Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 October 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 October 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM says people’s participation atmost necessary for policymaking

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has said people’s Participation remained a guiding tenet of policymaking for his government. The Prime Minister stated this during his meeting with JP Morgan International Council in New Delhi yesterday.

  • The Council comprises global statesmen like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and former US Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice.

  • During his meeting, Mr Modi discussed with global statesmen his vision for making India a five trillion dollar economy by 2024. He said, the development of world-class physical infrastructure, improvements in affordable health care and providing quality education are some other policy priorities for his government.

  • On the foreign policy front, India continued to work together with its strategic partners and close neighbours to build a fair and equitable multipolar world order. After 2007, this was the first time that the International Council met in India.

Defence ministry urges navy to strengthen coastal security

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says the Navy has a crucial role to play in the form of safeguarding the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) - the economic lifeline to make Indian economy to reach the Five Trillion Dollar mark by 2025.

  • He was speaking at the Naval Commanders' Conference in New Delhi today. Mr Singh urged the Naval Commanders to continue reviewing procedures and strengthen the Coastal Security framework, so as to counter emerging threats and challenges, effectively.

  • He said the Indian Navy will continue to perform the duty of safeguarding the maritime interests of the nation.

  • Speaking to media later, Mr Singh said India has never been the aggressor but its armed forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on it.

::ECONOMY::

Study finds more than 50% of business makers worried of cyber threats

  • Sixty-six per cent of business decision makers in India believe lack of security expertise is a challenge for their organisations, while 63 per cent of Indian businesses are concerned about being exposed to cyber threats due to employee errors, according to a new report

  • The success of an organisation's cyber security investment lies not just in buying technology, but corporate culture, employee education and path-to-purchase also play critical roles, according to the Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan-Culture, Efficiency, Awareness report.

  • "Cyber security is a shared responsibility. While IT teams must be proactive in their response to cyber threats, knowledgeable employees and leadership teams pave the way for organisations to better detect, protect and respond," Sharma said.

  • In line with this approach, 79 per cent of Indian business decision makers would want to adopt deeply-integrated or synchronised security solutions that could detect, investigate and respond to cyber threats, it added.

  • According to global cyber security major Sophos, main triggers for security updates -- beyond changes to overall security posture -- are technology and product developments, compliance and regulation requirements, and growing awareness of new attacks.

Centre to promote optimum use of fertilizers and micro-nutrients

  • Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that optimal and balanced use of fertilizers and micro-nutrients in agriculture is the need of the hour. He said excessive use of fertilizers deteriorates soil fertility.

  • Mr Tomar was speaking at a fertilizer application awareness programme jointly organized by Agriculture Ministry and Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers in New Delhi today. He said farmers must utilize bio-fertilizers to enhance the health of soil, resulting in high yield of agri-produce.

  • Mr Tomar said, agricultural activities have great contribution in the country's GDP but in the last few years, there has been a decline in it. He said, there is a need to increase the contribution from 14 per cent to 50 per cent.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D V SadanandaGowda said the awareness programme will benefit farmers.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India – Nepal discuss bilateral issues at Japan

  • President Ram NathKovind on Tuesday met his Nepalese counterpart Bidya Devi Bhandari here and discussed several issues of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation.

  • The official Twitter account of the RashtrapatiBhavan said that Kovind, who is the first Indian president to visit Japan in 29 years, held talks with Nepal's President Bhandari.

  • The two leaders discussed several issues of mutual interest and bilateral cooperation between India and Nepal," it said in the tweet.

  • The president arrived here on Monday after concluding his five-day state visit to the Philippines.

  • During his three-day visit, Kovind will also interact with the Indian community in the Japanese capital.

Srilankan PM to face Presidential enquiry commission

  • Sri Lankan Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghe will appear before a Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing corruption and fraud in state institutions today to testify on the government decision to store paddy at the Mattala International Airport in 2015.

  • The Commission had issued a notice to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to appear before it following testimony of a former official BandaraDissanayake that the Prime Minister had personally instructed him to store paddy at the airport.

  • Testifying before the commission, Mr.Dissanayake said that he had held a series of meetings with the officials of the Mattala Airport in 2015 to explore the possibility of storing paddy there as the PMB stores didn't have adequate space. He said that Minister for Primary Industries DayaGamage had also called him frequently and said that the Cabinet has given the approval to store 4,000 metric tonnes of paddy at the airport.

  • It is noteworthy that the Mattala international airport was built during
    MahindaRajapaksa regime in his district but no passenger service is operating from there at present. The current government led by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has termed it as a white elephant.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Railways bring in advanced electronic locking system

  • Indian Railways has installed the most advanced Electronic Interlocking System on the Grand Chord route. The measure is expected to help Indian Railways speed up trains and achieve the objective of reducing the travel time between Delhi and Howrah to about 12 hours from the existing 17 to 19 hours.

  • Grand Chord is part of the Howrah-Gaya-Delhi line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It acts as a link between Sitarampur in West Bengal and Pt. DeenDayalUpadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh, and covers a stretch of 450 kilometres falling in North Central Railway Zone.

  • The new Electronic system has replaced outdated 65-year old mechanical signalling system at Tundla Junction in Uttar Pradesh on the route.

  • The work will go a long way in improving punctuality of trains on New Delhi-Howrah mainline and benefits will be manifold during the incoming foggy season through safe and detention free handling of trains at Tundla Junction.

::SPORTS::

Supreme court appointed CoA’s to demit BCCI office soon

  • The Supreme Court today directed that the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General VinodRai shall demit office after the elected representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India take charge to run the cricket governing body.

  • A bench comprising Justices S ABobde and L NageswaraRao said that the job of the CoA will come to an end after former cricketer SauravGanguly-led elected office bearers of the BCCI will take charge following the elections which are scheduled on 23rd of October.

  • The bench took note of the submission of Senior Advocate ParagTripathi representing the CoA and directed that the members of the CoA and the other officers shall be immune from any possible actions from the BCCI for their acts done for running the affairs of the cricket body and its prior permission will be needed for such actions.

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