Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 December 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 December 2019


::NATIONAL::

UIDAI announce that Aadhar project crosses 125crore mark

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) today announced that the Aadhaar project has crossed a new milestone achieved by crossing of the 125 crore mark.

  • "This means that over 1.25 billion residents of India have the 12-digit unique identity," UIDAI said in a press release

  • The Aadhaar, with a unique identity number, was introduced in 2009. It is the world's largest biometric identification system.

  • It has now being used as the primary identity document by the Aadhaar holders, claimed UIDAI. "This is evident from the fact that Aadhaar-based authentication services have been used close to 37,000 crore times since inception," the press release added.

  • UIDAI recorded close to 331 crore successful Aadhaar updates (biometric and demographic) till date. At present UIDAI receives about 3-4 lakh Aadhaar updates request every day.

Union budget for citizenship and foreigner’s act declines

  • At a time when several states are opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR), official data shows that the Union home ministry’s budget for laws such as Citizenship Act and Foreigners Act has declined over the years as several state governments have not been fully utilising the central funds.

  • In this financial year, for instance, just Rs 9 crore was earmarked for payments to states for administration of central laws out of a total budget of Rs 882.36 crore under the major head of grant in aid to states and Union Territories.

  • States are empowered to detain and deport foreign nationals staying illegally, set up detention centres to hold declared foreigners and carry out registration and surveillance of foreigners.

  • Home ministry officials told ET that they have been sending regular reminders to states and UTs to claim their expenditure incurred on implementation of central laws such as Citizenship Act.

  • The Assam government has set up six detention centres so far, with aid from the home ministry, that will hold “declared foreigners”.

::ECONOMY::

Government proposes BSVI emission norms from April 2020

  • The government has proposed to make BS VI emission norms mandatory for quadricycles from April 1, 2020, an official said.Currently, quadricycles are covered under Bharat Stage IV emission norms.

  • The BS VI emission norms are in line with European standards.Various testing, including those related to durability, would be as per Europe quadricycle norms, the official said.

  • Proposed emission limits in BS VI are in line with Euro 5 mass emission guidelines which will be applicable from January 1, 2020 in Europe, the official added.

  • Threshold limits for emission pollutants, conformity of production (CoP) frequency and sampling plan have been proposed.

  • The official said the government is soliciting comments and suggestion on the draft notification before finalising it.

Centre plans to constitute GST grievance redressal committee

  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has set the ball rolling to create goods and services tax grievance redressal committees expeditiously at zonal and state levels.

  • The council at a meeting on December 18 decided that a structured mechanism be put in place for the taxpayers under GST to tackle the grievances of taxpayers. The GST policy wing has prescribed the guidelines and written to all principal chief commissioners and chief commissioners to set up the cells.

  • The grievance redressal committees (GRCs) at zonal and state levels will consist of central and state-level tax officers and representative from GST Network (GSTN).

  • The committee will have access to a web portal, to be developed by GSTN where complaints that the GRC secretary puts up to the committee will be recorded and their resolution status updated on a regular basis. Stakeholders will be able to view these updates. Co-chairs of the GRC, nodal officers of GSTN, policy wings of the CBIC and GST Council Secretariat will also be able to update the status of action taken at their end.

  • Whenever a GST policy-related issue is referred to by a GRC, the concerned policy wing of the CBIC would examine it and if needed place it before the council for consideration or approval.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

China claims Indo-China military relationships improving

  • China’s Defence Ministry has said the military relationship between India and China is improving due to the efforts of Prime Minister NarendraModi and President Xi Jinping.

  • Addressing the media in Beijing yesterday, Defence spokesperson Col. Wu Qian (Chian) said two countries maintain strategic dialogues and conduct practical cooperation. He said, they have also strengthened their exchanges along their borders.

  • Col. Wu said China is willing to work with the India to follow the guidance of Prime Minister Modi and President Xi for development of military-to-military relationship.

  • AIR Beijing Correspondent reports that the two countries also held the 22nd round of the boundary talks in New Delhi last week. Both nations agreed to intensify efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary issue.

China slams US criticizationon blocking of UNSC resolution

  • China today hit back at the US for criticising its blocking of a UN Security Council resolution over civilian aid for Syria.Beijing also accused Washington of politicising humanitarian issues.

  • On Saturday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described as shameful Russia and China blocking the UN resolution, which would have extended for a year cross-border humanitarian aid to 4 million Syrians.

  • China reacted today, saying it voted on the basis of right and wrong.Humanitarian aid currently flows into Syria through UN-designated checkpoints in Turkey and Iraq without the formal permission of the regime in Damascus, but that authority is due to expire on January 10.

  • Germany, Belgium and Kuwait presented a resolution extending that authority for a year, winning the support of 13 council members but drawing the vetoes of Russia and China.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Scientists develop ink to stop fake passports and currency notes

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Physical Laboratory (NPL) developed an ink to combat the problem of fake printing of passports and counterfeiting of currency notes. The ink has a new security feature of protecting itself against duplicity.

  • The ink was produced based on single excitable dual emissive luminescent pigment. It was developed based on the concept of fluorescence and phosphorescence phenomena. Currently, the currency notes display only one color with the emission of wavelength.

  • However, in the ink developed by the scientists features changes in pigment color after the notes are printed. In ambient light the ink shows white color.

  • When the ink is exposed to UV light, it turns red and when the UV source is switched OFF it turns green.

  • Both in phosphorescence and fluorescence the radiation is electromagnetic and is spontaneous. In case of fluorescence, the radiation stops after thesource is switched off. On the other hand, in phosphorescence, the glow continues for few hours.

  • According to the annual report of RBI (2018-19), the risk of duplication of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes are higher. The report says that recently launched 500 rupees notes are accounted to 121% of duplication and Rs 2000 notes are accounted to 21.9% duplication.

::SPORTS::

Tennis legend Leander Paes to retire in 2020

  • Indian tennis ace Leander Paes has announced that 2020 will be his last year as a professional tennis player.

  • The 46-year old will bid adieu to the sport after next season. Leander announced on Twitter that he will be picking and choosing tournaments next year to meet his fans all around the world.

  • Leander, who made his Olympic debut in 1992, will look for one final flourish at Tokyo Olympics next year. The Indian has made 7 appearances in a row at the Olympics making him the only tennis player ever to do so. Paes has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

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