Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 June 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 June 2019


::NATIONAL::

Only 20 percent of Nirbhaya funds utilised,claims study

  • The States and Union Territories have utilised less than 20% of the budget allocated to them under the Nirbhaya Fund for safety of women by the Central government between 2015 and 2018, according to official data.

  • A sum of Rs. 1,813 crore has been disbursed by the Centre from 2015 to 2019. Of this, The Hindu analysed details of Rs. 854.66 crore disbursed until 2018, for which utilisation details were made available by the Minister of Women and Child Development SmritiIrani to the LokSabha on Friday.

  • The key schemes under which the States have been allocated money include Emergency Response Support System, Central Victim Compensation Fund, Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children, One Stop Scheme, Mahila Police Volunteer, and Universalisation of Women Helpline Scheme.

  • An analysis of how much the various schemes have taken off in different States shows that none of the 36 States and UTs have spent any money on the Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children programme. The Centre disbursed Rs. 93.12 crore for this scheme in 2017.

  • As many 21 States have not used any money under the Central Victim Compensation Fund for providing support to victims of rape, acid attacks, human trafficking and women killed or injured in cross border firing; Rs. 200 crore was allocated to 36 States and UTs for the programme with the aim to supplement State governments’ funds as well as to reduce disparity in quantum of compensation.

India urges global community to act against economic offenders

  • India has pitched strongly to deal with fugitive economic offenders and Prime Minister NarendraModi has flagged the issue at all global forums, the country’s Sherpa to G-20, Suresh Prabhu, said on Saturday.

  • “We strongly feel that we as a global community must act in unison to deal with such issues of people committing economic offences and running away from their national domicile country,” he told presspersons after the G-20 Sherpas’ meeting.

  • Asked why India did not join the Osaka declaration on digital economy, Mr.Prabhu said the reasons had been communicated to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

  • But he clarified that India strongly believed in digital economy and had taken a host of measures, including a huge number of bank accounts, to give it a thrust.

  • “India has a very massive programme on digital transactions. We have opened bank accounts of a large number of people. Many transactions are happening through the digital forms.”

  • Mr.Prabhu, Railway Minister in the first term of the NDA government, said the Railways had almost 8.1 billion passengers a year, and many of them buy tickets through digital platforms.

  • “So, digital is something which we all believe in, we have a market which is growing including the e-commerce market,” Mr.Prabhu said.

::ECONOMY::

Food supply management and low oil prices kept inflation low

  • A flexible inflation targeting framework aided by low oil prices and food supply management has helped keep the headline inflation low in the last five years, outgoing Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Viral Acharya said on Saturday.

  • The RBI Act was amended in 2016 for an inflation targeting framework, that had set a target for the RBI of 4% consumer price (CPI) index-based inflation, with a deviation of 2% on both sides, for five years.

  • He said India’s GDP growth had been one of the highest among large economies in the last decade and half. “Two preconditions of macroeconomic stability — stable growth and low inflation — necessary for financialisation of savings and capital market development are now in place in India,” he said.

  • He said there had been a conscious effort by the RBI to expand the investor base and thereby, the liquidity of the markets it regulates, while preserving financial stability.

  • “However, the lack of a bankruptcy resolution framework for non-bank financial entities remains a crucial gap that deserves prompt attention of the authorities,” he added.

Global survey claims flexible working hours key to choosing job

  • As workplaces undergo transformation, the top emerging trends impacting workforce planning and management are flexible working hours, evolving job roles, enabling technologies and automation, among others, a latest survey has found.

  • In the global survey, conducted by Kronos Incorporated, that included India, the youth admitted flexibility at the workplace was a key driver to take up a job. One in four (26%) admitted they would work harder and stay longer in a company that would support flexible schedules, with flexibility desired the most in Canada (33%), the U.K. (31%), and the U.S. (31%).

  • Known as GenZ, the youth (35%), said they would never tolerate if forced by their employer to work when they do not want to, while 34% of the respondents said they would not work on back-to-back shifts.

  • With millennials making up a fair part of it, followed by GenZ, workplaces are reinventing themselves to suit the workforce and their desires without having to compromise on productivity, compliance and cost, say HR experts.

  • The millennial workforce desires a better working experience with more flexibility, communication, collaboration and real-time connectivity to feel engaged and motivated in an organisation, says James Thomas, Country Manager, India, Kronos Incorporated, a provider of workforce management solutions for corporates.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

UN chief urges action against climate change catastrophe

  • UN chief Antonio Guterres today said, climate-related devastation was striking the planet on a weekly basis and warned that urgent action must be taken to avoid a catastrophe.

  • Speaking at a two-day Climate Meeting in Abu Dhabi, Mr Guterres said, Climate disruption is happening now. He said it is progressing even faster than the world's top scientists have predicted.

  • Abu Dhabi Climate Meeting is being held to prepare for a Climate Action Summit in New York in September.

  • The UN chief held out hope in the Paris Agreement to cut harmful emissions and reduce global warming.Under the Paris Agreement, the world is required to keep the temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

  • A landmark report last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, a safer cap of a 1.5 degree rise would see nations rapidly slash planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions via a sharp reduction of fossil fuel use.

  • It is thought that 300 billion dollar will be needed annually by 2030 to help nations deal with climate-related disasters.

Thousands protest in demand for civilian rule in Sudan

  • In Sudan, seven people have been killed as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand civilian rule in the first mass rally since a bloody crackdown on demonstrators.

  • The "million-man" march yesterday was seen as a test for protest organisers after their push for the civilian rule was hit by the June 3 raid on a Khartoum protest camp and a subsequent internet blackout that curbed their ability to mobilise support.

  • Police fired tear gas on protesters approaching the Presidential Palace after organisers called for a march on the building that houses offices of the ruling transitional military council.

  • The official SUNA news agency quoting a Health Ministry official said seven were killed in the protests, without elaborating how they died or who they were.

  • Dozens of demonstrators were killed and hundreds injured when armed men in military fatigues stormed the sit-in on June 3 outside army headquarters, shooting and beating protesters who had camped there since April 6.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Scientists discover source of powerfull cosmic waves

  • A team of international astronomers have determined for the first time the precise source of a powerful, one-off burst of cosmic radio waves.

  • They have pinpointed it to a massive galaxy billions of light years away, with properties that upend what scientists previously thought they knew about the formation of mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs). “This result is highly anticipated within the astronomy community,” Casey Law, an astronomer at UC Berkeley, who was not involved in the study, said.

  • The findings, published in the journal Science , are among the most significant since the discovery in 2007 of FRBs, which flash for only a micro-instant but can emit as much energy in a millisecond as the Sun does in 10,000 years.

  • Exactly what creates these high-energy surges of long waves at the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum remains the subject of intense debate, though scientists now agree they originate in far away galaxies.

  • Since the first FRB was detected a little over a decade ago, a global hunt has found 85 bursts. Most have been “one-offs”.

  • In 2017, astronomers were able to trace the source of a repeating burst, but locating a one-off FRB presented a much more difficult challenge.

::SPORTS::

Veer chotrani wins U-19 Asian squash title

  • In Squash, India won a gold today as Veer Chotrani beat compatriot YashFadte to win the Under-19 title at the Asian Junior Championship in Macau, China.

  • With this victory, Veer became the third Indian to win the Asian trophy after Ravi Dixit and Vela Senthilkumar.

  • In the other two finals, India bagged two silver medals through Neel Joshi in the boys Under-17 category and Yuvna Gupta in the girls Under-15 section.

  • India finished the tournament with one gold, three silver and as many bronze medals.

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