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(The Gist of PIB) IFFI 2019 [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) IFFI 2019

[DECEMBER-2019]

IFFI 2019

  • The Golden Jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) began in Panaji, Goa. Actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth inaugurated the IFFI 2019.

Key highlights:

  • The International Film Festival of India (IFFI), founded in 1952, is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia.
  • It is Held annually, currently in the state of Goa. Since 2004, starting from the 35th edition, the International Film Festival of India, became globally competitive, and moved to its permanent venue Goa, and is being held during the months of November and December of each year.
  • The festival is conducted jointly by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Directorate of Film Festivals and the Government of Goa.
  • During the festival, ICFT-UNESCO Gandhi Medal, instituted by the International Council for Film and Television, Paris and UNESCO will be given to a film that portrays the Gandhian values of peace and harmony.
  • At the end of the festival, Golden peacock award will be awarded to the best film.
  • Actor Rajnikanth received the ICON of the Golden Jubilee Award at IFFI 2019. IFFI Lifetime Achievement Award, the festival’s highest honour, was presented to French actor Isabelle Huppert.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Recycling of Ships Bill [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Recycling of Ships Bill

[DECEMBER-2019]

Recycling of Ships Bill

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for enactment of Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and accession to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.

Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019:

  • The Government of India has decided to enact Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019, to provide for the regulation of recycling of ships by setting certain international standards and laying down the statutory mechanism for enforcement of such standards.
  • The proposed Bill restricts and prohibits the use or installation of hazardous material, which applies irrespective of whether a ship is meant for recycling or not. Ships shall be recycled only in authorized ship recycling facilities.
  • It has also been decided to accede to the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.
  • When the Hong Kong Convention comes into force, its provisions will be implemented under the provisions of the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 and rules and regulations framed there under.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Global Bio-India Summit 2019 [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Global Bio-India Summit 2019

[DECEMBER-2019]

Global Bio-India Summit 2019

  • India’s first largest biotechnology conference – the Global Bio-India (GBI) Summit, 2019 concluded in New Delhi.

Key highlights:

  • The three-day event was organized by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India along with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • The Department plans to turn the GBI into an annual event with support from all stakeholders.
  • The Summit provided an opportunity to showcase the potential of India’s biotech sector to the international community, identify, create opportunities and deliberate on the key challenges in the areas of Bio-pharma, Bio-Agri, Bio-Industrial, Bio-Energy and Bio-Services and allied sectors.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) DPIIT [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) DPIIT

[DECEMBER-2019]

DPIIT

  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, has set up a Development Council for Bicycle for vision planning in design, engineering and manufacturing of lighter, smarter, value added, safe and faster premium bicycles which are comparable with global standards for exports and domestic market.
  • A Twenty-three-member Council will be headed by Secretary DPIIT. The constitution of the Council is for a period of two years. Joint Secretary, Light Engineering Industry Division in DPIIT will be Member-Secretary.

Key highlights:

  • The Council will stimulate value chain and fuel accelerated demand growth of Make-in-India through the following activities:
  • To improve competitiveness and level of services.
  • To transform Indian bicycle technology and its value chain.
  • To ensure development of holistic ecosystem through close, coordinated and continuous stakeholder persuasion.
  • To undertake all possible measures for leveraging bicycle demand, it may inter-alia include ensuring enabling (safe and segregated) cycling infrastructure and operations.
  • To enhance export competitiveness of bicycle through support of schemes and favourable trade policies.
  • To popularize the incredible benefits of cycling through the campaigns piloted by the concerned Ministries/ Departments of Government of India such as Ministry of Health (health benefits), Ministry of Environment and Forest (air/ noise pollution free benefits), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (energy saving benefits), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (decongestion benefits).
  • Development of medium and small industries to usher in a new mind-set through innovative schemes in a structured and synergistic way.
  • Development of skilled human resources development for bicycle manufacturing and repair shops.
  • To identify and study best international practices and successful story to adopt for bicycle manufacturing, recycling and infrastructure development in India.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Conference of Governors [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Conference of Governors

[DECEMBER-2019]

Conference of Governors

  • The 50th Conference of Governors concluded at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Key highlights:

  • The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presided over a two-day Conference of Governors and Lt. Governors of all States and Union Territories on November 23 and 24, 2019 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • This was the 50th such Conference to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The first Conference was organised in 1949.
  • The two-day Conference discussed important thematic issues like tribal issues, reforms in agriculture, Jal Jeevan Mission, new education policy for higher education and governance for ease of living.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) 8th International Tourism Mart [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) 8th International Tourism Mart

[DECEMBER-2019]

8th International Tourism Mart

  • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the North Eastern States is organising the 8th “International Tourism Mart” (ITM) at Imphal, Manipur from 23 November to 25 November, 2019.

