Third edition ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ to be held on Jan 20 in New Delhi
The third edition of the Prime Minister’s Interaction with school students, “Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020”, will be held at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on the 20th of this month. Over 2000 students, parents and teachers will be participating from all over the country in this event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will answer the questions and interact with selected students, where he will discuss how to beat exam stress.
Access to Internet-a fundamental right
The Supreme Court of India said that Right of access to internet is a fundamental right. The Court had asked the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to review the curbs on internet in a week.
A three-member bench of the apex court heard on a batch of pleas against complete blockage of internet in Kashmir. Kashmir was shut out of internet for five months now, since abrogation of Article 370.
The bench pronounced that freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any business or trade over internet is constitutionally protected under Article 19 (1). The judgement also read that Section 144 CrPC shall not be used to suppress freedom of speech and expression.
Amma Vodi scheme launched in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Amma Vodi Scheme in Chittoor. It is one of the nine flagship programmes of the Andhra Government. The programmes are called Navratanalu. The scheme is first of its kind in the country.
The scheme aims at benefitting school students studying in classes I to XII. It includes both public and private schools. Under the scheme, these students belonging to Below Poverty Line will get Rs 15,000 per annum. However, the guardian or mother of the child should ensure 75% attendance of the child.
Andhra Pradesh-Germany sign MoU on Zero Budget Natural Farming
The Andhra Pradesh Government signed Memorandum of Understanding with a German firm to implement Zero Budget Natural Farming in the state.
The state Government will take a loan of Rs 1015 crores to spend towards climate resilient Zero Budget Natural Farming. The project aims to cover 2.39 lakh farmers in 600 villages. The project was included in the Budget presentation of 2019.
Zero Budget Natural Farming is a chemical-free agricultural farming practice. The Government of India is promoting ZBNF through Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana since 2015-16.
China identifies new strain of corona virus as source of pneumonia outbreak
China reported the first death in the country due to pneumonia caused by a new virus that is of outbreak in the city of Wuhan. The Chinese scientists discovered that the new strain of virus is that of the corona virus.
According to the WHO, the outbreak in Wuhan in less virulent. However, China is responding swiftly to control the outbreak.
Corona Viruses were first found in humans in1960s. the viruses cause flu and gastro intestinal problems. They have great genetic variability, meaning, they can over come barriers between different species.
First Solar Power plans to Link J&K with rest of India
Indian Railways announced that it will source 1000 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind power to zonal railways by 2021-22. Also, Kashmir is to be linked with the rest of India through railway network by December 2021.
In order to implement the solar and wind power in Indian Railways, GoI has planned to install 500 MW of solar plants on roof top of Railway buildings to meet non-traction loads. It has also planned to install another 500 MW of land based solar plants whose energy will be used to meet both non-traction and traction load requirements.
GoI established I4C and a portal to deal cyber crimes
The Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) and a National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal. The centre was approved in October 2018 at a cost of 416 crores.
So far, 15 state governments and Union Territories have agreed to set up Regional Cyber Crime Coordination Centres. The National Cyber Crime reporting portal will enable the citizens to report cyber crimes online. It has specific focus on crimes against child pornography, women, child sex abuse.
GoI to launch Purvodaya to accelerate Eastern India Development
The Ministry of Steel announced that it will launch “Purvodaya”, a world class steel hub. The hub aims at an accelerated development programme of eastern states. The Ministry will be joined by CII (Confederation of India Industries) in the implementation of “Purvodaya”.
The Steel Hub will develop steel clusters in the region. It will transfer the utilities and logistics infrastructure into socio-economic landscape. So far, 12 major steel zone has been identified under the initiative in the region.
Gujarat to import water soluble fertilizers from China
The Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation (GAIC) will import water-soluble fertilizers from China. So far, the state agency has imported 300 tonnes.
The GAIC agency will import, pack and sell the water-soluble fertilizers to farmers. The new fertilizers have been named AGRO. These fertilizers are best suited for precision agriculture. As Gujarat has a good land area under drip irrigation, the fertilizers are being distributed at the right time. Gujarat has the maximum land under drip irrigation of all the states in the country.
IEA launches India’s Energy Policy Report
The International Energy Agency (IEA) launched India’s Energy Policy Report. The report insisted that India should adopt its think tank NITI Aayog’s National Energy Policy. IEA released its “India Report 2020”, in collaboration with NITI Aayog.
