Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 September 2020


Centre asks facebook to come up with country specific community guidelines

  • Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked the founder and head of the social media platform, Facebook, to come up with country specific community guidelines for better representation of diverse views. 
  • In a letter written to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the minister raised serious concerns regarding the approach of Facebook India management in the 2019 General Elections. 
  • Mr. Prasad added that there was a concerted effort by the facebook management in the country during the last General Elections to pages and substantially reduce outreach of posts which were supportive of the right-of-centre ideology. Referring to the instances of bias by the social media platform, he said that the management did not even respond to the messages seeking remedial measures over the issue.
  • Mr Prasad said that the collusion of a group of facebook employees with International media is giving a free run to malevolent vested interests to cast aspersions on the democratic process of the country. He also emphatically pointed out the usage of the social media platform on multiple instances by anarchic and radical elements with a sole aim to destroy the social order. 
  • The IT Minister also stressed the need to do away with the practice of outsourcing the job of fact checking by the social media platform to unverified and incredulous agencies.

Government gives nod to cold chain project development under PM KISAN SAMPADA yojana

  • Government gave its nod to 27 projects today under the PradhanMantriKisan SAMPADA Yojana for development of integrated cold chains and value addition infrastructure in the country.
  • The new integrated cold chain projects will generate direct and indirect employment for over 16,000 people and benefit nearly 2,57,000 farmers.
  • Union Minister of Food Processing Industries HarsimratKaurBadal said, saving the perishable produce, by provisioning adequate infrastructure, will help in augmenting farmers’ incomes and will also act towards making India self-reliant in the fruits and vegetables sector.
  • She added that the projects will help in streamlining the agricultural supply chain and generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in rural areas. 
  • These 27 new projects will leverage a total investment of Rs 743 crore for the creation of modern, innovative infrastructure and effective cold chain facilities for the food processing sector across various states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. 



RBI comes out with steps to ease pressure on liquidity

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today announced a host of steps, including term repo operations totalingRs. 1 lakh crore in mid-September to ease pressure on the liquidity and maintain congenial financial conditions with a view to ensuring sustainable recovery of economic growth.
  • In a statement, the central bank said the RBI stands ready to conduct market operations as required through a variety of instruments so as to ensure orderly market functioning. It added that recently market sentiment has been impacted by concerns relating to the inflation outlook and the fiscal situation amidst global developments that have firmed up yields abroad.
  • The RBI said that in order to reduce the cost of funds, banks that had availed of funds under long-term repo operations (LTROs) may exercise an option of reversing these transactions before maturity. It thus further added that the banks may reduce their interest liability by returning funds taken at the repo rate prevailing at that time (5.15 per cent) and availing funds at the current repo rate of 4 per cent.
  • The central bank added that the last date for paying the second installment of advance tax is September 15. Further, RBI said that it will conduct additional special open market operations involving the simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities for an aggregate amount of Rs 20,000 crore in two tranches of Rs 10,000 crore each. The auctions would be conducted on September 10, 2020, and September 17, 2020.
  • RBI said that it remains committed to conducting further such operations as warranted by market conditions. It said that as part of the measures, the RBI has also decided to allow banks to hold fresh acquisitions of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) securities acquired from September 1, 2020, under Held-To-Maturity (HTM) up to an overall limit of 22 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) up to March 31, 2021 which shall be reviewed thereafter.

Indian power market goes green with GTAM in electricity

  • Indian power market has gone green today with the launch of pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in electricity.
  • Speaking at the launch, New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said the introduction of GTAM platform would lessen the burden on Renewable Energy-rich States. 
  • He added that the GTAM platform will lead to an increase in the number of participants in the renewable energy sector. 
  • It will benefit buyers of renewable energy through competitive prices and transparent and flexible procurement. It will also benefit renewable energy sellers by providing access to the pan-India market. GTAM contracts will allow additional avenues to the renewable energy generators for sale of energy.



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India holds bilateral discussion with Nigeria

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama held wide ranging discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral relations in virtual mode yesterday.
  • During the interaction which lasted for 75 minutes, the two Ministers recognized and acknowledged the excellent long standing, multifaceted and strategic bilateral ties between the two countries, based on mutual friendship and cooperation.
  • India being the largest democracy in the world and Nigeria the largest democracy in Africa, share the values of pluralism, inclusiveness and sustainable development for all. The discussions covered a wide spectrum of cooperation on political, economic and trade, defense and security, developmental assistance and cultural cooperation.
  • Both sides recalled their extensive cooperation in the field of defense training and capacity building. They expressed satisfaction that it was expanding to newer areas such as defense equipment support, medical and maintenance services, sharing of R&D expertise for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, and regular exchange of information and views.
  • The two Ministers noted that the next meeting of the Joint Defense Cooperation Committee will be held later this year in Abuja. The Nigerian side expressed appreciation to India for the recent donation of medical supplies in support of the on-going fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

India endorses reliable supply chain in Indo-pacific region

  • Commerce and Industry Minister PiyushGoyal has said that India wholeheartedly endorses the broad concept of working towards ensuring a trustworthy, dependable, and reliable supply chain in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • He said, the diversification of the supply chain is critical for managing the risks associated with the supply of inputs including disciplining price volatility. Mr Goyal was addressing the ministerial-level meeting on Supply Chains in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Trade and Commerce ministers of India, Australia, and Japan have underscored the necessity and potential to enhance the resiliency of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The ministerial-level meeting on Supply Chains was attended Mr Goyal, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Kajiyama Hiroshi through video conference. 
  • Recognizing the pressing need for regional cooperation on supply chain resilience in the Indo- Pacific, the Ministers shared their intention to work toward the launch of a new initiative to achieve the objective through cooperation.
  • Addressing the Trilateral meeting, PiyushGoyal said that the initiative could not have come at a more opportune time in the post COVID scenario when there is a likelihood of rechurning of supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region and it is incumbent upon us to take the initiative. 
  • Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s remarks, he said it is the need of the hour that India should play a big role in the supply chains.


Indo-French space agencies discuss collaboration in Gaganyaan mission

  • Space agencies of India and France are in an advanced stage of discussions for providing necessary equipment to ‘Gaganyaan' astronauts, similar to the one to be used by French astronaut Thomas Pesquet for Mission Alpha next year, officials said.
  • A senior official of the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), the space agency of France, said work on the equipment for Mission Alpha is on.
  • French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, as part of the European Space Agency (ESA), will be returning to the International Space Station (ISS) while flying on Crew Dragon spacecraft early next year.
  • India and France share a robust collaboration in the area of space. Space agencies of the two countries are also collaborating on nearly Rs 10,000 croreGaganyaan mission that aims to send three Indians to space by 2022.
  • To give Europe's scientists an opportunity to gain access to ISS and to coordinate activities on the station, the ESA has established User Support and Operations Centres (USOC), of which the CADMOS centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations at CNES's Toulouse Space Centre is one, according to an official statement on Mission Alpha.
  • For human space flights, CADMOS is the point of contact between the ground segments in Europe, the United States and Russia and the science teams supporting astronauts, as they perform experiments in real time, it added.


SAI opens facilities for Developmental group athletes

  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) has been opening up its facilities for sporting activities in a phased manner after the Government announced Unlock 1. In the first phase, Olympic and Paralympic-bound athletes began sporting activities at SAI's sporting facilities.
  • As country enters Unlock 4, SAI has decided to open up its facilities for Developmental Group athletes. In the first leg, SAI has geared up to open up sporting activities for shooters of the Target Olympic Podium Developmental Group and athletes of National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) at the Karni Singh Shooting Range (KSSR) from September 2nd.


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