Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 24 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

Government clears rumours on CAA and NRC

  • Government has reiterated that no Indian citizens of any religion or any region will be adversely impacted by the Citizenship Amendment Act. It has asked people to not to get mislead by misinformation on the act.

  • Citizenship Amendment Act is about giving citizenship to persecuted minorities settled in India till 2014. It does not take away citizenship from anyone. It is a myth that documents to prove citizenship need to be collected right now else people will be deported.

  • The Citizenship Amendment Act applies only to the minorities from three countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

  • Centre has made it clear that no nationwide NRC has been announced. Whenever it is announced, rules and guidelines will be framed in such a way that no Indian citizens face any harassment whatsoever.

  • Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad has alleged that people are being misled over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

  • Talking to media persons in Patna today, the Senior BJP leader said, synchronizing CAA with NRC is uncalled for as the shape of NRC is yet to evolve.

  • Condemning the incidents of violence and clashes during yesterday's Bihar bandh, Mr. Prasad said, Congress and RJD should answer people that whether they support arson and disruptions.

Around 35 lakh passengers flown under UDAN scheme

  • About 35 Lakh passengers have flown under the regional air connectivity scheme - UdeDeshkaAamNagrik (UDAN) till date.

  • The scheme was launched in October 2016, to provide connectivity to un-served and under-served regions through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.

  • Civil Aviation Ministry said, the travelling time has reduced drastically and the public at large is benefited for the purpose of tourism, medical emergencies and religious shrines.It said, 134 routes commenced in the last one year.

  • Airports Authority of India has declared 85 airports as single-use plastic-free airports.The Ministry said, Air India is in process of procuring items made of alternate material as a substitute for various plastic inflight catering items.

::ECONOMY::

GST taxpayers cross onecrore

  • A range of measures to go after tax defaulters and simplifying the GST filing process was discussed by the Group of Ministers headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister SushilModi in Bengaluru yesterday.

  • Briefing media persons in Bengaluru, SushilModi informed that the number of active GST taxpayers has gone up to one crore twenty-one lakh of which 66.79 lakh are new registrations, since the launch of GST.

  • However, only 15 per cent of the new taxpayers have paid taxes. Hence Mr.Modi said that states have started physical verification of the new taxpayers by visiting their premises.

  • He informed that a new return system will be launched from April 1st next year which will be user-friendly and simpler with a very few fields to fill.

Finance ministry holds pre-budget consultation with stakeholders

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman held her 2nd pre-budget consultations with stakeholders' groups from the Financial Sector and Capital Markets in New Delhi .

  • The meeting took place in connection with the forthcoming Union Budget 2020-21. The Finance Minister is likely to present her second budget in Parliament on the 1st of February next year.

  • The Finance Ministry said the main areas of discussion included increasing credit off-take from banks, governance changes in Public Sector Banks, creation of well-functioning bond markets, Alternative Investment Funds in Real Estate Sector and measures for alleviating stress among Non-Banking Financial Companies.

  • With a view to give a boost to the markets, the representatives of the Financial Sector and Capital Markets submitted several suggestions concerning enhancing credit off-take from banks, risk capital issues, mutual funds and promoting leasing by reducing GST.

  • Suggestions were also received for enhancing support from private banks to stand up India Scheme.

  • Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary, Secretary Economic Affairs, Revenue Secretary, Chief Economic Advisor, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes and Chairman Central Board of Indirect Taxes attended the meeting.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

ICC wants investigation into alleged war crimes in Palestine

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman held her 2nd pre-budget consultations with stakeholders' groups from the Financial Sector and Capital Markets in New Delhi today.

  • The meeting took place in connection with the forthcoming Union Budget 2020-21. The Finance Minister is likely to present her second budget in Parliament on the 1st of February next year.

  • The Finance Ministry said the main areas of discussion included increasing credit off-take from banks, governance changes in Public Sector Banks, creation of well-functioning bond markets, Alternative Investment Funds in Real Estate Sector and measures for alleviating stress among Non-Banking Financial Companies.

  • With a view to give a boost to the markets, the representatives of the Financial Sector and Capital Markets submitted several suggestions concerning enhancing credit off-take from banks, risk capital issues, mutual funds and promoting leasing by reducing GST. Suggestions were also received for enhancing support from private banks to stand up India Scheme.

  • Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, Finance Secretary, Secretary Economic Affairs, Revenue Secretary, Chief Economic Advisor, Chairman Central Board of Direct Taxes and Chairman Central Board of Indirect Taxes attended the meeting.

Schools closed in Iran due to severe air pollution

  • In Iran, schools in Tehran province have been closed until Friday due to severe air pollution, authorities announced, extending their closure to a full week.

  • State news agency IRNA reported schools in northern Alborz province were also closed for the week.

  • Tehran city was cloaked by thick toxic smog for a third successive day today that blanketed out landmarks like Milad Tower and the snow-capped Alborzmountains.

  • Pollution worsens in Tehran during winter, when cold air and a lack of wind traps hazardous smog over the capital for days on end, a phenomenon known as thermal inversion.The sprawling capital is one of the world's most polluted cities.

  • According to a World Bank report last year, most of the pollution in the city of eight million is caused by heavy duty vehicles, motorbikes, refineries and power plants.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

QRSAM system developed by DRDO test fired

  • Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile, QRSAM system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO was successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the Odisha coast today.

  • The missile was flight-tested with the full configuration in deployment mode intercepting the target mid-air, meeting the mission objectives.

  • The entire event was monitored by Ground Telemetry Systems, Range Radar Systems, Electro-Optical Tracking System etc.

  • The QRSAM weapon system, which operates on the move, comprises of fully automated Command and Control System, Active Array Battery Surveillance Radar, Active Array Battery Multifunction Radar and Launcher.

  • Both radars are four-walled having 360-degree coverage with a search on move and track on move capability.

  • The system is compact with a minimum number of vehicles for a firing unit. The single-stage solid propelled missile has a midcourse inertial navigation system with two-way data link and terminal active seeker developed indigenously by DRDO.

  • The missile successfully engaged the aerial target establishing its capability. Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems) MSR Prasad was present during the trial.

::SPORTS::

Rakhihalder creates two national records

  • Indian weightlifter RakhiHalder with creating two new national records clinched a bronze medal in the women's 64kg weight category at the Qatar International Cup in Doha.

  • The Commonwealth Championship gold medallist, superseded the senior national record in both snatch and total lift with her personal best effort of 218kg 95kg in the snatch with 123 kg in clean and jerk last night.

  • At the Commonwealth Championship in June, Halder had clinched the gold with a combined effort of 214kg including 94kg and 120kg in clean and jerk.

  • India ended the Olympic qualifying silver level event with three medals. Former world champion MirabaiChanu had won the gold on the opening day while teenager Jeremy Lalrinnunga had claimed silver in a power-packed performance.

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