Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 June 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 21 June 2019


PM urges integration of yoga with health schemes on international yoga day

  • Fifth International Yoga Day is being celebrated today. Prime Minister NarendraModi led the nation in celebrating yoga day from Ranchi in Jharkhand. The main function was held at the Prabhat Tara ground in Ranchi this morning.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister stresses the need to integrate yoga with health schemes. Mr Modi that in the last five years the Government has integrated yoga with health and wellness to make it a pillar of preventive health care.

  • Mr Modi said, in today's changing times the focus must be on wellness as well as protection from illness. He said, Yoga is discipline and dedication and it has to be obeyed throughout life.

  • Prime Minister stressed on the need to take modern yoga to the Rural and Tribal land. He said yoga can make the poor come out of diseases and poverty. Mr Modi said yoga provides a perfect blend of knowledge, work and devotion. He also stressed on research related to yoga.

  • Minister for AYUSH ShripadNaik in his address said Government is committed to spreading the benefits of Yoga for health and wellness. He said, there is a need for more Yoga teachers to take Yoga to the masses. Mr Naik said, his Ministry has created Yoga Certification Board which will certify trainers and training schools of Yoga.

DICCI to promote dalit entrepreneurship by empowering SC/ST communities

  • In the presence of ShriThaawarchandGehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) was signed between Dr.Ambedkar International Centre (DAIC), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) here today. From DAIC, the Director, ShriAtulDevSarmah and from DICCI, ShriMilindKamble, the Founder Chairman signed the MoU.

  • Applauding the joint effort of DAIC and DICCI, ShriGehlot said that the overall motives of this MoU is the empowerment of SC and ST communities through research on Dalit entrepreneurship, empowerment, skill development capacity building among SC/ST women and youth, impact of different schemes of the Government on socio-economic conditions of SC and ST and other similar subjects. He wished them grand success.

  • Since DICCI brings together all Dalit entrepreneurs under one umbrella, acts as a one-stop Resource Centre for existing and aspiring Dalit entrepreneurs and promotes entrepreneurship among Dalits as a solution to their socio-economic problems.

  • Therefore, DAIC as per its mandate of research in the field of Socio-economic Transformation for capacity building and for preparing and providing policy feed needs collaboration with organisations like DICCI for upliftment of SCs and STs.

  • DAIC through this collaboration will also try to find out how far the SC and ST communities have engaged themselves in starting and establishing their own businesses. The data will be used to identify the reason why the spirit of entrepreneurship has not been infused among Dalit youth to develop business leadership for empowering them to walk in step with the world.


RBI governor claims decisive monetary policy required to develop growth

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das voted for a 25 basis point cut in the interest rate in the monetary policy announced earlier this month. He believed that that Indian economy was clearly losing traction and needed a decisive monetary policy to promote growth.

  • According to the minutes of the meeting of the monetary policy committee, Mr. Das also favoured shifting the stance of monetary policy from neutral to accommodative to send a clear signal, indicating that more measures could be taken in the near future to boost the growth.

  • On the transmission of the policy rate, the RBI Governor said it is expected to improve as banks adjust their deposit and lending rates in response to changes in the policy rate.

  • RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya expressed a dilemma wherein economic growth seemed weakened but inflation risks remained upside with a deficiency in monsoon and volatility in crude oil prices.

  • Another member and Executive Director Michael DebabrataPatra said it is evident that if the 2019-20 projections materialise, the MPC would have steered inflation at or below target on average for four years in a row in its five-year term of office.

  • Other three members, RavindraDholakia, PamiDua, and ChetanGhate had also voted in favour of reducing the key lending rate.

Centre assures IGST refunds in timely manner for exporters

  • The Centre has assured all genuine exporters that they would continue to get their Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) refunds in a timely manner in a fully automated environment.

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said, introduction of manual checks in IGST refunds is aimed at preventing unscrupulous exporters from defrauding the exchequer.

