Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 December 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 23 December 2019


Former CJI wants cyber space as part of school curriculum

  • Cyber space and cyber crime, its control, impact and all other aspects should be made part of school and college syllabi to make students aware of the field, former Supreme Court Chief Justice DipakMisra said on Saturday.
  • Human intelligence always have primacy and the educated should not be scared of using artificial intelligence, Misra told reporters on the sidelines of the 4th Edition of Indian Cyber Congress held at Sri Krishna College of Engineering and Technology, where he was the chief guest.
  • Besides, the agency investigating cyber crimes should have a special wing, with specialised training and other resources, he said.Earlier, addressing the Congress, Misra said India ranked 23rd among 165 Nations in cyber security index and still there was a lot of space to grow in future.
  • Additional Director General of Police, Crime against Women and Chidren, Tamil Nadu, M.Ravi said cyber crime is the biggest challenge for any country other than terrorism.
  • According to him, steps are being taken to establish cyberpark police stations and there may also be the possibility of cyber courts.

PM denies existence of detention camps in the country

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi dismissed the existence of any detention camps and accused the opposition of playing vote bank politics by spreading such misinformation. He appealed to the youth not to fall prey to such rumours trying to divide the country.
  • Referring to various developmental schemes launched by the NDA government, Mr Modi said, beneficiaries were not asked about their caste or religion. In this context, he said, 70 lakh people were benefited under the Central health scheme Ayushman Bharat. 
  • He said, over 40 lakh residents in the national capital have seen a new ray of hope following the regularization of the unauthorized colonies. The Prime Minister said, eight crore cooking gas connections have been provided to the poor under Ujjwala scheme.
  • Mr Modi condemned the attacks on the police during the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. He said, whenever there is a crisis or difficulty, the police never asks a person their religion. He said, after independence 33 thousand policemen have died while ensuring peace and safety.
  • The rally was organised to thank Prime Minister as a gesture of gratitude for the Centre's role in regularizing the 1731 unauthorised colonies in the national capital housing over 40 lakh people. He accused opposition parties of giving only lip service on the issue of regularization of unauthorised colonies. 


Despite decline in GDP growth rate, FPI’s surge in 2019

  • In spite of a decline in the GDP growth rate, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) seem to have flocked to the Indian capital market in a big way in 2019 with a net inflow of over 1.3 lakh crore rupees, including 97,250 crore rupees in equities, the highest in last six years.
  • As the year draws to a close, the debt market has seen a net inflow of nearly 27,000 crore rupees by FPIs, while a further amount of 9,000 crore rupees found its way to the hybrid instruments, shows the capital market data compiled by depositories.
  • Experts believe the positive trend may continue in 2020 as well, but downside risks might arise in the form of the US-China trade war and any further deterioration in the domestic credit market conditions.
  • Meanwhile,The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday will simultaneously purchase and sell government securities worth 10,000 crore rupees under a special Open Market Operation (OMO).
  • Such exercises are done by the central bank when the proceeds from the sale of short-term securities are used to buy long-term government securities or bonds in a bid to bring down interest rates on long-term securities.

India signs agreement with ADB to upgrade state roads

  • Asian Development Bank, ADB and Government of India today signed a 490 million dollars loan for public-private partnership, PPP project to upgrade about one thousand six hundred kilometres of state highways and major district roads from single-lane to two-lane widths in Madhya Pradesh.
  • An additional 286 million dollars investment will be mobilised through private sector participation under the PPP modality.
  • Mr Khare said, state highways and major district roads provide a crucial link between rural roads and national highways and up-gradation of these roads under the project will improve rural and peri-urban connectivity in the state and improve access to markets and better services.
  • Mr Yokoyama said that the project continues ADB’s engagement with the state’s road sector since 2002 and it will open a new partnership by introducing PPP through the hybrid-annuity model, thereby leveraging government financing and improving the sustainability of capital investments.
  • The Hybrid-Annuity Model is a mix of engineering, procurement, construction, and build-operate-transfer. This passes the responsibility of design, implementation, and operation and maintenance obligations to the private sector while attracting some private sector financing.

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India, China to reach agreement on boundary question

  • Special Representatives of India and China met in New Delhi today and held constructive talks with focus on taking forward the India-China Closer Developmental Partnership.
  • External Affairs Ministry said that both the Special Representatives emphasized the importance of approaching the Boundary Question from the strategic perspective of India-China relations.
  • They resolved to intensify their efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question. They agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries. 
  • There was a consensus that both sides should respect each other’s sensitivities and concerns in order to build mutual trust, as this was important for the future development of the bilateral relations. 
  • Both sides agreed that it is important to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas for the overall development of the bilateral relationship, pending final settlement of the boundary question. 
  • They recognized the importance of existing Confidence Building Measures to promote exchanges and communication between the border personnel and to ensure predictability in border management as well as strategic communication.

Manuel Cruz appointed as Cuba’s first PM in 40 years

  • In Cuba, President Miguel Díaz-Canel has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country's first prime minister in more than 40 years.
  • It was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for the communist-run island passed earlier this year.
  • Marrero, who has served as tourism minister for 16 years and is an architect by trade, helped boost Cuba's economy by making tourism one of the engines of growth. The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then-revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
  • On the other hand, critics say any such changes are purely cosmetic as the Cuban Communist Party and the military remain the only two real decision-making institutions in the country.



Supreme court orders completion of smog tower in 3 months

  • The Supreme Court of India ordered the Centre and the Delhi Governments to hasten the pilot project of setting up smog towers at Connaught place.
  • Smog Towers are air purification structures that are designed to work as air purifiers. They are fitted with multiple air purifiers. These purifiers cleanses air as it passes through them. It is a successful project and China has fitted two smog towers in the city of Beijing and Xi’an. The tower is being developed in Delhi by Kurin systems called the “Kurin Cleaners”
  • The purifiers will be 20-feet wide and 40-feet tall. They will have the capacity to clean 32 million cubic metres of air in a day. A single tower will cover 3-km radius and is said have impacts on 75,000 lives of Delhiites.
  • The Kurin cleaner will remove PM 10 and PM 2.5 upto 99.99%. It will run on solar energy. As many as 48 fans will be fitted to these towers to maintain air flow. The towers will also be attached with solar heating and cooling techniques.


IOC thanks India for co-sponsoring UN Olympic truce resolution

  • International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach has thanked President Ram NathKovind for co-sponsoring the United Nation Olympic Truce Resolution.
  • In keeping with the tradition dating back to the original Olympic Games in Ancient Olympia in 776 BC, the resolution will aim to ensure a halt to all hostilities, allowing the safe passage and participation of athletes and spectators for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
  • Bach in a letter addressed to the Indian President expressed gratitude for Indian government's active support for the Olympic Games by co-sponsoring the UN Olympic Truce Resolution.
  • The resolution entitled Building a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal, was adopted in the United Nation General Assembly on December 9.

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