Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 December 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 26 December 2019


VP urges to put citizen’s welfare at governance centre

  • The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu calls upon policymakers to place the welfare of the citizens at the centre of governance and strive to uplift the poor and downtrodden sections of society.

  • While speaking after paying floral tributes to former Prime Minister of India, AtalBihari Vajpayee at Swarna Bharat Trust, Atkuru in Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh today, he said that by improving the service delivery mechanism, the benefits of schemes reach the most deserving one is certainly an important aspect of good governance.

  • Venkaiah Naidu also called upon every citizen to commit to accountability and transparency in all aspects of life and strive to uplift the poor and downtrodden sections of the society.

  • Describing Mr. Vajpayee as a true statesman and charismatic leader, the Vice President lauded him for his invaluable contributions to the country's progress and development.

  • The Vice President also witnessed the Telugu poetry recital performance during the event of PadyaVaibhavam" at SBT. He stressed the need to protect and preserve Indian Languages and said that the language is the lifeline of a cult.

Centre promises clean drinking water to 15lakh households

  • Launching the AtalBhujalYojana in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Mod said, AtalJalYojana or the guidelines related to the JalJeevan Mission are big steps to deliver water to every household in the country by 2024.

  • He said, the water crisis not only affects citizens and families but also the nation and its development.

  • The Prime Minister said, only three crore out of 18 crore rural households today have clean piped water and the Government has aimed to provide the remaining 15 crore rural households with piped water in the next five years.

  • Mr Modi urged farmers to switch over to crops that use less water and exhorted people not to waste the precious natural resource in daily household needs. He called upon people to make a water action plan in every village and create a water fund.

  • Mr Modi said, there is a provision in the AtalJalYojana to provide more funds to those Gram Panchayats which will do the best work for water.

  • On the occasion, Mr Modi also named Rohtang passageway in Himachal Pradesh as Atal Tunnel to mark the 95th birth anniversary of former prime minister AtalBihari Vajpayee.


Govt. constitutes expert panel for Oil & Gas sector disputes

  • With overhang of disputes choking investments in the oil and gas sector, the government has constituted an expert committee for time-bound resolution of exploration and production disputes without having to resort to tardy judicial process.

  • India's oil and gas sector has been plagued by disputes from cost recovery to production targets, and companies as well as the government have resorted to lengthy and costly arbitration followed by judicial review -- a process that takes years to resolve differences.

  • The notification said the committee will arbitrate on a dispute between partners in a contract or with the government over commercial or production issues for oil and gas.

  • "The committee shall exercise all powers and discharge all functions necessary for carrying out conciliation and mediation proceedings for resolution of the disputes between the parties as per the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, and endeavour that the parties arrive at a settlement agreement within three months from the date of the first meeting of the committee," it said.

  • The parties are required to keep conciliation or mediation proceedings confidential and the same cannot be relied upon them as evidence in any arbitration or court proceeding.

  • It added that the parties shall not initiate or take any step to initiate any arbitral or judicial proceedings in respect of a dispute, which is a subject matter of the conciliation or mediation proceedings pending before the committee.

New good governance index launched

  • Minister of State for Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh today launched Good Governance Index in New Delhi on the occasion of Good Governance Day today.

  • The Good Governance Day is observed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister AtalBihariVajpayee.Speaking on the occasion, Dr Singh said that Good Governance Index has been scientifically designed on various parameters of governance.

  • He said, it has been designed keeping in mind the citizen-centricity, which is the prime mantra of Government. He added that Good Governance Index will also seek to determine the status of governance and provide reference threshold for future also.

  • The Minister said that documentation of good governance index is the effort in the direction to carry forward Prime Minister NarendraModi’s vision for good governance. He added that good governance initiatives are being replicated not only by the states in India, but also by the other countries.

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Saudi and Kuwait end dispute over shared oil fields

  • Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have ended a nearly five-year-long dispute over shared oil fields and have agreed to resume oil production from the divided Neutral Zone, but stressed this would not change their OPEC commitments to crude oil production cuts.

  • The allied Gulf Arab nations signed the agreement in Kuwait City on Tuesday. Local media reported that about 300,000 barrels per day were being pumped from the area before the dispute halted production in early 2015.

  • The divided zone, located between the two neighbouring countries' land borders, can produce up to half-a-million barrels per day.

  • The state-run Saudi Press Agency reported that the agreement will not affect Saudi Arabia's commitments to reduce its crude output to 9.7 million barrels of per day.

China, Japan and South Korea commits to end North Korea’s nuclear programmes

  • Leaders from China, Japan and South Korea reiterated their commitment to ending North Korea's nuclear and missile programs at a trilateral summit Tuesday that comes against the backdrop of increasing demands by Pyongyang for sanctions relief.

  • Free trade and economic cooperation were also at the forefront of the meetings between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu between

  • Li said the three agreed that "dialogue and consultation is the only effective way to solve the issues of Korea Peninsula."

  • The North has threatened to take unspecified action if that relief is not forthcoming by the end of the year. Speculation has centered on the possibility of conducting a new missile test, possibly of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

  • Li, Abe and Moon also said they discussed furthering regional cooperation on the economy, the environment and people-to-people exchanges.

  • The trilateral summits between China, Japan and South Korea date back to the fallout from the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which devastated businesses across the region and prompted moves toward greater economic integration.

  • The three countries account for about 24% of world trade and have tightly bound supply chains, with more than $720 billion in trade moving between them last year.


Last Solar eclipse of the decade witnessed

  • A partial solar eclipse was visible in India along with several other countries this morning.

  • This was an annular solar eclipse that happens when the Moon covers the sun's centre, leaving the sun's visible outer edges to form a 'ring of fire' or annulus - around the moon.

  • In Delhi, the partial eclipse began at 8.17 AM and ended at 10.56 AM. The total duration of the eclipse was 2 hours and 39 minutes. This was the last solar eclipse of the decade.

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi watched the solar eclipse on the live stream.

  • In a tweet, Mr Modi said, like many Indians, he was enthusiastic about the solar eclipse. He said,unfortunately, he could not see the Sun due to cloud cover but he did catch glimpses of the eclipse in Kozhikode and other parts on the live stream.

  • The Prime Minister said, he also enriched his knowledge on the subject by interacting with experts.Devotees took a holy dip in rivers and water pools across the country on the occasion of the solar eclipse.


India plans to host commonwealth shooting championships in 2022

  • Chances of India hosting a Commonwealth Shooting Championship in 2022 have brightened after the Commonwealth Games Federation asked Indian Olympic Association to submit a formal proposal for its consideration.

  • This is being seen as an idea mooted to compensate for the sport's exclusion from the Birmingham Commonwealth games. Shooting has been axed from the 2022 edition by Birmingham Organising Committee, citing logistical issues.

  • The move triggered angry reactions from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the national shooting federation (NRAI).

  • The submission of the proposal must be done by early January to the Sports Committee of the CGF which will then place the bid before its Executive Committee for approval.

  • The encouraging response comes weeks after a meeting between the CGF and International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) in Munich on December 5.

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