The oil demand of India will overtake China by mid-2020. It will make India more vulnerable to supply disruption in the middle east. The report also said that India is the third largest consumer of oil after China and United States. Also, India imports 80% of its oil needs.
India is the fourth largest oil refiner in the world. The products mainly include diesel and gasoline.
India attends Hormuz Peace Initiative
India attended the Hormuz Peace Initiative that was held in Tehran. The initiative aimed at stabilizing one of world’s busiest shipping lanes, the Strait of Hormuz amidst US-Iran tensions. It was attended by leading trade partners of Iran namely China, Oman, India and Afghanistan. Hormuz Peace Initiative was proposed by Iran at the UN General Assembly that was held in September 2019.
Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most crucial choking points. Around two-thirds of India’s oil imports and half of LNG imports come through the strait. The Strait connects Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It is also important to maintain peace and security in the region. This is because the ship traffic in the strait is high.
India beat Sri Lanka by 78 runs in final T20 International to clinch three match series
In Cricket, India beat Sri Lanka by 78 runs in the third and final T20 International to win the the three-match series 2-0 in Pune.
Earlier, put into bat, India scored 201 for six in the stipulated 20 overs. Openers K L Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan scored fifty each for India. Sandakan scalped 3 wickets for Sri Lanka. Defending the total, the Indian bowlers, led by right-arm pacer Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, dished out a disciplined effort to bundle out Sri Lanka for 123 in 15.5 overs.
India erects “steel fence” across Pakistan, Bangladesh border
India will erect non-cut steel fence in the sensitive areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh borders. The plan is being executed after security agencies have detected Afghan fighters along India-Pakistan border.
The first steel fence is to be erected across 7-km stretch in Assam’s Silchar, the border across Bangladesh. After erection, the border is to be analysed by the BSF (Border Security Force). Based on the feedback of these fence implementation, more such fences are to be implemented.
Indian Navy to host multi-nation military drill
Indian Navy will be hosting military drill called ‘Milan 2020’ at Visakhapatnam, The City of Destiny. MILAN stands for ‘Multilateral Naval Exercise’. The Event will witness the participation of several countries. Apart from a large number of ships, senior dignitaries are also expected to take part in various functions and visit naval facilities during MILAN 2020.
The theme of the exercise is Theme: Synergy Across the Seas
IP based Video Surveillance System being installed by Indian Railways at railway stations to enhance security
In order to enhance security at Railway stations which are major hubs of transportation, Indian Railways is in the process of installing Internet Protocol (IP) based Video Surveillance System (VSS) at stations, that is, waiting halls, reservation counters, parking areas, main entrance/ exit, platforms, foot over bridges, booking offices etc.
This year a budget of Rs. 250 crore was allotted to Indian Railways from Nirbhaya fund for installation of the video surveillance system. In the first phase of installation, VSS is being installed at 200 stations and as on date work has been completed at 81 stations across India.
RBI allows “Video based Customer Identification Process”
The Reserve Bank of India has revised the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for banks and other lending institutions. New amendments in KYC norms by RBI allows banks and other lending institutions to use “Video based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP)”.
The V-CIP is a consent based alternate method of establishing the customer’s identity and for customer onboarding from remote areas while leveraging the digital technology. V-CIP will also provide comfortability to banks and other regulated entities while holding to the RBI’s Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
Sindhu, Saina crash out of Malaysia Masters
Olympic medal-winning Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Malaysia Masters after being outplayed by familiar foes in the quarterfinals ending the country’s campaign at Kuala Lumpur.
Reigning world champion Sindhu, who took the court first was knocked out of the Super 500 badminton tournament by top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. This was Sindhu’s second consecutive loss to Tzu Ying. She had lost to her in the French Open quarterfinals in October last year
London Olympics bronze-medallist, Saina was outplayed by Olympic champion Spaniard Carolina Marin. Saina and Marin were 6-6 in head-to-head.
State Energy Efficiency Index released by GoI
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) launched the State Energy Efficiency Index, 2019 in association with Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy. The report was prepared considering the basic energy requirements such as coal, electricity, gas and oil. The report tracks the progress of Energy Efficiency initiatives in 36 states and Union Territories.
Karnataka, HP, Haryana and Puducherry were the best performers according to the report. Manipur, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir were the least performers.