Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 10 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

VP stresses on including gender studies in educational institutions

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has advocated for including gender studies in the educational institutions so that children learn to respect and become sensitive towards people of all genders from an early age. He was speaking after inaugurating the FICCI ARISE Conference 2019 on School Education in New Delhi last evening.

  • Mr Naidu called for value-based education and said that education is not just for employment but also for empowerment and enlightenment of individuals and the society. He also called for reforming teaching and training systems to improve learning outcomes.

  • Expressing concern over void in the market due to lack of skills required for jobs, he said, entrepreneurship education and training hold the key to empower young people to be the job creators of the future and not just job seekers.

  • Mr Naidu also said, there is a need to ensure that girl children, orphans, child-laborers, street children and victims of disasters must be brought into fold of formal education system.

  • AIR correspondent reports that the two-day long conference aims at taking into consideration views from various stakeholders on achieving India’s vision of becoming a knowledge and human resource hub.

  • The conference themed Future Ready Learners and Schools, will deliberate upon varied issues, including new age teaching and learning and enabling policies and regulatory changes for school education in the country.

Loksabha clears citizenship amendment bill 2019

  • LokSabha has passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 after a marathon discussion and division last night. In all, 311 members voted in favour of the bill and 80 members opposed it.

  • The bill, among other things, seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians who migrated to India till the end of 2014 from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, due to reasons like persecutions.

  • However, the bill exempts certain tribal areas included in the Sixth Schedule and those falling under the Inner Line Permit Regime in the North Eastern States. It amends the Citizenship Act 1955, the Passport Act 1920 and the Foreigners Act 1946 for implementation of its provisions.

  • Replying to the discussion, Home Minister Amit Shah said, the bill does not violate any provisions of the Constitution including Article 14 that places all people equally before law.

  • He said, Article 14 does not rule out any amendment to the Citizens Act. Mr Shah reiterated that religious persecutions in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have expressly declared Islam as their State Religion, necessitated the bill.

  • He pointed out to the declining minority population in the three neighbouring countries. He said, the bill is not discriminatory against Muslims. He added, Manipur will be brought under the Inner Line Permit Regime for the Bill.

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has expressed delight over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the LokSabha. In a tweet last night, he said, the LokSabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate.

  • The Prime Minister said, the proposed law is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values. He thanked the MPs and different parties that supported the bill. Mr Modi said, he would like to specially applaud Home Minister Amit Shah for lucidly explaining all aspects of the measure.

::ECONOMY::

Centre demands reciprocal access for Indian companies abroad

  • Commerce and industry minister PiyushGoyal said the government will stop other countries from participating in local contracts unless Indian firms are given a similar opportunity.

  • “Unless we get reciprocal access to those markets, the government has decided that we will stop giving them an opportunity to participate in contracts in India. That is a part of the policy of the NarendraModi government,” Goyal said at an event organised by Exim Bank on Monday.

  • “Today, it is in our policy that if our companies are not allowed to do business or opportunities emerging in any country, I can assure you that we will not allow them to participate here.”

  • This policy had been introduced two years ago and is “fair by all global standards”, he said.Goyal said this had been a “major stumbling block” in the RCEP negotiations.

  • The minister asked Exim Bank to study such conditions and give feedback so that the government can “stand up for your right to do business in those countries”.

  • If an Indian oil, coal or power company floats a contract, more often than not, the government allows international bidders to come in. He also said that India and its citizens want the rules of the game to change and corrupt practices to be eliminated.

India asks more countries to join ISA

  • India has called upon more countries to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiated by it to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels to meet the rising energy demand.

  • Speaking at a Ministerial Plenary yesterday on Solar and the Small Island Developing States - Making the Sun Shine Brighter, on the sidelines of COP-25 climate conference which is underway in Madrid, Environment Minister PrakashJavadekar said, four years ago in Paris, when Prime Minister NarendraModi and French President Francois Hollande launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA), it was a new beginning.

  • But, now that the four-year-old child is running fast, but it must run faster because the need of the hour is that we must tap solar energy in a big way.