  • The CBIC's clarification came in view of media reports which highlighted a perceived setback to the automated process of refunds for exporters under GST on account of the introduction of manual checks in IGST refunds. It termed the reports as misleading.

  • An official release said, the new verification exercise is aimed at preventing unscrupulous exporters from defrauding the exchequer and bringing a bad name to the larger exporting community.

  • The CBIC has recently instructed its Customs and GST formations to verify the correct availment of input tax credit by few exporters who are perceived as risky on the basis of pre-defined risk parameters.

  • Only around five thousand risky exporters have been identified so far as against about one lakh 42 thousand total exporters. It said, the risky exporters are only 3.5 per cent of the total exporters.

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India says its vote at ECOSOC not against Palestinian cause

  • India today said, its vote on 6th of June in favour of the proposal submitted by Israel at the Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, of the UN should not in any way be construed as a vote against the Palestinian cause.

  • On 6th of this month, India voted in favour of the proposal submitted by ECOSOC of the UN for further scrutiny by the Committee on NGOs of the application from an NGO ‘Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness)’ requesting consultative status.

  • The proposal was submitted by Israel based on information that the NGO allegedly has close contacts with terrorist organizations.

  • External Affairs Ministry said India's vote in favour of the proposal is in line with its position on greater scrutiny by the NGO Committee of the consultative status applications for possible terrorist linkages and to screen the NGO applications with the sanctions list of the UN Security Council before granting them ECOSOC status.

Mexico becomes first country to approve new North Amercian trade deal

  • Mexico has ratified the US-Mexico-Canada agreement. This makes it the first country to give the new North American trade deal final approval despite recent tensions with the US.

  • The Mexican government called the deal's passage a clear message in favour of an open economy and deepening economic integration in the region.

  • President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claimed the deal would bring in more foreign investment and jobs in Mexico, and access to the US market.

  • The deal aims to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which helped turn Mexico into an exporting powerhouse over the past 25 years. It now falls to Canada and the US to ratify the deal.

  • The three countries signed the agreement on 30th November after a year of negotiations triggered by US President Donald Trump's insistence on replacing NAFTA.


Study reveals faster melting of Himalayan ice since 2000

  • Comparing data obtained by Cold War-era spy satellites with images from modern stereo satellites, scientists have shown that Himalayan glaciers have lost more than a quarter of their ice mass since 1975, with melting occurring twice as fast after the turn of the century as average temperatures rose.

  • In the 1970s, at the height of the Cold War, the U.S. had deployed spy satellites that orbited the globe and took thousands of photographs, using a telescopic camera system, for reconnaissance purposes. Film recovery capsules would be ejected from the KH-9 Hexagon military satellites and parachuted back to Earth over the Pacific Ocean.

  • More than four decades later, scientists are using those same images to show the devastating impact of a warming Earth on the Himalayan glaciers.

  • The overlapping images, each covering 30,000 square kilometres with a ground resolution of six to nine metres, have been pieced together to form digital elevation models of the Himalayas of that era.

  • In an article published in the Science Advances journal on Wednesday, J.M. Maurer and co-authors analysed four decades of ice loss for 650 of the largest glaciers across a 2,000 km transect across the Himalayas.

  • The study goes on to assert that rising temperatures are responsible for the accelerating loss.


Indian President announces widening of khelo India Programme

  • President Ram NathKovind has highlighted the importance of the government's flagship 'Khelo India Programme'.

  • Addressing the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament in New Delhi today, the President said the new government has decided to widen the spectrum of the 'Khelo India Programme' to cover the entire country.

  • Under this programme, 2,500 talented players have been selected and are being trained. The President said, this facility will now be provided to 2,500 new players every year.

  • The President said, it was important to unearth talents from across the country and their selection process made transparent in order to make India a global sports powerhouse.

  • The President also stressed the importance of strengthening the existing sports infrastructure in the country and said the government is working in this direction.

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