Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 July 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 July 2019


::NATIONAL::

Cabinet approves Transgender protection of rights bill 2019

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister NarendraModi has approved the proposal to introduce The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019. The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing Session of Parliament.

  • The Bill provides a mechanism for their social, economic and educational empowerment.

  • The Bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society. This will lead to inclusiveness and will make the transgender persons productive members of the society.

  • Transgender community is among one of the most marginalized communities in the country because they don’t fit into the stereotypical categories of gender of ‘men’ or ‘women’.

  • Consequently, they face problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on. The Bill shall empower the transgender community socially, educationally and economically.

Centre creates new Indian nuclear insurance pool

  • The Government has created an Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) on 12th June, 2015. M/s. General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC-Re), along with several other Indian Insurance Companies, have launched the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) with a capacity of ₹1500 crore to provide insurance to cover the liability as prescribed under Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act, 2010.

  • This has addressed issues related to Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act and had facilitated commencement of work in setting up new nuclear power projects.

  • The present nuclear power capacity is 6780 MW comprising of 22 reactors. There are 9 reactors with a capacity of 6700 MW (including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by BHAVINI) under construction.

  • The Government in 2017 has also accorded administrative approval and financial sanction of 12 nuclear power plants totalling to a capacity of 9000 MW. On their progressive completion, the installed nuclear capacity is expected to reach 8180 MW by 2020 and 22480 MW by 2031.

::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry clarifies on different GDP rates in Budget & economic survey

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Wednesday clarified that the Economic Survey and the Union Budget project different rates of nominal GDP growth for 2019-20 because they use different base figures. However, she added that the two rates were consistent with each other.

  • While the Union Budget presented on July 5 projected a nominal GDP growth of 12% for financial year 2019-20, the Economic Survey pegged this figure at 11%. Opposition leaders in the LokSabha highlighted this discrepancy and demanded why there were so many different numbers being issued by the government.

  • The Opposition also walked out of the lower House during Ms.Sitharaman’s reply to the concerns over the Budget, protesting the Budget’s announcement of a hike in the duties and cess rates on petrol and diesel.

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on Wednesday clarified that the Economic Survey and the Union Budget project different rates of nominal GDP growth for 2019-20 because they use different base figures. However, she added that the two rates were consistent with each other.

  • While the Union Budget presented on July 5 projected a nominal GDP growth of 12% for financial year 2019-20, the Economic Survey pegged this figure at 11%. Opposition leaders in the LokSabha highlighted this discrepancy and demanded why there were so many different numbers being issued by the government.

  • The Opposition also walked out of the lower House during Ms.Sitharaman’s reply to the concerns over the Budget, protesting the Budget’s announcement of a hike in the duties and cess rates on petrol and diesel.

Study in India’ programme to encourage flow of inbound international students

  • To facilitate Internationalization of Higher Education in India, a Programme viz. ‘Study in India’ is under implementation with the objectives to make India a preferred education destination/hub for foreign students.

  • The programme focuses on attracting International students from select 30 plus countries across South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

  • The programme envisages participation of select reputed Indian institutes/universities by way of offering seats for the International students at affordable rates, along with fee waivers to meritorious foreign students ranging from 100% to 25%.

  • Moreover, the programme also envisages setting up of call centres for support; algorithm for allocation of seats to the meritorious candidates; selection of top 100 partner institutions on the basis of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking; branding activities in the target countries; and close coordination with Indian missions abroad and foreign missions in India.

  • With the increase in number of foreign students, the global ranking of the Indian Higher Educational institutions will improve. The domestic students shall be exposed to a more diverse peer group and also get greater International exposure culminating in enhanced interest of Indian students to study in the country.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India urges admission of Maldives into the commonwealth

  • India has called for fast-tracking the re-admission of Maldives into the Commonwealth during the Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting held in London.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the meeting at Marlborough House yesterday on a range of issues. Mr Jaishankar also held bilateral talks with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, during his visit to the UK.

  • The Republic of Maldives had severed its ties with the 53-member organisation in 2016 and re-applied to join last year under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

  • It undertook a review of the implementation of the mandates set out during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April last year alongside discussions on the CHOGM 2020 to be held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali in June next year.

  • Mr Jaishankar, during his first visit to the UK as External Affairs Minister, also held separate bilateral talks with Foreign Affairs Ministers of Australia and Canada, as well as the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit to cover a wide range of bilateral issues.

  • The minister expressed his appreciation of the UK government's backing for Prime Minister Modi's initiative to build a global Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

India pushes UNSC to focus attention on terror networks

  • In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India has told the UN Security Council that Dawood Ibrahim's illegitimate activities from a safe haven pose a real danger, as New Delhi called for a focussed attention to address the threats by the D-Company, the JeM and the LeT.

  • India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday that terrorist organisations are increasingly involved in lucrative criminal activities such as trading in natural resources and human trafficking to raise funds.

  • He was speaking at the Security Council debate on 'Threats to International Peace and Security: Linkages between International Terrorism and Organised Crime'.

  • He further added that, criminal groups are joining hands with terrorists and are providing services such as counterfeiting, illicit financing, arms dealing, drug trafficking and smuggling terrorists across borders.

  • He emphasised that the success of a collective action to denude the ISIS is a pointer that the Council must focus to yield results.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Indian air force to adopt ASRAAM missile

  • The Indian Air Force is looking to adopt a new European visual range air to air missile across its fighter fleet.

  • The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile of European missile-maker MBDA has been approved for fitting on Jaguar jets. The IAF was looking to integrating it on the Su-30MKIs and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft as well, defence sources said.

  • It would be the first over-the-wing launched missile in the IAF inventory. All missiles are now fired from under the wing.

  • The missile was shortlisted through a tender and MBDA is working with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on the integration. After the initial trials, further modifications would be done by HAL.

  • “HAL is in talks with MDBA for integrating the missile on the LCA and the Su-30MKI as well. It will be taken up after the Jaguar integration,” the source added.

  • ASRAAM is widely used as a Within Visual Range (WVR) air dominance missile with a range of over 25km.

::SPORTS::

RakhiAndDavinder wins gold in commonwealth championships

  • RakhiHalder and DavinderKaur won a gold medal each in the senior women's section as Indian weightlifters continued their impressive show on the second day of the Commonwealth Championships in Apia Samoa today.

  • India also won five other gold medals in the junior and youth sections. The Commonwealth Championships are being held simultaneously together for the youth, junior and senior categories.

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