Table of Contents
Daily Current Affairs for Government Exams:
Today Current Affairs: 4th March 2020 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
- Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India.
- Notification providing the rules and prescribed format for filing complaints with the Lokpal.
- Obulavaripalli – Krishnapatnam rail line in Andhra Pradesh.:
- Naval Exercise – MILAN 2020.
- Haulage charges
- Sukhna Lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity.
- Multilingual Incredible India website.:
- Janaushadhi Week.
- Alternative for Germany:
- 61st annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards
- Finance Minister introduces bill to amend Banking Regulation Act:
- Other important current affairs
1. Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India:
The Human Resource Development Ministry tabled data on student suicide in Parliament. The Ministry sourced its data from ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’, which is based on data provided by the states and Union Territories.
- Between 2016 and 2018, nearly 10,000 students committed suicide every year in India.
- Maharashtra accounted for 1 in every 7 student suicides in the country 4,235 out of 29,542 in the three years combined, or about 1,400 a year.
- In the overall three-year totals, Maharashtra was followed by Tamil Nadu (2,744), Madhya Pradesh (2,658) and West Bengal (2,535).
- Under Samagra Shiksha, funds are provided to the States and Union Territories to encourage teachers to function as the first-level counselors in schools.
- The Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti has appointed counselors in Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, while the NCERT has developed textbooks that deal with stress, anxiety and related problems in schools.
2. Notification providing the rules and prescribed format for filing complaints with the Lokpal.:
The Department of Personnel and Training has issued a notification providing the rules and prescribed format for filing complaints with the Lokpal.
- The notification, under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, lays down the rules called the Lokpal (Complaint) Rules, 2020.
- According to the complaint form, a complainant has to give valid proof of identity, as specified therein.
Foreign nationals can also lodge complaints.
- Only a copy of their passports will be accepted as proof of identity.
Mode of Complaint:
- The complaint can be filed electronically, by post or in person.
- In case the complaint is filed electronically, it’s hard copy has to be submitted to the Lokpal within 15 days.
- No complaints can be filed against a public servant under the Army Act, Navy Act, Air Force Act and the Coast Guard Act.
- A complaint may ordinarily be made in English, provided that the Lokpal may also entertain a complaint in any of the languages referred to in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
- The complaints, whose contents are illegible, vague or ambiguous, which are trivial or frivolous, do not contain any allegation, are not filed within the limitation period of seven years, or are pending before any other court, tribunal or authority, will have to be disposed of within 30 days.
- The identity of the complainant or the accused official will be protected by the Lokpal till the conclusion of inquiry or investigation.
- However, the protection will not be applicable in cases where the complainant herself reveals her identity to any other office or authority while making the complaint to Lokpal.
The Lokpal Act
- This Act provides for the establishment of a body of Lokpal for the Union and Lokayukta for States to inquire into allegations of corruption against certain public functionaries
- It was passed in 2013.
- Lokpal is an apex body to deal with cases of corruption at the national level. It has to enquire into allegations of corruption against public functionaries of the central government in a time-bound manner.
- Jurisdiction: The Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament and officers and officials of the Central Government.
- The Lokpal consists of a Chairperson with a maximum of 8 members of which 50% shall be judicial members.
- 50% of the members of the Lokpal shall come from amongst the SCs, the STs, the OBCs, minorities, and women.
3. Obulavaripalli – Krishnapatnam rail line in Andhra Pradesh.:
The Vice President of India asked the Railway Ministry for the early introduction of passenger services on Obulavaripalli – Krishnapatnam rail line in Andhra Pradesh.
- The Obulavaripalle-Krishnapatnam Railway Project is owned by Krishnapatnam Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), a Joint Venture Company (SPV) comprising Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL), Sagarmala (Govt. of Andhra Pradesh), National Mineral Development Corporation and Brahmani Steels.
- Krishnapatnam Port-Venkachalam-Obulavaripalli Railway line provides vital rail connectivity between two major rail routes and reduces the distance by 72 km for the trains coming from Guntakal division to Krishnapatnam and reduces traffic density in Obulavaripalli-Renigunta-Gudur section.
4.Naval Exercise – MILAN 2020:
The Indian Navy has postponed its multi-nation mega naval exercise ‘MILAN’ due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus.
- MILAN (11th edition) was scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam from 18th – 28th March 2020.
