Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 May 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 May 2020


Supreme court develops software to go paperless

  • The Supreme Court, which has been experimenting with tech solutions and artificial intelligence tools to streamline the working of courts, has developed a software called SCI-Interact to make all its 17 benches paperless.
  • This software comprises five components — scanned copies of pending cases, e-filing of fresh cases, IT hardware, MPLS network with dual redundancy, and security audit. “This would minimise human touch, speed up disposal of cases and help in quick decision-making. Once the security testing is done (already underway), the project will be implemented,” SS Rathi, member, e-committee, and convener, artificial intelligence committee of the court, told
  • Meanwhile, the AI committee is also working on a second project called SUPACE (Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court Efficiency), aimed at data mining, tracking progress of cases, legal research and other uses to ensure timely delivery of justice by judges.
  • Earlier, the apex court had developed a dedicated open-source judicial domain language translation tool named SUVAS (Supreme Court VidhikAnuvaad Software) to translate judicial documents from English to nine vernacular languages — Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Bengali — and vice versa.

Regular parliamentary meeting scheduled to be held soon

  • With the resumption of air and train services, the process of holding regular meetings of various parliamentary committees has begun.
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and LokSabha Speaker Om Birla held discussions with the parliament secretariat on the issue, following which 15 rooms in Parliament House and annexe building were identified for holding these meetings.
  • This would also mean that the idea of holding...........................



Government to explore new FI’s to support MSME’s

  • Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises NitinGadkari has said that the government is exploring new financial lending institutions to support small-scale units in terms of financial support.
  • He said that government is working towards strengthening the Non- Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) which will help small businesses to avail easy credit in the coming time.
  • Addressing the members of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce on impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs through video conference, Mr Gadkari requested all the stakeholders to work in tandem and urged the industry to maintain a positive attitude during this time to tide over this crisis.
  • The Minister mentioned that special focus towards export enhancement, is the need of the hour. He further added that there is need to reduce the cost on production and logistics to become economically viable.
  • He said that the current contribution of MSMEs in export is 48 per cent, which may be increased to 60 per cent.

End of oil pacts with Malaysia and Indonesia likely to see hike in import duties

  • As India's 2010 pact with Malaysia and Indonesia came to an end, trade body SEA on Monday said the government should hike customs duty on soya, sunflower and crude palm oils and encourage domestic production.
  • The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) also urged the government to ban the import of refined palm oils or palmolien in order to encourage domestic production.These are some of the short-term measures the .,..................................


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ILO urges India not to dilute labour laws

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has informed trade unions of India that its Director-General has expressed concern and urged Prime Minister NarendraModi to “send a clear message” to the Central and State governments to uphold international labour laws after the recent dilution of laws by some States.
  • A group of 10 Central trade unions wrote to the ILO in Geneva on May 14, seeking its intervention to protect workers’ rights and international labour standards.
  • In a response to the unions on May 22, the chief of the Freedom Of Association Branch of the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department, Karen Curtis, wrote: “Please allow me to assure you that the ILO Director-General has immediately intervened, expressing his deep concern at these recent events and appealing to the Prime Minister to send a clear message to Central and State governments to uphold the country’s international commitments and encourage engagement in effective social dialogue”.
  • The unions that sent the representation to the ILO sent the representation to the ILO after Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and some other States either suspended a large number of labour laws for two-three years or diluted them in an attempt to woo industry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan lifts state of emergency

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency for Tokyo and four remaining areas on Monday after the number of infections fell across the country, but warned that it could be reimposed if the virus started spreading again.
  • The move meant that the whole country would ............................................



New fresh water fish species discovered in Tamilnadu

  • Velankanni in Tamil Nadu has thrown up a new species of small freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae. The silver-hued fish has been christened Puntiussanctus — ‘sanctus’ is Latin for holy — after the popular pilgrim town.
  • The fish has been identified and named by Mathews Plamoottil, head of the Department of Zoology, BJM Government College, Chavara, in Kollam.
  • Encountered in a small waterbody in Velankanni, Puntiussanctusgrows to a length of 7 cm. It is used both as food and as an aquarium draw, Dr.Plamoottilsaid.“ThePuntius species are known locally as ‘Paral’ in Kerala and ‘Kende’ in Tamil Nadu. They are purely freshwater fishes,” he said.
  • While the genus shows great species richness in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the specimen from Velankanni bears “distinct differences” from its Puntius cousins, he said.
  • Its physical characteristics included a protractible mouth, a pair of maxillary barbels (a sensory organ near the snout), 24-25 lateral line scales and 10 pre-dorsal scales.


Indian hockey legend Balbirsingh passes away

  • Balbir’s world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten. He scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.
  • Three-time Olympic champion and one of the greatest ever hockey players, Balbir Singh Dosanjh passed away after prolonged illness on Monday morning.
  • Known as Balbir Singh Senior to all, the 95-year-old was hospitalised on May 8 after complaining of high fever and breathing problems. He suffered three cardiac arrests but had been stable since May 13.

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