Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 November 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 06 November 2019


PM claims our present is largely influenced by scientists

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has stressed the need for the development of scientific temper among people to expedite development of the country.

  • Inaugurating the India International Science Festival in Kolkata this afternoon through video-conferencing Mr.Modi said, the scientific temper reduces superstitions and encourages temperament of reasoning.

  • Referring to the recent Chandrayan Mission, the Prime Minister said that the issue raised the curiosity among people on Science. He appealed to the scientific community to take long-term solution approach to make Science for society and Science for people.

  • The Prime Minister said that the Government is supporting innovations and inventions for this purpose. He also informed that five thousand Atal Tinkering labs are being set up in various parts of the country to encourage students for hands-on training on Science and Research.

  • The West Bengal Governor JagdeepDhankhar and Science and Technology Minister Dr HarshaVardhan and other distinguished guests were present at the inaugural session of the four-day-long festival.

President rejects request demanding disqualification of MLA’s

  • In a relief for the AamAadmi Party, President Ram NathKovind has rejected a petition demanding disqualification of 11 party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit.

  • The issue was referred to the EC which gave an opinion in August that holding the office of co-chairperson of a district disaster management authority does not attract disqualification as MLA as there is no remuneration by way of salary, allowances, sitting fee.

  • Nor is there any other facility such as staff car, office space, supporting staff, telephone or residence provided.As per law, the President accepts the opinion of the Election Commission in cases of office of profit.

  • The Commission held that "item 14 of the Schedule to Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Act), 1997 provides for exemption for the office of chairman, director or member of a statutory or non-statutory body or committee constituted by Government of NCT, provided that the said chairman, director or member are not entitled to any remuneration.

  • The term of the 70-member Delhi Assembly ends on February 22, 2020 and the polls can be announced in the next few weeks.

::ECONOMY:: relax quality norms for onion imports

  • The government has decided to relax quality norms to facilitate immediate import of onions for curbing rising onion prices. In an inter-ministerial committee meeting, consumer affairs secretary Avinash K Srivastava directed to relax phytosanitary and fumigation norms to speed up onion imports from other producing countries like Egypt, Turkey and Iran.

  • The prices of onions, which had touched Rs 80 per kg in August and September, have again shot up to Rs 100 a kg in some places due to a shortage, triggered by unseasonal rainfall leading to crop damage in the main onion growing zones in Maharashtra.

  • Traders have been demanding to liberalise these norms for a faster import of onions to India. Onion Exporters’ Association president Ajit Shah said that onion can be imported from Dubai in 10 days provided government relaxes phytosanitary norms.

  • "If government insists on importing from original source of the commodity, here Egypt, it will take many weeks to receive shipments. However, importing Egypt origin onion from Dubai is possible in just 10 days," he said.

  • In the meeting, it was also decided to send two inter ministerial teams to Karnataka and Rajasthan to take stock of their Onion supplies and encourage the supplies to consuming regions including Delhi-NCR. The committee also directed NAFED to supply the maximum possible quantities to Delhi Government for retailing.

MoRD releases another edition of wasteland atlas

  • In an effort to productively use India’s wastelands, the ministry of rural development has come out with the fifth edition of Wasteland Atlas -2019, eight years after the last edition was published in 2011. This is significant as it takes into account 12.08 MHa of unmapped area of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for the first time.

  • As per the Atlas, during this period 1.45 Mha of wastelands are converted into non wastelands categories. “A reduction in wasteland area was observed in the categories of land with dense scrub, waterlogged and marshy land, sandy areas, degraded pastures / grazing land and gullied and / or ravinous land,” it said.

  • The department of land resources in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Department of Space has published Wastelands Atlases of India - 2000, 2005, 2010 &2011 editions. The new wastelands mapping exercise, carried out by NRSC using the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite data is the fifth edition of Wastelands Atlas – 2019.

  • India with 2.4 per cent of total land area of the world is supporting 18 per cent of the world’s population. The per capita availability of agriculture land in India is 0.12 ha whereas world per capita agriculture land is 0.29 ha.

  • According to the ministry, unprecedented pressure on the land beyond its carrying capacity is resulting into degradation of lands in the country. “Therefore, robust geospatial information on wastelands assumes significance and effectively helpful in rolling back the wastelands for productive use through various land development programmes/schemes,” it said.

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China to establish national security mechanism in HongKong

  • China will establish a "robust" legal system and enforcement mechanism to safeguard national security in Hong Kong, the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday, following a meeting last week of its senior leadership.

  • China will also "perfect" the system under which the party has full jurisdictional power over Hong Kong according to the Basic Law and constitution, the party said, in a long statement carried by state news agency Xinhua.

  • However it gave no details on how the measures will be implemented.

Garbage problem gets high in Yemen,causing cholera

  • Mounds of stinking garbage line the streets of Yemen's historic city of Taez, once renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the country, but now torn apart by war.

  • The city in the highlands of southwestern Yemen has become a breeding ground for mosquitos as well as deadly outbreaks of diseases like cholera, as decaying refuse leaches into waterways.

  • Yemen, long the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, has been mired in conflict since the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels swept into the capital Sanaa in a 2014 offensive, sparking a military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition.

  • While Taez is controlled by pro-government forces, it is under siege from the Huthis who control the mountains that surround the city, from where they have launched repeated bombardments.

  • While all of Yemen has suffered from the war, Taez is particularly hard-hit. Barely any schools are able to function, fresh water is scarce, and it is difficult to bring in supplies including essentials like food.


ISRO to setup space technology cell in IIT Delhi

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi will set up a Space Technology Cell in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the space agency of country at the IIT campus.

  • With the move, IIT Delhi have joined the league of other premier institutions where the Space Technology Cells (STCs) have been set up, such as Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (IISc) Bangalore, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati and IIT Roorkee.

  • The Space Technology Cells (STCs) here play a major role in taking up space technology research and applications to the newer heights.

  • The Space Technology Cell will work for carrying out focused research projects in space technology domain with specific deliverables.

  • ISRO also proposed that IIT Delhi as an Institute becomes ISRO’s academic partner in research areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), nano-technology, functional textiles, smart manufacturing or any other area of joint interest.


ITF decides to shift India-Pak match to neutral venue

  • The International Tennis Federation, ITF has decided to shift India's Davis Cup tie against Pakistan from Islamabad to a neutral venue.

  • The tie was scheduled to be held in September but was delayed after India expressed concerns about the safety of their players. Due to prevailing diplomatic tensions between the two nations after the revocation of Article 370, India's national tennis federation expressed concern about safety of players.

  • The ITF statement said that the Davis Cup Committee has decided that the Group I tie between Pakistan and India on 29-30 November must be played at a neutral venue.

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