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Daily Current Affairs : 05-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  2. DefExpo 2020










Why in news?

  • During the Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government was abolishing in “public interest” an anti-dumping duty that was levied on imports of a chemical called PTA.


  • Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) is a crucial raw material used to make various products, including polyester fabrics.

  • PTA makes up for around 70-80% of a polyester product and is, therefore, important to those involved in the manufacture of man-made fabrics or their components, according to industry executives.

  • This includes products like polyester staple fibre and spun yarn.

  • Some sportswear, swimsuits, dresses, trousers, curtains, sofa covers, jackets, car seat covers and bed sheets have a certain proportion of polyester in them.

  • The duty had meant importers were paying an extra $27-$160 for every 1,000 kg of PTA that they wanted to import from countries like China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, Korea and Thailand.

  • Removing the duty will allow PTA users to source from international markets and may make it as much as $30 per 1,000 kg cheaper than now, according to industry executives.

Source: Indian Express


DefExpo 2020

Why in news?

  • DefExpo-2020, a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, one of the largest events of its kind is being held for the first time in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 5th to 9th Feb 2020.


  • The 11th edition of Def Expo promises to bring new technologies, technological solutions, where Defence manufacturing companies from India and abroad showcase their products and services in Defence arena, on a single platform.

  • The tremendous response shown by Defence manufacturing companies and the partner countries will surely hold Defence Expo 2020 on a higher pedestal in terms of the offerings for Defence related industries.

DefExpo Theme

  • The main theme of the DefExpo India- 2020 is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ and the focus will be on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.

  • Reflecting the Government’s focused on ‘Make in India’, Def Expo 2020, would offer an excellent opportunity for the Indian Defence industry to showcase its capabilities and promote its export potential.

Source: PIB



Why in news?

  • The frequency of the Maitree Express and Bandhan Express trains connecting Bangladesh and India has been increased.


  • The High Commission of India in Bangladesh said that Maitree Express running between Dhaka and Kolkata will now run 5 days a week.

  • Earlier it was running 4 days a week.

  • The additional service of Maitree Express will commence 11 February, 2020 (Tuesday) from Dhaka and return on 12 February, 2020 (Wednesday) from Kolkata.

  • Bandhan Express running between Kolkata and Khulna will now be running twice a week. Earlier it was running once a week.

  • The additional trip of Bandhan Express will commence 16 February, 2020 from Kolkata and return the same day from Khulna.


  • The Bengali name Maitree Express means Friendship Express when translated to English, denoting the significance of the train service to the friendly foreign relations between India and Bangladesh.

  • Previously train services between the two countries existed before the partition of India by the British and the Maitree Express re-established this connection between Dhaka and Kolkata in 2008 after being closed for 43 years.

  • In 2017 a second train service, the Bandhan Express, was inaugurated connecting Kolkata with the Bangladeshi city of Khulna, recreating the previous Barisal Express train route.

Source: PIB



Why in news?

  • Ending decades of free entry to Indian tourists visiting Bhutan, the government in Thimphu has decided to levy a daily Rs. 1,200 ($17) fee for “regional tourists” from India, the Maldives and Bangladesh, beginning July 2020.


  • The fee, called a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), is meant to help the government deal with burgeoning numbers in tourist traffic, which it is seeking to regulate through a new tourism policy.

  • The decision was passed by the National Assembly on as a ‘Tourism Levy and Exemption Bill of Bhutan’, 2020.

  • The SDF is considerably lower than the $65 charged to other foreign tourists, who are also charged a compulsory flat “cover charge” of $250 per day.

Source: The Hindu



Why in news?

  • Major fire was reported for a second time within four days from the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Nagarkurnool district, when 20 hectares of forest land was burnt on Tuesday, near Oorumanda hamlet of the reserve.


  • District forest officials have informed that the fire occurred close to the highway between Vatvarlapally and Domalapenta villages. It was a ground fire, and burnt only dry leaves and undergrowth, before it was controlled by the staff, they said.


  • Amrabad Tiger Reserve spreads over 2,800 sq.kms in the districts of Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda.

  • Earler, it was part of 'Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger reserve' but post-bifurcation, the northern part of the reserve is vested with Telangana state and renamed as 'Amrabad Tiger Reserve'.

  • The southern portion continues to be 'NSTR' is with Andhra Pradesh.

  • There are an estimated 23 Tigers in the reserve.

Source: The Hindu



Why in news?

  • President Ram Nath Kovind opened the annual Udyanotsav of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be opened for the general public from 5th February, 2020.


  • The Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, is flanked by the iconic Mughal gardens — spread over 15 acres.

  • The gardens are a blend of the Mughal and English style of gardening and are inspired by the Persian Charbagh style.

