Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 May 2020


Centre extends deadline for Aadhar-ration card seeding

  • The Centre has extended the deadline given to all States and Union Territories to complete the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with all ration cards till 30th of September this year.
  • It also clarified that until then no genuine beneficiary will be denied from entitled quota of food grains and their names or ration cards will not be d or cancelled only on the ground of not possessing an Aadhaar number. Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued clear instructions to all States in this regard.
  • The Ministry also rejected media reports that ration cards of those who do not provide Aadhar number will be cancelled.
  • It has also issued instructions that food grains under National Food Security Act, NFSA will not be denied due to failure of biometric Aadhaar authentication of beneficiary because of poor biometrics, issues with network connectivity or linking or any other technical reasons.
  • The Ministry said, during the current crisis situation, a pragmatic approach is needed so that no poor or deserving person or family is denied access to food grains.
  • In order to achieve seamless inter-state portability transactions of a ration card, it is essential to have a Centralized Repository for maintaining unique ration cards and beneficiaries’ data of all states covered under NFSA.

Data protocol norms for Arogya Setu app released

  • Data of nearly 13,000 Aarogya Setu App users who have tested positive for COVID-19 have so far been transferred to the server for health intervention, says Ajay Sawhney, Chairman, Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management.
  • On Monday, he issued an order notifying the ................................................



Reports suggest fiscal deficit to come down to 5.8%

  • After the government's move to raise its market borrowing programme for the current financial year by Rs 4.2 lakh crore, a foreign brokerage on Monday estimated the fiscal deficit to come at 5.8 per cent of the GDP in FY21 as against the budget target of 3.5 per cent.
  • In a report, analysts at Bank of America also revised down their GDP growth estimate to 0.5 per cent for the current fiscal year, as against the earlier estimate of 1.5 per cent adding that they fear that the lockdown my extend beyond May.
  • It can be noted that due to the heavy dip in growth - it was supposed to hit a decadal low of 5 per cent in FY20 as per official estimates - the government is forced to spend extra to help restrict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
  • On likely routes of funding the fiscal deficit, it said the options before policymakers may include open market operations by the Reserve Bank with a new calendar being put out by Governor Shaktikanta Das to comfort markets, a direct monetisation where RBI can directly subscribe to government debt or incentivising banks to put their surplus in money markets, it said.
  • The focus of the new package will be on small businesses, real estate and the banking sector, it said, adding that this is after assuming a slip in growth to 0.5 per cent, the brokerage said.

Survey finds lockdown has brought in change in buying behaviour

  • The coronavirus lockdown has brought a sea change in the buying behaviour of many Indians, such as purchasing vegetables and other consumables without asking for prices, far from the old habit of asking 'dhaniya' or 'mirchi' free from vendors, according to a survey by Enormous Brands.
  • It found that there has also been a sharp...............................................


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Saudi Arabia to raise VAT from 5-15% from July

  • In a significant decision , the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to raise value added tax (VAT) from 5 percent to 15 percent starting from 1st July and has taken a decision to suspend cost of living allowance starting from 1st June, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.
  • The Kingdom has also decided to cancel, extend, or postpone some operational and capital expenditures for some government agencies, as well reduce provisions for initiative of a number of Vision Realization Programs and major projects for the fiscal year 2020.
  • SPA quoting the Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Economy and Planning, Mohammad Aljadaan, said that the measures are being undertaken to protect the Saudi economy and overcome the unprecedented financial and economic ramifications of the global coronavirus pandemic in the best way possible.
  • The Minister said that these “measures that have been undertaken today, as tough as they are, are necessary and beneficial to maintain comprehensive financial and economic stability on the medium and long-term for the interest of the country and its citizens”.
  • The Minister added that the government is committed to taking necessary and timely measures to protect citizens and residents, as well as the economy to mitigate the effects of the crisis and its ramifications.
  • The Minister emphasized that the crisis caused by the global pandemic resulted in three economic shocks, each of which could in itself have an extremely negative effect on the performance and stability of public finance had the government not intervened by taking measures to absorb them.
  • The Minister explained that due to the precautionary measures undertaken worldwide to combat the pandemic, the first economic shock was the unprecedented decline in oil demand, which led to lower oil prices and a sharp decline in oil revenue that represents a main source of public revenue for the state budget.

China threatens on retaliation over U.S visa rules

  • China on Monday threatened to retaliate against a U.S. rule that tightening visa restrictions on Chinese journalists, in an escalating row after Beijing expelled more than a dozen American reporters.
  • Citing China’s treatment of the reporters, the ....................................................



National technology day being celebrated across the country

  • National Technology Day is being observed today to signify the glorious achievements of Indian science and technology. On this day in 1998, India successfully carried out nuclear tests in Rajasthan's Pokhran.
  • On the same day India also performed successful test firing of the Trishul Missile and had test flown the first indigenous aircraft - ‘Hansa - 3’. A high-level digital conference on Rebooting the Economy through ...................................



Sania Mirza wins Fed cup heart award

  • Tennis star Sania Mirza on Monday became the first Indian to win the Fed Cup Heart Award for her successful return to the court post-motherhood.
  • Sania won the award for Asia/Oceania zone after securing more than 10,000 votes out of the total 16,985 online votes cast for this year’s three regional Group I nominees.
  • The award is an International Tennis Federation initiative to recognise those Fed Cup players who represent their countries with distinction, show exceptional courage on court and demonstrate outstanding commitment to the ideals of the competition.

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