Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 September 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 September 2019


::NATIONAL::

India raises voice against terror groups at UNHRC

  • India has said, it is time to collectively take decisive and firm action against terror groups and their abettors who threaten the fundamental human right to life. Making a statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC in Geneva.

  • Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Vijay Thakur Singh said, the world should call out those who are misusing the UNHRC platform for malicious political agendas under the garb of human rights. Without naming Pakistan, she said, those who are attempting to speak on the human rights of minorities in other countries are trampling upon them at will in their own country. She said, they cry victim when they actually are the perpetrators.

  • Exercising its right to respond to Pakistan Foreign Minister's statements at the UNHRC, First Secretary of Permanent Mission of India to UN, Vimarsh Aryan said, India is not surprised at Pakistan's hysterical statements with false narratives aimed to politicize and polarize the forum. He said, Pakistan realizes that India's decision cuts away ground from under its feet by creating obstacles in its continuing sponsorship of cross-border terrorism.

  • Amidst Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's provocative anti-India statements, Aryan said, some Pakistani leaders have even gone as far as calling for jihad to encourage violence in Jammu and Kashmir and third countries to create a picture of genocide, which even they know is far from reality.

  • The diplomat said, Pakistan's nefarious designs will never succeed because people of India are united in their determination to preserve the territorial integrity along with the core values of democracy, tolerance and unity in diversity.

  • The First Secretary said, Pakistan which is the epi-centre of global terrorism, is claiming to speak on behalf of unnamed countries on the issue of human rights and it is forgetting that terrorism is the worst form of human rights abuse.

PM to launch national animal disease control programme

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has reached Mathura. He will launch today the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in the livestock.

  • The programme aims at vaccinating over 500 Million Livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the disease. It will be implemented for a period of five years till 2024 at a cost of 12, 652 crore rupees. The objective of the programme is to control Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis by 2025 and their eradication by 2030.

  • Both the diseases have a direct negative impact on the trade of milk and other livestock products. The launch of the scheme will give a major push towards government's efforts in doubling the Farmers' Income.

  • The Prime Minister will also launch National Artificial Insemination Programme during the event. He will also visit PashuVigyanEvamArogyaMela and launch Babugarh Sex Semen facility.

  • In addition, Mr Modi will launch simultaneously countrywide workshops in KrishiVigyanKendras in all the 687 districts of the country on the topic of vaccination and diseases management, artifical insemination and productivity. During his visit to Mathura, the Prime Minister will also take up the Swachhta Hi Seva Programme.

::ECONOMY::

Emerging Asia to drive economic growth in future claims petroleum ministry

  • Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel DharmendraPradhan has said that emerging Asia will be driving the world economic growth in the coming 20 years.

  • Addressing the opening session of the Eighth Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER8) in Abu Dhabi yesterday, Mr Pradhan stressed that the low income and low per capita energy consuming countries should have access to technology and capital when it comes to energy efficiency.

  • He underlined the need for comprehensive responses, by involving all stakeholders and spoke of strengthening the bilateral, regional and multilateral relationships to achieve energy security and energy justice for all.

  • AIR correspondent reports that Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, DharmendraPradhan in his opening remarks spoke of the shift of the global energy consumption to Asia and stressed that this change should be rooted in Energy Justice.

  • He stressed that there is need for comprehensive responses, by involving all stakeholders and strengthening of bilateral, regional and multilateral relationships to achieve energy security and energy justice for all.

India-China holds strategic economic dialogue

  • The sixth India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, SED, concluded in New Delhi today.Both the sides agreed that SED has emerged as a crucial mechanism to facilitate bilateral trade, investment and enhance economic cooperation.

  • According to an official release, the two sides held in-depth discussions to review trade and investment climate, and harness synergies for future engagement.

  • Potential areas of collaboration across innovation and investment focusing on fintech and related technologies were highlighted.

  • The Indian side was led by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Dr. Rajiv Kumar and the Chinese side by HeLifeng, Chairman, NDRC. During his intervention, Dr. Rajiv Kumar emphasized on taking concrete steps to address India’s trade imbalance with China.

  • The two countries noted the significant progress made in the feasibility study on Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore railway up-gradation project and personal training of Indian senior railway management staff in China.