  • It is replete with canals, fountains, elaborate flower beds, well-trimmed shrubs, and a near endless variety of flowers.

  • A part of the gardens comprising the Herbal Garden, the Bonsai Garden, the main Mughal Garden, the Spiritual Garden is open to the public every year in February-March under the event called the Udyanotsav (translates to ‘Garden Festival’).

Charbagh Style:

  • Charbagh is a Persian/Islamic quadrilateral garden layout based on the four gardens of Paradise mentioned in the Quran.

  • The quadrilateral garden is divided by walkways or flowing water into four smaller parts.

  • Significant use of rectilinear layouts is made within the walled enclosures. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens.

  • They are found in countries throughout Western and South Asia, including Iran and India.

  • Humayun’s tomb, Taj Mahal, Mughal gardens are the example of Charbagh in India.

Source: PIB



Why in news?

  • On World Cancer Day, February 4 the World Health Organization (WHO) released reports on cancer.


  • India had an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases, 7,84,000 deaths and 2.26 million five-year prevalent cases in 2018.

  • Globally in 2018, there were 9.6 million cancer deaths, out of which the most were due to lung cancer at 18.4%, followed by colorectum cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), liver (8.2%), breast (6.6%) and cancer of the oesophagus (5.3%).

  • In India, the six most common cancer types are breast, at 1,62,000, followed by oral (1,20,000), cervical (97,000), lung (68,000) and stomach and colorectal, at 57,000 each. These accounted for 49% of all new cancer cases.

  • Among 5,70,000 new cancer cases in men, oral cancer incidence was the highest at 92,000 followed by lung cancer at 49,000.

  • For women, of the 5,87,000 new cancer cases, breast cancer incidence was the highest at 1,62,000, followed by cervical at 97,000.

  • The report said that cancer patterns in India are dominated by a high burden of tobacco-related head and neck cancers.

  • Globally, if the present trends continue, there will be a 60 % increase in cancer cases over the next two decades, WHO said.

Source: Indian Express



Why in news?

  • For every 100 anganwadi beneficiaries in the country, only seven are in urban areas, according to the government’s response to a Right to Information (RTI) query from The Hindu.


  • This is primarily because of a severe lack of anganwadis in cities, leading to poor coverage of the government’s flagship programme in early childhood development.

  • Anganwadis or day-care centres are set up under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) by the Women and Child Development Ministry to provide a package of six services.

The services include:

  • supplementary nutrition;

  • Pre-school non-formal education;

  • Immunisation,

  • Nutrition and

  • Health education; as well as

  • Referral services.

  • The aim of the scheme is to reduce infant mortality and child malnutrition.

  • Beneficiaries include children in the age group of six months to six years, and pregnant women and lactating mothers.

  • A recent first-of-its kind pan-India study on nutrition status, the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey 2016-18, found that 35% of children under five were stunted and 17% were wasted.

  • It also said 22% of children in the age group of 5-9 years were stunted and 23% were thin for their age. Also, 20% of those in the 10-19 years age group were thin for their age.

Source: The Hindu



Why in news?

  • A tri-metal sculpture of Jesus Christ, Healing Christ, on the central courtyard of the Believers Church Medical College (BCMC) Hospital in Thiruvalla has entered the Universal Records Forum’s (URF) book of world records.


  • A URF team adjudged that the 368-cm tall statue, weighing 2,400 kg, is the ‘largest tri-metal Jesus sculpture’ in the world.

  • The statue is sculpted with an alloy of zinc, copper, and velutheeyam (an alloy of tin and aluminium).

Source: The Hindu



Why in news?

  • The Union Environment Ministry has published a draft notification that effectively prohibits users from installing MWPS [Membrane-based Water Purification System], mainly reverse osmosis, in their homes if the water has been sourced from a supply that meets the BIS drinking water norms.


  • Installation or use of MWPS shall be prohibited, at the point of use or at the point of entry for purification of supplied water which is subjected to conventional flocculation, filtration and disinfection process or is from any sources which are in compliance with acceptable limit for drinking water prescribed by Bureau of Indian Standard 10500:2012.

  • The proposed regulation is not the final word and the Ministry will await comments from the public for 30 days, after which it may incorporate the changes before it becomes a law.


  • The Ministry has issued this order to comply with an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which has prohibited the use of reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers in places where total dissolved solids (TDS) in the supplied water are below 500 mg per litre.

  • The NGT had ordered a ban on RO filters on the grounds that they wasted water and that, in the process of removing salts, they often deprived drinking water of essential salts.

  • Current Bureau of Indian Standards’ (BIS) regulations consider 500 mg/litre—1,200 mg/l of total dissolved solids, which consists of salts and some organic matter, as acceptable though there is no lower limit.

Source: PIB

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