Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 November 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 02 November 2019


Supreme court panel declares health emergency in NCR due to pollution

  •  A Supreme Court mandated panel on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5.
  •  Schools have been shut in Delhi, till November 5.As the pollution levels in the region entered the "severe plus" category", the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season.
  •  Earlier, the EPCA had banned construction activities only for the period between 6 pm and 10 am till November 2. Now, no construction can take place even in daytime.
  •  EPCA directed that all coal and other fuel-based industries, which have not shifted to natural gas or agro-residue, will remain shut in Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bahadurgarh, Bhiwadi, Greater Noida, Sonepat, Panipat till the morning of November 5.
  •  In Delhi, industries, which have not yet shifted to piped natural gas, will not operate during the period, it said.

UNESCO declares Mumbai and Hyderabad as eminent cities in film and gastronomy fields

  •  UNESCO has designated Mumbai as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of FILM and Hyderabad in the field of GASTRONOMY. Culture Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel has congratulated the people of Mumbai and Hyderabad for this unique distinction.
  •  UCCN, created in 2004, is a network of cities which are thriving, active centres of cultural activities in their respective countries. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 246 cities.
  •  The member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations.
  •  They work together towards a common mission: placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  •  The 7 categories for recognition under UCCN are Crafts and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Music, Media Arts and Literature. Previously, 3 Indian cities were recognized as members of UCCN, namely- Jaipur-Crafts and Folk Arts(2015), Varanasi-Creative city of Music (2015),Chennai-Creative city of Music(2017)
  •  Ministry of Culture is the nodal Ministry of Government of India for all matters in UNESCO relating to culture.


DEA secretary claims govt. following glide path on fiscal deficit

  •  The finance ministry on Friday said it was committed to following a glide path to reduce fiscal deficit notwithstanding slowdown in the economy impacting revenue collections. The government has budgeted the fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the current financial year, lower from 3.4 per cent in 2018-19.
  •  The government is following a glide path on fiscal deficit, said Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty responding to a question in regard to government finances.
  •  According to the budget documents, the government's total expenditure is anticipated to grow at the rate 13.4 per cent, whereas the total non-debt receipts are projected to grow by 14.3 per cent.
  •  The government intends to gradually bring down fiscal deficit towards the target of 3 per cent of the GDP by March 31, 2021.
  •  The fiscal deficit was 3.5 per cent of GDP during 2017-18 and 2016-17, down from 3.9 per cent in the previous fiscal.
  •  The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Rules, 2004, specifies annual targets and mandates the central government to reduce the fiscal deficit by an amount equivalent to 0.1 per cent or more of GDP per year.
  •  The latest data on goods and services tax collections for October showed that the indirect tax mop-up remained below Rs 1 lakh crore for the third month in a row.

NPCIL claims Kudankulam power plant safe from malware

  •  The NPCIL on Friday said its reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu are "safe".
  •  The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), a public sector undertaking on Wednesday admitted to a malware attack on one of the computers in Kudankulam plant, a day after the plant authorities had asserted that cyber attacks on its systems are not possible.
  •  NPCIL, a public sector undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy, had, in its statement, also said that the plant systems were not affected.
  •  "Computerisation in nuclear power stations had taken a tremendous amount of time for implementation because the nuclear power generating countries were having doubts about the safety. Therefore, the systems that are involved in operating of our plants are completely independent and are never connected to any other system or the internet. This is as per international safety standards," DAE Secretary KN Vyas said.
  •  The DAE, which carried out the investigations at the plant had revealed that the infected computer belonged to a user who was connected in the internet network used for administrative purposes.
  •  On October 29, Kudankulam plant had allayed fears of a cyber attack on its systems after reports emerged that it had become a victim of a cyber attack.
  •  The KKNPP is an Indo-Russian joint venture and units I and II of 1000 MWe capacity each and they have commenced commercial operations while Units III to VI is under construction.

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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 financial sector.
  •  She said, they also discussed capital flows investment in infrastructure and deepening of financial relations.


Chandrayaan-2 detects Argon-40 in lunar exosphere

  •  The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has detected Argon-40 on lunar exosphere from an altitude of approximately 100 kilometres, informed Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday.
  •  "The CHACE-2 payload aboard the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has detected Argon-40 from an altitude of approximately 100 kilometres," tweeted ISRO.
  •  Earlier this month, the ISRO had released images of the moon's surface clicked by Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) onboard Chandrayaan-2.
  •  The space agency had lost communication from its Lander Vikram which was supposed to soft-land on the far side of the moon on September 7.
  •  The Lander successfully separated from Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter on September 2. After revolving the Earth's orbit for nearly 23 days, the craft began its journey to the moon on August 14.


India beats U.S in Olympic hockey qualifiers

  •  Indian Hockey women's team beat United States of America 5-1 in Olympic qualifiers at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday. At half time, India was leading by 1-0.
  •  A short-while from now, the Indian men's team will face Russia.Both the Indian teams will play matches against Russia and USA tomorrow also. The aggregate winners at the end of the two-match qualifier (each for men and women) will seal their places in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

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