Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 7th March 2020

Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:

Today Current Affairs:7th March 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Contents:

  1. Kishori Health Cards.
  2. India has been accepted as an observer of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC):
  3. Ghojadanga of West Bengal and Agartala of Tripura designated as immigration check posts
  4. Tax on the disability pension.
  5. Ministry of AYUSH develop “AYUSH GRID” and “National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes
  6. Female-specific Full Body Protector:
  7. Mahila Sabhas (Women’s Assemblies) in all Gram Panchayats:
  8. Suspension of MPs:
  9. Competition Commission of India:
  10. Arunachal Pradesh and its international borders:
  11. Mission Bhagiratha: monitoring cell:
  12. .March 8: International Women’s Day:
  13. Delimitation Commission
  14. Other important current affairs:

 

1. Kishori Health Cards:

Minister for Women and Child Development informed Lok Sabha about the Kishori Health Cards.

  • Most of the States are maintaining Kishori Health Cards for Adolescent Girls in Anganwadi Centres (AWCs) to record the information about the weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI) along with other services provided under the scheme.
  • These health cards for all Adolescent Girls (AGs) are maintained at the AWCs.
  • The government is implementing Scheme for Adolescent Girls across the country.
  • The details of achievements/outcomes made under the scheme are marked on Kishori Card and the card also carries important milestones of Adolescent Girls’ life including mainstreaming them into the schools.
  • The Funds released to States/UTs in the last three years are at Annexure-II.
  • As per the information received from the Government of the Madhya Pradesh, Kishori Health Cards are not being maintained in the State.

 

2. India has been accepted as an observer of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC):

India’s joining of the IOC as an observer has strategic importance as the Commission is an important regional institution in the Western/African Indian Ocean.

Indian Ocean Commission

  • The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is an intergovernmental body created in 1984 to defend the interests of the Western Indian Ocean islands.
  • It consists of Madagascar, Comoros, La Réunion (French overseas territory), Mauritius and Seychelles.
  • The Commission has five observers
    • India,
    • China,
    • European Union (EU),
    • Malta and
    • International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).
  • OIF is a 54 french speaking nations collective.

Significance of an Observer Status of India

  • Engagement with the Western Indian OceanOpportunity in the Mozambique Channe
  • Cooperation with France: It will also help to boost cooperation with France that has a strong presence in the western Indian ocean.
  • SAGAR Policy: It will help to extend India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) policy in the region.

 

3.Ghojadanga of West Bengal and Agartala of Tripura designated as immigration check posts:

Ghojadanga of West Bengal and Agartala of Tripura were designated as land immigration check posts.

  • They are located in Indo-Bangladesh border.
  • The Government of India has designated Agartala and Ghojadanga to check all classes of passengers entering and exiting from India.
  • The immigration posts will check the travel documents of the passengers.
  • The check posts were authorized under Passport rules, 1950.

 

4.Tax on disability pension:

The government has withdrawn a circular of February 20 that had directed banks to deduct income tax on pension and disability benefits provided to disabled retired military personnel.

  • Disabled veterans are classified into three categories:
    • battle casualties (war wounded),
    • battle casualties and
    • disabilities due to service conditions.
  • Benefits given to disabled personnel are based on the percentage of disability.
  • The amount of disability pension is based on two categories.
    • The first-rate is for battle casualties (war wounded) and battle casualties.
    • The second rate applies to personnel with disabilities due to service conditions.
  • The entire pension and disability element of pension in all the categories is exempt from payment of income tax.
  • But the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notification of June 2019 had said that tax exemption on disability pension would be available only to personnel who had been invalidated from service and not to personnel who had retired otherwise.
  • This has been challenged in the Supreme Court which, in an order dated August 30, 2019, directed all parties to maintain ‘status quo’ on the matter.

The Principal Controller of Defence Accounts, Allahabad issued a circular on February 20, for “necessary action” on the June 2019 CBDT notification to deduct income tax from pensions of disabled soldiers.