  • They held detailed discussions on identifying the next steps in all areas of cooperation as well as on taking forward the study project exploring the possibility of Delhi-Agra high-speed railway in the pilot section.

  • They identified future areas of collaboration and resolved to work on Renewable Energy space, Clean coal technology sector, Smart Grid and Grid integration and Smart meters and E-mobility sectors.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

China extends support for Pak territorial integrity

  • China and Pakistan appear to have addressed their “core” concerns over Xinjiang and Kashmir during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi to Islamabad.

  • During a meeting with Pakistan’s army chief, QamarJavedBajwa on Sunday, Mr. Wang pledged support for Pakistan’s “sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity,” in a veiled message of reassurance to Pakistan, which apprehends further changes in the status quo after India revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

  • Mr. Wang also said that Beijing will “firmly support the Pakistani government in achieving national stability and development and prosperity; and firmly support Pakistan to play a more constructive role in regional international affairs,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry read out on the Wang-Bajwa meeting said.

  • The statement quoted General Bajwa, as saying that Pakistan “will continue to support China on issues involving China's core interests”.

  • Analysts see this as an apparent message of support in Xinjiang, where Beijing has exercised zero tolerance to Uyghur Muslims, who are demanding a separate statehood. Radical Uyghur separatists are suspected to have links with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

India –ASEAN agrees to review free trade agreement

  • India and 10-member bloc of South-East Asian nations have agreed to review their free trade agreement, signed in 2009, to make it more business-friendly and boost economic ties.

  • The two sides also decided to constitute a joint committee for this purpose, according to a statement.

  • This was agreed upon during the meeting between Economic Ministers of ASEAN and Commerce Minister PiyushGoyal in Bangkok on September 10. They met for the 16th AEM-India consultations.

  • Both the sides also gained the recommendations of the ASEAN-India business council to further promote the potential of bilateral trade through the utilisation of the free trade pact as well as cooperation in some areas like financial technology, connectivity, startups and innovation.

  • The India-ASEAN trade in goods pact came into force from January 2010.Under the pact, two trading partners set timelines for eliminating duties on the maximum number of goods traded between the two regions.

  • The 10 ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam.The bilateral trade between the two sides has increased to $80.8 billion in 2018 from $73.6 billion in 2017.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

New ginger species discovered from Nagaland

  • Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered two new species of Zingiber, commonly referred to as ginger, from Nagaland. While Zingiberperenense has been discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland, Zingiberdimapurense was found in the Dimapur district of the State.•
  •  Details of both discoveries were published in two peer-reviewed journals earlier this year. Of the two species, Zingiberdimapurense is taller in size, with leafy shoots measuring 90-120 cm high, whereas the leafy shoots of Zingiberperenense reach up to 70 cm in height.
  • Previous discoveries of Zingiber include Hedychiumchingmeianum from the Tuensang district of Nagaland, Caulokaempferiadinabandhuensis from the Ukhrul district in Manipur in 2017, and Zingiberbipinianum from Meghalaya in 2015.
  • NripemoOdyou, another scientist with the BSI, who also contributed to both the new discoveries in 2019, said that the high diversity of ginger species in northeast India reveals that the climate is conducive for the growth and diversity of the genus.
  • The rhizome of Zingiberofficinale (common ginger) is used as a spice in kitchens across Asia, and also for its medicinal value. Botanists said that other wild species of Zingiber may have immense horticultural importance.

::SPORTS::

Steve Smith tops in ICC test rankings

  • Australian batsman Steve Smith has extended his lead over India skipper ViratKohli at the number one spot in the ICC Test batsmen rankings.

  • Smith now has a lead of 34 points over Kohli as the rankings were revealed today. The 30-year-old batsman scored 293 runs in the fourth Test and as a result, he has further consolidated his position.

  • With this, he is virtually assured of the top spot after the end of the five-match series between Australia and England.

  • Aussie pacer Pat Cummins also remains at the top spot in the bowlers' rankings. The bowler took seven wickets in the recently concluded match and as a result, he has 63-rating points ahead of the second-placed Proteas bowler KagisoRabada.

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