Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 08 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 08 September 2020


PM seeks minimum govt. intervention in education policy

  • The government’s intervention in the education policy should be “minimal”, Prime Minister NarendraModi said on Monday, emphasising that the policy belonged to the whole country, rather than to any particular government in power.
  • Mr.Modi was addressing the inaugural session of the Governors’ conference on the National Education Policy (NEP), which is being attended by State Education Ministers and Vice-Chancellors. 
  • The focus of the conference is on the implementation of NEP.Mr. Modi said the NEP 2020 provided a vision for a new India of the 21st century, in line with its aspirations to be a self-reliant power.
  • The Prime Minister felt it would help transform the country into a “knowledge economy” and tackle brain drain by paving the way to open local campuses of global educational institutions.
  • The policy would also prepare the country’s youth for the jobs of the future, in a world where the nature of work was undergoing change.
  • Mr.Kovind noted that such investment was only 0.7% of the GDP in India, in comparison to 2.8% in the U.S., 4.2% in South Korea and 4.3% in Israel.
  • “Education is the most effective means of social justice and personal advancement. There is no better investment than that in education to improve the future of society,” he said.

SC mandates states to set up committees on Content Regulation of Government Advertisements

  • As per directions of the Supreme Court, States are mandated to set up their three member committees on Content Regulation of Government Advertisements.State-level committees have already been constituted by Karnataka, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland. 
  • Under the Supreme Court’s guidelines dated 13th May, 2015, the content of Government Advertisement should be relevant to the government’s constitutional and legal obligations as well as the citizen’s right and entitlements.
  • The Committee is empowered to address complaints from the general public on violation of Supreme Court’s guidelines and make suitable recommendations.
  • The CCRGA was of the view that some state governments’ delay in setting up the state-level committees may be construed as contempt of Supreme Court’s order.



RBI brings in norms for resolution of COVID-19 related stressed assets

  • The Reserve Bank on Monday specified five financial ratios and sector-specific thresholds for resolution of COVID-19 related stressed assets in 26 sectors, including auto components, aviation, and tourism.
  • The key financial ratios suggested by the K.V. Kamathcommittee are total outside liabilities/adjusted tangible networth; total debt/EBITDA; current ratio, which is current assets divided by current liabilities; debt service coverage ratio; and average debt service coverage ratio.
  • The 26 sectors specified by the RBI include automobiles, power, tourism, cement, chemicals, gems and jewellery, logistics, mining, manufacturing, real estate, and shipping among others.
  • The RBI said the ratios prescribed “are intended as floors or ceilings, as the case may be, but the resolution plans shall take into account the pre-COVID-19 operating and financial performance of the borrower and impact of COVID-19 on its operating and financial performance at the time of finalising the resolution plan, to assess the cashflows in subsequent years, while stipulating appropriate ratios in each case.”
  • It also said lending institutions may, at their discretion, adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on borrowers while implementing the resolution plan.

Government plans to align agri planning with change in climate and rainfall patterns

  • The government plans to review crop planting across the country to align agricultural planning with changes in climate and rainfall patterns.
  • The focus of this exercise is to move towards precision agriculture with optimum water and nutrient use through drip, fertigation, conservation agriculture, mechanization.
  • The plan for each zone broadly will deal with the necessary diversification of crops with relation to climate change, farm mechanisation, adoption of agro-forestry systems including medicinal plants with integration of animal husbandry in arid region, export promotion and maximising farmers’ income of that region through scientific interventions.
  • “Climate changes are happening across the globe. We need to realign our crop planning as per the changes in climate and monsoon pattern. This will increase our productivity and help select right crop to plant,” said agriculture commisioner S K Malhotra.


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Saudi demands fair solution of Palestinian cause

  • Saudi Arabia supports a “fair” solution for the Palestinian cause, King Salman has told Donald Trump in a phone call, as the U.S. President praised the kingdom for opening its airspace to Israel-UAE flights.
  • Saudi Arabia has said it will not follow the United Arab Emirates, which announced last month it would establish diplomatic ties with Israel, until the Jewish state has signed a peace accord with the Palestinians.
  • In a phone call to Mr. Trump on Sunday, King Salman affirmed the “kingdom’s keenness to reach a lasting and fair solution to the Palestinian cause to bring peace”, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
  • Last week, Saudi Arabia agreed to permit UAE flights to “all countries” to overfly the kingdom.

Chair protest held in Berlin over migrants cause

  • Activists are setting up thousands of chairs outside the German parliament in Berlin to underline their calls to take in migrants from an overcrowded camp on a Greek island.
  • The 13,000 chairs being set up in front of the Reichstag building today are meant to symbolize the inhabitants of the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, as well the readiness of some German cities and states to take migrants in.
  • Sea-rescue activist groups say that  the first confirmed coronavirus case at Moria adds urgency to long-standing calls for the camp's evacuation.



DRDO test fires hypersonic scramjet technology

  • The hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology was successfully demonstrated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday with a flight test of the hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV), which will lead to the development of hypersonic cruise missiles and vehicles in future.
  • With this technology, cruise missiles could now travel at hypersonic speeds, a defence source said. “Scramjet engine is a major breakthrough. Air goes inside the engine at supersonic speed and comes out at hypersonic speeds,” the source noted.
  • The vehicle reaches a certain altitude, then cruises and also reaches very high temperatures, up to 1,000°-2,000° Celsius, during re-entry. “After the Anti-Satellite Test, this is the biggest achievement recently,” the source pointed out.



AnsuFati becomes youngest goalscorer in Spain

  • The 17-year-old AnsuFati became the youngest goalscorer in Spain’s history when he scored in the 4-0 win over Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday.
  • The results: League A: Group 4: Spain 4 bt Ukraine 0; Switzerland 1 drew with Germany 1.
  • League B: Group 3: Serbia 0 drew with Turkey 0; Hungary 2 lost to Russia 3; Group 4: Rep. of Ireland 0 lost to Finland 1; Wales 1 bt Bulgaria 0.


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