Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 December 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 11 December 2019


President calls for strengthening of human rights at ground level

  • President Ram NathKovind today said effective strengthening of human rights at ground level is the collective task of whole society.
  • Speaking at a function in New Delhi on the occasion of Human Rights Day, Mr Kovind said incidents of crime against women have been reported from many parts of the country recently. He said such incidents force people to think whether society has lived up to its vision of equal rights.
  • The President said the ideal way to commemorate the day is for the whole world to introspect what more is to be done to uphold the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.
  • Mr Kovind said people should not ignore their duties as well. He added that Mahatma Gandhi saw rights and duties as two sides from the same coin. He said India's national discourse has rightly focused on human rights and it can make space for duties as well.
  • The President hailed National Human Rights Commission, NHRC's role in spreading awareness about human rights. He said NHRC is ever vigilant and the fact that almost all recommendations made by NHRC are accepted by government is indicative of its credibility. He said since inception, NHRC has provided relief to thousands and set wrongdoings right.

Social security code introduced in Loksabha

  • The Code on Social Security, 2019 was introduced in the LokSabha today. It aims at reducing the number of legislations on employees’ welfare and social security from 44 to just four.
  • Minister for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar told the House, the Code is meant for streamlining a plethora of existing labour laws.
  • He said elaborate deliberations have been made before drafting it. He said the Code will do away with the complexities involved in social security with the existing regulations.
  • Opposing its introduction, NK Premachandran of the RSP said the proposed legislation would curtail the existing privileges of the workers.
  • Saugata Roy of the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) said the Code has not been demanded by any of the Central Trade Unions.
  • He expressed concern that linking social security schemes with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code would be detrimental to the interest of workers.


Govt.prepares plan to improve EODB rankings

  • The government on Tuesday set out the roadmap to get India to break into the top 50 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings with Prime Minister NarendraModi brainstorming with ministries.
  • India is currently ranked 63 and the government is putting special emphasis on areas such as enforcement of contracts, registering property, starting a business and paying taxes, while maintaining its focus on improving on other aspects to move up the rankings.
  • While the government has set up special courts to improve the environment on enforcement of contracts, sources said, this aspect may need attention to behavioural change apart from greater sensitisation.
  • Similarly, in case of property registration, gains may not be immediately visible as the World Bank wants a near overhaul of the system with greater digitisation and availability of property records for several years.
  • There were several reforms initiatives that were discussed, which have been rejected. For instance, there was a proposal to include operational creditors — such as vendors — in the committee of creditors that decides on corporate bankruptcy resolution, which has been trashed as it would require rewriting of the Insolvency Code.

India reduce emission intensity by 21% of GDP

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, PrakashJavadekar has said India has reduced emission intensity of its GDP (gross domestic product) by 21 per cent and is on track to achieve the goal of 35 per cent emission reduction as promised in Paris.
  • Addressing 25th session of Conference of Parties (COP) under the UN framework convention of Climate Change, in Madrid, Spain, Mr Javadekar presented India's stand and said India is keeping its promises on reducing the emissions.
  • He said, Climate change is real and the world recognised it and adopted a comprehensive agreement in Paris.
  • He appealed to concentrate on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and not digress. He said India is providing a convenient action plan.
  • The 25th Conference of Parties (COP 25), which commenced on December 2 in the Spanish capital and is likely to go on till December 13. It is being attended by over 190 countries.

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India claims statement by USCIRF on citizenship bill not warranted

  • India has said the statement made by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is neither accurate nor warranted.
  • In response to queries regarding comments made by USCIRF on the Bill, External Affars Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it is regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it has little knowledge and no locus standi.
  • Mr Kumar said the Bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries.
  • He said it seeks to address their current difficulties and meet their basic human rights and such an initiative should be welcomed, not criticized by those who are genuinely committed to religious freedom.
  • Mr Kumar added that the Citizenship Amendment Bill does not affect the existing avenues available to all communities interested in seeking citizenship from doing so. He pointed out that the recent record of granting such citizenship would bear out the Government's objectivity in that regard.

Bangladeshi judicial officers to undergo training in India

  • A batch of 40 Judicial officers of Bangladesh visited the Indian High Commission in Dhaka today. They will leave for training in India from 13-27 December.
  • They will be in training at the Judicial Academy of Madhya Pradesh in Bhopal and other judicial academies of the states.The government of India will be training about 1500 judicial officers at its various judicial academies over a period of time.
  • On an average, about 160 judicial officers from Bangladesh are trained in India every year.These judicial officers of Bangladesh serve in various judicial capacities in districts of Bangladesh.
  • Addressing the Judicial officers India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that Indian judiciary is widely respected by people and it protects the civil liberties of people through the system of writ petitions.


ISRO to launch its latest earth observation satellite today

  • The countdown for the launch of PSLC-C48 mission began yesterday evening, as the rocket will be launched today at 3.25PM.
  • "The countdown for the launch of #PSLVC48/#RISAT2BR1 mission commenced today at 1640 Hrs (IST) from SatishDhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota," ISRO said in a tweet.
  • This mission is a very important one, as it marks the 50th launch of PSLV and the 75th launch from Sriharikota.
  • The PSLV rocket is expected to blast off with RISAT-2BR1. It is a sharp-eyes surveillance satellite with synthetic aperture radar. ISRO is planning to launch the satellite from SatishDhawan Space Centre.
  • These international satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited.


WADA bans Russia from international sporting events

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, today banned Russia for four years, from participation in global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.
  • WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald, speaking at a meeting of the body's executive committee at Lausanne in Switzerland, said the full list of recommendations has been unanimously accepted.
  • Russia's anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.
  • The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.
  • Earlier, WADA investigators and the International Olympic Committee had accused last month that evidences showed that Russian authorities tampered with a Moscow laboratory database to hide hundreds of potential doping cases and falsely shift the blame onto whistle-blowers.

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