Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 September 2020


Hindi Diwas being celebrated across the country

  • Hindi Diwas is being celebrated across the country today. It was on this day in 1949 that the constituent assembly adopted Hindi written in Devanagari as the official language of the country. Today, Hindi is one of the widely spoken languages in the world and the first language of more than 520 million people.
  • Government has taken several steps to promote the Rajbhasha and at the international forums, Hindi is being well received. The pioneer was the former Prime Minister AtalBihari Vajpayee whose address to the UN General Assembly is still recalled by one and all.
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi today congratulated and extended best wishes to the people on the occasion of Hindi Diwas. In a tweet, Mr Modi congratulated all the linguists who contributed to the development of Hindi.
  • On Hindi Diwas, Home Minister Amit Shah has also expressed his gratitude to all those who contributed to the strengthening of the Hindi language. In a tweet, Mr Shah said, the greatest strength of Hindi is its scientificness, originality and simplicity. 
  • He said, with the new education policy of NarendraModi government, there will be parallel development of Hindi and other Indian languages. Home Minister appealed to people of the country to contribute towards promotion and protection of Hindi language along with their mother tongue.

New International standards of emission and safety measures to be implemented by central government

  • The Union Government has embarked upon a transformational programme of implementing international standards of emission and safety measures in the transport vehicles. The government is moving on the path of a long-term regulatory road map for the automobile industry to grow and increase its contribution to Gross Domestic Product. 
  • The Ministry said, it has already notified a number of regulations for upgrading emission and safety features in Indian automobiles. These include the draft notifications for anti-lock braking systems, airbags, speed systems, reverse parking assist and crash standards.
  • The Ministry is also in the process of finalization of implementation of standards for Eectronic Stability Control systems and brake assist systems for relevant categories by next two years. The Ministry said, it is contemplating higher level of safety for all categories of vehicles.



States submit borrowing options to meet GST compensation shortfall

  • At least 13 States have given their borrowing options proposed by the GST Council to meet their compensation shortfall so far. The 12 States which have preferred to opt for Borrowing Option 1 are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha.
  • Only one state, Manipur has so far opted for the Borrowing Option 2. Sources in the Finance Ministry said, six more states - Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh will be giving their option in a day or two. 
  • Last month, the GST Council in its 41st meeting had given two borrowing options to its member states to enable them to meet their compensation shortfall. The Option 1 offered the States to borrow the shortfall arising out of GST implementation, estimated at 97 thousand crore rupees approximately to be borrowed through issue of debt under a special window coordinated by the Ministry of Finance.
  • The Option is to ensure steady flow of resources similar to the flow under GST compensation on a bi-monthly basis. The Option-2 has offered the States to borrow the entire compensation shortfall of two lakh 35 thousand crore rupees (including the Covid-impact portion) through issue of market debt.

Singapore convention on mediation implemented

  • The Singapore Convention on Mediation came into force on Saturday and will provide a more effective way for enforcing mediated settlements of corporate disputes involving businesses in India and other countries that are signatories to the Convention.
  • Also known as the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, this is also the first UN treaty to be named after Singapore.
  • “With the Convention in force, businesses seeking enforcement of a mediated settlement agreement across borders can do so by applying directly to the courts of countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, instead of having to enforce the settlement agreement as a contract in accordance with each country’s domestic process,” an official statement said on Saturday.
  • The harmonised and simplified enforcement framework under the Convention translates to savings in time and legal costs, which is important for businesses in times of uncertainty, such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Law said.


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ASEAN-India Plan of Action adopted for 5 years

  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar co-chaired the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Saturday along with his Thailand counterpart Don Pramudwinai. The meeting was held virtually and saw the participation of Foreign Ministers of the ten ASEAN Member States and India. 
  • It reviewed the status of ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership in several areas including maritime cooperation, connectivity, education and capacity building and people-to-people contacts. It also reviewed the progress in implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action, 2016-2020.
  • The meeting also reviewed the preparations for the upcoming 17th ASEAN-India Summit and also the progress in the implementation of key decisions of the Leaders of ASEAN Member States and India arrived at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit held in Bangkok in November 2019 and the previous summits.
  • The new ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025) was adopted at the Meeting. The Ministers discussed ways to strengthen cooperation to fight COVID-19 pandemic and exchanged views on important regional and international developments.

Bangladesh protests against Myanmar troop movement

  • The government of Bangladesh has lodged a protest with Myanmar against suspicious movement of troops along its border.
  • The Ambassador of Myanmar to Bangladesh AungKyawMoeand was summoned to the foreign office on Sunday to convey that such movements could create confusion against the backdrop of the Rohingya crisis, reported the official news agency BSS.



Punjab government to convert stubble into biomass fuel

  • The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) in association with the Government of Punjab, is soon coming up with an alternative for paddy stubble utilisation. Stubble burning is one of the biggest problems in north India to curb this, the Punjab government’s own agency; PEDA is playing a stellar role in weeding out the problem indigenously.
  • PEDA, which is a state nodal agency is working towards the promotion and development of renewable energy for more than the last thirty years. The agency has set up 11 biomass power plants where 97.50 megawatts (MW) of power is generated.
  • In these plants, less than 5 per cent of the total 20 million tonnes paddy stubble which is around 8.80 lakh metric tonnes of paddy stubble, is used annually to generate power. Most of these plants are 4-18 MW and are consuming 36,000 to 1,62,000 metric tonnes stubble annually.



Australia bets England in first ODI

  • Australia defeated England by 19 runs in the 1st One Day International at Manchester today. 
  • Chasing a score of 295, England were reduced to 57-4 after a fine opening spell from pacer Josh Hazlewood. A fighting knock of 118 by Billings  and an 88 from Jonny Bairstow gave England some hope, but the hosts could not get on top of the creeping run-rate and finished at 275-9


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