  • Mr.Javadekar expressed happiness that over 83 countries joined the ISA in just four years. Listing out the aggressive manner in which India has expanded its renewable energy mix, the Minister pointed out that five years ago, India had just 3 Giga Watt (of solar energy).

  • Today, it has 33 GW of solar energy and it is huge. He said, India is going to achieve 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 i.e. in the next three years it will add 67 GW more of solar energy.

  • The Minister said, there is a sharp fall in the prices of solar energy due to enhancement of capacity. The price of solar energy used to be 20 rupees per unit. Now, it is just 10 per cent of it. He said, all countries need to do it because the target of UNFCCC is to do away with use of all fossil fuels, not only coal.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

UN calls for global efforts to fight corruption

  • United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for global efforts to fight corruption. In a message on the International Anti-Corruption Day yesterday, Mr Guterres said, every year trillions of dollars, the equivalent of more than five per cent of global Gross Domestic Product, are paid in bribes or stolen through corrupt practices.

  • It seriously undermines the rule of law and abet crimes such as the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and arms.

  • He said, tax evasion, money laundering and other illicit flows divert much-needed resources from schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure and funds that are essential to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The UN Chief said, corruption threatens the well-being of our societies, the future of our children and the health of our planet. It must be fought by all, for all.

  • He said, later this month, governments will meet in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, to review progress and prepare for the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session on Combating Corruption in 2021.

Pakistan and ADB signs agreements worth $1.3billion

  • Pakistan on Monday signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank for a loan worth USD 1.3 billion to support the cash-strapped country's public finances and shore up its slowing economy.

  • On Friday, the bank said it has approved a USD 300 million policy-based loan that will help Pakistan to address financial sustainability, governance, and energy infrastructure policy constraints in country's energy sector.

  • Under the deal, the ADB will provide the loan to help stabilize the foreign exchange reserves of the country.

  • Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis with short supplies of foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth in recent years.

  • Under the agreement, USD 1 billion has been extended to Pakistan to improve its current account deficit and strengthen its revenue base.

  • The financing will support the first of three sub-programmes totalling USD 1 billion under Pakistan's Energy Sector Reforms and Financial Sustainability Programme, the bank said.

  • Apart from the ADB loan, the Pakistan government has borrowed USD 10.40 billion from friendly countries like China and the UAE to stabilise the foreign exchange reserves and repayment of old loans.

::SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY::

India proposes project to protect satellites from space debris

  • The Centre has proposed Rs 33.3 crore for ISRO's 'Project Netra' for securing Indian satellites from space debris and other dangers, according to documents related to supplementary demand for grants.

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman had moved a resolution for the grants for which the LokSabha granted approval last week.

  • In Sep, India launched the early warning system Netra (Network for Space Objects, Tracking, and Analysis) to secure its satellites and other assets in space at an estimated to cost Rs 400 crore.

  • India has 15 communication satellites active in the geostationary orbit, 13 remote-sensing satellites active in low-earth orbit (2,000 km radius) and eight navigation satellites in medium-earth orbit. Apart from these, there are a number of smaller satellites present in the space.

  • According to a report, about 17,000 man-made objects are monitored in space of which 7 per cent are active objects. After a time, these objects become inactive and collide with each other while revolving in space.

  • Every year, there are many incidents of objects colliding in space. As a result, small pieces of debris rotate at extremely fast speeds. Dead satellites and other debris present in space exist in the Earth's orbit for many years and these debris can damage any active satellite.

::SPORTS::

India beats New Zealand in women’s hockey tournament

  • Indian junior women's hockey team secured a 4-1 win over New Zealand in its third match of the 3-Nations Tournament including India, Australia and New Zealand at Canberra in Australia today.

  • Sharmila Devi did two goals at 12th and 43rd minutes of game. Beauty Dungdung at 27th and Lalrindiki 48th minutes scored the goals for India in their impressive victory.

  • In the start of game, India conceded a Penalty Corner in the 4th minute, and New Zealand scored through Olivia to make it 1-0 in their favour.

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