Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 July 2020


ADR report finds 24% RajyaSabha members facing criminal cases

  • About a quarter of the sitting RajyaSabha members have declared criminal cases against themselves, according to an analysis of their self-sworn affidavits by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) released on Wednesday.
  • With three seats vacant and Kerala MP K.K. Ragesh’s affidavit being unavailable, the ADR report said that an analysis of 229 of the 233 RajyaSabha seats that represent the States and the Union Territories showed that 54 MPs or 24% had declared criminal cases.
  • Out of the 229 MPs, which included the newly-elected representatives taking the oath on Wednesday, 28 or 12% had declared serious criminal cases.
  • The ADR analysis found that 203 of the 229 MPs, or 89% of those analysed, had declared assets over ₹1crore, including 90% of the BJP MPs, 93% of the Congress MPs, 100% of the AIADMK MPs and 69% of the Trinamool Congress MPs.
  • The ADR report said BJP MP from Manipur Maharaja SanajaobaLeishemba declared ₹5.48 lakh in assets, the lowest of the MPs analysed, followed by AamAadmi Party MP from Delhi Sanjay Singh, who declared ₹6.6 lakh in assets, and BJP MP from Jharkhand Samir Oraon, who declared ₹18.69 lakh.

India- China agree on not to use UAV’s along LAC

  • The Chinese and Indian armies have agreed to not use unmanned aerial vehicles at the friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), other than for mutually agreed “short time periods”.
  • The confidence-building measure has impacted real-time verification of the de-escalation process, as aerial objects cannot be used within 10 km of the face-off sites, a senior government official said.



Centre asks e-commerce platform to ensure mandatory declaration of country of origin

  • The Centre told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that all e-commerce entities, including Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, have to ensure the mandatory declaration of country of origin of imported products sold on their respective sites.
  • The Department of Consumer Affairs, in an affidavit, said the law relating to the issue was enacted under the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
  • The department stated that the enforcement of the provisions of the Act and Rules rests with the State and Union Territory governments. “Whenever violations are observed, action is taken by the legal metrology officials of the State/ UT governments in accordance with the law,” it added.
  • Meanwhile Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said all digital platforms need to be accountable and sensitive towards concerns related to defence and data privacy of citizens of sovereign countries.
  • According to an official statement, Mr. Prasad added that India was soon going to put in place a robust personal data protection law which will not only address data privacy-related concerns of citizens but also ensure availability of data for innovation and economic development. “In view of these concerns, digital platforms having presence in many countries must become trustworthy, safe and secure,” the statement added.

Finance commission chairman moots greater fiscal space for states to meet expenditure obligations

  • Pushing for a relaxation in fiscal norms governing the finances of the states, NK Singh, chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, said states needed greater fiscal space to meet their expenditure obligations.
  • According to Singh, the opaqueness and clutter in the demarcation of powers of the central and state governments under the Constitution and other Acts posed a hindrance to India’s pandemic response.
  • In the short term, Singh called for greater harmony between the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, both of which have been invoked in the process of responding to the pandemic.
  • While the newer Act gives powers to all levels of governments from the Centre to districts to set up disaster management authorities, more power rests with the Centre in terms of policy.


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PM invites U.S firms to invest in India

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi on Wednesday invited U.S. companies to invest in India’s healthcare, infrastructure, defence, energy, farm and insurance sectors, saying the country offers openness and opportunities.
  • “Today, there is global optimism towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities and options. Let me elaborate. India celebrates openness in people and in governance,” Mr.Modi, said while addressing the U.S.-India Business Council.
  • He said the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the importance of economic resilience, which can be achieved by stronger domestic economic capacities.
  • “India is emerging as a land of opportunities. Let me give you one example of the tech sector. Recently, an interesting report came out in India. It said for the first time ever, there are more rural Internet users than even urban Internet users,” he said.
  • Stating that open markets mean more opportunities, Mr.Modi said during the last six years the government had made many efforts to make the Indian economy more open and reform-oriented.
  • Reforms have ensured increased competitiveness, transparency, digitisation, innovation and policy stability, the Prime Minister said.

Turkmenistan granted observer status in WTO

  • Turkmenistan has been granted Observer status by the World Trade Organization (WTO ) General Council. Turkmenistan has become the last former Soviet republic to establish formal ties with the trade body, a WTO Spokesperson said yesterday.
  • The Central Asian country filed a request for Observer status in May and expressed willingness to trigger the talks on accession to the WTO within five years.



Mizoram inaugurates its first mega food park

  • On July 20, 2020, the Minister of food Processing Industry HarsimratKaurBadal e-inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Mizoram.
  • The Zoram Food Park (non-governmental) inaugurated in Mizoram is to provide employment to 5,000 persons and will benefit 25,000 farmersin primary processing centre and core processing centre. The park is expected to bring an annual turn over of Rs 450-500 crores in about 30 food processing units.
  • The Zoram Food Park has been established under Mega Food Park Scheme of Government of India. There are 18 mega food park projects that are under implantation and 19 mega food parks have become functional. Around six of these functioning mega food parks are in North East.



Indian Super League joins world leagues forum

  • The Indian Super League (ISL) has been inducted into the prestigious World Leagues Forum (WLF), the association of professional football leagues which includes the likes of Premier League, LaLiga and Bundesliga.
  • The ISL said in a release that it has become the first league from South Asia and seventh in Asia to join the WLF.


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