Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 November 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 16 November 2019


::NATIONAL::

Defence ministry moots policy changes to cooperate with MSME productions

  •  Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari today urged scientific and research institutes based in Vidarbha to take initiative in utilizing available mineral and forest resources in the region for establishing economically viable industries based on mining, tourism and forests.

  •  He was addressing a Conference on “Small Medium Enterprises: Opportunities and possibilities, the way forward” at Nagpur today.

  •  Expressing concern over procurement policy in defence-related MSMEs, Mr Gadkari said policy formulations should be changed by the defence sector to get more work orders from MSMEs rather than large scale industries.

  •  He informed about Solar Charkha Clusters scheme being implemented in cotton-producing belts of Maharashtra. He said 13 clusters have been sanctioned in rural areas of the state wherein 2,500 solar charkhas will be provided.

  •  He also expected employment generation up to 4,500 in a taluka of Maharashtra’s every district due to these clusters.

Vice president expresses concern over menace of fake news

  •  Today is National Press Day. Speaking on the occasion in New Delhi today, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed concern over misuse of media. He said, nowadays, business groups and political parties are also starting their own newspapers and channels.

  •  Through these, they are promoting their vested interests and compromising the values of journalism. Mr. Naidu further said that sensationalizing the news, prejudiced coverage and paid news are a big challenge in front of the media today.

  •  Speaking about the dangers of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Vice president called on journalists to come forward to educate people about NCDs. He further NCDs are killing our generation, adding that poor lifestyle and food habits are behind NCDs.

  •  On the occasion, the Vice President conferred National Awards in Excellence in Journalism 2019 on journalists for their outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

  •  Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the menace of fake news is bigger than the paid news one, and it must be tackled in an efficient manner. Mr Javadekar said press freedom is the essence for a vibrant democracy, and the government is ensuring full freedom to the press.

::ECONOMY::

Next phase of resolution provisions under IBC from December

  •  The insolvency regime for individual guarantors to corporate debtors will be in force from December 1, according to the government. The provisions for resolution for individuals under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is being implemented in a phased manner.

  •  On Friday, the corporate affairs ministry said the provision pertaining to personal guarantors to corporate debtors would come into force from December 1.

  •  The Code provides for a market-driven and time-bound resolution for stressed assets.A case is taken up for resolution under the law only after approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

  •  In October, Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas said personal insolvency regime would be fully operational in one year.

  •  "In the first phase, personal guarantor to a corporate debtor is almost under commencement. The next would be the fresh start process, basically giving relief to very small borrowers who are not in a position to repay the debt. That may be in another four to six months. Then proprietorship and partnership and others," he had said.

India to host global conference on agri statistics

  •  India will host a four-day global conference on agriculture statistics beginning November 18 in the national capital and billionaire Bill Gates is scheduled to give a keynote address.

  •  The agriculture ministry is organising the international conference, held every three years, in partnership with the United Nation's FAO, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other agencies.

  •  The theme of the conference would be 'Statistics for tranformation of agriculture to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After unveiling the logo of the conference, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General Trilochan Mohapatra said Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates will deliver a keynote address.

  •  Stating that agri-data plays an extremely important role in evidence-based policy making, he said currently, agri-data in India is scattered and efforts are being made to collate at one place.

  •  The event will help India learn from global experiences and chalk out a proper policy. It will also help in achieving the SDGs, he added.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

UNGA passes draft resolution on Rohingyas

  •  The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a draft resolution on Thursday asking Myanmar to demonstrate genuine political goodwill to ensure the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas.

  •  The draft resolution named 'Situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar' was placed in the UNGA by the United Arab Emirates and Finland on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and European Union (EU).

  •  It was passed by a majority of 140 votes. Nine countries including China, Myanmar, Russian Federation and Zimbabwe voted against the resolution while 32 countries abstained.

  •  The resolution calls upon Myanmar to review the controversial 1982 citizenship law which effectively denied citizenship to lakhs of Rohingyas living in Myanmar.

  •  The resolution also demands setting up of an independent investigative mechanism to arrive at an objective conclusion about the violation of the rights in Myanmar and establish accountability.

  •  The resolution asks Myanmar to show clear political will for the safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable return and reintegration of Rohingyas for the return of Rohingya refugees.

Despite ceasefire, Israel strikes Islamic jihad targets

  •  Israel has begun another round of airstrikes on targets linked to Islamic Jihad in Gaza despite a ceasefire that came into effect yesterday.

  •  In a WhatsApp message to reporters, the Israeli Army said the Israeli Defence Force, IDF is currently striking Islamic Jihad terror targets in the Gaza strip. Counter-attack by Israel began after Islamic Jihad fired a number of rockets into Israel.

  •  The ceasefire had been agreed between Israel and the Palestinian armed group after two days of fighting in Gaza that began after Israel killed a top Islamic Jihad commander in an air raid.

  •  The announcement by the Israeli military suggested that the ceasefire, reportedly brokered by Egypt, was breaking down.

  •  Gaza medical officials have put the death toll from the two days of fighting at 34, almost half of them Palestinians civilians and including eight children and three women.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

ISRO plans second moon mission by next year end

  •  The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced their intention to send a second mission to soft-land on the Moon planned for November 2020 dubbed as Chandrayaan 3 mission.

  •  The Indian Space Agency’s first and recent attempt went awry on 7 September 2019 and resulted in a partial failure of Chandrayaan 2 mission after communication was lost with mission’s lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan) which crash-landed on Moon while attempting a soft-landing.

  •  However, the Chandrayaan 2 mission is still survived by the Orbiter which has captured highest resolution visuals ever taken of Moon by its High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) from an altitude of ~100 km.

  •  For the new mission, engineers and scientists at Indian space agency will only design and build an entirely new lander and rover.

  •  Since Chandrayaan 2 mission already has a functional orbiter that is currently in orbit around Moon, Chandrayaan 3 will not feature an orbiter of its own. However, no final decision has been taken by ISRO on the number of payloads on the lander.

  •  The lander and rover will be accompanied by an additional ‘detachable module’ that packs engine and fuel needed for journey and this module will tentatively be called ‘Propulsion Module’.

  •  The Chandrayaan 3 mission will also feature fewer orbital manoeuvers than Chandrayaan 2, which had a total of 6 orbit raises around Earth and the Moon.

::SPORTS::

Sports ministry wants Fit India movement to be taken up as a citizen’s movement

  •  Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju today said Fit India movement must become a citizen's movement. Giving the keynote address in Conference of Ministers and Secretaries of the States and UTs for Youth Affairs and Sports in New Delhi this morning, Mr Rijiju said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed all Ministries that Fit India must be a part of their action.

  •  He added that Fit India is a way of life and it should be encouraged in such a manner that each state competes with the others on which is the fittest state in India.

  •  The Minister also said that India is fast emerging as a sporting powerhouse and in the last six months, the country has performed better in every field be it wushu or wrestling.

  •  He said merely bagging a couple of medals in Olympics is not enough and India must be aggressive. He said sports culture should be created in the country and India must rank within the top ten countries in the Olympics.

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