Key highlights:

  • This is the 8th International Tourism Mart (ITM) and an annual event organised in the North Eastern region with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
  • It brings together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the 8 North Eastern States. The event has been planned to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
  • The ITMs are organised in the North Eastern States on rotation basis. Manipur is hosting this mart for the second time. The earlier editions of this mart have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) NSS 75TH Round [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) NSS 75TH Round

[DECEMBER-2019]

NSS 75TH Round

  • National Statistical Office (NSO) has conducted a survey on Household Social Consumption: Education as part of 75th round of National Sample Survey (NSS). Some important findings of the survey are given below.

Key highlights:

  • Literacy rate among persons of age 7 years and above was 77.7%. It was 73.5% in rural and 87.7% in the urban areas.
  • Nearly 10.6 % of the persons of age 15 years and above in India had completed level of education graduate and above. This was 5.7% in rural and 21.7% in urban areas.
  • Among persons of age 3 to 35 years, 13.6% never enrolled,5% ever enrolled but currently not attending while 43.9% were currently attending.
  • Net Attendance Ratio (NAR) at primary level was 86.1%. The figure was 72.2% at ‘upper primary / middle level’ and 89.0% at ‘primary and upper primary /middle level’
  • Nearly 96.1% of the students were pursuing general courses and 3.9% were pursuing technical/professional courses.
  • Among students pursuing general courses, nearly 55.8% were male students and 44.2% were female students.
  • Among students pursuing technical/professional courses, nearly 65.2% were male students and 34.8% were female students.
  • Nearly 57.0% of the students in rural and 23.4% in urban areas received free education.
  • Nearly 15.7% of the students in rural and 9.1% in urban areas received scholarship/ stipend/ reimbursement.
  • Nearly 4.4% of the rural households and 23.4% of the urban households had a computer. Nearly 14.9% of the rural households and 42.0% of the urban households had internet facility.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Nishank [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Nishank

[DECEMBER-2019]

Nishank

  • Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the kartavya.ugc.ac.in portal on the occasion of ‘Constitution Day’ today, as a part of year long Nagrik Kartavya Paalan Abhiyan being observed throughout the country.

Key highlights:

  • The portal will be used primarily for holding monthly essay competitions for students as well as other activities like quizzes, debates, poster making etc pertaining to Nagrik Kartavya Paalan Abhiyan.
  • On the occasion of the 70th year of the adoption of the Indian Constitution, it has been decided by the Government to run a Nagrik Kartavya Palan Abhiyan from 26th November 2019 to 26th November 2020, to create mass awareness about the Fundamental Duties as enshrined in Constitution.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Yuwaah Youth Skilling Initiative  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Yuwaah Youth Skilling Initiative

 [DECEMBER-2019]

Yuwaah Youth Skilling Initiative

  • UNICEF has launched ‘YuWaah’ Generation Unlimited in India on 1.11.2019.

Key highlights:

• According to UNICEF, Generation Unlimited, called You Wash in India, is a multi-stakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work.
• The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys.
• Its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21st century skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems, which includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models.
• YuWaah intends to create platforms to guide youth to market opportunities (career guidance, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships) and facilitate integration of career guidance in school education.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) PSLV-C47 successfully launches Cartosat-3 and 13  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) PSLV-C47 successfully launches Cartosat-3 and 13

 [DECEMBER-2019]

PSLV-C47 successfully launches Cartosat-3 and 13

  • India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty ninth flight (PSLV-C47), successfully launched Cartosat-3 and 13 commercial nanosatellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the 21st flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with 6 solid strap-on motors).

Key highlights:

  • Cartosat-3 satellite is a third generation agile advanced satellite having high resolution imaging capability. The mission life of the Cartosat-3 is 5 years.
  • This is the 9th satellite of Cartosat series developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • One of Cartosat-3’s cameras offers a ground resolution of 25 cm. Currently, WorldView-3, a satellite owned by U.S. company Maxar, has the best ground resolution of 31 cm. An existing policy allows only government and government authorised agencies to access ISRO’s high-resolution imageries below a resolution of 1 m.
  • At 1,625 kg, Cartosat-3 is unusually heavy and more than double the mass of the previous eight in its class.
  • Cartosat-3 will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover, etc.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Popularize AYUSH System  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Popularize AYUSH System

 [DECEMBER-2019]

Popularize AYUSH System

  • People across the country are following traditional Indian medical systems of AYUSH.
  • According to the data available, 17,73,75,226 Patients visited Government Health Care Facilities under AYUSH in OPD and 19,57,921 were admitted as inpatients in 2017-18.

