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CURRENT AFFAIRSOCTOBER 2019

Daily Current Affairs: 5th October 2019: The HINDU+PIB


Daily Current Affairs: 5th October 2019: The Hindu+PIB

The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The Hindu, The Indian Express, Business Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.


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As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.



Youth Co:Lab

Context: Youth Co:Lab has been launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India as an initiative to accelerate social entrepreneurship and innovation in young India.

Youth co lab, Daily Current Affairs

This initiative has also planned to convene a series of youth dialogues across several cities such as New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai to promote entrepreneurship across India.

The very first phase of Youth Co:Lab will focus on six SDGs:
  • SDG 5 (Gender Equality)
  • SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation)
  • SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy)
  • SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
  • SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production),
  • SDG 13 (Climate Action).
Youth Co:Lab will also convene a number of social innovation challenges both at the national and sub-national level, that will invite young people in the age group of 18-29 years and start-ups to showcase their proposed ideas and solutions to tackle some of the region’s biggest social challenges.

About Youth Co:Lab and its significance

Youth Co:Lab has been Co-created in 2017 by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation, which is operational in 25 countries across the Asia Pacific region, the Youth Co:Lab initiative aims to create an enabling ecosystem to promote youth leadership, innovation, and social entrepreneurship.

With the help of Youth Co:Lab, young entrepreneurs and innovators will get an opportunity to connect with governments, mentors, incubators and investors, who will help equip them with entrepreneurial skills.

About Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

Atal Innovation Mission or AIM including Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) is a Government of India’s effort to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its main objective is to serve as a platform that will help in promotion of world-class innovation hubs, grand challenges, start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, that too specifically in technology driven areas.

World Cotton Day

Context: World Cotton Day is going to be observed from 7th October to 11th October 2019 in Geneva.


World Cotton Day, Daily Current Affairs

The World Cotton Day is being organized by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in collaboration with Secretariats of :
  • United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),
  • International Trade Centre (ITC),
  • International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). 
The Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, is also participating in the World Cotton Day.

The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) will be displaying India’s high quality cotton textiles at the exhibition which is also planned during the event.

The Cotton Corporation of India will be displaying various grades of raw cotton including SUVIN, the finest quality of Extra Long Staple Cotton produced in Tamil Nadu and which have the highest fibre length. Further, natural coloured cotton that is grown in Dharwad in the state of Karnataka in different colours like dark brown, medium brown, green and cream colours will also be on display. 

The event is being hosted by WTO at the request of the Cotton – 4 countries, i.e., Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali in order to celebrate their official application for the recognition of 7th October as World Cotton Day by the United Nations. 

OBJECTIVES: The major objective of observing October, 7 as World Cotton Day is to provide exposure and and a greater recognition to cotton and all its stakeholders in various fields including:
  • Production, transformation and trade; 
  • To engage donors and beneficiaries and strengthen development assistance for cotton;
  • To seek new collaborations with the private sector and investors for the cotton related industries and production in developing countries and promote technological advances, as well as further research and development on cotton. 
Efforts by India towards promotion of Cotton

In a span of 7 years, i.e., from 2011 up till 2018, India has implemented a Cotton Technical Assistance Programme (Cotton TAP-I) of about USD 2.85 million for 7 African countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad and also Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria.

This technical assistance aimed to improve the competitiveness of the cotton and cotton-based textiles and apparel industry in these countries through a series of interventions which had significant outcomes leading to a demand for a follow on project.




Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Guidelines and Specifications


Context: Amendments in the Electric Vehicle Charging Guidelines and Specifications has been approved by the Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, in order to give a boost to Electric Vehicles in country.

These Revised Guidelines and Specifications for charging infrastructure shall supersede the Ministry of Power's 2018 guidelines and standards.

The revised guidelines are said to be more consumer friendly as they incorporate a number of suggestions received from various stakeholders.

