Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 July 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 July 2020


SC judgement holds cabinet decision binding on governor with respect to floor test

  • A Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court has held that a Governor is bound to convene a meeting of the Assembly for a floor test on the recommendation of the Cabinet.
  • The five-judge Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court in NabamRebia versus Deputy Speaker on July 13, 2016, held that a Governor cannot employ his “discretion”, and should strictly abide by the “aid and advice” of the Cabinet to summon the House.
  • The judgment said even the Constituent Assembly was wary of extending the Governor’s discretion. Though the draft Constitution had vested the Governor with the discretion to summon and dissolve, it was latter omitted by the framers of the Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court highlighted how Article 163 of the Constitution does not give the Governor a “general discretionary power to act against or without the advice of his Council of Ministers”.
  • The court said the Governor’s discretionary powers are limited to specified areas like giving assent or withholding/referring a Bill to the President or appointment of a Chief Minister or dismissal of a government which has lost of confidence but refuses to quit, etc.

Centre allocates more funds to MGNREGA in view of COVID-pandemic

  • In view of the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic, an additional allocation of 40 thousand crore rupees has also been made for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during this financial year. 
  • Union Minster for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar has called upon the states to ensure that funds being routed to Gram Panchayats are effectively used for development works at the village level.
  • Mr Tomar said this while inaugurating a function through video conference on Strengthening of the Risk-Based Internal Audit of Rural Development Programmes. He emphasized that the focus of the government is on ensuring high level of transparency in the implementation of rural development programmes.
  • Mr Tomar said, his Ministry has developed a multi-pronged strategy for expanding livelihood opportunities through wage and self-employment, providing rural housing, roads infrastructure and providing social safety net.
  • The Minister said, a provision of about one lakh 20 thousand crore rupees has been made in the Budget Estimates for the financial year 2020-21.



Monsoon rains spur summer crop sowing in India

  • Farmers have planted 79.9 million hectares with summer crops so far, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, up 18.3% from last year, as robust monsoon rains spurred sowing in the world’s leading producer of farm goods.
  • Farmers generally start planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane and peanuts, among other crops, from June 1, when monsoon rains typically arrive in India. Sowing usually lasts until July or early August.
  • Monsoon rains play a crucial role in agriculture, which employs 50% of India’s 1.3 billion people, as nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.
  • As of Friday, planting of rice, the key summer crop, was at 22 million hectares, against 18.7 million hectares at the same time last year. Corn planting was at 7.1 million hectares, up from 6.6 million during the same period last year.
  • The area planted with cotton totalled 11.8 million hectares against 9.6 million hectares a year earlier.
  • Sowing of soybeans, the main summer oilseed crop, stood at 11.4 million hectares, compared with 9.7 million hectares at the same time in 2019. 
  • Soybean output is set to jump by at least 15% . Planting of the protein-rice pulse was at 9.9 million hectares, higher than 7.9 million hectares last year. Sugar cane sowing was unchanged at 5.1 million hectares. India has received 6% above average rainfall since June 1.

India-UK agrees upon Free Trade Agreement

  • India and the United Kingdom have affirmed their shared commitment towards Free Trade Agreement between both the countries. The two sides will engage into early harvest schemes or limited trade agreements in a staged manner marking preparatory steps towards the free trade agreement.
  • The declaration was announced during the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting which was held virtually yesterday. Minister for Commerce and Industry PiyushGoyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Ms Elizabeth Truss co-chaired the meeting.  
  • Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and his UK counterpart, Minister of State for International Trade, Mr RanilJayawardenawere also present during the meet.


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India,EU renew Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation

  • India and European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the next five years till 2025.
  • This will expand the cooperation in scientific and technological research and strengthen the conduct of cooperative activities in areas of common interest and application of the results of such cooperation to their economic and social benefit. 
  • The Agreement was initially signed on 23rd November in 2001 and renewed two times in 2007 and 2015.
  • In the last five years, the level of co-investment on India-EU Research Technology Development Projects for addressing societal challenges such as affordable health care, water, energy, food and nutrition. The cooperation has been focused on water, green transport, e-mobility, clean energy, bio-economy, health, and ICT.

MEA looks forward to conclusion of electoral process in Guyana

  • India today said, it is looking forward to the early conclusion of the electoral process in the interest of democracy in Guyana. 
  • In response to media queries regarding election impasse in Guyana, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman AnuragSrivastava said, India has been closely following developments of the General and Regional elections held in March this year. 



Kashmir saffron gets GI certification

  • The Union Government has issued a certificate of GI registration for Saffron grown in the Kashmir Valley in a significant decision. While expressing happiness on the development, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has said that this is the first major step to put Saffron produced in Kashmir Valley on the world map with authentication.
  • With the GI tag, Kashmir Saffron will acquire more prominence in the export market and would help the farmers get a better remunerative price. 
  • The LG has complimented Director of Agriculture in Kashmir for pursuing GI certification and said that restoring the pristine glory of Kashmir Saffron is top priority for both the Union Territory Administration as well as the Centre. 
  • He further said that with the completion and inauguration of state of the art Spice Park next month, these measures will prove to be the game changer for Kashmir Saffron.



Haryana set to host 2021 Khelo India games

  • Panchkula in Haryana will host the fourth edition of the Khelo India Youth Games after the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the State’s Chief Minister ManoharLalKhattar and Union Sports Minister KirenRijiju announced on Saturday.
  • “Usually the Games take place in January every year. However, this time owing to the pandemic, we have to postpone it,” Rijiju said.


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