The measures taken by the Ministry of AYUSH for further propagating the natural medical systems are:

  • The Ministry of AYUSH regularly observes days dedicated to AYUSH Systems of Medicine Viz. International Day of Yoga, Ayurveda Day, Unani Day, Siddha Day, Naturopathy Day, Homoeopathy Day etc. to create awareness about the benefits of the respective AYUSH system of medicine including natural medical systems.
  • A Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of Information Education and Communication (IEC) in AYUSH has been devised by the Ministry of AYUSH for this purpose. Under this Scheme, the Ministry of AYUSH takes up initiatives to create awareness about and to promote AYUSH systems of medicine including natural medical systems. These initiatives include organizing Arogya Fairs, Melas, Conferences, Exhibitions, Seminars, Workshops, Symposium, Yoga Fests and Ayurveda Parcs. The IEC Scheme also supports undertaking publicity campaigns through electronic media, print media and social media amongst the citizens in the country.
  • Ministry of AYUSH has established five Research Councils namely CCRAS, CCRUM, CCRS, CCRH and CCRYN for Research in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy, Yoga and Naturopathy respectively.

These research councils apart from engaging in clinical/ field research also undertake the following activities: –

  • Running Mobile health programme catering to backward regions and SC/ST communities
  • Undertaking health awareness campaigns.
  • Piloting Innovations like telemedicine with the help of common service centres. Ministry of AYUSH has already established advanced research institutes in Indian medical systems through Research Councils
  • Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) has 21 Research Centres in different States/UTs for advance research in Homoeopathy.
  • Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) is carrying out its research activities through its 30 Institutes/Centres/Units located all over India and also through collaborative studies with various Universities, Hospitals and Institutes. The research activities of the Council include Medicinal Plant Research (Medico-Ethno Botanical Survey, Pharmacognosy and Tissue Culture), Drug Standardization, Pharmacological Research, Clinical Research, Literary Research and Documentation and Tribal Health Care Research Programme.
  • Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) had initiated steps to establish advanced research in Siddha medical systems through IMR and EMR projects. Clinical research, Epidemiological research, Drug research, Literary and fundamental research, and Medicinal plants research are being carried out in these units. Totally there are 25 ongoing IMR projects and 8 completed IMR projects of CCRS.
  • CCRS is equipped with state of the art infrastructure with sophisticated instruments in the following departments: Department of Clinical Research, Department of Biochemistry, Department of Pathology, Radiology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Pharmacognosy etc.,
  • CCRS had published 32 books publications and 456 scientific research articles in various indexed international / national peer reviewed journals.
  • CCRS had signed MoU with reputed institutions / organizations for initiating collaborative research works.
  • Central Council for Research in Unani Medicines (CCRUM) has also carried out Advance Research on various diseases in collaboration with other renowned academic/scientific institutes.
  • CCRUM is also authenticating raw drugs as well as compound formulations by implementing Pharmacognostical methods viz., Macroscopy, Microscopy and Powder Microscopy; Physico-chemical methods and instrumental such as TLC fingerprint.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts

 [DECEMBER-2019]

Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts

  • The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs announced that Notification for mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artefacts across the nation will be issued on 15th January, 2020 giving one year time period for implementation.

Key highlights:

  • The BIS (Bureau of Indian standards) Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 & Section 16 for making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory by the Central Government.
  • This will make it compulsory for all the jewellers selling gold jewellery and artefacts to register with BIS and sell only hallmarked Gold jewellery and artefacts.
  • The draft Quality Control Order for mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts has been hosted on WTO website on 10th October 2019 for comments for a period of 60 days.
  • As on 31st October 2019 there are 877 Assaying and hallmarking centres spread in 234 district locations across the country and so far 26,019 jewellers have taken BIS registration.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB)  Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV

 [DECEMBER-2019]

Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV

  • Joint military exercise ‘SURYA KIRAN – XIV’ between India and Nepal will be conducted at Saljhandi, Rupandehi district of Nepal from 03 to 16 December 2019.