The State Bank of India then started debiting tax at source for the entire financial year 2019-20 from the February pension of retired military personnel who were receiving a disability pension. This led to several pensioners receiving as little as Rs 1000 in their accounts.

 

5. Ministry of AYUSH develop “AYUSH GRID” and “National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes”:

The Ministry of AYUSH released a digital platform called AYUSH GRID. The grid provides facilities associated with AYUSH hospitals and laboratories and promotes traditional health care.

AYUSH GRID

  • There are more than 12,500 AYUSH centers in India.
  • The “AYUSH GRID” platform aims to digitize the entire AYUSH sector.
  • The Ministry has launched AYUSH Hospital Information Management System, Yoga locator application, Tele-medicine, case registry portal, Bhuvan application earlier.
  • These projects are to be linked with AYUSH GRID at later stages.

National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes

  • The Ministry of AYUSH has developed National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes.
  • These codes classify diseases described in Ayurveda. In the first phase of the initiative, 4 disease conditions have been identified namely Kasa, Kushtha, Jwara, and Shwasa.

AYUSH-Backbone of Ayushman Bharat

  • Ministry of AYUSH is the backbone of Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
  • The GoI prescribed cross-pathy under the scheme.
  • The ministry has also collaborated with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to set up a traditional knowledge digital library.

 

7.Female-specific Full Body Protector (प्रबला):

Dr. Shweta Rawat from Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), DRDO, Timarpur, Delhi has developed a female-specific Full Body Protector (प्रबला) to safeguard the Female troops deployed in riot control actions.

  • This gear has been developed in collaboration with the Rapid Action Force using the ergonomic design principle based on anthropometric dimensions specific for female troops.
  • The full Body Protector has unique properties, including anti-stab, anti-puncture, flame retardant and acid resistance.
  • It is designed to assure greater comfort and flexibility to the women forces while deployed in law and order maintenance duties.

 

8.Mahila Sabhas (Women’s Assemblies) in all Gram Panchayats:

The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has directed all the States and Union Territories to organize Special Gram Sabhas and Mahila Sabhas (Women’s Assemblies) in all Gram Panchayats on the 8th March 2020 to mark the International Women’s Day.

  • The theme of the International Women’s Day 2020 is “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”.
  • The Gram Sabhas will hold discussions on “Poshan Panchayat”, land rights, education, safety, reproductive health, and equal opportunity.
  • It will also highlight issues like the importance of breastfeeding during the first 1,000 days of the new-borns for their ideal physical and mental growth, and raising awareness about Child Helpline – 1098.

Role of Women in Panchayati Raj Institution

  • PRI was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grassroots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country.
  • The act provides for a Gram Sabha as the foundation of the Panchayati raj system.
  • The act provides for the reservation of not less than one-third of the total number of seats for women (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the SCs and STs).
  • So far 20 States have enacted legislation to raise women’s reservation to 50% in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
  • As a result, out of the 30.41 lakh elected representatives of PRIs, 13.74 lakh (45.2%) are elected women, some of them from socially disadvantaged groups.

 

9.Suspension of MPs:

Seven Congress members were suspended for unruly behavior in the Lok Sabha.

  • The motion was passed by a voice vote.
  • The MPs will remain suspended for the remainder of the Budget Session, which ends on April 3.
  • Rule Number 373 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business says: “The Speaker if is of the opinion that the conduct of any Member is grossly disorderly, may direct such Member to withdraw immediately from the House for the remainder of the day’s sitting.”
  • Rule 374 says: The Speaker may name a Member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof. If a Member is so named by the Speaker, the Speaker shall, on a motion being made forthwith put the question that the Member be suspended from the service of the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session. Provided that the House may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated.
  • Rule 374A: It is invoked by Speaker for automatic suspension of member of the House – for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less in the event of grave disorder occasioned by a Member (coming into the well of the House or abusing the Rules of the House persistently and wilfully obstructing its business by shouting slogans or otherwise).
  • Procedure for revocation of a Member’s suspension: While the Speaker is empowered to place a Member under suspension, the authority for revocation of this order is not vested in her. It is for the House, if it so desires, to resolve on a motion to revoke the suspension.

