Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - October 30, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Parampara Series - National Festival of Music & Dance

Focus: GS1.

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


Context

Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu launched the virtual festival of ‘Parampara Series 2020-National Festival of Music and Dance’ organised by Natya Tarangini in partnership with the United Nations.

About the festival

  • It was organised by Natya Tarangini in partnership with the United Nations. Natya Tarangini is organising the ‘Parampara Series’ continuously since past 23 years.
  • This festival was organized to coincide with the World Day for Audio-visual Heritage.
  • ‘Parampara’ means ‘tradition’, the transmission of cultural treasure house from one generation to the next.
  • Natya Tarangini Performing Arts Centre, was founded initially as a Kuchipudi Dance Institute by India’s legendary dancing couple Dr.(s) Raja Radha and Kaushalya Reddy in the year 1976 in New Delhi.

Source: PIB.

Petroleum ministry says it supports including natural gas under GST

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

  • India's petroleum ministry said it "supported" the view that natural gas should be brought under the goods and services tax (GST), reacting after global energy industry major BP Plc called for it.
  • Petrol, diesel, jet fuel, crude oil and natural gas fall outside the GST ambit, but several industry groups want gas to come under the indirect tax regime.

Background

  • The government last month extended the deadline to bid for BPCL for the fourth time in a row, heeding requests from parties citing the pandemic situation.
  • Prospective bidders have said that it would be difficult for them to travel to India for due diligence of BPCL during the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights

  • Currently petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel, natural gas and crude oil fall outside India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
  • Government officials have also indicated that the government is considering bringing natural gas under the ambit of the GST regime.
  • It would lead to a reduction in the cascading impact of taxes on industries such as power and steel, which used natural gas as an input.
  • it would do away with the central excise duty and different value added taxes imposed by states.
  • This would lead to an increase in the adoption of natural gas in line with the government’s stated goal to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy basket from 6.3% to 15%.

Source: Indian Express.

Get Started with UPSC Preparation

Current Affairs

Detailed Analysis

IAS Counselling

by Subject Experts

Free Material

for UPSC Preparation

Japan to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga has stated that the country will achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050. 
  • The Prime Minister stated he intends to make a sustainable economy a pillar of his growth strategy and put maximum effort into achieving a green society.

Background

Japan had come under pressure to strengthen its climate commitments after initially saying that it would achieve an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 followed by carbon neutrality “as soon as possible” in the second half of the century.

Highlights

  • The policy shift brings Japan into line with the European Union, which set itself a similar target last year, while China recently announced it would become carbon-free by 2060.
  • Japan’s current energy plan, set in 2018, calls for 22-24% of its energy to come from renewables, 20-22% from nuclear power and 56% from fossil fuels.
  • Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe in mid-September, did not provide details on how Japan would reduce carbon emissions to zero.

Source: Hindustan Times.

'2+2 dialogue brought 'unprecedented cooperation' between India, US'

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India's interests.


Context

Two eminent American lawmakers have welcomed the successful conclusion of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US, saying that the deliberations brought "unprecedented cooperation" between the two countries.

Background

  • During the third edition of the Indo-US 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on Tuesday, the two countries vowed to ramp up their overall security ties, and inked a total of five pacts, including the strategic Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) that will allow sharing of high-end military technology, classified satellite data and critical information.
  • The other pacts will facilitate cooperation in areas of nuclear energy, earth sciences and Ayurveda.

Highlights

  • The talks were led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar from the Indian side and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper from the US side.
  • The US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue has brought unprecedented cooperation between our two countries, pushing our Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership to new heights, said Congressman Michael T McCaul , Republican Leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
  • The achievements of the 2+2 dialogue, including the BECA geo-spatial cooperation agreement, add to a successful month, during which our two nations deepened the Quad framework with Japan and Australia, and welcomed Australia into the quadrilateral maritime Exercise Malabar.
  • In a significant move amid a Sino-India border row, India on October 19 announced Australia's participation in the upcoming Malabar exercise along with the US and Japan, effectively making it the first military-level engagement between the four-member nation grouping -- the Quad.
  • The United States will keep working with India to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, and will remain steadfast as India seeks to defend its sovereignty from external aggression.
  • India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.
  • In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the "Quad" to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
  • In the midst of growing global concern over China's expansionist behaviour, the foreign ministers of the Quad member nations met in Tokyo on October 6 and reaffirmed their collective vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
  • The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers.
  • The US has been favouring making Quad a security architecture to check China's growing assertiveness.

