Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - November 28, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Desalination Plant in Maharashtra

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

  • Recently, Maharashtra announced the setting up of a desalination plant in Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra will become the fourth state in the country to have such a plant.

Background

  • It will come up at Manori, Mumbai and will process around 200 million litres of water on a daily basis.
  • It will have an estimated cost of Rs.1600 crores and will be completed by 2025.

About the significance

  • As per the projections of BMC, the need for potable water in Mumbai will reach around 6424MLD by 2041.
  • Presently, there is a requirement of 4200 MLD potable per day and BMC supplies 3850 MLD water daily, which results in a 10-15% water cut.
  • The plant will help address the issue of availability of potable water and also address the future needs.

Source: Indian Express.

National Portal for Transgender Persons

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

  • Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot E-Launches ‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ and E-Inaugurates Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons in Gujarat.
  • Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot e-launched a ‘National Portal for Transgender Persons’ and e-inaugurated a ‘Garima Greh: A Shelter Home for Transgender Persons’ in Vadodara, Gujarat.

About the theme

  • National Portal for Transgender Persons has been developed within 2 months of Notification of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 on 29 September, 2020.
  • The Portal would help a transgender person in applying for a Certificate and Identity card digitally from anywhere in the country.

Highlights

  • The most important benefit is that it helps the transgender person to get the I-Card without any physical interface and without having to visit any office.
  • Through the Portal, they can monitor the status of their application that ensures transparency in the process.
  • The issuing authorities are also under strict timelines to process the applications and issue certificates and identity cards without any necessary delays.
  • Once the Certificate and I-card are issued, the applicant can download them from the Portal itself.
  • In case of delay or rejection, the applicant has the options to submit grievances through the Portal .

Source: PIB.

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Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.



Context

The government is using eVIN – Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to identify primary beneficiaries and vaccine distribution networks.

About eVIN

  • E-VIN is an indigenously developed technology that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application.
  • It was first launched across 12 states in 2015 to support better vaccine logistics management at cold chain points.
  • It supports the central government’s Universal Immunization Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points across states and UTs.

About the components

  • eVIN combines state-of-the-art technology, a strong IT infrastructure and trained human resource to enable real-time monitoring of stock and storage temperature of the vaccines kept in multiple locations across the country.
  • At present, 23,507 cold chain points across 585 districts of 22 States and 2 UTs routinely use the eVIN technology for efficient vaccine logistics management.

Source: AIR News.

All fixed to mobile calls to be dialled with prefix ‘0’ from Jan 15

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • Communications Ministry has said all Fixed to Mobile calls will be dialled with prefix ‘0’ from 15th January next year.
  • There will be no change in dialing plan from fixed to fixed, mobile to fixed and mobile to mobile calls. Department of Telecommunications has taken the decision of implementing this with the consideration of TRAI Recommendation on “Ensuring Adequate Numbering Resources for Fixed Line and Mobile Services”.

Background

  • Suitable announcement will be made for the same.
  • This announcement shall be played whenever a subscriber dials a fixed to mobile call without prefixing ‘0’.
  • All fixed line subscribers will be provided with ‘0’ dialing facility.

Highlights

  • A total of approximately 2539 million numbering series is expected to be generated from this. This will free up sufficient numbering resources for future use.
  • With the freeing up of sufficient numbering resources, more number of connections can be added in future which will be beneficial to the mobile customers at large.
  • The changes have been done in order to have minimum inconvenience to the subscribers and freeing up essential numbering resources.

Source: AIR News.

U.P. Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance 2020

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • The UP Cabinet cleared an ordinance to ban religious conversion for marriage.
  • The new law will put the onus on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.

Objective

  • It makes religious conversion for marriage a non-bailable offence.
  • The onus will be on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.
  • The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversionis two months.
  • In case of conversion done by a woman for the sole purpose of marriage, the marriage would be declared null and void.

Highlights

  • Violation of the provisions of the law would invite a jail term of not less than one year extendable to five years with a fine of ₹15,000.
  • If a minor woman or a woman from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes communities was converted through the said unlawful means, the jail term would be a minimum of three years and could be extended to 10 years with a fine of ₹25,000.
  • The ordinance also lays down strict action, including cancellation of registration of social organisations conducting mass conversions.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Cabinet approves ₹2,480 crore FDI in ATC Telecom

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the FDI proposal for acquisition of 12.32 per cent of equity share capital, on a fully diluted basis, of ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd by ATC Asia Pacific PTE Ltd.

Background

  • The acquisition is being done as a result of exercise of option by Tata Tele Services Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Sons Pvt Ltd (TSPL).
  • This share purchase would lead to foreign direct investment inflow of ₹2,480.92 crore, a government statement said.

Highlights

  • With this approval, the cumulative FDI of ATC Asia Pacific PTE Ltd (ATC Singapore) into ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (ATC India) will be ₹5,417.2 crore in financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21.
  • ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd is engaged in the business of providing passive telecom infrastructure services to telecom operators, pursuant to various approvals granted to it by Department of Telecommunications.
  • The company has existing FDI approval up to 86.36 per cent and with this approval, it will rise to 98.68 per cent, on a fully diluted basis.
  • The inflow of foreign investment to India will spur economic growth; as well as foster innovation, the government release said.

Source: Times of India.

Government approves equity infusion of ₹6,000 crore in NIIF debt platform over two years

Focus: GS3.                                

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


Context

  • The Central government will infuse equity of ₹6,000 crore into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Debt Platform, subject to certain conditions, the Union Cabinet decided.
  • The platform comprises of Aseem Infrastructure Finance Ltd (AIFL) and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Ltd (NIIF-IFL).

Background

  • On November 12, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed the move under the twelve key measures made by as part of the government's stimulus to the economy, under 'AatmaNirbhar Bharat 3.0'.
  • According to an official communique, the infusion will take place subject to certain conditions.

Highlights

  • "That only ₹2,000 crore would be allocated during the current year 2020-21. However, in view of the unprecedented financial situation and availability of limited fiscal space due to the prevailing Covid-19, the proposed amount may be disbursed only if there is readiness and demand for debt raising," it said.
  • "NIIF will take all necessary steps to use the equity investments from domestic and global pension funds and sovereign wealth funds expeditiously."

Source: Indian Express.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements with reference to Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN):
  • Unique Document Identification Number (UDIN) is a unique number given to documents attested by Chartered Accountants in Practice.
  • It is an 18 digits system generated unique number which shall generated separately for each document.
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), in its gazette notification dated 2nd August, 2019, had made generation of UDIN from ICAI website mandatory for every kind of certificate/tax audit report and other attests made by their members as required by various regulators.

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: D

  1. Shahtoot Dam is a proposed dam in which of the following country?

    A. Iran
    B. Afghanistan
    C. Iraq
    D. Sudan

Solution: B

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