Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - September 02, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Centre accords more power to lieutenant governor than CM as it notifies new rules

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Context

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs notified new rules for that administration of Jammu and Kashmir, that specify the functions to be performed by the lieutenant governor and the council of ministers.
  • The functions of “police, public order, All India Services and anti-corruption” will fall under the purview of the lieutenant governor.

Background

  • This means that the chief minister or his council of ministers will have no say in the functioning of the services.
  • Jammu and Kashmir has been under central rule since June 2018.

About the notified rules

  • The notified rules state that any matter which may affect the peace and tranquility of the Union Territory or the interest of any minority community, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Backward Classes will be “submitted to the lieutenant governor through the chief secretary, under intimation to the chief minister, before issuing any orders”.
  • On the other hand, the council of ministers headed by the chief minister will decide upon service matters of non-All India Services officers, proposals to impose new taxes, land revenue, sale, grant or lease of government properties, reconstituting departments or offices and draft laws, the new rules said.
  • In case of a difference of opinion between the council of ministers and the lieutenant governor, where no resolution is found for a month, it is the lieutenant governor’s decision that will be deemed to be final.

About the Highlights

  • The new rules state that there will be 39 departments in the government of the Union Territory.
  • They also state that all communications received from the Centre, including those from the prime minister and other ministers, shall be submitted to the chief secretary, the minister in charge of the matter under consideration, the chief minister and the lieutenant governor – unless such communication is of a routine or unimportant nature.

Source: The Hindu.

Telugu Language Day

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • Every year on August 29, Telugu Language Day is marked in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is one of the classical languages in India and is spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Background
  • The day falls on August 29 because on this day prominent Telugu writer, Gidugu Venkata Ramamurthy was born.
  • He was born on August 29, 1863, and was one of the popular linguists during British rule.

About the day

  • Ramamurthy was one of the popular linguists during the British rule that advocated the use of language and stood firmly against the use of scholar language.
  • Spoken Telugu is different from written Telugu due to which learning written Telugu was not helpful during understanding or communicating.
  • But however, with the help of Ramamoorthy spoken Telugu came to be standardized and was accepted by scholars.
  • That is the reason, Telugu is used in schools and educational institutions as the medium of instruction, examination, and writing.
  • On this day, the government of Andhra Pradesh provides funds and presents awards with the objective of the betterment of the Telugu language.
  • The department of culture is responsible for organizing the day on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Source: The Hindu.

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International Day against Nuclear Tests

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed globally on 29th August since 2010. 
  • The day aims to increase awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

About the day

  • On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35.
  • 2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Source: UN News.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • United Nations observes International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances globally on 30th of August every year.
  • The day is being observed to express deep concern about the rise in enforced or involuntary disappearances in different regions of the world including the incidents of arrest, detention and abduction.

About the Day

  • All of the above incidents results in increasing number of reports pertaining to harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.
  • UN General Assembly declared 30th of August as International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and the day was observed for the first time in year 2011.

Source: UN News.

IIT-Indore to teach ancient Indian sciences in Sanskrit

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

  • IIT-Indore has introduced a one-of-its-kind course to teach classical scientific texts to students in Sanskrit, starting with Bhaskaracharya’s mathematical treatise ‘Lilavati’ of almost a thousand years ago.
  • More than 750 people from across the globe have signed up for the course that started on August 22.

Background

  • The first edition will end on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti.
  • The institute has lined up fortnightly programmes to teach metallurgy, astronomy, medicines and plant sciences in Sanskrit.
  • Students can study classical Indian scientific texts in their original forms and converse about them in the ancient language.

About the Highlights

  • Most of the traditional Indic scientific treatises in sustainable water resource management, agriculture, mathematics, metallurgy, astronomy, medicine, plant sciences, economic and political texts are in Sanskrit.
  • Understanding Sanskrit with a view to studying these texts is important to preserve India's scientific heritage.

Source: The Times of India.

World Bank pauses Ease of Doing Business rankings

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • The World Bank has “paused” the publication of Doing Business Report, which carries the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Rankings.
  • The effective suspension of the publication of the rankings has been announced in the wake of a number of reported irregularities regarding changes to data in the 2018 and 2020 reports published in October 2017 and October 2019.
Background
  • In a statement, the Bank said it was conducting a “systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process for the last five Doing Business reports”.
  • “We have asked the World Bank Group’s independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity.”

About the Highlights

  • The culmination of this process will be followed by a retrospective correction in the rankings, the statement said.
  • The Union ministries of finance and commerce did not respond to email queries on the effective suspension of the rankings.
  • But officials from the two ministries, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Bank may have briefly paused the publication but not ended it, and a review would make it more robust and credible.
  • They added this would neither halt nor deter India’s commitment towards Ease of Doing Business.
  • In fact, India has gone a step further in striving to achieve Ease of Living, the officials said.
  • The policy regime in India places a lot of importance on the rankings. After assuming power in 2014, the Narendra Modi government set a target for India to be among top 50 countries in the rankings.
  • In 2014, India was ranked 142nd. It jumped to the 63rd position among 190 countries in May 2019.
  • The rankings are based on a country’s performance on 10 indicators: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Chhavni COVID Yodha Sanrakshan Yojana

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a life insurance scheme that will provide a cover of ₹ five lakhs each to more than 10,000 employees working in cantonment areas across India.
  • "Chhavni COVID: Yodha Sanrakshan Yojana", a group life insurance scheme through the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), was launched by Singh during a webinar attended by presidents, vice-presidents and chief executive officers of all 62 cantonment boards, a statement by the Ministry of Defence said.

Background

  • According to the statement, Mr Singh also said there should be no gaps in implementation of centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) like Ayushman Bharat and Pradhana Mantri Awas Yojana in the cantonment areas.
  • The new scheme will benefit "more than 10,000 employees in all 62 cantonment boards in the event of any unfortunate fatal calamity with an insurance cover of ₹ five lakhs each", it noted.

About the Highlights

  • The scheme will benefit permanent and contractual employees, including doctors, paramedics and sanitation staff, the statement said.
  • In his speech, Mr Singh said the webinar was an important step towards seamless delivery of benefits of various CSS and in improving the overall well-being of approximately 21 lakh residents in the cantonment areas.
  • "Citing welfare schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Pradhana Mantri Awas Yojana, Smart Cities Mission, mid-day meal scheme for school children etc, Shri Rajnath Singh said there should be no gaps in implementation of these welfare schemes in cantonment areas," the statement said.

Source: The Hindu.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Noor Inayat Khan:
  1. Noor Inayat Khan was a British spy in World War II who served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
  2. As an SOE agent she became the first female wireless operator to be sent from the UK into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II. 
  3. Khan is the second woman of Indian origin to be honoured with a blue plague.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

      A. 1 and 2 only
      B. 2 and 3 only
      C. 1 and 3 only
      D. AOTA

Solution: A

2. Consider the following:

  • Khan is the first woman of Indian origin to be honoured with a blue plague.


Multilateral Military Exercise Kavkaz is held in:

     A. South China Sea
     B. Russia
     C. Jaipur, India
     D. Hawaiian Islands

Solution: B

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