Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 July 2020


Women officers to get permanent commissions in Army

  • The Ministry of Defence has issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of permanent commission (PC) to women officers in the Army.
  • The order specifies the grant of permanent commission to SSC women officers in all the 10 streams in which they presently serve — Army Air Defence, Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps and Intelligence Corps, in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General and Army Educational Corps, the Army said.
  • The order follows a Supreme Court verdict in February that directed the government that women officers be granted PC and command postings in all services other than combat.
  • Following this, Army chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said it was an enabling one and gave a lot of clarity on how to move forward. He stated that the same procedure for male SSC officers would be followed for women to give permanent commission.
  • About 322 women officers had approached the top court and the issue of command postings came up in the discussion on subsequent avenues after the grant of PC.

CPCB issues guidelines on disposal of COVID waste

  • Central Pollution Control Board, CPCB has issued fresh guidelines on disposal of COVID-19 waste. It has directed that masks and gloves used by everyone, whether infected or not, should be cut and kept in paper bags for minimum 72 hours before disposing off them.
  • The CPCB also directed commercial establishments shopping malls, institutions and offices to follow the same procedure with discarded protective personal equipment,PPE from general public.
  • It asked to ensure that general solid waste and biomedical waste generated from quarantine centres and quarantine homes is not mixed and they should be collected separately.
  • It added that leftover food, empty juice bottles or tetra packs, empty water bottles, packaging material, and any other items, generated or handled by COVID-19 patient should be collected along with other general solid waste in bags securely tied for handing over to waste collectors.
  • The CPCB also recommended use of bio-degradable or non-disposable cutlery to minimize waste generation.



Agri ministry to share tax payer’s details with IT department for PM-KISAN scheme

  • The ministry of agriculture will have to share information of taxpayers with income tax department for identifying the eligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified.
  • The PM-KISAN scheme provides Rs 6,000 per year in three instalments as income support to all landholding farmers' families for meeting agriculture and domestic needs related expenses.
  • Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as income tax payers in the last assessment year, professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants etc and pensioners drawing at least Rs 10,000 per month.
  • The Centre has released more than Rs 50,850 crores as of February 2020, benefitting 8.46 crores farmer families. The scheme covers a total of 14 crore beneficiaries as per estimates of the Agriculture Census 2015-16.

BRICS trade minister’s virtual meeting 

  • Commerce and industry minister PiyushGoyal on Thursday called for all nations to enhance transparency in their trade and build trust, and stressed on removing multiple hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices. The BRICS grouping includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • At the tenth BRICS Trade Ministers virtual meeting, Goyal emphasised that all partners must be trustworthy and transparent for trade to play its part in the recovery process. The minister also said that BRICS members are among the most affected countries in the world due to the pandemic.


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India-Israel to jointly develop ultra rapid test kit for COVID-19

  • India and Israel have jointly developed an ultra rapid testing kit for COVID-19. The testing kit which has proven its efficacy in lab results will now be subjected to broader trials.
  • Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Professor K VijayRaghavan informed that Indian DRDO scientists along with Defence Research Wing of Israel have been conjointly working on the COVID testing kit.
  • Speaking exclusively to AIR News, Professor VijayRaghavan said the rapid testing kit can generate preliminary COVID results within 30 seconds.
  • He said, the kit has been developed by integration of many novel technologies which includes artificial intelligence based online voice test, breathalyser test, isothermal testing and testing using polyamino acids.
  • India and Israel are also the members of the world consortium of scientists working on COVID Vaccine.
  • Since the outbreak of Covid19, Prime Minister NarendraModi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu have had three telephonic conversations, in which they discussed mutual cooperation in dealing with the Pandemic.

India- Srilanka to discuss on rescheduling of bilateral debt repayment

  • India and Sri Lanka are continuing to hold technical discussion on rescheduling of bilateral debt repayment by Sri Lanka.
  • The Indian delegation comprising of senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Finance and  EXIM Bank interacted with representatives from government of Sri Lanka through a video conference this week. 
  • The High Commission of India in Colombo said it will continue to work towards coordinating and facilitating such engagement as a part of India’s overall commitment to work with Sri Lanka to counter and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • It may be recalled that both sides had discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its likely health and economic impacts during Prime Minister NarendraModi’s telephone conversations with Sri Lankan President GotabayaRajapaksa on 23 May and Prime Minister MahindaRajapaksa on 27 May 2020.



India develops its first in-orbit space debris monitoring and tracking system

  • A Space start up called the Digantara has developed India’s first in-orbit space debris monitoring and tracking system.The system works on LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology.
  • The system developed by the start up will provide global real-time earth surveillance. This is to be achieved by deploying a constellation of cost-efficient nano satellites in the Low Earth Orbit. A Low Earth Orbit lies at an altitude of less than 1000 km.
  • The system will help international space agencies to track and map space debris. This will aid to minimize the major threats of future space exploration.


India’s relay gold in Asiad ratified

  • India’s year-long wait for an official ratification of its 4x400m mixed relay Asian Games gold has finally ended with World Athletics updating the results and rankings on its website.
  • The Indian quartet of Mohammed Anas Yahiya, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv had finished second in 2018.
  • A four-year dope ban on KemiAdekoya of first-placed Bahrain last year put India on road to gold but there had been no confirmation of the same till now.
  • Athletics Federation of India president Adille J. Sumariwalla confirmed the updated rankings.​​​​


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