- It is a biennial, multilateral naval exercise that started in 1995.
- The Navy has held 10 editions of the Milan exercise, with the theme of “synergy across the seas” to enhance professional interactions between friendly foreign navies and learn best practices from each other, since 1995.
- It was conducted at the Andaman and Nicobar Command until 2018.
- It is held under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command.
- Over 40 countries were expected to participate in the exercise in 2020.
5. Haulage charges:
To make the business of running trains more viable for private operators in the future, the government has decided to delink the cost of energy consumed by the private trains from the overall haulage charges payable to Railways.
- Haulage charge is the money private players will have to pay to Railways, on a per-km basis, for using its infrastructure in operating the trains – track, signaling, associated manpower and the like.
- It has been decided that if the private players bring in modern trains that are in vogue across the world that display the actual amount of energy consumed the haulage charge will come down to around Rs 512 per km, much below the Rs 668 per km that has been set for the private companies.
- The Rs-668 per km figure includes the energy cost as well.
6.Sukhna Lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity:
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has declared Sukhna lake (Chandigarh) as a living entity recently.
- The court invoked its parens patriae jurisdiction to declare the lake as a legal entity for its survival, preservation, and conservation having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.
- All the citizens of Union Territory, Chandigarh, are hereby declared as loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to save the lake from extinction.
- Sukhna Lake is a rain-fed lake, located within Chandigarh and its catchment area falls both in Punjab and Haryana.
- The lake was constructed in 1958 and is spread over 3 sq km.
- An area of 2 km to 2.75 km around the lake has been declared as an eco-sensitive zone by the Chandigarh Administration.
- All activities in this area fall under provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
- The court has completely banned new construction in the catchment areas falling in the states of Punjab,
- Haryana, and Union Territory Chandigarh as well as in the Sukhna Wetland and Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Earlier, Uttarakhand High Court declared the rivers Yamuna and Ganga as legal or juridical persons, enjoying all the rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.
- The HC bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition filed in 2014 and gave a landmark judgment stating that the Ganga and the Yamuna must be treated as living entities.
7. Multilingual Incredible India website.:
The Minister for Tourism & Culture launched the multilingual Incredible India website.
- The Incredible India 2.0 website and mobile app, a digital initiative launched by the Ministry of Tourism, aims to showcase India as a popular tourist destination worldwide.
- The website is currently hosted in English and Hindi is now launched in Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish to attract tourists from these regions.
- In 2019, India witnessed the arrival of more than 10.9 million foreign tourists, of which about 6 lakh people speak Chinese, about 2 lakh speak Arabic, and about 1 lakh 25 thousand speak Spanish.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals (in Million) during 2017, 2018 and 2019 were 10.04, 10.56 and 10.89 (provisional) respectively. Thus there has been no decline in Foreign Tourist Arrivals to India during the last three years. Tamil Nadu topped the list of States in terms of Foreign Tourist Visits (FTV) during 2018.
The Janaushadhi week is being celebrated across the country from 1st March to 7th March 2020.
- On this occasion, various activities like health checkup Camp, Jan Aushadhi Paricharcha, Jan Aushadhi ka sath are being organized in the country.
- Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals in 2008 under the name Jan Aushadi Campaign.
- Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI) is the implementation agency for PMBJP.
- The Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India works under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.
- PMBJP stores have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
- It also intends to extend the coverage of quality generic medicines so as to reduce the out of pocket expenditure on medicines and thereby redefine the unit cost of treatment per person.
- It will create awareness about generic medicines through education and publicity so that quality is not synonymous with an only high price.
9.Alternative for Germany:
Germany has witnessing twin far-right problems growing street violence by extremists against minorities and immigrants and the rapid political rise of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland or AfD), which has normalized to an extent anti-immigrant rhetoric in the country’s political discourse.
- An alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland or AfD) was founded in 2013 by a group of elite conservatives, many of whom had been raised in the Christian Democratic Union, the center-right party that Ms. Merkel leads.
- They were frustrated with the number of issues:
- A shift to the center on a range of policies,
- Merkel’s decision to commit German taxpayer money to a bailout of Greece.
- Granting asylum to nearly 1 million migrants who arrived in Germany.
- An alternative for Germany shifted its focus to domestic security and immigration. Its tone became increasingly nationalistic, populistic and its critics said the racist.