Key Highlights
  • A phase-wise installation of an appropriate network of Charging Infrastructure throughout the country has been envisaged in the Guidelines to ensuring that at least one Charging Station should be available in a grid of 3 Km X 3 Km in the cities and one Charging Station at every 25 Km on both sides of highways/roads. 
  • According to the plan laid by the guidelines: 
    • In the first phase (i.e. 1-3 years) all Mega Cities which has a population of more than 4 million as per census 2011, all existing expressways connected to these Mega Cities & important Highways connected with each of these Mega Cities may be taken up for coverage.
    • In the second phase (3-5 years) big cities like State Capitals, UT headquarters may be covered for distributed and demonstrative effect. 
    • In addition, important Highways which connects with each of these Mega Cities may also be taken up for coverage. 
  • Fast Charging Station for long range and/or heavy duty EVs like buses/trucks etc., shall be installed at every 100 Kms, with one on each side of the highways/road located preferably within/alongside the Public Charging Station (PCS) in order to address the concerns in inter-city travel and long range and/or heavy duty EVs.
  • With the help of the above density/distance requirements, the concerned state/UT Governments/their Agencies should plan for public charging stations as well as for priority in installation of distribution network by the DISCOMs. All these installations is to be done in all cases, even when there is no central/state subsidy is provided.
  • It has been clarified in the guidelines that private charging at residences/offices shall be permitted and DISCOMs may facilitate the same.
  • Keeping in mind the Public Charging Stations (PCS), it has already been clarified by Ministry of Power that setting up of PCS shall be a de-licensed activity and any individual/entity is free to set up public charging stations subject to the conditions as specified in the Guidelines. 
  • In addition to above, the guidelines specifies the type of chargers of different standards (viz. CCS, CHAdeMO, Type-2 AC, Bharat AC 001) to ensure that the PCS owners have the freedom to install the chargers as per the market requirement. Thus, the Guidelines provide an flexibility along with a choice to both EV owners and PCS providers to install the type and number of chargers.
  • The tariff that is supposed to be charged, from Public Charging Stations as well as from domestic consumers for domestic charging, by the DISCOMs and the Service Charges to be charged by these PCS from EV users have also been covered in the guidelines.

Financial assistance to Karnataka and Bihar


Context: An additional financial assistance of Rs.1813.75 crore from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) has been provided to the state of Bihar and Karnataka keeping in view the severity of flood situation and the fund positions in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) account of the States.

An advance release of Rs.400 crore to the State of Bihar and Rs.1200 crore to the State of Karnataka from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) has been approved ‘on account basis’. Further, an additional approval for the advance release of second installment of Centre’s share of SDRF amounting to Rs.213.75 crore to the State of Bihar for the year 2019-20.

What has been the scenario?

During the recent South West Monsoon, 2019, a total of 13 States have been affected from unprecedented floods/landslide.

In pursuance of a significant decision taken by the Union Home Minister in the High Level Committee (HLC) meeting held on 19th August, 2019, Ministry of Home Affairs constituted Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) for 13 States even before receipt of Memorandum from the concerned State Government for seeking additional financial assistance from NDRF.

How this assistance work?

GoI supplements the effort of the State Government by providing assistance for relief of immediate nature through SDRF as per the established procedure. Accordingly, a SDRF has been constituted for each State.

The Central Government contributes 75% for General Category States and 90% for North-Eastern and Hilly States of the SDRF allocation every year. The first charge of relief expenditure is on SDRF and in the cases of calamities of severe nature, it is supplemented from NDRF as per established procedure.



Eat Right India” Movement


Context: “Trans Fat Free” logo of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has been launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare at the 8th International Chefs’ Conference (ICC VII).

This launch of Logo of FSSAI marked an important milestone in the movement against Trans-Fats and has also provided a push to accelerate the ‘Eat Right India’ movement of FSSAI.