Key highlights:

  • The exercise will comprise of 300 soldiers from both Indian and Nepal Army who would be sharing their experience in conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations as also various humanitarian assistance missions by both the Armies.
  • Exercise SURYA KIRAN – XIV is an annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India.
  • Exercise SURYA KIRAN with Nepal is an important exercise in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the realm of changing facets of global terrorism.
  • The aim of this exercise is to conduct a Battalion level combined training between Indian Army and Nepal Army to increase interoperability in jungle warfare and counter terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and environmental conservation including aviation aspects.
  • The joint military exercise will enhance the level of defence cooperation which will further foster the bilateral relations between the two nations.

National Awards for outstanding work done towards empowerment of PwDs

  • The Vice President of India Venkiah Naidu will Confer National Awards for outstanding work done towards empowerment of PwDs on International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December.

Key highlights:

  • On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities i.e. 3rd December, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice confers National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities.
  • These are conferred on Individuals, Institutions, Organisations, State/District etc for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities every year.
  • All the 21 disabilities specified in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 have been included under the National Award Guidelines.

Categories:

National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for the year 2019, are being given under 14 (Fourteen) categories here under:-

  • Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities;
  • Best Employers and Placement Officers and/or Agencies;
  • Best Individual and Institution, working for the cause of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Role Model;
  • Best Applied Research or Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities;
  • Outstanding Work in creation of barrier-free environment for Persons with Disabilities;
  • Best District in providing rehabilitation services;
  • Best State Channelising Agency of the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC);
  • Outstanding Creative Adult Person with Disabilities;
  • Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
  • Best Accessible Website;
  • Best State (i) in promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; & (ii) for implementation of Accessible India Campaign.
  • Best Sports-person with Disabilities.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) Exercise Hand-in-Hand-2019  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB)  Exercise Hand-in-Hand-2019

 [DECEMBER-2019]

Exercise Hand-in-Hand-2019

  • The 8th India-China joint training exercise ‘HAND-IN-HAND 2019’ with the theme counter terrorism under United Nations mandate is scheduled to be conduct at Umroi, Meghalaya from 07 to 20 December 2019.
  • The Chinese contingent from the Tibet Military command comprising of 130 personal and the Indian Contingent of similar strength will participate in the 14 day long training exercise.

Key highlights:

  • The exercise is planned at the company level with respective Battalion Headquarters controlling the training.
  • The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in semi urban terrain.
  • The exercise schedule is focused upon training on various lectures and drills associated with counter terrorist handling and firing with each others weapons, special heliborne operations and case studies of various operations carried out in counter terrorist environment.
  • Two tactical exercises are scheduled during the training; one on counter terrorism scenario and the other on Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) De-classified all records [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB)  De-classified all records

 [DECEMBER-2019]

De-classified all records

  • The Minister of Culture and Tourism informed Lok Sabha that the Government of India has de-classified all records relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Azad Hind Fauj and placed them in the National Archives of India.

Key highlights:

  • Accordingly, a total of 304 declassified records/files have been transferred to the National Archives of India by above mentioned Ministries/Offices for permanent retention. Out of 304 files, 303 files are already uploaded on the Netaji web portal i.e. www.netajipapers.gov.in
  • The National Archives of India is the custodian of declassified files/records of the Government of India.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

(The Gist of PIB) PPRTMS  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB) PPRTMS 

 [DECEMBER-2019]

PPRTMS

  • Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to implement “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System” (PPRTMS).

Key highlights:

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has reviewed the system and process of registration of political parties. The new guidelines will be effective from 1st January,2020.
  • Accordingly, the PPRTMS will be implemented through an online portal, to facilitate tracking of status of application by applicants.
  • Under PPRTMS, the applicant (who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 onwards) will be able to track the progress of his / her application and will get status updates through SMS and email.
  • The applicant is required to provide contact mobile number and email address of the party / applicant in his application if he/she wishes to track the progress of the application.
  • The new guidelines have been hosted on the Commission’s website https://eci.gov.in.

Study Material for UPSC General Studies Pre Cum Mains

Gist of The Hindu: December 2019

Gist of The Hindu: December 2019

Centre reiterates commitment to protection of fundamental rights of citizens

  • The Centre has said that it is committed to protect the fundamental rights of citizens including right to privacy. It said, stern action will be taken against any intermediary responsible for breach of privacy.
  • In a tweet, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the government is concerned at the breach of privacy on the messaging platform WhatsApp.
  • He said the government has asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians. The IT Ministry yesterday wrote to WhatsApp seeking a detailed response by November 4.
  • The move comes after WhatsApp said that Indian journalists and Human Rights Activists were among those globally spied upon by named entities using an Israeli spyware Pegasus.
  • WhatsApp has said that it is suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm that is reportedly behind the technology that helped unnamed entities' spies hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users including diplomats, politicians, journalists and government officials.

