Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 20 may 2019
Loksabha polling concludes with 70% polling
Overall around 70 per cent polling was recorded in seven
phases that were held to elect the lower house of Parliament.
Briefing media in New Delhi last evening, Deputy Election
Commissioner UmeshSinha said, polling was by and large peaceful barring some
incidents of violence.
He said this year's general elections were more peaceful as
compared to the 2014 edition.Mr Singh said, people, including women and senior
citizens, came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
In Gujarat, the fate of 371 candidates will be decided this
time. Of these, 27 candidates are women, while one is from the third gender. The
ruling BJP and opposition Congress contested all 26 seats in the state but the
representation of women candidates in the state is still very low. Here is a
Voting for the seventh and final phase was held yesterday.
Around 65 per cent electorate cast their votes in 59 constituencies, that went
to polls in this phase in seven states and one union territory.
According to the Election Commission, highest 76 per cent
polling was recorded in West Bengal, followed by 75 per cent in Madhya Pradesh,
72 in Himachal Pradesh and 71 in Jharkhand. While Punjab recorded a poll
percentage of 66, it was 63 in Chandigarh, 58 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and
lowest 53 per cent in Bihar.
The News Services Division of All India Radio has made elaborate
arrangements for providing authentic and latest results. For the first time,
AIR, the biggest radio network of the country, will continuously broadcast a
special programme on election results for 40 hours.
Cyclone hit Odisha plans recovering of green cover
The Odisha government has chalked out a Rs. 200-crore,
five-year plan to restore the green cover lost due to Cyclone Fani in the
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the Forest Department
to implement the ‘Five-year action plan on revival of coastal shelter belt and
afforestation programme’ on a mission mode.
The government would undertake the afforestation programme on
8,000 hectares over a five-year period. While 65 lakh saplings were distributed
in 2018-19 in Fani-affected districts, it would be doubled to 1.3 crore in
Under an urban tree plantation programme, five lakh saplings
would be planted in five years. Also, about 30,000 uprooted trees would be
replanted and restored in suitable places. The government targets to plant
fruit-bearing plants in 12,000 hectares which would help revive the livelihood
of many cyclone-affected people.
Of the 1.3 crore saplings, the Forest Department will plant 80
lakh, while 50 lakh will be planted by different educational institutions,
industrial and private areas.
“In order to restore comparatively large trees, an action plan
has been prepared. These will be planted in the Balukhanda reserve forest area,
and in different parks and roads of Cuttack, Puri and Bhubaneswar urban areas.
All modern techniques will be adopted,” government sources said.
Vice president urges for increased pulses productivity
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has
called for increasing the acreage and productivity of pulses for achieving
self-sufficiency and urged agricultural universities to step up research on
improving their yields.
Speaking at the Inaugural session of All India Coordinated
Research Group’s Annual Group Meet on MULLaRP& Arid Legumes workshop, at Guntur,
Andhra Pradesh today, the Vice President said there was a need to introduce
high-yielding, disease and pest-resilient seed varieties.
Pointing out that pulses were an inexpensive source of
plant-based proteins, vitamins and minerals for people, Shri Naidu said they
provide green, nutritious fodder for animal and also enrich soil through
biological nitrogen fixation. “Some legumes are known to have medicinal and
therapeutic properties also. Hence, they were rightly termed as 'Unique Jewels'
of Indian crop husbandry", he added.
Observing that legumes were an essential component in Indian
cropping pattern, especially in dry land farming, Shri Naidu said India was the
world’s largest producer, accounting for 34% of the area and 24% of production
followed by Myanmar, Canada, China, Nigeria, Brazil and Australia.
Saying that climate change was adversely impacting the
marginalized people in dry land areas due to the shifts in moisture and
temperature regimes, the Vice President called for a new paradigm in
agricultural research that makes full use of science and technology in
conjunction with traditional knowledge to cope with the challenges of climate
change and achieve food and nutritional security was necessary.
Govt.to introduce artificial intelligence in MCA21
The government plans to introduce artificial intelligence
system in the MCA 21 portal as it seeks to make the compliance process
easier as well as ensure routine enforcement activities are done
round-the-clock on autopilot basis.
MCA 21 is the electronic backbone for the dissemination of
information to all stakeholders, including the regulator, corporates and
investors. All filings under the companies law are submitted to the ministry
through this portal.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs Secretary InjetiSrinivas has said
the ministry would like to introduce Artificial Intelligence in MCA 21 when
version 3 of the portal is rolled out in about a year's time.
In the ministry's monthly newsletter, Srinivas also said that
MCA 21 allows electronic filings of various documents under Companies Act, 2013
and has fully automated all processes related to enforcement and compliance
monitoring under the Act.
British PM to bring in new deal on Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May today promised a new and
improved deal to save her controversial Brexit agreement through Parliament
when it comes up for a fourth vote next month.
In a write up in The Sunday Times, Ms May said when the
Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes, it will represent a new, bold offer to MPs
across the House of Commons, with an improved package of measures that can win
Ms May said that she was open to holding a series of indicative
votes in Parliament in a last-ditch effort to try and see her deal through.
The British Prime Minister has been struggling to surmount the
opposition to the controversial Irish backstop clause in the agreement, which
the EU sees an insurance policy against a hard border between its member-country
Ireland and the UK after Brexit.
However, the Brexiteers within her own Tory party have
consistently voted against it over fears that it could be used as an excuse to
keep Britain tied to EU norms even after its exit from the 28-member European
May warned that even though her new package will be a stronger
proposition, it was important for the parliamentary arithmetic to fall into
place to avert a chaotic no-deal Brexit and leave the EU with a deal in place by
the latest deadline of October 31.
Sudanese protesters seek civilian head in governing body
In Sudan, the Alliance for Freedom and Change said they will
insist on civilian head for new governing body in new talks with army
The Alliance said in a statement that talks would resume with
the military council which has ruled Sudan since president Omar al-Bashir was
deposed today .
Talks over a transfer of power by the generals have repeatedly
stalled, resulting in international pressure to return to the table after the
military rulers suspended negotiations earlier this week.The generals insist the
new body be military-led but the protest leaders demand a majority civilian
Saudi Arabia meanwhile deposited USD 250 million in Sudan's
central bank as part of an aid package it announced following Bashir's ouster.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Study finds relation between life stress and modification of
A Bengaluru-based group of researchers has discovered a link
between stress during early life and problematic, externalising behaviour in
the DNA of children of alcoholic parents.
In particular, they have studied 50 children of parents with
alcoholism who had experienced stress in early life, which includes violent
behaviour by alcoholic father towards mother and family, abuse and even
sometimes their having to leave the home.
Early adversity is known to have several biological effects. One
of this is DNA methylation a process by which chemical changes occur to the DNA
molecule. It also affects the functioning of what is called the
This is a complex set of interactions between the hypothalamus
and the pituitary gland in the brain and the adrenal glands (above the kidneys).
The present study provides further evidence of the association
of early adversity in children of alcoholics with blunted cortisol activity,
increased site-specific DNA methylation in a particular gene (SLC6A4) and high
The study concludes that children of alcoholics might have a
compromised HPA axis and epigenetic changes at the DNA level possibly resulting
in increased externalising behaviour.
India open international boxing championship begins today
The Second India Open International Boxing Tournament will
begin today at Sarusajai stadium in Guwahati.
16 countries will participate in the tournament where nearly 200
boxers will vying for the podium. The preliminaries will be held today and
tomorrow to be followed by the quarter-finals and semi-finals, culminating into
the grand finale on May 24.
India has fielded a strong contingent of 38 men and 37 women in
the tournament including Mary Kom in 51-kilogram category.
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