Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 14 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

IMD issues red alert as heavy rain lashes across north India

  • Heavy rain lashed several parts of North India, including the national capital last night. Under the influence of a western disturbance, Delhi experienced rain with strong winds, which is expected to improve the city's air quality.

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast rain and high-velocity winds in the national capital today. The IMD said, the temperature is likely to drop in Delhi from tomorrow and reach single digit.

  • A number of flights at IGI Airport in Delhi were diverted yesterday due to heavy rain.According to Metoffice, rains are also likely to occur in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

  • Due to the extreme cold and heavy snowfall in Uttarakhand, all schools have been closed in Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Dehradun districts today. The state has issued a red for heavy to very heavy snowfall in Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Chamoli today.

  • The high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh including the famous ski resort of Gulmarg experienced moderate snowfall while the plains were lashed by rains yesterday.

  • The weatherman has issued an orange warning for the twin Union Territories for today, predicting moderate to heavy snowfall and rain under the influence of Western Disturbance which had hit the region on Wednesday.

LokSabha adjourned sine die

  • LokSabha has been adjourned sine die. As the House assembled for the last day of the Winter Session this morning, homage was paid to the martyrs in the 13th December terror attack on Parliament in 2001.

  • Later, Minister for State for Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal raised the issue of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi making certain remarks about the spate of rape incidents in the country, which he termed objectionable. He demanded an apology from Mr. Gandhi.

  • Over the issue, the ruling BJP members trooped into the well. Congress members were on their feet demanding the Question Hour to be held. As pandemonium continued, Speaker, Om Birla adjourned the House till 12 Noon.

  • As the ruckus continued after the House re-assembled, it was adjourned for fifteen minutes, but there was no improvement in the situation even afterwards.

  • Speaker Om Birla gave an account of the performance of the Winter Session, thanking all concerned for the efficient functioning of the House. He then adjourned the House sine die.

::ECONOMY::

Centre releases economic census foe New Delhi

  • The Seventh Economic Census was today launched in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has tied up with Common Service Centre to carry out the economic census.

  • Director General (Social Statistics) of Central Statistics Office Mr A K Sadhu said, for the first time the entire census is being conducted on a digital platform by the use of an application which will ensure high accuracy and data security.

  • He said, Delhi is the 26th State where the survey has been launched. The process is already on in 20 States and five Union Territories.MrSandhu said, in Delhi, the entire process will take around three months where enumerators will survey around 45 lakh establishments and households.

  • The process of the economic census was first held in 1978. This is the Seventh Census which will provide disaggregated information on various operational and structural aspects of all establishments in the country.

  • Over 1.5 lakh trained enumerators have been deployed for the pan-India survey who will be visiting 35 crore establishments and households to carry out the Census.

  • The census will provide valuable insights into the geographical spread, clusters of economic activities, ownership pattern and persons engaged of the establishments engaged in economic activity.

  • In the Seventh Census, an IT-based digital platform is being used for data capture, validation, report generation and dissemination.

Finance ministry assures addressing of problems of industries

  • Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman has said that government is working on economic issues and will continue to address the problem of the industries.

  • She was briefing media in New Delhi today. On the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, She said, the government has been very quick-footed on the issue. Ms Sitharaman said, Pre-budgetary consultations are beginning from Monday.

  • In a presentation, Chief Economic Adviser, Krishnamurti Subramanian said, the continued liberalization has resulted in record Foreign Direct Investment inflows of 35 billion dollars in the first half of the current year.

  • He said, Government has also carried out the disinvestment in non-priority areas where competitive markets have come of age. He said, capitalization of public sector banks and giving last-mile funding to realty projects were announced.

  • Revenue Secretary Ajay BhushanPandey said, Integrated-GST refund of 38,988 crore rupees has been released so far this fiscal as compared to 56,057 crore rupees in full 2018-19 financial year.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India reiterates commitment for strong and peaceful Maldives

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has reiterated India’s commitment to partner the Government of the Maldives for a strong, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Maldives.

  • Interacting with Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid who called on him in New Delhi today, Mr Modi conveyed his compliments on the achievement of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in its first year.

  • He noted with satisfaction the enhanced level of engagement between India and Maldives and the positive outcomes of bilateral cooperation during the last one year.

  • The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the discussions during the Sixth Joint Commission Meeting will enable both sides to review progress and chart even a more ambitious way forward to further strengthen and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation.

  • The Maldivian Foreign Minister thanked Mr Modi for his vision and strong leadership in driving the India-Maldives relationship.Meanwhile, the 6th India-Maldives Joint Commission Meeting, JCM was held in New Delhi today.

  • Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid co-chaired the meeting with External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar to induct further momentum in bilateral ties between the two countries.

  • After the meeting, three MoUs were signed and exchanged. One of the MoUs is on cooperation between the Election Commissions of India and Maldives and another on cooperation between the Financial Intelligence Units.

U.S and China agree upon tariff concession and structural reforms

  • The US and China have announced the phase one trade agreement, bringing a big breakthrough after over 18-month-long bruising trade war between the world's two largest economies threatening to roil the global economy.

  • The phase one of the deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.

  • The deal says if China breaks any part of the agreement, the Trump administration has the ability to re-implement tariffs. US negotiators are offering to significantly reduce existing tariffs on Chinese imports worth about 360 billion dollars.

  • In return, China has promised to buy large quantities of US soybeans, poultry and other agricultural products.

  • If the new, higher tariffs had gone ahead, Chinese-made goods such as smartphones, clothing and toys would have become more expensive for Americans just ahead of Christmas.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

FSSAI to develop app to prevent food wastage

  • Food regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and Nasscom Foundation, a trade association of Indian IT and Business Process Outsourcing industry, have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly build a technology platform to prevent food wastage and encouraging food donation by developing an app for the purpose.

  • The collaboration is a significant step in the direction of leveraging technology for solutions of social problems

  • FSSAI and Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) Foundation will develop a common 24×7 helpline number and a mobile application ‘Food Donation in India’ to donate food to the needy. The helpline number will connect donors with surplus edibles to food distribution organisations.

  • Platform will help in facilitating registration of surplus food distribution organisations. Initially, the network of 81 such organizations across India, known as Indian Food Sharing Alliance (IFSA) will be a part of the platform.

  • The collaboration would provide a recognition to organisations involved in surplus food distribution and would help in reducing the wastage of food in country through food donation.

  • This solution will also provide an easy accessible platform that will cater to different stakeholders such as food businesses, hoteliers, caterers, individuals etc and will facilitate food donations in any part of country.

::SPORTS::

FIH releases new ranking system for 2020

  • The International Hockey Federation (FIH) unveiled a new world ranking system for 2020 in Lausanne, Switzerland today.

  • It will come into effect from the first of next month. For a better reflection of current performances, the new ranking will be match-based instead of tournament-based calculation.

  • The FIH said, the new world ranking system has been launched after 12 months of painstaking research, analysis and testing.It cited numerous restrictions of the tournament-based system for the change.

  • The world body governing hockey also said that the new model removes much of the subjectivity surrounding continental weighing by creating a system which is fair to all.

  • The outgoing world ranking system was in existence since 2003. It was originally devised to allocate teams into pools at tournaments.

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