Armed forces chief asserts utmost respect to human rights laws
Army Chief General BipinRawat has said that Indian Armed
Forces have utmost respect for human rights laws and they not only ensured
the protection of human rights of the people of the country, but also of its
Gen Rawat said, Indian armed forces are highly disciplined and
extremely secular and driving ethos for them are “Insaniyat” (humanity) and
He was addressing the interns and senior officers of the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the topic of "Preserving Human Rights
in Times of War and Prisoners of War" in New Delhi.
Noting that counter-terrorism and anti-insurgency operations has
become very challenging and difficult, the Army chief said the armed forces took
care to identify and target only terrorists and insurgents without causing any
collateral damage to innocent people.
Gen Rawat said, a court of inquiry, with all records being
maintained, is held after every operation, in line with provisions of human
He said, another new initiative taken in October this year was
to begin recruiting women jawans in the Corps of Military Police, who would be
deployed for crowd control and frisking of women protestors in militancy-hit
areas like Kashmir and the northeast.
Centre plans to organise "ShehriSamridhiUtsav 2020"
DeendayalAntyodayaYojana - National Urban Livelihoods
Mission (DAY-NULM) under Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will be
organising a consultative meeting at New Delhi on December 30, 2019 ; with
all States and UTs to set out the framework for ShehriSamrddhiUtsav (SSU)
The workshop will also take up the issue of skill development of
urban beneficiaries in plumbing sector apart from detailed deliberations on the
implementation of the Street Vendors’ Act.
It is also planned to distribute Systematic Progressive
Analytical Real Time Ranking (SPARK) 2018-19 awards to the winning States for
their excellent performances in implementation of DAY-NULM during the FY
In addition to providing access to wider customer base to
locally made products of SHGs, the initiative will also be useful in capacity
building of the women entrepreneurs in the skills of branding, digital marketing
and financial management.
The SSU 2019 succeeded in extending the outreach of the Mission
to the most vulnerable sections of the urban population, showcasing its
initiatives and facilitating access of Self-Help Group (SHG) members to the
other government schemes by covering over 15.60 lakh members from urban SHGs.
RBI claims financial system stable despite slow economic growth
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the 20th issue
of the Financial Stability Report. It says that the global economy
confronted a number of uncertainties that leads to significant deceleration
As regards the domestic economy, aggregate demand slackened in
the second quarter of this year further extending the growth deceleration.
In its Report, Reserve Bank of India has stated that India’s
financial system remains stable notwithstanding weakening domestic growth. The
report, released yesterday also says that the resilience of the banking sector
has improved following recapitalization of Public Sector Banks by the
The Report reflects the collective assessment of the
Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council on risks to
financial stability, as also the resilience of the financial system.
The Report also discusses issues relating to the development and
regulation of the financial sector.
MDR charges not applicable for transactions over Rupay, UPI
Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman has said that no Merchant
Discount Rate (MDR) will be applicable on transactions through
homegrownRuPay and UPI platforms beginning 1st of January next year.
Ms Sitharaman announced this in New Delhi after meeting Chiefs
of Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Chief executive of Indian Banks’ Association and
representatives of leading private sector banks to discuss banking issues.
Department of Revenue (DoR) will soon notify RuPay and UPI as
the prescribed mode of payment for digital transactions without any MDR. She
said, now all companies with a turnover of 50 crore rupees or more will be
mandated to provide the facility of payment through RuPay Debit card and UPI QR
code to their customers. All banks will also start a campaign to popularise
RuPay Debit card and UPI.
MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting
payment from their customers via digital means. The merchant discount rate is
expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.
Besides, the Finance Minister also launched a common e-auction
platform to sell attached assets of defaulters for improved realisation of
The platform is equipped with property search features and
navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites. It provides a single-window
access to information on properties for e-auction as well as facility for
comparison of similar properties and also contains photographs and videos of
In a move that could impact ties with India, Saudi Arabia
has agreed to hold a special foreign ministers’ meeting of the Organisation
of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) devoted to Kashmir after it persuaded Pakistan
to back out of an Islamic summit hosted by Malaysia last week.
The gesture by the kingdom was reportedly conveyed to the
Pakistani government during Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud’s
visit to Islamabad this week.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are pillars of India’s renewed foreign
policy push in the Islamic world which has helped contain the diplomatic fallout
of decisions such as ending J&K’s special status.
Pakistan has felt the Islamic world, particularly OIC, did not
support it enough after India’s August 5 decision. India has already begun
working on a diplomatic pushback.
It is no coincidence that foreign minister S Jaishankar spent
two days in Tehran meeting his counterpart JavadZarif on his way back from the
2+2 meeting in the US.
UAE announces development aid to Jordan
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) announced today
that it is providing 300 million US dollars as development aid to the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In a statement the UAE government said that "the UAE
leadership's decision reaffirms the commitment to standing alongside the
brotherly leadership and people of Jordan, reflecting the nation's foreign
policy that carries the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and
continues under the leadership of President Sheikh Khalifa."
This latest development aid provision, the Fund statement added,
highlights the "strong relations between the UAE and Jordan, that are based on
brotherhood, mutual interest and respect."
Thousands of refugees have been pouring into Jordan to escape
Syria’s civil war. Syria shares the northern border with Jordan.
According to an UN estimate the Hashemite kingdom hosts about
630,000 Syrian refugees while Jordan claims that the number is over 1.4 million.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Delhi government approves new policy on pollution
On December 24, 2019, CM of Delhi ArvindKejriwal introduced
a new policy to make Delhi the capital of Electric vehicles. Under the
policy, the government has planned to provide subsidies to electric
The goal of the policy is to ensure that 25% of new vehicles
registered are electric by 2024. Along with electric vehicles, the government
also has planned to construct 250 charging stations. It also includes 20% of the
parking enabled for electric vehicles.
The policy has been drafted after feedback from UNEP (United
Nations Environment Programme) experts, International Transport Council. The
draft of the policy was already made public in November 2018.
The policy is important as the vehicles have been major cause of
pollution emitting 80% of carbon monoxide, 40% of PM 2.5 and 80% of nitrogen
Electric Vehicles are constantly being promoted all over the
world as they do not emit pollution. Also, the central government has reduced
GST rates for electric vehicles.
These vehicles will help India achieve the target of reducing
green house gas emissions by 33% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.
India beats South Africa in first youth ODI
India under-19 team beat South Africa by nine wickets in the
first Youth ODI at the Buffalo Park in East London. Batting first, South
Africa Under-19 team made 187 in 48.3 overs. In reply, India dished out a
solid batting display to scoring 190 for 1 in 42.3 overs last night.
With this win India have taken 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
For India U-19 team, openers DivyaanshSaxena (86 not out) and N TilakVarma (59)
shared a 127-run stand to take the game away from South Africa. Ravi Bishnoi
scalped three wickets, while KartikTyagi, ShubhangHegde and AtharvaAnkolekar
picked up two wickets each.