Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 October 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 October 2020


EC revises norms concerning star campaigners for elections

  • With a view to ensuring the conduct of free, fair, peaceful, transparent, ethical and safe elections during COVID-19, the Election Commission has revised the norms concerning star campaigners for all ongoing and future elections during the period of pandemic COVID-19.
  • In the revised norms, the Commission said   the maximum limit on the number of star campaigners for recognized National and State political parties will  be 30 in place of 40 and for unrecognized registered political parties it will be 15 in place of 20.
  • It said, the period of submission of the list of star campaigners is extended from 7 days to 10 days from the date of notification.Political parties, which have already submitted list of star campaigners will resubmit a revised list within the stipulated period.  
  • It said, request for permission for the campaigning by star campaigners are to be submitted to the district election authorities at least 48 hours before the start of campaign so that all necessary safety measures are put in place well in time.  
  • The Election Commission has asked the Chief Electoral Officer of all the States and Union Territories  to give wide publicity through media and inform all National, State and  other registered political parties. These revised norms will  come into effect immediately.

PM hails investment opportunities in India

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the trinity reforms in the field of labour, education and agriculture and asserted that India undertook structural reforms amidst the global pandemic to usher in revolutionary changes in the country.
  • Addressing the Invest India Conference in Canada through video conferencing on Thursday, the Prime Minister said the reforms introduced by the government have resulted in substantial improvement in the country's ranking in terms of ease of doing business.
  • Highlighting the key markers of the huge surge in FDI in the country during 2019, he said the country has decriminalized many provisions in the Companies Act.
  • Mr. Modi said the country emerged as a Pharmacy center of the world during the pandemic and extended assistance to over 150 countries around the world by ensuring supplies of life saving drugs.  
  • Underlining the change in mindset and perception of every one regarding the country, he said, India has all the necessary vitals which make it a lucrative investment destination.
  • Mr. Modi said, the vibrant democracy, stability of government, transparency in business and availability of large market in the country ensures predictable return for all the Investors.



Government starts procurement of Kharif crops at MSP

  • Government has started procurement of Kharif Crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) in full swing.
  • So far, approval has been accorded for procurement of over 20 lakh 37 thousand metric tonne of paddy benefitting nearly 1 lakh 70 thousand farmers across the country.
  • The procurement this year has been reported to be 33 per cent higher than the corresponding time span last year. Government has disbursed around 3 thousand 850 crore rupees to the farmers in lieu of the procurements.
  • Based on the proposal from the States, approval has also been accorded for procurement of 30 lakh 70 thousand metric tonnes of Pulses and Oilseeds for Kharif Marketing Season 2020 from the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Government through its Nodal Agencies has also procured over 376 metric tonne of Moong having MSP value of 2 crore 71 lakh rupees benefitting farmers in Tamil Nadu and Haryana.
  • Approval for procurement of Kharif Crops is also being accorded to various other States and Union Territories on receipt of their proposal for agricultural produces as per the Price Support Scheme.

SARDP-NE gets more fund allocation from MoRTH

  • Road Transport and Highways  Ministry has enhanced the allocation of funds for expenditure under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North Eastern Areas (SARDP-NE) related works during the current financial year.


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PM meets Afghan peace negotiator New Delhi

  • Afghanistan's top peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ongoing peace initiative to bring back stability in the war-ravaged Afghanistan was discussed by the leaders. 
  • Following the meeting, Mr Abdullah tweeted that PM Modi assured him of India's continued support for the peace process in Afghanistan.
  • External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said PM Modi reaffirmed India's long term  commitment to further deepen ties with Afghanistan.Mr Abdullah is in Delhi on a five-day visit as part of the efforts to build a regional consensus and support for the Afghan peace process. 
  • On Wednesday, Mr Abdullah, held extensive talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
  • On September 12, an Indian delegation attended the inaugural ceremony of the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha while External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar joined it through video conference.

UNSG expresses concern over Turkey in ‘beach of Varosha’ opening

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has  expressed concern over Turkey's decision to reopen the beach of Varosha in Cyprus. The beach  has been closed since war divided the island 46 years ago.
  • He said that the position of the United Nations on Varosha remains unchanged and is guided by relevant Security Council resolutions.



Indo-French satellites to trace illegal oil spillage by ships

  • The constellation of maritime surveillance satellites for the Indian Ocean Region, to be jointly launched by India and France, will be able to trace illegal spillage of oil by ships, a senior French space agency CENS official said on Sunday.
  • In August last year, CNES and ISRO committed to developing and building a constellation of satellites carrying telecommunications and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments, constituting the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.
  • After a successful design phase led by a joint team of ISRO-CNES, the satellite is now set to enter its development phases in the coming months, the official said.



Joshua Cheptegei sets 10000m world record

  • Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men’s 10,000m world record on Wednesday at the Valencia World Record Day, crossing the line in a stunning 26 minutes 11.02 seconds to take six seconds off a 15-year-old record.
  • Cheptegei, 24, broke the previous mark of 26:17:53, set by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, at a special event in a near-empty Turia stadium here as only 400 people including sponsors, journalists and staff were allowed in.


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