Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 July 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 01 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM calls for mass movement for water conservation

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi today called upon people to start a mass movement for water conservation and resolve to save every drop of water amidst water scarcity in several parts of the country.

  • He said an awareness campaign should be started which should not only focus on water-related problems but also propagate ways to save water.

  • Prime Minister Modi also requested the people to share traditional methods that have been in use over the centuries for the conservation of water. He asked the people to pay a visit to Porbandar to see a 200-year-old water tank which is still capable of storing water and has a mechanism to harvest rainwater.

  • Mr Modi also requested the people to share the information concerning people who are making significant contributions towards water conservation. He urged people to use #JanShakti4JalShakti to share their content on the matter.

  • Listing the initiatives taken by the people for water conservation in many parts of the country, the Prime Minister said there cannot be a single formula for dealing with water crisis throughout the country.

  • Urging the people to choose books over flowers in welcome or felicitation ceremonies, the Prime Minister mentioned about the stories written by famous Hindi writer Premchand and said their messages are still relevant. He said his stories like Eidgah, Pus Ki Raat, Nasha, show images of the stark social realities that exist and are expressions of human emotions through a simple and lucid language.

  • Mr Modi also mentioned Akshara Library in Kerala which lies in a village nestled within the dense forests of Idukki. A Primary school teacher, P.K.Muralidharan and P.V.Chinnathampi who runs a small tea shop, work tirelessly for this library which is a beacon guiding tribal children on a new path.

Centre to bring in reservation of teachers bill in lokSabha

  • Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh PokhriyalNishank will move the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passing in LokSabha today.

  • The bill will ensure full representation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections in direct recruitment in teachers' cadres.

  • This will allow filling up of more than seven thousand existing vacancies by direct recruitment in Teachers' cadre. The Bill will also ensure providing 10 per cent reservation to Economically weaker section.

  • In RajyaSabha, Home Minister Amit Shah will move the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill is aimed at providing relief to persons in Jammu and Kashmir residing in areas adjoining the international border.

  • They can now avail reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission in different professional courses. The bill had already passed by the LokSabha last week.

::ECONOMY::

Centre celebrates second anniversary of GST

  • The Centre will celebrate two years of the Goods and Services Tax on Monday. Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur will preside over the event, the government said on Sunday.

  • Monday also marks the first day of the trial run of the new return-filing system, announced by the GST Council at its latest meeting. It is expected to simplify the process.

  • The Centre will also introduce a cash ledger system that will merge the earlier 20 heads into five major heads. There will be only one cash ledger for tax, interest, penalty, fee and others, the government said in a statement.

  • “The introduction of the GST is a game changer for the Indian economy as it has replaced a multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime,” the government said.

  • It will increase the information available with the government to curb leakages. The Centre will also introduce a cash ledger system that will merge the earlier 20 heads into five major heads. There will be only one cash ledger for tax, interest, penalty, fee and others, the government said in a statement.

  • “The introduction of the GST is a game changer for the Indian economy as it has replaced a multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime,” the government said.

Centre sets up panel to revise current WPI series

  • The Government has constituted a Working Group for the revision of the current series of Wholesale Price Index.

  • In a release, Commerce and Industry Ministry said, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NitiAayog will be the chairman of the 18-member committee.

  • The Office of Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the nodal office for the Working Group and will process the report and recommendation of the Group for further necessary action.

  • The Ministry said the current series of Wholesale Price Index with 2011-12 as the base year was introduced in May 2017. Since 2011-12, significant structural changes have taken place in the economy.

  • Therefore, it has become necessary to examine the coverage of commodities, weighting diagram and related issues pertaining to the existing series of index numbers of Wholesale Price Index.

  • The Terms of Reference of the Working Group include deciding on the computational methodology to be adopted for monthly WPI and Producer Price Index and reviewing the existing system of price collection in particular for the manufacturing sector and suggest changes for improvement.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

U.S-Taliban fresh talks on ending war

  • The United States and the Taliban have opened fresh negotiations in Doha. The talks mark the seventh round of negotiations aimed at ending Afghanistan's longest war.

  • The negotiations have, so far, centred on four issues - counter-terrorism, presence of foreign troop presence, an intra-Afghan dialogue and a permanent ceasefire.

  • US officials previously said, they are hoping for a deal before the upcoming Afghan presidential elections in September, which have already been delayed twice.

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who paid an unannounced visit to Kabul on Tuesday, said he hoped for a peace deal with the Taliban before 1st September.

  • A potential deal would see the US agreeing to withdraw its troops after more than 17 years in Afghanistan, in return for the Taliban guaranteeing the country never again becomes a safe haven for violent extremist groups, as was the case with Al-Qaeda before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

North Korea describes Trump-Kim meet as historic

  • North Korea today described the weekend meeting between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in the Demilitarised Zone as 'historic' and 'amazing'.

  • The official Korean Central News Agency said that the two leaders agreed to resume and push forward productive dialogues for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

  • After a Twitter invitation by the US President on Saturday, the two leaders met yesterday in the strip of land that has divided the peninsula for 66 years since the end of the Korean War.

  • Kim and Trump shook hands over the concrete blocks dividing North and South before Trump walked a few paces into Pyongyang's territory, the first US President ever to set foot on North Korean soil.The impromptu meeting in the DMZ was full of symbolism.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

IISER moves towards predicting space weather

  • The researchers from Indian Insititute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata team has given out a computer model-based prediction of the shape of the Sun’s atmosphere that the eclipse will reveal.

  • Many Indian and international solar physicists will be gathering in Argentina to observe the eclipse and discuss the Sun’s influence on our space environment. If the Indian prediction works, it will help us forecast how the Sun’s temperament can affect space weather. This, in turn, can help monitor the safety of the electronic sensors in satellites, astronauts’ well-being and even the impact on Earth.

  • The team uses a two-step process to predict the shape of the corona. Using a model for the way the magnetic fields emerge as sunspots and evolve on the sun’s surface, they first predict what will be the form of the sun’s surface magnetic field on the day of the eclipse. Then, they use another model to extrapolate this to reveal what the corona will look like.

  • According to their calculation, the occulted Sun will show two petal-like formations on either side of the corona with extended plume like structures stretching out into the solar system from their tips. It is to be noted that while solar north points upwards on paper, the eastern side is to the left and western side is to the right, unlike the conventions for geographical maps.

  • The eclipse will last for four minutes and 33 seconds. It will be visible during sunset in parts of Chile and Argentina.

::SPORTS::

Indian captain becomes fastest batsman to score 20000 runs

  • India captain ViratKohli today became the fastest batsman to reach 20,000 international runs, eclipsing batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.

  • Kohli reached the milestone in only his 417th international innings. Prior to today's match, Kohli was 37 runs short of the milestone and reached the feat with a single off in the 25th over of the India innings.

  • Kohli, thus, became the 12th batsman and third Indian after Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to reach 20,000 international runs.

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