 

10.Competition Commission of India:

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) organized the Fifth National Conference on Economics of Competition Law at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

  • The Competition Act, 2002, as amended by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, follows the philosophy of modern competition laws.
  • The Act prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position by enterprises and regulates combinations (acquisition, acquiring of control and M&A), which causes or likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition within India.
  • Competition Commission of India is a statutory body responsible for enforcing the objectives of the Competition Act, 2002.
  • CCI has been established by the Central Government with effect from 14th October 2003.
  • Composition: A Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
  • Duty of the Commission:
    • To eliminate practices having adverse effects on competition.
    • Promote and sustain competition.
    • Protect the interests of consumers.
    • Ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.

 

11. The Arunachal Pradesh government has sought pilot development projects to stop people living along its international borders:

  • The Arunachal Pradesh government has sought pilot development projects to stop people living along its international borders, specifically with China, from migrating to faraway urban centers in the State.
  • Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,080 km border with China, 440 km with Myanmar and 160 km with Bhutan.
  • The several instances of intrusion by people from Tibet across the McMahon Line into districts of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China have been reported.
  • McMahon Line is the boundary between India and China.
  • Following the intrusion, the depopulation in border villages of Arunachal Pradesh has been observed.
  • It is considered as a security threat, as it is easier for foreign armies to occupy vacant villages.
  • Though possible facilities are being provided to border villagers under the Border Area Development Programme the state government of Arunachal Pradesh has advocated selection of 10 census towns along the India-China border as pilot projects for infrastructure development.
  • The State government has also proposed a special package of ₹4.60 crores to the Union Home Ministry for the development of infrastructure in the border areas.
  • The above development is expected to dissuade people from migrating for livelihood.

 

12.Mission Bhagiratha: monitoring cell:

A dedicated monitoring cell was opened under Mission Bhagiratha to invite grievances and issues of supply of drinking water.

  • The aim of the cell is to get prepared to address the water scarcity of summer.
  • The cell constituted will record complaints and redress them without any delays.
  • The Mission Bhagiratha is a safe drinking water project that was launched for the state of Telangana.
  • It aims to provide drinking water to every village and city household.
  • It will supply clean drinking water from the rivers Krishna and Godavari.
  • Though the mission is named “Bhagiratha”, it does not denote the river.
  • According to Hindu culture Bhagiratha is an Indian king who brought the holy river Ganga to the earth.
  • River Bhagirathi does not flow in Telangana.
  • It flows through Uttarakhand state. It is the source stream of the Ganges along with Alaknanda.

 

13.March 8: International Women’s Day:

Every year, March 8th is marked as International Women’s Day. It was first proposed by the Socialist Party of America in 1909.

  • However, it has pertained to New York City.
  • The first International Women’s Day was marked first in 1909.
  • Theme: This year the International Women’s Day (ITW) is marked under the theme: An Equal World is an Enabled World
  • The United Nations began celebrating Women’s Day in 1975.

Women’s Day in India

  • For the first time in Indian history, women visiting monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India are to be provided with a free pass.
  • This is being done to signify Indian Culture’s respect for women. Women are being worshipped as a goddess in Indian Culture.
  • PM Modi is to provide access to his social media account on IWD to inspiring women.
  • The GoI has also initiated serious of actions including telecasting 14 women-oriented films, commemorating women members of the constituent assembly, etc.

 

14.Delimitation Commission:

The government has constituted a Delimitation Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, to redraw Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies of the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland.

