Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 04 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

Govt. to implement portability of NFSA benefits

  • Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan today said the Government has begun implementing nation-wide portability of the benefits under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013.

  • He was speaking during the Question Hour in the LokSabhatoday.MrPaswan said eligible households or beneficiaries covered under NFSA would be able to lift their entitled food grains from any Fair Price Shop, FPS, in the country.

  • This would be possible by using the same ration card after biometric or Aadhaar authentication on Electronic Point of Sale, EPoS, device at an FPS of Destination/Sale State through ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ Plan.

  • The Minister reiterated that the facility of inter-State portability under this initiative would be available only through FPSs, having fully online ePoS devices.

  • The system would largely benefit numerous migratory beneficiaries such as labourers, daily wagers and blue-collar workers who frequently change their place of dwelling in search of employment or for other reasons, across the country.

Centre to provide assistance to intensify use of buckwheat

  • Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said that to intensify the use of buckwheat, ICAR-All India Co-ordinated Research Network on potential crops has developed nutritionally rich five varieties.

  • He said they are promoted by ICAR and respective State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) through front line demonstrations, trainings and kisanmelas.

  • In a written reply in the LokSabha today, the Agriculture Minister said Buckwheat is grown in the Hilly regions of Northern and Northeastern states including in the Nilgiris&Palani Hills, in an estimated area of 25,800 hectares.

  • Mr.Tomar said, to encourage farmers to grow buckwheat, Government is providing assistance through programmes like ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojana (PKVY) and Mission on Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region.

::ECONOMY::

Centre not to stop circulation of high denomination notes

  • The Government today clarified that it is not contemplating to stop the circulation of two thousand rupee notes.

  • In a written reply in the RajyaSabha today, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur said there is no such proposal under consideration. He also said that a declining trend is visible in the seizure of unaccounted cash in the denomination of two thousand rupee notes.

  • The Minister said in the year 2017-18, around 68 per cent of unaccounted cash was seized in the denomination of two thousand rupees, while in the year 2018-19, it was around 66 per cent.In the current financial year, over 43 per cent of unaccounted cash was seized in the denomination of two thousand rupees.

  • The Minister said as on March this year, over 31 per cent of total notes in circulation are of two thousand rupees.

TRAI implements new mobile number portability rules

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has revamped mobile number portability (MNP) rules, making the entire process faster and simpler. The TRAI has prescribed three working days timeline for port out requests within a service area.

  • Similarly, timeline of five working days has been prescribed for requests for port out from one circle to another. The new rules will come into effect from December 16.

  • Validity of the Unique Porting Code (UPC) has also been brought down to four days instead of a fortnight earlier. It will be applicable to all circles except Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and North East, where the validity of the said code remains unchanged to 30 days.

  • The MNP request under the present rule will be processed till December 9 and the service will not be available between December 10 and December 15 as entities involved in the process will be migrating their systems to implement new rules.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

NATO to mark 70th year of its alliance

  • The leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, will meet today to mark the 70th birthday of the organization in London.

  • Scotland Yard said road closures will be in place in central London during the meet. The two-day summit includes receptions at Buckingham Palace and Downing Street plus a working session at a golf resort in outer London. United States President Donald Trump landed in Britain ahead of the summit yesterday.

  • NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, the alliance needs to address the challenges and opportunities posed by an increasingly powerful China, but added that the alliance does not want to make an enemy out of Beijing.

  • The twenty-nine member alliance is the world's biggest military alliance.

  • NATO was founded in 1949 for the collective defence of its members, linking the security of the United States with its European allies against the Soviet Union. It witnessed the end of communism, defeating the Soviet Bloc without firing a shot.

  • The talks take place amid a bitter dispute between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President RecepTayyipErdogan over Turkey's recent incursion into northern Syria.

UN warns on severe malnutrition in Zimbabwe

  • The United Nations has said that Zimbabwe is going through a vicious cycle of skyrocketing malnutrition that's hitting women and children hardest.

  • About half of the country's population faces severe hunger amid a devastating drought and economic collapse. World Food Programme's executive director David Beasley said in a statement that with poor rains expected before the harvest in April, the scale of hunger will worsen.

  • According to the UN expert, HilalElver, Inflation is skyrocketing to over 490 per cent. This is the second-highest rate in the world after Venezuela.

  • Zimbabwe's crisis includes high unemployment, cash and water shortages and electricity outages of up to 19 hours a day.

  • The World Food Programme said it plans to more than double the number of people it helps to more than 4 million. More than 7 million people overall are in need.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi –II missile test fired

  • India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed surface-to-surface nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile off Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army conducted the user trial of the 350 km range missile from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur at around 7.50 p.m.

  • Defence sources said the missile weighs about 4,600 kg, is capable of carrying 500 to one thousand kilograms of warheads and is thrust by liquid propulsion twin engines. It also said all parameters within the stipulated time period were achieved.

  • AIR correspondent reports, inducted into the 333-missile regiment of the Indian Army in 2003, the nine-meter-tall, single-stage liquid-fueledPrithvi-II is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

  • Today’s trial was a part of regular training exercise by the armed forces which reconfirms the Army’s readiness to fire it at short notice.

  • Developed under the joint collaboration of Defence Research and Development Organization and Bharat Dynamics Limited, the missile was first test-fired on 27 January 1996.

::SPORTS::

Indian women’s team beats Maldives in South Asian games

  • Indian women's football team got its South Asian Games 2019 campaign off to a winning start as it sealed a thumping 5-0 win over the Maldives yesterday.

  • Bala Devi struck a brace, while Dangmei Grace, Manisha and JabamaniTudu scored a goal apiece to hand the team three points at the Pokhara Stadium in Nepal.

  • The win puts India on the top of the points table with host Nepal grabbing a 1-0 win over Sri Lanka in the opening match of the day.

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