Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 July 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

Home ministry claims over 20cr crime datas available in CCTNS

  • Government today said over 20 crore records of crime and criminals are available at national level. The record are available on Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems, CCTNS.

  • Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy said this in a written reply in RajyaSabha.

  • He said, the Ministry has implemented CCTNS to facilitate police in States and Union Territories with a common platform for filing reports, collecting and sharing information on crimes and criminals at national level.

  • Mr Reddy said, against the target of covering 14 thousand 306 police stations, a total of 14 thousand 874 police stations have been covered in CCTNS including some new police stations.

  • The Minister said, 35 States and UTs except Sikkim have already launched their State Citizen Portals under CCTNS providing citizen centric police services, including online filing of complaints, obtaining status of complaints, copies of FIRs and viewing details of arrested persons.

Centre says it has brought in high level of transparency in electoral funding

  • Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today asserted that government has taken several measures to ensure transparency in political funding and stressed on the need to take further step to free election from the pressure of money power.

  • Replying to a short duration discussion in RajyaSabha on electoral reforms, Mr Prasad said government is of the view that there should not be pressure of money power in the election system.

  • He also said the time has come for One Nation, One Election in the country and there must be an open-minded discussion on this idea.

  • He highlighted the loopholes due to continuous elections and how developmental work is being hampered.

  • The Minister also rejected opposition allegations and doubts with regard to EVMs wondering why they do not have any issues when they win elections through this system.

  • He said the opposition should accept their defeat in the LokSabha elections and they should not insult the verdict of the people by questioning EVMs.

  • Initiating the discussion earlier, Derek O’ Brien of Trinamool Congress said there is a need to take steps and bring amendments in the existing law related to appointment of Election Commissioners.

  • On the issue of One Nation, One Election, Mr O’ Brien said government should take every party on board before moving forward in this direction. He also raised the issue of EVMs and misuse of data during elections.

::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry claims demonetisation had no effect of economy

  • India still continues to be the fastest growing economy and demonetisation has had no effect on the Indian economy, Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman told the RajyaSabha on July 2.

  • The Minister, while responding to supplementaries during the Question Hour, said the manufacturing sector has had a certain fall, but it is not attributable to demonetisation.

  • She said economic growth is high on the agenda of the government and various reforms are being undertaken in many spheres to improve GDP growth.

  • The Minister said as regards steps taken, the government has taken several steps in order that more money goes to people and that is why the PM’s KisanSammanYojna, the Pension Yojna, where money goes directly through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into the people’s hands, are activities through which people are getting the benefit.

  • Along with this, the government has launched voluntary pension scheme for small and marginal farmers and small shopkeepers or retail traders, she claimed.

  • To give focused attention to issues of growth, Government has constituted a five-member Cabinet committee on investment and growth chaired by Prime Minister.

Centre hike MSP marginally for Kharif crops

  • The Centre has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy by less than 4% to Rs. 1,815 per quintal for the 2019-20 season. The Rs. 65 per quintal increase is much lower than last year’s hike of Rs. 200 per quintal, but it will ensure that the MSP remains exactly 50% above the cost of production, not including land costs.

  • The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday. MSPs were hiked for 14 major crops of the kharif or summer season, to ensure they remain at a level that is 1.5 times the cost of production.

  • The only commodities with MSP that will ensure a higher than 50% return over input costs are bajra (85%), urad (64%) and tur dal (60%). However, even for these crops, returns are lower than last year.

  • Farmers groups pointed out that MSPs do not actually help the farmer unless procurement can be increased.

  • “What is the rationale of symbolically increasing prices when paddy is being sold at 40% lower rates in the mandi?” asked V.M. Singh, convenor of the All India KisanSangharsh Coordination Committee, a platform of more than 200 farmers groups.

  • He noted that paddy was sold at Rs. 1,100-1,200 per quintal in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar last year when the official MSP was Rs. 1,750 per quintal.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

U.S senates passes legislation to give India status of NATO ally

  • The United States Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India at par with America's NATO allies and countries like Israel and South Korea for increasing defence cooperation.

