Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - November 12, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

AIM and Sirius jointly launch ‘AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’

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 Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a flagship initiative by the NITI Aayog, and Russia’s Sirius (Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station) have jointly launched ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’. 
  • AIM–Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0 is a 14-day virtual programme for Indian and Russian schoolchildren.

About ‘AIM-Sirius Innovation Programme 3.0’

  • It is the first Indo-Russian bilateral youth innovation initiative, which seeks to develop technological solutions, both web-based and mobile-based, for the two countries.
  • During the event, around 48 students and 16 educators and mentors will create 8 virtual products and mobile applications to address global challenges across a wide range of areas, in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.
  • These areas include culture, distance education, applied cognitive science, health and well-being, sports, fitness, and games training, chemistry, artificial intelligence, and digital financial assets.

Source: PIB.

Haryana Government passes bill to provide 75% reservation in private sector jobs to local candidates

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

  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 contains a clause that allows companies to hire an outsider only if they are unable to find a suitable local candidate for a job profile.
  • Haryana government on November 5, 2020 passed a bill to provide 75 percent reservation to local candidates applying for private-sector jobs in the state that pay less than Rs 50,000 per month.

Background

  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 was one of the primary promises that was made by the ruling alliance partner Jannayak Janta Party during the Assembly elections of 2019.
  • The bill was tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala. 
  • Once this becomes a law, the bill will apply to all companies, societies, trusts, limited liability partnership firms and partnership firms located across the state.

About the exemption clause

  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 contains a clause that allows companies to hire an outsider only if they are unable to find a suitable local candidate for a job profile.
  • They would have to inform the government about their decision in such a scenario.
  • The bill, however, contravenes Article 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution, which provide equality before the law and the right to practice any profession anywhere in India.
  • Hence, it needs the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind before it becomes law.

About the key provisions of the bill

  • The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 appoints a designated officer to act as the government's representative, who will rule on companies invoking the exemption clause citing a lack of suitable candidates.
  • The designated officer will have the right to overrule the exemption claim by directing the concerned companies to train local candidates to achieve the desired set of skills, qualifications and proficiency. 
  • Under the bill's provision, every employer will employ 75 percent local candidates in posts where the gross monthly salary is not more than Rs 50,000. 
  • The local candidates can be from any district of the state. The employer will have the option of restricting the employment of local candidates from any district to 10 percent of the total number of local candidates.
  • A portal will be created for the same for which local candidates and the employer will have to register.
  • No local candidate will be eligible to avail the benefit unless he or she registers himself/ herself on the designated portal.

Source: Indian Express.

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One Rank One Pension

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • Recently, the central government notified that it has disbursed more than Rs 42,700 crore to 20.6 lakh retired defence personnel under the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme in the last years.
  • The government issued an order notifying the OROP scheme in November 2015 and had stated that it would be effective from July 1, 2014.

About the scheme

  • Under the OROP scheme, uniform pension is paid to defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
  • The OROP was implemented to bridge the gap between the pensions of current and past ex-servicemen at periodic intervals.
  • The Ministry of Defence has said that the armed forces personnel who retired by June 30, 2014, are covered under the OROP scheme.
  • The arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments.
  • All widows, including war widows, will be paid arrears in one instalment.
  • The armed force personnel who voluntarily retire will not be covered under the OROP scheme.

Source: Economic Times.

FASTags to be mandatory for all four wheelers

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.


Context

  • Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification making FASTags mandatory for all four wheel vehicles from 1st January 2021.
  • This will apply to old vehicles as well as M and N category of motor vehicles sold before 1st December, 2017.

About FASTags

  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India.
  • It employs Radio Frequency Identification technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly toll owner.

Highlights

  • As per Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the FASTag had been made mandatory for all registration of new four wheeled Vehicles since 1st December 2017 and is being supplied by the Vehicle Manufacturer or their dealers.
  • It had further been mandated that the renewal of fitness certificate will be done only after the fitment of FASTag for the Transport Vehicles.
  • For National Permit Vehicles the fitment of FASTag has been mandated since 1st of October, 2019.
  • The Ministry said that a valid FASTag is also mandatory while getting a new third Party Insurance through an amendment in certificate of Insurance, wherein the details of FASTag ID will be captured.
  • This will be applicable with effect from 1st of April 2021.
  • This notification would be a major step for ensuring that the payment of fees be 100 per cent at Toll Plazas through the Electronic Means only and that the vehicles pass seamlessly through the Fee Plazas.

Source: Times of India.

PM inaugurates and lays foundation stone of various development projects in Varanasi

Focus: GS1.

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


Context

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various development projects in Varanasi through video conference.
  • The Prime Minister today launched 16 schemes worth Rs 220 crore and informed that the work has already begun on 14 schemes worth Rs 400 crore in Varanasi.

Background

The projects inaugurated today include Sarnath Light and Sound show, upgradation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Ramnagar, sewerage related works, infrastructure facilities for protection and conservation of cows, multipurpose seed storehouse, agriculture produce warehouse of 100 MT, IPDS phase 2, a housing complex for players in Sampurnanand Stadium, Varanasi city smart lighting work, along with 105 Anganwadi Kendras and 102 Gau Ashray Kendras.

Highlights

  • Sarnath is a place located 10 kilometres north-east of Varanasi city near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • The Deer Park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.
  • Also referred to as Isipatana, this city is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage to which his devout followers should visit.
  • It was also the site of the Buddha's Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it.
  • Singhpur, a village approximately one kilometer away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism.

Source: AIR News.

PLI scheme

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • The government aims to expand the ambit of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to include ten more sectors.
  • The scheme aims to give companies incentives on incremental sales from products manufactured in domestic units.

About the objective

  • The objective is to make India more compliant with the WTO (World Trade Organisation) commitments.
  • Another objective is to make it non-discriminatory and neutral with respect to domestic sales and exports.

Highlights

  • The central government introduced this scheme to boost domestic manufacturing and cut down on import bills.
  • Apart from inviting foreign companies to set shop in India, it encourages local companies to set up or expand existing manufacturing units.
  • So far, the scheme has been rolled out for mobile and allied equipment, pharmaceutical ingredients and medical devices manufacturing.
  • These sectors are labour intensive and are likely to create new jobs for the ballooning employable workforce of India.

Source: Indian Express.

Google doodle dedicated to 101st birth anniversary of Pu La Deshpande’s

Focus: GS1.                                

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


Context

  • The 101st birth anniversary of Purushottam Laxman Deshpande — better known as Pu La Deshpande — has been marked with a Google Doodle designed by the noted Mumbai-based artist Sameer Kulavoor.
  • The doodle depicts the writer, playwright, musician, composer, actor, director, and philanthropist at his harmonium, raising his free hand to underscore a note.

About him

  • Purushottam Laxman Deshpande (1919 –2000), popularly known by his initials ("Pu. La.") or as P. L. Deshpande, was a Marathi writer and humorist.
  • He was also an accomplished film and stage actor, script writer, author, composer, musician (he played the harmonium), singer and orator.
  • He was often referred to as "Maharashtra's beloved personality".
  • He was a recipient of Padma Bhushan (1990), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1967) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (1979).

Source: FirstPost.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following sentences wrt Tigray Region:
  • The Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine regions (kililat) of Somalia.
  • Tigray is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples.
  • Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution.

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: B

  • The Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine regions (kililat) of Ethiopia.

  1. Sarnath is a place located near the confluence of which of the following rivers?

    A. Ganges and Varuna
    B. Ganges and Yamuna
    C. Ganges and Son
    D. Jamuna and Chambal

Solution: A

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