Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 07 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 07 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

VP expresses concern over crimes against women

  • Vice President Venkaiah Nadu expressed concern on the growing crimes against women in the country. He was speaking at the 94th Foundation Course for AIS and CCS officers in Dr Merry Chenna Reddy HRD Institute in Hyderabad today.

  • Mr Naidu opined that there was no need for a new bill to curb the crimes against women, but there is a need for change in mindset of the people.

  • He stressed on the effective action by the enforcing agencies like registration of cases, effective investigation, immediate prosecution and speedy trail leading to justice to victims. Mr Naidu felt that fear of Law has diluted among the minds of people thus leading to such crimes and technology also is making people perverted.

  • The Vice President wanted moral values be included in curriculum so that they can learn the good old values and culture of the country. He called upon the trainee officers to be effective in delivering needs of people, with effective outreach and communication to ensure effective redressal of grievances.

  • Earlier, Vice President gave awards to best performers in various categories in competitions held during the training period. The all-round performance award was given to Shreyas Gupta, IPS. About 140 officers underwent training for 15 weeks.

NGT directs for 100% treatment of sewage entering rivers

  • Water pollution situation is grim in the country, the National Green Tribunal said Friday and directed 100 per cent treatment of sewage entering the rivers across the country by March 31 next year.

  • The NGT warned that if this is not done, the local bodies and concerned departments of the states and Union Territories (UTs) will be liable to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh a month per drain in the case of river Ganga and Rs 5 lakh for default in commencement of setting up of sewage treatment plant.

  • While directing that an institutional mechanism be evolved for ensuring compliance of its directions, the NGT asked the chief secretaries of all the states and UTs to monitor the progress of the work, and at national level by the Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti with the assistance of National Mission for Clean Ganga and Central Pollution Control Board.

  • The NGT observed that world's major civilizations developed along rivers and without water there would be no human civilization.

  • The NGT said it is the duty of the state to ensure access to clean drinking water which was part of right to life and added that pollution of water in any form was required to be prevented.

  • The tribunal had said that there has been deterioration in quality of water in rivers in spite of the Water Act which was enacted way back in 1974 which was intended to bring about improvement.

::ECONOMY::

Govt. to rework findings of household consumer expenditure

  • The government has decided to rework the findings of the Household Consumer Expenditure survey and check for inconsistencies, especially over spending on health and education in rural areas that has likely fallen due to the impact of social security schemes. It is likely to come out with a revised report on the survey early next year.

  • The decision to rework the survey was taken at a meeting on data quality issues between the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and the National Statistical Commission (NSC).

  • The meeting took place in the wake of a leaked draft of the Household Consumer Expenditure survey report showing a decline in consumer spending in rural India in 2017-18. MoSPI, which had junked the survey, said it would not use it for official purposes but was examining its repercussions and impact on all base revision of various economic indicators.

  • The ministry will also look at surveys of last three years to develop protocols for introducing checks at various stages of the survey process, right from data collection.

  • The ministry said that over the years, government spending on social security benefits including cheaper or free food, education and health had increased through the Aadhaar-linked Public Distribution System, Right to Education and the National Health Mission, which made people spend less on these.

  • “When respondents are asked questions on how much they spend on these, they say zero. In the analysis, when we found that we have used the same instrument, it depresses the consumption,” said another official.

States demand GST compensation from centre

  • At least eight states have asked the central government to expeditiously release the compensation promised to them for any revenue loss due to switchover to goods and services tax.

  • The states have not yet received compensation for August and September. Moreover, compensation for October and November is due on December 10.

  • Finance ministers of Delhi, Punjab, Puducherry and Madhya Pradesh, and representatives of Kerala, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal met Union finance minister NirmalaSitharaman on Wednesday and said the delay in GST compensation transfer has put them in an acute financial position.

  • With compensation for the next period (October-November) due soon, the “government is under obligation to pay”, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal said.

  • Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the Centre has delayed payment despite adequate money in the compensation fund. Around Rs 50,000 crore is there through cess collection, he said.

  • Madhya Pradesh commercial tax minister Brajendra Singh Rathore said the Centre owes nearly Rs 3,000 crore to the state for August-November.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

PM meets Mauritian counterpart to expand cooperation

  • India and Mauritius have agreed to work closely to build upon the close multi-faceted bilateral relations and to explore new avenues of engagement, based on mutual interest and priorities.

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi on Friday met his Mauritian counterpart PravindJugnauth in New Delhi. The Mauritius Prime Minister accompanied by his spouse, KobitaJugnauth is on a private visit to India.

  • Mr Modi said that the government and people of Mauritius can count on India’s wholehearted support and continued solidarity in their aspirations to build a more secure, stable and prosperous Mauritius.

  • Mr Jugnauth expressed deep appreciation for India’s support in many development cooperation projects being implemented in Mauritius, such as the Metro Express Project, ENT Hospital, Social Housing Project, which have brought real benefits to the people.

  • He conveyed that accelerating the pace of all round development of Mauritius and deepening the scope of cooperation with India will be his priorities in the new term. He expected India to play an important role in this endeavour.

OPEC decides to cut oil production

  • OPEC group of oil-producing countries and their allies, including Russia, have decided to cut oil production by 500,000 barrels per day. In a meeting in Vienna, they agreed to reduce production to stem pressure on prices from abundant reserves and weak global economic growth.

  • According to a statement, Ministers gathered at OPEC headquarters decided for an additional adjustment of five lakh barrels per day, effective from 1st January 2020. This would bring production 1.7 million barrels per day below October 2018 levels.

  • The group, however, said, in addition, several countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, will continue their additional voluntary contributions. It will lead to an overall production cut to 2.1 million barrels per day.

  • The statement said OPEC and its partners would convene a special meeting on 6th March next year to review oil production.

  • Oil prices surged following the announcement, with US benchmark WTI and its European counterpart Brent crude by about two per cent higher.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

India to outreach towards arctic region for mineral explorations

  • India plans to explore connectivity corridor between resource rich Arctic Region and International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), suggested Indian envoy to Russia BalaVenkateshVerma.

  • INSTC seeks to connect Mumbai with St Petersburg via Iran that could lead to a new connectivity corridor in Eurasia.

  • Verma said India is currently discussing with Russia cooperation in connectivity via the Northern Sea Route and joint energy projects in Arctic region.

  • The envoy said India is interested in development of infrastructure, shipping route and harnessing of minerals in Arctic region in a sustainable manner. The use of Northern Sea Route by India had figured at the last annual summit.

  • The Arctic contains a wealth of petroleum and mineral resources. Currently, the region produces about one tenth of the world's oil and a quarter of its natural gas.

  • The Russian Arctic is the source for about 80 percent of this oil and virtually all of the natural gas. The most developed sector of the region, the Russian Arctic also holds abundant deposits of nickel, copper, coal, gold, uranium, tungsten, and diamonds.

  • The Northern Sea Route - is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic. The Russian ministry of transport forecasts cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route by 2020 will grow tenfold to 65 million tonnes a year.

::SPORTS::

India beat West Indies in first T20

  • India beat West Indies by six wickets in the first match of three-match T-20 series against West Indies played at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad last night.

  • Chasing a total of 207 runs, India made 209 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in 18.4 overs. Skipper ViratKohli scored 94 while K L Rahul amassed 62 runs. ViratKohli was adjudged player of the match for his unbeaten knock.

  • Indian opener KL Rahul completed his 1,000 runs in the T-20 International and became the seventh Indian batsman to do so.

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