Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 05 September 2020


VP moots fixed tenure for house committees

  • The RajyaSabha Secretariat is mulling over changing the rules governing the standing committees’ tenure to make it two years from the present one so that the panels have enough time to work on the subjects selected by them.
  • The tenure of all standing committees end on September 11, and they can’t hold deliberations till new panels are formed.
  • RajyaSabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, sources said, was keen on amending the rules to give a fixed two-year tenure. However, LokSabha Speaker Om Birla has to agree to it.
  • Two options are being looked at: one, to extend the term of the panels for a year, and second, to form new committees with a fixed tenure of two years.Many chairpersons of the current panels have felt that a significant amount of the tenure of their committees was lost due to the pandemic.
  • Speaking to The Hindu, Congress leader ShashiTharoor batted for an extension of the terms of the present committees.Many panels have not been able to complete reports on the subjects they were working on.

Southern states tops in child care index scores

  • Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram are among the top five States for well-being of children, according to a report brought out by non-governmental organisation Mobile Creches and launched by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday.
  • The young child outcomes index measures health, nutrition and cognitive growth with the help of indicators such as infant mortality rate, stunting and net attendance at the primary school level. It identifies eight States that have scores below the country’s average: they are Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
  • The index is part of the ‘State of the Young Child’ in India report released the 50-year-old NGO, which works in the field of early childhood care and development by ensuring creche services at construction sites and slum settlements across several cities. The index has been constructed for two time periods (2005–2006 and 2015–2016) to enable inter-State comparisons as well as provide an idea of change over time.
  • The report calls for an increase in public spending on children. According to its analysis on expenses towards child nutrition, healthcare, education and other necessary protection services, India spent ₹1,723 per child in 2018–2019, an amount that is insufficient and fails to reach the entire eligible population.



RBI revises PSL norms to boost start ups

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday released revised priority sector lending guidelines to augment funding to segments including start-ups and agriculture.
  • Bank finance of up to ₹50 crore to start-ups, loans to farmers both for installation of solar power plants for solarisation of grid-connected agriculture pumps, and for setting up compressed biogas (CBG) plants have been included as fresh categories eligible for finance under the priority sector.
  • Higher weightage has been assigned to incremental priority sector credit in ‘identified districts’ where priority sector credit flow is comparatively low.
  • The targets prescribed for ‘small and marginal farmers’ and ‘weaker sections’ are being increased in a phased manner and higher credit limit has been specified for farmer producer organisations (FPOs)/farmers producers companies (FPCs) undertaking farming with assured marketing of their produce at a pre-determined price.
  • Besides, loan limits for renewable energy have been doubled. Commercial banks have been instructed to adhere to the revised guidelines.

Ministry of Shipping directs all ports to procure Made in India tug boats

  • The Ministry of Shipping has directed all major ports to procure or charter tug boats which are only made in India.All procurements being done by major ports will now need to be carried out as per the revised Make in India Order.
  • Shipping Minister MansukhMandaviya said, it is a step towards bolstering the revival of Indian Ship building and a big move towards AatmaNirbhar Shipping in AatmaNirbhar Bharat.
  • He said, the government will try to create an ecosystem for shipbuilding, ship repair, ship recycling and flagging in India. 
  • Mr Mandaviya said, the Ministry is aiming to promote Indian shipbuilding industry and also have discussion with some leading countries for Make in India shipbuilding.The Minister said, this decision of the Government will be a big move towards realizing Make in India in shipbuilding.


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India calls for cooperation between BRICS for combating terrorism

  • BRICS countries have expressed concern at the rise of violence and continuing conflicts in different parts of the world that have significant impact at both the regional and international levels.
  • The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in a virtual meeting concurred that, irrespective of their historic background and distinctive nature, conflicts should be resolved by peaceful means and diplomatic engagement through political dialogue and negotiations in line with principles and norms of international law, particularly the UN Charter.
  • They referred to the UNSC resolution-2532 demanding a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on its agenda with the exception of military operations against terrorist groups.
  • India called for boosting cooperation among the five-nation grouping BRICS in dealing with the threat of terrorism. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stressed on boosting cooperation among the member nations in dealing with the threat of terrorism.
  • In a joint declaration they reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law and the UN Charter, emphasising that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism.
  • China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

Greece rejects NATO mediation in rift with Turkey

  • Turkey on Friday accused Greece of shunning dialogue and lying after Greek Prime Minister KyriakosMitsotakis said NATO-brokered talks to reduce tension in the eastern Mediterranean could only be held if Ankara stopped making “threats”.
  • NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said Greek and Turkish leaders “agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to establish mechanisms for military de-confliction to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents”.
  • Greek government spokesman SteliosPetsas on Friday said Mr. Stoltenberg’s initiative “is very far from being termed an agreement to restart dialogue.”
  • The Greek Foreign Ministry stressed that “de-escalation will only take place with the immediate withdrawal of all Turkish vessels from the Greek continental shelf”.



Assam approves expansion of Kaziranga national park

  • The Assam government has approved the addition of 30.53 sq. km ( 3,053 hectares) to the 884 sq. km Kaziranga National Park.
  • The additional areas straddling two districts — Nagaon and Sonitpur — would make the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) grow to 1085.53 sq km. The core area of the KNPTR is 430 sq km.
  • “The additions include encroachment-evicted areas and suitable wildlife habitat on river islands (sandbars) that are vulnerable to encroachment. It is a move to consolidate the wildlife areas anticipating better wildlife conservation and reduction in human-wildlife negative interactions in the future,” said KNPTR director P. Sivakumar.
  • He added that the three additions are habitat corridors and would help provide connectivity to Orang and Nameri National Parks across river Brahmaputra, besides the hills of KarbiAnglong to the south of the park, where the rhino, tiger, deer and other animals take refuge during the floods.



Wout Van Aert registers second win at Tour de France

  • Wout Van Aert picked up a second win of the 2020 Tour de France on Friday as aggressive tactics and crosswinds combined to produce an enthralling race that claimed several victims.
  • British rider Adam Yates retained the yellow jersey while Peter Sagan took the green points jersey after his Bora team led a carefully plotted and brilliantly executed attack to drop his sprint rivals.


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