  • The Commission will delimit the constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, and of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland in accordance with the provisions of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • Delimitation literally means the process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a state that has a legislative body.
  • Delimitation is undertaken by a highly powerful commission. They are formally known as Delimitation Commission or Boundary Commission.
  • Such commissions have been constituted at least four times in India — in 1952 under the Delimitation Commission Act, 1952; in 1963 under Delimitation Commission Act, 1962; in 1973 under Delimitation Act, 1972 and last in 2002 under Delimitation Act, 2002.
  • The commissions’ orders are enforced as per the date specified by the President of India. Copies of these orders are laid before the Lok Sabha or the concerned Legislative Assembly. No modifications are permitted.
  • According to the Delimitation Commission Act, 2002, the Delimitation Commission appointed by the Centre has to have three members: a serving or retired judge of the Supreme Court as the chairperson, and the Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner nominated by the CEC and the State Election Commissioner as ex-officio members.

 

Other important current affairs:

1. India officially shared two SARS-CoV-2 with the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID).

  • The Pune based National Institute of Virology has shared two sequences of novel coronavirus with Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.
  • It is important to study the genome sequences of the virus as it will help in epidemiological investigations.
  • These include how the virus spreads and where the virus has come from, etc.
  • The GISAID promotes the international sharing of influenza virus sequences.

2. Recently the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad celebrated International Women’s Day (March 8).

  • INCOIS is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It is located in Hyderabad & was established in 1999.
  • It is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO), New Delhi.
  • It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvement through systematic and focused research.

3. The Karnataka High Court observed that it is unethical and illegal for lawyers to pass resolutions against representing accused in court

  • Article 22(1) gives the fundamental right to every person not to be denied the right to be defended by a legal practitioner of his or her choice.
  • Article 14 provides for equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  • Article 39A, part of the Directive Principles of state policy, states that equal opportunity to secure justice must not be denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities, and provides for free legal aid.

4. The United Nations Global Compact conducted a study recently and found that female labor participation has decreased from 34% in 2006 to 24.8% in 2020.

  • The study also says that out of the 153 countries surveyed, India is the only country where the economic gender gap is greater than the political gap.
  • The study says that if women’s labor participation has been the same as that of men, the GDP of the country shall be boosted by 27%.
  • Globally 38.7% of employed women are working in forestry, agriculture, and fisheries. However, only 13.85 of them are landholders.

5. Researchers at IASST Guwahati, have found significant plant-growth-promoting and antifungal activities of endophyticactino bacteria associated with Tea plant and related genera, Eurya to find potent plant growth-promoting strains.

  • Researchers isolated 46 endophyticactino bacteria found in diverse environments
  • Most of the endophyticactino bacteria isolate having antifungal activity showed the presence of chitinase, NRPS (Nonribosomal peptides synthetase) or PKS-1 (Polyketide Synthase) gene, suggesting the presence of mechanisms to inhibit the growth of pathogenic plant fungi.
  • Application of endophytic Actinobacteria could reduce chemical fertilizers & fungicides in Tea plantation.
  • Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) located in Guwahati is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

6. Researchers from Raman Research Institute (RRI) have devised a new test for fairness of quantum coin or ‘qubit’ (the basic unit of information in a quantum computer) using entanglement theory.

  • Entanglement is a special type of correlation that exists in the quantum world with no classical counterpart. The researchers from RRI made use of this quantum resource to arrive at a test for fairness of a quantum coin (a qubit).
  • This work is a significant contribution to the domain of quantum state discrimination, which is an essential aspect of quantum information science.
  • It brings out the crucial role of entanglement in improving our ability to discriminate quantum states.
  • Such an advantage is valuable in quantum sensors.
  • Raman Research Institute (RRI), located in Bangalore, is an autonomous institution under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).

7. Union Cabinet has approved a proposal to allow direct listing of Indian companies overseas.

  • The amendment would be made in Section 23 of the Companies Act, 2013, for having enabling provisions that would permit the foreign listing of Indian corporates.
  • The amendment bill will enable the listing of Indian companies on stock exchanges in foreign jurisdictions.
  • Currently, quite a few Indian companies have American Depository Receipts (ADRs) that are traded in the US. Some other corporates have their Global Depository Receipts (GDRs).
  • Apart from providing an additional fundraising avenue for the corporates looking to expand and boost their business activities, an overseas listing of shares would also help in bringing more capital into the country.
  • The rollout of the scheme in this regard might take a few months.