Naga peace talks reach deadline,more consultations on board

  • Talks between Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) concluded on Thursday amid indications that the two sides have broadly resolved all issues, including demand for a separate flag and constitution.
  • A formal announcement is awaited as the Centre is keen on taking governments of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on board. The three states have expressed apprehension over the talks and sought to protect their territorial integrity.
  • Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups said “GoI endorsed the usage of Naga emblem and flag, specifically for cultural identity within Naga homeland”
  • The Centre had earlier ruled out separate flag and constitution for Nagas. Talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM were caught in a stalemate over the two issues.
  • The Centre had set October 31 as the deadline to wrap up talks which started in 1997 after a formal ceasefire agreement between the Centre and NSCN-IM was signed.
  • Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio, however, tweeted: “It is a historic moment and an occasion of great joy for all Nagas and the nation as a whole.” In another tweet he said: “Congratulations to Shri RN Ravi, NSCN-IM and NNPGs for the efforts and sacrifices.”

RBI asks banks to probe data card leakage and ensure security

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to secure their customer card data after a website reported that nearly 1.3 million debit and credit card data of Indian banks are on sale on the dark web potentially causing losses of millions of dollars.
  • On Tuesday, technology news website ZDNet reported that more than 1.3 million payment card details have been put up for sale on Joker's Stash, in what it described was the internet's largest carding shop. The data included uploads contains data primarily from Indian cardholders, the website said citing security researchers at Group-IB.
  • RBI said that banks must take proactive measures to identify and guard against such misuse of customer credentials. The central bank also has to be informed of the steps that banks have taken.
  • The leaked data includes Track 2 data, usually found on a payment card's magnetic stripe that could have been obtained via skimming devices, installed either on ATMs or PoS systems. The cards are from multiple banks though it could not be ascertained which banks have been hit.
  • “99% of the cards are now based on chip and pin based systems which are difficult to clone. There may still be some magnetic strip based cards in use but that number is very small. I don’t think this should be such a big issue,” said another banker involved in cyber security.

India assures signing of fair and transparent RCEP

  • As Prime Minister NarendraModi is set to visit Bangkok for the ASEAN summit from November 2-4, Indian negotiators are discussing critical aspects of the RCEP mega trade deal to ensure it is "fair and transparent", before committing to sign it.
  • Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, said: "India will wait for the outcome of the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Some critical issues are outstanding."
  • "We will only participate in a fair and transparent trading environment," she said at a media briefing here.
  • Indian officials have concluded negotiations on most of the 25 chapters, and the rest would be concluded before November 4, when Prime Minister Modi will join leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc and five other countries for the summit.
  • Indian officials are "narrowing the gaps" during their negotiations, including putting in adequate protection against cheap Chinese imports which are feared could flood the Indian market, once RCEP is concluded.
  • Differences over some areas, like rules of origin, e-commerce, auto trigger mechanism and trade remedies, are being discussed by Indian officials ahead of the summit meeting.

Two more countries join ISA framework agreement

  • Two new countries Eritrea and Saint Kittis and Nevis have signed the International Solar Alliance's (ISA) Framework Agreement at its second Assembly held in New Delhi. With this 83 countries have so far signed the ISA framework agreement.
  • Speaking at the Assembly of ISA, Minister of Power, New and Renewable Energy R K Singh who is also the President of ISA, emphasized the increasing importance of solar energy.
  • He said, this is very important in view of the climate change issues faced globally. He also elaborated the number of steps that India has taken to support the International Solar Alliance which India along France launched.
  • At the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, Prime Minister NarendraModi pledged to increase renewable energy capacity to 175 GigaWatt by 2022 and committed for further increasing it to 450 GigaWatt.

ICJ says Pak violated Vienna convention in Jadhav case

  • International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Judge Abduylqawi Yusuf told the United Nations General Assembly that Pakistan violated its obligations under the Vienna Convention in the case of Indian national KulbhushanJadhav.
  • Presenting the report of the International Court of Justice to the 193-member General Assembly yesterday, he said, in its judgement of July 17, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations found that Pakistan had violated its obligations under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention and that appropriate remedies were due in this case.
  • In a major victory for India, the ICJ had ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence awarded to Jadhav, a retired Indian Navy officer who was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism after a closed trial in April 2017.
  • India had argued that consular access was being denied to its national in violation of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
  • The Court was also called upon to interpret the meaning of the expression without delay in the notification requirements of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention. The Court considered the reparation and remedies to be granted, after it had found that the rights to consular access had been violated.
  • Judge Yusuf said that following its ruling, the Court received a communication dated 1st of August this year from Pakistan confirming its commitment to implementing the July 17 judgment in full.

