Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 April 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 April 2020


Centre releases notification on J & K domicile rules

  • The Centre has defined new domicile rule for Jammu and Kashmir which includes those who have lived in the Union Territory for 15 years. A person residing in Jammu and Kashmir for at least 15 years will now be eligible to be a domicile of the Union Territory, according to the new rule issued by the Centre yesterday.
  • In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020, under the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, has been introduced to define domicile as that who has resided for a period of 15 years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K.
  • Before 5th of August last year, 35-A of the Constitution (now abrogated) empowered J&K Assembly to define a J&K resident, who alone were eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property. 
  • The definition expands to include children of those Central Government officials, All India Services Officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of Central Government, Public Sector Banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of Central Universities and recognized research institutes of Central Government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfill any of the conditions in sections.
  • Additionally, persons registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) in the UT of J&K, will also be included in the definition. Children of such residents of J&K as residents outside UT of J&K in connection with their employment or business or other professional or vocational reasons but their parents fulfill any of the conditions provided earlier.
  • The provisions of the Act authorize the Tehsildar as a competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate, as opposed to Deputy Commissioner or any officer specially notified by the State Government by way of a gazette notification in the form of a SRO-29 state laws have been repealed while 109 have been amended.


NPPA revises ceiling price of scheduled formulations

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, NPPA has revised the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations. The Authority in its meeting today noted with satisfaction that the supply disruption of active pharmaceutical ingredients caused by COVID-19 outbreak is returning to normalcy.
  • It said, no unusual price fluctuations in price of inputs for medicines, amid COVID-19 outbreak has been reported. Hence, normal price revisions have been allowed. 
  • The WPI increase has been based on the data published by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. Increase in ceiling price is based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) which is 1.88468 percent.
  • The revision in ceiling price of formulations includes the revision of ceiling price of cardiac stents also. The revised prices will be applicable from tomorrow and the detail of revised prices is available on NPPA’s website



RBI relaxes export rules allowing states to borrow more

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced more measures to fight economic disruptions caused by COVID-19, including extension of the realisation period of export proceeds and allowing States to borrow more.
  • The central bank has also formed an advisory committee to review the ways and means limit for State governments and union territories. Till the panel submits its report, the central bank has increased the ways and means advances limit by 30% for States and union territories.
  • The ‘Ways and Means Advances’ is a scheme that helps meet mismatches in receipts and payments of the government. Under this scheme, a government can avail itself of immediate cash from the RBI.
  • The central bank has also deferred the implementation of counter cyclical capital buffer (CCyB) for banks.
  • “Based on the review and empirical analysis of CCyB indicators, it has been decided that it is not necessary to activate CCyB for a period of one year or earlier, as may be necessary,” the RBI said.


Government extends crop loan interest benefits to farmers

  • In the wake of national lockdown due to Covid-19, the Government has extended the benefit of two per cent Interest Subvention to Banks and three per cent Prompt Repayment Incentive to all farmers upto 31st of May this year.
  • The interest subsidy has been extended to all crop loans upto 3 lakh rupees given by banks which have become due or are becoming due between 1st of this month to 31st May, 2020. Ministry of Agriculture said that due to restrictions imposed on movement of people, many farmers are not able to travel to bank branches for payment of their short term crop loan dues.
  • It also said, due to restrictions on movement of people and difficulty in timely sale and receipt of payment of their produce, farmers may be facing difficulties in repayment of their short term crop loans falling due during this period.
  • The Ministry said, to address this problem being faced by farmers, extension of Interest Subvention and Prompt Repayment Incentive (PRI) benefit will help the farmers to repay such loans upto the extended period at 4 per cent  per annum  interest without attracting any penalty.
  • Government is providing concessional crop loans to farmers through banks with 2 per cent interest subvention to banks and 3 per cent additional benefit on timely repayment to farmers thus providing loans upto 3 lakh rupees at 4 per cent per annum interest on timely repayment.


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India- China commemorates 70 years of diplomatic relations

  • President Ram NathKovind and Prime Minister NarendraModi exchanged messages of felicitations with their Chinese counterparts on the occasion the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries. 
  • Prime Minister Modi, in his message to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, stated that India and China are two large developing countries and emerging economies who are increasingly playing an important role on the global landscape. 
  • The Prime Minister said, good relations between India and China are conducive not only for their respective countries, but are also important from the perspective of peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.
  • Mr Modi also noted that ‘the COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder of the interconnected nature of the world today and therefore, there is a need to adopt a truly global response to it. The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to working with the Chinese Premier to further deepen and strengthen Closer Developmental Partnership between India and China and take it to even greater heights in the years to come.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, in his letter to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, remarked that in the last seven decades, ‘India-China relations have expanded substantially and become increasingly diverse and multifaceted’.


UNCOP climate change summit postponed to next year

  • United Nation's COP 26 climate change summit due to take place in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • British government said that dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021 would be announced later. Some 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks to halt rising global temperatures.
  • A UN panel in 2018 concluded that avoiding global climate chaos needed a major shift in society and the world economy.Global CO2 emissions needed to drop 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, to limit temperature rise to the safe cap of 1.5 degrees Celsius set as a goal in the Paris accord.
  • UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa said postponement was unavoidable but that the pandemic should not divert the world from the climate change challenge.


NASA announces on Sunrise mission

  • On March 30, 2020, NASA announced Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SUNRISE) mission.The mission is to study about how sun creates Giant Solar Particle Storms.
  • Studying the solar storms, the mission aims to understand the working of the solar system.The study will also aid future astronauts travelling to Mars and protect them from solar storms.
  • The mission is to deploy six CubeSats in Geosynchronous-orbit. The mission has come true because of the success of DARPA High-Frequency Research and Mars Cube One (MARCO).
  • The Cubesats will use radio telescope to capture radio images of low-frequency emission that are emitted from the sun. These will be sent to the earth through Deep Space Network.
  • Also, the Cubesats will create a 3D mapping to learn about location of giant particle thatare originated from the sun. The mission is to study sun’s spectrum. This is important as sun’s spectrum cannot be studied from the earth due to the ionosphere.



Wimbledon tournament cancelled due to COVID-19

  • Wimbledon, the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament, has been cancelled for the first time since World War-II because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Tournament organizer, All England Club (AELTC) after an emergency meeting announced that the Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the Novel Coronavirus epidemic.
  • The tournament was due to be played between 29 June and 12 July. The entire grass-court season has been abandoned, and there will be no professional tennis anywhere in the world until at least 13 July.
  • Devastated, tweeted eight-time champion Roger Federer, while Serena Williams, who has won the tournament seven times, said she was shocked by the momentous decision.


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