337 billion in 2018 (around 60 million people). The fall was largely driven by reductions in the number of females using tobacco products — with their numbers shrinking from 346 million in 2000 to 244 million in 2018.
  • While male tobacco use rose by around 40 million, from 1.050 billion in 2000 to 1.093 billion in 2018, the report projected a decline in the number of males using tobacco.
  • The number has stopped growing and is projected to decline by more than 1 million male users come 2020 (or 1.091 billion) compared to 2018 levels, and 5 million less by 2025 (1.087 billion).

Tobacco use prevalence (%) in India:

  • In India, which had a 44% prevalence of tobacco use (male and female combined) in 2000, this is expected to reduce almost by half to 22.3% by 2025. Globally, the prevalence was at 33.3% in 2000 and is projected to reach 20.9% in 2025.
  • Current tobacco use rates in India in 2018 for people aged 15 years and older were higher than global rates among both males and females. However, the rates of tobacco smoking were lower than global rates.

 

4. 2020 as Year of the Nurse and Midwife: WHO:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and midwife”, in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

  • The declaration of “Year of the Nurse and midwife” will help to strengthen nursing and midwifery for Universal Health Coverage.
  • Strengthening nursing will help to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, the (SDG) 3 – ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages, SDG 5-promoting gender equity and SDG 8- contributing to economic development.
  • Nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the health workforce in many countries.
  • The declaration will also help to endorse “The NursingNow!” a three-year campaign (2018-2020) to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing.
  • Moreover, WHO is also leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in 2020.

 

5. MANI App by RBI:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a mobile app- Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI) to help visually-impaired people to identify the denomination of currency notes.

  • There were reports of problems faced by visually-challenged people in identifying new currency notes launched after demonetization (2016).
  • The application can scan the currency notes using the camera of the mobile phone. However, the app does not authenticate a note as either genuine or counterfeit.
  • It also gives audio output in Hindi and English.
  • The application will work on Android and iOS operating systems. It will work in offline mode once installed.

 

6. Guru Gobind Singh:

The birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh was celebrated on January 2nd this year.

About Guru Gobind Singh:

  • He was the 10th Sikh guru.
  • He was born at Patna, Bihar, India, on December 22, 1666. His birthday sometimes falls either in December or January or even both months in the Gregorian calendar. The annual celebration of the Guru’s birthday is based on the Nanakshahi calendar.
  • He became the Sikh guru at the age of nine, following the demise of the father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.
  • He is known for his significant contributions to the Sikh religion, including the introduction of the turban to cover hair.
  • He also founded the principles of Khalsa or the Five ‘K’s.
  • He is also responsible to establish the highest order in the Sikh community.
  • Followers of the Sikh faith religiously follow the morals and codes of discipline set up by Guru Gobind Singh.
  • He fought against the Mughals later in the battle of Muktsar in 1705.
  • He was assassinated in 1708.
  • He named Guru Granth Sahib, the religious text of the Khalsa and the Sikhs, as the next Guru of the two communities.

 

7. Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS):

The Election Commission of India has launched a “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS)”.

  • The salient feature in the PPRTMS is that the applicant, who is applying for a political party registration from 1st January 2020 will be able to track the progress of his/her application and will get status updates through SMS and e-mail.
  • Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
  • An association seeking registration under Section 29 A has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation.

 

8. Sangita Kalanidhi Award:

Recently, S.Sowmya has been conferred with the Sangita Kalanidhi Award. The award is conferred by the Madras Music Academy.

  • It is considered the highest award in the field of Carnatic music.
  • The award comprises of a gold medal and a birudu Patra (citation).
  • Music Conference held along with All India Congress Session in Madras (1927) laid the idea of a Madras Music Academy. Thus it is an offshoot of INC madras session, 1927.
  • It plays an important role in promoting Carnatic Music. Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with southern India including the states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, but also practiced in Sri Lanka.

 

9. Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities:

Both India and Pakistan have exchanged their list of nuclear installations. The exchange was in accordance with the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India.

Background:

  • The exchange is done each year on January 1, under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities, also referred to as the Non-Nuclear Aggression Agreement.

About the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations:

  • The agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, provides that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the pact on the first of January of every calendar year.

 

10. Dhanu Jatra:

The famous 11-day long ‘Dhanu Jatra’, considered as the largest open-air theatre of the world began at Bargarh in Odisha.

About:

  • Dhanu Jatra is the annual drama-based open-air theatrical performance celebrated in and around Bargarh city.
  • It is considered to be the world’s largest open-air theatrical festival that finds a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • The annual festival came into being in 1947-48 to celebrate Indian’s Independence and to symbolize the victory of good over evil.
  • The department of Culture of the Government of India has accorded National Festival status to Dhanu Jatra in November 2014

11. INDO-PAK PRISONERS LIST:

India and Pakistan exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in jails through diplomatic channels. This is in keeping with the provisions of the 2008 Agreement.

