Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 22 July 2020


Parliamentary panel recommends social security number for migrant workers

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recommended that the government introduce a social security number for migrant workers, especially those in unorganised sectors that are beyond the purview of labour laws.
  • The panel, headed by BijuJanata Dal leader BhartruhariMahtab, has suggested that such a number is essential to avert situations such as the one at the beginning of the lockdown when several lakh workers had to walk back to their villages from big cities as they were shut out of employment overnight.
  • The Labour Ministry was unable to give any concrete figures on the number of migrant workers. Quoting the Railway Ministry, officials said 1.08 crore migrant workers had travelled on Shramik Special trains started by the government to ferry migrant workers.
  • One of the panel members, according to sources, pointed out that students and family members of the workers too used these trains and thus the figure doesn’t accurate represent the number of migrant workers. 
  • The panel has recommended that both the State of origin and State where the worker has migrated to should be recorded. It also pointed out that the government’s Social Security Code Bill, 2019, which is under the committee’s consideration, provides for a social security fund. But there are no specific details in the legislation as to who would contribute to the fund and how it would be utilised.

Vulnerable groups seek assistance for survival needs

  • Deprived of sources of livelihood during the pandemic, sex workers, transpersons, gay and bisexual men, drug users and people living with HIV/AIDS have written to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) protesting against being ignored by government and multilateral agencies in COVID-19-related emergency relief efforts.
  • The petition on behalf of “key populations affected by HIV/AIDS” is signed by 10,483 people and 236 Indian and international organisations who have sought allocation of funds to meet their basic survival needs as many find themselves without work and displaced.



Consumer protection act 2019 comes to force

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force yesterday. Briefing the media about the new law through a video conference in New Delhi yesterday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions.
  • He said the Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements. 
  • Mr Paswan said, the rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.

Government separates operation routes for vessels in South –West Indian waters

  • Ministry of Shipping has separated the operation routes for merchant vessels and fishing vessels in South West Indian waters. Ministry has taken the step keeping in view safety and efficiency of navigation. 
  • The new routes will come into force from first of August. Shipping Minister MansukhMandaviya has said that the decision reflects centre's commitment for ensuring ease of navigation in Indian waters. 


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China pressurising Bhutan to conclude border deal

  • China said that it has offered Bhutan a “package solution” to its boundary dispute, reviving a reference to its 1996 proposal for a territory swap to give Bhutan the disputed areas in its north in exchange for the disputed western areas, including Doklam. 
  • The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) also repeated its claim on Bhutan’s eastern boundary at Sakteng, which experts warn, may be a new pressure tactic by Beijing to push Thimphu into concluding a boundary deal.
  • Since 1984, when China and Bhutan began talks, the areas of dispute have only included Pasamlung and Jakarlung valleys to the north (what China calls middle) area, and Doklam and other pasturelands to the west. The eastern boundary of Bhutan, which borders Arunachal Pradesh, has never been in contention.
  • After the 11th round of talks in 1996, Bhutan’s 4th King JigmeSingyeWangchuck (the present King’s father) had informed the Bhutanese National Assembly that China “wanted to exchange the valleys to the north, with an area of 495 square kilometres, with the pasture land to the west, totalling 269 square kilometres”.
  • The deal would have benefited Bhutan by giving it the larger chunk of land, and resolving its tensions with China, but was a big worry for India, as the Doklam swap would give the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) access to the strategically sensitive “chicken neck” of the Siliguri corridor. While the Chinese MFA did not specify details of the “package solution” it has offered, it is likely to be referring to the same deal.

First trial container ship from India reaches Bangladesh

  • The first trial containership from Kolkata containing cargo for transhipment to North Eastern states of India docked at the Chattogram port early morning on Tuesday. Confirming this to the PrasarBharti Special Correspondent in Dhaka, the Secretary of the Chattogram Port Authority Md. Omar Faruk said that the ship MV Shejyoti docked at the outer anchorage early on Tuesday morning.
  • The ship was flagged off through video conferencing earlier by the Shipping Minister MansukhMadaviya on Thursday.
  • The ship is carrying four containers consisting of iron bars and pulses to be transhipped to North Eastern states of India through the land border of Bangladesh. It is also carrying more than 200 containers imported by the Bangladeshi traders.



South Korea launches its first military satellite

  • South Korea's first-ever military communications satellite has been successfully launched by private operator SpaceX, Seoul said Tuesday, as it looks to build up its defence capabilities.The ANASIS-II is intended to enhance the South's ability to defend itself against the nuclear-armed North, which invaded in 1950.
  • A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Seoul's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement.
  • SpaceX confirmed the satellite deployed about 32 minutes after lift-off, on Monday afternoon local time.DAPA said the launch made South Korea the 10th country in the world to own a military-only communications satellite, which will provide "permanent and secured military communications".
  • The satellite is expected to reach its orbit of 36,000 kilometres in two weeks and South Korea's military will take over the system in October after testing, it added.



BCCI seeks government nod to conduct IPL in UAE

  • Hours after the T20 World Cup’s deferment, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has sought the Central government’s approval for conducting the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
  • With the spread of COVID-19 across India, the BCCI was left with no choice but to shift the IPL overseas. Set to be staged in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the tournament will likely require the creation of a bio-secure environment.
  • While some franchises have begun sounding their players out about a pre-departure camp in India, franchise executives are hoping to hear formally from the BCCI before the weekend.


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