Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 September 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 September 2020


Government refuses demand to restore MPLADS

  • The LokSabha on Tuesday passed the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which seeks to cut salaries of MPs by 30%. The debate however saw the entire Opposition uniting to ask for a concomitant restitution of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLADs) fund which the Centre froze for two financial years till 2022 as an austerity measure.
  • Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi, steering the Bill, thanked MPs for the bipartisan support but kept mum on the question of restitution of MPLADS, despite almost every non-treasury bench speaker demanding it. Dean Kuriakose of the Congress moved a resolution before the debate on the Bill, stating his disapproval of the Bill without any restitution of MPLADs.
  • DMK MP KalanidhiVeeraswamy spoke on the need for MPLADs as a fund sensitive to local developmental needs. “The cut in salary will raise a maximum of ₹54 crores, while the Union government is set to spend ₹20,000 crore for a new Parliament, a needless expense at this time of austerity and crisis,” Mr.Veeraswamy said.
  • Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy pointed out that the government had not allocated the last tranche of the funds due for 2019-20. “I had allocated ₹50 lakh for a COVID-19 hospital in my constituency from the funds due from 2019-20 financial year but even that has not been disbursed by the government,” he said. 

Rajya Sabha passes aircraft amendment bill 2019

  • Parliament has passed the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020 with the RajyaSabha approving it today. The Bill has already been passed by the LokSabha. It  seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934.  It has provisions to convert three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies. 
  • Replying to a discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said privatization will help in the development of the airports in the country. Giving the successful privatization process of Delhi and Mumbai airports, he said, privatization of these airports have garnered 29 thousand crore rupees which were spent on the development of other airports in the country.



ADB predicts Indian economy to shrink by 9% 

  • India’s COVID-19-battered economy will shrink by 9% this fiscal, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted, saying growth outlook remains highly vulnerable to either a prolonged outbreak of the pandemic or a resurgence of cases.
  • In its Asian Development Outlook 2020 Update, ADB forecasts a strong recovery for the economy in FY21, with gross domestic product growing by 8% as mobility and business activities resume more widely.
  • “India imposed strict lockdown measures to contain the spread of the pandemic and this has had a severe impact on economic activity,” said ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada.
  • Last week, two global rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch projected the Indian economy to contract 11.5% and 10.5% respectively in the current fiscal.
  • Meanwhile,Minister of Commerce and industry PiyushGoyal has said that double digit growth in exports last week shows that country is showing rapid recovery.

MeitY works to enhance contribution of digital economy towards GDP

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) is working to enhance contribution of digital economy to 20 per cent of GDP in the next five years, a senior official said on Tuesday.
  • Meity Additional Secretary RajendraKumar added that AI and other emerging technologies will play a key role in achieving the target, and involvement of all stakeholders is needed, the statement said.
  • MYGov, National e-Governance Division and Digital India Corporation CEO Abhishek Singh said AI and emerging technologies have the potential to not just propel the economy but also create more jobs.


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India claims to have adopted multi-pronged approach to stop cross border intrusions

  • Minister of State for Home NityanandRai has said that the Government of India has adopted a multi-pronged approach to stop cross-border intrusions and secure the territories.
  • In a written reply to question in the LokSabha today, Mr Rai said, the multi-pronged approach include deployment of Border Guarding Forces along the International Borders, effective domination of the borders by patrolling, laying Nakas, manning observation posts along the borders, vulnerability mapping of Border Out Posts, deployment of surveillance equipment, strengthening of intelligence network, erection of border fencing and floodlighting and deployment of technological solutions in non-feasible areas like riverine gaps.
  • He said, regular attempts for infiltration by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir are sponsored and supported from across the border. Mr Rai informed that during the last 12 months, there were 176 infiltration attempts and net estimated infiltration was 111.
  • China has mobilised a large number of troops and armaments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as in the “depth areas”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the LokSabha on Tuesday.
  • He pointed out that there were several friction areas in eastern Ladakh, including Gogra, Kongka La and the north and south banks of PangongTso (lake).

Indian NSA walks out of SCO meeting

  • India on Tuesday responded strongly after Pakistan displayed the newly-unveiled political map of the country during the meeting of the National Security Advisers of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
  • National Security Adviser AjitDoval, who was participating in the virtual interaction, left the meeting mid-way after Pakistan displayed the map prominently behind its delegation.



KVIC brings in environment friendly handmade paper packets 

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) which ventured into E- Commerce Industry just two months ago is using handmade paper packaging materials from day one to prevent plastic pollution. 
  • KVIC is specifically using handmade paper envelopes, packets and carton boxes for packaging of articles except for liquid materials where plastic wraps are nominally used to prevent any leakage during transportation. 
  • MSME Ministry in a statement said that  KVIC, which was using plastic for packing face masks for better hygiene, has also specially designed handmade paper envelopes made of banana fiber which it will start very soon. 



BWF postpones Thomas &Uber cups

  • The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has decided to postpone the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, scheduled at Aarhus (Denmark) from October 3 to 11, until next year.
  • Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary Ajay Singhania said: “BAI stands by this decision taken by the BWF considering the health and safety of all concerned.”
  • “It is good that the organisers have taken this decision. Player safety is important and it is not the right time to play and take a huge risk on the health front,” P.V. Sindhu told The Hindu in Hyderabad.


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