About:

  • Under the Agreement on consular access between the Government of Pakistan and India. 2008, the two countries to exchange “list of the nationals – civilian prisoners and fishermen – of the other country under its arrest/detention” on January 1 and July 1 each year.
  • The exchange of lists comes despite continued military tension, which has, however, not dampened humanitarian moves by both sides.
  • India handed over lists of 267 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen to Pakistan who is in India’s custody. Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 55 civilian prisoners and 227 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians.

 

12. THOOTHUKODI LAUNCH PORT:

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will establish a second launch port in Thoothukodi district in Tamil Nadu exclusively to launch small satellite launch vehicles (SSLVs).

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV):

  • The Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is a launch vehicle being developed by the ISRO with payload capacity to deliver 500 kg to Low Earth orbit or 300 kg to Sun-synchronous orbit for launching small satellites, with the capability to support multiple orbital drop-offs.
  • In December 2018, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thumba completed the design for the vehicle. The maiden flight is expected in early 2020.
  • After entering the operational phase, the vehicle’s production and launch operations will be done by a consortium of Indian firms along with New Space India Limited.

 

13. Nepal’s President launches ‘Visit Nepal Year 2020’ campaign:

President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari launched a much-awaited Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign amidst a spectacular ceremony held at historic Dasaratha Rangashala in Kathmandu on January 1, 2019.

  • The ambitious campaign is aimed to promote tourism in Nepal and attract 2 million tourists during the year 2020.
  • Visit Nepal Year 2020 will create a new image of Nepal in the hearts and minds of the world community.
  • Mythical creature Yeti has been selected as a mascot of the campaign.
  • The campaign was also launched in all seven provinces of Nepal.

 

Other important current affairs:

1. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made amendments to the new regulatory framework for cable and broadcasting services with a view to protecting consumer interests.

2.KRISHI KARMAN AWARDS: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will distribute Krishi Karman Awards to states on January 2, 2020. He will also give away Agriculture Minister’s Krishi Karman Awards for Progressive Farmers.

3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate 5 DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories to the nation on January 2, 2020.

4. The Kerala Government is planning to arrest the rampant growth of invasive plants, especially Senna spectabilis, in the forest areas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR), including the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Due to mass flowering and drying of bamboo species in Wayanad, lots of open spaces (78.91 sq km) has been occupied by Senna spectabilis.
  • The plant has also started to invade the adjacent Bandipur and Nagarhole tiger reserves in Karnataka and Mudumalai tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu.

5. Recently, the Rajasthan government has started using satellite communication technology on a broader scale to enhance the learning outcomes in educational institutions and generate awareness about social welfare schemes.

It will give priority to the five aspirational districts, Karauli, Dholpur, Baran, Jaisalmer, and Sirohi, selected by NITI Aayog in the State.

6. Mandu Festival: Recently, five days long ‘Mandu Utsav’ was celebrated in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh from 28th December 2019 to 1st January 2020.

The festival provides a chance to indulge in some adventure activities like ATV bike, paragliding, rifle shooting, parasailing, etc. and witness cultural performances by eminent artists.

7. On January 3, 2020, PM Modi will inaugurate the Indian Science Congress at Bengaluru. The theme of the Congress is Science and Technology

  • The Congress is to be hosted by the Department of Science and Technology.
  • The 107th Indian Science Congress is to be held between January 3, 2020, and January 7, 2020

8. The government of India misses its disinvestment target as the plan to sell Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Air India and Container CorporatiCorporation of India has not been succeeded.

9. The prices of Darjeeling Tea that recently received GI tag have fallen by 20% to 25% due to the unchecked flow of Nepal Tea into the country. The GI tag is provided to fetch an identity for the product international market and increase its exports.

10. On January 1, 2020, India and Pakistan exchanged a list of prisoners and fishermen. The countries exchange information every year on 1st January and 1st July. They also exchanged nuclear installations alongside on the same day.

11. The Andhra Pradesh Government announced that it will deliver sand at customers’ doorsteps. As a pilot project, the government is to begin the initiative on an experimental basis.

12. On January 2, 2020, PM Modi will dedicate five DRDO laboratories to the country. The laboratories are for young scientists to boost their research capabilities

13. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the re-employment of V K Yadav as the Chairman of Railway Board for a period of one year.

14. Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to support the ministry’s ‘Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).

15. The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to introduce door-delivery of sand from January 2, 2020. As a pilot project, it is to be started from in Krishna district on an experimental basis and then extend it.

Under this initiative, the AP government will deliver sand at doorsteps and collect transportation charges from the customers.
In order to make the initiative successful, the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation will stock 15 lakh tons of sand per month for the next four months.

16. The Pacific nation of Palau has become the first country in the world to ban sunscreen that is harmful to corals and sea life. From January 1, sunscreen that includes ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate is no longer allowed to be worn or sold in Palau. The compounds are commonly used in sunscreen formulas as they absorb ultraviolet A rays.

17. The Chief Executive Officer Khelo India youth games, Avinash Joshi has announced that lawn bowls and cycling will be included in the 3rd edition of the ‘Khelo India youth games’.

The 3rd edition of the games is going to start from 10th January 2020 in Guwahati Assam, in which 6500 athletes from 37 teams are expected to take part.

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