Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 January 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 January 2020


Govt. to stress on IB reports for CAA

  • The home ministry, in consultation with the law ministry, is examining the types of documents a persecuted minority member from Pakistan will require while applying for Indian citizenship under the new rules.
  • As per the proposed guidelines, there will be separate columns for the country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan) and community (Hindu, Sikh, Christians, Parsis, Jains or Buddhist) which the applicant will be required to declare at the time of seeking citizenship under the newly amended Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)
  • Among the documents that are under consideration are marriage certificates issued by a gram panchayat or municipal corporation in Pakistan. The CAA rules, which are yet to be notified, are expected to lay emphasis on a detailed Intelligence Bureau or Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) report.
  • The home ministry is expected to notify district collectors, deputy commissioners and district magistrates for accepting the applications and recommending citizenship to members of the six minority communities from the three countries.
  • As per the draft CAA rules, application for citizenship would be accepted online and the verification conducted by the FRRO along with the local administration, thus reducing interface at the state level, they said. The documents would be uploaded online and the home ministry could monitor and track applications before granting citizenship.

New CDS to be appointed today

  • Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Bipin Rawat has said that all the three services will work as a team. After taking charge as the first CDS, General Rawat said, as per the task given to the CDS, to enhance integration and do better resource management will be a priority.
  • General Rawat said Armed forces will be strengthened through synergy and integration. He said CDS will be neutral to all three services. General Rawat said, how procurement procedure can be unified will be a priority. He said the armed forces stay away from politics and work as per the directives of the government of the day.
  • General Rawat also said that his focus as CDS will be to integrate the efforts of the three services and to work as a team.General Rawat said his focus will be to ensure best and optimal use of resources allocated to the three services.
  • Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria and Navy Chief Karambir Singh and other senior officers were present on the occasion.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated General Bipin Rawat on taking over the charge as first Chief of Defence Staff and expressed delight on India getting its first CDS.
  • In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said General Rawat is an outstanding officer who has served India with great zeal and wished him best for the new responsibility.
  • Recalling his announcement from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August 2019 that India will have Chief of Defence Staff, he said this institution carries tremendous responsibility of modernizing our military forces.


Food Processing industry seeks export sop from government

  • The food processing industry has asked the government to give an export incentive of 20% under the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) scheme.
  • It has also asked for the rationalisation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on processed fruits, vegetables and essential daily-need food products to save wastage of agri-produce.
  • He said that they have also requested the government that the new scheme should provide benefits similar to the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) scheme at 20% and not reduce the incentive on exports.
  • Jindal said that this will strengthen the farm economy and realise the objectives of doubling farmers’ income and the Make in India policy.
  • With rising food prices causing substantial negative socioeconomic effect and political unrest, Jindal said that there was a need to lower the GST.
  • The high taxes on branded food products has led to an increase sale of food in loose form which is unsafe and unhealthy. This has also reduced consumption of packaged food, said Jindal.
  • The association has also recommended that new units be provided with a five-year tax holiday irrespective of the location of the unit.

Monsoon showers bring more water to rabi crops

  • The rabi crops of wheat, oilseed, pulses and perishables are likely to show higher yields across the country this season due to improved availability of water across 120 key reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission after above normal monsoon rains.
  • The availability of water for the crucial months of dry winter is 50% more than last year and 40% more than the average of the last ten years due to spurt in rains since August, officials said.
  • The current live water storage capacity stands at 137.125 billion cubic meters compared to 91.34 bcm a year ago. This is 81% of the total live storage level capacity, 150% of the year-ago level, and 139% of storage of average of last ten years, Jain said.
  • The water storage in reservoirs is more than the last year in states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Nagaland, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh ,TelanganaKarnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Only four reservoirs, including Bhakra in the north, and two states — Himachal Pradesh and Tripura — have less water storage than last year, CWC data shows. There are three reservoirs with storage less than or equal to 50% of the average of last ten years.
  • In eight reservoirs under CWC monitoring in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, the total live storage available is 13.55 bcm, or 71% of capacity, against 67% of capacity a year ago and 57% of live storage available is 13.55 bcm, or 71% of capacity, against 67% of capacity a year ago and 57% of live storage capacity on an average in last 10 years.

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Taiwan defends anti infiltration law aimed at China

  • China has been relentless in its attempts to influence and infiltrate Taiwan's politics and society, but the island's new ban on political interference should have no effect on normal exchanges between the sides.This was stated by Taiwan's President in her New Year's address.
  • The Anti-Subversion Law obtained a third and final approval in Taiwan's legislature today. It aims to prevent illegal campaign contributions, staging of political events, spread of misinformation and other acts by foreigners that could affect Taiwan's elections or government work.
  • It was denounced by the opposition and by China's Cabinet, but President Tsai Ing-wen defended it as having no effect on normal interactions. She said, the law's passage won't have any effect on freedom or violate human rights, and won't influence normal commercial exchanges.
  • Tsai added that it will provide greater guarantees from Taiwan's freedom and democracy.
  • Given China's similar actions in other countries, Taiwan's failure to prevent interference could give the impression it is untroubled by Beijing's actions.
  • Tsai cited the continuing protests in Hong Kong as proof its governing framework, which Beijing proposes for Taiwan, is untenable.

Palau bans ‘reef-toxic’ sunscreen

  • Palau's pioneering ban on "reef-toxic" sunscreens takes effect today. The tiny Pacific island nation introduced strict environmental measures.
  • Palau is renowned for its marine life and is regarded as one of the world's best diving destinations. But, the government is concerned this poses an environmental cost.
  • President Tommy Remengesau said there was scientific evidence that chemicals found in most sunscreens were toxic to corals.
  • From New Year's day, any reef-toxic sunscreen imported or sold in Palau will be confiscated and the owner will be fined. Along with the ban, Palau's much-touted marine sanctuary came into effect on January 1.
  • This closes 80 per cent of its exclusive economic zone to fishing and other marine activities including mining and shark finning.
  • It follows Palau's establishment of the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009.


ISRO gives confirmation on Gaganyaan mission

  • ISRO Chairman Dr. K Sivan has announced that four air men from Indian Air Force have been identified for India's first manned mission Gaganyan. 
  • Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru today he said the four chosen airmen will undergo astronauts' training in Russia from third week of January. Gaganyan is planned to be launched in 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister.
  • The ISRO Chairman said an unmanned mission will be launched this year to test human rating of propulsion model and microgravity simulations. Dr.Siven also informed Chandrayan-3 mission has been approved by the Government.
  • This will be launched without an orbiter. He said the lander and rover will be soft landing in the south pole of the lunar surface. It will carry out experiments that were planned during Chandrayan-2. 
  • Dr.Sivan also announced today that a second satellite launch station will come up in Tutticorin in Tamil Nadu for which 2300 acre land will be acquired. He said initially small satellites will be launched from here.



ICC plans to scrap five day tests from 2023

  • Cricket's apex body, the International Cricket Council, plans to scrap five-day Tests from 2023. The ICC could make four-day Tests mandatory from 2023 as part of the World Test Championship, primarily to free up the crowded calendar. Tests have been played over five days through most of their 140-year history. England has backed the plan.
  • A spokesperson of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said, it could provide a sustainable solution to the complex scheduling needs and players' workloads. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has said, it was too early to make a comment on the matter.

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