Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 February 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 February 2020


Mizoram asks centre to review inter-state border with Assam

  • The Mizoram government has been making efforts to resolve the long-pending boundary dispute with Assam and has asked the Centre to review the inter-State border, the Assembly was informed on Monday.

  • In reply to a query by Congress legislature party leader ZodintluangaRalte, Home Minister Lalchamliana said the State government had sent a letter to the Union Home Ministry praying for a review of the border on December 15 last year.

  • He said the government was making efforts to resolve the dispute at Zophai area near Bairabi town along the State border with Assam.

  • The last border stand-off between the two States had taken place at Zophai in March 2018 when members of a students’ body of Mizoram attempted to construct a wooden resting shed there. The Assam police had resisted their bid and many students were allegedly injured.

  • Mr.Lalchamliama said a core committee constituted by the State government in May 2018 to study the boundary issue has collected some important documents related to the border.

  • In July last year, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had said, without elaborating, that his government had evolved a strategy to resolve the border dispute.

  • On that strategy, the Home Minister said in the Assembly on Monday that it was not made public as that would not be “convenient”.Several discussions held between the two States since 1995 to resolve the border dispute have yielded little result.

KisanSammanNidhi to cover fewer farmers

  • One year after the launch of the PradhanMantriKisanSammanNidhi, the Centre has revised the farmer income support scheme’s beneficiary target down to just under 12 crore from 14 crore.

  • In fact, empirical evidence suggests that saturation level will reach around 10 crore families. So far, almost 8.5 crore farmers have benefited.

  • The scheme, which gives land-owning farmer families an annual sum of ₹6,000, was launched in the run-up to the 2019 LokSabha election, and new registrations have slowed after the election.

  • The Centre’s beneficiary estimate of 14 crore was initially based on the number of landholdings recorded in the agricultural land census.

  • The revised estimate of 11.97 crore is based on the 9.84 crore who have registered themselves on the portal so far (although only 8.45 crore have received money so far), plus an estimated 2.13 crore beneficiaries left out, mostly from West Bengal and Bihar.

  • In Bihar, the potential beneficiaries number 158 lakh. However, only 59.7 lakh farmers have uploaded their data on the PM-KISAN portal so far. “The State has adopted a beneficiary application-based approach, which is delaying identification and upload,” said the presentation.


RBI governor expresses concern over bank profitabilities

  • While the Indian banking sector may be slowly turning around on the back of improvement in asset quality, its profitability remains fragile, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said.

  • He also said that banks continued to face challenges like the present crisis in the telecom sector.

  • He said the capital position of banks had improved on account of recapitalisation of public sector banks by the government and capital raising efforts by private sector banks.

  • According to Mr. Das, the overhang of non-performing assets (NPAs) remains relatively high, which is weighing on credit growth.

  • On consolidation in public sector banks, he said a properly worked out consolidation of PSBs can generate synergies in allocation of workforce and branches.

  • On non-banking finance companies, he said, recognising the systemic importance of such entities and their inter-linkages with the financial system, the RBI had taken steps and the asset-liability management (ALM) position and other aspects of top 50 NBFCs were being closely monitored, covering all NBFCs with asset size above ₹5,000 crore.

Government sets target for more urbanised clusters in rural areas

  • Union Minister for Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar has said, after evaluating the success rate of Rurban Clusters scheme, government is intending to move ahead to construct 1,000 more urbanized clusters in rural areas.

  • Speaking at the of 4th Anniversary Celebration function of Shyama Prasad MukherjiRurban Mission, SPMRM in New Delhi today, Mr Tomar said, sense of mutual cooperation between people, who want urbanization in their rural space and concerned ministry officials will be instrumental in ensuring the success of the scheme.

  • On the occasion, the Minister launched GeoRurban, a mobile app to be used for Geo-tagging for the assets in the rurban clusters.

  • AIR correspondent reports that this flagship scheme of Centre, launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi on 21st February in 2016, aims at transforming these Rurban clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters.

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PM describes trump visit as historical

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi today hailed US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to India as a new chapter in the historic Indo-US relations.

  • The Prime Minister stated this while welcoming the US President at the 'Namaste Trump' event held at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemdabad in Gujarat after President Trump's arrival on the first leg of his two-day trip.

  • Over one lakh people gathered at the stadium in Motera area to witness the address of US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister NarendraModi at the 'Namaste Trump' event.

  • The Prime Minister hailed the relationship between the two countries.He said, India and the US is no longer just another partnership but a far greater and closer relationship.

  • Prime Minister emphasized the democratic traditions of the two nations as the basis for the strong relationship. He also referred to his close friendship with President Trump and the cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

  • The Prime Minister said, India and the US relations and cooperation will play an important role in deciding the course of the world in the 21st century. Prime Minister Modi also hailed President Trump's leadership in containing terrorism.

UNICEF survey shows sharp decline in child malnutrition in Bangladesh

  • The child malnutrition rate in Bangladesh has declined sharply over the last six years. The finding was reported in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019, jointly conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and UNICEF. The survey has also recorded an improvement in many other areas related to health and nutrition, Child protection, hygiene and sanitation.

  • The rate of chronic malnutrition among children measured by the stunting level among them has come down from 42 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2019. The percentage of underweight children below 5 also declined from about 32 percent to 22.6 percent over the same period. The infant mortality rate has also declined from 46 to 34 per thousand live births between 2012-13 and 2019.

  • The survey reports that the percentage of children of school entry age who enter the first grade of primary school marked a sharp upward trend from 33 percent in 2012-13 to 61.4 in 2019.

  • The survey also records improvement in access to and use of toilets, birth registration, ante-natal care coverage, institutional deliveries and similar other parameters indicating an overall improvement in child and mother health in the country.

  • However, the availability of Children’s books declined from 8.8 percent to 6.1 percent during this period. The incidence of violent disciplining of children has shown an upward trend during this period.


Sweden launches food planet prize for sustainable food solutions

  • Sweden has created 1 million USD worth prizes to feed billion of people. The prize is named as the “Food Planet Prize”.The main aim of the step is to address the climate change threats towards food supply all over the world.

  • The prize is to be awarded annually. Sweden is to offer two Food Planet prizes. They are “an existing scalable solution for sustainable foods” and theother includes “innovative initiatives to transform global food sector”.

  • Today, the world population is 7.8 billion and is expected to grow by 10 billion by 2050. In order to feed such a huge population, it is essential totransform the eating habits, reduce food waste and also improve food production.

  • Today there are more than 820 million people that lack sufficient food. There are many others that consume low-quality diet. The data was provided bythe LANCET publication. Therefore, the prize will encourage people to work towards sustainable food production.


India to host commonwealth shooting and archery championships in 2022

  • India will host the Commonwealth Shooting and Archery Championships in January 2022. The medals from the two events will be counted for ranking of competing nations at the Birmingham Games. However, the medals will be added to the final tally one week after the conclusion of the Games.

  • The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced this decision after the three-day Executive Board meeting in London yesterday. The two events will be held in Chandigarh in January 2022 while the Birmingham Commonwealth Games is scheduled from 27th of July to 7th of August , 2022.

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