- It promises to
- restore law and order and a sense of national pride — a theme that causes deep unease among many Germans,
- increase border security,
- push back against further European Union integration and
- oppose the use of German taxpayer money to bail out foreign banks.
10.61st annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards
The President of India conferred the 61st annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards on 15 meritorious artists at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 4th March 2020.
- The Lalit Kala Akademi nominated seven-member selection Jury of eminent art practitioners, artists and critics from all over the country to finalize the list of artists to be awarded.
- Lalit Kala Akademi organizes art exhibitions and award ceremonies every year to promote art as well as to honor talents.
- The artwork of the award-winning artists will be on display till March 22, 2020, at the 61st National Exhibition of Art at the Lalit Kala Akademi galleries in New Delhi.
Lalit Kala Academy:
- The Akademi was inaugurated on August 5, 1954, by the then Honourable Minister for Education, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
- The Akademi was given statutory authority in 1957, under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
- Since its establishment it has been serving the entire country by promoting the creative endeavors of Indian artists and bringing their arts to bear upon a large number of people, thereby playing an important role in defining and redefining the sensibility of an entire culture, falling under the visual arts spectrum.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
11. Finance Minister introduces bill to amend Banking Regulation Act:
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman introduced a bill in Parliament to amend banking regulation law to regulate cooperative banks. It aims to prevent fraud as that seen at Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Banks (PMC).
- The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 intends to regulate 1,540 cooperative banks with total savings of Rs 5 lakh crores.
- It also aims to protect the small depositors that struggle a lot during frauds like that of PMC.
- The withdrawal limit of PMC banks was limited to Rs 1000 during the crisis.
- This had put several customers in an insecure environment.
Key Features of the Amendment
- The amendments are being made only to multi-state cooperative banks and urban cooperative banks.
- The Cooperative Banks are currently under the dual control of both RBI and Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
- With the amendment, RBI will have extra powers apart from regulatory functions such as capital adequacy and cash reserve.
- However, the administrative role of the bank is to continue with the Registrar of Societies.
Other important current affairs:
1. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory has developed a bi-luminescent security ink that glows in red and green colors when illuminated by two different excitation sources.
- The ink was given to Bank Note Press (BNP), Dewas, a unit of Security Printing Minting Corporation of India Ltd. (SPMCIL), New Delhi.
- The formulation can be used to check the authenticity of passports, Government documents, tamper-evident labels, identity cards, etc.
2. Jack Welch, who grew General Electric Co. during the 1980s and 1990s into the most valuable public company in the United States, has died at age of 84
- Jack Welch, known as ‘Neutron Jack’ for cutting thousands of jobs, bought and sold scores of businesses, expanding the industrial giant into financial services and consulting.
- In 1981, he took over as the company’s eighth chairman and CEO.
- He served in that position until he retired in September 2001. Under him, GE’s market value grew from $12 billion to $410 billion.
3.March 4: National Security Day:
- the Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas or National Security Day was celebrated throughout India.
- The Day is celebrated to honor the work of the Indian Security Forces.
- This includes every security personnel, policemen, paramilitary forces, guards, commandos, army officers, etc.
- National Security Day is celebrated to promote and increase security forces.
- The Day reminds the citizens about their fundamental duties towards the country.
- Above all, the day pays homage to the security jawans who lost their lives for the country.
- The Security Personnel are responsible for different types of security such as political, ecological, economic, computer, infrastructure, energy and natural resources.
4. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) reported that Nitrous Oxide pollution in China has declined greatly between January and February 2020.
- According to the report, nitrous oxide pollution has declined by more than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
- The report says that every year, after New Year Celebrations, air pollution in china peaks to its highest.
- However, this year, due to the economic slowdown caused by the fear of the virus, the pollution was at its minimal. This was mainly because of the closure of several businesses and factories all over China.
- The World Health Organization has said that COVID-19 can be contained.
- This is because out of 80 countries that have been infected with the virus, 38 of them have less than 10 cases.
5. the World Bank announced 12 billion USD to assist countries that are grappling with the economic impacts of coronavirus. The virus has reached 60 countries so far.
- The World Bank is to provide the financial aid for the countries to act upon the needs and develop a fast response towards the spread of the virus.
- The financing is only to member countries whose economy is at stake due to the virus.
- Also, priority is to be given to those countries that are the poorest and are at highest risks.
