Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 25 July 2020


VP urges people to learn more languages and foster unity of mankind

  • Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has highlighted the virtues of learning and mastering one's mother tongue even as he urged the people to learn other languages to the extent possible for a wider understanding of cultural diversities and value systems. He further said that learning other languages also fosters wider bonding of humankind besides enhancing opportunities of various kinds.
  • Addressing online the participants in the 'World Telugu Cultural Fest' being organized in San Francisco, the USA, Mr. Naidu stressed that language is more than a mere instrument of expression. He elaborated that language is manifestation of culture and a system of values over a long period of time and it epitomizes the personality types typical to respective cultures. 
  • Noting that a common language fosters unity and community development, Vice President urged the people to learn as many languages as possible for a broader understanding of the diverse cultures. He has called for extensive cultural and linguistic exchanges for transforming the mindsets and perspectives.
  • Mr. Naidu also urged the people to always be mindful and respectful of four 'M's i.e. Mother, Motherland, Mother Tongue and Mentor.

Average completion time of PMAY-G houses comes down

  • Ministry of Rural Development has said that the average completion time for houses under restructured PradhanMantriAwaasYojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) has come down to 114 days as compared to 314 days earlier.
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi had launched the PMAY-G on 20th November, 2016 to achieve the objective of Housing for all by the year 2022. The target is to construct 2.95 crore houses with all basic amenities by the year 2022.
  • The Ministry said, the measures taken in this regard  ensured increased pace for construction of houses resulting in completion of one crore 10 lakh houses which includes houses to 1.46 lakh landless beneficiaries under the scheme.



RBI indicates rise in Gross NPA of scheduled banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said stress tests indicated that gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) could worsen to as high as 14.7% by the end of the current financial year, from 8.5% in March 2020, if the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘very severe’.
  • Bank credit which had considerably weakened during the first half of 2019-20, slid down further to 5.9% by March 2020 and remained muted up to early June 2020. This moderation was broad-based across all bank groups, the central bank said.
  • In terms of inter-sectoral exposures, asset management companies/mutual funds, followed by insurance companies, were the biggest fund providers in the system, while non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) were the biggest receivers, followed by housing finance companies (HFCs).
  • The central bank said the near-term economic prospects appear severely impacted by lockdown induced disruptions to both supply and demand side factors, diminished consumer confidence and risk aversion.
  • “Full restoration in economic activity would be contingent upon the support for robust health infrastructure, recovery in demand conditions and fixing of supply dislocations,” the central bank observed.

Government notifies new rules for e-commerce companies

  • The government has notified new rules and regulations for e-commerce companies under the Consumer Protection Act 2019. It made it mandatory to display the 'country of origin' on their products stating that any non-compliance will attract penal action.
  • The 'Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020', notified on 23rd July is part of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.The new norms aim to protect the rights of consumer by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers' disputes.
  • The 'Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020' will be applicable to all electronic retailers registered in India or abroad but offering goods and services to Indian consumers. The new rules empower the central government to act against unfair trade practices in e-commerce and direct selling.


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MEA claims abiding by LAC as basis of peace & tranquillity in border

  • External Affairs Ministry has said respecting and strictly abiding by the LAC is the basis of peace and tranquillity in the border areas. 
  • Briefing media in New Delhi on Thursday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson AnuragSrivastava said, several agreements concluded by India and China since 1993 firmly acknowledge this.
  • He said the conduct of Chinese forces this year, including the deployment of large body of troops and changes in behaviour, accompanied by unjustified and untenable claims, has been in complete disregard of all the mutual agreements. 
  • He said Indian side has made it clear that India is fully committed to observing and respecting the LAC and country will not accept any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the LAC.
  • The two sides have agreed during the conversation of the Special Representatives to work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.
  • The 4th round of the meeting of the Senior Commanders was held on 14th July, where they also discussed further steps to ensure complete disengagement.
  • The spokesperson said another meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs is also expected to be scheduled soon.

India, ASEAN to play lead role in Post-COVID World Economic Recovery claims centre

  • Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India and ASEAN will play a lead role in the Post-COVID World Economic Recovery. He said, the future belongs to them due to common traits of grit, courage and determination to scale newer heights. 
  • Dr. Singh said, due to close business and cultural ties between India and ASEAN, the region will take a lead in the economic recovery in the post-Corona era. The Minister said that North Eastern Region has a special role to play in the promotion of trade and business relations with ASEAN as it is the gateway to the growing economies of South East Asian Nations. 
  • Referring to the connectivity issues, Dr. Singh said, in the last six years, there has been a significant development in terms of Road, Rail and Air connectivity. He recalled that the Indo-Bangladesh treaty for exchange of enclaves, which was accomplished under the leadership of Prime Minister NarendraModi, has cleared the decks for ease of business, ease of movement and ease of commuting.



E-symposium on handicrafts brought in by tribal affairs ministry

  • Tribal Affairs Minister ArjunMunda today inaugurated an e-Symposium on Handicrafts organized by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis, Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. The e-symposium was titled 'Emergent North-East India: Strategic and Developmental Imperatives in Handicrafts'.
  • Speaking on this occasion, Mr Munda said that the traditional lifestyle in India is very artistic and creative, but we could not make our due place in global market due to lack of proper marketing management. He cited the example of Agarbatti which is now mostly imported in India.
  • He opined that the Bamboos in North Eastern States can be used in making better quality of Agarbattis and the burden of import can be lessened. Mr Munda said all North Eastern States can very easily be converted in to organic states to produce quality organic agro-products.
  • Mr Munda emphasized that the trading mindset of our artisans should be replaced by entrepreneurship by upgrading their skills. The Minister said, up-skilling is now the need of the hour.



Commonwealth SG lauds Fit India movement

  • Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland has lauded the Fit India Movement of India as a unique initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fit India Movement was launched by Prime Minister NarendraModi last year.
  • Speaking at the global forum, which saw participation from all Commonwealth countries, Mr Rijiju said, the Fit India  Movement launched last year, has been very useful in fighting the pandemic since building fitness and immunity is crucial during these Covid times. 
  • The Minister also spoke of diversification of sports delivery models and shared how India is successfully running online training programmes for athletes and skill upgradation courses for coaches. He expressed hope that India will have sporting events from September or October, even the big leagues in various sports are considering resumption.


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