  • The National Defense Authorisation Act or NDAA for the fiscal year 2020, was introduced by Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator John Cornyn with the support of Senate India Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner. The proposal was passed by the Senate last week.

  • The amendment provides for increased US-India defence cooperation in the Indian Ocean in areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security.

  • Last week, House India Caucus Co-Chair Brad Sherman, along with other Congressmen including Raja Krishnamoorthi introduced a similar legislative proposal to the House, FY2020 NDAA that would greatly enhance the US-India relationship.

  • The bill would be signed into law after both chambers of the US Congress pass it. The House is expected to take up its version of the NDAA this month before legislators adjourn for the August recess.

Indian govt.confirms no proposal to end trade with Iran as of now

  • Indicating that there is still some confusion in India’s position on stopping oil imports from Iran in line with sanctions by the United States, the government said on Wednesday that it does not propose to cancel trade, including oil imports, from Iran.

  • Mr.MuraleedharanMoS external affairs said, “India’s bilateral relations with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by India’s relations with any third country.”

  • The MEA’s answer reflects India’s traditional position but is at considerable variance from the stand taken last week at the G20, when Prime Minister NarendraModi reportedly told U.S. President Donald Trump that New Delhi had, in fact, reduced its intake of Iranian oil, in accordance with Washington’s request to “zero out” Iranian oil imports after May 2.

  • “Prime Minister [Modi] pointed out that although Iran supplies 11% of our energy, India had reduced oil imports from Iran despite the effect it had on the Indian economy, [and] we had been able to sustain this position,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said at a press conference after the India-U.S. bilateral summit.

  • When asked about the differing positions, a senior government official said the Ministry of Petroleum could confirm that levels of Iranian oil imports had, in fact dropped, but that the decision to reduce oil imports was based on “commercial considerations and national interest”.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Coastal research centre’s proposal for artificial coral reefs faces objection

  • The National Centre for Coastal Research’s (NCCR) proposal of dropping ‘melted plastic rocks or slabs’ on the seabed for growing coral reefs and address the problem of disposal of plastic waste drew flak from the Gulf ofMannar Marine National Park, which has been implementing coral rehabilitation programme since 2002.

  • Officials and scientists involved in marine research expressed apprehensions that the NCCR’s ‘innovative idea’ for the growth of marine organisms like algae for coral reefs building would destroy the existing coral reef colonies, and opposed use of the GoM region for field tests.

  • The NCCR had also suggested that plastic waste materials could simply be wound around as hard substrates as a way of disposing of them and help build coral colonies. The research institute preferred the GoM region, one of the four coral reef areas in the country, for field testing the ideas.

  • Scientists, preferring anonymity, said worn out tyres were tried as artificial reefs in Florida and Costa Rica, but they turned out to be disastrous. The clustered old tyres initially attracted many marine organisms but they later collapsed and littered beaches.

  • Officials in the GoM Marine National Park said they had not received any communication from the NCCR for field tests. Any test, study or research would be allowed only with the permission of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, they said.

::SPORTS::

Sports ministry announces diet budgetary for athletes

  • The move will impact 12,500 athletes training in various centres of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Sports Ministry will release an additional amount of 150 crore rupees annually to fund the new diet budget.

  • Earlier, the diet budget for SAI trainees was 250 rupees. For junior athletes, the diet budget was 480 rupees and for senior athletes, it was 690 rupees. But the Sports Minister decided to make the amounts equal.

  • While having a meal at the athletes' mess of the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, the Minister noticed different diets being served to senior and junior athletes and SAI trainees as the food budget for each section was different.

  • He thought the budget cannot be the deciding factor while planning an athlete's diet since diet is key to the success of a sportsperson. The Minister also announced that supplements required by athletes, as per preion, will also be made available without delay.

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