- The World Health Organization in its recent report of Corona Virus Disease situation report says that so far the virus has killed 37 people outside China.
- Overall, 166 have died so far all over the world. Today, the number of COVID-19 cases is 10,566.
6. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced that his government will pay Rs 900 per month to farmers willing to keep stray cattle.
- Earlier in 2019, the farmer protests in Uttar Pradesh had gone up over stray cattle destroying their fields.
- The population of stray cattle in the state increased as the UP Government had banned illegal animal slaughtering in the state.
7. The United Nations Human Rights Commission moved to the Supreme Court on the matter of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The commission has filed a case challenging CAA.
- India believes that the CAA is an internal matter of the country. Also, according to India, CAA is constitutionally valid.
- The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in 2019. The act amends the Citizenship Act 1955.
- It seeks to give nationality only to 6 religious communities (Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs) if they entered India before 31 December 2014.
- It does not include Muslims. Also, the act does not include other refugees such as Rohingya from Myanmar and Tamils from Sri Lanka.
8. A Rajya Sabha Member of the ruling party replied about the financial assistance being provided to the Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- The Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa said that Rs 94,46,585 and Rs 51,24,670 were sanctioned for Kaziranga National Park during the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
- The funds were sanctioned under CAMPA. Apart from this, funds were also transferred under the Project Tiger Scheme and Development of Wildlife Habitat Scheme.
9. Luxembourg in Europe has become the first country to make all forms of public transport free. It is the second smallest country in the European Union.
- Around 0.2 million passengers travel to Luxembourg from its neighboring countries such as Belgium, France, and Germany for work. Also, it has the highest car density in the European Union.
- According to European Commission Statistical Wing, Luxembourg had 670 cars per 1000 people.
- The capital of the country also called Luxembourg was the 53rd most congested city in the world according to the 2020 Traffic Index.
- People in the city lost 163 useful hours to traffic. It will also help reduce pollution to a great extent.
10. The Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed Memorandum of Understandings with IIT Delhi, Quality Council of India (QCI) and Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture (ICFA).
- The Agriculture Export Policy was launched in 2018. It aims to increase the agricultural export potential of the country.
- It is highly important to increase the exports of agricultural products in order to achieve the goal of “Doubling Farmers Income” by 2022.
11. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs recently constituted a committee under NC Saxena, a former member of the Planning Commission of India.
- The Committee will examine and recommend Community Forest Resources (CFR) Guidelines.
- The Committee has been constituted under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
- In 2016, the Tribal Affairs Ministry framed CFR in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- However, the guidelines faced several criticisms from tribal organizations all over India.
- They complained that the guidelines were too technical.
12. Ajay Bhushan Pandey appointed as the new Finance Secretary
- Revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey has been appointed as the new Finance Secretary of India replacing Rajiv Kumar by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
- Ajay Kumar, IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre (1984 batch), had earlier worked as chief executive officer of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the organization behind the Aadhaar
13. Shafali Verma gained the top spot in the ICC women’s T20I rankings
- Teen sensation Shafali Verma rises to the top in ICC women’s T20 rankings, riding on her stellar run at the ongoing World Cup scoring a total of 161 runs in four innings.
- She has become only the second India player after Mithali Raj to top the women’s T20 International rankings.
- The 16-year-old Shafali has replaced New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who had been at the top of batting charts since October 2018.
14. Pune will host the 108th Indian Science Congress
- Pune will host the annual session of the 108th Indian Science Congress in January 2021 for the fourth time since it’s inception.
- The theme of the Indian Science Congress will be on ‘Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment’.
- It will be held at Symbiosis International University’s Lavale campus between January 3 and 7 next year.
15. BharatPe has signed up 11 Indian cricket players as brand endorsers
- Fintech platform ‘BharatPe’ has signed up 11 Indian national level cricket players as its brand ambassadors.
- The players comprise Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shubhman Gill.
- The Delhi-based platform had brought actor Salman Khan as a brand ambassador last year.
16. Jaydev Unadkat broke a 21-year-old record in Ranji Trophy
- Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat broke a 21-year-old record in the history of Ranji Trophy to emerge as the highest-wicket taking pacer in a single season.
- With his 10 wickets in the semis, three in the first innings and seven in the second, Unadkat took his tally of wickets to 65 in the 2019/20 season as he surpassed Karnataka’s Dodda Ganesh who had 62 wickets in 1998/99.