Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 November 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 17 November 2019


::NATIONAL::

Govt. claims Swachh Bharat mission has declined deaths due to Malaria and diarrhoea

  •  Union Minister of Health Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the sixth National Summit on 'Good and Replicable Practice and Innovations in Public Healthcare System in India’ at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The 3 days summit was organized under the aegis of the Union Health and Family Welfare ministry.
  •  Speaking on this occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the aim of the Modi Government is Health for all and the government needs cooperation from all to achieve it.
  •  The minister said, over 10 crore toilets have been built since the launching of Swachcha Bharat Mission.He said that quality medical education is their priority and they have added 15,700 new MBBS seats in AIIMS and Government Medical colleges in the country.
  •  Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that the incidence of killer diseases like Malaria, Cancer and Diaria has significantly fallen during the last one year. There has been a drop in maternity mortality rate also, said the minister.
  •  The summit will feature 9 sessions wherein a number of states such as Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Orissa, Manipur, Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala would provide insights on the successful projects undertaken in the domain of health.

Home ministry claims development of tribal community is govt.s priority

  •  Home Minister Amit Shah has said that the development of the tribal communities is the priority of the Narendra Modi led government.

  •  Inaugurating the National Tribal Festival - Aadi Mahotsav in New Delhi today, Mr Shah said, whenever the BJP came to power, it always worked for the welfare of tribal communities.

  •  Hitting out at Congress, Mr Shah accused the party of using the tribal communities for vote banks. He said, Congress neglected the development and welfare of tribals.

  •  The Home Minister stressed on the need to conserve the nature saying Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is transforming the lives of tribals.

  •  The theme of the 15-day Mahotsav is a celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce.

  •  The Aadi Mahotsav is an effort to take tribal commerce to the next level of digital and electronic transactions. The tribal textiles manufactured by master tribal craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South and from Gujarat in the West to Nagaland/Sikkim in the East will be the main attractions.

  •  For the first time, the Aadi Mahotsav is showcasing a wide range of products from the tribal artisans from Leh in Ladakh. 254 stalls have been set up and one thousand tribal artisans and artists are participating in the tribal festival.

::ECONOMY::

Finance ministry discusses simplification of GST filing process

  •  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has chaired a meeting on simplification of GST forms and returns.

  •  In a series of tweets, Finance Ministry said, as a part of the ongoing efforts to address the concern raised on the process of filing GST forms, Mrs Sitharaman met Rajasthan Tax Consultants' Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Confederation Of All India Traders and Laghu Udyog Bharti in New Delhi yesterday.

  •  The aim of the exercise was to further simplify GST forms and make the filling process more user-friendly.

  •  The Finance Minister directed that extensive nation-wide consultations should be held on the new GST return system to be launched from the next financial year.

Centre releases tap water quality rankings for cities

  •  Mumbai has topped the quality of tap water ranking released by Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today. Delhi is at the bottom, with all 11 samples failing on 19 parameters.

  •  The Minister released the much-awaited investigation report of samples of drinking water taken from capitals of 20 states across the country in New Delhi.

  •  Mr Paswan said, none of the samples drawn from Chandigarh, Thiruvananthapuram, Patna, Bhopal, Guwahati, Bengaluru, Gandhi Nagar, Lucknow, Jammu, Jaipur, Dehradun, Chennai and Kolkata complied with the requirements of the Indian Standard.

  •  He said, drinking water and pollution are the biggest problems that the country is facing today.

  •  Mr. Paswan said, drinking water testing will be completed by January 15, next year in 100 smart cities.

  •  The minister added that the government has set a target of providing piped water to every household by 2024 and it is working in this direction.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India-U.S holds bilateral discussions on sidelines of ADMM plus in Bangkok

  •  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of Defence Dr. Mark T. Esper on the sidelines of ADMM Plus today at Bangkok.

  •  Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and USA, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed that the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of sectors including Defence and Security, Economy, Energy, Counter-Terrorism and People to People ties.

  •  Defence Minister conveyed that there is growing convergence between India and USA on the Indo-Pacific region and India's vision is for Indo-Pacific is for a free and open, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive region supported by a rules-based order and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

  •  ASEAN is central to India's vision of Indo-Pacific. Both countries are working together in the area of Maritime security including elements such as joint exercises, HADR operations and Maritime Domain Awareness.

  •  The two Ministers also had discussions on a number of other issues concerning regional security and bilateral defence cooperation.

  •  The meeting ended on a positive note and Defence Minister looks forward to have substantial discussions during the forthcoming 2 plus 2 dialogue in Washington DC later next month.

Gotabaya wins presidential elections in Srilanka

  •  Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa has claimed victory at the elections held in Sri Lanka yesterday. Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) in a statement called upon the people to celebrate the victory peacefully.

  •  The statement came as early trends indicated a lead for Mr. Rajapaksa as he has got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of the south.

  •  Gotabaya has received around 48 per cent of votes against 44 per cent of his main rival Sajith Premadasa in nearly three million votes counted so far. The latter has received wide support from minority areas in north and east.

  •  The counting of votes is continuing and final results are expected by this evening.

  •  Gotabaya has won most of the electorates in southern provinces including Hambantota, Galle and Matara, results of which have been declared so far. However, Sajith has got over 80 per cent votes from minority areas against less than 10 per cent for his rival.

  •  The trend shows sharp polarization along community lines, unprecedented in Sri Lankan history.

  •  A candidate needs to get 50 per cent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes will have to be counted. Both candidates had campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

First night trial of Agni-2 missile conducted successfully

  •  India has successfully conducted the first night trial of Agni-II, its versatile surface-to-surface medium-range nuclear-capable missile from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast yesterday.

  •  Agni-II, an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), has already been inducted into the armed forces.This was the first time that the sophisticated missile was testfired at night.

  •  The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and two naval ships located near the impact point in the down-range area of Bay of Bengal.

  •  The test was carried out by the specially formed Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

  •  The two-stage ballistic missile can carry a payload of 1000 kg over a distance of 2000 km.

::SPORTS::

India records best ever haul at World Para Athletic championship

  •  India has recorded the best-ever nine medals haul at the World Para Athletics Championship in Dubai.

  •  With two gold, two silver and five bronze, India secured 13 qualifying spots at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Until this edition, London 2017 had been India's best-ever show where the para-athletes finished with five medals in the joint 34th place.

  •  Asian Para Games 2018 champion javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary in F64 category won the Gold for India. In the same event, India had its single two podium finish with Sumit Antil taking the silver (62.88m).

  •  China topped the medals tally with 59 medals including 25 gold. Brazil (39) and Great Britain (28) followed China. The USA ended fourth with 34 medals. Russia, participating in the championships for the first time since the 2016 doping ban, were sixth with 41 medals.

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