A slogan ‘Chefs 4 Trans Fat Free’ was also released during the event in which 1,000 chefs from all parts of the country took a pledge to use trans-fat free oils in their recipes and work towards their elimination from the diets of Indian populace at large.
Trans Fat free, Daily Current Affairs

Green Purple initiative logo was also launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare which is aimed at qualifying the chefs with respect to food safety legal requirements and sustainable cooking methods, to promote trans-fat free cooking.

The initiative will be a 6-months program that includes key areas of trans-fat free cooking, using less sodium, and hygienic, seasonal, eco-friendly, and less energy consuming cooking methods. Thereafter the chefs shall ensure global standards of food safety and sustainable environment practices.

Who can use the FSSAI's "Trans-Fat free" logo?

The food establishments which make use of trans-fat free oil and which do not have industrial trans-fat greater than 0.2g per 100g of food, in compliance with the Food Safety and Standards (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018 can display “Trans-fat free” logo at their outlets and on their food products.

However, the use of the FSSAI's "Trans-Fat free" logo is not mandatory and it depends on choice of the concerned food establishment. 

About Trans Fats

Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fats. They occurs in both natural as well as artificial forms.

The natural, or ruminant, trans fats are present in meat and dairy from ruminant animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. They are formed naturally when bacteria in these animals’ stomachs digest grass.

However, artificial trans fats which is also known as the industrial trans fats or partially hydrogenated fats are hazardous to the health of the individual.

These industrial trans-fats are prepared by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid, and to increase the shelf life of foods. Trans-fats are largely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats/oils, vanaspati, margarine and bakery shortenings, and can be easily found in baked and fried foods.

Artificial trans fats are known to increase the risk of heart disease. Replacing other dietary fats with trans fats highly increases the ratio of total to HDL (good) cholesterol and negatively affects lipo-proteins, both of which are important risk factors for heart disease.

About Eat Right India Movement

FSSAI launched 'The Eat Right Movement’ on 10th July, 2018 to improve public health in India and to combat the negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases. The movement is putting in efforts both on demand as well as the supply side to create better health standards.

On the demand side, the Eat Right Movement focuses on empowering citizens to make the right food choices.

On the supply side, it pushes food businesses to reformulate their products, provide better nutritional information to consumers and make investments in healthy food as responsible food businesses.

‘The Eat Right Movement’ brings together 3 ongoing initiatives of FSSAI:
  1. Safe and Nutritious Food Initiative, which is focused on social and behavioural change around food safety and nutrition at home, school, workplace and on-the-go;
  2. The Eat Healthy Campaign which is focused on reduction of high fat, sugar and salt foods in the diet; and
  3. Food Fortification which is focused on promoting 5 staple foods-wheat flour, riceoil, milk and salt that are added with key vitamins and minerals to improve their nutritional content.


Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2019-20

Context: Sovereign Gold Bonds 2019-20 (Series V) is planned to be opened for the period October 7-11, 2019

The issue price for the Bond during the subscription period shall be Rs 3,788 (Rupees Three Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty Eight only) – per gram with Settlement date October 15, 2019.


Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, Daily Current Affairs

These bonds will be sold through:

  • Scheduled Commercial banks (except Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks);
  • Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL); 
  • Designated post offices
  • Recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE).

Key Features of the Bond

  • Issued By: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of Government of India.
  • Eligibility: The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
  • Denomination:  The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
  • Tenor: The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option after5thyear to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
  • Minimum size: Minimum permissible investment will be 1 gram of gold.
  • Maximum Limit: 4 KG for individual, 4 Kg for HUF and 20 Kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the Government from time to time. 
  • Joint Holder: Investment limit of 4 KG will be applied to the first applicant only in case of joint holding
  • Issue price: Fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity, published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited (IBJA) for the last 3 working days of the week preceding the subscription period. 