Researchers develop new method to remove CO2 from air

  • Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States (US) have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level.
  • This is a new advance that may pave the way for new strategies to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. The study by researchers was published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
  • While in most of the prevalent methods, removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of gas required higher concentrations like those found in flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, but the new method could take out gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.
  • Researchers described the device as a large, specialized battery with a stack of electrodes that absorbs CO2 from air passing over its surface as it was being charged up, and then released gas as it was being discharged. A chemical reaction then takes place at the surface of each of a stack of electrodes as battery charges.
  • The biggest advantage of this technology over most other carbon absorbing/carbon capture technologies is- ‘binary nature of the adsorbent’s affinity to carbon dioxide’. Moreover, the new system is energy efficient compared to existing methods- consistently using about one gigajoule (GJ) of energy per ton of CO2 captured.

Shiva Thapa wins gold in Olympic test boxing event

  • Indian pugilists Shiva Thapa and Pooja Rani today clinched gold medals, while Ashish settled for a silver, as India ended with a decent haul of seven medals at the Olympic Test Event for Boxing in Tokyo, Japan.
  • The other four medals, all bronze were bagged by NikhatZareen, SimranjeetKaur, SumitSangwan and Vahlimpuia in their respective weight categories.
  • Four-time Asian medalist Thapa outpunched Kazakhstan's national champion and Asian bronze-winner SanataliToltayev 5-0 to claim the top honours in the 63 kilogram category.

India – Germany agrees to expand defence cooperation

  • India and Germany have acknowledged the need to further deepen bilateral defence cooperation as strategic partners to jointly address global and regional security challenges.
  • The Joint statement issued after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Markel in New Delhi said that both sides agreed to develop stronger cooperation in Defence Industry testing and certification, especially for design certification of various systems.
  • They also reaffirmed the importance of building Digital Partnership to intensify regular interaction and coordination towards collaboration on the next-generation technologies.
  • Both sides said that strong and effective multilateral cooperation is key to secure peace, stability and prosperity. They said, major challenges of our time, by their nature and global scope, cannot be addressed by countries separately but must be tackled jointly.
  • The two leaders underlined the need for all countries to ensure that their territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries in any manner.
  • The two leaders stressed the importance of the combined effort of all countries to fight global terrorism and to send out a consistent message that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is not acceptable.

Indo-U.S financial and economic partnership meeting held

  • The 7th India - US Economic and Financial partnership meeting was held in New Delhi on Friday. It was co-chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Treasury Steven T Mnuchin.
  • Briefing reporters Ms Sitharaman said, during meeting both sides took stock of the efforts undertaken to further improve mutual cooperation on a wide range of multilateral subjects including anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism.
  • She said both sides not only discussed policies to stimulate growth but also deliberated on the significant steps taken by both the countries to strengthen the financial sector.
  • She said, they also discussed capital flows investment in infrastructure and deepening of financial relations.

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(The Gist of PIB) India’s first HAM project in sewerage sector  [DECEMBER-2019]


(The Gist of PIB)  India’s first HAM project in sewerage sector

 [DECEMBER-2019]

India’s first HAM project in sewerage sector

  • India’s first Hybrid Annuity (HAM) project in sewerage sector, the 14MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Sarai in Haridwar, was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.

Key highlights:

  • The Sarai 14 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant is the first STP to be completed under the Hybrid Annuity (HAM) Based Public Private Partnership Model, involving a cost of Rs. 41.40 crores
  • This Plant is based on advanced aerobic biological process, Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) process, capable of removing the nutrients during treatment and is a 100% eco-friendly project.
  • The vision of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is long term and hence the capability being created would fully take care of the requirements up to 2035.

Hybrid Annuity (HAM)

  • In financial terminology hybrid annuity means that the government makes payment in a fixed amount for a considerable period and then in a variable amount in the remaining period.
  • It is a mix of the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and BOT (build, operate, transfer) models.
  • Advantage of HAM is that it gives enough liquidity to the developer and the financial risk is shared by the government. Government’s policy is that the HAM will be used in stalled projects where other models are not applicable.

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