Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 October 2019


Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 30 October 2019


::NATIONAL::

PM to review progress of Aspirational districts programme

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi on November 6 will review the performance of 30 of the 117 most underdeveloped districts in the country on various indicators such as health, nutrition, education and agriculture.

  • These districts were identified by the NitiAayog and come under the government's "Transformation of Aspirational Districts Programme.

  • Twenty have shown 'best improvement' and 10 'low progress' on various development indices, according to a communique to ministries and departments concerned.

  • The communique stated that the prime minister has decided to include the aspirational districts programme as one of the agenda items in the forthcoming PRAGATI meeting, scheduled to be held on November 6.

  • The prime minister will interact with chief secretaries and secretaries to review the progress made by these 30 most underdeveloped districts on various indicators like health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure, officials said.

  • A total of 117 aspirational districts were identified by NITI Aayog based upon composite indicators from health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure which have an impact on Human Development Index.

Centre plans block level plastic waste management units

  • The central government’songoing campaign against single use plastic may wrap up by Diwali, but it is set to initiate a series of measures to check the menace over the next few years, top officials told ET.

  • A committee of experts will soon be put in place for the same, and one of the first key measures planned is to collect plastic waste at the block level, officials said.

  • A plastic waste management unit for gathering and recycling of plastic waste will be set up in each of the 8,000 blocks in the country as per the proposed ODF Plus — part two of the Open Defecation Free mission steered by the drinking water and sanitation department (MDWS) under the Jal Shakti ministry that will dedicatedly look at gathering and recycling of plastic waste, officials said.

  • Every village will be asked to start waste segregation and send its plastic waste to the block level plastic waste management unit. The unit will work at converting the aggregated waste into bales, shred them and transport them to aggregators for recycling.

  • ODF Plus apart, the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry will push for waste segregation across urban areas while the environment ministry is working to bring in a new extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework to ensure plastic manufacturers/industry users also ensure collection and disposal of the plastic after it is used.

::ECONOMY::

RBI imposes fine on people’s cooperative bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on Pune-based JanataSahakari Bank and Rs 25 lakh on Jalgaon Peoples Co-operative Bank for violating income recognition, advances management and asset classification norms.

  • The central bank said in a release today that the penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in the RBI under the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account failure of the bank to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by the RBI.

  • It said that the action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Centre to adopt Brazilian model human milk bank

  • The Centre has set a target of ensuring at least 70 per cent infants to have access to breast milk by the year 2025. The Target will subsequently be increased to 100 per cent.

  • India has taken inspiration from Brazil's success in the field of human milk bank decided to adopt a similar model in creating a wide network of human milk banks.

  • Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey told media in New Delhi after returning from BRICS Health Ministers' Conference in Brazil, Mr Choubey said, member countries have decided to take coordinated efforts to reduce infant mortality rate, increase the access of breast milk to the infants and ensuring affordable medicine to all.

  • Issues like primary health coverage, reduction of infant mortality, vaccination, availability of affordable medicines, Tuberculosis and universal health coverage dominated the deliberations in the Conference.

  • The minister said, the member countries appreciated India's Ayushman Bharat scheme for universal health coverage.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

PM stresses on balanced approach to resolve conflicts in West Asia

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has stressed on the need for a balanced approach to resolve the conflicts in West Asia, while respecting the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal matters.

  • He said, India shares excellent bilateral relations with all the countries in the region and a very large Indian diaspora reside in the region. Prime Minister, who is on a day-long visit to Saudi Arabia told Arab News that a dialogue process that encourages the participation of all stakeholders is important to bring peace and security in this region.

  • Mr.Modi said during this visit the two countries are going to sign an agreement on a Strategic Partnership Council, which will begin a new era of cooperation across sectors.

  • He said Asian powers like India and Saudi Arabia share similar security concerns in their neighbourhood and in that respect, the two nations' cooperation particularly in the field of counter-terrorism, security and strategic issues, is progressing very well.

  • He added that New Delhi and Riyadh are also in the process of entering into agreements on security cooperation, collaboration in defence industries, and also agreed to hold a comprehensive security dialogue mechanism between the two countries.

Srilankan government approves MCC grant from U.S

  • Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant of 480 million US dollars from the US Government. Earlier, President MaithripalaSirisena had said that he will not approve the deal after the main opposition had raised concerns over the agreement.

  • MCC consists of grant funds for traffic management in Colombo, road construction island-wide and land administration improvements covering the whole country.

  • Finance Ministry said in a statement that these compact programmes to be funded by this project have been developed by the Sri Lankan officials of the line ministries and departments based on the needs of the country. Sri Lanka is the 37th recipient of such grant funds from the people of the United States of America.

  • The Minister of Finance will sign the agreement in the near future as it was confirmed by the Cabinet today while the implementation will begin early next year. Opposition parties have been against the agreement saying there are tough conditions attached to it which impinges on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

Scientists discover footprints of ‘cosmic yeti’

  • Scientists have accidentally discovered ‘the footprints a monstrous galaxy’ being called as ‘Cosmic Yeti’ in early universe that has never been seen before. The discovery provides new insights into the first growing steps of some of biggest galaxies in universe. The astronomical findings were published in Astrophysical Journal.

  • Recent studies found that some of the biggest galaxies in young universe matured extremely quickly, this is something that is not yet understood theoretically.

  • The “cosmic Yeti” galaxy so far might have been concealed by dust clouds and had as many stars as the Milky Way. It was forming new stars at a rate that was over 100 times faster than in Milky Way.

  • The major puzzle remains that these mature galaxies appear to come out of nowhere as the astronomers never seem to catch them while they are forming. But now the new finding could provide insights into universe’s infancy.

  • The research team discovered a faint light blob during observations using Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and estimated that light from this galaxy has taken 12.5 billion years to reach Earth.

::SPORTS::

ICC bans Bangladeshi captain from all forms of cricket

  • In cricket, Bangladesh Test and T20 Captain Shakib Al Hasanhas been banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) from all cricket for two years.

  • One year of the punishment has been suspended after he accepted three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code. This was announced today in a press release issued by the ICC.

  • Shakib was found guilty for not reporting to the ICC that he was approached by the bookies. He was approached by the bookies during the home tri-series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka last year in January. He was approached a second time during the same series.

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