Insight Current Affairs for UPSC IES – 28 , 29  June 2019

Insight Current Affairs for UPSC IES – 28 , 29 June 2019

1) Haryana announced an annual financial health aid to “loktantra senanis”

  • On June 26, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced an annual financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to “loktantra senanis” or their spouse for treatment at private or government hospitals. “Loktantra senanis” are those people who were imprisoned during the 1975-77 Emergency under preventive detention laws.

2) Centre announces ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ plan for PDS beneficiaries

  • The Centre government has announced plans to roll out a ‘one nation, one ration card’ system. Plan will aim to make sure that a beneficiary is able to avail self of the Public Distribution System (PDS), no matter which part of the country person may be in.

3) SEBI issued new rules for the mutual funds industry

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has introduced tightened norms for the close to Rs. 26 lakh crore mutual fund (MF) industry. As per new rule, All liquid schemes have to hold at least 20% in liquid assets such as cash, government securities (G-Secs), treasury bills and repo on G-Secs.

4) 50% of over 9,000 vacancies in Indian Railways will be for women: Piyush Goyal

  • Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that 50% of about 9,000 vacancies that are coming up for the posts of Constables and Sub-Inspectors in the railways will be for women.

5) Bombay High Court upholds reservation for Maratha community

  • The Bombay High Court upheld the Maharashtra government’s decision to provide reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions. The bench ordered that the quota percentage be reduced from the government-approved 16% to 12-13% as per the State Backward Classes Commission’s recommendation.

6) Sharad Kumar Saraf: new President of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

  • On June 27, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), exporters body of India, has elected Sharad Kumar Saraf as its new president. Saraf has replaced renowned exporter Ganesh Kumar Gupta.

7) Indian passports to have chips soon

  • Indian citizens would soon be able to apply for an e-passport that is being developed by IIT-Kanpur, National Informatics Centre (NIC) and India Security Press (ISP) and the Ministry of External Affairs officials.

  • ISP-Nashik has been authorized to float a Global three-stage tender for procurement of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant electronic contactless inlays along with its operating system which is required for the manufacture of e-passports.

Why Chip in e-passport?

  • The chip in an e-passport makes it difficult to produce fake or counterfeit copies.

  • Your unique biometrics, along with other key details including information about the last 30 trips and international movements, would be saved inside a chip with 64-kilobytes of data.

  • The postage stamp-sized chip would be paired with an embedded rectangular antenna that allows a passport to be read within seconds, saving crucial seconds at immigration counters.

  • India will join about 120 other nations, including the US, UK and EU by adopting e-passports.

8) Virat Kohli becomes the fastest cricketer to score 20,000 international runs

  • Virat Kohli on 27 June became the fastest cricketer to score 20,000 international runs.

  • The India captain reached the milestone when he reached the score of 37 against West Indies at Old Trafford.
  • Virat Kohli took just 417 innings to reach the milestone and bettered the time taken by legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara.
  • Kohli has done so in 416 innings (131 Tests, 223 ODIs and 62 T20Is), while Tendulkar and Lara each took 453 innings.
  • Third on the list currently is former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who took 468 innings.

9) India wins major trade dispute against the US at the WTO

  • India is understood to have won a major trade dispute against the United States at the World Trade Organization over billions of dollars of illegal subsidies and mandatory local content requirement programmes instituted by eight American states in the renewable energy sector, say analysts.

What was the dispute about?

  • India registered a dispute with WTO on subsidies and mandatory local content requirements in 11 renewable energy programmes in eight American states that are inconsistent with global trade rules.

India’s Stand

  • India claimed that the “domestic content requirements and subsidies instituted by the governments of the states of Washington, California, Montana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Delaware and Minnesota, in the energy sector” violated several provisions in the Trade-related Investment Measures (TRIMS) Agreement, and Subsides and Countervailing Measures Agreement.

  • India also maintained that the programmes implemented by the American states in the renewable energy sector violated the national treatment provision under which foreign producers are required to be treated on a par with domestic producers.
  • A WTO dispute settlement panel was constituted last year to examine whether the renewable energy programmes in the American states were prohibited subsidies and violated the national treatment provisions.

History Repeats

  • Back in 2014, the US had launched a similar trade dispute against India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Energy Mission claiming that it included incentives for domestically produced solar cells and modules.

  • The WTO’s Appellate Body had upheld the US’ complaint against India.

10) Sharad Kumar Saraf: new President of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

  • On June 27, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), exporters body of India, has elected Sharad Kumar Saraf as its new president.

  • Saraf has replaced renowned exporter Ganesh Kumar Gupta. Now, Saraf will work in further pushing the issues of exporters at different forums and boost the country’s exports. He is also chairman and founder of Technocraft Industries (India).

About FIEO

  • Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is a trade promotion organisation in India. The organisation is responsible for representing and assisting Indian entrepreneurs and exporters in foreign markets.

  • It was jointly established in 1965 by the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of India and private trade and industries
  • The WTO’s Appellate Body had upheld the US’ complaint against India.

11) Impressive Tortoise from Arunachal Pradesh

  • A tortoise considered beautiful enough to be named ‘impressed’ has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • This is the first record of the tortoise in India, taking the count to five and the non-marine chelonian count to 29. Chelonian is an order of reptile that includes turtles, terrapins and tortoises.
  • India was known to be the home of only the Asian Forest Tortoise (Manouria emys) until the discovery of the Impressed Tortoise.
  • The Asian Forest Tortoise, the largest in mainland Asia, is found only in the northeast, as are 20 of the other 28 species of chelonians.

12) DNA Technology Bill

  • Cabinet has cleared the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill once again, paving the way for its reintroduction in Parliament.

  • The Bill had been passed by Lok Sabha in January this year, but could not get the approval of Rajya Sabha.

  • As a result, it lapsed once the tenure of the previous Lok Sabha expired last month.

  • The utility of DNA based technologies for solving crimes, and to identify missing persons, is well recognized across the world.

  • Therefore, the new bill aims to expand the application of DNA-based forensic technologies to support and strengthen the justice delivery system of the country.

Highlights of the Bill

  • As per the Bill, national and regional DNA data banks will be set up for maintaining a national database for identification of victims, suspects in cases, undertrials, missing persons and unidentified human remains.

  • According to it, those leaking the DNA profile information to people or entities who are not entitled to have it, will be punished with a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh. Similar, punishment has also been provided for those who seek the information on DNA profiles illegally.

  • As per the bill, all DNA data, including DNA profiles, DNA samples and records, will only be used for identification of the person and not for “any other purpose”.

  • The bill’s provisions will enable the cross-matching between persons who have been reported missing on the one hand and unidentified dead bodies found in various parts of the country on the other, and also for establishing the identity of victims in mass disasters.

  • The Bill establishes a DNA Regulatory Board to accredit the DNA laboratories that analyse DNA samples to establish the identity of an individual.

Insight Current Affairs for UPSC IES – 27 June 2019