Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 September 2020


VP calls for making nature conservation a people’s movement

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has called for making nature’s conservation a people’s movement and appealed to all citizens, especially the youth to actively take up this cause. 
  • Speaking at a webinar on the occasion of Himalayan Day, Mr Naidu called for rethinking on the development paradigm in such a way that human beings and nature co-exist and thrive together. 
  • He said, the Himalayas are an invaluable treasure house and emphasized the need for their protection and preservation. He also called for a pan-Himalayan development strategy based on the region's natural resources, culture and traditional knowledge.
  • Drawing attention to the threat of degradation faced by the fragile Himalayan ecosystem, the Vice President stressed that development should not be at the cost of the environment. He said, frequent natural calamities are a result of our carelessness towards nature.
  • On this occasion, the Vice President also virtually presented the copy of a book titled “Sansad Mein Himalaya” written by the Education Minister Ramesh PokhriyalNishank.

SC stays reservation for Maratha community

  • A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday referred a group of petitions challenging the Maratha reservation law to a Constitution Bench.
  • The court said the Maratha quota, meanwhile, will not apply for admissions and appointments made in the State for 2020-21. However, the postgraduate admissions which have already been made will be left unaltered.
  • The appeals challenging the Maratha quota law contend that the statute provides 12 to 13% quota for the community in Maharashtra. This has breached the 50% cap declared by a nine-judge Bench of the apex court in 1992.
  • Lawyers had submitted that the court should take into consideration recent developments like the 10% quota for economically weaker sections introduced through the 103rd Constitutional Amendment.



Finance ministry launches PSB’s door step banking services

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman today inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services by Public Sector Banks and participated in the awards ceremony to felicitate best performing banks on EASE Banking Reforms Index.
  • As part of the EASE Reforms, Doorstep Banking Services is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to the customers at their doorstep through the universal touch points of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App.  Customers can also track their service request through these channels. The services shall be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country.
  • At present only non-financial services like pick up of negotiable instruments, new cheque book requisition slip, 15G / 15H forms, IT / GST challan, issue request for standing instructions, request for account statement are available to customers.  Financial services shall be made available from next month.The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges.
  • A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking. It was launched in January 2018. PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda. 

Government aims to add 5 crore additional jobs in MSME sector

  • Minister for MSME NitinGadkari has said that Government aims to enhance MSME contribution to GDP from about 30 per cent to 50 per cent and in exports from 49 per cent to 60 per cent. 
  • Speaking at a virtual meet organised to launch Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE Atal New India Challenges by NITI Aayog today, Mr Gadkari said, Government is aiming to create 5 crore additional jobs in the MSME sector which presently employs about 11 crore people.
  • He applauded the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE Atal New India Challenge initiative of NitiAyog and called for using technology in finding solutions to the problems being faced in different areas ensuring value addition. 
  • The Minister cited the issue of excess rice which can be utilised for producing ethanol thereby addressing the problem of storage on the one hand and providing green fuel to the country as import replacement on the other. 


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Japan calls for increased cooperation in Indo-Pacific region

  • Japanese Defence Minister Taro Kono has called for increased cooperation in the India-Pacific region to counter Chinese expansion.
  • Speaking at a webinar held by Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies in Tokyo, Kono pitched for a larger regional mechanism or global mechanism to counter China.
  • Indo Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
  • China's territorial claims in the South China Sea its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.
  • Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims in the South China Sea.
  • In recent years, Japan has expressed increasing concern regarding Beijing's activities in the region especially concerning the situation with the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyudao islands and claimed by Beijing to be Chinese territory.

India,France& Australia holds first trilateral dialogue

  • The first India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held virtually today. The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary Harsh VardhanShringla, Secretary-General, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs François Delattre, and Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson. The focus of the dialogue was on enhancing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The outcome oriented meeting was held with the objective of building on the strong bilateral relations that the three countries share with each other. The three sides agreed to hold the dialogue on an annual basis.
  • During the dialogue, the three sides discussed economic and geostrategic challenges and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic responses to it. 



UN releases report on trends in child mortality

  • On September 9, 2020, the United Nations released “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality” report. The report says that child mortality rate of India has declined between 1990 and 2019. It was 126 in 1990 and has now declined to 34 in 2019.
  • Though, there is reduction in child mortality, India along with Nigeria accounts to almost one-third of under five deaths in 2019. India registered 4.5% annual rate of reduction between 1990 and 2019. The number of annual under-five deaths in India was 3.4 million in 1990 and it has now dropped to 824,000 in 2019.
  • According to the report, globally the child mortality deaths under five has dropped from 12.5 million in 1990 to 5.2 million in 2019.
  • The report says that the regions of Oceania, Central and Southern Asia saw a faster decline between 2010-19 as compared to that of 2000-2009.



France win over Croatia in nations league

  • France earned a roller-coaster 4-2 home win over Croatia in a top-tier Nations League A Group 3 match on Tuesday with a carbon copy result of their memorable 2018 World Cup final clash.
  • While Ronaldo rattled home a superb first-half free kick to become only the second male player to score 100 international goals as Portugal outclassed Sweden 2-0.


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