  • The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be Rs.50/gram less for those who subscribe online and pay through digital mode.
  • Payment option: Through cash payment (upto a maximum of Rs. 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.
  • Issuance form: These Gold Bonds will be issued as Government of India Stock under GS Act, 2006. The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate for the same. 
    • The Bonds are eligible for conversion into demat form.
  • Redemption price: It will be in Indian Rupees based on previous 3 working days simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by IBJA.
  • Sales channel: Bonds will be sold through Commercial banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices (as may be notified) and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.
  • Interest rate: Compensation at a fixed rate of 2.50% per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value for the investors.
  • Collateral: Bonds can be used as collateral for loans. 
    • The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
  • KYC documentation: Know-your-customer (KYC) norms will be the similar as for purchase of physical gold. KYC documents such as Voter ID, Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport will be required.
    • ‘PAN Number’ issued by the Income Tax Department is mandatory.
  • Tax treatment: The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961. There is an exemption from  the capital gains tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual. 
  • Tradability: Bonds are eligible for trade on stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance on a date as notified by the RBI.
  • SLR eligibility: Bonds acquired by the banks through the process of invoking lien/hypothecation/pledge alone, shall be counted towards Statutory Liquidity Ratio.
  • Commission: Commission received by the receiving offices for distribution of the bond  shall be paid at the rate of 1% of the total subscription and the receiving offices need to share at least 50% of the commission so received with the agents or sub agents for the business procured through them.


QUICK FEEDS

Goa Maritime Conclave– 2019


National Security Advisor, Ajit Kumar Doval, inaugurated the Goa Maritime Conclave– 2019 at Goa on 4th October 2019. On the occasion, the 31st edition of the Naval War College Journal was also released by the NSA.

The Theme for the conclave is “Common Maritime Priorities in IOR and need for Regional Maritime Strategy”.

The sub theme for the first session was “Opportunities and Challenges in IOR”.

The event was attended by Navy Chiefs and senior representatives from 10 Indian Ocean littoral countries which included Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from South East Asia, Bangladesh, Myanamar and Sri-Lanka from India’s immediate neighbourhood and the islands of Seychelles, Maldives and Mauritius.


E-Waste Clinic


The first E-Waste Clinic of India is going to come up in Madhya Pradesh Capital, Bhopal. The clinic is being conceived in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has joined hands with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in order to set up this clinic in Bhopal with technical assistance from CPCB.

The clinic would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.

Electronic waste will be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic or could be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee. Door-to-door collection will happen in 2 ways i.e., either separate carts for the collection of e-waste will be designed, or separate bins will be attached to existing ones meant for solid and wet waste.

Special Expenditure Observers


Election Commission of India has appointed two Special Expenditure Observers for Telangana and Sikkim Bye-Polls.

The step has been taken by ECI in pursuance of its power conferred on it under Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 20B of The Representation of the People Act 1951.

These Special Observers are responsible for supervising and monitoring the work that is done by the electoral machinery and ensure that stringent and effective enforcement action is undertaken based on intelligence inputs and complaints received through cVIGIL, Voter Helpline 1950 against the persons/entities trying to induce voters by distributing cash, liquor & freebies etc. in order to vitiate the poll process.

Halt The Hate


It is Amnesty India's website which was launched in 2015 in the wake of murder of Mohammed Akhlaq - A Muslim resident of Dadri, UP - by a mob claiming that he had eaten beef. This website is an interactive website that documents the report of alleged hate crimes in India against Dalits, Mulsims, Adivasis, Transgender people, Christians and other vulnerable groups.

This hate crime tracker has recorded 181 incidents of alleged hate crimes in the first half of 2019 which is the steepest rise in such incidents since 2015.

These 181 recorded incidents of alleged hate crimes in the first half of 2019 are almost double that of the same period last year, when 100 such cases were recorded.

Over a 2/3rd of the victims were targeted because they were Dalits, while 40 of them suffered because of their Muslim Identity. In 37 reported incidents, the victims were killed while in more than 30 cases, victims were raped or were sexually assaulted. The tracker also recorded that there were 7 honour killings and 12 cases of violence against Adivasis.

The term 'hate crime' is generally applied to the criminal acts against people based on their real or perceived membership of a particular group, such a caste, religion or ethnicity.



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