Source: The Week.

‘Nrityanjali’ – an online film festival on Indian classical dance

Focus: GS1.

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


Context

The Films Division of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is organizing the concluding part of ‘Nrityanjali’, an online film festival on Indian classical dance and its maestros from October 28 to 30.

Highlights

  • Nrityanjali is an online festival of documentary films on the life and work of some of the leading Indian classical dance exponents.
  • The festival will be streamed on Films Division website and its YouTube channel. All films will be streamed live, simultaneously, for three days.
  • Indian Classical Dance is an umbrella under which various performing arts whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text, Natya-Shastra, the foundational treatise by Bharata Muni.
  • Prominent traditional dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohini Aattam, include music and recitation in the local language or Sanskrit and they represent a unity of core ideas in a diversity of styles, costumes and expression.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Skill India Mission

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in collaboration with their unified regulator— National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) unveiled guidelines for the Awarding Bodies (AB) and Assessment Agencies (AA) over a digital conference.

Background

  • The guidelines and operation manuals have been developed for the recognition and regulation of these two entities, key elements of the skilling ecosystem.
  • The guidelines aim at establishing quality, improved outcomes, and standardizing the processes under Skill India Mission.

Highlights

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was formed on November 9, 2014 by the Government of India to focus on enhancing employability of skills.
  • Under its flagship programme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 2016-2020, the Ministry has trained more than 92 lakh candidates so far.
  • The National Council for Vocational Education and Training (NCVET) was notified by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on 5th December 2018.
  • The NCVET acts as an overarching skills regulator which regulates the functioning of entities engaged in vocational education and training.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) was launched in 2015, it is a flagship program of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) implements it with the help of training partners.
  • It aims to mobilize youth to take up skill training with the aim of increasing productivity and aligning the training and certification to the needs of the country.
  • Owing to the success of PMKVY 1.0 wherein more than 19 lakh students were trained as against the target of 24 lakh, the scheme was relaunched as PMKVY 2.0 (2016-2020) with an allocated budget of Rs. 12000 Crores that aims to train 10 million youth by the year 2020.

Source: The Hindu.

Feni bridge connecting India and Bangladesh to be completed by December

Focus: GS3.                                

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

  • The 1.8 kilometre long Feni bridge connecting Sabrum in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh will be completed by December this year.
  • This was announced by the Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari while laying the foundation stone of nine National Highway projects in Tripura through video conferencing.

Highlights

  • According to a press release issued by the Ministry, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Feni bridge being built at the cost of Rs. 129 crore will ease the transportation of goods from Chattogram and Kolkata ports.
  • An integrated check post is also proposed to be built near Sabrum. 
  • He said that the construction of the RCC bridge over Feni will improve connectivity to the international border with Bangladesh.
  • Describing Tripura as the gateway of the ‘Act East Policy’ of the government, Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Dr. Jitendra Singh said that very soon a train to Bangladesh from Tripura will start.
  • It will herald a new chapter and open new vistas in the development of this region by providing the entire region access to the seaports. 

Source: AIR News.

***********************************************************

Test your Knowledge

  1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about Feni River:
  • It is a trans-boundary river with an ongoing dispute about water rights.
  • The question of sharing of the waters of the river between India and Pakistan was discussed as early as 1958.
  • The foundation stone for the bridge was officially laid by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in June 2015.

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. SOFIA, recently in new, is a/an:

     A. NASA’s flying observatory that allows astronomers to study the solar system and beyond in ways that are not possible with ground-based telescopes.
     B. Passenger aircraft that used Hydrogen fuel along with ATF to run the aircraft.
     C. Humanoid to be sent to space as part of India’s Gaganyaan mission.
     D. Under water search mission.

Solution: A

    Talk to us for

    UPSC preparation support!









Options

Do you want to become an IAS officer like Saumya Sharma?
Study Online at  Neostencil Logo

Your Exam segments is being saved. Please wait....

Select Exam(s) you are interested in

IAS IES/GATE IIT-JEE NEET STATE PSC CSIR UGC NET OTHERS
please enter valid OTP