Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 June 2020

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 June 2020


Centre brings out anti-drug action plan in vulnerable districts

  • An annual anti-drug action plan for 272 vulnerable districts was launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on Friday, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
  • The ‘NashaMuktBharat’, or drug-free India campaign will focus not just on institutional support but also on community outreach programmes in the districts identified in coordination with the Narcotics Control Bureau, R. Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, said at the e-launch.
  • “Today, we want to herald a new change in the strategy against drugs. So far, we had been focussed on institutions, but we need to move the focus to working in society at large because the problem is not at the institutional level, it is at the level of society,” he said, adding that while the Ministry would ramp up funding for institutions, it would also launch campaigns in schools and colleges to prevent drug abuse among youth.
  • Mr.Subrahmanyam said the Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs), funded by the Ministry, should reach out to their communities to help those affected by addiction. Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan LalKataria said it was important to sensitise parents to, and involve schools in, prevention of drug abuse.

Cabinets approves 2% interest subvention to Shishu loan accounts under PMMY

  • Union Cabinet today approved a scheme for interest subvention of 2 per cent for a period of 12 months, to all Shishu loan accounts under PradhanMantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) to eligible borrowers.
  • The scheme will be extended to loans which are not in Non-Performing Asset (NPA) category, as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines as on 31st March 2020 and during the period of operation of the Scheme.
  • The interest subvention would be payable for the months in which the accounts are not in NPA category including for the months that the account becomes a performing asset again, after turning NPA.
  • The scheme will incentivize people who will make regular repayments of loans.The estimated cost of the Scheme would be approximately Rs. 1,542 crore which would be provided by the Government of India.
  • This Scheme is for implementation of one of the measures relating to MSMEs, announced under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.Under PMMY, loans for income generating activities up to Rs. 50,000 rupees are termed as Shishu loans.
  • AIR correspondent reports, the  Scheme will be implemented through the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and will be in operation for 12 months.


Finance comission recommends focus on fiscal consolidation

  • The government need not, at present, focus on fiscal consolidation and increased public debt, rather it should concentrate on the fastest possible revival of the economy, 15th Finance Commission Chairman N. K. Singh, said on Friday.
  • He said there was acute pressure on the finances of both the Central and State governments given the much lower growth number and revenue receipts.
  • Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the Commission with the Economic Advisory Council, Mr. Singh said this year, the fiscal numbers look to be way out of what they have been considered, and the Finance Ministry itself has increased their borrowings from the Reserve Bank and the State governments are also going to borrow more.He further said, “This is not the time to talk of fiscal consolidation.
  • “This is the time in which the world believes, I think, that what needs to be protected is the expenditure over fiscal deficit and this is exactly what the Central government has done,” Mr. Singh added.
  • RBI board reviews states of economy
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das today briefed the board members about the impact of the various monetary and regulatory measures taken by the central bank to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The RBI governor held a meeting with the board through video-conferencing today. The RBI said in a release that at the outset, the governor and deputy governors briefed the board about the overall macroeconomic conditions -- both domestic and global; financial sector situation; and the impact of various monetary, regulatory and other measures taken by the RBI in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The statement said that the board also deliberated on the current economic situation and the evolving challenges posed by the pandemic.
  • Among others, it also discussed the RBI's activities during the period from July 2019-June 2020, the Budget for the next accounting year July 2020 to March 2021 aligned with the government's financial year, other policy and operational matters.
  • The RBI had taken a host of steps, including reduction in the key policy rate and measures to support the industry, to deal with the impact of the outbreak of COVID pandemic.

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ASEAN states expresses concern over South China sea tensions

  • Vietnam and the Philippines warned of growing insecurity in Southeast Asia at a regional summit on Friday amid concerns that China was stepping up its activity in the disputed South China Sea during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Both Hanoi and Manila lodged protests with China in April after Beijing unilaterally declared the creation of new administrative districts on islands in the troubled waterways to which Vietnam and the Philippines also have competing claims.
  • China has been pushing its presence in the Exclusive Economic Zones of other countries while claimants are preoccupied tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting the United States to call on China to stop its “bullying behaviour” there.
  • In early April, Vietnam said one of its fishing boats was sunk by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel. China said that Vietnam's claims in South China sea are illegal and “doomed to fail”.
  • In his opening remarks at the ASEAN Summit, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc said international institutions and international law had been seriously challenged during the global crisis.
  • “The pandemic is fanning the flames of dormant challenges within the political, economic and social environment of the world and in each region,” the Prime Minister said.

Srilankan presidential committee expresses concern over MCC agreement with U.S

  • In Sri Lanka, a Presidential committee appointed to look into the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement with the US government has expressed reservations over it saying some clauses cannot be legally implemented.
  • The committee which submitted its final report to President GotabayaRajapaksa last evening, said the current status of countries which had implemented the MCC is tragic. Following the concerns expressed, the President has directed the report to be made public.
  • The agreement was proposed during the tenure of the former government but had to be delayed following political opposition. The current government had set up the committee to study its provisions while the US embassy in Colombo had expressed hope that the agreement will be finalized after upcoming parliamentary elections in August.
  • The report pointed out that no multi-sectoral analysis had been conducted by the focal points of the then government. It said that after the adoption of the project as an act of parliament, it would be a violation to submit a counter-proposal or a resolution relating to its implementation.
  • The agreement entailing a grant of 480 million USD was to reduce traffic congestion, improve public transportation in Colombo, upgrade provincial roads and expand existing initiatives to improve land administration.


Indian navy launches new torpedo defence system 

  • The Indian Navy has inducted an Indigenously developed Maareech capable Advanced Torpedo Decoy System on 26th June 2020. The induction has provided a huge boost to the Indian Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Capabilities.
  • The prototype of the Anti-Torpedo Decoy System had successfully completed the trails. During the evaluation trials, the features demonstrated by the prototype has been as per the Qualification Requirements set by the Naval Staff.
  • Naval Science & Technology Laboratory (NSTL) and Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) are two laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Anti-Torpedo Decoy System has been designed and developed at these laboratories of DRDO.
  • The production of the Anti-Torpedo Decoy System will be undertaken by Bengaluru headquartered state-owned company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • The successful induction of the Anti-Torpedo Decoy System has provided a massive boost to the Make-in-India initiative.
  • The success of the Indigenously developed Defence Technology will act as a confidence-building measure for the entire domestic Defence Industry of the country, which further will help in building an AtmaNirbhar Bharat.


Davis cup and Federation cup postponed for a year

  • The Davis Cup Finals, scheduled for November this year in Madrid, and the inaugural Fed Cup Finals, which was due in April in Budapest, have been postponed to 2021 because of COVID-19. The two competitions will retain the same playing fields, time slots and venues in 2021.
  • In addition, the 24 home-and-away Davis Cup World Group I and World Group II ties scheduled for this September will be played in either March or September 2021. India, following its loss to Croatia in the Cup qualifier in March, had drawn Finland for an away match.
  • In Fed Cup, India had drawn Latvia after finishing runner-up in the Asia-Oceania Group-I women’s tournament in Dubai in March.

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