8. The Union Cabinet recently approved the proposal to set up a major port at Vadhvan in Maharashtra. The GoI has sanctioned Rs 65,545 crores for the project.

  • The port is being set up to achieve the GoI target of developing infrastructure projects worth 100 lakh crore rupees.
  • The port will handle 16,000 to 25,000 TEUs per day. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is to be in association with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is to be formed.
  • The SPV will establish connectivity, construct breakwater and develop other port infrastructure.
  • The breakwater is an artificial structure constructed to protect the harbor from the effect of waves. It provides safe berthing.

9. The Comptroller and Auditor General tabled the report for the year that ended on 31st March 2018 (2017-18). The report was tabled in the assembly.

  • According to the report, between 2014 and 2016, 40% of environmental crimes in India were from Rajasthan.
  • The report pointed out that Wildlife Crime Control units were not established in the state. The crimes violated the Forest (Conservation) act and Wildlife Protect Act.
  • Between 2014 and 2016, the number of environmental crimes registered in the country was 15,723 and those registered in Rajasthan were 6,382.
  • The CAG identified several irritants to the wildlife in the area.
  • The Abheda Biological Park in Kota had a garbage dumping yard nearby.
  • The other concerns were firing range of the army, industrial areas, and slums

10. Scientists have warned that the Great Barrier Reef will face a critical period of heat stress over the coming weeks, following the most widespread coral bleaching the natural world has ever endured.

  • The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which spreads across a length of over 2,300 km and is roughly the size of Italy, is home to about 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, 1,625 type of fish, 133 varieties of shark and rays and 600 types of soft and hard corals.
  • It is a world heritage site.

11. Janaushadhi Diwas is being celebrated across the country

  • Today, Janaushadhi Diwas has been celebrated across the country.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in Jan Aushadhi Diwas celebrations through video conferencing from New Delhi.
  • Janaushadhi Kendras is considered the biggest retail pharma chain in the world with around 6,200 outlets in 700 districts.
  • Total sales in the financial year 2019 – 20 has crossed 390 crore rupees and lead to a total savings of approximately 2,200 crore rupees for common citizens

12.LG Milind Hemant Thakur (DG of Supply and Transport Corps of the Indian Army) unveiled a renovated Animal Memorial for mules and horses of the Indian Army in Bengaluru.

  • Erected in 2006, the first of its kind animal memorial in Asia signifies the pivotal role played by the mules and horses belonging to the Army Service Corps.
  • These army trained animals have rendered yeoman service in relentlessly hauling war stores up the goat tracks of the treacherous Himalayas.

13. According to Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, the ban on the two TV channels from Kerala has been lifted.

  • Earlier, The Ministry had put a ban of 48 hours on both Asianet News and Media One for their coverage of violence in North East Delhi which was stated to be in contravention to the Cable Television Network Rules.

14. German sportswear brand Puma has signed Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan as its new brand ambassador.

  • Khan will be the face for Puma’s soon-to-be-launched collection of low-intensity training apparel collection targeted at workouts such as yoga, barre, and pilates.
  • Puma sells performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in categories such as football, running, and training, basketball, golf, and motorsports.

15. Prashant Kumar takes charge as Yes Bank administrator

  • Prashant Kumar (former deputy managing director and CFO of State Bank of India) has taken charge as its administrator of Yes Bank.
  • Kumar taking charge as the Yes Bank administrator is in line with notifications issued by the Department of Financial Services and the RBI.
  • Earlier, private sector lender Yes Bank was placed under a moratorium, with the RBI capping deposit withdrawals at Rs 50,000 per account for a month and superseding its board.

16. Former IAS officer, Bimal Julka was sworn in as the new Chief Information Commissioner of the Central Information Commission.

  • The oath of office was administered by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind at an even in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
  • Information Commission includes 1 Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and not more than 10 Information Commissioners (IC) who are appointed by the President of India.

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